Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Indonesia is the largest volcanic lake in the world
Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude (alpine) lakes in Eurasia.
Peyto Lake in Alberta, Western Canada
Oeschinen Lake in the Swiss Alps
Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada
Atro/Attar Lake and pass, Ishkoman Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
There are some 187,888 lakes in Finland larger than 500 square metres. Isojärvi is Finland's 97th-largest lake.
The shores of Lake Peipus, the fifth-largest lake in Europe, near the town of Kallaste in Estonia
The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of glacial lakes in the Bulgarian Rila mountains.
The crater lake of Mount Rinjani, Indonesia
Lake Kaniere is a glacial lake in the West Coast region of New Zealand.
The Nowitna River in Alaska. Two oxbow lakes – a short one at the bottom of the picture and a longer, more curved one at the middle-right.
These kettle lakes in Alaska were formed by a retreating glacier.
Ice melting on Lake Balaton in Hungary
Lakes can have significant cultural importance. The West Lake of Hangzhou has inspired romantic poets throughout the ages, and has been an important influence on garden designs in China, Japan and Korea.
Lake Mapourika, New Zealand
Five Flower Lake in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan
Lake Teletskoye, Siberia
Lake of Flowers (Liqeni i Lulëve), one of the Lurë Mountains glacial lakes, Albania
Cross sectional diagram of limnological lake zones (left) and algal community types (right)
Ephemeral 'Lake Badwater', a lake only noted after heavy winter and spring rainfall, Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, 9 February 2005. Landsat 5 satellite photo
Badwater Basin dry lake, 15 February 2007. Landsat 5 satellite photo
Titan's north polar hydrocarbon seas and lakes, as seen in a false-color Cassini synthetic aperture radar mosaic
The Caspian Sea is either the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea
Round Tangle Lake, one of the Tangle Lakes, 2,864 feet (873 m) above sea level in interior Alaska

Area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, and distinct from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake.

- Lake

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Study of inland aquatic ecosystems.

Lake Hāwea, New Zealand
Lake cross-sectional diagram of the factors influencing lake metabolic rates and concentration of dissolved gases within lakes. Processes in gold text consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide while processes in green text produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide.
Lake George, New York, United States, an oligotrophic lake

This includes the study of lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, springs, streams, wetlands, and groundwater.

Drainage system (geomorphology)

Dendritic drainage: the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Tibet, seen from space: snow cover has melted in the valley system.
Dendritic drainage patterns
Parallel drainage pattern
Rectangular drainage pattern
Radial drainage pattern
The radial drainage network of Dogu’a Tembien in Ethiopia
Annular drainage pattern

In geomorphology, drainage systems, also known as river systems, are the patterns formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular drainage basin.


Shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier peninsulas, or isthmuses.

Balos coastal lagoon of northwestern Crete. The shallow lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean sea by narrow shoals connecting to a small, rocky mountain.
Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan
Venetian Lagoon
Satellite picture of the Atafu atoll in Tokelau in the Pacific Ocean
Anzali Lagoon in southwestern Caspian Sea coast, Iran
Coastal lagoon landscapes around the island of Hiddensee near Stralsund, Germany. Many similar coastal lagoons can be found around the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park.

In Latin America, the term laguna in Spanish, which lagoon translates to, may be used for a small fresh water lake in a similar way a creek is considered a small river.


Continuous body of surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel.

Aubach (Wiehl) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Rocky stream in Italy
Frozen stream in Enäjärvi, Pori, Finland
Stream near Montriond in southeastern France
Wyming Brook in Sheffield, UK
A small stream in Lake Parramatta, Sydney
Stream with low gradient surrounded by natural riparian vegetation (Rhineland-Palatinate)
A low level stream in Macon County, Illinois, US
Small tributary stream, Diamond Ridge, Alaska, US
Creek in Perisher Ski Resort, Australia
Stream in Southbury, US
Australian creek, low in the dry season, carrying little water. The energetic flow of the stream had, in flood, moved finer sediment further downstream. There is a pool to lower right and a riffle to upper left of the photograph.
A small, narrow stream flowing down a tiny dell in Pennsylvania.

Distributaries are often found where a stream approaches a lake or an ocean.

Water supply

Provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavors or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes.

A girl collects clean water from a communal water supply in Kawempe, Uganda.
Engine room of municipal water works in Toledo, Ohio, 1908
1880s model of pumping engine, in Herne Bay Museum
Cape Town water crisis warning, July 2018
The sole water supply of this section of Wilder, Tennessee, 1942
A typical residential water meter
Water supplied by a truck in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
Shipot, a common source of drinking water in Dzyhivka, Ukraine
Wasserkunst and fountain from 1602 in Wismar, Germany. It's an example of pre-industrialization waterworks and fountain.

Water supply systems get water from a variety of locations after appropriate treatment, including groundwater (aquifers), surface water (lakes and rivers), and the sea through desalination.

Fresh water

Any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water containing low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids.

Visualisation of the distribution (by volume) of water on Earth. Each tiny cube (such as the one representing biological water) corresponds to approximately 1400 cubic km of water, with a mass of approximately 1.4 trillion tonnes (235000 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza or 8 times that of Lake Kariba, arguably the heaviest man-made object). The entire block comprises 1 million tiny cubes.
A graphical distribution of the locations of water on Earth. Only 3% of the Earth's water is fresh water. Most of it is in icecaps and glaciers (69%) and groundwater (30%), while all lakes, rivers and swamps combined only account for a small fraction (0.3%) of the Earth's total freshwater reserves.

Fresh water may encompass frozen and meltwater in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, snowfields and icebergs, natural precipitations such as rainfall, snowfall, hail/sleet and graupel, and surface runoffs that form inland bodies of water such as wetlands, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, as well as groundwater contained in aquifers, subterranean rivers and lakes.

Salt lake

Salton lake in Iran with salt mounds
thumb|Astronaut's photo of Bakhtegan and Maharloo salt lakes near Shiraz, Iran. Salt lakes are particularly common in Iran.
thumb|Lake Elton, Russia
thumb|Mono Lake, United States
thumb|Salt transport by a camel train on Lake Karum in Ethiopia.

A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water that has a concentration of salts (typically sodium chloride) and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lakes (often defined as at least three grams of salt per litre).


The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue).
The start of a mountain stream.
Melting toe of Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
The Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
The Porvoo River (Porvoonjoki) in the medieval town of Porvoo, Finland
Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. The Nile is an example of a wave-dominated delta that has the classic Greek letter delta (Δ) shape after which river deltas were named.
A radar image of a 400 km river of methane and ethane near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
River meandering course
Flash flooding caused by a large amount of rain falling in a short amount of time
The mouth of the River Seaton in Cornwall after heavy rain caused flooding and significant erosion of the beach.
Frozen river in Alaska
Leisure activities on the River Avon at Avon Valley Country Park, Keynsham, United Kingdom. A boat giving trips to the public passes a moored private boat.
Watermill in Belgium.
River bank repair

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.


Pond at Cornjum, Netherlands
A man made pond at sunset in Montgomery County, Ohio.
Stereoscopic image of a pond in Central City Park, Macon, GA, circa 1877.
Vegetated pond within the sand dunes of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
The Pond in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City
Pond formation through seeping groundwater in South Tufa, California
Ornamental pond with waterfall in Niagara Falls Rock Garden
A small agricultural retention pond in Swarzynice, Poland
Siddha Pokhari, a reservoir pond in Bhaktapur, Nepal
Azalea flowers around a still pond in London's Richmond Park
Common freshwater fish species include the Large Mouth and Small Mouth Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, and Sunfish such as the Pumpkinseed Sunfish shown above
Lakes are stratified into three separate sections: I. The Epilimnion II. The Metalimnion III. The Hypolimnion.
The scales are used to associate each section of the stratification to their corresponding depths and temperatures. The arrow is used to show the movement of wind over the surface of the water which initiates the turnover in the epilimnion and the hypolimnion.
A pond in winter experiencing inverse stratification
Artificial pond in front of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
During the last thirty years of his life, the main focus of Claude Monet's artistic production was a series of about 250 oil paintings depicting the lily pond in his flower garden.

A pond is an area filled with water, either natural or artificial, that is smaller than a lake.

Dry lake

Basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body, which disappeared when evaporation processes exceeded recharge.

Namak Lake, Qom Province, Iran
The Chott el Djerid in Tunisia
Salt harvesting in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the world's largest salt flat
Sailing stone in Racetrack Playa
Playa in southwest Idaho, home to a number of rare species that occur nowhere else including Lepidium davisii (Davis' peppergrass) and Branchinecta raptor - a recently discovered giant fairy shrimp.
The Mosaic Company chemical plant processes brines from Searles Dry Lake to make such products as trona
Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley National Park, western United States
<center>The dry lake and shore of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia.</center>
<center>A closeup photograph of salt growths on the crust of a dry lake.</center>
<center>Etosha pan in northern Namibia</center>

This term is used e.g. on the Llano Estacado and other parts of the Southern High Plains and is commonly used to address paleolake sediments in the Sahara like Lake Ptolemy.