It is approximately 90 mi long and flows through the U.S. states of New York and Pennsylvania. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Sort out the facts and see how deep your knowledge goes in this quiz of the world’s oceans. The estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States, Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, Henry Hudson claims the Delaware River for the Dutch, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Heron Pond – Little Black Slough Nature Preserve, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge,, Bodies of water of Cape May County, New Jersey, Bodies of water of Cumberland County, New Jersey, Bodies of water in New Castle County, Delaware, Bodies of water of Salem County, New Jersey, Bodies of water in Sussex County, Delaware, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles using infobox body of water without pushpin map alt, Articles using infobox body of water without image bathymetry, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from Collier's Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles incorporating citation to the NSRW, Wikipedia articles incorporating citation to the NSRW with an wstitle parameter, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 October 2020, at 15:41. In 1855, the United States government systematically undertook the formation of a 26 ft (7.9 m) channel 600 ft (180 m) wide from Philadelphia to deep water in Delaware Bay. The Bay receives about half its water volume from the Atlantic Ocean in the form of saltwater. From Trenton to the Delaware Bay, the river is tidal. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is about seven times larger than the state of New Hampshire, encompassing approximately 64,000 square miles (166,000 sq km). The Chesapeake Bay has the largest land-to-water ratio (14:1) of any coastal water body in the world. The freshwater layer sinks as it cools, usually resulting in rapid mixing. At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in the early 17th century, the area around the bay was inhabited by the Native American Lenape people. &noscript=1"/>. Five substantial rivers feed the western half of the Bay: the Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James. The Dutch called the estuary "Godyns Bay", or "Godins Bay" after a director of the company, Samuel Godijn. Collectively, the Chesapeake’s three largest rivers—the Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers—provide more than 80 percent of the fresh water to the Bay. The creation of the Accomack spit protected the western shoreline of the Bay from the ocean's power for the first time, which was important to the formation of the Bay. The geologic history of the Chesapeake Bay includes physiographic provinces, tectonics, ice ages, and ocean processes. Rising sea levels at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, flooded the Susquehanna River valley. It is 335 feet above Lake Ontario and 577 feet above sea level. This portion of the river is also known as the Delaware Estuary where the river’s freshwater mixes with the saltwater of the ocean. This stratification, or layering, of water varies depending on the season and weather conditions. About 35.5 million years ago an exploding meteor collided with Earth and formed a massive crater. It lies at the mouth of. The Delaware Bay was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance on May 20, 1992. General George Washington and the Continental Army’s famous crossing of the Delaware River on December 25-26, 1776 was done during a winter Nor’easter. In 1525 Ayllón sent Quejo northward and received reports of the coastline from as far north as the Delaware Bay. The Susquehanna River is the Bay’s largest tributary and contributes about half of the Bay’s freshwater (about 19 million gallons per minute). The Bay and its tributaries contain an astounding 11,684 miles (18,804 km) of shoreline. The West Branch Delaware River is one of two branches that form the Delaware River. And by 11 o’clock that evening, while the boats were crossing the river, a howling nor’ easter made the miserable crossing even worse. Watersheds of the Inland Bays The East Branch of Delaware is one of the two main branches that combine to form the Delaware River. The Bay is surprisingly shallow (as we sailors know!). The Delaware Bay is bordered by six counties: Sussex, Kent, and New Castle in Delaware, along with Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem in New Jersey. In the Delaware Bay, the tidal change is about six feet, but in Trenton, it is about ten feet. The deepest part of Chesapeake Bay is called the Hole and reaches 174 feet in depth, southeast of Annapolis Maryland, off Bloody Point. Ice sheets that covered the poles and Canada some 2 million years ago periodically pushed their way into the present-day United States. Each year, the Susquehanna River transports more than a million tons of sediment to the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to more than 18 million people. A few deep troughs run along much of the Bay’s length and are believed to be remnants of the ancient Susquehanna River. I have been involved with Water Treatment & Water Filtration Products for more than 30 years. [5]. The watershed's eastern and southern boundaries are less dramatic: they do not contain mountains, only high topographic areas connecting ridgelines that separate the Susquehanna River basin from the Delaware River basin in the northeast. A tsunami, or tidal wave, resulting from the impact devastated the eastern margin of the North American continent, wiping out much life on land and surrounding marine areas. The Bay and its tidal tributaries have 11,684 miles of shoreline—more than the entire U.S. west coast. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Lighthouse at Cape Henlopen, Delaware, in Delaware Bay. The Bay contains two distinct layers of water. The East branch is approximately 75 miles long from its source to its confluence with the West Branch in Hancock, New York. [4] This is why I never knew that there was more river above the Water Gap on the Great Delaware River. The Delaware River can freeze in parts mostly along Interstate 80 between Pa and NJ.

Sediment has since filled much of the channel, forming the shallow Bay. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The rest drains into the Bay from an enormous 64,000-square-mile watershed. Because of the weather, that night was so bad the Hessions feared no attack. The Delaware Bay was called "Poutaxat", which means "near the falls". Land Uses The land use of the watershed is made up primarily of agriculture and wetlands. Mostly at the Port of Wilmington, Port of Chester, and the Port of Camden and Port of Philadelphia.

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