ERIE, Lake, the most southern of the Great Lakej of North America; situated between lat. 41° 30' and 42° 52' N., and long. 78° 53' and 83° 25' W. It lies between lakes Huron and Ontario and is bordered on the north by Can ada, on the east and south by New York, Penn sylvania and Ohio, on the west by Ohio and Michigan. Its greatest extent is northeast and southwest; it is about 245 miles long, 50 miles wide (from 28 to 58) and has an area of about 9,600 square miles; is 573 feet above sea-level, 8 feet below Lake Huron; has a maximum of 210 feet and an average depth of 100 feet. It receives, through the strait, Detroit River, the waters from all the other Great Lakes except Ontario; and the chief streams exclusive of the waters from the Great Lakes which flow into it are the Grand from the north, the Maumee from the west, Sandusky, Huron and Cuyahoga from the south. Its outlet is Niagara River, which flows into Lake Ontario at an elevation 326 feet lower than that of Lake Erie. Some of the indentations are the bays of Sandusky and Maumee, on the south coast, and Long Point Bay on the north. In the west ern part is a group of islands, some of which are Point Pelee, Kelly's, North, Middle and South Bass. Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes and dangers to navigation are increased by the heavy ground-swell. The de struction of lakes is largely due to filling from deposits brought by inlets or tributaries; every particle of sediment brought into a lake tends toward its destruction. Another danger is in
changes in outlets. Where the Niagara River emerges from Lake Erie there has been but little change for centuries. It flows through a plain, and the channel is to-day apparently what it was hundreds of years ago; but °Niagara is wearing back its falls toward Lake Erie; and in given time, as a result of this work, it will so lower the outlet as to completely drain Lake Erie The importance of Lake Erie for commercial purpose has been greatly enhanced by its canal connections which are important links in the waterway from East to West. The Welland Canal around Niagara Falls removes obstacles to direct navigation from the Atlantic; the Erie Canal connects the lake by a short route with the Hudson River; canals crossing Ohio connect the lake with the Ohio River. There are many excellent harbors, not all of them in use by the large steamship lines. Some of the principal ports are Buffalo, Erie, Cleve land, Sandusky and Toledo. Put-in-Bay near Sandusky on 10 Sept. 1813 took place the Battle of Lake Erie (q.v.). The Americans were successful and the result was most im portant to the United States; it had much to do with the regaining of the territory of Michi gan, which at the time was in possession of the British. Consult Russell, 'Lakes of North America' ; Smithsonian Annual Report, 'Modification of Great Lakes by Earth Move ment) (1898). See GREAT LAKES.