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Home > Science & Nature > Nature > River and Creek Compared

Difference Between River and Creek

River vs Creek

A river is a repository of fresh water and is a natural water course. It normally flows towards an ocean or sea. It joins a lake or another river too at times. A creek on the other hand is a small stream. A creek can also be a narrow channel between islands.

Geographers define creek as small rivers or rivulets. It is important to know that river is part of hydrological cycle. A creek on the other hand is described as a shallow tributary to a river. One of the main differences between a river and creek is their size. As a matter of fact a river is larger than a creek.

A river is said to be a natural body of water that leads to an ocean or sea. On the contrary a creek is understood differently by different cultures. In British English creek means a narrow inlet of the sea, probably a sunken river valley. In Australia a creek means almost a river. It is interesting to note that a creek is called by other names such as a brook and a stream too in British English.

Geographers believe that although a creek is smaller than a river, there are some creeks that are considerably larger and longer than some rivers. In fact they are described as stronger than some rivers too. There are some large creeks and small rivers in the United States of America for that matter.

It is no hyperbole that there are few creeks that flow all through the year. Rivers on the other hand sometimes get dried due to extreme heat and precipitation and are likely to gain flow of water during rainy season. It is interesting to note that rivers flow downhill without taking the compass direction into consideration. It is indeed a misconception that rivers flow only from north to south.


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  2. Difference Between Surface Water and Ground Water

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