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abstract The Hudson River estuary is narrowly confined in its rocky valley. Unconsolidated sediments available to the estuary are primarily glacial till and glacial lake deposits. Estimates of sediment sources to the estuary range between 365,000 and 1.02 million metric tons (MT) y−1 at the head of tide with an additional amount to be added along the tidal estuary of between 80,000 and 390,000 MT y−1. Tidal resuspension and transport is important throughout the estuary but fine-grained sediment transport associated with the recirculation of salt water is confined to the lower reaches. A substantial marine source of sediment is likely, but of uncertain magnitude. Two turbidity maxima appear to be generated by different mechanisms. One is formed near the head of salt and migrates down the estuary during times of high freshwater discharge. The other arises in mid-estuary. It is generated by tidally modulated and geomorphically controlled salinity fronts. A marine source of sediment is likely to be substantial.
The Hudson River estuary, or the lower Hudson as it is sometimes called, begins where the tidal influence is first felt at Troy, New York, 240 kilometers (km) north of the Battery. From this point, the combined discharge of the upper Hudson and Mohawk rivers collects additional water from the drainage basins of twenty other, smaller tributaries. The intrusion of salt water is limited to the lower reaches and can extend 120 km above the Battery at times of low freshwater discharge.
abstract The course and character of the Hudson reflect its underlying geological structure and the modifications of Pleistocene glaciations. Radiating drainage out of the Adirondacks is transformed into a broad meandering pattern in its tidal reaches below Troy. The river's course then cuts through the Hudson Highlands in a fjord-like gorge. A broad curving path takes the river along the Triassic, Palisades Escarpment following the juncture with the older rocks of Manhattan. The bedrock foundation of the Hudson was established in three mountain-building episodes beginning over a billion years ago. Most recently, the entire region has been glaciated and the course of the Hudson takes it through relic beds of glacial lakes and several ice margin deposits of glacial sediment. After the deglaciation of the region, estuarine conditions were established in the Hudson beginning about 12,000 years ago. The Hudson briefly crosses the coastal plain breaching the Wisconsin terminal moraine at the Narrows. On the continental shelf, the course of the ancestral Hudson is marked by the Hudson Submarine Canyon.
The source of the Hudson River was discovered in 1872 by the naturalist and surveyor, Verplanck Colvin. It is a pond on the western slope of Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks at 1,629 m. Colvin, an ardent supporter of preserving the mountain forests and watershed, referred to the pond as ‘tear of the clouds’ (Schneider, 1997).
abstract Successful management of underwater lands requires detailed knowledge of the terrain and the interrelationships between landscape and habitat characteristics. While optical techniques can be used where the water is shallow or clear, other techniques are needed where the water is deeper or where optical transmission is limited by water clarity. Marine geophysical techniques provide quantitative measures of the nature of the estuary floor that can provide constraints on the distribution and movement of contaminated sediments as well as the nature of benthic habitats. The Benthic Mapping Program, supported by the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Hudson River Action Project, is being conducted in the Hudson River to characterize the river bed from the Verrazano Narrows in New York Harbor to the Federal Dam at Troy, New York. The study is using a range of acoustic and sampling techniques to gain new information on the river bed. The first phase of the Benthic Mapping Program, which occurred from 1998 to 2000, focused on four areas (about 40 river miles; 65 km). The products from the study have been incorporated into a GIS data management system for NYSDEC (see http://benthic.info for the DEC Benthic Mapper web site, an online version of the GIS database). This effort, supplemented by studies of benthic fauna and bathymetric change, is being continued under NYSDEC support for the remainder of the Hudson River. The second phase of the program worked in four areas in 2001 and 2002 (about 35 river miles; 57 km) and we completed the study by working in three areas in 2003 (about 66 river miles; 121 km).
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