Saturday, November 8, 2014


Urami Waterfall
by Kobayashi Kiyochika
Waterfalls are formed when a river is young, but formation gradually occurs over several thousand years.

Rivers flow over strata of rock that vary in resistance to erosion. As rapid river flow scours a channel into a less erosion-resistant stratum below, it transports loose material downstream thus increasing the slope of the watercourse.

As the flowing water carries the softer rock downstream, the riverbed becomes steeper. Gradually the slope increases to the point where rapids become a waterfall.

As a plunge pool develops, turbulence and whirlpools in the water undercuts the soft rock.

Illustration by Jerry Crimson Mann
After a long period as a fully-formed waterfall, the hard rock overhang can slowly retreat upstream to form a river canyon as the hard rock is eventually eroded and carried downstream.
“When I was walking in the mountains with the Japanese man and began to hear the water, he said, 'What is the sound of the waterfall?' 'Silence,' he finally told me.”
Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems

Selandjafoss, Iceland
by Martin Meeks

Man is not himself only...He is all that he sees; all that flows to him from a thousand sources...He is the land, the lift of its mountain lines, the reach of its valleys.
Mary Hunter Austin