Lying north of mainland Canada, the Arctic Archipelago consists of 94 major islands (greater than 130 km2) and 36,469 minor islands covering a total of 1.4 million km2. Apart from Greenland, which is almost entirely ice covered, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago forms the world's largest High Arctic land area.
Circulation is generally anticlockwise; off Greenland, relatively warm, salty water moves north, while along Baffin Island, cold, fresher water originating from the Arctic Ocean flows south. Icebergs, formed by calving off the Greenland glaciers, appear year-round, but are most numerous in August.
Amadjuak Lake, 3115 km2, elevation 113 m, is one of 2 lakes situated in the Great Plain of the Koukdjuak in south-central Baffin Island. This lower-lying area only emerged recently (in geological terms) from beneath the waters of Foxe Basin. Amadjuak Lake is the third-largest in Nunavut.
The Haida Gwaii include about 150 islands in a scimitar-shaped archipelago 250 km long. Graham and Moresby Islands comprise the bulk of the 10 000 km2 area. Separated by 48-140 km of open water (Hecate Strait) from the mainland islands, the Haida Gwaii are among the most isolated islands in Canada.
The project was undertaken by a subsidiary of British Newfoundland Corp Ltd (Brinco), and was at the time the largest civil engineering project ever undertaken in North America. Eighty strategically placed dikes pooled the vast waters of the Labrador Plateau in the Smallwood Reservoir.