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Difference Between River and Lake

water-pdRiver vs. Lake

It is fairly easy to tell the difference between a river and a lake. One can distinguish one from the other without any form of trouble. Even school-aged kids will not have any hard time in doing so. To learn more about both bodies of water, continue to read.

The main difference that can be seen between rivers and lakes, is water movement. If you observe a river, it basically moves or runs along its banks. Commonly, rivers often flow in only one direction. On the contrary, lakes seem to be immobile, that’s why they are often regarded as still bodies of water. If ever the lakes seemingly move, they just move very slowly. Most of its movements are influenced by the blowing of the wind.

Secondly, lakes and rivers differ in how they look or appear. Lakes are usually enclosed by land. Unlike ponds, these bodies of water have to be of a significant size for it to be considered as a lake. Although there is no international standard, or concrete measurement as to what a lake’s size must be in order to be considered as one, many experts believe that lakes must be at least 2 to 5 hectares in size. They are also not connected to the seas or oceans, because they are inland. Conversely, rivers are bodies of water with land masses, or long stretches of land bordering their sides. Due to this, they are seen to be far longer than lakes.

Unlike the sea, lakes and rivers are usually fresh water in nature. No wonder both of them have been primary areas to spot fresh water sea foods for several centuries already. In addition, most lakes are said to dwell somewhere in the northern half of the world, with more than half of the total number of lakes residing in the Canadian regions (due to the country’s geographical land structure). Some lakes are also unique in the sense that they have a seepage system where their water flows out. If they don’t have this, their waters simply evaporate with constant heat. Nevertheless, the majority of lakes are attached to certain river outflows or streams.

Lastly, with the advent of technology, humans have engineered some of today’s well-known lakes. This means that many lakes nowadays are artificially made for the purpose of harnessing hydro power, or hydro-electricity.

1. Rivers are flowing bodies of water, while lakes are still bodies of water.

2. Unlike lakes, rivers aren’t enclosed by land.


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