Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Lakes/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Help wanted

I'm wondering if I could get you guys to help me expand/cleanup/update a few Great Basin lake articles, namely: Pyramid Lake, Walker Lake (Nevada), Great Salt Lake, Bear Lake (Idaho/Utah), and Sevier Lake. The latter three are technically covered by WikiProject Utah, but that project sort of... died. BTW I love the idea of a WikiProject specifically for lakes --there's just something about them that I find strangely fascinating. In any event, I really need to take some aspirin and stop pretending I'm not sick :) --Lethargy 14:23, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner ... I somehow missed your comment. I will definitely give you a hand with your lakes. And if you haven't already, put the lake project banner on all of those pages. And as far as lakes being fascinating ... I agree wholehartedly, though I haven't really spent much time ON a lake. Cheers!! Em3rald 16:53, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Project message box

The project message box for some reason has extra spacing below it, for example:

Examples removed so we don't get categorized incorrectly.

What should happen, using protected areas as an example:

Examples removed: see above.

This is also seen with the mountain template. Can we remove the excess padding?

  • DONE Em3rald 17:49, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

A second suggestion, Wikipedia:WikiProject Utah and Wikipedia:WikiProject Protected areas' templates add the pages to associated categories, Category:WikiProject Utah and Category:Articles of WikiProject Protected areas, respectively. Is there some way we can modify the template to do this as well? I'd like to have a Category:Articles of WikiProject Lakes, but I'm not sure how to do this. --Lethargy 17:40, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I see what you mean. I will see if I can do something about that. I am not 100% sure how to do some of that either, but I have someone to help if I need her to. Em3rald 17:48, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I looked over the templates and I think I can whip something up. --Lethargy 17:53, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Metric vs. U.S. Customary

I noticed that in the infobox we are always using metric units. This is fine for most of the world, but unfortunately we ignorant Americans can't necessarily figure it out. I propose that on lakes that are in the U.S. we place the United States customary units first, then the metric measurements in parenthesis. We could switch the order around for lakes outside the U.S.. As for lakes on the border, I'm not sure I care what order they are in, but both measurements should be there.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lethargy (talkcontribs) .

I concur. That's the way it's done in both the river and mountain projects. Daniel Case 02:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I also found out that apparently this is Wikipedia's policy, so we should definitely have both. --Lethargy 01:18, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Special request: to-do lists

As often as possible, please add a to-do list to articles so wikipedians can quickly see what improvements need to be made to an article. I have already done this on Talk:Utah Lake and Talk:Great Salt Lake, and have requested input for creating one in Talk:Capitol Reef National Park.

These greatly improve the efficiency of the editing process, which is sorely needed in a project with few active members such as this one, as well as wikipedia as a whole.

--Lethargy 22:47, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Copied my comment from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Utah

--Lethargy 19:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Categorize goals using the to-do list

I'd like to take a page from WikiProject Utah's book (the only other project I have experience with) and use the to-do list to categorize what we want to do with articles. For instance, Utah has sections such as:

  • Collaboration:
  • To Nominate at WP:FAC:
  • To Improve to Featured standard:
  • Pages with an open task list:
  • To Expand:


These are very nice to have so project members know what to focus on. To see better how this works Check out their list. --Lethargy 19:06, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Fantastic ideas, and thanks fer the cool to-do box. I wonder if something like that would be more suited to the main project page? I've seen some other projects with some pretty cool main page layouts. I should have some time tonight (nightshift, and the plant is quiet), so I will see if I can familiarize myself with some other projects and sorta professionalize WP:LAKES a little more. Cheers! Em3rald 00:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


I have been around a lot in article naming for country subdivisions. Also participated in river naming and fixed other landforms. IMO, since the landform naming faces some similiar problems, we should all join forces and write a Wikipedia:Naming conventions (landforms). If you have ideas for lake naming maybe have a look there. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 15:14, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Great Salt Lake peer review

Great Salt Lake has now been listed as a good article, and I plan to submit it for peer review soon. Before I do that, I'd be very grateful if everyone could copy-edit it (see Wikipedia:How to copy-edit) to improve grammar, punctuation, tone, etc. Also, please review it and list any opportunities for improvement here or on Talk:Great Salt Lake. --Lethargy 21:13, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

It is now up for peer-review. If you get the time, please add whatever feedback you can think of. Thank you. --Lethargy 22:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia version 0.5 lakes and seas

If you have any comments on what has been nominated at Wikipedia:Version 0.5 Set Nominations/Lakes and seas, or if you feel something else should be added, please add your comments there... or here... anywhere :). Also, please help us to improve those articles on this list that are in the greatest need of improvement, so they can be included without any problems. --Lethargy 18:35, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Good articles

Right now we have two articles that are GA standard (Great Salt Lake and Lake Kariba), and none that are featured. There are two featured lakes (Chew Valley Lake and Lake Burley Griffin), but we haven't worked on them with this project and they aren't tagged as part of this.

I figure we should start assessing articles that are the closes to becoming good articles, and work on them to the point they can be nominated. As you come across articles that are close to GA standard, add them to the to-do list above under the "To improve to GA standard" heading. As they pass GA standard, move them up the ladder to FA standard in the to-do list. After looking through some of our articles, I think Dead Sea and Lake Erie are our best bets, unfortunately both of these are unreferenced. Let's see if we can find enough sources to bring these up to GA standard.

OK, so that was a long-winded way of asking for help. :) --Lethargy 01:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Template (old talk moved from project page)

Lake dimensions

This has been the source of some confusion, and this discussion merits further discourse in the talk page. It seems generally accepted that the maximum length of a lake would be the greatest dimension at any angle; the width, therefore, would be the greatest dimension perpendicular to the angle used to calculate the maximum length. Any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this matter are welcome and should be directed to the talk page.
The depth parameter is currently arranged to show both maximum and average lake depths, but it has been brought to the attention of the project by a fellow editor that this appears clumsy. To remedy this, the infobox should include both average depth and maximum depth as distinct parameters. Updating this will require editors to update each lake page that includes these values in the infoboxes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Em3rald (talkcontribs)
(Note from November 18, 2006:) The sample of the infobox above has been updated since by adding "max-dep"). -- User:Docu

Cities vs. Settlements

The infobox was originally designed with those lakes that had cities on their shores in mind. However, it has come to our attention (both in practice and from editor observation) that there are in fact a great number of lakes that don't in fact have cities near their shores. In these cases, any settlement could be used, with preference given to those settlements that are most notable. This will, of course, be left to editor common-sense and the discussion pages for those individual lakes. It stands to reason that if we included every city, town, village, and hamlet around some lakes that this would be an incredibly (and uselessly) long list. On the other hand, some lakes only have one or two very small settlements on their shores - these should not be excluded because relative to that lake those settlements are indeed notable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Em3rald (talkcontribs)

Project directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 14:49, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

African Great Lakes

Just wondering if you all thought that this article would fall under your project's scope or not. Badbilltucker 22:38, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Definitely. I thought it had already been tagged as part of this project, but I guess not. --Lethargy 02:53, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 19:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)


Hello friends! To which form should Category:Islands in lakes be renamed? I propose "Islands of the lakes". - Darwinek 13:26, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't mind the "in"-form (Islands in lakes). -- User:Docu
It seems like this category will very quickly become so large as to be meaningless. Seems that some sort of sub-categorization schema will be necessary at some point if the category is to be of much use. olderwiser 22:44, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Chonji / Tianchi / etc.

A move request is currently underway at Talk:Cheonji lake, to which I would value contributions from members of this project. --Stemonitis 08:23, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Manger Lake?

Lake Matano is described as 'a natural manger lake' but I can't find out from Wikipedia or elsewhere what this means. Does anyone know? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bwmodular (talkcontribs) 11:47, 10 May 2007 (UTC).

There are lists of lake types at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Lakes#Lake_types and Lake#Types_of_lakes. -- User:Docu
Yes, but "manger" is not on either of those pages. And I'm sure it isn't a French for eating lake either. I'm just going to take the word out. --AW 16:08, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (New Zealand)#Lakes disambiguation

At the above talk page, I suggest an update of the naming convention for articles about lakes in New Zealand. They would be titled similarly to WP:LAKES#Multiple_lakes_with_the_same_name. -- User:Docu

Width field in infobox

Note: Section header added by User:Docu

The infobox contains a term "width", I dont know what that means! Length seems quite intuitive, but width isnt. Would some kind soul wikilink to a definition of a width as applied to a lake. Fasach Nua (talk) 17:18, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
It might be better to bring this up on the related talk page. -- User:Docu

Galleries and missing images updated

The gallery with the image in the infobox at WikiProject_Lakes/Galleries was updated. The update is with data from March 2008.

The articles without an image (in the infobox) can be browsed through Category:Wikipedia infobox lake articles without image. As the category is defined in the infobox, articles are added/removed automatically (see the category description for more information).

The Free Image Search Tool at can be used to search for articles in the lake's category of a given country/state/province, etc. -- User:Docu

Does this now include only lakes that have an article and those with articles with a lake infobox? I liked the old format because I could sort and search by country, state, etc. (I believe it also had a larger list.) Is it possible to have the old page still available as well? It has been very useful to me as I've been working on this project (and things that were on the old page seem to be missing, probably as the result of automation). -- 17:59, 24 May 2008 (UTC) Kfasimpaur (talk)
  • As the list with the missing images before [1], the category includes only articles where the infobox-field "lake_image=" is empty.
    Currently, nearly all lake articles have an infobox (4720).
  • In the gallery, there are 375 additional images in infoboxes in 4 months (Nov-March). (Of those 1900, initially 300 were missing, this is now fixed). The number of the articles with infoboxes increased from 3900 to 4500 in the same time.
  • The category is quite up to date (currently, 2611 articles of 4720), while the list (and the gallery) are generated from templatetiger (which lags several months, today its data is from March 2008).
  1. The category can be used with CatScan to generate current lists by subcategory of Category:Lakes by country, e.g. for Category:Lakes of California [2] or Category:Lakes of the United States [3].
    The CSV option can be used to view (and sort) the output in a spreadsheet program.
  2. The "Free Image Search Tool" can go through categories and search for images for articles without any image.
  • If it's helps, I can generate an additional list, but the 200 articles that have found images since March would be there though. -- User:Docu
The link to the old page will work for my purposes. I couldn't find it before for some reason. -- Kfasimpaur (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 15:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Galleries and missing images updated (October 2008 data)

The gallery with the image in the infobox at WikiProject_Lakes/Galleries was updated. The update is with data from October 2008.

The articles without an image (in the infobox) can be browsed through Category:Wikipedia infobox lake articles without image. As the category is defined in the infobox, articles are added/removed automatically (see the category description for more information).

The Free Image Search Tool at can be used to search for articles in the lake's category of a given country/state/province, etc. -- 15:29, 2009 January 18 -- User:Docu

Lake types

Where can we find a list of lake type categories? In addition to list of lakes per continent / country, we should have a list of Lake Type Categories, and lists of lakes by type. I checked around but didn't see anything. Revmachine21 10:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

A few types are listed in Category:Lakes. --Lethargy 15:35, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Fantastic idea. I've been so busy just going to random lakes and adding the infobox that I haven't spent much time researching categories or lists. I have, however, been using list of lakes quite a bit. It's sorted by continent/country/state. There is also a page dedicated to canadian lakes here: List of Canadian lakes. Em3rald 16:56, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Here are some lake types (categories) based on lake genesis, geography, and trophic status, etc.:

I just noticed this very robust list you've added! Nice work. Thanks, I will definitely use this info! Em3rald 01:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Lake phenomena

Hi all... Was thinking about a couple types of dangerous lake phenomena, one limnic eruption and another whose name I forgot. Basically the lake water sloshes around in the lake bowl in rythmic fashion causing dangerous high waves. I think the Great Lakes are prone to this type of sloshing event. Probably caused by wind. Does anybody else know of other dangerous lake phenomena.... well now here's another one that popped to mind, natural lake dam erosion & resulting flooding. In fact there was a gigantic inland lake in the center of the US, natural damn washed out thousands of years ago and created the western deserts in the US. Probably big time bad for the beasties that lived there at the time. Montana used to be the lake bottom. Is there a specific scientific term for this? Revmachine21 13:37, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about a lake in Montana, but Lake Bonneville and Lake Lahontan both formed the western deserts of the Great Basin. Lake Bonneville drained through Red Rock Pass in Idaho, perhaps that is the one you were thinking of? --Lethargy 18:51, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
  • This is a very interesting point, actually. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario both experience standing waves for one, and ..... I forget the name of this phenomenon, but extreme low or extreme high pressure systems on one end of lakes like this can cause the level on one end to rise by several meters (and the other to drop roughly equally). I believe both of these phenomenon are most common in lakes that are large in area, but fairly shallow. It may also have something to do with the bathymetry (lake bed geography). I'll see if I have some time tonight to further investigate these phenomena. Em3rald 00:15, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
* Remembered where I saw the wave phenomena, see Seiche. Revmachine21 03:41, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, if you want to consider some really wild phenomena, Check out Lake Tahoe. How about 100 foot high tital waves? Lake Central (talk) 05:24, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Natural lakes vs. reservoirs

Should we be covering man-made lakes (e.g Lake Powell, Lake Sakakawea) as well as natural lakes with this project? My personal opinion is that we should cover both, but only focus on significant reservoirs so we don't overextend ourselves. --Lethargy 20:19, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I think you hit the nail on the head. There are a LOT of lakes to deal with in the world, and I don't want to unnecessarily overcomplicate our job. On the other hand, where does one draw the line? Another point I have been wrestling with is what sort of "systematic" approach should we take with the Lakes project? So far, I have been sort-of grasping randomly at relatively notable lakes and adding them as I think of them. I don't want to alienate any part of the Earth, so I am hesitant to "pick an area" to focus on. Any thoughts on this matter? (I suppose once there are more contributors this problem will fade). Em3rald 01:58, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
    • I have been doing pretty much the same thing: tagging lakes that I read about and found interesting or that I noticed on a globe and thought "that looks big". As far as my thoughts on the matter: I have none, sorry. --Lethargy 02:30, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The Project very clearly has a problem as to what to regard as a “lake”. At the present time we have everything from an artificial fenced reservoir with armed guards, to a totally artificial, early-day water park in London, with piped in water from who knows where (no one knows even in 2008). This is all becoming more than a little preposterous!

What are we to experience next, a professionally perfect 20 page posting from the great Disney Corporation, on the technological marvels of Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando? Well, why not? The London water park is nothing but part of an early day Disney World and we have given this thing an FA rating! My friends, we must get a grip here and get in the game!

Rather than suggest arbitrary limits for a sound lake definition, I would propose that the idea of a separate “Reservoir Project” be immediately advanced and expanded to include all artificial (man-made) bodies of water of whatever size. Call it Reservoirs and Artificial Bodies of Water or, whatever! Lake Central (talk) 05:18, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Descendant WikiProject Reservoirs?

I would like to propose, apropos the above, that a separate, descendant WikiProject for reservoirs be created. I and another editor have recently gotten done adding and enhancing articles on all New York City reservoirs, and while he stuck the lake infobox in one, I don't think it quite fits. There's info you want for a reservoir that just doesn't apply to a lake (construction date, operating authority etc.) and some info for the lake (settlements) not likely to apply to a reservoir (See Chew Valley Lake, a featured article, for an ad hoc infobox for a reservoir). And likewise it applies to the articles as well.

Any thoughts? Daniel Case 04:55, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I have thought about this in the past, but I arrived at the conclusion that it is unnecessary to create a new WikiProject for this, we should be able to handle this with WP:LAKES, but we need more participants. A new infobox template for reservoirs would be very nice though, perhaps based on our current one but with a different color or something? Just my 2 cents. --Lethargy 01:22, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Now that I have thought more about this, creating a descendant project sounds like it is a good idea. WP:Lakes doesn't seem to be filling the niche that could be filled by a project devoted to man-made reservoirs and dams, perhaps "WikiProject Dams and reserviors" or just "WikiProject Reservoirs"? --Lethargy 20:49, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Nothing like the end of summer to settle your mind, I suppose.
I support devoting a descendant project to just reservoirs, for now. I know dams and reservoirs are listed together (at least in the U.S.), but that seems more an arbitrary decision of convenience to me. Dams and reservoirs present entirely different sets of issues for the encyclopedist writing about them. I eventually plan on having separate articles about the dams for the New York City reservoirs I've already written about, for instance, and there is already a very new dam infobox.
As geographical features that are always entirely constructed by humans, I consider dams to be more akin to bridges and tunnels than the waters they hold back (Also, not every dam (I live near one, actually) creates a reservoir behind it). Daniel Case 02:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
One thing that occurs to me, reading this, is the many natural lakes that have had their outlets dammed, making the lake larger usually, and the out flow controlled. Lately I've been discovering that there are a lot of these. They blur the line between lake and reservoir, especially when the pre-dam natural lake was about the same size as the post-dam reservoir. For example, Lake Chelan in Washington. ..just a comment on lakes and reservoirs not always been clearly distinct. Pfly 00:27, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
A yes vote on the descendant project for just reservoirs-reservoirs have a completely different set of facts to them, not the least of which is the environmental damage caused by draining a watershed, rerouting the water to create power generation or irrigation, then releasing it into the ocean or whereever.
Here in California, water is The Issue and the political hankypanky is unbelievable-Auburn Dam is one example, New Melones is another. Mother Nature has her lakes/ecosystems and Man has his "rework the plumbing" system which solve one problem, but create others.
Again a strong yes vote-this is a good idea, please see Hell Hole Reservoir for an example. Sincerely, Marcia Wright (talk) 17:01, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
In the U.S., The United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System is a reasonable way of determining which are "notable" ones a state by state basis. To the U.S.G.S., "notable" means big enough to appear on their maps. For instance, Alaska has over 2,000 "named" natural lakes; and about 67 named (artificial/man-made) reservoirs. Ohio has about 345 named natural lakes, and about 1,255 named (artificial/man-made) reservoirs. In either case, the artificial/man-made ones are usually closer to and "more significant" to people. Another significant factor is probably whether or not there is a dam associated with the artificial/man-made reservoir? i.e. the difference between someone digging a hole in the ground and calling it a lake or reservoir, and one formed by artificially constructing a dam across a natural valley to hold back the water supplied by a stream? Alaska has 167 dams, Ohio has 1,057 dams. So there are either dams without reservoirs or reservoirs without dams. Limiting "reservoirs" to those with associated dams should limit the lists? Massachusetts: 1552 Lakes, 1192 Dams, 1393 Reservoirs. New Hampshire: 874 Lakes, 594 Dams, 591 Reservoirs. LeheckaG (talk) 08:08, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
State Dams Lakes Reservoirs
Alaska 167 over 2,000 67
Massachusetts 1192 1552 1393
New Hampshire 594 874 591
Ohio 1057 345 1255

For Alaska, covering the 67 reservoirs or 167 dams is relatively "easy". Ohio's 345 natural lakes are similarly do-able, but the other numbers get a bit daunting without either assistance (participants) or automation. WikiProject National Register of Historic Places has a tool which someone created that stubs out their Infobox nrhp, i.e. it searches some commercial or government source(s) and fills in what it can find of their infobox. Besides USGS and federal EPA sources, in most states, the source for information about lakes would be that state's EPA or Department of Natural Resources. Another big aid would be to create an article stub/template which contributors could copy and "fill in the blanks", i.e. the infobox, section headings, and a bunch of < ! - - comments - - > telling contributors what to put in each section and where they might find that information, i.e. links to federal and state sources. An issue which will come up is disambiguation, i.e. before creating a lake (or reservoir) article, making sure that your article name is "unique" and properly disambiguated. Usually "official-GNIS-name-of-the-lake (smallest-appropriate-civil-subdivision)", where smallest-appropriate-civil-subdivision means the (town or village, city, borough or county, state, country, or continent) either fully containing the lake, while being disambiguous, or the drain/mouth and as much of the lake as possible. It would help if each person initially creating an article checks to make sure their name is disambiguous before starting, and creating or appending to a disambiguation page with the "common" part of the name with disambiguated names for each potential conflict.

For instance, USGS-GNIS has (4) "Brandywine Lake": in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. They should be:

  • Brandywine Lake (Michigan)
  • Brandywine Lake (Ohio)
  • Brandywine Lake (West Virginia)
  • Brandywine Lake (Wisconsin)

For an example disambiguation page, Brandywine Lake redirects to Brandywine. LeheckaG (talk) 09:10, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd favor creating stubs for lakes based on a public domain resource. A state with a limited number of lakes, is probably a good way to start.
Possibly I'm mistaken, but a "reservoir" at GNIS, wouldn't this also include any natural lake with dam? -- User:Docu

There was already an infobox...

The following discussion is an archived debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Have you guys seen {{Infobox Lake}}? As opposed to {{Infobox lake}}, which seems to have been created for this project? (Judging from {{Infobox Mountain}} etc it's more normal to use the capital letter.)

The Lake infobox has been used for some time and has been used quite a lot on European lakes, especially those in Norway (have a look at the List of lakes in Norway). The nice thing about Infobox Lake is that it matches the format used for lake infoboxes in other language Wikipedias. This has been especially useful for editors translating lake articles from other Wikipedias (I must have translated several hundred articles from Norwegian, and know that other contributors have been doing the same).

Now, the new template does have some neat new features.

  • Avg/Max-depth is a bit confusing - why is this not two distinct entries? It would read a lot better that way, and I think the information would be clearer to extract.
  • The help text for basin countries is also confusing - shouldn't it just say "countries which have drainage to the lake"?
  • "Max-length" and "Max-width" look a little ugly but they may measure useful data. (Personally I'd still like to see infobox captions written in plain English even if they take a little more space - again, I think that the mountain box is particularly good for that. And it's not obvious what they do measure - is it done using N-S for length and E-W for width? Or is the longest distance between two points on the shore used to find the "length" direction and the "width" measured perpendicular to that? There ought to be an article on measuring the length and width of lakes if this is a common thing to measure, and the infobox caption ought to link to it).
  • Shore length rings alarm bells because as any mathematician will tell you it's infinite, depending on how it is measured. While an official set of statistics might include shore length, that is useless information unless you know what metric is being used. If set of statistics I says "Lake A has shore length 500 km" and set II says "Lake B has shore length 600 km" it doesn't actually tell you whether Lake A really does have a lower shore length than B. If you used the set I method of measuring B, you might find it only comes to 450 km, for instance. So while it may feature in a set of raw statistics, I think you need to be very careful before including it. It is also included (as "Perimeter") in {{Infobox Lake}}, but perhaps it shouldn't be.
  • "Cities" is a nice idea, but should it not be "Settlements"? Cities has a very particular meaning in some parts of the world, it doesn't just mean "a particularly large settlement" (indeed, some large settlements are not cities but some absolutely tiny ones are). A small lake with two villages on its shore may as well have those villages noted. A huge lake with many settlements on its shores may as well only have the bigger ones (likely to be cities, but not necessarily) listed, but this can be left quite plausibly to the editor's common sense.
  • Islands is a nice thing to include.
  • One thing that is sorely lacking on the new infobox is a "Source" parameter. One of the best things about the established infobox is that information about the source statistics could be provided. If you are series about including perimeter/shore length, then this is essential, since that statistic depends entirely on the statistical set you are using.

I would strongly suggest merging these two infoboxes, trying to maintain the best features of each, and the correct location to do it would appear to be under the name "Infobox Lake" with a capital "L" (it's not "Infobox mountain", for instance). TheGrappler 04:45, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
The above text was reformatted by Docu on 29 October 2006

  • Hi Grappler. Thanks for the feedback on the infobox. I can see a couple of benefits with the other old infobox, so I will do what I can (when I have time) to update the new one so as to incorporate the best characteristics of both. As far as moving it to the big L lakes infobox ... this is a bit of a conundrum as it would break a HUGE number of links. I had actually searched for a good while before creating the small L lake infobox to try to prevent duplicate articles, but obviously missed the old infobox. The problem is, I based our naming scheme on OTHER infoboxes which used the small caps scheme. I was actually under the impression that using non-caps was the more correct way to go except for the case of proper names. But whatever the case, to simply move it or rename it could very well become a very difficult and complicated procedure. On the other hand, I think a more viable plan of action would be to 1. update the small l infobox to address your concerns, and 2. slowly phase-out the old one. I realize this will interrupt the the translation process, but the new Infobox has been used on the vast majority of the most notable lakes in the world, so I think it takes precedence. 3. We can clarify the infobox talk page and the project page to more precisely define what each variable is intended to be.
    You also commented on sources which I take from your comment you are referring to references much like some other infoboxes. I have considered this, but haven't had time to add this functionality, but your concern definitely moves it up on the list of priorities. As far as avg/max is concerned, the value represents one variable with two possible values, therefore it was included in the same field; however I think each might have their own variable but still be shown in the same physical space on the infobox. Or not. We'll see how it looks. Settlements is a great idea, will be fixed. Shore Length I believe is a standard measure with lakes as a rough guide to indicate the overall shape of the shoreline. For example, a lake with a large number of bays, projections or islands would have a substantially longer shorline than a perfectly round lake of comparable size. Again, these concerns will be addressed in the infobox help page. Thanks very much for your comments ... keep up the critique! Em3rald 15:17, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Moving and merging is okay, template redirects work! :-)TheGrappler 23:08, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Other than that: I am increasingly of the opinion that combining two things in one field of an infobox is a bad idea. Both the average and maximum depth of a lake are interesting (a disadvantage of the old one); what if somebody simply enters one number into that field though? We do not know which they are referring to! (And it may not be obvious - depending on the physical layout of the infobox - even if they are specified as individual variable, one left blank, and shown in one space) Far better to have maximum depth and average depth as distinct fields. I honestly can not see how anything would be lost by that; and the field name in the infobox would look a lot "cleaner". A source data field would be good: for instance, the NVE provided the data used for Norwegian lakes.
  • Shore length is more problematic than it sounds. Imagine you are measuring it by using a giant, deity-sized measuring stick (one kilometer, let us say) and just seeing how many times you can place it round the perimeter of the lake before you come back in on yourself. That would be a rough and ready measurement of shore length. Now, you might think that you want a more accurate measurement, so come back with a more human scale meter rule, and take that round the shore. Because it is smaller, you will actually be able to "hug the shoreline" better, so in fact your answer will come out to be longer. Suppose you wanted to be more accurate still, you could try it with a teeny 1cm mesasuring stick, and find that you get an even bigger answer. Now, this would not be a problem if the bigger, "more accurate" answers found using ever smaller measuring sticks actually converged to a maximum length, which is the "100% accurate" figure. But the problem is that shorelines are basically fractal in nature, if you look closely enough at them. So rather than converge to a maximum, accurate answer, the figures actually get bigger and bigger and head off to infinity. This is a real pain, since it is hard not to argue that at any given stage, a smaller measuring stick would be more accurate, yet ultimately the answers for both intuitively big and small perimetered lakes would be the same - infinite! So instead of always aiming for accuracy, it effectively it becomes a question of picking a "sensibly sized" measuring stick, picked purely so that it produces "reasonable" answers, which can be usefully compared. Of course, not everybody picks the same sized measuring stick, or the same way of using it to measure. As a result, shore length statistics can vary massively depending on the source you are using for your figures. From the discussion page for List of countries by length of coastline:
There seem to be other mistakes/different figures too: France is given as 5500km of coast here but is 7329 in this list; Jordan is given as 19 rather than 26.6 ; UAE a coast of 650km rather than 2,870; Kenya 536km rather than 1586km, Canada given as 243,792km rather than 265,523 -- Astrokey44|talk 09:30, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
You're going to find more and more discrepancies of this sort the more you look. Official figures for Norway's coastline vary from 13,000km to 550,000km. Basically you can produce any figure you want above a certain minimum limit (for Norway this would be about 2000km) by choosing the right scale at which to measure. The whole thing is just pointless. See Benoit Mandelbrot's discussion of the problem. Lars Marius Garshol, 4 April, 2006
Now, it may be sensible to include data if you have it from a coherent database (like the NVE's database for Norwegian hydrology) because at least it is mutually comparable. But it is highly imperfect as an absolute measurement. There really should be an article about this somewhere, then the "coast length" field can be linked to it as a warning! :-) TheGrappler 23:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I understand precisely what you are saying. It is indeed a conundrum. But from my perspective, it is still a very interesting factoid, one worthy of attempting some kind of consesus; perhaps an article about ""coast length" would be our solution. If I have time tonight (nightshift again), I'll bend my mind to it. Of course, as with anything, any factoid of this nature must be reasonable ... for example, it's common sense not to use centimeters to measure a shorline. On the scale of a lake, one would expect that meters is a reasonable minimum scale, while kilometers is a reasonable maximum. {sigh} ... alas, 'tis a circular argument ... reason is subjective .... Em3rald 00:23, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Is it common sense or just practicality? I am sure people would try to measure the height of a skyscraper in tenths of a millimeter if they could do so, purely for the accuracy. The reasonableness aspect is difficult yet the factoid obviously has some value, especially if it comes from a coherent data set with identitical (and hopefully identifiable!) methodology. But a caveat of some sort would be good :-) TheGrappler 00:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I am of mind that practicality begets common sense. With regards to your skyscraper scenario, it's acknowledged that an object of such magnitude will vary depending on a variety of factors (temperature, wind flexion, etc), so millimeters would be an impractical scale - haha, common sense ;). On the other hand, when manufacturing the modules for such a building, each beam and bolt occasionally has to conform to a set length within sub-millimeter scale at a set temperature. But I think you are right on the money with regards to a coherent data set and/or difinitive source references complete with disclaimers. Em3rald 02:40, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

There are 106 lakes using the Template:Infobox lake, and 515 lakes using Template:Infobox Lake. Both templates are listed in Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Usability/Infobox_accessibility; at first glance I don't see any accessibility problems with either; there may be cases where the infoboxes are not used appropriately to avoid problems though.

Equivalent fields

Template:Infobox Lake => Template:infobox lake Change to do
Name lake_name Use lake_name
Photo image_lake Use image_lake
Caption caption_lake Use caption_lake
Coordinates coords Use coords
Location n/a Location added
Depth max-depth, not depth Change to max-depth
Volume volume no change
Type type no change
Elevation elevation no change
Perimeter shore use shore
Source n/a added as "Reference"

This table provides a list of changes to do in order to adapt the fields of Template:Infobox Lake to those of Template:Infobox lake. Please update/complete/correct them. -- User:Docu

Em3rald is taking a wikibreak, and I don't know anything about templates, so someone else will need to take a stab at fixing it. --Lethargy 20:38, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
From "Infobox Lake", I added Location and Source (as "Reference") to Infobox lake. I updated the table above to reflect this and to reuse more of "infobox lake" current field names (avoids having to update them as well): lake_name, coord. -- User:Docu
All lake articles have been updated to use Template:Infobox lake. -- User:Docu
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The lake article

Starting a WikiProject Lakes was actually on my medium term to-do list; I applaud those who got it in ahead of me! Perhaps a key priority for this project should be sorting out the Lake article itself, which is rubbish and somehow seemed to get worse (if memory serves) as the result of an improvement drive which just ended up scattering more random factoids onto it. An article that talked about the hydrology, geology, ecology and human geography of lakes, and talked about some of the most prominent examples of various types, would easily be able to reach featured status. TheGrappler 23:38, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad you approve ;) ... I will see if I can have a boo at the Lake article (which I don't think I have ever actually read, strangely enough) ... I'll be bold :D. Not that my editing techniques are necessarily going to improve anything. ;) Em3rald 00:25, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I've thoroughly overhauled the Lake article. Please take a spin by the article and review the changes :D Em3rald 09:51, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
This is Em3rald ... not logged it (too lazy) ... link to definition of a lake: USGS lake definition
We should make sure we linkify the first instance of the word lake in most lake-related articles, so more people will actually read this page. --Lethargy 02:11, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The salt lake article could also use some work: currently it is essentially a stub. --Lethargy 02:11, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Just wanted to pop in and let you guys know, the Lake article is a mess again and needs a lot of love. shaggy (talk) 22:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

You have tagged the city of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for this WikiProject. I doubt you want the city, but that you instead want the lake, which is Geneva Lake. Cheers! Royalbroil Talk  Contrib 04:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved from #Sources: "World Lake Database - hosted by the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC)".

On some talk pages, problems with the data appeared: Talk:Lake Lucerne, Talk:Lake Athabasca, Talk:Smallwood Reservoir, Talk:Lake Saint Clair (North America). It's possible that these are isolated cases, but, as for most references, double-checking the data is necessary. -- User:Docu

Lakes v Reservoirs

Hi, I've just noticed this project box being added by a bot the talk pages of some of the articles I watch Blagdon Lake, Bristol Reservoirs and Cheddar Reservoir. None of these are lakes, all being built as reservoirs (largely for the city of Bristol). Does this project cover man made bodies of water, if so should it also include Chew Valley Lake, Barrow Gurney Reservoirs, Litton Reservoirs and Chew Magna Reservoir (which I did most of the editing on)?— Rod talk 16:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

OK in the time it took me to type that message the bot added the same box to the other reservoirs I mentioned - I'm happy to collaborate on improving any of them - are there clear guidelines for what should be in an article about a reservoir?— Rod talk 16:33, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Just treat them as lakes. So use the lake infobox etc. see Caniapiscau Reservoir for a nice example. feydey 01:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I don't think using the lake infobox would give any more info than the ones I did for Chew Valley Lake & Blagdon Lake & surely we should eb including stuff on the dams, who built them etc. I was actually asking about guidance on what else should do in the articles rather than the infobox.— Rod talk 07:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
An advantage of using Template:Infobox Lake over the ones you made for the two articles, is that it's standardized, rather than an infobox made for just one article.
In addition to Template:Infobox Lake, you may want to make use of Template:Infobox dam. -- User:Docu
see also: Template_talk:Infobox_lake#Dam_Information -- User:Docu

Cultural sensitivity

Can project members please note that the term "lake" can be considered border-line offensive, or worse, to Scots in regards to lochs. This may sound stupid to outsiders, but it is a serious enough issue in Scotland itself, and there are historical reasons for it. --MacRusgail 20:41, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Yah, we are aware of it. - Darwinek 13:26, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I hope then that you'll employ the awareness! Many thanks. --MacRusgail 20:28, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you note the unsigned comment on Carlingford Lough - which has been flagged as part of this project but is a marine inlet? Best Wishes Saga City 16:36, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

(Revisit) - can users "employ their awareness" and actually use the word "loch"/"lough" in templates etc? That would be really nice. --MacRusgail 14:08, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I still notice that nothing has been done on this score. I will be taking this to the WP Scotland board. Although there is one proper "lake" in Scotland, no one seems to be taking any notice of the fact that this is insulting to Scots.--MacRusgail (talk) 18:40, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Is anything being done about this at all?! --MacRusgail (talk) 17:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I removed the offensive template from Carlingford Lough (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). Feel free to do the same thing for any other lochs/loughs. --Elkman (Elkspeak) 17:53, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I was familiar with water-bodies in Scotland being called "loch" from Scottish Gaelic, I was not aware that "loch" included "sea lochs", or that smaller such bodies of water are called "lough" borrowed from Irish Gaelic.
  • Etymology of "lake": "body of water," c.1205, from O.Fr. lack, from L. lacus "pond, lake," also "basin, tank," related to lacuna "hole, pit," from PIE *lak- (cf. Gk. lakkos "pit, tank, pond," O.C.S. loky "pool, puddle, cistern," O.Ir. loch "lake, pond"). The common notion is "basin." There was a Gmc. form of the word, which yielded cognate O.N. lögr "sea flood, water," O.E. lacu "stream," lagu "sea flood, water," leccan "to moisten" (see leak).

