Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taughannock Falls

On the way to Cade's hockey tournament in Ithaca, we stopped at Taughannock Falls just north of town. This time of year the falls are raging with run off from the melting snow. It's awesome to see so much water cascading over the edge, even if it did look like chocolate milk.

The falls make a 215 ft drop, making it 33 ft taller than Niagara Falls and one of the largest single drop waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. The water then flows through a long gorge with cliffs up to 400 ft high. The waterfall and gorge is an example of a hanging valley that developed in a very similar fashion to the one at nearby Watkins Glen State Park. None of the local gorges were "carved by glaciers." In fact all of the gorges are post-glacial valleys carved by the streams that are still in them. It is the valleys over which the waterfalls hang that were eroded (over-deepened) by the advance of the Pleistocene ice sheets.


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