A lagoon is a body of water, the sand deposits ( Spit ) or coral reefs ( Atoll ) is separated from the sea.


The word derives from the lagoon on the Italian laguna from the Latin lacuna ( pond, pool ). In the Baltic Sea is called the lagoon often lagoon or lagoon, in the Black Sea it is called Liman. Often lagoons also carry other name parts such as lake, bay or sound.

Lagoons can beach dislocation, leading to the formation or extension of sand spits and hooks, are separated from the sea. Is the separation complete, arises from the lagoon a Strandsee, the aussüßt slowly. However, if there is still a connection to the sea, the lagoon contains brackish water. In the case of the lagoons of atolls upscale it may happen that the lagoon to a small lake and is as in the case of Buada lagoon located on Nauru is over a kilometer from the sea. The lagoon is also as in the case of Niue completely disappear; the remaining valley retains, however, the term lagoon.

The demarcation of small inland seas - dependent seas which are connected with an ocean or other sea only by a narrow strait - is fluid, with shallow waters are often considered lagoons.

Human Impacts

Since lagoons are poorly accessible to most, they have to get as little of human -influenced ecosystems in many cases. These wetlands serve as important refuges of aquatic birds, fish, small animals and plants. The ecologically most important lagoons are protected internationally by the Ramsar Convention.

An example of an - at least partially - developed and used is the lagoon city of Venice, near the mouth of the Po in Italy. Reason for the city's founding in lagoons is usually very safe location. Many lagoons are also very rich in fish that was in the past for the inhabitants of the area of great economic importance in particular.

Lagoons in Germany

  • The National Boddenlandscape is the third largest national park in Germany. Its varied landscape lagoon offers a diverse flora and fauna.
  • The largest German lagoon is 1584 km ² in the Szczecin Lagoon, which lies only partly in German territory.

International examples of lagoons

  • The world's largest lagoons of Lagoa dos Patos is one of the ( 10,145 km ²) in Brazil, the city of Porto Alegre is located on the shore.
  • The approximately 460 km ² lagoon of Lagos lies to the east of the city of the same name and is perhaps the best example of an ecologically endangered by anthropogenic influences lagoon. The pathogenic bacteria heavily polluted waters reached an average of only two meters deep and one of the largest lagoons in the African continent.
  • The Mar Menor is a 170 km ² large salt water lagoon in the Spanish region of Murcia and the largest inland saline waters in Europe.
  • Very well known is the lagoon of Venice with the same lagoon city. The expansion reaches approximately 550 km ².
  • Also located on the Adriatic lagoon Karavasta in Albania, which is considered a major nature reserve.
  • Another important lagoon in the Mediterranean is the lagoon of Messolonghi ( 33.5 km ²) in the Messolonghi - Delta (Greece ), the delta of the river Achelous. At the north end of the lagoon, the small town Aitoliko located on an island, it is the lagoon of Aitoliko connects.
  • Ahunui as an example of a completely enclosed lagoon atoll islands.
  • The bay and lagoon of Walvis Bay is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Africa; as well as the nearby lagoon of Sandwich Bay.
  • The 15,000 m² to the small lake of Prevelis jammed mouth of Megalopotamos on the beach of Prevelis.

Lagoon of Venice

Kara- Bogaz - Gol, Turkmenistan

Lagoon at Tindari ( Sicily)

Lagoon of the atoll Fangataufa

Sandwich Bay, Namibia