Athabasca River Tree Line

Remnant ice seen on the Athabasca River, AB (Canada) after passage of an ice run, April 20, 2007

I like this picture because it illustrates the sharp delineation between river and forest that is typical of the Athabasca River upstream of Fort McMurray, Alberta.  Unlike most rivers, which have smaller brush and bush along the banks – this river has no small trees – it’s either ‘nothing’ or ‘big trees’.  That’s because of the dramatic ice runs that strip the banks bare every spring.  As you look at the picture, just imagine the amount of ice it would take to get up to the base of those trees.  Clearly this particular event was actually fairly small compared to that.  Still the ice you see stranded here was 2 to 3 m thick. What a river!

(photo by Faye Hicks, UofA River Ice Group: Nikon E7600, f/4.8,  ISO-50, FL 8mm, 1/171 sec. exposure)


About Faye Hicks

I am a professor emeritus, civil engineer, animal lover and writer.
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