Bay of Fundy
|Bay of Fundy|
|Location||New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine|
|Etymology||Likely from the French Fendu, meaning "split".|
|River sources||Big Salmon, Magaguadavic, Memramcook, Petitcodiac, Quiddy, Saint John, St. Croix, Upper Salmon, Annapolis, Avon, Cornwallis, Farrells, Salmon, Shubenacadie, Kennetcook|
|Primary outflows||Gulf of Maine|
It has an extremely high tidal range.
The name is likely a corruption of the French word Fendu, meaning "split".
The tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 16 metres (52 ft).
(The average tidal range worldwide is about one metre (3 ft 3 in).)
Some tides are higher than others, depending on the position of the moon, the sun, and atmospheric conditions.
Tides are semidiurnal, meaning they have two highs and two lows each day with about six hours and 13 minutes between each high and low tide.
Because of tidal resonance in the funnel-shaped bay, the tides that flow through the channel are very powerful.
In one 12-hour tidal cycle, about 100 billion tonnes (110,000,000,000 short tons) of water flows in and out of the bay, which is twice as much as the combined total flow of all the rivers of the world over the same period.
They are as powerful as 8,000 train engines or 25 million horses.
The Annapolis Royal Generating Station, a 20 MW tidal power station on the Annapolis River upstream of Annapolis Royal, is one of the few tidal generating stations in the world, and the only one in North America.
Most of the rivers have a tidal bore, a wave front of the incoming tide that "bores" its way up a river against its normal flow.
Since the opening of the causeway gates in 2010, the bore has been coming back, and in 2013 surfers rode it a record-breaking 29 kilometres (18 mi).
During the continental breakup, magma erupted as basaltic lavas and left igneous rock formations such as the columnar jointing which can be seen on Brier and Grand Manan islands, among other places around the bay.
Many fossils have been found along the Fundy shoreline.
Wasson Bluff has a rich trove of Jurassic fossils.
Flora and fauna
Although some land areas are protected, there is no formal marine protection zone in the bay.
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick works to protect the ecosystem of the bay.
A result of shipping traffic has been the potential for increased collisions between ships and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.
In 2003, the Canadian Coast Guard adjusted shipping lanes crossing prime whale feeding areas at the entrance to the Bay of Fundy to lessen the risk of collision.
The Bay of Fundy mudflats are a rare and unique intertidal habitat.
In the Minas Basin, the size of the mudflats from low water to high water marks is as much as 4 km (2.5 mi).
Protected areas include:
- Boot Island National Wildlife Area in the Minas Basin near the mouth of the Gaspereau River.
- Chignecto National Wildlife Area: near Amherst, contains a wide variety of habitats due to its geology.
- Grindstone Island Conservation Easement: managed by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick through a conservation easement on an island at the entrance of Shepody Bay.
- Isle Haute, managed by the Canadian Wildlife Service.
- John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Area: a large wetland system near Amherst.
- Raven Head Wilderness Area, protects 44 km (27 mi) of undeveloped coast along the bay. It is southwest of Joggins and also a site for fossils. It is also a wildlife habitat for endangered species.
- Shepody National Wildlife Area: a habitat for birds and other wildlife, recognized as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention, a site of importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and a bird area by BirdLife International. The dominant bird species is the semipalmated sandpiper.
- South Wolf Island Nature Preserve: in the lower bay, about 12 km (7.5 mi) offshore from Blacks Harbour. It was donated to the Nature Trust of New Brunswick by Clover Leaf Seafoods in 2011. It is ecologically important for birds, some not common on the mainland, as well as some very rare plants.
- Tintamarre National Wildlife Area
Human geography and history
The Mi'kmaq fished in the Bay of Fundy and lived in communities around the bay for centuries before the first Europeans arrived.
According to Mi'kmaq legend, the tide was created when Glooscap wanted to take a bath.
The first European to visit the bay may have been Portuguese explorer João Álvares Fagundes in about 1520, although the bay does not appear on Portuguese maps until 1558.
Champlain named it Labaye Francoise (The French Bay).
Champlain describes finding an old rotted cross in the bay which may have been left by the Portuguese.
There was much military action and many attacks on the settlements around the bay, first as the French and British fought for control of the area, leading to the Expulsion of the Acadians, and later by Americans during the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
In the 19th century, the bay was the site of much shipping, and shipbuilders flourished, including James Moran of St. , Martins, New BrunswickJoseph Salter, of Moncton, and William D. Lawrence of Maitland, Nova Scotia.
The mystery ship Mary Celeste was also built there.
The highest water level ever recorded, 21.6 metres (71 feet), occurred in October 1869.
It caused extensive destruction to ports and communities, much of which was attributed to a two-metre storm surge created by the Saxby Gale, a tropical cyclone, which coincided with a perigean spring tide.
The largest population centre on the bay is Saint John, New Brunswick, a major port and Canada's oldest city.
Ports and shipping
The bay is also traversed by ferries:
- Saint John to Digby, operated by Bay Ferries.
- Grand Manan to Blacks Harbour and White Head Island, to Grand Manan, operated by Coastal Transport.
- The Letete to Deer Island Ferry, operated by the New Brunswick Department of Transportation.
- Campobello Island, to Deer Island and Eastport, Maine, to Deer Island. Operated by East Coast Ferries Limited.
- Brier Island to Long Island and Long Island to peninsular Nova Scotia, operated by Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay of Fundy.