9 largest lakes in Russia

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Lakes are the national pride of Russia and, of course, its wealth. In the country there are (scary to imagine) about 2,000,000 salty, fresh, deep, shallow, etc. But here not all of them can boast of large sizes. Your attention is the most unique and largest.

Rating of the largest lakes in Russia: top 9 largest and unusual

Nomination a place Lake Area Maximum depth
Rating of the largest lakes in Russia 8 White lake 1,290 km2 20 m
7 Vats 1 708-2 269 KM2 10 M.
6 Peipsi-Pskov 3,555 km2 15 M.
5 Hanka 3 030-5 010 KM2 6.5 M.
4 Taimyr 4,560 KM2 26 M.
3 Onega 9 720 km2 127 M.
2 Ladoga (Ladoga) 17 870 km2 230 M.
1 Baikal 31 722 km2 1642 M.
Bonus Caspian Sea 390,000 km2 1025 M.

White lake

Rating: 4.3

White Lake

Area: 1,290 km2

Maximum depth: 20 m

White Lake, located in the Vologda Oblast, has tectonic origin is the result of low-amplitude oscillations of the earth’s crust. It got its name for a reason: water it is clean, and the bottom is rocky, mostly clay. Moreover this clay is small, white. Periodically she stirs up water giving it a whitish tint.

The shores of the lake are mostly flat, its shape is round, the values ​​of length and width are very close – 43 and 32 km, respectively. The average depth of Beloozero is 5 m; there are pits up to 15 m deep. The shores of the reservoir are very shallow: in some places its depth is not exceeds 1 m.

The total number of rivers and streams flowing into White Lake reaches 60, and only one river flows out of it – the Sheksna. She falls into The Volga. That is, the lake belongs to the Caspian Sea. Territory the reservoir was investigated a very long time ago: the first mention of it found in the annals of the 10th century. In the old days through him passed Vytegra-Belozersky path. In the 20th century, White Lake became part of the Volga-Baltic waterway connecting the basins Caspian and Baltic seas.

Shipping on the lake is very intense, leading to an increase in turbidity of water. The situation is deepened by annual work to deepen navigable sections of the lake: they erode bottom, saturated with copper deposits, and increase the level of clay suspension in the water.

Vats

Rating: 4.4

Vats

Area: 1 708-2269 km2

Maximum depth: 10 m

The largest lake in Western Siberia. Vats – Drained Brackish water. The latter means that the salinity level of the water makes it pungent and unsuitable for drinking without prior processing. Translated from Turkic, the name of the lake means “vessel large sizes. “And, indeed, Chany has considerable dimensions: The reservoir passes through the territory of 5 districts of the Novosibirsk region.

The age of Chany is estimated at approximately 10-13 thousand years. Historically, the lake is characterized by fluctuations in the water level. Experts note a significant reduction in the area of ​​the lake for last 200 years. The largest indicator of the area of ​​Lake Chany for the whole the observation history was noted in the 18th century: then the size of the reservoir reached 12,000 km2. By the 1840s, it split into several reservoirs and reaches (areas with a larger compared to the surrounding water depth). From that time began the rapid decline of the vats. At the beginning of the 20th century its area was only 3400 km2.

The reservoir has an important fishing value: 16 species of fish. The most numerous populations of crucian carp, pike perch, common carp, perch. A little less common pike, bream, roach. Water in the lake usually freezes in the second half of October, opening of ice comes to May. In low water, winter killing (fish death from oxygen starvation) destroys a significant part of the fish population. IN In 2012, work was carried out to deepen and clear one of the lacustrine duct, which helped prevent the death of fish in winter.

Interesting fact. In bad weather on the surface of the water are very possible big waves. Several cases of deaths were recorded, who were at this unsuccessful time on the lake in boats.

Vats are an important migration point for many waterfowl birds. There are, among other things, rare species: a gyrfalcon, cegrava, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, etc. In the northern part of the lake 1958 Kirzinsky Wildlife Sanctuary was organized on the territory of which are limited to: waders, grazing, mowing, and drainage measures are also prohibited. In 1994, the lake was included in the list of wetlands international values.

