Floodwaters in the Ohio and Wabash Rivers • Earth.com

Last update: April 6th, 2020 at 5:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day comes from the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at floodwaters at the junction of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers.

This composite image was acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on board the Landsat 8 satellite and combines one image taken of the flooding on March 3, 2018 with an image taken on November 7, 2017 that shows the normal width of both rivers.

“River flooding is a natural process,” said Lois Morton from Iowa State University. “Floodplains provide important upstream storage, reducing river flows downstream, recharging groundwater supplies, filtering nutrients, and enriching forest and wetland habitats.”

The Wabash River /ˈwɔːbæʃ/ (French: Ouabache) is a 503-mile-long (810 km) river in Ohio and Indiana, United States, that flows from the headwaters near the middle of Ohio’s western border northwest then southwest across northern Indiana turning south along the Illinois border where the southern portion forms the Indiana-Illinois border before flowing into the Ohio River. It is the largest northern tributary of the Ohio River. From the dam near Huntington, Indiana, to its terminus at the Ohio River, the Wabash flows freely for 411 miles (661 km). Its watershed drains most of Indiana. The Tippecanoe River, White River, Embarras River and Little Wabash River are major tributaries. The river’s name comes from a Miami Indian word meaning “water over white stones”.

The Wabash is the state river of Indiana, and subject of the state song “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” by Paul Dresser. Two counties (in Indiana and Illinois), eight townships in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; one Illinois precinct, one city, one town, two colleges, one high school, one canal, one former class I railroad, several bridges and avenues are all named for the river itself while four US Navy warships are either named for the river or the numerous battles that took place on or near it.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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