Superior, capital of Douglas county, Wisconsin, at the W. end of Lake Superior, and the mouth of the Nemadji River, 8 miles by rail SE. of Duluth. Grown up since 1880, it has a good harbour and steam sawmills. Pop. 31,600.
Superior, Lake, the largest body of fresh water on the globe, is the highest and most western of the great lakes lying between Canada and the United States. It is bounded N. and E. by Ontario, S. by Michigan and Wisconsin, and NW. by Minnesota. Greatest length, 412 miles; greatest breadth, 167 miles; area, 31,200 sq. m. - nearly that of Ireland. The surface of the lake is 601 8/10 feet above sea-level, and its mean depth 475 feet; its maximum depth is 1008 feet. Its surface has an elevation of 20 1/2 feet above that of Lakes Huron and Michigan; this difference occurs in the rapids of St Mary's River, the only outlet (see Sault Ste Marie). Lake Superior, being situated very near the watershed between Hudson Bay and the Mississippi, receives no rivers of importance, although hundreds of small rivers pour themselves into it, the largest the St Louis and the Nipigon. The bold and rocky northern coast is fringed with numerous islands of basalt and granite, some rising sharply from deep water to 1300 feet above the lake. The largest, Isle Royale, is 44 miles long. The southern shore is generally lower. Keweenaw Point (q.v.) projects far into the lake. At Grand Isle Bay, 100 miles W. of Sault Ste Marie, are the Pictured Rocks, cliffs of sandstone, 50 to 200 feet high, in many places presenting fantastic forms, and marked by vertical bands and blotches of red and yellow. The water is singularly pure and transparent. The lake never freezes over, but the shore ice prevents navigation in winter. It is subject also to very violent storms, with waves 15 to 18 feet high. It has the small tides common to the great lakes, and also the seiches seen in Swiss lakes - a regular series of small waves, or pulsations, at tea minutes' intervals. Towns on the Canadian side are Sault Ste Marie and Port Arthur, and on the American side Duluth, Superior, and Marquette. The Canadian Pacific Railway passes along the northern shore.