Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs

2012 Edition
| Editors: Lars Bengtsson, Reginald W. Herschy, Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Classification of Lakes from Origin Processes

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4410-6_245


There are 100 million lakes in the world larger than 0.01 km2. Lakes can be classified in different ways, according to their geological origin, to their trophic state (see Trophic Lake Classification in the Encyclopedia), which is according to the biological status, according to the thermal regime (see Thermal Regime of Lakes and Stratification in Lakes), which is related to the climate, or according to the hydrological conditions relating to the character of the in- and outflows (see Water Balance of Lakes and Hydrological Classification of Lakes). In this entry, lakes are classified according to their geological origin. A lake is formed when water fills a depression. A depression can have been formed in different ways. Lakes are mainly created as consequences of tectonic, glacial, or fluvial processesbut there might also be other processes involved. Tectonic lakes are deep. Glacial lakes are found where there has been land ice. The glacial lakes are rather shallow and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Downing, J. A., Praire, Y. T., Cole, J. J., Duarte, C. M., Tranvik, L. J., Striegl, R. G., McDowell, W. H., Kortelainen, P., Caraco, N. F., Melack, J. M., and Middelburg, J., 2006. The global abundance and size distribution of lakes, ponds, and impoundments. Limnology and Oceanography, 51, 2388–2397.Google Scholar
  2. Duncan, P. M., 1882. On lakes and their origin. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 7, 298–315, Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. Larson, G., and Schaetzl, R., 2001. Origin and evolution of the great lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 5, 518–546.Google Scholar
  4. Lehner, B., and Döll, P., 2004. Development and validation of a global database of lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. Journal of Hydrlogy, 296, 1–22.Google Scholar
  5. Mandrone, G., Clerici, A., and Tellini, C., 2007. Evolution of a landslide creating a temporary lake: successful prediction. Quaternary International, 171–172, 72–79.Google Scholar
  6. Meybeck, M., 1995. Global distribution of lakes. In Lerman, A., Imboden, D. M., and Gat, J. (eds.), Physics and Chemistry of Lakes. New York: Springer, pp. 1–35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water Resources EngineeringLund UniversityLundSweden