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Difference between Sea and River

Difference between Sea and River

What is the difference between a sea and a river? A sea is a large, open body of salt water that is connected to other seas and oceans. A river is a narrower, freshwater stream that flows into a larger body of water such as the ocean or another river. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between these two bodies of water. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

What is the Sea?

  • The Sea, also known as the ocean, is a large body of water that covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. It is home to a diverse range of plant and animal life, and it plays an important role in the global climate.
  • The Sea is divided into several distinct regions, each with its own unique characteristics. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and deepest of the world’s oceans, while the Pacific Ocean is the largest.
  • The Indian Ocean is located between Africa and Asia, and the Atlantic Ocean lies between North and South America. The Sea is a source of food and energy for humans, and it plays a vital role in transportation and commerce. It also supports a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, sailing, and surfing.

What is River?

A river is a naturally flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake, or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill.

  • There are no official definitions for generic terms like a river as they may be used differently in different countries. The River Thames in England is 21 miles (34 km) long and 315 miles (507 km) in its catchment area.
  • The River Ganges in India is 1,569 miles (2,525 km) long. The River Nile in Egypt is 6695 miles (10,760 km) long and its catchment area is 2 million square kilometers.
  • A river begins at a source (or more often several sources), follows a path called a course, and ends at a mouth or mouth. The water in a river is usually confined to a channel, made up of a stream bed between banks.
  • In larger rivers, there is also often a wider floodplain shaped by floodwaters over-topping the channel. Floodplains may be very wide in relation to the size of the river channel.

This distinction between river channel and floodplain can be blurred, especially in urban areas where the floodplain of a river channel can become greatly developed by housing and industry. Rivers can flow down mountains, through valleys, or along plains, and can create canyons or gorges. They also carry sediment and debris from their sources as suspended loads or as bed loads down their channels.

Difference between Sea and River

Sea and river are both large bodies of water. They both have salt water. The main difference between them is their size. The sea is much larger than the river. Sea is an ocean, while the river is a stream.

  • Sea has more wave motion than the river due to the presence of wind. Sea water is blackish in color due to the dissolved salts, whereas river water is clear.
  • River originates from melting ice or rainfall and flows towards the sea, whereas the sea is a large body of salty water that covers most of the Earth’s surface.
  • Sea provides livelihood to many people, whereas only a small number of people depend on rivers for their livelihood. Sea water contains many minerals and salts, whereas river water does not contain a significant amount of minerals and salts.

Sea animals are different from river animals. Dolphins, whales, sharks, squids, etc., live in seas, whereas crocodiles, freshwater fishes, turtles, etc., live in rivers. Thus, the sea and river differ in many aspects such as size, location, watercolor, inhabitants, etc.


The sea is vast and deep with a seemingly never-ending horizon. It is the place where ships set sail to explore new lands, and it has been the source of both tragedy and triumph for centuries. Contrastingly, rivers are much narrower and shallower than the sea. They wind their way through towns and villages, providing a necessary link between people and nature. What differentiates these two bodies of water is not just their size or location, but also their temperament. The sea can be unpredictable and dangerous, while rivers are more forgiving and predictable.

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