Lake or River?

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Mark Smith
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Lake or River?

Post by Mark Smith » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:18 pm

Something that has been kicking around my mind for awhile, and for which I would like to ask anyone on this site for their input/answers, is:

What makes a lake a lake? And, what makes a river a river? I ask these questions because of Lac Fwa. Is it a lake or a river? One scientific publication refers to it as a river (which I am inclined to believe) but when I asked a well known icthyologist, he avoided answering the question altogether. There seem to elements of both lake and river that make up Lac Fwa?

Any thoughts out their?

Bas Pels
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:17 am
Location: Nijmegen - the Netherlands

Re: Lake or River?

Post by Bas Pels » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:48 am

A river flows to the sea, or to another river - while doing so, it can flow rather slowly, such as the Amazon river does.

A lake is a natural reservoir of water - normally the end of a bunch of small rivers, probably with an outflow into one large river, such as Lake Victoria at the start of the river Nile

Thinking of the question, I wondered when a lake, with 1 river flowing into it, and 1 river flowing away from it, is a river and when it will still be a - temporarily broad - river. I think this would have to do with relative proportions and whether the lake could still remain when the feeding river would stop feeding it. That is, in case the lake is deeper than the outgoing river, the lake would remain in such a case.

Hmmm, writing what I'm thinking I end op with quite an odd definition of a lake: it is a reservoir of water, which may be fed by only 1 river, but must be deeper than any outflowing rivers, and must have a certain proportion to these rivers.

I do wonder whether others have a better idea

Mark Smith
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: Lake or River?

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:29 am

I like that, especially the part where if the river ceases, will the lake continue to exist on its own. If so, then it is a lake, if not, then it is not a lake. Is this what you are implying?

Bas Pels
Posts: 2247
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:17 am
Location: Nijmegen - the Netherlands

Re: Lake or River?

Post by Bas Pels » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:15 am

I think I did

After all, what is the difference between a lake and a broad part of a river? There must be something defining the difference, and the most prominent would be an independent existence.

Which implies a lower bottom. But please remember, I like to define, and I was just writing what I thinking, just as one can be thinking out loud. Sometimes one sais something one did not intend, and then it is good to take the time analysing what you just said.

And I think I came down with an independent existence as defining a lake

Mark Smith
CichlidRoom Expert
Posts: 1343
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: Lake or River?

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:26 am

Thanks Bas. I guess we would need to know how deep the widening (lake? part) of Lac Fwa is in order to determine if it would pass your well thought out definition of a lake. I don't suppose anyone would know what the depth is in Lac Fwa where it seems to look like a lake? And, to know the depth of the river that it seems to meld into, before and after the lake-like area? I understand that just before Lac Fwa is a spring, where the depth of the place where the water pours out from the earth is at least 30 feet deep, possibly deeper?

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