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Cut vs Navigation[edit]

Both the above terms are used for canals used for transportation.

Am I right in thinking that a navigation roughly follows the course of an existing river (and may utilise navigable stretches of the river), whilst a cut joins two different canals/rivers - eg across the Pennines?

 According to OED Vol. VII page 49 Navigation sense 1b:

"Inland navigation, communication by means of canals and navigable rivers."

 According to OED Vol. VII page 49 Navigation sense 7a:

"A natural inland channel. Obsolete."

 According to OED Vol. VII page 49 Navigation sense 7b:

"A canal or other artificial waterway. Now dialectal"Seniorsag 17:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Correct in what you say about a "Navigation" (at least in England, don't know about anywhere else). But in England, the artificial sections connecting two sections of the same navigable river are often called "cut" (eg on the Calder and Hebble Navigation).


All the canals images are from Europe. Which one can I replace? --dlatimer 13:25, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

merge with Channel (geography).[edit]

Not really canals have a seperate history and are generaly viewed as seperate to channels such as the River Brue and other drains on the Somerset Levels.Geni 20:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

It is inappropriate to use the term channel and canal interchangably, at least contextually. The content of this article primarily focuses upon the concept of a transportation canal. Added disambiguation may be necessary so as to render a canal article for irrigation conveyance canals, which are a distinctly separate affair from those mentioned here. Ares0524 19:18, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the USGS classifies placenames into 20 or 30 types, like stream, bay, island, lake, populated place, etc. One feature type is "canal" and another is "channel". Their definitions:

  • canal - manmade waterway used by watercraft or for drainage, irrigation, mining, or water power (ditch, lateral).
  • channel - linear deep part of a body of water through which the main volume of water flows and is frequently used as aroute for watercraft (passage, reach, strait, thoroughfare, throughfare).


Some examples: Gastineau Channel and Santa Barbara Channel, vs. Erie Canal, etc. Of course specific placenames never fall neatly into categories and there are always exceptions, as with Hood Canal, which is neither a canal nor a channel! Pfly 04:27, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Merge would be inappropriate as the two terms differ in meaning, I am removing merge tag --- Safemariner 17:56, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

  According to OED 1:st edition Vol 2 C page 59 Canal sense 6:

"An artificial watercourse constructed to unite rivers, lakes, or seas, and serve the purposes of inland navigation. ( The chief modern sense, which tends to influence all others)"

 First citation 1673.
  According to OED 1:st edition Vol 2 C page 270 Cannel sense I:

"A channel of running water, or the like"

 Subsense 1,2,3 and 4 is appropriate here.
 Subsense 5 identical meaning as canal but obsolete.
 Keep them separate.Seniorsag 17:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Mispronounciation is an extremely tenuous arguement for inclusion in the "See also" links. When searching Wikipedia for "canal gas" many other articles come up, this article is not on the first page. Inclusion of "Knallgas" on the Canal (disambiguation) page is probably the most appropriate action here? Possibly, a redirect from "canal gas" to "Oxyhydrogen" might be appropriate. ZueJay (talk) 15:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Knallgas is now a redirect page to Microbial metabolism, which is the only usage I can find in English, should anyone want to put it onto the disam page.--Old Moonraker 15:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I tried working it into the disambig page - I just don't know enough about the term (in English or German). If someone's looking up a German word in the English version, they're gonna have a tough time no matter what in trying to find it. ZueJay (talk) 16:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps a brief discussion of the etymology of the words "canal" and "channel" is appropriate here, under the seciton linking to "Canals on Mars"? 2Misters 02:37, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


This article is currently rated as B-class, ie incomplete in certain aspects or in need of substantial editing. It would be helpful if editors (preferably those who have assessed it) could make suggestions as to how it could be improved. Physchim62 (talk) 17:30, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Well for a start only the Canal#Features section (1 ref) and two subsections in Canal#History section have references - lots for refs are needed to satisfy the requirement for WP:Verifiability. Have a look at some GA-Class (such as Bristol Harbour) or FA-Class articles to see what has been achieved elsewhere.Pyrotec (talk) 01:13, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Cities on water: Liverpool[edit]

After recent additions the material relating to Liverpool Docks seems longer than the main article itself, and too detailed for this world-wide overview. Some of the material, such as "The city of Liverpool is merging into a semi canal based city" is uncited, or even unlikely, given the city's area of 112 km2 and Merseyrail urban network. Suggest using WP:SS as next step. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:52, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:32, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Modern uses[edit]

Something is wrong with start of first sentence. Is it missing?--Palapa (talk) 00:08, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

It was I've fixed it.©Geni 01:00, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Split the article[edit]

The article should concentrate on canal=artificial waterway for vessels and anything about a canal=artificial waterway for moving water should be moved to Aqueduct. R4emember Wikipedia is not a dictionary: we don't need an article about the word canal, we need articles about concepts: a ditch for ships, a ditch for moving water.Nankai (talk) 20:04, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Oppose: The problem with the definition you give is that frequently canals served both purposes, e.g. the James River and Kanawha Canal, Pawtucket Canal, etc. were used to power quite a number of mills. See talk page on aqueduct. The issue is more that the intro could be rewritten to better reflect the underlying concept that a canal has two major purposes, rather than two major types: the underlying definition is a high-volume (vs. say a ditch) flat artificial watercourse dug into the ground.Morgan Riley (talk) 01:46, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Oppose: The main emphasis is already on navigation and the link to aqueduct in the lead is useful to send people there. In fact the aqueduct article is itself in the process of reorganization and material can't go to what is now a disambiguation page. However I'm quite happy that the Power Canal section be moved to Aqueduct (watercourse). Chris55 (talk) 12:02, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Types of canal crossing[edit]

I removed the new section titled "Types of canal crossing" for the time being. The section as added appears unclear, is unsourced and may well include original research. Some of the statements are misleading at best. Perhaps someone can clean it up. Orenburg1 (talk) 16:44, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Casiquiare river[edit]

Not really sure where to bring this up, but if canals are by definition man-made, why is the Casiquiare river referred to as a natural canal? --oKtosiTe talk 18:49, 13 December 2016 (UTC)