Evolution of the Southern New England drainage network

Introduction: This essay briefly describes the evolution of southern New England drainage routes using the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm developed during the Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project. Topographic map evidence from which this essay’s interpretations were made is not included here. Detailed topographic map evidence for the Missouri River drainage basin west of the Mississippi River used to develop the fundamentally new geomorphology paradigm is illustrated and discussed in the hundreds of published Missouri River drainage basin landforms origins research project essays (or research notes) on this website’s sidebar. Each essay illustrates and discusses detailed topographic map evidence for a specified Missouri River drainage basin drainage divide area. When completed the essay series will illustrate and describe evidence for all Missouri River drainage basin drainage divide areas.

Norwalk River: The Norwalk River begins south of Danbury, CT and flows in a south-oriented direction to Long Island Sound at Norwalk, CT. Norwalk River headwaters are linked by a through valley to the northwest and west-oriented Titicus River flowing to the southwest-oriented Croton River, which flows to the south-oriented Hudson River. The Norwalk River drainage basin was eroded by south-oriented flood water that was captured and reversed by headward erosion of the Hudson-Croton-Titicus River Valley to create the northwest-oriented Titicus River drainage basin. Norwalk River headwaters are also linked by a through valley to Saugatuck River headwaters suggesting that the Saugatuck River headward erosion beheaded and captured south-oriented flood flow from the Housatonic River drainage basin to the north that was moving to the Norwalk River drainage basin.

Saugatuck River: The Saugatuck River flows in a southeast direction from its origin in the Danbury, CT area and then turns south to flow to Long Island Sound at Westport, CT.  The Saugatuck River headwaters are linked to the north-oriented Still River flowing to the south and southeast-oriented Housatonic River. The Saugatuck River drainage basin was eroded headward as one of several flow routes used by floodwaters moving in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex. Flood flow into the Saugatuck River drainage basin was captured, beheaded, and reversed by headward erosion of the deeper Housatonic River Valley to create the north-oriented Still River drainage basin.

Mill River: Mill River flows south through Easton Reservoir to Long Island Sound at Southport, CT. Mill River headwaters are linked to the north-oriented Pootatuck River flowing to the southeast and south-oriented Housatonic River. The Mill River drainage basin was eroded headward as one of several flow routes used by floodwaters moving in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex. Flood flow into the Mill River drainage basin was captured, beheaded, and reversed by headward erosion of the deeper Housatonic River Valley to create the north-oriented Pootatuck River drainage basin.

Housatonic River: The Housatonic River originates near Pittsfield, MA and flows in a generally south-oriented direction to Long Island Sound just west of Bridgeport, CT. The headwaters are linked by a major through valley to the north, northwest, and west oriented Hoosac River flowing to the south-oriented Hudson River. The Housatonic River has several major north-oriented tributaries. In Massachusetts the northwest-oriented Greenwater Brook and Hop Brook are linked to the headwaters of the south-oriented West Branch Farmington River; headwaters of the north-oriented Konkapot Brook are linked to headwaters of the south-oriented Konkapot River flowing to the Housatonic River; and the south-oriented Williams River, flowing to the Housatonic River, is linked to northwest-oriented Frisbee Creek, flowing eventually to the south-oriented Hudson River. In northwest Connecticut the northwest-oriented Hollenbeck River is linked to the south-oriented Shepang River and Pomperang River, both flowing to the Housatonic River. In west-central Connecticut (north of Danbury) the north-oriented Still River and Rocky River (from Candlewood Lake) flow into the south-oriented Housatonic River. The Still River is linked to west-oriented drainage to the southwest-oriented Croton River flowing to the south-oriented Hudson River and is also linked to the south-oriented Sagatuck River flowing to Long Island Sound. The Housatonic River drainage basin was eroded headward by south-oriented flood water flowing in what must have been a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex that was captured, to the west by Hudson River drainage basin headward erosion and to the east by Connecticut River drainage basin headward erosion. Headward erosion of the deep Housatonic River Valley beheaded and reversed flood flow moving in several of the south-oriented anastomosing channels to create the present-day north-oriented tributaries to the south-oriented Housatonic River. Eventually headward erosion of the Hudson River-Hoosac River Valley captured, beheaded, and reversed floodwaters moving to the Housatonic drainage basin from the north and northwest while headward erosion of the Connecticut River-Deerfield River Valley captured, beheaded and reversed floodwaters moving from the north and northeast to the Housatonic River drainage basin.

Naugatuck River: The Naugatuck River flows south from the Torrington, CT area to Derby, Ct where it joins the Housatonic River to continue south to Long Island Sound. The Housatonic River is formed at the confluence of its East and West Branches. A through valley near Torrington links the south-oriented Naugatuck River with the north-oriented Still River, which flows to the south-oriented West Branch Farmington River. The East Branch Naugatuck River is linked to north-oriented drainage flowing to the southeast-oriented Mad River, which flows to the north-oriented Still River. The West Branch Naugatuck River is linked to the northwest-oriented Blackberry River flowing to the south-oriented Housatonic River. Almost all Naugatuck River tributaries are south oriented. The Naugatuck River drainage basin was eroded by south-oriented floodwaters that were beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the Housatonic River Valley to create the northwest-oriented Blackberry River and by headward of the West Branch Farmington River Valley to create the north-oriented Still River, which captured the southeast-oriented Mad River.

Shepang River: The Shepang River begins in northwest Connecticut, west of Torrington but east of the Housatonic River, and flows in generally south-oriented direction to join the parallel Housatonic River where the Housatonic begins to flow in a southeast-oriented direction.  The Shepang River headwaters are linked to the north and northwest-oriented Hollenbeck River flowing to the south-oriented Housatonic River.  The Shepang River drainage basin was eroded headward by south-oriented flood water that was captured and reversed by headward erosion of the parallel and much deeper Housatonic River Valley to create the north and northwest-oriented Hollenbeck River. Southeast-oriented Naugatuck River tributaries were beheaded by south and southwest-oriented Shepang tributaries suggesting Shepang drainage basin captured flood water moving to the Naugatuck River.

Still River (near Danbury, CT): The Still River flows northeast and north in the Danbury, Ct area and joins the south-southeast oriented Housatonic River at Still River, CT. Headwaters are linked to the southwest-oriented Croton River flowing to the south-oriented Hudson River. A north-oriented Still River tributary is linked to the southeast-oriented Saugatuck River, which flows southeast and south to Long Island Sound. This evidence suggests the Still River formed as part of an anastomosing channel complex that carried south-oriented floodwaters to what are now the Hudson Valley, the Saugatuck River Valley, and the Housatonic River Valley. Headward erosion of the deep Housatonic River Valley eventually beheaded and reversed flow moving to the Hudson and Saugatuck River Valleys to create the present-day north-oriented Still River drainage network.

Quinnipac River: The Quinnipac River flows south from the Plainville, CT area to Long Island Sound at New Haven, CT. Quinnipac River headwaters are linked to the north-oriented Pequabuck River flowing to the north- and southeast-oriented Farmington River, which flows to the south-oriented Connecticut River. The Quinnipac River drainage basin eroded headward as one of several flow routes used by floodwaters moving in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex. Flood flow into the Quinnipac River drainage basin was captured, beheaded, and reversed by headward erosion of the deeper Connecticut River Valley and southeast-oriented Farmington River Valley to create the north-oriented Pequabuck and Farmington River drainage basin.

Connecticut River: The Connecticut River begins in northern New Hampshire near the Quebec border and flows south along the New Hampshire-Vermont border into Massachusetts and then Connecticut before flowing into Long Island Sound. In Connecticut the River turns away from a structural north-to-south oriented through valley and has cut a southeast-oriented valley to reach Long Island Sound. The Connecticut River has many barbed tributaries, which flow north to reach the south-oriented Connecticut River. These barbed tributaries and the southeast-oriented valley in southern Connecticut suggest the Connecticut River Valley originated as one of several channels in what must have been a large-scale south-oriented anastomosing channel complex that covered all of New England (except possibly Maine). That anastomosing channel complex must have been formed by immense quantities of flood water moving south from Quebec to Long Island Sound. The present-day Connecticut River Valley eroded headward deeper than parallel routes and in the process captured, beheaded and reversed flood flow moving in many of the parallel routes to create the present-day north-oriented tributaries. The same process of capturing, beheading and reversing flood flow occurred on a smaller scale on other western New England drainage routes including Connecticut River tributaries to result in the complex drainage pattern observed today.

Coginchaug River: The Coginchaug River flows north to join the Connecticut near Middletown, CT where the Connecticut River turns from flowing south to flowing southeast. The Coginchaug River is linked to the south-oriented West River flowing to Long Island Sound near Guilford, CT. The north-oriented Coginchaug River drainage basin was eroded when headward erosion of the deep southeast-oriented Connecticut River Valley captured, beheaded and reversed floodwaters flowing south in what is now the Coginchaug River-West River through valley. The Coginchaug River-West River through valley originated as one of many channels in what must have been a large-scale western New England anastomosing channel complex that moved floodwaters from Quebec southward to Long Island Sound.

Farmington River: The Farmington River begins in southwest Massachusetts and the West Branch headwaters are linked to northwest-oriented tributaries to the south-oriented Housatonic River. East Branch headwaters are linked to east-oriented drainage to the east-oriented Westfield River flowing to the south-oriented Connecticut River.  The West Branch flows in a south-southeast direction while the East Branch flows in a south direction to where they join to form the southeast, north, and southeast oriented Farmington River flowing to the south-oriented Connecticut River. Where the Farmington River makes its first U-turn, from southeast-oriented to north-oriented, it is in a through valley that is drained to the south by the south-oriented Quinnipac River flowing to Long Island Sound. Where the Farmington River turns from north-oriented to southeast-oriented, the south-oriented Salmon Brook joins it. The East Branch of Salmon Brook flows south in a through valley that is also drained by north-oriented drainage to the east-oriented Westfield River. The Farmington River course and drainage network illustrate how flood flow in the south-oriented flood-formed western New England anastomosing channel complex was systematically captured, beheaded and reversed to create what is the present-day western New England drainage network. The links with the Housatonic River tributaries provide evidence that the anastomosing channel complex once crossed the Connecticut River-Housatonic River drainage divide. Southward flood flow into the Farmington River drainage basin was captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River-Westfield River valley system in the east and by headward erosion of the deep Housatonic River Valley and Hudson River-Hoosac River Valley in the west.

Westfield River: The Westfield River begins in northwestern Massachusetts and flows in a generally southeast direction to join the south-oriented Connecticut River at Westfield, MA. Westfield River headwaters are linked to northwest-oriented drainage to the south-oriented Housatonic River and to the north and northwest-oriented Hoosac River. The Westfield River drainage basin was eroded headward by southeast oriented flood flow that was captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Housatonic River Valley and that was subsequently captured, beheaded and reversed by the deep Hudson – Hoosac River Valley. Within the Westfield River drainage basin are barbed tributaries and through valleys linking Westfield River drainage routes indicating that the Westfield River drainage network originated as a southeast and south-oriented anastomosing channel complex that was systematically dismembered as deeper channels eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse flood flow moving in other parallel channels. South-oriented flood flow into the eastern Westfield River drainage basin was captured by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River-Deerfield River valley system.

Mill River: Mill River flows southeast to join the south-oriented Connecticut River at Northampton, MA. Mill River headwaters are linked to northeast-oriented drainage flowing to South River, which flows southeast, east, north and east to join the southeast-oriented Deerfield River flowing to the south-oriented Connecticut River. The Mill River drainage basin was eroded headward by south and southeast-oriented floodwaters that was captured by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River-Deerfield River-South River valley system.

Miller River: Miller River begins in southern New Hampshire, just north of the Massachusetts border and south of Monadnock Mountain, and flows south and then west to join the south-oriented Connecticut River. Miller River headwaters are linked to the northeast-oriented Contoocook River flowing to the south-oriented Merrimack River. South-oriented Miller River tributaries are linked to north and northwest-oriented tributaries flowing to the south-southwest and west-oriented Ashuelot River and south-oriented Connecticut River. North-oriented Miller River tributaries are linked to south-oriented tributaries flowing to the southwest-oriented Ware River flowing to the west-oriented Chicopee River and south-oriented Connecticut River.  The Miller River drainage basin was eroded headward as the deep Miller River Valley eroded headward to capture south-oriented floodwaters moving to the Connecticut River-Chicopee River-Ware River drainage basin in what must have been an immense western New England anastomosing channel complex. Flood flow to the Miller River drainage basin was subsequently captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Merrimack River Valley to the east of Mount Monadnock and by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River – Ashuelot River Valley to the west of Mount Monadnock.

