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Data Details

Biwa Lake

CHEN Wenbo1DOKO Tomoko1LIU Chuang2
1 Nature & Science Consulting Co. Ayase,Kanagawa 2521135,Japan2 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China


Published:Jan. 2024

Visitors:1397       Data Files Downloaded:18      
Data Downloaded:3.83 MB      Citations:

Key Words:

Biwa Lake,Shiga Prefecture,Japan,data encyclopedia


Biwa Lake, located in Shiga Prefecture, is the largest and the oldest freshwater lake in Japan with a long history of approximately 4 million years. It is also one of about 20 ancient lakes around the world. The geolocation of Biwa Lake is 34°58′49″N - 35°30′53″N, and 135°51′39″E - 136°16′41″E. The area of Biwa Lake is approximately 671.54 km² which is approximately one-sixth of the area of Shiga Prefecture. The length of the lake shoreline is approximately 282.44 km. The length from north to south is approximately 63.49 km, the maximum width from east to west is approximately 22.8 km, and the minimum width from east to west is approximately 1.35 km. The amount of water is approximately 27.5 billion tons which could supply 14.5 million people in the Yodo River Basin water use every day for 11 years. The water in Lake Biwa basically flows from north to south, because most outflow points are in the south. However, northward flow also frequently occurs due to the gyres, static oscillations etc. The Biwa Lake was divided into North Lake and South Lake by the Biwa bridge. The area ratio of the South Lake and the North Lake is 1:11. There are three islands in the Biwa Lake, which are all located in North Lake named Okishima, Chikubushima, and Takeishima. The Okishima is the only one island that has resident in freshwater lake in Japan. The water source of Biwa Lake mainly comes from rivers, groundwater, and rainfall which the amount of water in a year can reach 5.89 billion tons. The definition of lake is that the smaller boat such as motor boat could pass through any building on the lake. For example, No.1 (breakwater) and No.2 (pier) are not defined as water body, No.3 (bridge) is defined as water body (see Figure 1). The dataset was developed based on Maxar (DigitalGlobe) Satellite Imagery integrated with the maps. The Maxar Satellite Imagery data was combined from the year of 2011-2022, with the resolution of 0.3 m - 0.5 m. The dataset is archived in both .kmz and .shp data formats, and consists of 17 data files with data size of 968 KB (Compressed to two files with 435 KB).

Foundation Item:

Ministry of Science and Technology of P. R. China (2019YFE0126600, 2021YFE0117300)

Data Citation:

CHEN Wenbo, DOKO Tomoko, LIU Chuang. Biwa Lake[J/DB/OL]. Digital Journal of Global Change Data Repository, 2024.


     [3] Lake Technical Research Society. Hydraulic and water quality management technology of lakes and marshes [M]. Tokyo: Lake Technical Research Society, 2007: 199-246.
     [4] Naito Masaaki. Handbook of the Biwa Lake (3rd Edition) [Z]. Nagahama: Shinkoshu Co., Ltd., 2018: 257.

Data Product:

ID Data Name Data Size Operation
1 BiwaLake.kmz 168.57KB
2 BiwaLakeshp.rar 266.91KB