Lake Nettilling, Nunavut

July 29, 2012, 7:16 am
Content Cover Image

Source: NASA


Physical Attributes

  • Altitude: 30 m above sea level
  • Surface Area: 5699 sq. km
  • Mean Depth: 20 m
  • Maximum Depth: 132 m
  • Volume: 114 cu. km

Nettilling Lake is the largest lake in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the tenth largest in Canada. It is located on south-central Baffin Island.

The Amadjuak River flows from the nearby Amadjuak and Mingo Lakes and entering on the southern shore of Nettilling Lake.

The lake is drained by the Koukdjuak River which travels through the Great Plain of the Koukdjuak into the Foxe Basin of the Arctic Ocean.

Nettilling Lake has a triangular shape and is comprised of two lake basins that can be divided by a theoretical line from Caribou Point to Magnetic Point.

The western region has a deep, regular basin with an absence of islands. The eastern area has an irregular basin with many islands and slightly warmer waters.

Characteristic of lakes that are close to glaciers, the northeastern basin has much suspended material. Within this single lake, there is a transition from clear, ultra-oligotrophic water in the western basin to murky water in the east. Transparency varies from 1.1 to 21.3 m in the lake. Thermocline formation does not take place and mixing of the water is possible even during the summer.

The western shoreline has many gravel ridges formed by ice-push that can cut pools of water off from the lake. Arctic char, threespine stickleback, and ninespine stickleback are the only species of fish that occur in Nettilling Lake.


Watershed Precambrian rock borders the north, east and south shores of Nettilling Lake. The Great Plain of Koukdjuak, comprised of Ordovician sedimentary rock covered with glacial drift, is the main geological feature along the west side of the lake.

Source: NASA Visible Earth/Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team. Image taken. July 6, 2001



Hebert, P., & Ontario, B. (2012). Lake Nettilling, Nunavut. Retrieved from


To add a comment, please Log In.