Water And Oceanography

Deepest Lakes on Earth



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If asked what the world's deepest lake is, most people will probably reward you with a somewhat blank and vacant stare. Even among experts in the field, the list of the world's deepest lakes is a list that is always somewhat in dispute. The lakes on that list depend on who you ask - many of the world's deepest lakes are in remote areas and the deeper the lake, the more difficult it can be to get an accurate measurement of the actual depth. Lists provided by different "experts" will not always have the same lakes, so even though it is not necessarily the same list that you might get from a different source, I will give it a shot. Per Wikipedia, the deepest lakes on the face of the planet Earth are:

1) LAKE BAIKAL in Siberia. At 5369 feet, its depth appears to be at least 500 feet deeper than it is nearest competitor for the title of world's deepest lake. This long, crescent-shaped lake is also known as "The Blue Eye of Siberia" and is said to be the oldest lake in the world. It contains more water than all of North America's Great Lakes combined.

2) LAKE TANGNYIKA in Africa is listed in second place. Even though its 4823 ft. depth isn't enough to put in first place, it would be pretty cold down in it's deep and murky depths. Confined by mountains, it empties into the Congo River.

3) Third on the list is the CAPSIAN SEA, 3363 feet deep. Though it processes characteristics of both a lake and a sea, the Caspian is generally classified as the world's largest lake. Though salty, it's salinity is only about 1/3 that of the rest of the earth's seas and oceans.

4) Following the Caspian Sea is Antarctica's LAKE VOSTOK with an estimated depth of 2950 feet. Undoubtedly the most unusual lakes on the list, Lake Vostok actually lies under Antarctica's ice sheet. One of more than 140 sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica, Lake Vostok contains some of the oldest and purest water on the planet.

5) The O'HIGGINS/SAN MARTIN, in Argentina, is the deepest lake in the Americas, with a depth of 2742 feet. Both it's eight arms and its cloudy light-blue color (caused by glacial flour from nearby O'Higgins and Chico Glaciers) make it one of the most interesting looking lakes on the "Top Ten" list.

6) Tanzania's LAKE NYASA (sometimes called Lake Malawi) was named by David Livingston, the first European to reach the lake in the 1859.

7) Kyrgyzstan's Lake ISSYK KUL has a depth of 2192 feet and is the second largest mountain lake in the world. Surrounded by spectacular snowy peaks, the water in the lake never freezes, due in part to the fact that it is fed, in part, by hot springs. It's name, in the Kyrgyz language actually means "warm lake". In late 2007 it was reported that the 2500-year-old remains of an advanced civilization had been found at the bottom of a shallower portion of Lake Issyk Kul.

8) Part of the remains of a once vast post-glacial lake, GREAT SLAVE LAKE in Canada's Northwest Territories is a little over 2000 feet at its deepest part. Named for a North American Indian tribe called the Slavey, the lake's name has nothing to do with actual slavery. Great Slave Lake is frozen for about eight months of the year with the ice, during the winter months, being thick enough that loaded semi-trucks can drive over it.

9) Viewed as a sacred site by the Klamath Indian tribe, CRATER LAKE in Oregon is the only lake in the United States to be included within the ten deepest lakes in the world. The clear, deep blue waters and natural beauty have made the lake the trademark feature of Crater Lake National Park. Formed by the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano (in approximately 5600 BC), Crater Lake is an excellent example of a caldera lake. Named "Deep Blue Lake" by John W. Hillman in the mid 1800's, the lake has been renamed several times "Blue Lake", "Lake Majesty" and now "Crater Lake".

10) Indonesia's LAKE MATANO is the world's tenth deepest lake (depth 1936 feet). It's once clear waters are being threatened by the strip-mining of the area's rainforests.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Other of the planets deepest lakes include the GENERAL CARRERA LAKE, HORNINDALSVATNET, QUESNEL LAKE, LAKE TOBA, SAREZ LAKE and LAKE TAHOE.

Many of these lakes are not only among the planet's deepest, but are some of the most undeniably beautiful of the lakes scattered across our planet. Whether they are actually the deepest or not may have to wait until we have advances in technology able to obtain better and more accurate measurements at such depths. Regardless of whether or not they are actually the deepest, all of the lakes on the above list are deep enough to loose cities in and that makes them plenty deep enough to make MY list of the deepest lakes on earth.

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