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A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

 that accumulates acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

ic peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

, a deposit of dead plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 material—often moss
Moss
Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

es or, in Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

s, lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

s.

Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

ic, either from acidic ground water, or where water is derived entirely from precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

, when they are termed ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic refers to soil or vegetation which receive all of their water and nutrients from precipitation, rather than from streams or springs. Such environments are hydrologically isolated from the surrounding landscape, and since rain is acidic and very low in nutrients, they are home to...

 (rain-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

s. Bogs are very sensitive habitats and are of high importance for biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

.

Distribution and extent


Bogs are widely distributed in cold, temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 clime
Clime
The seven climes was a notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity....

s, mostly in the northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 (boreal
Boreal ecosystem
The term boreal is usually applied to ecosystems localized in subarctic and subantarctic zones, although Austral is also used for the latter....

). The world's largest wetlands are the bogs of the Western Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

n Lowlands in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, which cover more than 600,000 square kilometres. Sphagnum
Sphagnum
Sphagnum is a genus of between 151 and 350 species of mosses commonly called peat moss, due to its prevalence in peat bogs and mires. A distinction is made between sphagnum moss, the live moss growing on top of a peat bog on one hand, and sphagnum peat moss or sphagnum peat on the other, the...

 bogs were widespread in northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

: Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 was more than 15% bog (Achill Island
Achill Island
Achill Island in County Mayo is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, and is situated off the west coast. It has a population of 2,700. Its area is . Achill is attached to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge, between the villages of Gob an Choire and Poll Raithní . A bridge was first...

 off Ireland is 87% bog), Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 (20% bog lands), Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 (26%), northern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 (10%), the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. There are extensive bogs in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 (called muskeg
Muskeg
Muskeg is an acidic soil type common in Arctic and boreal areas, although it is found in other northern climates as well. Muskeg is approximately synonymous with bogland but muskeg is the standard term in Western Canada and Alaska, while 'bog' is common elsewhere. The term is of Cree origin, maskek...

). There are also bogs in Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

 in the southern hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

. Ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic refers to soil or vegetation which receive all of their water and nutrients from precipitation, rather than from streams or springs. Such environments are hydrologically isolated from the surrounding landscape, and since rain is acidic and very low in nutrients, they are home to...


Types of bog


Bog habitats may develop in various situations, depending on the climate and topography (see also hydrosere
Hydrosere
A hydrosere is a plant succession which occurs in a freshwater lake. In time, an area of open freshwater will naturally dry out, ultimately becoming woodland. During this change, a range of different landtypes such as swamp and marsh will succeed each other....

 succession
Ecological succession
Ecological succession, is the phenomenon or process by which a community progressively transforms itself until a stable community is formed. It is a fundamental concept in ecology, and refers to more or less predictable and orderly changes in the composition or structure of an ecological community...

). In the 19th century it was thought that the bog itself somehow 'attracted' the rain that sustained it. The main types are:

Valley bog


These develop in gently sloping valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s or hollows. A layer of peat fills the deepest part of the valley, and a stream
Stream
A stream is a body of water with a current, confined within a bed and stream banks. Depending on its locale or certain characteristics, a stream may be referred to as a branch, brook, beck, burn, creek, "crick", gill , kill, lick, rill, river, syke, bayou, rivulet, streamage, wash, run or...

 may run through the surface of the bog. Valley bogs may develop in relatively dry and warm climates, but because they rely on ground or surface water, they only occur on acidic substrates.

Raised bog


These develop from a lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 or flat marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

y area, over either non-acidic or acidic substrates. Over centuries there is a progression from open lake, to marsh, then fen
Fen
A fen is a type of wetland fed by mineral-rich surface water or groundwater. Fens are characterised by their water chemistry, which is neutral or alkaline, with relatively high dissolved mineral levels but few other plant nutrients...

 (or on acidic substrates, valley bog) and carr
Carr (topography)
A carr is a type of waterlogged, wooded terrain that, typically, represents a succession stage between the original reedy swamp and the eventual formation of forest in a sub-maritime climate....

, as silt
Silt
Silt is granular material of a size somewhere between sand and clay whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil or as suspended sediment in a surface water body...

 or peat fill the lake. Eventually peat builds up to a level where the land surface is too flat for ground or surface water to reach the centre of the wetland. This part therefore becomes wholly rain-fed (ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic
Ombrotrophic refers to soil or vegetation which receive all of their water and nutrients from precipitation, rather than from streams or springs. Such environments are hydrologically isolated from the surrounding landscape, and since rain is acidic and very low in nutrients, they are home to...

), and the resulting acidic conditions allow the development of bog (even if the substrate is non-acidic). The bog continues to form peat, and over time a shallow dome of bog peat develops: a raised bog. The dome is typically a few metres high in the centre, and is often surrounded by strips of fen or other wetland vegetation at the edges or along streamsides, where ground water can percolate into the wetland.

Blanket bog



In cool climates with consistently high rainfall, the ground surface may remain waterlogged for much of the time, providing conditions for the development of bog vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

. In these circumstances bog develops as a layer "blanketing" much of the land, including hilltops and slopes. Although blanket bog is more common on acidic substrates, under some conditions it may also develop on neutral or even alkali
Alkali
In chemistry, an alkali is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal element. Some authors also define an alkali as a base that dissolves in water. A solution of a soluble base has a pH greater than 7. The adjective alkaline is commonly used in English as a synonym for base,...

ne ones, if abundant acidic rainwater predominates over the ground water. Blanket bog cannot occur in drier or warmer climates, because under those conditions hilltops and sloping ground dry out too often for peat to form – in intermediate climates blanket bog may be limited to areas which are shaded from direct sunshine. In periglacial
Periglacial
Periglacial is an adjective originally referring to places in the edges of glacial areas, but it has later been widely used in geomorphology to describe any place where geomorphic processes related to freezing of water occur...

 climates a patterned
Patterned vegetation
Patterned vegetation is a vegetation community that exhibits distinctive and repetitive patterns. Examples of patterned vegetation include fir waves, tiger bush, and string bog. The patterns typically arise from an interplay of phenomena that differentially encourage plant growth or mortality...

 form of blanket bog may occur, known as string bog
String bog
A String bog or Strong mire is a bog consisting of slightly elevated ridges and islands, with woody plants, alternating with flat, wet sedge mat areas. String bogs occur on slightly sloping surfaces, with the ridges at right angles to the direction of water flow...

.

Quaking bog


Quaking bog or schwingmoor is a form of bog occurring in wetter parts of valley bogs and raised bogs, and sometimes around the edges of acidic lakes where bog is beginning to form. The bog vegetation forms a mat half a metre or so thick, floating over water or very wet peat. Walking on this surface causes it to move – larger movements may cause visible ripples of the surface, or they may even make trees sway.

Bog habitats



There are many highly specialised animals and plants associated with bog habitat. The species restricted to bogs are known as tyrphobionts and species characteristic of bogs but not confined to them are called tyrphophiles. Bogs are recognized as a significant/specific habitat type by a number of governmental and conservation agencies. For example, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in its Biodiversity Action Plan
Biodiversity Action Plan
A Biodiversity Action Plan is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity...

 establishes bog habitats as a priority for conservation. Bogs are challenging environments for plant life because they are very acidic and low in nutrients. Characteristic plants are tolerant of acidic conditions: they include species of Vaccinium
Vaccinium
Vaccinium is a genus of shrubs or dwarf shrubs in the plant Family Ericaceae. The fruit of many species are eaten by humans and some are of commercial importance, including the cranberry, blueberry, bilberry or whortleberry, lingonberry or cowberry, and huckleberry...

and royal fern (Osmunda regalis). Carnivorous plant
Carnivorous plant
Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods. Carnivorous plants appear adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic...

s such as sundews (Drosera) and butterworts (Pinguicula
Pinguicula
The butterworts are a group of carnivorous plants comprising the genus Pinguicula. Members of this genus use sticky, glandular leaves to lure, trap, and digest insects in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition they obtain from the environments. Of the roughly 80 currently known species, 12...

