North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
The Great Lakes called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Erie and Michigan-Huron; the connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume; the total surface is 94,250 square miles, the total volume is 5,439 cubic miles less than the volume of Lake Baikal. Due to their sea-like characteristics the five Great Lakes have long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world by area, the largest freshwater lake by area. Lake Michigan is the largest lake, within one country.
The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 14,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets exposed the basins they had carved into the land which filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source for transportation, migration and fishing, serving as a habitat to a large number of aquatic species in a region with much biodiversity; the surrounding region is called the Great Lakes region. Though the five lakes lie in separate basins, they form a single interconnected body of fresh water, within the Great Lakes Basin, they form a chain connecting the east-central interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. From the interior to the outlet at the Saint Lawrence River, water flows from Superior to Huron and Michigan, southward to Erie, northward to Lake Ontario; the lakes drain a large watershed via many rivers, are studded with 35,000 islands. There are several thousand smaller lakes called "inland lakes," within the basin; the surface area of the five primary lakes combined is equal to the size of the United Kingdom, while the surface area of the entire basin is about the size of the UK and France combined.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes, within the United States. The lakes are divided among the jurisdictions of the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. states of Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and New York. Both Ontario and Michigan include in their boundaries portions of four of the lakes: Ontario does not border Lake Michigan, Michigan does not border Lake Ontario. New York and Wisconsin's jurisdictions extend into two lakes, each of the remaining states into one of the lakes; as the surfaces of Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie are all the same elevation above sea level, while Lake Ontario is lower, because the Niagara Escarpment precludes all natural navigation, the four upper lakes are called the "upper great lakes". This designation, however, is not universal; those living on the shore of Lake Superior refer to all the other lakes as "the lower lakes", because they are farther south. Sailors of bulk freighters transferring cargoes from Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to ports on Lake Erie or Ontario refer to the latter as the lower lakes and Lakes Michigan and Superior as the upper lakes.
This corresponds to thinking of Lakes Erie and Ontario as "down south" and the others as "up north". Vessels sailing north on Lake Michigan are considered "upbound" though they are sailing toward its effluent current; the Chicago River and Calumet River systems connect the Great Lakes Basin to the Mississippi River System through man-made alterations and canals. The St. Marys River, including the Soo Locks, connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron; the Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The St. Clair River connects Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair; the Detroit River connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie; the Niagara River, including Niagara Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal, bypassing the Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario; the Saint Lawrence River and the Saint Lawrence Seaway connect Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean. Lakes Huron and Michigan are sometimes considered a single lake, called Lake Michigan–Huron, because they are one hydrological body of water connected by the Straits of Mackinac.
The straits are 120 feet deep. Lake Nipigon, connected to Lake Superior by the Nipigon River, is surrounded by sill-like formations of mafic and ultramafic igneous rock hundreds of meters high; the lake lies in the Nipigon Embayment, a failed arm of the triple junction in the Midcontinent Rift System event, estimated at 1,109 million years ago. Green Bay is an arm of Lake Michigan, along the south coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the east coast of Wisconsin, it is separated from the rest of the lake by the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, the chain of islands between
Minaki is an unincorporated area and community in Unorganized Kenora District in northwestern Ontario, Canada. It is located at the point where the Canadian National Railways transcontinental main line crosses the Winnipeg River, between Wade to the west and Ena Lake at the east, was accessible only by rail until about 1960, it was a watering point in the days of steam locomotives. Tourism is the economic mainstay of Minaki, with camps and marinas catering to anglers and hunters, it is the embarkation point for more than 100 water-access cottages on surrounding lakes. The largest group of cottagers are from Winnipeg, about 3½ hours drive away, from nearby U. S. states. First nations people have lived on the Winnipeg River in the Minaki area for a millennium or more, judging by the potshards and arrow points that turn up along the shores; the river was a major canoe route for the explorers and fur traders in the early days of white settlement. In the nineteenth century the Hudson's Bay Company had a trading post a couple of kilometres north of the present community.
The modern community of Minaki got its start about 1910 when the National Transcontinental Railway built a bridge across the river near where Skipper Holst had built a hotel a few years earlier and called the place Winnipeg River Crossing. The booming city of Winnipeg was about three hours travel to the west on the railway, in no time there was a land boom in vacation properties on the small lakes along the railway; the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which operated the line for the National Transcontinental, built a rustic resort hotel that it called the Minaki Lodge and renamed the station Minaki, an Ojibwa word, variously translated as Beautiful Water or Good Land. Minaki has no local government as it is an unincorporated community located in an unorganized area, outside any incorporated townships; the Minaki Local Roads Board maintains the few roads in the community. The Minaki Local Services Board provides recreation through the Minaki Community Association and fire protection through the Minaki United Fire Fighters.
