Union College


Collins Pond - a remnant of the Mohawk

River in Scotia NY

Collins Lake is a small oval-shaped lake, located on the floodplain of the Mohawk River in the Village of Scotia, New York. A number of hypotheses have been forwarded as to the origin of the Lake. There are three popular hypotheses that attempt to explain its origin: a plunge pool, a kettle lake, or an oxbow lake. 

We used seismic equipment and sediment cores to explore the lake and to try to understand how it formed. A sub-bottom profiler, which reveals sediment layers using sonar, was used to take several transects of the Lake and of the Mohawk River.

Two sediment cores were also taken from Collins Lake, one in the deep hole, the other a shallower section. We then used radiocarbon dating to determine that the sedimentation rates are ~500-700 mm/100 years, and that the lake is surprisingly young: about 850 years old!

BELOW are links to two theses that were completed at Union College on the origin of the lake.

The geological evolution of Collins Lake, Scotia NY, as revealed from sub-bottom profiles and sediment core analysis. A thesis (here modified) that looks at the sediment infilling of this abandoned river channel, now part of Collins Park in Scotia NY.

A ~1000 Year Record of Sedimentation in Collins Lake as Evidence of Local Storminess and Flooding on the Mohawk River (New York). Thesis that uses sediment layers in Collins pond to address storm frequency.



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