The Great Lakes


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The Great Lakes

  1. 1. The Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario)
  2. 2. Geography & Hydrology    The Great Lakes - Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario - are a dominant part of the physical and cultural heritage of North America. Shared with Canada and spanning more than 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) from west to east, these vast inland freshwater seas provide water for consumption, transportation, power, recreation and a host of other uses. The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth. Only the polar ice caps contain more fresh water.
  3. 3. 84% of North America's surface fresh water about 21% of the world's supply of surface fresh water
  4. 4. Lake descriptions
  5. 5. Lake Erie  Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by Ontario, on the south by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americanswho lived along its southern shore. The outflow from the lake provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.S. as it spins huge turbines at Niagara Falls.
  6. 6. Lake Erie   the smallest by volume the shallowest         warms rapidly in the spring and summer frequently freezes over in winter average depth is only about 62 ft. (19m) The western basin (about 20% of the lake), is very shallow with an average depth of 24 ft. (7.4m) retention time = 2.6 years (a measure based on the volume of water in the lake and the mean rate of outflow) Most of the area around the lake is urban or agricultural. 17 metropolitan areas with populations over 50,000 within the Lake Erie basin Significant effects from urban and agricultural runoff
  7. 7. Lake Erie
  8. 8. Lake Huron  Lake Huron is the third largest of the lakes by volume with 3,540 km3 (850 cubic miles) of water. Its average depth is 59 meters (195 feet) and its maximum depth is 229 meters (750 feet). The Saginaw River basin is intensively farmed and contains the Flint and Saginaw-Bay City metropolitan areas. Saginaw Bay, like Green Bay, contains a very productive fishery.
  9. 9. Lake Huron  the third largest by volume  vacation homes on the shallow, sandy beaches of Huron and along the rocky shores of Georgian Bay  Saginaw River basin is intensively farmed  Flint and Saginaw-Bay City metropolitan areas.  Saginaw Bay contains a very productive fishery
  10. 10. Lake Huron
  11. 11. Lake Michigan  Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the US and Canada. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron (and is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia). To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart. Lake Michigan is bounded, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwa word mishigami meaning "great water".
  12. 12. Lake Michigan    the second largest the only Great Lake entirely within the United States variable climate, population density and development     northern part: colder, less developed, sparsely populated southern basin: more temperate, among the most urbanized areas in the Great Lakes system. Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas have about 8 million people, 20% of the total population of the Great Lakes basin Green Bay has one of the most productive Great Lakes fisheries but receives the wastes from the world's largest concentration of pulp and paper mills
  13. 13. Lake Ontario Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot (Huron) language, ontarío means “Lake of Shining Waters”. It is the last in the Great Lakes chain and serves as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River. Lake Ontario is also the only one of the five Great Lakes not to share a coast with the state of Michigan.
  14. 14. Lake Ontario  second smallest by volume  average depth 283 ft. (86m)  retention time = 6 years (a measure based on the volume of water in the lake and the mean rate of outflow)  urban industrial centers (Hamilton and Toronto) on the Canadian side  U.S. shore is less urbanized, not intensively farmed
  15. 15. Lake Superior Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by theCanadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is generally considered thelargest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is the world's thirdlargest freshwater lake by volume.
  16. 16. Lake Superior  the largest by volume  the deepest and coldest  retention time = 191 years (a measure based on the volume of water in the lake and the mean rate of outflow)  Most of the Superior basin is forested, with little agriculture because of a cool climate and poor soils.  Sparse population  Relatively few pollutants enter Lake Superior, except through airborne transport