- Lake Superior -

Largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, third largest by volume and the largest by volume in North America.

LENGTH: 350 miles
BREADTH: 160 Miles
SURFACE AREA: 31,700 sq. miles
VOLUME: 2,900 cu mi (3 quadrillion gallons)
SURFACE ELEVATION: avg. 600 feet above sea level
AVERAGE DEPTH: 483 feet
MAX. DEPTH: 1,332 feet (733 feet below sea level)
SHORELINE: 2,726 miles (including islands)

Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, shares an international boundary line with Canada. Ontario (Canada) and Minnesota form the north and west boundaries. Ontario also forms the east boundary, while Wisconsin and Michigan form the southern boundary. Water from Lake Superior flows into Lake Huron through the St. Marys River and the locks at Sault Ste. Marie (Soo locks).

As the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes, it has an underwater visability sometimes exceeding 75 feet. At the maximum depth of 1,332 feet, 733 feet below sea level, Lake Superior is the lowest point in the continental United States. Death Valley, while on dry land, is only 282 feet below sea level. Great Slave Lake in Canada is the lowest point in North America. With a depth of 2,010 feet it is 1,503 feet below sea level. The deepest lake in the United States is Crater Lake, in Klamath County, Oregon, at 1,953 feet.

As the largest fresh water lake in the world by surface area, Lake Superior could hold all the water in all the other Great Lakes, plus three more the size of Lake Erie. The volume of water contained could cover all of North and South America to a depth of about 1 foot.

With all its massive grandness, Lake Superior is the 3rd largest fresh water lake by volume following (#1) Lake Baikal, in southern region of Siberia and (#2) Lake Tanganyika, in East Africa. Lake Baikal has a water volume of roughly 5,700 cu. mi. of fresh water with its deepest point 5,387 feet. Lake Tanganyika has a water volume roughly 4,500 cu. mi. and maximum depth of 4,820 feet.

Islands:
- Isle Royale - Northwestern portion of Lake Superior. Although closer to the Canadian shoreline, Isle Royale is a part of Keweenaw County, Michigan. At 206 sq. miles it is the second largest island in the five Great Lakes.
- Apostle Islands - Grouping of 22 islands off Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula. The largest of the group is Madeline Island at 15,359 acres.
- Michipicoten Island - Located in northeasten Lake Superior roughly 109 miles NW of Sault Ste. Marie. A part of Ontario, Canada, this is the 3rd largest island in Lake Superior.
- Slate Islands archipelago - A part of Ontario, Canada located in northern Lake Superior, ten miles south of Terrace Bay, Ontario. Contains two main islands and five minor islands.

Lake Superior's breathtaking vistas can only be matched by its foul disposition when gale force winds shriek across its face, piling up mountainous waves that have been recorded as high as 30 ft.


SOURCES

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley
Minnesota Sea Grant/ University of Minnesota
Lake Baikal - UNESCO World Heritage Center
Rand McNally Atlas, 1987





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This page last updated on  Monday, June 06, 2016
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