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Filtering by Tag: lake-levels

Low Lake Superior levels means lighter loads for Great Lakes freighters

Andrew Norton

Folks along Lake Superior are seeing land where there used to be water. "Islands" are popping up as water levels continue to drop among all of the Great Lakes. This creates problems in harbors where the freighters plying the Great Lakes with loads of iron ore, grain, and coal must lighten their loads for safe passage. The Mining Journal reports that "For every inch the lakes recede, ships must reduce their loads between 50 and 270 tons." Last shipping season those lighter loads meant that "ships lost about 8,000 tons per trip."

Visit for more information on the freighters that run the Great Lakes. My favorite feature is the "Vessel Passage" that has a map of the Great Lakes with data points showing the locations of ships.