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The Arthur Kill is a tidal strait separating Staten Islandmarker, New Yorkmarker from mainland New Jerseymarker, USAmarker. Kill is from the Middle Dutch word kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel". Arthur Kill has also been known as Staten Island Sound.


The channel is approximately 10 miles (16 km) long and connects Raritan Baymarker on its south end with Newark Baymarker on the north. Along the New Jerseymarker side it is primarily lined with industrial sites, whereas on the Staten Islandmarker side, it is primarily lined with salt marshes.

A heavily used marine channel, it provides access for ocean-going container ships to Port Newarkmarker and to industrial facilities along the channel itself. It also provides the primary marine access to the now-closed Fresh Kills Landfillmarker on Staten Island.

The channel is dredged periodically to a depth of 35–37 feet (11 m) and a width of 600 feet (183 m) to maintain its usefulness for commercial ship passage.

Because of the complex nature of the tides in New York Harbor near the mouth of the Hudson River, the hydrology of the Arthur Kill is still an open subject. In particular, the net flow of the channel is not well established.

It is spanned by the Goethals Bridgemarker and the Outerbridge Crossingmarker, as well as by the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridgemarker, a railroad bridge and the largest bridge of its type in the United States.

It contains two small uninhabited islands, Prall's Islandmarker and the Isle of Meadowsmarker, both of which belong to the borough of Staten Island.


The Arthur Kill is an abandoned river channel carved by an ancestral phase of the Hudson River resulting from the blockage of the main channel of the Hudson at the Narrowsmarker by moraine or an ice dam. The size of the Arthur Kill channel is large, suggesting that it was, for a time, the primary drainage from the region. However, it could not have been a primary drainage for long because the river did not have enough time to carve a broad flood plain.


See also


  1. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

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