Peipsi-Pskov

Rating: 4.5

Peipsi-Pskov

Area: 3,555 km2

Maximum depth: 15 m

This is not even a lake, but a whole lake complex, consisting of three parts: Warm, Pskov and Peipsi lakes. Peipsi-Pskov fresh water reservoir is considered a relic of the glacial reservoir, which once existed on the site of the modern. Current bottom the relief of the lake finally formed about 12 thousand years back.

The pond is actually located on the Russian-Estonian border, therefore, most of the Russian coast and a number of lake islands limited to visit, but from the Estonian side no no border zone: allowed everywhere to the lake unobstructed access.

Interesting fact. It was on the ice of Lake Peipsi in 1242 the famous Battle of Ice happened – one of the largest battles of that time. It took place between the Russian army under the leadership of Alexander Nevsky and the Teutonic Knights. In memory of this event in 1992 near the village of Kobylie Gorodishche (Pskov region) a monument was erected to Alexander Nevsky.

About 30 rivers flow into the lake, and only one flows out – Narva. it means that the flow of Chudsk-Pskov is entirely Belongs to the Baltic Sea. The reservoir belongs to well flowing: the annual flow of water in it is about half of its water masses. Despite the shallow depth of the lake and its insignificant flood during the spring flood flood area can be colossal – up to 1000 km2. It’s connected with the fact that vast swampy adjacent to the gentle shores of the reservoir and low-lying spaces.

Hanka

Rating: 4.6

Hanka

Area: 3030-5010 km2

Maximum depth: 6.5 m

The largest and one of the ancient lakes of the Primorsky Territory is located on the border with China: the northern part of the reservoir belongs to it territory. The surface area of ​​the Hanki is variable: the indicator varies with climate change. IN 24 rivers flow into the reservoir, and only one flows out – Sungacha, which, in turn, flows into Ussuri, and then into Amur. In the north Malaya Lake, separated by a narrow strip of sand, is located on the banks of the Hank Hanka owned by China.

The flora and fauna of the reservoir is incredibly diverse. In this connection (according to the Ramsar Convention) the territory of the lake in 1976 received the status of wetlands of international importance. And in 1990, a state nature reserve was organized here Hankai meanings. A few years later, the governments of the two countries decided to create a joint Russian-Chinese nature reserve on the basis of the Khankaisky (from Russia) and Sinkai Hu (from China). So there was an international reserve “Lake Hanka. ”

Wetlands of the lake basin can be called unique. The coast of the reservoir is mainly swampy, also there are meadows, meadow-forest, steppe vegetation plots and even the woods. The lake is rich in fish (52 species live here). Prevail populations of catfish, common carp, silver carp and snakehead. Quite a few aquatic invertebrates, some of them endemic.

The so-called swimming pools are a characteristic of the Hankey phenomenon. It – areas of the water surface covered with dense thickets. Thickets formed by sedge and cereal plants, forming a strong turf.

Since Lake Khanka is shallow, it warms up perfectly: in summer there are many who want to relax and even swim in the pond, despite its rather muddy water and lack of equipped beaches. On the west side of the Hanky ​​is not visible its opposite coast, which makes an impression of the sea.

Interesting fact. Primorsky Krai chose Lake Hanku among several sights – applicants to the new ten symbols of Russia.

Taimyr

Rating: 4.7

Taimyr

Area: 4560 km2

Maximum depth: 26 m

Taimyr Lake is considered the second largest after Baikal in Asian part of the country. It is really a large body of water, the most northernmost in the world among similar giants. Its water surface covered with ice 10 months a year, with almost 85% of Taimyr freezes in winter to the bottom. Even in summer, the water temperature in it is rare rises above +7 0С. And yet, here it is found living creatures: Taimyr – the habitat of arctic fish species such as char, whitefish, etc.

Taimyr is located at the foot of the northernmost mountain system countries – Byrranga, far beyond the Arctic Circle, in the tundra zone – there, where is permafrost. Despite the abundance of snow in the winter, there is little snow on the surface of the lake: strong winds and predominantly flat territories. Summers are common here storms, greatly muddying the water. Taimyr is characterized by fluctuation water level, leading to a significant change in area reservoir by spring (up to -50%).

