A lake is a body of relatively still water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land apart from a river, stream, or other form of moving water that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. However most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.
Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers. In some parts of the world there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them.
Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for aesthetic or recreational purposes.
Read more about Lake: Etymology, Meaning, and Usage of "lake", Distribution of Lakes, Origin of Natural Lakes, Types of Lakes, Characteristics, Limnology, How Lakes Disappear, Extraterrestrial Lakes, Notable Lakes, See Also
Famous quotes containing the word lake:
“Like a canoe route across the great lake on whose shore
One is left trapped, grumbling not so much at bad luck as
Because only this one side of experience is ever revealed.
And that meant something.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)
“They who know of no purer sources of truth, who have traced up its stream no higher, stand, and wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution, and drink at it there with reverence and humility; but they who behold where it comes trickling into this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more, and continue their pilgrimage toward its fountain-head.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Lenin on a bench beside a lake disturbed
The swans. He was not the man for swans.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)