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Lake Superior Facts

Just how much is a quadrillion, anyway?

  • Largest freshwater lake in the world.
  • 350 miles east to west, 160 miles north to south.
  • 31,280 square surface miles.
  • Average depth: 483 feet.
  • Deepest point: 1,333 feet.
  • 3 quadrillion gallons, or 2,900 cubic miles, of water.
  • Elevation: 600 feet above sea level; not to exceed 602 feet, as ordered by the International Join Commission.
  • Large enough to dramatically affect weather patterns in surrounding areas; in Duluth, that means warmer winters and cooler summers.
  • Final resting place for over 350 shipwrecks, including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald.
  • Shoreline length, including islands: 2,726 miles.
  • Empties into Lake Huron via the St. Mary’s River.
  • Is large enough to contain all the other Great Lakes, plus three additional lakes the size of Lake Erie.
  • Water flows into the lake from a drainage basin area of 49,300 square miles.
  • It would take 191 years for the rivers in the drainage basin to refill the lake.
  • Named by French explorers as “le lac superieur,” meaning “upper lake.”
  • Known for its clear, cold water and agate beaches.
  • Average water temp.: 40°F.
  • Could cover all of North America in water three feet deep.
  • Seasonal storms can lead to waves over 20 feet high.