The local services board operates the Minaki Community Hall and the Minaki Fire Hall. There is a volunteer first response team; the Minaki Foundation, a registered charity incorporated in 1986, raises money to support these and other local initiatives. Minaki is at the boundary where the white pine and yellow birch of the northwestern tip of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest meet the jack pine, black spruce and trembling aspen of the boreal forest. Most major stands of white pine were either cut by the Simpson and Short lumber company in the 1920s or destroyed by wildfires in the drought summers of the 1930s; the largest remaining stands of virgin pine timber, the trees that symbolize the rugged north for many Canadians, are on islands where they were protected from both logging and fire. Some areas north of the town have been or are being logged to supply the Kenora Forest Products lumber mill and a Weyerhaeuser oriented strand-board mill, both in Kenora. Located about 45 minutes north of Kenora at the north end of paved Highway 596, the hamlet of Minaki is gateway to lakes and rivers of the Ontario portion of the Winnipeg River system, including Gun, Sand and Roughrock lakes.
Fly-in service is available to lakes farther north. Area lakes offer bass, northern pike and walleye. There are many black bear and deer in the rugged woods surrounding the town. Many islands scatter the lakes; the main vacation season is July and August, with the August long weekend the peak of the summer season. Anglers visit in the spring and hunters in the fall. Visitors to Minaki are few in the November–April period, though snow-machine traffic from Kenora to points farther north passes a few kilometres away from the community. Year-round population of the immediate Minaki area is estimated by residents at about 130. At the height of summer, the seasonal population of surrounding lakes served through Minaki is about 1,000; the largest lake adjacent to Minaki is Sand Lake, north of the townsite. The part north of Harbour Island and Moore's Point is known as Big Sand Lake.
Hudson Bay is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada with a surface area of 1,230,000 km2. It drains a large area, about 3,861,400 km2, that includes parts of southeastern Nunavut, most of Manitoba, Ontario and indirectly through smaller passages of water to parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. Hudson Bay's southern arm is called James Bay; the Eastern Cree name for Hudson and James Bay is Wînipekw or Wînipâkw, meaning muddy or brackish water. Lake Winnipeg is named by the local Cree, as is the location for the city of Winnipeg; the bay is named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, after whom the river that he explored in 1609 is named. Hudson Bay encompasses 1,230,000 km2, making it the second-largest water body using the term "bay" in the world; the bay is shallow and is considered an epicontinental sea, with an average depth of about 100 m. It is 1,050 km wide. On the east it is connected with the Atlantic Ocean by Hudson Strait. Hudson Bay is considered part of the Arctic Ocean.
Other authorities include it in the Atlantic, in part because of its greater water budget connection with that ocean. Some sources describe Hudson Bay as the Arctic Ocean. Canada has claimed it as such on historic grounds; this claim is disputed by the United States but no action to resolve it has been taken. English explorers and colonists named Hudson Bay after Sir Henry Hudson who explored the bay beginning August 2, 1610 on his ship Discovery. On his fourth voyage to North America, Hudson worked his way around Greenland's west coast and into the bay, mapping much of its eastern coast. Discovery became trapped in the ice over the winter, the crew survived onshore at the southern tip of James Bay; when the ice cleared in the spring, Hudson wanted to explore the rest of the area, but the crew mutinied on June 22, 1611. They left Hudson and others adrift in a small boat. No one knows the fate of Hudson or the crew members stranded with him, but historians see no evidence that they survived for long afterwards.
In 1668, Nonsuch reached the bay and traded for beaver pelts, leading to the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company which still bears the historic name. The HBC negotiated a trading monopoly from the English crown for the Hudson Bay watershed, called Rupert's Land. France contested this grant by sending several military expeditions to the region, but abandoned its claim in the Treaty of Utrecht. During this period, the Hudson's Bay Company built several factories along the coast at the mouth of the major rivers; the strategic locations were bases for inland exploration. More they were trading posts with the indigenous peoples who came to them with furs from their trapping season; the HBC shipped the furs to Europe and continued to use some of these posts well into the 20th century. The Port of Churchill was an important shipping link for trade with Europe and Russia until its closure in 2016 by owner OmniTRAX. HBC's trade monopoly was abolished in 1870, it ceded Rupert's Land to Canada, an area of 3,900,000 km2, as part of the Northwest Territories.
