Waterfalls of Iguazú (Iguassu) River (latitude: 25° 41' S :: longitude: 54° 26' W )
Iguazú National Park (Argentina) was declared
by UNESCO as Natural Heritage of Mankind in 1984. This natural sanctuary
is located in the far north-east of the Republic of Argentina. Waterfalls
of Iguazú (Iguassu) River consist of 275 single falls on the Argentinian
and Brazilian side of the Iguazú
River. There are 16 larger waterfalls on the Aregntinian side of 19
larger together. The waterfalls were most probably initially located at
the confluence of the Iguazú and Parana Rivers some 20,000 years ago, but
erosion has caused them to recede 28 km upstream to their present location
at the altitude of 150 m. The area of waterfalls is part of a large
plateau formed by basaltic lavas during the Mesozoic Era, more than 150
million years ago. Lava surfaced through tectonic faults and cracks, without
formation of volcanic cones, and covered some one million square kilometres.
The width of the falls (2700 m) is 800 m on the Brazilian side and 1900 m on the Argentinean side. Including a rapid above the falls, the height is 72 m (their height varies between 40 and 90 m). Depending on the season of the year (rain fall) the water flow varies between 300 cubic metres/sec and 6500 cubic metres/sec with an average flow of 1500 cubic metres/sec.