The Hudson Canyon

New York Bight Hudson Canyon USGS

From the US Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Not local exactly, but connected to here and kind of wild: A submarine canyon -- the largest on the eastern coast of the United States -- extends from the end of the Hudson River out through the continental shelf in the New York Bight. From the Friends of the Pleistocene blog:

The canyon dates to the Pleistocene and is actually an ancient extension of the Hudson River. During the Pleistocene, sea levels were 400 feet lower (in part because of all the water locked up in glaciers). The reduced sea level meant that the Hudson flowed 100 miles further east of its present location at the terminus of Lower Manhattan. The canyon carved by the Hudson extends a remarkable 450 miles across the continental shelf, then connects with the deep ocean basin where it descends to depths of 3 to 4 kilometers. As the Wisconsin Ice sheet retreated from what is present day New York City, the mighty Hudson of the Pleistocene transported heaps of glacial discharge and carved the surrounding landscape in its path.

As the state Department of Environmental Conservation noted today on Twitter, the canyon is home to many species of cold water corals. (It's also become a collection spot for all sorts of pollution that's been dumped into the ocean and washed down the Hudson River over the years.)

Earlier:
+ Odd and notable creatures of the Hudson River
+ That time whales swam to Albany
+ Ice Ages at the State Museum

Comments

Now I hate nitpicky people on the internet and I take no pleasure in being one in this post but...

...this post seems to say that it was the retreat of the glacier that transported sediment and carved the landscape. It was actually the advancing of the glacier that does those things. The retreating/melting of the glacier is really about deposition of sediment. It's interesting to note that during the height of the last ice age (~23,000 yrs ago) NY State was under ice about 1 mile of ice. God, I'm a nerd...

But wait, there's more! Rocks would get frozen into the bottom of the glacier and as it advanced it would be like "ice-filled sandpaper" and scratch parallel grooves into the bedrock. Great examples of this can be seen at the very cool Opus 40 outside Woodstock. I filmed this video of them a few years back: https://youtu.be/de6Gcl0PYZM

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