Comparison of flow duration curves for a weir draining an undrained raised peat with those generated 20 years previously reveal that more recent curves reflect to be flatter with a lower Q95/Q5 ratio. Comparison of the bog topography for the same period revealed that although marginal drainage/peat reclamation had resulted in desiccation of peat around the bog margin and more frequent intense runoff, the central part of the bog had subsided to form an enclosed basin ,resulting in the creation of newly formed lakes that gave the central part of the bog an improved capacity to store, and more slowly discharge, water. Interrogation of groundwater monitoring data revealed a net decline in groundwater levels of up to three metres in the glacial tills underlying the bog associated with deepening and expansion of a marginal drain network which penetrated the base of the peat. Comparing organic carbon levels in peat the central part of the bog over a ten year period revealed an overall increase, with changes being most marked in deeper fen peat layers. These findings suggest that the decline in groundwater levels in the peat substrate resulted in an increase in effective stress in the peat causing greater subsidence in the central part of the bog due to greater overall thickness. Study results highlight how the hydrology of apparently isolated obotrophic raised bog ecosystems may be influenced by groundwater pressures in deeper deposits, and how marginal drains may have the capacity to impact areas at significant distances.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Science of the Total Environment|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|