Anyone can see it from space images,

but no one filmed it from within!

Until we did to share with you this amazing place

The Reservoir Manicouagan : The eye of Quebec story and mystery

Let me tell you why and how I became obsessed with the Manicouagan reservoir. This 1943km2 territory is the scene of many geological, natural, human histories and yet most of it, is now completely submerged, making it invisible.

How come, we can see so many pictures of this site taken from space and none from within? I will take you on a journey to brave the cold, black and heavily sedimented waters to make the invisible, visible; to

Re-connect

  • To the past: the one belonging to the Innu community
  • To the earth: the one that sustains us all
  • To the inner world: the one that makes us pushing limits and commit to build a better understanding
  • To give us a second chance to live in a better harmony with the others, the land, the wild life.

Location

At the heart of Pessamit’s Nitassinan and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve ( 5.5 millions hectares) The second largest biosphere reserve in Canada. The expedition takes place in The Manicouagan – Uapishka region, 270km north of Baie Comeau

Manicouagan–Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve (MUWBR) was awarded this distinction in 2007. It is one of the world’s largest biosphere reserves, bordered on one side by the waters of the St. Lawrence between Pessamit and Baie-Trinité and on the other where the boreal forest gives way to taiga, north of the Uapishka (Groulx) Mountains. Its 54,800 square kilometre surface area is more than a hundred times that of the Island of Montreal.

After the construction of the Dam( 1959-1968), the 2 rivers became one big reservoir. Manic 5 and manic 5 PA 50°38′23″N 68°43′37″W have a capacity of 2692 MW. It took 13 years to fill the reservoir.

Dive into the inner space of the Manicouagan reservoir. A unique exploration to document the invisible evolution of the 4th biggest crater in the world which became one of the most important hydro electricity reservoir in Canada after the construction of Manic 5 (1968)

The Histories

The Geology

  • Some 215 million years ago an asteroid struck the earth in the middle of what today is Quebec’s largest nature reserve, René Levasseur Island. The resulting “Eye of Quebec” is visible from space — about a hundred-kilometres-wide crater and one of the world’s largest astrobleme.Time: 215.5 million years ago (Triassic Period)
  • Meteor size: +/-8km
  • Diameter: +/-90 km
  • Location: Quebec, Canada. N 51° 23′ W 68° 42′
  • But no underwater images existed!?

The Manicouagan river and its power

  • Rising near the Labrador border, the river drains lakes Muskalagan and Manicouagan southward into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. 
  • It is more than 340 miles (550 km) long from the source of its longest headstream.
  • The Manicouagan drains more than 16,000 square miles (41,000 square km) of the heavily forested region, hence its Indian name meaning “where there is bark.”
  • Long an important lumbering artery supporting the huge pulp and paper factories at Baie-Comeau, the river has become a major source of hydroelectric power; Hydro-Quebec has built several plants—including Daniel-Johnson Dam, one of the world’s largest multiarch dams—which together have a generating capacity in the millions of kilowatts.

The Boreal forest

  • Black spruce is the predominant species in the area’s woodlands, which form part of the Boreal Forest—the world’s largest terrestrial biome. Trees  may be more than a century old and are home to a fauna characteristic of the province’s last remaining old-growth conifer forests
  • The forest is the land of many animals including the endangered woodland Caribou
  • The Quebec government’s internationally recognized commitment to protect 50 percent of its boreal forest—an area the size of France.

The innus

  • Making the invisible , visible again. 60 years after the flooding of the traditional territory.
  • Indigenous peoples have traversed these mountains for thousands of years and long appreciated this region and its role in sustaining caribou.
  • The Innu way of life alternated between sites on the coast in the summer and, in the winter, camps along the river to track game.
  • Access to knowledge and reconciliation between Innu and non indigenous inhabitants are among the most pressing issues in Manicouagan–Uapishka today

The hydro electricity

The Daniel Johnson dam and the Manic 5 generating station, a hydroelectric complex located 214 km north of Baie-Comeau in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, remain strong symbols of Quebec’s hydraulic wealth and technical prowess for a majority of Quebec’s citizens. It is also the symbol of the ‘’Quiet  revolution’’

In 2018, 61 per cent of Canada’s electricity generation was from hydroelectric sources.

The Submerged Forest

  • Water level: +130 meters and still going up
  • After the construction of the dam, It took 13 years for the reservoir to be filled.
  • The forest is standing still with the mark of the weather condition and ice as water filled the land