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Bog remnant (Photo:  R. Hofrichter)Peat cutting by hand  (Photo: Archiv Torferneuerungsverein)Lakes and Ponds (Photo: A. Ausobsky)The Weidmoos in winter (Photo: R. Hofrichter)Lakes and ponds (Photo: R. Hofrichter)

Glaciers shaped the landscape

The landscape of the Weidmoos was formed by Ice Age glaciers. When the tongues of the Salzach Glacier receded at the end of the last Ice Age, about 17,000 years ago, they left behind an extensive area of lakes in the Alpine foothills.

Such a lake was created in the area of the present Weidmoos, and substantial deposits of lake clay accumulated on its floor. Even today this clay still prevents rainwater in the subsoil draining away. In the course of time the lake silted up. Peat mosses became established and over the millennia they formed a layer of peat up to six metres deep. A bog had been formed.

The bogs of Ibmer Moor, Weidmoos and Bürmooser Moor extend over some 2,000 hectares, making this the largest connected bog complex in Austria. These large bogs used to be the home of a range of birds which have now vanished entirely from the area, including cranes and black grouse. Human activity - the cultivation of the bogs which began in the 18th century and the peat cutting which followed – has completely transformed the landscape of the Weidmoos.

 

(c) M. Weiss
Layers of clay prevent rainwater draining away ...