Friday, August 07, 2009

The Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls is big waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the global border between the Canadian region of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is calm of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, the bulk of which lies on the Canadian side of the edge, and American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American face, separated from the main falls by Luna Island.

Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciations (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not very high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of waterfalls over the crest line every minute in high flow,[1] and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

The Niagara Falls is renowned both for their beauty and as a precious source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and manufacturing uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls as the 1800s.

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