Lake Erie Basin

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Lake Erie Basin
Another perspective on the Lake Erie Basin's situation within the Great Lakes Basin

Lake Erie Basin consists of Lake Erie and surrounding watersheds, which are typically named after the river, creek, or stream that provides drainage into the lake. The watersheds are located in the states of Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the United States, and in the Province of Ontario in Canada. The basin is part of the Great Lakes Basin and Saint Lawrence River Watershed, which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. 80% of the lake's water flows in from the Detroit River, with only 9% coming from all of the remaining watersheds combined. (The remainder (11%) is derived from direct precipitation into the lake.) A littoral zone serves as the interface between land and lake, being that portion of the basin where the lake is less than 15 feet (4.6 m) in depth.[1]

History[edit]

The Wisconsin glaciation formed the Great Lakes basin

The Lake Erie Basin was formed at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. The basin was part of Glacial Lake Maumee until an eastern drainage opened at Niagara, at which point the Maumee River Watershed reversed its flow eastward. The Great Black Swamp is thought to be a remnant of the glacial lake.

Geography[edit]

Indiana[edit]

Michigan[edit]

Detroit River

Michigan's drainage basin consists of 5,808 square miles (15,040 km2).

New York[edit]

Mouth of Cattaraugus Creek where it enters Lake Erie

New York's drainage basin covers 2,300 square miles (6,000 km2).

Ohio[edit]

Mouth of Conneaut Creek where it empties into Lake Erie

Pennsylvania[edit]

The mouth of Duck Run, in Erie Bluffs State Park

Ontario[edit]

Landsat photo shows Lake St. Clair, with the Detroit River connecting southward to Lake Erie and the St. Clair River connecting northward to Lake Huron
Map of Grand River

Economy[edit]

Agricultural, industrial, and residential land use are the primary nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lake Erie Basin. National and state environmental agencies, as well as interstate and binational cooperative efforts, focus on water quality, especially since the freshwater lake is used extensively for drinking water, recreation, and the fishing industry. Habitat and flow alteration cause siltation and sedimentation issues which can require dredging. Fertilizer runoff from farms and residences and unplanned releases from sewage treatment plants promote eutrophication through nutrient and organic enrichment, bacterial contamination, and the appearance of ammonium hydroxide. Industrial land use adds metals that flow into the basin and cause sediment contamination.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Overall[edit]

Indiana[edit]

  • See Map of Ohio's Principal Streams and Drainage Areas, including a small but important extension of waterway mapping across Ohio's Lake Erie Basin borders into the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania

Michigan[edit]

  • Michigan and the Lake Erie Basin
  • See Map of Ohio's Principal Streams and Drainage Areas, including a small but important extension of waterway mapping across Ohio's Lake Erie Basin borders into the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania

New York[edit]

Ohio[edit]

Pennsylvania[edit]

Ontario[edit]

Coordinates: 42°N 82°W / 42°N 82°W / 42; -82