Digitized inventory of the French peatlands of 1949 (2021)

Related person : Patrice Tissandier [4], Geneviève Magnon [5]
[1] : Laboratoire Chrono-environnement (UMR 6249) (Université de Franche-Comté)
[2] : Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers - Terre, Homme, Environnement, Temps, Astronomie (UAR 3245) (Université de Franche-Comté)
[3] : Pôle relais Tourbières
[4] : Théoriser et Modéliser pour Aménager (UMR 6049) (Université de Franche-Comté)
[5] : EPAGE Haut-Doubs Haute-Loue
Description :
Digitized data from the French peatland inventory ("Les tourbières françaises", Ministry of Industry and Trade, 1949). This national inventory was carried out in order to estimate the stock of peat in metropolitan France and to facilitate its exploitation, essentially for fuel purposes. Thus, a peatland prospecting campaign was carried out from 1941 to 1945. Some former regions could not be entirely prospected because of the historical context, notably Alsace and Nord Pas-de-Calais.
As the original document was only available in paper format, it was scanned and georeferenced by the Pôle Relais Tourbières and the Chrono-Environnement laboratory. The atlas contains a cartography of the peaty sites prospected with the 1:80 000 scale staff map as a background. Each peaty site is assigned a code referring to the data sheets, where the name of the peat bog and the commune(s) on which it is located are given. The surface area, peat thickness and volume data are accompanied by other data such as ash content and discovery, as well as a commentary providing details on each site.
Disciplines :
biodiversity conservation (applied biology - ecology), ecology (applied biology - ecology), environmental sciences (sciences of the universe), geochemistry & geophysics (sciences of the universe), geography, physical (sciences of the universe), geosciences, multidisciplinary (sciences of the universe)
Access details :
To access the data, please contact the scientific data manager.

General metadata

Data acquisition date : 2019
Data acquisition methods :
  • Derived or compiled data :
    Digitization and georeferencing of public map data. Bibliographic data collection.
    The atlas was scanned at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme et de l'Environnement Claude Nicolas Ledoux in Besançon. The mapping work was carried out on the QGIS 2.18 software (QGIS Development Team, 2009. QGIS Geographic Information System. Open Source Geospatial Foundation. URL http://qgis.osgeo.org) the repository used is the Lambert 93, EPSG-2154.
    The images have been georeferenced as raster using road and bridge crossings as reference points. The atlas maps are sometimes not very accurate, in particular because of the gluing of the staff maps together, which causes shifts of a few millimetres. The reference background used was therefore the aerial photographs of the 1950s (IGN Raster2018, orthoimagery.orthophotos. 1950-1965), faithfully georeferenced with respect to the current orthophotos. The degree of accuracy of the atlas maps required a distortion of the initial image using the Thin Plate Spline transformation and the nearest neighbor resampling method when executing the "georeference" command.
    According to the georeferenced maps, the polygons of peaty areas were diverted at a scale of 1:25,000 to form a shapefile layer by referencing the code indicated on the map. These polygons have sometimes been repositioned to correspond to their position indicated on the map and in the book's comments, in relation to the IGN background. The attribute table was then attached, giving for each site its code, the name of the watershed, the surface, the average thickness and the volume of peat of the site, as well as a column of remarks. The watershed name refers to the chapter of the book from which the data is taken, and makes it easy to find other data about the site.
Update periodicity : no update
Language : English (eng)
Formats : application/x-dbase, application/x-shapefile
Audience : University: licence, University: master, Research, Stakeholder, Policy maker, Informal Education


Spatial coverage :

  • France: latitude between 51° 20' N and 41° 15' N, longitude between 5° 15' W and 9° 50' E

Time coverage :

Publications :
  • Ministère de l’industrie et du commerce, D. des mines, Ferronnière, Y., Dubois, G., Boisselet, L., Weill, H., Allais, A., 1949. Les tourbières françaises - Mémoires. (Rapport du Ministère de l’industrie et du commerce de 1949)
  • Ministère de l’industrie et du commerce, D. des mines, 1949. Les tourbières françaises - Résultats des prospections. (Rapport du Ministère de l’industrie et du commerce de 1949)
  • The 1949 Atlas of French Peat Deposits, A Starting Point for a National Inventory of Peatlands (doi:10.1111/sum.12919)
Record created 1 Mar 2021 by Daniel Gilbert.
Last modification : 3 Apr 2024.
Local identifier: FR-18008901306731-2021-03-01.


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Université de Bourgogne, Université de Franche-Comté, UTBM, AgroSup Dijon, ENSMM, BSB, Arts des Metiers