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This is one of my favorite areas to hike in, it is full of all things from mountains to water falls. And lakes too, like this one, Carpenters Lake was once a lake or is it still a lake?
2/10/2017: Trail closed - Per the Bonneville Trails Foundation, the Dick Thomas Trailhead has been closed to public access. Access to Table Mountain is only via the Bonneville Trailhead
Like living creatures, lakes are born, mature, decline in their old age and eventually disappear, but the life-cycle of most lakes stretches across several millennia. The eutrophication process begins when algae blooms, weeds, and other organic matter decay and settle to the bottom of a lake. Combined with dust and mineral deposits, the decaying vegetation builds up from the lake bottom forming sediments. As the lake slowly fills up around its edges, it becomes smaller and smaller until it has been filled in completely. The slow process of natural eutrophication has filled in Carpenter lake, creating a swamp and wetland that now tinges the landscape. Essentially, all the wetlands that you find were lakes at one time, formed thousands of years ago by glaciers. Inland lakes in general began as sterile, shallow basins void of any significant plant life. Gradually, algae began to bloom along the lakeshore in shallow water. When this first generation of vegetation that grew around the lake’s perimeter died, the process of eutrophication began. The plants began to die and withered into the water, the vegetation began to decompose in the warm, shallow water. The warm water around the lakeshore also encourages the growth of bacteria, which also accelerates the decomposition of organic matter. But while bacteria help speed up the decay of organic matter, they also consume most, if not all of the oxygen in the water and eventually halt the decomposition of dead vegetation. The lack of oxygen in the water prevents the organic matter from completely decomposing, so it settles at the bottom of the lake. The partially decayed organic matter serves as an excellent fertilizer, which encourages the growth of a greater number and size of plant life. Eventually the rooted vegetation also dies and slumps into the water, and the process of partial decomposition and formation of another layer of sediment on the lake bottom began. Once enough plants die and partially decompose to fertilize the lake bed, the process of eutrophication really begins to accelerate. But we’re still talking about a process that takes about 5,000 to 10,000 years to complete. Repeated cycles of plants growing, dying and then partially decomposing around a lake’s edges, a sort of vicious circle, will continue over thousands of years until the lake has been transformed into a wetland. For reasons that -limnologists still don’t understand, the eutrophication process begins to slow to a snail’s pace when the lake reaches the wetland stage. We still don’t know exactly how the wetland makes it to a dry land stage. Once the lake has become a wetland, it stays that way for a very long period of time. It seems that organic decomposition and plant reproduction in the wetland stage are at an equal rate. Thus a balance is maintained, and the wetland is filled in very, very slowly. The final stage of eutrophication is the deposit of wind-blown dust into the wetland. Dust and leaves from nearby trees and other organic material make up the final layer of sediments that eventually cause the wetland to disappear. The purpose of a lake is to disappear, but lakefront property owners shouldn’t be able to detect a change in their lake water quality during their lifetime. Eutrophication is supposed to be something that occurs on a geological time scale, not over a few decades. You’re looking for an Ammo Can hidden under a fallen tree, between the trail and the lake shore.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum