Lake Huron NAM-05

Riparian Nation(s) Canada, USA
Surface Area 59570 km2 Mean Depth 53 m Volume 3535 km3
Shoreline 5088 km Catchment Area 128464 km2 Residence Time 22.6 yr
Frozen Period 80 days Mixing Type Dimictic Morphogenesis/Dam Natural
Related Info/Site


Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes and the fifth largest in the world, with the most irregular shape of any of the Great Lakes. Even its largest island, Manitoulin, is wider than the State of Rhode Island, and has five small lakes of its own. The lake is connected with its neighbor, nearly same-sized L. Michigan, only by a narrow straight called the Straights of Mackinac, which is spanned by a 8 km-long bridge, the Mighty Mac. The shores around Mackinac offer spectacular landscape. The water quality of the lake is still excellent and oligotrophic. Transparency is generally recorded at 8 m, and chlorophyll a concentration at the lake centre is less than 2 micro l-1. However, the water in Saginaw Bay in the southern part has become considerably worse due to the nutrient loading from surrounding areas.

Many long freighters and other seafacing vessels come and go on this "inland sea". In summer, recreational boating and yacht-racing are supported by many local clubs almost every day.

Photo of Lake Huron
Photo: A. Kurata