If you have visited the Niagara Falls, you might have really wondered about the magnificence of the world-renowned water fall. The never-ending rush of water flowing will indeed make you wonder over one primary question – where does the Niagara Falls water come from?
The Niagara Falls – from the history
The Niagara Falls have stopped twice in the history. Once it was due to the natural causes and the other was due to the maintenance work at the rocky shoal. Those two occasions apart, the waterfalls never stopped working ever.
You would find 6 million cubic feet or 168,000 cubic metres of water go over the Horseshoe Falls alone every minute. The water speeds tend to reach as high as 109 km/h or 68 mph. But, where does the water actually come from?
How does the Niagara Falls work?
The Niagara Falls is actually made up of three separate streams or falls – the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. Among them the Horseshoe falls are the largest one. The waterfalls have been relentlessly pumping the water since the past 12000 years or even more. However, they have receded by 7 miles back which may be a concern if one thinks about the future.
The water at the Niagara Waterfalls comes from the great Lakes. If you are unaware, the Great Lakes are the largest freshwater systems in the world. The water into the Great lakes comes from the rivers and streams that flow into it. The Great lakes include Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair which border the US and Canada. The water from the Great lakes travels to the Lake Superior through Niagara along the Niagara River. From here, it passes on to the waterfalls, finally emptying int the final lake, the Lake Ontario.
From here, the water moves on to the St. Lawrence River and then the Atlantic Ocean. The journey from the Lake Michigan to the Atlantic Ocean takes around 15 hours.
What causes the unique color of the Niagara Waterfalls?
If you have noticed the Niagara Waterfalls, you would have noticed the brown foam below the Niagara Falls, and the greenish tinge in the Niagara River. Even wondered what causes this change in color?
The brown foam is caused due the clay. Most of it is expected to be from the Lake Erie’s shallow eastern basin. The green color of the Niagara River is due to the minerals that are washed by the waterfalls. You would find over 60 tonnes of minerals being flowing over the Niagara in a minute. You would also find rock flour which can be one of the reasons for the greenish tinge.
Well, want to explore the Niagara waterfalls further and understand a few more things about it? It would be a great idea to give a thought to hiring a Niagara Falls Party Bus and head over to the world most popular water body ever. Separating the two great nations of United States and Canada, you would witness the greatness of nature from close quarters!