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London : Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS. Stamford Street. .

as it gives me an opportunity of expressing my admiration of your talents. . I remain. K. London. BART. Yours truly. &c. &c. I AVAIL myself with pleasure of your permission to dedicate my book to you. HERSCHEL. 29th February. and my siucere estimation of your friendship.TO SIR JOHN F. W. DEAK SIR JOHN.. with great regard.H. MART SOMERVILLE. 1848.


in . and India. 1 ' Alexander Keith Johnston's Physical Atlas/ Monthly Numbers. 1848. but Mr.PKEFACE TO THE NEW EDITION. London. and to collect much is new matter from works added to its since published. 1849. ' Cosmos. have yielded profitable information. bearing on questions of Physical Geography. the Author has been able to correct many inaccuracies that had crept into it.S.R.' by Alexander Von Humboldt. A. ' 8 4to. and her Publisher's inthat the present edition should be accom- panied by a series of Maps to illustrate the more important questions of Physical Geography treated of in it . Volume of Baron Humboldt's invaluable Cosmos. Edition. at a low price. which em- bodied in the present edition. F. Edinburgh." ' with Colonel Sabine's learned notes. and sundry papers that have appeared in the scientific periodicals of Europe.. SINCE the publication of the first edition of this work. America. was the Author's wish. Keith Johnston having an- nounced the publication of a new edition of his 2 Physical Atlas' in a reduced size. It tention. translated under the superintendence of Colonel E. Second Sabine. and has considerably The recently published Second size.

in revising certain render similar passages bearing upon Hydrography. A. K. of which have already appeared. Thomson. Hooker in the Himalaya. Johnston's smaller Atlas suitable illustrations to this work.VI II PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION. which tend largely to elucidate the Physical History of that gigantic chain. is The book some new two also indebted to Mr. The to absence of the Author from England during the printing of the following sheets has obliged her have recourse to a friend conversant with her to subject revise the press . the first the project two Nos. May. Strachey. who very kindly undernected took to correct the portion of this new edition conwith Geographical Botany and Vegetable Physiology subjects respecting which he has so Captain much contributed to extend our knowledge. to him she begs well as to express her acknowledgments. Pentland for matter. 1849. hitherto unpublished. on the countries of his South America visited by him during public missions to Peru and Bolivia. furnish The reader will find this edition enriched with results of the recent researches of Messrs. . was relinquished. as to Sir William Jackson Hooker. to Beechey has been good enough service. and Dr. in the belief that will Mr. some of the Campbell.

and Apennines Notice . Geological .. Page 1 Direction of the Forces that raised the Continents Land and Water of the Land Size of the Continents and Islands Proportion of Outline the Areas of the Continents Extent of Coasts. I. .CONTENTS OF VOL...45 .. Hopkins's Theory of Fissures the Great Continent Parallel Chains similar in Structure Interruptions in Continents and Mountain Chains Form of The Atlas. The Alps. CHAPTER II. French. The High Lands of the Great Continent Spanish. . and German Mountains Glaciers . CHAPTER Of Physical I. Geography Orbit Position of the Earth in the Civil Solar System Distance from the Sun Year Inclination of Terrestrial Mass of the Sun Distance of the Moon Figure and Density of the Earth from the Motions of the Moon Figure of the Earth from Arcs of the Meridian Local Disturbances from Oscillations of Pendulum Mean Known Depth below its Surface Density of the Eartli Outline of Geology . and proportion they bear to Elevation of the Continents Forms of Mountains Forms of Rocks Connexion between Physical Geography of Countries and their Geological Structure Contemporaneous Upheaval of parallel Mountain Chains Parallelism of Mineral Veins or Fissures Mr.. Balkan.

86 CHAPTER V. . Ori- Mountains . .122 CHAPTER Africa VII. That of Secondary Mountain Systems of the Great Continent Great Britain and Ireland Scandinavia The Ural Mountains The Great Northern Plain . continued casus The Western Asiatic Table-Land and tains its The CauMounPage 78 CHAPTER ental Table-Land IV. Desert of Patagonia The Pampas of Buenos Ayres The Silvas of the Amazons The 174 Llanos of the Orinoco and Venezuela Geological Notice . The 151 Andes The Mountains of the Parima and CHAPTER The Low Lands of South America IX. . I. The High Lands of the Great Continent.107 CHAPTER VI. . The Mountains of South America Brazil . . . CHAPTER III. continued and its The .X CONTENTS OF VOL. . The High Lands of the Great Continent. with Secondary Table-Lands and Mountains . Table-Land Western Coast and Deserts Cape of Good Hope and Eastern Coast Low Lands Senegambia Abyssinia 136 CHAPTER American Continent VIII. their The Southern Low Lands of the Great Continent.

. Iceland Its Greenland Spitsbergen Vol- Phenomena and Geysers Siberian Islands Jan Mayen's Land Antarctic Lands Victoria Continent New 271 .. . ... Islands America ~ West Indian Geological No- Page 190 CHAPTER North America XI. CHAPTER Central tice X. or Valley of the Mississippi The Atlantic The Alleghanny Mountains The Atlantic Plain The Mean Slope Geological Notice Height of the Continents . continued The Great Central Plains.CONTENTS OF VOL. XII. . or Van Diemen's Land New ZeaPelasgic Islands Atolls land New Guinea Borneo Encircling Reefs Coral Reefs Barrier Reefs Volcanic Islands Areas of Active Subsidence and Elevation in the Bed of the Pacific Volcanos the Earthquakes . I. Secular Changes in the Level of Land . Table-Land and Mountains of Mexico The Rocky Mountains Russian America The Maritime Chain and Mountains of 200 .208 CHAPTER The Continent of Australia Islands XIII.228 CHAPTER Arctic Lands canic XIV. . CHAPTER North America. . Continental Islands Tasmania.

Rivers of South America and of Australia . XVI. Pressure. and Saltness Waves Voyages rature their Height and Force Currents their Effect on The Stratum of Constant TempeTemperature North and South Line of Maximum Temperature 315 Inland Seas Polar Ice CHAPTER Springs Rivers XVII. Metalliferous Deposits Nature and Character of Mineral Veins Their Depth Their Drainage and Ventilation Mines British Lead Silver Gold Tin Cornish Mines Copper Most abundant in the Temperate Zones. Niger. CHAPTER XV.CONTEXTS OF VOL. esIron Coal European and British Iron and pecially in the Northern Arsenic and other Metals American Iron and Coal Coal Diffusion of the Metals Mines Quicksilver Salt Sulphur Diffusion of the Gems . and Heads of Basins of the Ocean Hydraulic Systems of Europe African Rivers the Nile. . Tides Colour. Rivers of Central America River Systems of North America . Course. Origin. River Systems South Siberian Rivers Euphrates and Tigris Chinese Rivers of the Himalaya 383 CHAPTER XIX. &c 355 CHAPTER Asiatic Rivers XVIII. T. Page 286 CHAPTER The Ocean its Size. 402 .

Geography Orbit Position of the Earth in the Solar System Distance from the Sun Civil Year Inclination of Terrestrial Mass of the Sun Distance of the Moon Figure and Density of the Earth from the Motions of the Moon Figure of the Earth from Arcs of the Meridian Mean Local Disturbances from Oscillations of Pendulum Known Depth below its Surface Density of the Earth Outline of Geology. of the distribution of these organized Political beings. and the causes of that distribution. yet influencing them to a certain extent by his actions. some of the most powerful agents B in . The effects ferior animals. CHAPTER GEOLOGY. and arbitrary divisions are disregarded.PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. PHYSICAL Geography is a description of the earth. I. the sea and the land are considered only with respect to those great features that have been stamped upon them by the hand of the Almighty. the sea. and influenced in return. with their inhabitants animal and vegetable. Of Physical I. and the air. of his intellectual superiority on the inand even on his own condition by the subjection of VOL. and man himself is viewed but as a fellow-inhabitant of the globe with other created things.

The very shell on Avhich he stands is unstable under his feet. The former state of our terrestrial habitation. not only from those temporary convulsions that seem to shake the globe to its centre. and the tremendous desolation hurled over wide regions by numerous fire-breathing mountains. and scarcely a telescopic object to the remote planets of our system. as if the internal molten matter were subject to secular tides. CHAP. and an equally gentle subsidence in others. and its connexion with the bodies of the solar system. utterly invisible from the nearest fixed star. so powerfully influential on the destinies of mankind. The increase of tem- perature with the depth below the surface of the earth. show that man is removed but a few miles from immense lakes or seas of liquid fire. nature to his will. now heaving and ebbing. but from a slow almost imperceptible elevation in some places. and to the actual distribution of land and water. are among the most important sub- jects of this science. have been noticed by the author elsewhere. together with the other causes which have had the greatest influence on his physical and moral state. or that the subjacent rocks were in one place expanded and in another contracted by changes now of temperature. The position of the earth with regard to the sun.2 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. I. It was there shown that our globe forms but an atom in the immensity of space. . the its successive convulsions which have ultimately led to present geographical arrangement. are circumstances of primary importance.

: to the ancients. have vanished from the scene. where all is variable but the laws themselves. known to the ancients.CHAP. till the creation of man completed the glo- rious work. have torn the seals of the and opened the most ancient records of creation. nearest the Sun. the august and Almighty Power. written in indelible characters on the " perpetual hills and the everlasting mountains. I. and He who has ordained them." There we read of the changes that have brought the rude mass to its present fair state. when the generations significant insect existed for of the most inunnumbered ages ? Yet man also to vanish in the ever-changing course of events. known Venus. twelve have been discovered since the year 1787. The B2 . which. OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in their turn. and have been swept from existence to make way for new races. Who shall define the periods of those mornings and evenings when God saw that his work was good ? and who shall declare the time allotted to the human is race. have fulfilled their destinies. 1 1 Mer- The Solar System Mercury. 3 The earthquake and terrible ministers of solid earth the torrent. The to earth is to ments are to melt with fervent heat reduced chaos possibly to be burnt up. These stupendous changes may be but cycles in those great laws of the universe. and the eleto be again be renovated and adorned for other races of beings. and of the myriads of beings that have appeared on this mortal stage. The earth is one of seventeen planets which revolve about the sun in elliptical orbits: of these.

Graham Hencke Hencke in 1848. Harding in 1804. Iris. The earth revolves at a mean distance of 95. discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781.000 miles from the sun's centre. cury and Venus are nearer the sun than the earth. Astrsea. Olbers in 1807. Neptune. Adams . Mr. the others are more remote. and a night of the same duration : thus the light and heat fied are very unequally distributed. known Mr. in 1847. Mr. M. Metis. Hebe. Olbers in 1802. continued. Mr. Juno. consequently the days and nights are of equal length at the equator. I. and both are modiby the atmosphere by which the earth is encom- passed to the height of about forty miles. M. discovered Vesta. at the same time that it rotates in 24 hours about an axis which always remains parallel to itself. and inclined at an angle of 23 27' 34"-69 to the plane of the ecliptic . known to the ancients. Piazzi in 1801. Jupiter. Ceres. from whence their length progressively differs more and more as the latitude increases. Mr. in 1845. in 1846. till at each pole alternately there is perpetual day for six months. Le V errier r and Mr. Pallas. Mars. Uranus. Hind Hind in 1847. by Mr. Mr. Flora. in a civil year of 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 49'7 seconds. CHAP.000. The The Solar System Earth. Saturn.4 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in 1847. Mr. to the ancients.

and it even gives a value of the or flattening. Actual measurement has proved the truth of these results. INFLUENCE OF THE MOON. but that it would be very nearly the same were the earth to increase regularly in density from the surface to its centre .936 times is greater than that of the earth. and Neptune are larger than the earth. the planets disturb the earth in its motion. which are gene- Its The compression of the earth is the flattening at the poles. numerical value is equal to the difference between the and polar diameters. Saturn. The 1 courses of the great rivers. but the earth four times as dense. nearly Though their form has no . at a mean distance of therefore so near that the form of both bodies causes mutual disturbances in their The perturbations in the moon's respective motions. the rest are smaller. theory shows if the earth were that. Mars. effect on account of their great disit tance but is which revolves about the earth 240. Jupiter. perfect sphere. and thus the lunar motions not only make known the form. throughout of the same density. compared with the same computed from theory. Again. I. it would be much less flat at the poles than the moon's compression motions show it to be. but reveal the internal structure of the globe.CHAP. expressed in feet or mik'S. equatorial . but that is flattened at the poles 1 show it : that the earth is not a bulges at the equator. 5 With regard to magnitude. and is otherwise with regard to the moon. but even the largest is incomparably inferior to the sun in size : his mass is 354. Uranus.000 miles. divided by the equatorial diameter. motions from that cause.

. and a degree of a meridian is 360th part. one in Peru. 7th Section. the method employed for measuring arcs of the meridian. which shows that the earth has a From a mean of ten of these arcs M. the curvature of the land differs but little show that from tliat and as the heights of the mountains and continents are inconsiderable when compared with of the ocean . I. and that of finding the form of the earth from the oscillations of the pendulum. or of the if plumb-line. rally navigable to a considerable extent. its figure is understood to be determined by a surface at every point perpendicular to the direction of gravitation. are given in the Connexion of the Physical ' Sciences. Such is the figure that has been mea- sured in various parts of the globe. . Now. and two in the East Indies. the same result. and decrease least. Bessel found that the equatorial radius 1 The theoretical investigation of the figure of the earth. and is the same which the sea would have it were continued all round the earth beneath the continents. if the earth were a sphere.' by Mary Somerville. in length to the equator. the magnitude of the earth. the degrees are longest there. all the points of which have their noon A contemporaneously. CHAP. 7th edition. as it is flattened at the poles. but a comparison of no two gives slightly irregular form.6 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. size where they are The form and of the earth 1 may there- fore be determined by degrees in different comparing the length of latitudes. Eleven arcs have been measured in Europe. its all degrees would be of the same length but. terrestrial meridian is a line passing through both poles.

would be hid by the curvature of the earth at the Since the dip increases as the square. or 8000 statute miles geographical mile of 60 to a degree is 6086'76 feet. an estimate can be formed of the distance of a mountain. a fathom for every three miles of distance an object a fathom or six feet high . the length of a mean degree of the is meridian 69'05 British statute miles . quantities not greater than the In consequence of the round length of a ballroom. to Whence. The breadth of the torrid zone is 705 geographical miles. The Astronomer Royal Mr. and 138 feet in the polar radius. a hill 100 fathoms high would be hid at the distance of ten miles. assuming the earth be a sphere. is 24. Bessel by 127 feet in the equatorial. I. THE EARTH S FIGURE. thing less . and that of each of the spaces within the arctic and antarctic circles 11. the culminating point of the Himalaya. thus. The oscillations of the pendulum have afforded . distance of three miles. would be seen to sink beneath the horizon by a person about 167 miles off. or the whole circumference of the globe. is 7 of the earth - 3963 025 - miles.431 miles nearly. and the top of Dhawalagori. obtained ten years afterwards. when the height is known.858 miles the diameter. form of the earth. than a third of the circumference.CHAP. the dip or depression of the horizon that is is to say. which is some. and the polar radius 3949 8 miles nearly. the breadth of each of the temperate zones is 645 miles. 28. only differ from those of M. is about and the length of a 8286.000 feet high. therefore 360 degrees. Airy's results.

and that its four miles is mean depth of perhaps 1 inconsiderable A pendulum which oscillates 86. and multiplied by itself. and the length of the degrees augments very nearly in the same ratio. the oscillations may be everywhere performed in the same time. I.400 times in a mean day at the equator. The sea has little effect density on these experiments.8 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. according to a known law. its descent and consequently its oscillations are accelerated in propor- tion to the force of gravitation. both because its mean is less than that of the earth. . the figure and dimensions of the earth may be considered to be known. however. the same results . CHAP. as in the measurement of the arcs. Gravitation increases from the equator to the poles according to that law. each other. That line expressed in feet or miles. very little from that given by the degrees of the meridian and the perturbations of the moon and as the three methods are so entirely independent of differs . Like all heavy bodies. Experiments for that purpose have been made in a great number of places. from whence the compression or flattening at the poles may be deduced. another method of ascertaining the form of the earth. that the equator to the poles. is the square of the sine of the latitude. which increases from In order. but. The sine of the latitude is a perpendicular line drawn from any point of a terrestrial meridian to the equatorial radius of the earth. therefore. will do the same at every point of the earth's surface if its length be increased progressively to the pole as the square of the sine of the latitude. no two sets give exactly the mean of the whole. the length of the pendulum must be 1 in- creased progressively in going from the equator to the poles.

Connexion of Physical Sciences. Bessel from arcs of the his meridian that deduced by Colonel Sabiue from is .CHAP. is . arising from such different methods. who made experiments with the pendulum from the equator to within ten degrees of the north pole. cause the plumb-line to deviate from the vertical. l mean terrestrial The discrepancies in the results. I. as well as from irregularities in the form of the earth.' . arising from dense masses of rock in mountains. Colonel Sabine. from the comparison of the different sets of pendulum experiments.' . it proves that cal action of the it must be between i and . miles. and although the recipro- moon on the protuberant matter at the earth's equator does not actually give the compression.. arise from local attraction. The to are inequalities in the motions of the moon and earth alluded ' explained in Sections 5 and 11. These attractions. and when under ground they alter the oscillations of the pen- dulum. Coincidences so near and O O I so remarkable. the 9 when compared with 4000 radius. and also of degrees of the meridian. discovered that the intensity 1 is greatly augmented by volcanic islands. A The compression deduced by M. from whence the compression found to of the earth is be oOo* U5 . show how nearly the irregular figure of the earth has been determined. experiments with the pendulum Other pendulum experimeuts have given a compression of and 298-2 266-4 The protuberant matter qualities in the at the earth's equator produces ine- moon's motions. LOCAL DISTURBANCES.

it small at Bordeaux. . the degrees of the meridian in that part of Italy seem to increase towards the equator through a small space. compared for by the laws of attraction the whole earth must be considered as collected in its centre. Now a leaden ball was weighed against the earth by comparing the effects of each upon a balance of torsion . Milan. of St. the intensity of gravitation is very . There are other remarkable instances of local dis- soil turbance. as if the earth were instead of flattened at the poles. I. in this manner a value of the mass of the earth was obtained.10 variation to the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. where it attains a maximum (owing probably to dense masses of rock under ground). In consequence of this local attraction. It appears drawn out earth on a from this pendulum or that the effect of the whole torsion balance maybe com- pared with the effect of a small part of it. Ascension. from whence to increases rapidly Clermont-Ferrand. Thomas. instead of decreasing. and thus a comparison may be instituted between the mass of the earth and the mass of that part of it. amount of a tenth of a second in twenty-four hours can be perfectly ascertained in the rate of the pendulum. CHAP. Helena. and from thence it extends to Parma. St. the nearness of the smaller mass sensible effect as making it produce a with that of the larger. and Padua. the Isle of France. are some of those noted by Colonel Sabine. arising from the geological nature of the for example. but from some of these local attractions a variation of nearly ten seconds The islands has occurred during the same period.

CHAP. These experiments were first made by Mr. Cavendish and Mitchell. or by the irregularity in the oscillations of the pendulum. and from other circumstances. Reich differs from by Mr. but by reasoning from the dip or inclination of the strata at or near the surface. 1 Although the earth increases in density regularly from the surface to the centre. yet the surface consists of a great variety of substances of expected different densities. MEAX DENSITY its OF THE EARTH. as volume was known. Baily. I. has obtained a pretty accurate idea of the structure of our globe to the lie 1 It is clear that the mean density of the earth may be found from the attraction of the plumb-line by mountains. Now. others are very little way . it affords another proof of the increase in density towards the earth's centre. the horizon. as that mean density is double that of basalt. By mining. Baily by only one twenty-eighth part that found . mean found to be 5*675 times greater than that of water at the temperature of 62 of Fahrenheit's thermometer. as might naturally be from the increasing pressure. man has penetrated only a . but the torsion balance is a much more sensible instrument than either. The density determined by M. and latterly with much greater accuracy by Mr. some of which occur in amorphous masses disposed in regular layers or or inclined at all angles to horizontal either strata. its 11 density was and. rocks which undoubtedly emanate from very great depths beneath the surface of the earth. and more than double that of granite. w ho devoted four years of r unremitted attention to the accomplishment of this important and difficult object.

or forced in semi-fluid state into fissures of the superin- cumbent strata. were formed in the deep and fiery caverns of the earth. aqueous or stratified rocks. and are now in a state of slow and constant progress. the plutonic and metamorphic at great but all of them have originated simultanedepths . : namely. and metamorphic rocks. according to the opinion of many eminent geologists. which as it slowly cooled under enormous and was then heaved up in unstratified masses by the elastic force of the internal heat even crystallized pressure. by the manner in which they plutonic and volcanic both of igneous origin. which previously formed granite constitutes the base of so large a portion of the . a to the tops of the highest mountains. distinguished have been formed rocks. deposited by water. It has been ascertained by observation that the plutonic rocks. and consequently stratified. I.12 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The an- and tagonist principles of fire and water have ever been still are the cause of the perpetual vicissitudes to which the crust of the earth is liable. sometimes into the cracks of the : for that rock. of melted matter. All the substances of depth of about ten miles. consisting of the granites and some of the porphyries. which we have any information are divided into four classes. entirely due to the action of water. the and are formed at surface rocks volcanic aqueous of the earth. though produced under different circumstances . as the implies . CHAP. ously during every geological period. but subse- name The quently altered and crystallized by heat.

all those short. has been cooled and consolidated before coming to the surface besides. through every description of rocks. massive. but from the different conditions under which the liquid matter has been cooled. and occasionally on its appearapproaches so to perceive a columnar rocks. has not been all formed once . so that it has nearly the same But as the volcanic fire character in all countries. porphyry. while others were yet in a liquid state. Ever . and flowed between their strata. fused in the interior of the earth. greenstone. not only from the different kinds of strata which are melted. unstratified. : rises to the ever it very surface of the earth. This class of rocks is completely desti- tute of fossil remains. granite. There seems scarcely to have been any age of the world in which volcanic eruptions have not taken Lava has pierced place in some part of the globe. are due to volcanic fires and are devoid of fossil remains. though most frequently on the surface seems to have had the greatest ance and distinction a circumstance that effect it structure. OUTLIXE OF GEOLOGY. 13 at earth's crust. volcanic rocks take various forms. Sometimes nearly to granite that it is difficult at other times it becomes glass . I. their nature and position are very different . filled their crevices.CHAP. Although granite and the volcanic rocks are both due to the action of fire. as basalt. fusing whatmeets with. and serpentine. spread over the surface of those existing at the time. in . it generally consists of few ingredients. some portions had been solid.

