Peat Behavior


The mechanical behaviour of peat is complex. The presence of fibres, the strong susceptibility for creep, low stiffness and biological and chemical degradation of the material make designing infrastructure on a peat foundation an engineering challenge. Moreover, in soil mechanics material models and calculation methods are mainly focussed on sands and clays, with little attention for organic soils. Peat layers are widely present in the northern hemisphere including the ELGIP countries. The working group on peat aims to share knowledge on peat behaviour among its members to improve understanding of peat behaviour. Understanding peat behaviour helps to overcome today’s challenges, like resilience of infrastructure, CO2 emission and climate change adaption.


The working group peat behavior focusses on solving engineering, peat, related problems and improving tools for practical engineering. This includes the following topics:
• Peat mechanics; numerical modelling, large strain analysis, material models, parameter assessment
• Experiments; laboratory tests, field trials
• Geology and Geophysics; peat layer detection, parameter assessment by field testing, botanical background and other peat characteristics
• Chemistry; improving characteristics by soil mixing etc.
• Special attention for combining the four sources mentioned above