From: Etymology OnLine - Lake

so "lake" seems to trace its origins back to Middle English, Old English, Old French, and Greek (lakkos)
whereas "loch" traces it roots from Scottish Gaelic back to Old Irish, Old Norse (lögr)
I do not question that there is a cultural issue. Could you please elaborate on the history/origin/specific so that others like me who as unaware of the specifics are enlightened with what the specific issues are so that we do not step on others' toes? LeheckaG (talk) 18:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
For Irish/Scottish lochs and loughs, There are least needs to be categories distinguishing fresh water (what international geographers view as lakes/reservoirs) from salt water (seas/inlets/arms/fiords...). "WP lakes" is only concerned with fresh/impounded bodies of water and generally not "tidal" bodies of water with a few exceptions (large "lake" estuaries where the majority of water is fresh water and there may sometimes be salt water infiltration). If the name "Lake" is a huge cultural issue, a loch/lough project and template to solely deal with non-sea lochs/loughs could be created. LeheckaG (talk) 18:29, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the history of the article which was cited, the WP project template was added by the "D6 bot". I posted a discussion comment on the D6 bot's talk page so that it's owner is aware of the issue. The addition was done in response to a request to add the WP banner to those in "List of Lakes in England", "List of Lakes in Wales", ... LeheckaG (talk) 18:42, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

{{Infobox lake}} shouldn't be on Carlingford Lough, as it's a sea lough. This lead to banner being added to Talk:Carlingford Lough. We agreed that {{lake project}} should only be used on freshwater lochs, but not sea lochs (see Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Lakes/Articles/all#Scotland). -- User:Docu

Infobox v Geobox

I've looked at using the Template:Infobox lake for some of my local reservoirs but am now looking at Geoboxes (see Category:Geobox) as providing more functionality and flexibility (while being compatible with everything else). There is already a Template:Geobox River and the creator is taking requests - has anyone else tried this for lakes/reserviours?— Rod talk 20:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

We just finished merging two different infoboxes for lakes .. -- User:Docu

Missing topics

I have a list of missing topics that includes a section about lakes. I've tried to include only topics that have no equivalent Wikipedia article but I'd appreciate if somebody could have a look at that list, - Skysmith 11:07, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Transboundary lakes

The Category:International Lakes that was mentioned earlier on the project page, appears no longer to exist. I think it may be best that any lake should be placed as one of its categories, in a 'Lakes of country'. As quite a few lakes are on a border, these cannot be placed. Hence a kind of 'international' category should remain. I would suggest to follow the example of the UNESCO, also by Wikipedia adopted e.g. for its List of World Heritage Sites in Europe in classifying sites, thus such lakes would be placed in 'Category:Transboundary lakes' (no capital L for 'lakes', it's not a name and should not suggest that lakes know by a name like "See" or "Sea" could not belong in the category). — SomeHuman 2 Apr2007 00:04 (UTC)

It's now at Category:International lakes. -- User:Docu

Specific articles

Great Lakes Storm of 1913 FAR

Great Lakes Storm of 1913 has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:53, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

List of Lakes in the United States

The lakes listing for the US is becoming too unwieldy and it takes up almost half the List of lakes article.

I'd like to propose a new List of lakes in the USA (or whatever the naming convention is for major US features). Pull all the US lakes into there, leaving only a few really major lakes and the link, then create list of lakes for every state and populate those.

There's already articles like List of lakes in Alabama, but that's restricted to game fish, so there's some renaming and more sorting to be done at that level. Malathos 20:22, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. Standard name would probably be List of lakes in the United States. It could include "major features" by various criteria (volume, depth, area, lake type etc). -- User:Docu
OK, I've done the basic move and fixed a few links that need to point to the new list. I've tagged it with WP:Lakes and I'll work on tidying it up and sorting the sub lists over the coming months. Malathos 07:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

What counts as a Lake?

In the case of Lake Merritt, it's a tidal lagoon and not a true lake. Should this be included in your project? Calibas 04:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I generally don't add the infobox to lagoons (although I probably have, especially to those that are named "Lake"). As Lake Merritt appears to be damned, I'd add it anyways. -- User:Docu

Notability for lakes

I have noticed someone wants to delete lakes when they are "too small", as an example Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Nodlandsvatnet#Nodlandsvatnet. Does the participants at this project have any notability-guidelines, or are you agreeing with me lakes are inherently notable? Greswik (talk) 16:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I think no lake should be "erased" from wikipedia. Sure, it is a big task to get something about them all. But we're doing it, little by little. Andercee (talk) 04:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

The Project very clearly has a problem as to what to regard as a “lake”. At the present time we have everything from an artificial fenced reservoir with armed guards, to a totally artificial, early-day water park in London, with piped in water from who knows where (no one knows even in 2008). This is all becoming more than a little preposterous!

What are we to experience next, a professionally perfect 20 page posting from the great Disney Corporation, on the technological marvels of Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando? Well, why not? The London water park is nothing but part of an early day Disney World and we have given this thing an FA rating! My friends, we must get a grip here and get in the game!

Rather than suggest arbitrary limits for a sound lake definition, I would propose that the idea of a separate “Reservoir Project” be immediately advanced and expanded to include all artificial (man-made) bodies of water of whatever size. Call it Reservoirs and Artificial Bodies of Water or, whatever! Lake Central (talk) 05:20, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Your comments sought on some suggestions for Lake Retention Time list

There's a long, but kinda random list of lake retention time figures at Lake retention time. I've made some suggestions for improvements at Talk:Lake retention time in the hope that we can turn this into a useful list. Thoughts of the lake-editing community are welcome. Rupert Clayton (talk) 17:54, 11 December 2007 (UTC)