Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Geology Picture of the Week, April 30-May 7, 2005: Frigid Sand Dunes
Saskatchewan Aquatic Insects Page ^

Posted on 05/01/2006 12:47:20 PM PDT by cogitator

This started as a question to myself: "I wonder if there are sand dunes in northern climates?" Googling on "sand dunes" + Canada revealed another heretofore unknown (at least to me) geological location -- Athabasca Sand Dunes in Saskatchewan. I've heard of Athabasca before in association with tar sands, but this is a the first time I'd heard of a provincial Athabasca Sand Dunes Park. The Web site says that is only accessible by air. So I'm guessing not a lot of people have been there or visit there.

Since this is very new to me and perhaps others, first a map to locate them:

And three views of the dunes are below. Underneath the pictures (in the first comment) is a description of them. The linked page also describes them, and notes that the northern shore of the lake is contaminated by now-ceased uranium mining activities.

The last two are from this collection:

Photographs of Lake Athabasca and L. Athabasca Sand Dunes

TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Education; Outdoors; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: athabasca; canada; cold; dunes; forest; lake; north; oilsands; park; sand; saskatchewan; tarpits; uranium
The Athabasca Sand Dunes have been called Canada's most unlikely landscape. The dunes are located in Northern Saskatchewan, just south of the Northwest Territory's border and they are the largest dune complex in Canada, and the most northerly dune complex in the world.

Unlike most dunes, which are associated with deserts, the Athabasca Dunes are in wetland and boreal forest ecosystems, and hence are extraordinarily biologically diverse. The dunes are home to over 300 plant species of which 42 are rare and 10 are endemic (found nowhere else). The dunes are also one of Canada's best bird watching areas, being home to 30 species of wood warblers (the champagne of songbirds) alone. The dunes are so unique that the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park was formed in 1996 that protected some, but not all, areas. Scientists from around the world study the dunes' ecological complexity.

Formed by glaciers, which ground the local Athabasca Sandstone to powder, the dunes began their life as a delta in a prehistoric giant freshwater lake. Today, the remnants of Lake Athabasca border the edge of the 100 km long dunes, providing a recreational paradise for adventurous travelers. Access to the dunes is not easy. No roads exist in this remote land of boreal forests growing on sphagnum wetlands. Access is easiest by floatplane that can be chartered from Stony Rapids, SK, 200 km distant. Several remote wilderness lodges also exist in the vicinity of the dunes.

1 posted on 05/01/2006 12:47:31 PM PDT by cogitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2Trievers; headsonpikes; Pokey78; Lil'freeper; epsjr; sauropod; kayak; Miss Marple; CPT Clay; ...

** ping **

2 posted on 05/01/2006 12:48:40 PM PDT by cogitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

You have aided my dull brain greatly. I was messing around with Google Earth the other day and couldn't figure out what these were (I had the Google Community, etc. off - trying to identify places without help is a fun use of the service).

3 posted on 05/01/2006 1:00:45 PM PDT by JimSEA (America cannot have an exit strategy from the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JimSEA

Try this:

Google earth on your home with greatest magnification. then try to figure out when the picture was taken.

Using some clues I found on the picture I fugured out that:
The picture was taken on a Tuesday (the trash cans were on the street)
The picture was taken probably 9-10 am. (the shadows were pointing west)
The picture was taken over 2 years ago (A truck in my driveway was sold 2 Januarys ago.)
The picture was taken the week before a holiday (my neighbor takes his RV out and parks it to reserve a spot on holiday weekends, and his RV is gone).

With all of the above, I'm betting it was taken right around 1 july 2002 or 2003.

4 posted on 05/01/2006 3:16:53 PM PDT by Lokibob (Spelling and typos are copyrighted. Please do not use.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

I don't often comment on these threads ... usually because I am speechless with awe ... but I really appreciate them. The diversity on this ol' planet is simply amazing and speaks to the mightiness of Almighty God, the Creator of all this splendor.

5 posted on 05/01/2006 4:37:26 PM PDT by kayak (Praying for MozartLover's son, Jemian's son, all our military, and our President every day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lokibob
I got lucky with our house in Chiang Mai, Thailand since the house behind us was completed in December 2004 and we added a wash room to the rear of the house in May 2005. The photo has a house behind us instead of a rice field but no wash room. The landscape is very green so it was taken before March (dry season). That is a close as I could get although the light traffic is strange as the shadows (taking your clue) indicate afternoon.

Great fun, I am anxious for greater coverage as there is not yet detail on a lot of spots I'm interested in. The mine I worked at in San Manuel, AZ is partially there (mine haulage and man shafts as well as pit an part of the cave area), however so much of interest in that state isn't there yet.

6 posted on 05/01/2006 4:52:24 PM PDT by JimSEA (America cannot have an exit strategy from the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson