Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Find Lascelles Peat in the United States. Areas of harvested peatlands are called cutaway bogs for this reason. 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. Experts say one man used hair gel in a likely bid to appear taller. layers of partially decayed organic material found in some wetlands. Peat mosses are commonly found in bogs and wetlands of the northern hemisphere of the earth. Photo: Students probe bog for mammoth remains near Rawlins, Wyoming. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. According to Xu et al. Privacy Notice |  This change in climate helped facilitate the formation of the large peatlands we see today. 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. This is called milled peat. Although peat production was mechanized and industrialized in…. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? 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. It can be found in many natural areas, such as bogs, moors, and peatlands. fossil fuel formed from the remains of marine plants and animals. Acids have pH levels lower than 7. wetland of soft ground made mostly of decaying plant matter. Availability. Acids can corrode some natural materials. 1145 17th Street NW Traditional peat harvesting involves a farmer or laborer manually cutting thick strips of peat with a large, sharp hoe. 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. Although peat is not strictly a fossil fuel, its greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to that of fossil fuels. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Dried peat burns readily with a smoky flame and a characteristic odour. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The peat bogs where the ancient bodies have been found are flat expanses of moss-covered wetlands with few trees. Even though peat bogs cover largeareas of Finland, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Sweden, many areconcernedthere about over-harvest, depletion, and using alternativesinstead. Some countries in Europe – including Finland, Ireland and the UK – are contenders, but don’t operate commercial peat extraction on quite the same scale. 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). Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. 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. Canadian peatlands formed over 10,000 years ago in very moist and poorly drained low spots such as old river beds, lakes or ponds. composed of living or once-living material. The bodies of two Iron Age murder victims have been recovered from peat bogs in Ireland. 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. As a result, its main industry is agriculture. When dry, the blocks weigh from 0.34 to 0.91 kg (0.75 to 2 pounds). Variations in climate, hydrology, native species, and other factors result in the considerable variety of peatland communities found around the world. wetland bog from which peat has been removed by hand or industrial means. Although peat is used as a source of energy, it is not usually considered a coal. Peat formation exists on all continents and at all latitudes, including tropical marshes and swamps. Like all wetlands, bogs are inhabited by marshy plants, including trees, grasses, and moss. Access, or the lack thereof, contributes to a place’s economic development, political relationships, and culture. In horticulture, peat is used to increase the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils and to increase the water infiltration rate of clay soils. Peats may be divided into several types, including fibric, coarse hemic, hemic, fine hemic, and sapric, based on their macroscopic, microscopic, and chemical characteristics. 2. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. Peat has been harvested in … If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. 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. Maceration tends to yield more uniform shrinkage and a denser and tougher fuel. Arizona’s right to use water from this river stems from the Colorado Compact, an agreement established in 1922. 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. European peatlands make up 12.5%, followed by South America (11.5%), Africa (4.4%), and Australasia and Oceania (1.6%). Peat moss (Sphagnum) is one of the most common constituents of peat. Harvesting peat moss. Peat is usually hand-cut, although progress has been made in the excavation and spreading of peat by mechanical methods. By the start of the Norman era, around 1000AD, the upland blanket bogs were well established and encroaching on lower land. Peat may be cut by spade in the form of blocks, which are spread out to dry. Almost all of the peat moss sold in the US come from the vast sphagnum moss area in Canada. The name Lascelles Peat has over 3 birth records, 1 death records, 1 criminal/court records, 10 address records, 2 phone records and more. Peat is also used for household cooking in some places and has been used to produce small amounts of electricity. Sustainability Policy |  Over millions of years, it becomes peat.Peat is thick, muddy, and, when harvested, looks like dark, earthen bricks. Sphagnum moss grows most commonly in bogs, which are essentially deep, wet marshes. "Oh, the thing you get at Home Depot" is a common reaction Joel Kostka receives when he mentions that he studies peat moss. Given that peat harvesting is destructive to wetland habitats, its use as a soil amendment has been discouraged by conservationists. 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. group of islands at the southern tip of South America. Peat is an organic material formed from the incomplete decomposition of plant matter under anaerobic conditions. chemical compound that reacts with a base to form a salt. Glaciers also moved across the land, carving out shallow depressions, some of which were poor-draining and served as eventual sites for peatlands. Finland, Ireland, and Scotland are the biggest consumers of peat as a fuel. Some wetlands result from high groundwater levels, whereas some elevated bogs are the result of heavy rainfall. The formation of peat is the first step in the formation of coal. This scraped peat is then collected into bricks. After the glaciers melted, the water runoff filled in these areas. Most of the high-fiber peat producers are in Central Florida. Peat Bogs. Get full address, contact info, background report and more! The moss grows on top of the bog, and peat is produced underneath. The pulp is cut into blocks, which are spread to dry. A bog is a wetland of soft, spongy ground consisting mainly of partially decayed plant matter called peat. Peat may be distinguished from lower-ranked coals on the basis of four characteristics: peats generally contain free cellulose, more than 75 percent moisture, and less than 60 percent carbon, and they can be cut with a knife. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. region and name for some countries in Northern Europe: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Bogs are usually found in cool climates and often in lake basins created by ice age glaciers that … Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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. Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The head of the 'Rogart Bog Beast' found in a peat bog in Sutherland last year. The remains were found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat cutters. 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. Omissions? His response: "Peat moss is a really cool plant that’s important to the global carbon cycle." Peat may be found throughout Florida. 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. )Wet bricks of raw peat are pressed to force out water. Plant material decomposes more rapidly in groundwater rich in nutrients than in elevated bogs with heavy rainfall. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Peatlands and bogs can predominantly be found in Canada and Russia, where the majority of the world’s peat moss is extracted. Peat formation is influenced by moisture and temperature. dark, solid fossil fuel mined from the earth. Most of the time, however, peat is a unique material.Peat forms in bogs. Canada … Peat can be dried and burned as fuel. Terms of Service |  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. coal, oil, or natural gas. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. 2 : partially carbonized vegetable tissue formed by partial decomposition in water of various plants (such as mosses of the genus Sphagnum) Peat bog near Enschede, Overijssel province, Netherlands. It is also added to potting mixes to meet the acidity requirements of certain potted plants. The places where peat is formed, peat bogs, are found in river valleys (floodplains and terraces) and at water divides. having to do with factories or mechanical production. The bricks are then dried further, using heat or pressure. The mine boundaries can be seen through Map Direct. group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean off Western Europe, including Great Britain, Ireland and several smaller islands. Updates? The ash is powdery and light, except for varieties that have a high content of inorganic matter. We found 2 entries for Lascelles Peat in the United States. A peat bog is a type of wetland whose soft, spongy ground is composed largely of living and decaying Sphagnum moss. 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. 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. PIC: Contributed. She or he will best know the preferred format. Code of Ethics, Don't get bogged down—learn why peat is the "forgotten fossil fuel.". 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. 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. Use these materials to explore the interconnected nature of resources and their distribution. With increased time and higher temperatures, these low-rank coals are gradually converted to subbituminous and bituminous coal and under certain conditions to anthracite. 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. Peat is often burned for fuel or used by gardeners. Also known as petroleum or crude oil. Peat is an organic wetland soil made from part-decomposed plant debris, more commonly found in cool environments, such as northern Russia, Europe and … It is also used to soften aquaria water and to mimic habitats for freshwater fish. However, peat bogs can be found from Tierra del Fuego to Indonesia. PHOTO: FOTOLIA/KLAUS STEPHAN The peat bog shown here has been partially drained and is actually several feet deeper than it looks. 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. These are soils high in organic matter content. Hydraulic excavating can also be used, particularly in bogs that contain roots and tree trunks. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Also called a cutover bog. Peat soils are classified as histosols. This partly-decayed organic material builds up in bogs. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals. Found one of the many blanket bogs covering Scotland. Corn, soybeans, and wheat are globally exported from this region and serve as the main economy. Peatlands in Minnesota and latitudes farther n… (Christian Als) Thus far, the results have proved disappointing. (Today, industrial peat harvesting involves huge tractors that scrape peat from the surface of bogs. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. All rights reserved. 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. 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. Although they occur throughout Michigan, bogs are more numerous in the Upper Peninsula where they are found along the margins of lakes … You cannot download interactives. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. But it is also found throughout Ireland, northern England, Scandinavia, and parts of Russia and the U.S. It’s a dark brown substance that’s formed in watery conditions and is made up of partially decomposed organic matter or vegetation. Peat bogs are found throughout the world where cool temperatures and adequate rainfall prevail. Today, peat moss is fairly popular used as soil amendment, soilless mix, seed starting, mushroom casting, etc. Mention "peat moss" and many people will conjure up the curly brown plant material that gardeners use. Peat itselfforms at a rate of an inch every 15 to 25 years. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. 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). 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. 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. Decayed, compacted moss is known as peat, which can be harvested to use for fuel or as a soil additive. 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. Bogs are a type of wetland with a high acid content. Peat is an organic wetland soil made from part-decomposed plant debris, more commonly found in cool environments. 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. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. type of fossil fuel made up mostly of the gas methane. (2018), the majority of the worlds peatlands are situated in Asia (38.4%) and North America (31.6%, mostly Canada & Alaska). National Geographic Headquarters For example, the Great Plains region of the United States is known for its abundance of fertile soil. However, peat bogs can be found from Tierra del Fuego to Indonesia. Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia and the British Isles, have the most peatlands harvested for fuel use. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Due to their poor drainage, the water has low oxygen, so it is anaerobic and has … The bog's acidity prevents this vegetation from fully decaying. Peat can be found in moors all over the world. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Different regions create different types of peat, which in turn give different flavours. With increasing depth of burial and increasing temperature, peat deposits are gradually changed to lignite. 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 … The peat is washed down by a high-pressure water jet, and the pulp runs to a sump. 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 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. Water sources and chemistry influence the type and decomposition of vegetation in peat ecosystems like bogs and fens, from which peat is harvested. Over the world where cool temperatures and adequate rainfall prevail school students to... 'Rogart bog Beast ' found in moors all over the world your subscription and Scotland are the biggest consumers peat... The head of the northern hemisphere of the most peatlands harvested for fuel use by start! In river valleys ( floodplains and terraces ) and at all latitudes, including tropical marshes and swamps by water... School students this page, please contact ngimagecollection @ natgeo.com for more information and mimic! Capacity of sandy soils and to mimic habitats for freshwater fish an agreement in! 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