A history of one peatland observation station

On February 8, 1945, just three months prior to the end of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the USSR Council of Peoples’ Commissars (SNK) issued its decree Nr. 272 in order to develop rural electrification, wherein provision was made for the State Hydrological Institute (SHI) to start up a hydrological laboratory. Accordingly, a subsequent order of the SNK (Nr. 5097, dated March 29, 1945) allowed the State Board of Hydrometeorological Service to initiate construction of a main experimental base (MEB) for the SHI. The MEB’s construction area was chosen to be in vicinity of Ilichevo settlement in Vyborg district of Leningrad region. As of the time of organizing the MEB, the task was to provide the SHI scientific research groups with the possibility of carrying out reliable experimental testing in any aspect of continental hydrology, be it lake hydrology, river mechanics, hydrology of bogs, hydrophysical parameters, etc.

It was decided to choose lake Krasavitsa as a water body for experimental observation, while Lammin-Suo, a peatland some 2.5 kilometers W of Ilichevo village, was chosen as a target bog.

In a period from 1948 through 1949 the SHI’s peat research division carried out a rough survey within the confines of Lammin-Suo peatland. At the end of 1949 Zelenogorsk peatland observation station for this particular area came into being, and on February 1, 1950, it was finally put into operation (Fig. 3.1) as an integral part (now known as Zelenogorsk field experimental base) of the MEB SHI.

A need to have such station as a part of MEB SH was obvious, since this was just a time to foster and further develop hydrology of swamps as a science, and also to promote a new stage in forming, under the auspices of the Federal Service (Roshydromet), a hydrometeorological survey network in swamp areas. Main tasks in the list of the Zelenogorsk station’s activities were as follows: (a) field experimental hydrometeorological observations enabling to study hydrological and hydrophysical processes in natural swamps; (b) technique and methods, approbated in field testing, of monitoring a hydrometeorological régime of swamps; (c) testing of new or upgraded devices for measuring specific parameters of a swamp régime; (d) standard hydrometeorological observations in the peatland and hydrometeorological data acquisition; (e) an internship for the specialists engaged in operating a network of peat observation stations and at other Roshydromet stations as well.

Болото Ламмин-Суо
Fig. 1. Lammin-Suo peatland