Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, a great time to visit nyfalls.com! The big news this month was Arthur Lovell’s photograph of the collapse of a tour-bus size (or larger) chunk of rock from the upper reaches of the Taughannock Falls amphitheater, crashing some 215 feet into the pool below. The resulting splash reached up to about half the height of the falls, or 100-plus feet.
Of course, rocks falling into the region’s many gorges is nothing newsworthy – it’s been going on for thousands of years and continues generally unnoticed on a daily basis, though typically on a smaller scale. The unusual thing here is that the scene was captured in a dramatic pair of before and after photographs, shot from the overlook on Taughannock Park Rd.
Coincidentally, November also happens to be the month that Taughannock Falls is featured in the beautiful 2010 waterfalls calendar http://waterfallcalendar.com/
, published by Dewey Neild Photography of Ithaca. http://www.deweyneild.com/
Neild has captured images of “T. Falls” in various seasons and lighting conditions, but this month’s calendar image is of interest as it was shot from below, revealing that the now-collapsed area was seriously overhung. Click here to see Neild's photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7812552@N03/5206879999/
Dewey’s image also points out just how close this rockfall was to the crest of the falls. It’s only a matter of time until the crest itself crumbles backwards, altering the falls’ iconic right-angle shape. Another point of comparison between the Lovell and Neild photos – it’s apparent that the major rock fall on November 4 was preceded by one or more smaller ones from the same area, as voids that are apparent in the more recent pic are not there in the older one. Comparing with a photo (below) taken several years ago, ongoing loss of rock from the upper reaches of the amphitheater is very apparent.
Nyfalls.com has estimated the recently fallen chunk at 54 feet long. Taking an average height of 12 feet and average thickness of 2 feet, the massive chunk would have weighed some 100 tons and displaced about 10,000 gallons of water.