Talk:Great Lakes

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What about the human history prior to European settlement?[edit]

I actually came to this page for an overview that included some basic information, at least, about the native tribes that lived in the region prior to the arrival of Europeans. The "History" section of this article, which suddenly starts off in the 17th century, might lead readers to think that the Europeans were the original peoples who "settled" this region, when in fact I am sure that First Peoples inhabited the area for *thousands* of years prior. This is not an area of my personal expertise or knowledge, and therefore I am in no position to fix this omission myself. I am only pointing out as a reader that the History section of is article is not only terribly incomplete, it is Eurocentric, and it is misleading. Ilyse Kazar (talk) 17:59, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

That's one of the problems with wikipedia; until someone with expertise in the area or the willingness to research it shows up to contribute, the article will remain limited. I'm sure it's not deliberately eurocentric or misleading. GeeZee (talk) 14:52, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a WP:RS for their presence? Just kidding. It is a gigantic issue, and the land certainly wasn't vacant before Columbus. I agree with GeeZee; its lack of having someone with knowledge on the subject interested in the article, not some kind of conspiracy. And we should probably try to recruit someone who has been contributing regularly on related subject matter to take a look. We could start with Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. That might not include such groups as Hopewell culture. 7&6=thirteen () 18:17, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
There was once a rather active one or two working especially on Potawatomi and related tribes, see Anishinaabe. I don't know if they can be found and coaxed over here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:56, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
With one lake as an example, and from someone who devours any info I can find with respect to pre-european human history on Lake Superior, the other big challenge is a lack of information. These are folks with no written or recorded history. Available oral history is not that useful in this respect, the reverence that folks have for it non-withstanding. So then we have writing and studies by anthropologist and archeologist folks. But I think that this area can be built. And post-european history on non-european folks is available. While such doesn't help on the pre-european front, it does help on the Eurocentric front. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
See also Council of Three Fires but the article like others is in a sad state. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:37, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Just added an excellent book on this topic to "Further Reading", the Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History (no preview on GBooks, but libraries often have it). The Native American history of the Great Lakes region is vast and complex. Even a quick overview of the major tribes in the region around the time of European contact would take a bit of work. I don't have the time right now, so I just added that book. It's worth checking out, if nothing else. Nice maps. Amazing detail. Lots of text. Pfly (talk) 08:14, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks wonderful. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:26, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Lake Michigan-Huron: An outsider's perspective[edit]

Hi all. I've wandered over here thanks to a plea put out on the WP:Geology page, and wanted to add a fresh and unbiased perspective to what appears to have become a overly aggressive and bad tempered dispute on this. This in particular does not reflect well on anybody involved, imho. I appreciate there has been some reporting of people involved, but frankly, that doesn't have any bearing on the actual issue in hand. So, with that said, here's my perspective, on the actual question at the root. Please WP:AGF, as I hope I have done here.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are clearly separate (cultural) geographical and historical entities. No one in their right mind would argue they do not deserve coverage as their own separate things. However, previous editors do have a legitimate point that hydrologically and ecologically, these two lakes are tightly bound together at the Straits of Mackinac, and yes, can be - and have been - considered as a single lake, Lake Michigan-Huron. I do not think this viewpoint is legitimately WP:FRINGE. I note that there is abundant peer reviewed scientific literature that uses the combined terminology, which is normally enough for me to remove a topic from WP:FRINGE. But equally, note the weight of usage for each lake individually as well.

I fundamentally do not see the rationale for refusing Lake Michigan-Huron its own article. This topic is somewhat contentious (see those previous discussions!) but to me that just adds to the need for the article, where the points of contention can be explained clearly. A condensed version, with link to full article, needs to remain on this page also, but can be condensed (though as it stands at the moment, it's already quite condensed). I think the disctinction between one-lake-or-two is pretty technical, and probably not of interest to most of the people on the Great Lakes pages, but should definitely be mentioned, and the alternative page provides somewhere for the interested reader to go.

In summary, I just don't see why everyone is so het up about this. Let the Lake Michigan-Huron article stand, where the difficulties and benefits of this terminology can be addressed properly, and just have a couple of sentences somewhere in each of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron articles saying these two lakes are intimately connected at the Straits, and thus are sometimes referred to as a single lake, Lake Michigan-Huron.

Again, please assume good faith on my part. I hope this helps some.DanHobley (talk) 16:25, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Just to emphasise, I'm happy to try to make some of these changes happen, but want some level of consensus first. I promise to use my best WP:NPOV prose. :) DanHobley (talk) 16:45, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Nice summary, DanHobley. A Looking at the last revision before deletion, I see that it did fail WP:NPOV. It is fairly dismissive of the view that they are separate lakes, which is probably why some editors were annoyed. Also, an article published in Canadian Geographic is not equivalent to a statement by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:23, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
YES HI!. Thank you! I wish you would. I agree with you, that there should be an article. I don't see why people are all het up about it. You can see my thoughts and references/sources at Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron#Convenience break. I don't think people would be thrilled at me transporting the whole list/analysis over here. But you seem to have greater expertise. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:54, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

This is getting complicated. I think that the discussion on this is scatterred into at least 7 places. North8000 (talk) 22:13, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Discussion is scattered into at least 7 different places[edit]

