Lake Chon on Mt Paektu

Lake Chon is on the summit of Mt Paektu (2 750m) in the city of Samjiyon, Ryanggang Province in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Of the natural lakes in Korea, it is the deepest.

Covering an area of 9.16 sq km, it is 213.3m deep on average, 384m at its deepest, and 14 400m around. The water volume is 1 955 million cubic metres.

Its water level is 2 190.15m above sea level.

It is a crater lake formed in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

If seen from above, the crater looks like a blossom of magnolia, the national flower of the DPRK, and the lake looks like the heart of man.

The lake bed resembles a concave dish.

Around the lake surrounded by cliffs of 400-500m high, there are 216 peaks, including Janggun, Chonmun and Paegun.

The main water source of the lake is the atmospheric precipitation (84%) and springs on the bed and spas (16 %).

The annual mean precipitation is 2 260mm. The water temperature is lower than 30℃ below zero for 50-odds days in a year.

The lake freezes first and deepest among lakes in the country.

The lake is covered with ice for about seven months from mid-October to mid-June next year.

The ice is 1.5m at the thickest point and 1.4m on average.

The water falls into the Erdaobaihe, a tributary of the Songhua River through the Tal Gate in the northern rim of the lake.

The lake is filled with crystal-clear water all the year round, which is five times clearer than that of the ordinary river water.

There are the Paektu and Paegam spas.

Found in the lake are also floating weeds, water plants and aquatic animals, and chars teem there.

Alpine plants adorn its shores.

Singular natural phenomena occur by the strong winds blowing upwards along the cliffs. When a gale blows, stormy waves arise with thick clouds of spray, making it unable to distinguish water face from atmosphere.

As a legacy of volcanic activity, it is the highest crater lake in the world.