Using Satellites to find Biochar in the Amazon

Atlas Obscura have recently posted a news article about a team of scientists from the University of New Hampshire who are using satellites to detect slight differences in the way light reflects off the tree leaves in the Amazon rainforest, to find concentrations of “Terra Preta” biochar in the soil.

A great statement of fact:

“It’s kind of cool that people today can benefit from what people 3,000 years ago made.”

Another interesting observation related to the tree size and type in areas with high biochar concentration

Given how nutrient-rich terra preta locations are known to be, the team expected the trees above them to be lush, healthy giants towering from the canopy. “We found the exact opposite,” says Palace. The trees were in fact shorter, and the sites appeared to be dominated by palm trees. Were they the descendants of palms planted there by ancient people?

To read the full article, go to

Soil and Satellites Are Telling a New Story About Ancient Civilizations in the Amazon