Chicopee River: The Chicopee River flows west from its origin at the confluence of the Swift River, Ware River and Quaboag River at Three Rivers, MA to join the south-oriented Connecticut River at Chicopee, MA. South-oriented Chicopee River tributaries are linked to northwest and west-oriented Connecticut River tributaries. North-oriented tributaries are linked to the southeast and south-oriented Scantic River flowing to the south-oriented Connecticut River. The Chicopee River Valley eroded headward to capture and behead southeast and south-oriented flood water moving to the Scantic River drainage basin. Flood flow to the Chicopee River was captured by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River Valley.

Quaboag River: The Quaboag River begins at Quaboag Pond in central Massachusetts and flows northwest, southwest, west, south and northwest to join the Chicopee River at Three Rivers, MA.  North-oriented Quaboag River tributaries are linked to south-oriented drainage to the Willimantic and Quinebaug Rivers flowing south to the Thames River and Long Island Sound. South-oriented tributaries are linked to north-oriented drainage to the southwest-oriented Ware River flowing to join the Quaboag River at Three Rivers, MA. The Quaboag River Valley eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse south-oriented floodwaters to the Thames River drainage network and divert that water to the south-oriented Connecticut River Valley. Headward erosion of the Ware River Valley subsequently captured flood flow moving to the Quaboag River drainage basin.

Ware River: The Ware River begins in north central Massachusetts (between Golding Village to the west and Fitchburg to the east) and flows south and southwest to join the Chicopee River at Three Rivers, MA. The eastern Ware River headwaters near Fitchburg are linked to the northeast and southeast-oriented North Nashua River flowing to the north-oriented Nashua River and the south and northeast-oriented Merrimack River. The western Ware River headwaters are linked to the northwest-oriented Otter River flowing to the west-oriented Miller River and the south-oriented Connecticut River. North of the Otter River-Miller River confluence are links to the northeast-oriented Contoocook River which flows to the south and northeast-oriented Merrimack River.  The Ware River drainage basin was eroded headward by floodwaters moving south and southwest through the present-day Merrimack River drainage basin and the Upper Connecticut River drainage basin to what must have been the evolving Connecticut River-Chicopee River drainage system. South and southwest-oriented flood flow to the Ware River drainage basin ended when headward erosion of the deep Merrimack River Valley captured, beheaded and reversed floodwaters in the east and headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River-Miller River Valley captured, beheaded and reversed that flow in the west.

Swift River: The Swift River flows south through Quabbin Reservoir to join the west-oriented Chicopee River at Three Rivers, MA and then to the south-oriented Connecticut River. Swift River headwaters are linked to north and northwest-oriented drainage to the west-oriented Miller River flowing to the south-oriented Connecticut River. The Swift River drainage basin was eroded headward by south-oriented flood water that was captured, beheaded and reversed by Miller River headward erosion.

Scantic River: The Scantic River begins southeast of Springfield, MA and flows south and southwest to join the south-oriented Connecticut opposite Windsor, CT. Scantic River headwaters are linked to north and northwest-oriented drainage to the west-oriented Chicopee River flowing to the Connecticut River at Chicopee, MA; to the west-oriented Mill River flowing to the Connecticut River at Springfield; and to northwest and west-oriented drainage flowing directly to the Connecticut River just south of Springfield. The Scantic River drainage basin was eroded headward by south-oriented flood water that was captured, beheaded and reversed by Connecticut River, Connecticut River-Mill River, and Connecticut River-Chicopee River Valley headward erosion.

Salmon River: The Salmon River flows south from central Connecticut (area between East Hartford and Willimantic) to join the southeast-oriented Connecticut River just north of East Haddam, CT. Salmon River headwaters in the west are linked to north and west-oriented drainage to the south-oriented Connecticut River and in the east to north, northeast and east-oriented drainage to the southeast-oriented Hop River flowing to the southeast Shetucket River and the south-oriented Thames River flowing to Long island Sound. The Salmon River drainage basin was eroded headward by south-oriented floodwater that was captured, beheaded and reversed by Connecticut River headward erosion and by headward erosion of the Thames River- Shetucket River-Hop River drainage network.

