Iguazu Falls from Argentina

April 04, 2011

Iguazpl232jan4 11 (2) 
Photographer: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

April 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The multiple cascades of Iguazu Falls, one of the most spectacular and intricate waterfalls in the world, slip off a basalt escarpment on the Iguazu River, along a border shared by Argentina and Brazil. In part because of the international boundary, the natural wonder is spelled and pronounced in varied ways: To the area’s native Guarani Indians this is Yguasu, which has been translated to mean, appropriately enough, “big water.” In the Spanish of Argentina (and nearby Paraguay, to which this territory once belonged), these are the Cataratas del Iguazú. In Brazilian Portugese, they are the Cataratas do Iguaçu. It's also spelled "Iguassu."

Iguazu’s cascades stretch along a subtropical ridge for about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers), most thunderously at a cleft called the Devil’s Throat. The falls in places are 260 feet (80 m) high and are broken into an estimated 275 streams. This splintering gives them a fantasy-film appearance that contrasts with the long curtains of water surging off Africa’s Victoria Falls and North America’s Niagara Falls, to which Iguazu is often compared. Photo taken on January 4, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D60; Focal Length: 18.0mm; Aperture: f/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.