estuaire central

multimedia slide show, Quebec, 2008

The project estuaire central (central estuary) is concerned with a new perspective onto the part of the St. Lawrence estuary between the eastern tip of Ile d'Orléans and Rivière Ouelle on the South Coast, the part that is usually called estuaire moyen (middle estuary). The latter expression suggests that it is nothing but a transitory region lying inbetween and connecting the fluvial with the maritime estuary. As a matter of fact though it is this part where a whole series of unique phenomena occur.

It is in the middle estuary that the effects of tides are at a maximum. About 300 km from the Gulf and more than 1000 km from the open ocean, the difference in water levels between high to low tides is up to 6 metres.
Moreover, it is here that the transition from fresh to salt water is observed, the concentration of salt augementing by a factor of ten over a distance of only 100 km. This causes a a very characteristic fauna and flora.
The tides and the mixture of warm fresh and cold salty waters cause strong and vicious currents that have to be considered navigating in the middle estuary.
Another phenomenon typical for the middle estuary is the silt plug ("le bouchon vaseux") which is a result of all the phenomena listed above: The mud carried by the St. Lawrence itself and the rivers flowing into it is not simply carried into the sea but caught in the region between Ile d'Orléans and Ile aux Grues turning the water an opaque brown. This has a direct impact on the fauna that is found in this part of the estuary: while not being very diverse, it comprises rare species such as the black sturgeon.

The project estuaire central reveals all these characteristics by means of photography, video, text, vector animation and sound. The multimedia presentation aims at establishing the term of the estuaire central to replace the term estuaire moyen in order to refer to the particularity of the place.
The project was realized at, and supported by, Centre Est-Nord-Est in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

below: screenshots and video stills from the presentation


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

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