Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Mackenzie River in the Canadian Arctic.
In the spring, warm weather begins to break up the ice along the frozen river until it is flowing freely again into the Beaufort Sea.
However, the ice does not always break up without a fight. When ice refuses to budge, it can clog the river and cause flooding.
Last week, ice jams had many communities along the Mackenzie River on high alert for flooding.
The image was captured on May 30, 2020 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
The Mackenzie River (Slavey: Deh-Cho literally big river; Inuvialuktun: Kuukpak [kuːkpɑk] literally great river; French: Fleuve (de) Mackenzie) is a river in the Canadian boreal forest. It is the longest river system in Canada, and includes the second largest drainage basin of any North American river after the Mississippi.
The Mackenzie River flows through a vast, thinly populated region of forest and tundra entirely within the Northwest Territories in Canada, although its many tributaries reach into five other Canadian provinces and territories. The river’s main stem is 1,738 kilometres (1,080 mi) long, flowing north-northwest from Great Slave Lake into the Arctic Ocean, where it forms a large delta at its mouth. Its extensive watershed drains about 20 percent of Canada. It is the largest river flowing into the Arctic from North America, and including its tributaries has a total length of 4,241 kilometres (2,635 mi), making it the thirteenth longest river system in the world
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory