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World Famous Lakes

(1) The Caspian Sea11.jpg

The Caspian Sea, a remnant of an ancient sea, with Iran to its south, Kazakhstan northeast, Turkmen southeast, Azerbaijan southwest and Russia northwest, is the largest lake and the biggest salt water lake in the world. It is located in the vast and flat west of central Asia and southeast of Europe, facing the Montes Caucasus in the west. With a 7,000 kilometer-long shoreline, the Caspian Sea is in a long and narrow shape, with a length of 1,200 kilometers from south to north and an average width of 320 kilometers from east to west. It covers an area of 386.4 thousand square kilometers, taking up 14% of the total area of lakes in the world (2.7 million square kilometers) and exceeding the total area of the five Great Lakes in North America (245 thousand square kilometers) by 51%. The volume of the lake is 76 thousand cubic kilometers, as more than 130 rivers flow into it, of which the water of the Volga River, the Ural River and the Terek River from the north consist of 88% of the total inflow.

(2) Lake Superior 12.jpg

First found in 1622 by French explorers, Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, got its name from French meaning “the upper lake”. It is shared by America and Canada, and is surrounded by Ontario of Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan of America. The lake is 616 kilometers long from east to west, and 257 kilometers wide at the widest point from north to south, with an average altitude of 180 meters, a water area of 82,414 square kilometers, and a maximum depth of 405 meters. Its water storage is 12 thousand cubic kilometers, more than half of that of the Great Lakes. The shoreline of Lake Superior stretches for 3,000 kilometers, with dense forests by the lakeside and many bays on the north bank. Among almost 200 rivers that run into it, the Nipigon River and the St Louis River are the biggest ones.

(3) Lake Victoria13.jpg
Lake Victoria, the major reservoir of the Nile, is the largest lake in Africa, and the second largest freshwater lake in the world (second to Lake Superior in the North America). Situated in Central Africa and mostly lying in Tanzania and Uganda, it is a boundary lake of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. With the northern part crossed by the equator, the lake, formed from a sagging basin, is generally acknowledged as the most beautiful place in the world. It covers an area of 69,484 square kilometers in a shape of irregular quadrilateral, and stretches for 337 kilometers in the longest part from north to south and 240 kilometers in the widest part from east to west. The lake has a shoreline longer than 3,220 kilometers, a height of 1,134 meters, an average depth of 40 meters and a known maximum depth of 82 meters. The lake basin covering 238.9 thousand square kilometers is one of the most densely populated areas in Africa, where millions of people live along the shores within 80km2 from the lake.

(4) The Aral Sea14.jpg
The Aral Sea in history has an altitude of 53 meters, and stretches for 435 kilometers at the longest point from north to south and 290 kilometers from east to west. It covers 68 thousand square kilometers at an average depth of 16 meters, and is 69 meters deep in the deepest part on the west lakeshore. The two continental rivers—the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya flow into it. With winding lakeshore, the northern and eastern parts of the Aral Sea have many lake bays and islands, while in the south lies the Amu Eesturaine Delta and in the west a steep shore. In the lake basin, it is characteristic of the extreme continental climate. Due to the periodic arid climate, the water level changed a lot in history. In the 1960s, the lake had an altitude of 53 meters and covered 64.5 thousand square kilometers, making it the forth largest lake in the world then. Henceforth, a large amount of water of the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya was applied a lot to agriculture and industry, with the weather having been continuously dry since the 1970s, the water level of the Aral Sea dropped and its covering area decreased sharply and water salinity increased. Meanwhile, fish output of the lake lessened with many species becoming extinct, and a large amount of salt piled up around the lake basin, destroying the vegetation. The lake is navigable and its annual navigable period lasts for seven months.

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