LAKES

Lakes form where water fills hollows in the landscape. Some of these hollows are formed by glaciers gouging into the ground, and some are created when river valleys are blocked by dams. Other lakes are formed in volcanic craters, or when land sinks during earth movements. Most lakes contain freshwater, but there are some saltwater lakes, such as the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan.

STAGE 1: BEND EROSION

Rivers can gradually produce lakes as they flow. The outside banks of the meanders (bends) erode and sediment builds up on the insides, making the meanders longer.

STAGE 2: BREAKTHROUGH

Eventually two ends of a meander get so close to each other that the water breaks through. This often happens during a flood. Now most river water by-passes the bend.

STAGE 3: OXBOW LAKE

The water flowing into the bend slows down. It drops its sediment, which blocks the ends of the bend, leaving a crescent-shaped lake called an ox-bow lake.

GLACIAL LAKE

These lakes on the Isle of Skye in Scotland were created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Glaciers begin to form high on mountain sides, from snow and ice which builds up and scours hollows in the rock called cirques. When the glaciers melt, these fill with melt water to form cirque lakes, which continue to be fed by rainwater flowing off the hillsides.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!