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

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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


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

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.


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Põlliku peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Põlliku peatland 2


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Imsi peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Hõreda peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Rabivere peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Viru peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Hara peatland


Sustainable use of estonian peat resources and environmental challenges

Hara peatland 2


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


Thank you for your attention

Thank you for your attention!

Contact: [email protected]


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