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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

EESA06 Assignment1 Niagara Falls is located between the Canadian Ontario province and USA New York state borders Niagara Falls formed by Wisconsin glaciations during the last ice age Niagara Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world Niagara Fall is used for its hydroelectric power source since ththe 20 century Niagara Falls is formed by Wisconsin glaciations as it was dug by a continental ice sheet drove that through the area Great Lakes flew into Niagara River when ice melted which made the topography rearranged across Niagara Escarpment The rocky bed did not erode evenly because of three major rock formations The top hard rock is made of limestone and dolostonelimestone is resistant to erosion Top rock eroded more slowly than below materials Below the top hard rock lies the weaker Rochester formation which made of mainly shale It contains ancient fossils The river eroded the weaker layer countless times and finally carving out the fall The bottom rock which submerged in the river in the lower valley is the Queenston formation that contain mostly of shales and fine sandstones All three formations were once all laid down in an ancient sea and their differences of layer characteristics changes with changing conditions in that sea Niagara Falls once was located in Queenston Ontario and Lewiston New York but erosion has caused it to shift in south direction However due to heavy engineering by human erosion has been greatly slowed downIrving H Tesmer Jerold C Bastedo Colossal Cataract The Geologic History of Niagara Falls SUNY Press 1981 pg 752 Niagara Escarpment is in USA and Canada which stretched westward from New York State through Ontario Michigan Wisconsin and Illinois An Escarpment is a transition zone between physiogeographic provinces that involves a sharp steep elevation differential characterized by a cliff or steep slope Niagara Escarpment is composed of the Lockport geological formation of Silurian age It is named for its cliff over the Niagara River which plunges to form Niagara FallsStudies show that there is no displacement of the rock layers at the escarpment which shows it is not a fault line but the effect of uneven erosion Dolomitic limestone also known as dolostone at the escarpment is more resistant to erosion than other rocks Therefore unequal erosion occurred over the million of years The slow and reoccurring removal of the soft rocks undercuts the resistant cap rock forming a cliff or escarpment The erosion can be easily observed at Niagara Falls where the river has quickened the process The limestone layer was formed by constant depositing of calcium carbonate fragments which is biologically generated by the marine environment mixing with sediment erosion of the landmasses Warren Doyle 1998 Bruce TrailAn adventure along the Niagara Escarpment Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association Footprint Press3 Niagara River flows located between USA and Canada as it is part of the border between Ontario and New York State It flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario The river includes Niagara Falls in its course but the falls have moved upstream 11km from the Niagara Escarpment in the last 12000 years Heavy engineering nowadays has caused the rate of erosion greatly reduced at the river The river is used for electricity generation Niagara River consists of many islands 2 large islands are Grand Island and Navy Island The river passes around Grand Island before going over
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