Thames River: The Thames River flows south from where the Shetucket, Quinebaug, and Yantic Rivers meet near the Norwich, Ct area to flow into Long Island Sound near New London, Ct. In addition to its main feeder rivers the Thames River has smaller southeast-oriented tributaries flowing in from the west and northwest-oriented tributaries flowing in from the east. The deep Thames River Valley eroded headward across south and southeast-oriented floodwaters moving to Long Island Sound.

Yantic River: The Yantic River flows east and southeast to join the south-oriented Thames River near Norwich, CT. Southeast-oriented tributaries are linked to north and northeast-oriented drainage to the southeast-oriented Shetucket River. East-oriented tributaries are linked to the south-southwest oriented Salmon River flowing to the southeast-oriented Connecticut River. Northeast-oriented tributaries are linked to southeast-oriented drainage to the Thames River, Long Island Sound, and the Connecticut River. The Yantic River Valley eroded headward to capture south and southeast-oriented floodwaters that must have been moving in an anastomosing complex of channels that were systematically captured, beheaded and reversed.

Shetucket River: The Shetucket River flows southeast from the confluence of the Hop River, Willimantic River and Natchaug River near Willimantic, CT. McCarthy Brook flows northwest to join southeast-oriented Beaver Brook flowing to the southeast-oriented Shetucket River. Beaver Brook headwaters are linked to the Shetucket River (upstream) and McCarthy Brook headwaters are linked to the southeast-oriented Yantic River and south-oriented Thames River. The Beaver Brook-McCarthy Brook-Yantic River provides a through valley parallel to the deeper Shetucket River Valley and is evidence of a southeast-oriented anastomosing channel complex that was systematically captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deeper Shetucket River Valley.

Hop River: The Hop River flows southeast from Bolton Notch, CT to join the Willimantic and Natchaug Rivers near Willimantic, CT to form the southeast-oriented Shetucket River flowing to the south-oriented Thames River and Long Island Sound. At Bolton Notch the Hop River headwaters are linked to north-oriented Railroad Brook flowing to southwest-oriented rivers flowing to the south and southeast-oriented Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. Northeast-oriented Hop River tributaries are linked to south-oriented drainage flowing to the south-oriented Salmon River flowing to the southeast-oriented Connecticut River. South and southwest-oriented tributaries are linked to northeast-oriented drainage to other south and southwest-oriented Hop River tributaries and to southeast-oriented drainage to the south and southeast-oriented Willimantic River. These linkages provide evidence that the Hop River valley was eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse south and southeast-oriented floodwaters that were subsequently captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the Willimantic River Valley in the east and north and of the deep Connecticut River Valley in the west.

Willimantic River: The Willimantic River flows south from its origin near the CT-MA border to the Shetucket River near Willimantic, CT. Willimantic River headwaters are linked to north and northwest-oriented drainage that eventually reaches the west-oriented Chicopee River and to northwest-oriented drainage that turns southwest to reach the south-oriented Connecticut River and also to north-oriented drainage that flows to the south-oriented Quinebaug River. South of the Willimantic River headwaters most Willimantic River tributaries flow south, but there are a few barbed tributaries that flow north to reach the south-oriented Willimantic. These barbed tributaries and the headwaters evidence suggests the Willimantic River Valley eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse south-oriented floodwaters flowing in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex containing feeder channels that were captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Connecticut River Valley to the west and by headward erosion of the deep Quinebaug River Valley to east.

Natchaug River: The Natchaug River flows south to join the Shetucket River near Willimantic, CT. The Natchaug River headwaters are linked to north-oriented drainage that turns southeast to flow to the south-oriented Quinebaug River. Most tributaries to the south-oriented Natchaug River are also south-oriented, although a few barbed tributaries flow north to reach the south-oriented Natchaug River. The headwaters evidence and the barbed tributaries indicate the Natchaug River Valley eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse floodwaters moving in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex that was beheaded by headward erosion of the Quinebaug River Valley and tributary valleys to the east and north.

Little River: The Little River flows south to join the Shetucket River near Occum, CT. The Little River headwaters are linked to west-oriented to the south-oriented Natchaug River to the west and to northeast-oriented drainage to a southeast-oriented tributary flowing the Quinebaug River in the east. The headwaters evidence indicate the Little River Valley eroded headward to capture flow from a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex that was beheaded by headward erosion of the Natchaug River Valley to the west and north Quinebaug River Valley and tributary valleys to the east and north.

