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in dyeing, an insoluble pigmentpigment,
substance that imparts color to other materials. In paint, the pigment is a powdered substance which, when mixed in the liquid vehicle, imparts color to a painted surface.
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 formed by the reaction between an organic dye and a mordantmordant
[Fr.,=biting], substance used in dyeing to fix certain dyes (mordant dyes) in cloth. Either the mordant (if it is colloidal) or a colloid produced by the mordant adheres to the fiber, attracting and fixing the colloidal mordant dye (see colloid); the insoluble, colored
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. The color of a lake depends upon the mordant as well as the dye used. Generally, lakes are not as colorfast as many inorganic dyes, but their colors are more brilliant.


inland body of standing water occupying a hollow in the earth's surface. The study of lakes and other freshwater basins is known as limnology. Lakes are of particular importance since they act as catchment basins for close to 40% of the landscape, supply drinking water, generate electricity, are used to irrigate fields, and serve as recreational areas.

The Environment of Lakes

The primary source of lake water is precipitation that may enter the depression directly, as runoff from surrounding higher ground, or through underground springs. Unique flora and fauna live around a lake and vary depending on the size and shape of the lake and the surrounding rocks and soil. Flora and fauna in the lake are usually found in three zones: the littoral zone closest to the shallow water shore; the limnetic, in the open, well-lit water away from most vegetation; and the lower profundal zones areas of low oxygen and light.

Ponds are generally small, shallow lakes; the criterion for differentiating between ponds and lakes is usually temperature. Ponds have a more consistent temperature throughout; while lakes, because they are deeper, have a stratified temperature structure that depends on the season.

Global Distribution of Lakes

Lakes are not evenly distributed on the earth's surface; most are located in high latitudes and mountainous regions. Canada alone contains nearly 50% of the world's lakes. Although lakes are usually thought to be freshwater bodies, many lakes, especially in arid regions, become quite salty because a high rate of evaporation concentrates inflowing salts. The Caspian Sea, Dead Sea, and Great Salt Lake are among the greatest of the world's salt lakes. The Great Lakes of the United States and Canada is the world's largest system of freshwater lakes. Lake Superior alone is the world's largest freshwater lake with an area of 31,820 sq mi (82,414 sq km), although there is a larger volume of freshwater in Lake Baykal. The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, with an area of c.144,000 sq mi (372,960 sq km). Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mts. of South America is the world's highest large lake at 12,500 ft (3,800 m) above sea level; the Dead Sea is the lowest at c.1,400 ft (425 m) below sea level.

Formation and Fate of Lakes

Many lakes were formed as a result of glacial action during the PleistocenePleistocene epoch
, 6th epoch of the Cenozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table). According to a classification that considered its deposits to have been formed by the biblical great flood, the epoch was originally called the Quaternary.
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 ice sheets. In some areas, as exemplified by the Great Lakes, basins were carved into bedrock by the erosive action of the advancing ice mass. Lake basins are also formed by glacial morainemoraine
, a formation composed of unsorted and unbedded rock and soil debris called till, which was deposited by a glacier. The till that falls on the sides of a valley glacier from the bounding cliffs makes up lateral moraines, running parallel to the valley sides.
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 deposits that dam preexisting stream valleys. Lakes also form in calderas, created by the collapse of volcanic craters. Where extensive limestone deposits underlie a region, groundwater can dissolve great volumes of the limestone, forming caves that often contain underground lakes and eventually, if the roofs collapse, leave deep lake basins. Tectonic activity in the earth's crust forms lake basins in many ways, such as fault-generating rift valleysrift valley,
elongated depression, trough, or graben in the earth's crust, bounded on both sides by normal faults and occurring on the continents or under the oceans. The central flat block forming the trough slips downward relative to the crustal blocks on either side.
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 as those found in E Africa, that often fill with water. Oxbow lakes form in abandoned stream channels in floodplains of meandering rivers. Deposition of sediment along a shoreline can cut off bays, forming coastal lagoons. Humans often form lakes by building dams across river valleys for flood control, hydroelectric generation, or recreational purposes.

Lakes are transient features on the earth's surface and generally disappear in a relatively short period of geologic time by a combination of processes (e.g., erosion of an outlet or climatic changes that bring drier conditions). In a process called eutrophication, a lake gradually fills with organic and inorganic sediment, becoming a swamp or bog, and eventually a meadow. Human activity has greatly increased the rates of eutrophication; urban and suburban land construction activities result in increased discharge of soil debris into streams draining into lakes, filling them.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a lake?

A lake can represent our subconscious or our inner feelings. A dream about a lake might also be alluding to the familiar idiom “go jump in a lake.”

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


An inland body of water, small to moderately large, with its surface water exposed to the atmosphere.
Any of a large group of dyes that have been combined with or adsorbed by salts of calcium, barium, chromium, aluminum, phosphotungstic acid, or phosphomolybdic acid; used for textile dyeing. Also known as color lake.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Any of a number of bright pigments which are prepared from animal, vegetable, or coal-tar coloring matter, or formed synthetically; used in paints.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


an expanse of water entirely surrounded by land and unconnected to the sea except by rivers or streams
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


All bodies of water generally represent our emotions and our unconscious. Old dream interpretation books say that lakes are associated with romantic feelings. If the lake is calm, your love life is probably in such good shape that you feel safe. Stormy water means to strap yourself in and get ready for a bumpy ride. If you see a monster in the water, your unconscious may be suggesting that you have competition (or some unseen issue or problem). For a more serious and contemplative definition of this dream symbol, please see:Water, Ocean
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"AD ELEM's production in this period won't be enough because a block at Rek Bitola is being overhauled, preparations are still underway at REK Oslomej to begin production and extract additional quantities of coal and hydroelectric power stations don't have enough reservoir lakes for winter production," ELEM's management explains.
Rawal Dam is one of two that enable water reservoir lakes for the capital.
Although the combined level for the two reservoir lakes has increased to 71 percent from 36 percent earlier this year - when the river authority announced the current regional drought to be the worst on record - many are concerned that the drought may continue.
Many of these small reservoir lakes were created during the early- to mid-1960's for recreation, water storage, and drinking water prior to the golden days of the Lake and Stream Survey.
These reservoir lakes can't control all flooding, but they are doing what they're designed to do, Driver said.
The "main problem", Dr Murad said, was the fine soil at the bottom of the reservoir lakes blocking the surface water from fully seeping into groundwater tables.
The extremely high temperatures and the lack of rainfall have depleted reservoir lakes and have led to restrictions now that water is what we need most, says Eftim Saklev of the Farmers Association.
The LCRA reported last week that Central Texas' two major reservoir lakes, Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis, are only about 52 percent full (a combined rate).
In this way, the company will be able to fully reoptimize domestic production at a time when the regular overhaul at REK Bitola begins and reservoir lakes are being filled up.
Becky Motal, the LCRA's new general manager, said both Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis - the two key reservoir lakes - are fuller than they were during the drought of record, but still far below their average levels.
On Saturday on the road there was an amount of water equivalent to two reservoir lakes and cars was dragged 500 meters away.
The increased influx of water in the reservoir lakes brought about by heavy rains led to the two hydroelectric power stations Spilje and Globocica working at full capacity.