- By Kevin
- On Mar 29, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
Today we will learn about some facts about Niagara Falls.Wish you could learn more about it before you start your Niagara Falls trips.
When was Niagara Falls discovered?
Father Hennepin was part of a 1678 expedition that traveled to Niagara Falls.After returning to France,Hennepin published an account of his travels in"A New Discovery."The book brought Niagara Falls to the western world's attention,inspiring further exploration of the region.
While Hennepin is given the honor for the discovery of Niagara Falls,Frenchman Samuel de Champlain visited the area as early as 1604 during his exploration of Canada.His journals describe the spectacular waterfalls that his party described to him.There is also some evidence the French Jesuit Father Paul Ragueneau visited the falls in 1643 while working among the Hurons in Canada.
How did Niagara Falls get its name?
The three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls,the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.The Horseshoe Falls are located primarily within Canada,while the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie entirely within the United States.The Horseshoe Falls are the most powerful waterfall in North America.
Niagara Falls is located 17 miles from Buffalo,N.Y.,and 75 miles from Toronto.The international boundary line was initially made through Horseshoe Falls in 1819,but this has since caused great debate due to construction and natural erosion.
How High is the Falls?How fast is the water?
Here are some of the numbers...
1.The Niagara River is about 58 kilometres(36 mi.)in length and is the natural outlet from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
2.The elevation between the two lakes is about 99 metres(326 ft.),half occurring at the Falls themselves.
3.The total area drained by the Niagara River is approximately 684,000 square kilometres(264,000 sq.mi.).
4.The average fall from Lake Erie to the beginning of the upper Niagara Rapids is only 2.7 metres(9 ft.)
5.Below the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool control structure,the river falls 15 metres(50 ft.)to the brink of the Falls.
6.The deepest section in the Niagara River is just below the Falls.It is so deep it equals the height of the Falls above,52 metres(170 ft.).
7.The Upper Niagara River extends 35 kilometres(22 mi.)from Lake Erie to the Cascade Rapids,which begin 1 kilometre(0.6 mi.)upstream from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
8.At Grand Island,the Niagara River divides into the west channel,known as the Canadian or Chippawa Channel,and the east channel,known as the American or Tonawanda Channel.
9.The Chippawa Channel is approximately 17.7 kilometres(11 mi.)in length and varies from 610 to 1220 metres(2,000 to 4,000 ft.)in width.Water speed ranges from 0.6 to 0.9 metres per second(2 to 3 ft.per second).This channel carries approximately 60%of the total river flow.
10.The Tonawanda channel is 24 kilometres(15 mi.)long and varies from 460 to 610 metres(1,500 to 2,000 ft.)in width above Tonawanda Island.Downstream,the channel varies from 460 to 1220 metres(1,500 to 4,000 ft.)in width.Speed ranges from 0.6 to 0.9 metres per second(2 to 3 feet per second).
11.The Niagara Gorge extends from the Falls for 11 kilometres(7 mi.)downstream to the foot of the escarpment at Queenston.
Why is Niagara Falls important?
The use of Niagara Falls to generate electricity began as early as 1895,when the first large-scale hydroelectric power plant was built.It used the direct-current system and could generate electricity for up to 100 yards.A year later,engineer Nikola Tesla developed a more productive technique using an alternating-current induction motor.This method is still in use today and is considered the first long-distance commercial use of electricity.Electricity was first sold from the Schoelkopft Power Station,which is where the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is located.
While Niagara Falls is an important source of power,it is also a popular tourist attraction.To preserve this balance,water flow is reduced at night to redirect it to sources where it can generate energy.This restriction is lifted during the day to give visitors a better view of the waterfall and enhance the experience of the attraction.
How often does Niagara Falls freeze?
The mist and falling water can create ice formations alongside the falls and the river itself.If the temperature is low enough in the winter,Niagara Falls sometimes creates an ice bridge that extends across the entire river.The Niagara also carries ice chunks from Lake Erie known as"mini icebergs."
When and where was electricity first generated at Niagara Falls;
The Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power&Manufacturing Company,which constructed a canal for hydraulic power generation nearly 20 year prior,began operating a small electrical plant in Niagara Falls,New York in 1882.The plant,which generated direct current(DC),could only distribute current a distance of 2 miles.Despite this limitation,it was a big hit for both its utility and as a tourist attraction.It was this small plant that demonstrated the potential for hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls.
MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT NIAGARA FALLS:
1.The American and Bridal Veil Falls were turned off in 1969 by the U.S.Army Corps.of Engineers to study the effects of erosion.The falls will be turned off again soon so the New York State Office of Parks,Recreation,and Historic Preservation can rebuild two,115-year-old bridges.
2.Niagara Falls'current erosion rate is approximately 1 foot per year and could possibly be reduced to 1 foot per 10 years due to flow control and diversion for hydro-power generation.
3.The first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63-year-old school teacher Annie Edson Taylor.
4.The Cave of the Winds attraction at Niagara Falls is torn down and re-built every year.
5.Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest State Park in the United States.
6.Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River,(Superior,Michigan,Huron and Erie)before emptying into Lake Ontario.These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply.
7.Niagara Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the world;however,the beauty of the falls comes from the height and the incredible volume of water running over the falls at a given time.
8.Fish travel over Niagara Falls and most of them survive because of their ability to flow with the water and fall into the pool at the base of the Falls.Although they may be a bit shocked,fish can survive the Falls much better than any human.
If you want to know more facts about Niagara Falls,why not to plan a tour to Niagara Falls.Many kinds of Niagara falls tour ;can be selected on the travel companies’websites.Plan your tour this year and wish you could come to witness the beauty of Niagara Falls next year!