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Lake Kampeska is a natural lake of about 5,075 acres located within the city limits of Watertown, South Dakota. The lake is important as a water supply and recreational resource. Sediment accumulation has been a concern for many years, and several studies have been conducted to learn more about the sediment, including how fast it is accumulating. This study attempted to evaluate previously estimated sediment-accumulation rates and to describe the distribution of sediment in the lake.
Analysis of cesium-137 concentrations in sediment cores and changes in lake-bottom elevation over time led to the conclusion that during about the last 50 years, the sediment has been accumulating at a rate on the order of 0.01 foot per year or less. Changes in lake-bottom elevation during this time period indicate that the only significant deposition occurred in the area near the connection of Lake Kampeska to the Big Sioux River. Direct physical measurements and marine seismic surveys indicate that the flat-bottom interior part of the lake has 10 feet or more of sediment over a relatively irregular subbottom.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Sediment accumulation and distribution in Lake Kampeska, Watertown, South Dakota