Lakes were classified according to chemical properties. The concentration of the ferric iron oxides was responsible for a reddish-black turbidity which, in turn, played a major role in the thermal stratification of red strip-mine lakes. Owing to the lack of measurable turbidity and as a result of selective absorption of visible solar radiation, other strip-mine lakes appeared blue in color. The annual heat budget and the summer heat budget are essentially equivalent under saline conditions. Regardless of the physical and chemical conditions of the strip-mine lakes, heat income was a function of the circulating water mass. The progressive oxidation and precipitation of the iron oxides is the key to the classification of strip-mine lakes.