Eastern Continental Divide


Eastern Continental Divide

The Eastern Divide or Eastern Continental Divide (ECD) is a continental divide in the United States that separates the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of St. Lawrence drainage from the watersheds that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Eastern Continental Divide runs from the Triple Divide on an broad hill at coord|41.8465|N|77.8381|W|region:US-PA_type:mountain near the town of Gold in Potter County, Pennsylvania south of Wellsville, New York, running down the Appalachian Mountains, through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, along the northwestern border of South Carolina, through Georgia and the city of Atlanta, ending at the southern tip of Florida.

The Triple Divide is the hydrologic apex of the Atlantic basin of North America, joining the boundaries of three main drainage systems. From this region the Genesee River beginning south of Wellsville, New York flows north to the Great Lakes and then the St. Lawrence River. From its source east of Indiana, Pennsylvania the West Branch Susquehanna River flows southeast, to Chesapeake Bay. The Allegheny River begins its flow east of Coudersport, Pennsylvania, eventually combining with the Monongehela River at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River and eventually the Mississippi River. The three systems drain into the Atlantic Ocean at Newfoundland (via the Gulf of Saint Lawrence), Norfolk, Virginia and New Orleans, Louisiana (via the Gulf of Mexico), respectively.

Prior to 1760, the Eastern Continental Divide represented the boundary between British and French colonial possessions in North America. France had earlier explored and laid claim to the Mississippi and St. Lawrence drainage areas.


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