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The Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is an
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as ...

archipelago
lying to the north of the Canadian continental mainland, excluding
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
(an autonomous territory of Denmark). Situated in the northern extremity of North America and covering about , this group of 36,563 islands in the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
comprises much of the territory of
Northern Canada Northern Canada, colloquially the North or the Territories, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to the three territories of Canada The provinces and territories of ...

Northern Canada
—most of
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
, the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
and
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
. The archipelago is showing some
effects of climate change The effects of climate change span the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. They also include the economic and social changes which stem from living in a warmer world. Human-caused climate change is one of the threats to susta ...
, with some computer estimates determining that melting there will contribute to the
rise in sea levels
rise in sea levels
by 2100.


History

British claims on the islands, the
British Arctic Territories The British Arctic territories, now known as the Arctic Archipelago The Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a cha ...
, were based on the explorations in the 1570s by
Martin Frobisher Sir Martin Frobisher (; c. 1535 – 22 November 1594) was an England, English sailor, seaman and privateer who made three voyages to the New World looking for the North-west Passage. He probably sighted Resolution Island (Nunavut), Resolution ...

Martin Frobisher
. Canadian sovereignty was originally (1870–80) only over island portions that drained into
Foxe Basin Foxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin Image:Oceanic basin.svg, 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geography, geographic features In hydrology, an oceanic basin may be anywhere on Earth that is covered b ...
,
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
and
Hudson Strait Hudson Strait (french: Détroit d'Hudson) links the Atlantic Ocean and Labrador Sea The Labrador Sea (French: ''mer du Labrador'', Danish: ''Labradorhavet'') is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland ...
. Canadian sovereignty over the islands was established by 1880 when Britain transferred them to Canada. The
District of Franklin The District of Franklin was a regional administrative district of Canada's Northwest Territories. The district consisted of the Canadian high Canadian Arctic islands, Arctic Islands, notably Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island, and Victoria Island ...
– established in 1895 – comprised almost all of the archipelago. The district was dissolved upon the creation of Nunavut in 1999. Canada claims all the waterways of the
Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage (NWP) is the Sea lane, sea route between the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archi ...

Northwest Passage
as
Canadian Internal Waters Canadian Internal Waters is a Canada, Canadian term for the waters "on the landward side of the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada." Definition The baselines are defined as "the low-water line along the coast or on a low-tide elevation that ...
; however, the United States and most other maritime countries view these as
international waters The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water (or their drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common ou ...

international waters
. Disagreement over the passages' status has raised Canadian concerns about environmental enforcement, national security, and general sovereignty. East of
Ellesmere Island Ellesmere Island ( iu, script=Latn, Umingmak Nuna, lit=land of muskoxen; french: Île d'Ellesmere) is Canada's northernmost and List of Canadian islands by area, third largest island, and the List of islands by area, tenth largest in the world. ...

Ellesmere Island
, in the
Nares Strait , other_name = , image = Map indicating Nares Strait.png , alt = , caption = Nares Strait (boxed) is between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. , image_bathymetry = , alt_bathymetry ...
, lies
Hans Island Hans Island ( kl, Tartupaluk; iu, ᑕᕐᑐᐸᓗᒃ (Tartupaluk); french: Île Hans ; da, Hans Ø) is a barren uninhabited island measuring , long and wide, in the centre of the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait—the strait that separates ...
, ownership of which is currently contested between Canada and Denmark.


Geography

The archipelago extends some longitudinally and from the mainland to
Cape Columbia 300px, Map of Cape Columbia and the Lincoln Sea. Cape Columbia is the northernmost point of land of Canada, located on Ellesmere Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut. It marks the westernmost coastal point of Lincoln Sea in the Arctic Ocea ...
, the northernmost point on Ellesmere Island. It is bounded on the west by the
Beaufort Sea The Beaufort Sea (; french: Mer de Beaufort) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface ...

Beaufort Sea
; on the northwest by the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
; on the east by Greenland,
Baffin Bay Baffin Bay (Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , Inuktitut syllabics, syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken in all areas north of the ...
and
Davis Strait Davis Strait (french: Détroit de Davis) is a northern arm of the Atlantic Ocean that lies north of the Labrador Sea. It lies between mid-western Greenland and Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. To the north is Baffin Bay. The strait was named for ...
; and on the south by
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
and the Canadian mainland. The various islands are separated from each other and the continental mainland by a series of waterways collectively known as the
Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage (NWP) is the Sea lane, sea route between the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archi ...

Northwest Passage
. Two large peninsulas, Boothia and Melville, extend northward from the mainland. The archipelago consists of 36,563 islands, of which 94 are classified as major islands, being larger than , and cover a total area of .Arctic Archipelago
/ref> The islands of the archipelago over , in order of descending area, are: * NT =
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
, NU =
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
After Greenland, the archipelago is the world's largest high-Arctic land area. The climate of the islands is
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Danish Realm, ...
, and the terrain consists of
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
except in mountainous regions. Most of the islands are uninhabited; human settlement is extremely thin and scattered, being mainly coastal
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
settlements on the southern islands.


