EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Revealing hidden peat structures along the stream network of a boreal forest catchment

Thomas Grabs1,2, José L.J Ledesma3, Hjalmar Laudon4, Jan Seibert5, Stephan Köhler6, Claudia Teutschbein1,2, and Kevin Bishop6
Thomas Grabs et al.
  • 1Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science (CNDS), Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes, Spanish National Research Council, Blanes, Spain
  • 4Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
  • 5Dept. of Geography, University of Zurich , Zurich, Switzerland
  • 6Dept of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Peat stored in large wetlands plays an important role in the carbon cycle and strongly influences water quality of terrestrial surface water bodies. At the same time, peat is also stored in the direct vicinity of many boreal forest streams. From this strategic position, peat can receive and chemically reset hillslope water before it reaches the stream network. Yet, in contrast to large wetlands, only little spatial information is available on the lateral extent of near-stream peat and even less about its vertical variation. Here, we present field data on peat depth and lateral extent collected from approximately 200 transects (with 12 soil profiles taken per transect) distributed across the entire stream network of the Krycklan boreal catchment in Northern Sweden. This soil profile data revealed a considerable heterogeneity of peat and organic horizon thicknesses. By combining the field data with morphological and geological maps, we show how parent material, stream order and local topography influence near stream peat structures. Furthermore, we discuss potential consequences on surface water quality by linking the detailed peat data set to estimates of lateral, shallow groundwater inflows derived from hydrometric measurements and digital terrain analysis.

How to cite: Grabs, T., Ledesma, J. L. J., Laudon, H., Seibert, J., Köhler, S., Teutschbein, C., and Bishop, K.: Revealing hidden peat structures along the stream network of a boreal forest catchment, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17834,, 2020