The Earth is a fantastic sphere of magnificent land and water oddities that is both fascinating and intriguing. More terms belong to different types of bodies of water, from mountains to seas, oceans, rainforests, gulfs, and others.
The lake is one of the most frequent yet undeniably stunning freshwater habitats in the world. Lakes, like rivers and streams, may appear to be a typical new body of water to many. They, on the other hand, have traits and qualities that make them stand out in comparison to other bodies of water.
It’s possible that many individuals are thinking about what qualities define a lake, so let’s start by defining what a lake is. All of the distinctive characteristics that set lakes apart from other marine habitats will be examined in this article, as well as the species that may be found there.
What Are Lakes?
A lake is a land depression that contains a sluggish flowing body of open water. Ponds and impoundments are part of this collection of water bodies. Ponds created for wastewater treatment, fish culture, fire protection, and on golf courses are not included in the definition of lakes.
Lakes are actually complicated, ever-changing ecosystems made up of a variety of interrelated lake attributes, which you may not know. The chemical, physical, and biological features of a lake may all be defined as lake properties.
When you see the biological components of a lake, you are seeing them; when you look at the size, depth, and temperature of a lake, you are observing its physical aspects and many functions thatyou do not even perceive, including dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and metals.
The ecosystem that surrounds and drains water into the lake extends beyond the lake itself. Lakes are part of it. Changing just one aspect of a lake’s system might have significant consequences on other features.
We are fortunate to have so many lakes in New Brunswick (almost 1,700 in total, each of which is over four hectares). Swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and weekend trips to the cottage are among the advantages of our close proximity to lakes.
Keeping our lakes healthy so that we may enjoy them and they may continue to flourish as part of a balanced ecosystem is critical for all of these activities and more.
Lakes are Inland Depressions Filled With Water
Let’s start with the basics, like how lakes form. All basins on the surface of Earth are water-filled depressions. Glacial imprints left behind by shifting glaciers, abandoned parts of rivers, volcanic craters, and other methods create these basins in a variety of ways.
Changes in plate tectonics are the most common method. Natural basins or land depressions are filled with water over time as the Earth’s crust moves and creates faults, which form natural basins or land depressions. An inland basin full of water, or surrounded and enclosed by land, is how lakes are classified. They do not flow like rivers and streams because they are confined to landmass.
Yet, there are a few lakes that eventually empty into the sea. Water is lost via the surface or underground in most lakes, with outlets below or above the water surface. Closed lakes, on the other hand, only emit water through evaporation.
How Are Lakes Formed?
The size and shape of a lake are determined by its origins, as one would expect. Littleer kettle lakes are produced from depressions formed by pieces of glacial ice, while glacier lakes may be found in huge valleys or hollows carved out by sluggish moving glaciers. When North America was blanketed in huge sheets of ice and snow, glaciers carved out the Great Lakes in the American Midwest.
Lakes are formed when the earth’s crust shifts, causing a huge depression to form and fill with water, such as the Caspian Sea. Similarly, in the peaks of dormant volcanoes, crater lakes dwell in circular holes.
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Oregon’s Crater Lake is depicted in the photo.
Open lakes are bodies of water that flow into rivers or other external sources of water. When a beaver dams a stream, for example, it creates a closed lake that can’t drain because it’s blocked off.
A river’s flow may be divided from the remainder by deposited sediment, resulting in an oxbow lake that is shaped like a u. These small lakes closed over time.
The 5 Key Features that Define a Lake
The Earth’s composition is two-thirds water, as seen from space. 71% of the world’s water is oceans, with 96.5% of it being sea water. So what about the remaining 3.5% of all water on the planet?
Rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, and lakes are among the freshwater habitats that exist in these remaining bodies of water. A distinct ecosystem develops here. Drinking water accounts for only about 1.2% of all available water on the planet.
The rest of the water is stored underground, in ice caps, permafrost, or glaciers. The marine and freshwater biomes are the two different kinds of aquatic biomes found in the world. The seas and oceans, for example, are all marine biomes with a high saltwater content. Salt levels in freshwater biomes are lower or minimal than in oceanic masses, but they are not completely free of it.
Lakes, rivers, and wetlands are the three primary types of bodies of water. So what distinguishes a lake?
Importance of Lakes
Tectonic or glacial activity in a typical location produces lakes. The meandering river or human activity may also create lakes.
Lakes are crucial to society, and there are many reasons to justify why they should be mentioned, one of which is that lakes are a source of water, which is an essential resource for continuing life on this planet. So, let’s talk about lakes and their significance. Furthermore, some well-known lakes are mentioned below.
In order to regulate the flow of river water
During the dry seasons, water is stored in this way.
To maintain and balance the ecosystem
To generate hydroelectric power
Lakes also help in filling up the groundwater.
The area’s biodiversity is improved and helped to be preserved by the lake.
Lakes also boost the area’s economic activity, which is beneficial to the economy. Lakes attract tourism because they are typically considered as a place to relax.
Freshwater and saltwater lakes are two different types of lakes found in India.
Wular Lake, located in Jammu and Kashmir, is India’s biggest freshwater lake. The Bhimtal Lake and the Nainital Lake in Uttarakhand are two other freshwater lakes in Jammu and Kashmir. In Andhra Pradesh, Lake Kolleru is also situated. Since this lake serves as an amusement source, it has been officially designated as a wildlife refuge.
