The world’s longest freshwater lake • Earth.com

Last update: July 3rd, 2020 at 11:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Lake Tanganyika, which is the second oldest freshwater lake in existence. The world’s longest freshwater lake

This African Great Lake is also the world’s longest freshwater lake and second deepest, containing about 17 percent of the freshwater on the planet.

With depths of up to 1,470 meters, Tanganyika supports about 1,500 species of animals.

This false color image was captured on June 18, 2019, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

The African Great Lakes (Swahili: Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the third-largest fresh water lake in the world by area, Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by volume and depth, and Lake Malawi, the world’s eighth-largest fresh water lake by area. Collectively, they contain 31,000 km3 (7400 cu mi) of water, which is more than either Lake Baikal or the North American Great Lakes. This total constitutes about 25% of the planet’s unfrozen surface fresh water. The large rift lakes of Africa are the ancient home of great biodiversity, and 10% of the world’s fish species live there.

Countries in the African Great Lakes region (sometimes also called Greater Lakes region) include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

 

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