Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake

lake_name = Great Bear Lake
image_lake =
caption_lake =
image_bathymetry = Great_Bear_Lake.pngcaption_bathymetry = Map
location = Northwest Territories
coords = coord|66|N|121|W|region:CA-NT_type:waterbody_scale:10000000|display=inline,title
type =
inflow =
outflow = Great Bear River
catchment = 114,717 km² (44,293 mi²)
basin_countries = Canada
length =
width =
area = 31,153 km² (12,028 mi²)
depth = convert|71.7|m|ft|0|abbr=on
max-depth = convert|446|m|ft|0|abbr=on
volume = convert|2236|km3|cumi|abbr=on|lk=on
residence_time = 124 years
shore = convert|2719|km|mi|0|abbr=on (plus convert|824|km|mi|0|abbr=on island shoreline)
elevation = 186 m (610 ft)
islands = 26 main islands, totaling 759.3 km² in area
cities = Deline, Echo Bay
reference = Citation|last=Hebert|first=Paul| date=2007| contribution=Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories| title=Encyclopedia of Earth |access_date=2007-12-07| url=,_Northwest_Territories| publisher=Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment | publication_place=Washington, DC] Citation|last=Johnson|first=L.|date=1975|title=Physical and chemical characteristics of Great Bear Lake|journal=J. Fish. Res. Board Can.|volume=32|page=1971-1987 quoted at [ Great Bear Lake] (World Lakes Database)]

Great Bear Lake (Slavey : "Sahtú", French: "Grand lac de l'Ours") is the largest lake entirely within Canada (Lake Superior and Lake Huron straddling the Canada-US border are larger), the third largest in North America, and the seventh largest in the world. [ Great Bear Lake] . "The Canadian Enyclopedia."] The lake is situated on the Arctic Circle between 65 and 67 degrees of northern latitude and between 118 and 123 degrees western longitude, 186 m (610 ft) above sea level.

The lake has a surface area of 31,153 km² (12,028 mi²) and a total volume of 2,236 km³ (536 mi³). Its maximum depth is 446 m (1,463 ft) and its average depth 71.7 m (235 ft). The total shoreline is 2,719 km (1,690 mi) and the total catchment area of the lake is 114,717 km² (44,293 mi²).

The lake empties through the Great Bear River ("Sahtúdé") into the Mackenzie River. The only community on the lake is Deline, Northwest Territories at the southwest end.

In 1930 Gilbert LaBine discovered uranium in the Great Bear Lake region.

The Sahtú Dene people took their name from the lake.


Great Bear Lake lies between two major physiographic regions: the Kazan Uplands portion of the Canadian Shield and the Interior Plains. Originally it was part of preglacial valleys that were reshaped by erosional effects of ice during the Pleistocene. Since then, the lake has undergone various changes resulting from rebound following the melting of the ice.

Precambrian rocks of the Canadian Shield form the eastern margin of the McTavish Arm. These rocks of the Precambrian are made up of sedimentary and metamorphic deposits supplemented by igneous intrusions forming dikes and sills.


Great Bear Lake is covered with ice from late November to July. Between 1950 and 1974, this climatic data was collected at Port Radium:

ee also

* Great Slave Lake
* List of world's largest lakes


External links

* [ Great Bear Lake Watershed]
* [ World Lakes Database]
* [ Prehistory of Great Bear Lake]
* [ 1867 account of the lake] by William Carpenter Bompas

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Bear Lake — Great′ Bear′ Lake′ n. geg a lake in NW Canada, in the Northwest Territories. 12,275 sq. mi. (31,792 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Great Bear Lake — lake in Fort Smith & Inuvik regions, Northwest Territories, Canada: 12,096 sq mi (31,329 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Great Bear Lake —   [ greɪt beə leɪk], See in Kanada, Großer Bärensee …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Great Bear Lake — a lake in NW Canada, in the Northwest Territories. 12,275 sq. mi. (31,792 sq. km). * * * Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. Lying astride the Arctic Circle, it was visited before 1800 by North West Company traders and later named for the bears… …   Universalium

  • Great Bear Lake —    In Northern Canada. Area 11,821 square miles. Discovered by men of the North West Company, and a post established on or near the lake about 1800. Fort Franklin built on south west shore, 1825, where Franklin wintered with Richardson and Back.… …   The makers of Canada

  • Great Bear Lake — Der Große Bärensee. Der Große Bärensee (engl. Great Bear Lake, franz. Grand lac de l Ours, Slavey Sahtu) ist der größte See in dem kanadischen Gebiet der Nordwest Territorien und der viertgrößte See in Nordamerika. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Lage …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Great Bear Lake — Sp Didỹsis Lokių ẽžeras Ap Great Bear Lake L Kanadoje (ŠV teritorijos) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Great Bear Lake — a lake in NW Canada, in the Northwest Territories. 12,275 sq. mi. (31,792 sq. km). * * * a large lake in western Northwest Territories, Canada. It drains into the Mackenzie River via the Great Bear River …   Useful english dictionary

  • Great Bear Lake — geographical name lake Canada in Northwest Territories area over 12,000 square miles (31,200 square kilometers) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Great Bear Lake — noun a large lake in north western Canada, in the Northwest Territories. About 30 560 km2 …   Australian English dictionary