Sediment Accumulation and Distribution in Lake Kampeska, Watertown, South Dakota

By Bryan D. Schaap and Steven K. Sando



Water Resources Investigation Report 02-4171


Prepared in cooperation with the

Lake Kampeska Water Project District


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Lake Kampeska is a natural lake of about 5,075 acres located within the city limits of Watertown, South Dakota. The lake is important as a water supply and recreational resource. Sediment accumulation has been a concern for many years, and several studies have been conducted to learn more about the sediment, including how fast it is accumulating. This study attempted to evaluate previously estimated sediment-accumulation rates and to describe the distribution of sediment in the lake.


Analysis of cesium-137 concentrations in sediment cores and changes in lake-bottom elevation over time led to the conclusion that during about the last 50 years, the sediment has been accumulating at a rate on the order of 0.01 foot per year or less. Changes in lake-bottom elevation during this time period indicate that the only significant deposition occurred in the area near the connection of Lake Kampeska to the Big Sioux River. Direct physical measurements and marine seismic surveys indicate that the flat-bottom interior part of the lake has 10 feet or more of sediment over a relatively irregular subbottom..





Purpose and Scope

Description of Lake Kampeska Area


Previous Studies


General Methods of Investigation

Age-Dating of Sediment

Evaluation of Sediment-Accumulation Rates and Distribution

Information from Previous Studies

1951 Water-Depth Survey

1990-91 Survey

Water Depth

Sediment Thickness

Lake-Bottom Material

Lake-Bottom Material

Information Collected for this Study

Sediment Samples

Marine Seismic Surveys

1994 Water Depth and Sediment Thickness

2000 Water Depth and Sediment Thickness

Comparison of Information from Various Sources and Times





Selected References

Supplemental Information


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