Reading Time: 4 minutesHere is a list of the major lakes of the world, which includes important features and attributes of these lakes viz. its span/size, nature of water (fresh/brackish), countries connected, important bridges over them, depth, economic and commercial importance etc.
Major Lakes of the World
Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan-Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran
First among major lakes of the world is the Caspian Sea. It is the world’s largest enclosed inland water body, with a total surface area of 371,000 sq. km, holding 78,200 cubic km of water by volume. The deepest part of the lake is 1,025 km and the lake has a length of 1,199 km at its longest span, with an average depth of 211 m. The Caspian Sea is popular for its richness in energy wealth, with the discovery of oil fields and large natural gas supplies in the area.
Lake Superior, U.S. – Canada
It is the largest freshwater lake with a surface area of 82,170 sq. km. The lake is about 563 km long, 257 km wide, and approximately 400 m deep. It is the home for about 58 orchid species. It is most important among major lakes of the world.
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Lake Victoria, Tanzania-Uganda
As the tropical lake in the world and the second largest freshwater lake, the Lake Victoria holds the record of being Africa’s largest one. With a surface area of 68,800 sq. km, this is undeniably large but relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of 84 m and an average depth of 20 m. , which puts it at third rank among the major lakes of the world.
Lake Huron, U.S.-Canada
It is the world’s fourth largest lake with a surface area of 59,596 sq. km. The lake is 331 km long and 295 km wide. The deepest part of the lake is 229 m and its average depth is 5.9 m. Several economic activities are done in this lake such as lumbering and fishing. There’s also the commercial traffic in iron ore, grain, and limestone which are exported to other locations around Ontario and Michigan.
Lake Michigan, U.S.
It is the world’s fifth largest lake covering a total surface area of 58,000 sq. km. It is 494 km long and 190 km wide and has more than 2,575 km of shoreline. With an average depth of 85 m, the lake can even reach down to 282 m at its deepest point. Lake Michigan was created by glacial movements, and is connected to the ocean by means of man-made waterways and canals such as the Saint Lawrence and Great Lake channels.
Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania-Congo
It is the world’s sixth largest lake covering a surface area of 32,893 sq. km and an average depth of 570 m, with the deepest being 1470 m below surface level. It was formed due to tectonic movements, and has a distance of 677 km at its longest, and a width of around of 50 km at its widest. 350 species of fish can be found here.
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Lake Baikal, Russia
It is the world’s largest ice-free fresh water lake and contains around 20% of world’s total fresh water. It is the world’s seventh largest lake that covers a surface area of 31,500 sq. km. The average depth of the lake is 744.4 m, with its deepest point being 1642 m. It is also known as “Galapagos of Russia” for its isolation and age made it possess the most unusual freshwater faunas.
Great Bear Lake, Canada
It is 320 km long, up to 175 km wide and 413 m deep. It is the eighth largest lake in the world covering a surface area of 31,080 sq. km. The lake has 26 islands within it that covers a combined area of 759.3 sq. km. One major discovery found in the lake is the ore containing radium and uranium called pitchblende.
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Lake Malawi, Malawi-Mozambique-Tanzania
It has a total surface area of 30,044 sq. km, the length of 579 km, and depth of 706 m. The primary inflow for Lake Malawi is the Ruhuhu River and the primary outflow is the Shire River at its southern end. It is famous for being the lake that hosts the highest number of species of fish in the world, including almost 1,000 cichlid species.
Great Slave Lake, Canada
It is 480 km long, ranges 19 to 109 km wide and 614 m deep. It has a surface area of 27,200 sq. km. The Hay River is its primary inflow while the main outflow is the Mackenzie River. The area is important for gold mining. The lake has commercial fisheries.