Physical Setting And Hydrology

The Delaware River originates in the south-central area of New York State and flows 390 miles in a southerly direction to the Atlantic Ocean, separating New Jersey on its eastern bank from Pennsylvania and Delaware on its west. The total drainage area at the mouth of the river at Liston Point on Delaware Bay is 11,440 square miles, of which 6,780 square miles lie upstream of the gaging station at Trenton, New Jersey (Iseri and Langbein, 1974). The major tributary to the Delaware estuary is the Schuylkill River, which joins the main river in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Schuylkill has a drainage area of 1,890 square miles at the Fairmount Dam, 8 miles above the mouth. In addition to the Schuykill River, the other major tributaries to the Delaware estuary include Assunpink Creek, Crosswicks Creek, Rancocas Creek,

Figure 7-2 Location map of the Lower Delaware River-Delaware Bay. (River miles shown are distances from the Cape May, New Jersey, to Cape Henlopen, Delaware, transect.)

Neshaminy Creek, Cooper River, Chester Creek, the Christina River, and the Salem River.

Figure 7-3 presents long-term statistics of summer streamflow from the USGS gaging station at Trenton, New Jersey, from 1940 to 1995. The extreme drought conditions of the mid-1960s are quite apparent in the long-term record (1962-1966). Seasonal variation of freshwater flow of the Delaware River is characterized by high flow from March through May, with a peak flow of 21,423 cfs in April. Low-flow conditions typically occur from July through October, with the monthly minimum flow of 5,830 cfs recorded during September (Figure 7-4). From July through October, low-flow in the river is typically augmented by releases from reservoirs. During dry conditions,

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