Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Niagara Falls

This very rare photo was taken in the year 1911 when it was said Niagara Falls was completely frozen.
Niagara Falls is a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River in eastern North America, on the border between the United States and Canada. Niagara Falls (French: les Chutes du Niagara) comprises three separate waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls), the American Falls, and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. The Falls are located 16 miles (26 km) away from the U.S. city of Buffalo and 43 miles (69 km) from the Canadian city of Toronto. The distance to downtown Toronto is 80 miles (123 km) when using roads.
The Falls formed after the receding of the glaciers of the most recent Ice Age, as water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment enroute to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, Niagara Falls is very wide. With more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water falling over the crestline every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average, it is the most powerful waterfall in North America. The Falls are a valuable source of hydroelectric power for both Ontario and New York. Preserving this natural wonder from commercial overdevelopment, while allowing for the needs of the area's people, has been a challenging project for environmental preservationists since the nineteenth century. A popular tourist site for over a century, the Falls are shared between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. The original Niagara Falls were near the sites of present-day Queenston, Ontario, Canada, and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat several kilometres southward. Just upstream from the Falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Although erosion and recession have been slowed in this century by engineering, the falls will eventually recede far enough to drain most of Lake Erie, the bottom of which is higher than the bottom of the falls. Engineers are working to reduce the rate of erosion to retard this event as long as possible.
The Canadian Horseshoe Falls drop about 170 feet (52 m), although the American Falls have a clear drop of only 70 feet (21 m) before reaching a jumble of fallen rocks which were deposited by a massive rock slide in 1954. The larger Canadian Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (792 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (323 m) wide. The volume of water approaching the Falls during peak flow season is 202,000 cubic feet per second (5,720 m³/s). During the summer months, when maximum diversion of water for hydroelectric power occurs, 100,000 ft³/s (2,832 m³/s) of water actually traverses the Falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls. This volume is further halved at night, when most of the diversion to hydroelectric facilities occurs. This photo is the United States side of the falls. I got most of my info on this from Wikipedia. I also set up a link to the Niagara Falls web site Canada just click on the Title at the top of the post (Niagara Falls) Hope you all enjoy.
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