Lakes. How are they formed and what are their types?

Lakes are natural, inland water reservoirs, the presence of which is conditioned by the existence of a lake basin that collects surface waters. They are supplied with water flowing into rivers, rainwater and sometimes groundwater. What are the types of lakes? What lakes do we have in Poland?

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1. What is a lake?

The lake is a natural reservoir found on the surface of the earth. It can arise in a place where the so-called lake basin where surface waters accumulate.

Lakes are not directly connected to the seas, so there is no free flow between them. The largest part of the lakes is found in areas once occupied by glaciers. As the glaciers melted, their water filled the valleys and formed lakes. Glacial lakes are found both in the Tatra Mountains and in the lowlands, where they form large clusters called lake districts.

They are found both in the mountains, e.g. in the Tatra Mountains, and in the lowlands, where they form large clusters called lake districts.

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The formation of lakes depends on:

  • type of substrate;
  • climatic conditions;
  • topography.

The deepest and largest are lakes of tectonic origin. They contain over 95% of lake water resources. They fill the depression created by tectonic movements.

The largest in the world, in terms of area and resources, is the Caspian Sea, which is a salt lake. The deepest is Lake Baikal (1620 m above sea level), it has the most fresh water resources.

On a geological scale, lakes are a short-term element of the landscape, only a few lakes reach the Tertiary in age (such a lake is, for example, Baikal). In a dry climate, lakes dry up, while in a humid climate they are buried or overgrown with aquatic vegetation, becoming swamps.

Lakes and swamps are natural reservoirs that collect excess water and give it back when rain-free periods come. Thanks to this function, they regulate the flow of rivers and smooth it over time.

The lakes prevent excessive deterioration of the water status during droughts and prevent floods. The large area of ​​these reservoirs means that the climate in the lake districts is more humid than in other areas. These places create specific ecosystems with abundant aquatic flora and fauna.

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2. Lake zones

There are very different ecological conditions in lakes, which is associated with the existence of characteristic layers and zones within the lake. We can distinguish:

  • littoral zone - shallow water zone;
  • pelagic (neitric) zone - open water zone;
  • profundal zone - deep water zone;
  • bottom zone - includes a layer of silt and sediments at the bottom of the lake.

3. Classification of lakes

Lakes are classified according to the way the basin was formed, or according to their biological, physical, chemical or hydrological characteristics. Lakes can be run-of-the-mill, run-off and non-runoff. Their research is dealt with in the department of hydrobiology and hydrology - limnology.

3.1. Types of lakes created due to the way the basin was formed

  • tectonic;
  • volcanic;
  • meteoric;
  • postglacial;
  • oxbow lakes;
  • coastal;
  • relic;
  • karst;
  • aeolian;
  • delta.

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3.2. Types of lakes according to the composition of the water

  • salty;
  • sweet;
  • salty.

3.3. The types of lakes according to the periods of water filling

  • Constant;
  • periodic;
  • episodic.

3.4. Types of lakes due to the thermality of the waters

  • cold (below + 4 ° C);
  • warm (above + 4 ° C);
  • variable (temperature depends on the seasons).

3.5. Types of lakes due to the content of organic substances

  • oligotrophic;
  • diastrophic;
  • eutrophic.

4. The largest lakes in Poland

There are 33 lakes in Poland, the area of ​​which exceeds 1000 ha. These are:

  • Śniardwy;
  • Mamry;
  • Łebsko;
  • Dąbie;
  • Medvedev;
  • Jeziorak;
  • Niegocin;
  • Gardno;
  • Jamno;
  • Wigry;
  • Gopło;
  • Drawsko;
  • Grow;
  • Wielimie;
  • Tałty-Ryńskie;
  • Nidzkie;
  • Bukowo;
  • Rajgrodzkie;
  • I Like;
  • Żarnowieckie;
  • Wdzydze;
  • Charzykowskie;
  • Narie;
  • Selment the Great;
  • Wicko Wielkie;
  • Druzno;
  • Raduńskie;
  • Powidzkie;
  • Łańskie;
  • Wicko;
  • Orzysz;
  • Pile;
  • Come on.
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