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Last changes: 2019-08-22

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Zaļais Bog

Zaļais Bog is located in Engure municipality, Smārde parish. Its area reaches 1586 hectares, largely being covered with raised bog (1047 hectares).
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In the mid 20th century, Zaļais Bog was a peat excavation site. As a result, the western edge of the bog was drained and the Smirdgrāvis (Sēra grāvis) ditch, the major ditch carrying the bog waters to the Slocene River, was dug and hollowed.
Around the same time the scientists discovered that Zaļais Bog is one of the raised bogs in the surroundings of Ķemeri, where the sulphurous mineral waters are being formed. Therefore the bog was included in the sanitary protection zone, and the peat excavation was ceased in 1960.
Along with the cessation of the peat extraction, the pumping of water from the ponds was stopped, therefore the peat quarries filled in with water. In spite of the cessation of peat extraction, the drainage systems continuously affect the raised bog ecosystem. The bog is deteriorated, particularly in the vicinity of the former peat quarries, and cannot recover itself. The bog overgrows with forest, while the typical bog species, e.g. sphagnum mosses, cranberries and sundews vanish.
 
Peat extraction in a bog in the vicinity of Smārde in the 1950’s.
Photo from the fotoarchive of the family of Edgars Krūmiņš.
 
Zaļais Bog today. The drainage ditches still promote the run-off of water, therefore the main peat formers – the sphagnum mosses – go extinct. The raised bog ceases formation and accumulation of peat, and overgrows with trees. The result is a degraded raised bog.
Photo: Agnese Priede.
 
Zaļais Bog in maps
Zaļais Bog in 1911.
Map: Main headquarters gaodesic-topographic division, published in 1928 according to the situation in 1911.
 
Zaļais Bog today. Two peat excavation ponds and ditches cross the Western part of the bog.
Map: Latvian Geospatial Information Agency.
 
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