What happens when Niagra Falls reaches Lake Erie?

I was thinking about Niagra Falls recently, when something occurred to me. Due to erosion, the falls are slowly moving upstream. Thousands of years from now, they will reach Lake Erie. What happens then? Will Niagra Falls drain Lake Erie, reducing it to a river that runs between Detroit and Buffalo? Will the falls get flooded out, and basically disappear under Lake Erie? Or something else?

As the falls reaches Lake Erie, the lip of the falls will determine the lake’s surface level. As it eats into lower bottom levels, the lake will shrink.

I don’t recall if the escarpment is a lump that holds back Erie or if the bottom of Erie is close to current top of the falls.IIRC Erie is known for being shallow.

I guess the question is whether the falls will continue to be massive falls, or as seems to be happening now on the American falls, you get a build-up of boulders and rubble until it’s essentially a series of rapids through a canyon. If it takes geological eons (millions of years?) to reach Lake Erie, it will probably take even longer to reach deep into the lake… although as we see from the Grand Canyon, large and long canyons can happen.

from Niagra Parks

[Minor spelling nitpick] It’s Niagara. [/msn]


Slooooowly I turn…!
Step by step!
Inch by inch!
Closer and CLOSER!

if you check the topology you need to look at the varying depth so depending on the bottom it could be extremely wide like the Khone Falls in the Mekong River. but until It reaches the deepest part of the lake; the lake or part of it will remain until it reaches the deepest part which is near midway which could make it the widest falls in the world and probably class 3 or 4 rapids leading up to the falls. It would be cool to simulate it though.

Niagara but Viagra.

I’m betting that humans will stop that from happening before it gets too close to Lake Erie.

I’m curious. What exactly do you expect we’ll do about it? Duct tape?

Sure. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side and it binds the galaxy together.

For starters, we’re fully capable of simply turning off the falls (it’s been done before for American falls). The eroding rock lip could be replaced with a material which is both more erosion resistant and could itself be replaced periodically.

Yep. And Zip-Ties.

So much for my waterfront property.

Well, you may still have riparian rights. Kind of like how where you are now used to be in Connecticut (sort of) :wink:

That was a really good fact sheet, BTW. Well worth reading through it (the answer to the OP, cited by Grey, was at the very end!).

If we can build a giant dam, I don’t see any obstacles involved in buttressing a small waterfall.

I am going to start pronouncing the middle ‘a’, perhaps accenting it.

Ny-ah-gair-ah Falls.