Difference Between River and Creek

Main Difference

Around 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water, and oceans possess around 96.5 percent of the whole Earth water. Sea, river, lakes, creeks, ponds including oceans circulate Earth’s water to revive the living on planet. While differentiating in between river and creek, one doesn’t need any official or scientific guidelines as one of the most general difference between them is that rivers are of large size as compare to the creeks. A river is a natural steam, usually a repository of fresh water that flows in a channel to the sea, lake or any other river, whereas creek is a smaller and shallower stream as compare to river. It is often called a minor tributary of river. Creek is defined as the narrow waterway in between islands.

Comparison Chart

RiverCreek
Defined asA river is a natural steam, usually a repository of fresh water that flows in a channel to the sea, lake or any other river.A narrow, sheltered waterway, especially an inlet in a shoreline or channel in a marsh is called creek.
SizeMoreLess
Freshwater or SaltwaterRivers are generally freshwater repository.creeks can also have salt water when formed with seawater.
UseMultipurpose, can be used for transportation, generating power.Shallow water so doesn’t come up with such prominent benefits.
BranchesYesNo

What is River?

A river is a natural steam, usually a repository of fresh water that flows in a channel to the sea, lake, ocean or any other river. They are also recognized as one the biggest reservoir of fresh water. In ancient times different civilizations set alongside the rivers, as the river-side was used for multiple tasks. Even the invaders or the other civilizations got in battle with river-side civilizations to get hold of the rivers. Nile valley, Indus Valley Ganges civilization, Hueng He civilization and many other civilizations set alongside the rivers. Generally, rivers have freshwater and are large for that’s why they were used for living purposes like usage of freshwater in agriculture and household chores, the other reason they were taken much important for was that they were also used for transportation purpose. lakes and other water streams combine in to form rivers.

What is Creek?

Creek is recognized as the narrow waterway in between islands that is often called a minor tributary of river. Commonly, they are said to be smaller and shallower as compare to the rivers, though in USA and other areas there are the creeks which are quite of larger size as compare to the rivers. Surprisingly, there are several takes on what are creeks so in different areas of world creeks are defined differently. In North America and New Zealand a smaller water stream is called creek. In UK and Indian scenario a narrow inlet to the sea is called a creek. In Australia water stream of almost the river size is said to be a creek. Generally, creeks are formed with the river water after it split into small streams like brook, rivulet, though they can also be formed with sea water.

River vs. Creek

  • A river is a natural steam, usually a repository of fresh water that flows in a channel to the sea, lake or any other river, whereas creek is a smaller and shallower stream as compare to river.
  • Creek is often called a minor tributary of a river.
  • Generally, River is a large stream than a creek.
  • River flows in channel and even splits into small streams like brook, rivulet, or creeks.
  • Rivers are generally freshwater repository, whereas creeks can also have salt water when formed with seawater.

Comparison Video

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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

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