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Chapter 3: Geologic Structure and Landforms

3.40: Upper Limestone Rapids on the Nelson River

The photograph shows the Upper Limestone Rapids on the Nelson River about 80 kilometres southwest of Hudson Bay. “The Nelson has a steep gradient with numerous rapids, high water flows and high ice production.”[i] Here the river 1, which is about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) across at the southern edge of the photo and about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) across at the eastern edge, flows through three sets of rapids 2 with the upper one being at about 200 feet (61 m) above seal level. The Nelson is joined by the Limestone River 3 from the west and by Moondance Creek 4 from the south. The dark-toned Limestone River contrasts with the light-toned sediment-laden Nelson. The flow of the Limestone is deflected along the north bank of the Nelson 5 before eventually merging with the flow of the larger river. A well-defined terrace 6 can be seen on the north side of the Limestone. Most of the area is covered by a thin till layer on which muskeg has developed 7, but some dark-toned coniferous trees grow near the main river channel 8.

At the time the photo was taken the only evidence of human activity is the Hudson Bay Railway line 9 that leads north to Churchill. Two spurs lead into gravel pits 10. However, the Limestone power station has since been constructed 11 and the settlement of Sundance, built to house the workers involved in the building of the dam, was constructed 12.

Figure 3.40: Upper Limestone Rapids on the Nelson River

Figure 3.40: Upper Limestone Rapids on the Nelson River

Figure 3.40

Vertical air photograph: A14126-37

Flight height: 31,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 153.19 mm

Date: July 1, 1954

Scale: 1:61,600 (approx.)

Location: Townships 86 and 87; Ranges 21 and 22 E

Map sheets: 1:250,000 54 D Kettle Rapids

1:50,000 54D/9 Amery


[i] Mollard and Janes, op. cit. 1984, 91.