The main difference between a canal and a river is that a river is a natural flow of water while a canal is man-made. A river by definition flows from inland into the sea while a canal is most often constructed to connect existing rivers, lakes or oceans.Continue Reading
Both rives and canals have been important to human history in many respects. Systems of rivers, canals and inland waterways connect ocean transportation — and, by extension, overseas commerce and communication, — inland from coastal areas.
Since antiquity, civilizations have concentrated along rivers, including the Tigris-Euphrates and Nile river systems. As a natural means of transportation, rivers have also provided a means for travelers, conquerors and colonialists to penetrate land. For example, the St. Lawrence, Mississippi, Missouri, Mohawk and Ohio river systems were the chief means for the first European colonialists to travel through the North American continent.
Ancient Middle Eastern societies like the Phoenicians, Persians and Egyptians built canals for irrigation purposes. Pharaoh Pepi built a series of five canals, the first known to have been built to improve the flow of a river, in 2300 to 2180 B.C.E. The Persian king Xerxes built the first direct sea level canal at the Mount Athos peninsula in 480 B.C.E.Learn more about Bodies of Water
The Nile River is important because it provides Egypt with irrigation, hydroelectric power, a steady water supply and rich soil. It was the lifeblood of ancient Egyptian transport, commerce and agriculture, and remains crucial for sustaining life in the barren deserts of Egypt today. At over 4,000 miles long, it is the longest river in the world.Full Answer >
A river is characterized by continuously flowing water from an upland source into lakes, wetlands or the sea. Rivers are fed by tributary streams or springs, and they include a river channel, shoreline and a floodplain.Full Answer >
The two bodies of water connected by the Suez Canal are the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The Suez Canal is located through a narrow strip of land in the north of Egypt.Full Answer >
Increased flooding, reduced water quality and disruption in wetland ecosystem are the effects sediment buildup in a river basin. Sediment buildup also has negative impacts on man-made infrastructure and water navigation.Full Answer >