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Spring and early summer can be dynamic times in Canada, with ice retreating, soil thawing, wildfires and agricultural fires sparking, and rivers swelling.

On June 28, 2013, NASA’s Aqua satellite captured just about all of these dynamic processes at work at the same time around James Bay in western Quebec.

Wildfires raged east of the bay, sending thick plumes of smoke billowing west. Melting sea ice—some of it stained by river sediment and perhaps falling ash—swirled to the north. And sediment and organic matter spilled into James Bay from numerous rivers and colored it dark brown.

Image courtesy of NASA.

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