Located between Canada and the US, Niagara
Falls is the collective name given to three
waterfalls - Horseshoe Falls, the American
Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls – that are next
to one another. Their exact location is
between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, New
York State and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Niagara Falls were formed over 10,000 years ago by the
Wisconsin Glaciation – also responsible for the formation
of the Great Lakes and Niagara River – when a continental
ice sheet dug up the area, causing narrow river channels to
become deeper lakes. These lakes were filled when the ice
melted and the water from them ran into the Niagara
This river’s flow started to cut through the cliff on the
north and causing erosion of the rocky river bed. This
rocky bed had an erosion-resistant top layer made of
strong limestone and a bottom layer made of weak shale,
sandstone and thin limestone. The weak bottom layer
eroded easily while the strong top layer broke into pieces.
This process of erosion and breakage repeated enough
times to carve out the falls.
Out of the three waterfalls, the tallest and widest
are the Horseshoe Falls. They are about 2,600 ft
wide and drop about 188 ft. The closest to this
are the American Falls which are around 1,060 ft
wide and drop to a height that varies between 70
to 100 ft. This variation is due to its having
uneven giant boulders at the base.
Horseshow Falls also have the most powerful
flow – with a peak flow recorded at 225,000
cubic ft per second. The three waterfalls,
considered the second largest falls in the world,
merge together to produce the highest flow rate
of any waterfall.
Due to the majestic sight that they offer, Niagara
Falls has a long-standing reputation as a tourist
The American side has an observation tower
named Prospect Point and a cruise titled Maid of
the Mist, which gives tourists different vantage
point for appreciating the Falls’ natural beauty.
On the Canadian side, the Skylon Tower and the
Minolta Tower serve the same purpose. Both
sides also have a number of state parks and
casinos that broaden the entertainment offerings
at the site.
Tourists visiting the area eagerly seek the sight
of the unique rainbows formed at the Falls. There
are two types of rainbows that can be seen here;
solar bows that are visible in day time and lunar
bows caused by moonlight falling on the water
spraying from the falls.
Niagara Falls is truly a majestic site to see and
should be a must-visit attraction for any tourists
from the United States or Canada or anyone
visiting these countries from around the world.
Amita Vadlamudi is the author of articles on
numerous subjects, including natural
wonders, science and technology, and
history. Ms. Vadlamudi’s professional
credentials may be found at her Resumonk
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