Because of its volume, Lake Superior has a retention time of 191 years. All 29 crew members died and no bodies were recovered. [30] The water surface's slow reaction to temperature changes, seasonally ranging between 32 and 55 Â°F (0–13 Â°C) around 1970,[31] helps to moderate surrounding air temperatures in the summer (cooler with frequent sea breeze formations) and winter, and creates lake effect snow in colder months. Receive news and offers from our other brands? They used snow shoes, birch bark canoes and conical or domed lodges. The mountains steadily eroded, depositing layers of sediments that compacted and became limestone, dolomite, taconite and the shale at Kakabeka Falls. Lake whitefish live in deep waters mainly along Lake Superior's South Shore. Records show that Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario are the only lakes to have resisted freezing over since recording began in the early 1900s. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, deep forest, and wild shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Lake Superior has an average underwater visibility of 27 feet (8.2 meters). Lake Superior's size reduces the severity of the seasons of its humid continental climate (more typically seen in locations like Nova Scotia). Many towns around the lake are current or former mining areas, or engaged in processing or shipping. Deepest Lake in North America: Great Slave Lake. During most winters, the lake is 40 to 95 percent covered with ice, although it rarely completely freezes. At the mouth of the Michipicoten River, nine layers of encampments have been discovered. As of 2017, there were only 483 individuals in the wild across North America, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This feature makes the lake dimictic. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Kim Ann Zimmermann - Live Science Contributor Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? The lake’s drainage basin is 49,300 square miles (127,700 square km), exclusive of its surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,100 square km). Lake Superior- Is the Largest and Deepest Great Lake. [a] The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles (4,387 km) (including islands). Winter temperatures around the lake rarely fall below minus 30 F (minus 34 C), well above inland temperatures. Until approximately 1887, the natural hydraulic conveyance through the St. Marys River rapids determined the outflow from Lake Superior. LAKE SUPERIOR IS BY FAR THE BIGGEST AND DEEPEST. Less winter ice cover allows more solar radiation to penetrate and warm the water. Naturally, Lake Superior is by far the deepest lake in Minnesota, with depths as impressive as 1333 feet. They are believed to be the direct ancestors of the Ojibwe and Cree.[37]. The moon rises at sunset at Split Rock Lighthouse, on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. As with many lakes, Lake Superior is home to many species of birds, including varieties of hawks, loons, owls and woodpeckers. The low water was a continuation of the dropping lake levels from the previous year, 1925, which set low-water records for October through December. [12], Largest of the Great Lakes of North America, International Lake Superior Board of Control, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Great Storms of the North American Great Lakes, List of shipwrecks of western Lake Superior, Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal, "Global Land One-Kilometer Base Elevation (GLOBE) v.1", "Tunnel Valleys, Glacial Surges, and Subglacial Hydrology of the Superior Lobe, Minnesota", "Great Lakes: Basic Information: Physical Facts", Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, "Superior Pursuit: Facts About the Greatest Great Lake", "Global Warming Is Shrinking the Great Lakes", "Lake Superior Warming Faster than Surrounding Climate", "Extensive Great Lakes Ice Coverage to Limit Severe Weather, Pose Challenges to Shipping Industry", "After Achieving 95 Percent Coverage, Lake Superior's Ice Breaking Up", "Environmental Climatology of Lake Superior", "NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL GLERL-29: Evaporation from Lake Superior", Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, "Ontario Amethyst: Ontario's Mineral Emblem", "Century-Old Shipwreck Discovered: Ore Carrier Went Down in Lake Superior on Its Second Voyage", "Increasing Stoichiometric Imbalance in North America's Largest Lake: Nitrification in Lake Superior", "Great Lakes Sensitivity to Climatic Forcing: Hydrological Models", "Rockin' the Rift, The Billion-Year-Old Split that Made Us", Lake Superior NOAA nautical chart #14961 online, Parks Canada - Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lake_Superior&oldid=991606126, Articles with dead external links from February 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with incomplete citations from February 2020, Articles using infobox body of water without alt, Articles using infobox body of water without alt bathymetry, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2013, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 1,729 mi (2,783 km) plus 997 mi (1,605 km) for islands, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 22:54. The greatest and biggest of all the Great Lakes is Lake Superior. The first people to settle in the region arrived around 8000 B.C., after glaciers retreated, according to History of Lake Superior: A Timeline. Freezing of the lakes is monitored because it affects hydropower generation, commercial shipping, the fishing industry and more, according to the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Basin depth is 8-foot minimum entry and main basin: 5-foot depth at dock and ramp ends. It is still an important component of the harbor facilities. Isle Royale contains several lakes, some of which also contain islands. [31] Normally, bacteria decaying a sunken body will bloat it with gas, causing it to float to the surface after a few days. They called Lake Superior either Ojibwe Gichigami ("the Ojibwe's Great Sea") or Anishnaabe Gichgamiing ("the Anishinaabe's Great Sea"). There is a small population of endangered whooping cranes on the lake's north shore, one of only two crane species in North America. The Laurel people (c. 500 BC to AD 500) developed seine net fishing, evidence being found at rivers around Superior such as the Pic and Michipicoten. Today, tourism is another significant industry: the sparsely populated Lake Superior country, with its rugged shorelines and wilderness, attracts vacationers and adventurers. SS Edmund Fitzgerald was the latest ship to sink in Lake Superior, 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi) from Whitefish Point in a storm on November 10, 1975. [23] Additionally, the entire first half of the year (January to June) included record low months. There are 78 different species of fish that call the big lake home. The southern shore of Lake Superior between Grand Marais, Michigan, and Whitefish Point is known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes" and more ships have been lost around the Whitefish Point area than any other part of Lake Superior. Situated on the northern edge of Wisconsin, Lake Superior extends from the upper peninsula of Michigan north to Ontario, Canada, and reaches west to the eastern edge of Minnesota. 7. Overall, the Great Lakes reached a 91 percent ice cover that year, which is the most the lakes have frozen since 1979. The shoreline measures 2,726 miles (4,385 km), according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The southern shores of Lake Superior boasts Pictured Rocks, a 42 mile stretch of gorgeous, multicolored sandstone cliffs with waterfalls and caves galore. This hard diabase protects the layers of sedimentary rock below, forming the flat-topped mesas in the Thunder Bay area. How deep is Lake Superior? The lake's surface temperature rose by 4.5 Â°F (2.5 Â°C) from 1979 to 2006.[32]. ), While the temperature of the surface of Lake Superior varies seasonally, the temperature below 110 fathoms (660 ft; 200 m) is an almost constant 39 Â°F (4 Â°C). Species native to the lake include: banded killifish, bloater, brook trout, burbot, cisco, lake sturgeon, lake trout, lake whitefish, longnose sucker, muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed, rock bass, round whitefish, smallmouth bass, walleye, white sucker and yellow perch. During most winters the lake is 40 to 95 percent covered with ice. The following tables can be sorted by column. Whitefish Bay, southeastern arm of Lake Superior, the centre of which forms the border of Ontario (Can.) Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Exact dates for the shipping season vary each year,[41] depending on weather conditions that form and break the ice. Underwater visibility in some spots reaches 30 meters. The deepest point in Lake Superior is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface, making a complete freeze a … Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior. How Big & Deep is Lake Superior? Lake Superior's Deepest Point is 1,333 ft (406 m) deep! This shoal rises vertically from Lake Superior’s 280 foot bottom, and lies only three feet beneath the water. The deepest point in Lake Superior (about 40 miles north of Munising, Michigan) is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface. It has an average depth of 483 feet with the deepest depth can go as far as 1,332 feet. The Duluth Ship Canal is an artificial canal cut through Minnesota Point, providing direct access to Duluth harbor from Lake Superior.Begun privately in 1871, it was put under federal supervision and maintenance several years later. The region surrounding the lake has proved to be rich in minerals, with copper, iron, silver, gold and nickel the most frequently mined. This graphic may be hard to understand at first, the y axis on the left is based on altitude above sea level. The deepest part of Lake Superior is 1,332 feet or 406 meters deep. Water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are regulated by the International Lake Superior Board of Control, which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission. The larger cities on Lake Superior include the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Marquette, Michigan; and the twin cities of Sault Ste. [22], Historic high water The bay, 30 miles (48 km) long (northwest to southeast) and 15 to 34 miles (24 to 55 km) wide, is fed by the Tahquamenon River and connects to the southeast with Lake Huron The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior is seen in this photo of the 729-foot vessel, resting in two pieces 530 feet below the surface. Twice per year, however, the water column reaches a uniform temperature of 39 Â°F (4 Â°C) from top to bottom, and the lake waters thoroughly mix. Most of the Pukaskwa Pits were likely made during this time. Storms that claimed multiple ships include the Mataafa Storm in 1905 and the Great Lakes Storm of 1913. During the nine-month period of October 1925 to June 1926, water levels ranged from 1.58 feet (0.48 m) to 0.33 feet (0.10 m) below Chart Datum. It has an Average Depth of 483 ft (147 m) deep. Ice covers rocks on Lake Superior. Marie. Located on the borders of the United States and Canada, Lake Superior spreads around the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Twin Cities Pioneer Press: ‘Spectacularly Intact’ 1897 Shipwreck Discovered in Lake Superior, The Travel Channel: The Great Lakes Video, EPA: Physical Features of the