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The Yukon River in Alaska, USA

March 25th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Yukon River, Alaska, USA - March 18th, 2009

Yukon River, Alaska, USA - March 18th, 2009

The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. Over half of the river lies in the U.S. state of Alaska, as is the case of the section visible here. Most of the other portion lies in and gives its name to Canada’s Yukon Territory, while a small part near the source is located in British Columbia.

The river segment in the upper half of the image is windier and surrounded by flatter land and many lakes, while the lower segment has fewer curves and runs through more mountainous territory.

The river is 3,700 km (2,300 mi) long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The average flow is 6,430 m³/s (227,000 ft³/s). The total drainage area is 832,700 km² (321,500 mi²).

The Yukon River has had a history of pollution from gold mining, military installations, dumps, wastewater, and other sources.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency does not list the Yukon River among its impaired watersheds, and water quality data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows relatively good levels of turbidity, metals, and dissolved oxygen.

The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, a cooperative effort of 64 First Nations and tribes in Alaska and Canada, has the goal of making the river and its tributaries safe to drink from again by supplementing and scrutinizing Government data.

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