estuaire central

multimedia slide show, 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.

First of all it is in the middle estuary that the effects of tides are maximal. About 300 km from the Golf and more than 1000 km from the open ocean the difference in water levels from high to low tides is up to 6 metres.
Moreover it is here that the transition from fresh to sea 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 to be found in the middle estuary is the silt plug (bouchon vaseux) that is a result of all the phenomena enumerated before: The mud carried by the St. Lawrence itself and the rivers that flow into it is not straightforwrdly carried to the sea but caught in the region between Ile d'Orléans and Il aux Grues turning the water opaque brown. This as well has a direct effect on the fauna that is found in this part of the estuary: 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 that is created aims to establish the term of the estuaire central to replace the term estuaire moyen in order to refer to the particularity of the place.
It was realized at Centre Est-Nord-Est in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec.

below: screenshots and video stills from the presentation


f.l.t.r: Presentations in the studio at Centre Est-Nord-Est, July 2008; at Pecha-Kucha-Night Dortmund, March 2009; at articule, Montreal, March 2010

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