Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lake Geneva (French: Lac Léman, Le Léman or Lac de Genève, (German: Genfersee) is the second largest freshwater lake in central Europe (after Lake Balaton), divided between France (Haute-Savoie) and Switzerland (cantons of Vaud, Geneva, and Valais).
A great crescent shape of blue water, it is 73 km (45 mi) long, at its widest it is 14 km (8.7 mi) and its maximum depth is 310 m (170 fathoms). It covers approximately 582 km² (225 mi²) of total area. The volume of water is estimated at 88.9 km³ (72,000 acre-feet or 23.5 trillion U.S. gallons or 19.6 trillion imperial gallons) with a catchment area of 7,975 km² (3,079 mi²). The crescent shape is deformed around Yvoire on the southern shore, the lake can thus be divided into the "Grand Lac" to the east and the "Petit Lac" to the west.
Lake Geneva lies on the course of the Rhône River. The river has its source at the Rhone Glacier near the Grimsel Pass to the east of the lake and flows down through the Canton of Valais, entering the lake between Villeneuve and St. Gingolph , before flowing slowly towards its egress at Geneva. Other tributaries are the Drance , L'Aubonne , La Morges , Venoge , and Veveyse .
The first recorded name of the lake is Lacus Lemannus from Roman times; it became Lacus Lausonius, Lacus Losanetes and then the Lac de Lausanne in the Middle Ages. Following the rise of Geneva it became Lac de Genève (also translated into English as Lake Geneva). In the 18th century, Lac Léman was revived in French. It's usually called Lac de Genève in Geneva and Lac Léman elsewhere. Certain maps name the lake the Lac d'Ouchy (after the port located on the Lausanne lake shore).
A note on pronunciation (in IPA) —
- English: Lake Geneva
- French: Lac Léman /lak le'mɑ̃/ or Lac de Genève /lak də ʒe'nɛv/
- German: Genfersee /'gɛnfərˌze:/
- Italian: Lago di Ginevra /'lago di dʒi'nevra/.
Cities and places
|Southern shore||Northern shore|
- See also: List of lakes in Switzerland
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