Peat Inventory [Minnesota] Full Details
- Peat Inventory [Minnesota]
- Beginning in 1975 and continuing today, there has been a renewed interest in peat for horticulture and for fuel. This interest prompted the development of the Peat Inventory Project in 1976 to outline the dimensions of major peat areas in northern Minnesota and to determine the quantity, quality, type, and depth of the peat deposits. This is the information that is stored in this database. The DNR planned to utilize the inventory data for three purposes: to assess the horticultural potential of the state's resources, to assess the energy potential of the state's peatland, and to support a comprehensive state policy on peatland management. With the U.S. Department of Energy funding beginning in 1979, the DNR accelerated and expanded peat investigations in Minnesota. Nine data tables, stored in one Access database, record the findings of the Peat Inventory at individual peat sites in twenty Minnesota counties. The shapefile, invsite, was created from one of these tables. The first Peat Inventory report and accompanying map was published in 1979, the last report and map was published in 1982 (refer to the Associated Data Sets section for a list of these reports, listed under part 1). Recently, the reports were scanned and are available as pdf files; the accompanying published maps were scanned and rectified for use with GIS software. The map legend is included on each of the scanned map images. On the peat maps, there is basic information about mineral versus peat areas, peat depths, depths of the sphagnum moss caps (i.e., raised bogs), and a differentiation of the degree of decomposition. The USDA Soil Conservation Service nomenclature is correlated with the von Post scale of decomposition in the following manner: Fibric = H1 to H3 Hemic = H4 to H6 Sapric = H7 to H10 On the surficial geology maps (SW St. Louis includes both surficial geology and peat), the map legends differentiate peat versus other surficial geology units and peatland landforms. In the early years, during which time these maps and reports were produced, the DNR used a reconnaissance-level peatland survey. The surveys were intended to be broad in scope and designed to collect information for general land-use planning and to locate areas with potential for development. Data were collected at random locations and sometimes along traverses in the often remote and almost inaccessible northern peatlands. At observation sites, crews collected notes on the peatland vegetation, determined the peat type throughout the profile, measured the peat depth, and collected samples for analysis. In later years, the DNR used a detailed-level peatland survey. Detailed surveys, by definition, are more focused, site-specific investigations, designed to specify development potential. The detailed surveys were undertaken following the ranking of survey areas according to their potential. Staff investigated the exact quality and quantity of the peat, as well as site characteristics that affect the cost of development. The survey results included written reports (not available as digital files) that have isopact maps of the deposits, descriptions of the peat material, cross sections that illustrate the botanical components and humidification of the deposits, volume and tonnage estimates, and surface elevation maps. The detailed surveys were conducted using grid survey techniques, in which resource data are collected systematically at points on a grid. If any of the detailed peatland surveys were done in areas where the maps were published, the maps were not updated to reflect these surveys. The database contains the findings of the Peat Inventory Project, stored in nine data tables that are described more fully in the Entity-Attribute Overview section below. The maps were published in 1979-1982 in conjunction with the Peat Inventory reports. The data stored in the tables reflect the conditions found at the site on the date visited. Peat inventory sites described are from 1976-1988, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2006.
- Minnesota. Department of Natural Resources
- Minnesota Geospatial Commons
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