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Definition of a waterfall.
A waterfall is a place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a stream or river.
Synonyms for waterfall.
Other words for watefall include: cascade, shower, torrent, white water, chute, falls, rapids,
Types of waterfall.
Ledge waterfall: Water descends vertically over a vertical cliff, maintaining partial contact with the bedrock
Horsetail: Descending water maintains good contact with bedrock most of the time.
Slide: Water glides down maintaining continuous contact.
Ribbon: Water descends over a long narrow strip.
Cascade: Water descends a series of rock steps.
Tiered/Multi-step/Staircase: A series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool.
Cataract: A large, powerful waterfall.
Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it descends.
Frozen: Any waterfall which has some element of ice or snow.
Moulin: A moulin is a waterfall in a glacier
How are waterfalls formed - video
A video demonstrating how waterfalls are formed.
Rare footage of waterfalls on Uluru in Australia after heavy rains.
Tallest waterfalls in the World
Name Height Location Country
1 Angel Falls, 979 m, Canaima Nat. Park, Venezuela
2 Tugela Falls, 948 m, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
3 Tres Hermanas Falls, 914 m, Otishi Nat. Park, Peru
4 Olo'upena Falls, 900 m, Hawaii, United States
5 Yumbilla Falls, 869 m, Amazonas, Peru
6 Vinnufossen, 860 m, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
7 Balåifossen, 850 m, Hordaland, Norway
8 Pu'uka'oku Falls, 840 m, Hawaii, United States
9 James Bruce Falls, 840 m, British Columbia, Canada
10 Browne Falls, 836 m, South Island, New Zealand
Biggest waterfalls in the World
Mean annual Tallest Widest
Name flow rate  drop point River Country
1 Boyoma Falls 17,000, 5m, 1,372m, Lualaba, D.R. of the Congo
2 Guaíra Falls , 13,300, 40m, Parana, Paraguay and Brazil
3 Khone Phapheng Falls, 11,610, 21m, Mekong, Laos
4 Celilo Falls , 5415, 7m, 3,219m, Columbia, United States
5 Niagara Falls, 2407, 51m, 1,203m, Niagara, Canada and USA
6 Iguazú Falls, 1746, 82m, 2,700m, Iguazú, Argentina and Brazil
7 Victoria Falls, 1088, 108m, 1,708m, Zambezi, Zimbabwe and Zambia
 mean flow rate measured in cubic metres per second
 Now submerged when dam built
Case study - Iguazú Falls
Location Argentina: Misiones Province.
Brazil: Paraná State.
Coordinates 25°41′12″S 54°26′41″W
Waterfall Type Cataract
Total height 60–82 metres
Number of drops 275
Longest drop 82 metres
Total width 2.7 kilometres
Water course Iguazu River
Average flow rate 1,756 m3/s
Case study - Niagara falls
Location Canada: Ontario,
United States: New York
Coordinates 43.0799°N 79.0747°W
Waterfall Type Cataract
Total height 51 metres (167 ft)
Number of drops 3
Longest drop 30 metres (98 ft)
Total width 2,160 metres (7,086 ft)
Water course Niagara River
Average flow rate 2,400 m3/s (85,000 cu ft/s)
Here we look at facts and information all about waterfalls. We start with a detailed waterfall definition and a detailed description of a waterfall. We go on to look at how waterfalls are formed. We list the largest waterfalls in the world and look at waterfall animations where we can see the different features of waterfalls that created as they form. Here you can learn all about waterfalls.
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