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Published on Sep 8, 2015
"Manicouagan Reservoir" is an annular lake in central Quebec, Canada. The lake covers an area of 1,942 km², and its eastern shore is accessible via Route 389. The lake island in the centre of the lake is known as René-Levasseur Island, and its highest point is Mount Babel. The lake and island are clearly seen from space and are sometimes called the "eye of Quebec." With a volume of 139.8 km3, the reservoir itself is the fifth largest in the world by volume, although only 35.2 km3 can be used for hydro-electric power production. In 2007, astronaut Marc Garneau nominated the reservoir for the CBC's "Seven Wonders of Canada" competition.
Manicouagan Reservoir lies within the remnant of an ancient eroded impact crater . The crater was formed following the impact of an asteroid with a diameter of 5 km, which excavated a crater originally about 100 km wide, although erosion and deposition of sediments have since reduced the visible diameter to about 72 km. It is the sixth-largest confirmed impact crater known on earth. Mount Babel is interpreted as the central peak of the crater, formed by post-impact uplift.
Research has shown that impact melt within the crater has an age of 214±1 million years. As this is 12±2 million years before the end of the Triassic, the impact that produced the crater cannot have been the cause of the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event.
The lake was enlarged by flooding the earlier Lake Mouchalagane and Manicouagan by construction of the Daniel-Johnson Dam, part of the massive Manicouagan or Manic series of hydroelectric projects undertaken by Hydro-Québec, the provincial electrical utility, during the 1960s. The complex of dams is also called the Manic-Outardes Project because the rivers involved are the Manicouagan and the Outardes.
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Background Music: "The Place Inside" by Silent Partner (royalty-free) from YouTube Audio Library.