Difference Between River and Lake

River vs Lake

One of the main differences between rivers and lakes is their water movement. The movement of water is along the banks in the case of a river. On the other hand lakes are described as still water characterized by immobility. A lake is in fact a still body of water.

One would find only slow movement in the lakes whereas the rivers are characterized by fast movement. It is after all the blowing of the wind that causes whatever the movement in a lake. Hence the movement of water in a lake is an artificial movement. It is not natural movement unlike the one seen in the rivers.

Another important difference between a river and a lake is in their look or appearance. It is important to note that lakes are surrounded by land. A lake must be sufficiently large enough to be considered a lake. If it is small it cannot be called a lake but it can be called a pond. A lake should be 2 to 5 hectares in size for that matter.

Since lakes are inland, they are not associated with sea or ocean. On the other hand rivers are directly connected to sea or ocean. This is one of the important differences between lakes and rivers. On the contrary rivers are bodies of water with land masses. This is possibly the reason why they look and appear longer than the lakes.

It is interesting to note that lakes can be man-made too. From ancient time lakes are created for irrigation purpose. Rivers can never be man-made; they are natural resources of water. But sometimes dams are built across rivers or they are redirected for various purposes of the mankind. Lakes can also be created as artificial resources of water to produce hydro-electricity. Man’s desire to produced more and more hydro power has resulted in the formation of large number of artificial lakes. They are still called lakes though they are artificial.