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This is an earth cache that requires a short hike. It is located in Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, just off of Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway). The walk to the falls is along a well maintained trail; however, there is some elevation gain so be prepared for that.
In the winter, if the waterfall freezes, the park will be closed to prevent potential injuries from falling ice.
Located at the base of Mount Cheam, Bridal Veil Falls descends over 100 metres and claims the distinction of being the 38th highest waterfall in BC.
The bedrock geology of the area of Bridal Veil Falls is very complex. The cliffs found in the waterfall area are predominantly calcareous rock. The term calcareous can be applied to a soil type which is formed from, or contains a high proportion of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite (the mineral form of calcium carbonate).
Formation of a Waterfall:
An important component to forming most waterfalls is to have a stream flowing in an area where hard, erosion resistant rock layers are underlain by softer, more easily eroded rock layers. The flowing stream cascades over the hard, erosion resistant layer. The water generates more energy in this vertical drop, which leads to undercutting and removal of the soft layer beneath the hard caprock (from the constant backsplash of water), and development of deep plunge pools directly under the waterfall. Over time, the undercutting causes the softer layer beneath the cap rock to retreat, leaving an overhang in the hardest layer.
Types of Waterfalls:
There are several different types of waterfalls, they are listed below.
- Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream or river.
- Cascade: Water descends a series of rock steps.
- Cataract: A large, powerful waterfall.
- Chute: A large quantity of water forced through a narrow, vertical passage.
- Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock.
- Frozen: Any waterfall which has some element of ice.
- Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with bedrock.
- Plunge: Water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock surface.
- Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form and then spreads out in a wider pool.
- Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it descends.
- Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls.
- Multi-step: A series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool.
Mechanical Weathering and Erosion:
Mechanical weathering involves the physical breaking of rocks into smaller fragments, each with the same properties as the original. Mechanical weathering can result from water, ice, heating and cooling, and exfoliation.
As soon as a weathered rock particle moves, it is called erosion or mass wasting. Mass wasting is movement down slope due to gravity. Rock falls, slumps, and debris flows are all examples of mass wasting. Rock particles can be moved by air, water, or ice.
Repeated in easy form: if a particle is loosened, but stays put, call it weathering. Once the particle starts moving, call it erosion.
To log this earth cache, please answer the following REQUIRED questions and email them to me through my profile page:
1. Email me with your estimate of how much of the falls you can see while standing near (but not in) the base of the falls. Hint, you can't see it all. (This type of question lets the cache owner know you actually visited the location)
2. Water can result in mechanical weathering and erosion of rock. Do you see any evidence of mechanical weathering and/or erosion at this location? Please describe what you see while answering this question.
The following questions/requirements are OPTIONAL. They are not required in order to log this earth cache. They are intended as an extra educational opportunity for you.
3. Using the list above, what type of waterfall do you think Bridal Veil Falls is? Explain your answer.
4. What type of rock is calcerous rock? (Igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary)?
5. Name a very common calcerous rock. (Hint, it was used to build the Great Pyramid in Egypt)
6. Please post a photo with your log.
(No hints available.)