Detroit River

How Deep Is The Detroit River

The Detroit River is a river that flows west and south, it is about 32 miles long from its head at the Windmill Point Light to its mouth at the Detroit River Light in Lake Erie. The river has a channel in the north of Belle Isle and is divided by the Scott Middle Ground, over which depths vary from 1 to 6 feet. Apart from that, there are also channels on either side of the Scott Middle Ground are quite deep around 19 to 30 feet, however, they are only used by some small craft.

There are also the foot of the Belle Isle and head of Fighting Island where the channel is generally quite broad and deep. The river floors also mainly consist of sand and clay, and its banks are quite steep. Additionally, when it comes to the river, in this reach, it averages about 2,400 feet in width and has depths of 35 to 50 feet.

The southern part of the river or lower reach of the Detroit River is also broad. You can even see several islands and shallow expanses along the river. In the upper part of this reach, the banks rise with a gentle slope and the bottom consists of sand, clay, boulders and rock. 

In the six mile stretch from just downstream of Fighting Island to the south end of Bois Blanc Island, the bottom is mainly bedrock and boulders. It is also noticeable that during high flow conditions, velocities in these channels vary from 2.5 to 5.5 feet per second, depending upon the configuration of specific cross-sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the deepest part of the Detroit River?

When it comes to the Detroit River, the known deepest portion of it is about 53 feet, or 16.2 meters, in its northern portion. When it comes to its source, the river is at an elevation of 574 feet or also known as 175 meters above sea level. Additionally, the river is relatively level, dropping only 3 feet or 0.9 m before entering Lake Erie at 571 feet or 174 m.

What is at the bottom of the Detroit River?

You can find various materials on the floors of Detroit River including sand and clay. Considering how deep the river is, it may not be strange to also see some old artifacts such as war cannons, old wooden ships, cars, and hundreds of firearms, ranging from wooden muskets to automatic handguns. 

In fact, there are scuba divers that discover these things by having to go out of their way to run their hands along the river bottom. The river has safety concerns and possibly some criminal evidence, thus, the city ordinance forbids the public from diving in the river.

How deep is the middle of the Detroit River?

The river ranges from about 18 to 52 feet deep, and police say the areas where they search are frequently between 20 and 35 feet deep. The river is 28 miles long, and the Detroit shoreline comprises roughly 10 miles of it.

Related: Detroit Nickname