This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Secrets of the St. Lawrence

The four seasons - Ice cycle

Who would expect to find ice at Québec? It may be perfectly natural for those who live there, but quite astonishing for visitors from the South.

Ice making

The St Lawrence is an enormous ice-making machine. It starts in December, forming ice floes between Montréal and Québec.

Pushed along by the currents and prevailing winds, the ice quickly reaches the estuary and extends East of Les Méchins by late December.

A sea of ice

From January to late February, ice gradually covers the entire Gulf. Ice from the March break-up in the estuary adds to the accumulation in the Gulf, which doesn't completely disappear until May.

One advantage of sea ice is that it limits vessel icing, since it prevents waves and thus spray from forming.

Average ice cover on January 1.  Ice extends from the coast of Nova Scotia and up the St. Lawrence Estuary.

Average ice cover on February 26.  Ice covers the St. Lawrence Estuary extending into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the edge towards the southern tip of Newfoundland.

Date modified: