Lakes of Titan

Lakes of Titan

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The Lakes of Titan, a moon
Natural satellite
A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called its primary. The two terms are used synonymously for non-artificial satellites of planets, of dwarf planets, and of minor planets....

 of Saturn
Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

, are bodies of liquid ethane
Ethane
Ethane is a chemical compound with chemical formula C2H6. It is the only two-carbon alkane that is an aliphatic hydrocarbon. At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless, odorless gas....

 and methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

 that have been detected by the Cassini–Huygens space probe, and had been suspected long before. The large ones are known as maria (seas) and the small ones as lacūs (lakes).

History


The possibility that there were hydrocarbon seas on Titan
Titan (moon)
Titan , or Saturn VI, is the largest moon of Saturn, the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found....

 was first suggested based on Voyager 1
Voyager 1
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA in 1977, to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. Operating for as of today , the spacecraft receives routine commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network. At a distance of as of...

 and 2
Voyager 2
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space...

 data. The data showed Titan to have a thick atmosphere of approximately the correct temperature and composition to support them. Direct evidence was not obtained until 1995 when data from the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...

 and other observations had already suggested the existence of liquid methane on Titan, either in disconnected pockets or on the scale of satellite-wide oceans, similar to water on Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

.

The Cassini mission affirmed the former hypothesis, although not immediately. When the probe arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was hoped that hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

 lakes or oceans might be detectable by reflected sunlight from the surface of any liquid bodies, but no specular reflection
Specular reflection
Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction...

s were initially observed.

The possibility remained that liquid ethane and methane might be found on Titan's poles, where it was expected to be abundant and stable. At Titan's south pole, an enigmatic dark feature named Ontario Lacus
Ontario Lacus
Ontario Lacūs is a lake composed of methane, ethane and propane near the south pole of Saturn's moon Titan. Its character as a hydrocarbon lake was confirmed by observations from the Cassini spacecraft, published in the 31 July 2008 edition of Nature...

 was the first suspected lake identified, possibly created by clouds that are observed to cluster in the area. A possible shoreline was also identified at the pole via radar imagery. Following a flyby on July 22, 2006, in which the Cassini spacecraft's radar imaged the northern latitudes (which are currently in winter), a number of large, smooth (and thus dark to radar) patches were seen dotting the surface near the pole. Based on the observations, scientists announced "definitive evidence of lakes filled with methane on Saturn's moon Titan" in January 2007. The Cassini–Huygens team concluded that the imaged features are almost certainly the long-sought hydrocarbon lakes, the first stable bodies of surface liquid found off Earth. Some appear to have channels associated with liquid and lie in topographical depressions. Overall, the Cassini radar observations have shown that lakes cover only a few percent of the surface and are concentrated near the poles, making Titan much drier than Earth. The high relative humidity of methane in Titan’s lower atmosphere could be maintained by evaporation from lakes covering only 0.002–0.02% of the whole surface.


During a Cassini flyby in late February 2007, radar and camera observations revealed several large features in the north polar region that may be large expanses of liquid methane and/or ethane, including one sea with an area of over 100,000 km² (larger than Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

), and another (though less definite) region potentially the size of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

. A flyby of Titan's southern polar regions in October 2007 revealed similar, though far smaller, lakelike features.
During a close Cassini flyby in December 2007 the visual and mapping instrument observed a lake, Ontario Lacus, in Titan's south polar region. This instrument identifies chemically different materials based on the way they absorb and reflect infrared light. Based on this instrument's observations, scientists concluded that at least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan does in fact contain liquid, that liquid being hydrocarbons, and have positively identified the presence of ethane. And on July 8, 2009, a specular reflection
Specular reflection
Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction...

 in infrared was seen off the southern shoreline of a lake called Kraken Mare
Kraken Mare
Kraken Mare is the largest known body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It was discovered in 2007 by the Cassini probe and was named in 2008 after the Kraken, a legendary sea monster....

