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Why is the water temperature different in different rivers or lakes?

Your first guess would be that a river or lake in the northern part of the United States would be colder than a river or lake in Texas.  That is a good guess and, in general, is true.

However, there are other factors besides location that determine water temperature.  The type of soil and rocks in the area can affect temperature.  The source of the water is also important.  Does the water in the river or lake come from snow melting, an underground aquifer, or simply rain water draining from the lands next to the river or lake?  

If you have ever been tubing on the Guadalupe River or the Rio Frio in Texas, you will know that the water in these rivers stays cool even during the hottest summer days.  These rivers are actually colder than some rivers in Michigan!

Imagine tubing down this stream!

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