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  • Lake Superior

    • Largest by surface

    • Third by volume (3,000,000,000,000,000 that is quadrillion gallons) 15 zeros!

      • 1. Baikal - Russia (deepest lake over mile deep; 6 quad gallons)

      • 2. Tanganyika - Central Africa (longest lake, over 100 miles, 5 quad gallons)

    • 31,700 sq mi. -

      • For reference Mille Lacs, a popular big lake in central MN is 207 sq mi.

      • Lake Calhon is about 1 sq mi

    • 350 mi long (560 km)

    • 160 mi wide (260 km)

    • Average depth is 483 ft (147 M)

    • Max depth is 1333 ft (406 m)

      • Lowest point on North American continent (732 ft below sea level)

    • 1,721 mi of shoreline (2,783 km)

      • Islands account for 997 mi of shoreline (1605 km)

    • 2,900 cu mi of water (12,000 cu km)

    • Cover North/South America with 1 foot of water

    • 10% of world's fresh water not in ice

    • 42 degree average temp

    • Water residence time is 191 years

    • Average visibility is 24 feet. Can be upwards of 75 at times

    • Surface elevation +/- 601 ft (183 m) above sea level

    • Empties into Huron not Michigan

    • Warming twice as fast as surrounding air

      • 4+ degrees since mid 1970s

    • 848 tributaries

    • 1 exit

  • Seiches - tides
    • Caused by high winds and low pressure systems
    • 3+ feet
    • 8 hours to shift
  • 2342 miles to Atlantic from lift bridge
    • Superior, Huron, Erie, Ontario → Atlantic (near Quebec)
    • About 7-10 days for freighters
  • 78 species of fish

  • 350 recorded shipwrecks with 1000+ lives lost

  • Highest official buoy recorded wave is 26.6 ft in 2001. Unofficial is 51 ft

 

  • Geology

    • t one time there were peaks up to 39,000 feet 2.5+ billion years ago

    • North Shore

    • Precambrian rock

      • 4.5 billion - 540 million years ago

    • Magma forced up at intercontinental plate boundary

    • Ores deposited during Penokean Orogeny

    • Formed Sawtooth Mountains (think Lutsen)

    • Compacted + eroded

    • 950 million years ago

      • Mid-continental rift - Great lakes to Kansas

      • one of the deepest rifts in the world

      • Mesoproterozoic rift valley

 

  • Glaciation

    • Significant number of glaciations

    • Most recent (thus visible) is Wisconsin Glaciation

      • 12-10000 years ago

    • Laurentian ice sheet

    • Ice 1.25 miles thick in the area

    • Lake Duluth

      • Similar boundaries to Lake Superior

      • 500 feet higher than current shore - Pretty much Skyline Parkway

      • Deposited sand that created Park Point and much of South Shore

    • Land as we know it formed by this glacier

    • BWCA is immature land form

      • Mature land is well drained

        • No “puddles”

    • and still rebounding

    • Just after glacier retreated the first Natives arrived in North America

 

  • St. Louis River

    • In both MN and WI

    • Largest river flowing into Lake Superior

      • 192 mi (309 km) long

      • Starts 15 mi east of Hoyt Lakes

      • 3,634 sq mi (9,410 sq km) watershed

    • 12,000 Acre Estuary

      • Cold and wide open lake water and warm river water mixing makes nice habitat for different creatures and plant life.