. This confirms the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins, in the northern regions of Titan. This makes Titan the only other object than Earth in the solar system known to have stable liquid on its surface. This would make Titan a very interesting place to observe and study , to refine weather science, as differing liquid and gaseous materials and temperatures are at play there. This would help refine the science of Earth weather forecasting, allowing for better weather forecasts. Radar measurements made in July 2009 and January 2010 indicate that Ontario Lacus is extremely shallow, with an average depth of 0.4–3.2 m, and a maximum depth of 2.9–7.4 m. In contrast, the northern hemisphere's Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare is a lake located on Titan, the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is bigger then Lake Superior on Earth. It is composed of liquid hydrocarbons located at 79.0° N, 248.0° W, measuring roughly 500km in diameter and with surface area of about ~100,000km2...

 has depths exceeding 8 m, the maximum measurable by the radar instrument.

Chemical composition of the lakes


According to Cassini data, scientists announced on February 13, 2008, that Titan hosts within its polar lakes "hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth." The desert sand dunes along the equator, while devoid of open liquid, nonetheless hold more organics than all of Earth's coal reserves. In June 2008, Cassinis Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer confirmed the presence of liquid ethane beyond doubt in a lake in Titan's southern hemisphere. The exact blend of hydrocarbons in the lakes is unknown. In addition to ethane, methane is almost certainly present. Methane rain should fall on the lakes but it is vastly more volatile than ethane, so it probably evaporates much faster from lakes, leaving the heavier hydrocarbons behind. According to a computer model developed by Daniel Cordier of the University of Rennes, three-quarters of an average polar lake is ethane, with 10 per cent methane, 7 per cent propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 and smaller amounts of hydrogen cyanide, butane
Butane
Butane is a gas with the formula C4H10 that is an alkane with four carbon atoms. The term may refer to any of two structural isomers, or to a mixture of them: in the IUPAC nomenclature, however, butane refers only to the unbranched n-butane isomer; the other one being called "methylpropane" or...

, nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 and argon
Argon
Argon is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ar. Argon has atomic number 18 and is the third element in group 18 of the periodic table . Argon is the third most common gas in the Earth's atmosphere, at 0.93%, making it more common than carbon dioxide...

. The chemical composition and physical properties of the lakes probably vary from one lake to another. The lack of evidence of waves possibly indicates the lakes contain heavier tar like hydrocarbons making them more viscous than expected (calculations indicate wind speeds of less than 1 metre per second should whip up detectable waves in Titan's ethane lakes but none have been observed).

Observation of specular reflections


On 21 December 2008, Cassini passed directly over Ontario Lacus at an altitude of 1900 km and was able to observe specular reflection
Specular reflection
Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction...

 in radar observations. The signals were much stronger than anticipated and saturated the probe's receiver. The conclusion drawn from the strength of the reflection was that the lake level did not vary by more than 3 mm over a first Fresnel zone
Fresnel zone
In optics and radio communications , a Fresnel zone , named for physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, is one of a number of concentric ellipsoids which define volumes in the radiation pattern of a circular aperture...

 reflecting area only 100 m wide (smoother than any natural dry surface on Earth). From this it was surmised that surface winds in the area are minimal at that season and/or the lake fluid is more viscous
Viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

 than expected.

On 8 July 2009, Cassinis Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observed a specular reflection in 5 micron infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 light off a northern hemisphere body of liquid at 71° N, 337° W. This has been described as at the southern shoreline of Kraken Mare, but on a combined radar-VIMS image the location is shown as a separate lake (later named Jingpo Lacus). The observation was made shortly after the north polar region emerged from 15 years of winter darkness. Because of the polar location of the reflecting liquid body, the observation required a phase angle
Phase angle (astronomy)
Phase angle in astronomical observations is the angle between the light incident onto an observed object and the light reflected from the object...

 close to 180°.

