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Coring lake sediments

Digging Into the History of Floods

WHOI postdoctoral scholar Sam Muñoz prepares the small research vessel Arenaria for launch in Big Lake, Missouri, this spring. Muñoz used the tripod in the foreground to extract sediment cores from the bottom of Midwestern lakes and rivers, as part of a project to reconstruct the flood history of the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. When rivers flood and overflow their banks, mud and sand is carried in river water and gets deposited in nearby lakes and wetlands. Muñoz can find their traces layered in the cores he extracts. He can date those layers to map the history of floods across a river basin. (Photo by Charlotte Wiman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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