The discussion on this is scattered into about 7 different places. In (roughly) descending order of amount of material they are:

  1. WP:ANI#User Kwamikagami reported - warring to remove citation-needed tags on assertions that Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are not lakes
  2. Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron
  3. Talk:Great Lakes
  4. User_talk:kwamikagami
  5. User_talk:North8000
  6. Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geology
  7. Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Geography

So each of these locations is MISSING least 3/4 of the important material and discussions North8000 (talk) 22:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the list. I know there are issues with the conduct of User:Kwami, but those really need to be separated from the substantive issues. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:44, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I actually wasn't thinking of conduct issues as much as substantive discussion issues which seem to have gotten lost. North8000 (talk) 00:30, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was No merge. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:56, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I am going to start a discussion to merge Lake Michigan–Huron into this article. This merge was already performed once but is clearly not backed by a consensus. Because the proper procedure for a merge was not followed, the discussion is scattered over several talk pages and much of it is not relevant to a merge. I oppose the merge, so I invite a supporter to provide the rationale. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:15, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

What is to be merger from where?Moxy (talk) 23:20, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I have added that info. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:24, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

So far, no one has provided a rationale for the merge. Looking at examples of reasons for merger and the earlier comments, I will offer what I think is the best rationale. If anyone can improve on this, they are welcome to add their version:

Rationale: This page has little content and is not likely to be expanded within a reasonable amount of time. Most of the content has to do with a defense of the name, very little with any coverage of the topic. It is not clear what material would go here that is not already in Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, or Great Lakes. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

