Agriculture Around the Columbia River in Oregon, USA45.9N 119.3W
Numerous fields, both square and circular, dot the landscape around the Columbia River as it runs through the state of Oregon, USA, in this orthorectified image. It stretches from the Canadian province of British Columbia through Washington state, forming much of the border between Washington and Oregon, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its drainage basin is 258,000 square miles (670,000 km2). Measured by the volume of its flow, the Columbia is the largest river flowing into the Pacific from North America and is the fourth-largest river in the U.S.
The river’s heavy flow, and its large elevation drop over a relatively short distance, give it tremendous potential for the generation of electricity. It is the largest hydroelectric power producing river in North America with fourteen hydroelectric dams in the U.S. and Canada, and many more on various tributaries.
The Columbia has been heavily developed to serve human purposes, including dredging for navigation by larger ships; the construction of dams for power generation, irrigation, navigation, and flood control; nuclear weapons research and production; and the generation of nuclear power. These projects have come into conflict with ecological conservation numerous times, impacting fish migration and resulting in industrial pollution.