What makes a waterfall?
On its way to the sea, a river or stream may plunge over a steep cliff. If it does, there is a waterfalls in mountains than anywhere else. Many waterfalls were caused when ancient glaciers of earthquakes created a sharp-edged cliff in the path of a stream or river. Often, waterfalls are caused as the river carves away at the riverbed as it flows downstream. Over the years, a softer place in the riverbed wears down and becomes a steep cliff.
Giant waterfalls are called cateracts. Where the water does not drop straight down, but rushes down steep slopes instead, it is called a cascades. If a riverbed slopes even less steeply, it is often called a rapids. As far as anyone knows, the highest waterfalls in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela. It is a silvery ribbon of falling water that plunges over 3,000 feet down the face of a cliff.
- Posted in: Downstream ♦ Downward Plunges ♦ Flowing River ♦ Giant Waterfalls ♦ Riverbed Slopes ♦ Sharp-edged cliff ♦ Silvery Ribbon ♦ Softer Place ♦ Steep Cliff ♦ Steep Slopes
- Tagged: Ancient Glacier, Cascade, Cateracts, Cliff, Earthquakes, Falls, Glacier, Plunge, River, Riverbed, Sea, Slopes, Stream, Waterfall