An Emerging Landscape - 
the Champlain Sea

Fifteen thousand years ago, the continental glacier, which extended over all of eastern Canada, began to melt, leaving behind vast bodies of water.

Some 12,000 to 13,000 years ago, the Ottawa Valley was covered by an inland sea called the Champlain Sea. It was about 150 metres higher than the current river levels in Ottawa-Hull. The region's environment was barren, cold and inhospitable. It is not known if people lived here at the time.

Glimpses of the Sea

The Champlain Sea, which covered the Ottawa Valley until about 10,000 years ago, supported a rich variety of marine life, including whales, seals and several species of saltwater fish. Small herds of caribou and other Arctic animals probably lived in the area around the sea, but no evidence has been found of a human presence in the region.

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