Differentiate Between Lake And Pond

Lake and Pond

Definition of lake and pond:

Lake – there is no internationally accepted definition of lake.  Nevertheless, according to the generally accepted definition, a lake is a large body of water accumulated in a basin (still, slowly moving, or sanding water).  Streams, rivers, aquifers, melting ice, rainfall or snowfall feed the lake and are mostly freshwater and rarely salty.  Lakes are open or closed.  In open lake, water seeps through the river or other outlet and in closed lake, it leaves through evaporation.  The physical characteristics of a lake are largely determined by the three main sources – light, wind and temperature.  Wind and light regulates the temperature in lakes.  Wind cools down the lake water whereas sunlight warms the water.

We find many man-made reservoirs and impoundment for controlling flood, providing water for human population, for livestock as well as energy production).  These are examples of artificial lake.

Lakes and ponds are also known as lentic systems because they contain slow-moving water.

Though lake and pond account only 13% of the earth’ surface, they are natural home for wide variety of species and plant (terrestrial – cats, spiders, ants etc. and aquatic organisms – lobster, fish etc).

Origin, types and size:

Rivers and streams feed the lake.  The monograph published by George Evelyn Hutchinson (internationally acclaimed ecologist) in 1957 contains a detailed analysis about the origin and classification of lakes and according him, there are 11 types of major lakes which are as follows:  Tectonic lakes, landslide lakes, volcanic lakes, solution lakes, aeolian lakes, shoreline lakes, organic lakes, meteorite (extraterrestrial impact) lakes, glacial lakes, fluvial lakes, and anthropomorphic lakes.

It must be kept in mind that there is no uniform standardization of lake size.  To some experts, bodies of water larger than 2 acres is considered to be lake whereas for some, minimum water surface area of 20 acres is considered to be a lake.

Pond – it is also an area of a collection of water body but the only difference is the size (pond is small in size while lake is big in size).  It also differs from rivers and streams as it does not contain moving water.  Its natural source is from rainwater and underwater spring or artificial (man-made).

Difference between pond and lake:

  1. As lake is larger than pond, it can affect the surrounding climate, whereas ponds are themselves affected by the surrounding climate.
  2. Even cold climates do not affect the activities of lake and do not freeze whereas ponds freeze solids.
  3. A lake is an open area and relatively deep water and it creates a wave-swept shoreline that can prevent vegetation from growing along the shore.
  4. Another major difference between the two is the water temperature.  One usually finds variable temperature in a lake.   For example, in summer season, the top layer gives warm temperature of around 65-75 degrees.  The middle layer has a temperature of 45-65 degrees F and the bottom layer has a temperature of around 39-45 degrees F whereas ponds usually do have a uniform temperature pattern throughout irrespective season change.