Lake Michigan is the third largest lake of Great Lakes (if the water surface is measured), and is the only Great Lake which is entirely located in the United States. Its name comes from the Indian word “mishigami”, meaning a large lake. Lake Michigan area covers 57,800 km2. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes at 4,920km3, only the Superior Lake is larger. Lake Michigan touches Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Chicago is on the lake’s southernmost point, and Milwaukee is located on the southwest coast of the lake. In the northern end Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are connected with the Mackinac Strait and technically, these two water bodies are one lake. The water temperature in Lake Michigan reaches 15 ° C in July and August, and it may sometimes be over 20 ° C, if the air temperature is above 30 ° C for several days.
The winds and the resulting waves keep the Lake Michigan from freezing, but 90% is frozen on numerous occasions. The ocean-like ocean, especially during the winter, can lead to drastic temperature changes along the coast, coastal erosion and heavy navigation. The average water depth of the lake is 85m and its maximum depth is 282m. Although ice in ports prevents navigation from mid-December to mid-April, the open lake is rarely frozen; the ferry across the lake is maintained between individual ports throughout the year. To the south end of the lake lies a large industrial complex aimed at Chicago, which consumes large amounts of water from transferred raw materials, primarily iron ore, coal and limestone.