Athabasca Oil Sands Clustered Around Athabasca River, Canada
The Athabasca River runs down the left side of this orthorectified image of eastern Alberta, Canada. The black and white areas by the eastern and western banks of the river are the Athabasca Oil Sands.
Oil sands, also known as tar sands, are large deposits of extremely heavy, semi-solid crude oil mixed with silica sand, clay minerals and water (this mix is known as bitumen).
Damage to the boreal forest near the sands is occurring as the area is deforested in order to extract oil from the tar sands. Click here for a previous article including photographs of this destruction.