The Arctic Islands
R. L. CHRISTIE, lnst. of Sedimentary & Petroleum Geology, Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, Alta
THE ISLANDS lying north of the Canadian mainland, and the large Boothia and Melville peninsulas, form one of the great archipelagos of the world; this sparsely vegetated and nearly unpeopled region extends about 1,500 miles east to west and 1,200 miles from the mainland to the northern tip of the northernmost island. Sea access to most of the islands is restricted by ice to the summer season, and the 'polar pack' ice of the Arctic Ocean presses the year round against the northwest margin of the archipelago. Although the region is remote, the accessibility has greatly increased through a network of weather stations, airfields and air routes connecting with southern centres.
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