Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Loch Ness (from Gaelic Loch Nis) is a large, deep freshwater lake (known in Scotland as a loch) in the Scottish Highlands, extending for approximately 37 km (23 miles) to the south-west of Inverness. It is the largest body of water in the geological fault line known as the Great Glen, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. The Caledonian Canal, which links the sea at either end of the Great Glen, uses Loch Ness for part of its route.
Loch Ness is one of a series of interconnected, murky lochs in Scotland that were carved by glaciers during previous ice ages. Quite large and deep, Loch Ness has exceptionally low water visibility due to a high peat content in the surrounding soil.
Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface area at 56.4 km² (21.8 mile²) but due to its extreme depth is the largest by volume. At its deepest part, 226 m (740ft), London's Telecom Tower at 189 m(620 ft) would be completely submerged.
Loch Ness is best known for the alleged sightings of the fabled monster, "Nessie", the Loch Ness monster, although it is scenic in its own right. Boat cruises operate from various locations along its shores giving tourists the chance to look for the monster.
It also acts as the lower storage reservoir for the Foyers pumped-storage hydroelectric scheme, which was the first of its kind in Britain. The turbines were originally used to provide power for a nearby mill, but now electricity is generated and supplied to the National Grid.
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