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10 Largest Lakes in the United States

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Jun 10, 2019
There are thousands of lakes in the US which include natural and man-made water reservoirs. Most of these lakes provide a livelihood for many people who depend on fishing as well as have businesses related to tourism. We shall discuss a few facts related to the 10 largest lakes in the US.

10. Lake Okeechobee

Surface Area – 1,715 sq km
Location - Florida

Also called Florida’s Inland Sea, Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida State. It is also the 2nd largest natural freshwater lake that is entirely within the United States border. It is just 2.7 m deep and there has been a growth of toxic algae within the lake since the last few years.

9. Lake Oahe

Surface Area – 1,774 sq km
Location – South Dakota and North Dakota

Lake Oahe is the 4th largest reservoir in the US by volume. One of the world’s largest earth-rolled dam, Oahe Dam, is located within Lake Oahe. The depth of the lake (205 ft) makes it excellent for boating and fishing.

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8. Iliamna Lake

Surface Area – 2,622 sq km
Location – Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska

Lake Iliamna is the largest lake in Alaska by volume and surface area. It is the 3rd largest lake located entirely in the US. Folklore regarding the presence of about an ancient creature called ‘Iliamna Lake Monster’, is quite famous around Lake Iliamna.

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7. Lake of the Woods

Surface Area – 4,348.6 sq km
Location – Minnesota-Manitoba-Ontario, Canada

This is the 6th largest freshwater lake located partially in the United States. In order to reach the Northwest Angle and the town of Angle Township (the northernmost part of the contiguous United States), one needs to cross over the lake or travel all the way through Canada.

6. Great Salt Lake

Surface Area – 4,400 sq km
Location – Utah

This is the largest natural saltwater lake located in the Western Hemisphere and is the 8th largest terminal lake in the world. If the surface area is to be considered then it is the largest lake in the US that is not a part of the Great Lakes region.

5. Lake Ontario

Surface Area – 19,000 sq km
Location – New York and Ontario, Canada

Lake Erie is the 4th largest of the five Great Lakes. It is also one of the most polluted Great Lakes as the other four lakes flow into it, bringing in all their pollution with it. It is also affected by polluted water from agricultural and untreated sewage, industrial chemicals, etc.

4. Lake Erie

Surface Area – 25,667 sq km
Location – Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and The Ontario Penninsula

This is the 4th largest lake of the Great Lakes in North America by surface area and the smallest by volume of the Great Lakes. As, it is the southernmost Great Lake, it has warm waters that tend to freeze over in winter due to its shallow depth.

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3. Lake Michigan

Surface Area – 58,030 sq km
Location – Parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan

Lake Michigan is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area. It is the only lake of the five Great Lakes to have its shores located completely within the US.

2. Lake Huron

Surface Area – 59,588 sq km
Location – Michigan and Ontario, Canada

This is the second largest Great Lake in the US by surface area and the 3rd largest lake, by volume, of the Great Lakes. It is the first of the Great Lakes to be discovered by the European explorers and named La Mer Douce, The Sweetwater Sea, by the French explorers.

1. Lake Superior

Surface Area – 82,100 sq km
Location – Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada

It is not only the largest of Great Lakes, but also the largest freshwater body on Earth by surface area. There have been around 350 shipwrecks recorded in Lake Superior. It contains enough water to cover all of North and South America with about a foot deep of water.
These largest lakes in the US are a rich source of fishes which is the main source of income and food for many people along their shores. These lakes need to be protected from pollution and industrial encroachments as not just animal and marine life, but also many human lives depend on these lakes.