Talk:Susquehanna River

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Category:Connecticut history[edit]

Does anyone know why this category is listed on this page. Their is nothing in the article that mentions it's history and it does not even flow into Connecticut, unless somehow beyond my knowledge it flows under or over the Hudson into Connecticut. --Boothy443 | trácht ar 20:47, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


  • Not so weird when you consider that after the Revolution, a band of land running west from Connecticut to the Ohio Territory was claimed by Connecticut, including the Twin Tiers area of New York and Pennsylvania, a good portion of which is in the upper Susqehanna basin.Bardobro (talk) 13:23, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

{{Pennsylvania}} inappropriate[edit]

It seems to be inappropriate to have a Pennsylvania navigation box on an article about a tri-state river. I'm a PA homeboy, so I don't think that my POV is in question. Anybody have a really compelling reason to keep it here?--J Clear 20:20, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't particularly care either way, but I would point out that the PA nav box does indeed directly link to the article (redirect from Susquehanna Valley), so it would be odd to leave it off when it points to the article itself. Scott Mingus 20:29, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I assumed that's why someone added the box to begin with. Is there some wikilaw that says articles linked from a navbox have to contain the navbox? If so this seems like the exception. This gets back to the problems with trying to map political boundaries to watersheds.--J Clear 22:05, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Susquehanna river predates Atlantic Ocean?[edit]

This article contains the following paragraph, which I found bizarre:

Geologically, the river is extremely ancient, often regarded as the oldest or second oldest major system in the world. It is far older than the mountains through which it turns - the flow of the ancient Susquehanna was so strong that it was able to cut through the mountains even as they were forming from the collision of Africa and North America some 300 million years ago. Remarkably, the river's age means that it actually predates the Atlantic Ocean.

This all sounds very strange and implausible to me, and I was not able to confirm any of it independently. Many sources agree that the New River is the oldest in North America, and that the Nile is the oldest in the world. The Nile article says that the ancestral Nile only dates back 25MY.

Is any of this paragraph true?

Thanks. -- Dominus 04:43, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not know about the Susquhanna in particular, but there are rivers in the Appalachians that pre-date the opening of the Atlantic. The French Broad River among others has its headwaters near the Blue Ridge escarpment, and flows west across the crest of the Blue Ridge mtns to the Tennessee river, then onto the Ohio. Any river that starts on one side of the mountains and flows to the other through an eroded gap must be older than the mountains. in the case of the French Broad river, its flow away from the Atlantic was probably initiated in the Triassic, when doming of Pangea occurred prior to continental rifting to form the Atlantic. The Blue Ridge escarpment represents the original rift, eroded back from the shore. Same for New River. See similar relations in Brazil and India. Keep in mind that lots has changed over time, so these are not quite the same rivers they were. Geodoc 06:01, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this elucidation, and all your other good additions. If I could play devil's advocate for a bit, how do we tell if the river is truly superposed with respect to the original uplift of the Appalachians, i.e., Triassic, or is related to later regional uplift? For example, here in my neck of the woods (Montana) there are rivers that clearly cut through Laramide (Late Cretaceous-Paleocene) features, creating excellent water gaps - but these rivers have not likely been here in anything like their present form since then; they date to much later regional uplift and exhumation of the earlier mountains - today's Rockies (excluding recent and differently formed ranges like the Tetons) are really recently exposed features that were until late Oligocene or later buried and had lower relief than present ranges (and quite different river systems). I definitely don't know enough about Appalachian rivers' histories to say anything one way or the other. Thanks again for your input. Cheers Geologyguy 15:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's a problem. And i am not a geomorphologist, so my understanding of this is limited. There is some evidence for relatively recent uplift, but my understanding is that the west flowing rivers that cross the Blue Ridge are pretty old. In India, rivers that rise in the Deccan highlands flow east across the entire subcontinent to the sea, not the short trip west. This appears to date from initial rifting from Africa.

I will check with some buddies back east to find out the official take on this. Geodoc 21:44, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

My basic understanding is that much of the river formerly flowed northwest from the (then much higher) Appalachin Mountains to a shallow sea over what is now the North American interior. If I have time sometime I will check out some of the books I've read and find scholarly citations to that effect. One good recent book that touches on the subject is Down the Susquehanna to the Chesapeake Bay by Jack Brubaker. IIRC, the basin has an "inverted profile." The upper portions are flat and meandering while the lower course of the river has more rapids.Bardobro (talk) 13:57, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Rockville Bridge and Fort Hunter, PA[edit]

