Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Apple #101: Lake Michigan

Quite possibly my favorite place on earth.

Circle Tour of lighthouses around the Lake.
(Map from the Grand Haven Tribune)

  • Of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is the third largest in surface area, which is 22,300 square miles. It is the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world.
  • The Lake is 925 feet deep at is deepest point, with an average depth of 279 feet.
  • Essentially what these numbers mean is that the Lake is large enough that the moon works some small tidal action on it.
  • The lakeshore is lined with the world's largest freshwater dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above the Lake.
  • The Straits of Mackinac (at the skinny part at the top) join Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Hydrologically speaking, this makes the two lakes actually one lake.
  • The Lake has a cul de sac shape, with water flowing out through the Straits of Mackinac, but first pooling around in the larger belly of the lake. This gives the water in the Lake a long retention time, before it drains out. In fact, it takes water an average of 99 years before it drains from Lake Michigan.
  • Previous names for Lake Michigan include:
    • Michi gami
    • Grand Lac
    • Lake of the Stinking Water
    • Lake of the Puants
    • Lac des Illinois
    • Lac St. Joseph
    • Lac Dauphin
  • Want to know how warm the water is in Lake Michigan? Go to this page, choose an area, and look at how the surface temperature changes 30 degrees or thereabouts as you move away from the shore, or as the lakebed gets deeper.
  • Wherever you stand in the State of Michigan, you will be no more than 85 miles away from one of the Great Lakes.

Photo from the Chicagoland MG Club

By the way, here's an easy way to remember the names of the five Great Lakes:


Together, they spell HOMES.

Great Lakes Information Network, Lake Michigan Facts and Figures
50states.com, Michigan Facts and Trivia

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you're a spammer, there's no point posting a comment. It will automatically get filtered out or deleted. Comments from real people, however, are always very welcome!