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Innuitian Mountains
Quttinirtaaq 1 1997-08-05.jpg
Highest point
PeakBarbeau Peak
Elevation2,616 m (8,583 ft)
Coordinates81°54′30″N 75°01′30″W / 81.90833°N 75.02500°W / 81.90833; -75.02500Coordinates: 81°54′30″N 75°01′30″W / 81.90833°N 75.02500°W / 81.90833; -75.02500
ProvincesNunavut and Northwest Territories
Parent rangeArctic Cordillera
Age of rockMesozoic
Type of rockIgneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary

The Innuitian Mountains are a mountain range in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, Canada.[1] They are part of the Arctic Cordillera and are largely unexplored, due to the hostile climate. They are named after the northern indigenous people, the Inuit.[1] In some locations the Innuitian Mountains measure over 2,500 m (8,202 ft) in height, and 1,290 km (802 mi) in length.[2] The highest point is Barbeau Peak on Ellesmere Island at 2,616 m (8,583 ft).[3] There are no trees and minimal wildlife in the Innuitian Mountains due to the harsh cold climate as well as being located north of the Arctic tree line. This region is mostly barren with vast areas of permafrost. There are metallic mineral resources including iron and zinc and fossil fuel resources such as coal.[4]

The Innuitian Mountains consist of numerous smaller mountain ranges. Some of these are the British Empire Range, the Princess Margaret Range and the United States Range, which is the world's second most Northern mountain range after the Challenger Mountains.

The Innuitian Mountains were first seen by European explorers in 1882 by the explorer Adolphus Greely from Lake Hazen.[citation needed]


Innuitian Region (in red)
Innuitian Region (in red)

The Innuitian Mountains' present form was shaped during the Innuitian orogeny in the middle of the Mesozoic Era when the North American Plate moved northward. The Innuitian Mountains contain igneous and metamorphic rocks, but for the most part are composed of sedimentary rock. They are younger than the Appalachians, so erosion has not yet rounded them significantly.

The Innuitian Mountains resemble the Appalachian Mountains in composition and contain similar types of minerals. The mineral resources have not been greatly exploited, due to the cost of developing such a remote region while cheaper alternatives are available elsewhere. The amount of resources in the Arctic Region is estimated to have 13% of all the world's oil and 30% of the world's gas reserves.[5][6][7][8]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Innuitian Mountains". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  2. ^ "Innuitian Region". Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  3. ^ "Barbeau Peak". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  4. ^ "Ellesmere Island". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Gautier, Donald (May 29, 2009). "Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas in the Arctic" (PDF). Science. 324 (5931): 1175–9. Bibcode:2009Sci...324.1175G. doi:10.1126/science.1169467. PMID 19478178.
  6. ^ "Arctic oil and natural gas resources - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  7. ^ Mouawad, Jad (July 24, 2008). "Arctic may hold as much as a fifth of undiscovered oil and gas reserves". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  8. ^ LePan, Nicholas (December 20, 2019). "Breaking the Ice: Mapping a Changing Arctic". Visual Capitalist. Retrieved August 18, 2020.