    • Ojibwe name for river is Gichigami - zibo (great lake river)

    • Renamed for French explorer around 1778

    • Riviere Fond Du Lac from 1688-1778

    • Very polluted in mid 20th century

    • EPA steps in during 1975 to start clean up

      • WLSSD formed

 

  • Native Americans and Fur Traders

    • Grand Portage

      • Long been a portage from Fond Du Lac to Thomson

        • Head North to Lake Vermillion then to the Rainy River and North

        • Head to the Savannah Portage (Cromwell area) then to the Mississippi and South

      • 6.5 mile long trail

      • 450 feet in elevation gain

      • Voyageurs divided portage into 19 “pauses”

        • ⅓ to ½ mile apart

      • Each responsible for 3 - 90 lbs pack

      • Walk one to “pause” return and repeat

      • Portage would take 3-5 days

      • In use as late as the 1870s

        • Railroads made its use obsolete

 

  • Jay Cooke State Park

    • 8,125 acres

    • Founded in 1915

      • First 2,350 acres donated by a power company in 1915

      • Developed by the CCC

      • More land added in 1945

    • Geology

      • 2 billion year old rock

        • Thomson formation

        • Formed around the Paleoproterozoic era around 2-1.9 billion years ago

        • Began as an ancient seafloor

          • Formed shale and greywacke

          • No fossils as it is older than complex life

        • 1.85 billion years ago

          • Penokean orogeny exerted lots of heat and pressure compacting old seafloor

        • 1.1 billion years ago

          • Midcontinental rift created great lakes (see above) and flooded area with basalt

          • Cracked the Thomson formation into current formations

          • Some rock cooled more slowly creating diabase

            • Looks similar to the slate of the Thomson formation but lacks the “layers”

        • Other rock layers indicate the area was once at the mouth of a large river

      • 10,000 year old clay

 

  • Duluth

    • City of Duluth

      • Native Americans

        • The Anishinaabe, also known as the Ojibwe or Chippewa,have inhabited the Lake Superior region for over five hundred years

        • Preceded by the Dakota, Fox,Menominee, Nipigon, Noquet and Gros Ventres

        • Ojibwe the “middle men” with fur traders and other native tribes

      • Fur Trade

        • Fur trade pushed the European explorers further west

          • In particular beaver pelts

        • Original fur trade post was in present day Superior

        • American Fur Trade Company (John Jacob Astor) started trading in 1808

        • Built first permanent fort in Fond Du Lac in 1817 (see Grand Portage)

      • Population rise and fall

        • Rumors of copper mining caused surge of settlers in the 1850s

        • Road to MPLS also finished making easier travel

        • Railroads from Duluth went to the Pacific and seaways to the Atlantic made Duluth an important port

        • Railroads and mining brought many workers to the area

        • Duluth incorporated in 1857

        • 1860

          • First Census - 71 people

        • Late 1860’s and early 1870s Duluth was fastest growing city in the Nation

        • 1873 stock market crash led to huge downsize in population

        • By the late 1870’s mining and logging had brought Duluth back

        • Turn of the century nearly 100,000 citizens

      • Early 1900s Duluth port handled more tonnage than New York and Chicago

      • 1905

        • Duluth home to most millionaires per capita in USA

      • Mid 1910s

        • Large steel plants built

        • Thoughts of population growing to 300,000 +

        • Lots of Finnish and Scandinavian immigrants came to area

      • Duluth economy good through the wars due to lots of steel use

      • Economic downturn starting in the 1950s

        • High grade iron gave out on the Iron Range

        • Low grade could not compete with foreign steel

        • Steel plants closed causing significant economic damage

      • City turned economy towards tourism

        • Everything getting better since

      • City today

        • 87.43 square miles (226.44 km2)

        • 67.79 square miles (175.58 km2) is land and 19.64 square miles (50.87 km2) is water

        • 607 feet to 1427 feet (airport elevations)

        • Second largest MN city by area (to Hibbing)

        • 4th largest by population

          • 86,128

        • Population density was 1,272.5 inhabitants per square mile (2010)

  • Pei
    • May 30, 1871
      • First shipment
      • Piers extended to 950 feet in June
    • 1872
      • Old outer piers destroyed by storms
    • 1873
      • Canal in full use
    • 1880s
      • Not much work done, in bad repair. Fog horn installed
    • 1874
      • First light house lit
      • Visible from 12 miles
    • 1889
      • second lighthouse built
      • 1890s
        • iron ore arrived
        • Outer piers and docks taken apart
        • 1896-1902 canal widened to current width

