Devon Island


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Devon Island can be divided into three topographic regions: an upland region in the northwestern corner, from Viks Fiord north through Grinnell Peninsula; the central plateau, bounded eastwardly by Croker Bay; and an ice-capped highland in the east.

To the northwest, above Viks Fiord, the topography gradually shifts away from a flat plateau towards hilly terrain. The elevation of the land slowly drops to the north into a low coastline. Grinnel Peninsula, which forms the northwestern corner of the island, has a hilly terrain with several deep valleys and ends in bluffs along its eastern coast. North Kent Island lies just off the northwestern arm of Devon Island, across the Cardigan Strait. It has high cliffs along its southern coast; northwards, the land slopes gradually into the sea. The centre of the island is ice-capped and one glacier stretches to the sea from the eastern coast.

West of the ice cap, the terrain flattens to a plateau that slopes gradually downwards. The bedrock is composed largely of granite, but limestone deposits are present in regions where they have not been scoured away by glacial action; such deposits are most prominent in the west. A tongue from the ice cap runs from Croker's Bay to Stratton Inlet, while another, smaller ice cap west of Maxwell Bay rises up to 1300 m. The coastal margins of the plateau are hilly, while the bulk of the area is flat and nearly featureless, broken only by a few small streams and rivers.

The eastern highlands run from Dundas Harbour in the south to Cape Skogn in the north. This area, which is underlain by Precambrian shield, has a high elevation; however, the only topographical features are the Cunningham Mountains in the southeast corner. Although a continuation of the mountain ranges on northeast Baffin and Bylot islands, the Cunningham Mountains don't resemble mountains at all: the only visible traces exist as nunataks, small portions of the highest peaks that are able to break through the ice cap in some places. Otherwise, the mountains are covered in an ice cap, making its surface uneven.

To the north, this ice cap forms a dome and covers the entire eastern end of the island in one smooth and unbroken surface, reaching heights greater than 1700 m. Glacial tongues extend from the cap to meet the sea, from Cape Sparbo to Croker Bay, and regularly calve icebergs.

Philpots Island lies off the eastern coast, and is relatively ice-free and flat. Conversely, Coburg Island, which is situated northeast of Devon Island, is almost completely covered by an ice cap, with glacial tongues reaching to the northern and western coasts. The cap is penetrated by mountain peaks, which appear as black cliffs.