Example of a Plunge Pool Landform:
Niagara Falls, New York State and Ontario, Canada
A plunge pool is a pool of water below a waterfall.
Falling water with rocks and other material erode the base of a waterfall to form a deep pool.
The size of a plunge pool usually depends upon the volume of falling water. A large waterfall will usually have a bigger plunge pool. A higher waterfall will generally form a deeper plunge pool. The depth of a plunge pool also depends upon the hardness of rock layers below the falls. Some falls have rock debris that has filled the area at the base and there is no plunge pool.
A plunge pool can be found at the base of most waterfalls that have a vertical drop.
• Niagara Falls, New York State and Ontario, Canada
• ShirAbad Waterfall, northern Iran
• Taughannock Falls, Cayuga Lake, New York State, USA
Niagara Falls is located at the border of New York State and Ontario, Canada. It has three separate falls and one plunge pool. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls of Niagara have rock debris that has filled the area at the base of each fall.
The much larger Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side have a plunge pool 185 feet in depth. Due to erosion, Niagara Falls have retreated almost 7 miles from the original location by Lake Ontario over 11,000 years ago. The ShirAbad Waterfall in northern Iran has 12 different steps, like a stairway.
The largest step is about 100 feet high and has a plunge pool of up to 260 feet deep. Taughannock Falls feeds Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of New York State. 12,000 years’ time has caused the falls to erode the cliff face and retreat 3/4 mile from the lake. The falls have a 30 foot deep plunge pool below.
A pool of water at the base of a waterfall
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