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... 12. With 78 crewmembers dead, their sinking marked the largest loss of life on Lake Superior to date. As of 2017, there were only 483 individuals in the wild across North America, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. One billion years in the making, Lake Superior's majesty, tranquility, and fury are all on display in Bayfield County. Lake Superior's size reduces the severity of the seasons of its humid continental climate (more typically seen in locations like Nova Scotia). 48 feet long (15 m) Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the … They soon became the dominant Native American nation in the region: they forced out the Sioux and Fox and won a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. The Duluth Ship Canal is an artificial canal cut through Minnesota Point, providing direct access to Duluth harbor from Lake Superior.Begun privately in 1871, it was put under federal supervision and maintenance several years later. In the winter of 1926 Lake Superior reached its lowest recorded level at 1.58 feet (0.48 m) below datum. French explorers, including Samuel de Champlain (circa 1567-1635) and his scout, Étienne Brûlé (circa 1592-1632), arrived in the mid-1600s, according to the Canadian Museum of History. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Twin Cities Pioneer Press: ‘Spectacularly Intact’ 1897 Shipwreck Discovered in Lake Superior, The Travel Channel: The Great Lakes Video, EPA: Physical Features of the Great Lakes, The best Lego sets for alien, sci-fi, space fans and more, 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history, Catch the full moon (and a penumbral eclipse) on Monday, Adorable monkeys caught commiting grisly act of cannibalism, Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side. [17] It is also a reflection of relatively small human population and small amount of agriculture in its watershed. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, and the third largest by volume. In 1918 the last warships to sink in the Great Lakes, French minesweepers Inkerman and Cerisoles, vanished in a Lake Superior storm, perhaps upon striking the uncharted danger of the Superior Shoal in an otherwise deep part of the lake. Water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are regulated by the International Lake Superior Board of Control, which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission. Fifty-one species of fish (native and non-native) reproduce in Lake Superior. Lake Superior's volume is so large that it could contain all the other Great Lakes plus three additional lakes the size of Lake Erie. Edmund Fitzgerald was battered so intensely by Lake Superior that the 729-foot (222 m) ship split in half; her two pieces are approximately 170 feet (52 m) apart in a depth of 91 fathoms 4 feet (550 ft or 170 m). Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. [15] The British, upon taking control of the region from the French in the 1760s following the French and Indian War, anglicized the lake's name to Superior, "on account of its being superior in magnitude to any of the lakes on that vast continent".[16]. [23] Additionally, the entire first half of the year (January to June) included record low months. Overall, the Great Lakes reached a 91 percent ice cover that year, which is the most the lakes have frozen since 1979. The wreck was immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot in his ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". This feature makes the lake dimictic. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Richard Hurd CC BY-SA 2.0. [42] These shipwrecks are now protected by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve. The lake was also called Lac Tracy (for Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy) by 17th century Jesuit missionaries. I found a graphic image that pretty much shows the Great Lakes and a few other lakes that put it all in perspective. If trends continue, Lake Superior, which freezes over completely once every 20 years, could routinely be ice-free by 2040. Lake Superior is a fresh water lake, 1.333 feet deep in certain places. The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet (183 m)[8][17] above sea level. Please refresh the page and try again. Overfishing has also been a factor in the decline of fish populations. New York, [14] The 1878 dictionary by Father Frederic Baraga, the first one written for the Ojibway language, gives the Ojibwe name as Otchipwe-kitchi-gami (a transcription of Ojibwe Gichigami). With a total water surface of 82,000 sq km or 31,700 sq mi and an average depth of 147 meters or 483 feet, many sea vessels succumb to its ever-changing currents. Located on the borders of the United States and Canada, Lake Superior spreads around the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Lake Superior's basin is home to nearly 60 orchid species. Kim Ann Zimmermann - Live Science Contributor The moon rises at sunset at Split Rock Lighthouse, on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. Pitz.[43]. The average water temperature is 40 F (4.4 C) — lower than the other Great Lakes, which are farther south. This shoal rises vertically from Lake Superior’s 280 foot bottom, and lies only three feet beneath the water. [46], More than 80 species of fish have been found in Lake Superior. Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science Contributor. State Journal archives SS Edmund Fitzgerald. The first people came to the Lake Superior region 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the glaciers in the last Ice Age. The increase in the lake's surface temperature may be related to the decreasing ice cover. It has an average depth of 483 feet with the deepest depth can go as far as 1,332 feet. During the Precambrian (between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago) magma forcing its way to the surface created the intrusive granites of the Canadian Shield. How deep is Lake Superior? Lake Trout chasing a spoon 100 feet below the surface on the largest freshwater lake in the world. [49], As for other Great Lakes fish, populations have also been affected by the accidental or intentional introduction of foreign species such as the sea lamprey and Eurasian ruffe. The greatest and biggest of all the Great Lakes is Lake Superior. [33] These ancient granites can be seen on the North Shore today. Lake Superior boasts extremely clear water, with an average underwater visibility of 27 feet (8.2 m). Clear water laps the shore at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The shoreline measures 2,726 miles (4,385 km), according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The southern shores of Lake Superior boasts Pictured Rocks, a 42 mile stretch of gorgeous, multicolored sandstone cliffs with waterfalls and caves galore. Duluth-Superior, at the western end of Lake Superior, is the most inland point on the St. Lawrence Seaway and the most inland port in the world. The normal low-water mark is 0.33 feet (0.10 m) below datum (601.1 ft or 183.2 m). That number becomes 88 by including all fish species found in the lake, its estuaries and associated wetlands. Evidence of this culture can be found at the eastern and western ends of the Canadian shore. It is still an important component of the harbor facilities. Storms that claimed multiple ships include the Mataafa Storm in 1905 and the Great Lakes Storm of 1913. The low water was a continuation of the dropping lake levels from the previous year, 1925, which set low-water records for October through December. But by 1821, with competition harming the profits of both, the companies merged under the Hudson's Bay Company name. and Michigan (U.S.). [23], Historic low water (Though Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and deeper than Lake Superior, Crater Lake's elevation is higher and consequently its deepest point is 4,229 feet (1,289 m) above sea level. Lake whitefish live in deep waters mainly along Lake Superior's South Shore. Marie, becoming today's St. Mary's River. Marie. Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron via the St. Marys River and the Soo Locks. [31] Normally, bacteria decaying a sunken body will bloat it with gas, causing it to float to the surface after a few days. Marie in 1662. The following tables can be sorted by column. Among the scenic places on the lake are Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Brockway Mountain Drive on the Keweenaw Peninsula, Isle Royale National Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Sleeping Giant (Ontario) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. They are known as the Plano, and they used stone-tipped spears to hunt caribou on the northwestern side of Lake Minong. [26] Warmer temperatures could lead to more snow in the lake effect snow belts along the shores of the lake, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By 1921, development in support of transportation and hydroelectric power resulted in gates, locks, power canals and other control structures completely spanning St. Marys rapids. It was during the Penokean orogeny, part of the process that created the Great Lakes Tectonic Zone, that many valuable metals were deposited. The last time Lake Superior froze over was in 2014. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, deep forest, and wild shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The region surrounding the lake has proved to be rich in minerals, with copper, iron, silver, gold and nickel the most frequently mined. Lake Superior is home to about 80 species of fish, including carp and varieties of trout, salmon and perch. Glacial meltwaters gathered in the Superior basin creating Lake Minong, a precursor to Lake Superior. Other well-known islands include Madeline Island in the state of Wisconsin, Michipicoten Island in the province of Ontario, and Grand Island (the location of the Grand Island National Recreation Area) in the state of Michigan. Lake Superior's Fish Species. At the end of your trek, nothing is more beautiful than watching a Lake Superior sunset from nearly any spot along the national lakeshore. The first people came to the Lake Superior region 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the glaciers in the last Ice Age. They used bows and arrows, paddled dugout canoes, fished, hunted, mined copper for tools and weapons, and established trading networks. Two recent consecutive winters (2013–2014 and 2014–2015) brought unusually high ice coverage to the Great Lakes, and on March 6, 2014, overall ice coverage peaked at 92.5%, the second-highest in recorded history. above Lake Huron). The hills and mountains that border the lake hold moisture and fog, particularly in the fall. You will receive a verification email shortly. This is due to their lower latitudes and large depths. At the mouth of the Michipicoten River, nine layers of encampments have been discovered. It called this because it is north of Lake Huron, which was discovered first by Brûlé. Shipping was slow to arrive at Lake Superior in the 19th century. [19] Waves well over 30 feet (9 m) have been recorded.