Starting in 1913, the Bay was extensively charted by the Canadian Government's CSS Acadia to develop it for navigation. This mapping progress led to the establishment of Churchill, Manitoba as a deep-sea port for wheat exports in 1929, after unsuccessful attempts at Port Nelson; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the northern limit of Hudson Bay as follows: A line from Nuvuk Point to Leyson Point, the Southeastern extreme of Southampton Island, through the Southern and Western shores of Southampton Island to its Northern extremity, thence a line to Beach Point on the Mainland. North of Hudson Bay has a polar climate being one of the few places in the world where this type of climate is found south of 60 °N, going further south towards Quebec, where Inukjuak is still dominated by the tundra. From Arviat, Nunavut to the west to the south and southeast prevails the subarctic climate; this is because in the central summer months, heat waves can advance and leave the weather cool, where the average temperature of the month is above 10 °C.
At the southern end in the extension known as James Bay arises the humid continental climate with a more pronounced and hot summer. The average annual temperature in the entire bay is around 0 ° C or below. Except for the James Bay area the average water temperature is only 7° C to the south in January. Although the difference is small in summer in the extreme northeast, wintery temperatures are four to five colder degrees coming near -27 °C; the Hudson Bay region has low year-round average temperatures. The average annual temperature for Churchill at 59°N is −5 °C and Inukjuak facing cool wester
A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, therefore are distinct from lagoons, are larger and deeper than ponds, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are flowing. Most lakes streams. Natural lakes are found in mountainous areas, rift zones, areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found along the courses of mature rivers. In some parts of the world there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them. Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for aesthetic, recreational purposes, or other activities.
The word lake comes from Middle English lake, from Old English lacu, from Proto-Germanic *lakō, from the Proto-Indo-European root *leǵ-. Cognates include Dutch laak, Middle Low German lāke as in: de:Wolfslake, de:Butterlake, German Lache, Icelandic lækur. Related are the English words leak and leach. There is considerable uncertainty about defining the difference between lakes and ponds, no current internationally accepted definition of either term across scientific disciplines or political boundaries exists. For example, limnologists have defined lakes as water bodies which are a larger version of a pond, which can have wave action on the shoreline or where wind-induced turbulence plays a major role in mixing the water column. None of these definitions excludes ponds and all are difficult to measure. For this reason, simple size-based definitions are used to separate ponds and lakes. Definitions for lake range in minimum sizes for a body of water from 2 hectares to 8 hectares. Charles Elton, one of the founders of ecology, regarded lakes as waterbodies of 40 hectares or more.
The term lake is used to describe a feature such as Lake Eyre, a dry basin most of the time but may become filled under seasonal conditions of heavy rainfall. In common usage, many lakes bear names ending with the word pond, a lesser number of names ending with lake are in quasi-technical fact, ponds. One textbook illustrates this point with the following: "In Newfoundland, for example every lake is called a pond, whereas in Wisconsin every pond is called a lake."One hydrology book proposes to define the term "lake" as a body of water with the following five characteristics: it or fills one or several basins connected by straits has the same water level in all parts it does not have regular intrusion of seawater a considerable portion of the sediment suspended in the water is captured by the basins the area measured at the mean water level exceeds an arbitrarily chosen threshold With the exception of the seawater intrusion criterion, the others have been accepted or elaborated upon by other hydrology publications.
The majority of lakes on Earth are freshwater, most lie in the Northern Hemisphere at higher latitudes. Canada, with a deranged drainage system has an estimated 31,752 lakes larger than 3 square kilometres and an unknown total number of lakes, but is estimated to be at least 2 million. Finland has larger, of which 56,000 are large. Most lakes have at least one natural outflow in the form of a river or stream, which maintain a lake's average level by allowing the drainage of excess water; some lakes do not have a natural outflow and lose water by evaporation or underground seepage or both. They are termed endorheic lakes. Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for hydro-electric power generation, aesthetic purposes, recreational purposes, industrial use, agricultural use or domestic water supply. Evidence of extraterrestrial lakes exists. Globally, lakes are outnumbered by ponds: of an estimated 304 million standing water bodies worldwide, 91% are 1 hectare or less in area. Small lakes are much more numerous than large lakes: in terms of area, one-third of the world's standing water is represented by lakes and ponds of 10 hectares or less.
However, large lakes account for much of the area of standing water with 122 large lakes of 1,000 square kilometres or more representing about 29% of the total global area of standing inland water. Hutchinson in 1957 published a monograph, regarded as a landmark discussion and classification of all major lake types, their origin, morphometric characteristics, distribution; as summarized and discussed by these researchers, Hutchinson presented in it a comprehensive analysis of the origin of lakes and proposed what is a accepted classification of lakes according to their origin. This
The Winnipeg River is a Canadian river which flows northwest from Lake of the Woods in the province of Ontario to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. This river is 235 kilometres long from the Norman Dam in Kenora to its mouth at Lake Winnipeg, its watershed is 106,500 square kilometres in area in Canada. About 29,000 square kilometres of the watershed is in United States; the watershed stretches to the height of land about 100 kilometres west of Lake Superior. The Winnipeg River watershed was the southeastern-most portion of the land granted in 1670 to the Hudson's Bay Company; the portion in Canada corresponds to the land deeded to Canada in Treaty 3, signed in 1873 by Her Majesty's treaty commissioners and the First Nation chiefs at Northwest Angle on the Lake of the Woods. The river's name means "murky water" in Cree; this river route was used by natives for thousands of years before European contact. French and English colonists began to use the river in order to reach First Nations for the fur trade, with trade interactions for hundreds of years.
