John T. Willis

Monday, September 28, 2009

Iguazu Falls

Several years ago, Evelyn and I traveled all over South America. At one place, we came to the border between Argentina and Brazil and Paraguay and spent several hours walking on constructed walkways over Iguazu Falls. This is a waterfall two miles wide with more than twenty cataracts averaging 200 feet high. Many people were milling around talking and taking pictures. This is an amazing site. I hope you have been there, or will go there soon.

Waterfalls exist where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff. Typically, a river flows over a large step in the rocks that may have been formed by a fault line. Increasing in velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it plucks material from the river bed. This causes the waterfall to carve deeper in to the bed and to recede upstream. Often over time, the waterfall recedes back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream, and carves deeper into the ridge above. Streams become wider and shallower just above waterfalls due to flowing over the rock shelf, and there is usually a deep pool just below the waterfall because of the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom.

Experts classify waterfalls according to the average volume of water present on the fall using a logarithmic scale. Waterfalls are divided into ten classes. Niagara Falls is in Class 10. Victoria Falls in Africa is in Class 9. Angel Falls in Venezuela is in Class 7. Yosemite Falls is in Class 6.

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world's tallest waterfalls at 3,212 feet. Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley is 620 feet with a sheer drop when flowing. Cascata del Marmore in Italy is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Colonian Creek Falls, the second tallest waterfall in North America, in the North Cascades National Park, Washington, is 2,584 feet. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world and is more than a mile long. It is located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Waterfalls are another of God's many marvelous wonders on earth. I hope YOU appreciate God's creation. I hope you have experienced some waterfalls somewhere on earth--large or small.

Psalm 42:7 may allude to a type of waterfall. The psalmist proclaims:

"Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
have gone over me."

How does the GREAT OUTDOORS impact your heart and your life? Share your thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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