DEPTH, WATERSHED, WATER QUALITY, etc
Superior is, by surface area, the world's largest freshwater lake.
surface area of Lake Superior (31,700 square miles or 82,170 square
kilometers) is greater than the combined areas of Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
Superior contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined,
even throwing in two extra Lake Eries.
Superior contains 10% of all the earth's fresh surface water.
5. There is
enough water in Lake Superior (3,000,000,000,000,000--or 3
quadrillion-- gallons) to flood all of North and South America to a
depth of one foot.
deepest point in Lake Superior (about 40 miles north of Munising,
Michigan) is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface.
7. Over 300
streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior.
average elevation of Lake Superior is about 602 feet above sea level.
Lake Superior watershed region ranges in size from 160 miles inland
near Wabakimi Provincial Park to only 5 miles inland from Pictured
Rocks National Seashore.
10. The Lake
Superior shoreline, if straightened out, could connect Duluth and 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."
12. The lake is about 350 miles (563
km) in length and 160 miles (257 km) in width.
13. In the
summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of
Lake Superior than at its southeastern edge.
FLORA AND FAUNA, CLIMATE, etc.
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.
Fifty-eight orchid species are native to the Lake Superior basin.
In North America, only Florida has more native orchid species.
Superior produces the greatest lake effect snows on earth.
(Significant lake effect snows are a rare phenomenon,
occurring--besides on the Great Lakes--only on the east shore of Hudson
Bay and the west coasts of two Japanese islands.) Lake effect
snows extend 20 to 30 miles inland, primarily on the Ontario shore
southeast of Marathon, and from Sault Ste. Marie to the
Wisconsin-Michigan border. Average annual snowfall in Michigan's
Keweenaw exceeds 200 inches in places.
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.
Superior has its origins in the North American Mid-Continent Rift of
1.1 to 1.2 billion years ago, which produced a huge plume of hot mantle
where the present lake sits. The crust tore apart, leaving an
arc-shaped scar stretching form Kansas through Minnesota, then down to
its borders, Lake Superior has both the thickest, and nearly the
thinnest, crust found anywhere in North America.
European explorers visited Lake Superior in the 1600s they reported
giant sturgeons (up to nine feet in length) and pike of greater
than seven feet in length.
largest tributary of Lake Superior, Ontario's Nipigon River, was in the
1800s the finest brook trout water in the world. It produced the
world record brook trout of 14.5 pounds.
9. Some of
the world's oldest rocks, about 2.7 billion years of age, can be found
on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior.
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.
11. Migrating birds of prey funnel down Lake Superior's north
shore in great numbers each fall. On a single day at Duluth's
Hawk Ridge as many as 100,000 birds of prey might pass by.
12. Lake Superior rests mostly on Precambrian rock at the
southern edge of the Canadian shield, the largest exposure of such
bedrock on the planet.
13. Sliver Islet, a Lake Superior island off Ontario's north
shore, was the site for 15 years in the 1800s of the world's richest
cities & towns
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