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Kuparuk River facts for kids

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Kuparuk River
Kuparuk River Breakup.jpg
Spring ice breakup in 2011
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Location of the mouth of the Kuparuk River in Alaska
Native name Kuukpaaġruk
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough North Slope
Physical characteristics
Main source Brooks Range
2,900 ft (880 m)
68°32′15″N 149°14′46″W / 68.53750°N 149.24611°W / 68.53750; -149.24611
River mouth Gwydyr Bay, Beaufort Sea
8 miles (13 km) southeast of Beechey Point
0 ft (0 m)
70°25′28″N 148°52′15″W / 70.42444°N 148.87083°W / 70.42444; -148.87083
Length 200 mi (320 km)
Basin features
Basin size 3,130 sq mi (8,100 km2)

The Kuparuk River (Iñupiaq: Kuukpaaġruk) is a river in Alaska's North Slope that enters a bay on the Beaufort Sea between Beechey Point and Prudhoe Bay. The north-flowing river is about 200 miles (320 km) long, and its delta is about 3 miles (5 km) wide. Its Eskimo name appeared on a map drawn in 1901 by a prospector who spelled it Koopowra, which he translated as Big River. Kuukpaaġruk can be translated to a "smaller version of a big river".

Kuparuk Mound, a 30-foot (9.1 m) pingo about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Beechey Point, is named after the river. Arctic explorer Ernest de Koven Leffingwell named the mound, which he used as a triangulation station in 1911.

The Kuparuk River oil field, the second largest oil field in North America, is centered about 40 miles (64 km) west of Prudhoe Bay. Discovered in 1969, it covers about 500 square miles (1,300 km2).

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