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Meander A

Field conditions at Meander Area A

The feature we are calling "Meander Area A" lies just 1,000 feet west of the NYS Thruway bridge, which crosses the Mohawk valley from north to south. It can be clearly seen on early photographs.

This was once an open loop of the meandering river with a relatively narrow neck at its northern end. At some point in the past the river cut through this narrow neck, creating a new channel and leaving behind an ox-bow, partially filled with water to this day. Because the 1950s channel realignment project necessitated by the building of the Thruway bridge narrowly missed this feature, the entirity of the ox-bow and the chute cut-off have been preserved for us to examine.

Although the overall shape of the feature at first suggests it might be the same cut off meander shown on 18th century British maps, we know that shapes shown on early maps cannot always be taken as a realistic representation of what was actually on the ground.

As it turns out, this meander was no doubt cut through much earlier than the 1730 date indicated for "The Neck", and probably already existed in this form in prehistoric times.

The reasons for this conclusion involve complex and detailed analyses, which you can examine if you wish by following the link below to the full report text.

So while this feature certainly represents a classic chute cut-off of potential interest to students of geology and stream morphology, it is not the 1730 "canal".

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