Lake Peipus

Lake Peipsi
Peipsi-Pihkva järv
Псковско-Чудское озеро
Lake Peipus, LandSat-8, 2016-10-20.jpg
Landsat satellite photo
LocationEstonia, Russia
Coordinates58°41′N 27°29′E / 58°41′N 27°29′E / Narva
Catchment area47,800 km2 (18,500 sq mi)
Basin countriesEstonia, Latvia, Russia
Surface area3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi)
Average depth7.1 m (23 ft)
Max. depth15.3 m (50 ft)
Water volume25 km3 (6.0 cu mi)
Shore length1520 km (320 mi)
Surface elevation30 m (98 ft)
IslandsKamenka, Kolpino, Piirissaar
SettlementsKallaste, Mustvee
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Peipus[1] (Estonian: Peipsi-Pihkva järv; Russian: Псковско-Чудское озеро, romanizedPskovsko-Chudskoye ozero; German: Peipussee) is the largest trans-boundary lake in Europe, lying on the border between Estonia and Russia.

The lake is the fifth-largest in Europe after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega (in Russia north of Saint Petersburg), Lake Vänern (in Sweden), and Lake Saimaa (in Finland).

Lake Peipus represents a remnant of a body of water which existed in this area during a former ice age. It covers 3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi), and has an average depth of 7.1 m (23 ft), the deepest point being 15 m (49 ft).[2][3] The lake has several islands and consists of three parts:

The lake is used for fishing and recreation, but suffered from some environmental degradation from Soviet-era agriculture. Some 30 rivers and streams discharge into Lake Peipus. The largest rivers are the Emajõgi and the Velikaya River. The lake drains into the Gulf of Finland via the Narva River.

In 1242 the lake was the site of the Battle on the Ice (Estonian: Jäälahing) between the Teutonic Knights and Novgorodians under Prince Alexander Nevsky.


The lake is a remnant of a larger body of water which existed in this area during a former ice age.[4] In the Paleozoic Era, 300–400 million years ago, the entire territory of the modern Gulf of Finland was covered by a sea. Its modern relief was formed as a result of glacier activities, the last of which, the Weichselian glaciation, ended about 12,000 years ago.