A recent addition to the article asserted that the Rockville Bridge crossed the Susquehanna from Fort Hunter, Pennsylvania. This place was a redlink. I consulted the U.S. Census 1990 gazetteer, which says that there is no such place. Consensus on the web, and on the list of crossings of the Susquehanna River, was that the bridge links Harrisburg with Maryville, so I changed it to say Harrisburg instead. -- Dominus 07:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Where does the citation for the "muddy" come from? From the name, I could even suggest maybe "Susquehanna" is instead supposed to be "k(i)saskihana" meaning "The swift flowing [river]" (thus having the identical name in idea as to Saskatchewan River), insead of "s(a)saskehana" meaning "The muddy [river] flow". The "swift" name makes more sense to me as the Susquehanna River is a shallow, swift-flowing river that is unsuited for navigation. CJLippert (talk) 15:21, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Found a citation for "muddy" but it also gave an alternate of "sasaskihana" "winding flow"... and it is at Wikisource!. CJLippert (talk) 20:31, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Maryland Project assessment[edit]

Although there are great pictures and the text flows well, this article is poorly referenced. Much of what is written could be true, but with no references, who knows? --«Marylandstater» «reply» 01:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


As a non-American, the pronunciation of "Susquehanna" is not obvious to me. I'm guessing "Sus-ker-hannah" or similar. Help? --Gak (talk) 14:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

It's Sus-kwa-hanna. Dincher (talk) 20:53, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Does it flow through the Chesapeake bay? That's the question I want to have ANSWERED as soon as possible for home work. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Try reading the article please (specifically the last sentence of the first paragraph). ;-) Ruhrfisch ><>°° 23:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Not the 16th longest river[edit]

Apparently my edit summary didn’t quite achieve the point that the Susquehanna is not quite the 16th longest river in the United States. The Missouri, Mississippi, Des Moines, Platte, Republican, Smoky Hill, Canadian, Cimarron, Yukon, Tanana, Koyukuk, Columbia, Snake, Kootenay, Clark Fork-Pend Oreille, Yellowstone, Powder, Milk, James (in the Dakotas), both Reds, Ohio, Tennessee, Pearl, Arkansas, Sabine, Trinity, Brazos, both Colorados, Grande, Green, Gila, Sacramento-Pit, and whatnot, just to name a few, exceed it in length. If it’s supposed to mean discharge, it should be changed to discharge, But I don’t know. Shannontalk contribs 20:58, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

It should read "16th largest", not the longest, if you look at the references and how they word it. I am making the change from longest to largest on the page and deleting the [dubious ]. The reference to "16th largest" refers to the watershed and it's total drainage area. Judging that at Harrisburg, the river is over a mile wide, and between York and Lancaster counties, it's over 2 miles wide and portions of it are damned to several hundred feet deep. I'm quite sure the reference refers to discharge. Wrightchr (talk) 21:46, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

List of crossings of the Susquehanna River[edit]

It would be great to have a List of crossings of the Susquehanna River, along the lines of the List of crossings of the Schuylkill River or the List of crossings of the Delaware River, but I do not have the information to make such a list. --DThomsen8 (talk) 15:22, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Origin of the name (Sept 2011)[edit]

Til Eulenspiegel finds my explanation for certain deletions about the origin of the name to be insufficient. Therefore, here is a minute accounting.

It turns out that the edits that Eulenspiegel restored were his own, three consecutive ones made April 2010 (or was it April 2011?) in a single passage. As of yesterday, the passage had five footnotes. Two of them are citations of similar words in related Native American languages. These fit the Wikipedia definition of "original research" (WP:OR), especially "Mi'kmaq 'samqwan' ". 'Samqwan' and 'susque-' are not on their face indisputably comparable — this is original research; remember that the meaning of 'susquehanna' is uncertain. The other three footnotes cite books. The citations were scholastically deficient: missing page numbers, missing years, one wrong page number. Missing page numbers alone are sufficient cause to delete the material. Before reinserting it, its advocates have the duty to do the proper research! When you go further and check the books, you find (1) that they don't always substantiate what they are invoked to substantiate; (2) between them, they reveal a scholarly reality that Eulenspiegel's edit distorts: the three sources diverge sharply as to the etymology of the name "Susquehanna", there is no clarity and no consensus on which language it comes from and what it means. Therefore, Eulenspiegel's defense of it is invalid. Here are details of the invalidity of the sourcing. (1) It was claimed that Kelton (1888) translates the name as 'muddy current'. Kelton does not do so, according to Google Books's search utility: searching for 'muddy' and 'current' individually demonstrate this. One can also check the book's table of contents to see that 'susquehanna' is not addressed. On page 40, Kelton brings up 'muddy river' in connection with the name 'Piegan'. Eulenspiegel failed to note that this book was Volume I of what was supposed to be a two volume work. So far, I have not confirmed that Volume II ever was published — but that's research chore Eulenspiegel was supposed to notice the need for, and take care of. (2) It was claimed that Halsey (1901 — I had to track down the year) translates the name as 'winding current'; he does not. Moreover, Eulenspiegel claims the name comes from the Powhatan language of Virginia, but Eulenspiegel fails to report that Halsey contradicts this, reporting that there it perhaps comes from the Lenape language of Pennsylvania. By the way, Halsey, discusses the etymology of 'Susquehanna' at length on pages 18-20. (3) It was claimed that Beauchamp (1901 — I had to track down the year) reports two words one of which he reports means 'sandy', on page 173. This is a misrepresentation of what Beauchamp has to say on the matter. On page 173 he merely tersely reports these words, which are not the word 'Susquehanna', as being beeb given by David Cusick. Beauchamp does elaborate on competing explanations of the name 'Susquehanna', and where he says it is at pages 29-30.

