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Author Topic: Can glacial rivers be salty?  (Read 3213 times)

Leila K.

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« on: 20/04/2011 23:30:02 »
Leila K. asked the Naked Scientists:
   
If the Hudson river was formed by a glacier,why does it have salt-water?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/04/2011 23:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline Geoquest

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #1 on: 21/04/2011 02:25:24 »
Leila K. asked the Naked Scientists:
   
If the Hudson river was formed by a glacier,why does it have salt-water?

What do you think?

I'm a total newb but I will take a stab at this.

The valleys in which various bodies of water now sit (rivers, lakes, etc) were originally gouged out by fresh water glaciers. The Hudson is an Estuary which means it resides in a transition zone between fresh water rivers and salt water seas. The rivers bring fresh water to the Hudson and since the Hudson is openly connected to the ocean it has an influx of water from there too. As a result it has a mixture of water from both.
 

Offline Bass

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2011 02:37:36 »
Which part of the Hudson River are you referring to?
 

Offline Geoquest

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #3 on: 21/04/2011 03:34:25 »
Which part of the Hudson River are you referring to?

Assuming she is referring to downstream, does my answer fly?
 

Offline Geezer

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #4 on: 21/04/2011 06:03:16 »
Which part of the Hudson River are you referring to?

Assuming she is referring to downstream, does my answer fly?

I'm no expert (as the "locals" here will shortly point out) but I would think you are spot-on. Any tidal estuary is going to have some salt in it.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #5 on: 21/04/2011 11:12:58 »
Leila (whilst even less of a geology expert than Geezer) I can advise that all (navigable) rivers will get progressively less salty as you get further upstream.  The salinity is vital for ship's masters to know - as it affects buoyancy and ship safely afloat at sea might ground as the water becomes fresh.  Most large rivers will have imaginary and arbitrary boundaries where they stop being salty and becomes brackish and further upstream where they become fresh water - in reality of course it is a gradually and dynamic change that depends on the flow, the tide, and the shape of the river course.
 

Offline Bass

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #6 on: 21/04/2011 15:47:11 »
I'm no expert (as the "locals" here will shortly point out) but I would think you are spot-on. Any tidal estuary is going to have some salt in it.

I have to agree with Geezer, on both counts
 

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Can glacial rivers be salty?
« Reply #6 on: 21/04/2011 15:47:11 »

 

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