Model-based evaluation of sediment control in a drained peatland forest after ditch network maintenance

Kersti Haahti*, Mika Nieminen, Leena Finér, Hannu Marttila, Teemu Kokkonen, Antti Leinonen, Harri Koivusalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing the strain on water bodies caused by sediment loads released after ditch network maintenance (DNM) is addressed in operational peatland forestry by implementing sediment control structures in ditches. This study evaluates computationally alternative sediment control scenarios in a 5.2 ha deep peat site in eastern Finland. Coupled to a distributed hydrological model, peat erosion and transport in the ditches were simulated for the first year after DNM with 15 scenarios consisting of individual structures (e.g., sedimentation ponds) and their combinations. One scenario represented the prevailing conditions with a V-notch weir at the catchment outlet. All scenarios were evaluated against a baseline scenario in which no structures affected the catchment sediment processes. The results suggested that bed erosion can be efficiently prevented with breaks in cleaning and structures ponding water. It was proven less efficient to trap already eroded material with sedimentation ponds and pits. The structures raising ditch water level had limited effects on water table levels in the strips between ditches, plausibly not impairing tree growth. The process-based modeling presented here provided a yet unexplored approach to comprehensively evaluating alternatives for sediment control, which is highly needed to address the gap between existing scientific knowledge and operational peatland forestry practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-140
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Erosion modeling
  • Forestry
  • Hydrological modeling
  • Peatland drainage
  • Water protection


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