All of us at the word “lake” imagine a kind of quiet body of water, surrounded by a visible line of the coast. There will be no such lakes in this article. Have you ever heard of lakes where storm surges occur and are larger than some seas? I present to your attention a selection of “the largest lakes in the world”, which includes the 10 largest lakes. The article is divided into three pages to accommodate more interesting information and photos. Read, rate, leave comments and feedback in the discussions.
So, at the end of the list of the largest lakes in the world, we have a lake called Nyasa. It is located simultaneously in Africa, in Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi.
It is located in a discharge depression at an altitude of 472 m. The area is 30.8 thousand sq. km. Depth up to 706 m (in the northern part of the reservoir, where its bottom lies significantly below sea level). The shores are steep and rocky, high, especially in the north and northeast.
The southern part of the basin lies in a wide depression, the banks are framed by a narrow strip of the coastal plain. The average annual inflow of water into the lake (river runoff plus precipitation) is about 72 km², evaporation is about 66 km³.
The lake is rich in fish (about 230 species), in particular species of tilapis, crocodiles, hippos, and many waterfowl. With the light hand of some scientists, it is called the birthplace of aquarium fish. Also, Lake Nyasa is characterized by severe storms and surfs near steep banks, which impede navigation (passengers are transported only during the day).
Small, isn’t it?) There are 9 more such “crumbs” ahead, and they will be by no means smaller …
9th place — Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake — the largest lake in Canada, the fourth largest in North America. The lake is located on the Arctic Circle, between 65 and 67 degrees north latitude and 118 and 123 degrees west longitude, at a level of 186 m above sea level.
The lake has an outflow through the Great Bear River into the Mackenzie River. The only settlements on the lake are Deline on the southwestern tip and Echo Cove on the northeastern side.
On this lake you can see such beauty)
In eighth place in the list of the largest lakes in the world — Baikal — concurrently also the deepest lake on the planet.
Baikal is a lake of tectonic origin in the southern part of Eastern Siberia, the deepest lake on the planet Earth, the largest natural reservoir of fresh water. The lake and coastal areas are distinguished by a unique diversity of flora and fauna, most of the species are endemic. Locals and many in Russia traditionally call Baikal the sea.
More than half of the year the lake is ice-bound, the freezing period is January 15 — May 1, navigation is carried out from June to September. Since 1956, the lake has been an integral part of the Irkutsk (Baikal) reservoir of long-term regulation, formed by the dam of the Irkutsk hydroelectric power station.
Baikal is located in the center of Asia, in Russia, on the border of the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia. The lake stretches from north to southwest for 636 km in the form of a giant crescent. The width of Baikal ranges from 25 to 80 km.
The water surface area is 31,722 sq. km, which is approximately equal to the area of countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands or Denmark. The length of the coastline is 2,100 km.
The lake is located in a kind of basin, surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges and hills. At the same time, the western coast is rocky and steep, the relief of the eastern coast is more gentle (in some places the mountains recede from the coast for tens of kilometers).
Lake Tanganyika is a large lake in Central Africa. This is one of the largest lakes in the world and is equally ancient in origin. In terms of volume and depth, Tanganyika ranks second after Lake Baikal. The shores of the lake belong to four countries — the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia and Burundi.
The lake is about 650 km long and 40–80 km wide. The area is 34 thousand sq. km. Lies at an altitude of 773 meters above sea level in the tectonic basin of the East African Rift Zone. Coastal landscapes, as a rule, are huge rocks and only on the eastern side of the coast are gentle. On the west coast, the steep side walls of the East African Rift Zone, which form the coastline, reach 2,000 m in height. The coastline is dotted with bays and bays. The largest of them is Burton Bay. The lake is fed by several tributaries. The only outflowing river — Lukuga (Lukuga) begins in the middle part of the west coast and flows west, connecting with the Zaire River, which flows into the Atlantic.
The lake is home to hippos, crocodiles, and a lot of waterfowl. Fishing and shipping are well developed.
The antiquity of the lake and the long period of isolation resulted in the development of a large number of endemic organisms, including those from the family Cichlidae (cichlids). Of the more than 200 species of fish living in the lake, about 170 are endemic.
Tanganyika is inhabited to about a depth of 200 m, below this mark there is a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide and life is absent to the very bottom. This layer of the lake is a huge “burial ground” consisting of organic silt and sedimentary mineral compounds.
The water temperature of Tanganyika strictly differs in layers. So, in the upper layer, the temperature ranges from 24 to 30 degrees, with a decrease at great depths. Due to the different density of water and the absence of a bottom current, the layers do not mix, and the temperature at the lower horizons reaches only 6–8 degrees.
