United States Lakes | US Lakes Geography

The Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the five large lakes in the United States and include Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. They are located in the upper Midwest along the U.S.-Canada border. Of the five lakes, only Lake Michigan is entirely within the United States. Her eight states have shorelines on at least one of the Great Lakes: New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Together, all the Great Lakes make up the world’s largest collection of freshwater lakes. It covers over 94,000 square miles and has 11,000 miles of coastline. The lakes have a total volume of over 5,400 cubic miles and account for about 21% of the world’s fresh surface water.

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes at 31,700 square miles. It is also the deepest of the lakes, with a maximum depth of 435 feet and an average depth of 483 feet. All lakes are connected by waterways and are also connected to the Atlantic Ocean via canals and the Hudson River. Many of North America’s major cities, such as Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Toronto, are located on the shores of the Great Lakes.

Great Salt Lake

The largest lake in the United States outside the Great Lakes is Utah’s Great Salt Lakes. As the name suggests, the water of the Great Salt Lake is salty. It’s saltier than the sea. No fish live in the lake because it is salty. The lake itself is home to only a few species such as brine shrimp and algae.

Crater Lake

At 643 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. This is a caldera lake, meaning it formed from the collapsed land at the center of a volcano. This lake is quite small, only 6 miles long and 5 miles wide. It is located at the top of Mount Mazama in Oregon. The lake and the land around it are protected as part of Crater Lake National Park.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is her sixth largest lake in the United States by volume. It lies high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the border of California and Nevada. It is also the second deepest lake in the United States after Crater Lake. The lake is a major tourist attraction in both summer and winter.

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is a large lake in southern Florida. This is his second largest natural freshwater lake located entirely within the United States. Lake Okeechobee is a very large lake in terms of area, but it is very shallow. Average depth is only 9 feet. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, largemouth bass, herons, cranes, white-tailed deer, manatees, otters, and bobcats.

Top 10 Lakes by Area in the United States:

Lakes Name Area sq. miles
Lake Superior 31,700 sq. miles
Lake Huron 23,000 sq. miles
Lake Michigan 22,300 sq. miles
Lake Erie 9,910 sq. miles
Lake Ontario 7,340 sq. miles
Great Salt Lake 2,117 sq. miles
Lake of the Woods 1,485 sq. miles
Iliamna Lake 1,014 sq. miles
Lake Oahe 685 sq. miles
Lake Okeechobee 662 sq. miles
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