10 September 2016

Peat slide!

Posted by Callan Bentley

This is pretty wild: a peat slide in mainland Shetland:


One of the insights I had while travelling in Shetland this past summer was that peat doesn’t only grow in low-lying waterlogged bogs. It can also drape the landscape, as a blanket does a slumbering person. Over time, this skin of peaty vegetation and organic concentrate thickens. Local people of course will cut it and dry the bricks (called “peats”) for fuel. But if it gets really waterlogged, during a heavy rain, it can slough off and run downhill, exposing the bedrock beneath. That’s what happened here.

It’s a novel form of mass movement to my limited experience. I thought you might be keen to see it.