Equatorial In Situ Observations by the Huygens Probe


The discoveries at the poles contrast with the findings of the Huygens
Huygens probe
The Huygens probe was an atmospheric entry probe carried to Saturn's moon Titan as part of the Cassini–Huygens mission. The probe was supplied by the European Space Agency and named after the Dutch 17th century astronomer Christiaan Huygens....

probe, which landed near Titan's equator on January 14, 2005. The images taken by the probe during its descent showed no open areas of liquid, but strongly indicated the presence of liquids in the recent past, showing pale hills crisscrossed with dark drainage channels that lead into a wide, flat, darker region. It was initially thought that the dark region might be a lake of a fluid or at least tar-like substance, but it is now clear that Huygens landed on the dark region, and that it is solid without any indication of liquids. A penetrometer
Cone Penetrometer
The Fall cone test apparatus is an alternative method to the Casagrande Device in measuring the Liquid Limit of a soil sample . It is usually considered to be a more scientific approach because it is based less upon human judgment. In this method, a sample is placed in a 55 mm diameter,...

 studied the composition of the surface as the craft impacted it, and it was initially reported that the surface was similar to wet clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

, or perhaps crème brûlée
Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée , also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel...

 (that is, a hard crust covering a sticky material). Subsequent analysis of the data suggests that this reading was likely caused by Huygens displacing a large pebble as it landed, and that the surface is better described as a "sand" made of ice grains. The images taken after the probe's landing show a flat plain covered in pebbles. The pebbles may be made of water ice and are somewhat rounded, which may indicate the action of fluids.

Models of oscillations in Titan's atmospheric circulation suggest that over the course of a Saturnian year, liquid is transported from the equatorial region to the poles, where it falls as rain. This might account for the equatorial region's relative dryness.

Titan Mare Explorer


Titan Mare Explorer
Titan Mare Explorer
Titan Mare Explorer is a proposed spacecraft lander that, if launched, would probe Titan, the largest moon of the planet Saturn, and would perform the first exploration of an extraterrestrial sea...

 (TiME) is a planned NASA/ESA lander that would splash down on Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare is a lake located on Titan, the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is bigger then Lake Superior on Earth. It is composed of liquid hydrocarbons located at 79.0° N, 248.0° W, measuring roughly 500km in diameter and with surface area of about ~100,000km2...

 and analyze its surface, shoreline and Titan's atmosphere. If approved and funded, its launch would be on January 2015.

Named lakes and seas



Features labeled lacus are believed to be ethane/methane lakes, while features labeled lacunae are believed to be dry lake beds. Both are named after lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s on Earth.

Titanian maria (large hydrocarbon seas) are named after sea monsters in world mythology.
Name Coordinates Diameter (km) Source of name
Kraken Mare
Kraken Mare
Kraken Mare is the largest known body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It was discovered in 2007 by the Cassini probe and was named in 2008 after the Kraken, a legendary sea monster....

 
68.0°N 310.0°W 1,170.0 The Kraken
Kraken
Kraken are legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland.In modern German, Krake means octopus but can also refer to the legendary Kraken...

, Norse sea monster.
Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare
Ligeia Mare is a lake located on Titan, the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is bigger then Lake Superior on Earth. It is composed of liquid hydrocarbons located at 79.0° N, 248.0° W, measuring roughly 500km in diameter and with surface area of about ~100,000km2...

 
79.0°N 248.0°W 500.0 Ligeia, one of the Siren
Siren
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous mermaid like creatures, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli...

s, Greek
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 monsters
Punga Mare  85.1°N 339.7°W 380.0 Punga
Punga (mythology)
In Māori mythology, Punga is a supernatural being, the ancestor of sharks, lizards, rays, and all deformed, ugly things. All ugly and strange animals are Punga's children. Hence the saying Te aitanga a Punga used to describe an ugly person...