  • oppose - concept of "Lake Michigan–Huron" is not widely accepted - as seen at here. Best to leave it on its own with a link from here.Moxy (talk) 23:35, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose per DanHobley in the section above and per Alanscottwalker at Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron#Convenience break. Maintain Lake Michigan–Huron as a separate article, with summaries here and at Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, as we currently have. The lake clearly exists, and although referring to it as a single lake outside of scientific fields is minority usage, it is technically correct and clearly not WP:FRINGE. — kwami (talk) 23:49, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose merge based on sources and statement at Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron#Convenience break and the sources and statement of DanHobley, in the section above Talk:Great Lakes#Lake Michigan-Huron: An outsider's perspective. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:55, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose, per me above (obviously), though as RockMagnetist notes, also subject to thorough WP:NPOV check on both articles. DanHobley (talk) 00:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge. The concept of a single lake is notable and clearly not fringe, being well-established in the literature. "Lake Michigan–Huron" seems to be an appropriate article title, far better than something made up, like "Michigan-Huron Lacustrine Entity". I concur that the existence of the article would in no way challenge the existence of the two culturally distinct lake names "Michigan" and "Huron".--Curtis Clark (talk) 00:25, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The M-H article can stay where it is: it's harmless and technically okay. I can live with the article surviving in place. What I cannot stand is dragging the lake into the list of the largest lakes in the world, ranked by surface area. When geographical area is considered, the lakes are twain. Binksternet (talk) 00:27, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment this duplicates another one that has already been running (see above list for the 7 places that this discussion is occurring) North8000 (talk) 00:41, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Please link [to the other proposal] so we can merge [it with this one]. I don't see it. — kwami (talk) 00:54, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I know it duplicates some of the earlier discussions, but I'm hoping that the merger issue can be settled separately from the other disputes. RockMagnetist (talk) 01:32, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron#Recheck perhaps? Disclaimer: I'm only "involved" in this pondering a WP:LAME entry. Tijfo098 (talk) 21:11, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment The article was a disaster and magnet for a reaming quest. The person in question aggressively reverted all attempts to fix it including removal of all tags for the severe wp:ver problems. After I went to wp:ANI about warring to remove the tags, others first fixed the article and then redirected it. SO I don't know if folks are looking at the fixed vs. disaster version of the article. In short, my "plan A" was to fix the article, not delete it. But with all of that sort of lost, and seeing how persistent and aggressive the one individual is, my concern is that if we re-instituted the article it was slip back into that same hell-hole, and it would also be used to drag the other two articles (list of lakes by areas and volume) back into that hole. Unless we could find a way to solidly avoid that. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:41, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Most of your tags were spurious, and appeared to be nothing more than the pointy defacing of an article which you had previously failed to get deleted. There would have been no problem if you had just tagged the things which needed support. And I'm sure the other editors here, esp. from the geo wikiprojects, are capable of properly sourcing and editing the article. — kwami (talk) 00:52, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
The tags were the policy based approach to dealing with the issue; most were on items that are unsourcable because lake BY THAT NAME does not exist. BTW, to yourself and others, on this particular article (the list one being another story) as I had indicated for months, if you would have just left the tweaks in place (which basically talks about treating it as a single lake, Michigan-Huron in certain respects rather than asserting that it's name is is Michigan-Huron) this would have never seen the light of day. North8000 (talk) 01:02, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Please try to keep these disputes about article quality and editor behavior out of the discussion. The same disputes could occur at Great Lakes if the articles are merged, so merging is not a solution. RockMagnetist (talk) 01:32, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I see editor behavior to be relevant regarding what would probably happen if it were kept separate, and also discussed history to reinforce that my efforts have been to repair, not merge the article. Those were my only reasons for discussing it. I seek ONLY to remedy the situation that existed a week ago at these articles and have zero hard feelings towards Kwamikagami. Happy to buy them a real or electronic beer now or when this is over. :-) North8000 (talk) 01:51, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Someone removed the listing, but I made the IMHO important note that this discussion is going on in 7 different places. North8000 (talk) 10:48, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I think the purpose here is to focus on the narrower merge issue and gather all that in one place, in the usual process for merge. I did not remove the list but I think that's OK, as your list is in the immediate preceding section but it does appear that the merge discussion has migrated here. And, thank you, by the way for starting a more focused "redirect," discussion on the Lake Michigan-Huron talk page but this discussion does appear to be even better, more focused, process. The redirect focus is harder to distinguish from delete, because if there is no redirect, than it is deleted (or recreated). Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:40, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
For the record, the other merge/deletion discussion is here. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment If anyone reviews the seven years of Talk:Lake_Michigan–Huron, it would be difficult to ever find consensus for merge, despite the content controversies, not the least because a formal merge process proposal was never apparently made until RockMagnetist made this one. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:21, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Since one of the problems that brought this up was the insertion of the mythical "Lake Michigan-Huron" into lists of the largest lakes, and since there is plenty of justification for considering "Lake Michigan-Huron" as one hydrological unit, might we consider a rename of Lake Michigan-Huron to Hydrology of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron? The main issue as I see it in this discussion and the related problems is that one editor fails to grasp that bodies of water are named based on many considerations, and with bodies of water as significant as The Great Lakes, we simply cannot ignore the cultural and political implications of trying to rename a mass of water today that has historically been named what it is for centuries. Just my 2 cents! Gtwfan52 (talk) 20:37, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You mistake an article on the combined lakes as an attack on the individual lakes. That's like objecting to "Eurasia" because it's an attack on Europe and Asia. — kwami (talk) 21:03, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like an excellent idea! Especially since there doesn't even seem to be a consensus in the literature for the name of the system. RockMagnetist (talk) 20:42, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
My questions would be what else do they call it, and what are the sources, but not here, as that is a WP:TITLECHANGES discussion that falls under a requested page move discussion and not a merge discussion to "Great Lakes". Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:56, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That's fine with me. About 80% of the discussed scenarios are fine with me. North8000 (talk) 21:02, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You're right, Alanscottwalker. The title should be discussed at talk:Lake Michigan-Huron. RockMagnetist (talk) 21:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
As we have seen, in this area, unfortunately it's best to resort to deliberative process and narrow the issues to hopefully find a sustained resolution, cutting out the drama-o-the-day. And if he is still willing I think it more important to have Dan take a go at content before anything else. As that's really what matters imo. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:36, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I am, but it might have to wait til next week. Sorry... DanHobley (talk) 21:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I've often wished for a way to order other Pedians to do things but have not found it yet. So, wheedling will have to do. As long as you know you do it for the joy of humanity -- because I got nothing else :). Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:09, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I have added some citations that should help. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:15, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I will now respond to my own rationale for a merge. The references now in the article make it clear that there is plenty of interesting material for a separate article on Lake Michigan-Huron. This includes variations in water level for both lakes; flow of water between them; the historical origin of the separate names; the use of separate names in atlases; and the legal implications of the names. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:34, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I do not see a need to merge this article into the Great Lakes article. If the article about Lake Michigan-Huron gets merged into the Great Lakes article that would be the same as merging lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, Superior and Ontario into the Great Lakes article. Lakes Michigan and Huron really form one body of water (Lake Michigan-Huron), connected by a relatively small channel. It dosen't matter if someone didn't learn about Lake Michigan-Huron in school, nor is it a good reason for the article to be deleted or merged. Volcanoguy 07:16, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose merger per Alanscottwalker, DanHobley, kwami, Curtis Clark, RockMagnetist, and others. Given the rationale at Talk:Great Lakes#Lake Michigan-Huron: An outsider's perspective, and the material noted at Talk:Lake Michigan–Huron#Convenience break and via Google Scholar, the article strikes me as a valid and well-received concept in the scholarship, compatible with the guidelines on the inclusion of fringe theories in the encyclopaedia. Mephistophelian (talk) 10:44, 16 September 2012 (UTC).
