Dating recent peat deposits
There is less peat in the Southern Hemisphere, in part because there is less land.
That said, the vast Magellanic Moorland in South America (Southern Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego) is an extensive peat-dominated landscape.
Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world.
By volume, there are about 4 trillion cubic metres (5.2 trillion cubic yards) of peat in the world, covering a total of around 2% of the global land area (about 3 million square kilometres or 1.2 million square miles), containing about 8 billion terajoules of energy.
The biological features of Sphagnum mosses act to create a habitat aiding peat formation, a phenomenon termed 'habitat manipulation'.
In Europe, peatlands extend to about 515,000 km About 60% of the world's wetlands are made of peat.
Peat deposits are found in many places around the world, including northern Europe and North America.
Their water chemistry varies from alkaline to acidic.
Peatlands occur on all continents, from the tropical to boreal and Arctic zones from sea level to high alpine conditions.