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Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada with a surface area of . It is located north of
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
, west of
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, north east of
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
and southeast of
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exten ...
, but politically entirely part of Nunavut. Although not geographically apparent, it is for climatic reasons considered to be a marginal sea of the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of southeastern Nunavut,
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
,
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
,
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, all of
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
, and parts of the U.S. states of
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
,
South Dakota South Dakota () (Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakot ...

South Dakota
,
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
, and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
. Hudson Bay's southern arm is called
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
. The
Eastern Cree
Eastern Cree
name for Hudson and James Bay is (Southern dialect) or (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water.
Lake Winnipeg Lake Winnipeg (french: Lac Winnipeg, oj, ᐑᓂᐸᑲᒥᐠᓴᑯ˙ᑯᐣ, italics=no, Weenipagamiksaguygun) is a very large, relatively shallow lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surro ...
is similarly named by the local
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canad ...

Cree
, as is the location for the city of
Winnipeg Winnipeg () is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a at the of the country. It is Canada's , with a population of 1,278,365 as of 2016. The easternmost of the three , Manitoba covers of widely varied ...

Winnipeg
.


Description

The bay is named after
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( 1565 – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the pro ...
, an Englishman sailing for the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
, and after whom
the river that he explored in 1609 is also named
the river that he explored in 1609 is also named
. Hudson Bay encompasses , making it the second-largest water body using the term "bay" in the world (after the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
). The bay is relatively shallow and is considered an epicontinental sea, with an average depth of about (compared to in the Bay of Bengal). It is about long and wide. On the east it is connected with the Atlantic Ocean by
Hudson Strait Hudson Strait (french: Détroit d'Hudson) links the Atlantic Ocean and Labrador Sea The Labrador Sea (French: ''mer du Labrador'', Danish: ''Labradorhavet'') is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland ...
; on the north, with the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
by
Foxe Basin Foxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula. For most of the year, it is blocked by sea ice (fast ice) and drift ice made up of multiple ice floes. The ...
(which is not considered part of the bay), and
Fury and Hecla Strait Fury and Hecla Strait is a narrow (from wide) Arctic seawater channel located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region The Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut syllabics: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ ) or Baffin Region is the easternmost List of regions of N ...

Fury and Hecla Strait
. Hudson Bay is often considered part of the Arctic Ocean: the
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
, in its 2002 working draft of ''Limits of Oceans and Seas'', defined Hudson Bay, with its outlet extending from 62.5 to 66.5 degrees north (just a few miles south of the
Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two s and the most northerly of the five major as shown on maps of . It marks the northernmost point at which the center of the sun is just visible on the and the southernmost point at which the center of the ...

Arctic Circle
) as being part of the Arctic Ocean, specifically "Arctic Ocean Subdivision 9.11". Other authorities include it in the Atlantic, in part because of its greater water budget connection with that ocean.


History

The search for a western route to
Cathay Cathay () is an alternative European historical name for China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, ...

Cathay
and
the Indies 300px, The East Indies (or simply the Indies), is a term used in historical narratives of the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), ...
, which had been actively pursued since the days of
Columbus Columbus is a Latinized version of the Italian surname "''Colombo Colombo ( si, කොළඹ, translit=Kolamba, ; ta, கொழும்பு, translit=Kozhumpu, ) is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ...

Columbus
and the
Cabots
Cabots
, in the latter part of the 15th century, directly resulted in the first sighting of Hudson Bay by Europeans. English explorers and colonists named Hudson Bay after
Sir Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of m ...
who explored the bay beginning August 2, 1610 on his ship ''
Discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to sciences and academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic fi ...
''. On his fourth voyage to North America, Hudson worked his way around
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
's west coast and into the bay, mapping much of its eastern coast. ''Discovery'' became trapped in the ice over the winter, and the crew survived onshore at the southern tip of
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
. When the ice cleared in the spring, Hudson wanted to explore the rest of the area, but the crew
mutinied
mutinied
on June 22, 1611. They left Hudson and others adrift in a small boat. No-one knows the fate of Hudson or the crew members stranded with him, but historians have found no evidence that they survived for long afterward. In May 1612, Sir Thomas Button sailed from England with two ships to look for Henry Hudson, and to continue the search for the north-west passage to Asia. In 1668, '' Nonsuch'' reached the bay and traded for
beaver Beavers are large, semiaquatic In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interaction ...
pelts, leading to the creation of the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with va ...
(HBC) which still bears the historic name. The HBC negotiated a trading monopoly from the
English crown This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of the heptarchy, seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself Kin ...