, Māori ancestor of sharks and lizards

Name Coordinates Diameter (km) Source of name
Abaya Lacus  73.17°N 45.55°W 65.0 Lake Abaya
Lake Abaya
Lake Abaya is a lake in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region of Ethiopia. It was named Lake Margherita by the Italian explorer Vittorio Bottego, the first European commonly thought to visit the lake, to honor the wife of king Umberto I of Italy, Queen Margherita...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

Albano Lacus  65.9°N 236.4°W 6.2 Lake Albano, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Atitlán Lacus  69.3°N 238.8°W 13.7 Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

Bolsena Lacus  75.75°N 10.28°W 101.0 Lake Bolsena
Lake Bolsena
Lake Bolsena is a crater lake of central Italy, of volcanic origin, which was formed starting 370,000 years ago following the collapse of a caldera of the Vulsini volcanic complex into a deep aquifer. Roman historic records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC,...

, Italy
Cayuga Lacus  69.8°N 230.0°W 22.7 Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake   is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles long. Its average width is 1.7 miles , and it is at its widest point near Aurora...

, USA
Cardiel Lacus  70.2°N 206.5°W 22 Cardiel Lake, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

Feia Lacus  73.7°N 64.41°W 47.0 Lake Feia, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

Freeman Lacus  73.6°N 211.1°W 26 Lake Freeman
Lake Freeman
Lake Freeman is a reservoir outside of Monticello, Indiana formed in 1925 by the completion of the Oakdale Dam. Construction of the Oakdale Dam began in 1923 and was completed in 1925, damming the waters of the Tippecanoe River....

, USA
Jingpo Lacus  73.0°N 336.0°W 240.0 Jingpo Lake, China
Junín Lacus  66.9°N 236.9°W 6.3 Lake Junín
Lake Junín
Lake Junín, known as Lago Junín in Spanish and Chinchaycocha in Quechua, is the largest lake entirely within Peru. Even though Lake Titicaca has a much larger area, its eastern half is located on Bolivian territory...

, Peru
Kivu Lacus  87.0°N 121.0°W 77.5 Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika...

, on the border of Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

Koitere Lacus  79.4°N 36.14°W 68.0 Koitere
Koitere
is a lake in Ilomantsi, North Karelia, Finland. The lake, which sports numerous islands and beaches, is located in the middle of wilderness. The river Koitajoki, which is a tributary of the river Pielisjoki in North Karelia, flows from the lake....

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Lanao Lacus  71.0°N 217.7°W 34.5 Lake Lanao
Lake Lanao
Lake Lanao is a large lake in the Philippines, located in Lanao del Sur province in the country's southern island of Mindanao. With a surface area of 340 km²...

, Philippines
Logtak Lacus  70.8°N 124.1°W 14.3 Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in India, also called the only Floating lake in the world due to the floating phumdis on it, is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India. The etymology of Loktak is Lok = "stream" and tak = "the end"...

, India
Mackay Lacus  78.32°N 97.53°W 180.0 Lake Mackay
Lake Mackay
Lake Mackay is the largest of hundreds of ephemeral salt lakes scattered throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory....

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

Mývatn Lacus  78.19°N 135.28°W 55.0 Mývatn
Mývatn
Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds, especially ducks...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

Neagh Lacus  81.11°N 32.16°W 98.0 Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh, sometimes Loch Neagh, is a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. Its name comes .-Geography:With an area of , it is the largest lake in the British Isles and ranks among the forty largest lakes of Europe. Located twenty miles to the west of Belfast, it is approximately twenty...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

Ohrid Lacus  71.8°N 221.9°W 17.3 Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid straddles the mountainous border between the southwestern Macedonia and eastern Albania. It is one of Europe's deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem with more than 200 endemic species that is of worldwide importance...

, Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

Oneida Lacus  76.14°N 131.83°W 51.0 Oneida Lake
Oneida Lake
Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within New York State . The lake is located northeast of Syracuse and near the Great Lakes. It serves as one of the links in the Erie Canal. It empties into the Oneida River which flows into the Oswego River which in turn flows into Lake Ontario...

, USA
Ontario Lacus
Ontario Lacus
Ontario Lacūs is a lake composed of methane, ethane and propane near the south pole of Saturn's moon Titan. Its character as a hydrocarbon lake was confirmed by observations from the Cassini spacecraft, published in the 31 July 2008 edition of Nature...

 
72.0°S 183.0°W 235.0 Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot language, ontarío means...

, on the border between Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.
Sevan Lacus  69.7°N 125.6°W 46.9 Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world.Lake Sevan is situated in the central part of the Republic of Armenia, inside the Gegharkunik Province, at the altitude of 1,900m above sea level...

, Armenia
Sotonera Lacus  76.75°N 17.49°W 63.0 Lake Sotonera, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

Sparrow Lacus  84.3°N 64.7°W 81.4 Sparrow Lake
Sparrow Lake
Sparrow Lake is a lake located in the south-central region of the Province of Ontario, Canada. It is situated north-west of the town of Orillia and south of the town of Gravenhurst, Ontario and approximately 150 kilometres and a 1.5 hour drive north of the Greater Toronto Area.Sparrow Lake is the...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

Towada Lacus  71.4°N 244.2°W 24 Lake Towada
Lake Towada
is the largest crater lake in Honshū island, Japan. Located on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, it lies 400 meters above sea level and is 327.0m depth, and is drained by the Oirase river. With a surface area of 61.1 km², Towada is Japan's 12th largest lake, its bright blue...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

Uvs Lacus  69.6°N 245.7°W 26.9 Uvs Nuur
Uvs Nuur
Uvs Lake is a highly saline lake in an endorheic basin - Uvs Nuur Basin in Mongolia with a small part in Russia. It is the largest lake in Mongolia by surface area, covering 3,350 km² at 759 m above sea level....

, Mongolia
Vänern Lacus  70.4°N 223.1°W 43.9 Vänern
Vänern
Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden, the largest lake in the EU and the third largest lake in Europe after Ladoga and Onega in Russia. It is located in the provinces of Västergötland, Dalsland, and Värmland in the southwest of the country.- History :...

, Sweden
Waikare Lacus  81.6°N 126.0°W 52.5 Lake Waikare
Lake Waikare
Lake Waikare is the largest of several shallow lakes in the upper floodplain of the Waikato River in New Zealand's North Island. It is a riverine lake, located to the east of Te Kauwhata and 40 kilometres north of Hamilton...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...


Name Coordinates Diameter (km) Source of name
Atacama Lacuna  62.8°N 227.6°W 35.9 Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world...

 and associated salt pans
Eyre Lacuna  72.6°N 225.1°W 25.4 Lake Eyre
Lake Eyre
Lake Eyre is the lowest point in Australia, at approximately below sea level, and, on the rare occasions that it fills, it is the largest lake in Australia and 18th largest in the world...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

Jerid Lacuna  66.7°N 221°W 42.6 Chott el Djerid
Chott el Djerid
Chott el Djerid , also spelt Shaţţ al Jarīd, Sciott Gerid, and Shott el Jerid, is a large endorheic salt lake in southern Tunisia.-Geography:The bottom of Chott el Djerid is located between 10 and 25 meters above sea level....

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

Melrhir Lacuna  64.9°N 212.6°W 23 Chott Melrhir
Chott Melrhir
Chott Melrhir also known as Chott Melghir or Chott Melhir is an endorheic salt lake in northeastern Algeria. It the westernmost part of a series of depressions, which extend from the Gulf of Gabès into the Sahara. They were created between Miocene and Early Pleistocene as a result of compression...

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

Ngami Lacuna  66.7°N 213.9°W 37.2 Lake Ngami
Lake Ngami
Lake Ngami is an endorheic lake in Botswana north of the Kalahari Desert. It is seasonally filled by the Taughe River an affluent of the Okavango River system flowing out of the western side of the Okavango Delta. It is one of the fragmented remnants of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi...

, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

Racetrack Lacuna  66.1°N 224.9°W 9.9 Racetrack Playa
Racetrack Playa
The Racetrack Playa, or The Racetrack, is a scenic dry lake feature with "sailing stones" that leave linear "racetrack" imprints. It is located above the northwestern side of Death Valley, in Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California, U.S.....

, USA
Uyuni Lacuna  66.3°N 228.4°W 27 Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at . It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...


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