Geologic and Natural Features

Geologic and Natural Features


The upper Merrimack River corridor contains many natural and geologic features that are unique to the area including the large bluffs along the river bank in Concord and Canterbury, floodplain forests, sandy beaches, large boulders, and the isolated oxbow ponds in the lower broad valley through Concord. These geological and natural features have developed over millions of years and tell a story of how the River conditions about the dynamic changes over time and how the ecological communities have adapted to these changes. These features attract many curious visitors and are the subject of many natural, geologic, and historical publications.

GOAL 10: Communities along the upper Merrimack River and its tributaries recognize and protect the unique geologic and natural features associated with the river including glacial deposits, sand dunes and bluffs, rare plant communities, floodplain forests, oxbow ponds, and beaches.

OBJECTIVE: GNF-1 – On an on-going basis, work with the State Geologist’s Office, the NH Natural Heritage Bureau, and others to continue efforts to locate, identify, and document important geologic and natural features of the river area.


  • Develop a GIS Map illustrating the various unique natural and geologic features working with State Geologists and Natural Heritage Bureau.
  • Coordinate with each community, NHDES, and regional planning commissions to identify existing measures to protect these resources as well as identify any long-term and short-term threats to their integrity.

OBJECTIVE: GNF-2 – On an on-going basis, assist with efforts to educate the public and local officials about the presence of the unique geological and natural features in their communities.


  • Develop a fact sheet or brochure highlighting the particular natural features of the area that can be distributed to each community.

Sand Bluffs along the Merrimack River in Canterbury (Photo provided by UMRLAC)