A number of specific factors, including significant changes in the water level in the lake (seasonal, centuries-old, etc.), significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year, as well as the great age of the ridge in terms of geology lead to intensive destruction of its northern cliffs. In this area of ​​Taimyr in in summer, heavy rockfalls are not uncommon.

Onega

Rating: 4.8

Onega

Area: 9,720 km2

Maximum depth: 127 m

Lake Onega – Europe’s second largest freshwater body of water (second only to Ladoga). It is located in two regions and the Republic of Karelia. Included in the Baltic Sea basin. It is difficult to call the reservoir shallow: its average depth is about 30 m. Kotlovina Lake Onega is at the junction of large geological structures – the Russian platform and the Baltic shield.

In the early Russian memoirs of writing there is another the name of the lake is Onego. It is probably very ancient, as long as no information was found about its origin. Contrary to the widespread opinion, the Onega reservoir has absolutely no relationship to the Onega River, which flows into the White Lake.

The basin of the lake is of glacial-tectonic origin. Sedimentary deposits of millions of years left after the once offshore sea (sands, clay, limestone), cover the relief with a powerful 200-meter thickness. In the northern part Onega is often considered the so-called lip – deep a section of a reservoir protruding into the mainland. Here is his largest peninsula – Zaonezhie (area – 12000 km2).

Onega Lake is characterized by sharp and numerous increases and lowering the bottom. Gutters are not uncommon in the northern part. Also found stony shallows, underwater ridges, pits, hollows. Preferential muddy bottom part. More than 1000 water bodies flow into the lake, including 52 rivers with a length of more than 10 km, and 8 with a length of more than 100 km. But only one follows from Onega – Svir. After that, in 1953, the Verkhnesvirskaya hydroelectric power station, a lake, was built on the river became a reservoir.

The pond impresses with its diversity of marine life. Here there are many species of fish, including commercial: sterlet, lake trout, whitefish, pike, lamprey, bream, bream, catfish, zander, perch and many others.

Interesting fact. In the waters of Onega annually in summer (starting from 1972) the country’s largest sailing regatta is held – Russian Open Sailing Championship. In sports The event is attended by cruising yachts.

The main attraction of the lake is Kizhi island, where it is located eponymous historical-architectural and ethnographic museum reserve. There are about 90 monuments of wooden architecture: from modernity to the 15th century.

Ladoga (Ladoga)

Rating: 4.9

Ladoga

Area: 17 870 km2

Maximum depth: 230 m

The largest freshwater lake in Europe, belonging to the basin The Baltic Sea. About 40 rivers and large streams flow into the reservoir, and one river flows out – the Neva. In the Nestor Chronicle of the 12th century, the lake mentioned under the name “Nebo” (there is a connection with the name of the river Neva). Starting from the 13th century, the modern name. The relief of the reservoir formed about 12,000 years ago.

Over the lake basin, a temperate climate prevails with a transition to moderate sea (temperate continental). Solar heat in during the year there is little (usually no more than 60 days), due to causing moisture to evaporate slowly. A fairly common occurrence here is white nights, the duration of which sometimes exceeds 50 days.

Ladoga itself has a noticeable effect on the climate: continental air masses passing over the lake, softening, turn into marine. The wind speed on the Ladoga coast sometimes can be dangerously high: calm here is a rarity, and stormy the wind sometimes drives at a speed of 30 km / h.

The coastline of Ladoga exceeds 1000 km. Northern part of it rocky, rather rugged, forms numerous bays and peninsula. The southern part of the coastline is weakly indented and often flooded due to neotectonic skew of the reservoir. Relief of it the bottom is also uneven: the depth of the lake increases from south to north. By the way, Ladoga is in 8th place in depth among Russian lakes.

The flora and fauna of the reservoir is incredibly diverse: it grows in water about 350 species of algae, 378 species of planktonic animals live, 53 species of fish (including salmon, trout, bream, zander, roach, pike and other). 256 species of birds live in Ladoga see here on a transit flight.

In the 70s, the water in Ladoga was considered to be practically standard clean, but not today. The reason for this is about 600 industrial enterprises, mercilessly polluting the reservoir: a huge amount of industrial effluents. In addition, on one of the islands reservoir after the Second World War were radioactive experiments. Sad but true: on several islands of Ladoga, before of these, radiation hazardous facilities are functioning, and testing of radioactive substances.

