Q:

How were the Niagara Falls formed?

A:

Quick Answer

Niagara Falls was formed by melting ice that drained down the Niagara River at the end of the Ice Age and dropped off a cliff called the Niagara Escarpment. Constant refreezing and thawing of the Niagara River continues to have an effect on the falls, moving them slowly upstream due to erosion.

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How were the Niagara Falls formed?
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Full Answer

Niagara Falls is young, having formed about 12,000 years ago. The first European to document viewing the falls was the French priest Father Louis Hennepin in 1678. The Niagara Falls became a popular destination in the 1800s after the railroad opened up travel to the area.

According to Niagara Falls State Park, about 3,160 tons of water flow over the falls each second, hitting the base of the falls with 280 tons of force at the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls. The power of the falls creates the potential for industry. Attempts to harness hydroelectric power began as early as 1895 with the opening of the world's first large-scale hydroelectric generating station. The first commercial use of the alternating current occurred from Niagara Falls in 1896. Hydroelectricity continues to be one of Niagara Falls' most important products. The falls are capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity.


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    What are some Niagara Falls facts for kids?

    A:

    Niagara Falls is situated on the border of the Canadian providence of Ontario and the state of New York. The Falls consist of three waterfalls: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls.

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    Why is Niagara Falls important?

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    Niagara Falls is important because the site generates hydroelectricity. The formation of Niagara Falls is the result of water wearing away at rock formation, a process that began at the end of the Ice Age. During this time, water released from melting ice drained into what is now known as the Niagara River.

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    Where is Niagara Falls located in the United States?

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    When was Niagara Falls discovered?

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    The discovery of Niagara Falls is commonly attributed to a French priest, Father Louis Hennepin, who traveled there in 1678 was the first European to document them. Native Americans living in the region were likely the falls' original discoverers.

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