Map with links to islands


Islands not on map

* Beechey *
Duke of York Duke of York is a title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates ...
* East Pen Island *
Gateshead Gateshead () is a large town in North East England and principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, situated on the southern bank of the River Tyne. It is connected to Newcastle upon Tyne by seven bridges. The town is known for ...
* Haig-Thomas * Hans *
Herschel Island Herschel Island (french: Île d'Herschel; Inuit languages, Inuit: ''Qikiqtaruk'') is an island in the Beaufort Sea (part of the Arctic Ocean), which lies off the coast of Yukon in Canada, of which it is administratively a part. It is Yukon's on ...
* Killiniq *
Jenny Lind Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind (6 October 18202 November 1887) was a Swedish opera singer, often called the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and a ...
*
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...
* * Skraeling * Trodeley *
Weston Weston may refer to: Places Australia * Weston, Australian Capital Territory, a suburb of Canberra * Weston, New South Wales * Weston Creek, a residential district of Canberra * Weston Park, Canberra, a park Canada * Weston, Nova Scotia * W ...


Mapping

* King Christian Island, * Borden Island, * Lougheed Island, * Brock Island, * Mackenzie King Island, * Helena Island, * Cameron Island, * Emerald Isle, * Prince Patrick Island, * Île Vanier, * Eglinton Island, * Alexander Island, * Bathurst Island, * Melville Island, * Byam Martin Island, * Banks Island, * Stefansson Island, * Russell Island, * Prince of Wales Island, * Prescott Island, * Somerset Island, * Victoria Island, * King William Island, * Matty Island, * Wales Island, * Belcher Islands, * Long Island, * Akimiski Island, * Charlton Island, * Ellesmere Island, * Meighen Island, * Axel Heiberg Island, * Ellef Ringnes Island, * Amund Ringnes Island, * Cornwall Island, * Graham Island, * North Kent Island, * Baillie-Hamilton Island, * Little Cornwallis Island, * Cornwallis Island, * Devon Island, * Bylot Island, * Baffin Island, * Jens Munk Island, * Koch Island, * Bray Island, * Rowley Island, * Foley Island, * Air Force Island, * Prince Charles Island, * Vansittart Island, * White Island, * Southampton Island, * Resolution Island, * Loks Land Island, * Akpatok Island, * Big Island, * Salisbury Island, * Nottingham Island, * Mansel Island, * Coats Island, * Beechey Island, * Duke of York Archipelago, * East Pen Island, * Gateshead Island, * Haig-Thomas Island, * Hans Island, * Herschel Island, * Killiniq Island, * Jenny Lind Island, * Ottawa Islands, * Prince Leopold Island, * Skraeling Island, * Trodely Island, * Weston Island,


See also

*
List of Canadian islands by area This is a list of Canadian islands as ordered by area. It includes all islands with an area greater than . Islands over 1,000 km² See also *List of islands of Canada This is an incomplete list of islands of Canada. Arctic islands Queen Eli ...
*
List of islands of Canada This is an incomplete list of islands of Canada. Arctic islands Queen Elizabeth Islands *Adams Island (Nunavut), Adams Island *Alexander Island (Nunavut), Alexander Island *Baillie-Hamilton Island *Bathurst Island (Canada), Bathurst Island *Bord ...


References


Further reading

* Aiken, S.G., M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, et al. ''Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval'' Ottawa: NRC Research Press; Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Nature, 2007. . * Aiken, S. G., Laurie Lynn Consaul, and M. J. Dallwitz. ''Grasses of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Ottawa: Research Division, Canadian Museum of Nature, 1995. * * Bouchard, Giselle. ''Freshwater Diatom Biogeography of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Ottawa:
Library and Archives Canada Library and Archives Canada (LAC; french: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal syst ...
, 2005. * Brown, Roger James Evan. ''Permafrost in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. National Research Council of Canada, Division of Building Research, 1972. * Cota GF, LW Cooper, DA Darby, and IL Larsen. 2006. "Unexpectedly High Radioactivity Burdens in Ice-Rafted Sediments from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago". ''The Science of the Total Environment''. 366, no. 1: 253–61. * Dunphy, Michael. ''Validation of a modelling system for tides in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Canadian technical report of hydrography and ocean sciences, 243. Dartmouth, N.S.: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2005. * * Hamilton, Paul B., Konrad Gajewski, David E. Atkinson, and David R.S. Lean. 2001. "Physical and Chemical Limnology of 204 Lakes from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago". ''Hydrobiologia''. 457, no. 1/3: 133–148. * Mi︠a︡rss, Tiĭu, Mark V. H. Wilson, and R. Thorsteinsson. ''Silurian and Lower Devonian Thelodonts and Putative Chondrichthyans from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Special papers in palaeontology, no. 75. London: Palaeontological Association, 2006. * Michel, C Ingram, R G, and L R Harris. 2006. "Variability in Oceanographic and Ecological Processes in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago". ''Progress in Oceanography''. 71, no. 2: 379. * Porsild, A.E. ''The Vascular Plants of the Western Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Ottawa: E. Cloutier, Queen's printer, 1955. * Rae, R. W. ''Climate of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Toronto: Canada Dept. of Transport, 1951. * Thorsteinsson, R., and Ulrich Mayr. ''The Sedimentary Rocks of Devon Island, Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Ottawa, Canada: Geological Survey of Canada, 1987. * Van der Baaren, Augustine, and S. J. Prinsenberg. ''Geostrophic transport estimates from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago''. Dartmouth, N.S.: Ocean Sciences Division, Maritimes Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, 2002. {{Use dmy dates, date=August 2019 Archipelagoes of Canada Archipelagoes of the Arctic Ocean Northern Canada Regions of the Arctic