Peat is an accumulation of partially decomposed plant debris in a water-saturated, anaerobic environment, that is, a peat bog. The unique properties of peat make it useful in agriculture where it is used to assist aeration and water retention in soils, as a potting mix ingredient, as a fertiliser carrier, in mushroom beds and earthworm culture, and in seed inoculating and flower packing.
The high porosity, good absorption and ion-exchange capacity of peat make it a natural filtering and cleaning material. Its uses include industrial and domestic waste treatment, cleaning up oil spills, and filtering sewage.
There are many peat deposits in Victoria, for example, in Western Port, South Gippsland, Western District Plains and the Eastern Highlands. Peat in Victoria is used mainly as a soil conditioner. The most recently developed deposit is at Swan Marsh near Colac in the Western District Plains.
The existence of many peat deposits in the state, sedge peat in particular, and strong markets in the horticultural and agricultural industries, suggest prospects are good for new peat-producing operations in Victoria.
- Industrial minerals and rocks of Victoria - Geological Survey of Victoria Report 102
- Geology of Victoria - Geological Society of Australia
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Page last updated: 14 Jun 2019