Water volume and sediment accumulation in Lake Linganore, Frederick County, Maryland, 2009

Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5174

Prepared in cooperation with Frederick County, Maryland and the City of Frederick, Maryland



To assist in understanding sediment and phosphorus loadings and the management of water resources, a bathymetric survey was conducted at Lake Linganore in Frederick County, Maryland in June 2009 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Frederick and Frederick County, Maryland. Position data and water-depth data were collected using a survey grade echo sounder and a differentially corrected global positioning system. Data were compiled and edited using geographic information system software. A three-dimensional triangulated irregular network model of the lake bottom was created to calculate the volume of stored water in the reservoir. Large-scale topographic maps of the valley prior to inundation in 1972 were provided by the City of Frederick and digitized. The two surfaces were compared and a sediment volume was calculated. Cartographic representations of both water depth and sediment accumulation were produced along with an area/capacity table. An accuracy assessment was completed on the resulting bathymetric model. Vertical accuracy at the 95-percent confidence level for the collected data, the bathymetric surface model, and the bathymetric contour map was calculated to be 0.95 feet, 1.53 feet, and 3.63 feet, respectively. The water storage volume of Lake Linganore was calculated to be 1,860 acre-feet at full pool elevation. Water volume in the reservoir has decreased by 350 acre-feet (about 16 percent) in the 37 years since the dam was constructed. The total calculated volume of sediment deposited in the lake since 1972 is 313 acre-feet. This represents an average rate of sediment accumulation of 8.5 acre-feet per year since Linganore Creek was impounded. A sectional analysis of sediment distribution indicates that the most upstream third of Lake Linganore contains the largest volume of sediment whereas the section closest to the dam contains the largest amount of water. In comparison to other Maryland Piedmont reservoirs, Lake Linganore was found to have one of the lowest sedimentation rates at 0.26 cubic yards per year per acre of drainage area. Sedimentation rates in other comparable Maryland reservoirs were Prettyboy Reservoir (filling at a rate of 2.26 cubic yards per year per acre), Loch Raven Reservoir (filling at a rate of 0.88 cubic yards per year per acre) and Piney Run Reservoir (filling at a negligible rate).

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water volume and sediment accumulation in Lake Linganore, Frederick County, Maryland, 2009
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia Water Science Center
iv, 14 p.
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