The use of geophysical methods in the study of tree roots in an urban environment

Mihai, Andrei Emilian (2022). The use of geophysical methods in the study of tree roots in an urban environment. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Near-surface geophysics has been increasingly applied to more and more environments, thanks to the development of both equipment and available software. As a result, non-destructive geophysical surveys in urban areas are increasingly used to solve a great deal of varied problems.

Trees provide valuable and important environmental services and play an important role in the livelihoods of humans and animals alike. However, although trees have been researched extensively, roots remain an area that is notoriously difficult to understand. Hence, robust geophysical surveys might provide an array of useful information regarding the location, size, and overall structure of tree roots, with very few practical downsides. This thesis works at the junction of several disciplines, bringing them together in a cohesive and practical manner.

The investigation focuses on two geophysical methods (GPR and geoelectrical surveying), presenting relevant surveys as well as forward models that aid survey design and data interpretation. The models also revealed why sometimes surveys are unsuccessful (or partly unsuccessful) and what can be done to maximize the odds of success.

The results show that while this task is challenging and site-specific, it is possible to study tree roots in an urban context with geophysical methods.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


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