Field observations

As the Zelenogorsk peatland observation station had been laid out, a topographic survey of Lammin-Suo peatland area on a 1:10,000 scale (Fig. 2) was carried out. Measured were depth intervals of peat deposit occurences (Fig. 3), and also geobotanical description of the peatland was made. Thanks to the map sheets of airborne photo survey of 1947, plus field data acquired by E.E. Romanova, a typological map of Lammin-Suo (Fig. 4) was drawn, and it is basing on this map that location of observation stations was chosen.

Топографическая карта болота Ламмин-Суо (1950 г.)

Fig.2. Lammin-Suo swamp topographic map (1950 y.)

Карта глубин торфяной залежи (1950 г.)

Fig.3. Peat Deposit Depth Map (1950 y.)

Типологическая карта болота Ламмин-Суо

Fig. 4.  Typical map of the Lammin-Suo swamp



Peatland microlandscape


Peatland microlandscape






Microlandscape group





Combined (sphagnum)




Sphagnum-cottongrass with dead-wood





Pine-forested sphagnum-cottongrass





Spahagnum-cottongrass-suffruticous, occasionally forested with pine and dead-wood



Sphagnum-suffruticous-cottngrass-pine with sphagnum-cottongrass depressions


Sphagnum-sedge, birch- and pine-forested





Sphagnum-sedge, pine-forested

Dry land


Sphagnum-suffruticous-cottongrass, occasionally pine forested


Hammock-ridge pattern



Pine-forested sphagnum-suffruticous-cottongrass



In January 1950 recording of peat-water level was started on three gauge lines (their overall length around 4 kilometers) equipped with 16 gauge wells. The first and the main gauge line is 2 kilometers long, the other two are each 1 kilometer long and run square to the first gauge line crossing it at a distance of 400 meters and 1270 meters respectively (Fig. 5).

At the very beginning of 1950 a place for a meteorological plot was delineated (Fig. 6) right in a genetic centre (upconing) of the peatland and monitoring of its meteorological régime started in compliance with a 2-nd class observation program.

Apart from a precipitation gauge which was installed in the meteorological observation plot, 5 more precipitation gauges were placed at the far ends of the gauge lines. Since 1950, established in four permanent areas was a regular procedure of measuring a state of peatland’s freezing and thawing, as well as depth and density of a snow cover (Fig. 6). In the same year the monitoring of a surface runoff at a weir (constructed on the brook Yuzhny) was initiated. Also in 1950, records of the first trial testing for filtering properties of a peat bed’s active layer through a flume were made.

Later, in a period of several years, a good progress was achieved in improving and developing special observation technique and experimental methods at the peatland observation area. Along with that, a standard observation network was expanded. Thus in 1951 serial variable-gradient tracking of meteorological elements was effected in connection with a research into the way a swamp is subject to evaporating. Besides, comprehensive consideration was given to aqua-physical properties of a peat bed’s active layer. During 1950-1955 fifty large (60 x 11 x 70 cm) monolithic samples of peat with a well preserved texture were picked up from various bog microlandscapes. Testing of these solid samples in special flumes enabled to study the filtering properties of the peat bed’s active layer. 


Схема пунктов наблюдений

Fig. 5. The scheme of observation points

Fig. 6-9. Observation posts

    Basing on these observations a water level rising factor was calculated in terms of a response of peat water level to precipitation. Meanwhile, more activity was added to calculate more extensively a runoff in the peatland. Thus, in 1953 three weirs were constructed and put into operation on the brooks Severny, Zapadny-1 and Zapadny-2 respectively. Again, in 1952, in order to start a regular registration of heat and radiation balance of the peatland, two properly equipped plots went into action. In short, observations and field experimental tests that were made in the early fifties in the Zelenogorsk peatland station gave a good basis for developing and improving various techniques of making accurate recording of the elements featuring the peatland’s hydrometeorological régime.

    Later on, the scope of research in the Lammin-Suo peatland area was gradually increasing. In 1956 regular monitoring of peatland evaporation by dint of GGI-B-1000 weighing evaporimeter was initiated. Also a study of evaporation process by heat balance technique went on. In 1963 a remote facility for checking the heat balance components was designed. A group of sensors was so arranged on the peatland that the potentiometers in the building of the station were recording a radiation (accumulated, diffuse sky and reflected), radiation balance, heat flux into a peat bed at various depths, peat surface temperature, air temperature at a height of 2 meters.

    During 1964-1965 21 hydrogeological wells were drilled in Lammin-Suo peatland and adjacent dry lands and a program of observations on a ground water level, i.e. water in organic soils, was launched. During the next couple of years (1966-1967) the experimental program consisted in defining the filtration properties and filtering capacity under compression in a peat depost in a high bog. In 1965 and 1970 assessed was a hydrochemical regime of watercourses flowing out of the peatland. In 1967 and 1968 a similar research study of bog waters in various paludinous microlandscapes was carried out.

    Ever since the peatland observation station had been organized the work on designing and upgrading technical facilities and measuring instruments has never stopped: the latter included, in particular, a remote facility for monitoring the heat balance elements; a peat water evaporimeter; a filtration flume; instruments and facilities for analyzing aqua-physical and thermal properties of a peat bed and a peat waste layers. Also from 1962 and onwards the upgrading of GGI-B-1000 weighing evaporimeter has been proceeded; efforts, and not in vain, have been made to improve a design of a field filtration flume and to construct efficient drilling tools (for getting peat samples with undisturbed texture, for measuring a depth of freezing and moisture content in a peat of a drained bog, for digging the pits for the wells, etc.). Enhancement of remote facilities for checking a bog water level has been achieved, too.

It was in the period when a large-scale amelioration by draining was effected in a zone of so-called nonblack topsoils (Nechernosem) of the former USSR, that along with the work in the Lammin-Suo area the Zelenogorsk peat observation station initiated an integrated study of a hydrometeorological régime and heat balance components of the low peat bogs that underwent drying and were cultivated for agricultural needs. Field observations and testing were carried out in 1976 within the confines of Staroselsk drainage system which is 45 kilometers away from the Lammin-Suo peatland, in Vyborg district of Leningrad region. Observations on this drainage system lasted till 1990, resulting in rather important data on water-thermal régime and water balance of the drained and cultivated low bog, particularly in terms of its water exchange with underlying inorganic soils.

Along with exploring the richest oil and gas deposits in the bogs of West Siberia a very serious consideration was given to environmental control over the areas of oil and gas production. That was why in the year of 2000 the Zelenogorsk peatland observation station undertook laboratory experiments in analyzing the way the peat bog absorbed oil. As a result the first data on possible values of oil absorption by the high bogs were obtained and published.

Since 2002 the SHI’s laboratory of hydrophysics has launched an experimental study of a bog-atmosphere carbon interchange, by the example of Lammin-Suo peatland, with a view to assess the influence of hydrological factors on this process. The results were taken as a basis for a numerically simulated model of a peat bog carbon cycle.