Great Lakes, The best Lego sets for alien, sci-fi, space fans and more, 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history, Catch the full moon (and a penumbral eclipse) on Monday, Adorable monkeys caught commiting grisly act of cannibalism, Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side. The average depth of Lake Superior is 483 feet or 147 meters deep. The name Superior refers to its size and also designates the lake's position as the northernmost of all the Great Lakes. The lake was also called Lac Tracy (for Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy) by 17th century Jesuit missionaries. Lake Superior's basin is home to nearly 60 orchid species. This is due to their lower latitudes and large depths. The 729-foot ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a roiling Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. The lake holds 3 quadrillion gallons of fresh water. French explorers, including Samuel de Champlain (circa 1567-1635) and his scout, Étienne Brûlé (circa 1592-1632), arrived in the mid-1600s, according to the Canadian Museum of History. During the Precambrian (between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago) magma forcing its way to the surface created the intrusive granites of the Canadian Shield. [21] Water levels recovered within a few days. By 1921, development in support of transportation and hydroelectric power resulted in gates, locks, power canals and other control structures completely spanning St. Marys rapids. The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet (183 m)[8][17] above sea level. Edmund Fitzgerald was battered so intensely by Lake Superior that the 729-foot (222 m) ship split in half; her two pieces are approximately 170 feet (52 m) apart in a depth of 91 fathoms 4 feet (550 ft or 170 m). The Objibways said that the lake was protected by Nanabijou, Spirit of the Deep Sea Water, according to the University of Wisconsin. They used bows and arrows, paddled dugout canoes, fished, hunted, mined copper for tools and weapons, and established trading networks. [49], As for other Great Lakes fish, populations have also been affected by the accidental or intentional introduction of foreign species such as the sea lamprey and Eurasian ruffe. [7] There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres (12 in). Lake Superior is a major shipping hub. At the end of your trek, nothing is more beautiful than watching a Lake Superior sunset from nearly any spot along the national lakeshore. Image source: http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/pr/ourlakes/background.html and Michigan (U.S.). The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is about 8 metres or 27 feet, making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. By 500 B.C., Laurel people were trading for metal and other goods with different regions. [citation needed] This variation in temperature makes the lake seasonally stratigraphic. The lake is about 160 miles (257 kilometers) wide and about 350 miles (563 km) long. Clear water laps the shore at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. [25] This would be a significant departure from historical records as, according to Hubert Lamb, Samuel Champlain reported ice along the shores of Lake Superior in June 1608. Because of varying depths and unpredictable weather, Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes have been prone to maritime accidents. You will receive a verification email shortly. Water temperatures on Lake Michigan make it to the 60s in July and August and can sometimes make it into the 70s when air temperatures have been in the 90s for a number of continuous days.The water of Lake Michigan has an unusual circulatory pattern — it resembles the traffic flow in a suburban cul-de-sac — and moves very slowly. The hills and mountains that border the lake hold moisture and fog, particularly in the fall. The continental crust was later riven, creating one of the deepest rifts in the world. Lake Superior is 350 miles (563 km) long (east to west), and its greatest width is 160 miles (258 km) from north to south. Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science Contributor. Lake Superior is home to about 80 species of fish, including carp and varieties of trout, salmon and perch. Among the scenic places on the lake are Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Brockway Mountain Drive on the Keweenaw Peninsula, Isle Royale National Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Sleeping Giant (Ontario) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Two recent consecutive winters (2013–2014 and 2014–2015) brought unusually high ice coverage to the Great Lakes, and on March 6, 2014, overall ice coverage peaked at 92.5%, the second-highest in recorded history. It has a maximum length of 350 statute miles (560 km; 300 nmi) and maximum breadth of 160 statute miles (257 km; 139 nmi). 8. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the name as "Gitche Gumee" in the poem The Song of Hiawatha, as did Gordon Lightfoot in his song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Superior was a major mode of transportation for the fur industry and other trading activities during the Colonial period and remains a shipping hub today. Marie. [13], The first French explorers approaching the great inland sea by way of the Ottawa River and Lake Huron in the 17th century referred to their discovery as le lac supérieur (the upper lake, i.e. Lake Superior is so large and so deep that its retention time – about how long an average drop of water remains in the Lake – is 191 years. The increase in the lake's surface temperature may be related to the decreasing ice cover. Lightfoot sings that "The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead". Lake Superior has been an important link in the Great Lakes Waterway, providing a route for the transportation of iron ore as well as grain and other mined and manufactured materials. Notable production includes gold from the Hemlo mine near Marathon, copper from the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Mamainse Point Formation, iron from the Gogebic Range, silver at Silver Islet, and uranium at Theano Point. It has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,100 square km) and water volume of 2,900 cubic miles (12,100 cubic km). The Ojibwe name for the lake is gichi-gami (pronounced gitchi-gami or kitchi-gami in different dialects),[13] meaning "great sea". They are still much lower than levels considered dangerous to human health; but this steady, long-term rise is an unusual record of environmental nitrogen buildup. Like all of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is prone to lake effect snow, but the weather is generally moderate, with warmer temperatures than inland throughout the year. By the early 1600s, the Ojibway people had established a village of several thousand on Madeline Island. One billion years in the making, Lake Superior's majesty, tranquility, and fury are all on display in Bayfield County. [12] Superior is the farthest north and west of the Great Lakes chain, and the highest in elevation, draining through the St. Mary's River into Lake Huron. The man claimed that a creature attacked and attempted to constrict him. The regulating structure is known as the Compensating Works and is operated according to a regulation plan known as Plan 1977-A. The land contours familiar today were carved by the advance and retreat of the ice sheet. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, and the third largest by volume. The next documented people are known as the Shield Archaic (c. 5000–500 BC). NY 10036. Lake Superior's Fish Species. [27] Lake Superior's ice coverage further beat 2014's record in 2019, reaching 95% coverage.[28]. The lake's name comes from the French word lac supérieur, which means "upper lake." Here is a video of a research team sending a probe down to one of the Deepest Points of Lake Superior: Another culture known as the Terminal Woodland Indians (c. AD 900–1650) has been found. The Caspian Sea, while larger than Lake Superior in both surface area and volume, is brackish; though presently isolated, prehistorically the Caspian has been repeatedly connected to and then isolated from the Mediterranean via the Black Sea. In all of the five Great Lakes, Lake Superior stands as the biggest and widest lake of all. Built in Lorain, Ohio, Cyprus was launched August 17, 1907, and was lost on her second voyage hauling iron ore from Superior, Wisconsin, to Buffalo, New York, with the lone survivor among her 23 crew being Charles G. The last time that Lake Superior almost entirely froze over was in 1979 when the lake reached 94.7% ice coverage. above Lake Huron). 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. Lake Superior's water level was at a new record low in September 2007, slightly less than the previous record low in 1926. [42] These shipwrecks are now protected by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve. [17][18], Annual storms on Lake Superior regularly feature wave heights of over 20 feet (6 m). The first people came to the Lake Superior region 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the glaciers in the last Ice Age. [26] Warmer temperatures could lead to more snow in the lake effect snow belts along the shores of the lake, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With 78 crewmembers dead, their sinking marked the largest loss of life on Lake Superior to date. Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes; it is the largest body of fresh water on Earth. There are rapids at the river's upper (Lake Superior) end, where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient. It called this because it is north of Lake Huron, which was discovered first by Brûlé. Marie, Ontario. In the 18th century, as the booming fur trade supplied Europe with beaver hats, the Hudson's Bay Company had a virtual monopoly in the region until 1783, when the rival North West Company was formed. Lake Superior got its name from having the most volume of water among the five lakes in the area, therefore being "Superior". Lake Vostok - ~1,000 m/~3,300 ft. Vostok Lake in Antarctica is, at 3,300 feet, the fourth deepest … Michiganders sure are lucky to live amongst so much beauty. Ice closes the Lake shipping from mid-January to late March. The rocks of Lake Superior's northern shore date back to the early history of the earth. ... 12. Winds and resulting waves keep Lake Michigan from freezing over, but it has been 90 percent froz… [7], American limnologist J. Val Klump was the first person to reach the lowest depth of Lake Superior on July 30, 1985, as part of a scientific expedition, which at 122 fathoms 1 foot (733 ft or 223 m) below sea level is the second-lowest spot in the continental interior of the United States and the third-lowest spot in the interior of the North American continent after Iliamna Lake in Alaska (942 feet [287 m] below sea level) and Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada at (1,503 feet [458 m] below sea level). The normal high-water mark is 1.17 feet (0.36 m) above datum (601.1 ft or 183.2 m). A ship approaches the Duluth Pier Lighthouse. The normal low-water mark is 0.33 feet (0.10 m) below datum (601.1 ft or 183.2 m). Lake Superior is fed by more than 200 rivers, including 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. 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how deep is lake superior

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