Lake Michigan

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Lake Michigan Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan from Big Sable Point lighthouse.jpg
Geographical location Michigan , Indiana , Illinois , Wisconsin (USA)
Tributaries Menominee River , Fox River , Milwaukee River , Manistee River , Pere Marquette River , Muskegon River , Grand River , Kalamazoo River , St. Joseph River
Drain Lake Huron ( Mackinac Street )
Islands Beaver Island , Washington Island , North Manitou Island , South Manitou Island
Places on the shore Chicago , Milwaukee , Gary , Green Bay
Coordinates 43 ° 42 ′  N , 87 ° 5 ′  W Coordinates: 43 ° 42 ′  N , 87 ° 5 ′  W
Lake Michigan (Michigan)
Lake Michigan
Altitude above sea level 176  m
surface 58,016 km²
length 494 km
width 190 km
volume 4918 km³dep1
scope 2633 km
Maximum depth 281 m
Middle deep 85 m
Great Lakes Lake Michigan.png
Location of Lake Michigan among the great lakes
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White Shoal Light , located in Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan [ ˈmɪʃɪgənˌzeː ] ( English Lake Michigan ) belongs to the group of the five Great Lakes in North America . It is 176  m high, has an area of ​​58,016 km² (for comparison: Switzerland has an area of ​​41,287 km², Lake Constance 536 km²) and a maximum water depth of 281 m. Its length is 494 km, its width 190 km and the shore extends for 2633 km. As the only one of the Great Lakes, it lies entirely in the USA , it borders the states of Indiana , Illinois , Wisconsin and Michigan .

The name Michigan probably derives from mishi-gami on what in the language of the Ojibwa Indians as much as large body of water (Engl. Great water ) means. The name of the state of Michigan is in turn borrowed from the name of the lake. The name Lake Illinois can still be seen on some older maps .

By the Straits of Mackinac (Engl. Straits of Mackinac ) Lake Michigan is the Lake Huron connected. From a hydrological point of view, the Michigan and Huron Lakes are one single lake; the Mackinac Strait is the narrowest point at around 6 km wide. Accordingly, there is no gradient there. Differences in altitude between the two lakes are due to the tides.

Northern Michigan beaches are the only beaches in the world where Petoskey Stones can be found. In 1838 work began on building the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal to Lake St Clair , but it was never completed. The Sleeping Bear Dunes nature reserve is located on the eastern shore of the lake . The Ludington pumped storage power plant is also located on the east bank .


About 12 million people live along the shores of Lake Michigan. The southern tip of the lake is heavily industrialized . Cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants along the shore are:





Protected areas

There are several protected areas around Lake Michigan, such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore . An overview can be found in the following list:


Shipping on Lake Michigan has a long tradition. In the 21st century, most traffic is by modern ferries and cargo shipping . The City of Milwaukee is a classic shipping vehicle on Lake Michigan .

Shipping accidents

Some of the most serious shipping accidents in American history occurred on Lake Michigan. They found heavy coverage in contemporary media, caused a lot of uproar and in some cases had an impact on new safety regulations.

On November 22nd, 1847, overheated steam boilers on the paddle steamer Phoenix caused a fire that destroyed the ship and caused it to sink; around 250 people died. On September 24, 1856, with the sinking of the Niagara , 60 to 70 deaths (sources differ), one of the worst transportation accidents in the state of Wisconsin occurred . On September 8, 1860, the worst shipping accident in the history of the Great Lakes occurred on Lake Michigan when the paddle steamer Lady Elgin sank after colliding with a schooner . About 400 people were killed.

Web links

Commons : Lake Michigan  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files
Wiktionary: Lake Michigan  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations