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When the river water is unable to remove the resistant rock layer but is enough to erode the soft rock downstream, the river falls down vertically in the form of a waterfall.
Middle course Lower course
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
The falling water at the waterfall produces strong hydraulic action, forming a circular pool of water at the base of the waterfall called a plunge pool.