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Lake Minong
Glacial Lake Minong.jpg
Glacial Lake Minong
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Location North America
Group Great Lakes
Coordinates 47°42′N 87°30′W / 47.7°N 87.5°W / 47.7; -87.5
Lake type former lake
Etymology Historic Name of Isle Royale
Primary inflows From Lake Agassiz through the Nipigon River
Primary outflows Grand River valley in Michigan
Basin countries Canada
United States
First flooded 10,000 years before present
Residence time 1,500 years in existence
Surface elevation 450 ft (137 m)

Lake Minong was a proglacial lake that formed in the Lake Superior basin during the Wisconsin glaciation around 10,000 B.P. (Before Present). This was the last glacial advance that entered Michigan and covered only part of the upper peninsula. Lake Minong occurred in the eastern corner of the Lake Superior basin while Lake Duluth was in the western end. The lakes became separated when the glacier reached the upper peninsula. Lake Minong expanded to the north as the ice retreated after 9,800 B.P. When the ice retreated from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Lake Duluth merged into Lake Minong.


  • 11,400 B.P. Lake Minong covered only Whitefish Bay with the Laurentian glacial mass lying across the central Lake Superior basin. Lake Duluth existed in the lowlands of St. Louis Bay and Spirit Lake on the St. Louis River.
  • 10,600 B.P. The glacial ice had receded northward, opening a link between the eastern and western basins of Lake Superior.
  • 9,500 B.P. Lake Minong expands to cover the entire lake basin as the glacial front moves northward from the basin. At this time, Lake Minong is an intermediary basin with waters from Lake Agassiz flowing in through the Nipigon River valley and further east through the Aquasabong valley.
  • 8,500 B.P. Lake Superior forms as the Lake Agassiz basin joins with the Lake Ojibway, shifting its drainage into the headwaters of the Ottawa River. The Lake Superior basin becomes the headwaters of the Great Lakes system.
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