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ATHABASCA (Athiapescow), or Elk, a river and lake Of the
province of Alberta, Canada. The river rises in the Rocky
Mountains near the Yellowhead Pass in 52° 10′ N. and 117° 10′
W., and flows north-east as far as Athabasca Landing, and thence
north into Lake Athabasca. It is 740 m. long and has a number
of important tributaries, including the McLeod, Pembina, Lesser
Slave, which drains the lake of that name, and Clearwater.
Athabasca lake is 195 m. long, west to east, from 20 to 32 m. wide
has an area of 3085 sq. m., and is 690 ft. above the sea. It discharges
its waters northward by Slave river and the Mackenzie
system to the Arctic Ocean. On its north shore the country is
high and rocky; on the south, sandy and barren. Shallow
draught steamers navigate the lake and river, and Lesser
Slave lake and river, with one interruption—at Grand Rapids
near the mouth of the Clearwater river.
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