whose works are models of philosophical investigation. which originated with Sir Charles Lyell. but. in a crumbling rock. I. clay-slate.. and. that has been changed into statuary marble from that 1 Testacese are shell -fish. statuary gneiss. chiefly fresh and salt water testaceae. in cooling under heavy pressure and at great depths. they have been changed by the heat transmitted from the fused matter. it has burst out at the bottom of the sea as well as on dry land. were formed of the sediment of water in regular layers. Some of these deposits have become hard state . having been deposited near the place where plutonic rocks were generated. to the distance of a quarter of a mile from the point of contact. in which are embedded the remains of the animals arid vegetables of the epoch. by transmitted heat . which consist of schist. &c. CHAP. they contain the fossils of all the geological epochs. .14 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 1 According to a theory now generally adopted. full of fossil shells. in lakes. the metamorphic rocks. and as they alternate with the aqueous strata others remain of almost every period. and there are instances of dark-coloured limestone. they have become as highly crystallized as the granite itself. without losing their stratified form. Enormous quantities of scoriae and ashes have been ejected from numberless craters. and on the land. changing its place of action. and have formed extensive deposits in the sea. An earthy stratum has sometimes been changed into a highly crystallized rock. mica- marble. differing in kind and colour.

having been formed far from land at the bottom of a . They constitute three clay. at all usually tilted angles to the horizon. There is seldom a trace of organic remains in the meta- morphic rocks. the plutonic rocks in all parts of the world. but consist chiefly of arenaceous or sandstone rocks. and. where it is con- again to time. sandstones. and shales. and carbonate of lime. which. they are by no means identical . composed of sand. lakes. and then raised up by subterraneous forces. and even in ingredients. streams. cause.CHAP. as the materials are deposited in different places according to their weight. in an ascending order. or the ocean. the strata are exceedingly varied. are entirely of marine origin. being the sediof water. 15 Such alterations may frequently be seen to a small extent on rocks adjacent to a stream of lava. The primary of all fossiliferous strata. the most ancient the sedimentary rocks. are the primary and secondary fossiliferous strata and the tertiary formations. they differ in colour. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. and form some of the highest mountains and most extensive table-lands on the face of the Although there is the greatest similarity in globe. They originate in the mentary deposits wear of the land by rain. but they are their strata are sometimes horizontal. though these are few. all stratified. I. great classes. The debris carried by running water is deposited at Aqueous rocks are the bottom of the seas and solidated. consisting of limestone. undergo the same process after a lapse of the wasting By away of the land the lower rocks are laid bare.

have been found in the highest beds vertebrated animals that have been discovered only yet among creatures that the countless profusion of the lower orders of are entombed in the primary fos- siliferous strata. inhabitants of the deep . together with ci'inoidea. are. which had been fixed to the rocks like tulips are coeval with the earliest on their stems. consequently they contain the exuviae of marine animals only. . or stone lilies.16 very deep PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. of extinct genera. of shell-fish. The Cambrian rocks. Sauroid fish have somewhat of the form of the . This series of rocks is subdivided into the Cambrian and the upper and lower Silurian systems. sometimes for many thousand part. to those alive are of crinoidea. them more and more as the strata lie higher in the the most series. and the trilobite. ocean CHAP. are almost exclusively confined to the Silurian strata. but high or- the ganization. and after the lapse of unnumbered ages the ripple-marks of the waves are still distinctly visible on some of their strata. vast quantities of corals. I. and some sea-weeds : several 1 fossil sauroid fishes. a jointed creature with prominent eyes. In the lower Silurian group are the remains almost all of extinct genera. but the last traces of them are found in the coal-measures above. on account of differences in their fossil remains. and the affinity few that have any extinct species. but the Silurian rocks abound in organic remains. of the crab kind. 1 The remains of one or more land lizard. destitute of yards thick. In the upper Silurian group are abundance of marine shells of almost every order.

Calcareous rocks are more abundant these strata than in the crystalline. and constitute the principal part of the high land of Europe. The secondary fossiliferous strata. 17 plants. have been found in the Silurian rocks of North America. were frequent towards and lands of moderate its close. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. were deposited at the bottom of an ocean. or deposited springs. consisting of strata c . islands size had just begun to rise. with volcanic eruptions from insular and submarine volcanos.000 feet thick. The Devonian many VOL. and came to the surface as gas or in calcareous which either rose in the sea and furnished materials for shell-fish and coral insects to build their habitations and form coral reefs. in places 10. which shows that there had been land with vegetation at that early The type of these plants. which comprise a great geological period. carried down by water.CHAP. as it still is. from the debris of all the others. r. or old red sandstone group. During the Silurian period an ocean covered the northern hemisphere. in a very imperfect state. probably because the carbonic acid was then. their calcareous matter on the land in the form of rocks. indicate that a uniformly warm temperature had then prevailed over the globe. as well as the size period. I. still and bear innumerable tokens of their marine origin. of the shells and the quantity of the coral. like the primary. and earthquakes. driven off from the lower strata by the internal in heat. although they have for ages formed a part of the dry land.

some of which were gigantic.. red and CHAP. being mixed with layers of sand and mud. and one genus. but it has also some corals common to the strata both above and below it. moist. which is entirely composed . a very warm. Subsequent inroads of fresh water. These constitute the remarkable group of the carboniferous strata. by an It has fossils analogy in their fossil remains. and were then either left dry by the retreat of the waters or gently raised above their surface. covered with enamelled scales. or rather partial sinkings of the land.18 of dark of the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. shells and peculiarly its own. coral- line limestones. conglomerates. and extremely equable climate. During the long period of perfect tranquillity that prevailed after the Devonian group was deposited. There are various families of extinct sauroid fishes in this group. or islands of the sea. inter- mixed with beds of coal. which consists of numberless layers of various substances filled with a prodigious quantity of the remains of fossil land-plants. had appendThe shark approaches nearer to ages like wings. which extended all over the globe. which. the lowest and forms a link between them and the Silurian rocks. had clothed the and lands in the ocean then covering the northern hemisphere with exuberant tropical forests and jungles. &c. had in time been consolidated into one mass. secondary fossiliferous strata. had submerged these forests and jungles. some of these ancient fish than any other now living. other sandstones. others had strong bony shields on their heads. is I. marls.

In some cases the plants appear to have been carried down by floods. palms. very warm countries grasses. have been found in the British coal-fields . and equable climate. The botanical were very extensive when the coal-plants were growing. the insular structure of the land. whose distinguishing feature is the preponderance of ferns among these there were treeferns which must have been 40 or 50 feet high. 19 of vegetable matter. and deposited in estuaries delicacy. The remains of an extinct araucaria. the northern hemisphere during the formation of the coal strata is thought to have borne a strong resemblance to c2 . From the extent of the ocean. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY.CHAP. tribes. and sharpness of the impressions show that they had grown on the spot where the coal was formed. others like the tropical club an aquatic plant of an extinct family was . mosses of gigantic size. of the pine and fir Forest-trees of great magnitude. moist. so that enough remains to show the peculiar nature of this flora. flourished at that period. districts and liliaceous plants. one of the the existing species now grow in a few rare instances occur of . very abundant. and the warm. I. for the species are nearly identical throughout the coal-fields of Europe and America. . the profusion of ferns and fir-trees. beside many others to which we have nothing analogous. tribe. There were also plants resembling the horse-tail frequently . with their seeds and fruits. More than 300 fossil plants have been collected from the strata where they abound. largest of the pine family. but in most instances the beauty.

and from time to time raised islands and land from the deep. these and all other changes that have taken place on the earth been gradual and fire have partial. and others. because the movement came from below \ but these convulsions have or water. marine bered among which the size of the cham- well as that of the corals. a rock occasionally 900 feet in some instances lies beneath the mountain thick. which frequently occurred during the secondary fossiliferous period. which shale coal-measures. whether brought about by older rocks are more shattered by earthquakes than the newer. its CHAP. The coal strata have been very much broken and deranged in many places by earthquakes. even in the shells. Kerguelen islands. I. There is no proof that any mountain-chain has ever been raised at once. They consist of crinoidea and testaceae. animal remains of this period are in the limestone. as high northern latitudes. shows that the ocean was very warm at that time. always been produced reiterated on the contrary. the South Pacific. while a vast area in the south of Sweden and Russia still retains a horizontal position. The never extended all over the earth at the same time for example.20 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. However. with fern and fir clothed lands of New The Zealand. the they have always been local: Silurian strata have been dislocated and tossed in Britain. The footsteps of a very large reptile of the frog tribe have been found on some of the carboniferous strata of North America. and sometimes alternates with the and sandstone. the elevation has by a long-continued and of internal convulsions with succession .

&c. They are the earliest members of a family which was to have dominion on the land and water for ages. and consists of breccias or conglomerates. reptiles. specifically the same with that are also in the coal strata below. mingled with those of the coal strata. sandis but its distinguishing feature a yellow limestone rock. and a new one begins to appear. which often takes a granular texture. tion. . marl. containing carbonate of magnesia. 1 Saurian reptiles are lizards. The magnesian limestone. Here the remnant of then known as dolomite. or permian formation. They belong to a race universal in the early geological periods. &c. has a fossil flora an earlier creation gradually tends to its final extincThe flora is. while in other places the surface of the earth has remained stationary for long geological periods. which never appear again.CHAI*. . I. such as the shark and sturgeon. risen In many instances the land has up or sunk down by an imperceptible equable motion continued for ages. in many instances.' the fossil remains of one have been found in the magnesian limestone in England. and is The permian formation and fauna peculiar to itself. stone. and those of the other in a corresponding formation in Germany. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. make some approach to the structure of these ancient inhabitants of the waters. crocodiles. 21 intervals of repose. comes immediately above the coal-measures. A The new creation is marked by the intro- duction of two species of saurian reptiles . and bear a strong resemblance to saurian small number of existing genera only. gypsum. Certain fish common to the two.







of red marls, rock-salt, and sandstones,

which have arisen from the disintegration of metamorphic slates and porphyritic trap, containing oxide of iron, and known as the trias or new red sandstone In system, lies above the magnesian limestone.





particularly rich in rock-

which, with layers of gypsum and marl, is sometimes 600 feet thick but in this country the

muschelkalk, a peculiar kind of shell limestone, is wanting, which in Germany is so remarkable for the
quantity of organic remains. At this time creatures like frogs, of enormous dimensions, had been frequent, as they have left their footsteps on what must then have been a soft shore. Forty -seven genera of

remains have been found in the




many, consisting of shells, cartilaginous

fish, encri-

in genera,

&c., all distinct in species, and many distinct from the organic fossils of the magnesian

limestone below, and also from those entombed in the strata above.

During a long period of tranquillity the oolite or Jurassic group was next deposited in a sea of variable
and limestone.
depth, and consists of sands, sandstones, marls, clays, At this time there was a complete


in the

aqueous deposits


over Europe.


red iron -stained arenaceous rocks, the black coal, and dark strata, were succeeded by light-blue clays, pale-yellow limestones, and, lastly, white chalk.

The water

that deposited the strata

must have been

highly charged with carbonate of lime, since few of the formations of that period are without calcareous





matter, and calcareous rocks were formed to a prothe Pyrenees, digious extent throughout Europe

Alps, Apennines, and Balkan abound in them ; and the Jura mountains, which have given their name to
the series, are formed of them.

The European ocean

then teemed with animal


whole beds consist

almost entirely of marine shells and corals. Belemnites and ammonites, from an inch in diameter to the


of a cart-wheel, are entombed by myriads in the whole forests of that beautiful zoophyte the

stone-lily flourished

on the surface of the

oolite, then

under the waters


and the encrinite, one of the same

embedded in millions in the enchorial shellwhich occupies such extensive tracts in Europe. Fossil fish are numerous in these strata,

but different from those of the coal


the perfish

mian formation, and
of this period
raised islands


not one genus of the

no\v in existence.

The newlyintertropical

and lands were clothed with vegetation

like that of the large islands of

archipelagos of the present day, which, though less rich than during the carboniferous period, still indicates a very moist

and warm climate.

Ferns were

abundant, and they were associated with various genera and species of the cicadeae, which had grown

on the southern coast of England, and in other parts of northern Europe, congeners of the present cycas

and zamia of the


These plants had been

very numerous, and the pandanae, or screw-pine, the first tenant of the new lands in ancient and modern

a family found

in a fossil state in the inferior





of England, which was but just rising from the


that time.





grows only on the coasts of such coral islands in the Pacific as have recently emerged from the waves. In
the upper strata of this group, however, the confervae and monocotyledonous plants l become more rare

an indication of a change of climate. The new lands that were scattered on the ocean of

the oolitic period were drained by rivers, and inhaby huge crocodiles and saurian reptiles of

The crocogigantic size, mostly of extinct genera. diles come nearest to modern reptiles ; but the others,
though bearing a remote similitude in general structure to living forms, were quite anomalous, combining in one the structure of various distinct creatures, and so monstrous that they must have been more like the visions of a troubled dream than things of
real existence

came nearer
any existing


yet in organization a few of them the type of living mammalia than

reptiles do.


of these had lived in

some were inhabitants of rivers, others in the ocean the land, others were amphibious ; and the various
species of one genus even had wings like a bat, and fed on insects. There were both herbivorous and predaceous saurians ; and from their size and strength

they must have been formidable enemies.

Besides, the numbers deposited are so great, that they must


Confervae are plants with nearly imperceptible fructificafound in ponds, damp places, and in the sea.

Monocotyledonous plants are grasses, palms, and others, having only one seed-lobe.





have swarmed for ages in the estuaries and shallow seas of the period, especially in the lias, a marine
stratum of clay, the lowest of the oolite series. They gradually declined towards the end of the secondary

epoch but as a class they lived in all subsequent eras, and still exist in tropical countries, although the species are very different from their







were contemporary with the saurians, also a family that still exists. In the Stonefield slate, a stratum
of the lower
oolitic group, there are the remains of and the bones of two small quadrupeds have

been found there belonging to the marsupial tribe, such as the opossum a very remarkable circumstance, because that family of animals at the present

time is confined to New Holland, South America, and as far north as Pennsylvania at least. The great changes in animal life during this period were indications of the successive alterations that had taken

place on the earth's surface. The cretaceous strata follow the oolite in ascend-

ing order, consisting of clay, green and iron sands, blue limestone, and chalk, probably formed of the

decay of coral and shells, which predominates so much in England and other parts of Europe, that it has given the name and its peculiar feature to the

whole group.



the chalk



however, by no means uniin many parts of the

1 Marsupial animals have pouches in which their young are nourished till they are matured. The opossum and kangaroo

are marsupial.





world where the other strata of this series prevail, and then their connexion with the group can only be ascertained by the identity of their fossil remains. With the exception of some beds of coal among the
oolitic series, the


clay, the lowest of the

cretaceous group in England, is the only fresh-water formation, and the tropical character of its flora

shows that the climate was
allied to

the zamias and



Plants very warm. of our tropical cycades ferns and pines of the genus araucaria,



of a

fossil forest at

vegetation, and the upright stems Portland show that it had been

covered with trees.

was inhabited by


approaching to families


living in



tries, reptiles of five different genera swarmed in the lakes and estuaries. This clay con-

and saurian

tains fresh-water shells



of the carp kind.

The Wealden



one of the various instances of

the subsidence of land which took place during this


of marine exuviae.

cretaceous strata above our "Wealden clay are There are vast tracts of


Northern Europe, and many very extensive

tracts of chalk

but in the southern part of the

Continent the cretaceous rocks assume a different

There and elsewhere extensive limestone

rocks, filled with very peculiar shells, show that, when the cretaceous strata were forming, an ocean

extended from the Atlantic into Asia, which covered
1 Shells called nummulites, from their round sembling a piece of money.


form, re-





the south of France, all Southern Europe, part of Syria, the isles of the JEgean Sea, the coasts of

Thrace and theTroad.

The remains of turtles have

been found in the cretaceous group, quantities of coral, and abundance of shells of extinct species

some of the older kinds still existed, new ones were introduced, and some of the most minute species of microscopic shells, which constitute a large portion of the chalk, are supposed to be the same with
species in


alive, the first instance

the ancient and


of identity of creation.


approximation to recent times is to be observed also in the arrangement of organized nature, since at this early period, and even in the Silurian and
oolitic epochs, the

marine fauna was divided, as now,






saurians were on the

decline, and many of them

were found no more, but a gigantic creature, intermediate between the monitor and iguana, lived at
this period.


the permian group to the chalk

inclusive only two instances of fossil birds occur, one in a chalk deposit in the Swiss Alps, and the


other a kind of albatross in the chalk in England ; North America, however, the foot-marks of a




have been found in the strata

between the coal and

some of which are larger

than those of the ostrich.

An immense geological cycle elapsed between the termination of the secondary fossiliferous strata and

The monitor and

iguana, creatures of the crocodile tribe,






the beginning of the tertiary. With the latter a ne\v order of things commenced, approaching more
closely to the actual state of the globe.

During the

tertiary formation the same causes under new circumstances produced an infinite variety in the order

and kind of the
sponding change
old creation,


accompanied by a correanimal and vegetable life. The

which had nothing



the existing order of things, had passed

away and

given place to

one more nearly approaching to that which now prevails. Among the myriads of beings that inhabited the eartli and the ocean during the
secondary fossiliferous epoch scarcely one species is to be found in the tertiary. Two planets could

hardly differ more in their natural productions. This break in the law of continuity is the more re-

markable, as hitherto some of the newly- created animals were always introduced before the older were extinguished. The circumstances and climate
suited to the one

became more and more

unfit for

the other, which consequently perished gradually, while their successors increased. It is possible that, as observations become more extended, this hiatus
the granite to the end of the secondary fossiliferous strata, taken as a whole, constitute the solid crust of the globe, and in that sense are universally diffused over the earth's surface.

may be filled up. The series of rocks from


in this crust,



occupy the hollows formed whether by subterraneous movements, or denudation by water as in the estuaries
tertiary strata





of rivers, and consequently occur in irregular tracts, often, however, of prodigious thickness and extent.
Indeed, they seem to have been as widely developed
as any other formation, though time has been wanting to bring them into view.

The innumerable

basins and hollows with which

the continents and larger islands had been indented for ages after the termination of the secondary fosbeen fresh-water siliferous series had sometimes

and at other times inundated by the sea



sequently, the deposits which took place during these changes alternately contain the spoils of terrestrial and marine animals. The frequent intrusion

of volcanic




tertiary formations


Europe, the earth had been in a very disturbed state, and that these repeated vicissitudes
that, in

had been occasioned by elevations and depressions of

as well as

by the action of water.

There are three

groups in these strata


the lowest tertiary or Eiocene group, so called by Sir Charles Lyell, because, among the myriads of




very few are identical

with those



the Meiocene, or middle

group, has a greater number of the exuviae of existing species of shells ; and the Pleiocene, or upper
still more. Though frequently great elevations on the flanks of the mountain-chains, as, for example, on the Alps and



heaved up

Apennines, by far the greater part of the tertiary strata maintain their original horizontal position in
the very places where they were formed.


These and some of them existing. I. and the mammalia now took possession of the earth. especially in 1 the Paris basin. the tapirs for instance. were associated with genera . are confined to the torrid zone. and others. to the greater number of which we have nothing ana- logous . deer. the ox. The monstrous though approaching more nearly to those now living. the fox. Paris. rivers which had frequented the borders of the and lakes that covered the greater part of Europe at that time. London. Numerous species of extinct animals that lived during the earliest or Eiocene period have been found in various parts of the world. they were mostly herbivorous quadrupeds. creatures were widely diffused. all insulated deposits of this kind are to be met with over the world .30 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. as existing animals most similar to these. the dog. Although these widely from those of the present day. of the order of Pachydermata. . of forms scarcely less anomalous than their predecessors. and Vienna stand on such basins. CHAP. This is the more extraordinary. still though of totally different species such as animals allied to the racoon and dormouse. the same proportion existed then as now between the carnivorous and herbivorous genera. thick-skinned animals. South America. Europe abounds with them. quadrupeds differ so 1 Pachydermata. bear. as the rhinoceros and elephant. and they cover immense tracts both in North and reptiles had mostly disappeared.

hippopotamus. and lamantines. This marvellous change of the creative power was not confined to the earth and the ocean . sometimes at great elevations above spoils The the sea. of quadrupeds now existing were associated with these extraordinary creatures. The and even genera. also and marine mammalia. buzquail. besides fossil sword and saw fish. 1 31 of marine mammalia of this period have also been found. foreign to the British seas. and also the mastodon. &c. far surpassing the largest elephant in size. . tapir. which suckle their young like land animals. both of large dimensions. Even in England bones of the opossum. are seals. buffalo. The climate must have been warmer than at present. such as the elephant. 1 Marine mammalia. as dolphins. of a singular form. I. hyaena. both of genera new amphibious quawith were associated the old. porpoises. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. whales. horse.CHAP. though of extinct species. weasel. in the constant inruses. and unknown nature. monkey. &c. sea-calves. rhinoceros. and boa have been discovered. ox. wolf. &c. curlew. Various families. During the Meiocene period palseotherium was of this period. . the air also was now occupied by still many zard. all of extinct species. extinct races of birds allied to the owl. and some of these cetacea were of huge size. from the remains of land and sea plants found in high latitudes. bear. beaver. deer. all animals of warm countries. walIndeed. of which the drupeds deinotherium is the most characteristic and much the largest of the mammalia yet found.

living species as their remains lie high in the manifested In the older Pleiocene period some of the large amphibious quadrupeds. anteaters. of animal life CHAP. and other genera of mammalia of the earlier tertiary periods. quite different from those in the old world. but there were the mastodon. fossil bones all belong to extinct of species gigantic kangaroos and wombats. throughout the forms approach strata. show that the same analogy existed between the extinct and recent mammalia of South America. Extinct alive seem species of almost all the quadrupeds now to have inhabited the earth at that time in . of prodigious size. which are so peculiarly the inhabitants of that country at the present strata The newer Pleiocene day. water-rat. I. wolf. appear no more . belonged to that continent alone for the . are of animals of the same families with the sloths. hyaena. horse. were associated with numerous qua- drupeds of existing genera. like their living congeners. and armadilloes which now inhabit that country. which. their bones have been discovered bedded in the breccias caverns in . ele- and most of the strata of that epoch as the hippopotamus. but lost species. as far as we know. and the Elephas primigenius or mammoth. fossil remains. bear. but of vastly superior size and different . whole of the tertiary nearer to the series. phant. animals Australia the belonging to the marsupial family.32 crease PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. but of diminished size. they were emrhinoceros. some species of which. and vaIt is remarkable that in the caverns of rious birds.

brated as the founder of this branch of comparative anatomy. 33 species. or extinct horse. Among many discoveries. those days. that the structure of the tissue of which teetli are formed is different in different classes of animals. had so vast a range in America. he has found. Mr. the certainty with which he can decide upon the nature of animals that have been extinct for thousands of years. i. and the European fossil horse is also probably a distinct and lost species. there were giants in the land in species possible. by the most minute microscopic observation. Darwin brought them from the corresponding latitude in South America. while Sir Charles Lyell collected their bones in Georgia in 33 N. and that their inhabitants had pined and dwindled under the change of circumstances. The Equus curvidens differed as much from the living horse as the quagga or zebra does. D . latitude. that. of a bone enabled him to decide on the nature of an A VOL. A comparison of the fossil remains with the living forms has shown the analogy between these beings of the ancient world and those that now people the earth and the greatest triumph of the geologist is . and that the species can in many instances be detersmall portion mined from the fragment of a tooth. and which Professor Owen has brought to the highest perfection. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. The megatherium and Equus curvidens. In fact.CHAP. from a few bones entombed on the Baron Cuvier will ever be celeearth's surface. I. Were change of one might almost fancy that these countries had escaped the wreck of time.

which raises the temperature between the tropics. dually colder.' vol.34 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and prolonged eastward so as to strike against the Ural mountains. and the subsequent discovery of the whole skeleton confirmed the accuracy of this determination. however. There is every reason to believe that the glacial sea extended also over great portions of the arctic lands of Asia and America. became gra. CHAP. Forbes. in the 'Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. of 1000 . I. and if it be continued across the southern half of Ireland and England. for an increase of land. the Glacial Sea. and a great part of the European continent was covered by an ocean like that seen at this full day of floating ice. The greater part of the land in the northern he- misphere was elevated above the deep during the tertiary period. the bed of that glacial ocean rose parcontinent and after many vicissitudes the European assumed nearly the form it now bears. has exactly the Hence excessive contrary effect in higher latitudes. i. by Professor E. latter part of the Pleiocene period. 1 During the tially. which had previously been tropical. cold prevailed during the latter part of the Pleiocene period. feet. and such lands as already existed acquired additional height consequently the climate. extinct race of birds. not unoff the north-eastern coast of America. it will mark the boundary of the European portion of It submerged part of Russia to the depth Essay on the British Fauna and Flora. Old forms of animal and 1 If a line be drawn from the north-eastern coast of North America within the limit of floating ice.

