Facts about Lake Superior

  • Lake Superior is, by surface area, the world’s largest freshwater lake.
  • Lake Superior contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, even throwing in two extra Lake Eries.
  • There is enough water in Lake Superior (3,000,000,000,000,000 gallons) to flood all of North and South America to a depth of one foot.
  • The deepest point in Lake Superior (about 40 miles north of Munising, Michigan) is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface.
  • The average elevation of Lake Superior is about 602 feet above sea level.
  • The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is 27 feet, making it easily the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes.  Underwater visibility in places reaches 100 feet.  Lake Superior has been described as “the most oligotrophic lake in the world.”
  • In the summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of Lake Superior than at its southeastern edge.
  • Lake Superior is one of the earth’s youngest major features, at only about 10,000 years of age–dating to the last glacial retreat.  By comparison, the earth’s second largest lake (by surface area, and largest by volume), Lake Baikal in Russia, is 25 million years old.
  • Lake Superior has been at its modern elevation for only about 2,000 years, when elevations of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron dropped, creating a rapids at Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Some of the world’s oldest rocks, about 2.7 billion years of age, can be found on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior.
  • The average annual water temperature of Lake Superior is 40º F.  It only very rarely freezes over completely, and then usually just for hours.  The last complete freezing of Lake Superior occurred in 1979.

Source: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/superior/superiorfacts.html

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