Baikal

Rating: 5.0

Baikal

Area: 31,722 km2

Maximum depth: 1642 m

The tectonic lake of Eastern Siberia, the deepest on the planet, the largest natural “storage” of fresh water, the largest at continent. A huge body of water stretched for 636 km in length a crescent moon. Its bottom in the deepest part is located at 1187 m below sea level, but here you need to add another 455 m, which are located above this mark.

Baikal boasts not only the greatest depth among of all existing lakes, but no less impressive average depth – 744 m. This is more than the maximum mark of many deep lakes in the world. The Baikal water reserve is about 1/5 of the world’s reserves fresh lake water. Its more than in all five Great Lakes USA.

Many rivers flow into Baikal, and the numbers are very strong vary: according to some, there are 544, according to others, 1123. Among them, 9 large and only one flows from the reservoir – the Angara. Separate attention deserves the water composition of Lake Baikal. The water here is so net that some stones, for example, can be seen at a depth up to 40 m (usually in spring).

During freezing, Baikal freezes completely, except 20 km section at the source of the Angara. In the period of severe frosts cracks in ice begin to break into separate fields. Length cracks reaches 20-30 km and a width of 2-3 m. These breaks accompanied by a deafening crackling, reminiscent of a shot from a gun. Thanks to cracks in the ice, the diverse water world of Lake Baikal gets enough oxygen.

The Baikal bottom has a distinct relief: there are submarine banks (shallow, surrounded by depth), slopes and even ridges. There are 27 islands on the lake, 12 of which are large (the most large – Olkhon with an area of ​​about 700 km2).

Interesting fact. Bottom sediments of Baikal reach 6 km thick, which means that one is resting under water alone of the highest mountains of the planet, exceeding the mark of 7000 m.

In the Baikal region, high seismic activity is observed: earthquakes are regular here. Moreover, in addition to 1-2-point there are truly scary. A vivid example of this is the Tsagan 10-point earthquake, in which a land area of ​​200 km2.

More than 2600 species of aquatic animals live here, most which are endemic. This diversity is due to the large the amount of oxygen over the entire depth of the reservoir. One of the endemic lakes – crustacean epishura – a real “savior” of Lake Baikal (especially with given the impending environmental catastrophe): it’s tiny creation accounts for 80% of all zooplankton biomass and performs function of the water filter from pollution.

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea

Area: 390,000 km2

Maximum depth: 1025 m

Bonus member of our rating. Largest enclosed body of water of the world, which is usually classified as a closed lake – also the largest on the planet. Different nations throughout In human history, the reservoir had about 70 different names. is he located at the junction of two continents and in physical and geographical features divided into the North, Middle and South Caspian. The coastline of the Caspian Sea reaches 7,000 km (together with the islands). The shores of the reservoir are mostly lowland, flat, and the surface of the water in many places is covered with thickets.

Given the huge area of ​​the reservoir, one cannot but mention the volume of it water: it accounts for 44% of the world’s lake reserves. The depth of the Caspian second only to Baikal and Tanganyika. Average depth indicator – 200 m. It is noteworthy that the northern part of the lake is entirely shallow, where the average depth does not exceed 4 m. The lake is washed by 5 countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan.

The Caspian Sea is of oceanic origin. His age reaches 13 million years. Throughout its long “life” The Caspian Sea has repeatedly changed, often regressed. Process this continues to this day (for 2016-2017, the water level in the lake fell by 28 m).

The fauna of the Caspian is very rich: 1809 aquatic animals live here. species, 415 of which are vertebrates. The lake is concentrated around 90% of the world’s sturgeon reserves, as well as significant reserves pike perch, roach, etc. In the waters of the reservoir lives marine the representative of mammals is the Caspian seal.

The Caspian is not only a diverse fauna, but also equally diverse human activity boiling on his water surface. It is actively producing oil and gas (proven resources – about 10 billion tons), engaged in fishing (including including industrial production), shipping is developed here, actively recreational resources are used (the Caspian is rich in mineral waters, healing mud, excellent beaches), etc.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caspian Sea was for many years hotly debated: Caspian five could not share water. The countries agreed only in 2018: it was decided that The Caspian is the sea, and only its resources can manage Caspian states.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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