Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email
: tundra@thelon.com

-presents-

Just what exactly are 'Eskers'?


photo copyright Noelle Tufts

Thousands of years ago the last of the great glaciers disappeared from the Canadian Arctic mainland, leaving in its trail a barrenland of bedrock scoured by the tremendous ice weight.  Also left behind during the ice melting process were a variety of unique glacial features known as drumlins, outwash plains – and eskers.


photo copyright Glen Grambo

Eskers are by definition the remnants of under-glacial rivers that occured during the melting process. They now wind across the Arctic landscape for sometimes up to 100 miles or more in length. As time progressed, these eskers, often consisting of a sand or gravel base, became oasis of life: a mini-forest of trees and shrubs offering a variety of nesting birdlife, and perfect den conditions for wolves, fox, and sic-sic. Since permafrost is deeper in comparison to the surrounding rolling tundra plains, trees can take root, and animals can more easily dig to den.

 


photo copyright Glen Grambo

Permafrost is found deeper in the sandy loam of eskers, thus allowing a protected oasis of old-growth boreal forest to take root. These mini-forests provide excellent roost and shelter for a variety of nesting birds and migratory Arctic animals and are excellent areas for hiking.
Archaeological evidence of human habitation are present as nomadic natives once used the eskers for shelter, firewood and hunting, as they still do to this day.

 


photo copyright Glen Grambo

During the Arctic autumn period beginning in mid August through mid-September, the eskers become a riot of colours as the dwarf, bearberry cranberry and crowberry change to bright crismon, as does the dwarf birch & willow. For a short period, eskers become a true a garden of delicate beauty.


photo copyright Steve Maka

 


photo copyright Maxwell Finkelstein

 

Duirng the summer and autumn periods, esker systems offer wonderful hiking opportunities for adventurers and explorers.

 

Other links to eskers:

Wikipedia - eskers

 

Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Click here to download our current trip calendar in PDF

 

 

Come warm yourself by our fire.
Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Phone: +608-370-5071
Email:
tundra@thelon.com
Request More Information