Friday, October 26, 2007

The (not so) New River starts in NC

Despite its name, the river is considered by some geologists to be possibly one of the oldest rivers in the world, between 10 million and 360 million years old. According to local folklore, it is considered to be second in age only to the Nile River and thus the oldest in North America. However, the ages of rivers are very difficult to establish with precision; as the wide range of possible ages for the New River demonstrates, there is no established ranking of the ages of major rivers. The New River flows in a generally south to north course, which is against the southwest to northeast topology of the Appalachian Mountains and the west to east flow of most other nearby major rivers especially in Virginia and North Carolina. This peculiarity may mean that the New River's formation preceded much of the surrounding landscape, although again this hypothesis has not been proven beyond doubt.

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