Alpine lake

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Alpine lakes and forest, Denali National Park, Alaska Denali-alpine-lakes-forest-Highsmith.jpeg
Alpine lakes and forest, Denali National Park, Alaska

Alpine lakes are classified as lakes at high altitudes, usually starting around 10,000 feet in elevation above sea level [1] or above the tree line. [2]


Alpine lakes are usually clearer than lakes at lower elevations due to the colder water, which decreases the speed and amount of algae and moss growth in the water. These lakes are often surrounded by varieties of pine trees, aspens, and other high-altitude trees.[ citation needed ]

Famous alpine lakes

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Alps Major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, and stretch approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The Alpine arch generally extends from Nice on the western Mediterranean to Trieste on the Adriatic and Vienna at the beginning of the Pannonian basin. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,809 m (15,778 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Mountain A large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally considered to be steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the Earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

Himalayas Mountain range in Asia

The Himalayas, or Himalaya, , is a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest, at the border between Nepal and China. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.

Subarctic climate

The subarctic climate is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates. Subarctic or boreal climates are the source regions for the cold air that affects temperate latitudes to the south in winter. These climates represent Köppen climate classification Dfc, Dwc, Dsc, Dfd, Dwd and Dsd.

Cloud forest Type of rainforest

A cloud forest, also called a water forest, primas forest, or tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF), is a generally tropical or subtropical, evergreen, montane, moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level, formally described in the International Cloud Atlas (2017) as silvagenitus. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are also referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained.

Alpine tundra Biome found at high altitudes

Alpine tundra is a type of natural region or biome that does not contain trees because it is at high elevation. As the latitude of a location approaches the poles, the threshold elevation for alpine tundra gets lower until it reaches sea level, and alpine tundra merges with polar tundra.

Mediterranean climate Type of climate

A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, where this climate type is most common. Mediterranean climate zones are typically located along the western sides of continents, between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator. The main cause of Mediterranean, or dry summer climate, is the subtropical ridge which extends northwards during the summer and migrates south during the winter due to increasing north-south temperature differences.

Geography of Alberta

Alberta is a Canadian province. Located in Western Canada, the province has an area of 661,190 square kilometres (255,290 sq mi) and is bounded to the south by the U.S. state of Montana along 49° north for 298 kilometres (185 mi); to the east at 110° west by the province of Saskatchewan for 1,223 kilometres (760 mi); and at 60° north the Northwest Territories for 644 kilometres (400 mi). The southern half of the province borders British Columbia along the Continental Divide of the Americas on the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, while the northern half borders British Columbia along the 120th meridian west. It is one of only two landlocked provinces.

Tree line

The tree line is the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing. It is found at high elevations and high latitudes. Beyond the tree line, trees cannot tolerate the environmental conditions. The tree line is sometimes distinguished from a lower timberline or forest line, which is the line below which trees form a forest with a closed canopy.

Alpine climate

Alpine climate is the typical weather (climate) for the regions above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as a mountain climate or highland climate.

Tibetan Plateau A plateau in Central Asia

The Tibetan Plateau, also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau in Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Northwestern Yunnan, Western half of Sichuan, Southern Gansu and Qinghai provinces in Western China, Indian regions of Ladakh and Lahaul and Spiti as well as Bhutan. It stretches approximately 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) north to south and 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) east to west. It is the world's highest and largest plateau, with an area of 2,500,000 square kilometres (970,000 sq mi). With an average elevation exceeding 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) and being surrounded by imposing mountain ranges that harbor the world's two highest summits, Mount Everest and K2, the Tibetan Plateau is often referred to as "the Roof of the World".

Plateau An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain

In geology and physical geography, a plateau, also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland consisting of flat terrain, that is raised sharply above the surrounding area on at least one side. Often one or more sides have deep hills. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental. A few plateaus may have a small flat top while others have wide ones.

Mountain goat

The mountain goat, also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, is a hoofed mammal endemic to North America. A subalpine to alpine species, it is a sure-footed climber commonly seen on cliffs and ice.

<i>Picea engelmannii</i> Species of plant

Picea engelmannii, with common names Engelmann spruce, white spruce, mountain spruce, or silver spruce, is a species of spruce native to western North America, from central British Columbia and southwest Alberta, southwest to northern California and southeast to Arizona and New Mexico; there are also two isolated populations in northern Mexico. It is mostly a high altitude mountain tree, growing at 900 metres (3,000 ft) – 3,650 metres (11,980 ft) altitude, rarely lower in the northwest of the range; in many areas it reaches the alpine tree line.

Alpine plant Plants that grow at high elevation

Alpine plants are plants that grow in an alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. There are many different plant species and taxon that grow as a plant community in these alpine tundra. These include perennial grasses, sedges, forbs, cushion plants, mosses, and lichens. Alpine plants are adapted to the harsh conditions of the alpine environment, which include low temperatures, dryness, ultraviolet radiation, wind, drought, poor nutritional soil, and a short growing season.

<i>Scutiger boulengeri</i>

Scutiger boulengeri is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is found in Nepal, India (Sikkim) and western China. A healthy population has been found at an elevation of 5,270 m (17,290 ft) in one of the lakes in the Gurudongmar Lake complex in Sikkimese Himalaya. This is one of the highest elevations where amphibians have ever been recorded.

Sierra Nevada subalpine zone

The Sierra Nevada subalpine zone refers to a biotic zone below treeline in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, United States. This subalpine zone is positioned between the upper montane zone at its lower limit, and tree line at its upper limit.

Altitudinal zonation in mountainous regions describes the natural layering of ecosystems that occurs at distinct elevations due to varying environmental conditions. Temperature, humidity, soil composition, and solar radiation are important factors in determining altitudinal zones, which consequently support different vegetation and animal species. Altitudinal zonation was first hypothesized by geographer Alexander von Humboldt who noticed that temperature drops with increasing elevation. Zonation also occurs in intertidal and marine environments, as well as on shorelines and in wetlands. Scientist C. Hart Merriam observed that changes in vegetation and animals in altitudinal zones map onto changes expected with increased latitude in his concept of life zones. Today, altitudinal zonation represents a core concept in mountain research.

Siffleur Wilderness Area provincially designated wilderness area in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta

The Siffleur Wilderness Area is a provincially designated wilderness area in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta. It was established in 1961 and it, as one of the three wilderness areas of Alberta, has the strictest form of government protection available in Canada. All development is forbidden and only travel by foot is permitted. Hunting and fishing are not allowed. The other two wilderness areas are White Goat Wilderness Area and Ghost River Wilderness Area and together the three areas total 249,548.80 acres (100,988.82 ha).

Montane ecosystems

Montane ecosystems are found on the slopes of mountains. The alpine climate in these regions strongly affect the ecosystem because temperatures fall as elevation increases, causing the ecosystem to stratify. Dense montane forests are common at moderate elevations, due to moderate temperatures and high rainfall. At higher elevations, the climate is harsher, with lower temperatures and higher winds, preventing the growth of trees and causing the plant community to transition to montane grasslands, shrublands or alpine tundra.


  1. Ward, Henry B.; Marsh, C. Dwight; Birge, E. A. (September 1904). "A Biological Reconnoissance of Some Elevated Lakes in the Sierras and the Rockies, with Reports on the Copepoda and on the Cladocera". Transactions of the American Microscopical Society. 25: 127. doi:10.2307/3220874. JSTOR   3220874.
  2. Pérez, María Teresa; Sommaruga, Ruben (November 2006). "Differential effect of algal- and soil-derived dissolved organic matter on alpine lake bacterial community composition and activity". Limnology and Oceanography. 51 (6): 2527–2537. doi:10.4319/lo.2006.51.6.2527.