New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_D47_NiL
View down the Niagara River gorge to the Whirlpool, where the river makes a 90º turn, circa 1900.
Why is the area in the photograph called "The Whirlpool"?
Is the water flowing quickly or slowly? How can you tell?
Would this be a good place to swim?
The Whirlpool is located in the Niagara Gorge. What is a gorge? What features of a gorge do you see in this photograph?
Based on the Historical Background, which is closer to Lake Ontario — the Whirlpool or Niagara Falls? What clues did you use from the text to find the answer?
Which lake do you think has a higher elevation, Lake Ontario or Lake Erie?
On the right side of the photograph there appear to be poles along a path. When and why was the path created, what was it used for, and does it exist today?
Math: Draw what the Niagara River would have looked like if the glacier had caused a 45° turn rather than a 90° turn. Do the same for a 180° turn and a 270° turn.
Math: If the Whirlpool is approximately 1,650 feet in diameter and 125 feet deep, about how much water does it hold?
Science: Research the impact that glaciers have had on various land formations in New York State and the United States. Name three major land formations.
Science: Research the flow of water through the Whirlpool. What happens to water in the Niagara River when it reaches the Whirlpool? Sometimes the water in the Whirlpool reverses direction and flows clockwise instead of counterclockwise. Why does this change occur, when did it first happen, and how frequently does it happen?
Whitcraft, Melissa. The Niagara River. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. ISBN: 0531119033