Lake Abashiri

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Lake Abashiri
130713 Lake Abashiri view from Mount Tento in Abashiri Hokkaido Japan01n.jpg
A view from Mount Tento (July 2013)
Location Abashiri, Hokkaidō, Japan
Coordinates 43°58′N 144°10′E / 43.967°N 144.167°E / 43.967; 144.167Coordinates: 43°58′N 144°10′E / 43.967°N 144.167°E / 43.967; 144.167
Lake type Dimictic
Primary inflows Abashiri River and Memanbetsu River
Primary outflows Abashiri River
Catchment area 1,380 km2 (530 sq mi)
Basin countries Japan
Surface area 33 km2 (8,200 acres)
Average depth 7.2 m (24 ft)
Max. depth 16.1 m (53 ft)
Water volume 0.2327 km3 (0.0558 cu mi)
Residence time 0.43 years
Shore length1 44 km (27 mi)
Surface elevation 0.4 m (1.3 ft)
Frozen December to April
Islands none
Settlements Abashiri
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Abashiri (網走湖, Abashiri-ko?) is a lake in Abashiri, Hokkaidō, Japan.[1] It is located in Abashiri Quasi-National Park. The Abashiri and Memanbetsu Rivers flow into the lake. Water exits the lake through the Abashiri River again and flows 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the Sea of Okhotsk.[2]

History and formation[edit]

From core samples taken from the lake bed, the lake basin appears to have first formed some 20,000 years ago during the last period of glaciation. During the last 6000 years, the Abashiri River carved out the lake bed. Artifacts from the Jōmon period have been found in the area around the Memanbetsu River. In modern times, the course of the Abashiri River has been straightened to provide for irrigation resulting in a serious siltation problem for the lake.[2]

Freezing and salinity[edit]

Lake frozen over (February 2004)

The lake freezes over from December to April with ice up to a meter thick. The reduced inflow of water during the winter season causes saltwater to flow upstream from the Sea of Okhotsk and into the lake. This influx of saltwater has created a layer of water with 10,000 ppm of chlorine, 10 metres (33 ft) below the surface of the lake.[2]


The wakasagi (Hypomesus nipponensis) is common in the lake.[3]


  1. ^ "Data Summary: Abashiri-ko (Lake Abashiri)". World Lakes Database. International Lake Environment Committee. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ a b c "ABASHIRI-KO (LAKE ABASHIRI)". World Lake Database. International Lake Environment Committee. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  3. ^ Masaru, T. (1999). Life history polymorphism and the population dynamics of wakasagi (Hypomesus nipponensis) in Lake Abashiri, Hokkaido, Japan. Scientific Reports of Hokkaido Fisheries Experimental Station 56 1-117.