Thickness, Distribution and Quality Assessment of Gopalganj-Madaripur Peat Deposits: A Case Study of Potential Economic Opportunities in Mid-Eastern Low-Lying Bangladesh


The present research work illustrates the extent, distribution and a generalized quality assessment of southern low-lying peat deposits in Madaripur and part of Gopalganj district that covers approximately 17,000 hectare areas. Based on the survey of 800 boreholes, drilled in this region at different times by several government and non-government organizations for the purposes of peat exploration and hydrogeological investigation, reveals that the study area is composed of a considerable amount of peat deposits in various localities among which the deposits at Baghia-Chanda beel in Madaripur and Gopalganj districts are the most remarkable. The average peat thickness (in-situ condition), studied during field investigation, is 6.5 feet for the upper peat deposits, overlying with an average of 3.5 feet of alluvium cover, followed by the lower peat layer of about 3 feet thick that begins at an average depth of 8 feet and separated by a thin bluish grey silty clay sediments from the upper one. The lower part of the study area, locally known as beels, is the most prospective region for peat, whereas the western part is less potential either having no peat intersection or minimal peat thickness. The overburden covers, on the other hand are inversely correlated with the peat thicknesses, i.e., thick overburden tend to correlate with thin peat deposits and the thickest peat intersections have no or minimal overburden. Due to the variation in bulk density and peat depth, this Holocene peat has an average of 59.10% carbon stock. Nitrogen levels, more than 3%, indicate that the peat developed from the decomposition of reeds, sedges, bushes and trunks of trees (higher in nitrogen) rather than either moss or grass (lower in nitrogen). Higher sulphur content (about 2.7%) reflected the influence of brackish environments where the formation of FeS2 took place in the roots of existing vegetation. The calorific values, about 1308.8 k-cal/kg (after 20% moisture reduction), suggest that the Gopalganj-Madaripur peat is a low grade fuel that can be used as an alternative energy source in the domestic and limited industrial purposes , to relatively expensive natural gas and coal.

Share and Cite:

Maitra, M. , Islam, M. and Mamun, M. (2014) Thickness, Distribution and Quality Assessment of Gopalganj-Madaripur Peat Deposits: A Case Study of Potential Economic Opportunities in Mid-Eastern Low-Lying Bangladesh. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 943-955. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.59081.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Ahmad, A.R. (1982) Land Disturbance and Reclamation of Peat Extraction. Sample Chapter of UNESCO-EOLSS (Encyclopedia of Life Support System).
[2] Khan, F.H. (1957) Investigation of Peat in Faridpur District, East Pakistan. Information Release No. 4, Geological Survey of Pakistan (Bureau of Mineral Resources), Government of Pakistan.
[3] Lyon, J.G. and Carthy, J.Mc. (1995) Wetland and Environmental Applications of GIS. CRC Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton.
[4] Mitch, W.J. and Gosselink, J.G. (1986) Wetlands. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York.
[5] Morgan, J. P. and McIntire, W.G. (1957) Quaternary Geology of the Bengal Basin, East Pakistan and India. Geological Society of American Bulletin, 70, 319-342.[319:QGOTBB]2.0.CO;2
[6] Coleman, J.M. (1969) Brahmaputra River: Channel Processes and Migration. Sedimentary Geology, 3, 19-29.
[7] Coates, D.A., Whitney, J.W., Sawatzky, D.L. and Alam, A.K.M.K. (1991) Deformation of Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, a Factor in Flood Distribution in Bangladesh. American Geophysical Union Meeting Program and Abstract, San Francisco.
[8] Alam, M. (1996) Subsidence of the Ganges—Brahmaputra Delta of Bangladesh and Associated Drainage, Sedimentation and Salinity Problems. Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence Coastal Systems and Continental Margins, 2, 169-192.
[9] Banglapedia (2014) National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh.
[10] Alam, M. (1972) Tectonic Classification of Bengal Basin. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 83, 519-522.[519:TCOBB]2.0.CO;2
[11] Anam, K. and Bustam, H.A. (2011) Power Crisis & Its Solution through Renewable Energy in Bangladesh. Cyber Journals: Multidisciplinary Journals in Science and Technology, Journal of Selected Areas in Renewable and Sustainable Energy (JRSE), 13-18.
[12] Energy and Power. Fortnightly Magazine, 11.
[13] Survey (2000) Survey Report on Padma Mining and Energy Corporation Ltd., Survey Report on Reliance Minerals and Power Ltd., Survey Report on Shadhin Bangla Mines and Electricity Ltd. Rajoir Upazilla, Madaripur.
[14] Technical Report (2011) Topographic Survey of the Padma Mining and Energy Ltd., Reliance Minerals and Power Ltd. Shadhin Bangla Mines and Electricity Ltd & CEGIS, Dhaka.
[15] Majlis, A.B.K. and Islam, M.A. (2011) Landscape Evaluation in Mid-Eastern Part of Ganges Delta for the Forthcoming Development Arena of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Geology, 29-30, 49-62.
[16] CEGIS (2011) Quarterly Newsletter of the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS). 29.
[17] Cohen, A.D., Spackman, W. and Dolsen, P. (1983) Mineral Matter in Peat: Its Occurrence, Form and Distribution. In: Raymond Jr., R. and Andrejko, M.J., Eds., Proceedings of the Workshop: Los Alamos National Labs, Los Alamos, 87-112.
[18] Sholkovitz, E.R., Boyle, E.A. and Price N.B. (1978) The Removal of Dissolved Humic Acids and Iron during Estuarine Mixing. Earth and Planet Science Newsletter, 40, 130-136.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.