Yet another flaw, a minor one, is calling them tribe "Conestoga". Conestoga is one of several names of the Susquehannock, according to the article on them. But what's the point of using it in an article on the Susquehanna River? It could cause confusion and it's not called for by any of the sources cited. One should say instead that the Susquehannock lived along the Susquehanna.

I have noticed over years that among Wikipedia's prolific editors there are at least a few who are unscholarly. They don't know what footnotes and bibliography entries are supposed to contain, they don't always read a source before citing it, they sometimes don't understand the significance of what they read, they sometimes misquote their sources, they don't have the sophistication to reasonably evaluate competing sources. Hurmata (talk) 04:42, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Please be careful in throwing your accusations of "Original research". "Original research" here on wikipedia specifically means something I made up myself as a wikipedia editor and that I am using wikipedia to publish a novel idea for the first time. However, the idea that "Susquehanna" (the river) "Susquehannock" (the Powhatan name for the Conestoga) "Suckquohana / Secquahan / Suckahanna" (Powhatan for water) and "Samgwan" (Mi'kmaq for water) are all recognized cognates is well-known to Algonquian linguists and none of it is disputed. Check out for instance what Hamill Kenny, 1961, The origin and meaning of the Indian place names of Maryland p. 127 on the etymology of Susquehanna being related to the same known Algonquian stem Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 06:58, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Til Eulenspiegel, you totally misrepresent the Original Research policy statement (which I linked to). Here is the second sentence of the statement: "This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources." Now, I do not consider any and every novel compilation of information to be "original research". An example where of what I would approve of is compiling cognates during a discussion of the historical linguistics of a group of languages for the purpose of providing a vivid illustration of how similar a group of languages is. I believe this would be in keeping with the WP:OR policy if it were not advanced to demonstrate a novel proposal on the genetic relationships within the group. Your two citations of words in two Algonquian languages was totally original research because you asserted they bolster what is in fact an unproven claim as to the meaning of the name 'Susquehanna', which comes from a third language. Moreover, your citation, 'samgwan' (didn't you use to spell it 'samqwan'?) is not similar to any fragment of 'Susquehanna' to the point of near identity; therefore, the claim that 'samgwan' bolsters any claimed etymology probably requires expertise (amateur or professional) for its evaluation. Original research. Now, in this discussion, you come up with a source. You were supposed to come up with a source in the text of the article. To add insult to injury, you didn't even cite a source for 'samgwan'. Hurmata (talk) 21:07, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Actually wikipedia policy is not to require cites for foreign language words when there are people today who speak or know those languages; we don't need a cite that bonjour is French for hello. I do happen to know and have studied / conversed in a little Mi'kmewey and can tell you the Mi'kmewey word for water can also be spelled Samuqan or Zamuqan. No insult or injury taken, though, even though nobody in linguistics disputes that this is etymologically the same gloss as Powhatan suckquohana. However if you want to call that my original novel synthesis, leave it aside for now. Susquehanna does not come from a "third language"; the remaining two items Susquehanna and Suckquohana both come from the same language, namely Powhatan -- the form Susquehanna being an exonym. The two Powhatan forms Susquehanna and Suckquohana have been connected enough times in the literature. Aren't these facts relevant to a discussion of the etymology of the river name, and shouldn't they appear there? Regards, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 02:01, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

