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Pittsburgh's Changing Rivers:
A Geomorphologic History of the Point 1754-1900

George Washington wrote in his Journal (1754):
"As I got down before the Canoe, I spent some Time in viewing the Rivers, and the Land in the Fork; which I think extremely well situated for a Fort, as it has the absolute Command of both Rivers. The Land at the Point is 20 to 25 Feet above the common surface of the Water; and a considerable Bottom of flat, well timbered Land all around it, very convenient for Building: The Rivers are each a Quarter of a Mile, or more across, and run here at very near right Angles: Aligany N.E. and Monongahela S.E. The former of these two is very rapid and swift running Water; The other deep and still, without any perceptible Fall."


Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Online Exhibit: Geology Along the Lewis & Clark Trail
(includes a summary video).


Please read articles and view images about Pittsburgh's rivers. The following links will open PDF files. You will need ADOBE Acrobat Reader to view the links. If you don't have ADOBE Acrobat Reader please visit the the following link.



INTRODUCTION

THE GEOLOGY OF THE POINT

THE POINT SINCE EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT
   o Sources of Information
   o Fort Duquesne Time Period

LOCAL GEOLOGY AND THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF PITTSBURGH
   o Building Stone
   o Coal
   o Groundwater
   o Sand and Gravel

ISLANDS

THE POINT THEN AND NOW

FLOODING IN THE POINT AREA
   o Guide to Flood Stages in Pittsburgh

ANTHROPOGENIC CHANGES IN THE POINT AREA

• BACKGROUND INFORMATION
   o River Flow
   o Erosion and Deposition
   o Types of Sediment Load

REFERENCES



 


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