Hudson Bay
Overview
 
Hudson Bay sometimes (usually historically) called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It drains a very large area, about 4041400 square kilometres (1,560,393.3 sq mi), that includes parts of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, most of Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, southeastern Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, as well as parts of North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, and Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

. The southern arm of Hudson Bay is called James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

.

The Eastern Cree
Cree language
Cree is an Algonquian language spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador, making it the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada. It is also spoken in the U.S. state of Montana...

 name for Hudson and James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

 is Wînipekw (Southern dialect) or Wînipâkw (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water.
Encyclopedia
Hudson Bay sometimes (usually historically) called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It drains a very large area, about 4041400 square kilometres (1,560,393.3 sq mi), that includes parts of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, most of Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, southeastern Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, as well as parts of North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, and Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

. The southern arm of Hudson Bay is called James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

.

The Eastern Cree
Cree language
Cree is an Algonquian language spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador, making it the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada. It is also spoken in the U.S. state of Montana...

 name for Hudson and James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

 is Wînipekw (Southern dialect) or Wînipâkw (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water. Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg is a large, lake in central North America, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, with its southern tip about north of the city of Winnipeg...

 is similarly named by the local Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

, as is the location for the City of Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

.

Description

Hudson Bay encompasses 1230000 square kilometre, making it the second-largest bay in the world (after the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

). The bay is relatively shallow and is considered an epicontinental sea, with an average depth of about 100 metres (328.1 ft) (compared to 2,600 metres in the Bay of Bengal). It is about 1370 km (851.3 mi) long and 1050 km (652.4 mi) wide. On the east it is connected with the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 by Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait links the Atlantic Ocean to Hudson Bay in Canada. It lies between Baffin Island and the northern coast of Quebec, its eastern entrance marked by Cape Chidley and Resolution Island. It is long...

; on the north, with the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 by Foxe Basin
Foxe Basin
Not to be confused with Fox Bay, Falkland IslandsFoxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula...

 (which is not considered part of the bay), and Fury and Hecla Strait
Fury and Hecla Strait
Fury and Hecla Strait is a narrow channel of water located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. Situated between Baffin Island and Melville Peninsula it connects Foxe Basin, to the east, with the Gulf of Boothia, to the west....

. Geographic coordinates: 78°
78th meridian west
The meridian 78° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Central America, South America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.The 78th meridian west...

 to 95° W
95th meridian west
The meridian 95° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

, 51°
51st parallel north
The 51st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 51 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 to 70° N
70th parallel north
The 70th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 70 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane, in the Arctic. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America, and passes through some of the southern seas of the Arctic Ocean....

.

Hudson Bay is part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes the Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait links the Atlantic Ocean to Hudson Bay in Canada. It lies between Baffin Island and the northern coast of Quebec, its eastern entrance marked by Cape Chidley and Resolution Island. It is long...

 basins are considered part of Arctic Ocean despite that their waters flow predominantly to the Atlantic. Some sources describe Hudson Bay as a marginal sea
Marginal sea
The term marginal sea has differing meanings. In one sense the term is equivalent to territorial waters. In another sense the term indicates a partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean, but bounded by submarine ridges...

 of the Atlantic Ocean, or the Arctic Ocean.

History

English explorers and colonists named Hudson Bay after Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

, who explored the bay beginning August 2, 1610, on his ship the Discovery
Discovery (1602 ship)
Discovery was a 20-ton "fly-boat" of the British East India Company, launched before 1602.Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607...

. On his fourth voyage to North America, Hudson worked his way around the west coast of Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and into the bay, mapping much of its eastern coast. The Discovery became trapped in the ice over the winter, and the crew survived onshore at the southern tip of James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

. When the ice cleared in the spring Hudson wanted to explore the rest of the area, but the crew mutinied
Mutiny
Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

 on June 22, 1611. They left Hudson and others adrift in a small boat. No one knows the fate of Hudson and the crewmembers stranded with him, but historians see no evidence that they survived for long afterwards.