English crown
for the Hudson Bay
watershed Watershed is a hydrological term, which has been adopted in other fields in a more or less figurative sense. It may refer to: Hydrology * Drainage divide, the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins ** European watershed * Drainage basin, ...

watershed
, called
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
. France contested this grant by sending several military expeditions to the region, but abandoned its claim in the
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized commun ...
(April 1713). During this period, the Hudson's Bay Company built several
factories A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering dealing with the optimization ...
(
forts A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, ...

forts
and
trading post A trading post, trading station, or trading house, also known as a factory, was an establishment or settlement where goods and services could be traded. Typically the location of the trading post would allow people from one geographic area to tr ...
s) along the coast at the mouth of the major rivers (such as Fort Severn, Ontario;
York Factory York Factory was a settlement and Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson ''CBH'') is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trade, fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now ow ...
,
Churchill, Manitoba Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba, Canada, on the west shore of Hudson Bay, roughly from the Manitoba–Nunavut border. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname ...
; and the
Prince of Wales Fort The Prince of Wales Fort is a historic bastion fort on Hudson Bay across the Churchill River (Hudson Bay), Churchill River from Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. History The European history of this area starts with Henry Hudson ...
). The strategic locations were bases for inland exploration. More importantly, they were trading posts with
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
who came to them with furs from their trapping season. The HBC shipped the furs to Europe and continued to use some of these posts well into the 20th century. HBC's trade monopoly was abolished in 1870, and it ceded Rupert's Land to Canada, an area of approximately , as part of the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
. Starting in 1913, the Bay was extensively charted by the Canadian Government's to develop it for navigation. This mapping progress led to the establishment of Churchill, Manitoba, as a deep-sea port for wheat exports in 1929, after unsuccessful attempts at Port Nelson. The
Port of Churchill The Port of Churchill is a privately-owned port on Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Routes from the port connect to the North Atlantic through the Hudson Strait. , the port had four deep-sea berths capable of handlin ...
was an important shipping link for trade with Europe and Russia until its closure in 2016 by owner
OmniTRAX OmniTRAX, Inc. is a transportation and transportation infrastructure holding company based in Denver, Colorado, in the United States. It primarily owns and operates railroads, with a network of 21 regional and shortline railroads in 12 U.S. states ...
. The Port and the Hudson Bay Railway were then sold to the Arctic Gateway Group—a consortium of First Nations, local governments, and corporate investors—in 2018. On July 9, 2019, ships on missions to resupply arctic communities began stopping at the port for additional cargo, and the port began shipping grain again on September 7, 2019.


Geography and climate


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
defines the northern limit of Hudson Bay as follows:


Climate

Northern Hudson Bay has a
polar climate The polar climate regions are characterized by a lack of warm summer Summer is the hottest of the four temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astrono ...
( Köppen: ''ET'') being one of the few places in the world where this type of climate is found south of 60 °N, going farther south towards
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, where
Inukjuak Inukjuak ( iu, ᐃᓄᒃᔪᐊᒃ, ''Inujjuaq'' or ''Inukjuaq'' in Latin script, meaning 'The Giant') is a northern village (Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar i ...
is still dominated by the
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
. From
Arviat Arviat (, syllabics: ᐊᕐᕕᐊᑦ; formerly called Eskimo Point until 1 June 1989) ( 2016 population 2,657; Population Centre 2,514) is a predominantly Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a ...
,
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exten ...
, to the west to the south and southeast prevails the
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
(Köppen: ''Dfc''). This is because in the central summer months, heat waves can advance from the hot land and make the weather milder, with the result that the average temperature surpasses . At the extreme southern tip of the extension known as
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
arises a
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
with a longer and generally hotter summer. (Köppen: ''Dfb'') The average annual temperature in almost the entire bay is around or below. In the extreme northeast, winter temperatures average as low as . The Hudson Bay region has very low year-round average temperatures. The average annual temperature for
Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
at 59°N is and Inukjuak, facing cool westerlies in summer at 58°N, an even colder . By comparison,
Magadan Magadan ( rus, Магадан, p=məɡɐˈdan) is a Port of Magadan, port types of inhabited localities in Russia, town and the administrative center of Magadan Oblast, Russia, located on the Sea of Okhotsk in Nagayev Bay (within Taui Bay) and ser ...
, in a comparable position at 59°N on the Eurasian landmass in the
Russian Far East The Russian Far East ( rus, Дальний Восток России, r=Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, p=ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ) is a region in Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia ...

Russian Far East
and with a similar
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
, has an annual average of . Vis-à-vis geographically closer Europe, contrasts stand much more extreme.
Arkhangelsk Arkhangelsk (, ; rus, Арха́нгельск, p=ɐrˈxanɡʲɪlʲsk), also known in English as Archangel and Archangelsk, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: P ...
at 64°N in northwestern Russia has an average of , while the mild continental coastline of
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
at 59°N on the shore of an analogous large hyposaline marine inlet – the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
– has an annual average of . Water temperature peaks at 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 () is the saltiness or amount of salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific ...

salinity
level than that of 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 annually, the Hudson Bay watershed covering much of Canada, many rivers and streams discharging into the bay), and the limited connection with the Atlantic Ocean and its higher salinity.
Sea ice Sea ice arises as seawater Seawater, or salt water, is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, whic ...

Sea ice
is about three times the annual river flow into the bay, and its annual
freezing Freezing is a phase transition where a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. In accordance with the internationally established definition, freezing means the solidification phase change of a liquid o ...

freezing
and thawing significantly alters the salinity of the surface layer. One consequence of the lower salinity of the bay is that the of the water is higher than in the rest of the world's oceans, thus decreasing the time that the bay remains ice-free.


Shores

The western shores of the bay are a lowland known as the
Hudson Bay LowlandsThe Hudson Bay Lowlands is a vast wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. The ...
which covers . The area is drained by a large number of rivers and has formed a characteristic vegetation known as
muskeg Muskeg (Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe The Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples resident in what are now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Sau ...
. Much of the landform has been shaped by the actions of
glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice Ice is into a state. Depending on the presence of such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less bluish-white color. In the , ice is abunda ...

glacier
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 is part of the
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 ...
, and a similar portion of the lowlands in Manitoba is contained in
Wapusk National Park Wapusk National Park (; is Canada's 37th National Parks of Canada, national park, established in 1996. The park is located in the Hudson Plains ecozone, south of Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill in north-east Manitoba, Canada, on the shores of Huds ...

Wapusk National Park
, the latter location being a significant
polar bear The polar bear (''Ursus Ursus is Latin for bear. It may also refer to: Animals *Ursus (mammal), ''Ursus'' (mammal), a genus of bears People * Ursus of Aosta, 6th-century evangelist * Ursus of Auxerre, 6th-century bishop * Ursus of Soloth ...

polar bear
maternity denning area. In contrast, most of the eastern shores (the Quebec portion) form the western edge of the
Canadian Shield The Canadian Shield (french: Bouclier canadien ), also called the Laurentian Plateau, is a large area of exposed Precambrian The Precambrian (or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pꞒ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest part of History of the Ea ...

Canadian Shield
in Quebec. The area is rocky and hilly. Its vegetation is typically
boreal forest Taiga (; rus, тайга́, p=tɐjˈɡa; relates to Mongolic languages, Mongolic and Turkic languages, Turkic languages), generally referred to in North America as a boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by pinophyta, conifero ...

boreal forest
, and to the north,
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
. Measured by shoreline, Hudson Bay is the largest bay in the world (the largest in area being the Bay of Bengal). The distinctive arculate segment on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay is referred to as the
Nastapoka arc The Nastapoka arc is a distinctively arcuate segment of the coastline of the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay, Canada, that extends from the most northerly of the Hopewell Islands to Long Island (Hudson Bay, Nunavut), Long Island near the junction ...
.


Islands

There are many islands in Hudson Bay, mostly near the eastern coast. All the islands, including those in James Bay, are part of Nunavut and lie in the
Arctic Archipelago The Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a smal ...
. Several are disputed by the Cree. One group of islands is the
Belcher Islands The Belcher Islands (Inuit languages, Inuit: ''Sanikiluaq'') are an archipelago in the southeast part of Hudson Bay. The Belcher Islands are spread out over almost . Administratively, they belong to the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the territory of Nunavu ...
. Another group includes the Ottawa Islands.


Geology

Hudson Bay occupies a large
structural basin A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system, or the object or system so organized. Material structures include man-made objects such as buildings and machines and natural objects such as o ...
, known as the Hudson Bay basin, that lies within the
Canadian Shield The Canadian Shield (french: Bouclier canadien ), also called the Laurentian Plateau, is a large area of exposed Precambrian The Precambrian (or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pꞒ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest part of History of the Ea ...

Canadian Shield
. The collection and interpretation of outcrop, seismic and drillhole data for exploration for oil and gas reservoirs within the Hudson Bay basin found that it is filled by, at most, of
Ordovician The Ordovician ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other eart ...

Ordovician
to Devonian
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
, dolomites,
evaporite An evaporite () is a water-solubility, soluble sedimentation, sedimentary mineral deposition (geology), deposit that results from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. There are two types of evaporite deposit ...
s, black
shale Shale is a fine-grained, clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defi ...

shale
s, and various
clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Gre ...
sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...

sedimentary rock
s that overlie less than of Cambrian
strata In geology and related fields, a stratum (plural: strata) is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil, or igneous rock that was formed at the Earth's surface, with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. The "str ...
that consist of unfossiliferous quartz sandstones and
conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a production crew and musical group founded by Busta Rhymes ** Con ...
s, overlain by sandy and dolomites. In addition, a minor amount of terrestrial
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
fluvial In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...
sands and gravels are preserved in the fills of a ring of
sinkhole A sinkhole is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. The term is sometimes used to refer to doline, enclosed depressions that are locally also known as vrtače and shakeholes, and to openings ...

sinkhole
s created by the dissolution of
Silurian The Silurian ( ) is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician The Ordovician ( ) is a geologic period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-refere ...
evaporites during the Cretaceous Period.Burgess, P.M., 2008, ''Phanerozoic evolution of the sedimentary cover of the North American craton.'', in Miall, A.D., ed., ''Sedimentary Basins of the United States and Canada'', Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, pp. 31–63.Lavoie, D., Pinet, N., Dietrich, J. and Chen, Z., 2015. ''The Paleozoic Hudson Bay Basin in northern Canada: New insights into hydrocarbon potential of a frontier intracratonic basin.'' ''American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin'', 99(5), pp. 859–888.Roksandic, M.M., 1987, ''The tectonics and evolution of the Hudson Bay region'', in C. Beaumont and A. J. Tankard, eds., ''Sedimentary basins and basin-forming mechanisms.'' Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 12, p. 507–518.Sanford, B.V. and Grant, A.C., 1998. ''Paleozoic and Mesozoic geology of the Hudson and southeast Arctic platforms.'' ''Geological Survey of Canada Open File 3595'', scale 1:2 500 000. From the large quantity of published geologic data that has been collected as the result of hydrocarbon exploration, academic research, and related
geologic map A geologic map or geological map is a special-purpose map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by ...
ping, a detailed history of the Hudson Bay basin has been reconstructed. During the majority of the
Cambrian The Cambrian Period ( ; sometimes symbolized Ꞓ) was the first geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These peri ...
Period, this basin did not exist. Rather, this part of the Canadian Shield area was still topographically high and emergent. It was only during the later part of the Cambrian that the rising sea level of the Sauk marine transgression slowly submerged it. During the Ordovician, this part of the Canadian Shield continued to be submerged by sea level rise, rising sea levels except for a brief middle Ordovician marine regression. Only starting in the Late Ordovician and continuing into the Silurian did the gradual regional subsidence of this part of the Canadian Shield form the Hudson Bay basin. The formation of this basin resulted in the accumulation of black Asphalt, bituminous oil shale and evaporite deposits within its centre, thick basin-margin limestone and Dolomite (rock), dolomite, and the development of extensive reefs that ringed the basin margins that were Tectonic uplift, tectonically uplifted as the basin subsided. During Middle Silurian times, subsidence ceased and this basin was uplifted. It generated an emergent arch, on which reefs grew, that divided the basin into eastern and western sub-basins. During the Devonian Period, this basin filled with terrestrial red beds that interfinger with marine limestone and dolomites. Before deposition was terminated by marine regression, Upper Devonian black bituminous shale accumulated in the south-east of the basin. The remaining history of the Hudson Bay basin is largely unknown as a major unconformity separates Upper Devonian strata from Glacial period, glacial deposits of the Pleistocene. Except for poorly known terrestrial Cretaceous fluvial sands and gravels that are preserved as the fills of a ring of sinkholes around the centre of this basin, strata representing this period of time are absent from the Hudson Bay basin and the surrounding Canadian Shield. The Precambrian Shield underlying Hudson Bay and in which Hudson Bay basin formed is composed of two Archean proto-continents, the Churchill Craton, Western Churchill and Superior Craton, Superior cratons. These cratons are separated by a tectonic collage that forms a Suture (geology), suture zone between these cratons and the Trans-Hudson orogeny, Trans-Hudson Orogen. The Western Churchill and Superior cratons collided at about 1.9–1.8 Ga in the Trans-Hudson orogeny. Because of the irregular shapes of the colliding cratons, this collision trapped between them large fragments of juvenile crust, a sizable Continental fragment, microcontinent, and island arc terranes, beneath what is now the centre of modern Hudson Bay as part of the Trans-Hudson Orogen. The
Belcher Islands The Belcher Islands (Inuit languages, Inuit: ''Sanikiluaq'') are an archipelago in the southeast part of Hudson Bay. The Belcher Islands are spread out over almost . Administratively, they belong to the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the territory of Nunavu ...
are the eroded surface of the Belcher Fold Belt, which formed as a result of the tectonic Compression (geology), compression and folding of sediments that accumulated along the margin of the Superior Craton before its collision with the Western Churchill Craton.Darbyshire, F.A., and Eaton, D.W., 2010. ''The lithospheric root beneath Hudson Bay, Canada from Rayleigh wave dispersion: No clear seismological distinction between Archean and Proterozoic mantle'', ''Lithos''. 120(1-2), 144–159, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2010.04.010.Eaton, D.W., and Darbyshire, F., 2010. ''Lithospheric architecture and tectonic evolution of the Hudson Bay region'', ''Tectonophysics''. 480(1-4), 1–22, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2009.09.006. Hudson Bay and the associated structural basin lies within the centre of a large free-air gravity anomaly that lies within the Canadian Shield. The similarity in areal extent of the free-air gravity anomaly with the perimeter of the former Laurentide Ice Sheet that covered this part of Laurentia led to a long-held conclusion that this perturbation in the Earth's gravity reflected still ongoing Post-glacial rebound, glacial isostatic adjustment to the melting and disappearance of this ice sheet. Data collected over Canada by the GRACE and GRACE-FO, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission allowed Geophysics, geophysicists to isolate the gravity signal associated with glacial isostatic adjustment from longer–time scale process of mantle convection occurring beneath the Canadian Shield. Based upon this data, geophysicists and other Earth science, Earth scientists concluded that the Laurentide Ice Sheet was composed of two large domes to the west and east of Hudson Bay. Modeling glacial isostatic adjustment using the GRACE data, they concluded that ~25 to ~45% of the observed free-air gravity anomaly was due to ongoing glacial isostatic adjustment, and the remainder likely represents longer time-scale effects of mantle convection.Tamisiea, M.E., Mitrovica, J.X. and Davis, J.L., 2007. ''GRACE gravity data constrain ancient ice geometries and continental dynamics over Laurentia''. ''Science'', 316(5826), pp. 881–883.


Southeastern semicircle

Earth scientists have disagreed about what created the semicircular feature known as the
Nastapoka arc The Nastapoka arc is a distinctively arcuate segment of the coastline of the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay, Canada, that extends from the most northerly of the Hopewell Islands to Long Island (Hudson Bay, Nunavut), Long Island near the junction ...
that forms a section of the shoreline of southeastern Hudson Bay. Noting the paucity of impact structures on Earth in relation to the Moon and Mars, Carlyle Smith BealsBeals, C.S., 1968. ''On the possibility of a catastrophic origin for the great arc of eastern Hudson Bay.'' In: Beals, C.S. (Ed.), pp. 985–999. ''Science, History and Hudson Bay'', Vol. 2, Department of Energy Mines and Resources, Ottawa. proposed that it is possibly part of a Precambrian extraterrestrial impact structure that is comparable in size to the Mare Crisium on the Moon. In the same volume, John Tuzo WilsonWilson, J.T., 1968. ''Comparison of the Hudson Bay arc with some other features.'' In: Beals, C.S. (Ed.), pp. 1015–1033. ''Science, History and Hudson Bay'', Vol. 2. Department of Energy Mines and Resources, Ottawa. commented on Beals' interpretation and alternately proposed that the Nastapoka arc may have formed as part of an extensive Precambrian continental collisional orogen, linked to the closure of an ancient Oceanic basin, ocean basin. The current general 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 orogeny. This is because no credible evidence for such an impact structure has been found by regional magnetic, Bouguer anomaly, Bouguer gravity, or other geologic studies. However, other Earth scientists have proposed that the evidence of an Archean impact might have been masked by deformation accompanying the later formation of the Trans-Hudson orogen and regard an impact origin as a plausible possibility.Goodings, C.R. & Brookfield, M.E., 1992. ''Proterozoic transcurrent movements along the Kapuskasing lineament (Superior Province, Canada) and their relationship to surrounding structures.'' ''Earth-Science Reviews'', 32: 147–185.Bleeker, W., and Pilkington, M., 2004. ''The 450-km-diameter Nastapoka Arc: Earth's oldest and largest preserved impact scar?'' ''Program with Abstracts – Geological Association of Canada; Mineralogical Association of Canada: Joint Annual Meeting, 2004'', Vol. 29, pp. 344.


Economy


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 would link Churchill, Manitoba, and the Russian port of Murmansk.


Port

The biggest port in the Hudson bay is the city of Churchill, which lies on the river with the same name, Churchill River. The
Port of Churchill The Port of Churchill is a privately-owned port on Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Routes from the port connect to the North Atlantic through the Hudson Strait. , the port had four deep-sea berths capable of handlin ...
is a privately owned port on Hudson Bay in
Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
,
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
, Canada. Routes from the port connect to the North Atlantic through the
Hudson Strait Hudson Strait (french: Détroit d'Hudson) links the Atlantic Ocean and Labrador Sea The Labrador Sea (French: ''mer du Labrador'', Danish: ''Labradorhavet'') is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland ...
. As of 2008, the port had four deep-sea berths capable of handling Panamax-size vessels for the loading and unloading of grain, bulk commodities, general cargo, and tanker vessels. The port is connected to the Hudson Bay Railway, which shares the same parent company, and cargo connections are made with the Canadian National Railway system at HBR's southern terminus in The Pas. It is the only port of its size and scope in Canada that does not connect directly to the country's road system; all goods shipped overland to and from the port must travel by rail. The port was originally owned by the Government of Canada but was sold in 1997 to the American company
OmniTRAX OmniTRAX, Inc. is a transportation and transportation infrastructure holding company based in Denver, Colorado, in the United States. It primarily owns and operates railroads, with a network of 21 regional and shortline railroads in 12 U.S. states ...
to run privately. In December 2015, OmniTRAX announced it was negotiating a sale of the port, and the associated Hudson Bay Railway, to a group of First Nations based in northern Manitoba. With no sale finalized by July 2016, OmniTRAX shut down the port and the major railroad freight operations in August 2016. The railway continued to carry cargo to supply the town of Churchill itself until the line was damaged by flooding on May 23, 2017. The Port and the Hudson Bay Railway were sold to Arctic Gateway Group—a consortium of First Nations, local governments, and corporate investors—in 2018. On July 9, 2019, ships on missions to resupply arctic communities began stopping at the port for additional cargo, and the port began shipping grain again on September 7, 2019.


Coastal communities

The coast of Hudson Bay is extremely sparsely populated; there are only about a dozen communities. Some of these were founded as trading posts in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Hudson's Bay Company, making them some of the oldest settlements in Western Canada. With the closure of the HBC posts and stores, although many are now run by The North West Company, in the second half of the 20th century, many coastal villages are now almost exclusively populated by
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canad ...

Cree
and Inuit people. Two main historic sites along the coast were
York Factory York Factory was a settlement and Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson ''CBH'') is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trade, fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now ow ...
and
Prince of Wales Fort The Prince of Wales Fort is a historic bastion fort on Hudson Bay across the Churchill River (Hudson Bay), Churchill River from Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. History The European history of this area starts with Henry Hudson ...
. Communities along the Hudson Bay coast or on islands in the bay are (all populations are as of 2016): * Nunavut **
Arviat Arviat (, syllabics: ᐊᕐᕕᐊᑦ; formerly called Eskimo Point until 1 June 1989) ( 2016 population 2,657; Population Centre 2,514) is a predominantly Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a ...
, population 2,657 ** Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, Chesterfield Inlet, population 437 ** Coral Harbour, population 891 ** Rankin Inlet, population 2,842 ** Sanikiluaq, population 882 ** Whale Cove, Nunavut, Whale Cove, population 435 * Manitoba **
Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
, population 899 * Ontario ** Fort Severn First Nation, population 361 * Quebec ** Akulivik, population 633 **
Inukjuak Inukjuak ( iu, ᐃᓄᒃᔪᐊᒃ, ''Inujjuaq'' or ''Inukjuaq'' in Latin script, meaning 'The Giant') is a northern village (Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar i ...
, population 1,757 ** Kuujjuarapik, population 686 ** Puvirnituq, population 1,779 ** Umiujaq, population 442 ** Whapmagoostui, population 984


Military development

The
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with va ...
built forts as fur trade strongholds against the French or other possible invaders. One example is
York Factory York Factory was a settlement and Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson ''CBH'') is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trade, fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now ow ...
with angled walls to help defend the fort. In the 1950s, during the Cold War, a few sites along the coast became part of the Mid-Canada Line, watching for a potential Soviet bomber attack over the North Pole. The only Arctic deep-water port in Canada is the
Port of Churchill The Port of Churchill is a privately-owned port on Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Routes from the port connect to the North Atlantic through the Hudson Strait. , the port had four deep-sea berths capable of handlin ...
, located at Churchill, Manitoba.


See also

* * * *


References


General sources

* ''Atlas of Canada''
online version
* Some references of geological/impact structure interest include: ** Rondot, Jehan (1994). "Recognition of eroded astroblemes". ''Earth-Science Reviews'' 35, 4, pp. 331–365. ** Wilson, J. Tuzo (1968). "Comparison of the Hudson Bay arc with some other features". In: ''Science, History and Hudson Bay'', v. 2. Beals, C. S. (editor), pp. 1015–1033.


External links

* {{Authority control Hudson Bay, Borders of Nunavut Landforms of Nord-du-Québec Bodies of water of Manitoba Bodies of water of Kivalliq Region Bodies of water of Qikiqtaaluk Region Bays of Ontario Bays of Quebec Bodies of water of the Atlantic Ocean Seas of the Arctic Ocean Seas of Canada Bays of Nunavut