Table of Contents
- The largest lake in every State located entirely in a single US State
- The deepest lake in every U.S. State
There is no rule stating how large or how deep a water body must be called a lake, nor is there a clearly defined difference between a lake and a pond. Biologists consider a pond as a water body shallow enough that vegetation can grow across it, but a better-known simplest definition of a pond is that it is too small to be called a lake.
The largest lake in every State located entirely in a single US State
The U.S. has approximately 250 fresh-water lakes known to have surface areas of 13,700 square miles or more. Nearly one hundred are in Alaska, and 100 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Maine. Thirty-four fresh-water lakes, exclusive of the Great Lakes, have maximum depths of 250 feet or more. Twenty of these are in Alaska, and Alaska unquestionably has more lakes of that depth which have not been sounded. The volume of water stored in natural lakes, even exclusive of the Great Lakes, is much greater than the amount held in artificial reservoirs. Except for the Great Lakes, however, natural lakes’ economic value is surpassed by artificial reservoirs. Natural lakes are best known for the recreational advantages they afford.
Twenty-three U.S. states have all the lakes of 10 square miles or more and numerous smaller lakes. Minnesota has 40 lakes of 10 square miles or more. Michigan has 17 lakes of 10 square miles or more. New York has ten lakes of 10 square miles or more. Washington has three lakes of 10 square miles or more.
The top 20 lakes in size are as listed by the National Atlas of the United States
- Lake Superior (Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin)
) – 31,700 sq mi (82,103 km2)
- Lake Huron (Michigan) – 23,000 sq mi (59,570 km2)
- Lake Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin
) – 22,300 sq mi (57,757 km2)
- Lake Erie (Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania
) – 9,910 sq mi (25,667 km2)
- Lake Ontario (New York) – 7,340 sq mi (19,011 km2)
- Great Salt Lake (Utah) – 2,117 sq mi (5,483 km2)
- Lake of the Woods (Minnesota) – 1,679 sq mi (4,349 km2)
- Iliamna Lake (Alaska) – 1,014 sq mi (2,626 km2)
- Lake Oahe (North and South Dakota – 685 sq mi (1,774 km2)
- Lake Okeechobee (Florida) – 662 sq mi (1,715 km2)
- Lake Pontchartrain (Louisiana) – 631 sq mi (1,634 km2)
- Lake Sakakawea (North Dakota) – 520 sq mi (1,347 km2)
- Lake Champlain (New York, Vermont) – 490 sq mi (1,269 km2)
- Becharof Lake (Alaska) – 453 sq mi (1,173 km2)
- Lake Saint Clair (Michigan) – 440 sq mi (1,140 km2)
- Red Lake (Minnesota) – 427 sq mi (1,106 km2)
- Selawik Lake (Alaska) – 404 sq mi (1,046 km2)
- Fort Peck Lake (Montana) – 393 sq mi (1,018 km2)
- Salton Sea (California) – 347 sq mi (899 km2)
- Rainy Lake (Minnesota) – 345 sq mi (894 km2)
The depth of water each States’s biggest by volume lake creates if evenly distributed over its land
– Great Lakes not included because they are too big and skew the geo chart colors too much. Lake Superior would turn Wisconsin into a 71.3 m deep pool.
– Vermont and Delaware don’t have colors because they were far and away from the deepest and shallowest and skewed the colors too much. This was my first geo chart, I’m learning…
– Did you know Florida is actually the flattest state?
– Alaska has by far the most lakes of any state. It has over 3 million lakes that don’t have names.
The deepest lake in every U.S. State
The amount of water stored in lakes is enormous compared with the amount held in stream channels at any given time. However, a more significant part of the water stored in lakes is in a few great-sized lakes.
The Great Lakes, which are shared by the U.S. and Canada, hold about 5.5 thousand cubic miles of water. By way of contrast with streamflow, approximately four hundred cubic miles of water, on the average, flows into the ocean from the contiguous U.S every year, only a small part of which would be in temporary storage in the stream channels at any given time. Eight of the deepest known lakes in the conterminous U.S., whose depths vary from 316 feet to 1,932 feet and whose areas exceed 10 square miles Tahoe in California and Nevada, Pend Oreille in Idaho, Chelan in Washington, Crater in Oregon, Champlain in New York and Vermont, Seneca and Cayuga in New York, and Sebago in Maine hold approximately 55 cubic miles of water.
Lake Okeechobee in Florida, although large in surface area, is shallow and probably has less than two cubic miles of water.
The top 20 deepest lakes, according to the National Atlas of the U.S.
- Crated (Oregon) – 1,932 ft (589 m)
- Tahoe (California, Nevada) – 1,645 ft (501 m)
- Chelan (Washington) – 1,605 ft (489 m)
- Pend Oreille (Idaho) – 1,200 ft (366 m)
- Nuyakuk (Alaska) – 930 ft (283 m)
- Deer (Alaska) – 877 ft (267 m)
- Chauekuktuli (Alaska) – 700 ft (213 m)
- Crescent (Washington) – 624 ft (190 m)
- Seneca (New York) – 618 ft (188 m)
- Clark (Alaska) – 606 ft (185 m)
- Beverley (Alaska) – 500 ft (152 m)
- Nerka (Alaska) – 475 ft (145 m)
- Tokatz (Alaska) – 474 ft (144 m)
- Long (Alaska) – 460 ft (140 m)
- Lower Sweetheart – 459 ft (140 m)
- Cayuga (New York) – 435 ft (133 m)
- Crater (Alaska) – 414 ft (126 m)
- Cooper (Alaska) – 400 ft (122 m)
- Champlain (New York, Vermont) – 400 ft (122 m)
- 20 Kasnyku (Alaska) – 393 ft (120 m)