This is a satellite image of the Great Lakes in North America.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor For additional information see www.erim.org © ERIM

Lakes

A lake is a body of water completely surrounded by land. Lakes can either by salty or fresh water. Most lakes are in places where glaciers used to exist. When a glacier moves forward, it carves away a deep valley and when the ice melt s it forms a lake in the valley. Other lakes are formed in craters or when a river changes its course.

Lakes are short-lived surface features because the water can sink into the ground or evaporate into the sky. In order for a lake to remain, it must be constantly fe d by a river or rainfall.

This is a satellite image of the five Great Lakes in North America. It is the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. The largest and deepest one is Lake Superior located at the top left. Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia is the deepest lake in th e world.


Last modified January 31, 2011 by Jennifer Bergman.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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