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2006 Research Grant Recipient - Véronique Tremblay

Ice capade
Véronique Tremblay hiked and kayaked throughout the Cap-Chat River valley in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula last summer, searching for traces of a long-lost era. The environmental geography student at Université de Montréal is piecing together the geomorphological changes that marked the region from the latter part of the Wisconsinan glaciation, some 18,000 years ago, to today.

Funded in part by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Tremblay is also attempting to settle a question that continues to puzzle scientists: "We'd like to know whether this region was covered by the same glacier that covered the centre of Quebec, the Laurentide ice sheet, or whether there was a local ice sheet over the Gaspé Peninsula." Tremblay climbed the highest peaks in the area, Mont Logan and Mont Nicol- Albert, to determine whether they were once covered in ice.

Her results show that during the last glaciation, the Laurentide ice sheet advanced from the north shore of the St. Lawrence River to the present site of Cap-Chat. But there is no evidence that it crept farther into the Gaspé Peninsula or Monts Chic-Chocs.

She is also trying to chart the extent of rising sea levels in the Cap-Chat River valley following deglaciation. "I've found fossilized shells in layers of clay up to 10 kilometres into the interior of the valley," she explains. Radiocarbon dating of her samples will likely offer more clues to the demise of the ice-age landscape.

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