Type of waterbody

Fast-moving current

Standing bodies of water

Water flow

One direction of flow, upstream to downstream

Various flows, no particular direction

Oxygen content

Normally oxygen rich because of the constant mixing

Oxygen depletion exists at times in deeper water or older lakes

General depth

Shallower on average

Deeper than average

Size description

Narrower and longer

Wider and shorter

Riparian zone description

Various effects from different terrestrial environments along the stream’s course; the shoreline has more potential to affect water quality because a larger portion of the waterbody is near shore

Terrestrial environment similar all around the lake shore; a smaller portion of the water is in close proximity to the shore

Changes in shape / depth over time

Stream continually cuts into the channel, making it longer, wider and deeper

Lakes become shallower over time from depositing sediments

Age progression

Age progression of a stream goes from young, narrow and shallow stream to mature, wider and deeper stream

Age progression of a lake or pond goes from lake to marsh or swamp to land

Water retention time (how long it holds water)

Shorter retention time for water as it is always flowing

Longer retention time for water because it stores water

Temperature characteristics

Top and bottom waters generally have the same temperature because of the constant mixing

May have different temperatures from the top to bottom because it has layers based on density