) have adapted to the low-nutrient conditions by using invertebrate
Invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

s as a nutrient source. The high acidity of bogs and the absorption of water by sphagnum moss reduce the amount of water available for plants. Some bog plants, such as Leatherleaf
Chamaedaphne
The Leatherleaf is a shrub in the plant family Ericaceae and the only species in the genus Chamaedaphne. It has a wide distribution throughout the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere....

, have waxy leaves to help retain moisture. Bogs also offer a unique environment for animals. For instance, English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 bogs give a home to the boghopper beetle and a yellow fly
Fly
True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

 called the hairy canary fly (Phaonia jaroschewskii
Phaonia jaroschewskii
The hairy canary fly, Phaonia jaroschewskii, is a yellow European muscid fly. This species is found on sphagnum moss on healthy wet bog ecosystems. The larvae feed on these sphagnum bog mosses. It is of interest as an indicator of the health of these bogs, as it will disappear if the bog deteriorates...

).

Industrial uses


A bog is a very early stage in the formation of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 deposits. In fact, bogs can catch fire (see Burns Bog
Burns Bog
The Burns Bog is the largest domed peat bog on the west coast of North America. It covers an area of about and occupies a quarter of Delta, British Columbia, about southeast of downtown Vancouver, and is bounded by BC Highway 10 on its south, the Annacis Highway on its east, and River Road, along...

, for instance) and often sustain long-lasting smoldering blazes analogous to a coal seam fire, producing smoke and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 which can cause health and environmental problems. After drying, peat is used as a fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

. More than 20% of home heat in Ireland comes from peat, and it is also used for fuel in Finland, Scotland, Germany, and Russia. Russia is the leading exporter of peat for fuel at more than 90 million metric tons per year. Ireland's Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna , abbreviated BNM, is a semi-state company in Ireland, created in 1946 by the Turf Development Act 1946. The company is responsible for the mechanised harvesting of peat, primarily in the Midlands of Ireland...

("peat board") was one of the first companies to mechanically harvest peat.

The other major use of dried peat is as a soil amendment (sold as moss peat or sphagnum peat) to increase the soil's capacity to retain moisture and enrich the soil. It is also used as a mulch
Mulch
In agriculture and gardening, is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors....

. Some distilleries
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

, notably in the Islay
Islay whisky
Islay whisky is Scotch whisky made on Islay or Ìle in Gaelic, the southernmost of the Inner Hebridean Islands located off the west coast of Scotland. There are eight active distilleries on the island, as of early 2008, with a ninth being made ready for production...

 whisky producing region, use the smoke from peat fires to dry the barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 used in making Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky is whisky made in Scotland.Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky , Blended Grain Scotch Whisky, and Blended Scotch Whisky.All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three...

. More than 90% of the bogs in England have been damaged or destroyed.

Other uses



Blueberries
Blueberry
Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

, cranberries
Cranberry
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

, cloudberries
Cloudberry
Rubus chamaemorus is a rhizomatous herb native to alpine and arctic tundra and boreal forest, producing amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry...

, huckleberries
Huckleberry
Huckleberry is a common name used in North America for several species of plants in two closely related genera in the family Ericaceae:* Vaccinium* GaylussaciaHuckleberry may also refer to:-Plants:...

 and lingonberries are harvested from the wild in bogs. Bog oak
Bog oak
Bog-wood, also known as morta is wood from trees that have been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by the acidic and anaerobic bog conditions, sometimes for hundreds or even thousands of years. The wood is usually stained brown by tannins dissolved in the acidic water...

, wood that has been partially preserved by bogs, has been used in manufacture of furniture
Furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

.