The depth of the temperature jump layer is about 100 m. The Tanganika water is very transparent (up to 30 m). Many salts are dissolved in it in small concentrations, so that in its composition it resembles a highly diluted marine one. Water hardness (mainly due to magnesium salts) ranges from 8 to 15 degrees. Water has an alkaline reaction, pH 8.0 — 9.5.
The lake was discovered in 1858 by English travelers R. Burton and J. Speke.
The sixth largest lake in the world is Aral Sea
The Aral Sea is an endorheic salt lake in Central Asia, on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Since the 1960s of the XX century, the sea level (and the volume of water in it) has been rapidly decreasing due to the withdrawal of water from the main supply rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya for irrigation purposes. Prior to the start of shallowing, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world.
Collector-drainage waters coming from the fields into the Syrdarya and Amudarya channels have caused deposits of pesticides and various other agricultural pesticides, appearing in places on 54 thousand square kilometers of the former seabed covered with salt. Dust storms carry salt, dust and pesticides to a distance of up to 500 km. Sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and sodium sulfate are airborne and destroy or slow down the development of natural vegetation and crops. The local population suffers from a high prevalence of respiratory diseases, anemia, cancer of the larynx and esophagus, as well as digestive disorders. Diseases of the liver and kidneys, eye diseases have become more frequent.
In 2001, as a result of a drop in the water level, Vozrozhdeniye Island was connected to the mainland. On this island, the Soviet Union tested bacteriological weapons: the causative agents of anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, plague, typhoid, smallpox, as well as botulinum toxin were tested here on horses, monkeys, sheep, donkeys and other laboratory animals. This is the reason for the fear that deadly microorganisms have retained their viability, and infected rodents may become their distributors in other regions.
According to the calculations of scientists, it is no longer possible to save the Aral Sea. Even if we completely refuse to take water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, the previous water level in it will be restored no earlier than in 200 years.
The Aral Sea once occupied 68 thousand square kilometers and was the fourth largest in the world. Now its area is about 10% of that recorded in the 60s of the last century. Pictures from 1989 and 2003:
This is a photo from 2008
From the 1950s to the present, projects have been repeatedly proposed for the construction of a canal for transferring water from the Ob basin to the Aral Sea basin, which would significantly develop the economy of the Aral Sea region (in particular, agriculture) and partially revive the Aral Sea. Such construction will require very large material costs (on the part of several states — Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan), so there is no talk of practical implementation of these projects yet.
Some scientists predict the complete disappearance of the Aral Sea by 2020…
In the middle of the list of the largest lakes in the world is lake michigan one of the North American Great Lakes.
The only one of the Great Lakes that is entirely within the United States. It is located south of Lake Superior, connected to Lake Huron by the Mackinac Strait, to the Mississippi River system — the Chicago-Lockport Canal.
From the point of view of hydrography, Michigan and Huron form a single system, but geographically they are considered to be separate lakes.
Square Michigan — about 57,750 km² (the third largest among the Great Lakes), about 500 km long, about 190 km wide. The surface height above sea level is 177 m (as in Huron), the depth is up to 281 m. It is covered with ice for about four months a year. Islands — Beaver, North Manitou, South Manitou.
The states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin have access to the lake. Major cities on Lake Michigan include Chicago, Evanston and Highland Park (Illinois), Milwaukee and Green Bay (Wisconsin), Gary and Hammond (Indiana).
The name of the lake comes from the word mishigami, which means “big water” in the Ojibwa language. The first European to discover the lake was the Frenchman Jean Nicolet in 1634.
Lake Huron is the fourth largest lake in the world. It is a lake in the USA and Canada, one of the North American Great Lakes. Located east of Lake Michigan, connected to it by the Strait of Mackinac. From the point of view of hydrography, Michigan and Huron form a single system (they are connected by the Mackinac Strait), but geographically they are considered to be separate lakes.
The Huron area is about 59.6 thousand km2 (the second largest among the Great Lakes). The surface height above sea level is about 176 m (as in Michigan), the depth is up to 229 m.
The states of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario have access to the lake. The main ports on Huron are Saginaw, Bay City, Alpina (USA) and Sarnia (Canada).
The name of the lake, introduced by the French, comes from the name of the Huron Indian tribe.
Manitoulin is located on Huron — the largest island in the world, located in a fresh lake.
Closes the top three largest lakes Victoria — a lake in East Africa, on the territory of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Located in the tectonic trough of the East African Platform, at an altitude of 1134 m. This is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Superior and the largest lake in Africa
The lake was discovered and named after Queen Victoria by British traveler John Henning Speke in 1858.
Square Lake Victoria 68 thousand square kilometers, length 320 km, maximum width 275 km. It is part of the Victoria Reservoir. Lots of islands. The high-water Kagera River flows in, the Victoria Nile River flows out. The lake is navigable, the locals are engaged in fishing on it.
The northern coast of the lake crosses the equator. The lake with a maximum depth of 80 m belongs to fairly deep lakes.
Unlike its deep-water neighbors, Tanganyika and Nyasa, which lie within the gorge system of Africa, Lake Victoria fills a shallow depression between the eastern and western sides of the Great Gorge valley. The lake receives a huge amount of water from the rains, more than from all its tributaries.
30 million people live in the vicinity of the lake. On the southern and western shores of the lake, the Haya people live, who knew how to grow coffee long before the arrival of Europeans. Main ports: Entebbe (Uganda), Mwanza, Bukoba (Tanzania), Kisumu (Kenya), near the northern coast of Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
On the second place confidently entrenched lake superior — the largest, deepest and coldest of the Great Lakes and, concurrently, the largest freshwater lake in the world.
In the north, Lake Superior is bounded by the territory of the Canadian province of Ontario, in the west by the US state of Minnesota, in the south by the states of Wisconsin and Michigan.
The basins of Lake Superior and the northern part of Lake Huron were worked out in the crystalline rocks of the southern part of the Canadian Shield, the basins of the remaining lakes were mined in the thickness of limestones, dolomites, and sandstones of the Paleozoic of the North American Platform. The basin of the Upper Lake was formed as a result of tectonic movements, pre-glacial river and glacial erosion.
The origin of the water mass of the Upper Lake is associated with the melting of the ice sheet, during the retreat of which a number of large lakes were formed in this area, which repeatedly changed their outlines.
In the northern part of the Great Lakes, the coastline is dissected, the islands and shores (up to 400 m high) are rocky, steep, very picturesque, especially the shores of Lake Superior and the northern part of Lake Huron.
The fluctuations in the level of the Upper Lake are artificially regulated for the purposes of shipping, energy, etc. The amplitude of seasonal fluctuations is 30–60 cm, the highest level is observed in summer, the lowest in winter. Short-term level fluctuations caused by strong surge winds and seiches reach 3–4 m, the height of the tides is 3–4 cm
The Caspian Sea tops the ranking“The largest lakes in the world“Despite the fact that it is called the sea, in fact it is the largest drainless lake on the planet. It is located at the junction of Europe and Asia, and it is called the sea only because of its size. The Caspian Sea is a drainless lake, and the water in it is salty, from 0.05 ‰ near the mouth of the Volga to 11–13 ‰ in the southeast.
The Caspian Sea is similar in shape to the Latin letter S, its length from north to south is about 1200 kilometers, from west to east — from 195 to 435 kilometers, on average 310–320 kilometers.
The Caspian Sea is conditionally divided according to physical and geographical conditions into 3 parts — the North Caspian, the Middle Caspian and the South Caspian. The conditional border between the North and Middle Caspian runs along the line Chechen (island) — Tyub-Karagansky cape, between the Middle and South Caspian — along the line Zhiloy (island) — Gan-Gulu (cape). The area of the Northern, Middle and Southern Caspian is respectively 25, 36, 39 percent of the total area of the Caspian Sea.
The length of the coastline of the Caspian Sea is estimated at about 6500 — 6700 kilometers, with islands — up to 7000 kilometers. The shores of the Caspian Sea in most of its territory are low-lying and smooth. In the northern part, the coastline is indented by water channels and islands of the Volga and Ural deltas, the shores are low and swampy, and the water surface is covered with thickets in many places.
The east coast is dominated by limestone shores adjacent to semi-deserts and deserts. The most winding coasts are on the west coast in the area of the Apsheron Peninsula and on the east coast in the area of the Kazakh Gulf and Kara-Bogaz-Gol.
The territory adjacent to the Caspian Sea is called the Caspian Sea.
Area and volume of water Caspian Sea varies greatly with water level fluctuations. With a water level of 26.75 m, the area is approximately 371,000 km square kilometers, the volume of water is 78,648 cubic kilometers, which is approximately 44 percent of the world’s lake water reserves. The maximum depth of the Caspian Sea is in the South Caspian depression, 1025 meters from its surface level. In terms of maximum depth, the Caspian Sea is second only to Baikal (1620 m) and Tanganyika (1435 m). The average depth of the Caspian Sea is 208 meters. At the same time, the northern part of the Caspian Sea is shallow, its maximum depth does not exceed 25 meters, and the average depth is 4 meters.
In continuation, read also about the most beautiful lakes in Scotland, which is dedicated to a separate photo tape.