Quinebaug River: The Quinebaug River flows east, southeast, and then south to join the Thames River near Norwich, CT. Quinebaug River headwaters are linked to north-oriented to the northwest, southwest, south and northwest-oriented Quaboag River flowing to the west-oriented Ware and Chicopee Rivers and the south-oriented Connecticut River. North-oriented drainage to the east and southeast-oriented Quinebaug River segments is linked to the south-oriented Natchaug River. The south-oriented Quinebaug River segment has many barbed tributaries flowing northwest to join the south-oriented Quinebaug River. For example, the Pachaug River flows north and northwest to join the south-oriented Quinebaug River. Tributaries from the west tend to flow southeast to join the south-oriented Quinebaug River and show evidence of having been beheaded by headward erosion of the Little River Valley to the west. For example, Blackwell Brook flows southeast to reach the south-oriented Quinebaug River and is in a through valley that has been beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the Little River Valley. The headwaters evidence, the barbed tributaries, and the beheading of the southeast-oriented tributaries all provide evidence the Quinebaug River Valley eroded headward to capture, behead, and reverse flood water flow in what must have been a southeast-oriented anastomosing channel complex.

Pawcatuck River: The Pawcatuck River flows south along the Connecticut-Rhode Island border to enter Little Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound. Pawcatuck River headwaters are linked to northwest-oriented drainage to the northwest-oriented Pachaug River flowing to the south-oriented Quinebaug and Thames Rivers.  Pawcatuck River drainage basin was eroded headward by southeast and south-oriented floodwaters that were captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Thames-Quinebaug River drainage basin.

Wood River: The Wood River flows southeast and south to Watchaug Pond, which is adjacent to Long Island Sound. Wood River headwaters are linked to northwest-oriented drainage to the northwest and west-oriented Moosup River and to the northwest-oriented Pachaug River both flowing to the south-oriented Quinebaug and Thames Rivers. The Wood River valley eroded headward to capture southeast-oriented floodwaters that were subsequently captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep Thames-Quinebaug River Valley.

Blackstone River: The Blackstone River begins near Worcester, MA and flows south-southeast and southeast to reach Narragansett Bay. Blackstone River headwaters are linked to the north-oriented Nashua River and the northeast and north-oriented Assabet-Concord River flowing to the northeast-oriented Merrimack River. Numerous barbed tributaries enter the Blackstone River from the south. Headwaters of these north-oriented tributaries to the south-oriented Blackstone River are linked to south and southeast-oriented drainage that eventually reaches Narragansett Bay. The described linkages provide evidence that the Blackstone River drainage network eroded headward to capture, behead, and reverse south and southeast-oriented floodwaters moving in a large-scale anastomosing channel complex from northern New England to Narragansett Bay. Floodwaters to the Blackstone River drainage basin were captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Merrimack River Valley.

Taunton River: The Taunton River in southeast Massachusetts flows northwest and then southwest to enter Narragansett Bay near Fall River, MA. The northwest-oriented Taunton River headwaters are linked to south-southeast oriented drainage to Buzzards Bay and the south-oriented Taunton River tributaries are linked to north and northeast-oriented drainage to Boston Bay. The Taunton River drainage basin eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse southeast-oriented floodwaters to Buzzards Bay. Flood flow to the Taunton River drainage basin was subsequently captured, beheaded and reverse by headward erosion of northeast-oriented drainage to Boston Bay.

Charles River: Headwaters of the Charles River are in Massachusetts just north of the northeast corner of Rhode Island. The Charles River flows north, east, northwest and finally east to enter Boston Bay. The Charles River headwaters are linked to south-oriented drainage to Narragansett Bay. Where the Charles River turns from flowing east to flow northwest at Dedham it is linked to northeast-oriented drainage to Boston Bay. Where the Charles River turns from northwest-oriented to east-oriented it is linked to the north-oriented Concord River flowing to the northeast-oriented Merrimack River. The Charles River drainage basin eroded headward to capture, behead and reverse south and southeast-oriented flood water moving from northern New England to Narragansett Bay. Flood flow to the Charles River drainage basin was captured, beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Merrimack River Valley.

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