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  Lake Huron
Facts and Figures

Overview | Figures | Related Resources
 
Great Lakes Facts & Figures: Erie | Huron | Michigan | Ontario | Superior
See also: Lake St. Clair

 
Overview
Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake by surface area and the fifth largest freshwater lake in the world.
 
It has the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, counting the shorelines of its 30,000 islands.
 
Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world.
 
Georgian Bay and Saginaw Bay are the two largest bays on the Great Lakes.
 
Early explorers listed Georgian Bay as a separate sixth lake because it is nearly separated from the rest of Lake Huron by Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula.
 
Georgian Bay is large enough to be among the world's 20 largest lakes.
 
Huron receives the flow from both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, but water flows through Lake Huron (retention time) much more quickly than through either of them.
 
Huron was the first of the Great Lakes to be discovered by European explorers.
 
Shipwrecks are scattered throughout the lake, with five bottomland preserves in Michigan and a national park in Ontario designated to protect the most historically significant ones.
 
The Lake Huron basin is heavily forested, sparsely populated, scenically beautiful, and economically dependent on its rich natural resources.

 
References: Lake Huron brochure, 1990, Michigan Sea Grant

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Figures
LENGTH:  206 miles / 332 km.
 
BREADTH:  183 miles / 245 km.
 
AVERAGE DEPTH:  195 ft. / 59 m.
 
MAXIMUM DEPTH:  750 ft. / 229 m.
 
VOLUME:  850 cubic miles / 3,540 cubic km.
 
WATER SURFACE AREA:  23,000 sq. miles / 59,600 sq. km.
 
TOTAL DRAINAGE BASIN AREA:  51,700 sq. miles / 134,100 sq. km.
DRAINAGE BASIN AREA BY STATE/PROVINCE:
    Michigan: 16,100 sq mi; 41,700 sq km
    Ontario: 35,200 sq mi; 91,100 sq km
SHORELINE LENGTH (including islands):  3,827 miles / 6,157 km.
 
ELEVATION:  577 ft. / 176 m.
 
OUTLET:  St. Clair River to Lake Erie
 
RETENTION/REPLACEMENT TIME:  22 years
 
NAME:  Since its French discoverers knew nothing as yet of the other lakes, they called it La Mer Douce, the sweet or fresh-water sea. A Sanson map in 1656 refers to the lake as Karegnondi, simply meaning "lake" in the Petan Indian language.
 
References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995

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Related Resources
GLIN: Lake Huron

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Updated: December 19, 2014
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