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Hudson Canyon


The Hudson Canyon is an extension of the Hudson River Valley. The canyon runs from the New York/New Jersey Harbor up to 400 nautical miles out to sea, at points reaching depths of 3,500 meters (10,500 feet). Relatively little was known about Hudson Canon until recently. Exploration of the canyon has increased in the last decade, and we are beginning to learn more about the canyon in terms of not only its biodiversity and structure, but also its potential resources and environmental hazards.

The Hudson Canyon contains a remarkable diversity of deep-sea life, including extensive and complex deep sea coral and sponge formations. The canyon provides an over-wintering area for a large number of fish species such as summer flounder and black sea bass. Tilefish, which are an important commercial fish species in New England, create funnel-shaped burrows in the clay of the flanks of Hudson Canyon.

Hudson Canyon is being explored for deposits of methane, which are a promising potential source of clean natural gas. The flanks of the canyon are unstable and susceptible to caving in over time or abruptly, which could trigger tidal waves or tsunamis. Scientists are now mapping the canyon seafloor and working to better understand the natural processes which occur within the canyon. Canyons are also a conduit for the transport of sediments, nutrients and pollution between the land and deep sea. Hudson Canyon is of particular concern because between the years of 1986 and 1992, it was home to the world’s largest discharge of municipal sewage sludge to the deep sea. The sea life surrounding the site has changed since this occurance, and the increased levels of sewage have caused scientists to continue to monitor the area.



Exploration and Research
Oceanographic and Bathymetric Features



Ocean Explorer – Hudson Canyon
Hudson Canyon on Wikipedia


Bathymetry of Hudson Canyon. Image:NOAA

Black Sea Bass. Photo: NOAA, Karen Roeder

Barge dumping sledge. Photo: EPA