What is Canada's longest river?
The river was named after a British explorer who travelled its waters with a crew of 12 people in three canoes, trying to reach the Pacific Ocean, in 1789.
The Mackenzie is the largest and longest river in Canada. Its source is in the Great Slave lake, at 156 metres above sea level, and it flows through the west-northwest of Canada. It forms a delta that is some 80 kilometres wide as it flows into the Beaufort Sea, in the Arctic Ocean.
The Mackenzie is the longest river in Canada, with 1,650 kilometres. If the entire river system is considered, the Mackenzie-Great Slave Lake-Slave-Peace-Williston Lake-Finley system, the total length amounts to 4,241 kilometres. That would make it the second longest river in North America and the twelfth longest river in the world. The basin of the river system is also the second largest in North America, with an average discharge of 9,700 m3/s and a surface area of 1,805,200 square kilometres, almost as big as Mexico.
Currently, climate change is having an impact on the Mackenzie basin and surrounding area. Unusual floods are one of the major impacts the area is experiencing. Moreover, in a future scenario, there is concern that as permafrost thaws, drilling waste from oil and gas exploration will be exposed and could contaminate local environments.