Sunday, April 12, 2009

Still Water


Saturday morning, the New River was as still as glass. Usually you can see the tide flowing in or out - here's tide chart. The tide moves very quickly and the difference between high and low tide shows very clearly in the height of the docked boats or the water covering the cement access stairs.

The New River flows into the Intracoastal Waterway, and from there into the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes you can see a manatee or bull shark, especially if you look down from the 19th floor of our building. The water is quite clear.

The geology of the New River is unique, because it is not truly a "river." The river is not draining fresh water: it is completely tidal saltwater. On a rising tide, the current flows upstream, as far as five miles inland. Twelve thousand years ago, the lower Florida peninsula was a vast atoll, bordered by a coral reef on the eastern side. The New River was actually cut by the tidal flow between what is now the Everglades and the Gulf Stream. As the earth cooled and ocean levels receded, this pass through the coral reef became this unusual river.

Because the river is cut deep into coral rock, it does not silt up, and does not pose the usual threats of shifting sand bars. The depths of the river do not change.

It is very deep, up to 60 feet in places with a minimum draft of 12 feet. It's not unusual to see 150 footers making their way up to the big yacht yards. It also has a few treacherously tight bends, so most of the huge yachts make use of tug escorts to stay safely in the deepest portion of the channel.

10 comments:

Kess And Her Mama said...

The reflection is beautiful!

TwoSpecialWires said...

You are one smart giant schnauzer! We liked reading about this... looking forward to our long car trip to Florida. It'll be Fergi's first time... but I'll be an old hand, since I was there last summer. I don't think there are tidal "rivers" in our neck of the state, though. But where my uncle lives..... hmmmm.... maybe I'll arrive knowing more than he does! Ha!

Jake

(Hope your Easter was happy... assuming you celebrate it!)

Mango said...

What a most curious river. It sounds deep enough to have monsters in it.

Slobbers,
Mango

TwoSpecialWires said...

We're following you on Twitter.... hope that's okay!
Jake and Fergi

Joey said...

Hi Madison! I had no idea you could see manatees and sharks from up that high! Very interesting info on the river, and a beautiful picture.

See ya!
Joey

The Devil Dog said...

Wow, that is soooo cool. Thanks for the geography lesson. Mom loves learning new stuff.

Roxy

KEY WEST COLLIES said...

That sure is still water.

We loved your comment about Wabbit Ears. It made Dad talk about a very old TV show named "My Favorite Martian." Dad could just imagine the our antenna popping out the top of our head.

Essex & Deacon

Charity, Gary, Katie and Louie said...

Very interesting and super cool pic!

Penny, Poppy & Patches said...

You are such an informative pup, Madison! We love the picture, too!

Aire-hugs,
Poppy, Penny & Patches

Jake of Florida said...

We loved the photo. And the narrative gave new insight to a place we've enjoyed visiting.

Wirey woofs, Madison,

Jake and Just Harry


musings on a giant schnauzer in a little MEDIUM LARGE package