List of lakes by depth

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This page lists the world's deepest lakes.

Lakes ranked by maximum depth[edit]

This list contains all lakes whose maximum depth is reliably known to exceed 400 metres (1,300 ft)

Geologically, the Caspian Sea, like the Black and Mediterranean seas, is a remnant of the ancient Tethys Ocean. The deepest area is oceanic rather than continental crust. However, it is generally regarded by geographers as a large endorheic salt lake.

Continent colour key
AfricaAsiaEuropeNorth AmericaOceaniaSouth AmericaAntarctica
1.Baikal[1] RussiaSiberia1,6375,369
2.Tanganyika Tanzania,  Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Burundi,  ZambiaCentral Africa1,4704,823
3.(Caspian Sea[2]) Iran,  Russia,  Turkmenistan,  Kazakhstan,  Azerbaijan1,0253,363
4.Vostok[3] Antarctica~1,000~3,300
5.O'Higgins-San Martín[4] Chile,  ArgentinaAysén (Chile), Santa Cruz (Argentina)8362,742
6.Malawi Mozambique,  Tanzania,  Malawi7062,316
7.Issyk Kul Kyrgyzstan6682,192
8.Great Slave CanadaNorthwest Territories6142,015
9.Crater[5] United StatesOregon5941,949
10.Matano IndonesiaSulawesi5901,936
11.General Carrera-Buenos Aires Chile,  Argentina5861,923
12.Hornindalsvatnet NorwaySogn og Fjordane5141,686
13.Quesnel CanadaBritish Columbia5061,660
14.Toba IndonesiaSumatra5051,657
15.Sarez Tajikistan5051,657
16.Tahoe United StatesCalifornia, Nevada5011,644
17.Argentino ArgentinaSanta Cruz (Patagonia)5001,640
18.Kivu Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Rwanda4801,575
19.Mjøsa NorwayHedmark, Oppland and Akershus counties4681,535
20.Salsvatn NorwayNord-Trøndelag county4641,523
21.Nahuel Huapi ArgentinaRio Negro, Patagonia4641,523
22.Hauroko New ZealandSouthland (South Island)4621,516
23.Tinnsjø NorwayTelemark county4601,509
24.Adams CanadaBritish Columbia4571,499
25.Chelan United StatesWashington (state)4531,486
26.Van[6] Turkey4511,480
27.Poso IndonesiaSulawesi4501,476
28.Fagnano Argentina,  ChileTierra del Fuego4491,473
29.Great Bear CanadaNorthwest Territories4461,463
30.Manapouri New ZealandSouthland (South Island)4441,457
31.Te Anau New ZealandSouthland (South Island)4251,390
32.Tazawa JapanAkita Prefecture4231,387
33.Wakatipu New ZealandSouth Island4201,378
34.Como Italy4101,345
35.Superior Canada,  United StatesOntario, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin4061,333

Lakes ranked by mean depth[edit]

Mean depth can be a more useful indicator than maximum depth for many ecological purposes. Unfortunately, accurate mean depth figures are only available for well-studied lakes, as they must be calculated by dividing the lake's volume by its surface area. A reliable volume figure requires a bathymetric survey. Therefore, mean depth figures are not available for many deep lakes in remote locations.

The Caspian Sea ranks much further down the list on mean depth, as it has a large continental shelf (significantly larger than the oceanic basin that contains its greatest depths).

Continent colour key
AfricaAsiaEuropeNorth AmericaOceaniaSouth AmericaAntarctica

Teletskoye (Russia), mean depth being 175 m

2.TanganyikaTanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, ZambiaAfrica5701,870
3.Crater[5]United StatesOregon3501,148
5.TahoeUnited StatesCalifornia, Nevada301989
6.MalawiMozambique, Tanzania, Malawi292958
7.Issyk KulKyrgyzstan270886
8.KivuDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda240787
10.Hornindalsvatnet[7]NorwaySogn og Fjordane237778
14.(Caspian Sea[2])Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan184604
16.QuesnelCanadaBritish Columbia157515
17.OhridMacedonia, Albania155508
18.Geneva[7]Switzerland, France153502
19.SingkarakIndonesiaWest Sumatra149489
20.[7]Loch NessUnited KingdomScotland133436
21.Dead SeaJordan, Israel118387
22.TiticacaPeru, Bolivia107351

Greatest maximum depth by continent[edit]

Greatest mean depth by continent[edit]


Note: Lake depths often vary depending on sources. The depths used here are the most reliable figures available in recent sources. See the articles on individual lakes for more details and data sources.

  1. ^ a b Lake Baikal is also the largest freshwater lake by volume.
  2. ^ a b The Caspian Sea is generally regarded by geographers, biologists and limnologists as a huge inland salt lake. However, the Caspian's large size means that for some purposes it is better modeled as a sea. Geologically, the Caspian, Black, and Mediterranean seas are small oceans, remnants of the ancient Tethys. Politically, the distinction between a sea and a lake may affect how the Caspian is treated by international law.
  3. ^ a b c d Lake Vostok in Antarctica is a subglacial lake with a depth ranging from 400 to more than 900 meters.
  4. ^ *CECS, Depth sounding of Lake O'Higgins/San Martín
  5. ^ a b Crater Lake in Oregon has a maximum depth of 594m, based on its USGS benchmark surface elevation of 1883m. The US National Park Service publishes different values (1881m for surface elevation, and 592m for the maximum depth). The technical basis of the values determined by the USGS is documented in Closed access Bacon, C. R.; Gardner, J. V.; Mayer, L. A.; Buktenica, M. W.; Dartnell, P.; Ramsey, D. W.; Robinson, J. E. (2002). "Morphology, volcanism, and mass wasting in Crater Lake, Oregon". GSA Bulletin 114 (6): 675–692. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2002)114<0675:MVAMWI>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0016-7606. OCLC 4642976847 and 196656627. Retrieved 2013-07-08.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Degens, E.T.; Wong, H.K.; Kempe, S.; Kurtman, F. (June 1984), "A geological study of Lake Van, eastern Turkey", International Journal of Earth Sciences (Springer) 73 (2): 701–734, doi:10.1007/BF01824978 
  7. ^ a b c d e Walter K. Dodds; Matt R. Whiles (23 September 2010). Freshwater Ecology: Concepts and Environmental Applications of Limnology. Academic Press. pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-0-12-374724-2. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 

See also[edit]


External links[edit]