You are here:Chapters»Freshwater Pressures and Impacts»River Fragmentation»Global Waterfall Database (HydroFALLS)

Global Waterfall Database (HydroFALLS)

Global Waterfall Database (HydroFALLS)

Open this map in the interactive map interface



The Global Waterfall Database, termed HydroFALLS, is a point shapefile and related attribute table showing the location of 4362 waterfalls including their names and estimated mean river flow. The database has been compiled and validated using a variety of source information and constitutes the first consistent global GIS layer of waterfall features. The point locations have been co-registered to the global HydroSHEDS river network.


Department of Geography, McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

see also:

Lehner, B. (2013): Global Waterfall Database, Technical Documentation, Version 1.0. Available at www.hydrosheds.org

Data will be made available via www.hydrosheds.org

with support provided by: BioFresh project


Bernhard Lehner email


Bernhard Lehner
Department of Geography,
McGill University, Burnside Hall,
805 Sherbrooke Street West,
Montreal, QC H3A 0B9,
Phone: ++1.514.3988794

Related Publications

  • Beisel, R.H. (2006), International Waterfall Classification System, Outskirts Press, ISBN 1-59800-340-2
  • BirdLife International (2013), IUCN Red List for birds, Species factsheet: Hydrochous gigas. Available at http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=1706.
  • Herschy, R.W. (1998), Waterfalls. In: Encyclopedia of Hydrology and Lakes. Encyclopedia of Earth Science. Springer, Netherlands. 695-698.
  • Hudson, B.J. (2013), Waterfalls, science and aesthetics. Journal of Cultural Geography, 30(3).
  • Lehner, B. (2013): Global Waterfall Database, Technical Documentation, Version 1.0. Available at www.hydrosheds.org
  • Lehner, B. and Grill, G. (2013), Global river hydrography and network routing: baseline data and new approaches to study the world's large river systems. Hydrological Processes, 27: 2171–2186.
  • Lehner, B., Verdin, K. and Jarvis, A. (2008), New Global Hydrography Derived From Spaceborne Elevation Data. Eos, 89(10): 93-93.
  • NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) (2013), GeoNames Database. Available at http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmagaz/
  • Plumb, G.A. (1993), A scale for comparing the visual magnitude of waterfalls. Earth-Science Reviews, 34(4), 261-270.
  • Rahel, F.J. (2007), Biogeographic barriers, connectivity and homogenization of freshwater faunas: it’s a small world after all. Freshwater Biology, 52: 696–710.
  • Torrente-Vilara, G., Zuanon, J., Leprieur, F., Oberdorff, T. and Tedesco, P. A. (2011), Effects of natural rapids and waterfalls on fish assemblage structure in the Madeira River (Amazon Basin). Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 20: 588–597.
  • World of Waterfalls (2013): http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/
  • World Waterfall Database (2013): http://www.worldwaterfalldatabase.com/


Data will be made available via www.hydrosheds.org


This work was supported by the EU BioFresh Project (7th Framework European Program, Contract No. 226874); and McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Read 13194 times

Related Atlases

  • The"Related Atlases" collection contains a variety of geospatial information sources related to biodiversity including online atlases, geoportals and biodiversity databases.

Select a Chapter

Search in all Chapters