The height of the Niagara Escarpment at Lewiston, New York is 76 meters (250 feet) above sea level. Only five kilometers west of Lewiston, New York, the escarpment is so steep that it raises 73 meters (240 feet) above sea level in 0.4 kilometers (1/4 mile). The eastern portion of the Niagara Escarpment at Watertown, New York is 147 meters (483 feet) above sea level is higher than in the west at Hamilton, Ontario the escarpment is 35 meters (116 feet) above sea level.
Only in Niagara can one find a gravel beach 147 meters (483 feet) above the nearest body of water.The Niagara Escarpment is the ultimate reason the Niagara Falls were created. Without the escarpment, Niagara Falls may never have materialized. After millions of years, the Niagara Escarpment continues to erode in a southward direction.
The Niagara Escarpment was formed and existed before glaciations, approximately 430 – 415 million years ago. The Niagara Escarpment was formed before the formation of the Niagara Falls and before the dinosaur extinction. The land that is now Southern Ontario emerged from the sea of the Paleozoic Era at least 245 million years ago or more.
The Ordovician and the Silurian rocks of the Niagara Escarpment are of the oldest found in Niagara dating back to 430 – 415 million years ago.The Niagara Escarpment begins in Watertown New York, USA and continues westerly along the Manitoulin Island in the Province of Ontario, Canada. It also continues easterly through Wisconsin and Illinois, United States.
It is 1,609 kilometers in length and is the weathered edge of a very ancient sea bottom. Throughout its length from Hamilton, Ontario to Watertown, New York the escarpment ranges from 183 meters (600 feet) to 189 meters (620 feet) above sea level.