Did you know that Lake Superior:

  • Covers 82,170 Square Kilometers (31,700 Square miles)- an area equal to Massechusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
  • Stretches 615 km (383 miles) east-west and 258 km (160 miles) north-south.
  • Reaches to 389.6 m (1,279 ft) deep, averaging 148 m (489 ft).
  • Totals 4,397 km (2,725 miles) of shoreline on its edges and islands.
  • Is the largest and deepest of the Great Lakes and could hold all the water of the other four plus three more Lake Eries.
  • Has a drainage area of 127,791 square km (49,300 square miles)
  • Has a periodic seiche (SAYSH) that sloshes water from side to side, rapidly raising water levels on one side while lowering on the other.  This shift is caused by rain, wind, barometric pressure and other natural phenomena.
  • Turns over its water at a rate of 199 years.  The smallest Great Lake- Erie, takes only 3 years).
  • Contains 10% of the earth’s surface fresh water and more than half of all the water in the Great Lakes combined. (Only 3% of the earth’s surface water is fresh).
  • Holds 3 quadrillion gallons of water.  (Enough to flood North and South America under 1 foot of water).  It was filled with glacial melt 10,000 years ago.
  • Is called “an ocean in a test tube” by some researches because it often acts more like an ocean than a lake.
  • Is about 601 feet above sea level.
  • Averages a water temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit).  Its bays and inlets can warm to 16-21 degrees Celsius (70F).  It can freeze “completely” for short periods (hours).
  • Is considered “ultra-oligotrophic” by limnologists (lake scientists) because it has few nutrients, sediment and other material in its water.
  • Has two major natural tributaries- Nipigon River in Ontario and St.Louis River at Duluth-Superior- plus a diverted source of water from Ontario’s Ogoki and Longlac rivers that together almost equals the flow of each natural tributary.
  • Anchors a basin 89% forest-covered and rich in resources.  A wealth of minerals plus iron, gold, silver, copper, zinc and even diamonds have been found.  Lake Superior has its “gems”- agates, amethyst, greenstone and Thomsonite.