Facts about Lake Superior
Its name originated from the French language, where "Lac Supérieur" means "Upper Lake." It belongs to the five freshwater Great Lakes of North America and it's the largest and deepest one.
1Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake on Earth by surface area.
It is also the second-largest lake on Earth after the Caspian Sea. Lake Superior's surface area is 82,000 km2 (31,700 sq mi). Its maximum length is 560 km (350 mi), and maximum width 260 km (160 mi).
2There is more water in Lake Superior than in the other Great Lakes combined.
The lake has 12,100 km³ (2,900 cu mi) of water, which is about 10% of all the fresh water on Earth.
3It is also a deep one.
The lake's average depth is 147 m (483 ft), with the lake's deepest point at 406m (1,333 ft).
4Waters in Lake Superior used to be the cleanest among all Great Lakes.
Today, the waters of Lake Huron
and Lake Michigan are filtered because of the invasive quagga mussels that live there. Thus, both lakes surpass Lake Superior in clarity.
5It has over 200 tributaries.
Most large tributary rivers are located in the northern part of the lake. The only large in the south is St. Louis. Largest ones are Nipigon, St. Louis, Pigeon, Kaministikwia, Pic, White and Michipicoten.
6The most picturesque shore of Lake Superior is the northern one.
It is made of ancient, Precambrian granites that emerged pushed up by magma between 4,5 billion and 540 million years ago.
7During storms, waves may exceed 6 m (20 ft) in height.
Even 9m (30 ft) high waves have been recorded in history, but such large ones rarely form.
8It was formed by the retreat of the glaciers about 10 thousand years ago.
This was when the first people appeared on the shores of the lake. They belonged to the Plano culture, a hunter-gatherer people known for caribou hunting and the manufacture of Plano Point projectiles.
9The water level changes according to the season.
The lowest level occurs in March and April, the highest in October and November.
10The largest island on Lake Superior is Isle Royale.
Its surface area is 535,4 km2 (206,7 sq mi). It is located in the northwestern part of the lake. Surrounded by over 400 smaller islands, it hosts an Isle Royale National Park. Park was established on April 3, 1940 and declared a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. It is visited by about 25 thousand tourists annually, making it the least-visited national park in the contiguous United States.