Saturday, March 22, 2008

Niagara Falls

Have you ever been to the Niagara Falls which is located between the border of Canada and the United States? I went there in 1994 when I visited my aunt who lives in Ontario, Canada. The Niagara Falls is about 120km from Toronto, Ontario. Water flowing from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario carved a gorge past the Niagara escarpment and over time, it has eroded the shale below the hard dolomitic rock at the top. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water fall over the crest line every minute in high flow and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America. The water flows at the astonishing rate of 56.3 kph (35 mph). The falls are currently retreating at a rate of about 1m (3ft) a year.

I did not get the opportunity to go on the boat cruise Maid of the Mist which takes visitors up the gorge to the base of the Horseshoe falls for a truly dramatic and wet experience not to mention the photogenic view as the sun creates rainbow in the mists. However, I did have the opportunity to go in the underground walkways leading into observation rooms which yield the illusion of being within the falling waters. Naturally the sound was deafening when you are faced with the sheer noise of almost 185,000 cubic m (6,600,000 cubic ft) of water roaring into the gorge every minute. It is very astounding and amazing experience indeed. And you can feel the power of the falls and speech in the midst of these forces is unnecessary.

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