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Hudson Plains  
Pacific (Marine)  
Map of the Arctic Basin Marine ecozone  

Location | Climate | Geography | Flora and fauna | Humans

This ecozone is found to the west of the Northwest Territories' archipelago.

When people think about the arctic, this is the region that they are likely thinking of. The Arctic Basin is extremely dry, receiving only 100 to 200mm or precipitation per year. Average winter temperatures are a bitterly cold -35șC, and mean summer temperatures only rise to 5șC. Its extreme northern position creates winter nights and summer days that are longer than in any other Canadian ecozone. This section of the Arctic Ocean is permanently frozen, and rotates slowly around roughly the North Pole in a counter-clockwise fashion. The waters here do not mix well because of ice cover and feeble tides.

Nine-tenths of this ecozone is comprised of ice floating on the frigid Arctic Ocean, and only a miniscule portion is solid land. Islands of ice kilometers long and up to two metres thick are common here. Below the ice, the ocean floor is found at an average depth of 3600 metres, although the Lomonosov Ridge near the North Pole reaches up to a kilometre below the ocean's surface.

Flora and Fauna
No true plants grow here, and nothing grows on the upper surface of the ice. Algae bloom on the underside of the ice come summer, and phytoplankton, tiny plantlike organisms, are found in the spring and summer along the edges of the ice packs or in open stretches of water.

There is some animal life at the edges of the ice packs, but otherwise everything is under the ocean's surface. Some of the species found here include the
walrus, polar bear, beluga, narwhal, bearded seals, harp seal, harbour seal, ringed seal, bowhead whale, ivory gull, and some migratory birds.

As there is virtually no land here, there is no permanent population. Scientific and petroleum exploration are the two major activities.


Hudson PlainsPacific (Marine)

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