Fresh water occur naturally on earth surface in various areas such as ice caps, glaciers, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers underground water in aquifers among other areas. The sources of such water mostly is precipitation from the atmosphere. The term fresh water is as a result of the low concentration of dissolved salts and other dissolved solids that influence the salinity of water. Fresh water is very important to humans as they normally use it to drink, do some laundry, water crops and also animals use it to quench their thirst. There are so many fresh water lakes in the world and here are the top 10 largest freshwater lakes in the world in terms of surface area.
List of Top 10 Largest Freshwater Lakes in The World in 2017
10. Lake Erie
One of the largest fresh water lake in the world by surface area occupying the thirteenth place globally is Lake Erie. It is estimated to be 25,721 square kilometers and has a maximum depth of 210 feet. Of all North American lakes this is the most southernmost and the most shallowest and in addition has the smallest volume of water. Some of the states that bounder the lake are Ohio, New York Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The origin of the name Erie was the Native Americans who used to reside in the area. The lake primary inlet is river Detroit. Over the years environmental concerns have emerged on the lake due to cases of overfishing, eutrophication, pollution and algae blooms.
9. Great Slave Lake
This is the tenth largest lake in the whole world with an area coverage of 27,200 km2 and the most deepest lake in the North America. Among the lakes in northwest it is also the second largest lake after Great Bear Lake. Some of the neighboring towns within the lake are Dettah, Hay River Reserve, Hay River, Yellowknife, and Fort Resolution. Some of the rivers that flow into the lake are Emile River, yellow Knife River, Slave River, Hay River, Taltson River, among others.
8. Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi is within the borders of three east African countries namely Malawi, Mozambie and Tanzania. In Mozambique it is known as lago Niassa and in Tanzania Lake nyasa and its primary source of water is Ruhuhu River. With a surface area of 30,000 square kilometers it is the second deepest lake in Africa and third largest as well and the ninth largest lake in the planet. The lake is in the Guinness book of records for having the most number of fish species than any other lake in the world. The lake is well preserved environmentally by the three countries as they have declared it a reserve. The most fascinating fact about the lake is that it’s a meromictic lake.
7. Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada and 4th largest in North America, 8th largest in the world with a surface area of 31,153km2 with a maximum depth in 446m.the Lake was named after the high population of Grizzly bear in the area. Although the lake is not interfered with by the human settlement it has always served as a great fishing spot. Mining of uranium and other minerals used to be practiced before but it’s no more. Some of the lakes flowing into the lake are Whitefish River, Johnny Hoe River, bloody river and Sloan River.
6. Lake Baikal
This is the largest water lake in the world by volume (23,600 cubic kilometers of water) with a surface area of 31,722. It’s also famous for being the world’s deepest lake boosting 1,642m and among other accolades such as the clearest. In the world record it has occupied seventh place as the largest lake in the world by surface area. It is also to be estimated to be formed 25 million years ago hence there is a possibility of it being the oldest lake on earth. Some of the inflows are Selenge River, Barguzin River and Angara River. Baikal has also some of the rarest species of plants found nowhere else on the planet hence UNESCO declared it a world heritage site.
5. Lake Tanganyika
By measure of volume Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake and in addition holds the second position when we consider depth. We can as well say Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest freshwater lake with 677 kilometers. It’s shared between several countries which are Burundi, Zambia, democratic republic of Congo and Tanzania. It has a surface area of 32,890 square kilometers. Its major inflow of water into the lake is river Ruzizi, Kalambo River and malagarasi River. It has only one major outflow river Lukuga. This is one amongst the Top 10 Largest Freshwater Lakes in The World 2017.
4. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan covers 58,000 square kilometers hence taking the 3rd position by surface area and holds the 2nd position on the basis of volume of water among the fresh water lakes of the world. It’s located in the United States and some of the states bordering it are Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Due to its very attractive beaches it has been nicknamed the “third coast” and some of the rivers that feed it are Fox River, Muskegon River, Menominee River, Milwaukee River, , the Grand River, the Kalamazoo River, the St. Joseph River.
3. Lake Huron
Lake Huron has a surface area of 59,600 square kilometres and its shared between USA and Canada. The lake is famous for the presence of the Manitoulin Island which is one of the largest island found within a lake. The early explores were the ones who decided to name it Huron after the inhabitants of the area Huron people. The lake has some serious environmental issues related to the introduction of invasive species such as round gobies, zebra among others. Its major sources of water are st Mary’s river and its outflow is st Claire River.
2. Lake Victoria
Named after the Queen of England Queen Victoria by early explores the lake has a surface area of 68,800 km2.it has taken the position of the second largest fresh water lake and holds the ninth position when we look at volume. The lakes source of water is precipitation and dozens of small streams that feed it and the only major river is river Kagera. Lake Victoria is one of the world’s fresh water lakes under serious threat of is biodiversity from exotic species such as Nile perch which has threatened the survival of other species to nearly extinction.
1. Lake Superior
The largest fresh water lake by surface area is Lake Superior with 82,103 km2. In relation to volume it holds the third place among fresh water lakes of the world and in North America holds position one. Its shared by Canada and USA and has over 80 endemic species of fish although overfishing and exotic species have threatened them. The major source of inflow into the lake is Nipigon River, Pic River, Pigeon River and Kaministiquia River. Its outflow is St. Mary River.
These are the Top 10 Largest Freshwater Lakes in The World 2017. The above freshwater lakes are the largest in terms of surface area and play very important role not just in the economy of a country but even in the ecological setting. We call all the governments and each individual to play his part in maintain the ecological sustainability of these lakes that are under threat.