The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of 1,144,000 km2 and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada, its estimated population as of 2018 is 44,445. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission; the Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-Western Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870, but the current borders were formed on April 1, 1999, when the territory was subdivided to create Nunavut to the east, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While Nunavut is Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a warmer climate and is both boreal forest, tundra, its most northern regions form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; the Northwest Territories is bordered by Canada's two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, by the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the south.
The name is descriptive, adopted by the British government during the colonial era to indicate where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land. It is shortened from North-Western Territory. In Inuktitut, the Northwest Territories are referred to as ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ, "beautiful land."There was some discussion of changing the name of the Northwest Territories after the splitting off of Nunavut to a term from an Aboriginal language. One proposal was "Denendeh", among others. One of the most popular proposals for a new name – one to name the territory "Bob" – began as a prank, but for a while it was at or near the top in the public-opinion polls. In the end, a poll conducted prior to division showed that strong support remained to keep the name "Northwest Territories"; this name arguably became more appropriate following division than it had been when the territories extended far into Canada's north-central and northeastern areas. Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south.
It meets Manitoba at a quadripoint to the extreme southeast, though surveys have not been completed. It has a land area of 1,183,085 km2. Geographical features include Great Bear Lake, the largest lake within Canada, Great Slave Lake, the deepest body of water in North America at 614 m, as well as the Mackenzie River and the canyons of the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Territorial islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago include Banks Island, Borden Island, Prince Patrick Island, parts of Victoria Island and Melville Island, its highest point is Mount Nirvana near the border with Yukon at an elevation of 2,773 m. The Northwest Territories extends for more than 1,300,000 km2 and has a large climate variant from south to north; the southern part of the territory has a subarctic climate, while the islands and northern coast have a polar climate. Summers in the north are short and cool, with daytime highs of 14-17 Celsius, lows of 1-5 Celsius. Winters are long and harsh, daytime highs in the mid −20 °C and lows around −40 °C.
Extremes are common with summer highs in the south reaching 36 °C and lows reaching into the negatives. In winter in the south, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −40 °C, but they can reach the low teens during the day. In the north, temperatures can reach highs of 30 °C, lows can reach into the low negatives. In winter in the north it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −50 °C but they can reach the single digits during the day. Thunderstorms are not rare in the south. In the north they are rare, but do occur. Tornadoes are rare but have happened with the most notable one happening just outside Yellowknife that destroyed a communications tower; the Territory has a dry climate due to the mountains in the west. About half of the territory is above the tree line. There are not many trees in the north islands; the present-day territory came under government authority in July 1870, after the Hudson's Bay Company transferred Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to the British Crown, which subsequently transferred them to Canada, giving it the name the North-west Territories.
This immense region comprised all of today's Canada except that, encompassed within the early signers of Canadian Confederation, that is, British Columbia, early forms of present-day Ontario and Quebec, the Maritimes, the Labrador coast, the Arctic Islands, except the southern half of Baffin Island. The first residential school opened in 1867 in Fort Resolution, followed by several others in regions across the territory, thus contributing to the Northwest Territories reaching the highest percentage of students in residential schools of any area in Canada. After the 1870 transfer, some of the North-west Territories was whittled away; the province of Manitoba was created on July 15, 1870, at first a small square area around Winnipeg
1946 Vancouver Island earthquake
The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake struck Vancouver Island on the Coast of British Columbia, Canada, on June 23 at 10:15 a.m. with a magnitude estimated at 7.0 Ms and 7.5 Mw. The main shock epicenter occurred in the Forbidden Plateau area northwest of Courtenay. While most of the large earthquakes in the Vancouver area occur at tectonic plate boundaries, the 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake was a crustal event. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Prince Rupert, British Columbia; this is one of the most damaging earthquakes in the history of British Columbia, but damage was restricted because there were no populated areas near the epicentre, where severe shaking occurred. This earthquake is Canada's largest historic onshore earthquake. However, the greatest earthquake in Canadian history recorded by seismometers was the 1949 Queen Charlotte earthquake, an interplate earthquake that occurred on the ocean bottom just off the rugged coast of Graham Island, which reached magnitude 8.1 on the moment magnitude scale.
