The Heath, Great Cranberry Island, Maine, offers a unique locality for studying lateral and vertical relationships between radically different peat types within 1 km2. The majority of The Heath is a Sphagnum moss-dominated raised bog. Surrounding the raised bog is a swamp/marsh complex containing grass, sedge, Sphagnum moss, alder, tamarack, and skunk cabbage. Swamp/ marsh-deposited peat occurs both around the margins of The Heath and under Sphagnum-dominated peat, which was deposited within the raised bog. A third peat type, dominated by herbaceous aquatics, is present underlying the swamp/marsh-dominated peat but is not present as a dominant botanical community of The Heath. The three peat types have major differences in petrographic characteristics, ash contents, and associated minerals. Sulfur contents range from a low of 0.19 wt.% (dry) within the raised bog to a high of 4.44 wt% (dry) near the west end of The Heath, where swamp/marsh peat occurring directly behind a storm beach berm has been influenced by marine waters. The presence of major geochemical variations within a 1-km2 peat deposit suggests the need for in-depth characterization of potential peat resources prior to use. ?? 1987.
Additional publication details
Relationship between peat geochemistry and depositional environments, Cranberry Island, Maine