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Rising Waters on the Mississippi River
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Water rose on the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries in March 2011. The Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service of the U.S. National Weather Service reported flooding in numerous locations, including major flooding in Grand Chain and Osceola; moderate flooding in New Madrid, Cairo, and Paducah; and minor flooding in Memphis.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images on March 20, 2011 (top), and March 1, 2011 (bottom). These images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Clouds range in color from white to bright blue-green.
On March 1, waters on the Mississippi River remain largely confined to braided river channels. By March 20, water has risen substantially, especially south of the Ohio-Mississippi confluence. Water on the Mississippi is high enough to fill the river valley in several places. Water levels are also substantially higher on the Wabash, Ohio, and White Rivers.