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7 Souvenirs of August

EarthCache

View of the Refuge from Rieck's Lake EC #4

A cache by Refuge Ranger
Hidden : 11/5/2008
In Wisconsin, United States
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

2014 June/July Area is experiencing high water. Most likely road is underwater at this time.

This is one of a series of EarthCaches along the Upper Mississippi River.
Enjoy learning about these wild places on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. This area is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

To log this cache post a picture of yourself holding your GPS with Rieck’s Lake in the background and answer the question. Email your answer to our profile email:

1. What is the geological process that is reducing the size of this lake? Estimate the acreage size of Rieck’s Lake now?

River Sedimentation or Is all the Farm Land in the River?

At one time Rieck's Lake was an open body of water over 80 acres in size. Early settlers cleared the trees and plowed the land to raise crops for food and livestock. The windblown soils of the Buffalo River watershed were easily eroded when their protective cover was removed. More farmland was transported by the creeks and streams that flow to the quiet waters of Rieck's Lake.

By the early 1930s the open water of Rieck's Lake had been filled with soil washed from the sloping lands of the watershed.

In 1935, Lock and Dam 4 was completed. The Mississippi River submerged Rieck's Lake basin with eight feet of water. This restored the lake to its 1857 size.

Changes in River Habitat
The Buffalo River is a tributary to the Mississippi River in west-central Wisconsin that drains a watershed dominated by agricultural land uses. Since 1935, backwater from Lock and Dam 4 on the Mississippi River has inundated the mouth of the Buffalo's valley.

Resurveys of Rieck's Lake reveal that sedimentation rates at the Buffalo's mouth have remained unchanged since the mid-1940s. Study results indicate that sediment yields from the watershed have persisted at relatively high levels over a period of several decades despite pronounced trends toward less cultivated land and major efforts to control soil erosion from agricultural land. Indicating the previous land-use practices which caused sediment to enter these tributaries to the Upper Mississippi River continue to enter the watershed - years after they have been stopped.

Going back in time:
At one time Rieck's Lake was an open body of water over 80 acres in size. Early settlers cleared the trees and plowed the land to raise crops for food and livestock. The windblown soils of the Buffalo River watershed were easily eroded when their protective cover was removed. More farmland was transported by the creeks and streams that flow to the quiet waters of Rieck's Lake.

By the early 1930s the open water of Rieck's Lake had been filled with soil washed from the sloping lands of the watershed.

In 1935, Lock and Dam 4 was completed. The Mississippi River submerged Rieck's Lake basin with eight feet of water. This restored the lake to its 1857 size.

In the years since the completion of the dam, erosion has continued to fill Rieck's Lake basin for a second time. Gone is the open character of the lake. Without the submersed vegetation fewer tundra swan stop at Rieck's Lake during fall migration.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

Attributes

No attributes available

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Inventory

There are no Trackables in this cache.

 

Find...

113 Logged Visits

Found it 110     Write note 2     Publish Listing 1     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 92 images

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 7/21/2014 11:56:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time (6:56 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum