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Lakes + Reservoirs

lakes_thumb
Natural and artificial lakes.

lakes_wide_half_2About

Primarily derived from World Data Bank 2 with numerous reservoir additions from other sources, primarily imagery. The diminishing areal extent of the Aral Sea and Lake Chad derives from recent satellite imagery.

Ranked by relative importance, coordinating with river ranking. Includes name attributes.

(right) Lakes and reservoirs in Argentina and Brazil.

Supplemental Data
North America and Europe only.

The “basic” lakes work well at scales to about 1:30,000,000, good for maps that need to include lakes as a general reference mixed with other data themes. If your map is about lakes in particular, or is at 1:5 million to 1:20m scale, add Natural Earth’s “supplementary” lake data, now available for North America and Europe only.

The supplemental data provides four times the number of features, at the same level of generalization as the “basic” feature set.

Supplemental Data – Europe

Data primarily derives from Catchment Characterisation and Modelling (CCM) Database 2.1 by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability. For information about this product and the source data, see http://ccm.jrc.ec.europa.eu.

The modified CCM rivers and lakes offered here are intended for small-scale cartographic use. Only a portion of CCM data is used, representing major rivers and lakes (classes 4 and 5 in the MAINDRAIN attributes column). Generalization and smoothing were applied to these selected data—the CCM vectors contain 9 percent of the data points found in the original source data.

Seamlessly merging CCM rivers and lakes with the existing Natural Earth base data required many adjustments. CCM rivers that coincided with Natural Earth rivers were mostly deleted. In a few cases where the existing Natural Earth data were found egregiously incorrect, the CCM data replaced the Natural Earth data.

The remaining CCM data were fitted Natural Earth rivers, lakes, coastlines, glaciers, political boundaries, and shaded relief derived from SRTM Plus. The positional adjustments were minor given the 1:10 million-scale of the data. In addition, the headwaters of some CCM rivers were clipped slightly downstream to provide visual separation with other river headwaters and to avoid the crests of ridges on the shaded relief.

River and lake name attributes derive from the CCM. Natural Earth contributors assigned the other attributes, including Stroke Weight, Feature Class, Scale Rank, and Feature Number.

Copyright and Terms of Use
Supplemental Data – Europe

The supplementary (scale ranks 9 to 12) European rivers and lakes included with Natural Earth are in the public domain and supplementary attribution to the European Commission is optional.

They are derived, using simple generalization algorithms (quote..), with permission, from the Catchment Characterisation and Modelling (CCM) Database 2.1 (July 2008) by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability. The original, 100 meter resolution and topological consistent CCM linework is available for non-commercial use. More information »

Contact: Jürgen Vogt (+ 39)0332 785481, juergen.vogt(at)jrc.ec.europa.eu.

An exception to the above: Icelandic rivers and the tributaries of the Pechora and Usa rivers of Russia derive from Digital Chart of the World, which is entirely in the public domain.

Supplemental Data – North America

(above) Data derives the North American Environmental Atlas, a collaboration of government agencies in Canada, Mexico and the United States and the trilateral Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). More information »

Seamlessly merging CEC rivers and lakes with the existing Natural Earth base data required many adjustments. CEC rivers that coincided with Natural Earth rivers were mostly deleted. In a few cases where the existing Natural Earth data were found egregiously incorrect, the CEC data replaced the Natural Earth data.

The remaining CEC data were fitted Natural Earth rivers, lakes, coastlines, glaciers, political boundaries, and shaded relief derived from SRTM Plus. These positional adjustments were minor given the 1:10 million-scale of the data. In addition, the headwaters of some CEC rivers were clipped slightly downstream to provide visual separation with other river headwaters and to avoid the crests of ridges on the shaded relief.

River and lake name attributes derive from the CEC. Natural Earth contributors assigned the other attributes, including Stroke Weight, Feature Class, Scale Rank, and Feature Number.

Copyright and Terms of Use
Supplemental Data – North America

The supplementary (scale ranks 9 to 12) North America rivers and lakes included with Natural Earth are in the public domain and supplementary attribution to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation is optional (metadata).

Pluvial Lakes – Mostly North America

Originator of pluvial (late quaternary) lake data is Mifflin, M.D., and Wheat, M.M. in 1979 and then digitized in 1996 as part of the DDS 41 series from U.S. Geological Survey. For more information, see: Raines, G.L., Sawatzky, D.L., and Connors, K.A., 1996, Great Basin geoscience data base: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series DDS-41. Another of their sources was King, G. Q. in unpublished Material: “Late Pleistocene lakes and glaciers of the Great Basin” by Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology in 1975. Digitized the King map and added this to the Nevada map. Added a few lakes not on NBMG Bulletin 94. This was downloaded by the authors of Natural Earth and modified to fit with the rest of the project from the USGS Earth Science Information Center (ESIC) DDS-41, which is in the public domain.

Issues

Areal Sea is probably smaller (lower water elevation) now than what is shown.

Version History

  • 3.0.0
  • 2.0.0
  • 1.4.0
  • 1.3.0
  • 1.0.0

The master changelog is available on Github »