The Tellus programme at Geological Survey Ireland has released a new report analysing the geochemistry of Ireland's peatlands.
The aim of this project was to investigate the geochemical signature of peatlands and the different peatland types in Ireland, and to identify the potential factors which might account for these signatures. To achieve this, the following objectives were delivered:
- Identify average heavy metal and potassium concentrations, per peat type.
- Identify average pH and LOI, per peat type.
- Investigate the influence of additional parameters, such as bedrock geology and landcover.
- Create maps of elemental concentrations on bedrock geology.
- Assess landcover types in areas of higher elemental concentrations
"Peatlands are defined as wetland ecosystems, consisting of at least 30% organic material (Creamer et al., 2018). Peat forms under waterlogged conditions, where plant production exceeds plant decay, and have formed in Ireland within the last 10,000 years, following the retreat of the Late Midlandian British-Irish Ice Sheet (Ehlers & Gibbard., 2004). However, there is uncertainty as to how much of Ireland's landscape peatlands represent, with some researchers concluding 17.2% or Ireland's landscape is composed of peat (Bord Na Móna., 2017), whilst others conclude peat represents 25% of the Irish landscape (1.7million Ha) (Soil Information System, 2014). Thus, there needs to be further research on mapping peatlands, to reach a consensus in the context of Ireland's landscape."
You can access the publication page HERE where you can view or download the full report.