A waterfall develops when the bed of the river changes from hard to soft rock. As the force of the water wears away soft rock faster, the level of the softer riverbed drops, and the river plunges over a ledge of hard rock. The depth of the fall increases over time as more and more of the soft rock is washed away.

A waterfall is a river or a body of water that steeply falls over a rocky edge into a plunge pool. These are also called cascades.

Erosion is the process of wearing away the earth. It plays an important part in the formation of waterfalls. Waterfalls also contribute to erosion.

The process of formation of waterfalls happens when a stream flows from soft rock to hard rock. This happens both laterally and vertically. In every case the soft rock erodes and leaves the hard rock as it is. Over this a stream falls.

The fall line is an imaginary line along which parallel rivers plunge while flowing from uplands to low lands. Many waterfalls in this way help the geologists determine a region's fall line and underlying rock structure.

As the stream flows it carries various amounts of sediments- be it microscopic silt, pebbles or boulders. Sediments erode the beds of soft rocks like sandstone or limestone. The stream then cuts the beds so deep that only hard rocks like granite are left.


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Angel Falls or Salto Ángel (indigenous name: Kerepakupay Vená) is the world's highest free-falling waterfall at 3,212 feet with an uninterrupted drop of 2,648 feet lying in the Canaima National Park, Venezuela. It is situated on the Churún River, an affluent of the Carrao. Curún in indigenous Pemón language means "thunder."

Angel Falls is located in the Guayana highlands, one of the five topographical regions of Venezuela. It plunges off the edge of a tepui, or table-top mountain, called Auyan Tepui (“Devils Mountain”). It is 500 feet wide at its base and in total is 15 times higher than America's Niagara Falls Angel Falls in Venezuela, which plunge 979 m vertically.

Angel Falls is one of Venezuela's top tourist attractions, despite its remoteness and the absence of roads leading to nearby villages. One of the world's great natural wonders, Angel Falls inspires feelings of awe in the hearts of those who make the journey.

Although sighted in the early twentieth century by the explorer Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz, the waterfall was not known to the Western world until it was visited in 1935 by the American aviator, James Crawford Angel, on a flight while searching for a valuable ore bed. In 1936, he returned and landed his plane at the top of the waterfall. The falls are currently named "Angel Falls" after him; interestingly, the indigenous name for the falls means "Devil's Mouth."


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Victoria Falls, waterfall, c.1 mi (1.6 km) wide with a maximum drop of 420 ft (128 m), in the Zambezi River, S central Africa, on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. The falls are formed as the Zambezi plummets into a narrow chasm (c.400 ft/120 m wide) carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the earth's crust. Numerous islets at the crest of the falls divide the water to form a series of falls. The thick mist and loud roar produced there are perceptible from a distance of about 25 mi (40 km). The Boiling Pot, the beginning of a winding gorge (c.50 mi/80 km long) through which the river flows below the falls, is spanned by a 650 ft (198 m) long bridge that is 310 ft (94 m) above the river. The gorge is now partially submerged as a result of the construction of the Kariba Dam. David Livingstone, the British explorer, visited the falls in 1855 and named them for Queen Victoria. The falls are part of two national parks and draw many tourists to the area.

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Where to find the world’s most famous waterfalls?

The most famous waterfalls in the world are at 500,000 tons of water rush over the Niagara precipice into a gorge below every minute and make this one of the best sources of hydroelectric power in America. The dull roar of the waters can be heard from a great distance. The people who live near the falls are used to the sound and would be quite nervous if it should suddenly stop. This almost happened one night in March 1848 when the waters of the river Niagara were blocked by huge masses of ice and the great falls were reduced to a trickle for a few hours.

There are two falls at Niagara and they are separated by a huge rock, called Goad Island. The larger of the falls is in Canada and the other is in the United States. Engineers have bored a tunnel in the rock through which people can go to see the marvelous spectacle. The falls are very beautiful in winter because of the ice round them. They are visited by over 4 million sightseers a year.


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Is a waterfall a river?

A waterfall is a river or other body of water's steep fall over a rocky ledge into a plunge pool below. Waterfalls are also called cascades.

Often, waterfalls form as streams flow from soft rock to hard rock. This happens both laterally (as a stream flows across the earth) and vertically (as the stream drops in a waterfall). Many waterfalls in an area help geologists and hydrologists determine a region's fall line and underlying rock structure.

Waterfalls are also classified by height. Angel Falls, the world’s tallest waterfall, plummets 979 meters (3,212 feet) into a remote canyon in a rain forest in Venezuela. The water, from the Gauja River, often does not reach the bottom. The fall is so long, and so steep, that air pressure is stronger often than the water pressure of the falls. The water is turned to mist before it reaches the small tributary below.


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