Lakes and ponds are complex and diverse freshwater habitats that exist across the world. These serve as a providence of resources and a source of habitation for both terrestrial and aquatic beings. These habitats claim about 3 percent of the earth’s total landmass. Although they were widely present and serve as a source of vitality for many species, they are still sparse. At first glance, both lakes and ponds give a similar appearance. But the lake and pond difference do exist. They are built upon a positive interrelationship between nature and living organisms, and the climate of lakes and ponds is also crucial. Read on to understand more about these lentic worlds.
1. How do Ponds and Lakes Form?
Lentic systems are formed by diverse processes. Ponds and lakes form by the following phenomenon:
- The geological uplifting of mountains in certain land surfaces can cause depression in the adjacent region. This depression, when filled with water, ponds and lakes form.
- The meeting point of two tectonic plates can give off deep riffs in the subsidence of lands along its faults. These rights lead to deep rift lakes like the rift valley lakes of eastern Africa.
- Volcanic craters of a dormant volcano can also form lentic systems. These are called crater lakes.
- The movement of glaciers is considered an important force in creating lakes and ponds. These kinds of lakes are common in elevated glacierised basins.
- Rivers can also create lentic systems when the flood plains inundate surrounding regions, creating small ponds in the aftermath of floods. This is how one-way ponds and lakes form.
- The sediments form kettle lakes in a glacier after a block of ice melts. These are often found in continental glaciers previously sheathed by ice.
- Ephemeral ponds are formed during spring due to the melting ice and spring rainfall. Thus, they are seasonal ponds that function as spawning grounds for frogs. Functionally ponds and lakes form to enrich a local water-based biota.
2. What are some Facts about Lakes and Ponds?
Apart from the lake and pond difference, lakes and ponds sure so have some characteristics unique to themselves.
Some facts about lakes are:
- There are nearly 117 million lakes on our planet. This amounts to 3 percent of the total surface area of the continental landmass, not including Antarctica, Greenland, and the Caspian sea. Of these, 90 million lakes measure up to 0.5 to 2.5 acres, less than two football fields.
- The shorelines of all the lakes in the world measure approximately 250 times the length of the equator. The length of the equator is 7,926 miles long.
- Lakes are mostly scattered towards the continental landmass in the northern hemisphere. This is due to the tectonic placements of the continents. As a result, most lakes are found in Canada, Russia, Alaska, Sweden, and Finland. Albeit tropical countries also have their collection of lakes, the countries of the north hold the record.
- Eighty-five percent of lakes lie lower than 1,600 feet above sea level. One reason is the restriction of mountainous territories. Second is the last ice age that made those countries with most lakes devoid of them by being scraped off by the glaciers.
- Lakes are occasional, sometimes even seasonal visitors. This means they’re not always around. Sometimes they suddenly spring forth by the pooling of rainwater or the release of groundwater. Permafrost can lead to permanently frozen lakes in Russia and Alaska in some regions having small lakes.
Some facts about ponds are:
- The great pond in Maine is as big as a lake and even bigger than some small lakes.
- Our world has more than 100 million ponds.
- Some ponds tend to have brackish water conditions, and many animals depend on Water for growth and reproduction.
3. Are Pond and Lake the same?
Scientifically no. A pond and a lake are usually defined arbitrarily and not in a conventional way. Early settlers named water bodies lakes and ponds depending on their reasons. Although geographically, lake and pond difference does exist.
Lakes are any area filled with Water and localized in a basin. It’s not directly connected to the sea but by means of rivers and streams. On the other hand, a pond is an area filled with water and surrounded by land. It’s, more often than not, smaller than a lake. Both lakes and ponds can be both natural and artificial. Albeit similar at a glance, the lake and pond difference is exclusive to their structure and depth. (See Which Canadian Province has the Most Lakes?)
4. What is Lake and Pond Difference?
The depth and surface area are the foundation for the lake and pond difference. These are elaborated on below:
- Lakes are deeper than ponds and have Aphotic zones, while ponds have a photic zone. The lake and pond difference includes the fact that ponds might be shallower and allow sunlight to reach the bottom.
