It is located at 20°20′N 103°00′W / 20.333°N 103°W / 20.333; -103, 45 km southeast of Guadalajara, Jalisco, and is situated on the border between the states of Jalisco and Michoacán, at 1,524 metres (5000 feet) above sea level. Its approximate dimensions are 80 km (50 mi) from east to west and averages 12.5 km (7.8 miles) from north to south, and covers an approximate area of 1,100 km2 (420 sq mi).
It is a shallow lake, with a mean depth of 4.5 metres (14.9 feet) and a maximum of 10.5 (34 feet).
It is fed by the Río Lerma, Río Zula, Río Huaracha, and Río Duero rivers, and drained by the Rio Grande de Santiago. The water then flows northwest into the Pacific Ocean.
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