Niagara waterfalls are the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the American state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. Niagara Falls is famed both for its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses have been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
It has been the setting to many honeymoons, proposals, daredevil stunts, and even key moments in the history of the United States. If you haven’t heard of this falls, it’s time for you to get out and start exploring the world around you!
The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an essential part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. Then as they melted northward for the last time they released vast quantities of meltwater into these basins. Our water is “fossil water”; less than one percent of it is renewable on an annual basis, the rest leftover from the ice sheets.
Flow is greatest over the Falls in the daytime during peak tourist season (June, July, and August). In the event of a disaster, the flow can be somewhat reduced by the hydroelectric companies increasing their intake.
The Bridal Veil Falls is named for its appearance. It is located next to the American falls, separated by a small piece of land called Luna Island. The amount of water being drain off away depends on two variables. The time of year, and the time of the day.
Ice Age of Niagara Waterfalls:
Almost 5,500 years ago the melt waters were once again routed through southern Ontario, restoring the river and Falls to their full power. The Falls then re-established at about the area of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge upriver to our right and resumed carving its way through solid rock to its present location. When it was all over it left behind a 90-degree turn in the river we know today as the Whirlpool, and North America’s largest series of standing waves we know today as the Whirlpool Rapids.
Around 500 years ago the river runs into a complication that caused it to ‘split into two channels’, thus Goat Island was formed named after John Stedman whose goat herds froze to death in the winter of 1780). This was the original residue left from a vanished Lake Tonawanda (an Indian name).
These falls are an international boundary between the United States and Canada. The flow was also halted over both falls on March 30th, 1848 due to an ice jam in the upper river. The movies Niagara and Superman were filmed in part at the Falls. Before the invention of film, tourists would sketch pictures of the Falls. In the evenings, intense spotlights bathe the falls with different shades of color. The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63-year-old female schoolteacher.