Floods along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota

Floods along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

A combination of heavy rains and melting snow filled the Red River in northeastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured these images of the flooding on April 4 and April 6, 2004. The flooding is more visible in the false-color images where liquid water is dark blue, and snow and ice are light blue. The blue floodwater is not confined to the land immediately surrounding the river.overland flooding is also visible. These floods occurred as the rain and melted snow puddled on top of the still-frozen ground.

On either side of the river, a grid of tiny squares marks out large agricultural fields. A flat plain initially leveled by giant ice-age glaciers, the Red River Valley often floods in the spring. This year, the flooding began the final week of March, and by April 6, when the second image was taken, the waters were slowly receding. Early damage estimates say that clean-up and repair will cost $4.5 million, according to news reports.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    April 6, 2004
  • Visualization Date:

    April 26, 2004
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration