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Lake Union

From Academic Kids

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Lunion1.jpg
Lake Union from atop the Space Needle

Lake Union is a freshwater lake completely within the Seattle, Washington city limits. A glacial lake, its basin was dug 12,000 years ago by the Vashon glacier, which also created Lake Washington, and Seattle's Green, Bitter, and Haller Lakes.

Part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal system, water flows into it from Lake Washington through the Montlake Cut, and out the Fremont Cut on its way to Puget Sound. Before construction of the canal, Lake Union emptied into Salmon Bay via a creek which followed roughly the same course as the Fremont Cut does today.

Because of the connection via the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to the salt water of Puget Sound, there is some saline contamination, which worsens in the summer as the inflow rate from Lake Washington decreases and the locks open more frequently for pleasure craft.

Three major streets are named in relation to the lake: Westlake Avenue, which runs along its western shore from Downtown to the Fremont Bridge; Eastlake Avenue, which runs along its eastern shore from Cascade to the University District, and Northlake Way, which runs along its northern shore from the University District past Gas Works Park to the edge of Fremont.

Statistics:

Area of lake 580 acres 2.3 km²
Area of drainage basin 384,000 acres 1,554 km²
Volume 20,000 acre-feet 25,000,000 m³
Depth (mean) 34 ft 10 m
Depth (max) 50 ft 15 m
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