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    Explanation of some geographical terms related to water areas.


    Have a query about geographical terms related to water? Searching for the explanation online? Then, on this page you can get answers to your queries.

    I often get confused in the geographical terms related to water. What is the major difference among sea, lake, river, channel and bay?
  • #142501
    Good question posed by the author. And here are my explanation which are simple and yet understandable. Water sources are saved in various forms. The first comes the pond. Pond is the small dug up hallow space where in water is made to accumulate for specific or normal use. That means the water would stagnant. Next comes Lake. Lakes are formed as the drinking water sources to towns and cities. In olden days Kings used to construct lakes and make sure that water for drinking purpose was stored and supplied. Then comes the River. Rivers are called Jiva Nadhi. That means they take to flow when the rain comes even in catchment areas. Rivers generally flow to the ocean and now a days river waters are diverted to irrigation purpose too. And the source taking the river water is called channel. Last comes the Ocean. Ocean is the biggest water body which are normally in the border of any country and it gains importance during Cyclones ,floods and over flow of river water in to them.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #142569
    When rain pours down, the water flows over the land form higher level to lower level. Thus water flows in small small streams. Such streams join together by and by and om small rivulets. More rivulets join further ahead and form a river. The river will be long and may be deep also. A river can facilitate irrigation, water transport and water needs to human and animal water requirements. River influences the underwater table of the area in its flow path. River generally ends up in a lake or sea. A lake is a vast expanse of water which may be isolated pocket of water or lying connected to a sea. Lakes lying connected to sea may be salty water and will be subjected to tides at the point of their connection to sea.

    Sea is much vast expanse of water body lying contiguously over a large area touching the outer limits of many countries. Sea is such a vast expanse of water that generally we cannot see the other end of a sea in direct viewing . Sea water is salty. Seas are subject to tidal waves and undercurrents at many places. It is because of the salty water that sea facilitates ship movements with high load of cargo traffic Even though many rivers empty into and end at a sea, sea water is salty only.
    The land area where the land ends and sea starts are called coasts. Coast are not al in straight line . At some places they may be inward curves and will have 'u' structure or other curvaceous shapes. In those places sea water will be there in the inward curve gaps. Such a water body in the inward curve of land is called a bay. The water in a bay can be relatively calm than the related sea outside the curve.
    Channel is a flow path of water, manmade or natural ,connecting two larger water bodies at the two ends.

  • #142589
    The major differences among sea, lake, river, channel and gulf are:
    Sea-It is a massive water body that is saline in nature. Seas mostly occupy different parts of two or more countries or continents.
    Lake-It is a comparatively much smaller water body that is either man-made or natural. It can be either fresh water or saline. Example: Dal lake, Mansarover lake (fresh water lake) Chilka lake (saline lake). It occupies a state.
    River-It is a long water body or natural stream of water that empties itself in a sea, ocean or another river. It covers two or more states. Its source is mostly a massive glacier or a huge lake. It is either perennial or seasonal. Example: Source of river Ganga is Gangotri glacier and source of river Tsangpo is Mansarover lake.
    Channel- It is a type of landform consisting of the path of narrow body of water, most commonly the confine of a river. Example: English channel.
    Bay-Bay is a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inwards or partially enclosed by land. A bay is smaller than a gulf. It is a water body partially enclosed by land but it has wide mouth, affording access to the sea. Example: Bay of Bengal, Hudson Bay.

    Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.

  • #142639
    Sea: Sea is a large water body and is larger than lake. The sea water is salty due to the presence of many number of salts dissolved in water. The sea is surrounded in whole or partly by land. The sea helps in balancing the earth's climate. It plays an important role in cycles of water, carbon and nitrogen. The sea is an important gateway for human travel and trade.

    Lake: lakes are areas filled with water and varies with sizes. They lie on land and are bigger than ponds. Lakes are usually fed and drained by rivers. Lakes can be man made or artificial also.

    River: Rivers are flowing water bodies. Rivers are natural and fresh water. A river begins at a source follows a course and flows into seas.

    Channel: A channel is a narrow water body between two lands. The water flows through the channel and provides route for ships and boats to sail along.

    Bay: A bay is a water body that forms an indentation on the coast line with a large opening. A bay connects directly to the main water body like seas. The bay prevents strong winds, waves and provides safe places for fishing.

  • #142670
    The biggest difference in between each of them is the surface area on the given land. And how much water they are consuming.

    For example, sea or ocean covers the maximum regions of the planet. Whereas the pond is the smallest possible water reserve. In case of lake it covers bigger than pond but lower than river region. Most of the lakes are formed due to geographical changes and some of them due to meteor crater gap. In case of Channel it connects two or more rivers and usually is part of the river that eventually connects the ocean. Bay is the region that is covered nearby the ocean region. Usually bay is the point near the coast line where ships are anchored.

    In short each one of them are formed and named accordingly.


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