Lake or Pond

What is the difference between a lake and a pond?

The first thing to look at is the etymology. Lake = Latin:Lacus = Lake! Not very helpful, but pond comes from Old English:pund meaning enclosure – an object that encloses water.

The answer is that there is no official definition other than lakes are generally accepted as being larger than ponds. The definitions that exist range from vague to specific, but equally there are bodies of water generally accepted as a pond or lake, that breaks those rules.

Detailed analysis

One criteria relates to size, lakes require a boat to reach the other side. This implies that a pond is small enough to walk around, where as a lake is too large. What is not specified is an acceptable time to walk around. As lakes are surround by land, these implies that lakes cannot exist, you can always walk around them, even if it takes days.

Another criteria is that ponds are man made. Not true, there are man made lakes and natural ponds.

My favourite definition concerns plant life—Sunlight can reach the bottom of a pond, lakes are too deep for light to reach the bottom. This results in that plants are able to grow at the bottom of a pond. Lakes have a sterile region below 200m depth. Similarly, lakes tend to have a “beach” area. This is because the water is large enough for wave action, which disrupts plant on the surrounding ground,

One final definition I found is that lakes are part of the Earths hydrological system. Ponds are fed directly by rain, and seepage from the surrounding land. Lakes are fed by rivers,and can have exit rivers too.

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