The tectonics that caused the 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake are poorly known. No surface expression of the offset was noticed, most because the epicentre area is remote and densely forested. A comprehensive examination and computer interpretation of seismic data from over 50 stations has shown that a possible explanation of the earthquake includes a strike-slip fault corresponding to the lengthy axis of Vancouver Island, known as the Beaufort Range Fault. A fault running across Vancouver Island, corresponding to the projection of the underwater Nootka Fault on the British Columbia Coast, is a possibility but an unlikely one because the earthquake showed no evidence of offsets along a series of highways that follows much of the eastern coastline of Vancouver Island, called Island Highway, other roads between Courtenay and Campbell River; the estimated depth of the earthquake places it within the continental crust, not at the margin with the Cascadia subduction zone, not inside the subduction zone itself.
The earthquake's epicentre was positioned somewhere in the Forbidden Plateau region, in central Vancouver Island. Though destructive, the earthquake caused only two deaths: Jacob L. Kingston, aged 69, Daniel Fidler, 50. Kingston suffered a heart attack. In Vancouver, damage consisted of lofty buildings oscillating violently, a piece of masonry fell from the local railway station. In addition, within the city, at least one gas line cracked and several power outages occurred. Fires broke out in several chimneys, at least one swing-span bridge was fractured by the shaking. In the Hotel Vancouver, which housed the elderly and caught on fire, more than 500 war veterans' families fled the flames. One writer, George Finley, stated that the Lions' Gate Bridge "swayed like a leaf", coinciding with a "low, rumbling sound, like a deep growl." The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake demolished 75% of the chimneys in the communities of Cumberland, Union Bay, Courtenay and caused extensive damage in Comox, Port Alberni, Powell River, on the eastern side of the Strait of Georgia.
Some chimneys were fractured in Victoria, people in Victoria and Vancouver experienced great fright, with some seen fleeing into the streets. Landslides created by the earthquake were common throughout Vancouver Island. Land subsidence resulted from the earthquake, most around shorelines on the Strait of Georgia; this included the bottom of Deep Bay which sank between 2.7 25.6 m. These measurements were reported by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. A 3-metre ground shift occurred on Read Island. Ships throughout the region were affected, those on board them during the earthquake described it as similar to having run over a sand bar or striking a rock. Undersea power lines were destroyed in the long narrow Alberni Inlet and near the city of Powell River. All lighthouse keepers in the surrounding area felt the earthquake, experienced damage including shattered windows and smashed dishes. A tsunami struck the west coast of Texada Island with two waves, the first being 2 metres high and the second 1 metre high.
The earthquake caused a landslide near Mount Colonel Foster. One fortunate occurrence allowed researchers afterward to review the effects of the earthquake: an aerial photographic survey of Vancouver Island had commenced in 1946, soon after the earthquake, these photographs were studied by a geoscientist in the late 1970s. South of the Canada–United States border in Washington State, some chimneys fell at Eastsound on Orcas Island and a concrete mill was damaged at Port Angeles. In Seattle, some damage occurred on upper floors of tall buildings, one bridge was damaged; the shock was felt at Bellingham, Olympia and Tacoma. The earthquake was powerful enough to knock the needle off a seismograph at the University of Washington, was sustained for about a minute in Seattle; the earthquake caused significant movement among structures, moving one 300-foot wall about 35 feet and caused one home to shift for 5 feet off its foundation. The total affected area in Canada and the United States was about 260,000 km2.
List of deadly earthquakes since 1900 List of earthquakes in 1946 List of earthquakes in Canada List of earthquakes in the United States The International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and/or authoritative data for this event
Hydraulic fracturing in Canada
Hydraulic fracturing in Canada was first used in Alberta in 1953 to extract hydrocarbons from the giant Pembina oil field, the biggest conventional oil field in Alberta, which would have produced little oil without fracturing. Since over 170,000 oil and gas wells have been fractured in Western Canada. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that stimulates natural gas or oil in wellbores to flow more by subjecting hydrocarbon reservoirs to pressure through the injection of fluids or gas at depth causing the rock to fracture or to widen existing cracks. New hydrocarbon production areas have been opened as hydraulic fracturing stimulating techniques are coupled with more recent advances in horizontal drilling. Complex wells that are many hundreds or thousands of metres below ground are extended further through drilling of horizontal or directional sections. Massive fracturing has been used in Alberta since the late 1970s to recover gas from low-permeability sandstones such as the Spirit River Formation.
