Loch Ness facts

The lowdown on Britain's biggest body of water

DID YOU KNOW....

  • Loch Ness is the largest body of fresh water in Britain.
  • There is more water in Loch Ness than all the other lakes in England, Scotland and Wales put together.
  • It is around twenty two and a half miles long and between one and one and a half miles wide, a depth of 754 feet with the bottom of the loch being as flat as a bowling green.
  • It holds 263 thousand million cubic feet of water which is around 16 million 430 thousand million gallons of water with a surface area of 14000 acres and could hold the population of the world 10 times over.
  • It is fed by 7 major rivers the Oich, Tarff, Enrich, Coiltie, Moriston, Foyers and Farigaig plus numerous burns, with only one outlet the River Ness which flows 7 miles through Inverness into the Moray Firth 52 feet below the loch surface.
  • During a heavy rainfall the lochs level has been known to rise by as much as 7 feet and a rise of 2 feet is common place.
  • The rain catchment area for Loch Ness is so large that a rainfall of just quarter of an inch adds 11.000.000 tons of water to the loch.(7) It is said that the loch never freezes and this is true.
  • Because of the great amount of water in the loch a thermocline lies at around 100 feet down in the loch. The top 100 feet of water alters temperature depending on the weather conditions but below the thermocline the temperature never alters from 44 degrees fahrenheit. So as the surface water cools in winter and nears freezing point it sinks and is replaced by the warmer water from below. This can cause the loch to steam on very cold days, in fact it has been estimated that the heat given off by the loch in a winter is the equivalent to burning 2 million tons of coal.