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Rhine Falls, Switzerland

March 29th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Rhine Falls (Rheinfall in Switzerland) are the largest plain waterfalls of Europe.

They are located in the High Rhine upper course of the river Rhine, in the municipality of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland and close to the German border. They are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high, with an average flow of some 700 m³/s of water.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Yosemite Falls - the highest measured waterfall in North America, California, USA

March 2nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America. Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, it is a major attraction in the park, especially in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

The total 2425-foot (739-m) distance from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls qualifies Yosemite Falls as the 6th highest waterfall in the world (with the recent discovery of Gocta Cataracts it presently appears on some lists as the seventh). Although often referred to as a "two-stage drop", the falls actually consist of three sections:

  • The 1430-foot (425-m) plunge qualifies the Upper Falls alone as one of the twenty highest waterfalls in the world. Trails up from the valley floor and down from other regions of the park outside the valley proper lead to both the top and base of Upper Yosemite Falls. The upper fall is formed by the swift waters of Yosemite Creek, which, after meandering through Eagle Creek Meadow, hurl themselves over the edge of a hanging valley in a spectacular and deafening show of force.
  • Between the two obvious main plunges there are a series of cascades and smaller plunges generally referred to as "the cascades". Taken together these account for another drop of 675 feet (205 m), more than twice the height of the Lower Falls. Because of the layout of the area, the lack of any major drops in this section and the lack of public access, they are often overlooked. Most viewpoints in the valley miss them entirely. Several vantage points for the cascades are found along the Yosemite Falls trail. Several hikers climbing down from the trail towards the cascades have required an expensive helicopter rescue due to steep and slippery terrain and features.
  • The final 320-foot (97-m) drop of the Lower Falls, adjacent to an accessible viewing area, provides the most-used viewing point for the waterfalls. Yosemite Creek emerges from the base of the Lower Falls and flows into the Merced River nearby. Like many areas of Yosemite the plunge pool at the base of the Lower Falls is surrounded by dangerous jumbles of talus made even more treacherous by the high humidity and resulting slippery surfaces.

In years of little snow, the falls may actually cease flowing altogether in late summer or fall. A very small number of rock climbers have taken the opportunity to climb the normally inaccessible rock face beneath the falls, although this is an extraordinarily dangerous undertaking; a single afternoon thunderstorm could restart the falls, sweeping the climbers off the face.

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Saint Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, USA

February 20th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, located near downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River until it was replaced by a concrete apron after they partially collapsed in 1869 and, later, a series of dams in the 1950s and 1960s. The indigenous people who lived in their vicinity called the falls by various names. The Ojibway used the term Kakabikah (the severed rock) and the Dakota used Minirara (curling water) and Owahmenah (falling water). In 1680, the falls became known to the rest of the world when they were observed by Father Louis Hennepin, a Catholic friar of Belgian birth, who also brought the existence of Niagara Falls to the world's attention. Hennepin named Saint Anthony Falls after his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. Later explorers include Jonathan Carver and Zebulon Montgomery Pike. The region around the falls was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District in 1971.

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Montmorency Falls, Quebec City, Canada

June 28th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Montmorency Falls are located in Quebec City. The falls, at 83 meters (272 ft.) high, are the highest in the province of Quebec and 30 m (98 ft.) higher than Niagara Falls. The falls are at the mouth of the Rivière Montmorency where it drops over the cliff shore into the Saint Lawrence River, opposite the western end of the Île d'Orleans. The falls were given this name in 1613 by Samuel de Champlain. He named them in honour of Henri II, duc de Montmorency, who served as viceroy of New France from 1620 until 1625.

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Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Victoria Falls are one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. The falls are situated on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and are roughly a 1.6 km (1 mile) wide and 128 m (420 ft) high. They are considered a remarkable spectacle because of the peculiar narrow slot-like chasm into which the water falls, so one can view the falls face-on.

David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, visited the falls in 1855 and named them after Queen Victoria, though they were known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the “smoke that thunders”. The falls are part of two national parks, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe, and are one of Southern Africa’s major tourist draws. They are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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