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This cache is at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County, Virginia on the Beaver Lake Trail, a short, paved but somewhat steep walk from the CCC Museum
The ultimate fate of a lake basin is to become filled with sediment and revert back to terrestrial vegetation - a process known as lake “succession”.
Beaver Lake may eventually become a fresh water marsh. Much of the lake is now only a few feet deep. Inadequate erosion control on the surrounding land in the past has caused an accumulation of sediment in the lake. Although erosion has been reduced with better soil management, Beaver Lake will become shallower as the natural process of lake succession takes place. During the warm season aquatic plants such as water lilies crowd the edges of Beaver Lake. In late fall the plants die and sink joining fallen tree leaves on the lake bottom. This steady influx of silt soil and plant matter gradually fills in the lake. As the lake shrinks, grasses, shrubs and trees and will claim the newly created soil around the edges of the lake.
To claim this cache you must report in the order the five stages that are on the plaque of the lake succession and also include one example picture, drawing or written of one of the stages that you saw at Beaver Lake. You must also include in your posting a picture of yourself in front of the pier nearby showing the lake and your GPSr.
Please don't include the stages in your post.
Not all lakes are subject to succession, of course. If a lake has a steep, rocky shore, there is no way for the shore to creep into the lake, short of dynamite. You can tell where a lake is disappearing by the plant-life: wherever you see grasses, rushes, reeds and sedges along wet, indistinct and muddy shorelines, you know that the lake is being taken over, ever so slowly.
Lakes and ponds can go through the process of succession more rapidly in two ways. First from an increase in runoff which carries sediments like mud and sand into the pond or lake. Over time this added sediment will cause the lake to fill in becoming shallower and shallower until there is no longer a lake but a bog and eventually a field. The second way is from added nutrients like nitrate and phosphate pollutants that will increase the growth of algae which will add to the detritus that sinks to the bottom of the pond or lake when it dies. This will also help to fill in the lake as described above. Algae and sediments also lower the amount of light that can reach submerged plants and can clog the gills of aquatic invertebrates.