The Water of Niagara Falls
Everything you want to know!
Where All The Water Comes From
And other Niagara Falls water questions, answered!
The Great Lakes is the largest freshwater system in the world and also 18% of the world’s water supply
Less than 1% of the water from the Great Lakes is renewable water. The remainder of the water is considered, ‘fossil water’ from the last Ice Age era.
Niagara Falls, Canada, and Buffalo, New York are known for their cold Winters. This creates the renewal of freshwater from precipitation and groundwater.
The foam that forms in the Niagara Gorge near the Falls is due to the calcium and limestone from the eroding rocks of the cliffs.
Niagara Falls sees more than 168,00 cubic meters (6 million cubic feet) over the Falls per minute which is equivalent to about 1 million bathtubs per minute.
The deepest portion of the Niagara River is just below the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. It is so deep it equals the height of the Falls above which is 52 m (170 ft).
The Niagara Gorge extends 11 km (7 miles) from the Falls downstream to the foot of the Niagara Escarpment in Queenston, Ontario.
The Niagara River connects two large bodies of water, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.
The Canadian Horseshoe Falls which is the largest of the 3 Niagara Falls waterfalls stands at 53 m (175 ft) and has an elevation of 156 m (511 ft).
The Canadian Horseshoe once had a wide crest forming the letter ‘V’, however, due to erosion, the crest has changed into the shape of a horseshoe.
The waterfalls lie between 27 km (17 miles) from the north-northwest Buffalo, New York to 121 km (75 miles) south-southeast to Toronto between the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Canada.
The Canadian Horseshoe Falls crest line is approximately 670 m (2,200 ft) wide.
The American Falls stands between 21 to 34 m (70 to 110 ft) tall. With a crest line of approximately 260 m (850 ft) wide.
The Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest of the waterfalls located to the right of the American Falls in Niagara Falls, New York. The Bridal Veil Fall stands at 55 m (181 ft).
The Niagara Whirlpool is a basin in the Niagara River that is 518 m (1,700 ft) long by 365 m (1,200 ft) wide. The depth of the whirlpool is 38 m (125 ft).
The Niagara Whirlpool is just as admired as the Niagara Falls themselves as the water spins counter clockwise offering a reversal phenomenon. When the Niagara River is at a full flow it travels over the rapids and into the pool spinning counter clockwise and then eventually out towards its natural outlet.
The water from Niagara Falls travels from Lake Erie, located above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, plummeting over the crest line into the Niagara River. From here it flows through the lower end of the Niagara River, connecting to Lake Ontario followed by the St. Lawrence River and finally out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of North America’s largest rapids are located on the Niagara River. The rapids above the Canadian and American Falls travel at 40 km/hr (25 mph). The rapids below the Falls are called ‘The Whirlpool Rapids’ and travel at a speeds of 48 km/hr (30 mph).
The fastest rapids in Niagara are located at the Falls themselves and travel at 106 km/h (68 mph).
In the last 12,500 years since Niagara Falls was created the waterfalls have moved back several kilometres making Niagara Falls the fastest moving waterfalls in the world.
Terrapin Point, once known as Terrapin Rocks, is located in Niagara Falls, New York just northwest of Goat Island and is located beside the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
In the mid-twentieth century, Terrapin Rocks was a group of rocks at the brink of the Falls disconnected from Goat Island.
In 1983, the United States Army Corps of Engineers blasted away 25,000 tons of rock adding more landfill.
In the 19th century, Table Rock was considered the only observation point for visitors to see the Falls up close. In 1818, the first part of the Falls collapsed followed by a second and third collapse in 1828 and 1829.
Table Rock is a popular site for tourists to overlook the Falls. It is quite popular in the winter months when the mist of the Falls freezes around the Falls and on the rocks creating beautiful one-of-a-kind ice formations.