Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. French colonists discovered it in 1622. The name of the lake comes from the French Supérieur. The lake is shared by the United States and Canada and is surrounded by Ontario, and the U.S. states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Lake Superior is the largest and northernmost of the Great Lakes. The lake has a massive volume, accounting for about 10% of the Earth's freshwater. It will take 191 years to empty at its current rate if there are no compensating water additions.
Many of the towns around Lake Superior are mostly mining, processing, or shipping locations. Nowadays, Lake Superior's rugged shores and wilderness attract tourists and adventurers, so tourism is an important industry for towns near Lake Superior.
Lake Superior Introduction
The erosion of glaciers mainly forms the Lake Superior lake basin. When the continental glaciers retreat, ice water accumulates in the glacial depressions, forming the water surface of Lake Superior. The history of the northern shore of Lake Superior goes back a long way. The magma gushed out to the surface to form the Canadian Shield of granite, ancient granite that can be observed on the lake's north shore.
Bounded on the east and north by Ontario (Canada), on the west by Minnesota (U.S.), and on the south by Wisconsin and Michigan (U.S.), it discharges into Lake Huron at its eastern end via the St. Marys River. Lake Superior receives water from more than 200 rivers, of which the largest are the Nipigon (from the north) and St. Louis (from the west). Other principal rivers entering the north shore are the Pigeon, Kaministikwia, Pic, White, and Michipicoten.
Lake Superior Size
- The lake is 563 kilometers long from east to west, 257 kilometers wide from north to south, and has a surface area of 82,100 square km (31,700 square miles).
- The lake's drainage basin is 127,700 square km (49,300 square miles).
- It has a mean surface elevation of 600 feet (180 meters) above sea level and a maximum depth of 1,332 feet (405 meters).
- The water storage is 12,000 km3, accounting for more than half of the water storage capacity of the Great Lakes. In terms of water storage, Lake Superior is the fourth largest lake in the world, regardless of salt water and fresh water, and the top three water storage are the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, and Lake Tanganyika.
- The shoreline of Lake Superior is 3,000 kilometers long (excluding islands), or 4,385 km (including islands).
|Length||350 mi (563 km)|
|Breadth||160 mi (257 km)|
|Surface area||31,700 square mi (82,100 square km)|
|Drainage basin area||49,300 square mi (127,700 square km)|
|Elevation||600 feet (180 m)|
|Depth||483 ft (147 m) average; 1,330 ft (406 m) maximum|
|Volume||2,900 cubic mi (12,100 cubic km)|
|Shoreline length||3,000 km (excluding islands); 4,385 km (including islands)|
Climate and Hydrology
Lake Superior region experiences a humid continental climate. The lake is prone to storms, especially between October and November. During the winter months, ice often covers 40-95% of the lake’s surface. Lake Superior has many natural harbours, and improvements have created additional ports. The navigation season is generally about eight months long.
Lake Superior contains more water than the other Great Lakes combined and is known for its sparkling waves and rugged shorelines. The coastline of Lake Superior is picturesque, particularly the north shore, which is indented by deep bays backed by high cliffs. Much of the coastal area is sparsely settled, and there are extensive forests that dominate the watershed. The scenic areas around Lake Superior are Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, etc. Seasonal hunting, sportfishing, and tourism form the basis for an important regional recreation industry.