  • Oppose - I haven't had time to read all the scattered discussions about this, but I agree with most of the above reasons for opposing. It's not exactly clear to me what is supposed to be merged as there is already a subsection here about Lake Michigan-Huron and a link to page specifically about it. I don't think all the stuff from that page should be here, or needs to be here. Nor should that page be deleted or anything. It's not uncommon for there to be terms for sets of geographical features, with the larger terms less used than the smaller ones. For example the Salish Sea is made up of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia, yet as a term is far less used. Granted, the USGS GNIS database includes the Salish Sea but not Lake Michigan-Huron (although other reliable sources use it). Another example that comes to mind is Upper and Lower Red Lake in Minnesota. These lakes are just barely connected and are "hydrologically" a single lake, but commonly referred to as Upper and Lower Red Lake. GNIS has entry for U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Upper Red Lake and U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lower Red Lake, but nothing for the combined Red Lake. Yet Wikipedia has a page for the combined Red Lake (Minnesota) (with a source other than GNIS) and nothing for Upper and Lower Red Lakes. It may be interesting to note that the "mythical" combined "Red Lake" is used in the reliable source cited (the federal US for a list of the largest lakes in the US. I know WP:OSE isn't an argument for or against anything in particular, and that the nationalatlas list of lakes does not include Michigan-Huron, but I thought I'd mention this as a somewhat similar example to think about. Anyway, in addition to all the other reasons for opposing, I think (although am not completely sure) Michigan-Huron has a geological history worth exploring on its own page. Pfly (talk) 21:17, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Since this was un-closed because of "You are right and within your right but I really think it would be best to leave this open for a bit more, see talk on the other page", could I please ask where else a merge discussion is taking place? Never mind. It seems that Kwami-bashing always trumps process. Let's all head on over here!--Curtis Clark (talk) 23:51, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I was just trying to be carefully procedural, really. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:00, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
And in my belief, this is the only procedurally valid place to discuss merge and redirect. (An uncontested close should settle it.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:34, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment from the guy who started all of this Copy of comment from one of the other 7 pages where the discussion is occurring and where the open RFC which this duplicated is occurring. I'm near-neutral on the merge/ separate discussion. While a discussion on that should occur in order to have a resolution, I think that it is a sidebar/distraction to the main issues. At the moment the main issues are already (temporarily) solved, but I believe that, based on their behavior, Kwamikagami is going to hammer the articles long term to re-introduce the problems. A separate article would make the problem worse, but reducing one editor's ability to do damage should not drive such decisions. Long story short, I think that the main issues will remain solved if lots of the people involved here put the 2-3 involved articles on their watchlist permanently and participate as they deem fit. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:10, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, North8000. I too am hopeful the pages will now become more manageable and stable long-term now there are more eyes on the ground, and artificial "stabilizing methods" won't be needed. DanHobley (talk) 02:27, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral - I came here to support the merger, but on looking at the debate in more detail, I think the proposal to rename the combined Lake Michigan-Huron article as 'Hydrology of...' is better. I still feel we need to avoid any result where we appear to claim that the combined lake is 'real' and the individual lakes 'false' or 'mistaken', and the status quo does lean that way a little. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:03, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - the text over at Lake Michigan-Huron is currently rapidly evolving, hopefully for the better. I am cautiously optimistic this should put many people's concerns to rest. Revised text is considerably more NPOV, and makes the context for usage of this terminology much more clear. (i.e., it is in no way a challenge to the primacy of Lakes Michigan and Huron as distinct things). DanHobley (talk) 22:49, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose. Not widely known, or used. Still separate lakes even if part of the same body of water. All oceans are conected yet remain separately named. UrbanNerd (talk) 23:13, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral Needs a different title. Merge/seperate is not the main issue, it is a distraction from it. North8000 (talk) 23:59, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, so why can't this be closed?--Curtis Clark (talk) 01:05, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Someone might want to make a request to close at AN. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:12, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Merge Anything that gets the misleading title out of the encyclopedia is good from my view. Gtwfan52 (talk) 17:46, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose. Paraphrasing a perfect point by an IP at Talk: Lake Michigan-Huron#Bold move, "Some searching in Jstor and Google Scholar finds lots of references to "Lake Michigan-Huron", particularly in geology and hydrology articles but also some in botany, entomology, climatology, etc. I think some of the material can be used to expand the article, enough that a merge to the overview Great Lakes article doesn't seem appropriate. This seems like another situation where scientific and popular terminology don't quite coincide. It happens often enough (cookbooks say tomatoes are vegetables but botanists apparently consider them to be fruits [Lguipontes' add: I was quite obsessed with plants as a pre-teen so I know that tomatoes were considerably sweet to the taste and striped yellow/orange in the past, tomatoes as vegetables is due to post-Columbian crossbreeds that became dominant]; astronomers outraged Walt Disney fans by demoting Pluto from a planet to an escaped asteroid; engineers study the Dirac delta function but mathematicians say there is no such function, etc.) Wikipedia is a place for precision so it should reflect the scientific perspective on this issue as well as the popular one." Lguipontes (talk) 04:08, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
If I may offer a sidebar quibble, it's not correct to imply that it is the scientific perspective that they are one lake. Scientists group them together only in particular venues (e.g. presentation of level data) when it is a useful and valid approach to do so. North8000 (talk) 10:06, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Quibble your quibble: I don't think that's the implication of all that was said there, as it was discussing precision; rather, it is a useful scientific perspective, and this is the scientific perspective on that particular topic. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you are talking (correctly) about their overall post. I was talking only about a statement implied in a particular phrase. North8000 (talk) 10:52, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
We know that at least in certain scientific fields, they're considered one. Do you have any refs that in other fields they're considered two—not that they speak of them separately due to common convention, but that they actually state that in field X they are considered two bodies? Otherwise it would be like saying that the Sun is only considered a star in astronomy, because it's only called the "Sun" in sociology. The Sun is a star regardless, and AFAICT, the scientific view is that MH is one unit. — kwami (talk) 18:42, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The issue with your first sentence is the same. It's unsourced and implausible that an entire scientific field considers it to be one lake. For example, even within each of the main scientific references used, they go both ways. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:37, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
You've never provided a source for that. Until you do, we can't assume it's true. — kwami (talk) 21:20, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
We're starting to go around in circles again, but EVERY accessible source in the current article shows scientists going both ways. I don't see how we can be debating something that is in there in black and white even in the sources that YOU like. One way to sort this out would be for you to pick any accessible source that you feel supports your view and we can go from there. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 23:35, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
If you agree with the sources provided by kwami, then you agree that this is not fringe at all, so the enormous barraco you guys are breaking all the time (i.e. a hot debate, or a fight) over this issue can end. I don't remember kwami saying that Lakes Michigan and Huron do not exist, I remember at least 3 guys saying that Lake Michigan-Huron do not exist even if the article was an old consensus, and sources state that the claim of its practical existence has scientifical purposes, and thus one or two among them edit warring with kwami who did the right thing according to his mind. I understand you guys may be suspicious of him, but he's not being disruptive, at least in the last days. Lguipontes (talk) 03:41, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
@North8000, this is not the section for it, but on the HM or my talk page, show me *one* source which says that. (Not just using the names, of course, which only means they're speaking English, but actually saying that from a scientific POV they are two lakes.) — kwami (talk) 07:36, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I was planning on putting a detailing of what the two prominently used sources actually say on this. But I'll probably run out of time. Little time today or tomorrow and then off the grid for 9 days. North8000 (talk) 10:55, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Close ? Consensus at this of the 2 overlapping RFC's was to keep the article separate. It is already noted that one person whose comments indicated support of the merge wrote "oppose", presumably by mistake. Plurality and possibly consensus at the other RFC location was to have them merged. For the two combined the consensus was to have/keep them separate. The conversations in the "merge vs. seperate" RFC's seemed less substantial and less heated compared to the discussions on underlying issues and content issues, so this consensus should be interpreted as being only on the narrower question of whether or not to merge the article. North8000 (talk) 17:33, 18 September 2012 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 00:39, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Alpha/beta-script publishing template[edit]

