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List of lakes by volume

This article lists lakes with a water volume of more than 100 km³, ranked by volume. The volume of a lake is a difficult quantity to measure. Generally, the volume must be inferred from bathymetric data by integration. Lake volumes can also change dramatically over time and during the year, especially for salt lakes in arid climates. For these reasons, and because of changing research, information on lake volumes can vary considerably from source to source. The base data for this article is from The Water Encyclopedia (1990).[1] Where volume data from more recent surveys or other authoritative sources has been used, it is referenced in each entry.

The list

The largest lakes by volume vary little by season. This list does not include reservoirs; if it did, six reservoirs would appear on the lists: Lake Kariba at 26th, Bratsk Reservoir, Lake Volta, Lake Nasser, Manicouagan Reservoir and Lake Guri.


Continent color key
Africa Asia Europe North America Oceania South America Antarctica
Oceanic lakes

Two bodies of water commonly considered lakes are hydrologically ocean (Maracaibo) or geologically ocean (the Caspian Sea).

Name Country Region Surface area Water volume
1. Caspian Sea[2] 23x15px Azerbaijan, 23x15px Russia, Template:Country data Kazakhstan, 23x15px Turkmenistan, Template:Country data Iran Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
22. Maracaibo[3] 23x15px Venezuela Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
Continental lakes

The following are geological as well as geographic lakes.

Name Country Region Surface area Water volume
2. Baikal[4] 23x15px Russia Siberia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
3. Tanganyika 23x15px Tanzania, 23x15px DR Congo, 23x15px Burundi, 23x15px Zambia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
4. Superior 23x15px United States, 23x15px Canada Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, Wisconsin Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
5. Malawi 23x15px Malawi, 23x15px Mozambique, 23x15px Tanzania Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
6. Vostok 23x15px Antarctica Script error: No such module "convert". 5,400±1,600 km³ (~1,300 cu mi)
7.[n 1] Michigan 23x15px United States Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana. Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
8.[n 1] Huron 23x15px United States, 23x15px Canada Michigan, Ontario Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
9. Victoria 23x15px Tanzania, 23x15px Uganda, Template:Country data Kenya Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
10. Great Bear Lake[10] 23x15px Canada Northwest Territories Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
11. Issyk-Kul Template:Country data Kyrgyzstan Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
12. Ontario 23x15px Canada, 23x15px United States New York, Ontario Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
13. Great Slave Lake[10] 23x15px Canada Northwest Territories Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
14. Ladoga 23x15px Russia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
15. Titicaca 23x15px Bolivia, 23x15px Peru Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
16. Van[11] 23x15px Turkey Southeast Anatolia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
17. Kivu 23x15px Rwanda, 23x15px DR Congo Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
18. Erie 23x15px United States, 23x15px Canada Michigan, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, New York Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
19. Khövsgöl 23x15px Mongolia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
20. Onega 23x15px Russia Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
21. Winnipeg 23x15px Canada Manitoba Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
23. Nipigon[12] 23x15px Canada Ontario Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
24. Toba[13] Template:Country data Indonesia (Sumatra) Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
25. Argentino 23x15px Argentina Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
26. Turkana Template:Country data Kenya Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
27. Vänern 23x15px Sweden Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
28. Tahoe 23x15px United States California, Nevada Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
29. Dead Sea Template:Country data Jordan, Template:Country data Israel Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
30. Albert 23x15px Uganda, 23x15px DR Congo Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
31. Iliamna 23x15px United States Alaska Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
32. Nettilling 23x15px Canada Nunavut (Baffin Island) Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
33. Balkhash Template:Country data Kazakhstan Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
34. Athabasca 23x15px Canada Alberta, Saskatchewan Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
35. Nicaragua 23x15px Nicaragua Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".

In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world's twelfth largest known lake by volume, at Script error: No such module "convert".. However, by 2007 it had shrunk to 10% its original volume, divided into three lakes, none large enough to appear on this list.[14]

By continent

Notes and references

Notes
  1. ^ a b Although Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are usually considered distinct, they are sometimes regarded as a single lake known as Lake Michigan–Huron. When treated as a single entity, it is the fourth largest freshwater lake by volume, at Script error: No such module "convert"..[5][6][7][8][9]
References
  1. ^ van der Leeden; Troise; Todd (1990), The Water Encyclopedia (2nd ed.), Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, p. 198–200 
  2. ^ The Caspian Sea is generally regarded by geographers, biologists and limnologists as a huge inland salt lake. It is endorheic (having no outlet), and can be compared to other large (but still much smaller) endorheic salt lakes, such as the Aral Sea, Great Salt Lake and Lake Van. However, the Caspian's large size means that for some purposes it is better modeled as a sea. Geologically, the Caspian, Black, and Mediterranean seas are remnants of the ancient Tethys Ocean. Politically, the distinction between a sea and a lake may affect how the Caspian is treated by international law.
  3. ^ Lake Maracaibo is generally regarded as a lake, but is seen by geologists as an inlet of the Caribbean Sea. It lies approximately at sea level, is somewhat salty and is connected to the Caribbean via a channel at its northern end.
  4. ^ Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest freshwater lake by volume.
  5. ^ Which Lake is the World's Largest?
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ "Great Lakes Map". Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Largest Lake in the World". geology.com. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Hebert, Paul (2007), "Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories", Encyclopedia of Earth, Washington, DC: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment, retrieved 2007-12-07 
  11. ^ Degens, E.T.; Wong, H.K.; Kempe, S.; Kurtman, F. (June 1984), "A geological study of Lake Van, eastern Turkey", International Journal of Earth Sciences (Springer) 73 (2): 701–734, doi:10.1007/BF01824978 
  12. ^ "Lake Nipigon". World Lake Database. International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC). Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Although some parts of Indonesia are often regarded as belonging to Oceania, Sumatra and Lake Toba are generally placed in Asia.
  14. ^ Philip Micklin; Nikolay V. Aladin (March 2008). "Reclaiming the Aral Sea". Scientific American. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 

See also