Monday, June 21, 2010

Rising Waters

20 June 2010. An unidentified photographer recently took these images of the Devils Lake, North Dakota area. During the 1930s & 1940s (when my grandmother was a child), Devils Lake was a barren salt flat. Since 1993, the water level has risen some 25 feet, more than doubling the lake's parameters, as can discerned from a succession of Landsat images. Geologists have projected that this pattern will continue for a century, and federal, state, and local leaders are attempting to develop a series of solutions for the affected communities (1). The smoke one sees in the center image is a property being burnt by its owners; the submerged trees reflect placement of other rural properties prior to inundation. The Spirit Lake Casino, owned by the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux bands and shown in the bottom photograph, once boasted a shoreline location; now it has become an island.

(1)F. Larry Leistritz et al. "Regional Impacts of Water Management Alternatives: The Case of Devils Lake, North Dakota, USA." The Journal of Environmental Management 66 (2002): 465-473.

Images: Top: Old U.S. Highway 281; Center: Eagle Bend; Bottom: Spirit Lake Casino.

No comments: