Mackenzie River

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Mackenzie River
Fleuve Mackenzie
Mackenzie catchment area

Mackenzie catchment area

location Northwest Territories ( Canada )
River system Mackenzie River
origin Beaver Lake, arm of the Great Slave Lake
61 ° 11 ′ 37 ″  N , 117 ° 20 ′ 52 ″  W
Source height 156  m
muzzle Mackenzie Bay the Beaufort Sea , Arctic Ocean coordinates: 69 ° 11 '52 "  N , 135 ° 1' 19"  W 69 ° 11 '52 "  N , 135 ° 1' 19"  W
Mouth height m
Height difference 156 m
Bottom slope 0.08 ‰
length 1903 km (4241 km to source Finlay River)  
Catchment area 1,805,200 km²
Fort Providence
A Eo level discharge : 980,000 km²
MQ 1961/1997
Mq 1961/1997
4269 m³ / s
4.4 l / (s km²)
Discharge at the Fort Simpson
A Eo gauge : 1,270,000 km²
MQ 1938/2000
Mq 1938/2000
6769 m³ / s
5.3 l / (s km²)
Discharge at the Arctic Red River
A Eo gauge : 1,680,000 km²
MQ 1972/2000
Mq 1972/2000
8926 m³ / s
5.3 l / (s km²)
Drain MQ
9910 m³ / s
Left tributaries Kakisa River , Redknife River , Trout River , Liard River , North Nahanni River , Root River , Redstone River , Keele River , Carcajou River , Mountain River , Arctic Red River , Peel River
Right tributaries Horn River , Willowlake River , Blackwater River , Great Bear River
Communities Fort Providence , Fort Simpson , Wrigley , Tulita , Norman Wells , Fort Good Hope , Tsiigehtchic
Mackenzie River Delta

Mackenzie River Delta

The Mackenzie River is a 1903 km long stream in the Northwest Territories of Canada .

It was named after the Scotsman Alexander MacKenzie , who discovered it in 1789.

Discovery story

On June 3, 1789, Alexander MacKenzie set out with some local companions from Fort Chipewyan to explore a hoped-for connection to the Pacific Ocean . Their trip by canoe led the expedition over the Slave River to the Great Slave Lake . There they looked for an outflow of the water to the northwest. This place was found on June 29, the Mackenzie River, which begins here. The river initially runs from the lake in a (north) westerly direction, which increased the mood of the group. A few days later, on July 2nd, the expedition saw the mountain range of the Rocky Mountains looming in the west on the horizon and the river soon turned north. The fast current caused the group to reach the river delta in their canoes on July 10th , where Alexander Mackenzie recognized from the ebb and flow of the tide that he had arrived at the sea, but not the hoped-for Pacific. On July 16, the group started the way back upstream, which was much more difficult. The expedition members finally arrived back at their starting point Fort Chipewyan on September 10, 1789.


The Mackenzie begins at the western tip of the Great Slave Lake and flows in a north-westerly direction through the valleys between the Mackenzie Mountains , which is a northern continuation of the Rocky Mountains , and the Franklin Mountains , which form a low mountain range west of the Great Bear Lake , before it turns into a large one River delta, the Mackenzie Delta , flows into the Mackenzie Bay of the Beaufort Sea.

Catchment area

The catchment area of the Mackenzie covers 886,300 km² from the Great Slave Lake. Together with the entire river system mentioned below, which includes several source rivers, numerous small and three large lakes, it consists of a total of 1,743,058 km².


While the 1903 kilometer Mackenzie River only refers to the river area northwest of the Great Slave Lake, two rivers can be distinguished with regard to its source rivers, the total of 3568 (Athabasca-Slave-Mackenzie) and 4260 kilometers (Finlay-Peace-Slave-Mackenzie) long are:

Athabasca – slave – Mackenzie

The Athabasca – Slave – Mackenzie river course covers the entire course of the river from the source of the Athabasca River to the Beaufort Sea (Northwest Territories). The Athabasca rises on the border with British Columbia in southwest Alberta and flows through the last-mentioned province in a northeastern direction to flow into the western tip of Lake Athabasca . The Slave River flows from the same area of ​​the lake and flows north and flows into the Great Slave Lake after crossing the border with the Northwest Territories . This eventually flows west of the Mackenzie, which closes the 3568 kilometer long Athabasca – Slave – Mackenzie river running in a northwest direction on the Beaufort Sea.

Finlay – Peace – Slave – Mackenzie

The Finlay – Peace – Slave – Mackenzie river covers the entire course of the river from the source of the Finlay River to the Beaufort Sea. The Finlay rises in British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains mountain ranges Finlay , Sifton and Muskwa and flows into Williston Lake after around 90 kilometers . The Peace River flows from this and continues its way towards and through Alberta mainly to the east. It meanders through the high plains of the Great Plains and unites just a little north or below Lake Athabasca with the already mentioned Slave River. The latter emerges in Lake Athabasca from the aforementioned Athabasca. As with the former course of the river, the Slave River, which flows into the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, and the Mackenzie, which flows from this lake to the west, close the 4260 km long Finlay – Peace – Slave – Mackenzie River running in a north-westerly direction at the From the Beaufortsee.

Mackenzie River System

Mackenziedelta with its numerous lakes and river arms. In the foreground the East Channel deposited a “reversed delta” in a lake during the flood period.

The river system of the Mackenzie River (source and tributaries ) consists of the following rivers and lakes :


  • Athabasca River
  • Finlay River
  • Mackenzie River
  • Athabasca – Slave – Mackenzie - river course consisting of the Athabasca, Slave and Mackenzie Rivers
  • Finlay – Peace – Slave – Mackenzie - river course, which consists of Finlay, Peace, Slave and Mackenzie Rivers
  • Peace River
  • Slave river
  • Liard River


Places on Mackenzie

Web links

Commons : Mackenzie River  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Statistics Canada, Principal rivers and their tributaries
  2. ^ Mackenzie River at Fort Providence gauge - hydrographic data from R-ArcticNET
  3. ^ Mackenzie River at Fort Simpson gauge - hydrographic data from R-ArcticNET
  4. Mackenzie River at the Arctic Red River gauge - hydrographic data from R-ArcticNET
  5. ^ Jules Verne: Geography. The great seafarers of the 18th century , queried on July 10, 2009
  6. Urs Bitterli: The discovery of America: from Columbus to Alexander von Humboldt (=  Beck's series . Volume 1322 ). 2nd Edition. CH Beck, 1999, ISBN 3-406-42122-9 , ISSN  0932-5352 , p. 424–426 (544 p., Limited preview in Google Book search).