Q:

How do you describe a waterfall?

A:

A waterfall is a water feature along a stream with a vertical drop in the stream bed. This drop causes the water to fall over an edge, giving the term its defining characteristic.

There are many descriptive names used for waterfalls. There are "cataract" waterfalls, which are big, powerful and often associated with rapids, and "cascade" waterfalls, which have several levels or steps as the water descends. If the water simply plunges over an edge and free falls into a pool below, it is called a "plunge" waterfall.

If a wide stream simply falls over an equally wide edge presenting the appearance of a falling sheet of water, it is a "sheet" waterfall. If the water going over stays in contact with the rock face of the falls it can be described as a "horsetail" waterfall. There are also "tiered" waterfalls in which the water goes over one edge and lands in a pool, but it then immediately falls over another edge.

A waterfall can be natural or artificial depending on whether human intervention was involved in making it. A waterfall could be described by the volume of water that goes over it as well as how the volume varies by season or flood stage. A waterfall can also be described by its width, height, the mist produced, its sound and its general appearance. Waterfalls can be tricky to define scientifically, and geologists often do not agree as to where the true beginning and end of a waterfall is located.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some of the human effects on the taiga biome?

    A:

    According to the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program, human activities such as logging, mining and hydroelectric dam construction are harming the Canadian boreal forest, also known as the taiga biome. Natural gas and petroleum drilling projects also harm the taiga habitat. Each of these activities affects the ecosystem in different ways. For example, mining activities cause pollution, forest fragmentation and the diversion of water flow.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can one build a fake mountain?

    A:

    Building a model of a mountain can be simple or more complex depending on the materials used. Less detailed models can be made out of clay while more detailed models may require the use of multiple pieces of material, including chicken wire, plaster cloth, paint and sand. The chicken wire can be made to form the base of the mountain, acting as an armature of sorts upon which plaster cloth, texture and color are built.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some natural disasters of the tundra?

    A:

    Tundra fires tend to occur naturally in the area, but climate change may also contribute to the greater intensity of recent phenomena. University of Illinois plant biology professor Feng Sheng Hu claims a dramatic, nonlinear relationship occurs between climate conditions and tundra fires that make dead vegetation more flammable and fire prone.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the abiotic factors of Antarctica?

    A:

    Abiotic factors are the non-living parts of an ecosystem. The abiotic factors of Antarctica are its low temperatures, small amount of precipitation and polar ice sheet. Abiotic factors work with the biotic, or living, factors to shape the ecosystem.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore