Some Peat Bogs in Washington County, Maine: Their Formation and Trace-Element Content
Cornelia C. Cameron, Nancy A. Wright, 1977. "Some Peat Bogs in Washington County, Maine: Their Formation and Trace-Element Content", Interdisciplinary Studies of Peat and Coal Origins, P. H. Given, A. D. Cohen
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A study of 39 composite filled-pond and raised.-bog type of peat deposits in Washington County, Maine, indicates trace-element relationships to the same horizons in each of the deposits studied. Copper, zinc, lead, and nickel are concentrated in the ash of the clay-free sphagnum moss peat horizon above the regional water table, whereas, neodymium, lanthanum, molybdenum, and gadolinium are concentrated in the horizons representing the, ancient ponds and their filled surface and marsh, and in the overlying horizon recognized by moss, heath, and forest plant remains. These three horizons under the sphagnum contain undifferentiated peat and humus peat. The horizon representing the clayey bottom of the extinct pond contains peat of noncommercial quality and a concentration of vanadium and niobium.
This approach to the study of the peat deposits, with emphasis on deposit formation and tracerfent content, is intended to stimulate further studies of peat resources, geochemical prospecting, and coalification research.
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This publication represents the proceedings, of a symposium on The Geology, Paleobotany, Geochemistry, and Microbiology of Peats." The symposium was held during the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America and associated societies, which took place in Miami, 18-20 November, 1974, and was jointly sponsored by the Coal Geology Division of the Society and the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society. Fourteen papers were presented, and nine are included in this publication. Five authors elected to make other arrangements for publishing their work; but the abstracts of these five papers, as submitted for inclusion in Abstracts with Programs, volume 6, number 7, 1974, are included here for completeness. Peats are of interest to scientists in a variety of disciplines: coal geology, organic geochemistry, soil science, plant ecology, the general ecology of food chains, agronomy, and environmental studies. Workers in many of these fields contributed to this symposium, but it is perhaps fair to say that the central unifying core is the consideration of peat as the precursor of coal. From a broad and general earth science point of view, peats and coals are of special interest because (a) such sediments contain higher concentrations of organic matter than any other common sedimentary deposits, and (b) in most peat beds and coal seams, the greater part of the organic matter and part of the mineral matter are autochthonous in the strictest sense, so that the many biological and chemical fossils that they contain are valid indicators of the organisms from which the organic matter was derived or of the environment of deposition. By contrast, although the reservoir and source rocks of petroleum do contain chemical fossils indicating their origin, reservoir rocks at least, cannot, of their nature, contain relevant fossils in the ordinary biological sense.