In 1668 the Nonsuch
Nonsuch (ship)
The Nonsuch was the ketch that sailed into Hudson Bay in 1668-1669 under Zachariah Gillam, in the first trading voyage for what was to become the Hudson's Bay Company two years later. Originally built as a merchant ship in 1650, and later the Royal Navy ketch HMS Nonsuch, the vessel was sold to Sir...

reached the bay and successfully traded for beaver
American Beaver
The North American Beaver is the only species of beaver in the Americas, native to North America and introduced to South America. In the United States and Canada, where no other species of beaver occurs, it is usually simply referred to as "beaver"...

 pelts, leading to the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 (HBC), which still bears the historic name. The HBC negotiated a trading monopoly from the British crown for the Hudson Bay watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

, called Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

. France contested this grant by sending several military expeditions to the region, but abandoned its claim in the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 (April 1713). See Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay
Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay
Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay: When the English built trading posts on Hudson Bay the French tried to drive them out. This lasted from 1672 until 1713 when British sovereignty over the Bay was recognized by the Treaty of Utrecht...

.

During this period, the Hudson's Bay Company built several forts
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 and trading post
Trading post
A trading post was a place or establishment in historic Northern America where the trading of goods took place. The preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route....

s along the coast at the mouth of the major rivers (such as Fort Severn, Ontario
Fort Severn, Ontario
Fort Severn First Nation is located on Hudson Bay and is the most northern community in Ontario, Canada.As of 2001, the population was 401, consisting of 90 families in an area of 40 square kilometres...

, York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory was a settlement and factory located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, Canada, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately south-southeast of Churchill. The settlement was headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Northern Department, from 1821 to...

, and Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill is a town on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has helped its growing tourism industry.-History:A variety of nomadic...

). The strategic locations were bases for inland exploration. More importantly, they were used as trading posts with the indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 who came to the posts with furs from their trapping season. The HBC shipped the furs on to Europe and continued to use these posts until the beginning of the 20th century. The port of Churchill is still today an important shipping link for trade with Europe and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

In 1870, when HBC's trade monopoly was abolished, it ceded Rupert's Land—an area of approximately 3.9 million km²—to Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 as part of the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

. Starting in 1913, the Bay was extensively charted by the Canadian Government's CSS Acadia
CSS Acadia
CSS Acadia is a former hydrographic surveying and oceanographic research ship of the Hydrographic Survey of Canada and its successor the Canadian Hydrographic Service....

 to develop it for navigation. This mapping progress resulted in the establishment of Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill is a town on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has helped its growing tourism industry.-History:A variety of nomadic...

, as a deep-sea port for wheat exports in 1929, after unsuccessful attempts at Port Nelson
Port Nelson, Manitoba
Port Nelson is today a ghost town at the mouth of the Nelson River on Hudson Bay, in Manitoba, Canada. At its peak it had a population of about 1000 people. Immediately to the south is the mouth of the Hayes River. Although the Nelson is much larger, the Hayes is a better route into the interior...

.

Due to a change in naming conventions, Hudson's Bay is now called Hudson Bay. As a result, the names of the body of water and the company are often mistaken for one another.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 defines the northern limit of Hudson Bay as follows:

A line from Nuvuk Point
Nuvuk Islands
The uninhabited Nuvuk Islands, members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, are located in the Hudson Bay, at the western outlet of Digges Sound, just west of the Ungava Peninsula. The island group is a part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut....

 (62°21′N 78°06′W) to Leyson Point, the Southeastern extreme of Southampton Island
Southampton Island
Southampton Island is a large island at the entrance to Hudson Bay at Foxe Basin. One of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Southampton Island is part of the Kivalliq Region in Nunavut, Canada. The area of the island is stated as by Statistics Canada . It is the 34th largest...

, through the Southern and Western shores of Southampton Island to its Northern extremity, thence a line to Beach Point (66°03′N 86°06′W) on the Mainland.

Climate

Hudson Bay was the growth centre for the main ice sheet that covered northern North America during the last Ice Age. The whole region has very low year round average temperatures. (The average annual temperature for Churchill at 59°N
59th parallel north
The 59th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 59 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 is -5°C; by comparison Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 at 64°N
64th parallel north
The 64th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 64 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America....

 in a similar cold continental position in northern Russia has an average of 2°C.) Water temperature peaks at 8°-9°C (46°-48°F) on the western side of the bay in late summer. It is largely frozen over from mid-December to mid-June when it usually clears from its eastern end westwards and southwards. A steady increase in regional temperatures over the last 100 years has been reflected in a lengthening of the ice-free period which was as short as four months in the late 17th century.

Waters

Hudson Bay has a lower average salinity
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

 level than ocean water. The main causes are the low rate of evaporation (the bay is ice-covered for much of the year), the large volume of terrestrial runoff entering the bay (about 700 km³ annually; the Hudson Bay watershed
Canada Hudson Bay drainage
The Hudson Bay drainage in Canada is the majority of the Hudson Bay Watershed, which has small United States portions in Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota...

 covers much of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and many rivers and streams discharge into the bay), and the limited connection with the Atlantic Ocean and its higher salinity
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

. The annual freezing and thawing of sea ice
Sea ice
Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

, which is about three times the annual river flow into the bay, significantly alters the salinity of the surface layer.

