Published on 24 May 2019
If you are traveling on Canada’s Great Slave Lake, you will notice one characteristic right away: it is enormous. Roughly the size of Belgium, it ranks in the top fifteen largest lakes worldwide. It is the deepest lake in North America, diving about 615 meters (2,020 feet)—almost the same extent as the world’s second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower.
Great Slave Lake is a lifeline to the surrounding shoreline communities—home to more than half of the population of the Northwest Territories, including its capital Yellowknife. Many of these communities depend on the lake for its abundance and plethora of fish, which helps drive the fishing and tourism industry. More than 5,000 anglers visit the area annually to catch fish, which keep near the lake’s surface in the summer.
The image above shows the breadth of Great Slave Lake, still mostly covered in ice on May 16, 2019. The lake stretches about 500 kilometers (300 miles) long and from 50 to 225 kilometers (30 to 140 miles) wide. It is a major source of water for Canada’s longest river, the Mackenzie, which connects at the southwest end of the lake. This image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.