Hudson Bay

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The Hudson Bay is an inland sea in North America. It covers about 1,230,000 km² (475,000 sq miles) and it is 1,370 km (850 miles) long and 1,050 km (650 miles) wide. The Hudson Bay is in eastern Canada. Hudson Bay, its southern extension of James Bay and all their islands border Nunavut Territory, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. The 720 km (450 miles) long Hudson Strait connects Hudson Bay with the Atlantic Ocean, while Foxe Channel leads to the Arctic Ocean. The islands of Mansel, Coats and Southampton are at the northern end of the bay.

Hudson Bay occupies the southernmost portion of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a depression in the Canadian Shield, which was formed during the Pleistocene epoch by the weight of the continental ice sheet. As the ice retreated, the region was flooded by the sea and sediments were deposited in it. With the burden of ice removed, the floor of the lowlands has been slowly rising, a proces that still continues. As a result the bay is gradually becoming shallower.

The Hudson Bay's western shores are generally low and marshy and covered by tundra, while the east coast is barren and rocky, with the Ottawa and Belcher island groups offshore. Many rivers, including the Churchill and Nelson, drain into the bay. Hudson Bay moderates the climate of the surrounding area. The bay is ice-free and open to navigation from mid-July to October. It was explored and named by Henry Hudson in his search for the Northwest Passage in 1610. The surrounding region was a rich source of furs and France and England struggled for its possession until 1713, when France ceded its claim by the Peace of Utrecht. Hudson's Bay Company set up many trading posts around the bay, especially at river mouths. Some of these posts have operated continuously since 1670. The Hudson Bay Railway was opened in 1929 and links the prairie-provinces with Churchill in Manitoba, which is an important port for oceangoing freighters.


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