Lakes are usually formed in rift zones, melting glaciated areas, mountainous areas or in basins where rivers flow. On a geologic time scale, all lakes are transient. Over time, spilling the water can cause lakes to run out or they can be deposited with sediments. Although active processes can slow down a lake from drying up like lakes with tectonic origin. Some factors that cause lakes to form are landslides, sinkholes, ice dams, volcanic eruptions, and glacial movements.
UNESCO World Heritage site, Lake Baikal in Russia at 5,387 feet is the world’s deepest and also the oldest lake in the world at X million million years old. It is 25 feet deeper than the Caspian Sea, the third deepest lake in the world. Endemism occurs in the lake with half of the 2,000 native fish species and a freshwater seal. Baikal contains 60% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, which amounts to about 20 cubic kilometers of crystal clear fresh water, which is more than what the Great Lakes of North America contain in total volume.
Tanganyika Lake at 4,823 feet is the second deepest lake in the world. It is also the longest lake in the world, with its range in four countries, including Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Zambia. It contains about 18% of the world’s fresh water, which is equivalent to nearly 4,500 cubic kilometers of water. Tanganyika has six major islands and other smaller islands on its border. The water has a pH of 8.4 which contains a number of 250 cichlid species, 98% of which are endemic. The cichlids also exhibit adaptive and evolutionary radiation. Tanganyika has its own freshwater species-sardines, jellyfish and sponges.
The Caspian Sea at 3,363 feet is the third deepest lake in the world and is bordered by Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Azerbaijan. It contains about 18,800 cubic kilometers of water with 1.2% salinity, although it has no connection to the ocean. It receives 80% of its water from the Volga. Caviar-producing Beluga sturgeon are found in the lake with tuna having been the core of the fishing industry in the area. It has its own salmon and seal population. The areas around the lake and the lake itself have oil reserves some of which have been drained.
Vostok Lake in Antarctica is the fourth deepest lake in the world at 3,300 feet. It is named after the Russian Vostok Station which is close to it. It contains about 1,300 cubic miles of fresh water, 1,600 feet below the ice surface. The water has a high concentration of oxygen and nitrogen that is under constant high pressure in total darkness. Microbial organisms have been detected in ice core drilling, while extremophilic microbes found on frozen lakes of lakes also indicate a further presence of life. The lake is protected by environmental groups who question the ice drilling methods that can contaminate lake water under the ice.
O’higgins-San Martin Lake
O’higgins – San Martin Lake at 2,742 feet is the fifth deepest lake in the world and its territory in Patagonia is shared by Chile and Argentina. The name comes from two liberators of the independence movement from Chile. The lake is known as Lago O’higgins in Chile and Lago San Martin in Argentina. The shape forms finger-like extensions that end in flooded valleys in both countries. The Mayer river supplies most of its water while the Pascua river discharges its water into the Pacific Ocean.
Lake Malawi, formerly called Lake Nyasa, at 2,316 feet is the sixth deepest lake in the world, straddling the borders of Mozambique and Malawi. It has about 2,000 cubic kilometers of fresh water and is a meromictic lake whose water levels do not mix. Malawi is close to 1,000 cichlid fish species which, in addition to non-cichlids, are still species. The Ruhuhu River provides most of the water while the Shire River drains its water to the Zambezi River.
Limnology of Lakes
Lakes have three zones. These include the coastal region near land, the photic zone in the open water area where sunlight penetrates, and the benthic zone housing warm water lake habitats. A lake affects the temperature of the surrounding areas, such as lowering the air temperature during the day and at night the air temperature can go up. Although lakes provide livelihoods and food for local residents, there are some dangers when landslides and earthquakes cause the mixing of the benthic water to release carbon dioxide to the surface air. The released carbon dioxide can potentially flow into human-inhabited areas and cause mass asphyxiation.
1 Baikal Russia 5387
2 Tanganyika Tanzania, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, Burundi, Zambia 4823
3 Caspian Sea Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan 3363
4 Vostok Antarctica 3300
5 Bunyonyi Uganda 2953
6 O’higgins-San Martin Chile, Argentina 2742
7 Malawi Mozambique, Malawi 2316
8 Issyk Kul Kyrgyzstan 2192
9 amazing slave Canada 2015
10 Clearwater Lake Canada 1968
11 Crater United States 1949
12 Matano Indonesia 1936
13 General Carrera-Buenos Aires Chile, Argentina 1923
14 Hornindalsvatnet Norway 1686
15 Quesnel Canada 1660
16 Toba Indonesia 1657
17 Sarez Tajikistan 1657
18 Tahoe United States 1645
19 Argentine Argentina 1640
20 Kivu Democratic Republic Of The Congo, Rwanda 1575
21 Great Canada 1558
22 Mjosa Norway 1535
23 Salsvatnet Norway 1523
24 Nahuel Huapi Argentina 15-23
25 Hauroko New Zealand 15-16
26 Cochrane / Pueyrredon Chile, Argentina 1509
27 Lake Tinn Norway 1509
28 Adams Canada 1499
29 Chelan United States 1486
30 Van Turkey 1480