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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements > Study Sites > Hudson Shelf Valley

Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements coastal ocean processes,open source coastal ocean models, oceanography, ocean modeling, sediment transport

Hudson Shelf Valley

The 150-km-long Hudson Shelf Valley, the largest physiographic feature on the mid-Atlantic continental shelf, bisects the New York Bight region.  The Valley is the submerged seaward extension of the ancestral Hudson River drainage system that, unlike other valleys on the Atlantic shelf, has not been filled with sediment.  The valley head is located in a broad shallow basin (Christiansen Basin) and extends offshore 5-40 m below the shelf surface to a seaward terminus at a shelf-edge delta.   The valley head is near the Historic Area Remediation Site, where dredged and other material from the New York region has been disposed for more than a century.  The valley is a sink for fine-grained sediments and associated contaminants, and provides a conduit for cross-shelf exchange via along-valley currents of 0.5 m s-1 or more.

Maps showing Hudson Shelf Valley Perspective view of the Hudson Shelf Valley

Map showing location of Hudson Shelf Valley in the Middle Atlantic Bight Offshore of New York (from Butman and others, 2003).


Map showing perspective view of the Hudson Shelf Valley, looking onshore toward the northwest, showing shaded relief topography colored by backscatter intensity in the area covered by a multibeam survey (from Butman and others, 2003). Blue is low backscatter (fine-grained sediments), green and red are coarser sands.


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