More About Niagara Falls

More about Niagara Falls:

  • Niagara Falls is approximately 12,000 years old.
  • The Falls were formed when melting glacier waters flowed from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and carved out a river in their descent. The river passed over the steep Niagara escarpment and began to erode its way back, leaving behind what is known today as the Niagara Gorge. Niagara Falls erodes back approximately 1 foot/year.
  • Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls: the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
  • The word Niagara comes from the Mohawk word “Onguiaahra”. Many believe “Onguiaahra” means “Thunder of Waters” and was used to describe the beauty and power that is Niagara Falls.
  • The Niagara River flows north about 58 kilometres and is a connecting channel between two Great Lakes, Erie and Ontario.
  • More than 168,000 cubic metres of water goes over the crestline of the Falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours.
  • Niagara Falls is 57 metres tall.
  • The crest line of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is approximately 670 metres wide.
  • The crest line of the American Falls is approximately 260 metres wide.
  • The rapids above the Falls reach a maximum speed of 40 km/hr, with the fastest speeds occur at the Falls themselves at 109 km/hr.
  • The foam that forms in the basin below Niagara Falls is a natural result of tons of water plummeting into the depths below. The foam’s brown colour comes from clay, which contains suspended particles of decayed vegetative matter.
  • The Niagara River’s vibrant green colour comes from the dissolved salts and “rock flour” picked up primarily from the limestone bed but probably also from the shale and sandstone under the limestone cap at the falls. An estimated 60 tons of dissolved minerals are swept over Niagara Falls every minute.