Arctic Environments/Inland Waters Lakes
There are more than one million lakes in the Canadian Arctic. Although much of the Arctic mainland is littered with them, lakes are less common on the Arctic Islands.
These lakes are far from uniform – they vary in surface area, depth, water chemistry, and even in their mode of origin. Just ten Arctic lakes are giants, with surface areas in excess of 1000 km2. Another 188 lakes have an area greater than 100 km2, but most of the others are far smaller. Arctic lakes vary in depth from just a few metres to more than 400 m. They also differ widely in chemistry – the water in some lakes is saltier than the sea, but in others it is as pure as distilled water. Browse the side menu to learn more about the six major types of lakes in the Arctic. We've also singled out ten lakes for special attention, mainly because of their large size or ecological importance.