Clean Water

The diverse ecosystems, working
landscapes, and vibrant communities
that inspire and sustain us depend on
clean water. Learn about pollution
reduction strategies.

Healthy Habitats
Connect Us All

Lakeshores, stream banks, and wetlands are critical to clean
water and biodiversity. Learn about efforts to improve
habitat connectivity in the Basin ecosystem.

We Care for
What We Know

Recreation fosters stewardship of the Basin’s rich
natural and cultural heritage by connecting people
to the landscape while supporting local economies.
Learn about ways to explore the Basin.

Informed Citizens
Make Wiser Choices

Citizens who have an understanding and
appreciation of water resources make informed
choices about actions that might contribute to
pollution. Learn about education programs.

    Water & Environment

    Lake Bottom Data

    ** This page is under construction. Please visit again, as content will be updated soon. **

    Data collected in the last decade have provided a greater understanding of the bottom of Lake Champlain. Two highly-detailed data sets have been developed using sonar systems by faculty in the geology department at Middlebury College. These sidescan sonar and CHIRP data have provided an unprecedented view of not only the lake bottom and natural and man-made underwater features but also of sub-bottom stratigraphy.

    Sidescan Sonar Data

    A side-scan sonar unit transmits a fan shaped sound beam to either side of the sonar fish instead of directing it downwards as is the case for conventional echo sounders. As a result, side-scan data provides information about the upper few centimeters of the bottom sediment. The strength of the returned sound beam is affected by topography of the sediment surface as well as by differing lithologies and bottom surface roughness. The rougher the bottom is, the more energy is returned. As a result, a qualitative measurement of percent sand and mud can be determined by the strength of the return sonar signal. Side-scan sonar records are not plan views of the sediment surface, however with application of simple algorithms, the records can be interpreted to determine bottom morphology.
    Browse the data

    CHIRP Seismic Lines

    Sound from the Full Spectrum CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse) sonar system is directed downward to the lake bottom and penetrates depths up to 80 m. The sound is returned from the sediment water interface as well as from layers in the sub-bottom. In essence it allows a view of the subsurface in a vertical plane. In Lake Champlain three characteristic sediment units are easily identified; Lake Vermont sediments, Champlain Sea sediments, and recent Lake Champlain sediments. Deposited in a layer cake fashion, CHIRP sonar images allow for the interpretation of the lake’s history with time.
    Browse the data


    For more information on these data sets, contact Pat Manley, Professor of Geology, Middlebury College, (802) 443-5430

    What is the State of the Lake?

    What is the
    State of the Lake?

    Learn about the health of Lake Champlain in the 2018 State of the Lake report. Read about trends in key indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Read the State of the Lake report


    Make Some Waves

    From using lake-friendly cleaning products to volunteering with a local watershed group, you can help restore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin. Find out how you can get involved

    Track Our Progress

    Track Our Progress

    Explore the goals and actions of our partners and track our progress online with the Opportunities for Action website. View Opportunities for Action

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    LCBP is a program partner of
    Lake Champlain Basin Program

    Lake Champlain Basin Program
    54 West Shore Road
    Grand Isle, VT 05458
    800-468-5227 (NY & VT)
    or 802-372-3213