Water And Oceanography

Deepest Lakes in the World



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Three-Quarters of our Earth's surface is covered in water. Although most of it is ocean water, the water in lakes cannot be ignored. Lakes often create magnificent scenery against their backgrounds. On sunny days, they often act as mirrors reflecting the sky and their surroundings. Large lakes attract many tourists because of their picture-perfect characteristics. Although the following might not necessarily be the largest lakes in the world, they probably rank pretty high. Instead of the largest, the following five lakes are the deepest in the world.

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is located in sourthern Siberia, which is in Russia. It is the deepest lake in the world, with a depth of 5,369 feet. Known as the "Blue Eye of Siberia," this lake contains more water than all of the Great Lakes combined and holds 20% of the world's surface freshwater. It was formed by an ancient rift valley over 25,000 years ago, which gives the lake its long, crescent shape and makes it one of the oldest lakes in the world.

Lake Tanganyika

This lake, located in Central Africa was also formed by an ancient rift valley, though it is not as old as Lake Baikal. It is the second deepest lake at 4,708 feet and is also contains one of the richest ecosystems of freshwater lakes. It was discovered in 1858 when British explorers Richard Burton and John Speake were trying to find the source of the Nile.

Caspian Sea

At 3,104 feet, this is the largest lake with no outflow of water. The only way this lake, situated between Iran and Russia, loses water is through evaporation. It is part of the remains of the ancient Tethys Ocean, which was also comprised of the Black and Mediterranean Seas. About 5.5 million years ago, continental drifts landlocked the Caspian Sea. Although it is about 1.2% salinity, the northern part of the lake has more freshwater because of inflows from rivers.

Lake Vostak

This lake, which is 2,950 feet, occurs under the surface of the central Antarctic ice sheet. Although it is under a sheet of ice, the lake itself is liquid because of the thermal insulation that the ice sheet provides. Lake Vostak was recently discovered in 1995 with the use of radar technology, so not much is known about it yet. However, there is a ridge in the middle that divides the lake into two separate basins, both of which are very deep.

O'Higgins/San Martin Lake

This lake is the fifth deepest at 2,742 feet. It is on the border of Chile and Argentina, which is why it has two different names. In Chile, it is known as O'Higgins, and in Argentina it is called San Martin. The names are derived from Bernardo O'Higgins of Chile and Jose de San Martin of Argentina, the two men fought together for Chile's liberation.

Other deep lakes include:

-Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) in Africa, at 2,316 feet
-Issyk Kul Lake in Central Asia, at 2,297 feet
-Great Slave Lake in the Northwest territories of Canada, at 2,015 feet
-Crater Lake in Oregon, USA, at 1,943 feet
-Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada, USA, at 1,685 feet

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