Sphagnum bogs are also used for sport, but this can be damaging. All-terrain vehicle
All-terrain vehicle
An all-terrain vehicle , also known as a quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler, is defined by the American National Standards Institute as a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control...

s are especially damaging to bogs. Bog snorkeling is popular in England and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Llanwrtyd Wells
Llanwrtyd Wells
Llanwrtyd Wells is a small town in the parish of Llanwrtyd in Powys, mid Wales, lying on the River Irfon.With a population of 601 people , it claims to be the smallest town in Britain, although Fordwich in Kent has a smaller population...

, the smallest town in Wales, hosts the World Bog Snorkelling Championships
Bog snorkelling
Bog snorkelling is a sporting event that consists of competitors completing two consecutive lengths of a water filled trench cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible. Competitors must wear snorkels and flippers, and complete the course without using conventional swimming strokes,...

. In this event, competitors with mask, snorkel, and scuba
Scuba set
A scuba set is an independent breathing set that provides a scuba diver with the breathing gas necessary to breathe underwater during scuba diving. It is much used for sport diving and some sorts of work diving....

 fins swim along a trench cut through a peat bog.

Archaeology



The anaerobic environment and presence of tannic acid
Tannic acid
Tannic acid is a specific commercial form of tannin, a type of polyphenol. Its weak acidity is due to the numerous phenol groups in the structure...

s within bogs can result in the remarkable preservation of organic material. Finds of such material have been made in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Some bogs have preserved ancient oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 logs useful in dendrochronology
Dendrochronology
Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the scientific method of dating based on the analysis of patterns of tree-rings. Dendrochronology can date the time at which tree rings were formed, in many types of wood, to the exact calendar year...

, and they have yielded extremely well preserved bog bodies
Bog body
Bog bodies, which are also known as bog people, are the naturally preserved human corpses found in the sphagnum bogs in Northern Europe. Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies have retained their skin and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the surrounding area...

, with organs, skin, and hair intact, buried there thousands of years ago after apparent Germanic and Celtic human sacrifice. Excellent examples of such human specimens are Haraldskær Woman
Haraldskær Woman
The Haraldskær Woman is an Iron Age bog body found naturally preserved in a bog in Jutland, Denmark. Labourers discovered the body in 1835 while excavating peat on the Haraldskær Estate...

 and Tollund Man
Tollund Man
The Tollund Man is the naturally mummified corpse of a man who lived during the 4th century BC, during the time period characterised in Scandinavia as the Pre-Roman Iron Age. He was found in 1950 buried in a peat bog on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, which preserved his body. Such a find is...

 in Denmark, and Lindow man
Lindow man
Lindow Man, also known as Lindow II and as Pete Marsh, is the preserved bog body of a man discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Cheshire, North West England. The body was found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat-cutters...

 found at Lindow Common
Lindow Common
Lindow Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest located on the western edge of the town of Wilmslow, Cheshire in the northwest of England...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. At Céide Fields
Céide Fields
The Céide Fields is an archaeological site on the north Mayo coast in the west of Ireland, about 8 kilometres northwest of Ballycastle. The site is the most extensive Stone Age site in the world and contains the oldest known field systems in the world...

 in County Mayo
County Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...

 in Ireland, a 5,000 year old neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 farming landscape has been found preserved under a blanket bog
Blanket bog
Blanket bog or blanket mire is an area of peatland, forming where there is a climate of high rainfall and a low level of evapotranspiration, allowing peat to develop not only in wet hollows but over large expanses of undulating ground. The blanketing of the ground with a variable depth of peat...

, complete with field walls and hut sites. One ancient artifact found in bogs in many places is bog butter
Bog butter
"Bog butter" refers to an ancient waxy substance found buried in peat bogs, particularly in the United Kingdom and in Ireland. Likely an old method of making and preserving butter, some tested lumps of bog butter were made of dairy products while others were meat-based.-History:Bog butter is found...

, large masses of fat, usually in wooden containers. These are thought to have been food stores, of both butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 and tallow
Tallow
Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.In industry,...

