During the last Ice Age, nearly all of Canada was covered by massive ice sheets. Thousands of years later, the landscape of Nunavut Territory—“our land” in the Inuktitut language—still shows the scars of that icy earth mover. Surfaces that were scoured by retreating ice and then flooded by Arctic seas are now dotted with millions of lakes, ponds, and streams.
The image above shows wetlands in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut Territory, just east of the Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary and southwest of the village of Gjoa Haven. The image was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite on July 18, 2001. ASTER combines 14 spectral bands in infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light to make false-color images. Water is various shades of blue, green, tan, and black, depending on the amount of suspended sediment (silt and clay) and phytoplankton. Vegetated land is red.
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