Is that really worth having on this page? All that publisher does is republish Wikipedia contents. See VDM_Publishing#Alphascript_and_Betascript_Publishing or [1]. These are a dime a dozen these days. Tijfo098 (talk) 21:17, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia-republished works should generally be removed, as should external links to Wikipedia mirrors. Rich Farmbrough, 20:22, 21 September 2012 (UTC).

Lake Michigan-Huron summary[edit]

The summary here hasn't kept up with developments in the main article, and also the literal quote didn't fit the flow of the text well (it was designed to be the opening line of an article, not to be a summary in a subsection of a broader article). I've attempted to paraphrase based on the current lead. Discussion at Talk:Lake_Michigan–Huron#summary_at_Great_Lakes. — kwami (talk) 03:30, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Largest cities on the Great Lakes[edit]

We seem to be having a problem as to where Toronto and Chicago are place and show in terms of population. Part of this stems from the question whether one is considering population within corporate city limits or the metropolitan area. We need to discuss this and come to a reasoned decision and consensus, rather than simply reverting one another. I would suggest that this could be taken care of by choosing to go one way or another, and putting in a Note indicating the alternate theory. These positions are not mutually exclusive. Nor does it have to be a 'winner take all' way of viewing the claims; it is not a Zero sum game. 7&6=thirteen () 13:31, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

What is probably needed is agreement on which numbers to use which is generally official census numbers in articles. So, whomever cares about this should link the official sources right here, before you make your arguments. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:37, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
According to 2011 data, Chicago has a larger population. There was an update for Toronto in 2012, but not for Chicago, as far as I know (I mean official data). Thus this source [2] is basically WP:OR, and it rightly states at the bottom: "The Economic Dashboard report relied on Statistics Canada’s July 2012 population estimates .. The latest available U.S. Census Bureau data for Chicago was from 2011." Materialscientist (talk) 13:54, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
That certainly appears to be an apples and oranges comparison, and therefore unreliable. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Did anybody every actually read WP:BRD? Why can't we discuss this reasonably and come to a consensus. Some of us are at WP:3RR. 7&6=thirteen () 19:33, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
That's why your revert was out of order as we revert to the long-time stable version. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:55, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

When a city grows beyond its municipal boundaries, it's a bigger city. Both Chicago and Toronto have done that. The article admits that Chicago is several million more than Toronto. When considering how big the cities on a lake are, who cares about municipal boundaries? The important issues are water use, sewage, boat traffic, etc, none of which are limited by a line on a map. I'm sure if we fudged the numbers just right we could come up with a way of showing Erie PA is the largest, but that's not doing our readers any good.

