Pedia News

What Is The Biggest Waterfall On Earth?


What Is The Biggest Waterfall On Earth?
This is a tricky question as there is no standard way to judge waterfall size. Some use height or width, but the tallest one, Angel Falls, is only a few metres across at its ledge so is nowhere near the widest. Others group waterfalls into ten categories based on volume flowing over the drop.

Every method has problems. Boyoma Falls in the Congo is one of the biggest waterfall on Earth by volume, but some argue the turbulent waters are simply river rapids. Shape is a popular and easy-to-digest, but unscientifi c, way to classify waterfalls, as many of them fall (literally) into several different categories.

What Is The Biggest Waterfall On Earth?

Horsetail
In horsetail waterfalls, the falling water stays in constant contact with the underlying rock, as it plunges over a near-vertical slope. One example is the famous Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.
Block
A wide river tumbles over a cliff edge, forming a rectangular ‘block’ waterfall that is often wider than it is high. Famous examples include Victoria Falls in Africa and the Niagara Falls that straddles Canada and the United States.
Punchbowl
A river shoots through a narrow gap and cascades into a deep plunge pool. The name ‘punchbowl’ refers to the shape of the pool. An example of a punchbowl fall is Wailua Falls, found in Hawaii.
Plunge
Water spills straight over a ledge while barely touching the rock beneath. Angel Falls, found in Venezuela, is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall and is a member of this waterfall category.
Tiered
The waterfall has several drops, each with their own plunge pool. One example is Gullfoss, Iceland. Some tiered waterfalls, such as the Giant Staircase in the USA, can resemble several separate falls.
Chute
These resemble extreme rapids more than waterfalls. A pressurised frothy mass of water is forced through a suddenly narrower channel. An example is Barnafoss, a waterfall in Iceland.