By: Charles Horn
Summary. The slow destruction of Niagara Falls by mother nature has been speeded up by acid rain. Historically Niagara Falls has eroded about 3 feet per year for the last 12000 years. This slow procession of the Falls towards Lake Erie has in the last two hundred years. The rate of erosion has increased to 5 feet per year. Niagara Falls is 167 feet tall. When Niagara Falls final reaches Lake Erie water levels would drop dramatically. The 210 feet deep Lake Erie would be dropped 167 feet instantly. A new max depth of 43 feet deep would be created. The loss of freshwater marine life and 100 trillion gallons freshwater would reduce the world's fresh reserves. The power plants and different factories that count on that water to complete their work would be at a loss. The thought of all the doom about Niagara Falls disappearing is 23,000 years away, counting by 3 feet a year. Unfortunately in the last 200 years the rate of erosion has been 5 feet per year. If the acid rain becomes stronger this future could be sooner then we think.
Why we should care? The fresh water that would be lost when the inevitable happens could take care of a whole state water needs. This is a problem we should work on solving now.
I found this article interesting because it was very close to home. Being born and raised less then a mile from Lake Erie, it's my home and heart. Some of my best memories of childhood are on Lake Erie.
Science in Action.
Derrick Beach is the Canadian secretary to the international Niagara Board of Control.
Derrick Beach of the Niagara Board of Control has measured the erosion of all the Falls connected to Niagara Falls. He has studied the boulders that have broken off from the erosion process. Also the time lapse of the total creation and the imminent demise of Niagara Falls. His research gives time frames to splits and other changes in the Falls behavior. In conclusion, his research has also discovered notching indicates future erosion patterns. These unbroken curtains hanging over the Niagara Falls could fall at any time. This research is relevant to my blog because it deals with the raw data of Niagara Falls erosion. His research gives history to this historical gem.
Wow, this is very interesting. I didn't know that Niagra Falls was threatened by such serious erosion. It makes sense due to acid rain. It is crazy how it would affect Lake Erie, causing a huge impact to water bodies globally.
This is something that I've never thought about! I personally feel that most people view Niagara Falls as a tourist sight, a natural beauty to go and see. But we also need to think about the fact that it is a large source of freshwater so losing it would effect thousands upon thousands of people. This is definitely an issue that needs to be discussed more and I'm interested into looking more into this topic.
I never thought about how Niagra Falls was slowly eroding, especially from acid rain. I have such fond memories of this waterfall, and it's truly upsetting to me that it's withering around 3-5 feet each year. If Niagra Falls erodes quicker than average, many companies, businesses, and factories will not know what to do with themselves because Niagra Falls is the core of their business. There's also multiple environmental issues with the waterfall quickly eroding.
I honestly new very little about the Niagara Falls erosions, at least how extreme it is. I didn’t know it was that serious or severe. I am interested in how we can adjust to this, especially with the loss of freshwater.
When I went to Niagara Falls I first learned about how much of it eroded over time, and how quickly it does it. It seems quite difficult to protect the falls from erosion just because of how quick the water moves, and how much water flows over the falls. They can lessen the amount of water that goes over the falls, they can even turn the falls off.
I find this article to be very interesting. I actually didn’t even know that this was going on. It sad to know that such beautiful things will disappear because of something we had a hand in . Hopefully in the we can find ways to avoid things like this .
Honestly I didn't even know the Niagara Falls was eroding nor that it was caused due to acid rain. The thought didn't even cross my mind that this could somehow impact Lake Erie. I think this should be more talked about since it's something that could greatly impact our source of freshwater. I'll definitely be looking more into this topic.
I found it interesting that this pollution will have a direct impact on the energy created from the Niagara Falls. I wonder if a study could show the direct impact in terms of energy that is being lost each year due to increased erosion from acid rain. I imagine their may be other cases where acid rain slows down the production of renewable energy, especially solar panels, and wind turbines. This may be an example of a positive feedback loop because the pollution is making renewable sources of energy less viable and in turn incentivizing polluting energy sources.
When the falls were partially stopped in the 60's, engineers were able to study the rocks and debris that collected on the bottom. Along with a deeply dark and scary amount of skeletons, huge boulders from the top of the falls were collecting at the bottom. These engineers were able to add in steel reinforcements but clearly that is not holding up perfectly. Could we shut down the falls again and add even more reinforcements? Could a weir be used to lower the velocity of water?
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