Lakes Vs. Ponds

Difference Between  Lakes And Ponds

Lakes are caused due to depressions in the surfaces of land. They result wherever the natural drainage is blocked or impeded. Water falling on the land in the form of rain or snow runs downhill toward the oceans as rivers and streams. But where the surface is uneven or irregular, it collects in low places, or depressions, called basins.

Where the climate is humid, more water flows into a lake basin than is lost through evaporation. In this way lake basins tend to fill up, and the water remains fresh. As the water rises, it overflows the basin and runs out at the lowest point. In most regions of the world, this means that the water eventually flows down into an ocean or sea.

But if the basin lacks an outlet to the sea, the water will end up in a landlocked basin in the interior of a landmass instead. In such areas, the climate tends to be dry. So lakes that form in these interior basins gradually lose their water by evaporation. As a result, the water in such lakes is usually saline (salty). This is because as the water evaporates into the air, the dissolved mineral salts are left behind in the lake. Many landlocked lakes are seasonal in nature. They exist for a short time after heavy rains. But they shrink or disappear completely during dry weather.

Ponds may be either natural or man-made. Farmers often build ponds as a source of water or for flood control. Other ponds, often stocked with fish, are created simply for their aesthetic or recreational appeal.

There are many different types of natural ponds, depending on their location or the way in which they were formed. Bog ponds, usually located in northern regions, lie in the center of acid bogs. They contain peat and sphagnum moss and very specialized plants and animals. Depressions, potholes, and sinks, found in limestone areas, are formed when water dissolves the limestone beneath the surface and causes the ground to sink. Often they are only temporarily filled with water and have extremely varying plant and animal populations. Flood plain ponds, formed by shifting streams, tend to contain considerable organic material and flourishing populations. Ice-formed ponds, resulting from the action of glaciers, are common. Those in mountainous regions, called alpine ponds, are clear and cool. Spring-fed ponds are the most permanent, the most productive, and the easiest to maintain.




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