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The major axis of the lake extends from west-southwest to east-northeast for miles kmand the lake has a maximum width of 57 miles. The lake discharges at its eastern end through the Niagara Riverand its western end contains all of the islands, the largest being Pelee IslandOntario. With a mean surface height of feet metres above sea levelErie has the smallest mean depth 62 feet of the Great Lakes, and its deepest point is feet.
Because of its small size and shallow character, the lake has a comparatively short water-retention time of 2. Storms frequently cause short-period fluctuations in lake level that can amount to several feet at the ends of the lake. It is an important link in the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Originally, a few harbours on the lake were formed by natural bays, but most of them are at the mouths of streams that were improved by protective piers, jellies, and breakwaters and by dredging to accommodate the large lake vessels. The industrial economy of the lakeshore area depends heavily upon water transportation. The important steel industry notably, to the south at Pittsburgh and at Detroit depends upon the movement of iron ore and limestone across the Great Lakes to Lake Erie ports mostly to the Ohio ports of ClevelandAshtabulaand Conneaut.
The port at ToledoOhio, handles soft-coal shipments, and Buffalo is an important grain port. Intense pollution of the lake resulted in the closing of many beaches and resorts in the s, but by the late s the environmental damage had begun to be arrested. Point Pelee National Park lies on the northwestern shore in southern Ontario. The British, allied with the Iroquois, developed trade along Lake Erie in the late 17th century. Many British loyalists then moved north of the lake into Ontario, and the U.
S shores were not settled until after Commodore Oliver H. The lake was named after the Erie Indians who once inhabited the shores. Lake Erie. Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.
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Where will you find a polynya? On what body of water did the ancient city of Troy lie? Sort out the facts and discover where some of the longest, shortest, and hottest bodies of water lie. Powell, ; in the U. Capitol, Washington, D. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. They are one of the great natural features of the continent and of the Earth. Although Lake Baikal in Russia has a larger volume of water, the combined area of the Great Lakes—some 94, square milessquare kilometres —represents the largest surface….
Lake Eriewith an average depth of only 62 feet 19 metresis the shallowest of the Great Lakes. It is also the most tempestuous, with frontal storms often roaring across it from Canada, and the most liable to shoreline erosion, harbour silting, and filling…. History at your fingertips. up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! address. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.So over being a Erie
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