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Lake Erie Overview

Lake Erie (42.2° N, 81.2W) has a mean elevation of 571 feet (174 m) above sea level. It has a surface area of 9,910 square miles (25,667 km) with a length of 241 statute miles (388 km 209 nmi) and breadth of 57 statute miles (92 km 50 nmi) at its widest points.

It is the shallowest of the Great Lakes with an average depth of 10 fathoms 3 feet (62 ft 19 m) and a maximum depth of 35 fathoms (210 ft, 64 m) For comparison, Lake Superior has an average depth of 80 fathoms 3 feet (483 ft; 147 m), a volume of 2,900 cubic miles (12,100 km3) and shoreline of 2,726 statute miles (4,385 km). Because it is the shallowest, it is also the warmest of the Great Lakes, and in 1999 this almost became a problem for two nuclear power plants which require cool lake water to keep their reactors cool. The warm summer of 1999 caused lake temperatures to come close to the 85 °F (29 °C) limit necessary to keep the plants cool. Also because of its shallowness, and in spite of being the warmest lake in the summer, it is also the first to freeze in the winter. The shallowest section of Lake Erie is the western basin where depths average only 25 to 30 feet (7.6 to 9.1 m); as a result, “the slightest breeze can kick up lively waves,” according to a New York Times reporter in 2004. The “waves build very quickly”, according to other accounts. Sometimes fierce waves springing up unexpectedly have led to dramatic rescues; in one instance, a Cleveland resident trying to measure the dock near his house became trapped but was rescued by a fire department diver from Avon Lake, Ohio.

Lake Erie Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from

Detailed Map of Lake Erie

Lake Erie Detailed Map Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from