sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges
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Sustainable use of Estonian peat resources and environmental challenges. Mall Orru The Geological Survey of Estonia. Background. Peatlands cover 22 . 3% of Estonian territory (1 009 100 ha) ~6 0% of peatlands are formed as paludification of mineral soils and ~ 40% as lake paludification

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sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Sustainable use of Estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Mall Orru

The Geological Survey of Estonia

background
Background
  • Peatlands cover 22.3% of Estonian territory (1 009 100 ha)
  • ~60% of peatlands are formed as paludification of mineral soils and ~40% as lake paludification
  • Total number of the peatlands is 9836; 85% of them are small (1-10 ha)
  • Average thickness of peat layer is 3-4 m
background1
Background
  • Peatlands cover 22,3% of Estonian territory (1 009 100 ha)
  • 60% of peatlands are formed as paludification of mineral soils and 40% as lake paludification
  • Total number of the peatlands is 9836, 85% of them are small (1-10 ha)
  • Average thickness of peat layer is 3-4 m
investigation of estonian peatlands
Investigation of Estonian peatlands
  • Work started in 1967 in the Geological Survey of Estonia (EGK)
  • All mires with area >1 ha were investigated and mapped (1:10 000, 1:25 000)
  • Thickness of peat layer, peat type, ash content, pH, moisture, hydrological, and geological condition were studied
  • ~70 000 samples were analysed in laboratory
environmental register list of deposits
Environmental register, list of deposits
  • Started in 1996 in EGK, recently hold by Estonian Land Board
  • List of deposits consists 279 peat deposits
  • Area of peat deposits is ~260 000 ha, which contains 26% of total peatlands area and 8% of Estonian territory
  • List of deposits is complemented constantly
peat resources
Peat resources

Active proved reserves 0.22 billion tonnes

Active probable reserves 0.82 billion tonnes

In list of peat deposits 1.60 billion tons

(16% light humified, 84% well humified)

Total resources 2.37 billion tons

Passive reserves 0.56 billion tonnes

peat extraction
Peat extraction
  • It is extracted from 77 deposits
  • Production fields area is 20 550 ha
  • Peat is mainly used for horticulture and fuel
  • Peat production ranges from 0.9-1.5 million tons
slide8

According to the Sustainable Development Act – the extraction can not exceed 2.6 million tons per year

mire protection
Mire protection
  • Mire protection area 161 575 ha
  • With Natura 2000 protected areas 211 421 ha
  • 72% of them are raised bogs
  • 22% of Estonian mires are under protection
alternative use of peat
Alternative use of peat
  • Environmental technological solutions
    • Like sorbents, wastewater treatment etc.
  • Peat balneology
    • Research has been carried out by EGK
    • Clinical experiments in progress
abandoned peat production areas
Abandoned peat production areas
  • 154 abandoned peat production areas in Estonia with area 8500 ha
  • Peat reserves not totally exhausted yet there
  • High CO2 emission due peat humification
  • Peat mineralises in such areas
revision of abandoned peat production areas
Revision of abandoned peat production areas
  • Carried out by EGK since 2005
  • At the end of 2007 the revision will be completed in 12 counties
  • Study questions:
    • remained peat resources;
    • state of water regime;
    • drainage network;
    • revegetation etc.
as the results of the study
As the results of the study …
  • To provide information for decisionmakers weather re-establish mire, turn into wetland, reforest, plant with berries or make a body of water
  • The above-described problem is topical in the other countries as well
  • In 2008, XIII International peat Congress

“After Wise Use – the Future of Peatlands”

will be organised by the International Peat

Society in Tullamore, Ireland

plantation of berries
Plantation of berries
  • Plantation of cranberries and blueberries in abandoned peatlands
  • Studies carried out by Estonian University of Life Sciences
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Continue and develop sustainable use of peat resources and peatlands
    • Find alternative usage for peat
  • Better co-operation between scientists, decisionmakers, peatproducers etc.
  • Make the linking of borders of peat deposits, protection areas, and peat production available
  • Improve scientific studies of abandoned peat areas
    • multidisciplinary analyses – geologist, ecologist, botanist, hydrologist
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