Investigation of failures in Irish raised bogs

Michael Long, Andy Trafford, Shane Donohue

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    240 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper presents the results of field geophysical testing and laboratory testing of peat from Carn Park and Roosky raised bogs in the Irish Midlands. The motivation for the work was highlight the importance of these areas and to begin to attempt to understand the reasons for the failure of the bogs despite them having surface slopes of some 1°. It was found that the peat is typical of that of Irish raised bogs being up to 8m thick towards the “high” dome of the bogs. The peat is characterised by low density, high water content, high organic content, low undrained shear strength and high compressibility. The peat is also relatively permeable at in situ stress. Geophysical electrical resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar data shows a clear thinning of the peat in the area of the failures corresponding to a reduction in volume from dewatering by edge drains/peat harvesting. This finding is supported by detailed water content measurements. It was also shown that the peat base topography is relatively flat and indicates that the observed surface movement has come from within the peat rather than from the material below the peat. Potential causes of the failures include conventional slope instability, the effect of seepage forces or the release of built-up gas in the peat mass. Further measurements are required in order to study these in more detail.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)733-743
    Number of pages11
    Issue number4
    Early online date16 Nov 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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