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Straits of Mackinac and Whitefish Bay on the Great Lakes, USA and Canada

45.8N 84.7W

March 28th, 2010 Category: Lakes

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

The Straits of Mackinac, below, is the strip of water that connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan (lower left) and Lake Huron (lower right), and separates the Lower Peninsula of Michigan from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It is five miles (8 km) wide at its narrowest point, where it is spanned by the Mackinac Bridge, and 120 feet (37 m) deep. Hydrologically, the straits do not connect two separate lakes, but rather are a narrow point defining two lobes of a single Lake Michigan-Huron. Before icebreakers and year-round shipping on the Lower Great Lakes, the Straits would freeze over in winter, in fact, much ice is visible here on the surface.

Moving northward, part of Lake Superior is visible in the upper left quadrant. The large white area is the frozen Whitefish Bay, a large bay on the eastern end of the lake’s southern shore between Michigan and Ontario. It begins in the north and west at Whitefish Point in Michigan, about 10 miles north of Paradise, Michigan and ends at the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie on the southeast.

The eastern side of the bay on the Ontario side is more rugged, largely wilderness of the Canadian Shield. The international boundary runs through the bay, which is heavily used by shipping traffic northbound and southbound from the Soo Locks.

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