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Great Lakes Information

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 Great Lakes water level data and forecasts, basin conditions, outflows, and other information relating to Great Lakes water levels

Lake Superior Regulation

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 Latest updates on Lake Superior outflow and compensating works gate settings


Lake Superior Regulation



Lake Superior Outflow and Compensating Works Gate Settings for June 2024

Please see the newly published Special News Release about Gate movements starting Friday, June 14.

The June 2024 Lake Superior outflow will be set to 2,070 cubic meters per second (73,100 cubic feet per second) for the month, this is equal to the Plan prescribed flow. The gate setting of the Compensating Works will remain at its current setting which is equivalent to approximately four gates open until mid-June. To facilitate underwater inspection of the International Bridge piers, gates will be temporarily lowered to a setting equivalent to one-half gate open later this month. Following these inspections, it is expected that the gates will be returned to a setting equivalent to approximately four gates fully open.

Coastal Program

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 Information about the Detroit District's coastal program, including coastal engineering services, the Regional Sediment Management program, the Section 111 program, and a multitude of coastal issues.




Coastal Program


The USACE, Detroit District's Great Lakes coastal program encompasses the entire U.S. shores of Lake Superior and Lake Huron, the shore of Lake Michigan with the exception of the Illinois shoreline, and the western portion of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes coastal program is part of the Detroit District's Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office (H&H), working to provide thorough and precise research on all hydraulic, hydrologic, and coastal matters pertaining to the Great Lakes. Utilizing a vast degree of resources and knowledge, the Detroit District's Great Lakes coastal program provides cutting edge solutions to challenging problems.


Flood Monitoring

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Latest information on current conditions in the basin related to flooding in rivers, ice conditions on the connecting channels, and weather watches and warnings




Flood Monitoring


The Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office monitors potential inland river flooding year round and potential flooding on the connecting channels of the Great Lakes (St. Marys River, St. Clair River, and Detroit River) due to ice jams. The general mission is to prevent and/or minimize loss of life and property damage caused by river/connecting channel flooding. The main focus of the mission is vigilant, on-going monitoring and advanced notification to emergency managers in regard to forecasted inclement weather and ice conditions potentially causing floods.


Ice jams have been a common occurrence throughout the history of the Detroit District. Fortunately, only a few have resulted in serious flooding. The main focus of ice jam monitoring is a series of water level gages strategically set up in the connecting channels to pinpoint the location of such a jam. Typically, when an ice jam begins to form, the water level upstream of the jam begins to rise and the water level downstream begins to fall, a classic divergence. The Detroit District office has near real-time access to gage data and, when such a ‘divergence’ occurs, can notify emergency managers who in turn notify the U.S. Coast Guard to break ice to alleviate potential flooding. Many of the primary tools the Detroit District uses to monitor ice conditions in the Great Lakes can be found on the following Web sites:

Additional information can also be found at the following web sites:

The Detroit District also monitors Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) to aid flood monitoring and Great Lakes water levels forecasting.



Drought conditions are monitored because they directly relate to the supply of water to lakes and rivers within the area of concern. Knowing the amount of moisture in the soil and the type of soil in the area aids in more accurate forecasts of how fast or slow runoff will occur into rivers. This is critical in forecasting the timing and extent of floods. The Detroit District monitors the National Weather Service’s (NWS) National Drought Assessment page.



Corps of Engineers Districts are charged with the responsibility of monitoring rivers and lakes within district boundaries in order to minimize or prevent flood damages. Flood monitoring of rivers located within the Detroit District is done using the River Conditions NWS Web site. By clicking on the map you will be taken to the corresponding regional page where USGS gages are represented by color coded squares on a map. Clicking on any gage location will display a hydrograph depicting how the river level has changed over time for that specific location.



Monitoring of current weather conditions and weather forecasts gives advanced notification of potential flooding. Hazardous weather outlooks and forecasts give vital information on the amounts of precipitation, wind intensity and direction, time and extent, etc. Thus, the severity of potential flooding can be assessed and prepared for effectively. The National Weather Services’ web pages are used to monitor inclement weather. These pages include Warning and Forecast, Hazardous Weather Outlooks, Severe Weather Outlooks, Special Weather Statements, Gale Warnings, Marine Weather Statements, and other pertinent weather information. By clicking on the map, detailed weather information is retrievable by geographic region.

Contact Information

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 Contact information for the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office




Contact Information


General Hydraulics & Hydrology (313) 226-2137  
Great Lakes Water Level Conditions & Forecasts (313) 226-6442
  (313) 226-2979  
Great Lakes Water Level Data Requests (313) 226-6442  
  (313) 226-2979  
Monthly Bulletin Subscription (313) 226-6441  
Lake Superior Regulation

(313) 226-6442

Great Lakes Coastal Processes/Erosion (313) 226-4886  
  (313) 226-6791  
Regional Sediment Management (313) 226-4761  
  (313) 226-6791  

 If you prefer you can email us and your question will be forwarded to the appropriate person: hhpm@usace.army.mil


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 Links to International Joint Commission Boards of Control, NOAA, Canadian Hydrographic Services, the Chicago Diversion, and other useful resources




Related Links


Buffalo District
US Army Corps of Engineers
Canadian Hydrographic Service
Coordinated Great Lakes Physical Data - May 1977 - Medium Resolution PDF (~30MB) 
A medium resolution PDF version of the Coordinated Great Lakes Physical Data - May 1977 report.
Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data
The Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data. The functions and members of the Coordinating Committee.
Great Lakes Information Network
International Joint Commission
International Great Lakes Datum 1985
The date, 1985, is the central year of the period 1982-1988 during which water information was collected for preparing the datum revision.
International Lake Superior Board of Control 
Information regarding the Lake Superior outflow controls on the St. Marys River.
International Niagara Board of Control
Information Regarding the Structures on the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Erie
International St. Lawrence River Board of Control
Information regarding the Lake Ontario outflow controls on the St. Lawrence River.
Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting Information Web site
The diversion of water from the Lake Michigan watershed is of major importance to the Great Lakes states and to the Canadian province of Ontario. The states and province that border the Great Lakes have concerns with the long term effects of diversion. To insure that the concerns of these interested parties are considered, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has been given the responsibility for the accounting of flow that is diverted from the Lake Michigan watershed.
Navigation in southern Lake Michigan
The Chicago District operates and maintains eight navigation projects on the Illinois and Indiana shores of Lake Michigan. Our mission encompasses lock operations and maintenance, breakwater repair, maintenance dredging, and the collection of hydrographic survey data
NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services
Access local water levels and other oceanographic and meteorological conditions.
Ordinary High Water Mark and Low Water Datum Information
Find the Ordinary High Water mark or Low Water Datum in your area

Document Information and Assistance

NOTICE:  Not all documents accessible via this page are readable using optical character recognition (OCR). For more information and/or assistance please call 313-226-6441.

Detroit District Disclaimer

NOTICE: All data contained herein is preliminary in nature and therefore subject to change. The data is for general information purposes ONLY and SHALL NOT be used in technical applications such as, but not limited to, studies or designs. All critical data should be obtained from and verified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Engineering and Construction Division, Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch, 477 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226. The United States of America assumes no liability for the completeness or accuracy of the data contained herein and any use of such data inconsistent with this disclaimer shall be solely at the risk of the user.