Fuel-Grade Peat Deposits of Eastern North Carolina
Roy L. Ingram, J. Steve Barnes, 1986. "Fuel-Grade Peat Deposits of Eastern North Carolina", Southeastern United States: Third Annual Midyear Meeting, 1986, Raleigh, North Carolina, Daniel A. Textoris
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Peat deposits of North Carolina are of three main geologic types that represent accumulations of organic matter in: (1) coastal swamps or pocosins broad, shallow depressions on stream-dissected emerged sea floor, (2) river flood plains, and 3) Carolina bays - elliptical depressions of unknown origin.
The largest deposits of fuel-grade peat (peat with less than 25% ash) are found in coastal swamps pocosins and are: (1) Pamlimarle peninsula, which has 583 sq mi of peatland with 278 million tons of moisture-free peat (1510 sq km, 252 million metric tons), (2) Dismal Swamp, which has 120 sq mi of peatland and 68 million tons of peat (311 sq km, 62 million metric tons), and (3) Croatan Forest, which has 55 sq mi of peatland and 27 million tons of peat 142 sq km, 24 million metric tons). The thickness peat in these deposits normally ranges from 1 to ft (0.3 to 2.4 m) with an average of about 5 ft 1.5 m).
River flood plain peats of unknown extent and quantity occur as lenses in alluvial sands and clays. The ash content is usually high, averaging about 11%.
Of the approximately 500 Carolina bays larger than 100 acres (40 ha), 96 contain some peat. The largest single deposit contains 1.3 million tons of peat under 1,400 acres (1.2 million metric tons under 740 ha).
Most peats are black, fine-grained, and highly decomposed with ash contents commonly less than 5%. Sulfur contents are low (median 0.2%) and heating values are high (median 10,100 ati/lb, or 23.5 MJ/kg).
North Carolina has an estimated 1,060 sq mi (2,740 sq km) of peatland containing about 500 million tons (450 million metric tons) of moisture-free peat.
Figures & Tables
Southeastern United States–Guidebook is comprised of twelve field trips that were organized for the Third Annual Midyear Meeting held in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1986. The spectrum of geologic time represented in the Upper Precambrian, Lower Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic and the very Recent. The geologic provinces are the Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, and the Coastal Plain. Besides North Carolina, trips include Virginia, South Carolina and West Virginia.