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South Africa: Project Mfabeni

Hydrological functioning of Mfabeni fen; the oldest and largest fen in South Africa

Mfabeni fen is situated in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South-Africa within the borders of the iSimangalesi Wetland Park, near the town of St Lucia. The almost undisturbed mire (= living peatland) occurs in an inter-dunal depression close to the Indian Ocean (see map). The fen is still largely without trees, the peat thickness is up to 10 meters and it is the oldest recorded peatland in South Africa (ca, 39.000 years old). ERA is involved in this study since 2005. The project is financed by the South-African Water Research Commission (WRC) and the University of Waterloo in Canada (prof. J. Price). ERA has contributed in making an ecohydrological landscape analysis of the area.