In two or three animal has been discovered entire. and when. mammoth alone outlived its associates. mountain-tops appeared as they were clothed with the flora and peopled by the animals they still retain . with its hair and its flesh so fresh that wolves and dogs fed upon it. It has been supposed that. whose fossil remains are found all over Europe. Asia. and the consequent change of temperature islands . I. the if climate of has at any time been Siberia that. these elephants might have been drowned by floods while browsing in the milder regions. between the rivers Oby and preserved in the Jenesei. long resisted the great vicissitudes of the times these the of or Elephas primigenius. 35 vegetable life were destroyed by these alterations in the surface of the earth. entombed in frozen mud. Darwin has suggested they had time to decay. above the water. Some of (he extinct animals had . and new forms were added as the land rose and became dry and the races of animals fitted to receive alive.CHAP. was so perfect that it is now museum at Moscow. and America. the last remnant of a instances this former world. as the Siberian rivers flow for hundreds of miles from the southern part of the country the Arctic Ocean. in the progress of the the Pleiocene period. and that their bodies were carried down by to the rivers and embedded in mud. Middendorf at Tas. D 2 . and frozen before Mr. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. all and maintain of which had now possession of the earth for ages prior to the historical or human period. The globe of the eye of one found by M. but especially in the gelid soil of Siberia.

Of all the fossil fishes. in the oldest. living elephant as the horse does from the ass. I. and. similar to that of the high latitudes of South America. Shell-fish the colder seem to have been more able to endure all the great geological changes than any of their organic associates. since the quantity requisite for the maintenance of the larger animals is by no means in proportion to their bulk. while on the uppermost strata of this geological period there are not less than from ninety to ninety-five in a hundred identical with those mous now alive. the bodies of animals entombed a few feet below the icy surface might be On the other hand. CHAP. they may have been able to endure the cold of a Siberian winter. although preserved for ages. The whole of these strata contain enor- quantities of shells of extinct species . and its to a nearly tropical sudden flexure in Southern Chili. where the line of perpetual snow in the Andes. from the Silurian strata to . come close vegetation. or it may have migrated to a more genial climate in months. such a vegetation prevailed south of the frozen regions in may have Siberia. of the shells are identical with species now existing.36 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. consequently. Darwin has shown that the supply of food in summer was probably sufficient. but they show a constant approximation to modern species during the progress of the tertiary period. for Baron Cuvier found that this animal differed as much from the Mr. three and a half per cent. the congeners of this animal are now inhabitants of the torrid zone.

to the depth of at by which part of Russia was submerged The same proleast 1000 feet. from the identity of the boulders with the rocks of the northern mountains. and deposited when the northern parts of the continents were covered by the glacial sea. Under the vegetable mould in every country there a stratum of loose sand. is 37 specifically the the end of the tertiary. There is much reason to believe that such masses. and their size becomes less as In Russia there are blocks of great magnitude that have been carried 800 and even 1000 miles south-east from their origin in the Scandinavian range. lying upon the subjacent rocks. which in the high latitudes of North America and Europe is mixed with enormous fragments of rock.CHAI'. enormous as they are. is an exception. which have been transIt is ported hundreds of miles from their origin. scarcely one : same with living forms the Mallotus villosus. sometimes angular and sometimes rounded and water. and mud. I. or captan. of the salmon family. they evidently the distance increases.worn. extinct genera. because. often of great thickness. cess is now in progress in the high southern latitudes 1 where icebergs have been met with covered with fragments of rock and boulders. and perhaps a few others of the most recent of these In the Eiocene strata one-third belong to periods. have come from them. have been transported by icebergs. is called alluvium. 1 Sir James Ross and Captain Wilkes met with icebergs . or Northern Drift. there known as the Boulder formation. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. gravel.

that during was tossed and riven by fire and earthquake. the time marked when first living things moved is obscurely in the waters. often mixed with the works of man. of water 'and torrents of fire. differs specifically from all that preceded the recent strata contain only the exuvise of animals it last . of lands raised from the bottom of the ocean loaded with the accumulated spoils of centuries of torrents . Every . in the bosom of the earth however the dawn of life appears. The now living. now fixed by time on the rock for ever time. when the first plants clothed the land.38 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. years must have gone by since that ocean flowed which has left its ripple-marks on the sand. with few exceptions. no sign points to an end . and even in Sir James Ross was estimated weigh many Antarctic Voyages. In the ordinances of the heavens no voice declares a beginning. One block seen by stones in the antarctic seas. thickness of the fossiliferous strata up to the end of the tertiary formation has been estimated at The about seven or eight miles so that the time requisite for their deposition must have been immense. which ! man measures by by thousands of days and years. I. CHAr. The solid earth thus tells us of mountains washed down into the sea with their forests and inhabitants . covered with 66 to 5' lat. . manifestation of creative power. There we see that during ages of tranquillity the solid rock was forming at the bottom of the ocean. mud and tons. nature measures centuries. now a solid mass on the mountain since those xmages it What known creatures left their foot-prints on the shore.

by Major Sir George Staunton's EmPhil. so that at that rate it would require 3. it would require 1000 years to raise its bed one foot. sand.' 1781. its and again raised above surface by subterranean ages. in various places the strata have been carried to the bottom of the ocean. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. Rennell.000 years to raise the bed of the ocean alone to a height nearly equal to the thickness of the fossiliferous strata. if the sediment of all the rivers on the globe were spread equally over the bottom of the ocean. or gravel.' still mud every and the Mississippi more . The latter work contains a very elaborate essay on 1 vol. yet. &c. ' 1 alluvial deposits by rivers. or seven miles and a half. Elie de Beaumont. so that the whole period from the beginning of these primary fossiliferous strata to the present day must be great beyond calculation. the time would be nearly four times as great. which it never is. Trans. as might naturally be expected. bassy to China.000 cubic feet of hour. to the sea Ganges brings more than 700.000.. 8vo. not taking account of the waste of the coasts by the sea itself: but if the whole globe be considered. instead of the bottom of the sea only. many and only bears comparison with the astronomical cycles. I. . 39 : river carries clown the mud.CHAP.000. even supposing as much alluvium to be deposited uniformly both with regard to time and place.the YellowRiver in China 2. notwithstanding these great deposits. the earth being without doubt of the same antiquity with the Account of the Ganges and Brahmapootra. Le9ons de Geologic. more than once fires after Besides.960. the Italian hydrographer Manfredi has estimated that.

however. the formation of the carboniferous strata there appears to have been even a greater uniformity in the . Every great geological change in the nature of the strata was accompanied by the introduction of a new race of beings. and recent series occupied in forming? These great periods of time correspond wonderfully with the gradual increase of animal life and the successive creation and extinction of numberless orders of being. CHAP. their structure and habits being no longer fitted for the new circumstances in which these changes had placed them.40 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHV. never was abrupt and be observed that there is it may no proof of progressive development of species by generation from a low to a high organization. for animals and plants of high organization appeared among the earliest of their kind. The change. . and the gradual extinction of those that had previously existed. same animal inhabited the most distant parts of the the corallines built from the equator to within sea ten or fifteen degrees of the pole and previous to . and with the incredible quantity of organic remains buried in the crust of the earth in every country on the face of the globe. but by increasing similarity of type. What then shall we say if the time be included which the granitic. other bodies of the solar system. yet throughout the whole the gradual approach to living and more perfect forms is undoubted. . I. metamorphic. not by change of species. The geographical distribution of animated beings was much more extensive in the ancient seas and In very remote ages the land than in later times.

only 12 were common to the American and European coasts. and to the existing circumstances of the globe . the Old and latter only. New World. then. In fact. as it rose above the deep. Some of the saurians were inhabitants of both . the divisions of the animal and vegetable creation into geohad been in the latter periods graphical districts contemporaneous with the rise of the land. supposing the coal in that country to be of the same epoch as in Europe and America but as the strata became more varied. and the districts at the marine creatures had. because the bed of the ocean had been subject to similar changes. while others lived in the During the tertiary period the animals of Australia and America differed nearly as much from those of Europe as they do at the present day. with the exception of the metals and some of the primary rocks. I. probably not a particle of matter . been divided into same periods. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. 41 vegetable than in the animal world. divided into great each inhabited by a peculiar race physical regions.CHAP. and even the different species of mollusca of the The world was same sea were confined to certain shores. The quantity of fossil remains is so great that. as now. each portion of which. species were less widely diffused. though NewHolland had formed even then a peculiar district. of animals . Of 405 species of shell-fish which inhabited the Atlantic Ocean during the early and middle parts of the tertiary period. no doubt. had been clothed with a vegetation and peopled with creatures suited to its position with regard to the equator.

many hundred feet thick. consist of chambered minute that Signor Soldani collected 10. those of extinct quadrupeds are very numerous . an infinite variety of microscopic The split is facility with which in owing. Chalk is often Tripoli. CHAP. and there are even hills of great extent consisting of this substance. and they abound the earth. I. in Tuscany. on the surface of the earth that has not at Since some time formed part of a living creature. Ehrenberg is still more shells not larger than a grain of sand . the debris of insects.4-54 of them from one ounce of stone. a fine is powder long in use for polishing metals.42 exists PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. almost entirely composed of them. Mines of shells are worked to make lime ranges of hills and rocks. and in all the fossiliferous strata with the exception of some of the lowest. zoophytes have built coral reefs extending hundreds of miles. and mountains of limestone are full of their remains all commencement of animated over the globe. The remains of the great saurians are innumerable . also almost wholly composed of shells which owe their polishing property to their siliceous coats . a great portion of the hills shells so of San Casciano. shells The mountain-chain throughout prodigious quantity of microscopic in every astonishing discovered by JM. but each great geological period had species of fish peculiar to itself. form entire mountains . . . to layers of minute shells. some many clays and slates are instances. Fossil fish are found in all parts of the world. the existence. are almost entirely composed of them.

000 square miles. OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. I. Equally wonderful still The the vegetation that covered the terrestrial part of globe previous to the formation of the car- boniferous strata had far surpassed in exuberance the rankest tropical jungles. if it be considered that. as. from the frail nature of many vegetable substances. some . a surface equal in extent to the whole of Europe. Their huge skeletons are found from the frontier of Europe through all Northern Asia to its extreme eastern point. that the ground is tainted with the smell of animal matter. and in some places they have been in such prodigious quantities. for instance. As coal is 1 entirely a vegetable substance. are chiefly composed of their remains. Lieut. traffic in Their tusks have been an object of ivory for centuries. is 43 but there of fossil no circumstance in the whole science geology more remarkable than the inexhaustible multitudes of fossil elephants that are found in Siberia. especially in of great extent in various parts of the North America. multitudes must have perished without leaving a trace behind.CHAP. where that of Pittsburg occupies an area of about 14. There are many coal-fields earth. and that in the Illinois is not much inferior to the area of all England. and from the foot of the Altai mountains to the shores of the Frozen Ocean. mixed with the bones of vaiious other animals of living genera. ' that is the quantity of fossil plants remain. the first of the Lachow group. Anjou's Polar Voyage. but extinct species. Some islands in the Arctic Sea.

and never again been so luxuriant. I. Sir Roderick Murchison. Such is the marvellous the earth's surface. and the Memoirs of the Geological Society. may be formed of in latter times it the richness of the ancient was less exuberant. Baron Cuvier. Professor Owen. probably on account of the decrease of temperature during the deposition of the tertiary strata. Surely it is not the heavens only that declare the glory of God the earth also proclaims His handiwork 1 l ! The author's geological information rests on the authority of those distinguished authors whose works are in the hands of every one. namely.44 idea flora lias : PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. CHAP. but by subsequent changes in the distribution of the sea and land the cold was gradually mitigated. . Sir Charles Lyell. Sir Henry de la Beche. till at last the climate of the northern hemisphere behistory laid open to us on came what it now is. and in the glacial period which immediately preceded the creation of the present Even after their intribes of plants and animals. troduction the temperature must have been very low.

must evi- dently have acted at right angles to one another. and German Mountains Glaciers Alps. 45 CHAPTER Land and Water of the II. and proportion they bear to Elevation of the Continents Forms of Mountains Forms of Rocks Connexion between Physical Geography of Countries and their Geological Structure Contemporaneous Upheaval of parallel Mountain Chains Parallelism of Mineral Veins or Fissures Mr. two great when viewed on a wide continents above scale. AT in the end of the tertiary period the earth was much it is at present with regard to the distribution of land and water.CHAP. nearly parallel to the equator in the old continent. yet the structure of the opposite coasts of the Atlantic points at some connexion between the two. FORCES THAT RAISED THE CONTINENTS. from their rude and shattered . The forces that raised the the deep. French. II. The preponde- the same state as rance of land in the northern hemisphere indicates a prodigious accumulation of internal energy under these latitudes at a very remote geological period. and in the direction of the meridian in the new . and Apennines Geological Notice. Hopkins's Theory of Fissures the Great Continent Parallel Chains similar in Structure Interruptions in Continents and Mountain Chains Form of The Atlas. The High Lands of the Great Continent The Spanish. Balkan. Direction of the Forces that raised the Continents Size of the Continents and Islands Proportion of Outline Land the Areas of the Continents Extent of Coasts. The mountains.

but the distribution is very unequal. the land will be found to predominate greatly on the eastern side of that line. such as appears now to be gradually elevating the coast of Scandinavia and many other parts of the earth. II. and that succession of terraces by which the continents sink down from their mountain- ranges to the plains. while the high table-lands. rangement of the solid and liquid portions of the .000. and the water on the western. or the eastern and western.46 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. bear testimony to repeated violent convulsions similar to modern earthquakes .000 of square miles. to the ocean. CHAP. The periods effected in which these majestic operations were must have been incalculable. and even below land must have been heaved it. while between the corresponding parallels in the northern hemisphere the extent of land and water is nearly If the globe be divided into two hemispheres by a meridian passing through the island of Teneriffe. whose is unknown. show also that the up occasionally by slow and gentle pressure. since the dry land occupies an area of nearly 38. whether it be considered with regard to the northern and southern hemispheres. the quantity of land in the northern hemisphere is three times greater than in In the latter it occupies only onethe southern. The ocean covers nearly three-fourths of the surface of the globe. In consequence of the very unequal arequal. sixteenth of the space between the Antarctic Circle extent and the thirtieth parallel of south latitude. Independently of Victoria Land. condition.

000 square miles. . In fact.000. the great nothing.849. putation. II. while. Gardner. .000 square British miles.620. and that of Australia with scarcely Africa is more than three times the 3. he would see the greatest possible extent of ocean. 47 surface of the earth. size of Europe. 1 The proportions of land to water referred to in the text were estimated by Mr. while the extent of America its is 11.000 square miles. mass of water mouth.000.000. and Asia is more than four times as islands The extent of the continents is twenty-three large. and its antipode.CHAP. The unexplored region within the Arctic Circle is . England is nearly in the centre of the greatest mass of land.000. and of the north polar basin we know "With regard to the land alone. It must however be is still an unexplored region within the Antarctic Circle more than twice the size of Europe. the extent of land is According to his com- about 37.673. would see the greatest possible expanse of land. only one twenty-seventh of the land has land it directly opposite to in the opposite hemisphere.000. nearly. the island of New Zealand. which is in the centre of the greatest so that a person raised above Fal- is almost the central point. were he elevated to the same height above New Zealand. about 7. continent has an area of about 24.000. independently of Victoria Continent and the sea occuHence the land is to the sea as 1 to 4 pies 110. times greater than that of all the islands taken to* gether. SIZK OF CONTINENTS. five-sixths and under the equator ference of the globe observed that there is of the circum- water. till he could perceive a complete hemisphere.

the those of Corea. and Greenland are peninsulas on a gigantic scale. California. where the antagonist principles of cold and heat meet in their utmost intensity. Greenland part of a continent. There ponderance of dry land in the northern hemisphere. science. tensive a mass of high volcanic land near the south pole is an important event in the history of physical though the stern severity of the climate must for ever render it unfit for the abode of animated beings. the domain of probably perpetual snow and the recent discovery of so ex. whose year consists of one day and one night. Of the polar lands little is is known. of the land to assume a peninsular and it is still more so that remarkable. and Aliaska. The continents of South America. as well as the European peninsulas of . Africa. CHAP. fills the mind with that awe which arises from the idea of the un- known and form is the indefinite.48 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. whose limits are to us a blank. of Florida. very almost all the peninsulas tend to the south cir- The tendency cumstances that depend on some unknown cause which seems to have acted very extensively. or even for the support of vegetable It seems to form a counterpoise to the prelife. in North America. Kamt- chatka. The strange and terrible symmetry in the nature of the lands within the polar circles. Indo-Chinese peninsula. is something sublime in the contemplation of the awful these lofty and unapproachable regions realm of ever-during ice and perpetual fire. all tending to the south . 11. the Asiatic peninsula of India.

OUTLINE OF THE LAND. Aliaska. which are often the last South America portions of the continental chains. a high promontory. one of the most philosophical of modern geologists. Italy and Greece. India. II. has been observed as another peculiarity in the structure of peninsulas that they generally terminate boldly. Africa with the last of the Cape of Good Hope . 49 Norway and Sweden. . islands at its extremity . VOL. terminates in Cape Horn. island and Malacca. have an Many of the peninsulas or group of islands at their extremity. promontories. which is the visible termination of the Andes . Malacca extremity of Land . E . Greenland has a group of and Sicily lies close to the It of Italy. and Greenland. take the same direction. especially the con- South America and Africa. I. whereas most of the others terminate tinents of sharply. which terminates with the group of Tierra del Fuego : India has Ceylon . All the latter have a rounded form except Italy. the Ghauts New Holland ends with SouthEast Cape in Van Diemen's Land and Greenland's . Sumatra and Banca the southern Holland ends in Van Diemen's a chain of islands run from the end of the has . as California. . Elie de Beaumont.CHAP. and has been much extended and developed by M. which have the pointed form of wedges while some are long and narrow. farthest point 1 is the elevated bluff of Cape Farewell. India with Cape Comorin. New peninsula of Aliaska termination . Spain and Portugal. or mountains. in bluffs. as South America. 1 This very general view of the structure of the globe originated chiefly with the celebrated German geologist Von Buch.

compared with its than any other quarter of the world. II. which has formed a number by of inland seas of great magnitude. in the . in being much indented by inland seas. while North America resembles Europe. islands. and bays. greater line of maritime coast. of such imAll the portance to civilization and commerce. the islands of the Asiatic coast and of its Oceania are the peninsula in rivers great. which have a great similarity on each side of Behring's Straits in form. the two great continents terminate in a very broken line to the north and as . direction. table-lands and summits of mountain-chains. so that it has a shores of size.50 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. There rica is and Africa a strong analogy between South Amein form and the unbroken mass which their surface presents. they sink beneath the Icy Ocean. of which New Holland. the Indian Archi- pelago. tinued in a subaqueous continent from the Indian Ocean across the Pacific nearly to the west coast of America. the tops of their high lands and mountains rise above the waves and stud the coast with innumerable snow-clad rocks and The 70th parallel is the average latitude of these northern shores. Eastern Asia is evidently congulfs. The Europe are deeply indented and penetrated the Atlantic Ocean. peninsular form of the continents adds greatly to the extent of their coasts. The extent of coast from the Straits of "Waigatz. CHAP. and in the adjacent islands. "With the Siberia between exception of a vast the mouths of the Yenesei and Khatanga and the unknown regions of Greenland.

bays.000 miles long.000 miles. and produced endless sounds and fiords which run far into the land.000 miles. II. continent of The whole America has a in in sea-coast of 31 . is very entire. where the tremendous surge and currents of the oceaf. portions of the globe. and possibly also by the action of the ocean occasioned by the rotation of the earth from west to east. in those high latitudes have eaten into the mountains. and creeks. a labyrinth of gulfs. The shores of South America on bays.000 miles in length. 16. On the south and east especially seas. EXTENT OF COASTS. both sides are very entire. Thus it appears that the ratio of the the coast-line to number of linear miles number of square miles in the each of these great the extent of surface. to the Strait of CafFa. and separated the Antilles and Bahama Islands from the continent. have hollowed out the Gulf of Mexico. is E2 . that these currents. except towards Southern Chili and Cape Horn. The coast of Africa. except perhaps at the Gulf of Guinea and in the Mediterranean. at the entrance of the Sea of Azoff. and the eastern shores are rugged and encompassed by chains of islands which Its maritime coast is render navigation dangerous. is about 17. it is indented by large and gulfs . combined with volcanic action. about 33. The shores of North America have probably been much altered by the equatorial There is little doubt current and the Gulf-stream. 51 Polar Ocean.CHAP. The coast is less is but in the Icy Ocean there broken on the west. The coast of Asia lias been much worn by currents.

had been rent into deep fissures.52 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. perceptible in the convulsed The centres of maximum of their strata. with regard to civilization and commerce America comes next. on the Atlantic coast at least. mountain-chains and table-lands are. 530 for Africa. and prodigious as the forces that elevated them. for for CHAP. II. or stretch to Enormous as the various distances in the plains. which or of axis the form the nucleus mountain generally masses. Some way thinner portion of the earth's surface. the desert character of the country. they sink to various depths. and the or sank into cavities. declining on every side. and the mountain masses had been raised by violent state concussions. they bear a very small proportion to the mass of the level continents and to the vast power which raised them even to 1 Pyrogenous rocks are granite and others owiug fire. their origin to . rose in undulations. 376 for Asia. The a powerful continents had been raised from the deep by effort of the internal forces acting under stratified crust widely-extended regions. and the insalubrity of its climate. whence. and . 164 359 Europe. on whose flanks the stratified rocks are tilted at all angles to the horizon. which has every natural obstacle to contend with. giving to the internal forces. then Asia. according to its intensity. 1 energy are marked by the pyrogenous rocks. of the earth either remained level. from the extent and nature of its coasts. Hence the proportion is most favourable to Europe. and America. last of all Africa.

ELEVATION OF CONTINENTS. Single mountains. . are rare. and rocks of the same kind have identical characters in every quarter of the Plants and animals vary with climate. and some chains that are now far inland once stood up as islands above the ocean. while marine strata filled their cavities and formed mountainis round their bases. The influence of chains on the extent and form of the continents beyond a doubt. peak after peak arises in The lateral ridges and valleys endless succession. Notwithstanding the various circumstances of their elevation. however unsymmetrical may appear at first.CHAP. separated by narrow longitudinal valleys. there is everywhere a certain regularity of form in mountain masses. Both the high and the low . II. lands had been elevated at successive periods some of the very highest mountain-chains are but of recent geological date. and are less bold. they generally appear in groups intersected by valleys in every direction. till at last the most remote ridges sink down into Extensive and lofty branches gentle undulations. in proportion to their distance from the central mass. they granite mountain has the same peculiarities in the southern as in the northern hemisphere at the equator as near the poles. are constantly of less elevation. 53 their inferior altitude. but a globe. plains. insulated on except where they are volcanic . and more frequently in extensive chains symmetrically arranged in a series of ridges. the highest and most rugged of which occupy parallel the centre : when the chain is broad and of the first order in point of magnitude.

of the there is not a Alps range single rock which slope of has 1600 feet of perpendicular height. . but there more prein which the imagination misleads the judgment more than in is usually is nothing In the whole estimating the steepness of a declivity. at the point where these offsets diverge. according to Baron Humboldt. and the mean inclination of the Peak amount of Teneriffe. CHAP. or a vertical 90. and stretch diverge from the principal chains at various angles. does not to 45 . is only 12 30'. far into the plains. and on the degree and manner in Thus dolomite which it is worn by the weather. so that the country is often widely covered by a net-work of mountains. which rises precipitously from the Caribbean Sea. A ternal structure of a rock has a great influence its upon general form. They are often as high as the chains from which they spring. If. One side of a mountain-range cipitous than the other. and. The circumstances of elevation are not the only causes of that variety observed in the summits of difference in the composition and inmountains.54 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The declivity of Mont Blanc towards the Allee Blanche. to the height of between 6000 and 7000 feet. is a majestic instance of perhaps the nearest approach to perpendicularity of any great height yet known. at an angle of 53 28'. The Silla of Caraccas. precipitous as it seems. there is frequently a knot of mountains spreading over hundreds of square miles. and it happens not unfrequently that these branches are united by transverse ridges.

dark walls like those in Greenland are . This he illustrates spondence. and the It has been identity of their geological structure. By a minute comparison of the different parts of the land. their geological Viewing things on a broad there is also a very striking scale. Thus form the mountain- peaks often indicate by their nature. 55 assumes generally the form of peaks like saw-teeth . as in the Alps slates and quartziferous schists take the calcareous rocks a form of triangular pyramids and rounded shape serpentine trachyte are often twisted and crumpled phonolites assume a pyra. between the leading features of Asia and Europe. on . but that. Boue has shown that a critical similarity of out- ward forms. crystalline schists assume the form of needles. it is indefinite evident that Nature has not wrought after an number of types or models. M. . of trap and basalt by blunt cones and and volcanoes are indicated craters. it appears that connexion between the physical geography or external aspect of different countries and their geological structure. ETC. even in their by pointing out a corremost minute details. .CHAP. and the more essential peculiarities of their contours contemplated. must also to a large extent indicate identity of structure. II. that when the windings of our continents and seas are narrowly examined. at least to a certain extent. and therefore from the external appearance of an unexplored country its geological structure may be inferred. justly observed. . while indicating similarity in the producing causes. FORMS OF ROCKS. midal form .

Even the picturesque descriptions of a traveller often afford information of which he may be little aware. peninsular structure of the continents with their accompanying islands is a striking illustration of the truth of this remark. Freyberg school. which was at one time contemplated. The author and of the valuable information contained in the letterpress which accompanies it. that analogy of form and contour throws the greatest" light on the constitution of countries far removed from each other. the necessity of inserting in them any similar maps. is one of the highest steps of generalization which has been attempted by geoloIt was first observed by the miners of the gists. her fundamental types are very fe\v. The Nature's operations. Boue. by a comparison of the ages of the inclined and horizontal strata resting on them. As Mr.56 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and derived from the action of forces on a primary base. 2 fundamental forms or merely a portion of them. as a consequence of that law in duced. The determination of the contemporaneous upheaval of parallel mountain-chains. The whole of our land may be decomposed into a less or either exhibiting all these greater number of masses. and many more might be adIt follows. > and established as a law by avails herself with much pleasure of an opportunity of expressing her admiration of the accuracy. extent. Johnston is publishing a small and cheap edition of his Atlas. 2 M. is obviated. well fitted to illustrate these volumes. 1 the contrary. which has afforded her the greatest assistance. CHAP. and execution of Mr. . definite constructive and sea. Keith Johnston's Physical Atlas. in fact. II.

that all strata elevated simultaneously assume a parallel direction. confirmed. also simultaneously. By a careful examination of the relative ages of the strata resting on the flanks of many of the mountain systems. M. M. and that fissures differing at a subsequent period . Were the analogy perfect. or. that veins of the fissures 57 in Werner. that Should this be parallel strata are contemporaneous. They will indicate the course of enormous fissures that have simultaneously rent the solid globe and passed through the bed of the ocean from continent to continent. believed to be the most ancient of which the globe can now furnish any traces. Elie de Beau- mont has shown.CHAP. it parallel mountain-chains have ought to follow that been raised simul- taneously. that is. if not proved. and Mr. parallel chains in the most distant regions will no longer be regarded as insulated masses. occur same nature mines in parallel opened at the same time. Von Buch Germany has found that four systems of mountains in accord with this theory. Sedgwick has observed the same in the Westmoreland system of mountains. by forces acting during the same geological periods. which originated . often of unfathomable depth and immense length. from island to island. II. in direction differ also in fissures As these veins and age. This theory of elevation of mountain-chains. PARALLELISM OF MINERAL VKIXS. are rents through the solid strata. and probably filled with metal. there is the strongest analogy between them and those enormous fissures in the solid mass of the globe through which the mountain-chain have been heaved up.

when an that when the expansive force acts unidistricts formly from below on a wide surface or area. . has taken a purely mathematical view of the subject. it . tends to stretch the surface. which. which is exactly the case in many volcanic that. CHAP.' by Hopkins. the splits or cracks must all diverge from that point like radii in a circle. II. .58 \\ith PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Esq. M. that the direction of the length or breadth is crack where the tension either in if and the area yields in more places than one. so that it would is. he found that the fissures would necessarily be parallel to one another. It seems to bear on the subject. even still of observation in this 1 when separated by seas. so that theory conies to the aid unsettled question. Mr. which agrees with the law of arrangement These results are greatly modified by the shape of the area. that parallel mountain-chains are similar in geological age. actually arises from the it. but the modification is of veins in mines. lias already led to the discovery of twelve different periods of fracture and elevation in the European continent alone. Hopkins. and has proved internal expansive force acts upwards a upon single point in the earth's crust. Elie de Beaumont. of Cambridge. instead of interfering with that of the parallelism of the fissures. For instance. split or greatest. the mounOn the Parallel Lines of Simultaneous Elevation in tbe 1 ' Weald of Kent and Sussex. same action which produces in all its details This investigation agrees with the fractures in the districts in England to which they were applied. according to a fixed law.

1 This is particularly the case with coast 1 M. that of Turkey Europe passes into Asia Minor. a volcanic region bounds the Straits of Babelmandel. Paropamisus with its prolongation. Continents and mountain. the Hindoo Coosh. The chalk cliffs on the opposite sides of the British Channel show that Britain once formed part of the continent . and Behring's Straits divide the ancient strata of a similar age. islands. Brittany. ETC. b*ut that are convergent from the form of the earth. such as clefts and cavities formed by erosion. Taurus.CHAP. The same correspondence in epoch prevails observation is also extensively exemplified in those that run east and west. lastly. though the Gulf of Bothnia is between them those of Cornwall. and the north. the Crimea into the Caucasus. the Balkan. same with that of the Highlands of Scotland in the formation is the same on each side of the Straits of Gibraltar . the formation of the the Orkney Islands and Ireland is . the chains in California and those on the . . adjacent coast of America. and in America the mountains of Parima and the great chain of Venezuela. furnish in geological chains that are not parallel. west of Spain are similar the Atlas and the Spanish mountains. Bouc. as evidently appears from the correspondence of the strata. This examples.chains are often interrupted by posterior geological changes. as the Alps. those of JNew Guinea and the north-east of Australia. tains II. INTERRUPTIONS IN CONTINENTS. 59 of Sweden and Finland are of the same structure. the Himalaya. and.

and thus maintain the continuity of the land. or from the last undulations of the mountains. compelling man while vast regions are doomed to fulfil his destiny . afford- ing a delightful and picturesque abode to man. in the North Pacific. North of this lies a vast plain.W. . which stretches across it from W. These perpetual storehouses of the waters send their streams to refresh the plains. II.60 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.. Sloping imperceptibly from the base of the inferior tablelands.S. from the coasts of Bar- bary and Portugal. in terraces Table-lands of less elevation. barrenness. though the plains are his principal dwelling. to perpetual shower. CHAP. Immediately connected with the mountains are the high table-lands which form so conspicuous a feature in the Asiatic and American continents. constisinking tute the links between the high ground and the low. off the superfluous waters. They frequently are of the richest soil.E.N. and enjoy the most genial climate. at Behring's Straits. . lying between the 30th and 40th or 45th parallels of north latitude. of lower and lower level. to E. and to afford a highway between the nations. Fruitfulness and sterility vary their aspect : immense tracts of the richest soil are favoured by climate and to the ocean. on the Atlantic Ocean. never gladdened by a The form of the great continent has been determined by an immense zone of mountains and tablelands. the mountains and the plains. to the farthest extremity of Asia. they carry a greater portion is only hardly require culture rendered productive by hard labour.

are broken by a few mountain systems of conarid siderable extent and height. level. By much the greater part of the flat country lying between the China Sea and the river Indus is of the most exuberant fertility. The Atlas Spanish mountains form the west- ern extremity of that great zone of high lands that girds the old continent almost throughout its extent : these two mountain systems were certainly at one time united.. one of the most desolate tracts on the earth. the Strait is 960 fathoms deep between Gibraltar and Ceuta. and from their geological formation. from the promontory of Gher. and of the most diversified aspect. too. FORM OF THE GREAT CONTINENT. 61 extending almost from the Pyrenees to the utmost part of Asia. them.N. and varying from 160 to 500 in the narrowest part. 1 very elevated and continuous mountain region extends in a broad belt along the north-west of Africa. II. uninterrupted except by the Scandinavian arid British system on the north. the greater portion of which is a dead low undulations. they must have been elevated by forces acting in the same direction now. A .CHAP. or The low lands south of the mountainous zone are much indented by the ocean. a sea-filled chasm 960 fathoms deep. R. and also the parallelism of their mountain-chains. The southern lowlands. indeed. while that between the Persian Gulf and the foot of the Atlas is. the Strait of Gibraltar. on the At1 By the soundings of Captain Smyth. with some happy exceptions. divides . and the Ural chain. which is of small elevation.

mountains 15. forms a knot of . but lower chain of parallel ridges and groups which forms the bold coasts of the Straits of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Me- diterranean. on the Atlantic. rich in valleys and hills which rises in successive terraces to the foot of the Greater Atlas. the last and lowest of the Little Atlas.62 lantic. to the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The chain of the Greater Atlas. That long. one and they are rent by fissures frequently not more than a few feet wide a peculiar feature of the whole system. but their summit is uninterrupted line of bare inaccessible rocks. the high lands of Morocco. in the Mediterranean. rugged. separated by ridges of . which is farthest inland. CHAP. covered with snow. extends from Cape Gher. The Middle chains. which runs due east in a uniformly diminishing line till itjanishesin the plain of the Great Syrtis. This mountain system consists of three parts. rivers. Gulf of Sidra. and insulated from the rest of Africa by the desert of Sahara. till it parallel to the Mediterranean attains the and keeps Gharian range in Tripoli. Algiers. enclosing all and Tunis. lying between the two great consists of a table-land. The flanks of the mountains are gene- rally clothed with forests. in Morocco. is only a portion of the Lesser Atlas. Atlas. which rises above it majestically. II. The Lesser Atlas begins at Cape Spartel (the ancient Cape Cotes) opposite to Gibraltar.000 feet high. to the Lesser Syrtis and. covered with perpetual snow.

All offsets. rugged the plains below its summits look like the teeth of a s:iw. . The snow lies deep on these mountains during the greater . are neither so numerous nor so large as in the Alps. 63 This wide and extensive region has a delightful climate. On the Spanish side. and is surrounded by the sea. whence the term Sierra has been appropriated to mountains of sloping this form. except where it is separated from France by the Pyrenees. The Pyrenean extremities. but chain its is of moderate height at its summit maintains a waving line it rises to a whose mean altitude is 7990 feet . highest point is the MalahiteorNethou. and is perpetual on the highest parts . and the valleys are full of vitality. parallel to it. their flanks and lower ranges are sandstone and limestone. abounds in magnificent forests. extend to the banks of the Ebro. The miles. The crest of the Atlas is of granite and crystalline strata. and French greatest breadth of this range is about GO It is so steep on the its length 270. but the glaciers. that from so and side. but are continued by the Cantabrian chain to Cape Fiuisterre on the Atlantic.170 feet above the sea. on which the tertiary strata rest. greater height on the east its part of the year. so notched. 11. which extend from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay.THE PYRENEES. which are chiefly on the northern side. The Spanish peninsula consists chiefly of a tableland traversed by parallel ranges of mountains. gigantic separated by deep precipitous valleys.

II. these the high Castilian chain of the Guadarama and the Sierra de Toledo cross the table-land. and sending many branches through those provinces to the Mediterranean: its most elevated point is the easterly Sierra Urbion.S. finest after the Alps.000 square miles.64 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. except along the banks of the rivers. nearly equal to half of the It dips to the Atlantic from its western peninsula. so called from the dingy colour of its forests of Hermes oak. the Sierra Morena. on the southern edge . the Sierra Nevada. though only 100 miles long and 50 broad. and uncultivated. constituting the eastern boundary of Valencia and Murcia. side. and run in a tortuous southdirection through all Spain. Four nearly parallel ranges of mountains originate in this limiting chain. The table-land becomes more fertile as .N. CHAP.E. which begin the point where the Pyrenees take the name of 1 the Cantabrian chain. Of diagonally across the peninsula to the Atlantic. Corn and wine are produced in abundance on the wide plains of New other places serve for Castile and Estremadura : pasture. The interior of Spain is a table-land with an area of 93. running from E. to "W. of trees .~W. There bounded by the Iberian mountains. the Grenada. the Spanish mountains are torn by deep crevices. and lastly. it is at where its altitude is about 2300 feet. traverses the plains of range of mountains in Europe Andalusia and is The table-land monotonous and bare the plains of Old Castile are as naked as the Steppes of Siberia. the beds of torrents and rivers.

with a semi-tropical vegetation. through which the great Spanish rivers flow to the Atlantic. probably from lava. Portugal. are tracbytic domes of elevation Mont d'Or. and primary fossiliferous rocks prevail chiefly in the Spanish mountains. though the maritime provinces of the latter on the Mediterranean are luxuriant and beautiful. after the internal force which raised it was withdrawn. serrated aspect. The volcanic mountains of Auvergne. which are a little lower. but from 1 A their which no lava has issued. the most remarkable south The mass of high of which are the Montagnes Noires. to the middle of the tertiary period. land is continued through the of France. so that there are cones and craters of various ages and perfect form : some of the highest. In . generally domeshaped. 6200 feet high. 1 . is a portion of an immense crater of elevation. and give them their peculiar. whose top has sunk into a crater or hollow. but which have not sunk into a crater. Dome-shaped mountains owe form to internal pressure. VOL. at a much lower elevation. 65 is extends towards which altogether more productive than Spain. once the theatre of violent It continued from the beginning volcanic action. it II. I. F . are the most remarkable of the French system the offsets of the latter reach the right bank of the Rhone. as the Puy de Dome. FRENCH MOUNTAINS. and the great plateau of Auvergne. crystalline strata. Granite. appear to have been at one time the basins of lakes. The valleys between the parallel ranges. and the Cevennes. by chains of hills and table-lands. bold. crater of elevation is a mountain.CHAP.

ascending by terraces. with a mean breadth of about 100 miles. after a circuit of 300 miles round Bohemia. taking a very general view. groups.. ter- minate at the small elevated plain of the Upper Oder. on the confines of Bavaria and Bohemia. and. but. No part of these limiting ranges attains . the the French mountains are the link between more elevated masses of Western and Eastern Europe.66 fact. are but outlying members of the general protuberance. through six or seven degrees of latitude. The eastern and highest part of the European portion of the mountain-zone begins to rise above the low lands about the 52nd parallel of north latitude. covering an area of 9000 square miles. reaches its highest point in the great range of The descent on the south the Alps and Balkan. The Sudetes begin on the east of this group. till it is much more rapid and abrupt. and terminates in the knot of the Fichtelberge. and chains of mountains. form the northern boundary of these high lands: the first. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. extends from the right bank of the Rhine to the centre of Germany. The principal chain of the Hyrcanian mountains. about 51 or 52 of N. and the immediate offsets from the Alps shorter . those of side of this lofty mass Greece and the southern part of Turkey with alt in Europe. and the Carpathian mountains. the islands of the adjacent coasts. lat. the Apennines and mountains of Northern Sicily. which connects them with the Carpathian mountains. II. CHAP. consisting of three parallel ridges. the Sudetes.

. bisected by the 20th meridian. All this chain is lofty much of it . THE HIGHER ALPS. the western shoulder of Mont Blanc. The higher Alps. which divides it from a secondary branch of the Balkan. has an absoThe central ridge lute elevation of 15. of the higher Alps is jagged with peaks. and 1243'E. where the higher Alps terminate a course 420 miles long. . is covered with an network of mountains and plains of mode- rate elevation. Spurs decline in undulations from these limiting chains on the great northern plain. they run through the Grisons and Tyrol to the Great Glockner. and needles of bare and almost perpendicular rock. The highest mountains in Europe are comprised within this space. lat. except the Carpathians. and the country to the south. not more than 60 miles long. II.N. rising from fields of perpetual snow and rivers of F2 . may be said to begin at the Cape della Melle on the Gulf of Genoa. the highest of all.. before it reaches the Danube. pyramids. is their loftiest point. on . which form the western crest of the elevated zone. intervening intricate between them and the Alps. They consist of mountain-groups united by elevated plains. This range is high also in Transylvania. long.E. where Mont Blanc.CHAP. is above the line of perpetual congelation the most elevated part lies between the Col de la Seigne. and the Simplon. in 40 7' N.759 '8 feet. rather than of a single chain : the Tatra mountains. some of which are very high. and bend round by the west and north to Mont Blanc then turning E. 67 the height of 5000 feet.

the latter is the continua- rising to the height of perpetual snow. Innumerable secondary branches. in a line parallel to the prin- Alps is cipal chain. diverge from it in hardly various directions : of these the chain of the Bernese the highest and most extensive. and. taking the name of the Julian Alps at Mont Terglou. and with its ramifications forms one of the most remarkable groups of mountain scenery in Europe. an elevation of 14. It breaks off at the St.68 ice to PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. present a scene of sublime quiet and repose. and send their flanks far into the lower grounds. it to 150 east of the Grisons. but is not more than 80 at its junction with the Balkan. Its endless maze of sharp ridges and bare peaks. all from this chain cover the neighbouring countries. under Offsets the 18th meridian. the : Noric and Carnic Alps tion of the chief stem. it separates the Tyrol and Upper Carinthia from the Venetian States. mixed with gigantic masses of pure snow. It is difficult to estimate the width of the Alpine chain: that of the higher Alps is about 100 miles. lower than the main crest. increases to . II. Gothard.000 feet. press on the principal crest. fading coldly serene into the blue horizon. CHAP. unbroken but by the avalanche or the thunder. At hitherto the Great Glockner the range of the Alps. separates the Valais from the Canton of Berne. alike rugged and snowy. splits into two branches. Many parallel chains and groups. and amounts 200 between the 15th and 16th meridians. or Balkan. runs east till Never it joins the Eastern Alps. undivided.

