Raritan Bay : NYC Tourist Guide

Raritan Bay in NYC, New York, USA


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Raritan Bay
Raritan Bay is a bay between the U.S. states of New York and New Jersey. It is located at the confluence of the Arthur Kill and the Raritan River, which flows into the bay from the west. The bay is bounded on the north by Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Staten Island in New York, on the south by Monmouth County, and on the east by the Naval Weapons Station Earle pier.
The bay and river are named after the Raritans, a tribe of the Lenape, who lived in the immediate area around the bay during the 17th century at the time of the arrival of the Dutch colonists.
Throughout the history, the bay has been a prime fishing ground, especially for commercial oyster fishing, until the 20th century. The bay is crossed by a dredged channel allowing commercial ships to enter the Arthur Kill.

Geologic history

The Arthur Kill is an abandoned river channel carved by an ancestral phase of the Hudson River resulting from the blockage of the main channel of the Hudson at the Verrazano Narrows by moraine or ice. The size of the Arthur Kill channel is large, suggesting that it was, for a time, the primary drainage from the region. However, it was not a primary drainage for long because the river did not have enough time to carve a broad flood plain. This channel probably developed during Stage 3 (a mid-Wisconsin interglacial stage). By comparison, the valley of the Raritan River to the south is much broader. This is an indication that the Raritan was perhaps the major drainage channel along the ice front throughout the Wisconsin glaciation (Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4). Prior to that time the region drained southward across the saddle between the Atlantic Highlands and the Newark Basin into the Delaware River Valley. This saddle area is a very broad flood plain that preserves river terrace gravels (Pensauken Formation) from the Sangemon Interglacial State (Stage 5), as well as older Pleistocene fluvial deposits (The Bridgetown Formation). During the lowstand in sea level caused by the Wisconsin glacier, the Raritan River carved back into its headlands and captured the major drainages from the Newark Basin.





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