This is a list of terrestrial lakes with a surface area of more than approximately 2,000 square kilometres (800 sq mi), ranked by area.[1][2][3] This list does not include reservoirs or lagoons.

The area of some lakes can vary considerably over time, either seasonally or from year to year. This is especially true of salt lakes in arid climates.

This list excludes seasonal lakes such as Lake Eyre (max area 9500 km²), Mar Chiquita Lake (Córdoba) (max area 6000 km²), Lake Torrens (max area 5745 km²) and Great Salt Lake (max area 4400 km²).

List of lakes

Continent color
Eurasia Africa Asia Europe North America South America Antarctica
  Name Countries with shoreline Area Length Maximum depth Water volume Thumbnail (same scale for all lakes)
Notes
1 Caspian Sea*[n 1]  Kazakhstan
 Russia
 Turkmenistan
 Azerbaijan
 Iran
371,000 km2 (143,000 sq mi) 1,199 km (745 mi) 1,025 m (3,363 ft) 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi)
Despite its name, it is often regarded as the world's largest lake, though it contains an oceanic basin (contiguous with the world ocean until 11 million years ago) rather than being entirely over continental crust.[4][5][6][7][8]
2 Superior  Canada
 United States
82,100 km2 (31,700 sq mi)[9] 616 km (383 mi)[9] 406.3 m (1,333 ft)[9] 12,100 km3 (2,900 cu mi)[9]
Largest of the Great Lakes by volume, having more water than the other four combined.[10] The largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.[11]
3 Victoria  Uganda
 Kenya
 Tanzania
68,870 km2 (26,590 sq mi) 322 km (200 mi) 84 m (276 ft) 2,750 km3 (660 cu mi)
The largest lake by area in Africa.[12]
4 Huron[n 2]  Canada
 United States
59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi)[9] 332 km (206 mi)[9] 229 m (751 ft)[9] 3,540 km3 (850 cu mi)[9]
Contains Manitoulin Island, the world's largest lake island.[18]
5 Michigan[n 2]  United States 58,000 km2 (22,000 sq mi)[9] 494 km (307 mi)[9] 281 m (922 ft)[9] 4,900 km3 (1,200 cu mi)[9]
The largest lake (by area) that is located entirely in one country.
6 Tanganyika  Burundi
 Tanzania
 Zambia
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi) 676 km (420 mi) 1,470 m (4,820 ft) 18,900 km3 (4,500 cu mi)
Longest freshwater lake in the world and third largest of any kind by volume.[19]
7 Baikal  Russia 31,500 km2 (12,200 sq mi) 636 km (395 mi) 1,637 m (5,371 ft) 23,600 km3 (5,700 cu mi)
Deepest lake in the world and largest volume freshwater lake in the world.[20]
8 Great Bear Lake  Canada 31,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) 373 km (232 mi) 446 m (1,463 ft) 2,236 km3 (536 cu mi)
Largest lake entirely within Canada,[21] and the largest lake situated within the Arctic Circle (albeit only partially)
9 Malawi  Malawi
 Mozambique
 Tanzania
29,500 km2 (11,400 sq mi) 579 km (360 mi) 706 m (2,316 ft) 8,400 km3 (2,000 cu mi)
Has more species of fish than any other lake in the world.[22]
10 Great Slave Lake  Canada 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi) 480 km (300 mi) 614 m (2,014 ft) 1,560 km3 (370 cu mi)
Deepest lake in North America[23]
11 Erie  Canada
 United States
25,700 km2 (9,900 sq mi)[9] 388 km (241 mi)[9] 64 m (210 ft)[9] 489 km3 (117 cu mi)[9]
12 Winnipeg  Canada 24,514 km2 (9,465 sq mi) 425 km (264 mi) 36 m (118 ft) 283 km3 (68 cu mi)
13 Ontario  Canada
 United States
18,960 km2 (7,320 sq mi)[9] 311 km (193 mi)[9] 244 m (801 ft)[9] 1,639 km3 (393 cu mi)[9]
14 Ladoga  Russia 18,130 km2 (7,000 sq mi) 219 km (136 mi) 230 m (750 ft) 908 km3 (218 cu mi)
Largest lake in Europe.[24]
15 Balkhash*  Kazakhstan 16,400 km2 (6,300 sq mi) 605 km (376 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 106 km3 (25 cu mi)
16 Bangweulu  Zambia 15,100 km2 (5,800 sq mi) 75 km (47 mi) 4 m (13 ft)
17 Vostok  Antarctica 12,500 km2 (4,800 sq mi) 250 km (160 mi) 900–1,000 m (3,000–3,300 ft) 5,400 ± 1,600 km3 (1,300 ± 380 cu mi)
Largest lake in Antarctica
18 Onega  Russia 9,700 km2 (3,700 sq mi) 245 km (152 mi) 127 m (417 ft) 285 km3 (68 cu mi)
Second-largest lake in Europe.
19 Titicaca  Bolivia
 Peru
8,372 km2 (3,232 sq mi) 177 km (110 mi) 281 m (922 ft) 893 km3 (214 cu mi)
Highest navigable lake in the world and largest lake in South America.
20 Nicaragua  Nicaragua 8,264 km2 (3,191 sq mi) 177 km (110 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 108 km3 (26 cu mi)
21 Athabasca  Canada 7,850 km2 (3,030 sq mi) 335 km (208 mi) 243 m (797 ft) 204 km3 (49 cu mi)
22 Taymyr  Russia 6,990 km2 (2,700 sq mi) 250 km (160 mi) 26 m (85 ft) 12.8 km3 (3.1 cu mi)
Largest lake entirely within the Arctic Circle.
23 Turkana*  Ethiopia
 Kenya
6,405 km2 (2,473 sq mi) 248 km (154 mi) 109 m (358 ft) 204 km3 (49 cu mi)
Largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake.[25]
24 Reindeer Lake  Canada 6,330 km2 (2,440 sq mi) 245 km (152 mi) 337 m (1,106 ft) 95.25 km3 (22.85 cu mi)
25 Issyk-Kul*  Kyrgyzstan 6,200 km2 (2,400 sq mi) 182 km (113 mi) 668 m (2,192 ft) 1,738 km3 (417 cu mi)
26 Urmia*  Iran 6,001 km2 (2,317 sq mi) 130 km (81 mi) 16 m (52 ft)
27 Vänern  Sweden 5,545 km2 (2,141 sq mi) 140 km (87 mi) 106 m (348 ft) 153 km3 (37 cu mi)
Largest lake in the European Union.
28 Winnipegosis  Canada 5,403 km2 (2,086 sq mi) 245 km (152 mi) 18 m (59 ft)
29 Albert  Uganda
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
5,299 km2 (2,046 sq mi) 161 km (100 mi) 58 m (190 ft) 280 km3 (67 cu mi)
30 Mweru  Zambia
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
5,120 km2 (1,980 sq mi) 131 km (81 mi) 27 m (89 ft) 38 km3 (9.1 cu mi)
31 Nettilling  Canada 5,066 km2 (1,956 sq mi) 113 km (70 mi) 132 m (433 ft)
Lake is on Baffin Island and is the largest lake on an island.[26]
32 Nipigon 4,843 km2 (1,870 sq mi) 116 km (72 mi) 165 m (541 ft) 248 km3 (59 cu mi)
33 Manitoba 4,706 km2 (1,817 sq mi) 225 km (140 mi) 7 m (23 ft) 14.1 km3 (3.4 cu mi)
34 Qinghai Lake*  China 4,489 km2 (1,733 sq mi) (2007) 32.8 m (108 ft)
35 Saimaa  Finland ≈ 4,400 km2 (1,700 sq mi) 82 m (269 ft) 36 km3 (8.6 cu mi)
36 Lake of the Woods  Canada
 United States
4,350 km2 (1,680 sq mi) 110 km (68 mi) 64 m (210 ft) 19.4 km3 (4.7 cu mi)
37 Khanka  China
 Russia
4,190 km2 (1,620 sq mi) 90 km (56 mi) 10.6 m (35 ft) 18.3 km3 (4.4 cu mi)
38 Sarygamysh  Uzbekistan
 Turkmenistan
3,955 km2 (1,527 sq mi) 125 km (78 mi) 40 m (130 ft) 68.56 km3 (16.45 cu mi)
39 Dubawnt  Canada 3,833 km2 (1,480 sq mi)
40 Van*  Turkey 3,755 km2 (1,450 sq mi) 119 km (74 mi) 451 m (1,480 ft) 607 km3 (146 cu mi)
41 Peipus  Estonia
 Russia
3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi) 15.3 m (50 ft) 25 km3 (6.0 cu mi) Largest trans-boundary lake in Europe.
42 Uvs*  Mongolia 3,350 km2 (1,290 sq mi) 84 km (52 mi) 22 m

(72 ft)

43 Poyang  China 3,210 km2 (1,240 sq mi) 170 km (110 mi) 25.1 m (82 ft) 25.2 km3 (6.0 cu mi)
44 Tana  Ethiopia 3,200 km2 (1,200 sq mi) 84 km (52 mi) 15 m (49 ft)
45 Amadjuak  Canada 3,115 km2 (1,203 sq mi)
46 Melville* 3,069 km2 (1,185 sq mi)

* denotes saline lake.

Source for the 20 largest lakes (and their areas):[27]


See also

Notes and references

Note: Lake areas may slightly vary depending on the sources.

Notes
  1. ^ The area indicated does not include the saltwater lagoon of Garabogazköl, which is technically not a separate lake, but is detached from the Caspian Sea via a narrow ridge of land, and connected via a narrow inlet. If included as its own separate lake, it would rank as the world's 15th largest lake, with an area of 18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi)
  2. ^ a b Although Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are usually considered distinct, sometimes they are regarded as a single lake known as Lake Michigan–Huron. When treated as a single entity, it is the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area, at 117,400 km2 (45,300 sq mi).[13][14][15][16][17]
References
  1. ^ Likens, Gene E., ed. (2009). "Historical Estimates of Limnicity". Encyclopedia of inland waters (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN 0120884623. Table 1: The world's lakes >2000 km2 in area, arranged in decreasing order of lake area. See also Lakes (Formation, Diversity, Distribution) Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Marsh, William M.; Martin M. Kaufman. Physical geography : great systems and global environments. Table 16.2: Great lakes of the world by lake type. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 399. ISBN 0521764289.
  3. ^ van der Leeden, Frits; Troise, Fred L.; Todd, David Keith, eds. (1991). The water encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Chelsea, Mich.: Lewis. pp. 198–200. ISBN 9780873711203.
  4. ^ "Plume over the Caspian Sea". NASA. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  5. ^ "Caspian Sea". Britannica. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  6. ^ "Endorheic Lakes". United Nations. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  7. ^ DuMont, H.J. "The Caspian Lake: History, biota, structure, and function" (PDF). American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  8. ^ Planet Earth And the New Geoscience (2003:154). Victor Schmidt, William Harbert, University of Pittsburgh
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/atlas/gl-fact1.html Great Lakes Factsheet No. 1 US Environmental Protection Agency website retrieved September 9, 2012
  10. ^ "Great Lakes: Basic Information: Physical Facts". United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). May 25, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  11. ^ Superior Pursuit: facts about the Greatest Great Lake - Minnesota Sea Grant. University of Minnesota.
  12. ^ "WorldAtlas.com: Lake Victoria". Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  13. ^ David Lees in Canadian Geographic writes, "Contrary to popular belief, the largest lake in the world is not Lake Superior but mighty Lake Michigan–Huron, which is a single hydrological unit linked at the Straits of Mackinac." Lees, David. "High and Dry" Canadian Geographic (May/June 2004) pp.94-108.
  14. ^ "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 Archived 2010-08-08 at the Wayback Machine." NOAA, 2006.
  15. ^ "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 Archived 2008-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. August 2007. p.6
  16. ^ "Great Lakes Map". Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Largest Lake in the World". geology.com. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Manitoulin Island website". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Lake Tanganyika at Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Lake Baikal, World's Largest Freshwater Body". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Plate 18. Large Lakes" (PDF). Natural Resources Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  22. ^ "Protected Areas Programme". United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UNESCO. October 1995. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  23. ^ "WorldAtlas.com: Great Slave Lake". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  24. ^ "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: Lake Ladoga". Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  25. ^ "Omo Valley in Ethiopia, Lake Turkana". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Lakes on Islands". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Largest Lakes (Area)". LakeNet. Retrieved 3 March 2013.

Further reading