Aerial View of Hudson River Valley
June 19, 2003
The photograph shows the Hudson Highlands as it crosses the Hudson River Valley near West Point, about 40 miles (84 km) north of New York City. It was taken from a small airplane I was flying at 4,500 ft (1,385 m) above mean sea level. The Hudson Highlands are part of a larger old (Precambrian and Early Paleozoic) mountain formation called the New England Uplands. This formation consists of metamorphic and igneous rock, and stretches from New England to about Reading, Pennsylvania. Near Bear Mountain you can see the Hudson River zig-zagging through the formation, perhaps following old fracture lines. Further south the river follows a straight path carved partially by ice age glaciers. In the distance to the left by Peekskill, a spur of the formation continues along the east shore of the Hudson. It extends down to Battery Park, the southern tip of Manhattan. This spur, called the Manhattan Prong, is the bedrock upon which the New York City skyscrapers are built.