Categories: Earth Observation

Satellite Photo of Vancouver and the Fraser River

I just had to post this satellite photograph of Vancouver with the sediment plume streaming out of the Fraser River. Not just because it’s beautiful, which it is, but also because so much of my life is tied together with that city and river.

I was born in Vancouver, and spent half my time there and half my time over on Vancouver Island which is on the left-hand side of this image. I currently live on Vancouver Island, but I have to commute to Vancouver quite a bit, which involves taking a ferry ride across the Straight of Georgia. When you take the route that carries you from Nanaimo (on the island) over to Tsawassen (the ferry terminal that juts out), you have to cross this plume.

Where you see the plume depends on the tides and the amount of material flowing out of the Fraser River, but it’s a stunning sight to see. It’s like the water has been separated into two different colors, with a very distinct dividing line between them.

You can see the line from a few kilometers away standing on the ferry deck, and then it approaches and widens, and then you cross it. The water switches from deep blue to muddy brown with almost no blending in between. Even the shape of the waves in the plume is different.

Anyway, cool image, thanks to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Fraser Cain

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay. Here's a link to my Mastodon account.

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