LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A view of the Susquehanna River, looking south from Koser Park in Bainbridge, Lancaster County.
Did you know the Susquehanna is one of the oldest rivers in the world? Geologists date it back to the Paleozoic Era, 543 to 248 million years ago. They’re pretty sure it’s at least 300 million years old, and could be as much as 325 million years old — the jury is still out on that one. This might well make it the oldest river in the world. By comparison, “Old Man River”, the Mississippi, is a mere stripling at 70 million years old according to the latest research.
The Susquehanna was here even before the Appalachian Mountains were pushed up by the collision of two tectonic plates. The river flowed on, as the Appalachians eroded from mountains as high as the Rockies to the worn-down nubs we see today.
Today the river is roughly 450 miles long. It was once much longer, but when the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago, the lowest part flooded. That part’s now known as the Chesapeake Bay.
Longitude: 40° 05’22″N
Latitude: 76° 40’15” W