St. so called. . whose pastoral summit is about 3000 feet above the sea. except in the is Altai and on the elevated plains. so eminently characteristic of the Asiatic high lands. THE BALKAN. from the Julian Alps to Cape Eminec on the Black Sea. begins in the Balkan. It begins by a table-land 70 miles long. rises The Oriental peninsula by degrees from the Danube to Bosnia and Upper Macedonia. Gothard goes directly over the crest of the Alps. Another table-land follows. in precirocks from 6000 to 7000 feet . limestone towards Albania and Myritida. II. there are no elevated table-lands in the Alps . traversed by low hills. which are some hundred feet above the sea and the Balkan extends . Stelvio. tain The frequent occurrence of extensive deep lakes a peculiar feature in European mountains. ending. near the town There the Hemus. pitous high. Rugged this. ascending the by valley of a torrent. 69 the sea. which the domes and needles of the Schandach. rarely to be met with in the Asiatic system. the tabular form. are covered with perpetual snow. all but impassable. and descending by a similar path on the other side. whose marshy surface pices at is bounded by mural preci- Mount Arbelus. or Balkan properly of Sophia.CHAP. 600 miles along this elevated mass. is The 9174 feet above the That of highest carriage-pass in these mountains. With the exception of the Jura. succeed to in mountains. Passes very rarely go over the summit of a moun. they generally cross the watershed. or ancient Scamus.

The Apennines. so deep and narrow that daylight is almost excluded. which form the continuation of the Calabrian chain. safest passes across the range . Even form the Apennines. beginning enclose the at the Maritime Alps.70 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. parallel ridges. while shorter offsets end in the plains of Lombardy. CHAP. The crystalline mountains of Sardinia and Corsica are outlying members of the Maritime Alps. one of which goes to Capo de Leuca. as well as the mountains and high land in the north of Sicily. along the faces of the precipices are The Mediterranean the is the southern boundary of last elevated offsets rise zone of Eastern Europe. where they split into two branches. These is plains. on the Gulf of . Gulf of Genoa. The Balkan the across chains chasms afford the the others frightful. forming the magnificent scenery of the Italian lakes. dividing the plains between the Lower Danube and the Pro- begins. where there is no and in few passable places. II. and run through the centre of Italy in parallel ranges to the middle of Calabria. whose elevation has given to the peninsula of Italy. to the Black Sea. are but secondary its on a greater scale to the broad central band. separated by longitudinal valleys. and runs in is The central ridge pontis into nearly equal parts. whose in rocky islands along the coasts. lateral ridge the precipices descend at once to the everywhere rent by terrific fissures and table-lands.

to 71 in Torento. and reappear in the numerous islands and rocks which stud that deeply indented coast. though the year on the Gran Sasso in lies nine months in 9521 feet high. and Greece are mostly caldron-shaped hollows. GRECIAN MOUNTAINS. None of the The whole length is about 800 Apennines come within the line it of perpetual snow. Morea they are so encompassed by mountains that the water has no escape but through the porous soil. The Grecian mountains.CHAP. watershed of Greece. The chains terminate in strongly projecting headlands. Greece is a country of mountains. and. The defile of Blatamana and the Gulf of Salonica are examples. separates Albania from Macedonia and TheSv^aly. and the Sea of Marmora limit the secondaries of the southern part of the Balkan. The Adriatic. Many of these cavities of In the great size lie along the foot of the Balkan. The those valleys of the among the mountains of Alps are long and narrow Turkey in Europe . although none are perpetually covered with snow. and. which reach far into the sea. diverges from the latter chain. Abruzza Ulteriore. running south 200 miles. the Dardanelles. which forms the d'ltalia. like the Balkan. are torn by transverse fractures. Cape Spartivento. the other Straits of Messina. often enclosed by mural rocks. it lies nine months on several of their summits. Offsets from the Julian and Eastern Alps render Dalmatia and Albania perhaps the most rugged tract in Europe and the Pindus. . II. . the miles.

which is pastoral. whereas the latter are almost always habitable and cultivated. Thirty-four bound the snowy regions of Mont Blanc. which the irresistible force of the ice has swept away. The mass of high .72 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. from 80 to 600 feet thick. that. The descent on the south of the Alps is six or seven times more rapid. It is scarcely possible to estimate the quantity it is said. CHAP. They also in which had formed the bottom of lakes. Some glaciers have been permanent and stationary in the Alps time immemorial. Caldron-shaped valleys occur most volcanic countries. there are 1500 square miles of ice in the Alpine range. except on the small group of Hallstadt. and of a forbidding aspect. with the exception of the Jura. which slopes from 1500 900 feet and Hungary. while others now occupy ground formerly bearing corn or covered with trees. as Sicily. consist of tertiary strata. and 95 square miles of snow and ice clothe that mountain. II. There are no glaciers east of the Great Glockner. indeof ice on the Alps . land in south-eastern Europe shelves on the north to the great plain of Bavaria. and table-lands central France. to . scale in from those terraces by which the high The former are on a small Europe. Italy. from 4000 above the sea to 300. 3000 feet high Bohemia. however. . pendent of the glaciers in the Grisons. The which constitute the tops of mountains or of mountain-chains are of a different character lands slope to the low. because the distance from the axis of the chain is shorter.

and deposit those accumulations of rocks and rubbish. The front is perpetually melting. and. they consist of a . sometimes 1000 feet high. but maintains a permanent form it is steep and inaccessible. mixture of so that they are ice. II. GLACIERS. 73 These ice-rivers. does the ground.CHAP. only to a limited depth. but acquire more solidity as they descend to lower levels . snow. The middle course is rather level. yet does not cease. owing to the figure of the ground over which it tumbles in its icy cascade. hang on the declivities. and then a . which had fallen upon them from the heights above but their motion is so slow. they freeze at his setting. that six generations may pass before a stone fallen on the upper end of a long glacier can reach the moraine. eva- poration goes on at their surface. where they are cut short by the increased temperature. are not Glaciers of solid ice . or descend by their weight through the transverse valleys to the plains. . it and slower at the sides and bottom on account of friction. the higher part very steep. as in most rapid in the centre. It is slower in winter. fill the hollows and high valleys. from 12 the to motion is 25 feet annually. but they are not consumed by it. called moraines. In the Alps the glaciers move at the rate of rivers. and the surface is uneven and rent by crevices into -which the purest blue streams is fall in rushing cascades while the sun but up. as it because the winter's cold penetrates the ice. formed on the snow-clad summits of the mountains. . and water in some degree flexible and viscous.

The rocks and stones that fall on them from the surrounding heights protect the ice below from the sun which melts it all around. M. they have been ad- rity or mildness of the season vancing in Switzerland of late years. Agassiz has ascertained that the valley of Chamouni was at one time occupied by a glacier that had moved towards the moraine 2000 feet above the Col de Balme. land to the height of 2155 feet above the Lake of Geneva.74 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Their increase is now limited by various circum- . but accumulates in a stratified form and is consolidated. death-like silence prevails. where there is a difference of 4000 feet in height between the origin and termination. CHAP. it is fed from above. carrying all before it . but they are From the subject to cycles of unknown duration. a remote period. the pressure is enormous and irresistible. and in this manner those numerous pyramids are formed with which the surface is bristled. moraines. Glaciers advance or retreat according to the seve. so that at last they rest on elevated pinnacles they fall off by their weight. Throughout much of the length till of a glacier the winter's snow melts from its surface as completely as it does from the ground . as well as the striae engraven on the rocks over which they have passed. glaciers had covered Switzerat St. In some of the largest glaciers. A Rhone at Maurice would appear to indicate that. for in the upper part the snow never melts. II. even the thickest forest is overwhelmed and crushed.

summits and often rise to the highest indeed. the natural springs that rise under the glacier as they do elsewhere. secondary limestones occupy a great portion of the high land of Eastern Europe. . and also the principal chains in Greece and Turkey in Europe . . the rain that falls on its surface. from valley thawing the ice.000 1 Professor Forbes on Glaciers. and generally form the most elevated pinnacles of the Alpine crest and its offsets. but have been observed also in From the heat of the the glaciers of the Andes. all heights. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. which rushes down its crevices. which excessive evaporation stances is . the melting of the glacier itself. They are not peculiar to the Alps." Granite no doubt forms the base of the mountain system of Eastern Europe. occur at day. which above the freezing-point in those latitudes always and blasts of hot air. and ends in the ocean. and rise occasionally to altitudes of 10. Crystalline schists of various kinds are enormously developed. but the secondary fossiliferous strata con- stitute the chief mass. is formed by the l mountains. II.CHAP. Thus a glacier " begins in the clouds. though it more rarely comes into view than might have been expected.000 or 12. in the night as well as in the some unknown cause. as the 75 mean temperature of the earth. the heat of the earth. Calcareous rocks form two great mountain-zones . a stream of turbid water is formed which works out an icy cavern at the termination of the glacier and flows through it into the lower ground. on each side of the central chain of the Alps.

and Albania with its islands. the Atlas. It appears that the Sierra Morena and most of the Spanish mountains. and rise in some places a height of 5000 feet zones of the older . They are extensively developed in Turkey Europe. though some sank below their During that time the Alps acquired original level. part of Macedonia. and different parts of the chain have been raised for example. separated by intervals of repose. and fill the greater part of range Sicily. an additional elevation of between 2000 and 3000 additional 1 Dr. filled with organic remains and half of Sicily is . the Maritime Alps . covered with the Pleiocene strata. the central chain of the Caucasus. They constitute a great portion of the central of the Apennines. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. II. Boue. and the Balkan were raised before the period of the erratic blocks. 1 Pleiocene period flank the Apennines on each side. for nearly two-thirds of the lands of Europe have risen since the beginning of that epoch. the Alps appear to have been heaved up by many violent and repeated convulsions. . where the plateau of Bosnia with its high lands on the south. the flanks to Tertiary strata of great thickness rest on of the Alps.76 feet. and those that existed then acquired height. are principally composed in of them. and the south-western part of the Jura mountains were raised previously to the formation of the chalk but the tertiary period appears to have been that of at different times : the greatest commotions . From numerous dislocations in the strata. CHAP.

1 ' Sir Charles Lyell. the Apennines rose 1000 or 2000 feet higher. and the Carpathians seem to have gained an accession of height since the seas were inhabited by the existing species of animals. feet II. GEOLOGICAL XOTICE. .CHAP. 77 Mont Blanc then attained its present altitude . .

as well as the most luxuriant productions of animal and vegetable life. which again appears in immense table-lands. barren deserts are here to be met with. passing through the centre of Asia.Land and its Mountains. Here everything is on a much grander scale than in Europe the table-lands rise above the mean height of the European mountains.78 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. III. The High Lands of the Great Continent. forces that . and the moun: tains themselves that gird and traverse them surpass The most those of every other country in altitude. or even of tradition. The earliest records of the human race are found in still of civilization. manners. of such magni- tude that they occupy nearly two-fifths of the continent. continued The Caucasus The Western Asiatic Table . THE Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmora form but a small break in the mighty girdle of the old continent. while the magnitude with which the natural world is here developed evinces the tremendous must have been in action at epochs immeasurably anterior to the existence of man. and monuments remain which show the skill and power of those this cradle nations which have passed away. and even prejudices. carry us back to times beyond the record of history. CHAP. CHAPTER III. but whose moral influence is still visible in their descendants. Cus- toms.

600. and in some places 7000. has an area of of Tibet. and the transverse ranges of the Beloot Tagh. the Himalaya. form. which skirts the right bank of the Indus. or table. is oblong. a mean altitude of 14. and magnitude. which is the table-land of Persia or plateau of Iran. however. and somewhat less at its termination. or Cloudy Mountains : these two parts differ in height.000 feet. as well those which bound the high lands as those which traverse As them. much the largest. III. it is divided into two parts by an enormous knot of mountains formed by the meeting of the Hindoo Coosh.000 feet. Remarkable exceptions to this equatorial direction of the Asiatic mass. where the low plains of Hindostan and Bokhara press upon the table-land and reduce its width to 700 or 1000 miles. to N. 79 The gigantic mass of high land which extends for 6000 miles between the Mediterranean and the Pacific is 2000 miles broad at its eastern extremity.CHAP.000 square miles. also the table-lands extend from S.E. extending from the shores of Asia Minor to the Hindoo Coosh and the Solimaun range. the Tsung-lin. occur in a .W. so do the principal mountain-chains.. WESTERN ASIATIC TABLE-LAND. generally about 4000 feet above the The Oriental plateau sea.700. Between the 47th and 68th eastern meridians. It occupies an area of 1. Colossal mountains and elevated terraces form the edges of the lofty plains.000 square miles. and in some parts of Tibet an absolute altitude of 17. The western portion. 700 to 1000 in the middle.

rich in gold. and so alternate among themselves that each begins only in that latitude which has not yet been attained by the preceding one. and the Ural MounThese chains. CHAP. and unite the Cau- casus to the table-land. higher than in any other chain of the old continent. ^ of meridional chains. and the Arctic Ocean. and forms 1 boundary at that end. Anatolia. The central part of the chain is full of glaciers. the most western part of the table-land is which of Iran.80 series PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in China. an outlying member of the Asiatic high lands. lie in different tains. to of the Western Ghauts.. which extends 700 miles between the Black and Caspian Seas. the Beloot Tagh. on the western bor- der of Georgia. or valley of the Kour and Rioni. or Bolor (which is the western limit of the Oriental plateau). whose axes extend from N. Some parts of these mounthe Elburz. III. its The is lofty range of the Caucasus.796 feet. . 3000 1 feet above the sea. tains are very high . is 17. Offsets diverge like ribs from each side of the central crest. under the names S.000 feet. The Khinghan. also extends from south to north along the eastern slopes of the table-land. except the Himalaya. is traversed Johnston's Physical Atlas.E. longitudes. which penetrate the Russian Steppes on one hand and on the other cross the plains of Kara.N. and the limit of perpetual snow is at the altitude of 11.W. the Solimaun range (which forms the eastern boundary of the table-land of Persia). between Cape Comorin.S. opposite to Ceylon.

luxuriant. extends at Samisat. leaving a narSea. and other islands in the Mediterranean. divided by narrow but beautiful valleys.CHAP. VOL. and broken by wooded glens. I. opening seawards. though much of the soil is saline and covered with lakes and marshes. and mountain -ridges broken up by great valleys. and Azerbijan tower higher and higher between the to nearly half its width. G . 6000 or TOCO feet high. after following the sinuosities of the iron-bound coast of Karamania in a single lofty range. fills the south-western parts of Asia Minor with ramifications. which sink rapidly towards the Archipelago and end in promontories and islands along the shores of in Asia Minor. beginning in Rhodes. is the limit of the Anatolian table-land along the shores of the Black Two-thirds of their height are covered with forests. Cos. The high land is bounded on the south by the serrated snowy range of the Taurus. separated by fertile valleys. where it is broad and picturesque. which is a vast. which. where the Euphrates has pierced a girdle. way through this stony About the 50th meridian the table-land is com- and there the lofty pressed mountainous regions of Armenia. III. Single mountains of volcanic formation are conspicuous objects on the table-land of Anatolia. 81 by short chains and broken groups of mountains. triple range of lime- A stone mountains. Kourdistan. row coast. which is rich in pasture. and. WESTERN ASIATIC MOUNTAINS. but solitary country abounding in Alpine platforms broad rivers watered by plains. with meandering streams. except near Trebizond.

of which Elburz is the principal chain. 17. CHAP. Though high and cold.82 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. They are rent by deep ravines. form its southern limit. III. and spread their ramifications wide over its surface. It shelves on the north in luxuriant and beautiful declivities to the south of the Caucasus low and undulating valley of Kara. and fertile. the . the earliest abode of man. and in winter impracticable from the depth of snow. on which the Ark is said to have rested. the soil of is Armenia is richer than that of Anatolia. occupied by the brackish lake Van. is A thousand square miles of Kourdistan lofty mountains. stands a solitary majestic volcanic cone. Black Sea. shrouded in perpetual snow. The line of perpetual congelation is decided and even along their summit their flanks are wooded. Eden Mount Ararat. though 5467 feet above the sea and surrounded by The Persian mountains. extend along the northern brink of the plateau. and the Gulf of Scanderoon in the Mediterranean. and the valleys populous . and on the other hand. bear no traces of the Garden of . from Armenia. maintaining a considerable . and in many places are so rugged that communication between the villages is always difficult.260 feet above the sea. plains of feet Here the cold treeless Armenia. and better cultivated. which is seldom frozen. almost parallel to the shores of the Caspian Sea. the Caspian. rising abruptly in many parallel ranges from the plains of Mesopotamia. broad and lofty belt of the Kourdistan mountains. 7000 above the sea.

III. the last G2 . WESTERN ASIATIC MOUNTAINS. the fire-country of Persia volcanic of Zoroaster. though 90 miles inland. and one of the most fertile provinces there the Koh Salavan elevates its . up to 83 elevation the volcanic peak of Demavend. near Tehran. is a landmark to sailors on the Elevated offsets of these mountains cover Caspian. and bound the vast level plain of the to the Tigris. which. and peaceful glades. which appear to be chains of mountains when viewed from the low Khorasan and Balkh. plains of The table-land of Iran is bounded for 1.CHAP. interspersed with villages. and extending from the extremity of the Kourdistan Mountains sistan this mouth of the Indus. Beautiful plains. and then joins the mountains of Khorasan and the Paropamisan range. lie among the mountains. rise from it in a succession of high tablelands divided by very rugged mountains. The vegetation at the foot of these mountains on the shores of the Caspian has all the exuberance of a The Elburz loses its height to the tropical jungle. the volcanic table-land of Azerbijan. a picture of sylvan beauty. The Laform the northern part of which Mountains.000 miles along the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean by a mountainous belt of from three to seven parallel ranges. having an average width of 200 miles. belt. till they join the Hindoo Coosh. Shah. east of Demavend. pure streams. but on the table-land of Persia they merely form a broad hilly country of rich soil. their culminating point. and the Vale of Khosran cone. is celebrated as one of the five paradises of Persian poetry.

three-tenths of the country is a desert. and many rivers flow through them to swell the stream of the Tigris. the valleys are of generous soil. Morier's Travels. and the table- nearly a wide scene of desolation. that the country from Bassora to the Indus. a distance of 1200 miles.000 square miles between Irak land is A and Khorasan. so completely barren. and in the Paropamisan range. Oaks clothe their flanks. The coasts of the gulf are burning hot sandy solitudes. from with 2000 flat to 5000 feet high. accessible only by ladders. in fact. CHAP. covered common Persia. and not one great river . In the few favoured spots on the terraces where is vegetation. or holes cut in their precipitous These countries are full of ancient inscripsides. . abuts on the table-land of Persia. possessing few perennial springs. The moisture demore and more south from Shiraz. salt and nitre. and then the parallel ridges. of which the soil with efflorescence of 1 is a stiff clay. tions creases and remains of antiquity. mostly covered with snow. Persia is arid. is nearly a sterile waste. and the beauty of these valleys is enhanced by surrounding sterility. occur in this country. verdant.84 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. repulsive in aspect and difficult are separated by arid longitudinal valleys. 1 With the exception of Mazenderan and the other water occurs there provinces bordering upon the Caspian. the Persian Gulf to the table-land. III. and cultivated. ridge of which. often an Sir John Malcolm on and Mr. which ascend like steps from the narrow shores of to pass. cultivated tops some miles in extent. great saltdesert occupies 27. Insulated hill forts.

whose hot and pestilential breath is fatal to man and renders seasons. certain Barren lands or bleak downs prevail at the foot of the Lukee and Solimaun ranges. is 7000 is is feet above the level of the sea : round it there cultivation. but vitality returns towards the north-east. often 12 feet high. of Kerman. without a vestige of vegetation. the capital of Belochistan. over which the brick-red sand is drifted by the north wind into ridges like the waves of the sea. these dismal sands impassable at animals. The plains and valleys among the offsets from the Hindoo Coosh are of surpassing loveliness. CHARACTER OF THE SOIL. In Afghanistan there is little cultivation except on the banks of the streams that flow into the Lake Zerrah. The blast of the desert.CHAP. III. but the greater part of that country a lifeless plain. formed of bare porphyry and sandstone. 85 inch thick. richest peaceful . and combine the beauty with the majesty of the mountains snow-capped by which they are encircled. which skirt the eastern edge of the table-land. and dip to the plains of the Indus. varied only by a few saline plants and This dreary patches of verdure in the hollows. waste joins the large sandy and equally dreary desert Kelat.

W. The Ori- The High Lands of the Great Continent. longitude. forms magnificent . IV.. to N. or table-land of Tibet. continued Table-Land and its Mountains. The the south cold dreary plateau of Tibet is separated on from the glowing luxuriant plains of Hindostan by the Himalaya. a transverse range which detaches itself from the Hindoo Coosh nearly at a right angle about the 72nd degree of E. CHAPTER ental IV. enclosed and traversed by the highest mounIt is separated from the tabletains in the world. and. THE Oriental plateau. where it joins the immense mountain-knot which renders the south- western corner of the table-land and the Chinese province of Yun-nan one of the most elevated regions on the earth. the table-land has its limits in the chain of the Bolor or Beloot Tagh. land of Persia by the Hindoo Coosh. On the west.86 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. CHAP." the Tartash Tagh of the natives. which extends from the eastern extremity of the Hindoo Coosh in Cabulistan to about the 95th meridian.E. pursuing a northerly direction. the " Cloudy Mountains. occupying the terrestrial isthmus between the low lands of Hindostan and Bucharia. which may be considered as the western prolongation of the Hima- laya. is an irregular four-sided mass stretching from S.

Little more is known of the south-eastern boundary of the tableit land than that is mountains. a singular exception to the general parallelism of the Asiatic mountains. or Chinese range. Two narrow difficult passes lead over the Beloot Tagh from the low plains of Bucharia and Independent Tourkistan to Kashgar and Yarkand. IV.000. at the mountain-knot of Tsung-lin.000 of square miles of the Chinese empire is covered with mountains. on the tableland in Chinese Tartary. and joins the Yablonoi branch of the Altai' at right angles about the 55th degree of north latitude. the Soli- maun range. and is the diagonal chains of the watershed between the It devalley of the Oxus and Chinese Tartary. running eastward. The Kuenlun. and the Ural.CHAP. and forms. a serrated granitic chain running from south to north. with the Western Ghauts. nearly 1. scends in a succession of tiers or terraces through the countries of Bokhara and Balkh to the deep cavity in which the Caspian Sea and the Sea of AzofF lie. The north-eastern edge of the table-land is bounded by the Khing-han Mountains. EASTERN ASIATIC MOUNTAINS. but pro- . a mass of exceedingly high between the sources of the Brahmapootra and the Altai chain. In fact. begins about 35 30' N. the 87 mountain-knots with table-land. it terminates about the 110th meridian. formed by the from west Hindoo Coosh and Himalaya. and. which separates the plateau of Mongolia from the country of Mantchouria. lat. The table-land to east itself is crossed longitudinally by two great chains.

lies between the latter chain and the Thian-shan. and. and. they are continued under the name of Shan-Garjan. The Himalaya and Altai ranges diverge in their easterly courses. and Mongolia. also running from south to north. though so far inland. they begin at the Bolor or Beloot Tagh. which is entirely open on the west. all these vast chains of mountains the Hima- and its best known principal branch the Hindoo Coosh. between the . bably covers a great part of the western provinces of China with its branches. The meridional chain of the Bolor encloses Chinese Tartary on the west . running along the 42nd parallel. Tungut. on account of their enormous 1 Johnston's Physical Atlas. IV. so that the table-land. or Celestial Mountains and Zungary.88 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. rising again. The Thian-shan. Celestial range and the Altai. sink to the desert of the Great Gobi about the centre of the plateau. pours forth lava. Of laya. though even of these a great part has never been explored. but. and exhibits all the other phenomena of volcanic districts. 1 is 2000 between the the country of the Chinese province of Yunnan and Mantchou Tonguses. . which is only from 700 to 1000 miles wide at its western extremity. or Chinese Tartary." lie more to the north . CHAP. or Mongolia. which runs to the north-east and ends on the shores of the Japan Sea. is shut in on the east by the Khing-han range. The Thian-shan is exceedingly volcanic. Tibet is enclosed between the Himalaya and the Kuen-lun. are . or " Celestial Mountains.

