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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!



Lakes are formed when glaciers cut holes in loose soil or soft bedrock, depositing material, or leaving buried chunks of ice. These chucks of ice melted to leave lake basins. When these gaps or holes filled with water, they became lakes. The study of freshwater is known as Limnology.

The current chemical and biological conditions of a lake depend on many factors, including:

  • The lake's history and how it was formed
  • The size and shape of the lake
  • The regional climate surrounding the lake
  • Local biological communities
  • The activities of humans during the past century that affect the lake

The physical, chemical and biological characteristics of lakes are extremely variable. These variable include:


  • Light levels
  • Temperature
  • Water currents


  • Nutrients
  • Major ions
  • Contaminants


  • Structure
  • Function
  • Static versus dynamic variables e.g. biomass, population numbers, growth rates


Physical Characteristics of Lakes
What are the important physical properties of lakes?

Chemical Characteristics of Lakes
Learn about some of the chemical properties unique to each lake.

Biological Characteristics of Lakes
Information about the different biological communities found in our lakes.