It is the only major water route between what is now Ontario and southern Manitoba, navigable by canoe. The Red River route had a longer portage. La Vérendrye was one of the first explorers to establish fur trade forts near the First Nations camps along the river; the Winnipeg River system through Whiteshell Provincial Park has many petroforms near the Whiteshell River forks where the two rivers meet. These petroforms are an ancient reminder of the importance of the area for native travel, ceremonies and settlements. Major modern communities along the banks of the Winnipeg River include Kenora and Whitedog in Ontario. Whitedog is the home of the Wabaseemoong First Nation; the Sagkeeng First Nation is located near the mouth of the Winnipeg Pine Falls. In Ontario dams were built on the Winnipeg River at Whitedog Falls. In Manitoba, there are six hydroelectric dams: Pointe du Bois Generating Station at Pointe du Bois, Slave Falls a few kilometres downstream, Seven Sisters Falls Generating Station at Seven Sisters, MacArthur Falls Generating Station, Great Falls Generating Station, Pine Falls Generating Station at Powerview, Manitoba.
Areas where the Winnipeg River widens markedly have been identified as lakes, including Gun and Sand lakes in Ontario. Nutimik and Margaret lakes are all within the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Tributaries include the Rainy River, Black Sturgeon River, English River, Bird River, Lee River, Whiteshell River, Whitemouth River, Macfarlane River. Flows on the Winnipeg River are controlled through the various dams by the Lake of the Woods Control Board, it maintains a website with detailed descriptions of water flow characteristics. Spence Creek Princes Creek Pine Creek Maskwa River Little Bear River Maple Creek North Coca Cola Creek Sweet Creek Coppermine Creek Bird River Rice Creek Lee River Whitemouth River Big Creek Caribou Creek Picket Creek Whiteshell River Tie Creek Lauries Creek Walters Creek Greer Lake Creek Ryerson Creek Bloms Creek Crowduck Creek Turtle Creek Jadel Creek Scot River Sword Creek English River Whitedog River Alice Creek Dean Creek Macfarlane River Black Sturgeon River Culloden Creek War Eagle Creek Lake of the Woods Middle Lake, Ontario Gun Lake, Ontario Pistol Lake Little Sand Lake Big Sand Lake Roughrock Lake Swan Lake, Ontario Tetu Lake Numao Lake Nutimik Lake Margaret Lake, Manitoba Dorothy Lake Eleanor Lake Sylvia Lake, Manitoba Natalie Lake Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba Lake Winnipeg The Winnipeg River was the main route from the Great Lakes to Western Canada before the railroads were constructed in this area.
After reaching Lake Winnipeg, a traveler could go by canoe as far as the Rocky Mountains, Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay. This section covers the route from Lake Superior to Lake Winnipeg via Rainy Lake, the Rainy River, Lake of the Woods and the Winnipeg River. For the route in general, see Nelson River basin; the area was too rocky to be good beaver country. Grand Portage was the second-longest portage in Canada after Methye Portage. Once over the height of land, rivers led west to the Rainy River. Duncan M'Gillivray called the Rainy the'most beautiful river in the north'. George Simpson and many others made similar comments; the route went up the east side over the Rat Portage to the Winnipeg. The Winnipeg River was notorious for its many décharges. Three were known as the Dales, Portage de l'Isle, La Rivière Blanche, named for its white water; this last was the scene of many deaths. Its seven portages were all visible from the same spot. After the last portage, at Manitou Rapids, the river opened out into the Bas de la Rivière and the lake.
About halfway up the river, the English River led to Fort Albany on James Bay. In 1679 Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, reached the western tip of Lake Superior. In 1688 Jacques de Noyon went from Kaministiquia as far as Rainy Lake and beyond, he seems to have been followed by coureurs des bois. They left no records, but the English on Hudson Bay heard reports of the coureurs in 1718 if not earlier. In 1717 Zacharie Robutel de La Noue failed to penetrate the area. Opening of the land west of Lake Superior by a European is credited to La Vérendrye in 1731–1743. In 1731 his men built a post on Rainy Lake. In 1732 he built Fort S