List of lakes of Switzerland

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Map of major lakes and rivers of Switzerland labelled in the relevant local language (French, German or Italian).

This page contains a sortable table listing all major lakes of Switzerland. The table includes all still water bodies, natural of artificial, that have a surface area of at least 0.30 square kilometres (0.12 sq mi), regardless of water volume, maximum depth or other merit. These lakes are ranked by area, the table including also the elevation above sea level and maximum depth. They are either natural (type N), natural but used as reservoirs (NR) or fully artificial (A). For a list of artificial lakes only, see List of dams and reservoirs in Switzerland. For a list of lakes above 800 metres that includes smaller water bodies, see List of mountain lakes of Switzerland.

Along with the mountains, lakes constitute a major natural feature of Switzerland, with over 1000 km of shores within the country.[1] Lakes, large and small, can be found in almost all cantons and provide an important source of water as well as leisure opportunities. The two most extensive, Lake Geneva and Lake Constance, are amongst the largest in Europe and mark the border of the Swiss Plateau, along with the Alps and the Jura Mountains. The largest wholly Swiss lake is Lake Neuchâtel. Next in size comes Lake Maggiore, followed by Lake Lucerne and Lake Zurich. In total 103 lakes exist that are more than 30 hectares in surface area, and a considerable number of smaller lakes. All these lakes are found in the four major river basins of Switzerland: Rhine, Rhone, Po and Danube, at almost all elevations below the snow line.

Distribution[edit]

There are several thousand lakes in Switzerland, with estimations up to 7000,[2] although those include very small water bodies, traditionally referred to as "lakes".[3] On this list, only the 103 largest, which are over 30 hectares wide, are considered. Among them, 58 are over 1 km2, 17 are over 10 km2 and 5 are over 100 km2. 37 of these lakes are natural, 21 are natural but used as reservoirs and 45 are fully artificial. These 103 lakes are shared between 21 cantons.[4] Four cantons (Grisons, Berne, Valais and Ticino) have more than 10 of them and just more than half of the cantons (14) have lakes over 100 km2. Most of the lakes are either below 800 metres above sea level (predominantly natural lakes) or above 1600 metres (predominantly artificial lakes). A large majority of the lakes (66) are located in the Rhine basin (partly through the Aare), 17 being in the Rhone basin (partly through the Doubs), 14 in the Po basin (mostly through the Ticino) and 6 in the Danube basin (all through the Inn).

Largest in area and volume: Lake Geneva
Lowest and deepest: Lake Maggiore
Highest: Muttsee
Distribution of the lakes over 0.30 km2
Canton By area By elevation[5] By max. depth Total Lakes/100km2
<1km2 1-
9.99km2
10-
99km2
+100km2 -799m 800-
1599m
+1600m -49m 50-
99m
100-
199m
+200m
Aargau 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 0.21
Berne 8 4 3 1 9 2 5 7 5 2 2 16 0.27
Fribourg 2 2 1 1 4 2 0 3 2 1 0 6 0.36
Geneva 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0.71
Glarus 1 2 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 2 0 4 0.58
Grisons 9 10 0 0 0 4 15 4 9 6 0 19 0.27
Jura 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.12
Lucerne 2 1 3 1 7 0 0 3 2 1 1 7 0.47
Neuchâtel 4 0 1 1 5 1 0 3 2 1 0 6 0.75
Nidwalden 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.36
Obwalden 2 2 0 1 3 0 2 2 2 0 1 5 1.02
Schaffhausen 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.34
Schwyz 0 2 3 1 4 2 0 2 1 2 1 6 0.66
St. Gallen 1 0 2 1 3 1 0 0 0 3 1 4 0.20
Thurgau 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 2 0 0 1 3 0.30
Ticino 5 5 1 1 3 1 8 1 4 4 3 12 0.43
Uri 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0.19
Valais 6 6 0 1 1 0 12 3 4 4 2 13 0.25
Vaud 2 2 1 2 4 3 0 4 0 2 1 7 0.22
Zug 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0.84
Zurich 1 2 1 0 4 0 0 3 0 1 0 4 0.23
Switzerland 45 41 12 5 42 17 44 40 31 23 9 103 0.25

Main list[edit]

