Two centuries of river ice dates in Hudson Bay region from historical sources

Thumbnail Image
Magne, Mary Angela
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study established annual dates of breaking and freezing of river ice, at selected locations on Hudson Bay for the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. Although analogous in many respects to an earlier study undertaken in this field by Moodie and Catchpole, this thesis was innovative in that it derived dates for the Eastmain and Severn estuaries, extended the Albany record into the 20th Century, and combined dates from individual estuaries to obtain mean dates representative of the James Bay region. The source material consisted of post journals kept by the Hudson's Bay Company during its period of occupation in North America. The method used to extract these dates is termed content analysis. Content analysis enables the extraction of numerical data from a written, spoken, or an artistic medium using the principles of the scientific method. The unscientific nature with which the post journals were written necessitated establishing not only the reliability of the method but also the validity of the resultant dates. In this respect it was found that content analysis was a reliable method of deriving breaking and freezing dates and that the obtained dates were as valid as those previously obtained from post journals and modern records. Finally, the dates of breaking and freezing derived by this study provided one of the longest historical records of climatically controlled phenomena in North America.