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Locat, J. and Levesque, C. (2009) The Saguenay Fjord: a unique physiography and records. Rev. Sci. Eau 22 (2) : 135-157. [article in French]

Original title : Le fjord du Saguenay : une physiographie et un registre exceptionnels.

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The Saguenay Fjord is a natural geoscientific laboratory. Its physiography and geomorphological characteristics, as revealed by multibeam sonar and seismic reflection surveys, and sampling shed a new light on the fjord evolution since the onset of deglaciation in the area, i.e. about 11,000 years ago. It also provides a record of the major natural disasters which have occurred in the area. In addition to its morphology, the Saguenay Fjord is unique for the analysis of climate change for this part of North America. From the morpho-sedimentological analysis of the Saguenay Fjord, we propose to subdivide it into three parts: Lower, Middle and Upper Saguenay Fjord. The Lower Saguenay Fjord corresponds to the sector between Tadoussac (at kilometer 0), at a depth of about 20 m, up to kilometer 42. This part of the fjord consists mostly of glacial sediments with little postglacial accumulations. The Middle Saguenay Fjord encompasses the deeper part of the fjord between Île St. Louis, and the confluence between the Bras-Nord and Baie-des-Ha! Ha!. The seafloor of the fjord, in this sector, consists mostly of hemipelagic, turbiditic and debris flow sediments. Finally, the Upper Saguenay Fjord includes the Bras-Nord and the Baie-des-Ha! Ha!. The seafloor of this part of the fjord is largely made of infilling deltaic sediments. Although apparently quiet, the fjord has revealed interesting geological information including the signature of many submarine mass movements, the presence of gas in the deeper part and evidences of seismic activities linked to the 1663, 1870 and likely the 1988 earthquakes.


Fjords, physiography, landslides, geomorphology, sediments, natural hazards, earthquakes.

Corresponding author

Locat, Jacques : Laboratoire d’étude sur les risques naturels (LERN), Département de géologie et de génie géologique, Université Laval, Québec, Qc, Canada, G1K 7P4 (jacques.locat@ggl.ulaval.ca)

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Update: 2009-10-28
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