lake, inland body of standing water occupying a hollow in the earth's surface. The study of lakes and other freshwater basins is known as limnology. Lakes are of particular importance since they act as catchment basins for close to 40% of the landscape, supply drinking water, generate electricity, are used to irrigate fields, and serve as recreational areas.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Geology and Oceanography