If we're going to say that Toronto is the largest, we need to specify that that's only true under the condition that only the pop w/in municipal boundaries be considered (and maybe that we need to compare data from different years). We'd still say that Chicago is the largest city as well. — kwami (talk) 19:53, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment: I am here as an uninvolved editor. I would just like to point out that the status quo (here, for example) does indeed have Chicago as the biggest. The other thing to consider is the issue of synthesis. We really need a reliable source that says which is the largest city of the two, rather than doing the number-crunching ourselves. And the added reference (Toronto overtakes Chicago as fourth-largest city in North America) seems to be that reliable source. StAnselm (talk) 19:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
    My comment above criticizes the very same source for being blatant WP:OR. Materialscientist (talk) 23:11, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, OR applies to WP articles, not to sources. Sources are welcome to engage in as much OR as they like. StAnselm (talk) 03:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Not really. Say, I can't stop a newspaper editor from speculating about advanced physics, but I can avoid using their article as a source then. Sorry for this off-topic comment. Our professor told us that when physicists introduced a concept of electron hole to solid state physics, some major newspaper (like NYTimes) wrote that scientists have discovered antigravity (holes can have negative "mass") :-D. Materialscientist (talk) 04:18, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I thought the status quo was Chicago, then Toronto. The metropolitan areas remain that way, although the city limit population may have reversed. We need to put in the facts per WP:RS and we can put in a note. This is not hard. I don't think bragging rights on this are very important. I was much more taken aback when some suburb of Toronto passed Detroit (within city limits, not metropolitan area). In short, put the data in and explain it. This is easy. 7&6=thirteen () 22:50, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
How about removing the "largest cities on the Lakes" from the article and changing figure captions to "is one of the [three/four] largest cities on the Great Lakes"? This whole ranking idea is dubious, because of uncertain criteria (see kwami above) and different census years for US and Canada; it is not helpful in articles on lakes, and only brings instability. Materialscientist (talk) 23:11, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Fine. It's not a matter that seems to matter much. But the proposed source is dubious for the reasons above. (Noting in passing that, apparently, before this source, the matter was undisputed wp:verifiable "sky is blue" stuff). Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:49, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like a good suggestion. The "multiple image" template could be used with both Chicago and Toronto, with a caption something like, "In terms of X, Chicago (top) is the largest city on the Great Lakes, while in terms of Y, Toronto (bottom) is the largest". StAnselm (talk) 03:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Blocked editors[edit] (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log), (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log), and (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log), are all the same person, who has been blocked under various other IPs. If someone wants to confirm the edits, I would have no objection to restoring the information. But their edits are usually either irrelevant to the article or from the sources. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:38, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I think that what somebody thinks about which way global warming would affect the levels is not really useful content for the article / not germane enough. North8000 (talk) 11:49, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

In December, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron hit record lows, followed by Lake Superior which is the largest freshwater lake in the world. They all remain below their historical averages.

Per Business, tourism take a hit as Great Lakes evaporate June 18, 2013 (talk) 07:27, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
All looks good to me. Moxy (talk) 16:24, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Lake Champlain[edit]

I would be the first to admit that the Congressional designation was ill conceived. Indeed, I had a letter on that very subject published in the letters to the editor of TIME, I suggested that they should designate the acid lake in Bozeman, Montana to be a Great Lake, so it would qualify for funding for a clean up. But excising it from the article is Revisionist history. Clearly it and the reference belong here. 7&6=thirteen () 15:49, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Global warming soapbox[edit]

There is a global warning soapbox in this page. At least this one: "According to geologist John King, of the University of Rhode Island, water levels are very sensitive to climate change and may change more drastically in the next century.[15]" According to one geologist? Does that make it worthy of inclusion? The geologist is not even linked to a page, so I'll assume he's not notable. And a prediction in 2009 that the water levels will change "drastically in the next century" -- that's 90 years from now! That's encyclopedic? Isn't there a rule against putting crystal balls on wiki pages? A non notable geologist thinks lake levels will change in 90 years? From global warming? And there's plenty of evidence all the many other global warming scares are false? Remember all the melting Arctic ice and whoops the satellite was miscalibrated, for example, and the ice reappeared overnight? Hockey stick sound familiar? I think someone's just using this page as a soapbox for global warming. I'm just going to remove that sentence, leaving in the reference as it is used elsewhere. --Lawfare (talk) 07:59, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I agree that it should come out. Mostly because it is off topic and is not really information about the Great Lakes. North8000 (talk) 20:04, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Watershed map is slightly wrong[edit]

It's a very useful map and I appreciate having it in there, but the watershed map is slightly wrong. It includes some area downstream of Lake Ontario along the seaway which is a part of the St. Lawrence watershed but does not drain into the great lakes. I'm guessing that it is derived from some "basin" maps (and the image (not the caption) actually calls it that) which has meaning slightly different than watershed. I think that this map shows the actual watershed [3]. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:54, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I tweaked the caption wording to sidestep the issue while keeping the map and still saying that it largely shows the watershed. North8000 (talk) 19:18, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
That new map resolves it. Cool!North8000 (talk) 12:48, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Table of lakes and states[edit]

Re this table:

State/Province Lake Erie vertical header.png Lake Huron vertical header.png Lake Michigan vertical header.png Lake Ontario vertical header.png Lake Superior vertical header.png
Illinois · Illinois N N Y N N
Indiana · Indiana N N Y N N
Michigan · Michigan Y Y Y N Y
Minnesota · Minnesota N N N N Y
New York (state) · New York Y N N Y N
Ohio · Ohio Y N N N N
Ontario · Ontario Y Y N Y Y
Pennsylvania · Pennsylvania Y N N N N
Wisconsin · Wisconsin N N Y N Y

I can understand that someone would want to make this, but IMO it's not AAA-level information design and is somewhat trivial, especially for the lede, so I've removed it. If disagree, restore and let's talk. Herostratus (talk) 09:52, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Layout - Image Overlays table[edit]

The View from space shuttle overlays the table data of statistics on the lakes. My edit left too much vertical whitespace, was wondering if another could clean it up properly?

8r455 (talk) 01:03, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand. I don't see any image identified as being form the space shuttle. If you meant space station, even that one is far away from any statistics, with another image in between them. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:22, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

connections between the lakes[edit]

Water flows 'freely' from Lake Huron through the St. Clair River - Lake St. Clair - Detroit River to Lake Erie. Erosion in that connection (partly enhanced by dredging and riverbed mining) affects the water level of Lake Michigan-Huron. If I understand it correctly, every other connection between the lakes (St. Marys River from Lake Superior to Lake Huron; the Niagara River or the Welland Canal from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and the Iroquois Dam downstream of Lake Ontario) is by a dam, lock, rapids and/or waterfalls, so that water levels of the other lakes remain the same. ----Bancki (talk) 10:59, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

What is your point? Are you proposing something be added to the article?--Asher196 (talk) 16:18, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I think this distinction between 'free' connections and other connections useful, because it's important for navigation (locks needed) and for the water level of the lake upstream that connection.----Bancki (talk) 08:31, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

"seaway" changed to "river"[edit]

Since all parts of the Seaway move water from one part of the Great Lakes to another, on its own the Saint Lawrence Seaway passes no water to the Atlantic Ocean. The Saint Lawrence River is the natural connection to the ocean. Later in the article there is a section on ocean shipping. If it is felt necessary to include ocean shipping in the introduction, it should be clearly labeled, e.g. "Ocean shipping can reach all of the Great Lakes though the Saint Lawrence Seaway." Nick Beeson (talk) 12:18, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Lake Baikal inconsistency[edit]

This article and the Lake Baikal article have a serious inconsistency with volume. Lake Baikal is listed as having 5700 cubic miles of water and "roughly 20%" of the world's unfrozen fresh water, while the Great Lakes are listed as having 5439 cubic miles of water and 54% of the world's unfrozen fresh water. That's less volume, but a higher percentage, which means one of them is clearly wrong. I'm pretty sure Baikal is bigger than the Great Lakes, which makes this article wrong as regards the percentage, but I'm not confident enough of the right answer to simply edit. Alsadius (talk) 22:15, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

The USGS [4], state "Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake on Earth containing 23,000 cubic kilometers of water, or roughly 20 percent of the world's total surface fresh water. It contains as much fresh water as the Great Lakes of North America combined". So the volumes seem right but the percentage for the Great Lakes is clearly off. This source gives 21% for the Great Lakes, using a 100,000 cubic km value for the globe. Mikenorton (talk) 22:41, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
The Lake Baikal article says that lake contains "roughly 20% of the world's unfrozen surface fresh water". It relies on two sources for support:
  • [5], which says "Baikal holds more fresh water than all five Great Lakes combined."
  • [6], which says "Baikal holds [...] one-fifth of the world's fresh water."
The second of those sources is the one which matters. That source speaks of "fresh water", not "unfrozen" or "liquid" fresh water. It looks to me as if unfrozen was stuck in by this February 2011 edit. The editor who added that said in his edit summary that he had "looked it up in UNESCO", though he didn'tt add a supporting cite. I looked it up here, where I see that UNESCO says "It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve."
The Great Lakes article says that those lakes contain "21% of the world's surface fresh water and 54% of the world's liquid fresh water by volume", citing three sources:
  • This book, which is unpreviewable online and unavailable to me.
  • [7], which doesn't seem to address that detaiil.
  • [8], which says that they contain "about 21% of the world's supply of surface fresh water"
It looks to me as if the world's total fresh water is made up of
  • liquid surface water
  • frozen surface water
  • atmospheric water (clouds and uncondensed water vapor)
  • liquid subsurface water
  • frozen subsurface water
I'm not about to try here to put numbers on any of that.
I think that both articles at issue here deserve another look, and that the relevant assertions there should be redone with WP:DUE in mind. I think that differences between the RSs cited by both articles probably have their roots in the individual sources making assertions about totals for some but not all and differing combinations of the subcomponents of total fresh water which I have listed above. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:33, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────this source says that about 70% of fresh water is ice and about 30% is ground water; the rest (liquid fresh surface water and other) gets lost in rounding errors. this source says roughly the same thing. Both of those sources are cited in Fresh water#Water distribution and Water distribution on Earth. That is interesting, but doesn't help very much here.
Backing up a bit for a re-think, since Lake Baikal is a single lake, I'm wondering if it makes sense to compare it with a group of lakes. It certainly doesn't make much sense to compare it with the North American Great Lakes and then not mention the African Great Lakes (which contain more water than either Lake Bakial alone or the North American Great Lakes taken together). It seems to me that it makes more sense to edit the Lake Baikal article to compare it with Lake Tanganyika alone and perhaps also with Lake Superior alone, and edit this article to make a comparison between the North American Great Lakes the African Great Lakes. The Water distribution on Earth article contains a table which puts the amount of water in the African ones at abut 1.36 times the amount in the American ones, but the source of that information isn't identified there.
I think I'm spinning my wheels here and not being very useful, so that will probably be my last comment. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 05:10, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Bathymetry table[edit]

