List of lakes by area

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"Largest lakes" redirects here. For the largest lakes by volume, see List of lakes by volume. For lakes on bodies other than Earth, see List of largest lakes and seas in the Solar System.

This is a list of terrestrial lakes with a surface area of more than 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi), ranked by area.[1][2][3] This list does not include reservoirs and lagoons.

The area of some lakes can vary considerably over time, either seasonally or from year to year. This is especially true of salt lakes in arid climates.

This list does not include extraterrestrial lakes, such as Kraken Mare (400 000 km2) on Saturn's moon, Titan.

List of lakes[edit]

Continent color key
Africa Asia Europe North America South America Antarctica
  Name Countries with shoreline Area Length Maximum depth Water volume Thumbnail (same scale for all lakes) Scale outline.png Notes
1 Caspian Sea*  Kazakhstan
 Russia
 Turkmenistan
 Azerbaijan
 Iran
436,000 km2 (168,000 sq mi) 1,199 km (745 mi) 1,025 m (3,363 ft) 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi) Caspian outline.png The Caspian Sea is often regarded as the world's largest lake, but it contains an oceanic basin (contiguous with the world ocean until 11 million years ago) rather than being entirely over continental crust.[4][5][6][7][8]
2 Superior[n 1]  Canada
 United States
82,100 km2 (31,700 sq mi)[9] 616 km (383 mi)[9] 406.3 m (1,333 ft)[9] 12,100 km3 (2,900 cu mi)[9] Superior outline.gif Largest of the Great Lakes by volume, having more water than the other four combined.[10] Popularly considered the largest freshwater lake by surface area,[11] though Lakes Michigan and Huron are treated hydrologically as a single entity due to their connection at the deep watered Straits of Mackinac; this single entity would be the largest freshwater lake by surface area if it were treated as a single lake.[n 1]
3 Victoria  Uganda
 Kenya
 Tanzania
68,870 km2 (26,590 sq mi) 322 km (200 mi) 84 m (276 ft) 2,750 km3 (660 cu mi) Victoria outline.gif The largest lake by area in Africa.[17]
4 Huron[n 1]  Canada
 United States
59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi)[9] 332 km (206 mi)[9] 229 m (751 ft)[9] 3,540 km3 (850 cu mi)[9] Huron outline.png Contains Manitoulin Island, the world's largest lake island.[18]
5 Michigan[n 1]  United States 58,000 km2 (22,000 sq mi)[9] 494 km (307 mi)[9] 281 m (922 ft)[9] 4,900 km3 (1,200 cu mi)[9] Michigan outline.gif Largest lake contained within one country.[citation needed]
6 Tanganyika  Burundi
 Tanzania
 Zambia
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi) 676 km (420 mi) 1,470 m (4,820 ft) 18,900 km3 (4,500 cu mi) Tanganyika outline.gif Longest freshwater lake in the world.[19]
7 Baikal  Russia 31,500 km2 (12,200 sq mi) 636 km (395 mi) 1,637 m (5,371 ft) 23,600 km3 (5,700 cu mi) Baikal outline.png Deepest lake in the world and largest volume freshwater lake in the world.[20]
8 Great Bear Lake  Canada 31,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) 373 km (232 mi) 446 m (1,463 ft) 2,236 km3 (536 cu mi) Great bear outline.gif Largest lake entirely within Canada[21]
9 Malawi  Malawi
 Mozambique
 Tanzania
29,500 km2 (11,400 sq mi) 579 km (360 mi) 706 m (2,316 ft) 8,400 km3 (2,000 cu mi) Nyasa outline.gif
10 Great Slave Lake  Canada 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi) 480 km (300 mi) 614 m (2,014 ft) 1,560 km3 (370 cu mi) Great slave outline.gif Deepest lake in North America[22]
11 Erie  Canada
 United States
25,700 km2 (9,900 sq mi)[9] 388 km (241 mi)[9] 64 m (210 ft)[9] 489 km3 (117 cu mi)[9] Erie outline.gif
