EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

UAS Imaging Applications to Monitor Restored Peatlands

Lauri Ikkala1, Hannu Marttila1, Anna-Kaisa Ronkanen1, Jari Ilmonen2, Maarit Similä2, Tuomas Haapalehto2, Sakari Rehell2, Timo Kumpula3, and Björn Klöve1
Lauri Ikkala et al.
  • 1University of Oulu, Department of Technology, Finland (
  • 2Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland
  • 3University of Eastern Finland, Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, Finland

Peatlands are globally threatened by the increasing exploitation. Majority of peatlands in Finland are severely degraded by land use and drainage activities. Peatland restoration is an effective way to increase biodiversity, return natural function of peatlands in catchment hydrology and reduce negative impacts of drainage.

Restoration activities recover the wet and open habitats crucial for many valuable species and peatlands ability to store water and nutrients. Restoration activates peat forming processes, and thus reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and returns peatlands to act as carbon sinks.

Restored sites are monitored to determine whether the restoration has succeeded and to gather the experiences to further develop restoration methods. The traditional restoration monitoring demands intensive field work with high labor costs and special ecological expertise. Evaluation is mainly based on visual assessment at present. In addition, monitoring typically cannot cover the entire restored site.

There is strong need to develop unbiased indicators and new cost-effective methods producing spatially representative high-quality information on restoration success. We will study new technical possibilities for evaluation of peatland restoration success with unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The latest image processing techniques and their use in mapping and analyzing peatland areas are to be studied. UAS provides prospects not only to ease the demanding restoration field work but also to transform the discrete nature of conventional single data points into a spatial continuum over the whole restored peatland.

How to cite: Ikkala, L., Marttila, H., Ronkanen, A.-K., Ilmonen, J., Similä, M., Haapalehto, T., Rehell, S., Kumpula, T., and Klöve, B.: UAS Imaging Applications to Monitor Restored Peatlands, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8350,, 2020.


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