Lake Erie belongs to a group of five Great Lakes. Its northern borders come to Ontario, to the south Erie borders the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. In the west Lake Erie comes to Michigan. The area of Erie is 25 700 square kilometers, making it the fourth largest basin in the group of five Great Lakes. The length of this freshwater lake is estimated at 388 km and a width of up to 92 kilometers.
Worldwide Lake Erie is the 13th largest lake. In the group of North American Great Lakes Erie holds "honor" as the smallest, located south-most and the lowest water volume of the goup - Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Its name comes from the Erie Indian tribe that inhabited its southern coast. Several other Indian tribes inhabited the coast of Erie, but after the arrival of Europeans here, they have gradually been assimilated.
Lake Erie was formed during the melting of glaciers, in less than 4000 years, at an altitude of 174 meters. Its total area is 25, 745 square kilometers. In fact this is the shallowest of all five lakes, the average depth of Erie estimated at 16 meters and the maximum depth of about 64 meters. Compared to Lake Superior, which has nearly 147m depth, Erie has a small pool.
Lake Huron is connected by a navigable river with Lake St. Clair, and it is drained to Lake Erie primarily through the Detroit River. Other rivers that flow in Erie are Grand River, Huron River, Maumee River, Sandusky River, Buffalo River and the Cuyahoga River. The difference in height between lakes Erie and Ontario is about 100 m. They are connected by the Niagara River, which, crosses the high step between the two lakes, and forms the majestic Niagara Falls with an average height of 50 m.
Halfway through the waterfall there is a small, forest covered island, Goat Island, which divides it into two unequal parts.
Left side, which falls on Canadian territory, occupying two thirds of its length and has the shape of a horseshoe, and the right side is almost straight and is of U.S. territory. For the purposes of shipping a special channel is built, called Wieland, with several Gateways, which surround the waterfall.
Like other freshwater lakes in North America, on Lake Erie there are periods of high water and those in which water levels are low. Erie is deepest in January-February and the lowest water volume remains during the summer months of June and July. All lakes are of particular importance for the microclimate of U.S. agriculture.
The north coast of Lake Erie is one of the largest manufacturers of the country for fruit and vegetables, and along the Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York keep many vineyards and apple trees. Erie is an important factor in U.S. fisheries. The lake develops industrial and sports fishing. Especially large is the population of yellow perch in Lake Erie.
As with other lakes, along the Erie were built many places for tourist purposes. The coasts and islands of Lake Erie are considered as some of the most attractive places for rest in the Midwest, and small resorts offer year-round recreational opportunities for the whole family.