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Name: Alexandre .
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: N/A
Country: Canada
Date: Fall 2012


Question:
I really do not understand the Niagara escarpment. Almost all of the part of the escarpment is like a little mountain besides the falls itself. Should it be like a water fall that goes down a hill in stead of a sudden "collapse" of rocks in a line?



Replies:
Alex

First of all, you can get good overhead views of the Falls at this URL:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=116451584493114731934.00044764d31ab20bbaf46

Also attached are some screen shots of maps that show the location of the Falls and an overhead view of the Falls.

The geology is like a kitchen table. There is a layer of hard rock on top of softer layers of rock. As the water cascades over the falls, the water spray washes the softer rock out from under the harder rock. As the face of the softer rock retreats into the face of the falls, the harder rock on top falls down, just like if you pulled the legs out from under the kitchen table. You can see the debris of the rocks at the base of the falls.

That is why this geologic feature is not just like a stream or a river with the water slowly running down hill.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart



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