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Vast Canadian river disappeared in four days

Posted on Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

The Slims river before it disappeared. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Hendrik Schafer
Last year the Slims river totally vanished in what is thought to be a modern case of 'river piracy'.
In a mere four days, what was once a raging torrent became little more than a dried-up riverbed - a stark and devastating reminder of how global warming can shape the world's geography.

For centuries, the Slims river had carried meltwater northwards from the vast Kaskawulsh glacier to the Kluane river where it eventually ended up being carried towards the Bering Sea.

Last Spring however, the glacier melted to such an extent that the course of the drainage water was diverted along a new path, cutting off the Slims and depriving it of its source of water.

While "river piracy" is thought to have occurred in the distant past, this is the first time that anything like this has ever been documented happening in modern times.

"People had looked at the geological record, thousands or millions of years ago, not the 21st century, where it's happening under our noses," said geoscientist Dan Shugar.

"Nobody to our knowledge has documented it happening in our lifetimes."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (11)

Tags: River, Glacier, Canada

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Podo on 18 April, 2017, 22:05
Yeah the local and national news networks are having a field day with this story. It's deeply troubling.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Aardvark-DK on 19 April, 2017, 6:55
So, missing posters up in every lamp post or ?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Noxasa on 19 April, 2017, 11:51
So in other words..."Scientists Discover: Water Flows Downhill" :-)
Comment icon #5 Posted by Essan on 19 April, 2017, 12:25
O'm more concerned about how the well known phenomemon of river capture (lots of great examples in the Scottish Highlands btw) has suddenly been dumbed down and renamed "river piracy". Does this mean scary flags and the waving of cutlasses are now involved?
Comment icon #6 Posted by The Silver Thong on 19 April, 2017, 12:31
dynamite and fix the flow it it really matters.
Comment icon #7 Posted by aquatus1 on 19 April, 2017, 14:48
Seriously, people, the article isn't even one freaking page long. If you are going to comment on it, at least read the one page and give it a minute of thought before doing so. This is the Science forum, for crying out loud.
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer on 19 April, 2017, 16:15
I saw this yesterday. Quite odd. You'd think something would have investigated this prior to August 2016 if it had been going on for 4 years.
Comment icon #9 Posted by aquatus1 on 19 April, 2017, 16:20
Comment icon #10 Posted by The Silver Thong on 19 April, 2017, 21:28
The Ice blocked the river
Comment icon #11 Posted by taniwha on 20 April, 2017, 11:09
I didn't read the article but I'm gonna say "aliens"

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