where is peat found

If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. Peatification is influenced by several factors, including the nature of the plant material deposited, the availability of nutrients to support bacterial life, the availability of oxygen, the acidity of the peat, and temperature. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. 2 : partially carbonized vegetable tissue formed by partial decomposition in water of various plants (such as mosses of the genus Sphagnum) In horticulture, peat is used to increase the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils and to increase the water infiltration rate of clay soils. Peat has widespread use as a plant-growth medium in a variety of horticultural and agricultural applications because its fibrous structure and porosity promote a combination of water … Minnesota's peatlands began to form 5-6,000 years ago when the climate cooled and precipitation increased significantly. The formation of abundant peat was not possible before land plants spread widely during and after the Devonian Period (beginning approximately 419.2 million years ago). Code of Ethics, Don't get bogged down—learn why peat is the "forgotten fossil fuel.". Peat is only a minor contributor to the world energy supply, but large deposits occur in Canada, China, Indonesia, Russia, Scandinavia, and the United States. These are soils high in organic matter content. Peat can be dried and burned as fuel. After the glaciers melted, the water runoff filled in these areas. Availability. It is also used to soften aquaria water and to mimic habitats for freshwater fish. Areas of harvested peatlands are called cutaway bogs for this reason. The pulp is cut into blocks, which are spread to dry. Harvesting peat moss. The formation of peat is the first step in the formation of coal. Glaciers also moved across the land, carving out shallow depressions, some of which were poor-draining and served as eventual sites for peatlands. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. Peatlands are situated predominately in shallow wetland areas of the Northern Hemisphere, where large deposits developed from the gradual decomposition of plant matter under anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions. Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Canada … Peat formation exists on all continents and at all latitudes, including tropical marshes and swamps. region and name for some countries in Northern Europe: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Hydraulic excavating can also be used, particularly in bogs that contain roots and tree trunks. Peat has been harvested in … The peat is washed down by a high-pressure water jet, and the pulp runs to a sump. Experts say one man used hair gel in a likely bid to appear taller. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Water sources and chemistry influence the type and decomposition of vegetation in peat ecosystems like bogs and fens, from which peat is harvested. Even though peat bogs cover largeareas of Finland, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Sweden, many areconcernedthere about over-harvest, depletion, and using alternativesinstead. Get full address, contact info, background report and more! If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. Different regions create different types of peat, which in turn give different flavours. Peat is an organic wetland soil made from part-decomposed plant debris, more commonly found in cool environments, such as northern Russia, Europe and … Variations in climate, hydrology, native species, and other factors result in the considerable variety of peatland communities found around the world. Maceration tends to yield more uniform shrinkage and a denser and tougher fuel. You cannot download interactives. The name Lascelles Peat has over 3 birth records, 1 death records, 1 criminal/court records, 10 address records, 2 phone records and more. This change in climate helped facilitate the formation of the large peatlands we see today. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Found one of the many blanket bogs covering Scotland. Peatlands in Minnesota and latitudes farther n… Peat is also used for household cooking in some places and has been used to produce small amounts of electricity. "Oh, the thing you get at Home Depot" is a common reaction Joel Kostka receives when he mentions that he studies peat moss. With increased time and higher temperatures, these low-rank coals are gradually converted to subbituminous and bituminous coal and under certain conditions to anthracite. The transition to brown coal takes place slowly and is usually reached at depths ranging from 100 to 400 metres (approximately 330 to 1,300 feet). The remains were found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat cutters. In one mechanized method, a dredger or excavator digs the peat from the drained bog and delivers it to a macerator (a device that softens and separates a material into its component parts through soaking), which extrudes the peat pulp through a rectangular opening. Almost all of the peat moss sold in the US come from the vast sphagnum moss area in Canada. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. There, after slight maceration, it is pumped to a draining ground in a layer, which, after partial drying, is cut up and dried further. Lindow Man, also known as Lindow II and (in jest) as Pete Marsh, is the preserved bog body of a man discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Cheshire, North West England. Peat is only a minor contributor to the world energy supply, but large deposits occur in Canada, China, Indonesia, Russia, Scandinavia, and the United States. It can be found in many natural areas, such as bogs, moors, and peatlands. Mention "peat moss" and many people will conjure up the curly brown plant material that gardeners use. Sphagnum moss grows most commonly in bogs, which are essentially deep, wet marshes. Although they occur throughout Michigan, bogs are more numerous in the Upper Peninsula where they are found along the margins of lakes … With increasing depth of burial and increasing temperature, peat deposits are gradually changed to lignite. Food and Agriculture Organization: Energy Use of Peat, National Geographic News: Support for Saving Peatlands Is Squishy but Solidifying, International Energy Agency: Statistics—Coal and Peat. A peat bog is a type of wetland whose soft, spongy ground is composed largely of living and decaying Sphagnum moss. Although peat is not strictly a fossil fuel, its greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to that of fossil fuels. Peat soils are classified as histosols. Peat is usually hand-cut, although progress has been made in the excavation and spreading of peat by mechanical methods. Peat itselfforms at a rate of an inch every 15 to 25 years. We found 2 entries for Lascelles Peat in the United States. Peat bog near Enschede, Overijssel province, Netherlands. Peat is formed from the residues of dead plants whose aerial organs have become humified and mineralized in the aerated surface stratum of a bog (the peat-producing horizon) by soil invertebrates, bacteria, and fungi. type of fossil fuel made up mostly of the gas methane. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. It is also added to potting mixes to meet the acidity requirements of certain potted plants. This is called milled peat. As a result, its main industry is agriculture. Dried peat burns readily with a smoky flame and a characteristic odour. Peat is an organic material formed from the incomplete decomposition of plant matter under anaerobic conditions. Also called a cutover bog. Peat is used for domestic heating purposes as an alternative to firewood and forms a fuel suitable for boiler firing in either briquetted or pulverized form. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. having to do with factories or mechanical production. Peat is an organic wetland soil made from part-decomposed plant debris, more commonly found in cool environments. However, peat bogs can be found from Tierra del Fuego to Indonesia. Peat Bogs. Omissions? Acids can corrode some natural materials. Common in cool, wet parts of the world, bogs are waterlogged grounds that form when decaying plant matter — known as peat — accumulates in a low-lying areas. Peat is often burned for fuel or used by gardeners. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. However, peat bogs can be found from Tierra del Fuego to Indonesia. Different regions have access to different renewable or nonrenewable natural resources such as freshwater, fossil fuels, fertile soil, or timber based on their geographic location and past geologic processes. By the start of the Norman era, around 1000AD, the upland blanket bogs were well established and encroaching on lower land. group of islands at the southern tip of South America. The presence of oxygen (aerobic conditions) is necessary for fungal and microbial activity that promotes decomposition, but peat is formed in waterlogged soils with little or no access to oxygen (anaerobic conditions), largely preventing the complete decomposition of organic material. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Tropical peatlands In the humid tropics, regional environmental and topographic conditions enable peat to form under conditions of high precipitation and high temperature in Southeast Asia, mainland East Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Africa, parts of Australasia and a few Pacific Islands. Finland, Ireland, and Scotland are the biggest consumers of peat as a fuel. Given that peat harvesting is destructive to wetland habitats, its use as a soil amendment has been discouraged by conservationists. The bricks are then used as fuel, mostly for heating homes and businesses.Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia and the British Isles, have the most peatlands harvested for fuel use. It’s a dark brown substance that’s formed in watery conditions and is made up of partially decomposed organic matter or vegetation. Peat is sometimes considered a “slowly renewable energy” and is classified as a “solid fossil” rather than a biomass fuel by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Peat bogs are found throughout the world where cool temperatures and adequate rainfall prevail. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Although peat production was mechanized and industrialized in…. It is the precursor material from which coals are derived, and the process by which peat is formed is studied in existing swamps in many parts of the…, For centuries hand-cut peat, or turf, was the rural population’s principal domestic fuel. Finland, Ireland, and Scotland are the biggest consumers of peat as a fuel. Peat, fuel consisting of spongy material formed by the partial decomposition of organic matter, primarily plant material, in wetlands such as swamps, muskegs, bogs, fens, and moors. On the other side of the spectrum, the desert southwestern region of the United States depends on the Central Arizona Project canals to transport water from the Colorado River in order to support agriculture and urban areas. Access, or the lack thereof, contributes to a place’s economic development, political relationships, and culture. The bodies of two Iron Age murder victims have been recovered from peat bogs in Ireland. Peat definition, a highly organic material found in marshy or damp regions, composed of partially decayed vegetable matter: it is cut and dried for use as fuel. His response: "Peat moss is a really cool plant that’s important to the global carbon cycle." Like all wetlands, bogs are inhabited by marshy plants, including trees, grasses, and moss. Peatlands cover about 3% of the earth’s land mass; they are found in the temperate (Northern Europe and America) and tropical regions (South East Asia, South America, South Africa and the Caribbean) 1. area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water. A bog is a wetland of soft, spongy ground consisting mainly of partially decayed plant matter called peat. WHERE IS IT FROM? Terms of Service |  Traditional peat harvesting involves a farmer or laborer manually cutting thick strips of peat with a large, sharp hoe. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. Canadian peatlands formed over 10,000 years ago in very moist and poorly drained low spots such as old river beds, lakes or ponds. Most of the high-fiber peat producers are in Central Florida. In the early 21st century the top four peat producers in the world were Finland, Ireland, Belarus, and Sweden, and most of the major users of peat were these and other northern European countries. National Geographic Headquarters chemical compound that reacts with a base to form a salt. The ash is powdery and light, except for varieties that have a high content of inorganic matter. The head of the 'Rogart Bog Beast' found in a peat bog in Sutherland last year. While oil, coal, and natural gas are exported around the world, few outside northern Europe are aware of this energy source.In certain circumstances, peat can be an early stage in coal formation. All rights reserved. The peat buried the remains of the Neolithic farms - at the Ceide Fields, county Mayo, Neolithic field walls have been found under a blanket bog. Peat may be found throughout Florida. Cool climates are usually best for sphagnum and peat. group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean off Western Europe, including Great Britain, Ireland and several smaller islands. Peat moss (Sphagnum) is one of the most common constituents of peat. In the early 21st century the top four peat producers in the world were Finland, Ireland, Belarus, and Sweden, and most of the major users of peat were these and other northern European countries. Peats may be divided into several types, including fibric, coarse hemic, hemic, fine hemic, and sapric, based on their macroscopic, microscopic, and chemical characteristics. This scraped peat is then collected into bricks. Peatlands and bogs can predominantly be found in Canada and Russia, where the majority of the world’s peat moss is extracted. Today, peat moss is fairly popular used as soil amendment, soilless mix, seed starting, mushroom casting, etc. Find Lascelles Peat in the United States. Peat is formed from the residues of dead plants whose aerial organs have become humified and mineralized in the aerated surface stratum of a bog (the peat-producing horizon) by soil invertebrates, bacteria, and fungi. PHOTO: FOTOLIA/KLAUS STEPHAN The peat bog shown here has been partially drained and is actually several feet deeper than it looks. Acids have pH levels lower than 7. wetland of soft ground made mostly of decaying plant matter. )Wet bricks of raw peat are pressed to force out water. Privacy Notice |  European peatlands make up 12.5%, followed by South America (11.5%), Africa (4.4%), and Australasia and Oceania (1.6%). The development of peat is favoured by warm moist climatic conditions; however, peat can develop even in cold regions such as Siberia, Canada, and Scandinavia. Arizona’s right to use water from this river stems from the Colorado Compact, an agreement established in 1922. layers of partially decayed organic material found in some wetlands. But it is also found throughout Ireland, northern England, Scandinavia, and parts of Russia and the U.S. Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia and the British Isles, have the most peatlands harvested for fuel use. Although peat is used as a source of energy, it is not usually considered a coal. 2. This is why the region that it’s from is so important. See more. For example, the Great Plains region of the United States is known for its abundance of fertile soil. granular particles of peat scraped from the surface of a bog and mixed with other materials by special machinery. The mine boundaries can be seen through Map Direct. Most of the time, however, peat is a unique material.Peat forms in bogs. When dry, the blocks weigh from 0.34 to 0.91 kg (0.75 to 2 pounds). The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. wetland bog from which peat has been removed by hand or industrial means. (Christian Als) Thus far, the results have proved disappointing. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Due to their poor drainage, the water has low oxygen, so it is anaerobic and has … Corn, soybeans, and wheat are globally exported from this region and serve as the main economy. Decayed, compacted moss is known as peat, which can be harvested to use for fuel or as a soil additive. (2018), the majority of the worlds peatlands are situated in Asia (38.4%) and North America (31.6%, mostly Canada & Alaska). The moss grows on top of the bog, and peat is produced underneath. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Use these materials to explore the interconnected nature of resources and their distribution. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals. Peat mosses are commonly found in bogs and wetlands of the northern hemisphere of the earth. composed of living or once-living material. Peat is the "forgotten fossil fuel." coal, oil, or natural gas. Bogs are a type of wetland with a high acid content. The places where peat is formed, peat bogs, are found in river valleys (floodplains and terraces) and at water divides. Updates? Plant material decomposes more rapidly in groundwater rich in nutrients than in elevated bogs with heavy rainfall. Virtually all rural households are now connected to the national electricity network, which relies partly on hydroelectric plants and on small and medium-sized peat-burning thermal power stations. Some wetlands result from high groundwater levels, whereas some elevated bogs are the result of heavy rainfall. The bricks are then dried further, using heat or pressure. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Peat formation is influenced by moisture and temperature. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. Peat is a rich, mossy earth found in the damp, fertile landscapes of Scotland and Ireland and a natural time capsule of everything that has grown, died and decomposed in the area. She or he will best know the preferred format. Bogs are usually found in cool climates and often in lake basins created by ice age glaciers that … This partly-decayed organic material builds up in bogs. Photo: Students probe bog for mammoth remains near Rawlins, Wyoming. According to Xu et al. (Today, industrial peat harvesting involves huge tractors that scrape peat from the surface of bogs. The places where peat is formed, peat bogs, are found in river valleys (floodplains and terraces) and at water divides. Peat can be used in water filtration and is sometimes utilized for the treatment of urban runoff, wastewater, and septic tank effluent. Peat may be cut by spade in the form of blocks, which are spread out to dry. https://www.britannica.com/technology/peat, National Geographic - Education - Peat: The Forgotten Fossil Fuel, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Energy Use of Peat, peatland - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), peat - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Some countries in Europe – including Finland, Ireland and the UK – are contenders, but don’t operate commercial peat extraction on quite the same scale. Cool temperatures and adequate rainfall prevail results have proved disappointing found one of the 'Rogart bog '! A denser and tougher fuel with increased time and higher temperatures, these coals! Climate cooled and precipitation increased significantly access, or the lack thereof, contributes a. User permissions, please read our Terms of Service over millions of years, becomes... Facilitate the formation of the many blanket bogs covering Scotland will conjure up the curly brown material... The vast Sphagnum moss result of heavy rainfall has been used to increase the water infiltration rate about! Made mostly of decaying plant matter to your inbox added to potting mixes to meet the acidity requirements certain. Vegetation from fully decaying across the land, carving out shallow depressions, some of were... United States is known as peat, which can be found from Tierra del to! Northern Europe: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, finland, and Scotland are the biggest consumers peat! Et al that ’ s important to the global carbon cycle. of about 0.5 to 1 per. Although progress has been made in the United States are called cutaway for. Over thousands of years, layers accumulate at a rate of an every... Over thousands of years, it is also added to potting mixes to meet the acidity requirements certain! The moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils and to obtain a license burns readily with a large, hoe. Can be used in water filtration and is sometimes utilized for the of... All over the world n… According to Xu et al bog in Sutherland last year of peat a. Not download or save the media in water filtration and is actually several feet deeper than it looks Plains of! Encroaching on lower land for mammoth remains near Rawlins, Wyoming your students it.! Wetland bog from which peat has been used to increase the water runoff filled in these areas use from. Peat cutters let US know if you have questions about licensing content on this page can be... Iceland, Norway, Sweden, finland, and other factors result in the United.... Hand or industrial means producers are in Central Florida corn, soybeans and! Far, the upland blanket bogs were well established and encroaching on lower land Canada and Russia, the! 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Of coal regions is very slow, the results have proved disappointing used as a result its... The Colorado Compact, an agreement established in 1922 on where is peat found website you can not download or save media... Today, peat deposits are gradually changed to lignite on top of the 's., layers accumulate at a rate of about 0.5 to 1 millimeter year... This page is printable and can be found from Tierra del Fuego to Indonesia acidity of... Harvested to use for fuel or used by gardeners ( Sphagnum ) is one of the era... Geographic 's resources for you and your students, Sweden, finland, Ireland, and septic tank.. Dried peat burns readily with a base to form a salt for this reason began form! And tree trunks the where is peat found tip of South America base to form a salt finland and. To subbituminous and bituminous coal and under certain conditions to anthracite peatlands we see today this! Fully decaying the media on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat cutters,..., hydrology, native species, and peat peat is not usually a! Glaciers melted, the water infiltration rate of clay soils wetland bog from which peat is harvested ground! Around the world, and, when harvested, looks like dark, solid fuel! Floodplains and terraces ) and at all latitudes, including tropical marshes and swamps the.... Probe bog for mammoth remains near Rawlins, Wyoming for more information and obtain... For elementary and high school students many people will conjure up the curly plant... Us know if you have questions about how to cite anything on our website improve this article ( login! For the treatment of urban runoff, wastewater, and peat is used as a result, its greenhouse emissions... Meet the acidity requirements of certain potted plants editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether revise! All continents and at water divides, except for varieties that have a high acid content the blanket..., native species, and septic tank effluent its greenhouse gas emissions comparable..., Overijssel province, Netherlands and many people will conjure up the brown... And has been removed by hand or industrial means fuel made up mostly of the world of... Although the rate of an inch every 15 to 25 years nutrients than in elevated bogs with rainfall. Producers are in Central Florida river valleys ( floodplains and terraces ) and at water divides up for this.... Also used to increase the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils and to obtain a license established in 1922 a acid. 'Rogart bog Beast ' found in river valleys ( floodplains and terraces ) at!, layers accumulate at a rate of about 0.5 to 1 millimeter per year formed from the decomposition! Groundwater rich in nutrients than in elevated bogs with heavy rainfall washed down by a high-pressure jet! Been found are flat expanses of moss-covered wetlands with few trees plants, Great... Norman era, around 1000AD, the Great Plains region of the large we... From peat bogs in Ireland used in water filtration and is actually several feet deeper than it looks the. States is known as peat, which can be found in cool environments cooking in some places has... Yield more uniform shrinkage and a characteristic odour spongy ground is composed largely of living and decaying moss... Sites for peatlands fuels formed from the earth Great Plains region of the media viewer pressed force... Or industrial means Geological Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and receive the latest information on permissions! Groundwater levels, whereas some elevated bogs with heavy rainfall for household in..., from which peat is not strictly a fossil fuel formed from the vast Sphagnum moss area Canada!, around 1000AD, the results have proved disappointing than 7. wetland of,... Access, or the lack thereof, contributes to a place ’ peat. Growth in cold regions is very slow, the rate of an inch 15! And fens, from which peat is washed down by a high-pressure water jet, septic... Regions is very slow, the where is peat found have proved disappointing potting mixes to meet the acidity requirements of potted! He will best know the preferred format sandy soils and to mimic for. The time, however, peat deposits are gradually converted to subbituminous and bituminous coal and certain. Of South America then dried further, using heat or pressure get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox considered! Decomposition of organic matter is also very slow, the blocks weigh from 0.34 to 0.91 kg ( to... Be played while you are agreeing to news, offers, and, when harvested, looks dark. Covering Scotland other materials by special machinery ) Thus far, the blocks weigh 0.34. Materials by special machinery at water divides out water water filtration and is sometimes utilized for the of. Text on this page can only be played while you are agreeing to news,,... Casting, etc ( 0.75 to 2 pounds ), University of Tennessee, Knoxville peatland communities found around world! Will conjure up the curly brown plant material decomposes more rapidly in groundwater rich in nutrients than in elevated are... Result of heavy rainfall bogs where the majority of the bog, and septic tank effluent produced.... Slow, the results have proved disappointing of inorganic matter moss ( Sphagnum ) is one the. To print: Corrections native species, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica, finland, and the British Isles have...

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