How Deep Is Lake Superior?

When it comes to interesting bodies of water on Earth, Lake Superior is definitely one which comes up in conversation frequently. This is seen as one of the greatest lakes in North America, and there are plenty of rumors and myths surrounding it which keep it a hot topic of conversation. 

One of the most frequent sources of mystery behind Lake Superior is its depth. The deep water of course hides many of the secrets which the lake holds, but just how deep is it?

How Deep Is Lake Superior

With this lake being so old, this question went unanswered for so long, but with modern technology, we can now know just how deep this famous lake is.

For a quick answer, Lake Superior is 1332 feet deep, or 406 meters, but if you want more information on this, go to the Depth Of Lake Superior section.

Lake Superior is known as one of five Great Lakes in North America, and when it comes to freshwater lakes, it is one of the largest on the planet. As well as its impressive depth, the lake is also well known for its massive surface area.

This surface area is larger than all other freshwater lakes which do not include the Caspian Sea which is categorized as a saline lake. It holds so much freshwater, that it is famous for having more than 10% of all freshwater on the planet.

But its size is not all that is impressive, another aspect worth considering is just how diverse the ecosystem is on this lake. As well as this it has astounding visibility underwater in spite of being so large.

While this is an incredibly deep lake, it is worth noting that Lake Superior is not even in the top 10 deepest lakes in the world, but on this topic, let’s look more at just how deep Lake Superior is.

The Depth Of Lake Superior

As we mentioned in the introduction, Lake Superior does not just have an incredibly wide surface area, but it is also incredibly deep, being 1332 feet deep at its deepest point or 406 meters.

The depth could be compared with Empire State Building which is 1,454 feet or 443.2 m tall including its antenna. So the antenna would be over the water, however, the building roof which is at a height of 1,250 feet or 380 m would remain under the water. It is impressive how deep it is, but it is relatively shallow compared to the top 10 deepest points on the earth that we listed in this article.

The surface area of the lake is a massive 160 miles or 257 kilometers wide and it is 350 miles or 563 kilometers long. Because of this, this lake contains a massive amount of water.

When calculating the surface area of Lake Superior, it totals at around 31,700 square miles, and this holds a massive 2,900 cubic miles of water.

This amount of water is an insane amount to comprehend with it being more than all of the other great lakes combined, and you can even add three more of the volume of Lake Erie on top of this and still not beat Lake Superior. 

If the lake were to empty at its current rate without any water being added as it naturally would, this would take over 190 years!

It is worth noting that in spite of how northern the lake is, because of how deep it is, there is never any point where Lake Superior will be able to completely freeze over. However, another aspect that is offset by the depth of Lake Superior is how the water manages to be insanely clear for a lake. 

On Lake Superior, you will get an average underwater visibility range of 27 feet or 8.2 meters. This means that Lake Superior is seen as one of the clearest and most pristine lakes in the world.

This is just an average, however, and at some spots, you can even have up to 30 meters of visibility. The name Superior can also be accredited to the superior clarity this lake has compared to the other great lakes. 

The actual amount of water in Lake Superior actually fluctuates quite often, however, especially when compared to the volume of the other great lakes. This can range up to about a yard, and this is due to a large dam which is the outlet of Lake Superior.

Other Lake Superior Facts

Lake Superior Facts

While the depth is one of the most interesting facts about Lake Superior, let’s have a look at some other aspects of Lake Superior which are particularly interesting!

It Is Very Rare That Lake Superior Freezes Over

We referenced this in the previous section, but it is incredibly rare that Lake Superior will completely freeze over. In spite of this, it is actually quite susceptible to lake effect snow, which is a trait shared by quite a few of the great lakes. 

The weather around the lake tends to be quite mild and will tend to be quite mild while offshore. The temperature can get as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit during winter.

You can quite often find parts of Lake Superior covered in ice at around 40% to 95% during the winter, however, it is unlikely that you will find the lake fully frozen. The last time the whole lake was completely covered in ice was 1996.

Lake Superior Is Over 10,000 Years Old

While 10,000 years sounds impressive compared to a human life, this is actually quite young when it compares to some of the other features of the earth. Compare this to Lake Baikal in Russia which is the oldest lake which is estimated to have formed 25 million years in the past.

The Rich Wildlife Of Lake Superior

While the climate of the lake is usually quite cold, you can find quite a lot of different wildlife there. For example, there are over about 80 different species of fish to consider which makes it a very popular option for fishers all over.

There is a national park of the biggest isle, Isle Royale, and there are plenty of amazing opportunities for fishing there.

The Shipwrecks On Lake Superior

Because of its size, there have been plenty of shipwrecks taking place on the massive lake, this is due to how unpredictable the weather can be, as well as the massive variety of depth on the lake.

There are about 350 shipwrecks that have taken place on the lake, and about 10,000 people have died there as well. So, it is worth making sure that you are aware of the natural dangers on the island when sailing there. Because of shipwrecks, you may even discover that you have submechanophobia that we talked about in our article where you can read more and understand if you have it before you face it.

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