This data set estimates large-scale wetland distributions and important wetland complexes, including areas of marsh, fen, peatland, and water (Lehner and Döll 2004). Large rivers are also included as wetlands (lotic wetlands); it is assumed that only a river with adjacent wetlands (floodplain) is wide enough to appear as a polygon on the coarse-scale source maps. Wetlands are a crucial part of natural infrastructure as they help protect water quality, hold excess flood water, stabilize shoreline, and help recharge groundwater (Beeson and Doyle 1995, Stuart and Edwards 2006). Limited by sources, the data set refers to lakes as permanent still-water bodies (lentic water bodies) without direct connection to the sea, including saline lakes and lagoons as lakes, while excluding intermittent or ephemeral water bodies. Lakes that are manmade are explicitly classified as reservoirs. The Global Lakes and Wetlands Database combines best available sources for lakes and wetlands on a global scale. This data set includes information on large lakes (area ≥ 50 km2) and reservoirs (storage capacity ≥ 0.5 km3), permanent open water bodies (surface area ≥ 0.1 km2), and maximum extent and types of wetlands.

Dataset Attributes


  • By on January 25, 2016
  • Updated 5 months ago

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