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The Athabasca Plain Subregion

Sandy BeachThe Athabasca Plain Subregion is characterized by generally low relief with elevations of 230-640 metres. Fluvial and Aeolian deposits predominate in the eastern part, till and glaciofluvial deposits in the west. Most deposits are sandy and derived from the Athabasca sandstone. Extensive stretches of sandy beach occur along Lake Athabasca, including a sand spit that juts three kilometres into the lake at Sand Point. Distinctive landscape features include large areas of kame and kettle, and active dunes. The kames, at over 60 metres in height, are among the largest in the world. A small but significant area of crag and tail occurs in the lee of resistant granite outcrops that protected the till during glacial movement.

The dune fields are mainly parabolic dunes with minor amounts of fish-hook, transverse and paleodunes. The active dune system is the largest in Alberta. The paleodunes are unique in Alberta and are aligned opposite to other dunes in the province. Also, linear ridges of similar size are not known from any other place in Alberta. Numerous lakes dot the landscape in this portion of the Subregion. Rivers are small and uncommon. Most streams are slow-moving and of the "muskeg" type.

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