To refute this latest argument. (1) Again, you tell an untruth about Wikipedia policies. The reason we don't need a cite that bonjour is French for hello is that there are millions of native speakers of French, thousands of dictionaries, the dictionaries are readily available online or in public libraries everywhere in the Western world. Lies about basic French can be refuted by an avalanche of perfectly knowledgeable commentators in a matter of minutes. Not so for a virtually undocumented language spoken by a few hundred people. Beyond that, if there did exist a massive, academically scrupulous bilingual dictionary of Micmac, someone could argue that it fails to represent certain dialects, or fails to represent the present era, or the precolonial era. Your apparent obliviousness to such issues demonstrates an ignorance of linguistics. (2) Also contrary to your claim, at Wikipedia we are not supposed to buttress edits by claiming personal knowledge (with perhaps the sole exception that to write for English Wikipedia, you need to be fluent in English, and again, if you do write for English WP in broken English, it will be obvious to a horde of fellow editors and every time you insisted on how competent you are, you would disprove youself). One obvious reason: the world at large can't trust some anonymous person's claim to knowledge. We cannot verify that somebody at Wikipedia calling himself "Til Eulenspiegel" is sincere, is not suffering from dementia, has not misspoken, etc. And of course, a lot of times, experts disagree among themselves. You don't even dare to claim genuine personal expertise. Instead, you "happen to have studied/conversed a little" Micmac. Let us not forget that from time to time you fail to cite any sources at all. Hurmata (talk) 06:42, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
You might benefit from reading WP:AGF. When you express your personal doubt that a Mi'kmaq word is correct you are insulting all Mi'kmaq speakers and I believe there is NO such policy differentiating Mi'kmaq from French on account of the number of speakers. Both are living languages, and calling the Mi'kmaq language "virtually undocumented" really sounds like an ignoramus. Professional Algonquian linguists consider the Mi'kmaq word for water cognate with the Powhatan word for water; this is uncontroversial but can certainly be verified with reliable sources if need be. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:30, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
(1) As for your last sentence, the source you give is *your say so*. (In any case, where did you ever claim to identify what the Powhatan word for 'water' is?) (2) You have variously given the Mi'kmaq word for water as 'samqwan', 'samgwan', and 'samugwan'. (3) You have been taken to task for not giving sources, for misreading sources, for misunderstanding sources, for repeatedly misquoting Wikipedia policies. You have even been adding to these sorts of misdeeds just within the scope of this discussion. You have offered no substantial arguments in your defense, and indeed in many respects you have offered *no* rejoinders. Therefore, now you have resorted to the evasion of accusing me of "insulting all Mi'kmaq speakers" — when I "express [my] personal doubt" as to what *you say* is a fact about something. A reminder: this article is not about the Mi'kmaq language of Canada, it's about the Powhatan language of Virginia. Hurmata (talk) 21:24, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
No, actually this is an article about a river in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Which is exactly why I'm not going to waste time producing a source for a Mi'kmaq cognate, and why I already agreed to remove the Mi'kmaq cognate from the article - unless perhaps someone found a source specifically tying it in with this river name. If you really care to know about it so much, you can research comparative Algonquian linguistics yourself and see what the cognates are. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:45, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Problematic source in Geology[edit]

The Geology section began with the passage "Geologically the river is extremely ancient, often regarded as the oldest or second oldest major system in the world." At the end of the same section, it said, without any citation, " Before the end of the last ice age, the Susquehanna was a much longer river. The Chesapeake Bay constituted its lower valley before it was flooded by rising waters at the conclusion of the Pleistocene, a formation known as a ria." The first of these sentences, but not the second, was sourced to "Historical Look at the Susquehanna River Watershed", by Sandy Lizlovs, Clearwater, Spring 2009. I looked at the PDF and saw that these sentences were present verbatim in it and were sourced to "". Those sentences were in the article before the source was published. So a work that copied text from Wikipedia was used to support that same text in Wikipedia (!). With no reliable sources to support the assertions, I removed them. If someone can supply a real source, they can be returned. A. Parrot (talk) 00:07, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


The first sentence is about fishing; not boating. I did not find any other references to migratory fish in the article. Respectfully, Tiyang (talk) 09:45, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Potomac is the 21st largest river?[edit]

"The nation's sixteenth largest river by volume, the Susquehanna flows through three states: New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, where it is joined by the nation's 16th-largest, the Potomac."

Is the Susquehanna or the Potomac the 16th largest? The Potomac article says it's the 21st largest. -- (talk) 19:31, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Thanks - I removed the mention of the Potomac from the lead. While the Potomac and Susquehanna both empty into the Chesepeake Bay, neither is a tributary of the other (unless you consider the Chesepeake to be the Susquehanna since it is its ria). There is no source for the size claim, so I am not able to check it easily. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 22:27, 2 November 2013 (UTC)