Thursday, January 30, 2014

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

It was a short flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu and this would be our only one night stay. But we packed a lot into the short time we were here.

Flying into the Brazilian side of the falls 

Into the jungle for a boat ride on the Iguazu River.

The falls pour over Cretaceous-age basalt, erupted about 121 Ma and known as the Parana volcanics. These lavas are related to the rifting that occurred when the South Atlantic Ocean opened between Africa and South America. The polygons here are weathering features as water invades the fractures and begins to chemically dissolve the rock along these lines of weakness.

Our craft as we head up the rive towards the falls

The power of the falls is astounding and flow levels were high enough that we dare not travel father up to the main falls

It was a wet and enjoyable ride

Time to view the falls from the top

Looking into the Devil's Throat on the Brazilian side. This was one of the highest levels of flow I have ever seen here and record flows were recorded last June. The power and sound of the falls is impressive.

The average discharge of the Iguazu River is between 600,000 and 1,500,000 cubic feet per second!

It was hot and steamy during our visit, about 92 degrees with about 95% humidity. I was soaked.

Iguazu Falls


These is a catwalk constructed right above the lip of the falls. This photo looks downstream over the lip. In June the water ran over this catwalk.

At the end of the catwalk looking upstream

Sunset at the falls

At the end of the trail where the Devil's Throat is located. The falls are an impressive knickpoint on the River that is slowly migrating upstream. As rocks are plucked off the edge of the falls, the falls gradually retreat in the upstream direction.

The Itaipu Dam on the Parana River is one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the world. Only the Three Gorges Dam is larger. When this dam was completed in the 1980's, it drowned out the Seven Falls on the Parana, the location of a knickpoint on that river. My next post will be about the fantastic flight from Brazil to Nicaragua.







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