River vs. Creek

Difference Between River and Creek INTRODUCTION – Almost 3/4th of the Earth is covered with water, and this…

Difference Between River and Creek

INTRODUCTION – Almost 3/4th of the Earth is covered with water, and this water presents itself in the form of different water bodies, that have different nomenclature owing to the differences in certain important aspects such as size, depth, path etc.  A river and a creek, both refer to water bodies that differ in their place of occurrence, their size, depth of water in them, flow of water in them, their origin and termination places etc.

DEFINITION – A river maybe defined as a naturally occurring water body, untouched by any kind of artificiality and forming an important part of the hydrological cycle in nature. A creek, on the other hand maybe defined as an inlet or a sheltered, narrow water way, which is smaller than a river, or more precisely is a shallow water body forming a tributary of a river.

DIFFERENCES – A river is a store house of fresh water, having its origin in the high mountain glaciers, and ending or rather emptying itself in a larger water body like an ocean or a sea, or another larger river, or a lake. A creek runs between islands as a very narrow water body, or rather, as a stream of a considerably small size. The depth of the water in a river is definitely much deeper as that of the creek, and similarly, the sixe is also larger than that of a creek. A river has its own, self formed natural course, and does not need the guidance of a compass to tell it the direction in which it should flow. The flow of the water is, however, obviously from the higher level to lower level. In different culture, Creek find its different meaning, or rather definitions. As for example, to an Australian, a creek is something very near to a river, if not a river, but to a British, a creek is a shallow water inlet and may also be termed as stream, brook etc.

However, exceptions do exist in all aspects of nature and life. Geographers have come across many Creeks, that are more stronger, larger, and deeper than what a river should be, and also across many rivers, that flow as shallow and narrow as a creek.. Some creeks are also reported to have been flowing all throughout the year with a lot of water in the, while the rivers have dried up during times of scorching heat. However, the rivers do regain the water content as well as their normal flow, during the rainy season, when rains give them back their lost water.

Thus, in spite of the basic similarity of being a type of water body, there are several vital differences between a river and a creek.


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