One consequence of the lower salinity of the bay is that the freezing point
Freezing Point
Freezing Point is a news journal in the People's Republic of China which has been the subject of controversy over its criticism of Communist Party officials and the sympathetic ear it lent to a Chinese historian who had criticized official history textbooks...

 of the water is higher than in the rest of the world ocean, thus decreasing the time the bay remains ice-free.

Shores

The western shores of the bay are a lowland known as the "Hudson Bay Lowlands
Hudson Bay Lowlands
The Hudson Bay Lowlands is a large, poorly drained piece of wetlands wedged between the Canadian Shield and southern shores of Hudson Bay and James Bay. Many wide and slow-moving rivers flow through this area toward the salt water of Hudson Bay. Mosquitoes and black flies thrive here. This is a...

" which covers 324,000 km². The area is drained by a large number of rivers and has formed a characteristic vegetation known as muskeg
Muskeg
Muskeg is an acidic soil type common in Arctic and boreal areas, although it is found in other northern climates as well. Muskeg is approximately synonymous with bogland but muskeg is the standard term in Western Canada and Alaska, while 'bog' is common elsewhere. The term is of Cree origin, maskek...

. Much of the landform has been shaped by the actions of glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s and the shrinkage of the bay over long periods of time. Signs of numerous former beachfronts can be seen far inland from the current shore. A large portion of the lowlands in the province of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 is part of the Polar Bear Provincial Park
Polar Bear Provincial Park
Polar Bear Provincial Park is an isolated wilderness park in the far north of Ontario, Canada. It lies on the western shore where James Bay joins Hudson Bay. The terrain is part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands and features unspoiled low-lying tundra in the Hudson Plains ecozone.Administered by Ontario...

, and a similar portion of the lowlands in Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 is contained in Wapusk National Park
Wapusk National Park
Wapusk National Park is Canada's 37th national park, established in 1996. The park is located in the Hudson Plains ecozone, 45 km south of Churchill in north-east Manitoba, Canada, on the shores of Hudson Bay. Access to the park is limited due to its remote location and an effort to preserve...

, the latter location being a significant Polar Bear
Polar Bear
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

 maternity den
Maternity den
A maternity den, in the animal kingdom, is a lair where the mother gives birth and nurtures the young, when they are in a vulnerable life stage. While such dens are typically subterranean, they may also be snow caves or simply beneath rock ledges. Characteristically there is an entrance, and...

ning area.

In contrast, most of the eastern shores (the Quebec portion) form the western edge of the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

 in Quebec. The area is rocky and hilly. Its vegetation is typically boreal forest
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

, and to the north, tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

.

Measured by shoreline, Hudson Bay is the largest bay in the world (the largest in area being the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

).

Islands

There are many islands in Hudson Bay, mostly near the eastern coast. All are part of the territory Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

. One group of islands is the Belcher Islands
Belcher Islands
The Belcher Islands are an archipelago in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. Located in Hudson Bay, the Belcher Islands are spread out over almost . The hamlet of Sanikiluaq is on the north coast of Flaherty Island and is the southernmost in Nunavut. Along with Flaherty Island, the other large...

. Another group includes the Ottawa Islands
Ottawa Islands
The Ottawa Islands are a group of uninhabited islands situated in the eastern edge of Canada's Hudson Bay. The group comprises 24 small islands, located at approximately 60N 80W. The main islands include Booth Island, Bronson Island, Eddy Island, Gilmour Island, J. Gordon Island, Pattee Island,...

.

Geology

When Earth's gravitational field was mapped starting in the 1960s a large region of below-average gravity was detected in the Hudson Bay region. This was initially thought to be a result of the crust still being depressed from the weight of the Laurentide ice sheet during the most recent Ice Age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

, but more detailed observations taken by the GRACE
Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
The Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment , a joint mission of NASA and the German Space Agency, has been making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field since its launch in March 2002....

 satellite suggest that this effect cannot account for the entirety of the gravitational anomaly. It is thought that convection in the underlying mantle
Mantle (geology)
The mantle is a part of a terrestrial planet or other rocky body large enough to have differentiation by density. The interior of the Earth, similar to the other terrestrial planets, is chemically divided into layers. The mantle is a highly viscous layer between the crust and the outer core....

 may be contributing.

