Raised bogs represent end-products of peatland development that are generally assumed to be decoupled from the regional groundwater system. However, the development of two peat mounds in northern Minnesota was driven by three major reversals in its groundwater-flow regime. A 4000-year record of groundwater flow was reconstructed by stratigraphic studies that utilized both botanical indicators of the surface-water chemistry, and mineral indicators of the pore-water chemistry and chemical weathering regime. The mineral stratigraphy indicated that the peat mounds were initially formed under a discharge (upward flow) regime. During the succeeding moist period, these peat mounds developed into raised bogs as their water-table mounds drove local recharge (downward) flow into the mineral substratum. A major reversal to a prevailing discharge regime at 1200 BP, however, converted the smaller peat mound into a spring fen and weathered the silicate minerals within the peat profile of the larger mound. This reversal was apparently caused by the onset of extended droughts, which dissipate the water table mound within these peat landforms.
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- groundwater flow
- raised bog
- water chemistry