Thursday, October 20, 2016

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil and Argentina


Iguaçu Falls straddles the Brazil/Argentina border and was voted in 2014 as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. (Of course, this list was a bit of a sham as anyone could vote as often as desired for their favorite place - some picks were flooded by citizens in entire counties - see the whole list here, especially the criticisms section). You have to wonder about a list that doesn't include the Grand Canyon (see the original list here).

Still we had a great visit here and enjoy the photos.

A very hazy approach to the Iguaçu River, a large meandering stream that is tributary to the great Paraná River.

We landed on the Argentinian side of the border but were staying on the Brazilian side. As we crossed from one country to the other over the river, the colors reflected the change.

The Iguana River isa  placid stream below the falls, located about 14 miles upstream from this spot.

A giant cumulonimbus cloud towers over the Das Cataratas Hotel near the lip of the falls. This grand hotel was an excellent place to stay and is the only hotel inside the Brazilian National Park.

This photo was taken from the same spot as the previous one but looks toward the Argentinian side of the falls.

A better view.

A trail leads along the edge of the gorge about 3/4 of a mile. It was hot and steamy at 4 in the afternoon.

It has been estimated that the falls migrate upstream about 1 inch every 10 to 25 years and that this rate has ben going on for a least 32 million years, when the falls would have been located 14 miles farther downstream and at the junction with the Paraná River.

Different levels of the falls are produced when they cascade into interbedded paleosols (ancient soils formed on top of earlier lava flows). These lines of weakness help to form platforms in the falls.

The sound and the fury of the water was incredible. I used to think that Victoria Falls in Africa were the greatest falls but I may have changed my mind on this visit.

The calculated discharge at the time of these photographs was 85,000 cfs.

A graph from my onboard lecture shows a comparison with Earth's greatest waterfalls. Note the record discharge at Iguaçu was only a little more than two years ago.

Photograph of the June, 2014 flood from a local newspaper.

This the Devil's Throat where the head of the falls is located.

Note how the river is slicing down through the hard basalt bedrock.

Graphic from my lecture showing the relationship of the lava flows when the Gondwana supercontinent existed some 130 Ma.

The Devil's Throat.

The final platform at the Devil's Throat. Here, camera's and bodies get wet from the mist.

Visible is about half the height of the falls.

Out on the final platform. Look at the scale of the falls - they are huge!

Looking downstream from the final platform.

Iguaçu Falls.


An elevator exists to take people to the very top of the falls.

From the top looking upstream into the Devil's Throat.

Sunset at Iguaçu Falls and a towering cloud. Off to Buenos Aires!

1 comment:

Ruth W. said...

Wow!! Thanks for shaming these wonderful photos:)