Skip to main content


Susquehanna (səskwĬhăn´ə), river, 444 mi (715 km) long, rising in Otsego Lake, at Cooperstown, N.Y., and zigzagging SE and SW through E central Pa. to Chesapeake Bay near Havre de Grace, Md. The bay is the drowned lower course of the river. The West Branch (c.160 mi/260 km long), which rises in the Allegheny Mts., W Pa., and follows a circuitous course eastward to Sunbury, Pa., is the river's chief tributary. The Susquehanna River traverses an anthracite coal region; the many significant mining and industrial cities on its banks were forced to scale down production as the steel and coal industries declined in the early 1980s. These include Binghamton and Oswego, N.Y., and Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg, and Scranton (on the Lackawanna tributary), Pa. The shallow, swift-flowing river is unsuited for navigation. Several hydroelectric power plants are located on the Susquehanna; the Conowingo plant (Md.) is one of the largest nonfederal power stations in the nation. The Susquehanna and its tributaries have extensive flood control works. However in June, 1972, the river, swollen by the torrential rains of Hurricane Agnes, breached 40-ft (12-m) dikes in places and flooded most of the basin, causing one of the greatest flood disasters in U.S. history.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Susquehanna." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 22 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Susquehanna." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (April 22, 2019).

"Susquehanna." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.