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December 20th, 2005, 10:07 PM
I know it sounds like a bit of a silly question, but with my current WIP I'm doing a bit of world building (alot actually) and I have a few internal bodies of water and I'm wondering if they're lakes, seas or oceans.

For example;

1) A body of water about the size of Australia, with lots of rivers flowing in and none out.
2) A body of water about half the size of Australia with lots of rivers flowing in and one HUGE river flowing out.

Also, what would determine the salinity of the water? Image the first body of water being 'fresh water'.

Anyway, thatnks in advance.

Michael (A.K.A. Thurlor)

December 21st, 2005, 01:27 AM
The largest lake in the world is the Caspian Sea. The largest freshwater and second largest lake is Lake Superior.

So if you've got a lake the size of Australia, I think you can call it a sea without anyone complaining.

Lakes that don't have an outlet or evaporate water quickly can become salty.

December 21st, 2005, 07:29 AM
Having grown up in the desert, I discovered that I absolutely HATE designing water when it comes to worldbuilding. Consequently, I seem to write a lot about arid wastelands. So I feel for you, Thurlor.

Liam Sharp
December 21st, 2005, 08:36 AM
Generally lakes are surrounded by land, but seas enclose land. That's the easiest way to view it, though there are exceptions!


December 21st, 2005, 09:52 AM
According to Wikipedia, a "large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, or a large, usually saline, lake that lacks a natural outlet". However, the Sea of Galilee is fresh water.


As for lakes, "A Lake is a body of water surrounded by land. The majority of lakes are fresh water, and most lie in the northern hemisphere at higher latitudes. Large lakes are sometimes referred to as "inland seas" and small seas are sometimes referred to as lakes."


So, I guess you can name it however you want since the rules are a little lax.

Michael B
December 22nd, 2005, 03:29 PM
So, I guess you can name it however you want since the rules are a little lax.
The Sea of Galilee was called the Lake of Tiberias by the Crusaders. in spite of being the same body of water. In the light of this, forget encyclopedias, rules, etc. Go with what seems most reasonable to the plot.

December 22nd, 2005, 07:08 PM
When the tectonic plates shift :cool:

December 25th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Well thanks for all of the great info. I was just originally going to call all of my really large internal bodies of water 'seas', and I think I might stick with that.