The Big Lake


     Last week I was able to join Josh’s class for an afternoon at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.  The class was learning about watersheds, carving a canoe and listening to the book "Paddle to the Sea."  I enjoyed my time there and learned lots of things too.  Lake Superior is a great big lake so take some time to learn more about it.

From the Tombenson Network Newsletter.

  • Lake Superior contains 10% of all the fresh water on the planet Earth.
  • It covers 82,000 square kilometers or 31,700 square miles.
  • The average depth is 147 meters or 483 feet.
  • There have been about 350 shipwrecks recorded in Lake Superior .
  • Lake Superior is, by surface area, the largest lake in the world.
  • A Jesuit priest in 1668 named it Lac Tracy, but that name was never officially adopted.
  • It contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, plus three extra Lake Eries .
  • There is a small outflow from the lake at St. Marys River (Sault Ste Marie) into Lake Huron. but it takes almost two centuries for the water to be completely replaced.
  • There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America with water a foot deep.
  • Lake Superior was formed during the last glacial retreat, making it one of the earth’s youngest major features at only about 10,000 years old.
  • The deepest point in the lake is 405 meters or 1,333 feet.
  • There are 78 different species of fish that call the big lake home.
  • The maximum wave ever recorded on Lake Superior was 9.45 meters or 31 feet high.
  • If you stretched the shoreline of Lake Superior out to a straight line, it would be long enough to reach from Duluth to the Bahamas .
  • Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior with the largest source being the Nipigon River .
  • The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is about 8 meters or 27 feet, making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. Underwater visibility in some spots reaches 30 meters.
  • In the summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of Lake Superior than at its southeastern edge.
  • Some of the world’s oldest rocks, formed about 2.7 billion years ago, can be found on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior.
  • It very rarely freezes over completely, and then usually just for a few hours.  Complete freezing occurred in1962, 1979, 2003 and 2009.