Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Carbon dioxide {dollar}(10\sp{lcub}-1.5{rcub}{dollar} atm), acetic acid (0.5 mg {dollar}\ell\sp{lcub}-1{rcub}),{dollar} and oxalic acid (0.1-0.4 mg {dollar}\ell\sp{lcub}-1{rcub}){dollar} contribute to the low pH (approximately 4) of bog surface waters. Calculations using pH, {dollar}{lcub}\rm SO{rcub}\sb{lcub}4{rcub}\sp{lcub}2-{rcub},{dollar} and total dissolved sulphide show that log {dollar}{lcub}\rm P\sb{lcub}O\sb{lcub}2{rcub}{rcub}{rcub} = -70{dollar} atm. Oxalic and other low molecular weight organic acids are important ligands for Al, Cu, Fe, Pb, and U in these waters.;The concentrations of Na and Mg in the maritime peats exceed their concentrations in the continental bog by more than 3 times, reflecting inputs from sea spray. The Ca contents of Luther bog peats exceed their concentrations in Barrington bog peats by more than 2 times, reflecting the composition of the underlying till (40% calcite). The Al contents of the peats at the two bogs also reflect differences in till lithology (limestone- versus granite-derived).;The vertical distributions of Cr, Ni, and V generally follow ash, and relative to typical crustal abundance, these metals are neither enriched nor depleted in the peats studied here. In acidic, anaerobic peats, Fe and Mn are relatively depleted. On average, the peats studied here are depleted in Fe and Mn by 2 times, relative to typical crustal abundance. In contrast, Cu is enriched in the peats by a factor of 2 times, and U 4 times, relative to typical crustal abundance, and these enrichments reflect their diminished solubility under anaerobic conditions. Zinc and Pb are enriched in the peats too, by factors of 2 times and 9 times, respectively, due to anthropogenic contributions. The following order of relative inorganic association is proposed for trace metals in peats: {dollar}{lcub}\rm Ni - V > Cr > Fe > Mn > Cu = U > Zn > Pb{rcub}{dollar};The literature on the geochemistry of peats and peatlands is critically reviewed.



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