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Gary Green

Saturday, August 26, 2006 

...When Niagra Falls Froze Over


Cynical-C once again comes through on my Saturday Starbucks cyber-browse with these amazing pics of the Falls completely fronzen into a sold mass of ice. No, the pics aren't faked or photoshopped, though there is next to zero chance of this ever happening again...

The American Falls have frozen over on six occasions since the keeping of records began. Each were attributed to ice jams that have actually curtailed the flow of the American Falls to mere trickles.

Unlike the Horseshoe Falls (which has never frozen over), the American Falls are susceptible to freezing because of the small amount of water flow. Normally the American Falls has a peak mean flow of 10,000 cubic feet of water per second. The winter mean water flow is reduced to less than 8,000 cubic feet of water per second. This minimal flow is barely sufficient to cover the rock face of the Falls. During harsh winters, ice frequently built up at eastern end of Goat Island causing an ice dam to reduce the water flow to the northern channel which feeds water to the American Falls. As a result water flow is restricted sufficiently that any remaining waters quickly freeze over.

The installation of the ice boom at the mouth of Lake Erie, the building of the International water control dam (which regulates water flow) and milder winters have all but eliminated the possibility of the American Falls ever completely freezing over in modern times.






Cynical-C

Wow, now that's interesting. I lived in Jamestown,N.Y. and traveled to Buffalo most every day. I love the falls and it's history but did not know all this. My son still lives in Jamestown. I'll have to mail this to him, he'd appreciate it. Thanks!

very cool pics gary, thanks!

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