 

  • Bridge
    • Originally built in 1905
    • Ferry built due to lack of funding
    • Trip across took 60 seconds
    • Held 60 tons
    • 350 people and vehicles
    • Rise in population and number of vehicles made ferry obsolete
    • Upgraded to lift starting in 1929
  • First lift on March 29, 1930
    • 3 minutes to full height
  • Current operations
    • Span
    • 390 feet long
    • 1000 tons
    • Blocks on sides 500 tons each
    • Cement and steel
    • Works on counter balance
    • 24 2” cables hold weight
    • 6 in each corner
    • Chains balance out cable weight
    • 4 125 HP motors
      • Only two used during lifting
      • Others as backup
  • Marine Traffic
    • Large ships
      • “Security” call 60 minutes out
      • Bridge up as inbound boats hit 1.5 miles
      • Outbound lift as boat reaches last buoys
      • Lifts anytime for large boats
    • Small boats
      • Call for lift
      • Only at top/bottom of the hour
    • Goal is to be up for 12 minutes or less
    • Never happens…
    • 1000 plus ships/boats visit per year

 

  • Ice House

    • “Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum”

    • Built in 1919

      • Sand and gravel hopper

    • “Uncle Harvey” had hopes for renewed outer harbor

      • Planned to build harbor stretching to Leif Erikson

    • Abandoned in 1922

    • Extra structure tipped over and sunk in winter 2015

 

  • Shipping

    • Duluth originally built around shipping/trading

    • Shortest and easiest route for goods from coast to coast

      • Boat to/from Atlantic. Rail to/from Pacific

    • 2342 miles to the Atlantic by boat

    • Duluth port handles 38 million tons of cargo per year

    • 1000+ ship visits

    • 20 privately owned and operated docks

    • Number of different ships

      • Started long ago with canoes

      • Moved to sail

      • Steam

      • Fuel

    • Salties

      • Ocean going ships

        • Usually a bit shorter and smaller than lakers

          • Must be less than 740 feet to get through all of the locks

        • Sharp bow with bubble at waterline

          • More efficient over long periods at sea

        • Often bring in things such as windmill parts, other heavy machines, and salt

        • Take ore or grain back

    • Lakers

      • Stay on the Great Lakes

        • Can be 1000+ feet

        • Flat or round bow

          • More cost effective to carry larger load than be hydrodynamic

        • Ships bring in salt, cement, limestone

    • Exports for both types of ship:

      • Ore - Steel mills near all over the country

        • #1 Nationally

      • Coal - from Montana/Wyoming to steel mills

        • #4 Nationally

      • Ore/coal are 80% of exports

      • Grain - to Europe/Africa

        • #1 on Great Lakes

    • Top importers/exporters 2014 in $

      • Imports from

        • Denmark, Poland, Canada, Singapore, Latvia

      • Exports to

        • Canada, Switzerland, Algeria, Venezuela, Denmark

 

  • Two Harbors

    • Started as Agate Bay (1854) and Burlington (1856)

      • Only access was by boat from Duluth

        • Day of sailing

    • Railroad constructed in 1883

    • Two Harbors incorporated in 1888

    • City of Two Harbors formed on Feb.26 1907

    • Railroad is only reason city is here today

      • End of ore route from range

    • Shipping dock in Agate Bay due to the bottom being clay not rock

      • Could dredge and build

    • Had two big cigar factories

      • Over 30,000 cigars a month

      • No longer there

    • 3M started in Two Harbors

      • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing

      • 1902

      • First product was sandpaper

    • Legend of John Beargrease

      • Mail man

        • 1880s-1890s

        • Two Harbors to Grand Marais route

        • Used row boat and dogsled to carry mail

      • Rumor has it he got into a tussle with a bear when trying to hunt it. Did not end up getting the bear

      • Sled dog race named after him