Rank Name Type
[6]
Local names Canton(s), neighboring countries River basin Area in km²[7] Elevation
m
max. depth
in meter
1 Lake Geneva N Lac Léman, Lac de Genève Geneva, Vaud, Valais, France Rhone 580.03 372.0 310
2 Lake Constance (Obersee) N Bodensee St. Gallen, Thurgau, Austria, Germany Rhine 473.00 396 252
3 Lake Neuchâtel N Lac de Neuchâtel, Neuenburgersee Berne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Vaud Rhine 215.20 429.4 153
4 Lake Maggiore N Lago Maggiore Ticino, Italy Po 210.12 193.5 372
5 Lake Lucerne N Vierwaldstättersee Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Uri Rhine 113.72 433.6 214
6 Lake Zurich N Zürichsee St. Gallen, Schwyz, Zurich Rhine 88.17 405.9 136
7 Untersee N Untersee Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Germany Rhine 63.00 396 37
8 Lake Lugano N Ceresio, Lago di Lugano Ticino, Italy Po 48.67 270.5 288
9 Lake Thun N Thunersee Berne Rhine 47.74 557.8 215
10 Lake Biel N Lac de Bienne, Bielersee Berne, Neuchâtel Rhine 39.51 429.1 74
11 Lake Zug N Zugersee Lucerne, Schwyz, Zug Rhine 38.41 413.6 198
12 Lake Brienz N Brienzersee Berne Rhine 29.81 563.7 260
13 Lake Walen N Walensee Glarus, St. Gallen Rhine 24.16 419.0 150
14 Lake Murten N Murtensee, Lac de Morat Fribourg, Vaud Rhine 22.80 429.2 46
15 Lake Sempach N Sempachersee Lucerne Rhine 14.36 503.8 87
16 Sihlsee A Sihlsee Schwyz Rhine 10.72 889 23
17 Lake Hallwil N Hallwilersee Aargau, Lucerne Rhine 10.21 448.7 47
18 Lake Gruyère A Lac de la Gruyère Fribourg Rhine 9.60 677 75
19 Lac de Joux NR Lac de Joux Vaud Rhine 8.77 1004 34
20 Greifensee N Greifensee Zurich Rhine 8.17 435.1 34
21 Lake Sarnen N Sarnersee Obwalden Rhine 7.38 468.4 52
22 Ägerisee N Ägerisee Zug Rhine 7.25 723.9 82
23 Lake Baldegg N Baldeggersee Lucerne Rhine 5.24 463.0 66
24 Lago di Livigno A Lago di Livigno Grisons, Italy Danube 4.71 1805 119
25 Schiffenensee A Schiffenensee, Lac de Schiffenen Fribourg Rhine 4.25 532 38
26 Wägitalersee A Wägitalersee Schwyz Rhine 4.18 900 65
27 Lago di Lei A Lago di Lei Grisons, Italy Rhine 4.12 1931 133
28 Lake Sils N Silsersee, Lej da Segl Grisons Danube 4.10 1797 71
29 Lac des Dix A Lac des Dix Valais Rhone 3.65 2365 227
30 Lake Wohlen A Wohlensee Berne Rhine 3.65 480 20
31 Lac d'Emosson A Lac d'Emosson Valais Rhone 3.27 1930 161
32 Klöntalersee NR Klöntalersee Glarus Rhine 3.18 847 47
33 Lake Silvaplana N Silvaplanersee, Lej da Silvaplauna Grisons Danube 3.18 1790 77
34 Pfäffikersee N Pfäffikersee Zurich Rhine 3.06 536 35
35 Lake Lauerz N Lauerzersee Schwyz Rhine 3.00 447 14
36 Grimselsee NR Grimselsee Berne Rhine 2.63 1908 100
37 Lake Lungern NR Lungerersee, Lungernsee Obwalden Rhine 2.01 688 68
38 Lac de Mauvoisin A Lac de Mauvoisin Valais Rhone 2.08 1961 180
39 Lago di Poschiavo NR Lago di Poschiavo Grisons Po 1.98 962 85
40 Lai da Sontga Maria A Lai da Sontga Maria Grisons, Ticino Rhine 1.77 1908 86
41 Mattmarksee A Mattmarksee Valais Rhone 1.76 2197 93
42 Lago di Vogorno A Lago di Vogorno Ticino Po 1.68 470 204
43 Lac de Salanfe A Lac de Salanfe Valais Rhone 1.62 1925 48
44 Zervreilasee A Zervreilasee Grisons Rhine 1.61 1862 140
45 Lac de l'Hongrin A Lac de l'Hongrin Vaud Rhine 1.60 1255 105
46 Lago Bianco NR Lago Bianco Grisons Po 1.50 2234 53
47 Lago Ritom NR Lago Ritom Ticino Po 1.49 1850 69
48 Oberaarsee A Oberaarsee Berne Rhine 1.47 2303 90
49 Lai da Marmorera A Lai da Marmorera Grisons Rhine 1.41 1680 65
50 Lac de Moiry A Lac de Moiry Valais Rhone 1.40 2249 120
51 Limmernsee A Limmernsee Glarus Rhine 1.36 1857 122
52 Göscheneralpsee A Göscheneralpsee Uri Rhine 1.32 1792 106
53 Lago di Luzzone A Lago di Luzzone Ticino Po 1.27 1606 181
54 Albigna lake A Lago da l'Albigna
Lägh da l'Albigna
Grisons Po 1.26 2163 108
55 Oeschinen Lake N Oeschinensee Berne Rhine 1.15 1578 56
56 Klingnauer Stausee A Klingnauer Stausee Aargau Rhine 1.11 318 8.5
57 Lago del Sambuco A Lago del Sambuco Ticino Po 1.11 1461 124
58 Lac de Verbois A Lac de Verbois Geneva Rhone 1.01 369 <50
59 Lai da Nalps A Lai da Nalps Grisons Rhine 0.90 1908 122
60 Lac de Tseuzier A Lac de Tseuzier Valais Rhone 0.83 1777 140
61 Sufnersee A Sufnersee Grisons Rhine 0.82 1401 51
62 Lai da Curnera A Lai da Curnera Grisons Rhine 0.79 1956 136
63 Lake St. Moritz N Lej da San Murezzan, St. Moritzersee Grisons Danube 0.75 1768 42
64 Lago del Narèt NR Lago del Narèt Ticino Po 0.73 2310 104
65 Flachsee A Flachsee Aargau Rhine 0.71 380 7
66 Lac des Brenets N Lac des Brenets Neuchâtel, France Rhone 0.70 750 26
67 Alte Aare N Alte Aare Berne Rhine 0.70 428 <50
68 Gigerwaldsee A Gigerwaldsee St. Gallen Rhine 0.69 1335 135
69 Lac de Moron A Lac de Moron Neuchâtel, France Rhone 0.69 716 59
70 Lac de Montsalvens A Lac de Montsalvens Fribourg Rhine 0.66 801 50
71 Räterichsbodensee A Räterichsbodensee Berne Rhine 0.66 1767 77
72 Lac Brenet NR Lac Brenet Vaud Rhine 0.65 1002 18
73 Daubensee N Daubensee Valais Rhine 0.64 2205 <50
74 Griessee A Griessee Valais Rhone 0.64 2386 66
75 Gelmersee NR Gelmersee Berne Rhine 0.62 1850 42
76 Lac des Toules A Lac des Toules Valais Rhone 0.60 1810 75
77 Lake Davos NR Davosersee Grisons Rhine 0.57 1560 52
78 Lac du Vieux Emosson A Lac du Vieux Emosson Valais Rhone 0.55 2205 42
79 Lago di Lucendro NR Lago di Lucendro Ticino Rhine 0.54 2135 96
80 Mauensee N Mauensee Lucerne Rhine 0.54 503 9
81 Melchsee NR Melchsee Obwalden Rhine 0.51 1891 18
82 Niederriedsee A Niederriedsee Berne Rhine 0.49 461 8
83 Türlersee N Türlersee Zurich Rhine 0.49 643 22
84 Lac de Cleuson A Lac de Cleuson Valais Rhone 0.48 2186 76
85 Lac de Bret NR Lac de Bret Vaud Rhone 0.48 674 20
86 Lago dei Cavagnöö A Lago dei Cavagnöö, Lago di Cavagnoli Ticino Po 0.48 2310 100
87 Rotsee N Rotsee Lucerne Rhine 0.47 419 16
88 Engstlensee NR Engstlensee Berne Rhine 0.46 1851 49
89 Lac des Taillères NR Lac des Taillères Neuchâtel Rhine 0.46 1040 7
90 Schwarzsee N Schwarzsee Fribourg Rhine 0.45 1046 10
91 Lago della Sella NR Lago della Sella Ticino Po 0.45 2256 30
92 Arnensee NR Arnensee Berne Rhine 0.45 1542 50
93 Lej da Vadret N Laj da Vadret Grisons Danube 0.43 2160 <50
94 Muttsee NR Muttsee Glarus Rhine 0.41 2446 68
95 Lac de Biaufond A Lac de Biaufond Jura, Neuchâtel, France Rhone 0.40 606 10
96 Lago Tremorgio NR Lago Tremorgio Ticino Po 0.40 1851 57
97 Lag da Pigniu A Lag da Pigniu, Panixersee Grisons Rhine 0.39 1450 42
98 Amsoldingersee N Amsoldingersee Berne Rhine 0.38 641 14
99 Lago d'Isola A Lago d'Isola Grisons Po 0.36 1604 39
100 Lai da Ova Spin A Lai da Ova Spin Grisons Danube 0.35 1630 64
101 Hüttwilersee N Hüttwilersee Thurgau Rhine 0.35 434 <50
102 Tannensee NR Tannensee Obwalden Rhine 0.34 1976 21
103 Moossee N Moossee Berne Rhine 0.30 521 21

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Approximately (see coastline paradox) 1000 km counting only the 17 lakes over 10 km2 (length retrieved from the Google Earth geographical information program).
  2. ^ Block, Klaus-Dieter (2014). Ach du liebe Schweiz: Ein sonderbares Land – Berichte aus der Schweiz. Steffen Verlag. 
  3. ^ For example, Blausee ("blue lake"), Märjelensee ("Märjelen lake") and Schwarzsee ("black lake") are less than one hectare wide.
  4. ^ Out of 26. The cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Solothun do not appear on the list.
  5. ^ See List of mountain lakes of Switzerland for a more detailed distribution.
  6. ^ Speicherseen in der Schweiz
  7. ^ VECTOR25 Primary surfaces (Swisstopo)

External links[edit]