The development of lakes

The development of lakes

Standing bodies of water can form in depressions on the surface by both endogenic and exogenic forces, as well as by human activity.

Geography

Keywords

lake, lakes, still waters, external forces, internal forces, swamp, fen, tectonics, Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, wind, karst, backwater, sea, volcano, mining, fish farming, dam, hydrography, water, river, hydrosphere, physical geography, geography

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Lakes are standing bodies of open water which have their own basin. There are more than 100 million lakes in the world. Their total area accounts for less than 4% of the total land area. Lakes usually form naturally, but the number of man-made lakes is continuously increasing.

Natural lakes can be created by any land-shaping force. Of the exogenic forces, it is the action of ice that has created most lake basins. Wind action, deflation and deposited sediments also create shallow lake basins.

Lakes located in karst regions usually develop in sinkholes in limestone areas where surface drainage is absent. In mountainous areas, many lakes are formed as a result of landslides or rockslides. Created by an astronomical object hitting the Earth, crater basins can be easily recognized by their circular shape.

Endogenic forces can also cause the formation of lake basins. The deepest lakes in the world formed in rift valleys. Lakes can also form in craters of extinct volcanoes.

Artificial lakes include quarry lakes, oxbow lakes and fishing lakes. Of the artificial lakes, the largest ones are the reservoirs, whose water is retained by dams.

Lakes are short-lived, relatively fast-disappearing formations. All lakes go through a natural aging process. Eventually, lakes die either because they dry out, or more frequently, because they fill up.

The filling up of a lake begins already at its formation. This is the first stage in the life of a lake. In the second stage, the lake becomes shallower and the contiguous surface becomes patchy, and floating vegetation appears. In the third stage, the areas of open water shrink further, while in the fourth stage the vegetation becomes so dense that open water surfaces disappear completely.

  • - It is a relict lake, the largest lake in the world. It has an area of 371,000 km² (143,243.9 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 1,025 m (3,362.9 ft).
  • - It is a glacial lake, the largest lake in North America. It has an area of 82,100 km² (31,699 sq mi).
  • - The largest lake in Africa. Its area is is 69,000 km² (26,641 sq mi).
  • - It is a glacial lake, and one of the Great Lakes, with an area of 60,000 km² (23,166.1 sq mi).
  • - It is a glacial lake, and one of the Great Lakes. Its area is 58,000 km² (22,393.9 sq mi).
  • - It has an area of 33,000 km² (12,741.4 sq mi) and a depth of 1,470 m (4,822.8 ft). It is a tectonic lake and the deepest lake in Africa.
  • - It has an area of 31,500 km² (12,162.2 sq mi) and a depth of 1,637 m (5,370.7 ft). It is a tectonic lake and the world's deepest lake.
  • - It is a glacial lake with an area of 31,000 km² (11,969.2 sq mi).
  • - It is a tectonic lake with an area of 29,600 km² (11,428.6 sq mi), the second deepest lake in Africa. Its deepest point is 706 m (2,316.3 ft).
  • - It has an area of 28,500 km² (11,003.9 sq mi) and a depth of 614 m (2,014.4 ft). It is a glacial lake and the deepest lake in North America.
  • - Currently, its total size is approx. 3,300 km² (1,274.1 sq mi) split into several areas. With an area of 68,000 km² (26,254.9 sq mi), it was the fourth largest lake in the world until the 1960s.

  • - It is a relict lake, the largest lake in the world. It has an area of 371,000 km² (143,243.9 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 1,025 m (3,362.9 ft).
  • - It is a glacial lake, the largest lake in North America. It has an area of 82,100 km² (31,699 sq mi).
  • - The largest lake in Africa. Its area is is 69,000 km² (26,641 sq mi).
  • - It is a glacial lake, and one of the Great Lakes, with an area of 60,000 km² (23,166.1 sq mi).
  • - It is a glacial lake, and one of the Great Lakes. Its area is 58,000 km² (22,393.9 sq mi).
  • - It has an area of 33,000 km² (12,741.4 sq mi) and a depth of 1,470 m (4,822.8 ft). It is a tectonic lake and the deepest lake in Africa.
  • - It has an area of 31,500 km² (12,162.2 sq mi) and a depth of 1,637 m (5,370.7 ft). It is a tectonic lake and the world's deepest lake.
  • - It is a glacial lake with an area of 31,000 km² (11,969.2 sq mi).
  • - It is a tectonic lake with an area of 29,600 km² (11,428.6 sq mi), the second deepest lake in Africa. Its deepest point is 706 m (2,316.3 ft).
  • - It has an area of 28,500 km² (11,003.9 sq mi) and a depth of 614 m (2,014.4 ft). It is a glacial lake and the deepest lake in North America.
  • - Currently, its total size is approx. 3,300 km² (1,274.1 sq mi) split into several areas. With an area of 68,000 km² (26,254.9 sq mi), it was the fourth largest lake in the world until the 1960s.

Narration

Lakes are standing bodies of open water which have their own basin. There are more than 100 million lakes in the world. Their total area accounts for less than 4% of the total land area. Lakes usually form naturally, but the number of man-made lakes is continuously increasing.

Natural lakes can be created by any land-shaping force. Of the exogenic forces, it is the action of ice that has created most lake basins. Wind action, deflation and deposited sediments also create shallow lake basins.

Lakes located in karst regions usually develop in sinkholes in limestone areas where surface drainage is absent. In mountainous areas, many lakes are formed as a result of landslides or rockslides. Created by an astronomical object hitting the Earth, crater basins can be easily recognized by their circular shape.

Endogenic forces can also cause the formation of lake basins. The deepest lakes in the world formed in rift valleys. Lakes can also form in craters of extinct volcanoes.

Artificial lakes include quarry lakes, oxbow lakes and fishing lakes. Of the artificial lakes, the largest ones are the reservoirs, whose water is retained by dams.

Lakes are short-lived, relatively fast-disappearing formations. All lakes go through a natural aging process. Eventually, lakes die either because they dry out, or more frequently, because they fill up.

The filling up of a lake begins already at its formation. This is the first stage in the life of a lake. In the second stage, the lake becomes shallower and the contiguous surface becomes patchy, and floating vegetation appears. In the third stage, the areas of open water shrink further, while in the fourth stage the vegetation becomes so dense that open water surfaces disappear completely.

Most of the Earth's largest lakes were shaped by ice, while the deepest lake basins were created as a result of tectonic processes. However, the largest lake in the world, the Caspian Sea, is a remnant of the Paratethys Sea and the deepest lake on Earth, Lake Baikal, formed in a rift valley.

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