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Monster North Dakota Lake Nearly

Quadruples in Size


Recharging Glacial Lake Agassiz? 
 

 

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23 Sep 10 - Devils Lake, N.D. – "It's been called a slow-growing monster: a huge lake that has steadily expanded over the last 20 years, swallowing up thousands of acres, hundreds of buildings and at least two towns in its rising waters," says this article by Dave Kolpack.

According to Kolpack, Devil's Lake is one of only two significant "closed-basin" lakes in the United States. The other is the Great Salt Lake.

The growth of Devil's Lake indicates that precipitation in N. Dakota is increasing, or average temperatures are falling (less evaporation), or both. 

"Those worries are compounded by another problem," says Kolpack. "Scientists believe the pattern of heavy rain and snow that filled the basin is likely to continue for at least another decade."

Lest you missed that. "Scientists believe the pattern of heavy rain and snow that filled the basin is likely to continue for at least another decade."  I think it will continue for a lot longer than that.

The lake, with an estimated shoreline of at least 1,000 miles and up to 75 feet deep, has nearly quadrupled in size since the early 1990s, flooding nearly 150,000 acres of land, inundating a million trees and destroying hundreds of homes and farm buildings.

"Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) say there's no way to predict exactly when a normal weather cycle will return. But the agency's models show a 72 percent chance that the current pattern will continue for at least 10 years."
 

"Is this part of the ancient Lake Agassiz?" asks reader Kenneth Brown. "If so, do you think this is part of the natural recharging of that great lake coinciding with a possible new ice age?"

I fear that it could be. However, according to the USGS, "similar wet periods occurred in the Devils Lake Basin many times during the past 2,000 years. The last time the lake overflowed was sometime prior to statehood in 1889."

Reaching its greatest extent around 13,000 years ago, Lake Agassiz was an immense glacial lake larger than all five Great Lakes combined, and held more water than contained by all lakes in the world today.

Google maps show that Devil's Lake "is part of what used to be the south west side of Lake Agassiz," says reader Andrea Jade.

Glacial Lake Agassiz was immense. It dwarfed the Great Lakes.


See entire article (contains cool interactive photo comparing today's
lake size with that of 20 years ago)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100922/ap_on_re_us/us_monster_lake_3
Thanks to Mike Brown, Kenneth Brown and Andrea Jade for this link

 





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