Interesting Facts About Hudson Bay

Hudson Bay has virtually no access to the sea, swept by cold winds and storms from the Arctic. Most of the year its surface is covered with ice. The region is rich in natural resources, but their operation and transportation are so difficult because of the nature of the terrain and the harsh living conditions that mining becomes uneconomical.

Gulf Coast

general information

The territory where Hudson Bay is located is the inner part of the sea, departing from east-central Canada. In the north and west, its border is the territory of Nunavut, in the south of Manitoba and Ontario, Quebec in the east. Hudson Bay Area 1,230,000 square meters. km, it is connected with the Atlantic Ocean through the Hudson Strait (northeast) and the Arctic Ocean through Fox Channel (north).

Geological data

The average depth of the Hudson Bay is 330 feet (100 meters), with a maximum length of about 900 feet (270 meters), the bottom is even, with shallows. The coast, located in the permafrost zone, is a swampy lowland, fed by lake waters and turbulent rivers. In the east and northeast the banks are high and sheer, but in other places they are low.Most of the coastline is covered with dwarf birch, willow, aspen and shrubs growing among moss, lichen and grass.

Hudson bay

The eastern coast at a distance of about 200 miles (300 km) is bordered by many islands and has rocks formed from ancient Precambrian (more than 540 million years) crystalline and sedimentary rocks. The only other islands are a small cluster at the exit from the bay.

The bay is filled with numerous peripheral rivers, as well as currents from the Fox Basin in the north, which create a general counterclockwise movement. The outflow runs along the eastern coast of the Hudson Channel, rounding Cape Chidley (the northernmost end of the Quebec-Newfoundland border) and passes into the Labrador Current.

Temperature in the bay

The area where Hudson Bay is located is characterized by a harsh continental climate. The average January temperature is -29 ° C, July is only +8 ° C. The average annual value is -12.6 ° C, but extreme data ranges from -51 ° C in winter to 27 ° C in summer. Spring is mild and overcast, while summer is clear, although the bay itself is often covered with fog. In early autumn, cool, frequent fogs, early winter is very cold and calm, after December the picture changes - strong winds and blizzards. Spring thaw begins in late April.

Gulf Coast photo

The Hudson Bay has a lot of ice of local origin, but there is some influx of pack ice from the Fox Basin. The southern and central regions have continuous floating ice fields only in February and March. Salinity increases with depth: below 80 feet - 31%, the layer above has 23%, and the top 6 feet (2 meters) register only 2%, because with a strong current, ice melts. In August, the water temperature can reach -2 ° C at depth, in September the surface temperature is about +9 ° C.

Biological characteristics

The waters of the Hudson Bay contain a large amount of dissolved nutrient salts, thanks to unicellular algae, which grow rapidly in the lighted upper layers. Small crustaceans in open waters provide a source of food for mollusks, sea urchins, starfish and worms, as well as many other invertebrates living on the bottom.

From the fish found flounder, cod, halibut, salmon migrating to lakes and rivers to spawn, as well as freshwater species. Different types of seals inhabit the areas around melted places on the ice. Walruses, dolphins and killer whales live in the northern sector, and polar bears descend from the north to hunt seals.About 200 species of birds congregate on the shores and islands: ducks, gulls, eiders, loons, geese, swans, sandpipers, snowy owls and ravens. Herbivorous mammals also inhabit: caribou, musk oxen, rodents, and fur animals.

Polar bears

Fishing and hunting for marine inhabitants - has long been the main occupation of the local population. Indians and Crees are the largest of the resident groups. The population density is very low. In order to protect the environment, the Canadian government designated the entire Hudson Bay Basin as a mare clausum (closed sea).


Archaeological evidence shows that the shores of the bay have been inhabited for over a thousand years. Many of the excavated sites are located far from the modern coastline. Norwegian sailors may have found and even colonized the bay, but their discovery was forgotten.

It is not difficult to guess in honor of whom Hudson Bay is named. In 1610, Henry Hudson (Hudson) on board the Discovery was the first European who, despite the danger of a strait, had the courage to sail to the bay. He was followed by Sir Thomas Button (1612), Robert Bylot and Luke Fox (1631), and Thomas James (1631) in a vain search for a transition to the East. Traveling was dangerous, often leading to death.In 1619, only 3 members of the expedition Jens Munk survived.

Indigenous inhabitants

The eastern shore of the bay was mapped two years later, the southern coast was explored in 1631. The West was not mapped until the early 1820s, and the first bathymetric measurements of the area were made by Canadians in 1929 - 31 years. Observations from the air changed marine research in the second half of the twentieth century.

Interesting facts about the Gulf

  • Hudson Bay covers 1,230,000 square kilometers, making it the second largest in the world after Bengal.
  • In summer, these waters become home to 50 thousand belugas. Every June and August whales migrate to the mouths of the rivers flowing into the bay.
    White whales in the bay
  • Waters along the coastline of Manitoba are not considered part of it. This is the territory of Nunavut.
  • Some believe that the Hudson Bay form was created by a meteor strike.
  • When the ship Nonsuch reached the bay in 1668, the trade in beaver hides began. This ultimately led to the creation of Hudson's Bay, which still exists today.

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