- Ponds have the same water temperature on all the parts, whereas a lake has a varying temperature that fluctuates depending on the depth.
- Lakes are divided based on plant life and their nutrient content, namely mesotrophic lakes, eutrophic lakes, and hypertrophic lakes. On the other hand, a pond serves as a habitat for various living organisms. These are collectively referred to as pond life.
5. What are the two Major Differences between a Lake and Pond?
The two central lake and pond differences are size distinction and depth distinction.
- The size distinction is that a lake is much larger than a pond.
- In terms of depth distinction, a lake is more profound than a pond. A pond is more shallow than a lake and has photic zones.
6. What are the Uses of Pond and Lake?
Uses of pond and lake are:
- Lakes help cheaper and more convenient ways of transporting heavier goods like coal, machinery, timber, etc.
- In earlier times, human settlements were focused around lakes and rivers. Lakes’ presence led to civilization’s formation and eventually led to economic and industrial developments in those areas. Uses of pond and lake indirectly affect industrialization too.
- Lakes are an essential supplier of freshwater for domestic and industrial uses. They serve as storage areas either innately or by artificial means.
- In mountainous districts, these lakes are a source of hydroelectric power generation.
- Ponds form a habitat that supports the local wildlife. Water conservation is another use of ponds. It aids in the growth of plants as it fuels a self-sustaining water supply cycle.
These are some of the many uses of pond and lake.
7. Which Water comes in Ponds and lakes?
The water in lakes comes from rain, snow, melting ice, streams, and groundwater seepage. Most lakes contain freshwater.
The water in lakes comes from rainfall, melting of ice caps, snow, short streams that stem away from the river, and groundwater seepage.
Lakes mostly contain freshwater. Some underground aquifers, large rivers, and their tributaries act as the origin point for ponds. Ponds are catchments of freshwater fed by rain, snow, spring rainfall, natural river-filled basins, etc. (Also read What is the Largest Saltwater Lake in the World?)
8. Why are Ponds and Lakes important?
Besides wondering about the lake and pond difference, note that lakes and ponds are important in many ways.
- They serve as recreational, employing boating, nature viewing, fishing, swimming, and other popular water-based activities.
- They provide fresh water for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use. They are one of the best sources of drinking water. However, Water from these surface water bodies is purified and then distributed.
- They aid in power production. This is through hydropower, hydroelectric and thermoelectric methods of extraction.
- They serve as a habitat for many wild species of plants and animals. They regulate groundwater recharge, biodiversity, and a healthy biota altogether.
9. How does the Water stay in a Lake or Pond?
A theory regarding water holding capacity is that a Rocky bottom holds more water than a sandy one. But not all lakes have this advantage. Some a leaky, and their freshwater seeps into the ground. Natural as well as man-made lakes by way of reservoirs must be replenished. Rivers and streams fill some natural lakes during floods. Natural lakes also have the upper hand by being replenished by groundwater as they are situated at a lower elevation. Conclusively water loss depends on their bottom sediments and the rocks that constitute them.
The bottom layer of a pond is constantly evolving. It is subjected to evaporation and water leakage by the porosity of its bottom rocks. But in a pond, the rock’s sediments, over time, break down and form grains of sand that would fill in the pores between stones. Water, wind, and gravity aid in breaking rocks into finer sediments. These hold Water better.
10. What is the Climate of Lakes and Ponds?
The climate of lakes and ponds depends on several environmental and geographical factors. Lakes and ponds are a part of the freshwater biome. Climate refers to the average weather conditions over a period ranging up to a year. The average temperature in such freshwater biomes depends upon the moderate climate of its location. The average temperature during summer in lakes and ponds can range from 65 to 75 degrees F. In the winter, the average temperature ranges from 35 to 45 degrees F. Therefore, its location changes the climate of lakes and ponds, and impending weather also is a deciding factor. (Also read Which is the Largest Bay of the World?)