What is meant by 'number of drops' of the waterfall?

by Jay

I've seen Victoria Falls with a classification of 1 as its number of drops, and Angels with that of 47; what does it mean?

Comments for What is meant by 'number of drops' of the waterfall?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 25, 2011
Number of Drops
by: World of Waterfalls

Sometimes instead of number of drops, we can say number of tiers.

Anyways, the short answer is the number of drops tries to tell you how many steep sections (steep enough for each section to be called a waterfall on its own) does the whole waterfall have?

But as you'll see below (or in this article), there is some subjectivity to this metric.

Here are some examples.
Victoria Falls. Even though this is a very wide waterfall, I think it's reasonable to say that the Zambezi River drops significantly as a waterfall only once. Therefore, we'd say this has one drop.

Angel Falls. We can see there's obviously one giant plunge, but you could argue there are cascades further downstream that bring up its number of drops count. I guess the source you've cited has it at 47, but to me it seems like there are far fewer drops than that (maybe 2 or 3) since I wouldn't count most of whatever they're counting in the cascades further downstream as significant drops

Mitchell Falls. This remote waterfall looks like it obviously has four drops. From what I could tell on our visit here, there weren't any other significant cascades or other tiers that would've bumped up this count.

Yosemite Falls. This one is commonly said to have three tiers (or drops) - Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Middle Cascades. But as you can see in this photo, you could argue that the Middle Cascades has multiple drops in it.

Vernal Fall and Nevada Falls. You can make the case that this is two waterfalls each with one drop, or they're actually one waterfall with two drops. Where do you draw the line between where one waterfall ends and where the next one begins? Or how far apart must they be to become different waterfalls?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions for the Waterfalls FAQ.

FOLLOW US ON:   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest
Featured Visitor Stories
or Comments

My Glen Aulin Backpacking Trip
My most successful backpacking trip was from Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aulin with my two sons, my nephew, my oldest son's friend, and two of my best...[more]

A Short Testimonial of Waterfalling
First off, I would like to personally thank you for creating such a wonderful website full of beautiful scenery, luscious vegetation, and, of course, magnificent waterfalls...[more]

The Tragedy of Sacred Falls
Prior to the Mothers day landslide that killed 8 people and injured 50 others, on Mothers Day of 1999, Sacred Falls State Park was my favorite hike on this Island...[more]

It bode ill. "I can't remember the last time it rained," the man in Devonport had said. And there I was looking forward to photographing waterfalls. Things change though;...[more]

I like this web site
I visited a lot of water falls around the world, and since I'm from a desert country I miss the green and blue colors which I can see in the green or forests or lakes...[more]

Lower Falls in Rochester
This is one of my favorite waterfalls mostly because I can visit often. Sometimes I stop by on my lunch break. When the river is running high...[more]

Jungle Rudy's
I am 88 yrs old now, but when I was 50 (about?) my husband flew us in our Bonanza to Jungle Rudy's where we landed in the fields...[more]

Norway Family
When my father was alive, his family in Norway contacted him, stating that he had a lot of family there. His father came to the states at age 17 by himself...[more]

Courtallam (Kutralam) Waterfalls-South India's most natural spa
It has medicinal qualities, popularly called as the "Spa of the South." I visited the falls many times with family earlier and taken bath...[more]