Goal #1 and the Search for Waterfall Resources

As stated in my previous goal post, an important part of the final portion of ENVS 330 is setting and achieving goals to make progress towards a capstone. I set a goal of compiling an annotated bibliography of five sources pertaining to the role of waterfalls in three different situated contexts: The Columbia River Gorge OR, Yosemite CA, and Mt. Fuji Japan. I achieved this goal but the types of sources I found were slightly different than expected. Although I thought a lot would be written on the role of waterfalls in tourism, the only literature on that was in the form of guidebooks. These can be useful for certain elements like examining which falls are included and why but THEY don’t provide any in-depth academic information. Despite the lack of resources regarding waterfall tourism, I found some incredibly useful and interesting sources on waterfall geomorphology in the Columbia River Gorge, Yosemite waterfall geology, and examples of knickpoint retreat in New Zealand. I also found several solid sources on the relationship between waterfalls and spirituality in Japan with regards to Shugendo, Japan’s syncretic mountain religion. See my annotated bibliography below:

Stachelrodt, Chris. 1971. “A Geomorphic Study of Waterfalls and Basalt Jointing in the Columbia River Gorge.”

In this article, Chris Stachelrodt discusses how basaltic jointing affects waterfall appearance in the Columbia River Gorge. He describes five different jointing patterns: massive, hackley massive, columnar, platey and brick bat. He goes on to analyze how different jointing fabrics affect the way a cliff will erode behind a waterfall and how columnar jointing results in a stair step morphology.

Matthes, François, Fryxell, Fritiof, and Adams, Ansel. The Incomparable Valley : A Geologic Interpretation of the Yosemite. Berkeley ; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1950.

This book outlines Yosemite’s geologic history with particular emphasis on Yosemite Valley. It stresses the importance of glaciation, uplift, and erosion. The authors also describe how waterfall appearances in the valley are a product of glacial erosion and how this led to the prevalence of “hanging valley” type waterfalls. Since the Columbia River Gorge also contains several “hanging valley” waterfalls it would be interesting to compare the two.

Crosby, Benjamin T., and Kelin X. Whipple. “Knickpoint Initiation and Distribution within Fluvial Networks: 236 Waterfalls in the Waipaoa River, North Island, New Zealand.” Geomorphology 82, no. 1-2 (2006): 16-38. doi:10.1016

This article examines how fluvial networks are affected by knickpoint retreat. A knickpoint is a waterfall – a sudden drop in a stream’s channel. Although this study is situated in Zew Zeland which isn’t an area of interest for my concentration, it does contain extensive information on how waterfalls shape the geomorphology of a watershed, particularly one that contains lots of knickpoints. This article also mentions how the current placement of knickpoints are controlled by thresholds in channel incision at areas lower in the drainage.

Earhart, H. Byron. “Mount Fuji and Shugendo.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 16, no. 2/3 (1989): 205-26.

This source talks about how Shugendo (a Japanese mountain religion) laid the groundwork for pilgrimage up Mt. Fuji and religious co-fraternities like the Fuji-ko. He also explains how religious figure like Kakugyo viewed Mt. Fuji as the source of all life and built 50 lodges around the mountain to house pilgrims. The author also examines the role of austerities, particularly those involving waterfalls, and how they are viewed as a path towards enlightenment.

Larson-Harris, Marwood. “Shugendo Now.” Asia Pacific World 1, no. 2 (2010): 136+.

This article is a review of “Shugendo Now,” a film that outlines shugendo’s syncretic beliefs and the shamanistic goals of the practice. The film emphasizes how Shugendo is used for environmental activism in Japan, particularly for the restoration of waterfall areas. The film displays how modern day shiugendo practitioners are rallying people to clean up the Katadami Gorge, a gorge in Japan with over 17 waterfalls.



One comment

  1. It’s interesting that you were able to find a lot of articles about the formation of waterfalls, but really no articles specifically about waterfall tourism. I know you mentioned guidebooks, and I’m curious how you would go about analyzing those to get relevant information about tourism. I’m sure they have lots of valuable information, but it definitely seems more difficult than a scholarly article. I also find the use of waterfalls in spiritualism to be particular interesting, especially considering how spiritualism can tie into tourism.


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