[20]. Because of its volume, Lake Superior has a retention time of 191 years. Freezing of the lakes is monitored because it affects hydropower generation, commercial shipping, the fishing industry and more, according to the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. 7. By the early 1600s, the Ojibway people had established a village of several thousand on Madeline Island. How Deep is Crater Lake? [citation needed] This variation in temperature makes the lake seasonally stratigraphic. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Lake Superior is a major shipping hub. Lightfoot sings that "The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead". Today, tourism is another significant industry: the sparsely populated Lake Superior country, with its rugged shorelines and wilderness, attracts vacationers and adventurers. Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior. Isle Royale contains several lakes, some of which also contain islands. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America with water one foot deep. The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is about 8 metres or 27 feet, making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. There is a small population of endangered whooping cranes on the lake's north shore, one of only two crane species in North America. During most winters, the lake is 40 to 95 percent covered with ice, although it rarely completely freezes. Stony debris and sediments, and eventually a great lake, not an ocean, filled the deep depression that had been left on the land. A ship approaches the Duluth Pier Lighthouse. Superior was a major mode of transportation for the fur industry and other trading activities during the Colonial period and remains a shipping hub today. Exact dates for the shipping season vary each year,[41] depending on weather conditions that form and break the ice. The Caspian Sea, while larger than Lake Superior in both surface area and volume, is brackish; though presently isolated, prehistorically the Caspian has been repeatedly connected to and then isolated from the Mediterranean via the Black Sea. [27] Lake Superior's ice coverage further beat 2014's record in 2019, reaching 95% coverage.[28]. Marie. The lake's name comes from the French word lac supérieur, which means "upper lake." The normal high-water mark is 1.17 feet (0.36 m) above datum (601.1 ft or 183.2 m). The Objibways said that the lake was protected by Nanabijou, Spirit of the Deep Sea Water, according to the University of Wisconsin. Naturally, Lake Superior is by far the deepest lake in Minnesota, with depths as impressive as 1333 feet. Lake Baikal in southern Russia is the world's deepest lake. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron via the St. Marys River. In the most recent geological history, during the Wisconsin glaciation 10,000 years ago, ice covered the region at a thickness of 1.25 miles (2 km). They called Lake Superior either Ojibwe Gichigami ("the Ojibwe's Great Sea") or Anishnaabe Gichgamiing ("the Anishinaabe's Great Sea"). Water temperatures on Lake Michigan make it to the 60s in July and August and can sometimes make it into the 70s when air temperatures have been in the 90s for a number of continuous days.The water of Lake Michigan has an unusual circulatory pattern — it resembles the traffic flow in a suburban cul-de-sac — and moves very slowly. The water temperatures during the summer months average about 55 F, but surface temperatures reached a record 68.7 F (20.4 C) in August 2010 and are affected by the amount of surface ice during the previous winter. The continental crust was later riven, creating one of the deepest rifts in the world. Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes; it is the largest body of fresh water on Earth. The numbers for the world’s largest … Winter temperatures around the lake rarely fall below minus 30 F (minus 34 C), well above inland temperatures. The lake is about 160 miles (257 kilometers) wide and about 350 miles (563 km) long. Statue of Liberty, 305 feet (93 m) New York City, New York Washington Monument, 555 feet (169 : m) Washington D.C. Eiffel Tower, 985 feet (300 m) Paris, France -~ Tour Boat. NY 10036. © The bay, 30 miles (48 km) long (northwest to southeast) and 15 to 34 miles (24 to 55 km) wide, is fed by the Tahquamenon River and connects to the southeast with Lake Huron According to other sources, the full Ojibwe name is Ojibwe Gichigami ("Ojibwe's Great Sea") or Anishinaabe Gichigami ("Anishinaabe's Great Sea"). Lake Superior has been an important link in the Great Lakes Waterway, providing a route for the transportation of iron ore as well as grain and other mined and manufactured materials. 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.

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