Niagara Falls Vacation, Niagara Falls Attractions

Niagara Falls

The world famous beauteous Niagara Falls is the cascading waterfall on the Niagara River, spanning between the Canadian county of Ontario and the US state of New York. The 90 miles falls is divided into two parts, which is 17 miles north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and another 75 miles south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario. Formation of Niagara Falls

When the ice of the upper Great Lakes melted, it empties into the Niagara River, flowing through a gorge in the north. The rocky bed did not erode evenly because of the interactions of three major rock formations resulting into uneven height of the falls. The top hard caprock formation was composed of limestone and Lockport dolostone.

The hard-rock formation is followed by softer, sloping Rochester Formation (Lower Silurian). The Rochester formation is made up of shale, thin layers of limestone and ancient fossils. The soft layer is washed off first by the vigorous flow of river, undercutting the hard top layer. The falls are carved out as a result of repeated action of river countless times.

The two major sections of Niagara Falls are separated by Goat Island. The part of Niagara Falls in Canada is called Horseshoe Falls and that in New York is the American Falls. The Horseshoe Falls falls from the height of about 173 feet whereas the height of the American Falls is not uniform everywhere, it varies between 70-100 feet. Giant boulders are present at the base of American Falls. Difference is also seen in their width. Here again the Horseshoe Falls is wider than American Falls. Horseshoe Falls is about 2,600 feet wide, while the American Falls is just 1,060 feet wide.

The American Falls gives rise to smaller and thin Bridal Veil Falls which is separated from the main falls by Luna Island.

Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age, and water from the Lakes imprinted the path to the Atlantic Ocean through the Niagara Escarpment. Though Niagara falls are not very high yet this voluminous beauty is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

Besides exquisiteness Niagara Falls is an important source of hydroelectric power. The waterfall strikes the chord by maintaining balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses.

The Wisconsin glaciation (last Ice Age) which created Niagara Falls also created the North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River. All these arrangements were dug by a continental ice sheet that deepens river channels to form lakes.

As per history originally the Niagara Falls was located between present-day Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, but due to wearing down of their crest the waterfalls retreat to approximately 6.8 miles or 11 kilometers towards south. Gradually the Horseshoe Falls have also changed their shape from a small arch, to a horseshoe bend, to the present day gigantic inverted V due to attrition.

The dynamic flow of Falls is halved at night and during the low tourist season in the winter. According to the Niagara Treaty of 1950 Water diversion is regulated and administered by the International Niagara Board of Control (IJC).