Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are a group of five large freshwater lakes in North America that are interconnected by natural and artificial channels. They are (from east to west): Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Most of them, except Lake Michigan, which lies entirely within the United States, form part of the border between the United States and Canada.  

The Great Lakes are bordered by the Canadian province of Ontario and by eight U.S. states including (from west to east) Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. Large cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Toronto lie on the shores of the Great Lakes system. The Great Lakes system, with a combined surface area of 244,100 sq km, holds about 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water.  

Lake elevations decrease to the east and south. Lake Superior, the largest lake at 82,100 sq km, is also the largest freshwater lake in the world. Its outlet is the Saint Mary’s River, which enters Lake Huron after falling about 7 metres over a series of rapids. Lake Huron and Lake Michigan lie at the same elevation. Water flows from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Lake Michigan is deeper than Lake Huron, but the latter is larger in area, at 59,600 sq km.  

Lake Huron drains into the Saint Clair River, which falls about 3 metres between Lake Huron and the small, shallow basin of Lake Saint Clair. Lake Saint Clair is connected to Lake Erie by the Detroit River. At its northeast end, Lake Erie empties into the Niagara River, which drops 99 metres as it flows north to Lake Ontario, which is the smallest of the Great Lakes at 19,010 sq km. Lake Ontario is linked with the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River.  

The Great Lakes, interconnected by rivers, straits, and canals, are a natural resource of tremendous significance in North America; they serve as the focus of the industrial heartland of the continent and together form one of the world’s busiest shipping arteries. The lakes also form an important recreational resource with about 17,000 km of shoreline, rich sport fisheries, and numerous beaches and marinas.


having water that contains no salt
ᅳsee also saltwater
freshwater lakes


if two systems, places etc are interconnected, or if they interconnect, they are joined together
a series of interconnected lakes
interconnecting rooms
Our operating system can now interconnect with other networks.
this hallway interconnects the two buildings


not real or not made of natural things but made to be like something that is real or natural
ᅳopposite natural
ᅳsynonym false
artificial flowers
artificial light
artificial fertilizers


the land along the edge of a large area of water such as an ocean or lake
We could see a boat about a mile from shore.
Only a few survivors reached the shore.
She began to swim to shore.
on the shores of something
a holiday resort on the shores of the Adriatic
on shore
We had a couple of hours on shore (=not on a ship) .
off shore
The island is about 3 miles off shore (=away from the coast) .
rocky/sandy shore


a height above the level of the sea
elevation of
The road climbs steadily to an elevation of 1400 feet.


a way through which something (usu. a liquid or a gas) may go out:

(fig.) an outlet for his feelings
a waste water outlet
this port is their only outlet on the Red Sea  
America became an outlet for Europe’s surplus population


part of a river where the water looks white because it is moving very fast over rocks

the latter
formal the second of two people or things just mentioned
ᅳopposite former

Where unemployment and crime are high, it can be assumed that the latter is due to the former.
If offered money or travel check, I’d choose the latter.


to (cause to) flow off gradually or completely: to drain all the oil from/out of the engine | Boil the vegetables for 20 minutes then drain off the water. | The rainwater drained off/away. | (fig.) These children drain my energy! | (fig.) This country is being drained of its best doctors. | (fig.) The old lady’s strength is draining away.


to move or drop down from a higher position to a lower position
The tree was about to fall.
The book fell from his hands.
Enough rain had fallen to flood the grounds.
fall down
Rob fell down the stairs.
apples fall from the tree  
Ali fell from the ladder  
Jaffar fell into the pool  
a heavy snow fell  
the old man fainted and fell to the ground


strait  Strait
also straits
[plural] a narrow passage of water between two areas of land, usually connecting two seas
the Bering Strait

the straits of Hormoz

very big, fast, powerful etc : 
Suddenly, there was a tremendous bang, and the whole station shook.
She was making a  tremendous effort  to appear calm.
She praised her husband for the  tremendous support  he had given her.
Sales have been tremendous so far this year.
This plan could save us  a tremendous amount of  money.


the importance of an event, action etc, especially because of the effects or influence it will have in the future  OPP  insignificance : 
Stella didn’t  attach  any  significance to  Doug’s query.
significance of
the significance of climate change
The book  assesses  the  significance  of Stalin’s policies between 1927 and 1939.
significance for
The results of the study have a  wider significance  for all the profession.
great/little significance (in/to/for something)
The crime problem has great significance to the general public.
grasp/appreciate the significance (of something)  (= fully understand something )
The press were slow to grasp the significance of what happened.


the most important part of a country or area for a particular activity, or the part where a political group has most support
the Democratic heartlands of the Deep South


a large mass of land surrounded by sea
the continents of Asia and Africa


a main road, railway line, river etc
the place where the three main arteries of south Tehran meet


an activity that you do for pleasure or amusement
His only recreations are drinking beer and watching football.
the provision of recreation facilities (=places or equipment for people to use to enjoy themselves)
recreation ground/area/room
a recreation area for children to play in
ᅳrecreational adjective recreational activities


land/oil/coal etc  [ countable usually plural ]  
something such as useful land, or minerals such as oil or coal, that exists in a country and can be used to increase its wealth :  
Canada’s vast mineral resources
a country rich in  natural resources


a part of the sea where fish are caught in large numbers


a small port or area of water where people keep boats that are used for pleasure