One of the largest salt lakes in India, Sambhar Lake, is located in Rajasthan. As a result, Rajasthan is now the country’s third-largest salt producer. A combination of saltwater and freshwater makes up the brackish water. The greatest brackish water lake in India is the Chilika Lake, which is located in Orissa.
Irrigation is achieved through the use of rivers. Fresh drinking water is mostly supplied by rivers. Hydroelectric power is also generated using river water. As a result, the river’s water is being utilized excessively. These rivers’ water quality is being harmed as a result of this.
Local people may utilize lake water as a substitute for river water, which more or less works the same, since government actions and policies are launched to treat the river water. Fresh water is also supplied to lake water. Irrigation is possible with this, and it may also provide hydroelectricity power.
This is a really intriguing piece. Lakes are defined, their importance is discussed, and their usefulness is described. The aforementioned article also alludes to the names of India’s renowned lakes.
Uses and abuses of lakes
Water is needed for dilution and municipal and industrial waste disposal, as well as cooling, irrigation, power production, and local leisure and aesthetic displays in contemporary industrial countries. It’s clear that these standards change depending on where you live and the country you’re in.
Water may be used to dilute liquid and certain solid trash, making it more palatable for society’s elements that have to be exposed to the effluent or want to utilize it.
The level of dilution that is appropriate in each scenario is frequently a point of contention. Dilution is sometimes employed merely to expedite the movement of garbage to treatment plants. The water may then be reused with the help of a water reuse facility.
For cooling, lake water is extensively used. Although the chemistry of this water may not be impacted, its alteration in thermal quality might be harmful to the ecosystem into which it is released, either directly by harming fish health or indirectly by causing excessive plant growth and ultimate deoxygenation.
Cooling water is heavily used by both fossil-fueled and nuclear power plants. Large volumes are also required by steel mills and other chemical plants.
Uses of Lakes
The uses of lakes are mentioned as below:
Lakes provide a terrific way to transport large carrier shipments, which is why they’re useful. Large lakes in North America, such as the Great Lakes, make hauling heavy and cumbersome products like iron, coal, equipment, crops, and timber very inexpensive and convenient.
Human settlement was influenced by the presence of lakes, and town sites were likewise influenced by the presence of lakes. Lakes is a pathway to economic and industrial development.
Civilisation began when people relocated near the lakes to get water, and as a result of this, that region saw economic and industrial development. When lakes are supplemented with large-scale fertile rivers, they become even more decisive.
Lake Storage: The domestic water supply is supplemented by lakes, both natural and constructed. Towns and industrial cities get their water from them.
Manchester receives water from Lake Thirlmere, Glasgow receives water from Loch Katrine, and Liverpool receives water from Lake Vyrnwy. Delhi receives water from the Okhla Reservoir in India. Bombay is supplied with water from the Veteran, Vihar, and Tulsi lakes.
Lakes or man-made reservoirs provide water for hydroelectric power generation in mountainous areas, as well as in the lakes and reservoirs. Natural lakes take precedence over artificial reservoirs in this scenario.
This water is delivered to the power facilities on a regular basis along the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
Problems and Effects
Eutrophication (aging processes), chemical and biological poisoning, and decreases in water volumes are all significant issues that affect the optimum use and conservation of lake waters.
In the first case, which will be addressed in greater depth later, the enrichment of lakes with diverse nutrients helps biological productivity to a degree that the ultimate death and decay of biological material puts an substantial demand on the oxygen concentration, resulting in oxygen scarcity in severe circumstances.
Two of the most essential nutrients in this relationship are phosphates and nitrates, particularly since they are frequently introduced in high concentrations in human waste effluents.
The introduction of DDT and other pesticides, as well as heavy metals such as mercury, are additional examples of chemical pollution in lakes. Another frequent consequence of environmental degradation is the introduction of bacteria into lake waters, which poses a danger to human health.
Natural vagaries of supply and consumption rates of water make water quantity problems complicated. In the second instance, the amount of water returned to the source after use varies depending on how it is used.
Actual water diversion and processes that lead to evaporative losses account for the greatest losses. Large-scale applications of lake water for cooling by industry and utilities, such as the one described above, may raise lake temperatures sufficiently to cause increased evaporation.
Even larger losses are caused by the usage of certain forms of cooling towers. The lake basin will retain some of the water that has evaporated, but it will lose some.
Lakes have Vast Surface Areas
When you try to define or identify a lake by its depth, defining or identifying it becomes more difficult. The depth of lakes varies. Some are kilometers deep, while others may be explored by foot. Lakes, on the other hand, have large surface areas.
Even from afar, the surface diameter of a lake helps you identify it. Although some lakes have shallower depths, they are still lakes because of their vast surfaces. Lakes range in size from 2 hectares to 8 hectares, or 20 acres.
According to new research, lakes cover 4,200,000 km2 (less than 1% of the Earth’s overall surface area). A wide proportion of the whole surface area is made up of the four Great Lakes in the US and Canada. Ponds are bigger, slower-moving freshwater environments that are frequently misidentified as lakes.