The range consists of three parts: Coosli. or Iniaus Afghanistan to Cashmere of the ancients. extending over many degrees of latitude. the and. very broad to the west. THE HINDOO COOSH. . soutli it From the plains to the seems to consist of four distinct ranges running one above another. together with the offsets of the Beloot Tagh. IV. in breadth from 250 to 350 miles. A ridge of stupendous height encloses the beautiful valley of Cashmere. " the dwelling of snow. 89 sible to height and the depth of snow. and Budakshan.000 square miles.CHAP. and is so high that its snowy summits are visible at the distance of 150 miles. Paropamisan range the in flimalaya. north of the city of Cabul. but area of 600. or Indian Caucasus. The Hindoo Coosh. to the east of which the chain takes the name of Himalaya. The general structure of the Himalaya 1 1 is very Johnston's Physical Atlas. which has its name from a mountain of great height." From the great mountain-knot of Tsung-lin. which make it imposapproach the central ridge. fills the countries of Kafferistan. varying miles. the last of which abuts on the table-land. and. which stretches from the valley of Cashmere to Bhotan . and occupying an course. lastly. except in a very few places. the Himalaya no longer maintains its direct easterly makes a vast arch to the south of 300 which extends to the Brahmapootra. is Koouduz. the Hindoo which extends from the . the mountains of Bhotan and Assam three making one magnificent unbroken chain.

a tract from 10 to 30 miles wide. covered with dense pestilential jungle. gloomy ravines and transverse dusky gorges. north of which lies the Tariyani. of inexhaustible fertility. Transverse valleys.000 feet high. they form the principal terrace of the Himalaya between the Sutlej and Brahmapootra. . 1000 feet above the sea. however. the snowy ranges succession to the table- land.000 feet. The character of the valleys becomes softer in the lower regions. or 6000 feet high.000 to 12. lastly. through which the torrents of melted snow rush to swell the rivers of Hindostan. Though separated by mountain-groups. and.90 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and Assam. Captain Gerard and his brother estimated that it could not be less than from 16. flanked by magnificent rise in forests . regular : the first range of hills that rise above the plains of Hindostan is alluvial. CHAP. where they consist chiefly of such chasms filled with wreck as the tributaries of the Indus and Ganges have made in bursting through the chain. are more frequent in the Hindoo Coosh than in the Himalaya. Behind these are mountains from 10. and extending along the foot of the North of this region are rocky ridges 5000 range. The principal and most elevated chains are cut by narrow. IV. Between these and the higher lie the ranges peaceful and well-cultivated valleys of Nepaul. till at last the luxuriance of vegetation and beauty cannot be surpassed. Bhotan. interspersed with picturesque and populous towns and villages.000 to 20. The mean height of the Himalaya is stupendous.

Colonel Sabine estimates it to be only 11. especially at the sources of the Sutlej . and the descent to the plains excessively rapid. from that river to the Kalee. except where the rays of a vertical sun penetrate their depths. that these abysses are gloom. one of the highest of the Andes. The valleys are crevices so deep and narrow. especially in the territory of Bhotan. this wild region lies the elevated and peaceful valley of Bhotan. 91 but.CHAP. where . some of but it is the mountains being 28. forty of them the surpass height of Chimborazo. THE HIMALAYA. the dip from the table-land is more than 10. filling the caverns with At the very base of air with mist. From the steepness of the descent the rivers shoot down with foam and the the swiftness of an arrow.510 feet. is said to be the only level ground between it and the Tartar frontier on the north. from the average elevation of the passes over these mountains. that the military and Bhotan the Himalaya is equally lofty. though the peaks exceeding that elevation are not to be numbered. and several reach the height of 25. or the valley of Nepaul on the east. So rugged is this part of the magni- parade at Sabathoo. Baron Humboldt thinks it must be under 15.000 feet high narrower. the chain exhibits an endless succession mountains on earth .000 feet in ten miles. indeed. vividly green. and shaded by magnificent . IV. and the mountains that hang over them in menacing shrouded cliffs in perpetual are so lofty. half a mile long and a quarter of a mile broad. Towards the fruitful valleys of Nepaul ficent chain.000 of the loftiest feet at least.700 feet.

thousands of birds perish from often the violence of the wind. Most of the little passes over the Himalaya are but .000 feet above the level of the highest that has been attempted. lower than the top of Mont Blanc many are higher. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. to the plain of the The Himalaya still maintains great height along the north of Assam. especially near the Sutlej. that Sir Alexander Burnes never could obtain an observation of the polestar in the whole journey from Barmeean till within thirty miles of Turkistan. feet leads Another rapid descent of 1000 Ganges. where they are from 18. and that northeast of Khoonawur is 20. the drifting snow . and the fatigue and suffering from the rarity of the air in the last 500 feet is not to be dethe sea scribed. Little more is known of the northern side of the mountains than that the passes are about 5000 feet above the plains of Tibet. and so deep and so much enclosed are the defiles.000 to 19. and many die . forming a vast mountainknot of great elevation. Animals are as much distressed as human is beings. but it or some of its branches are supposed o cross the southern provinces of the Chinese empire and to end in the volcanic island of Formosa. CHAP. IV. and at the Brahmapootra the parent stem and its branches extend in breadth over two degrees of latitude. Beyond this point nothing certain is known of the range. The passes over the Hindoo Coosh. though not the highest. All are terrific.000 feet high.92 forests. are very formidable : there are six from Cabul to the plains of Turkistan .

the tender clearness of their The in these passes distant outline melting into the pale blue sky contrasted with the deep azure above. is described as a scene of wild and wonderful beauty. and the pure blue of the mountains looks deeper still below the pale white gleam of the earth and snowlight. in Tibet. by which lake Mr. and throwing their gigantic shadows on the mountains below. above all. and. Moorcroft ascended sacred of Manasa. the stupendous size of the mountains. no sound is heard . the variety and sharpness of their forms. 93 fatal to travellers. Himalaya. the . and no language can describe the splendour of the sun- beams at daybreak streaming between the high peaks. no living thing There. they deep and awful crevices on a branch of a tree. During the day. which variety loftiest is at all times magnificent.CHAP. the . man. is tremendous he and his guide had not only to walk barefooted. The to Niti Pass. from the risk of slipping. or on loose stones frightful chasms. At midnight. when myriads of stars sparkle in the black sky. MOUNTAIN-PASSES. their interminable extent. and violent thunderstorms add to the horror of the journey. far above the habitation of exists. in the Yet these are the thoroughfares for commerce torrents. IV. holding thrown across. never repaired nor susceptible of improvement from frequent landslips and peaks being bare of snow gives great of colour and beauty to the scenery. the effect is of unparalleled solemnity. but they were obliged to creep along the most by twigs and tufts of and sometimes crossed grass.

is and mild. It also a peculiarity in these mountains that the higher the range the higher likewise is the limit of snow and vegetation. though it was often necessary to reap the corn still green and unripe while in Chinese Tartary good crops are raised 16. CHAP.068 feet. IV.544 feet. corn fruit ripen at elevations which in other coun- tries even under the equator is would be buried in permanent snow. .009 feet. mountains. Captain Gerard saw pasture arid low bushes up to 17. Blanc.000 feet above the sea. and 1279 feet above the snow-line in the Birch-trees province of Quito under the equator.94 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the valleys are verdant and inhabited. and corn as high as even 18. with tall stems grow at the elevation of 14. Gerard found cultivation 10.000 feet above the sea. there must be a source of heat below these surface. which is 2784 feet higher than the top of Mont . and the vine and other these high plains. very echo of the traveller's footsteps startles him in the awful solitude and silence that reigns in these august dwellings of everlasting snow. fruits thrive in the valleys of The temperature of the earth : probably has some influence on the vegetation as many hot springs exist in the Himalaya at great heights. On the southern slopes of the first range Mr. which in some places comes near the and possibly may be connected with the volcanic fires in the central chains of the table-land. Nature has in mercy mitigated the intense rigour of the cold in these high lands in a degree unexThe climate ampled in other mountainous regions.

line of perpetual declivities of the snow on the two Himalaya. which. tion of the snow-line on the northern side is the joint result of the serenity of the sky. 95 Hot as it is springs abound in the valley of Jumnotra . the less frequent formation of snow in very cold dry air. re- The greater elevaquire to be better investigated. it may be the cause of pine-trees thriving at great elevations in that valley.981 feet on the southern slopes of the Himalaya. or rather on the peaks which rise above the table-land. the line of perpetual congelation is at an elevation of only 12.620 feet .CHAP. TEMPERATURE OF THE HIMALAYA. Various secondary chains of great length detach themselves from the eastern extremity of the Hima- . and the relative elevation of the but the mean height of the table-land of Tibet. have much greater effect on the temperature than the warmer but more distant plains on the south. IV. There are fewer glaciers in the Asiatic mountains than might have been expected from the great mass of snow . on the southern face of the Himalaya. There is a very large one at the source of the Indus. being so near. the limit is 16. and well known that many plants thrive in very cold air if their roots are well protected. a species of cypress that grows to gigantic even in the snow. Gerard. According to Captain and Mr. and of the splendid forests of size the deodar. and the radiation of heat from the neighbouring plains. and another at the source of the Ganges. while on the northern side. they are chiefly on the Thibetian side of the Himalaya and on the Kuenlun.

or rather the vast knot of mountains. clothe their declivities and in the low grounds the fruits of India and China grow in perfection. in the Chinese province of Yun-nan.06 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Another range. . and precious stones. the most southerly point of the Asiatic continent. spices. in a soil which yields three crops of grain in the year. and also in the islands of Banca and Biliton. Upper Assam they system of Asiatic mounin extending in a southerly but diverging direction. called the Laos-Siamese chain. dyes of brilliant tints. medicinal . almost on the surface. forms the eastern boundary of the kingdom of Siam. These slightly diverging gold. and the Annamatic chain. unknown. separates the empire of Annam from Tonquin and mountains yield and in great in Cochin China. Magnificent forests reach their summit . as rubies tin of the lines of best quality plenty. and odoriferous plants. at the southern extremity of the Malay peninsula. and. But run cross to the equatorial tains. CHAP. they spread like the spokes of a fan through the countries east of the Ganges and the Indo-Chinese peninsula. their origin. laya. The Birmano-Siamese chain is the most extensive. Mountains low latitudes have nothing of the severe character of those in less favoured climes. is is a terra incognita . IV. near the sources of the Brahmapootra. silver. reaching to Cape Romania. which therefore. where it ends. from the same origin. leaving large and fertile kingdoms between them. it may be traced through the island of Sumatra parallel to the coast. and sapphires.

and by the Dala'i mountains. GEOLOGY OF THE HIMALAYA. dividing the high lands of Tartary and China from the wastes of Asiatic Siberia. and through an extensive part of the Asiatic continent. with large granitic veins. and probably forms the foundation of the chain. are unconnected with the they are separated from it by 400 miles of a low marshy country.000 feet above the level of the sea is of Silurian strata granite is most fre. prevailing also These sedimentary acclivities of the on the Alps and Apennines. left 64th meridian and the which runs between the bank of the Irtish. and extends in a serpentine line to the Pacific. The Altai mountains. were at least not very different.000 and 18. formations. I. H . and beds of quartz of huge magnitude. it ends at Eastern Cape. The Altai chain rises on the right bank of that river. There can be no doubt that very great geological changes have taken place at a comparatively recent period in the Himalaya. if not simultaneous.CHAP. show that the epochs of eleva- tion in parts of the earth widely remote from one another. IV. south of the Gulf of Okhotzk. at the north-west angle of the table-land. the most VOL. and thence stretching to Behring's Straits. especially gneiss. part of the steppe of the Kirghiz. quent at the base. 97 The crest of the Himalaya is of stratified crystal- line rocks. Under various names. Strata of comparatively modern date occur at great elevations. which form the northern margin of the table-land. The zone between 15. its branches skirt the north-west side of the Gulf of Okhotzk. a low range Ural chain : never above 2000 feet high.

can only be regarded as a succession of terraces of a swelling outline. as in the mits. merous large lakes on these terraces and in the mountain systems of Europe. towards the 105th meridian of this chain varies from 400 to 1000 miles.98 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. East of the 86th meridian this region of low mountains splits into three branches. enclosing longitudinal valleys for 450 miles. The Altai'. no proportion to its length and breadth. the only part of the chain properly so called. is 9900 feet verdant meadows. but their flanks are clothed with forests. CHAP. which rarely attain the line of perpetual con- gelation permanent on the above the sea. IV. : snow. which are the northern and central branches. to be the culminating point of this part of the chain. but it is contracted to about Its height bears 150 by a projection of the desert of the Great Gobi. however. eastern extremity of the old continent. supposed Korgon table-land. and ending in the proThere are numontories of the Siberian plains. The Sayansk and Zongnou mountains. descending by steps from the table-land. or small table-lands not more than 6000 feet high. These table-lands bear a strong resemblance to those in the Scandinavian mountains in baldness and sterility. the whole The breadth length of the chain being 4500 miles. form a mountain-knot nearly as large as England. which projects like a huge pro- . The this part of the chain is monotonous form of general from the prevalence of straight lines and smooth rounded outlines long ridges with flattened sumvalleys. and pastoral valleys.

glaciers. mountains south of the lake are but the face table-land finds himself at a traveller ascending them . 1000 miles broad. The and principal part of the to Baikal group is 500 miles long. rocks and partly pillars granitic. l 99 montory on the Siberian plains west of Lake Baikal. The Daouria mountains. that The of granite rise from its bed. 1 Johnston's Physical Atlas.E. Baikal chain and farther east. and stretches south of the Gulf of Okhotzk to the coast of the Pacific opposite to the island of Saghalian . to the E.CHAP. so embedded in a knot of It flanks mountains. which is the general direction of the high lands in the most easterly regions of Asia. and then. at the sources of the Aldan. be largest Lake Baikal on the north. from 10 said to 60 wide. the of Alpine lakes. once in the desert of Gobi. while another part. and extend from the W.. partly volcanic. lies south of Lake Oubsa. ends in the peninsula of Kamtchatka. a Altai. IV. bending to the north-east. fills the space between the Gulf of Okhotzk and the river Lena. which is the Ulangomula. W. and is celebrated for the richness of its mines. follow the volcanic portion of the table-land on the north. n 2 . The third branch. which borders the east.S.N. the Altai range takes the name of the Yablonnoi Khrebet. Between the western end of Lake Baikal and the Yablonnoi Khrebet the mountainchains are parallel. without high and snow-capped. THE ALTAI CHAIN. which stretches in unbroken sadness to the great wall of of the China.

it may be concluded that the southern branches in the Chinese empire Thus Southern Siberia and Chinese form an auriferous district. have furnished a vast quantity of gold. The Siberian mountains far surpass the Andes The eastern in the richness of their gold mines. have continued to burn for more than a century. adjacent to the greenstones. are whole mountains of porphyry. coal is also found . and as the same formation prevails throughout the greater part of the Altai and Aldan chains almost to Kamtchatka. : A great ing to Russia abound in a great variety of precious and rare metals and minerals silver. IV. part of the Altai chain is unknown to Europeans the innumerable branches that penetrate the Chinese empire are completely so those belong. The mines of the Ural and Altai are situated principally in metamorphic rocks. syenites. which extends even to our are equally so. but a region as large as France has lately been discovered in Siberia covered with the richest gold alluvium. and in a branch of the Altai' between the rivers Obi and Yenissei there are mines of coal which. flank of the Ural chain. CHAP. lying above rocks abounding in that precious metal. . copper. as many of the northern offsets of the Altai are particularly rich.100 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and In the Yablonnoi range and other parts there iron. and some of the northern spurs of the Altai. there is every reason to believe that the whole of that vast region o is auriferous : besides. having been set on fire by lightning. and serpentines that have caused their change . probably greater Tartary in area than all Europe. with red and green jasper .

where the formations containing gold are unexplored. a circumstance that must have rendered the Siberian climate more severe. SIBERIAN MOUNTAINS. ancient or modern. de Verneuil. and that part between the town of Yakoutzk and the mouth of the Lena appears to have been raised at a later period than the part of Siberia stretching westward to the Sayansk mountains moreover. M. The physical characters and the fossil remains of mountain system have little relation with the geological formations of Europe and America. it appears also that the low land of Siberia has been extended since the existing species of shell-fish inhabited the northern seas still .CHAP. M. IV. but they abound to the east of that river. and Couut Keyserling. even to Kamtchatka. 8 On the whole. and porphyries : consequently these igneous rocks have not here formed part of the original crust of the globe. Eastern Siberia seems even to form an insuthis extensive by itself. There are no volcanic rocks properly speaking. with that of the Ural mountains. syenite. Rocks of the Palaeozoic series occupy the greater part of the Altai. which is full of them. the elevation of the western part of the Altai' was probably contemporaneous lated district . west of the Yenissei. 101 dominions in Hindostan. l The sedimentary deposits in this extensive moun- tain-range are more ancient than the granite. the chains in the direction of parallels of latitude in the 1 Sir Roderick I. * From the observations of Sir Roderick Murchison. Murchison. . and probably there are none more modern. parts of Europe and materially affected that of the northern and Asia. Middendorf.

nearly in the centre of the table-land. Moorcroft. extending from in N. but to between 11. the most southerly of the two diagonal mountainchains that cross the table-land.W. in Great Tibet. and 12. being. than those in the meridians Old Continent are much more numerous and extensive and as they lie chiefly . which pursues a more direct line across Chains more or less connected with the table-land. a branch of that chain. CHAP. these form an elevated mountain plain round Lake Koko-Nor. The most southerly of the two branches known as the Ice Mountains. in latitude 35 30'. in fact. and then bends north towards the Kuen-lun. separated by long valleys. The (able-land of Tibet is the sea towards the north. The country of Tibet lying between the Himalaya and the Kuen- lun consists of rocky mountainous ridges. and Indus. maintains a curved course parallel to the Himalaya.000 The Kuen-lun. IV. in the which surround the lake Tengri-Nor. begins at the Hin- doo Coosh.000 feet above the sea.. to S. which is . sacred lake Manasa.E. According to Mr. and extends eastward in two branches.000 it only 4000 feet above rises in Little Tibet feet. which flow the upper courses of the Brahmapootra. from whence those immense mountain-ranges diverge which render the south-western provinces of China the most elevated region on earth. towards the equator. and again unite K'han of eastern Tibet. and the surrounding country. is 17. or Kara-Korum of the natives. the internal forces that raised them were probably modified by the rotation of the earth. the Sutlej.102 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

many lakes in the table-land : some in tain borax There are Ladak confound only a salt very useful in the arts. In this elevated region wheat and barley grow. short-lived verdure vanishes in October scanty. In southern Tibet the verdure . and cattle. and in one of the Lipari islands. here. whirling the snow through the air. and the stars shine with the distinctness and brilliancy of is suns. 103 1240 feet higher than Mont Blanc. iY. confined to the bleak mountains and high plains are sternly gloomy a scene of barrenness not to be conceived. in eastern Tibet. is powerful at mid-day. called surrounded by vineyards. and Chinese the " Realm of Pleasure.CHAP. till her limb touches the horizon. sheep. grazed by thousands of the shawl-wool goats. atmosphere. . the air of the purest transparency. TABLE-LAND OF TIBET. Solitude reigns in these dreary wastes." . at Monte Cerboliti in Tuscany. which extend in endless monotony. howling in the bare mountains. by the There are some trees in this country but the ground in cultivation bears a small proportion to the grassy steppes. the residence is of the is Grand Lama. favoured spots where there seen of is not a tree. . no warning radiance announces her approach. The it. the country then looks as if fire had passed over and cutting dry winds blow with irresistible fury. nor even a shrub to be more than a few inches high. and the azure of the sky so deep that it seems black as in the darkest In summer the sun is The rising moon does not enlighten the night. and many of the fruits of Southern Europe ripen. The city of H'Lassa.

and contain several large cities siderable of these. in the centre of which lies the small table-land of Pamer.104 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Yarkand. which lie less elevated beyond the two diagonal chains. and Russia. 15. which is intensely cold in winter. This range runs along the 42nd parallel of north latitude. and other productions are ex- the The Tartar range of the Thian-Shan is very high " Bogda Oola. and freezing to death the unfortunate traveller benighted in their defiles. originates in a glacier a peak of the Beloot Tagh near the plain of Pamer . " Roof of the by the natives the remarkable elevation was first described traveller Marco Polo. and it has two active volcanoes. are and more fertile than Tibet yet it is so . one on each side. and in summer is alive with flocks of sheep and goats. Gold. or Holy Mountain.600 feet high. forming at its western extremity a moun- tain-knot with the Beloot Tagh. cold in winter that the river Yarkiang is frozen for three months. The Oxus of the Pooshtee Khur. the lake Sir-i-Kol is here the source of the river of Yarkand and the ." near Lake . Snow lies deep on the Thian-Shan range in winter. rubies. Yarkand and Khotan. Kokan same plain. called World. ported. its highest point. Lob." Its by the celebrated Venetian six centuries ago. CHAP. silk. the most con- emporium of commerce between Tibet. yet little falls on the also rises in the . China. is the . is always covered with snow. provinces of Chinese Tartary. They are watered by five rivers. IV. Turkistan.

or the which is also mixed with salt. no rain falls. than that its is hardly known. intersected by many lakes and offsets from the Altai. no month from frost and snow." valley aptly named Shamo. they are bitterly cold is and. or Mongolia. further grassy steppes. The remarkable feature of the table-land desert of the Great Gobi. for a very short time. golia are intensely cold in winter. the " Dry Sea. is the which occupies an area of 300. because the hills to the north are too low to screen them from the polar free blast. the summer sun is scorching. and when thick fog occurs it is only the All the plains of Monprecursor of fierce winds. 105 plains on account of the dryness of the air. West from it lies the Han-Hai. as in shifting sand blown into high ridges. are the pasture- grounds of the wandering Kirghiz. IV. but by a depressed " Sea of Sand. and the drops are so minute as scarcely to wet the ground. interrupted only by a few spots of pasture and low bushes. yet it is not deep enough . is 4220 feet is intersected from west to east all deserts. deserts. Zungary.CHAP. the country between the Thian-Shan and the Altai. and widely separated from one another are low hills destitute of wood and water . its general elevation it above the sea. DESERT OF THE GREAT GOBI. yet the streams from them suffice for irrigation." a barren plain of Here. are only two or three showers annually on There these mountains. being higher than the Siberian in the year . Wide tracts are flat and covered with small stones or sand.000 square miles in its eastern extremity.

CHAP. serts like that prevent cattle from finding pasture. much in- . In the extensive plains on each side of it several in- dependent mountain systems rise. IV. though ferior to it in extent and height.106 to PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Sandy deof the Great Gobi occupy much of the country south of the Chinese branches of the Altai. Such is the stupendous zone of high land that girds the old continent throughout its whole length.

Ural mountains. The southern portion of the chain consists of ridges following the general direction of the range. after running along its western coast 1000 its form to miles in a north easterly direction. There are perpendicularly into the sea in the west. The range of primary mountains which has given the Scandinavian peninsula begins at Cape Lindesnaes. At the distance of 360 miles from Cape Lindesnaes the mountains form a single elevated .CHAP. The highest elevation of this chain is not more than 8412 feet. line of the this above miles of 3696 square peninsula perpetual snow. It has been compared to a great wave or billow. which. the arbitrary limit between Europe and Asia. in every respect inferior to those described they are the Scandinavian system and the . 150 miles broad. ends at Cape Nord Kyn. on the Polar Ocean. the extremity of Europe. V. That of Secondary Mountain Systems of the Great Continent Great Britain and Ireland The Ural MounScandinavia tains The Great Northern Plain. the most southerly point of Norway. and. SCANDINAVIAN MOUNTAINS. 107 CHAPTER V. THE great northern plain is broken by two masses of high land. after having formed a crest. rising gradually from the falls east.

or fiords. It slopes towards the east. in the schistose rocks of Spitzbergen. and the whole country abounds in the most picturesque scenery. The series iron-bound coast of of rocky islands. surface besides is barren. are either partly or entirely filled by arms of the sea . CHAP. mass. but from the correspondence in geological structure it must be continued under the sea to where it reappears. in the former case the shores are fertile and inhabited. according to M. and plunges at once in high precipices into a deep sea on the west. V. capes. Norway is a continued precipitous cliffs. marshy. terminated by a table -land which maintains an altitude of 4500 feet for 100 miles. and of a more . The peaks . Boue.108 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the greatest mass of perpetual snow and glaciers on the continent of Europe. they are even more ex- tensive in Greenland and Iceland. 25 miles broad. and bristled with an area of 600 square leagues is occupied by the Snae Braen. a huge barren rock perpetually lashed by the surge of the Polar Ocean. promontories. from whence a single chain. where it terminates its visible career in North Cape. and rent into chasms which penetrate These chasms. Offsets from these mountains cover Finland and the low rocky table-land of Lapland : the valleys and countries A along the eastern side of the chain abound in forests and Alpine lakes. miles into the heart of the mountains. Fiords are not peculiar to the coast of Norway . maintains an uninterrupted line to the island of Megaree. prominent cluster of mountains follows.

extending from the Moray Firth completely across the island to south of the island of Mull. where the currun with prodigious violence. general direction of the Scottish mountains.CHAP. The covered with heath. 109 stern character. SCOTTISH MOUNTAINS. bounded by precipitous cliffs. The east coast of Scotland is generally bleak. V. form part of the mountain system of Scotland the Orkney islands have evidently been separated from the mainland by the Pentland Firth. Ireland. they must have been elevated by forces acting in parallel lines. due west from Norway. which dip into the ocean. once in a table-land 2000 feet high. The Grampian fill with their and some low ranges. from north-east to south- west. overhung by snow-clad rocks and As the Scandinavian mountains. peat-mosses. Britain. those of Feroe. and therefore regarded as belonging to the same system. glaciers. and pasture. only 4374 feet above the sea. and follow the same general directions. . the greater part of Scotland north of the Clyde and Ben Nevis. is the highest hill in the British islands. mountains. The rocky islands of Zetland and those of Orkney . Forth. and the north-eastern parts of Ice- land have a similar character. which ends abruptly in the rents sea. may be rise at The Feroe islands. The northwestern part of Scotland is a table-land from 1000 to 2000 feet high. is like those of Scandinavia. divided by a long line of lakes in the same direction. Lakes of the most picturesque beauty abound the Scottish offsets among hills.

V. since they follow "the direction of the mountain system in two parallel lines of rugged and imposing aspect. so peculiarly characteristic of the European system. in many parts it is extremely fertile. Scotland becomes higher in the west of England and North "Wales. CHAP. bears a strong resemblance to that of Norway. are the great ornaments of the high lands of Britain. freshwater lakes mountain valleys. Various parts of the British islands were dry land while most of the continent of Europe was yet below The high land of Lammermuir the ancient ocean. the coast of the Atlantic. and the Grampian hills in Cumberland in England. but it is rich in arable land and pasture. and those of raised before the . and the English lake scenery is of the most gentle beauty. and possesses the most picturesque lake scenery in the : indeed. and opposes to the Atlantic storms an ironbound coast of the wildest aspect . where the hills are wild. but the valleys are cultivated like gardens. never exceeding the height of 3200 The undulating country on the borders of feet. penetrated by the sea. which is covered with islands. were Scotland.110 though PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. picturesque . either in the quality of the soil or the excellence of To the west the country is wildly the husbandry. Evergreen Ireland is mostly a mountainous country. There cannot be a doubt that the Hebrides formed part of the mainland at some remote geological period. and be cited as a model of good cultivation and the midland and southern counties are not inferior may .

Volcanic fires had been very active in early times. and nowhere is the columnar structure more beau- than in Fingal's Cave and the Storr of Skye.CHAP. the boundary between Europe and Asia. be traced from between the Lake of Aral and the Caspian Sea to the northern extremity of Nova Zeiulia. may The marshes. In general all the highest parts of the British mountains are of granite and stratified crystalline rocks. The Alps had begun primary in fossiliferous strata are of immense thickness Cumberland and in the north of Wales. about the 51st degree of north latitude. but as a chain it really begins on the right bank of the Ural river. and the feet thick. and is altogether unconnected with and far separated from the Altai mountains by central ridge salt lakes. at the steppes of the Kirghiz. and The examples of every formation. stretches old red sandstone. which end on the magnificent columns of the Giant's Causeway. is the only interruption to the level of the great northern plain. with the exception of the muschelkalk. coal strata are developed on a great scale in the south of Scotland and the north of England . and deserts. GEOLOGY OF BRITISH MOUNTAIN'S. are to be found in these islands. many hundred from sea to sea along the flanks of the Grampians. a distance of more than 1700 miles. V. and runs due north in a long narrow ridge to the . The Ural chain. in the Hebrides and in the north of Ireland a base of 800 square miles of mica-slate is tifully exhibited : covered coast in with the volcanic rocks. Ill to appear above the waves.

though it may be said to terminate in dreary rocks on the west side of Nova Zemlia. about 100 miles broad. with few exceptions. CHAP. altogether uninhabitable and unexplored. district the To the north of the mining is narrow mural mass covered with im- penetrable forests and deep morasses. feet : of which does not exceed 3498 in this part dia- monds are found. magnetic iron. it is wooded to The imchiefly by the Pinus cembra. it is difficult to know where the begins Russia by Ekaterinburg is so low that it hardly seems to be a mountain -pass. lie on the Siplatina. and copper berian side. Karska'ia Gulf. mense mineral riches of these mountains gold. in the Polar Ocean. To the arduous and enterprising researches of Sir Roderick Murchison we are indebted for almost all : we know of these mountains he found them on the . transverse gorges. nor any of the characteristics of a high chain .112 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and mostly between the 54th and 60th the top. pastoral. The gentle descent and sluggishness of the streams produce extensive plain and the road over the chain from marshes along the Siberian base of the range. V. and. the highest of longitudinal ridges. degrees of north colonized. The Ural range is about the height of the mountains in the Black Forest or the Vosges . Throughout the Ural mountains there are neither precipices. civilized regions latitude : and one of the is the only part that is most industrious and south the chain consisting To the of the Russian empire. the descent on both sides is so gentle that in many places .

CHAP. ami in the steppes of southern Russia and Siberia the extent of level ground is The mean absolute height of the flat immense. hills stretches from the Thames or the British and the eastern bank of the Seine to Behring's Straits. many places a dead level extends hundreds of The country between the Carpathian and Ural mountains rise is a flat. The great zone of high land which extends along the old continent. Moscow. including more than 190^ of longitude.500. and towards lower. on one not for its side. still With the I . Devonian. V. on which there is scarcely a 1500 miles. till it absolutely in dips below its level. highest point of the European plain. The greater part of it with a few elevations and low hills. chloritic rocks. from whence the land slopes imperceptibly to the sea both on the north and south. the provinces of France is 480 feet. I. from the Atlantic to the shores of Ocean divides the low lands into two That to the north. which third is is a more than all perfectly level. it Holland. and miles.000 square geographical miles. THE URAL CHAIN. 113 western side to be composed of Silurian. only very unequal parts. were dvkes. in Europe. and occupying an area of at least 4. more or less altered and crystallized . on the eastern declivity the mines are in origin metamorphic strata. and carboniferous rocks. mixed with rocks of igneous and the central axis is of quartzose and . broken by the Ural range and the Valdai tablethe Pacific land of still less elevation. is also 480 feet high. Astrakan the plain sinks VOL. would be overflowed.

The greatest amount of cultivated land lies to the north of the watershed which stretches from the Carpathians to the centre of the Ural chain. and which is the extreme southern ridge of the Ural chain. of no great elevation. Round Polkova and Moscow there finest vegetable mould. The European part of the plain is highly cultivated and very productive in the more civilized countries in its western and middle regions and along the Baltic. the lowest point. all considerably below the level of the ocean . France and the Spanish peninsula together. situated between the Caspian and Aral. large portion of the great plain is pasture-land. has a depression of rather more than 83 feet. especially in Poland and Russia. and deciduous trees. exception of the plateau of Ust-Urt. and is an extent of the equal in size to is mostly in a state of nature. yet there are large heaths which extend from the ex- tremity of Jutland through Lunebourg and WestThe land is of excellent quality phalia to Belgium. which forms part of the High Steppe. to the south of it.000 square leagues. the whole of that extensive country north and east of the Caspian Sea and around the Lake of Aral forms a vast cavity of 18. and there are also many swamps. quantity of waste land in Europe is very great. morass as long as England extends from the 52nd parallel of lati- The A . and the surface of the Caspian Sea itself. V. CHAP. fir. where there are A millions of acres of pine. and wide tracts are covered with natural forests.114 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

and extend along the shores of the Black Sea. passing between . a which runs through its There are swamps at the mouths of many of the sluggish rivers in Central Europe. V. and then they become a trackless field of spotless Fearful storms rage. STEPPES OF EASTERN EUROPE. and the dry snow is driven by the gale with a violence which neither man nor animal can resist. Towards the eastern extremity of Europe the great plain assumes the peculiar character of desert called a steppe. They commence at the river Dnieper. following the course of the river Prepit. 115 branch of the Dnieper. bounded only by the horizon. Hundreds of leagues may be traversed east from the Dnieper without variation of scene. which vanishes on approach. the sun shines cold and bright above the earthly tur- i2 . Sometimes there is the appearance of a lake. signifying a level waste destitute of trees : hence the steppes may vary according to the nature of the soil. the phantom of atmospheric refraction. a word supposed to be of Tartar origin. day after day the same unbroken monotony fatigues the eye. centre. They include all the country north and east of the Caspian Lake and Independent Tartary and. Horses and cattle beyond number give some animation to the scene. and rnossy quagmires occur frequently in the more northerly parts. tude. so long as the steppes are green . They cover 1970 miles in Denmark. the Ural and Altai' mountains. while the sky is clear and snow. dead level of thin A but luxuriant pasture. but winter comes in October. they may be said to occupy all the low lands of Siberia.CHAP.

and bids his driving delightless. and during the day he is obscured by a thick mist from the evaporation. V. for " Winter oft at once resumes the breeze. table nature. Much of this country is covered by an excellent but thin soil. sleets Chills the pale morn. and cattle perish in Death triumphs over animal and vegethousands. In June the steppes are parched. In some seasons the drought is excessive : the air is filled with dust in impalpable powder. the springs become dry.116 moil. no shower falls. a hideous wreck. nor does a drop of dew refresh the thirsty and rent The sun rises and sets like a globe of fire. A very wide range Caspian Seas tish islands is The country from the Caucasus. fit for corn. the earth is again verdant. along the shores of the Black and a dead flat. Yet when off in torrents gentler gales succeed. which can resist the is extreme vicissitudes of climate. CHAP. and no plants thrive but those wherever . which grows luxuriantly it has been tried but a stiff cold clay at a small distance below the surface kills every herb that has deep roots. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and the waters run through the channels which they cut in the soft ground. . earth. twice the size of the Bridestitute of fresh a desert water. is The contest between spring and winter long and severe. hopelessly barren. and desolation tracks the scene to the utmost verge of the horizon." Deform the day. The scorching summer's sun is as severe in its consequences in these wild regions as the winter's cold.

Turkistan is a sandy desert. in the country of the Samoides . like headlands and promontories in the ocean. but it is mostly an ocean of shifting sand.000. Siberia face of is either a dead level or undulating sur- more than 7. M. barrenness gives place to verdure between the river Ural and the terraces and mountains of Central Asia. whose terraces offsets and end in those plains. and the almost inapproachable coast far to the east is unexplored.CHAP. with patches of verdure few and far between. To the north. the atmosphere and the dew are saline. STEPPES OF EASTERN EUROPE. V. Some low hills occur in the country between the Caspian and the Lake of Aral. are the only signs of vegetable life. often driven by appalling whirlwinds. Middendorf. where the steppes of the Kirghiz afford pasture to thousands of camels and cattle belonging to these wandering hordes. and as far on each side of them as canals convey the fertilising waters. The mineral riches of the mountains have brought together a population who inhabit towns of considerable importance along the . cover the surface like hoar- Even and many kan furnish great quantities of common nitre. but about Astrakan there is soil and cultivation.000 of square miles between the North Pacific and the Ural mountains. the Polar Sea and the Altai range. 117 Saline efflorescences frost. met with a chain of most desolate mountains on the shores of the Polar Ocean. salt lakes in the neighbourhood of Astrasalt and Saline plants. indeed. except on the banks of the Oxus and the Jaxartes.

CHAP. base of the Ural and Altai chains. them. not thawed again ice-bound by the middle of September. gives an " Here endless account of these deserts. but even this valuable soil is studded with small lakes of salt and fresh water. nature lies shrouded in all but perpetual winter. . North of the 62nd parallel of latitude corn does not ripen on account of the biting blasts from the Icy Ocean. appalling snows and ice-covered rocks bound the horizon.118 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is The so intense there that the spongy soil is perpetually frozen to the depth of some hundred feet cold below the surface . and lakes of salt and fresh water. and the surface is itself.which sweep supreme over these unpro- In a higher latitude. but before the end of June. even the interminable forests of gloomy fir are seen no more all is a wide-spreading desolation of salt steppes. between the river Tobal and the upper course of the Obi. skirts the base of the Ural mountains. and deep snow covers the ground nine or ten months in the year. a chain of which. : less swamps. rich black There are many hundred square miles of mould covered with trees and grass. who travelled during the most intense cold from the mouth of the river Kolyma to Behring's Strait. on the undulations of the mountains and on the plains. Happily gales of wind are not frequent during winter. boundtected wastes. where the ground and there are forests yields good crops and pasture . when they do occur no living thing ventures to face The Russian Admiral Wrangel. 300 miles long. within the limit where corn would grow . V. uninhabited.

and the raven alone. The extraordinary brilliancy of the and the gleaming snowlight.CHAP. which make a noise in the air like the sound of torn satin or thick the forest. the terrors of cold and hunger which contains only the bones of another world. and passed round the group of the New Siberian Islands. rent with a loud noise. does not leave them to utter darkness. rise. the sun. 119 is a constant conflict with privation and with the grave of nature. dogs outside the huts of the Siberians burrow in the snow. V. the dark bird of winter. . marking the track of his The trunks of the thickest trees are solitary flight. and underneath immediately become ice. and this evaporation is instantly changed into millions of needles of ice. reached 76$ degrees of north latitude. produce a 1 In 1820 Admiral (then Lieutenant) Wrangel travelled from the mouth of the Kolyma to Behring's Straits on sledges drawn by dogs. however." In many parts of Siberia. life SIBERIAN DESERT. sailed the North Pole. stars. the yawning fissures. The people. The atmosphere becomes The dense. interrupts the general silence of winter. The still reindeer take to crowd together for heat. and even the snow smokes. though long absent from these dismal regions. at intervals of six or eight l hours. leaving behind him a long line of thin vapour. and their howling. ground in the valleys is rent into from which the waters that are giving off a cloud of vapour. or air with slow silk. masses of rock are torn from their sites. and made a bold but vain attempt to reach Lieutenant Anjou. at the same time. cleaves the icy and heavy \ving. and the glistening stars are dimmed. from the mouth of the Jana river.

bear their seed. and carboniferous strata are widely deve- more to the south they are followed in order ascending by immense tracts of the higher series of secondary rocks. lat. and. ground. before empire. when Winter resumes his the Siberian wilderness. Devonian. abounding in the huge loped. and wheat and rye proIn winter the cold so intense that mercury is constantly frozen two months. of fur-bearing animals in the less of the Siberian deserts has tempted rigorous parts the Russians to colonize and build towns on these frozen plains. depth of more than 400 feet.. larch . covers the A still plains in shorter-lived vegetation scantily the far north. 1' The abundance 30" N. in 62 probably the coldest town on the The ground is perpetually frozen to the earth. In the northern parts of Europe the Silurian. when Fahrenheit's thermometer is frequently 77 in the shade and as there is in some seasons no frost for four months. and occasionally even three. on the shores of the Icy Ocean. The scorching heat of the summer's sun produces a change like magic on the southern provinces of The snow is scarcely gone the ground is covered with verdure. and flowers of various hues blossom. and . V. of which three feet only are thawed in summer. which is augmented by the splendid coruscations of the aurora borealis. CHAP. forests cover the duce from is fifteen to forty fold. even reindeer-moss grows scantily. is Yakutsk. on the river Lena.120 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and die in a few months. kind of twilight.

Of these the most important are the London. which consists of a red deposit of sand and marl. and Moscow basins. which are crowded with the remains of animals that no longer exist. belonging to the Permian system. Paris. Vienna. Very large and inte- resting tertiary basins fill the ancient hollows in many parts of the plain. extending from the Polar Ocean to the southern steppes. GEOLOGY OF NORTHERN EUROPE. Sir Roderick Murchison has determined the boundary of a region twice as large as France. V. with many others in the north of Germany and Russia and alluvial soil . This and the immense tract of black loam already mentioned are among the principal features of Eastern Europe. 121 monsters of a former world. and from beyond the Volga to the flanks of the Ural chain.CHAP. In the east covers the greater part of the plain. . full of copper in grains.

