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Hudsons Bay Flyer is a bay located in Canada. It is one of the largest bays in the world (its area is 822,324 km2), it is surrounded by the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and the territory of Nunavut. The International Hydrographic Organization considers it as part of the Arctic Ocean, of which it thus forms an epicontinental sea.
This bay is named after the English explorer Henry Hudson who, in 1610, was stuck in the ice with his boat. Médard Chouart des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson stated that they had gone to Hudson Bay by land in 1659, but historians strongly doubt this fact, their trips to the Algonquins or Anishnabe of Lake Superior having given them information at about this great expanse of salt water that they call the North Sea3 or the Great North Bay4. In 1668, leading the first expedition of the brand new Hudson’s Bay Company they had helped found, they finally joined.
Hudsons Bay Flyer is then historically inseparable from the Franco-English struggle for North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed, it gave access to the vast territories of the fur trade of which each country wanted to obtain the exclusivity. The French, established in the St. Lawrence valley (New France), sent several expeditions to dislodge the trading posts that the English had erected there under the aegis of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1697, Captain Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville defeated three Royal Navy ships in the Battle of Hudson’s Bay, the most important naval battle in the North American Arctic and captured the English Headquarters of York Factory. .
The English did the same with the French posts. The whole was not settled until after the confirmation of the ownership of this territory to Great Britain in 1713 by the Treaties of Utrecht.
Located entirely in Canada, Hudson Bay is about 960 km wide and 1390 km from north to south but its basin is shallow: its average depth is 125 m, but it is less than 80 m up to 100 m. km from the coast. The bottom is generally not very rugged with only a few depressions and shallow banks. The reason is that it was formed during the last glaciation by planing of the Precambrian Canadian Shield by glaciers. Its shallow floor being of continental origin, the bay thus constitutes an epicontinental sea but little connected to the other basins.
By observing the shape of the bay, we can notice that the south-eastern part of Hudson Bay consists of a semi-circle whose center is located north of the Belcher Islands. Although there is no evidence to support it, one advanced hypothesis is that this form, named Nastapoka, would indicate the presence of one of the largest meteorite impact craters in the world with a diameter of 456 km and about 2 years old. billion years. Among the main capes created by this formation are Pointe Louis-XIV, Cap Dufferin and Cap Henrietta Maria.
The influx of waters from the arctic islands north of the bay and fresh waters from many rivers including the Churchill and the Nelson keep the bay above average sea level. Its waters therefore flow to the Atlantic Ocean through the narrow Hudson Strait. Due to this constriction and the exceptional size of the bay, the body of water can circle it several times before exiting.