Dec 29, 2011

Hydrologic rivalries heat up

Take a look at northern New Jersey on the map below (scroll down):

The purple splotch equates to 70 inches of rain.

It was a big flow year on the Delaware

The result?

For one, the Delaware River recorded its biggest flow year, by far, in ninety years of record keeping.  The cause was a higher than normal spring peak (presumably from ample winter snows) and a brush with the Tropics in the form of Hurricane Irene.


Why my fascination with the Delaware?

For one, I went to college just next door, or rather just downstream, at the scenic confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers.  I ran into a recent Lehigh College graduate at Naples Depot, who upon introducing myself, commenced into gloating to me about his college, located just upriver, had beat my alma mater, Lafayette College, for four years straight.  "Yeah, but Lafayette is located at the confluence of two major rivers," I lectured him, "you can never take that away ... plus, I don't know if you noticed," and I knew that he hadn't, "both the Lehigh and Delaware recorded their highest flow years on record, in nearly a century of record keeping."


He shook his head unknowingly, but also tried to shrug it off:

"Hey, I'm just an electrical engineer."

Confluence of Lehigh (right) and Delaware (left) Rivers,
as seen in Easton, Pennsylvania, looking downstream towards Philadelphia.

That's New Jersey in the background on the left.

With a smile and a firm handshake, I wished him a healthy and hydrologic new year.

"Don't worry," I assured him.  "I'm happy to be able to inform a Lehigh grad."

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