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About Our Great Lakes : Lake by Lake Profiles

Introduction | Background | Ecology | Economy
Great Lakes Facts | Threats | Lake by Lake Profiles | Tour


Lake Superior

Satellite image of Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the second largest lake in the world.

Lake Superior Basin Statistics

Length

350 mi / 563 km

Breadth 160 mi / 257 km
Depth

489 ft / 149 m average
1,333 ft / 406 m maximum

Shoreline Length 2,730 miles / 4393 km (including islands)
Volume 2,935 cubic mi
12,232 cubic km
Water Surface Area 31,700 square miles
82,097 square km
Retention/Replacement Time 173 years
Outlet

St. Marys River to Lake Huron

Levels regulated by international agreements

Population 444,000 U.S.
229,000 Canada
Source: Lake Superior Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).
Food Web Diagram

 


Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan bathymetry map

Lake Michigan is the third largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the fifth largest lake in the world.

Lake Michigan Basin Statistics

Length 307 mi / 494 km
Breadth 118 mi /190 km
Depth

279 ft / 85 m average
923 ft / 281 m maximum

Volume 1,180 cubic mi /
4,918 cubic km
Shoreline Length 1,640 mi
/ 2,639 km (including islands)
Water Surface Area 22,300 square mi /
57,753 square km
Retention/Replacement Time 62 years
Outlet Straits of Mackinac to Lake Huron
Population 12,052,743 U.S.

Source: Lake Michigan Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).

The Lake Michigan Basin bathymetry map was produced by NOAA (GLERL and National Geophysical Data Center).

Food Web Diagram

 


Lake Huron

Lake Huron bathymetry map

Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the fourth largest lake in the world.

Lake Huron Basin Statistics

Length 206 mi / 332 km
Breadth 183 mi / 295 km
Depth

195 ft / 59 m average
750 ft / 229 m maximum

Volume 849 cubic mi
3,538 cubic km
Shoreline Length 3,830 mi
6,164 km (including islands)
Water Surface Area 23,000 square mi
59,565 square km
Retention/Replacement Time 21 years
Outlet St. Clair River to Lake Erie
Population 1.5 million U.S.
1.5 million Canada

Source: Lake Huron Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).

The Lake Huron Basin bathymetry map was produced by NOAA (GLERL and National Geophysical Data Center).

Food Web Diagram

 


Lake Erie

Lake Erie bathymetry map

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the 13th largest lake in the world.


Lake Erie Basin Statistics

Length 241 mi / 388 km
Breadth 57 mi / 92 km
Depth

62 ft / 19 m average
210 ft / 64 m maximum

Volume 116 cubic mi
483 cubic km
Shoreline Length 871 mi
1,402 km (including islands)
Water Surface Area 9,910 square mi
25,655 square km
Retention/Replacement Time 2.7 years
Outlet Niagara River and Welland Canal
Population 10.5 million U.S.
1.9 million Canada

Source: Lake Erie Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).

The Lake Erie Basin bathymetry map was produced by NOAA (GLERL and National Geophysical Data Center).

Food Web Diagram

 


Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario bathymetry map

Lake Ontario is the fifth largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the 17th largest lake in the world.

Lake Ontario Basin Statistics

Length 193 mi / 311 km
Breadth 53 mi / 85 km
Depth

283 ft / 86 m average
802 ft / 244 m maximum

Volume 393 cubic mi / 1,639 cubic km
Shoreline Length 712 mi
1,146 km (including islands)
Water Surface Area 7,340 square mi /
19,009 square km
Retention/Replacement Time 6 years
Outlet

St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean

Levels regulated by international agreements

Population 2.8 million U.S./2.8 million Canada

Source: Lake Ontario Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).

The Lake Ontario Basin bathymetry map was produced by NOAA (GLERL and National Geophysical Data Center).

Food Web Diagram

 

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Bathymetry data products, such as posters and CD-ROMs, are available to order through the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center web site.

NOAA is engaged in a program to compile Great Lakes bathymetric data and make them readily available to the public, especially to the communities concerned with Great Lakes science, pollution, coastal erosion, response to climate changes, threats to lake ecosystems, and health of the fishing industry. This program is managed by NGDC and it relies on the cooperation of NOAA/Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA/National Ocean Service, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, other agencies, and academic laboratories.