Melville Island, 42 149 km2
, is the fourth-largest of the QUEEN ELIZABETH ISLANDS
. The Northwest Territories-Nunavut boundary splits the island in half. Its western half, which is in the Northwest Territories, is hilly, with elevations reaching 776 m, and sustains small ice fields. The eastern half, which is part of Nunavut, is a rolling plateau with elevations generally below 300 m. Vegetation is scant, but well-vegetated broad valleys and coastal flatlands support a relatively high muskoxen population. Caribou numbers are low, owing to recent adverse climatic events. The island was discovered in 1819 by Sir William PARRY
, who named it after Viscount Melville, first lord of the Admiralty. Promising natural-gas and oil deposits have been found on and around the island.
Melville Island, Satellite Image
This satellite photo shows different ice formations around Melville Island, NWT. The dark areas are first-year ice, the lighter multilayered ice. The jagged fracture lines are also visible (courtesy Canada Centre for Remote Sensing).
Links to Other Sites
Government of Nunavut
Your source for information about Government of Nunavut programs, regional tourism and local business opportunities. Also check out the links to Inuktitut language resources.
History of Oil and Gas in the NWT
Historical overview of petroleum exploration in the Northwest Territories. Focuses on oil activity in the Norman Wells region, the Mackenzie Delta, the Beaufort Sea, and the Liard Plateau. Also mentions the Canol agreement signed by US and Canada during World War II. A Government of the Northwest Territories website.