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Posts tagged “Eternal Flame Falls

Eternal Flame Falls

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Eternal Flame Falls (photo taken in autumn, flame lower right)

By: Pat Coate

I had heard good things about the Eternal Flame Falls hike at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY. So while in the area with a little extra time I decided to check it out. Here is a description of the eternal flame phenomenon from http://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/eternal-flame-falls/:

“As you approach the falls, the smell of rotten-egg-like natural gas fills the air within the ravine. This is the result of seepage from layers of organically-rich Hanover Shale. … The gasses produced during the decomposition of the organics within the rock deposits are under pressure and push out through cracks and loose layers within the rock. One large fissure is located right within Eternal Flame Falls, in a small grotto that protects the gas seepage from the falling water and any wind, enabling it to sustain a flame when lit.”

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