How do you call the lake that was created by flooding a site where sand or gravel was extracted? (And are there different terms for the "sand" lake or "gravel" lake?) Thank you.

  • Note that English-speaking people usually say What do you call... when asking about the name of something. – user3395 Sep 20 '18 at 12:44

If you want to highlight the fact that the lake is not natural but produced through human effort (if that's what "created by flooding a site" means), then it could be called an artificial lake or a reservoir.

From Manitoba's "Artificial Lake Safety Guidelines":

Artificial Lake means an outdoor, artificially constructed basin that

(a) has a sand, clay or mud bottom;
(b) is not lined with concrete, fibreglass, vinyl or similar material;
(c) is intended for swimming, wading, diving or one or more other water recreational activities;
(d) has a water depth greater than 60 cm; and
(e) has a surface area greater than 1,500 m2.

And from Merriam-Webster's definition of reservoir:

1 : a place where something is kept in store: such as
a : an artificial lake

Note that a reservoir need not be an artificial lake that is used for recreational activity. It could be used for the storage of water for other reasons.

  • Just so OP is clear, "artificial lake" would not be an apt name for a flooded sand or gravel pit, however. There is often submerged excavation-related debris and equipment in abandoned pits which make them unsuitable for recreational activities. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 21 '18 at 12:25

The phrase quarry lake is common enough, and is usually understood to refer to an abandoned stone quarry that has been flooded. Not sure if it is apt for a gravel pit or sand pit.


Unless you want a technical term for lakes by their origin as mentioned here (Thanks Ronald for the comment), it is possible to form a term for those that are not in the list. In those cases, any word + lake is possible! Generally, it's understood unless you put a regional word. But if you have it in English, it's well taken!

For instance, you can have a 'crocodile lake' where you find crocs. That said, 'sand lake' may give listener a hint that the lake has something to do with sand. You may later clarify though.

Example? Well, we have Nakki Lake in India. Nakh in a local language is a fingernail. Yes, that lake was dug out from nails! Aww..

  • 1
    Rather than copying the lake descriptions from the article below in an answer, let me simply record the reference. It makes clear that lake names depend largely on their origins (such as volcanic, organic and glacial) and that there are 11 major lake types and dozens of sub-types. worldatlas.com/articles/… – Ronald Sole Sep 20 '18 at 9:36
  • 2
    "From nails"? What does that mean? The relevant section of the article you're linking to wasn't written by a native speaker of English, so I don't know what they were trying to say. – user3395 Sep 20 '18 at 12:50

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