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Lakes Marion and Moultrie, South Carolina, USA

33.4N 80.1W

January 8th, 2010 Category: Lakes

USA - January 2nd, 2010

USA - January 2nd, 2010

While sediments frame much of the coastline of North Carolina (above) and South Carolina (below), they are also present in two of the latter’s lakes: Lake Marion, appearing dark tan, and Lake Moultrie, more rounded and situated just between the former and the coast.

Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina, with a 315-mile (507 km) shoreline and covering nearly 110,000 acres (450 square kilometers or 173.7 square miles) of rolling farmlands, former marshes, and river valley landscape.

It was created to supply hydroelectric power as part of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project. The lake is fed by many tributaries, including Wyboo Creek and the Santee River, and also by numerous springs, including Eutaw Springs.

Conditions in the lake vary from shallow swamps and blackwater ponds to vast open water with a multitude of underwater structures. Lake Marion was not completely cleared when it was created. As a result, there are thousands of stumps, standing dead tree trunks and live cypress trees.

Lake Moultrie is the third largest lake in South Carolina, covering over 60,000 acres (240 km2). It is fed by Lake Marion through a diversion canal. Lake Moultrie was created in the early 1940s by the South Carolina Public Service Authority. Its effluent is the Cooper River, and it is dammed by the Pinopolis Dam. The lake offers a varied fishing environment. There are shallow swamps, black water ponds, thousands of tree stumps and live cypress trees, as well as large open areas of water. This lake does not form ice in winter months.

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