Great Lakes maps

The Great Lakes constitute one of the largest freshwater systems on earth, containing 18% of the world's surface freshwater. Only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia contain more freshwater than the Great Lakes! Spanning more than 1 200 kilometres from west to east, the Lakes provide water for consumption, transportation, industry and recreation and are integral to the ecology, climate culture and economy of North America.

Physical Features of the Great Lakes Basin

Physical Features of the Great Lakes Basin
Parameter Superior
(map)
Michigan Huron
(map)
Erie
(map)
Ontario
(map)
Basin Totals
(map)
a measured at low water datum.
b land drainage area for Lake Huron includes the St. Marys River, Lake Erie includes the St. Clair-Detroit system and Lake Ontario includes the Niagara River.
c including islands.
d these totals are greater than the sum of the shoreline length from the lakes because they include the connecting channels (excluding the St. Lawrence River).
Elevation a (metres) 183 176 176 173 74 -
Length (metres) 563 494 332 388 311 -
Breadth (metres) 257 190 245 92 85 -
Average Depth a (metres) 147 85 59 19 86 -
Maximum Depth a (metres) 406 282 229 64 244 -
Volume (cubic kilometres) 12,100 4,920 3,540 484 1,640 22,684
Water Area (square kilometres) 82,100 57,800 59,600 25,700 18,960 244,160
Land Drainage Area b (square kilometres) 127,700 118,000 134,100 78,000 64,030 521,830
Total Area (square kilometres) 209,800 175,800 193,700 103,700 82,990 765,990
Shoreline Length c (kilometres) 4,385 2,633 6,157 1,402 1,146 17,017
Retention Time (years) 191 99 22 2.6 6 -
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