Some geologists disagree about what created the semicircular feature, known as the Nastapoka Arc
Nastapoka arc
The Nastapoka arc is a geological feature located on the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay, Canada. It is a near-perfectly circular arc, covering more than 160° of a 450 km diameter circle. Due to its shape, the arc has long been suspected as the remnant of an ancient impact crater. In August...

, of the bay. The overwhelming consensus is that it is an arcuate boundary of tectonic origin between the Belcher Fold Belt and undeformed basement of the Superior Craton created during the Trans-Hudson orogen
Trans-Hudson orogeny
The Trans-Hudson orogeny, Trans-Hudsonian orogeny, Trans-Hudson orogen , or Trans-Hudson Orogen Transect , , was the major mountain building event that formed the Precambrian Canadian Shield, the North American craton , and the...

. Although a few geologists have argued that it is possibly related to a Precambrian extraterrestrial impact and have compared it to Mare Crisium
Mare Crisium
Mare Crisium is a lunar mare located in the Moon's Crisium basin, just northeast of Mare Tranquillitatis. This basin is of the Pre-Imbrian period, 4.55 to 3.85 billion years ago. This mare is in diameter, and 176,000 km2 in area. It has a very flat floor, with a ring of wrinkled ridges...

 on the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

, no credible evidence for such an impact crater has been found by regional magnetic, Bouguer gravity, and geologic studies.

Coastal communities

The coast of Hudson Bay is extremely sparsely populated; there are only about a dozen villages. Some of these were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Hudson's Bay Company as trading posts, making them part of the oldest settlements in Canada. With the closure of the HBC posts and stores in the second half of the 20th century, many coastal villages are now almost exclusively populated by Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

 and Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 people.

Some of the more prominent communities along the Hudson Bay coast are:
  • Puvirnituq, Quebec
    Puvirnituq, Quebec
    Puvirnituq is an Inuit settlement in Nunavik on the Povungnituk River near its mouth on the Hudson Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Its population is 1457 .The name means "Place where there is a smell of rotten meat"...

  • Arviat, Nunavut
    Nunavut
    Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

  • Churchill, Manitoba
    Churchill, Manitoba
    Churchill is a town on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has helped its growing tourism industry.-History:A variety of nomadic...

  • Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
    Nunavut
    Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...


Military development

Before the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 no military significance was attributed to the region. In the 1950s, a few sites along the coast became part of the Mid-Canada Line
Mid-Canada Line
The Mid-Canada Line, also known as the McGill Fence, was a line of radar stations across the "middle" of Canada to provide early warning of a Soviet bomber attack on North America. It was built to supplement the less-advanced Pinetree Line, which was located further south...

, watching for a potential Soviet bomber attack over the North Pole. The only Arctic, deep water port in Canada is located at Churchill, Manitoba.

Arctic Bridge

The longer periods of ice-free navigation and the reduction of Arctic Ocean ice coverage have led to Russian and Canadian interest in the potential for commercial trade routes across the Arctic and into Hudson Bay. The so-called "Arctic Bridge
Arctic bridge
The Arctic Bridge or Arctic Sea Bridge is a seasonal sea route linking Russia to Canada, specifically the Russian port of Murmansk to the Hudson Bay port of Churchill, Manitoba. Churchill is the principal seaport on Canada's northern coast and has rail and air connections to the rest of Canada...

" would link Churchill, Manitoba and the Russian port of Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

.

See also

  • Lake Agassiz
    Lake Agassiz
    Lake Agassiz was an immense glacial lake located in the center of North America. Fed by glacial runoff at the end of the last glacial period, its area was larger than all of the modern Great Lakes combined, and it held more water than contained by all lakes in the world today.-Conception:First...

  • List of Hudson Bay rivers
  • Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal
    Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal
    The Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal of North America or GCNA is a water management proposal designed by Newfoundland engineer Thomas Kierans to alleviate North American freshwater shortage problems...

  • Hudson's Bay Company Archives
    Hudson's Bay Company Archives
    The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The HBC archives are a division of the Archives of Manitoba that preserves the thousands of mainly hand-written records and maps of the Hudson's Bay Company employees for hundreds of years...

  • Tyrrell Sea
    Tyrrell Sea
    The Tyrrell Sea, named for Canadian geologist Joseph Tyrrell, is another name for prehistoric Hudson Bay, namely as it existed during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet....

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK