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Maryland Geological Survey Analyzes Depth of New Germany Lake
Flintstone, MD — A group of five scientists and engineers from the Maryland Geological Survey recently collected fifteen core samples of the bottom sediments of the lake at New Germany State Park in Garrett County. The samples provided information on the original, pre-lake topography and subsequent sedimentation.
Richard Ortt, an engineer with the Maryland Geological Survey, led the team that collected the samples. The group was engaged to determine the original depth of the lake.
“Visitors to the lake have noticed a decrease in water depth over the years; that has a negative impact on recreational activities. Currently, the lake measures 7 feet deep at its deepest point, with the majority measuring between 2.5 and 5 feet deep. Analysis of the samples we collected will help guide future management actions and determine the feasibility of restoring the lake to the depth that was created when the Swauger Dam was reconstructed in the 1930s,” said Ott.
The researchers identified several layers of sediment under the lake including sand, clay, organic matter (possibly caused by a significant weather event like Hurricane Agnes), a layer most likely formed by construction of the dam and a "soil horizon" that represents the once dry landscape that existed prior to the original Swauger Dam.
After several days of core collections, the team held a public meeting to discuss their findings.
Popular for picnicking and camping, New Germany State Park lies within the boundaries of Savage River State Forest. The 13-acre lake was formed when Poplar Lick Run was dammed for mill operation.
December 18, 2008
Contact: Ray Weaver
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.