25 Deepest Freshwater Lakes
Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney
Hauntingly beautiful and mysterious, deep lakes stir the human imagination about what might lurk beneath their placid surface. By the latest figures, there are roughly 117 million freshwater lakes on the planet, which cover about 4 percent of the surface area of the globe. These lakes provide drinking water and are a source of food, not only for the people who live on their shores but also for the rest of the world. Lakes form in basins where water collects from rainfall and meltwater from snow and glaciers. Here, we list the 25 deepest freshwater lakes in the world.
- 1Lake Baikal, Russia. Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, Russia, is not only the deepest lake in the world with an astounding depth of 5,387 feet (1,642 meters), it is also the oldest lake, dating to about 25 million years ago, and the largest lake by volume, holding 5,521 cubic miles of water. Another amazing fact about this impressive lake is that it is the only deep water lake to have oxygenated water down to its lowest levels, similar to the ocean.Advertisement
- 2Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Burundi. Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest lake in the world, reaching a depth of 4,823 feet (1,470 meters). It is located in Africa's Great Rift Valley and borders four African nations and around 1 million people live along its shores, and is the second largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, holding an estimated 4,500 cubic miles of water.Advertisement
- 3Lake Vostok, Antarctica. There is nothing about Lake Vostok that isn't amazing or incredible. Located near the Russian research station, Vostok, from which it takes its name, the lake is buried under two miles of glacial ice and has been for the last 15 million years. It is the third-deepest freshwater lakes in the world with a depth of 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) and is also the largest subglacial lake in the world, covering an amazing 5,405 square miles (14,000 square kilometers). Although its water is a frigid 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 Celsius), Lake Vostok's water remains unfrozen due to the massive pressure of all of the ice that covers it.
- 4O'Higgins-San Martin Lake, Chile, and Argentina. With a depth of 2,742 feet (836 meters), the O'Higgins-San Martin Lake is the fourth deepest in the world. It is located in South America's Patagonian region and is situated between Chile and Argentina. It also has a shoreline of 485 miles (781 kilometers).
- 5Lake Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi. Also known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Malawi is located in East African Rift System, between the countries of Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi. With a depth of 2,2316 feet (706 meters), it is the fifth deepest lake in the world. Additionally, it is the fifth largest lake in the world by volume, containing 2,000 cubic feet (8,400 cubic meters) of water. The lake has two islands which are inhabited and has the most diverse species of fish living in it, including 1,000 varieties of cichlids, which are prized aquarium fish because of their bright colors.
- 6Great Slave Lake, Canada. Great Slave Lake is a Canadian Lake located in the Northwest Territories and named after the Slave (Dogrib) Native American tribe, which lived around the area. It is the deepest lake in North America and the sixth deepest lake in the world at 2,015 feet ( 614 meters) in depth.
- 7Crater Lake, Oregon, U.S.A. This cobalt blue lake was formed from the crater left behind by the gigantic 12,000 foot volcano, Mount Mazama, which collapsed after a massive eruption over 7,700 years ago. Over the years, melting snow, ice, and rainfall filled up the gigantic crater into what is now the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest lake in North America, and seventh deepest freshwater lake in the world, bottoming out at 1,949 feet ( 594 meters).
- 9General Carrera Lake, Chile, Argentina. General Carrera Lake is a magnificent freshwater lake in the Patagonian region of South America, bordering the two countries of Chile and Argentina. With a depth of 1,923 feet (586 meters), it is the second deepest lake in South America, after the nearby O'Higgins-Martin Lake, and is the ninth deepest freshwater lake in the world. What's even more amazing is the pale turquoise color of the water and the network of marble caves that the lake has carved out of a single slab.
- 10Lake Horninidalsvatnet, Norway. Horninidalsvatnet (I dare you to say that mouthful three times fast) is Norway and Europe's deepest lake and the 10th deepest freshwater lake in the world, measuring 1,686 feet (514 meters) deep.
- 11Quesnel Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Quesnel Lake in British Columbia, Canada, is a glacial lake that at 1,660 (506 meters) in depth is the second deepest lake in Canada and the 11th deepest freshwater lake in the world. It is well-known for trout fishing, as well as other types of freshwater fish.
- 13Lake Sarez, Tajikistan. Lake Sarez, located in the remote Pamir Mountains, formed in 1911, after an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale created a natural dam 1,860 feet (567 meters) tall, blocking off all runoff and drainage to the area now occupied by the lake. It is tied with Lake Toba as the 12th deepest freshwater lake in the world with a depth of 1,657 feet (505 meters) deep.
- 14LakeTahoe, United States. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and situated on the border between Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. After Crater Lake, it is second deepest in the United States and the 13th deepest in the world with a depth of 1,645 feet (501 meters).
- 19Lake Salsvatnet, Norway. Another Norwegian lake, Salsvatnet is the 18th deepest lake in the world with a depth of 1,523 feet (464 meters).
- 22Cochrane/Pueyrredon Lake, Chile, and Argentina. Cochrane/Pueyrredon Lake is a glacial lake located high in the Andes Mountains and between the two nations of Chile and Argentina. This lake is the 20th deepest freshwater lake in the world with a depth of 1.509 feet (460 meters).
- 23Lake Tinn, Norway. The Norwegian lake, Tinn, is tied for the 20th deepest lake in the world with Cochrane/Pueyrredon Lake in South America. It has a depth of 1,509 feet ( 460 meters).
- 25Lake Chelan, United States. Lake Chelan is located in Washington State and is the largest lake in that state. It is the 22nd deepest freshwater lake in the world with a depth of 1.486 feet (453 meters).
Categories : Travel & Leisure
Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw