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Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project (SIMEP)

Project Citation: Mundy, Christopher J. 2017, "Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project (SIMEP)", https://doi.org/10.34992/dc0p-kf56, Canadian Watershed Information Network (CanWIN), V1

Global warming is forcing rapid change to Canada’s marine Arctic icescape and its associated ecosystem, while the increasing ice-free season is supporting an ever-increasing industrial presence in the North. With over two thirds of Canada’s coastline being located in the North and the fact that near shore waters represent some of the most productive Arctic regions, there is a need to improve our understanding of marine ecosystem processes in the sensitive Arctic coastal zone. The marine region around Southampton Island, northwest Hudson Bay (Nunavut), encompasses one of Canada’s largest summer and winter aggregations of Arctic marine mammals, providing multiple ecosystem services. This biological hotspot has supported local human habitation for millennia with confirmed Dorset, Thule, and Sadlermiut occupation sites. The region has also been a marine mammal management focus of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for decades and supports two sea bird sanctuaries, yet we know surprisingly little of the region’s oceanography, productivity or biological community below these top trophic levels. This fact highlights a major management risk, severely limiting our ability to understand and predict changes to this unique and productive marine ecosystem. Adding complexity to this risk are pressures posed by the ongoing climate changes and an increasing industrial presence. Therefore, we undertook an oceanographic study called the Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project (SIMEP), funded by the MEOPAR Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE), Canada Foundation for Innovation through the Churchill Marine Observatory (CMO), Research Manitoba, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) ship time, BiodivERsA Belmont Forum, and individual research grants, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and individual and international research grants from participants from USA, UK, and Norway.

The SIMEP network assumed a bottom up driven ecosystem, hypothesizing that the hotspot can be explained by:

  • Winter pre-conditioning of surface waters associated with large polynyas that form along the western coasts of Foxe Basin and Hudson Bay. Also known as ice factories, these polynyas produce dense salty brine that can sink, ventilating deeper waters while associated mixing replenishes surface nutrients and therefore, primary production.
  • Tidal and wind-driven mixing along shallow near shore as well as shoaled and constricted waterways of Rose Welcome Sound, Frozen Strait and Fisher Strait. Some of the world’s largest tides are observed in Hudson Bay and as they move water back and forth across these areas, currents and mixing intensify, increasing water mass exchange and thus nutrient supply and advective flux in the area.
  • East and north of Southampton Island, water masses originating in Atlantic (via Hudson Strait) and Pacific (via Foxe Basin) oceans are mixed and modified, and greatly influence production as large inventories of new nutrients are imported to the region.

To test these hypotheses, we assembled a network of University and government scientists seeking to obtain a food web-based understanding of the ecosystem.

Data Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Abstract Rosette data was collected using a Seabird 32 pylon, 19Plus V2, and 33 deck unit. Rosettes are water sampling instruments used in conjunction with oceanographic sensors to measure a number of variables. Rosettes give us a detailed snapshot of the entire water column through these sensors and through water samples collected at various depths within the column.
Cite Project Mundy, Christopher J. 2017, "Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project (SIMEP)", https://doi.org/10.34992/dc0p-kf56, Canadian Watershed Information Network (CanWIN), V1
Research Program Name Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Project website

Project Keywords

Keywords Southampton Island,Arctic,marine ecology,macrophytes,phytoplankton,Zooplankton,invertebrate,fish,biogeochemistry,Oceanography,hydrography,Taxonomy,marine sediments,surface sediments
Keyword Vocabulary PolarData Catalogue
Keyword Vocabulary URL https://www.polardata.ca/pdcinput/public/keywordlibrary
Project Status Inactive
Project DOI

Project License

License Name BaySys Project Licence
License URL none
Terms of use
License Scheme Name none

Principal Investigators

Name Mundy, Christopher J.
Type of Name Personal
Email Cj.Mundyfoo(at) umanitoba.ca
ORCID ID 0000-0001-5945-8305
Name Identifier Scheme URI https://orcid.org/
Name Identifier Scheme ORCID

Co-Investigators

Name
Role
Affiliation (e.g Environment Canada)
ORCID ID
Name Identifier Scheme URI https://orcid.org/
Name Identifier Scheme ORCID

Data Curator

Name Mundy, Christopher J.
Type DataCurator
Data Curator Email Cj.Mundyfoo(at) umanitoba.ca
Affiliation (e.g Environment Canada) Center for Earth Observation Science University of Manitoba

Funding References

Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name MEOPAR Network of Centre of Excellence
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name Research Manitoba
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name Churchill Marine Observatory (CMO-CFI)
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name (NSERC) Ship Time Grant
Award Number
Award Title Southampton Island Marine Ecosystem Project
Funder Name NSERC-BiodivERsA Belmont Forum Grant
Award Number
Project Start 2017-04-01
Project End 2020-03-31
Project Metadata Creation Date 2020-02-26
Publisher Canadian Watershed Information Network (CanWIN), University of Manitoba
Resource Sub-Type Online resource
Resource Category Collection
Spatial Extent (GeoJSON)
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