The Niagara River (a Native American word for “at the neck”), linking
Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, flows around Goat Island, and then
plummets over Horseshoe and American Falls, better known as Niagara
Falls. The port city of Buffalo, New York is located at the northeast
corner of Lake Erie where the river first leaves the lake. The image
also includes the infamous Love Canal. In the late 1970s and early
1980s, as a result of chemical wastes having been dumped in the area of
the Love Canal from 1947 to 1952, the area was evacuated. In 1990, after
a 12-year cleanup effort, the federal government declared parts of the
area habitable and reopened those areas.
This image was acquired on September 8, 2001 by the Advanced
Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s
Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the
thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of
15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and
monitor the changing surface of our planet.
Size: 56.4 x 53.4 km (35.0 x 33.1 miles)
Location: 43.0 deg. North lat., 78.9 deg. West long.
Orientation: North at top
Image Data: green, red, near-infrared
Original Data Resolution: 15 meters epr pixel
Date Acquired: September 8, 2001
The Niagara River forms the U.S.-Canadian Border and allows Lake Erie to drain northwest into Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is about 100 m lower than Lake Erie; the Falls and the rapids account for most of the elevation difference. The energy derived from water falling over the falls, with average total flows of 750,000 U.S. gallons (2.8 million liters) per second, fuel multiple power plants on the river. Power Plants downstream from the plant generate 4.4 million kilowatts of power for both Ontario and New York.