Niagara falls

Niagara fall is a huge fall which has water all round the year that keeps on flowing all the time. The mist and the tremendous volume of falling water create formations of ice along the river banks and falls. This results in creating ice sheets of almost 50 feet thick. During the long winter months the ice sheets stretch across the river bed and it is called Ice Bridge. The bridge extends over a large area and it reaches till the “lower rapids”.

The fall is categorized under three names – American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Canadian Falls.

American Falls: The length of the entire brink is 1060 feet /323.08 meters and it has a height of 176 feet / 53.6 meters, it includes the height of the rocks at the base that adds 70 feet/ 21.3 meters to the fall’s height. The volume of water is 150,000 U.S. Gallons / 567,811 Liters per second.

Bridal Veil Falls: The amount of water varies and the falls constitutes of two hydro electric plants that are used to draw water in the reservoirs, located prior to the falls. This affects the water volume flowing down the falls greatly. The flow remains the highest in the daytime and during the tourist season that is June, July and august. In case of any emergency the flow volume can be reduced by the hydroelectric companies. Bridal Veil Falls is so named because of its unimaginable beauty and it is located just near the American falls. Both of them are separated simply by a small land known as Luna Island.

Canadian Falls: The length of this fall is 2600 feet / 792.4 meters and its height is around 167 feet / 50.9 meters. The volume of the water flowing down is 600,000 U.S. gallons / 2,271,247 liters per second.

Niagara River is situated in the Great Lakes Basin and is one of the integral parts of the last ice age. Almost 18000 years ago Southern Ontario was covered by 2-3 km thick sheets of ice. The sheets gouged out the basins as they advanced towards the north. They melted northward, released vast quantities of water into the basins. This water was fossil water and only 1 percent of it was renewed annually.

Almost about 12,500 years ago Niagara peninsula became free of ice as it retreated northwards where it began to flow as Lake Erie, lake Ontario and the Niagara River, ultimately flowed down to the sea. 5 spillways were there from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. All these were finally reduced to one falls known as Niagara Falls.

Again, 10.500 years ago due to re-advances of ice, alternating retreats and rebounding of land when released from the intense pressure of isostatic bound the entire process was interrupted. The melt water of the glaciers was rerouted through Ontario (northern part). This problem leads to the reduction of Niagara River by 10% of its current flow pressure. After 5,500 years the melt water routed through the southern Ontario restoring the falls to their full fledged power.