The Hudson River is one of the major rivers of North America. It covers a distance of 315 miles and flows from the north to the southeastern part of New York State in the United States. The Hudson River is a boundary that separates the state of New York from the state of New Jersey. The river also serves as the boundary between several counties in the state of New York. The Hudson River got its name from Henry Hudson who was an English sailor of the Dutch East Indian company who explored the river in 1609.
The source of the river is in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and meanders southward through the Hudson Valley finally reaching the upper New York Bay between New York City and New Jersey. The river empties into the Atlantic Ocean at the New York Harbor.
The source of the Hudson River is the Lake Tear of Clouds located in Adirondack Park with an altitude of about 4,322 feet above sea level. The river is not known as the Hudson until several miles downstream.
The upper river is known as Feldspar Brook until it joins Calamity Brook before becoming Indian Pass Brook. At the outlet of Henderson Lake, the river is cartographically referred to as the Hudson River.
According to the USGS, the longest source of the river is indicated as the Opalescent River which is located to the west slopes of the little Marcy Mountains.
The lower part of the Hudson River is an estuary. The river has two distinct high tides and low tides every day. The tidal current moves northwards at such a slow rate that different parts of the river can experience high tide and low tide at the same time.
Occasionally, the harbor at New York can be dangerous and difficult to navigate because of the strong tides. During winter, ice floes drift north or south according to the flow of tides.
As a result of the tidal pressure from the ocean, which extends to Troy, New York, the discharge of freshwater is approximately 17,400 cubic feet per second. The average discharge of freshwater at the mouth of the river in New York is about 21,900 cubic feet per second.
River Hudson has an average depth of 30 feet especially at its southern course near the federal dam where it is always dredged because of ships. The deepest point is 202 feet which is known as the World’s End, and it lies between the Constitution Island and the United States Military Academy.
The Hudson River together with its tributaries drains an area that spans 13,000 square miles. The area covers most parts of New York and part of the states of Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
The Hudson River has been polluted for several years by pollutants such as industrial waste, urban runoff, and sewage.
Between 1947 and 1977, industrial waste from the General Electric plant has been the major contributor of the pollutants in the Hudson River particularly the discharge of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These pollutants have had a significant effect on wildlife and people who consumed fish from the Hudson River.
Numerous efforts have been undertaken to clean up the river beginning in the 1970s.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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