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Four Photos of a Frozen Niagara Falls

I can't imagine how cold it would have to be to freeze such a large, fast flowing river and falls. These pictures were taken in 1911 before there was a dam in place, so the water would have been much higher and much faster.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by ninigoat.

In the first photo the people are walking about fairly casually with a small child accompanying them. Doubtless for the time, clothing wouldn't likely be up to task to keep one warm in the kind of temperatures it would take to make that river freeze.

My guess then is some sort of ice-jam/log-jam further up river that severely restricted the flow of water at the time, thereby making the freeze-up more likely in relatively normal albeit cold temperatures.
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The water in that area was less polluted back then, which made it easier for it all to ice up. Hamilton harbor (not terribly far from there) used to freeze up regularly as well.

Anyway, whenever I see those photos, I always theorized that ice chunks formed and perhaps blocked up areas, restricting water flow, which would have encouraged more ice to form, and perhaps allowed for a total freeze up in certain conditions.
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I didn't think about it till you mentioned water temperature, which the two hydroelectric power plants could affect how cold the river water manages to get.
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Actually, a dam does not reduce the flow of water unless it is a diversionary dam drawing off water for irrigation or other uses. Passing the water through a hydroelectric generator does not make it go away - - the same amount of water comes down the river every year. All a dam does is even out the flow and keeps a reserve so that there is a reliable flow of water year round.
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But it stands to reason that in the process of evening out the flow, and keeping a reserve of water, would influence the natural flow of the river. Meaning that in certain times and seasons, the current flow would be lesser than the natural flow.
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You're quite right. The water does have to go somewhere. But in this case the somewhere would be the Canadian falls. The falls pictured is the American side. The water flow to the American falls squeezes through a comparatively tight section with Goat Island. It would be very easy to have that section blocked by ice and other debris and the niagara river otherwise flowing fast and dumping over the Canadian side.
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Geez, I'm wondering what it would look and sound like around the area when a large slab of ice fell off the side of the falls smashing through the ice bellow.
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It appears that the photos are probably real, although the date is in question...maybe a small detail to some, but still. Here is more info:
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