The Great Lakes are one of the most valuable assets in the United States. They are located along the borders of Canada and through eight states. They comprise five lakes: Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Huron, and Superior. Together, they form the largest freshwater formation on Earth and contain 21,01% of the globe’s surface freshwater. Lake Superior is the second-largest lake in the world. Michigan is the most extensive lake in the entire territory of one nation. Lake Erie is the warmest and the shallowest, and Lake Huron has the longest shoreline. It is the largest of them all. Great Lakes are the region’s main transport, transition, and trade routes. They also connect to the Atlantic Ocean by the St Lawrence River.
Three thousand islands are within the Great Lakes, and its water is home to more than 250 types of fish. The lakes’ waters can also be used for drinking and is a source of drinking water for more than 40 million people each day. For a long time, the Great Lakes were the main economic engine for the Midwest region of the United States, bringing around 15 percent of American GDP. Nearly 90% of the lake’s shoreline is private property and is not accessible to the general public.
How do you define the Great Lakes?
The Great Lakes are a series of large freshwater lakes across the Northern regions of the United States, sharing a border with Canada. They include Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Together, they comprise the largest freshwater group of lakes worldwide according to the total area and second in volume. Amazingly, 21% of freshwater on Earth’s surface is found inside Lakes.
The Great Lake formed during North America’s most recent Glacial Period around 14000 years ago. As the massive glaciers and ice sheets dissipated, they made deep ruts through the soil. After that, as the ice began to melt and dissolve, it poured through the trenches and formed the lakes we see they are today.
In addition to water, they cover an enormous biodiverse zone and are crucial in transportation, trade, and fishing, among others. They are the main features of the cities near their shores, which include Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, and the suburbs of Detroit.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes which is not shared with Canada. It is the third-largest of the five lakes in terms of surface area and second in volume. Many think of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron as one lake since they share the Straits of Mackinac and connect the two lakes, giving the appearance of a single surface of the water. The lake’s 22400 square miles elevates it to the fifth spot of the largest lakes on the planet, with a length of 307 miles and 118 widths. Lake Michigan’s depth average is around 279 feet, while the deepest part of the bottom is 923 feet. Lake Michigan is well known for its crystal clear waters with an average temperature of 67 degrees.
It covers an area of 23,000 sq miles. Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes. From a bigger perspective, Huron is the third-largest lake in the world regarding volume and surface area. The length of Huron is 206 statute miles, and its breadth of 183 statute miles is the widest among the Great Lakes. The maximum depth of the lakes is 750 feet, while their average is about 195 feet. The average temperature for the water is 54 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in the summer, it could reach 75 degrees. Lake Huron is fed by the water of Lake Superior through the St Mary’s River and then flows south into the St Clair River.
The fourth largest of the 5 Great Lakes, Erie is the lowest in terms of volume. When it comes to the surface, Erie takes the thirteenth place in the world. Niagara River is its biggest natural outflow and supplies massive amounts of hydroelectric power for and from the United States and Canada. Through time, Lake Erie has experienced numerous environmental issues due to its dimensions, with the most major problems being overfishing and pollution. The lake is 9990 sq miles and has an average depth of 200 feet. Because Lake Erie is the most shallow lake, its waters are the warmest, with an average temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of its shallow water depth, Lake Erie is the first of the Great Lakes to freeze during the winter and is most easily stirred by waves.
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and the largest in terms of surface in any freshwater lake anywhere in the world. It is home to nearly three thousand cubic miles of freshwater, a quantity which could be enough to fill all remaining Great Lakes plus three additional Lake Eries.
At an average of 500 feet, Superior can also be the deepest and coldest (1,332 feet) of the Great Lakes. The lake is approximately 350 miles from east to west and 160 miles from north to south and has a shoreline being nearly 2800 miles long. This drainage basin covers 49,300 square miles and includes areas from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario.
The majority of the Superior basin areas are largely uninhabited and heavily forested and have little agriculture due to the cool climate and poor soils.
What Great Lake is the deepest of them all?
When discussing the dimensions of the Great Lakes, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the size of these lakes! Out of the five lakes, Lake Superior is the deepest among five. Lake Superior is the deepest, coldest, and biggest in surface area. It also has the longest shoreline among the Great Lakes.
