Mississippi Floods in Missouri and Tennessee

Mississippi Floods in Missouri and Tennessee
  • Credit:

    Astronaut photograph ISS027-E-27023 was acquired on May 12, 2011, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 27 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Michon Scott, based on material from the International Space Station photo gallery.

Along the border between Tennessee and southeastern Missouri, the Mississippi River spilled onto floodplains, submerging agricultural fields on either side of the river. Taken from an altitude of 220 miles (350 kilometers) above the Earth, this astronaut photo shows muddy water resting on croplands. In this image, north is toward the lower right.

The land cover around the Mississippi in this region is a combination of forest (dark green) and cropland (rectangles of green and brown). Where muddy water has inundated fields, the borders of some fields peek through the water, appearing as green lines. Along the eastern bank of the Mississippi (image center), a double loop pushes away from the river. This long-term feature (not the result of 2011 flooding) is likely transitioning to an oxbow lake.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    May 12, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    May 16, 2011
  • Sensor(s):

    ISS - Digital Camera
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration