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Lakes

Ah, how nice is it out ‘ere? I’m lovin’ the peace ‘n’ quiet of Lake Louise. Gives me a bit o’ time to think about how I’m goin’ to deliver this report! 

A lake is a large body of water that is enclosed by land and not attached to the ocean. A lake is pretty still compared to a river, makin’ it a great spot to kick back and relax.  

Lakes appear on every continent and in all kinds of environments, includin’ in deserts. Some are very big, while others are quite small. But, they’re always formed in large basins in the earth. How were these basins formed, eh? Well, most developed when giant glaciers appeared around 18,000 years ago. These glaciers carved out holes in the earth as they moved around, and when they melted, the water filled the holes and these became lakes. Some lake basins were formed when Earth’s crust changed its form and trapped bodies of water, and others still came from inactive volcanoes that filled with rainwater at the top. 

Lakes get their water from all kinds of sources, includin’ rain, streams, snow and meltin’ ice. Most lakes contain freshwater, but some are saltwater. If they’re freshwater, they’re always open lakes. This means they connect to a river. If they’re saltwater, they’re always closed lakes. This means they lose water through evaporation. Salts are left behind after evaporation, makin’ the water salty. 

Lakes are very important to animals, plants and humans like you. They provide a place to live for lots of animals, birds and fish, and many different plants grow around ‘em. Humans get a lot of their freshwater from lakes – that’s why it’s important to take care of ‘em! 

Have you ever visited a lake? Blimey, they’re beautiful things!

GLOSSARY
Lake Louise ​- a huge lake located in Banff National Park, Canada. 
Basin ​- a hollow section of the Earth’s surface that is often filled with water. 
Glacier ​- a giant mass of ice that moves around slowly. 
Earth’s crust ​- the outermost part of Earth’s shell. 
Inactive volcano ​- inactive volcanoes include extinct volcanoes (those that have not erupted for 10,000 years and may not erupt again) and dormant volcanoes (those that are not erupting but are expected to do so again). 
Evaporation ​- a process where water turns to vapour. Learn more about evaporation ​here​. 

FACTS
1. There are 117 million lakes on earth.
2. Most of the world’s lakes are in Finland, Sweden, Russia, Canada, and Alaska. There are over 187,000 lakes in Finland alone.
3. The Caspian Sea is the biggest lake in the world at 371,000 square kilometres.

QUIZ
1. Lakes are attached to the ocean – true or false?
2. Lakes can be found in deserts – true or false?
3. Lakes get their water from lots of sources – name three of these.
4. Name the two types of water found in lakes.
5. How many lakes are found on Earth?

ACTIVITIES
Increase your knowledge by completing these activities.