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Is Lake Superior the largest lake in the world?
from Dulce in Denver, Colorado

Lakes are measured in many different ways, such as in volume and surface area. For example, a shallow lake can have a large surface area but a small volume.

In terms of surface area, Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world and the first largest freshwater lake in the world! The saltwater Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake in surface area. (A lake is any body of water surrounded by land and very large lakes are sometimes called seas.)

In terms of volume, however, Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, Russia, is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Baikal's volume is 23,600 cubed km compared to Lake Superior's volume of 12,100 cubed km. Lake Baikal holds approximately 20% of the Earth's freshwater -- the same amount as the all five Great Lakes combined!

Go to the Great Lakes Facts & Figures page for more statistics on the Great Lakes.

Thank you for your question!

Answered on October 16, 2000



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