Arctic lakes are turning into swamps – TSU
© RIA Novosti. Evgeny Biyatov

Arctic lakes are turning into swamps – TSU

Scientists from Tomsk State University (TSU) have discovered that swamps are forming on lakes in Russia's Arctic zone, the university website reports. Experts believe that global warming may be the reason.

Research staff of the BioGeoKlim laboratory study the peculiarities of the ecosystems of the forest and swamp areas in West Siberia. In particular, within the framework of the Russian Science Foundation grants, they study drained lakes that can serve as a basis for green "oases" in the Arctic. According to information provided by the university, swamps forming on lakes are typical of regions with a warm climate. For example, it often happens in Belarus and the taiga zone of the Russian Plain.

"During our expedition to the Purovsky District of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, we discovered several sites that we took for drained lakes when we first analyzed space photos, but they proved to be lakes with floating bog on the surface, a green "pillow" of peat overgrown with moss and sedge. We never came across such phenomena in the Arctic before. Literary or scientific sources do not mention the current formation of floating bog in harsh continental conditions either," the press service quotes Sergei Loiko, the head of the project and a senior researcher at the BioGeoKlim laboratory, as saying.

The TSU scientist says that floating bog often forms in swampy plains with a warm climate on the surface of waterways rich in nutrients. With time, vegetation "pillows" solidify and acquire the shape of a stable island. As floating bog becomes thicker, its lower layers rot off and sink to the bottom, turning into peat.