Seismic stratigraphy of Skaneateles Lake: A high-resolution history of lake level, paleoclimate, and natural hazards in central New York

Robert P. Lyons, Christopher A. Scholz, Henry T. Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new, extensive set of high-resolution seismic reflection data acquired on Skaneateles Lake, New York reveals a dynamic depositional environment and complex deglacial and modern lake level history. Detailed bathymetric results were merged with a regional Digital Elevation Model, in order to provide an integrated perspective view of the lake basin and environs. The new digital data set reveals a stratigraphic framework similar to that observed in adjacent Finger Lakes, with substantially better spatial resolution of key erosional surfaces and depositional sequences. A major bathymetric drop near the center of the lake is interpreted as a part of a regional E-W trending lineament observed in the Digital Elevation Model, and may correlate to a recently active bedrock fault. A large number of dense polygonal faults are observed in the south central part of the lake, mainly in the deeper stratigraphic sequences, and are interpreted to be caused by sediment dewatering in the recent past. Several major slide deposits, ranging in volume from 1.2-6.6 × 106 m3, are observed at three different stratigraphic levels. Landslides of this magnitude entering into a lake basin the size of modern Skaneateles Lake would have generated significant tsunamis, as seen from similar slides in other lakes and enclosed basins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-315
Number of pages14
JournalNortheastern Geology and Environmental Sciences
Volume27
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • Finger lakes
  • Natural hazards
  • New York State
  • Paleoclimate
  • Seismic stratigraphy
  • Skaneateles lake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

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