USA

Lake Superior (North America)

Lake
calendarOct 08 2017
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America. The lake is shared by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north, the US state of Minnesota to the west, and Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the south. It is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume and the largest by volume in North America.

The deepest point in Lake Superior is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface, making a complete freeze a rarity. Lake Superior boasts extremely clear water, with an average underwater visibility of 27 feet (8.2 m). It takes almost 200 years for the lake to refill with new water, according to the University of Wisconsin.

The average water temperature is 40 F (4.4 C) — lower than the other Great Lakes, which are farther south. The water temperatures during the summer months average about 55 F, but surface temperatures reached a record 68.7 F (20.4 C) in August 2010 and are affected by the amount of surface ice during the previous winter.

Small amounts of water are also diverted into the lake from two places otherwise outside of the watershed—Long Lac and Ogoki—in order to accentuate hydroelectric-power generation at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Niagara Falls. The principal islands in the lake are Isle Royale, a U.S. national park; the Apostle Islands, near the Wisconsin shore; Michipicoten, on the east side; and St. Ignace, near the mouth of the Nipigon River (Can.).

Most of the land around Lake Superior is heavily forested. Not many people farm near the lake because the temperatures are cool and the soil is poor. You won't find many people living along the lake either, except in port cities where the ships load and unload.

Did you know that Lake Superior is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the St. Lawrence Seaway? The 2,343 mile (3,770 kilometer) trip takes about seven days by boat from Duluth/Superior, the busiest inland port in the country, with more than 1,000 vessels visiting each year.

Tributaries And Outlet
The lake is fed by over 200 rivers. The largest include the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River, the Bois Brule River and the Kaministiquia River. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron via the St. Marys River. There are rapids at the river's upper (Lake Superior) end where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient. The Soo Locks were built to enable ships to bypass the rapids and to overcome the 25-foot (8 m) height difference between Lakes Superior and Huron.

Location
North America

Lake Superior

Lake
calendarOct 08 2017

Lake Superior

Lake
calendarOct 08 2017