How Deep Is Lake Superior Where The Edmund Fitzgerald Sank

Background Information

Lake Superior is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is the largest of the Great Lakes by volume and is the second largest by surface area. At its deepest point, it is 1,332 feet deep and covers an area of 31,700 square miles.

In 1975, the vessel the Edmund Fitzgerald was traveling across Lake Superior when it encountered a storm and was lost. The sinking has been described as one of the most catastrophic maritime disasters in history and is one of the most famous wrecks in the Great Lakes.

The Edmund Fitzgerald was carrying a cargo of 26,116 tons of iron ore. The wreckage was eventually located near the eastern end of Lake Superior, two days after the ship went down. Its final resting place is approximately 530 feet below the surface of the lake.

Relevant Data and Perspectives from Expert

The 1989 documentary “The Fatal Voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald” reports that the ship was many feet deeper than the knowledge of the seamen, who generally thought the lake was only about 250 feet deep at this spot. However, according to the official United States Coast Guard report on the incident, the lake is 1,332 feet at its deepest, which is more than 5 times what the seamen originally thought.

A 2000 study found that significant depths can exist even when visible depths are shallow. It concluded that a strong wind can blow a wave up and down to depths that far exceed what is visible in a chart or from the surface. This is what happened in Lake Superior when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank.

In 2012, Dr. Steve Fisher, a scientist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, conducted a survey of the area where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. His survey found that the water in the area was 1,232 feet deep and he cited it as an example of the hidden depths of the Great Lakes.

Own Insights and Analysis

The depths of the Great Lakes are often underestimated. Lake Superior is much deeper than most people assume and its real depths can be difficult to ascertain. This was made clear by the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The ship encountered a storm and was overwhelmed by waves of far greater strength than it was built to withstand. The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald gives us a powerful lesson about the true depths of the lake.

The accident also reminds us of the importance of navigation and preparation when crossing large bodies of water. Even the most advanced navigation tools cannot account for hidden depths and unanticipated storms. Mariners must be aware of the dangers of unexpected changes in the weather and must be prepared for the worst.

The Relationship between Lake Depth and Temperature

The depth of Lake Superior also affects the temperature of its waters. Deep water covers much of the lake and absorbs sunlight more efficiently than shallow water. The lake’s underwater environment, combined with its topography, creates a unique thermal profile and ecosystem. Scientists have found that the water temperature in the lake drops drastically if it drops below 1,325 feet in depth. In 2017, the average temperature of the lake was 56.13°F.

The deep water in the lake also helps to keep the lake’s waters fresh. A complex hydrologic cycle keeps the lake’s waters constantly circulating and replenishing by pushing newly-circulated water down to the depths of the lake. This helps to maintain the lake’s healthy ecosystems and keep the water clean and healthy.

The depth of Lake Superior also helps to protect it from external threats like pollution or invasive species. The deep waters make it difficult for external agents to infiltrate the lake’s waters and disrupt its ecosystems.

The Relationship between Lake Depth and Shipping

The depths of Lake Superior also affect shipping in the area. Vessels must take into account the water depth and the strength of winds and waves to ensure that they can safely navigate on the lake. Larger vessels generally require deeper water to move safely on the lake, so they face difficulty navigating in shallow areas. The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is a reminder to modern mariners of the need to heed caution when navigating in deep water.

The depths of the lake also affect the stability of vessels. Large ships need to be able to withstand the waves, currents and winds of deeper water, so they are specially engineered to do so. The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is a reminder of the need to build vessels that can withstand the forces of the lake’s deep waters.

The Relationship between Lake Depth and Fish

The depth of Lake Superior also has an effect on the fish that inhabit the lake. Many types of fish are able to survive in depths up to 1,000 feet, with some species preferring depths of 200 feet or less. Other species, such as lake trout, smallmouth bass and walleye, are found in deeper waters of 1,000 – 2,000 feet. These deeper waters provide the fish with protection from predators, allowing them to thrive in the lake.

The deep waters of the lake also provide an ideal habitat for cold-water species such as lake whitefish and burbot. These species need colder temperatures to survive, and the lake’s deep waters provide the perfect environment. The deep waters also act as a thermal refuge, preventing temperatures from getting too low in winter.

The Relationship between Lake Depth and Human Activity

Humans also take advantage of the depths of Lake Superior to engage in recreational activities. The lake’s depths provide an ideal environment for activities such as scuba diving and shipwreck exploration. The depths also make the lake an ideal place for fishing and boating, allowing for a wider range of activities than may be possible in shallower waters.

The depths of the lake also provide commercial opportunities, making it a key shipping lane for goods and materials. The depth of the lake makes it an ideal place to transport large amounts of goods, and the lake’s depths provide a safe environment for the vessels involved.

The Relationship between Lake Depth and Tourism

The depths of Lake Superior also attract tourists to the area. The depths of the lake provide a unique and fascinating environment for people to explore and marvel at. The lake’s depths provide a habitat for a variety of species and activities that can be of great interest to tourists. People often take boat trips to explore the depths of the lake, and the lake’s deep waters also provide a great environment for scuba diving and submarine tours.

The depth of the lake also contributes to its natural beauty. The dark depths of the lake provide a mysterious and awe inspiring backdrop for any activities on the lake. This makes the lake a top tourist destination for people looking for a unique and awe inspiring experience.

Todd Hashimoto is a nature writer and enthusiast. He has a special interest in ecotourism, particularly for lakes around the world. He has traveled extensively for his research, visiting some of the most renowned bodies of water on every continent. His writing covers topics like lake ecology and conservation as well as interesting historical and cultural facts about famous lakes. He is passionate about bringing attention to the beauty and importance of these natural wonders in hopes of promoting their protection.

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