Horseshoe Falls, also known as Canadian Falls, straddles the international border of the two countries. The smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie within the US. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America.
About Niagara Falls in brief
Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States. The largest of the three is Horseshoe Falls, also known as Canadian Falls, which straddles the international border of the two countries. The smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie within the US. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 50 metres. During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. Water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path over and through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. The falls are famed for its beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the Falls since the 19th century. The verdant green color of the water flowing over the Niagara Falls is byproduct of the estimated 60 tonnes of dissolved salts and ‘rock flour’ generated by the erosive force of the Niagara river itself. In time, the river cut a gorge through the north-facing cliff, or cuesta. Scientists argue there is an old valley, St David’s Buried Gorge, buried by glacial drift, at the approximate location of the present Welland Canal.
When the ice melted, the upper Great Lakes emptied into the NiagaraRiver, which followed the rearranged topography across the NiagaraEscarpment. That top rock formation was composed of limestone and dolomite of the Lockport Formation, which eroded slowly than the underlying layer of stone. The hard cap of the hardrock above the falls, which is about two-thirds of the cliff, lay the weaker, sloping sloping, softer, limestone formation, though it has some thin layers of thin limestone, too. This process repeated countless times, carving out the hard-rock, which gave way in great chunks in countless times. It also contains ancient fossils, also contains thick layers of hardrock under the rapids, and approximately the third of the high wall below the falls. The Niagara River is the only river in the U.S. that runs through both New York and New England. It is also the only one in the world that flows through both Canada and New York at the same time, as well as a number of other countries in Europe and the Middle East. In the summer months, at least 2,800 cubic metres per second of water traverses the Falls, some 90% of which goes over American Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities. Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it typically peaks in late spring or early summer. The average annual flow rate is 2,400 cubic metres per second.