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Which is the Largest Freshwater Lake in the World?

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Freshwater lakes can be ranked by either volume, surface area or depth. Some of the large lakes by surface area are slightly shallow and do not hold a lot of water.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and by volume, it ranks in 3rd position. It has a surface area is approximately 31,700 square miles which is approximately the size of South Carolina or Austria.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area

It is shared by Ontario in Canada and the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the United States.

Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron via St. Mary’s River.

At its longest, the lake measures around 563 km (349 mi) in length, with a width of 257 km (159 mi). It is 405 m (1,333 ft) at its deepest. It has a volume of 2,900 cubic miles.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world. It stands in the 7th position when it is measured by surface area.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world

It is located in southern Siberia, Russia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.

Lake Baikal formed as an ancient rift valley and has a long, crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2 (12,248 sq mi), slightly larger than Belgium. Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of them endemic to the region.

Lake Baikal contains 22 to 23% of the world’s fresh surface water. With 23,615.39 km3 (5,670 cu mi) of freshwater, it contains more water than all of the North American Great Lakes combined.

Lake Baikal holds the distinction of the world’s deepest lake also with a maximum depth of 1,642 m (5,387 ft). It is among the world’s clearest lakes.

Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world. Surrounding mountains and the lake Baikal were formed by the Earth’s crust fracturing and moving at least 25-30 years old.

Lake Baikal attracts more than 500,000 tourists a year. UNESCO declared Lake Baikal a World Heritage Site in 1996.

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