12 Winnipeg  Canada 24,514 km2 (9,465 sq mi) 425 km (264 mi) 36 m (118 ft) 283 km3 (68 cu mi) Winnipeg outline.gif
13 Ontario  Canada
 United States
18,960 km2 (7,320 sq mi)[9] 311 km (193 mi)[9] 244 m (801 ft)[9] 1,639 km3 (393 cu mi)[9] Ontario outline.gif
14 Ladoga  Russia 18,130 km2 (7,000 sq mi) 219 km (136 mi) 230 m (750 ft) 908 km3 (218 cu mi) Ladoga outline.gif Largest lake in Europe[23]
15 Balkhash*  Kazakhstan 16,400 km2 (6,300 sq mi) 605 km (376 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 106 km3 (25 cu mi) Balkhash outline.png
16 Vostok Antarctica 12,500 km2 (4,800 sq mi) 250 km (160 mi) 900–1,000 m (3,000–3,300 ft) 5,400 ± 1,600 km3 (1,300 ± 380 cu mi) Vostok outline.gif Largest lake in Antarctica
17 Onega  Russia 9,720 km2 (3,750 sq mi) 248 km (154 mi) 120 m (390 ft) 280 km3 (67 cu mi) Onega outline.gif
18 Titicaca  Peru
 Bolivia
8,372 km2 (3,232 sq mi) 177 km (110 mi) 281 m (922 ft) 893 km3 (214 cu mi) Titicaca outline.gif Largest lake in South America
19 Nicaragua  Nicaragua 8,264 km2 (3,191 sq mi) 177 km (110 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 108 km3 (26 cu mi) Nicaragua outline.gif Largest lake in Central America
20 Athabasca  Canada 7,850 km2 (3,030 sq mi) 335 km (208 mi) 243 m (797 ft) 204 km3 (49 cu mi) Athabasca outline.png
21 Taymyr  Russia 6,990 km2 (2,700 sq mi) 250 km (160 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 12.8 km3 (3.1 cu mi) Taymyr outline.png Largest lake north of the Arctic Circle[citation needed]
22 Turkana*  Ethiopia
 Kenya
6,405 km2 (2,473 sq mi) 248 km (154 mi) 109 m (358 ft) 204 km3 (49 cu mi) Turkana outline.gif It is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake.[24]
23 Reindeer Lake  Canada 6,330 km2 (2,440 sq mi) 245 km (152 mi) 337 m (1,106 ft) Reindeer outline.gif
24 Issyk-Kul*  Kyrgyzstan 6,200 km2 (2,400 sq mi) 182 km (113 mi) 668 m (2,192 ft) 1,738 km3 (417 cu mi) Issyk-kul outline.gif
25 Urmia*  Iran 6,001 km2 (2,317 sq mi) 130 km (81 mi) 16 m (52 ft) Urmia outline.gif
26 Vänern  Sweden 5,545 km2 (2,141 sq mi) 140 km (87 mi) 106 m (348 ft) 153 km3 (37 cu mi) Vänern outline.gif Largest lake in the European Union
27 Winnipegosis  Canada 5,403 km2 (2,086 sq mi) 245 km (152 mi) 18 m (59 ft) Winnipegosis outline.gif
28 Albert  Uganda
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
5,299 km2 (2,046 sq mi) 161 km (100 mi) 58 m (190 ft) 280 km3 (67 cu mi) Albert outline.png
29 Mweru  Zambia
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
5,120 km2 (1,980 sq mi) 131 km (81 mi) 27 m (89 ft) 38 km3 (9.1 cu mi) Mweru outline.png
30 Nettilling  Canada 5,066 km2 (1,956 sq mi) 113 km (70 mi) 132 m (433 ft) Nettilling outline.gif It is on Baffin Island and is the largest lake on an island.[25]
31 Sarygamysh Lake  Uzbekistan
 Turkmenistan
5,000 km2 (1,900 sq mi) 125 km (78 mi) 40 m (130 ft) 12 km3 (2.9 cu mi) Sarygamysh outline.png
32 Nipigon  Canada 4,843 km2 (1,870 sq mi) 116 km (72 mi) 165 m (541 ft) Nipigon outline.gif
33 Manitoba  Canada 4,706 km2 (1,817 sq mi) 225 km (140 mi) 7 m (23 ft) Manitoba outline.gif
34 Great Salt Lake*  United States 4,662 km2 (1,800 sq mi) 121 km (75 mi) 10 m (33 ft) Great salt outline.gif
35 Qinghai Lake* (or Kokonor)  China 4,489 km2 (1,733 sq mi) (2007) Qinghai outline.png
36 Saimaa  Finland ≈ 4,400 km2 (1,700 sq mi) 82 m (269 ft) 36 km3 (8.6 cu mi) Saimaa outline.gif
37 Lake of the Woods  Canada
 United States
4,350 km2 (1,680 sq mi) 110 km (68 mi) 64 m (210 ft) Lake of the Woods outline.gif
38 Khanka  China
 Russia
4,190 km2 (1,620 sq mi) 90 km (56 mi) 10.6 m (35 ft) Khanka outline.png

* denotes saline lake.

Source for the 20 largest lakes (and their areas):[26]

This list excludes seasonal lakes such as Lake Eyre (max area 9500 km2) and Lake Torrens (max area 5745 km2).

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Note: Lake areas may slightly vary depending on the sources.

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d Although Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are usually considered distinct sometimes they are regarded as a single lake known as Lake Michigan–Huron. When treated as a single entity, it is the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world, at 117,400 km2 (45,300 sq mi).[12][13][14][15][16]
References
  1. ^ Likens, Gene E., ed. (2009). "Historical Estimates of Limnicity". Encyclopedia of inland waters (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN 0120884623.  Table 1: The world's lakes >2000 km2 in area, arranged in decreasing order of lake area. See also Lakes (Formation, Diversity, Distribution)
  2. ^ Marsh, William M.; Martin M. Kaufman. Physical geography : great systems and global environments. Table 16.2: Great lakes of the world by lake type. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 399. ISBN 0521764289. 
  3. ^ van der Leeden, Frits; Troise, Fred L.; Todd, David Keith, eds. (1991). The water encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Chelsea, Mich.: Lewis. pp. 198–200. ISBN 9780873711203. 
  4. ^ "Plume over the Caspian Sea". NASA. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  5. ^ "Caspian Sea". Britannica. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  6. ^ "Endorheic Lakes". United Nations. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  7. ^ DuMont, H.J. "The Caspian Lake: History, biota, structure, and function" (PDF). American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  8. ^ Planet Earth And the New Geoscience (2003:154). Victor Schmidt, William Harbert, University of Pittsburgh
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/atlas/gl-fact1.html Great Lakes Factsheet No. 1 US Environmental Protection Agency website retrieved September 9, 2012
  10. ^ "Great Lakes: Basic Information: Physical Facts". United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). May 25, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  11. ^ Superior Pursuit: facts about the Greatest Great Lake - Minnesota Sea Grant. University of Minnesota.
  12. ^ David Lees in Canadian Geographic writes, "Contrary to popular belief, the largest lake in the world is not Lake Superior but mighty Lake Michigan–Huron, which is a single hydrological unit linked at the Straits of Mackinac." Lees, David. "High and Dry" Canadian Geographic (May/June 2004) pp.94-108.
  13. ^ "Lakes Michigan and Huron are considered to be one lake hydraulically because of their connection through the deep Straits of Mackinac." Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Great Lakes Sensitivity to Climatic Forcing: Hydrological Models." NOAA, 2006.
  14. ^ "Lakes Michigan and Huron are considered to be one lake, as they rise and fall together due to their union at the Straits of Mackinac." U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "Hydrological Components" Record Low Water Levels Expected on Lake Superior. August 2007. p.6
  15. ^ "Great Lakes Map". Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Largest Lake in the World". geology.com. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "WorldAtlas.com: Lake Victoria". Retrieved 18 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "Manitoulin Island website". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Lake Tanganyika at Encyclopaedia Britannica". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Lake Baikal, World's Largest Freshwater Body". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Plate 18. Large Lakes" (PDF). Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "WorldAtlas.com: Great Slave Lake". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: Lake Ladoga". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Omo Valley in Ethiopia, Lake Turkana". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Lakes on Islands". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "Largest Lakes (Area)". LakeNet. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]