Waterfalls can be seen in almost every country around the world. They come in many different sizes and many different shapes. Some of the ways to classify waterfalls include keeping track of the average volume of water flowing through the waterfall; measuring the width of the water fall; or measuring the height of the waterfall. There are also different types of waterfalls including the ledge waterfall, the plunge waterfall, the cascade waterfall, the cataract waterfall and the tiered waterfall.
Facts about Waterfalls
- There are underground and underwater falls. Underground falls can be found in many caves around the world. The Denmark Strait cataract, located on the western side of the Denmark Strait, is said to be the tallest underwater waterfall. The waterfall drop is about 3500 meters (11,500 feet).
- The bottom of waterfalls is often clustered with sharp, jagged rocks, as the water crashing into the ground has washed the earth downstream.
- There are a number of types of waterfalls, including ledge and plunge types.
- The tallest above ground waterfall in the world is Angel Falls, located in Venezuela. It is 2647 Feet (806 Meters) tall.
- Niagara Falls are the most visited. Some consider them a wonder of the world, and they are a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons.
How are waterfalls formed?
A waterfall is commonly formed when water from a river, stream or some other source begins to fall over a harder, more resistant rock formation. In this case, a softer, weaker rock formation located below the resistant rock formation begins to erode as the water continually flows over it. This process will leave a solid ledge for the water to begin to freely fall, many times into a pool at the bottom of the waterfall.
Another way in which a waterfall can occur is when water flows over a soft rock bed which is located over a hard bed of rock. The erosion process also occurs in this scenario when the water falling onto the soft rock erodes some of the soft rock leaving the hard rock formation to be the ledge for the waterfall to begin.
A third way a waterfall is formed depends on how the land is shaped. The Antrim basalts, located in Northern Ireland, are an example of a land formation which occurred because of ancient volcanic eruptions. Located within this area is a most beautiful waterfall called Cranny Falls. The rock type is mainly limestone which, after many years, water has eroded the rock and now falls almost vertically into a pool at the bottom.
People around the world are fascinated by waterfalls and travel many miles just to observe the beautiful, shimmering water falling over the rocks.
Niagara Falls, US and Canada. Niagara Falls is a top tourist destination in the world. It is located between the United States and Canada forming a natural boundary between the two countries.
Cascata delle Marmore. Ancient Romans created a man-made waterfall in Italy called the Cascata delle Marmore. This waterfall’s height is 165 meters (541 feet) and is the tallest man-made waterfall throughout the world.
Angel Falls, Venezuela. Angel Falls, located in Venezuela, is the tallest waterfall in the world. At Angel Falls, the water drops 979 meters (3212 feet) over the Auyantepui Mountain.
Valley of Lauterbrunnen. Located in Switzerland is the Valley of Lauterbrunnen which is made up of several glaciers. Within this valley there are 72 waterfalls. Walking trails, along with tours, are available for the enjoyment of sightseers. Make sure to contact the local authorities before planning a hike to see if any section of the trail has been closed.