The Lakes Portal
A portal dedicated to Lakes

Selected panorama
– Hover over image and scroll to middle for controls to see more selected panorama images –


Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Indonesia is the largest volcanic lake in the world
Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Indonesia is the largest volcanic lake in the world

A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, and distinct from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, although, like the much larger oceans, they do form part of the Earth's water cycle. Lakes are distinct from lagoons, which are generally coastal parts of the ocean. Lakes are typically larger and deeper than ponds, which also lie on land, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which usually flow in a channel on land. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.

Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers, where a river channel has widened into a basin. Some parts of the world have many lakes formed by the chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last ice age. All lakes are temporary over long periods of time, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them.

Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, for aesthetic or recreational purposes, or for other activities. (Full article...)

Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Selected article - show another

Image Lake as seen from near the inlet, with Glacier Peak in the background
Image Lake as seen from near the inlet, with Glacier Peak in the background

Image Lake is a tarn in Glacier Peak Wilderness, in the North Cascades of Washington, United States. The lake is surrounded by Plummer Peak to the east, a lookout point to the west, the Miners Creek drainage and Glacier Peak to the south, and Canyon Lake to the north. The course of the popular Miners Ridge Trail skirts the lake. Glacier Peak can be seen from the outlet of the lake, and the peak reflected in the lake is a popular photographic subject.

As a result of a relatively mild temperate climate with ample precipitation, the areas around Image Lake boast rich natural habitats with many species of plants, insects, rodents, and large mammals. Native Americans took advantage of these resources, and may have inhabited the area seasonally. However, human activity such as hunting, fishing, and mining, and recreational overuse increased after the arrival of Europeans. As a result, some areas experienced significant environmental degradation near the end of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, including the eradication of large predatory animals. Recreational overuse and the presence of livestock were especially problematic in the early to mid-twentieth century. (Full article...)
List of selected articles

General topics

Need assistance?

Need assistance?

Do you have a question about lakes that you can't find the answer to? Consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

General images - show new batch

The following are images from various Lake-related articles on Wikipedia.

Related portals



Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

More articles

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

External media

External media
Discover Wikipedia using portals

Purge server cache