The productivity of wells in the Cardium and Viking formations in Alberta, Bakken formation in Saskatchewan and Horn River formations in British Columbia would not be possible without hydraulic fracturing technology. Hydraulic fracturing has revitalized legacy oilfields. "Hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells in unconventional shale and tight sand reservoirs unlocks gas and liquids production that until was not considered possible." Conventional oil production in Canada was on a decrease since about 2004 but this changed with the increased production from these formations using hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the primary technologies employed to extract shale gas or tight gas from unconventional reservoirs. In 2012 Canada averaged 356 active drilling rigs, coming in second to the United States with 1,919 active drilling rigs; the United States represents just below 60 percent of worldwide activity. The Spirit River, Duvernay, Viking and Horn River formations are stratigraphical units of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin which underlies 1,400,000 square kilometres of Western Canada and which contains one of the world's largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas.
The Montney Formation, located in Northeast British Columbia and West-Central Alberta, the Duvernay Formation located in central Alberta, are the most prospective formations in the WCSB for development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs that require hydraulic fracturing stimulations. The Bakken formation formation is a rock unit of the Williston Basin that extends into southern Saskatchewan. In the early 2000s significant increase in production the Williston Basin began because of application of horizontal drilling techniques in the Bakken Formation; the first commercial application of hydraulic fracturing was by Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company in 1949 in Stephens County, Oklahoma and in Archer County, using a blend of crude oil and a proppant of screened river sand into existing wells with no horizontal drilling. In the 1950s about 750 US gal of fluid and 400 lb were used. By 2010 treatments averaged "approximately 60,000 US gal of fluid and 100,000 lb of propping agent, with the largest treatments exceeding 1,000,000 US gal of fluid and 5,000,000 lb of proppant."In 2011 the Wall Street Journal summarized the history of hydraulic fracturing, "Only a decade ago Texas oil engineers hit upon the idea of combining two established technologies to release natural gas trapped in shale formations.
Horizontal drilling—in which wells turn sideways after a certain depth—opens up big new production areas. Producers use a 60-year-old technique called hydraulic fracturing—in which water and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure—to loosen the shale and release gas." Horizontal oil or gas wells were unusual until the 1980s. In the late 1980s, operators along the Texas Gulf Coast began completing thousands of oil wells by drilling horizontally in the Austin Chalk, giving'massive' hydraulic fracturing treatments to the wellbores. Horizontal wells proved much more effective than vertical wells in producing oil from the tight chalk. In the late 1990s in Texas, combining horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing techniques made large-scale commercial shale gas production possible. Since shale gas wells have become longer and the number of stages per well has increased; as shale gas companies target deeper, more unstable reservoirs, drilling technologies have been developed to tackle challenges in various environments.
In parallel with the advancement in drilling technologies, injection technologies have seen changes. Oil producers spend US$12 million upfront to drill a well but it is so efficient and produces so well during its short, 18-month lifespan, that oil producers using this technology can still make a profit with oil at $50 a barrel. Lifespan of hydraulic fracturing: The lifecycle of shale gas development can vary from a few years to decades and occurs in six major stages, as described by Natural Resources Canada, assuming all approvals from the various regulatory authorities have been obtained: Stage One: Exploration, which involves applying for the appropriate licenses and permits, leasing the mineral rights, Indigenous consultations, community consultations and geophysical studies, including geological assessments and seismic surveys.
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.016 million as of 2018, it is Canada's third-most populous province. The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, which gave rise to the City of Victoria, at first the capital of the separate Colony of Vancouver Island. Subsequently, on the mainland, the Colony of British Columbia was founded by Richard Clement Moody and the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Moody was Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colony and the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia: he was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire's "bulwark in the farthest west", "to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific". Moody selected the site for and founded the original capital of British Columbia, New Westminster, established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park, designed the first version of the Coat of arms of British Columbia.