I understand that the lakes are listed across the top of the Bathymetry table in alphabetical order. It confused me at first, however, because I normally expect the lakes to appear from west to east. Does anyone else think a west-to-east sequence might work better? I will not change it unless someone else agrees with me.    → Michael J    17:28, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Others might think of it in terms of east to west depending on their own location too, so I could see confusion either way. Alphabetical seems to give a logical order for anyone wanting to look up a specific lake. We're not trying to say depth is associated with a particular direction, which would be a case where such a presentation would be more appropriate. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:44, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough. Just thought I'd ask. Thanks, @Kingofaces43.    → Michael J    23:36, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Owen Sound[edit]

Owen Sound, ON is quite plainly not a settlement on Lake Erie. It is on Lake Huron (and is listed as such on the List of cities on the Great Lakes page). As someone who does not regularly edit and who is not familiar with the layout of tables and the ordering of cities in tables, I'm hoping that someone more knowledgeable than I can implement this change according to the typical guidelines. (talk) 02:43, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

I corrected the table. Thanks for pointing it out. Calidum T|C 02:50, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Bathymetry table need a row of Residence Time of the water[edit]

Bathymetry table need a row of Residence Time of the water in each Great Lake. — Lentower (talk) 15:57, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

Geographical context[edit]

I just noticed that all of the maps in the article are centered on the Lakes and none show the context within the continent. Could we add something like this? Mapsax (talk) 13:54, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Typo under Great Lakes#History[edit]

"Several Native American tribes inhabited the region since at least 1000 BC, after the end of the Wisconsin glaciation."

I'm fairly sure that's supposed to be 10,000 BC, not 1000 BC, since the end of the Wisconsin glaciation was around that time and also because I know that's generally how far back archaeology goes in North America. But I don't know if I should change it since I didn't do any research and I'm basically just making up a date here. Suggestions? Jonathan talk 23:23, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Watershed colours too similar and with confusing names[edit]

With 3 shades of purple and 2 shades of orange, i find the watershed map very confusing. Using obscure (even if correct) names for the colours also doesn't held legibility. I found that the only way to read it was by paying close attention to which ones went from left to right, the colour descriptions were practically useless. And what if you are colourblind?

I suggest using more distinguishable colours, with more commonly-known names. Magenta; cyan; yellow; red; orange; etc etc. (talk) 22:35, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

I agreed and it's easy to fix... so I did. Dharris (talk) 18:55, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Great Lakes/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: HeyJude70 (talk · contribs) 15:15, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Very well written. It has taken time and effort for this article to reach level of completion.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. Some paragraphs are without citations.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. On review, some references are not of satisfactory reliability. As quoted below, "There are 6 citation needed tags in the article.".
2c. it contains no original research.
2d. it contains no copyright violations nor plagiarism.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). The article focuses entirely on the topic at hand.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. (no edit wars recorded)
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. All images are verifiable by status.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. The third image viewable on the page states: "Location in North America". Unless it is the white section (which is unstated), the area is directly undisplayed. Can this be corrected?

This has been corrected, no longer an issue. Thanks to Philroc

7. Overall assessment. Currently awaiting any input from other Wikipedia users. I am new to this process, however I understand the criteria. I would appreciate any input from other users, otherwise my original opinion will stand. Thank you ThomDevexx ॐ (talk) 15:15, 11 January 2017 (UTC).

Further discussion found that the article did not satisfy the criteria for a Good Article. The biggest problem with the article is the lack of citations, as shown by the 6 'citation needed' tags throughout the article. If the citations are placed where necessary this article will be much more likely to satisfy the Good Article criteria. ThomDevexx ॐ (talk) 02:42, 18 January 2017 (UTC)


HeyJude70 -- can you clarify what you are looking for? The Great Lakes are enclosed in the redish box in the picture. Dolotta (talk) 23:44, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

@Dolotta: I fixed the picture - before, it was just a map of North America without the box. PhilrocMy contribs 23:01, 13 January 2017 (UTC)


I have not looked at all the sources but 7 and 8 do not seem like very good sources. I also think a good copy-edit would help, perhaps from the guild of copyeditors. Some sections seem choppy. Other issues that need to be looked at include coverage balance and due weight. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:32, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

The referencing needs work. There are 6 citation needed tags in the article. All non-obvious facts need references. The subsections "Primary connecting waterways," "Flora," "Shipping," and "Drinking waters" are unreferenced and there are several paragraphs throughout without any references. I also agree with the comments from @Alanscottwalker:. I do not think this article currently meets the Good Article criteria. Knope7 (talk) 01:39, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

I have re-reviewed this, and there were obviously some issues I missed with the page. I have updated the review to reflect this, as well as including the corrections made. At this time, I believe that the page may not be eligible to pass the Good Page criteria. ThomDevexx ॐ (talk) 08:38, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

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