IntroductionAlong the border of Northern Virginia and West Virginia is a waterfall known as The Falling Springs. It is a remarkable landmark for the state of Virginia and attracts thousands of people every year. Many people are fascinated by how out of place it seems to be.
This small wonder did not appear overnight, but over time by the minerals that make up the waterfall and the way in which the area was formed.Falling Springs Falling springs is an 80 foot waterfall in Alleghany County in Virginia (Fig. 1). It is one of the most visited locations in that area. The water comes from a natural spring from within the mountain which comes from aquifers made from water from precipitation.
Thomas Jefferson discovered this waterfall and regarded it as a, “remarkable cascade…falling over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below.” Since its discovery the waterfall has changed significantly since it first became a traveling destination for tourists.
Falling Springs is made of limestone and throughout the years its perch decreases and the waterfall changes in how it flows. In the past the waterfall was very wide in how it distributed the water amongst the waterfall (Fig. 2). Today the waterfall is more concentrated due to the erosion of the limestone and can be viewed by a visitor’s area along a road wrapping around the area.
Limestone erodes easily, which has caused this refinement in the flow of the water (Prepelka, 2012). Every year the waterfall recedes on average a half inch due to the erosion of the limestone. This landmark was formed by plate collisions which was able to for high mountains. Inside these mountains there was a combination of volcanic rock and limestone.
A cliff was formed due to faults that formed inside the rock and created a cliff.The volcanic rock being stronger than limestone eroded slower. This cause the water from the spring to cause a fall in the stream, over time this fall became more pronounced and eventually lead to the formation of a waterfall ( Frank, 2011). Throughout the years the limestone waterfall continues to erode farther back.
Eventually it will erode back to the volcanic material closer to the center of the mountain, this will cause the waterfall to stop eroding at such a high. Conclusion The Falling Springs is an amazing sight, it shows the beauty that nature can create. Many people come to see this area but never stop to think about where it comes from or how it came to be. More people need to understand the world around them and understand that these places are changing and that they will not always be there. Nature is an amazing thing, and for people to truly appreciate its beauty, they must understand it.