Difference Between Backwater and Lagoon


What is a backwater?

A backwater is part of a river where piddling or no electric current flows. Backwaters tin can result in the creation of swamps or shallow lakes, particularly forth the meanders of old rivers. In other cases, backwaters may but be due to contempo flooding, or a temporary obstruction, such as a natural or artificial dam. An example of a wetland created past a backwater is a slough.

Why is it called a backwater?

The term backwater goes back to at least the 14th century and originally meant “h2o behind a dam.” The term backwater too makes sense considering one way that backwaters form. Tributaries draining into a river are generally higher summit than the main river into which they bleed. Consequently, the land surrounding the tributaries will be at a higher meridian than the floors of the tributaries into which the runoff water drains, eventually flowing into the larger river. In the case of flooding, water flowing into the main river can “back up” into the tributaries because of poor drainage. This will obstruct the flow of water and flood the surrounding state above the tributaries. This causes the current to become slower in that part of the river system since the water cannot drain.

What is the difference between a river and a backwater?

The main factor distinguishing a backwater from the rest of the river is that the current in the backwater is slow or absent, compared to the residuum of the river.


What is a lagoon?

A lagoon is a body of h2o connected to a significantly larger sea, unremarkably the body of water, which is sheltered from the larger trunk of water by an obstacle, such as a sandbar or coral reef. There are two primary types of lagoons, littoral and atoll lagoons.

Coastal lagoon

A coastal lagoon is a body of h2o sheltered from a larger body of h2o, such as the ocean, by sandbars or bulwark islands. In marine coastal lagoons, the water will exist a mixture of table salt h2o brought in past the tides and fresh h2o draining into the lagoon from rivers or floods. Coastal lagoons, such as the lagoons of the Outer Banks in the U.Southward. states of Virginia and Due north Carolina, tin can be dwelling house to a multifariousness of fish and bird species. Lagoons can exist important for local economies. Important industries include tourism and angling. The nature of a lagoon volition depend on the local water level. Where the water level is high, coastal lagoons will resemble coastal lakes, or peradventure trophy. Where the h2o level is low, they will exist swamp-covered lowlands. Some lagoons are called lakes, such every bit Lake Nokoue in Benin and Lake Piso in Liberia.

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Atoll lagoon

Atoll lagoons are commonly found in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Body of water. They are formed by coral reefs that grew around drowned volcanic islands as the islands were eroded and submerged beneath the ocean over millions of years. The atoll lagoons are marine environments. The species that live in the atoll lagoons practice not generally differ from the species living exterior of the lagoons. Nonetheless, in that location are species that peculiarly thrive in the calm shallow waters of the atoll lagoons and thus are oftentimes found there. For case, atoll lagoons tend to exist home to many species of body of water jellies that prefer tranquil waters. Atoll lagoons are too important for many human societies. Countries, such as Republic of the maldives, rely economically and existentially on atoll lagoons, and are thus threatened by sea level rise which can significantly touch on the environment of atoll lagoons.

Similarities between a backwater and lagoon

Lagoons and backwaters are both examples of at-home bodies of water that are adjacent to larger bodies of h2o.

Differences between a backwater and lagoon

Although at that place are similarities between backwaters and lagoons, there are also important differences. These differences include the following.

  • Backwaters are generally part of or next to rivers, whereas lagoons are adjacent to the ocean or a similarly large body of h2o.
  • Backwaters are defined primarily past sluggish electric current and may or may not be part of the master river, whereas lagoons, by definition, are partially separated from a larger body of water.
  • Lagoons tend to exist biodiverse, whereas backwaters may or may not accept high levels of biodiversity.
  • Lagoons tend to exist relatively permanent features, defined past sea or water level, whereas backwaters can be transient features, forming due to recent flooding or a temporary dam.
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Backwater vs. lagoon


Backwaters are sections of a river where the current is more sluggish than the other sections of the river. This may be due to recent flooding. It could also be due to a dam or obstruction causing a buildup of water in that part of the river due to poor drainage. Lagoons are bodies of h2o that are adjacent, but partially separated from, a larger body of water, such as the ocean. Lagoons can be littoral, or they can exist within coral atolls. Backwaters and lagoons are similar in that they are defined by relatively calm waters and are adjacent to larger bodies of h2o, or within them. They differ in important ways as well. Backwaters are associated with rivers, defined primarily by their sluggish current compared to the balance of the river and not necessarily biodiverse compared to the surrounding area. Backwaters tin can be transient features as well as relatively permanent parts of the river organisation. Lagoons are associated with marine and littoral environments. They, by definition, are partly separated from a larger torso of h2o. They are often known for being biodiverse and are relatively permanent features divers by local bounding main level or water level.

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