List of rivers by age
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2009)|
This is a list of the oldest rivers on Earth.
Determination of age
The age of a river is difficult to determine. Generally, the age is estimated based upon which mountains are the source of the river, the age of any mountains it dissects, the sea or ocean to which it eventually outflows, and where it forms its delta. For instance, if a river dissects a mountain range, then this often means the river existed before the mountain range rose.
Each of these factors can make a final contribution in determining the age of a river.
List of rivers older than 1 Ma
Below follows a list of rivers older than 1 Ma (One million years = 1,000,000 years).
|River||Age (Ma)||Outflow||Most significant criterion for the age|
|1.||Meuse River||380||North Sea||Paleozoic, dissects the Ardennes during the Hercynian|
|Predates the Alice Springs Orogeny; many other rivers in the Northern Territory are of a similar age|
|365||East China Sea||Crosses Paleozoic and Mesozoic mountains|
|3.||New River||300||Kanawha River||Dissects the Appalachian Mountains|
|4.||Susquehanna River||300||Chesapeake Bay||Dissects the Appalachian Mountains|
|6.||Rhine||240||North Sea||Triassic, maybe older because of the Hercynian; not the Eocene with the Alps, nor the Miocene with the Upper Rhine Graben|
|7.||Amazon||200||Atlantic Ocean||Jurassic, but it seems to have flowed in the opposite direction as an extension of the Congo, i.e. long before the formation of Andes|
|8.||Amur||125||Sea of Okhotsk||Known to be at least Cretaceous in age, but crosses mountains even older|
|9.||Macleay River||80||Tasman Sea||Predates uplift of Great Escarpment|
|10.||Murrumbidgee River||75||Murray River||Predates uplift of Australian Alps|
|75||Gulf of California||Uplift during Laramide orogeny, see Geology of the Grand Canyon area|
|12.||Thames||58||North Sea||Late Palaeocene Period Thanetian Stage.|
|45||Arabian Sea||Source in the Himalayas and Karakoram Mountains|
- Environmental History of the Rhine-Meuse Delta
- Wells AT, Forman DJ, Ranford LC, Cook PJ (1970). "Geology of the Amadeus Basin, Central Australia". Bureau of Mineral Resources, Australia, Bulletin 100.
- Haines PW, Hand M, Sandiford M (2001). "Palaeozoic synorogenic sedimentation in central and northern Australia: a review of distribution and timing with implications for the evolution of intracontinental orogens". Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 48 (6): 911–928. doi:10.1046/j.1440-0952.2001.00909.x. Abstract
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: Yangtze River
- Clearwaters, Spring 2009, Historical Look at the Susquehanna River Watershed
- Potter, Paul Edwin & Hamblin, W. Kenneth; “Big Rivers Worldwide”
- Flannery, Tim; The Future Eaters; An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and Peoples; p. 78 ISBN 0802139434
- "History of the major rivers of southern Britain during the Tertiary". Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Group. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Clift, Peter D.; Shimizu, N.; Layne, G.D.; Blusztajn, J.S.; Gaedicke, C.; Schlüter, H.-U.; Clark, M.K.; and Amjad, S. (August 2001). "Development of the Indus Fan and its significance for the erosional history of the Western Himalaya and Karakoram". GSA Bulletin 113 (8): 1039–1051. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2001)113<1039:DOTIFA>2.0.CO;2.