Skip To Content

Jackson Lake

View Larger Map


Lakeland County AB

Athabasca River, Alberta

Year: 2001

The Athabasca is the longest and largest river in Alberta, and one of the few in Western North America unaltered by human impoundment. The River begins and ends at two of the most spectacular and significant natural features in the world. It rises in the Columbia Icefield, the hydrological apex of North America, and finally empties into Lake Athabasca and the 4100 square kilometre Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world. The river was once a major shipping artery for goods into Canada's north and west, and the small town of Athabasca Landing commemorates that energetic time. The river travels through the massive oil sands north of Fort McMurray, and passes an area of migrating sand dunes that may be the largest and most northerly dune complexes in North America.

Athabasca: A river changes; Fort Chipewyan's elders recall when water was pure

Author(s): Brooymans, H.

Year: 2010

[...] it affected flows in the Peace River. ***** The Journal's Hanneke Brooymans and Ryan Jackson went to Fort Chipewyan to learn more about water concerns in the shadow of industrial development. A 2009 Alberta Cancer Board report showed there are 30 per cent more cancers than expected in the community, but said the small population cast doubt on the statistical significance of the numbers.

Heavy metal dynamics in the Athabasca River: Sediment concentrations prior to major Alberta oil sands development

Author(s): Allan, R. J., & Jackson T.

Year: 1977

Exploitation of the bituminous sands may elevate heavy metal levels in the sediments of drainage systems of the AOSERP area via waterborne or airborne emissions. One hundred and six dredged sediments and twenty-four sediment cores were collected from the Athabasca River system from just above Fort McMurray to the confluence of Riviere des Rochers with the Slave River. A preliminary sample suite representing all of the drainage units and textural variations was selected for detailed analyses by several total and partial extraction techniques. The objective was to document the natural heavy metal geochemistry of the sediment and to assess cultural influences if any on concentrations. These preliminary analyses indicate that absolute concentrations are low when compared to data for polluted sediments or even for sediments from different natural geological terrains elsewhere. Concentration variations appear to be functions of natural sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical controls. Highest heavy metal concentrations occurred in the finest grained sediments from Lake Athabasca. Vanadium, the heavy metal most commonly associated with the oil sands, appeared to be present in the drainage sediments in a stable organic compound, which was unextractable by hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, or benzene/mcthanol. Its occurrence in the drainage sediment may be in the same general form as in the original bituminous oil sands. If so, it appears to be unaffected by chemical or bacterial degradation in the bottom sediment. Recommendations for further work, which will require additional funding, are in decreasing order of priority: x-ray diffraction of selected sediments; organic extraction and fractionation of selected sediments; analyses of selected sediment cores; determination of sedimentation rates for selected cores; completion of analyses of the dredged sample suite; analyses of lake sediments from lakes off the mainstream system; detailed grid sediment sampling immediately downstream from extraction plant effluents; collection of a suspended sediment sample suite; and analyses of oil slicks (air-water interface).

Lakeland sub-regional integrated resource plan

Year: 1985

[Anonymous] (1985).  Lakeland sub-regional integrated resource plan. ENR Technical Report T/1 No. 17, 73.