Great Lakes have not always looked the way they do today. In
fact if you were to go back in time and visit Michigan 14,000 years
ago, you would have found the Great Lakes area covered in a sheet
of ice, called a glacier, that
averaged over one kilometer thick. At rates of only a few centimeters
per day, the glacier slowly made its way across the Great Lakes
basin. It carved out deep valleys and moved large amounts of
soil. As the glacier melted and moved towards Canada, it left
behind a series of large holes that filled with meltwater from
the glacier. These formed the basic shape of the Great Lakes.
It wasn't until 6,000 years ago that the lakes took their final
shape we see today.
Lake Fannie Hooe, Keweenaw County
The State of Michigan has
over 6,360 lakes. This large number is due to the action of
the glaciers across the land thousands of years ago and also resulted
in the formation of the Great Lakes.
EXPLORE: Watch a Flash
animation showing the formation of the Great Lakes.