cordillera.gifArctic Cordillera


The Arctic Cordillera is the north-eastern coast of Nunavut and Labrador. Ellesmere and Baffin Islands are located inside its boundaries.


Being the northern most ecozone in Canada, the Arctic Cordillera is also one of the coldest ecozones. Excluding June through August, the temperature almost never rises above freezing. In addition to the cold temperatures, the average amount of precipitation is around 100 mm a year. Most of this precipitation comes down in an Orographic style. This meaning that as the cloud rises over the vast mountains, the air gets cooler, and when the cloud hits the dew point, it starts precipitating. On the clouds way down it is warm and dry. Most of this precipitation comes from the Maritime Pacific air mass.

Vegetation and Soil

Under the harsh winds and freezing cold temperatures, plants have a hard time grow. Though three-quarters of the ecozone is bare rock, plants still manage to grow. These plants are usually tiny and grow in thick mats that are insulated to keep them warm, other methods include growing thick hairs to stay warm. The plants are able to grow because of their adaptive ways and because of cryosolic soil, soil that contains permanently frozen materials. Some plants include arctic black spruce, arctic willow, cottongrass, kobresia, moss species, wood rush, wire rush, purple saxifrage, Dryas species, sedges, Diapensia, arctic poppy, mountain avens, mountain sorrel, river beauty, moss campion, bilberry, and arctic white heather.


Due to the extreme cold reptiles and amphibians are unable to inhabit this ecosystem. Though some, insects are rare. Since plants in the area, certain herbivores are able to inhabit this zone; arctic hare, collared lemming and muskoxen are an example. With prey wandering, carnivores follow. These vary in size, large (polar bears and arctic wolves) and small (Arctic foxes and ermines). Alongside the on land animals, there are also birds, which have more species than mammals. Lastly marine animals inhabit the nearby shores and ocean. Many which include narwhals, beluga whales, walrus, and ringed and bearded seals.

Rocks and Minerals

With 75% of its land devoted to rock, this makes the type of rock a bigger deal than the soil. With 48%of it Sedimentary rock, and 23.75% Metamorphic, these two rocks top the chart. At 11.5% comes Igneous, 3.9% a mix of Sedimentary and Igneous, and the last 12.85% is unknown. With all this rock it is a wonder there are no precious metals or oil reservoirs to mine. Though there are minerals in the rock, the remote location makes them too expensive to mine.


The landscape of the Arctic Cordillera is mainly compiled of mountains and glaciers. The mountains were formed by two plates colliding and pushing against each other. Some sources state that the mountains were formed by volcanoes ( The glaciers were formed from a great accumulation of snow and ice. The snow and ice thawed and froze to create a substance called Firn. The pressure created from the Firn’s weight, plus the air trapped in the ice from yearly thaws, produced Glacier Ice. Since the Arctic Cordillera is so young it has had no time to erode.


When first heard of, people tend to think that Arctic Cordillera is covered in ice and snow and is really cold. After looking at some tourism sights, you soon discover that there really is lot to do; ice fishing, kayaking, and the whole over all experience. Many people visit there to see the culture of the people which is still intact today. For a living people do jobs for the government or for Electrical Companies. Many pay well due to the location of the job and the shortage of people willing to go. Over all, the Arctic Cordillera place is a low population zone, because it is not suited for everyone.



In the winter solstice the sun never rises and in the summer solstice the sun never sets.
Alert is the furthest north settlement in Canada, located in Arctic Cordillera


1. During the Summer Solstice the sun never sets?
2. The Arctic Cordillera contains the settlement furthest north in Canada?
3. Why would someone want to live in the Arctic Cordillera?
-Someone who loves the outdoors or is looking for an adventure would live there
4. How are the glaciers made?
-By a process of ice and snow thawing and freezing, with additional pressure.
5. Can plants grow in the Arctic Cordillera?
-Yes but only with extreme adaption methods