The Niagara Falls are huge waterfalls that are parts of the Niagara River. They span across the international border of New York in the United States and Ontario in Canada. On the side of the United States, the waterfalls are located 17 miles or 27 kilometers north-northwest of Buffalo, New York. On the side of Canada, the waterfalls are located 75 miles or 120 kilometers south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario. The waterfalls are actually situated in between the twin cities known as Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Sections of the Waterfalls
There are two main sections of the Niagara Falls namely Horseshoe Falls and American Falls and these two sections are separated by Goat Island. The Horseshoe Falls runs through the Canadian side while the American Falls runs through the American side. On the American side, there is a smaller falls known as Bridal Veil Falls which is separated from the main American Falls by an island known as Luna Island.
Size of the Niagara Falls
The Horseshoe Falls has a height of 53 meters or 173 feet. The width of the waterfalls on the Canadian side is 790 meters or 2,600 feet. The American Falls has a height that fluctuates from 21-30 meters or 70-100 feet. The reason is that there are giant boulders lying on the base of the waterfalls. The width of the waterfalls on the American side is 320 meters or 1,060 feet.
The Niagara Falls come into being during the last ice age when the glaciers have receded during the end part of the Wisconsin glaciations. The water produced formed the Great Lakes which then carved a course passing through the Niagara Escarpment before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
The height of the Niagara Falls may not be that unusually high but it is really, really wide. The amount of water that falls over the ridge during high flow is more than 168,000 cubic meters or six million cubic feet every minute. And on average flow, the amount of water that passes through it is about 110,000 cubic meters or four million cubic feet. Truly, this is the most powerful among the waterfalls present in North America.
The Niagara Falls are really famous for their magnificent beauty as well as power. The water falling over the falls are important source of hydroelectric power for both the United States and Canada. It has always been a continuous challenge for the stewards of the waterfalls to maintain the balance of the uses of the waterfalls for industrial, commercial, and recreational purposes since the 19th century.