After being engaged in North American Great Lakes research for more than 35 years, it is natural that I am somewhat biased as to what constitutes a large lake since the smallest lake in that system (Lake Ontario) is almost 19,000 km2 (Table 1). So it is interesting to me that European lakes of >100 km2 have also been designated as large lakes (Nõges et al., 2008). The European Union’s Water Framework Directive (European Commission, 2000) adopted a size classification that set 10 km2 as a boundary between medium and large lakes, with those greater than 100 km2 designated as very large lakes.

There is much complexity in the classification of lakes, although simple practical definitions (e.g. area and volume) are sometimes required. For example, Tilzer and Bossard (1992) classified large lakes as being >500 km...

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