Reversing Falls

May 05, 2010

Reversing falls

Photographer: Alexandra Myuro
Summary Authors: Alexandra Myuro; Jim Foster

May 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's ChoiceReversing falls are typically caused by tidal action. They can be particularly pronounced at locations where tides are extreme, such as the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada (above). When the Saint John River empties into the Bay at low tide, a small waterfall is created as the river flows over a rocky shelf. Eventually, however, as the flowing tide rises above the level of the shelf (caprock), the surging seawater moves against the current of the river. The resulting reverse rapids can be quite tempestuous as pictured here. Photo taken on June 20, 2009. [Revised April 2017]