Port Moody is named after him. In 1866, Vancouver Island became part of the colony of British Columbia, Victoria became the united colony's capital. In 1871, British Columbia became the sixth province of Canada, its Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu. The capital of British Columbia remains Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for Queen Victoria, who ruled during the creation of the original colonies; the largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest. In October 2013, British Columbia had an estimated population of 4,606,371; the province is governed by the British Columbia New Democratic Party, led by John Horgan, in a minority government with the confidence and supply of the Green Party of British Columbia. Horgan became premier as a result of a no-confidence motion on June 29, 2017. British Columbia evolved from British possessions that were established in what is now British Columbia by 1871.
First Nations, the original inhabitants of the land, have a history of at least 10,000 years in the area. Today there are few treaties, the question of Aboriginal Title, long ignored, has become a legal and political question of frequent debate as a result of recent court actions. Notably, the Tsilhqot'in Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of the 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia; the province's name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia, i.e. "the Mainland", became a British colony in 1858. It refers to the Columbia District, the British name for the territory drained by the Columbia River, in southeastern British Columbia, the namesake of the pre-Oregon Treaty Columbia Department of the Hudson's Bay Company. Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from the United States, which became the Oregon Territory on August 8, 1848, as a result of the treaty.
The Columbia in the name British Columbia is derived from the name of the Columbia Rediviva, an American ship which lent its name to the Columbia River and the wider region. British Columbia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and the American state of Alaska, to the north by Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, to the east by the province of Alberta, to the south by the American states of Washington and Montana; the southern border of British Columbia was established by the 1846 Oregon Treaty, although its history is tied with lands as far south as California. British Columbia's land area is 944,735 square kilometres. British Columbia's rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres, includes deep, mountainous fjords and about 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited, it is the only province in Canada. British Columbia's capital is Victoria, located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. Only a narrow strip of Vancouver Island, from Campbell River to Victoria, is populated.
Much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast is covered by temperate rainforest. The province's most populous city is Vancouver, at the confluence of the Fraser River and Georgia Strait, in the mainland's southwest corner. By land area, Abbotsford is the largest city. Vanderhoof is near the geographic centre of the province; the Coast Mountains and the Inside Passage's many inlets provide some of British Columbia's renowned and spectacular scenery, which forms the backdrop and context for a growing outdoor adventure and ecotourism industry. 75% of the province is mountainous. The province's mainland away from the coastal regions is somewhat moderated by the Pacific Ocean. Terrain ranges from dry inland forests and semi-arid valleys, to the range and canyon districts of the Central and Southern Interior, to boreal forest and subarctic prairie in the Northern Interior. High mountain regions both north and south subalpine climate; the Okanagan area, extending from Vernon to Osoyoos at the United States border, is one of several wine and cider-produci
The Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circles and the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the centre of the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the centre of the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice; the region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone. As seen from the Arctic, the Sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year; this is true in the Antarctic region, south of the equivalent Antarctic Circle. The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed, its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of more than 2° over a 41,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon. The Arctic Circle is drifting northwards at a speed of about 15 m per year.
The word arctic comes from the Greek word ἀρκτικός and that from the word ἄρκτος. The Arctic Circle is the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the centre of the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for twenty-four hours. Directly on the Arctic Circle these events occur, in principle once per year: at the June and December solstices, respectively. However, because of atmospheric refraction and mirages, because the sun appears as a disk and not a point, part of the midnight sun may be seen on the night of the northern summer solstice up to about 50 minutes south of the Arctic Circle; that is true at sea level. Only four million people live north of the Arctic Circle due to the climate. Tens of thousands of years ago, waves of people migrated from eastern Siberia across the Bering Strait into North America to settle; the largest communities north of the Arctic Circle are situated in Russia and Sweden: Murmansk, Tromsø, Kiruna. Rovaniemi in Finland is the largest settlement in the immediate vicinity of the Arctic Circle, lying 6 km south of the line.
In contrast, the largest North American community north of the Arctic Circle, has 5,000 inhabitants. Of the Arctic communities in Canada and the United States, Alaska is the largest settlement with about 4,000 inhabitants; the Arctic Circle is 16,000 km long. The area north of the Circle is about 20,000,000 km2 and covers 4% of Earth's surface; the Arctic Circle passes through the Arctic Ocean, the Scandinavian Peninsula, North Asia, Northern America, Greenland. The land within the Arctic Circle is divided among eight countries: Norway, Finland, the United States, Canada and Iceland; the climate inside the Arctic Circle is cold, but the coastal areas of Norway have a mild climate as a result of the Gulf Stream, which makes the ports of northern Norway and northwest Russia ice-free all year long. In the interior, summers can be quite warm, while winters are cold. For example, summer temperatures in Norilsk, Russia will sometimes reach as high as 30 °C, while the winter temperatures fall below −50 °C.
Starting at the prime meridian and heading eastwards, the Arctic Circle passes through: Terra Incognita: Exploration of the Canadian Arctic—Historical essay about early expeditions to the Canadian Arctic, illustrated with maps and drawings Temporal Epoch Calculations ©2006 by James Q. Jacobs Download: Epoch v2009.xls Useful constants" See: Obliquity of the ecliptic
Nunavut is the newest and most northerly territory of Canada. It was separated from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the boundaries had been drawn in 1993; the creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map since the incorporation of the province of Newfoundland in 1949. Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, its vast territory makes it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America's second-largest. The capital Iqaluit, on Baffin Island in the east, was chosen by the 1995 capital plebiscite. Other major communities include the regional centres of Cambridge Bay. Nunavut includes Ellesmere Island to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west, all islands in Hudson and Ungava Bays, including Akimiski Island far to the southeast of the rest of the territory.
It is Canada's only geo-political region, not connected to the rest of North America by highway. Nunavut is the second-least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, it has a population of 35,944 Inuit, spread over a land area of just over 1,750,000 km2, or smaller than Mexico. Nunavut is home to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert. Eureka, a weather station on Ellesmere Island, has the lowest average annual temperature of any Canadian weather station. Nunavut means "our land" in the native language Inuktitut. Nunavut covers 160,935 km2 of water in Northern Canada; the territory includes part of the mainland, most of the Arctic Archipelago, all of the islands in Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ungava Bay, including the Belcher Islands, all of which belonged to the Northwest Territories from which Nunavut was separated. This makes it the fifth-largest subnational entity in the world. If Nunavut were a country, it would rank 15th in area.
Nunavut has long land borders with the Northwest Territories on the mainland and a few Arctic islands, with Manitoba to the south of the Nunavut mainland. Through its small satellite territories in the southeast, it has short land borders with Newfoundland and Labrador on Killiniq Island, with Ontario in two locations in James Bay – the larger located west of Akimiski Island, the smaller around the Albany River near Fafard Island – and with Quebec in many locations, such as near Eastmain and near Inukjuak, it shares maritime borders with Greenland and the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba. Nunavut's highest point is Barbeau Peak on Ellesmere Island; the population density is one of the lowest in the world. By comparison, Greenland has the same area and nearly twice the population. Nunavut experiences a polar climate in most regions, owing to its high latitude and lower continental summertime influence than areas to the west. In more southerly continental areas cold subarctic climates can be found, due to July being milder than the required 10 °C.
The region now known as Nunavut has supported a continuous indigenous population for 4,000 years. Most historians identify the coast of Baffin Island with the Helluland described in Norse sagas, so it is possible that the inhabitants of the region had occasional contact with Norse sailors. In September 2008, researchers reported on the evaluation of existing and newly excavated archaeological remains, including yarn spun from a hare, tally sticks, a carved wooden face mask that depicts Caucasian features, possible architectural material; the materials were collected in five seasons of excavation at Cape Tanfield. Scholars determined that these provide evidence of European traders and settlers on Baffin Island, not than 1000 CE, they seem to indicate prolonged contact up to 1450. The origin of the Old World contact is unclear. So... you have to consider the possibility that as remote as it may seem, these finds may represent evidence of contact with Europeans prior to the Vikings' arrival in Greenland."
The written historical accounts of Nunavut begin in 1576, with an account by English explorer Martin Frobisher. While leading an expedition to find the Northwest Passage, Frobisher thought he had discovered gold ore around the body of water now known as Frobisher Bay on the coast of Baffin Island; the ore turned out to be worthless, but Frobisher made the first recorded European contact with the Inuit. Other explorers in search of the elusive Northwest Passage followed in the 17th century, including Henry Hudson, William Baffin and Robert Bylot. Cornwallis and Ellesmere Islands featured in the history of the Cold War in the 1950s. Concerned about the area's strategic geopolitical position, the federal government relocated Inuit from Nunavik to Resolute and Grise Fiord. In the unfamiliar and hostile conditions, they were forced to stay. Forty years the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a report titled The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–
Grand Banks of Newfoundland
The Grand Banks of Newfoundland are a group of underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf. These areas are shallow, ranging from 15 to 91 metres in depth; the cold Labrador Current mixes with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream here causing extreme foggy conditions. The mixing of these waters and the shape of the ocean bottom lifts nutrients to the surface; these conditions helped to create one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Fish species include Atlantic cod, swordfish and capelin; the area supports large colonies of seabirds such as northern gannets, shear waters and sea ducks and various sea mammals such as seals and whales. Overfishing in the late 20th century caused the collapse of several species cod, leading to the closure of the Canadian Grand Banks fishery in 1993; the Grand Banks were extensively glaciated during the last glacial maximum. By 13,000 years ago, the majority of the ice had melted, leaving the Grand Banks exposed as several islands extending for hundreds of kilometres.
It is believed. While there is no archaeological evidence for a European presence near the Grand Banks between the short-lived Greenland Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in CE 1000 and John Cabot's transatlantic crossing in 1497, there is some evidence that voyagers from Portugal, the Basque Region and England and others preceded Cabot. In the 15th century some texts refer to a land called Bacalao, the land of the codfish, Newfoundland. Within a few years of Cabot's voyage the existence of fishing grounds on the Grand Banks became known in Europe. Ships from France and Portugal were first to fish there, followed by those from Spain, while ships from England were scarce in the early years; this soon changed after Bernard Drake's raid in 1585 which wiped out the Spanish and Portuguese fishing industry in this area. These fish stocks thus became important for the early economies of eastern New England. On 18 November 1929, a major earthquake on the southwestern part of the Grand Banks bordering the Laurentian Channel caused an underwater landslide which resulted in extensive damage to transatlantic cables and generated a rare Atlantic tsunami that struck the south coast of Newfoundland, claiming 29 lives on the Burin Peninsula.
Technological advances in fishing such as large factory ships and sonar, as well as geopolitical disputes over territorial sea and exclusive economic zone boundaries, have led to overfishing and a serious decline in the fish stocks of the Grand Banks from around 1990. The Canadian Grand Banks fishery was closed in 1993. Canada's EEZ occupies the majority of the Grand Banks except for the lucrative "nose" and "tail" of the fishing bank; the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the United States shared rights to fish in these waters, but that section of the Treaty is no longer in force. The French territory Saint Pierre and Miquelon exclusive economic zone occupies a pin-shaped section at the west edge of the Grand Banks, with the 22 kilometres radius head of the pin surrounding the islands and the needle heading south for 348 km. Canada is performing the hydrographic and geological surveys necessary for claiming the entire continental shelf off eastern Canada, under the auspices of the latest United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Once this aspect of UNCLOS is ratified, Canada will control these remaining parts of Grand Banks which are outside of its EEZ jurisdiction. Petroleum reserves have been discovered and a number of oil fields are under development in this region, most notably the Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose projects. Semi-fictional depictions of fishermen working on the Grand Banks can be found in Rudyard Kipling's novel Captains Courageous and in Sebastian Junger's non-fiction book The Perfect Storm; the Grand Banks are portrayed in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October. Banks dory Collapse of the Atlantic northwest cod fishery Oil spill Turbot War West Greenland Current The Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap Government response to the standing committee on fisheries and oceans' tenth report Watch Cries from the Deep—a Jacques Cousteau documentary on the Grand Banks