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Important Lakes on Earth & Facts About Lakes
Important Lakes on Earth
Note 1: Black Sea is not a lake since Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits connect it to the Mediterranean Sea. Many big rivers fall into the Black Sea, making the salinity of its surface water half that of the ocean: 17‰.
Note 2: Caspian Sea and Dead Sea are lakes. The surface and shores of the Dead Sea are 423 metres below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation on land.
Note 3: While writing facts about lakes, people ignore Caspian Sea because for them it is too big to be considered a lake. But it is still a lake.
Note 4: Just like everybody else, even I have ignored Caspian Sea while stating the below facts.
Lake Baikal – Deepest Lake
- Located in Siberia, Russia.
- The deepest lake in the world [1,637 metres deep]
- It is the world’s largest lake by volume.
- It is the second longest.
Lake Tanganyika – Longest Lake
- The longest lake in the world. [660 kilometres long]
- It is also the second largest by volume.
- It is the second deepest lake in the world, after lake Baikal.
World’s Highest and Lowest Lakes
- The world’s highest lake, if size is not a criterion, may be the crater lake of Ojos del Salado, at 6,390 metres. It is in Andes.
- The highest large lake in the world is the Pumoyong Tso (Pumuoyong Tso), in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. [5,018 metres above sea level]
- The world’s highest commercially navigable lake is Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia border at 3,812 m. It is also the largest lake in South America.
- The world’s lowest lake is the Dead Sea, bordering Israel and Jordan at 418 metres below sea level. It is also one of the lakes with highest salt concentration.
The Largest Lakes (surface area) by Continent
- Australia – Lake Eyre (salt lake)
- Africa – Lake Victoria, also the third-largest freshwater lake on Earth. It is one of the Great Lakes of Africa.
- Antarctica – Lake Vostok (subglacial)
- Asia – Lake Baikal (if the Caspian Sea is considered a lake, it is the largest in Eurasia, but is divided between the two geographic continents)
- Europe – Lake Ladoga, followed by Lake Onega, both located in northwestern Russia.
- North America – Lake Superior.
- South America – Lake Titicaca, which is also the highest navigable body of water on Earth at 3,812 metres above sea level. The much larger Lake Maracaibo is a contiguous body of water with the sea, so it is ignored. ,
- Great Lakes of North America are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
- Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario [in the order of west to east]. Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario [In the order of largest to smallest].
- Lake Superior is the largest continental lake in the world by area, and Lake Michigan is the largest lake that is entirely within one country.
- The Great Lakes are today used as a major water transport corridor for bulk goods.
- The Great Lakes Waterway connects all the lakes; the smaller Saint Lawrence Seaway connects the lakes to the Atlantic oceans.
- Also called the Salt Sea.
- Lake bordering Jordan to the east, and Palestine and Israel to the west.
- It Earth’s lowest elevation on land.
- It was a lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan, in the south.
- Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.
The Aral Sea in 1989 (left) and 2008 (right)
African Great Lakes
- Series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift.
- They include Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world, and Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second largest in volume as well as the second deepest.
Largest Lakes by Surface Area
[Caspian Sea Excluded in all facts]
- Lake Superior – North America
- Lake Victoria – Africa
- Lake Huron – North America
- Lake Michigan – North America
Largest Lakes by Volume
- Baikal – Asia
- Tanganyika – Africa
- Superior – North America
Deepest Lakes in the World
- Lake Baikal – Asia
- Lake Tanganyika
Primary Reference: Wikipedia
PMF IAS Geography Hardcopy: Physical (Released), Indian, World & Economic (Sometime in July 2023)
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Direct & Indirect Sources for Understanding the Earth’s Interior
Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming, Carbon Sequestration