Lakes | 1.800.872.0222
Lakes are bodies of mostly still water, surrounded by land. Both freshwater and saltwater, they are found around the world. Most lakes are made up of fresh water, and many are the source of flowing freshwater such as rivers or streams. While some lakes are man-made, most are naturally formed by natural processes such as tectonic lifts, landslides, volcanic craters, glacial melting, or erosion. Artificial lakes are usually formed by building a dam in order to create a reservoir for water. Saltwater lakes often form when there is no escape route for a lakes water (such as a river or stream to flow out of). Some saltwater lakes are even saltier than the ocean.
There are millions of lakes on the planet and they vary widely in size. The world's largest freshwater lake is nearly 400 miles long, and more than 31,000 square miles in area. The world's deepest lake is more than 1 mile deep! But most are much smaller some as small as a fishing pond. One significant point of controversy is how to define a lake versus a pond. Many people define lakes as being bigger than a pond, but this is a relative subjective definition.
Lakes provide an immense value to human life. Many a painter has become enraptured by the beauty of a lake and created a work of art featuring it. Lakes are important for recreational purposes, such as camping, swimming, boating, and recreational fishing. They can also support local economies through fishing or by providing energy or water sources. Many manmade reservoirs are especially important because they store and provide water for human consumption. For example, reservoirs are critical sources of water in hot desert climates where there are few rivers and little easily accessed ground water.