- Waterfalls are not as common in rivers as they are in streams.
- Waterfalls typically form in young rivers due to the fact that their channels are narrower and deeper than in established rivers.
- If the stream is shaped like a horseshoe, the erosion will be focused at a specific point.
Waterfalls are picturesque wonders of nature that show how beautiful it can be in a spectacular fashion. You have probably seen a few and you know that the view was breathtaking.
The waterfalls of our planet have achieved an instantly recognizable status. This beauty of nature deserves to be admired by everyone. However many of you are probably not aware how exactly waterfalls are formed. In this article, we will talk about that. The book will hopefully inspire you to be even more amazed by nature.
The Endurance Of Waterfalls
Most waterfalls form in the upper courses of rivers. This is the place where lakes start to fall into steep areas such as mountains. Many waterfalls form over bedrock that is not assisted by the surrounding area due to their landscape positioning. These waterfalls are often short-lived. The water eventually flows during snowmelt or rainstorms, but the more we move downstream, the longer it will take.
Waterfalls are not a terribly complicated process. When the river flows through an area that is mostly made up of bedrock, the process of erosion starts to happen. This process is slow but it is driven by the impacts of water on rocks. Downstream, the process becomes more rapid and severe.
The water’s velocity increases as we go downstream and it is the greatest at the edge of the waterfall. Once the water reaches there, it can pull out materials from the riverbed. At the bottom of the waterfall, the hydraulic forces are so strong that they reach heights that allow for many different things to happen. Move them to the riverbed. This will help them erode.
The Process Of Formation
If a waterfall is shaped like a horseshoe, it will most likely focus its erosion on one point. In this way, the riverbed beneath the waterfall will change as well. Another thing worth mentioning that happens during the process of waterfall formation is “potholing”. During potholing, water erodes through the softer sediment on either side of a waterfall to create caves and caverns. Rivers erode when whirlpools spin stones along the riverbed and create a deep hole in the bedrock, which means that sand and rocks carried by the river increase the capacity of erosion.
Waterfalls form mostly in rivers while they are still young. Their channels are narrower and deeper, which is the perfect setting for the formation of a waterfall. Waterfalls often start off as rapids that flow over the hard rocks in the river bottom and erode the softer rocks. The river erodes the rocks at a very slow pace. However, the rate of erosion is dependent on the strength of the river.
Eventually erosion occurs. This is when the friction caused by particles moving around produces an erosion of the rock surface, which results in a drop to form. The drop grows taller and longer with time, and eventually forms a waterfall. The river gets steep enough to form a waterfall. The rocks hanging from the side of the cliff face break loose through the process of erosion and they fall to the bottom of the waterfall, forming a gorge.