Peatlands of the Western Siberian lowlands: Current knowledge on zonation, carbon content and Late Quaternary history
The Western Siberian lowlands (WSL) are the world's largest high-latitude wetland, and possess over 900,000 km2 of peatlands. The peatlands of the WSL are of major importance to high-latitude hydrology, carbon storage and environmental history. Analysis of the existing Russian data suggests that the mean depth of peat accumulation in the WSL is 256 cm and the total amount of carbon stored there may exceed 53,836 million metric tons. A synthesis of published and unpublished radiocarbon dates indicates that the peatlands first developed at the end of the Last Glacial, with a rapid phase of initiation between 11,000 and 10,000 cal yr BP. Initiation slowed after 8000 cal yr BP and reached a nadir at 4000 cal yr BP. There has been renewed initiation, particularly south of 62°N, following 4000 cal yr BP. The initial development of peatlands in the WSL corresponds with the warming at the close of the Pleistocene. Cooling after 4000 Cal yr BP has likely led to increased permafrost and increased peatland development particularly in central and southern regions. Cold and dry conditions in the far north may have inhibited peatland formation in the late Holocene. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Quaternary Science Reviews
Kremenetski, K. V.; Velichko, A. A.; Borisova, O. K.; MacDonald, G. M.; Smith, L. C.; Frey, K. E.; and Orlova, L. A., "Peatlands of the Western Siberian lowlands: Current knowledge on zonation, carbon content and Late Quaternary history" (2003). Geography. 254.