Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the easterly portion of Lake MichiganHuron, having the same surface elevation as its westerly counterpart, to which it is connected by the wide Straits of Mackinac. It is bounded on the east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the west by the state of Michigan in the United States. The name of the lake is derived from early French explorers who named it for the Huron people inhabiting the region. By surface area, Lake Huron is the second-largest of the Great Lakes, with a surface area of 23,000 square miles (59,600 km) making it the third-largest fresh water lake on Earth (and the fourth-largest lake, if the Caspian Sea is counted as a lake). By volume however, Lake Huron is only the third largest of the Great Lakes, being surpassed by Lake Michigan in this aspect.