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Drought and Low Water Levels in the Mississippi River, USA

37.0N 89.1W

April 30th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

USA – April 29th, 2013

For months along the Mississippi River here, the withering drought has caused record-breaking low water levels that have threatened to shut down traffic on the world’s largest navigable inland waterway.

The river has remained open  for shipping from Missouri to Illinois due to dredging, blasting and scraping away of rock obstructions along the riverbed, effectively lowering the bottom of the channel by two feet. Despite the success in keeping the Mississippi open, the effects of the low water can be seen up and down the river, both in reduced barge traffic and in the disarray caused by receding waters.

Agriculture Around Lower Mississippi River, USA

32.8N 88.7W

March 3rd, 2012 Category: Rivers

USA - December 29th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows part of the section of the Mississippi River called the Lower Mississippi River. This section runs from its confluence with the Ohio River to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. Measured by water volume, the Lower Mississippi’s primary branch is the Ohio River.

The widest point of the Mississippi River is in the Lower Mississippi portion where it exceeds 1 mile (1.6 km) in width in several places. Many rectangular fields can be seen on either side of the river, in the Mississippi River Valley. Formed from thick layers of this river’s silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country.

Multiple Rivers Near St. Louis, Missouri, USA

38.6N 90.1W

March 2nd, 2012 Category: Rivers

USA - December 29th, 2011

The bright white area in this ASAR image is the city of St. Louis, Missouri, USA. According to the United States Census Bureau, St. Louis has a total area of 66.2 square miles (171.3 km²), of which 61.9 square miles (160.4 km²) is land and 4.2 square miles (11.0 km² or 6.39%) is water. The city is built primarily on bluffs and terraces that rise 100–200 feet above the western banks of the Mississippi River, in the Midwestern United States just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Much of the area is a fertile and gently rolling prairie that features low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains.

The Missouri River forms the northern border of St. Louis County, exclusive of a few areas where the river has changed its course. The Meramec River forms most of its southern border. To the east is the City and the Mississippi River. Near the southern boundary of the City of St. Louis (separating it from St. Louis County) is the River des Peres, virtually the only river or stream within the city limits that is not entirely underground. Most of River des Peres was confined to a channel or put underground in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, USA

37.1N 89.1W

January 6th, 2011 Category: Rivers

USA - December 26th, 2010

This orthorectified image shows the confluence of the Mississippi River (wider, right) and Ohio River (thinner, left), near Mounds, Illinois. Ships can be observed travelling in both rivers, particularly the former.

The large city near the left edge in the upper left quadrant, on the banks of the Ohio River, is Cape Girardeau, in Southeast Missouri. The “cape” that the city is named after no longer exists.

Fire South of Saint Louis Near Mississippi River

38.6N 90.2W

November 24th, 2010 Category: Fires, Rivers

USA - November 9th, 2010

The Mississippi River Valley appears light tan in color in this image of the central and southern USA. Upon opening the full image, the river can be seen meandering southwards towards the Gulf of Mexico in a series of tight curves.

Also visible in the full version is the city of Saint Louis, Missouri, by a bend on the west bank of the river in the upper left quadrant. Visible to the southeast of the city, near the east bank of the river, is a fire releasing a plume of smoke towards the northeast.