Parks / Manitoba
Hudson Bay carves deeply into the Canadian north,
bringing the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean
to the northeast coast of Manitoba. It is such
a massive body of water that it creates its
own microclimate, making this landscape, south
of the 60th parallel, feel like the Arctic.
It is a semi-arid desert, receiving only 12
inches of precipitation annually.
The flat limestone plain is
relatively new in earth history time. Only 4000
years ago, most of the area was under the Tyrell
Sea, with only small islands dotting the waters.
These areas today are over 100 feet above sea
level, a result of isostatic rebound: the land
rising as it was relieved of the weight of glacial
cover. This uplifting continues at the rate
of approximately 1 metre each century.
Water still covers about half
the land surface, and the area boasts the most
extensive mantle of peat in North America.
The region is comprised of
four biomes or life zones, ranging
from the coastal area with its tidal flats,
to the boreal forest of spruce, tamarack and
willow. In between are vast expanses of tundra
carpeted with ground-hugging plants, and the
taiga - a mixture of wet and dry habitats, marshes
and grass plains dotted with sporadic trees.