Difference Between Sea and River (with Table)

71% of the earth’s surface is water-covered. Water is present in different forms of water bodies such as the ocean, sea, rivers, lakes, icebergs, etc. all over the world. All these water bodies are highly valuable as they affect the survival of flora and fauna. They avail of a large number of species and a lot of human activities such as agriculture, transport, defense, hydropower, etc. Water bodies are often confused as people certain times do not know the features under which one can classify. Two such water bodies are sea and river.

 Seas are large water bodies that are smaller than oceans covering the land around it completely or partially. Seas play an important role in the earth cycles namely- water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle. Seas avail a large variety of flora and fauna in it according to the depth of the sea. Rivers are natural free-flowing water body they usually stream to join an ocean, sea, lake, or another river. Major cities are often created on the banks of the river as they make a lot of services easier for the settlement around.

The difference between sea and river is that the sea is a saltwater body whereas rivers are freshwaterbodies. Seas are rich in minerals as they contain a lot of different minerals in it such as sodium chloride, salts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium along with other elements. There are 7 major seas in the world and rivers can be further classified under 165 major rivers and 15 largest ones.

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Comparison Table Between Sea and River

Parameter of ComparisonSeaRiver
SizeLarge water bodyLong flowing water body
SalinitySaltwater bodyFreshwater body
FloodThey do not flood the nearby areaThey tend to flood the nearby area
NumbersThere are 7 seasThere are  165 major rivers
FormationSeas took billions of years to formFew may take only several years to form
Flow of waterThe water move in a comparatively slow speedThe water tends to move in a higher speed
 

What is Sea?

Sea is a large water body which is smaller than an ocean, it is partly or wholly an extension of an ocean covering the land around itself. It is a saltwater body. The sea plays an essential part in regulating and moderating the earth’s climate. It plays a crucial part in the earth’s water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle. Sea was the major means of traveling to a foreign or unknown land for travelers in ancient times. The scientific study of the sea is known as oceanography.

Sea is rich in minerals. A few of the minerals found are sodium chloride, salts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium along with other elements. Deep-sea current is also known as global conveyor belt which are formed by the difference in salinity and temperature, and surface currents are occurred by the friction of waves that occur due to wind and tide (caused by the earth’s rotation and the gravitational force of the moon, and the sun to certain extent).

 A wide variety of flora and fauna such as bacteria, parasites, algae, plants, fungi, and different types of fish provide a wide range of marine habitats and ecosystems. Seas play an important role in human trade, travel, mineral extraction, and power generation. There are 7 major seas in the world namely-the Mediterranean sea, the Caspian sea, the Adriatic sea, the red sea, the black sea, the Russian gulf, and the Indian ocean.

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Sea

What is River?

The river is a natural free-flowing water body. It is mostly a freshwater body, streaming towards an ocean, sea, lake, or another river. On certain occasions, the river dries out before it can reach another water body. Small rivers are often known as streams, creeks, brook, rivulet, and rill. In some countries river streams are classified by their size.

The river plays an important part in the hydrological cycle as it collects water from the river through precipitation. River streams only cover 0.1% of the land on earth. Major cities are located on the banks of the river as they are a good source of water and hence useful for a variety of activities such as agriculture, transport, defense, hydropower, etc. Rivers can be further classified under 165 major rivers and 15 largest ones, which are Nile river, Amazon river, Yangtze river, Mississippi-Missouri river system, Yenisei river, yellow river, OB river, Parana river, Cong river, Amur river, Lena river, Mekong river, Mackenzie river, Niger river, and Murray river.

River 1

Main Differences Between Sea and River

  1. Sea is a  large water body, often a part of an ocean whereas the river is a long flowing water body streaming to meet an ocean, sea, lake, or another river.
  2. Sea is a saltwater body and is rich in minerals whereas rivers are freshwater bodies.
  3. Seas do not flood the nearby land only on certain occasions of high tide the sea level rises but it is a matter of a few hours. Rivers on the other hand do flood its nearby banks at an alarming state.
  4. There are 7 seas all over the world whereas there is 165 rivers all over the world.
  5.  Seas  have taken billions of years to  form whereas a river may take a couple of years to form
  6. In the sea the flow of water is usually less.  The water of the sea is usually stagnant except near the coast where huge waves are formed. The water in the river flows at a high speed.
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Conclusion

Earth’s surface is made up of 71% water. It is in different forms of water bodies such as rivers, lakes, sea, ocean, etc. It sustains a large number of flora and fauna in it. They suit a large number of human activities. Water bodies can be further classified based on their features. Two such water bodies are sea and river.

Sea is a large saltwater body, rich in minerals. They took billions of years to form. They sustain a large number of species in it. It all varies according to the depth of the sea. Rivers on the other hand are long freshwater bodies. They flow to join other forms of the water bodies. Major cities are formed around the river as they help in a large number of human activities. On seasons such as the rainy season, they often tend to flood the nearby areas at an alarming condition. The water level in the river rises pretty quickly.

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/36786
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature04070
  3. https://www.chelanpud.org/relicense/comm/meet2000/4854_1.pdf