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Are any lakes really landlocked?

  1. Jun 9, 2015 #1
    Landlocked means surrounded by land.

    Often people say that a lake is landlocked.

    However I am not sure that it is completely true.

    I mean all bodies of water are connected 1 way or another.

    So can you really say that a body of water is landlocked?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2015 #2
    You only need to open the atlas and have a good look at it to see that there are huge bodies of water that are completely landlocked. The Caspian sea is a prime example. Not a single river is connected to it.
  4. Jun 9, 2015 #3


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    I think you are just hung up on a poor (limited) definition of what "landlocked" means.

    In addition to what pwiz said, "landlocked" does not even necessarily mean no rivers, it can mean "having no navigable route to the sea".
  5. Jun 9, 2015 #4
    I have never seen a definition that required there be no rivers connected to it, but always, as you have said, "no navigable route to the sea", or perhaps more commonly "no route to the sea via river".

    As a clarification of pwiz's post: the Caspian Sea has several rivers connected to it, but all flow in, none flow out.
  6. Jun 11, 2015 #5
    Canada has 2.1 million lakes (1.9 million have no name). Thousands of these are without source of water other than retreating ice sheets or glaciers. Tens of thousands of lakes, especially kettle lakes vary in size due to annual weather variables, or dry up seasonally and many eventually cease to be lakes. Topography changes constantly and with it water flows, river basin drainage, etc. Thousands of lakes are isolated stand alone features.
  7. Jun 12, 2015 #6


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    The Caspian Sea, the Sea of Aral, and the Great Salt Lake are all examples of what the geologists and such call "endorheic" basins or "terminal lakes", i.e. places where the physical geography of the land is such that the surrounding area drains into it, but there are no means whereby what collects in such basins can flow out to an ocean or a river:


    There are quite a few such bodies of water scattered around the world, and a few which existed in the past but do not any longer.

    The Mediterranean and the Black Seas were once terminal basins, but due to the movement of the earth, passages to the ocean or to and adjacent seas opened up and allowed these basins to fill and remain connected to larger bodies of water. Lake Bonneville once surrounded what is now the Great Salt Lake, but the former body of water gradually shrank, leaving behind the Bonneville salt flats and the Great Salt Lake.
  8. Jun 12, 2015 #7
    How about lakes in volcanic craters?
  9. Jun 12, 2015 #8
    Also in impact craters. There is a big one in Quebec.
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