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Difference Between Pond and Lake

Pond vs Lake

There’s no universally accepted definition for a pond and a lake. This is why many become confused in differentiating the two. However, several conventions with the authority of renowned worldwide scientists share some insights regarding both of them.

The Ramsar Convention, for example, defines a pond as a body of water that is less than 8 hectares or below 20 acres. By contrast, some American states consider lakes to be at least 10 acres in area giving the state of Minnesota more than 10,000 lakes. This clearly shows that there are conflicting definitions of lake and pond sizes because of the lack of standardization. Nevertheless, there are still some widely accepted general characteristics of both inland bodies of water.

First, a lake can be described as having surface waves that stop plants from thriving near its shore. A lake is also deeper than ponds as sunlight is no longer able to reach its deepest point. This depth also creates a form of temperature variance between different water levels of the lake. The lack of sunlight penetration in the lowest portion of the lake is responsible for the absence of flora at the bottom level. Because sunlight is a requirement for photosynthesis, the absence of such will deprive plant life at the bottom locations. Lakes are also big enough that they will not be completely frozen even during winter. And probably its most common stereotype is that a lake is naturally formed.

On the contrary, ponds are generally described as shallower bodies of water that can grow rooted plants at their bases because sunlight is able to penetrate their deepest point. During winter, it is also natural to see ponds completely frozen. Unlike lakes, ponds are usually artificially made by man, but some argue that a small number of ponds are naturally made.


1.Lakes are bigger or wider in area than ponds.
2.Lakes are deeper than ponds.
3.Lakes do not have plant life at the bottom because sunlight is unable to reach that point unlike in the case of a pond wherein plant life abounds in almost every level.
4.Ponds often have rooted plants at their bases or deepest levels.
5.Lakes have stratified water temperatures as their uppermost surface where water is the warmest while the deepest water level is very cold. Ponds have a more consistent water temperature across all their water levels.
6.Lakes are naturally made bodies of water while ponds are usually man-made.

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