Peat

Bogs

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Bogs are one of the biggest Latvia's natural resources and nowadays they cover more than 10% of national territory. The largest by area is raised peat bogs, located in the East Latvia lowland, Coastal lowland, Middle lowland and North Vidzeme lowland.  Bogs in Latvia are not facing extinction. Latvian terrain (slightly wavy, with many lowlands) and climatic conditions (rainfall exceeds evaporation) are very beneficial for further development of existing bogs, renewal of extracted bogs and creation of new bogs.
In Latvia, a boggy place where the peat layer in undrained condition is at least 30 cm thick, is called a bog. In the Protection Zone Law the bog is defined as an ecosystem on peat soil in which the tree height at the specific location can not reach more than 5 m.

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The natural bogs in Latvia accumulates about 800 000 tons of peat per year and it the same amount as on average it has been extracted within last 10 years.

Bog area is 645 100 ha that is 10% of Latvia's territory.  70% of this area are natural bogs. Peat extraction takes place in 4% of the total bog area.

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Peat formation takes place mainly in bogs. Bog is an excessively wet place, where mother rock of soil is covered by peat layer, whose thickness naturally in undrained condition is larger than 30 cm. Mainly, bogs form due to overgrowth of water bodies (lakes, oxbows, ponds, etc.) or when the land paludifies. Three main types of bogs are as follows: low (grass), raised (moss) and the transition type. Respectively, the division of peat is based on peat formation conditions.

In Latvia, around 9800 bogs are studied, which occupy 10.7% of the country‚Äôs territory. They contain a total of over 1.5 billion tons of peat. 

Latvian peat bogs geospatial map, 2013

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