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Deepest Lake in the World
Deepest Lake in the United States

The World's Deepest Lake

Lake Baikal in southern Russia is the world's deepest lake. It is 5,314 feet deep (1,637 meters) and it's bottom is at 4,215 feet (1,285 meters) below sea level. Lake Baikal is also the world's largest freshwater lake in terms of volume.

It is difficult to comprehend how a lake in the middle of a continent could have a bottom that is 4,215 feet below sea level. It is impossible for erosion to cut a channel that deep in the middle of a continent. The lake is so deep because it is located in an active continental rift zone. The rift zone is widening at a rate of about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) per year. As the rift grows wider it also grows deeper through subsidence. So, Lake Baikal could grow wider and deeper in the future.

World's deepest lake
Lake Baikal is located in southern Siberia near the city if Irkutsk. Map from the CIA Factbook.

Related:   World's Largest Lake

Deepest Lake in the United States:

The deepest lake in the United States is Crater Lake, a volcanic crater in southern Oregon. It's deepest measured depth is 1,932 feet (589 meters). It is the seventh deepest lake in the world.

It is an amazing lake because no rivers flow into it or out of it. The water level in the lake is a balance between rainfall, groundwater flow and evaporation.

The lake was formed as a caldera by an explosive volcanic eruption and magma chamber collapse between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago.

Crater Lake
Panorama view of Crater Lake showing the steep crater wall that surrounds the lake and Wizard Island, a small volcano within the crater. Photo © by ziggymaj and iStockphoto.

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World's deepest lake
Satellite Image of Lake Baikal - Image by geology.com using NASA Landsat data.

Crater Lake bathymetry
Bathymetry image of Crater Lake by USGS. The deepest areas are in the northeast portion of the lake. Enlarge map.

Deepest Lakes in the World

Baikal Siberia, Russia
5,369 ft (1,637 m)
Tanganyika Tanzania, Dem. Rep. of Congo & Zambia
4,823 ft (1,470 m)
Caspian Sea Iran and Russia
3,363 ft (1025 m)
Vostok Antarctica
2950 ft (900 m) minimums
O'Higgins-San Martin Chile, Argentina
2,742 ft (836 m)
Nyasa Africa (Mozambique, Tanzania & Malawi)
2,316 ft (706 m)
Issyk Kul Kyrgizstan, Central Asia
2,192 ft (668 m)
Great Slave Northwest Territories, Canada
2,015 ft (614 m)
Crater Lake Oregon, U.S.A.
1,949 ft (594 m)
Matano Indonesia
1,936 ft (590 m)
General Carrera Chile, Argentina
1,923 ft (586 m)
Hornindalsvatnet Norway
1,686 ft (514 m)
Quesnel Canada
1,660 ft (506 m)
Toba Indonesia
1,657 ft (505 m)
Sarez Tajikistan
1,657 ft (505 m)
Tahoe California & Nevada, USA
1,644 ft (501 m)
Argentino Argentina
1,640 ft (500 m)
Kivu Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda
1,575 ft (480 m)
Mjøsa Norway.
1,535 ft (468 m)
Lake Chelan Washington, U.S.A.
1,486 ft (453 m)

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