- Athabasca River
River, western central Canada.A tributary of the Mackenzie River in Alberta, it rises in the Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park, and flows northeast and north 765 mi (1,231 km) into Lake Athabasca. Its chief tributaries are the Pembina, Lesser Slave, and La Biche rivers. Extensive petroleum deposits lie in oil-impregnated sands (Athabasca Tar Sands) along a 70-mi (113-km) stretch of the river.
* * *river in northern Alberta, Canada, forming the southernmost part of the Mackenzie River system. From its source in the Columbia Icefield (Canadian Rocky Mountains) near the Continental Divide, the river flows through Jasper National Park, site of the spectacular Athabasca Falls, northeastward across Alberta to its mouth and delta on Lake Athabasca. Its 765-mi (1,231-km) course is broken by rapids, so that navigation is limited above Fort McMurray (a major rail terminus and port serving the Mackenzie District). Chief tributaries include the McLeod, Pembina, Lesser Slave, and Clearwater rivers. One of the world's richest petroleum deposits lies in oil-impregnated sands (known as the Athabasca tar sands) along a 70-mi stretch of the river near Fort McMurray.
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