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Monday, January 21, 2013

9 INCREDIBLE FROZEN WATERFALLS AROUND THE WORLD


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Incredible Frozen Waterfalls Around the World
By
The Nature Animals, 18 January 2013.

Usually we see waterfalls in its natural state. What happens when the winter is too cold? Do they change they appearance? Believe it or not, running waterfalls can actually freeze, and when they do, they form weird and wonderful shapes.

1. Öxarárfoss Frozen Waterfall at Þingvellir, Iceland

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Öxarárfoss is a small waterfall in Þingvellir National Park, Iceland. It flows from the river Öxará. The base of the waterfall is filled with rocks and is often very icy in winter. The waterfall is one of the main attractions of Þingvellir National Park and there is a path from the nearby car park leading up to it.

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Iceland has its fair share of frozen waterfalls including this one which cascades directly into the mid-Atlantic ridge which passes through the country. When you stand in front of the waterfall, you are actually between the North American Plate on one side and the Eurasian Plate on the other.

2. Frozen Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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This protected area extends over 296.85 square kilometres (73,350 acres). About 90 percent of this area are part of Lika-Senj County, while the remaining 10 percent are part of Karlovac County. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register among the first natural sites worldwide. Each year, more than 1,200,000 visitors are recorded.

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The above photos show the frozen waterfalls of the upper lakes in Plitvice National Park. In winter they aren't very easily accessible. If you visit this place in autumn you will have no problems of course. For wildlife photographers, you might encounter lynxs, wolves or bears if you're lucky.

3. Behind Minnehaha Frozen Falls, USA

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Minnehaha Creek is a tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from Lake Minnetonka in the west and flows east for 22 miles (35 km) through several suburbs west of Minneapolis and then through south Minneapolis. Including Lake Minnetonka, the watershed for the creek covers 181 square miles (470 km2).

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The creek might have been unremarkable except for the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls located near the creek's confluence with the Mississippi. The site is not far from Fort Snelling, one of the earliest white settlements in the region. The falls are now located in Minnehaha Park.

4. St Louis Canyon Frozen Waterfall, USA

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Undulating waves and nodules of ice give this waterfall in Starved Rock State Park [Official website], Illinois such wonderful texture. It almost looks like marshmallow! The temperature was in the mid 30's so the water fall was dripping.

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Starved Rock State Park is best known for its fascinating rock formations, primarily St. Peter sandstone, laid down in a huge shallow inland sea more than 425 million years ago and later brought to the surface.

5. Frozen Niagara Falls, New York, USA

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Mighty Niagara Falls, pouring over the Niagara Escarpment to the sound of rolling thunder…most of the time, yes, but not always. Bitterly cold winter weather has been known to freeze the Falls in its tracks, so to speak, though this hasn’t happened to its fullest extent since the nineteenth century.

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Niagara Falls once have been frozen in 1911, during an extended winter cold snap, when it naturally formed ice sculpture; the phenomenon has been known as "Ice Bridge".

In winter of 1934 the "ice bridge" phenomenon was expected to happen again but only half of the waterfall was frozen.

6. Frozen Akhlamad Waterfall in Khorasan, Iran

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The Akhlamad Waterfall is located in the province of Razavi Khorasan in northeastern Iran and is a popular tourist excursion. It is 2 kilometres from the Akhlamad village and 84 kilometres from Mashhad. The waterfall itself is approximately 40 meters tall and is located at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by vertical rocky cliffs measuring up to 300 meters at some points (which in turn has consistently attracts rock climbing enthusiasts).

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The mineral nature of the surrounding rocky terrain has caused the creation of large circular plunge pool directly under the base of the waterfall. The fossils discovered within the mineral deposits date the area back to the Jurassic Period.

7. Gulfoss Frozen Waterfall, Iceland

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Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The wide Hvítá rushes southward. About a kilometre above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step "staircase" and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 m and 21 m) into a crevice 32 m (105 ft) deep. The crevice, about 20 m (60 ft) wide, and 2.5 km in length, extends perpendicular to the flow of the river.

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Gullfoss (or “Golden Falls” in English) is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions in all seasons but when the mighty Hvítá river freezes up, Gullfoss becomes an icy, otherworldly landscape.

8. Frozen Waterfall South of Anchorage, Alaska

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This frozen waterfall near Turnagain Arm, Alaska looks like something straight out of Narnia. It may not be very large in size, but it's certainly one of the most magical places in our selection.

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9. Frozen Waterfall at Piedra River Trail, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA

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Due to its location on Highway 160 at the base of Wolf Creek Pass, Treasure Falls trail is probably the most popular hike in Pagosa. To get there from town, travel 14 miles east on Highway 160.

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The parking area is just off the highway on the right. It is a short quarter-mile trail to the bridge and another quarter mile to the base of the falls. Standing on the bridge, the falls pour a refreshing spray as they rush down the cliff in front of you. During the winter these falls create a frozen sculpture.

Top image: Frozen Akhlamad Waterfall in Khorasan, Iran. Source: left image, right image.

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