23 July 2021
Benbrack: another peat landslide in Ireland
Over the last few years I have blogged about peat landslides in Ireland on a number of occasions. Peat landslides are particularly interesting as they tend to have a long run out and they are extremely environmentally destructive, both in the source area (where the peat can take decades or more to regenerate) and downstream, where the peat can be a terrible pollutant. And of course peat is a key (and often degrading) carbon store; losing more is bad.
The newspaper The Anglo-Celt has a story about yet another peat landslide, this time at Benbrack in West Cavan, Republic of Ireland. The location is about 54.152, -7.852. This is the topography from Google Earth:-
The landslide apparently occurred on 4 July 2021 during heavy rainfall. The landslide was photographed by a trekking enthusiast called Kevin Dockery:-
The landslide is also visible on the Planet Labs imagery of the area:-
Based on this image the landslide is about 600 m long. The newspaper article includes a description of the landslide:
…[T]he landslide started on the Benbrack summit plateau at a height of 470 metres above sea level, about 400m south west of Derrynananta.
“About six feet [2 m] deep of peat slipped away down the mountainside,” explained Kevin of the largest of three landslides in the area – two in Benbrack a smaller one on Cuilcagh.
“It was as if a big Hi-Mac scooped away all the peat down to the level where there were gravel and stones.
“There were massive chunks of peat gouged up – they wouldn’t fit into a car trailer they were that big. It just cascaded down the mountainside, it was extraordinary.”
This landslide does not appear to be associated with either forestry or wind farm development, as far as I can see.
Planet Team (2021). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://www.planet.com/