Talk:Lake Superior

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A section on ports, cities and commerce as well as commercial dealing with the lake would be interesting. I don't know enough to write anything but it is an area that needs to be done by someone who does (talk) 04:30, 8 July 2008 (UTC)eric

Also, the section on Shipping refers only to it's use in transporting mined and manufactured materials. No reference to transporting agricultural products, but at least from the Duluth/Superior port, I think grain shipments are a major part of the traffic. T-bonham (talk) 01:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I'll have a look. 02:15, 1 November 2013 (UTC)


How can this be both the first and second largest freshwater lake in the world? The first and third paragraphs contradict each other.

Well, apparently, we are counting Lakes Michigan and Huron as one lake now (Lake Michigan-Huron). They are both level with each other, so I guess they're the same lake? vid 15:53, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Under the section Hydrgraphy it gives the surface area as Sqare feet, but it should be Square Miles: Lake superior facts and figures, (www, shows the Water Surface area as 31,700 Square Miles / 82,100 Square Kilometers.

Added explanation. According to the definition of a lake (a connected body of fresh water at the same level) Michigan and Huron are one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Three years later, the above was still true, the paragraphs describing the superlative disagreed. I altered the unicted one. Group29 (talk) 16:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that it is correct and sourcable that Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake by surface area. I'll see if I can get that sourced. Nobody has challenged that except those who argue that Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are actually one lake, which is a rare point of view. By that standard, the world would have only one ocean, and the oceans are more unified that Michigan & Huron. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 16:25, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the sources; the current remaining text is certainly OR and also in coflict with on of the sources which it cites. The first source says that Lake Superior IS widely considered to be the world's largest freshwater lake by area, and the goes on to give an opinion and Huron./Michigan ought should be considered to be one lake. The other two merely say that Huron / Michigan are hydrologically connected. It is pure weak OR to say that such means that they are a single lake for the purposes of saying which lake is the largest. North8000 (talk) 22:26, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


It would be nice to learn of the mean water volume of this lake. In gallons, I've heard that it is approx. 3 gaudrilion* gallons. Is that right? If that's so that's a mighty big water dish and we shall never drink it all!

  • 3,000,000,000,000,000 gallons

1,000,000 gallons --- 1 million 25,000 gallons --- my brothers pool 25 gallons --- me {200lbs/8 (water=8 lbs per gal) If you started counting as fast as you could! Let's say 10 numbers per second. It would take you 9.5 million years to reach 3 Quadrillion. Better hurry and get started. -Straydog

im sure Gitchigume is lake huron.if you listen to the gorden lightfoots song he describes lake superior as flowing into the lake called Gitchigume. also iv known Old timers who called lake huron Gitchigume


As gitchigume means 'big water,' it is possible that Lake Huron/lac Huron is called this, too. But the term is meant for the biggest of the big - Lake Superior/lac Supérior. There used to be a hotel/bar at Haviland Bay called Gitchee Gumee, but it closed down after the fire.

I've also heard both Superior and Huron referred to as "Manitoulin," after the spirit-god that resides in the lakes and destroys ships when angry.

better listen again to the song, the lyrics are The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumme" -it is referring to Superior

Not that a song is an authoritative source, but I also think the song is referring to Superior as Gitche Gumee (or however you want to spell it. From [1], final four lines: "The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down, Of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee"; Superior, they say, never gives up her dead, When the gales of November come early." There are other parts of the songs about water flowing to the other lakes, but the parts referring to Gitche Gumee are about Lake Superior, where the ship sank. -Agyle 01:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
What started it all was Longfellow's Hiawatha poem which called Lake Superior Gitchigume. "By the Shores of Gitchigume, by the shining big sea water." That made it "official".  :-) North8000 (talk) 21:58, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

SlamBangVanilla (talk) 22:22, 24 October 2013 (UTC) (talk) 17:45, 24 October 2013 (UTC) From Barbara Chisholm, Andrea Gutsche Superior : Under the Shadow of the Gods: A guide to the History of the Canadian Shore of Lake Superior 1st edition 1998, printed bound in canada by Transcontinental Printing Inc At the front of the very preface the actual Ojibwe term is 'Anishnaabe Chi Gaming' or "Ojibwe Ocean", this also corrects the current history section of the lake. this gitchegume nonsense is Longfellow's fault. (talk) 17:45, 24 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 24 October 2013 (UTC) this was me SlamBangVanilla (talk) 22:22, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Then what about "gichigami"? That is not from Longfellow or Lightfoot. Could that also be a term that the Ojibwe used? North8000 (talk) 02:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Either way, we should incorporate the information that you found into the article. North8000 (talk) 12:25, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

I put it in. Thanks for the info and source. North8000 (talk) 14:16, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Chi Gaming is just another respelling - see [2] for some others. Rmhermen (talk) 15:55, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I put that in too. North8000 (talk) 16:45, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
In the Ojibwe language, Gichigami is a title that applies to each of the great lakes, as the word literally means "be a large sea" of which Lake Superior is more specifically either Ojibwe Gichigami (Be the great sea of the Ojibwe) or Anishinaabe Gichigami (Be the great sea of the Anishinaabe). Lake Michigan is then is called either Mishii'igan ("Grand Lake") or Ininwe Gichigami (Be the great sea of the Illini). Lake Huron goes by Naadowe Gichigami. Part of the issue here may be only an orthographic issue. In the current Fiero orthography, it is Gichigami. Other orthographies include Kitchekami, Gitche-gummee, etc. The difference between the fresh sea and salt sea is made through other modifiers, so the Great Lakes are the wiishkobiiwi-gichigami (be a sweet great sea) while the Atlantic is the wiisagiwi-gichigami (be a bitter great sea). Not mentioned here are the noun versions of the name, as gichigami is a verb. The noun form is gichigaam and generally translated into English not as "great sea" but rather as "great coast" or as "great shore". CJLippert (talk) 15:36, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


why did it change? copyvio? --Hraefen 21:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

It would be nice with an image of the lake plotted on a map of North America to scale. It difficult to get a sense of its size from the current images in the article.--AndersFeder (talk) 15:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Additions, corrections[edit]

  • For the image labeled "Lake Superior basin," can there be a little more description? The disambiguation page says "Basin may also refer to some types of geological depressions:" It is unclear which one of several this picture refers to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Added the US Standard conversions to the sidebar chart.

(The reality is, excepting scientists and mathematicians, few Americans use Metric in their daily lives, even those with graduate degrees. Adding the Standard conversion(s) is requisite for an resource intended for an American audience. Thus I found it strange to find the conversions in the text but not in the chart. I rectified the anomaly. And it saves me from having to do the math in my head.

If for no other reason than to irritate the French--and really, is there a nobler cause?--we refuse to officially adopt the metric system. When I was in last year of grade school I clearly remember my old man's pleasure when Reynaldus Magnus cancelled Carter's plan to convert to metric. Furthermore, since we are the most powerful nation in the history of Earth, we don't have to adapt. It should also be noted that the French Academy of Science receives 99% of its submissions in English. Ja, schadenfreude is a beautiful thing...)

No dispute that the metric system is, er, systematic and Standard is a chaos of disparate, ah, measurements, the flotsam and jetsam of various previous systems and just plain weirdness. But they spent all of my years in school teaching us standard. At my age I don't have time to make the change.)

  • Removed area measurement of Lake Tanganyika; no other lakes' volumes are listed, thus the listing Tanganyika's was anomalous.

PainMan 15:45, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


The article has the following: "There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America with a foot of water," with the notation that a citation is needed. If the entries for the volume of water and the sizes of the continents are accepted, we can calculate this. (I calculated 11.25 inches.) So, a citation shouldn't be needed. We can show the calculations instead. 03:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

agreed. done. Civil Engineer III 12:04, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


I'm confused as too what "Lake Superiors best friend is Lake Michigan (found in the third line of page)" means. To me it seems not to have any real meaning here, and do believe it could be vandalism. So if I am correct may I fix it and if need be add a message to the user's IP Windscar77 07:48, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


The area figure doesn't line up with what the government says. [3] -Ravedave (help name my baby) 15:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

If you are referring to the figure on page 217 of that document, where it lists Lake Superior's area as 20,557 square miles, that is the portion within the United States. PhizzySimpleMichigan.svg 17:18, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Lake superior is big. Why dont people drink from it !?!?

They do drink the water. Most of Duluth, Minnesota's municipal water supply comes from the lake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Weetoddid (talkcontribs) 22:47, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


What type of fish are present in lake superior? Andercee 17:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

April 14 2007 Edit[edit]

Added some details in Geology & History, and references, from Superior: Under the Shadow of the Gods. There's tons more history, but that's all I have time for now. I'm no expert in either of these fields so if anyone can improve on what I added.. by all means.. P. Moore 03:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


P. Moore did a great job of adding references. Now I think we need to unify the reference styles throughout the article and add more information for each reference. I'll try to get to it when I can. --Gimme danger 04:25, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


The temperature of the lake is referenced multiple times throughout the article, yet nowhere is it directly stated. For example, global warming is said to have caused the lake's surface temperature to rise 2.5 degrees -- but from what original temperature? --Caseodilla 00:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

There seems to be widespread claims that the lake froze over in 2003 and 2009. Does anyone have a good source for that? Also how did they define frozen over in 1962 and 1970. Doesn't this contradict the theory that it will be ice free? 13:22, 25 February 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The surface temperature varies greatly, due to it's size. The bays and the western half are warm while the eastern half is usually cool. A source should be cited, however. Someone should get on that, but make note of the variation depending on location of the surface temperature. Vidioman 10:22, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Seasonal surface definitely fluctuates, but the lake overall is pretty steady. I found a source that put the 1970s average water temp at 2 degrees C, 5 degrees C for the surface temp, and added some info from there to the article.
Regarding "The Lake Superior's surface temperature has warmed by 2.5 °C since 1979, which has been attributed to global warming," I'm not a global warming denier, but I'm skeptical that scientific research attributed the recent rise specifically to global warming; it may be that the NewScientist article inferred that based on the rising air temperatures. (That may well be due to global warming, but there are other causes of localized climate changes.) I don't think NewScientist should be considered reliable source on that, and would prefer striking the second part of the sentence in question, until/unless a scientific journal can be checked and cited for corroboration. -Agyle 12:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
In the first paragraph, above, Agyle uses the terms correctly; but the article states that the surface temperature "...has warmed by 2.5°C...." "Degrees Centrigrade" is correct when stating a measure of temperature; but when stating a variation or change in temperature, one is talking about "Centigrade degrees." rowley (talk) 16:31, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, I corrected it. vıdıoman 20:34, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't the measurements be metric first and US customary measures second?[edit]

The measurements of Lake Superior are given in US measures first and metric second. As the lake is international, shouldn't it be the other way round?

Perhaps, but approximately 67.4% of the lake is within the United States (Michigan, 49.9%, Minnesota 10.7%, Wisconsin 6.8%, Ontario 32.6%), so maybe US units should take precedence. Phizzy 17:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
In addition to that, many people living on the Canadian side pre-date the metric conversion and use the old measurements so it really isn't that much of an issue for Canada, either. As long as both are present it should be fine. vıdıoman 05:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


Do we really need seven external links to lighthouses. I realize there are quite a few lighthouse devotees out there but don't these links belong somewhere else --Weetoddid (talk) 15:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Ranking of largest "lakes" by volume[edit]

Third or fourth? Depends on wheteher Caspian Sea is a lake. This could by handled by a footnote noting the controversy. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 15:30, 25 July 2009 (UTC) Stan

The Caspian Sea is not a freshwater lake. The current description of Lake Superior in the article as the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume is correct. olderwiser 15:57, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Is it a rift or glacial in origin[edit]

Quote: "User:Mikenorton (talk | contribs) (Undid revision 353852201 by User:Drdpw (talk) not a rift lake - glacial in origin)" Quote from Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) or Keweenawan Rift: "The rift failed, leaving behind thick layers of rock that are exposed in its northern reaches, but buried beneath later sedimentary formations along most of its western and eastern arms. Those arms meet at Lake Superior, which is contained within the rift valley." Quote from Lake Superior#Geology: "The continent was later riven, creating one of the deepest rifts in the world. The lake lies in this long-extinct Mesoproterozoic rift valley, the Midcontinent Rift." If I understand it right, the answer is not so easy. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 21:50, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

It's too big to have a single cause of formation. North8000 (talk) 01:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC) Except rain which filled it up  :-) 01:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the origin of Lake Superior is a bit complicated when you get down to the geological details. The water was provided by a combination of a melting ice sheet and regular precipitation runoff, which filled the basin. The bedrock basin, however, was formed through a combination of earlier mid-continental rifting and much more recent glacial erosion by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The ice flowed into the pre-existing rift basin and further deepened the topographic depression. --BlueCanoe (talk) 01:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Of course you're right. I was joking about the rain. North8000 (talk) 03:54, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Whales in the Great Lakes???[edit]

O.k., I know it sounds idiotic to ask but I've seen a few websites and I know someone told me they went on a whale watching cruise while in Chicago and saw a pod of whales; so, are there really whales in the Great Lakes, I know there have been bull sharks but whales? I told my friend he was full of $h!t and laughed but he still maintains his position but I don't let on that I am beginning to believe him. So, are there really whales or some kind of large freshwater fish that could be mistaken for whales and/or are called whales? Anyone know the truth about this, if so please inform and if it is true then there should be some mention of whales in the article, I could write something and even provide sources but it is just a little too unbelievable for me to make an edit without checking with someone else first. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 12 June 2010 (UTC) [[4]] [[5]] [[6]] [[7]] [[8]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't even know where to begin about how ridiculous this is. Perhaps this posting is a pretense for adding the above spam links.Asher196 (talk) 01:23, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Good article on Great Lakes levels[edit]

Lynch, Jim, November 08. 2010 Low Great Lakes levels prompt new call for action: U.S., Canada look at options to slow flow out of Lake Huron Detroit News. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 00:14, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. Very interesting. No effect on Superior though. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:08, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Similar Topic/Hello[edit]

My name is Austin Gaines, and I am a freshman at Clemson University. I am doing a wikipedia page on a lake in SC, and was wondering what interesting things I could add to my page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lionel555 (talkcontribs) 19:57, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Your best place to start is to find some good secondary sources, and start putting in important material based on those sources. Size, depth, geology, history, flora and fauna, and current uses are a few good ones for most lakes. Sincerely North8000 (talk) 20:42, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Daily elevations for the current month are posted by the US Army Corps of Engineers at Great Lakes Water Levels. The units are feet, to the hundredth. Near real-time data from gauging stations in both the US (given in feet) and Canada (meters) are also available elsewhere, but are unofficial. Kablammo (talk) 02:32, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I changed the references to the inbox "Elevation" field to the USACE site given above. It should be updated annually. Kablammo (talk) 21:13, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

No map?[edit]

The article's lack of a modern map indicating the lake's geographical features (islands, bays, etc.) and surrounding cities is a curious omission. For that matter, there is not such a map accompanying any of the main articles for the five Great Lakes. Starling2001 (talk) 19:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 April 2015[edit]

Please change (at the very start of the article):

Lake Superior (French: Lac Supérieur)


Lake Superior (Anishinaabe: Gichigamiwininiwag, French: Lac Supérieur)

or to:

Lake Superior (Anishinaabe: Gichigamiwininiwag)

The French association with the lake was very fleeting. The Anishinaabe still live here. (talk) 04:54, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Roborule (talk) 16:36, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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