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
|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||-|
|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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