List of lakes by depth

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This page lists the world's deepest lakes.

Lakes ranked by maximum depth[edit]

This list contains all lakes whose maximum depth is reliably known to exceed 400 metres (1,300 ft)

Geologically, the Caspian Sea, like the Black and Mediterranean seas, is a remnant of the ancient Tethys Ocean. The deepest area is oceanic rather than continental crust. However, it is generally regarded by geographers as a large endorheic salt lake.

Continent colour key
Africa Asia Europe North America Oceania South America Antarctica
Name Country Region Depth
(meters)
Depth
(feet)
1. Baikal[1]  Russia Siberia 1,637 5,369
2. Tanganyika  Tanzania,  Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Burundi,  Zambia Central Africa 1,470 4,823
3. (Caspian Sea[2])  Iran,  Russia,  Turkmenistan,  Kazakhstan,  Azerbaijan 1,025 3,363
4. Vostok[3]  Antarctica ~1,000 ~3,300
5. O'Higgins-San Martín[4]  Chile,  Argentina Aysén (Chile), Santa Cruz (Argentina) 836 2,742
6. Malawi  Mozambique,  Tanzania,  Malawi 706 2,316
7. Issyk Kul  Kyrgyzstan 668 2,192
8. Great Slave  Canada Northwest Territories 614 2,015
9. Crater[5]  United States Oregon 594 1,949
10. Matano  Indonesia Sulawesi 590 1,936
11. General Carrera-Buenos Aires  Chile,  Argentina 586 1,923
12. Hornindalsvatnet  Norway Sogn og Fjordane 514 1,686
13. Quesnel  Canada British Columbia 506 1,660
14. Toba  Indonesia Sumatra 505 1,657
15. Sarez  Tajikistan 505 1,657
16. Tahoe  United States California, Nevada 501 1,644
17. Argentino  Argentina Santa Cruz (Patagonia) 500 1,640
18. Kivu  Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Rwanda 480 1,575
19. Mjøsa  Norway Hedmark, Oppland and Akershus counties 468 1,535
20. Salsvatn  Norway Nord-Trøndelag county 464 1,523
21. Nahuel Huapi  Argentina Rio Negro, Patagonia 464 1,523
22. Hauroko  New Zealand Southland (South Island) 462 1,516
23. Tinnsjø  Norway Telemark county 460 1,509
24. Adams  Canada British Columbia 457 1,499
25. Chelan  United States Washington (state) 453 1,486
26. Van[6]  Turkey 451 1,480
27. Poso  Indonesia Sulawesi 450 1,476
28. Fagnano  Argentina,  Chile Tierra del Fuego 449 1,473
29. Great Bear  Canada Northwest Territories 446 1,463
30. Manapouri  New Zealand Southland (South Island) 444 1,457
31. Te Anau  New Zealand Southland (South Island) 425 1,390
32. Tazawa  Japan Akita Prefecture 423 1,387
33. Wakatipu  New Zealand South Island 420 1,378
34. Como  Italy 410 1,345
35. Superior  Canada,  United States Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin 406 1,332

Lakes ranked by mean depth[edit]

Mean depth can be a more useful indicator than maximum depth for many ecological purposes. Unfortunately, accurate mean depth figures are only available for well-studied lakes, as they must be calculated by dividing the lake's volume by its surface area. A reliable volume figure requires a bathymetric survey. Therefore, mean depth figures are not available for many deep lakes in remote locations.

The Caspian Sea ranks much further down the list on mean depth, as it has a large continental shelf (significantly larger than the oceanic basin that contains its greatest depths).

Continent colour key
Africa Asia Europe North America Oceania South America Antarctica

Teletskoye (Russia), mean depth being 175 m

Name Country Region Depth
(meters)
Depth
(feet)
1. Baikal[1] Russia Siberia 758 2,487
2. Tanganyika Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Zambia Africa 570 1,870
3. Crater[5] United States Oregon 350 1,148
4. Vostok[3] Antarctica 344 1,129
5. Tahoe United States California, Nevada 301 989
6. Malawi Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi 292 958
7. Issyk Kul Kyrgyzstan 270 886
8. Kivu Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda 240 787
9. Matano[7] Indonesia Sulawesi 240 787
10. Hornindalsvatnet[7] Norway Sogn og Fjordane 237 778
11. Toba[7] Indonesia Sumatra 216 707
12. Karakul Tajikistan 210 689
13. Sarez Tajikistan 202 662
14. (Caspian Sea[2]) Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan 184 604
15. Ranau Indonesia Sumatra 174 571
16. Quesnel Canada British Columbia 157 515
17. Ohrid Macedonia, Albania 155 508
18. Geneva[7] Switzerland, France 153 502
19. Singkarak Indonesia West Sumatra 149 489
20.[7] Loch Ness United Kingdom Scotland 133 436
21. Dead Sea Jordan, Palestine, Israel 118 387
22. Titicaca Peru, Bolivia 107 351
23. Gander Canada Newfoundland 105 346

Greatest maximum depth by continent[edit]

Greatest mean depth by continent[edit]

Notes[edit]

Note: Lake depths often vary depending on sources. The depths used here are the most reliable figures available in recent sources. See the articles on individual lakes for more details and data sources.

  1. ^ a b Lake Baikal is also the largest freshwater lake by volume.
  2. ^ a b The Caspian Sea is generally regarded by geographers, biologists and limnologists as a huge inland salt lake. However, the Caspian's large size means that for some purposes it is better modeled as a sea. Geologically, the Caspian, Black, and Mediterranean seas are small oceans, remnants of the ancient Tethys. Politically, the distinction between a sea and a lake may affect how the Caspian is treated by international law.
  3. ^ a b c d Lake Vostok in Antarctica is a subglacial lake with a depth ranging from 400 to more than 900 meters.
  4. ^ *CECS, Depth sounding of Lake O'Higgins/San Martín
  5. ^ a b Crater Lake in Oregon has a maximum depth of 594m, based on its USGS benchmark surface elevation of 1883m. The US National Park Service publishes different values (1881m for surface elevation, and 592m for the maximum depth). The technical basis of the values determined by the USGS is documented in Closed access Bacon, C. R.; Gardner, J. V.; Mayer, L. A.; Buktenica, M. W.; Dartnell, P.; Ramsey, D. W.; Robinson, J. E. (2002). "Morphology, volcanism, and mass wasting in Crater Lake, Oregon". GSA Bulletin 114 (6): 675–692. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2002)114<0675:MVAMWI>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0016-7606. OCLC 4642976847 and 196656627. Retrieved 2013-07-08.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Degens, E.T.; Wong, H.K.; Kempe, S.; Kurtman, F. (June 1984), "A geological study of Lake Van, eastern Turkey", International Journal of Earth Sciences (Springer) 73 (2): 701–734, doi:10.1007/BF01824978 
  7. ^ a b c d e Walter K. Dodds; Matt R. Whiles (23 September 2010). Freshwater Ecology: Concepts and Environmental Applications of Limnology. Academic Press. pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-0-12-374724-2. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]