Peat is decomposed plant material that has accumulated in anaerobic water-saturated environments, known as peatlands. Peatlands cover an estimated 3% of the Earth’s land area.
In Estonia peat is the second most attractive and mined nat ural resource after oil shale. By its existing natural reserves of peat Estonia belongs to the top ten countries in the world. The geological deposits of peat in Estonia have been rated at 2,37 billion tonnes, of which passive deposits account for 0,6 million tonnes and active, i.e. usable deposits for 1,8 mil lion tonnes. From the active deposits 573 million tonnes have been allocated for industrial mining. The resources are located and the quality and thickness of the peat are calculated in 1 598 deposits with a surface area of 901 648 hectares. The average thickness of the larger bogs is 4–5m, seldom 7–8m. The average growth of the Estonian bogs is rated at 1,0 to 1,7 tonnes/ha.