estuaire central

The project estuaire central (central estuary) offers a new perspective onto the part of the St. Lawrence estuary between the Ile d'Orléans and Rivière Ouelle, which is usually called estuaire moyen (middle estuary). The name suggests that it is but a transitory region in-between and connecting the fluvial with the maritime estuary without its own identity. As a matter of fact, though, it is a highly distinct region and habitat that is home to a series of unique phenomena.

It is in the middle estuary that tidal effects are at a maximum. Around 300 km from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and more than 1000 km from the open ocean, the difference in water levels between high and low tide is up to 6 metres.
Moreover, it is the transition zone from fresh to salt water, with the concentration of salt increasing by a factor of ten over a distance of only 100 km. The brackish water hosts a distinct fauna and flora.
The tides and the mixture of warm fresh and cold salty waters cause strong and vicious currents, which make navigating in the middle estuary a particular challenge.
As a result of the above, the middle estuary is home of the "silt plug" (le bouchon vaseux): The sediments carried into the St. Lawrence by its confluents do not simply drained into the gulf. They are caught in the region between Ile d'Orléans and Ile aux Grues where they turn the water an opaque brown and create impressive mudscapes along the shores at low tide. This has a direct impact on the fauna, which is not being very diverse but features rare species such as the black sturgeon.

The project estuaire central traces and exposes all these particularities by means of photography, video, text, and vector animation. The multimedia presentation aims to establish the term of the estuaire central to replace estuaire moyen as a more appropriate name for this a special region.
The project was realized at, and supported by, Centre Est-Nord-Est in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

Screenshots and video stills from the multimedia presentation:


Presentations at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Dortmund, and Montreal:

f.l.t.r: Centre Est-Nord-Est, Saint-Jean-Port-Joli (07/2008); Pecha-Kucha-Night Dortmund (03/2009); articule Montreal (03/2010)

The McGill Daily article on the presentation at articule Montreal

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