Everlasting Fire: The Eternal Flame Falls of New York
Eternal Flame Falls
Located in the state of New York is the waterfall Eternal Flame Falls, more exactly in Chestnut Ridge Park, in Erie County. Although located inside the park’s boundaries, Eternal Flame Falls is located at the edges, far away from crowds, and is more directly accessible via the trailhead located at the southern edge of Chestnut Ridge Park.
The most notable feature in Chestnut Ridge County Park is the gas-powered blaze erupting behind the falls, called Eternal Flame waterfall. The cave containing this natural flame is located on the right side of The Eternal Flame waterfall when looking up. The solitary flame that burns on a floor without wood to feed it.
The grotto serves as protection against the wind and water from the flame. The flame is only about 15 centimetres high. Meanwhile, the waterfall is 9 meters high and about 4 meters wide.
All kinds of speculations have been made around its origin, but only recently has science intervened to unveil the mystery. The interesting thing is that the fire has been burning for several centuries, as a memory of time. Although the fire can be easily extinguished and it has done so in the past, so it must be occasionally re-lit.
The waterfall of the eternal flame is a place that attracts the attention of the curious and leaves the experts speechless.
Causes for Everlasting Fire
Although there are hundreds of eternal flames scattered throughout the world, only rarely has anyone taken on the task of investigating their origin. For the case at hand, a group of geologists from the University of Indiana Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology studied Eternal Flame Fall in 2013 to investigate why this phenomenon occurs and the impact it could have on the greenhouse effect.
This study concluded that the cascade of the eternal flame is the result of a leak of hydrocarbons from an underground deposit. These run through different layers of the subsoil, pushed by pressure and passing through small cracks. In essence, what comes to the surface is a gas mixture of ethane, propane and methane.
They claim that these gases originated in the Upper Devonian period, about 380 million years ago, and that the deposit is about 400 meters deep. They also explained that the small cracks through which gases escape are the result of tectonic shifts.
Finally, it is stated that this area is not the only filtration, but that it is populated by a large number of micro filtrations; hence the characteristic smell of the sector. Additionally, they draw attention to this type of methane emissions, since they represent about 30% of the total gas expelled into the atmosphere by natural sources. Therefore, they make an important contribution to global warming.