.

See also



  • List of bogs
  • List of raised and transitional bogs of Switzerland
  • String bog
    String bog
    A String bog or Strong mire is a bog consisting of slightly elevated ridges and islands, with woody plants, alternating with flat, wet sedge mat areas. String bogs occur on slightly sloping surfaces, with the ridges at right angles to the direction of water flow...

  • Blanket bog
    Blanket bog
    Blanket bog or blanket mire is an area of peatland, forming where there is a climate of high rainfall and a low level of evapotranspiration, allowing peat to develop not only in wet hollows but over large expanses of undulating ground. The blanketing of the ground with a variable depth of peat...

  • Bog body
    Bog body
    Bog bodies, which are also known as bog people, are the naturally preserved human corpses found in the sphagnum bogs in Northern Europe. Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies have retained their skin and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the surrounding area...

  • Bog butter
    Bog butter
    "Bog butter" refers to an ancient waxy substance found buried in peat bogs, particularly in the United Kingdom and in Ireland. Likely an old method of making and preserving butter, some tested lumps of bog butter were made of dairy products while others were meat-based.-History:Bog butter is found...

  • Bog iron
    Bog iron
    Bog iron refers to impure iron deposits that develop in bogs or swamps by the chemical or biochemical oxidation of iron carried in the solutions. In general, bog ores consist primarily of iron oxyhydroxides, commonly goethite...

  • Bog-wood
    Bog-wood
    Bog-wood, also known as morta is wood from trees that have been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by the acidic and anaerobic bog conditions, sometimes for hundreds or even thousands of years. The wood is usually stained brown by tannins dissolved in the acidic water...

  • Blackwater river
    Blackwater river
    A blackwater river is a river with a deep, slow-moving channel that flows through forested swamps and wetlands. As vegetation decays in the water, tannins are leached out, resulting in transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling tea or coffee. Most major blackwater rivers are in...

  • Fell running
    Fell running
    Fell running, also known as mountain running and hill running, is the sport of running and racing, off road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty...

  • Differences between bogs and other wetlands
  • Irish Peatland Conservation Council
    Irish Peatland Conservation Council
    The Irish Peatland Conservation Council is a national organisation established in 1982 to conserve and protect a representative sample of Irish bogs....

  • Marsh
    Marsh
    In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

  • Muskeg
    Muskeg
    Muskeg is an acidic soil type common in Arctic and boreal areas, although it is found in other northern climates as well. Muskeg is approximately synonymous with bogland but muskeg is the standard term in Western Canada and Alaska, while 'bog' is common elsewhere. The term is of Cree origin, maskek...

  • Poor fen
    Poor fen
    A poor fen is a natural wetland habitat, consisting of dense low growth of small sedges and other plants...

  • Bill Smith (Fell runner)
    Bill Smith (fell runner)
    Bill Smith was a notable fell runner and well-known author on the sport. He was considered a "legend" in the fell-running community."The word legend is all too often rolled out in sporting circles...

  • Sods
    Sods
    Sods is a term used in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia for a mountain top meadow or bog, in an area that is otherwise generally forested...

  • Sphagnum
    Sphagnum
    Sphagnum is a genus of between 151 and 350 species of mosses commonly called peat moss, due to its prevalence in peat bogs and mires. A distinction is made between sphagnum moss, the live moss growing on top of a peat bog on one hand, and sphagnum peat moss or sphagnum peat on the other, the...

  • Swamp
    Swamp
    A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

  • Wetland
    Wetland
    A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

  • Will-o'-the-wisp
    Will-o'-the-wisp
    A will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus , also called a "will-o'-wisp", "jack-o'-lantern" , "hinkypunk", "corpse candle", "ghost-light", "spook-light", "fairy light", "friar's lantern", "hobby lantern", "ghost orb", or simply "wisp", is a ghostly light or lights sometimes seen at night or twilight over...

  • Kerry bog slides

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