On average, Lake Superior measures around 500 feet deep. The nearest standard depth for the following Great Lake is Lake Michigan, with a depth of 282 feet. The deepest point measured, Lake Superior is 1,332 feet, or about a quarter-mile straight down. When comparing it with the next highest point in an additional Great Lake, Lake Michigan is second, with an average thickness of just 925 feet.
The physiography of Great Lakes
The lakes drain approximately east to west before draining into the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence lowlands. Except for Lakes Michigan and Huron, both hydrologically one lake, their altitudes decline in each lake, generally leading to a gradual flow increase.
Lake Superior is bordered by Ontario Lake Superior, which is bordered by Ontario Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. It is the western and northernmost lake that can be considered the main water of the entire system. The lake is deepest (mean depth of 483 feet or 147 meters) and located 600 feet higher than sea level, which discharges into Lake Huron through the St. Marys River at 75,600 cubic feet (2,141 cubic meters) per second. The huge size of the lake (its deepest point is 732 feet below sea level) signifies that it has a retention period of 191 years.
Lake Michigan’s average is deep of 279 feet. The average level of water is 577 feet higher than the sea level. Its waters flow northwards to Lake Huron through a deep canyon at the Straits of Mackinac at 47,800 cubic feet per second.
Lake Huron lies at the same altitude as Lake Michigan and is slightly bigger. Its average depth is just about 195 feet. Ontario borders it along with Michigan. The average output is 183,000 cubic feet per second. This is through the St. Clair River, the shallow basin that forms Lake St. Clair, and flows through the Detroit River to Lake Erie.
Lake Erie is bordered by Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Lower Michigan. It is among the shallowest among the Great Lakes, with an average thickness of just 62 feet. The basin slopes east to west and has 24 and 200 feet depths, respectively. It’s located at an elevation of 569 feet. The waters flow at an average of 202,000 cubic feet per second. The natural outflow course runs along the Niagara River and includes a rapid plunge over Niagara Falls before the waters reach Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal takes a portion of the water from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
The map that shows the Great Lakes Basin shows the five sub-basins. From left to right, the sub-basins comprise Superior (magenta), Michigan (cyan), Huron (green), Erie (yellow), and Ontario (red).
Although the five lakes are in distinct basins, they make up one natural, interconnected body of fresh water inside the Great Lakes Basin. As a series of rivers and lakes, they connect the east-central region and the Interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. From the Interior to the outlet on the Saint Lawrence River, water flows from Superior to Huron and Michigan from southward towards Erie and northwards towards Lake Ontario. These lakes are a part of a huge watershed area through several rivers. They comprise approximately 35,000 islands. Additionally, there are many smaller lakes, frequently referred to as “inland lakes,” within the basin. 
The total size of the five principal lakes is approximately equal to the area of the United Kingdom, while the total area of the basin (the lakes and the land they drain) is roughly the same as that of the U.K. and France when combined. 15 Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes located in the United States; the others create a water border separating the United States and Canada. The lakes are divided between the regions that belong to Canada’s Canadian province Ontario and those of the U.S. States, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The provinces of Ontario, along with the state of Michigan, contain within their boundaries areas of four lakes: Ontario, the province of Ontario, is not a part of Lake Michigan, and the state of Michigan does not share a border with Lake Ontario. New York and Wisconsin’s jurisdictions extend to two lakes, and the other states are divided into two lakes.
What is the best way to describe Lake Superior compared to the deepest lake anywhere in the world?
While Lake Superior is quite deep, it’s not the deepest lake in the world. The title belongs to Lake Baikal, a large freshwater lake in Siberia. Yet, Lake Superior holds the title of being the largest freshwater lake surface area.
However, a lake in the United States is deeper than Lake Superior, although it isn’t as big. Crater Lake is located in Oregon and is, without a doubt, among the most breathtaking locations in the United States. It was formed after an eruption caused by volcanic activity smashed the mountain’s highest point just 7700 years ago. Then, it started becoming awash with snow and rain and is considered one of the cleanest freshwater bodies in the world. In addition, at 1,943 feet in depth, it’s the largest lake in the United States.
The Great Lakes Basin
The Great Lakes basin encompasses both the United States and Canada. The basin accounts for approximately 25% of the agricultural output across Canada and 7 percent within the United States while serving 10 10% of the American and 30% of the Canadian populations. It is believed that the Great Lakes Waterway is a quicker and more efficient method to transport bulky items across the Interior to the Atlantic and between the two nations. Yet, environmental issues have been raised regarding the continual pollution of the lakes and the devastation of the catchment zones.