Difference between revisions of "Váladisco Falls"

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Template:Geobox Váladisco Falls, known as Cascadé de Váladisco in Inyursta is a natural landmark on the southern slope of the Sierra Miraco range. It is the highest continuous waterfall in the country and third-highest waterfall overall.

History

Váladisco Falls were originally discovered by the Coacuendo indigenous peoples, who actually avoided the site as they believed the water to be toxic. Theories about this belief range from a seismic incident exposing heavy metal ore contamination, to a toxic algae bloom, to just pure folklore.

Spanish explorer Rodrigo Juarez de Seville made it to the base of the falls during his second expedition in 1540, but neglected to scale the surrounding slopes and continue up the shallow and rocky Rio Mataneu. The falls are also likely a reason the Rio Griz became a large hub of inland commerce while the Rio Mataneu was left in relatively undisturbed condition.

Chemical Properties

The water in both the feed and basin of the falls is considered to be slightly acidic, measuring an average pH of 6.7. Scientists beleive this is likely due to the heavy presence of wood debris and decaying plant matter upstream. In addition to a low pH, the waters of Váladisco Falls are also considered to be Soft water; both factors making the site extremely vulnerable to potential heavy metal contamination.

Wildlife

The mist from the falls almost constantly penetrates the surrounding forest and creates a high-moisture environment, making the site a breeding ground and habitat for neotropical chorus frogs of the genus Microcantoribusi and chirping frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus. Other amphibians commonly found around the falls include poison dart frogs and lungless salamanders.

Catfish of the genus Farlowella congregate in the fast-moving and highly oxygened Impact pool and rapids bellow the falls.