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Collins Lake could help predict future flooding

He added there are identifying characteristics of sediments from different locations to help determine where they are coming from, such as the "red beds" from the Catskills.

He said the core sample segments believed to be cause by flooding match up with region hurricane records.

"When we compare it with New England hurricane record we can see that a lot of these peaks line up either with New England or Mid-Atlantic hurricane coming up the coast and saturating up the Catskills," said Rodbell.

Another area he said he needs to investigate are how ice jam records, which start around 1840, match up with the core samples to see if it matches up similarly to the hurricane records.

"Between ice jams and hurricanes, those are the things that tend to drive the Mohawk to flood," said Rodbell. "We are trying to get a sense of the pulsing of flooding events and what they might be tied to."

He said the ultimate goal is to be able to predict future flooding occurrences.

"If we can look back in time and understand what drives flooding in the last several centuries then we can turn it around and look forward and say what the long-term weather predictions like and what kind of weather patterns might get setup."

The Mohawk River actually cut itself off at least 1,000 years ago to form the lake, said Rodbell, with the original lake actually being much smaller. What used to be a marshland to the east ended up adding to the lake.

"It is just a freak of nature that produced a basin there that then would only get sediment when the river flooded," said Rodbell.

Since 1994 he had been exploring this study with college students for projects and assignments. Over time, he said, it becomes more and more clear what potential the lake could have for flooding study.""

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