Difference Between Lake and River


Main Difference

The main difference between Lake and River is that Lake is a static pool of water bordered by land, and River is running or passing water body that streams into the ground on the way to the ocean.

Lake vs. River

Lakes look to stagnant water bodies. Whenever lakes travel or move, they travel very gradually. Mostly movements of the lake are inclined by the carrying of the wind. And a river is ultimately moving or tracks beside its arrays or banks. Usually, rivers frequently run in only one way. Lakes typically walled by land, whereas rivers are water bodies with landforms or long elasticities of land adjoining their borders.


Lakes are mainly established or found in the northward halfway around the world, while rivers establish on every landmass or continent and almost every kind of land. Lakes are rather vast pools of water, and lakes for overall or broad drives are static. On the other side, rivers aspect like snakes sliding away, and rivers are continuously moving.

Comparison Chart

Lake is a constant or motionless water body.The river is a running water body.
Lake can be both natural (inherent) or non-natural (artificial).Rivers are real or inherent water bodies.
Connect To
Lake, in no case, connects or joins another body.The river connects to a bigger water body.
Shape like a giant pool.Shape like a snake.
Lakes largely situated or placed in the northern halfway across the world.Rivers situated on each continent or landform and almost every form of land.
Fed By
It is provided for or fed by rivers, channels, and streams.It fed by rainfalls, snowmelt, and meltdown chunks or glaciers.

What is Lake?

A lake is a water-body that remains still and is walled by land. There are masses of lakes in the sphere or world. They are located on all landforms and in all types of surroundings. Lakes are really big. Some extent just a few square meters and are fairly small to fit in or adapt your yard. Lakes similarly vary greatly in deepness. The name of the deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal, in Russia. The water in the lakes caused by rainfall, blizzard, melting frost, watercourses, and groundwater outflow. Maximum lakes comprise freshwater.

All lakes can be both open or closed or barred. If water departs a lake by a waterway or other opening or passage, it is stated to be open. All freshwater or potable water lakes are open. If water departs a lake by vaporization, it is stated to be close. Closed lakes commonly become salty or briny. All lakes fill out bowl-shaped despairs in the Earth’s shallow or surface, named basins. Lake basins shaped in numerous ways.

Many lakes, particularly those in the North of the equator, were made by glaciers that included large zones of land throughout the most recent glacial period, around 18,000 years before. Lakes can also be formed by landslides or landslips that send topsoil, rock, or mud slipping downhills and highlands. People create lakes by hollow out basins or by stemming rivers or mainsprings. These artificial lakes can produce electricity by hydroelectric power plants.

What is River?

A river is an enormous, curving, or flowing waterway. Rivers appear very small watercourses or stream and steadily get larger as increasingly water added. Heavy or intense rainfalls and heavy snowmelt include plenty of fluid to few rivers that they run-off their waterfront or bank of the rivers and downpour the nearby land. The water in rivers derives from many diverse bases. Rivers commence to lakes or as springs that intumesce or bubbling from underground. The basis of start by of further rivers is rainfall or melting blizzard and snow high up in the highlands.

Most rivers stream rapidly in the steeply inclined fragments near their basis. Speedy water washes off stones, soil, and mud sendoff a rocky lowermost or bottom. Rivers increase or expand when smaller streams termed tributaries link the central river. Some rivers have many small canals or channels that repetitively divided and link. These are named braided rivers. Braided rivers are generally wide or extensive but shallow. They made on fairly steep inclines or slopes and where the bank of the river easily depleted.

Most of the rivers keep a bay or tributary wherever they go into the ocean. A bay is a subdivision of river, whereas sea-water and fresh-water intermix. The Amazon River, one of the lengthiest or extended river in the world at over 6,259 kilometers (3,903 miles), is provided by above 1,000 tributaries or bay. Human being constructs dams over rivers to accumulation water in artificial or human-made lakes called reservoirs.

Key Differences

  1. Lake is a standing water body, whereas the river is a moving water body.
  2. Lake is fed by streams, canals, and rivers, while the river fed by rains, snowmelt, and melting glaciers.
  3. Lake can be a natural or artificial water body, and the river is a natural water body.
  4. Lake is an inland water body surrounded by land on all sides; on the other hand, the river moves along its banks and is not surrounded by land on all sides.
  5. Lake looks like a huge pond, whereas the river looks like a snake.
  6. Lake does not move from one place to another place, but river stars from one place and ends at another place after traveling a distance.
  7. Lake not associated with the ocean, sea, etc. Some lakes may have a seepage system to move out water, while rivers connected with the sea or ocean where it empties itself.
  8. Lake mostly found in the northern half of the world, and the river is found all over the world, on every continent.


Lakes are large bodies of water with fairly large depths, and they don’t have currents. Rivers have a current and flow constantly. They aren’t alike besides the water aspect.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson