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  American HistoryUnited States: Local History and DescriptionGulf StatesFloridaRegions, Counties, Etc., A-Z
Lake Okeechobee as seen from spaceLake Okeechobee

[O'kE chO'bE] the fourth largest lake by surface area completely within the United States, and the largest in the Southern United States.

Covering about 730 square miles (1,890 square kilometers) of south-central Florida, Lake Okeechobee has an average depth of only nine feet (three meters). There are several inflows, including Taylor Creek and the Kissimmee River, and several outflows, including the Miami River, the New River, and the Shark River. The surface is above sea level, and the lake is enclosed by a 20-foot-high dike. The lake was formed about 6,000 years ago, when ocean levels dropped and water was left standing in a limestone basin. The original lake was probably saline, but over time the salt water was replaced by freshwater from rainfall.

Okeechobee is from the Seminole word for big water.

sunrise over Lake Okeechobee

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  The Robinson Library > American History > United States: Local History and Description > Gulf States > Florida > Regions, Counties, Etc., A-Z

This page was last updated on February 13, 2015.

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