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尼亚加拉大瀑布的水是否曾经停止流动?

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旅行达人 发表于 2017-10-6 03:00:12 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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Have the waters at the Niagara Falls ever stopped flowing?                                                                                       
Niagara-Falls-stopped-flowing.jpg
Ever since records have been kept about the history of the Falls of Niagara, there have only been three occasions when the water flow over the Falls has been greatly reduced and/or restricted. They are as follows:
Unfortunately, news reports in 1848 were stretchy at best. The exact times that Niagara Falls ran dry was not specifically recorded. It however began near midnight on March 29th 1848 and the early morning of March 30th 1848. The full effect of the ice jam upstream at the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Erie did not take full effect until well into the day of March 30th. The water stopped flowing for approximately 30 – 40 hours before the flow of water at Niagara Falls had returned to normal on the late evening of March 31st and/or early morning hours of April1st 1848.

Sources for the following account are attributed to:
  • Buffalo Commercial Advertised – March 30th 1848
  • Buffalo Express – March 31st 1848
  • The Iris of Niagara Falls, New York – March 31st 1848
  • Major R. Lachlan, speech to Royal Canadian Institute 1855
  • The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry – David Phillips
  • Globe & Mail news article – March 30th 1955
On March 29th 1848, papers reported that Niagara Falls ran dry. During a weather related occurrence, a south-west gale blowing off of Lake Erie caused ice to jam and dam up at the mouth of the Niagara River causing the water flow to be severely restricted. The water over the Horseshoe Falls and American Falls to be reduced to a trickle for approximately thirty (30) to forty (40) hours. The roar of the Falls fell silent. One of the first residents to notice the deafening silence was farmer, Jed Porter of Niagara Falls, New York. During the late evening of March 29th, he left home for a stroll along the river near the American Falls and realized the thundering roar of the Falls was absent. A closer examination revealed the amount of the water flowing over the Falls had been greatly diminished.
Residents awoke on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence and realized something was amiss. People were drawn to the Falls to find that the water flow of the Niagara River had been reduced to a mere trickle. Thomas Clark Street, the owner and operator of the large Bridgewater Mills along the Canadian shore at Dufferin Islands was was awakened by one of his employees at 5 a.m. on March 30th reporting the mill had been shut down because the mill race was empty.
By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river. All the mills and factories dependant upon water power were stilled.
The river bed was quickly drying. Fish and turtles were left floundering on now dry land. A number of people made their way into the gorge to the riverbed. Here they saw articles that had been lay on the river’s bottom that had been hidden for hundreds of years. Souvenirs picked up included bayonets, guns barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812.
Other spectators were able to walk out onto the river bed that had only hours earlier been a torrent of rapids and would have resulted in certain death. It became a tourist and media event. People on foot, on horseback or by horse and buggy, crossed the width of the Niagara River. It was a historical event that had never occurred during recorded time and has never been duplicated since.

A squad of soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry rode their horses up and down the river bed as an exhibition.
Below the Falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blast away rocks which had normally been a navigation hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since its inception in 1846. The gorge resonated with the sounds of many explosions as those rocks which normally would have scraped the hull of the boat were removed.

The sudden silencing of the roar of the Falls had caused much anxiety and fear amongst the residents and visitors. Some believed that this event was the beginning of a doomsday scenario. On the morning of March 31st the Falls remained silent. Many thousands of people attended special church services on both sides of the border.
With each passing hour, the level of fear and anxiety among the residents grew proportionately until the night of March 31st, when a loud low pitched growl and grown was heard coming from upstream. This announced and was quickly followed by the return of the normal flow of water along the Niagara River. A wall of water surged forward at surprising speed, covering again perhaps forever what had been exposed for but a brief historic moment in time. The return of the roar of the Falls, reassured the residents that all was going to be alright and that they could now breathe a huge sigh of relief and return to their normal activities.
On the night of March 31st 1848, the wind shifted and the ice dam at the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Erie broke apart and the river flow returned to its normal rate.
The wind is probably the greatest factor which controls the water level in the Niagara River. Remember that a south-west wind 30-50 mph blowing the entire length of the Lake can easily raise the water level in eastern portion of Lake Erie 3-6 feet in several hours. Its very much like a storm water surge that we hear about during the onslaught of a hurricane however on a much lesser scale. This force pushes much more water into the river.
In latter part of March 1848, a gale force wind blowing from the south-west for several days before the ice dam occurred. On March 29th 1848, the weather was clear with an air temperature of 7º Celsius (46º Fahrenheit). The wind was blowing very strongly from the south-west. This wind which was blowing over the entire fetch of Lake Erie combined with massive amounts of Lake ice which was in turn pushed into the mouth of the Niagara River. So much ice that the River could not handle it all so it began to jam up at the entrance. The jam became so dense with hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, that it became a water dam which severely restricted the water.
On March 31st 1848, the temperature rose to 16º Celsius (64º Fahrenheit) and the wind shifted and strengthened that night causing the ice dam to break apart causing the return of the normal flow of water to the Niagara River.
The winter of 1847- 1848 was not unusually cold. Lake Erie’s ice cover was not in excess of the usual 10 – 60 centimeters.
The Niagara River can only handle about 2% of the Lake ice so 98% remains in Lake Erie.
In 1953, the water over a portion of the Horseshoe Falls nearest the Table Rock Pavilion was stopped by the building of a series of coffer dams to allow for remedial work to be done to the edge of the Falls. This was done to allow a more even water flow and to slow the rate of erosion.
In 1969, the US Army Corps of Engineers built a series of coffer dams which stopped or rather reduced the water flow over the American Falls to a mere trickle. This was done to allow a study of the rock formations at the crest of the Falls and to study the feasibility of whether there was any possible way to remove the rock (talus) at the base of the American Falls. In the end, the engineers decided to let mother nature take its course.
Other than the two occasions when man has intervened by building dams to slow the water and on one occasion when nature has intervened, there is no way to turn the water off.
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