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Body of Water


The term body of water most often refers to large accumulations of water, such as oceans, seas, and lakes, but it includes smaller pools of water such as ponds, wetlands, or more rarely, puddles. A body of water does not have to be still or contained; Rivers, streams, canals, and other geographical features where water moves from one place to another are also considered bodies of water.

  • Bay - an area of water bordered by land on three sides.
  • Bayou - a slow-moving stream or a marshy lake.
  • Brook - a small stream.
  • Canal - a man-made waterway, usually connected to (and sometimes connecting) existing lakes, rivers, or oceans.
  • Channel - the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks.
  • Cove - a coastal landform. Earth scientists generally use the term to describe a circular or round inlet with a narrow entrance, though colloquially the term is sometimes used to describe any sheltered bay.
  • Creek - a small stream.
  • Gulf - a part of a lake or ocean that extends so that it is surrounded by land on three sides, similar to, but larger than a bay.
  • Harbor - a man-made or naturally occurring body of water where ships are stored or may shelter from the ocean's weather and currents.
  • Impoundment - an artificially-created body of water, by damming a source. Often used for flood control, as a drinking water supply (reservoir), recreation, ornamentation (artificial pond), or other purpose or combination of purposes. Note that the process of creating an "impoundment" of water is itself called "impoundment."
  • Lagoon - a body of comparatively shallow salt or brackish water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature.
  • Lake - a body of water, usually freshwater, of relatively large size contained on a body of land.
  • Loch - a body of water such as a lake, sea inlet, firth, fjord, estuary or bay.
  • Mangrove swamp - Saline coastal habitat of mangrove trees and shrubs.
  • Marsh - a wetland featuring grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, and other herbaceous plants (possibly with low-growing woody plants) in a context of shallow water.
  • Mediterranean sea - a mostly enclosed sea that has limited exchange of deep water with outer oceans and where the water circulation is dominated by salinity and temperature differences rather than winds.
  • Moat - a deep, broad trench, filled with water, surrounding a structure, installation, or town.
  • Ocean - a major body of salty water that, in totality, covers about 71% of the Earth's surface.
  • Pool (disambiguation), various small bodies of water such as a swimming pool, reflecting pool, pond, or puddle.
  • Pond - a body of water smaller than a lake, especially those of man-made origin.
  • Pothole—see Kettle
  • Puddle - a small accumulation of water on a surface, usually the ground.
  • Rapid - a fast moving part of a river
  • Reservoir - a place to store water for various uses, especially drinking water, which can be a natural or artificial (see Lake and Impoundment above)
  • River - a natural waterway usually formed by water derived from either precipitation or glacial meltwater, and flows from higher ground to lower ground.
  • Sea - a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, or a large, usually saline, lake that lacks a natural outlet such as the Caspian Sea and the Dead Sea. In common usage, often synonymous with ocean.
  • Spring - a point where groundwater flows out of the ground, and is thus where the aquifer surface meets the ground surface.
  • Strait - a narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water, and thus lies between two land masses.
  • Stream - a body of water with a detectable current, confined within a bed and banks.
  • Swamp - a wetland that features permanent inundation of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water, generally with a substantial number of hummocks, or dry-land protrusions.
  • Wetland - an environment "at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and truly aquatic systems making them different from each yet highly dependent on both" (Mitsch & Gosselink, 1986),.
Published:Jul 6th 2014
Modified:Jul 6th 2014

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