The Great Bear Lake French Great Lac de l Ours Slavey Saht is the largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the fourth largest lake in North America, and the largest lake in North America outside the Great Lakes region , It is located in the D line District of the Sahtu region.
The lake extends on both sides of the Arctic Circle its water surface is at an altitude of 156 m. It has a surface area of 8203 8203 31,153 km and a total volume of 2236 km . The average depth is 72 m at the lowest point in the eastern part west of Port Radium the lake is 446 m deep. This means that the lake bottom is 290 m below sea level. Thus, this is a cryptodepression.
The lake is widely branched and can be divided into several so-called arms. These are in the northern part of the Smith Arm with the Whitefish River as tributary and to the east of it the Dease Arm. The main part of the lake consists of the McTavish arm, which extends between the peninsulas Ehdacho in the west and Sahoy in the south and Port Radium in the east. The two southern arms are the McVicar arm in the southeast and the Keith arm with the Great Bear River Saht d as a drain, which flows into the Mackenzie River. The sea arms were named after members of the Hudson s Bay Company, who had accompanied the Arctic expeditions of John Franklin in the years 1819 to 1822, after Peter Warren Dease 1788-1863 , Robert McVicar, John McTavish, Edward Smith and George and James Keith.
The people of Saht , who belong to the group of Dene, are named after the lake. The only larger settlement on the Great Bear Lake is D line on the western shore of the lake. The eastern Port Radium was significant in the 20th century as a port of transshipment for the nearby uranium and silver mines Eldorado and Echo Bay. Parts of the extracted uranium were used during the Second World War for the Manhattan Project, ie the construction of the first atomic bombs. After the closure of the mining operation in 1982, the settlement was abandoned. In the northeast of the lake was built in 1837, the fur trading post Fort Confidence, but had been abandoned around the turn of the century and until 1911 fell victim to a fire.
The peninsulas Ehdacho and Sahoy , which penetrate the lake, were declared National Historic Sites of Canada in 1997.