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Quaking Bog of Wirth Park

Hidden : 08/18/2010
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

QUAKING BOG of Wirth Park

 Kettles and Bogs
 How did they Form?

Quaking Bog began to form about 10,000 years ago as the Wisconsin glacier receded. Large blocks of ice broke away from the glacier and were buried in sand, clay, gravel and boulders left behind by the melting glacier. As the earth warmed, the blocks of ice melted, leaving depressions called kettle holes. "Kettles" such as this one can remain as lakes or ponds, or they can fill with peat and become bogs.
 Understanding What a Quaking Bog is

A bog is a type of wetland usually found in cold regions with short growing seasons. Bogs are found throughout northern Minnesota as well as Canada and other parts of the world. The Quaking Bog in Wirth Park is believed to be the southernmost bog in Minnesota. Bogs have a combination of characteristics that set them apart from other types of wetlands. First, bogs have a small drainage basin with no running streams. With very little runoff contributing water to the wetland, the primary source of water in a bog is from rain or snow. No streams leave the bog, so the water leaves only through evaporation. Second, peat accumulation is high. Plants decompose very slowly in the low oxygen bog water. The accumulation of the decaying plant matter forms the peat existing beneath the vegetation you see. Third, Sphagnum moss is the predominant plant in the bog. Sphagnum grows indefinitely, with new layers growing on top of older dying layers. Decaying Sphagnum is a major contributor to peat. Finally, bogs have special chemical characteristics created by the combined factors of a small drainage basin, peat accumulation, and Sphagnum moss. As the Sphagnum moss moved in it removed the nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) as it grew and reproduced. It replaced them with hydrogen ions (acids). Thus the water in a bog has a low pH or a high acid content, that can be ten to one hundred times more acidie than lake water. Bog water also has relatively few nutrients for plants to use to grow. Tannin's, decomposition compounds in plant matter, give the water a dark brownish color. All the conditions described above create a habitat that relatively few types of plants will inhabit, and many of these plants will only grow in the bog habitat.
 Quaking Bog of Wirth Park
 Logging Requirements Below
You will need to explore the site a little to find the answers. To log this Earthcache please send me an email the answers to the following questions. 1. What is the actual name of the Quaking Bog? 2. From the Peat Core sample taken by scientists in 1995 how old did they determine the Quaking Bog to be? 3. Name two common plants of this bog area. 4. What is your elevation at the site? 5. Pic encouraged but optional

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