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Queen Elizabeth Islands

Queen Elizabeth Islands, northern part of the Arctic Archipelago, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, N Canada. Ellesmere Island (the largest), the Parry group (Melville, Bathurst, Devon, Prince Patrick, and Cornwallis islands), and the Sverdrup group (Axel Heiberg, Ellef Ringnes, Amund Ringnes, and many smaller islands) are found there. The islands are underlain by oil-bearing rock; extensive drilling has been under way since the early 1960s. The British explorer Sir William Parry explored (1819–20) many of the islands, and they were known (until 1954) as the Parry Islands.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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