The Innuitian Mountains


Picture of the Innuitian Mountains

Intro: Region and Landform

The Innuitian Mountains are a mountain range in Canada's Arctic territories of Nunavut and Northwest Territories. They are largely un explored, due to the hostile climate. In some locations, the Innuitian Mountains measure over 2,500 m in height and 1,920 km in length. There are numerous smaller mountain ranges in the main Innuitian Mountain Range. Most of this region is a desert, frozen and lifeless impacts for the ice age, the climate is almost always cold, even in July. The mountains are pretty steep.  Most of the land is made of up rock and ice. The Innuitian mountains also resemble the Appalachians in composition, many people get them mixed up, but the Innuitian mountains are relatively younger and so erosion hasn't had time to reduce them to rounded hills as the Appalachians.

Map of location of Innuitian Mountains

Map of Nunavut With major cities


The Innuitian Mountains is located in the Arctic region. Has extremely cold winters,and short cool summers (50-60 days). This region is mostly barren and vast areas mainly have permafrost. The mountains are buried by ice sheets. The Innuitian Region is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean. However, there are waterways that are nearby, such as Parry Channel and Baffin Bay. It is too cold for most plants and animals, with temperatures sometimes averaging -30 degrees to -35 degrees Celsius in January. Its still pretty cold during the month of July.

Soil and Vegetation

The soil type in the Innuitian Mountains is tundra soil. The tundra is the most northerly vegetation region of Canada. It is located above the tree line, which marks the northern boundary of tree growth. Trees do not grow in the tundra because the climate is too cold and dry. Most of the tundra has permafrost, or permanently frozen ground. Only the top meter or so of permafrost, known as the active layer, thaws during the short summer and allows some plants to grow. These plant include, Labrador Tea, Diamond Leaf Willow, Mosses, Lichens and various species of very small shrubs. These plants have shallow root systems, which is the one of the main reasons that they can grow in the tundra soil. The active layer is free from ice for about 50-90 days. Even though the soil prevents the plants from growing, there are still almost 1700 different species of plants. Water cannot drain downward, so the surface remains water-logged. Tundra Plants boom and mature very quickly. There is a small amount of humus in the active layer which is water logged. The lack of vegetation results limits the variety of wild life and their population. This land only supports a thin layer of vegetation or no vegetation at all in this high arctic region.  The innuitian mountains does not have much wildlife. Animals in this region are limited, only animals which can live in cold arctic areas live here.

Geology: Rock Types

The innuitian mountains are mainly composed of sedimentary rock, but some parts of it are composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks as well. The Innuitian mountains were formed during the Mesozoic/middle era, when the North American plate split from the European and African plate and collided on the opposite coast with the Pacific plate. The Mesozoic Era is the 'age of the dinosaurs' that lasted almost 180 million years from approximately 250 to 65 million years ago.

Human Activities

The Innuitian mountains has great tourist attractions. Two tourist attractions, I chose are Quttinirpaaq National Park Of Canada and Sirmilik National Park Of Canada. First of all, Quttinirpaaq Park. Hiking & Backpacking. Listening for whispers from the land, being patient and looking for tracks, visitors may be rewarded by unique wildlife encounters. Arctic wolves, arctic hares, muskoxen, Peary caribou and ptarmigan — the only resident bird that winters here — may all be spotted.  Tanquary Fiord and Lake Hazen are the most popular access points into the park. Ski-Touring, Mountaineering & Climbing& Canoeing. As might be expected in a park of this size, Quttinirpaaq offers thousands of miles of skiing terrain for those with a suitably high level of skill and experience. Although skiers won't get powder snow ‘face-shots,’ in Quttinirpaaq, they won’t be skiing in anyone else's tracks either! The snow here is windblown and shallow, but the small number of skiing groups who venture into Quttinirpaaq can choose from a multitude of breathtaking routes, traverses and climbs without seeing any other people. Many people also like to canoe and enjoy the view. Second of all, Sirmilik Park. Birdwatching. Bylot Island is a nesting area for over 40 species of migratory birds, including murres, kittiwakes and fulmars. The wetlands provide sanctuary for the world's largest population of greater snow geese in late summer, when over 50,000 birds nest here. Many visitors enjoy birdwatching from their kayaks, small powerboats and from the decks of passing cruise ships! Floe Edge Tours. Floe edges develop in places where currents keep sea ice from reforming once it starts to break apart in the spring. They provide breathing areas for whales and seals, which become places to feed for polar bears and arctic birds. Visiting the floe edge will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see narwhals and beluga whales breach, or to watch a polar bear hunting for seals. Both of these places also have great history! These places are for all ages and sizes. Everybody will have something fun to do!

Sirmilik National Park Of Canada

Influence Of Climate change

There is a lot of climate change predicted for the future for the Innuitian mountains. In the future climate warming is predicted, this will cause increased plant growth, northward movement of the treeline will decline in snow cover and the thickness and extent of permafrost, reduced browse for caribou, decreased water availability; which increases fires. There will be little vegetation because of Co2. The warming will result in unstable soils and settlement of the ground surface. Thaw flows and active layer detachments can result from warmer summer temperatures and heavy precipitation events.  Increase in ground temperature will drastically affect permafrost (melting). Melting of permafrost makes the land weaker, structural integrity decreases. Renewable energy will be used. Glacier dammed lakes can cause flooding, damaging infrastructure. There will be a great impact on Polar bears a longer ice free period will make it harder for bears to live and lack of food could increase bears in human communities. Glacier are melting  and sea levels are rising, the more the sea levels rise the more extreme weather and more storm waves occur. Sea ice is a fact of life, it can affect shipping and the resupply of isolated communities, however many northern depend on its presence such as travelling, hunting and fishing.

Risk of Natural Disasters

In Nunavut, blizzards are a risk as well as flooding, avalanches, earthquakes and landslides. Also, in addition to natural disasters there are other types of risks, such as blackouts, industrial or transportation accidents. Earthquakes are caused when the earth's crust is composed of many large and small segments called tectonic plates. These plates are in constant slow movement. With these movements come small tremors and earthquakes (sudden releases of energy). Small earthquakes, Ceiling lights may move and some minor rattling of objects may occur in your home. You may feel a slight quiver under your feet if you are outside. If you are close to its source, you may hear a loud bang followed by shaking. Larger earthquakes, The ground or floor will move, perhaps violently. Whether far away or close to the source, you will probably feel shaking followed by a rolling motion, much like being at sea. If you are far away from the source, you might see swaying buildings or hear a roaring sound. Floods can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or man-made dam. An avalanche occurs when a layer of snow collapses and slides downhill. Avalanches are caused by four factors: a steep slope, snow cover, a weak layer in the snow cover and a trigger. Roads can be blocked with avalanches so you need to drive safely. A landslide is any type of slope failure or downward movement of rock and/or sediment. All you can do is pay attention and stay away from any sudden natural hazards like these.

The Innuitian Mountains is a great place for tourist attractions!

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