Long term interferometric temporal coherence and DInSAR phase in Northern Peatlands

Tauri Tampuu*, Jaan Praks, Rivo Uiboupin, Ain Kull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


Peatlands of northern temperate and cold climates are significant pools of stored carbon. Understanding seasonal dynamics of peatland surface height and volume, often referred to as mire breathing or oscillation, is the key to improve spatial models of material flow and gas exchange. The monitoring of this type of dynamics over large areas is only feasible by remote sensing instruments. The objective of this study is to examine the applicability of Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to characterize seasonal dynamics of peatland surface height and water table (WT) over open raised bog areas in Endla mire complex in central Estonia, characteristic for northern temperate bogs. Our results show that InSAR temporal coherence, sufficient for differential InSAR (DInSAR), is preserved in the open bog over more than six months of temporal baseline. Moreover, the coherence which is lost in a dry summer, make a recovery in autumn correlate with WT dynamics. The relationship between the coherence from a single master image and the corresponding WT difference is described by the second degree polynomial regression model (Root Mean Squared Error RMSE = 0.041 for coherence magnitude). It is also demonstrated that DInSAR phase is connected to bog surface dynamics and reveals differences between bogs and for ecotopes within a bog. These findings suggest that InSAR long term temporal coherence could be used to describe seasonal bog WT dynamics and differentiate between mire types and ecotopes within a bog. Moreover, DInSAR analysis has the potential to characterize seasonal mire surface oscillation which may be important for assessing the capacity of water storage or restoration success in northern temperate bogs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1566
Number of pages22
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bog breathing
  • Change detection
  • Interferometry
  • Raised bog
  • Sentinel-1
  • Soil moisture
  • Surface motion
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • Water table


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