Applications of Classical Models to Tropical Peat

Alison Hoyt, Alex Cobb and Charles Harvey

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress



Hoyt et al 2012: Applications of Classical Models to Tropical Peat


Theme IX. Tropical peatlands


Current models of peat accumulation and degradation were developed with an emphasis on temperate and boreal peat. This work tests the relevance of standard analytical models to tropical peat. Specifically, it tests the ability of models developed by Ingram (1982), Clymo (1984) and Winston (1994) to describe nine peat dome profiles from Sarawak, Malaysia. Models are run using values of a hydrologic parameter calculated based on morphological data, water balance data and an unconstrained best fit to the peat domes. The models were unable to reproduce the dome profiles using parameters derived from empirical water balance data. Water balance parameter values were two orders of magnitude larger than morphometric and best fit values, and predicted much higher dome curvature than found in profile data. These results suggest that either models or parameter formulations need to be adapted to better describe the hydrologic controls on tropical peat dome curvature.