eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1952
Earth Science cover
Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences
ISSN 1736-7557 (Electronic)
ISSN 1736-4728 (Print)
Impact Factor (2021): 0.811
Geological settings of the protected Selisoo mire (northeastern Estonia) threatened by oil shale mining; pp. 97–107
PDF | doi: 10.3176/earth.2014.09

Helen Hiiemaa, Mario Mustasaar, Marko Kohv, Tiit Hang, Argo Jõeleht, Katrin Lasberg, Volli Kalm

The protected Selisoo mire in northeastern Estonia is located above valuable oil shale resources, partly in the permitted mining area. We describe in detail the geomorphology and geological setting of the mire to understand the natural preconditions for its formation, development and preservation. We used the LiDAR-based digital elevation model for relief analysis, mapped the peat thickness with ground-penetrating radar and described the Quaternary cover through corings. Ridges, oriented perpendicular to the generally southward-sloping terrain, and shallow depressions at the surface of mineral soil have influenced mire formation and its spatio-temporal dynamics. The Quaternary cover under the mire is thin and highly variable. Therefore the mire is hydro­geologically insufficiently isolated from the limestone bedrock that is drained by the nearby oil shale mine and consequently the mining activities approaching the mire may have a negative influence on the wetland and proposed Natura 2000 site. Natura 2000 type wetlands, both protected or currently outside the nature reserves, cover a significant portion of the prospective oil shale mining areas. The distribution and resilience of those sites may significantly influence further utilization of oil shale resources.


Allikvee, H. & Ilomets, M. 1995. Sood. In Eesti Loodus [Estonian Nature] (Raukas, A., ed.), pp. 326–362. Estonian Academy Publishers, Tallinn [in Estonian].

Almquist-Jacobson, H. & Foster, D. R. 1995. Toward an integrated model for raised-bog development: theory and field evidence. Ecology, 76, 2503–2516.

Coduto, D. P. 1998. Geotechnical Engineering: Principles and Practices. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 759 pp.

[ELB] Estonian Land Board. 2012. Available at­graafilised-andmed/Korgusandmed-p114.html [last viewed 22 January 2012].

Hang, T. & Miidel, A. 1999. Quaternary cover. Thickness. In Lake Peipsi (Haberman, J., Timm, T. & Raukas, A., eds), pp. 29–32. Eesti Loodusfoto, Tartu.

Ivanov, K. E. 1981. Water Movement in Mirelands. Academic Press, London, 276 pp.

Joosten, H. & Clarke, D. 2002. Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands – Background and Principles Including a Framework for Decision-Making. International Mire Conservation Group/International Peat Society, Finland, 304 pp.

Lode, E., Terasmaa, J., Vainu, M. & Leivits, M. 2012. Basin delineation of small wetlands of Estonia: a LiDAR-based case study for the Selisoo mire and lakes of the Kurtna kame field. In Estonia. Geographical Studies, 11 (Raukas, A., Kukk, K. & Vaasma, T., eds), pp. 142–167. Estonian Academy Publishers, Tallinn.

Marandi, A., Karro, E., Polikarpus, M., Jõeleht, A., Kohv, M., Hang, T. & Hiiemaa, H. 2013. Simulation of the hydro­geologic effects of oil-shale mining on the neighbouring wetland water balance: case study in north-eastern Estonia. Hydrogeology Journal, 21, 1581–1591.

Marandi, A., Veinla, H. & Karro, E. 2014. Legal aspects related to the effect of underground mining close to the site entered into the list of potential Natura 2000 network areas. Environmental Science and Policy, 38, 217–224.

Masing, V. 1982. The plant cover of Estonian bogs: a structural analysis. In Peatland Ecosystems (Masing, V., ed.), pp. 50–92. Valgus, Tallinn.

Minkkinen, K. & Laine, J. 1998. Long-term effect of forest drainage on the peat carbon stores of pine mires in Finland. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 28, 1267–1275.

Orru, M. 1995. Eesti Turbasood. Teatmik [Estonian Mires. Handbook]. Eesti Geoloogiakeskus, Tallinn, 240 pp. [in Estonian].

Orru, M., Väizene, V., Pastarus, J. R., Sõstra, Y. & Valgma, I. 2013. Possibilities of oil shale mining under the Selisoo mire of the Estonia oil shale deposit. Environmental Earth Sciences, 70, 3311–3321.

Paal, J. & Leibak, E. 2011. Estonian Mires: Inventory of Habitats. Publication of the Project ‘Estonian Mires Inventory Completion for Maintaining Biodiversity’. Eestimaa Looduse Fond, Tartu, 225 pp.

Paal, J., Ilomets, M., Fremstad, E., Moen, A., Børset, E., Kuuse­mets, V., Truus, L. & Leibak, E. 1998. Estonian Wetlands Inventory 1997. Publication of the Project ‘Estonian Wetlands Conservation and Management’. Eesti Loodus­foto, Tartu, 166 pp.

Pajula, R. 2000. Spatio-temporal development of the Soomaa mire system in SW Estonia. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Biology and Ecology, 49, 194–208.

Perens, R. & Vallner, L. 1997. Water-bearing formation. In Geology and Mineral Resources of Estonia (Raukas, A. & Teedumäe, A., eds), pp. 137–145. Estonian Academy Publishers, Tallinn.

Tomberg, U. 1992. Turba vajumine soode kuivendamisel [Peat Subsidence due to Drainage of Bogs]. Eesti Maa­viljeluse ja Maaparanduse Teadusliku Uurimise Instituut, Saku, 30 pp. [in Estonian].

Valk, U. 1988. Rabad [Mires]. In Eesti sood [Estonian Bogs] (Valk, U., comp.), pp. 128–187. Valgus. Tallinn.

Back to Issue