why do no waterfalls feed direct into the sea?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by andrew markworthy, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    Probably for a geographer this is a silly question, but why do no waterfalls seem to feed directly into the sea, please?
     
  2. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    Do you mean as in water falling right into the ocean?
     
  3. andrew markworthy

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    Yes. E.g. why don't we have the equivalent of a Niagara Falls or a Victoria Falls going over a cliff into the sea? Why do rivers always seem to end in estuaries?
     
  4. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I'm not a scientist or anything... but here's a guess:

    Because over the centuries they've eroded away the land down to sea level (ala: the Colorado river creating the Grand Canyon)
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I think you nailed it. I was watching a program the other day about how Niagra Falls used to be several miles downstream of where they are now. Eventually, they will no longer exist.
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    >why don't we have the equivalent of a Niagara Falls or a Victoria Falls going over a cliff into the sea?

    I dunno- the lake Niagara goes into is about as big as some seas.
     
  7. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I've seen one that is very close to a river it empties into (the Rideau River in Ottawa falls into the Ottawa River).

    In St John, N.B. Canada, they advertise the reversing falls. I think that the high tide (from the Bay of Fundy, known for very high tides) visibly reverses the flow of water from the St John River.
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    Possibly, but surely that would apply inland as well (i.e. there'd be no waterfalls inland)? And if like Niagara the rock is worn away so the falls are now further 'back' than they used to be, surely all that would happen is there'd be a bit more sea now than there used to be?
     
  9. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

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    good question Andrew, not sure if my grade C at 'A' level can handle this one, but first thougts are that for there to be a waterfall near the sea... would require high land or cliffs (obvious that bit), and water approaching the sea would have travelled some distance always moving towards and taking the lower level.

    Hence most if not all rivers will pour to sea level where avaliable, or close to it, by the time they reach the sea...!?
     
  10. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I wonder if its because large masses of land tend to have their higher elevations in-land. By the time most rivers reach the level of the sea, there has been a decline in elevation for a long time. (Part of what makes rivers run, you see [​IMG])

    My guess is that of shoreline in the world, the far greater proportion will be levelish, rather than precipitate (eg., Cliffs of Dover)

    The sea itself is a wonderful force for erosion. Barring pretty big chunks of hard rock, and shifting plates, shorelines will tend to be levelish.

    BTW In Planet of the Apes, I could never figure how the Statue of Liberty seemed to be lying on a beach beside a high cliff.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    On the north shore of the island of Kaui in the Hawaiian Islands, there are several waterfalls that flow into the Pacific Ocean. Since the islands are recently formed (in geological terms) from volcanic activity, it would make sense that erosion has not worn down the coastline yet.
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    Thanks for the answers, guys - between you, I think you've nailed it.
     
  13. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    We do have waterfalls that flow into the sea. Not Niagra sized or anything, and that's probably why not.

    There is a fresh water waterfall near my hometown that flows directly into the ocean.

    conche.digiwigi.com/
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I assume by the north shore of Kauai you mean the Na Pali Coast. Those waterfalls all seem to be a bit inland though of course, they eventually would drain to the sea. I've hiked to Kalalau beach along the coastline before and although the trail takes you out and around a lot of cliffs, didn't see any waterfalls flowing directly into the surf zone. The couple of waterfalls you can hike to you would simply hike inland.

    Jay
     
  15. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Isn't there a big one in Venezuela that falls to the ocean?
     
  16. Duane Robinson

    Duane Robinson Second Unit

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    Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica pretty much flows directly into the Caribbean. It ends just a few feet back from the shoreline proper and flows into the sea.
     
  17. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Just read an article about a couple sailing near Cape Horn. They anchored of a cliff that had a waterfall dropping directly into the the sea.

    It was fed by a glacier at a higher altitude - does that count ?
     

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