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Lake Superior, USA, Canada

April 10th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Lake Superior (known as Gichigami in an Ojibwe language), bounded by Ontario and Minnesota to the north and Wisconsin and Michigan in the south, is the largest of North America's Great Lakes.

In the Ojibwe language, the lake is called "Gichigami" ("big water"), but it is better known as "Gitche Gumee" as recorded by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Song of Hiawatha. Lake Superior is also immortalized in the "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot.

The lake was named Lac Supérieur by French explorers because it was the furthest north of all the Great Lakes.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area with Lake Baikal in Siberia larger by volume (Lake Tanganyika in central Africa is estimated to contain a volume of 18,900 km³, and the Caspian Sea while larger, contains salt water.)

Lake Superior (48°00’N, 88°00’W) has a surface area of 31,700 sq. mi. (82,100 km²)--which is larger than South Carolina. It has a maximum length of 350 mi (563 km) and maximum breadth of 160 mi (257 km). Its average depth is 483 ft (147 m) with a maximum depth of 1,332 ft (406 m). Lake Superior contains 2,935 cubic mi (12,232 cubic km) of water. The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles (4385 km) (including islands). The lake's elevation is 602 ft (183 m) above sea level.

The lake is fed by over 200 rivers. The largest include the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River and the Kaministiquia River. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron by the St. Marys River. The rapids on the river necessitate the Sault Locks (pronounced "soo"), a part of the Great Lakes Waterway, to move boats over the 25 foot height difference from Lake Huron.

The largest island in Lake Superior is Isle Royale.

The larger towns on Lake Superior include: the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Marquette, Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Among the scenic places on the lake are: the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Isle Royale National Park; Pukaskwa National Park; Lake Superior Provincial Park; Grand Island National Recreation Area; and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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