BAFFIN BAY and BAFFIN LAND an arctic sea and an insular tract named after the explorer William Baffin. Baffin or Baffin's Bay is part of the long strait which separates Baffin Land from Greenland. It extends from about 69° to 78° N. and from 54° to 76° W. From the northern end it is connected (I) with the polar sea northward by Smith Sound, prolonged by Kane Basin and Kennedy and Robeson Channels; (2) with the straits which ramify through the archipelago to the north-west by narrow channels at the head of Jones Sound, from which O. Sverdrup and his party conducted explorations in 1900-1902; (3) with the more southerly part of the same archipelago by Lancaster Sound. Baffin Bay was explored very fully in 1616 by Baffin. The coasts are generally high, precipitous and deeply indented. The most important island on the east side is Disco, to the north of Disco Bay, Greenland. During the greater part of the year this sea is frozen, but, while hardly ever free of ice, there are normally navigable channels along the coasts from the beginning of June to the end of September connected by transverse channels. The bay is noted as a centre of the whale and seal fishery. At more than one point a depth exceeding 1000 fathoms has been ascertained.
Baffin Land is a barren insular tract, included in Franklin district, Canada, with an approximate area of 236,000 sq. m., situated between 61° and 90° W. and 62° and 74° N. The eastern and northern coasts are rocky and mountainous, and are deeply indented by large bays including Frobisher and Home Bays, Cumberland Sound and Admiralty Inlet. Baffin Land is separated from Greenland by Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, from Ungava by Hudson Strait, from Keewatin and Melville Peninsula by Fox Channel and Fury-and-Hecla Strait, from Boothia Peninsula and North Somerset by the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet, and from North Devon by Lancaster Sound. Various names are given to various parts of the land - thus the north-western part is called Cockburn Land, farther east is North Galloway; on the extreme eastern peninsula are Cumberland and Penny Lands, while the southern is called Meta Incognita; in the west is Fox Land. In the southern part of the interior are two large lakes, Amadjuak, which lies at an altitude of 289 ft., and Nettiling or Kennedy.
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