The Baffin Island (English Baffin Iceland, Inuktitut Qikiqtaaluk ) is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago -. With an area of 507,451 km ², about 1600 km long and 200-700 km wide, it is the fifth largest island in the world.
The area to the Canadian territory of Nunavut of Canada belonging Baffin Island is located north of the province of Quebec and west of Greenland. The closest distance to the Canadian mainland is against the Melville Peninsula, from Baffin Island is separated only by the narrow, at its narrowest point about 15 km wide Fury and Hecla - Street.
The northeast side of the island is mostly mountainous ( Arctic Cordillera ) and heavily glaciated. Located in the southeast Penny ice cap, a relic of the last ice age and part of the Auyuittuq National Park, rises to almost 2,100 meters above sea level. The West and the North West consist of glacially shaped lowland with the typical bumps abraded rock of the Canadian Shield and are glacial debris aprons and tundra covered.
The Baffin Island is very rugged and shows through its many coves, inlets, fjords and peninsulas an unmistakable outline: In the north the Brodeur Peninsula is characterized by a long-drawn Inlet, formed from Admiralty Inlet with attached Berlin Guet Inlet, on the one hand and a deep interior of the island urgent bay that Bernier Bay, on the other hand almost separately from the actual island. The mountainous southeast coast is marked by numerous fjords. In the southwest performs a similar narrow land bridge to Foxehalbinsel, and to the south the Meta Incognita Peninsula is shaped by the Frobisher Bay. The broad and deeply indented Cumberland Sound and the Nett Lake Illing also make the location in the Arctic Circle south center of the island to an isthmus.
The Baffin Island is part of the Nunavut region Qikiqtaaluk ( Baffin ). On the island live about 11,000 people, mostly Inuit, in six located on the shores of Inuit settlements. Iqaluit, the capital of the territory formed on 1 April 1999 Nunavut, located in the southeast. In just offshore small islands, two other settlements are: Cape Dorset in the southwest and Qikiqtarjuaq in the east.
Municipalities by population
On Baffin Island a variety of Arctic species is native: especially the polar bear, the Barren Land Caribou, the Arctic fox, Arctic hare and mountain hare, further stoats, weasels, ground squirrels ( ground squirrel ) and lemmings.
Many marine mammals live along the coasts of the island: the bowhead whale, the beluga ( Beluga ), the narwhal, various seal species such as ringed seals, bearded seals and walruses. Of fish coming into the fjords and bays especially lake trout.
During the spring and summer weeks from June to August, there is great abundance of breeding here sea and land birds, including birds of prey such as gyrfalcon and peregrine falcons, waterfowl such as Polar, Thayer and glaucous gulls, eider ducks and Canada geese, moreover, ptarmigan, Lapland Longspurs and snow buntings. All year include the common raven and the snowy owl to be found.
On former glacier reasons, soil particles have been formed, on which have also developed cushion of stems Loose campion, some stone crushing plants, Arctic poppy and mountain avens except lichens and mosses. In sandy corners grow tufts of grass and low shrubs such as dwarf birch, willow plants and heather plants. Section provided with the usual tundra soils bays and along the coast lines thrives almost the entire Arctic flora and also some rare species such as the white-flowering subspecies of dwarf willow; alone in Auyuittuq National Park 112 higher flowering plant species, 129 species of mosses and 97 different lichens were previously cataloged.
In the north of Baffin Island deposits of lead and zinc were discovered ( mining settlement Nanisivik ).