National Geographic : 1897 Apr
AREA AND DRAINAGE BASIN OF LAKE SUPERIOR 115 apply to all. It is of a general quadrangular form and is sepa rated from the peninsula to the west and Simpson to the east by narrow rivers or fiord-like straits only a mile or so broad, though many miles long, and several to many fathoms deep. Like the preceding, it is of basaltic character, but the tabular formation so abundantly represented about Thunder bay is here modified by lower altitudes and by rounded hills, which replace the flat surface. On St Ignace island the highest hill attains an eleva tion of about 850 feet. In Lake Superior there is but one archipelago proper-that is, a cluster of islands in which no one greatly surpasses all the others. This is the archipelago of the Apostle islands, or, more briefly, " The Apostles," so called by the early Jesuit Fathers, because there were twelve principal islands. The individual islands, however, have received anything but apostolic names, being, in order of size, Madeline (23 square miles), Stockton (16 square miles), Outer (12), Oak (8), Sand (4), Bear, Bass wood, and Michigan (each 3 square miles), Rocky, Otter, Mani tou, and Cat (each 2 square miles). Then comes the thirteenth apostle, or Devil's island; then the south and north Twins. The total area of the archipelago is eighty-two square miles. The larger of these islands are somewhat hilly and are covered with spruce trees of some size. The smaller are sandy and level. They were settled early in the history of the colonization of the lake, but the population has since dwindled until it is almost nil. There is no post-office on the islands. The drainage basin of Lake Superior is relatively small. Its outlines have not been so definitely mapped that it can be meas ured with the same accuracy as that of the lake surface, but the total area may be put at 82,800 square miles.* Of this the area of the lake itself makes 39 per cent, and of the land 39 per cent is Canadian and 22 per cent American. The margin of the watershed is low in all directions, and it is in general ill-defined. Along it, throughout almost its entire length, are found innu merable small bodies of water, isolated and without drainage, except at seasons of high water, showing that this watershed is indefinite. The lowest points of the watershed are on the south east, near the St Marys river, where it reaches but a few score feet above the lake. It gradually rises toward the west, and at a point about fifty miles southeast of Marquette first reaches an altitude of 400 feet above the lake surface. South of Keweenaw * Schermerhorn, 1. c.