Landscapes and Landforms of the Hudson Bay Lowlands

  • L. A. DredgeEmail author
  • L. D. Dyke
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


The Hudson Bay Lowlands and adjacent terrain form a vast wetland landscape with low relief and an abundance of organic terrain. Wetland landforms are the main features in the landscape. These include open and forested bogs and peat plateaus; flat fen meadows, and stringed and palsa fens; and swamps, marsh, and open water. Local relief is commonly <2 m. The landscape of the lowlands is the product of its geologic history and present conditions. The area is underlain by Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks that were peneplaned to a gradient of <2 m/km. During the last glaciation, most of the area was covered by ice flowing out of, or across, the Palaeozoic limestone underlying and adjacent to Hudson Bay, although the western and eastern extremities of the lowlands were influenced, respectively, by Keewatin and Labradorean ice, both of shield provenance. Proglacial lakes Agassiz and Barlow-Ojibway followed the retreating ice sheet northward, deeply inundating the region. The southern margin of the Hudson ice sheet was unstable, and surged into the proglacial lakes. Following the break-up of Hudson ice about 8000 years ago, the lowlands were covered by a high postglacial sea (Tyrrell Sea), which regressed down to present sea level.


Hudson Bay Lowlands Wetlands Peat Glacial history Landscape Landforms 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Nipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada

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