VI. pouring out its . and soil bare sand in the can produce.122 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. On the contrary. are small when compared with the immense expanse of the Arabian and African deserts. Secondary Table-Lands and Mountains. CHAPTER The Southern Low Lands of VI. moisture. or covered by wastes of most advanced state of cultivation. or in the wildest garb of nature. Situate in lower latitudes. The barren parts of the low lands lying between the eastern shores of China and the Indus bear a small proportion to the riches of a soil vivified by tropical warmth and watered by the periodical inundations of the mighty rivers that burst from the icy caverns of Tibet and the Himalaya. THE low lands to the south of the great mountain girdle of the old continent are much broken by its offsets. but they are strikingly contrasted in their different parts either rich in all the exuberance that heat. the favoured regions in that part of the low lands lying between the Persian Gulf. these plains are of a more tropical character than those to the north . blessing of a mountain-zone. and still more by the deep indentation of bays and large seas. the Euphrates. and sheltered by mountains from the cutting Siberian winds. CHAP. and the Atlas mountains. with their the Great Continent. by separate groups of mountains. scorched The and calcined by an equatorial sun.

tea-plant grows on a low range of hills between the it. places. an offset from the Pe-ling chain. greater than in the corresponding European and the heat in summer is proportionally excessive. grow in the plains. the most productive country on the face of the earth. The whole cultivated the ground. CHINESE PLAIN. is no less fertile. and perfectly irrigated by canals. lies immediately south of the Yablonnoi branch of the Altai chain. in that peninsula there are cultivated plains at the base of central mountain-range.000 square miles. . with a current in the greater part 700 of plain is in rice and garden with the spade. The Tartar country of Mandshur. is nowhere more strikingly exhibited contrast formed by these two regions of the globe. 123 everlasting treasures of moisture. even of It is partly intersected by mounthe Great Gobi. The cold in winter is much latitudes. This plain. tains. watered by the Amour. The Great Canal traverses the eastern part of the plain for miles. Most part of the 30th and 32nd parallels of north latitude. in its northern parts. Towards Corea the country its is is more fertile . and even wheat in sheltered . but little known to Europeans. the life-blood of the than in the soil. occupies its eastern part. and.CHAP. seven times the size of Lombardy. oats and covered by dense forests nevertheless. of wliich 500 are in a straight line of considerable breadth. and consequently partakes of the desert river aspect of Siberia. an alluvial plain of 210. formed by one of the most extensive river China systems in the old world. VI.

and terminate on the south in the Bay of Bengal. is said to be as large as France. and projects 1500 miles into the ocean. than any other country in this continent. The valley of the Ganges is one of the richest on the globe. whose soil they is which have brought down from the table-land of Tibet. and not less fertile. the seat of the ancient Mogul empire. The although in the latter there is fertile soil.124 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. VI. Sirhind and Delhi. the table-land of the Deccan. as before mentioned. the granary of the empire. are partly arid.700 square miles. country is beautiful where the Jumna and other . lying between China and the river Brahmapootra. nese empire. The Birman empire alone. The Indo-Chinese peninsula. still rich in splendid specimens of Indian art. are very extensive. CHAP. and which divide it lon- gitudinally. and the Indian in its Ocean a country embracing range every variety of climate from tropical heat and moisture to the genial temperature of southern Europe. Magnificent rivers intersect the alluvial plains. The plains of Hindostan extend 2000 miles along the southern slope of the Himalaya and Hindoo Coosh. and still continue to deposit in great quantities in the deltas at their mouths. and contains a greater extent of vegetable mould. The plains lying between the offsets descending from the east end of the Himalaya. especially its southern part. and of land under cultivation. has an area of 77. which occupies the valley of the Irrawaddy. between the Brahmapootra and the Indus. except perhaps the ChiIn its upper part.

often hemmed in by rocks and high banks. becomes parched and dusty everywhere. Colebrooke. mated that one-third of the British territory in India is covered with these rank marshy tracts. which in a great measure prevent the periodical overflow of the waters . and sugar. peninsula of Hindostan is occupied by the . VALLEY OF THE GANGES. in the rainy season Ganges and Brahmapootra. till at last there is not a stone to be seen for hundreds of miles down to the Gulf of Bengal. rice. divested of its beauty. and confirmed by Mr. with between June and September. the consequence of which is that the their branches. Wheat and other European grain are produced in the upper part of this magnificent valley. the scene is changed the country. The land gradually improves towards the east. but when harvest is over. cotton. that a third of the East India Company's territory The is jungle. is compensated by the coolness and moisture of the climate. indigo. The opium. however. 125 These rivers are streams unite to form the Ganges. this.CHAP. like a great sea. When the water subsides. It was estimated by Lord Cornwallis. VI. nearly at the foot of the Himalaya. is only 1 100 feet above the level of Calcutta . It has been estiexcept in the extensive jungles. are the staple commoascent of the plain of the Ganges from is the Bay of Bengal so gradual that Saharampore. the plains are verdant with rice and other grain . lay Bengal under water for hundreds of miles in every direction. dities. while in the south every variety of Indian fruit. and the heat is intense. as it becomes more flat.

general equatorial direction of the Asiatic high land is still perceptible in the Vendhya mountains. The peninsula terminates with the table-land of the Mysore. can between 3000 and 4000 feet above the sea is The both being nearly surface of the Dec- ridges of rock. is granite. or by very dangerous paths. and which are numerous. and indeed of all the Deccan. Many are fortified. surrounded by the Nilgherry or Blue Mountains. insulated the plains. the true riches of the 1 Johnston's ' Physical Atlas. which is lower. and totally unconnected with the tableIt has the primary ranges of the Ghauts on the east and west. much triangular-shaped table-land of the Deccan.' . but they never have withstood the determined intrepidity of British soldiers. which rise 2941 feet higher. 7000 feet above the sea. parallel to the 1 Himalaya. and almost inaccessible heights rise abruptly from a combination of plains. CHAP. and were the strongholds of the natives. with all but perpendicular sides. land of Tibet.126 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The base of this plateau. VI. with abundance of primary and secondary fossiliferous strata. which can only be scaled by steps cut in the rock. These solitary especially in its north-eastern parts. and the Vendhya mountains on the north. sometimes called the central chain of India. and in the Saulpoora range to the south. and there are also many syenitic and trap rocks. sloping by successive levels to A trace of the the plains of Hindostan Proper. Though possessing the diamond-mines of Golconda. flat-topped hills.

and has the pearl oyster on The Asiatic low lands are continued westward from the Indian peninsula by the Punjab and the " The Punjab. lower. and rather more than 5000 feet high." most northern part consists of fertile terraces highly cultivated. THE DECCAN its CEYLOX. and valleys at the foot of the Its mountains. It is very productive in the plain within the limits of the periodical inundations of the rivers. an inexhaustible sea-coasts on the source of fertility. nearly equal in extent to Ireland. which it is and primeval coast. and where it is watered by canals . but in many parts well cultivated. On the coast of Coromandel the mountains are bare. in other parts it Lahore occupies the chief part of the is pastoral. or country of great Indian desert. . VI. is almost joined to the southern extremity of the peninsula by sandbanks and small islands. and forests its mountains covered with ture. rich and fertile lofty mountains. between which the water is only six feet deep in spring The Sanscrit name of the " Resplendent " tides. The island of Ceylon. adorned idea of this island. form a continuous wall of very simple struc510 miles long. 127 country consist in the Mysore is 100 feet vegetable mould. the five rivers. which in thick. by numerous streams. frequently interrupted. The two : sides of the peninsula are essentially different that of Malabar on the western side is rocky. . forests in addition to rich its in precious stones.CHAP. lies at the base of the Hindoo Coosh. may convey some in soil. and the wide maritime plains are for the most part parched.

where not a blade of grass freshens the arid sands. and the uncultivated valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris. the great Indian desert.128 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. sea. The desert of Mekrain. and the city of that name on the Indus. South of the Punjab. much of it is delta. which is occupied by ricegrounds . army from The scathed shores of the Arabian Gulf. is an inland alternately a sandy desert and In April the waves of the sea are it by the prevailing winds. leaving only a few grassy eminences. once the rival of Delhi. by Runjeet Sing. south of the desert. or sterile salt marshes. the rest is pasture. . it produces the Indian palm and the aromatic shrubs of Arabia Felix. an equally barren tract. Punjab. CHAP. and becomes more and more arid as it plains of Hindostan and the left lies approaches the river. it is fertile only where it is within reach of water . lies on the high road from Persia to India. however. with some parts that are verdant after the rains. the resort of wild asses. covered with shifting sand. known as the Run of Cutch. driven into high waves by the wind. It consists of a hard clay. and between the fertile bank of the Indus. In the province of Cutch. extends driven over along the Gulf of Oman from the mouths of the Indus to the Persian Gulf: in some places. which is about 400 miles broad. and was made the capital of the kingdom The valley of the Indus throughout partakes of the character of the Punjab . a space of 7000 square miles. VI. It was the line followed by Alexreturning with his ander the Great India.

long interminable ocean and verdure. and piles broken into of arid mountains not more than high.CHAP. K . from of the Euphrates to the Isthmus of Suez. narrow depressions cheer the eye with brushwood More to the north. De- solation once more resumes its domain where the table-land sinks into the Syrian desert. No rivers. whose barren sands are scorched by a fierce sun. and few streams or springs nourish the thirsty land. VI. enclosing cultivated and fine pastoral valleys adorned by groves of the date-palm and aromatic shrubs. 129 separate Asia from Arabia and Africa. THE ARABIAN PENINSULA. streams and fertile valleys. At wide intervals. to N. and is feet cleft 3500 by temporary I. The central part is a table-land of moderate height. divided into two parts by the Tropic of Cancer. most The peninsula of Arabia. the desert regions in the old world. which however is said to have an elevation of 8000 feet in the province it is of Haudramaut.. which is traversed by chains. and throughout the rest of its circumference it descends in terraces or parallel ranges of mountains and hills to a sandy coast from 30 to 100 miles wide. which flat the mouths surrounds the greater part of the peninsula. is about four times the size of France. vince of The hills come close to the beach in the proOman. VOL. with the exception of the Jebel Okkdar. and dreaded even by the wandering Bedouin.W. which is 6000 feet above the sea. wafted in clouds by the gale. an almost To the south of the tropic of drifting sand. mountains and hills cross the peninsula from S.E.

In the intervals there towns and villages. cotton-plantations. Here the ground verdure. pasture. that a plummet was sunk in it by Baron "VVrede to the depth of 360 feet without reaching the bottom. The fertile country is is continued a way along the coast of the Eed but the character of barrenness resumed by de- . and cultivated ground. some feet high. India. and gums. where ranges of mountains. which is pro- above 5000 tected are by projecting rocks. there is a tract of land so loose and so very fine." considerable Strait of Bab-el-man-deb " the Sea. though they are small. VI. The south-eastern coast is scarcely known. There is a tradition in the country that the Sabaean army of King this desert. and Arabia are produced.130 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is CHAP. where the fruits common to Persia. date- groves. where the table-land is 8000 feet above the sea. pro- plants. is Suffi perished in attempting to cross its Arabia Felix. High cliffs line the shores of the Indian odoriferous Ocean and the Gate of Tears. coffee. line the coast. and oases fed still cultivated and covered with is farther south there a line of by subterraneous springs. only part of that country with permanent Here also the streams. the mountains and fertile ground run far inland. as that of Aden. and in many places project into the ocean. ducing grain. and along the edge of the desert of El Aklaj in Haudramaut. On the northern side of these granite ranges. except towards the provinces of Haudramaut and Yemen or Arabia Felix. sometimes forming excellent harbours. which merits name.

The blast of the desert. at length the hills 131 ter- grees. in which the Israelites It is covered with long wandered forty years. Jebel Iloura. is 9000 feet high. is perfectly magnificent. by the Wadee-el-Ain or Valley of the Spring. which are covered with snow in winter. till and intervening of tlie on which Mecca and Medina. like the The journey deserted streets of a Cyclopean town. VI. on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. THE ARABIAN PENINSULA. sweeps over these parched regions. Mount Sinai. the holy cities Mahomedans. between the Gulfs of the Red Sea. basin closed in It is a considerable by rocks. and not more than from 10 to 30 feet wide. surrounded by higher mountains. ranges of high rocks. is filled by the mountain-group of Sinai and Iloreb. and the site of Petra itself is a tremendous confusion of black and brown mountains. the Eliath of Scripture. the precipices. A stream runs through the street K2 . northern extremity lies the desert of El-Teh.CHAP. stand. from Sinai to Akabah. Akabah and Suez on and the peninsula. races. 70 miles long and 30 broad. which so nearly meet as to leave only a strip of sky. rent into deep clefts only a few feet wide. with chasms and defiles in The main street is 2 miles long. The group of At its Sinai abounds in springs and verdure. of most repulsive aspect. Mountains skirt the table-land to the north . enclosed between perpendicular rocks from 100 to 700 feet high. loaded with burning sand. are sterile wastes where- ever springs do not water them. hemmed in by walls of rock sometimes 1000 feet high.

CHAP. cis- of steps. Edom of antiquity. the sacred l writers. theatres. at least they are joined to it by the wooded range of Gawoor. A sandy desert. which must once have been a considerable torrent. These mountains almost be offsets from the Taurus considered may chain . the ancient Crelo-Syria. near the mouth of the Orontes. . which the mountains of Lebanon divide into two narrow plains.132 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and the precipitous rocks are excavated into thousands of caverns once inhabited terns. in which are the ruins of Balbec. enclosing the wide and fertile plain of Beka or Ghor. The Lebanon branch 1 terminates at the sea near From Miss Martineau's spirited and picturesque account of her journey to Egypt and Syria. in a conti- nuous where line it of peaks to the sources of the Jordan. VI. which rises abruptly from the sea in a single peak to the height of 7000 feet. and temples. From thence the chain runs south. the ancient Amanus. crossed by low limestone ridges. impassable except by two defiles. The group of Lebanon begins with Mount Casius. forming altogether one of the most wonderful remains of The whole of Arabia Petrea. into two nearly parallel naked splits branches. at a distance of about twenty miles from the shores of the Mediterranean. flights into conduits. presents a scene of appalling desolation completely fulfilling the denunciation of prophecy. celebrated in history as the Amanic and Syrian Gates. separates the table-land of Arabia from the habitable part of Syria.

Bashan. the barren uniformity of though surrounded by which is relieved on the east by the broken columns and ruined temples of Palmyra (Tadmor). from Scanderoon snow in winter it is permanent on Lebanon only. particularly the plain of Damascus. The tops of all these mountains. of very short duration. runs west of the Jordan through Palestine in a winding line. superb. high and low. which begins at Mount Hermon. The precipices are terrific. a few miles north while the Anti-Libanus. south of the Dead Sea. and the spurs of the mountains are studded with villages and convents there are . When these are burnt up. and lower down offsets vineyards and Many from the Anti-Libanus end in precipices on the coast between the scenery is Tripoli and Beyrout. till its last spurs. In the spring-time it is covered with a thin but vivid verdure. . mixed with fragrant aromatic herbs. however. are covered with . sink into rocky ridges on the desert of Sinai. becomes more barren towards the Holy Land. and Tabor are . forests in the higher grounds.I'HAl'. The Assyrian wilderness. yet ^even here some of the mountains as Carmel. deserts. 133 of the city of Old Tyre the mouth of the river Leontes. The which is brilliantly verdant. is not everywhere absolutely barren. among which valleys and plains of Syria are full of rich vegetable mould. 9000 feet high. tion is 9300 feet. whose absolute elevato Jerusalem. The country. SYRIAN MOUNTAINS. the untheir bounded plains resume wonted dreariness. the springs abundant. gardens. VI.

till. Molyneux's out to be 1388 by the barometer. once floAving with the Land of Promise. is 620 below the Mediterranean at the Sea of Galilee. but almost in a state of nature. Jerusalem stands on a declivity encompassed by severe stony mountains. which has the appearance of pleasure-grounds with groves of wood and aromatic plants. rugged. 1 1 The lowness of the valley By the trigonometrical measurement of Major Anthony Symonds. olives. is One side of the . compared with what it formerly was. . confirmed by French authorities. CHAP. Mussulman rule has blighted this fair region. and many of the valleys are especially the valley of the Jordan. fertile. paper in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. which extends from the Gulf of Akabah on the Red Sea to the bifurcation of Lebanon. the depression of the Dead Sea is. VI. The greater part of Syria is a desert trees. milk and honey Farther south desolation increases . the valleys become the hills more denuded and narrower. their dreary aspect announces the approach of the desert. and the acrid waters of the Dead Sea have a defeet pression of 1300 feet. 1300 feet. as stated in the text. wild and desolate. hollow. luxuriantly wooded.134 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Lake of Tiberias in Galilee savage on the other there are gentle hills and wild romantic vales. south of the Dead Sea. and adopted by Baron Humboldt. The valley of the Jordan affords the most re- markable instance known of the depression of the This land below the general surface of the globe. adorned with palm- and sycamores a scene of calm solitude and pastoral beauty. but MM. 1848. Bertou and Russiger made it See Lieut.

It is absolutely walled in by mountains between the had been observed by the ancients. who gave " Dead Sea and Lebanon. as well as the Natron Libyan desert. it is from ten to shrinking of the strata must have taken place along this coast of the Mediterranean. it 135 the Hollow Syria. where fifteen miles wide. for the valley of the Jordan is not the only instance of a dip of the soil below the sea-level : the small bitter lakes on the Isthmus of Suez are cavities lakes on the of the same kind. west from the delta of the Kile. . VI. VALLEY OF THE JORDAN.CHAP." descriptive name of Ccelo-Syria. or per- A haps in consequence of some of the internal props giving way. from a sudden change of temperature in the earth's crust.

and even reaches to the northern declivity is similar. that. on the Atlantic but from . VII. Abyssinia on the . Table-Land Western Coast and Deserts. it may be said to consist of two parts only. CHAPTER Africa VII. separated by mountain-chains which rise in height as they recede from the coast . with the exception of the mountainous territory of the Atlas. On three sides it shelves down in tiers of narrow parallel terraces to the ocean. and the small tableland of Barca. consequently the greater part of it The high and low lands lies under a tropical sun. Abyssinia Cape of Good Hope and Eastern Coast Low Lands Senegambia THE the continent of Africa is 5000 miles long from Cape of Good Hope to its northern extremity. though its extremities only are known namely. of this portion of the old continent are so distinctly separated by the Mountains of the Moon.000 of square miles. or rather of Komri. and there is reason to believe that the structure of though not very elevated. and Cape Verde. it has an area of only It is divided in two by the equator.000. table-land Southern Africa. all occupies six or seven degrees north of the equator. a high country and a low. CHAP.136 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. An extensive. on the Indian Ocean. the irregularity of its figure 12. and as much between Cape Guardafui.

where the country had still is the same arid character. zoology is no less indebted to the whole continent of Africa for the various animals it produces.CHAP. are only the channels through which torrents. Truter and Mr. many of the tributaries. and year. VII. indeed. Dr. and. Their margins are adorned with mimosas. from the periodical rains. 137 east. comparatively small part." is The " Dry many months in the the name of one of periodical streams. North of the Cape the land rises to 6000 feet above the sea and the Orange River. and still less its surface. or Gareep. in that country no misnomer. Somerthe ville were the first white of Litakoo had seen. Smith crossed the Tropic of Capricorn in a journey from the Cape of Good Hope. few years no one returned. . and the high land of Senegambia on the west both of which project farther to the north than the . with its tributaries. their track. and the sandy plains have furnished treasures to the botanist . indeed. North In 1802 from that there a vast tract unexplored. SOUTH AFRICAN TABLE-LAND. may be more aptly said to drain than to irrigate the arid country through which . Mr. which no white man has crossed north of the Tropic of Capricorn. central part. north from A Cape of Good Hope. a men whom the inhabitants Of an expedition that followed after. they flow . are carried to the Orange River. The borders of the table-land are very little known to Europeans. these are destitute of water River. has been explored by European travellers.

at the distance of 350 miles from the Mozambique Channel. a country full of rivers. of great but unknown length. the Senegal. This is all we know from actual observatill tion of the table-land of South Africa. Tete. nent. VII. must be considerable. for. . and extends from S. Beke's AbysIt is evident. and the Niger. morasses. Ridges of low hills yielding copper. and comparatively narrow. to nions crossed 102 rivers. considerably advanced in who abundance of maize and millet. sinian journey terminated. that there can be no very high mountains covered with perpetual snow on the table-land.W. and extensive salt marshes which supply this part of the continent with salt. Southern Africa would not be destitute of great rivers . however. and of the mountains of Komri on its northern edge. run from S. most of them fordable. running in the same direction. from Loando on the Atlantic to Zambeze on civilization. about the 10th northern meridian. where Dr. if there were. the Mozambique Channel. is The leading feature of this country Lake N'yassi. raise They found various mercantile nations.E. CHAP. the staple commodity of this coun- N. It begins 200 miles north from the town of N.E.. though the greater part of the country is in a state of nature.W.138 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. nevertheless the height of the tableland. to supply the perennial sources of the Nile. to the west of the domiof the Camleaze. two native travelling merchants crossed the contiwhich is 1590 miles wide. The travellers try. on the Zambeze. to flanked on the east by a range of mountains of the same name.

plains. but soon after the rains they are covered with verdure and a splendid flora. koroos. Granite. The maritime plains partake of the same temporary aridity. separate valleys. The descent is rapid. about the 10. fruits. VII. as both these plains and the mountain-ranges are very narrow. which give that character of flatness peculiar to the summits of many of the Cape mountains. through which The longitudinal are tiers. about the 27th meridian. at Cape Town. All are by precipitous deep ravines.000 feet high. forms a conspicuous landmark for mariners. and ends parallel ridges of mountains. of Good Hope the African continent in about 700 miles broad. is it mity. in a the Quotlamba . rises to a considerable height in many places. where Table Mountain. steps. and pasture. or that or them. and is generally surmounted by vast horizontal beds of sandstone.CHAP. and. On the western side the mountains form a high group and end in steep promontories on the coast. The most inland of the 20th meridian it parallel ranges. though a large portion is rich in cereal productions. vineyards. the cleft three narrow last of which is the highest. 3582 feet high. rises truly alpine and continuous chain again. by which the plateau dips to the maritime winter torrents flow to the ocean. The koroos are arid deserts in the dry season. SOUTH AFRICAN TABLE-LAN]'. 139 The edges At the Cape is of the table-land are better known. and abuts on the table-land. which is the base of Southern Africa. though sinks to some groups of hills at its eastern extreeast.

which follow the northerly direction of Natal. CHAP. where. broad. There is also a barren tract at the southern end of the Lupata chain.140 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and covered with primeval forests. At Natal like 80 miles inland. mountains. and its rocky coast. full of tremendous precipices. the coast is grassy. and are continued in the Lupata range of hills. and only separated from time as the Lupata chain. where gold is found in masses and grains on the surface and in the watercourses. bold mountains round the Cape of Good Hope. with clumps of trees. which separate the internal sandy desert from the equally parched sandy . VII. groves of palm-trees adorn the plains. which tempted the Portuguese to make settlements on these un- wholesome coasts. and other streams from the table-land. is parallel to the it by the miles so it 300 Channel. an English park. which yield prodigious quantities of grain. and noble forests cover the to mountains is . The island of Madagascar. The Zambeze. through Zanguebar. are succeeded by ranges of sandstone of small elevation. refresh the plains on the Mozambique Channel and Zanguebar. but from 4 N. Mozambique may be presumed that it rose from the deep at the same African coast. which extends a short way along the coasts of South Africa Atlantic to the north. with its magnificent range of mountains. The contrast between the eastern and western is The escarped very great. though some parts are marshy and covered with mangroves. latitude Cape Guardafu'i a continued desert.

where a magnificent group of mountains. VII. and make a semicircular bend into the interior. reeds. brooding over these regions noisome exhalations. between the Orange River and Cape Negro. in many places saturated with trees. Benguela these plains are farther north there are healthy and cultivated mo- notonous grassy savannahs. hot pestilential vapours hang over them. west of them. never dissipated by a breeze. besides various other productions and Many . and especially the delta of the Niger. In . is very high. covered almost to their tops with large timber. shore. At Cape Negro. begin. Benin. bears a tangled crop of mangroves and tall which even cover the shoals along the coast . consist entirely of swamps loaded with rank vegetation. WESTERN COAST OF SOUTH AFRICA. and in The has hitherto baffled his attempts to form settlements on the banks of this magnificent river. guards the interior of that country from the aggressions of the European. leaving plains along the coast 140 miles broad. the climate is . portions of North Guinea are so fertile that they might vie with the valley of the Nile in cereal riches. water. The low plains of Biafra and lie not far inland. has not a drop of fresh water. separated by long level tracts. and forests of gigantic The ground. The country of Calbongos is the highest land on the coast. angel of Death.CHAP. 141 The terraced dip of the Atlantic coast for 900 miles. ranges of mountains. though the temperature not very unhealthy.

is from 1 feet above the plains.. the proportion of the two is slopes of the Abyssiuian table-laud as 12.6 to 1. and the surface falls 1 Estimated from N. which runs 1200 miles behind Dahomy and the Gold Coast. VI J. CHAP. projects from the tableland for 300 miles into the low lands of North It dips to a low swampy region on the Africa. Bornou. This chain divides the semi-civilized Soudan. generally known as the Mountains of the Moon. and is continued in the Kong range. or Southern India.E. which are said to cross the continent along the northern edge of the great plateau. where the Ghauts rise abruptly near the coast of Malabar. No European has yet seen the high mountains of Komri. It is there from 800 to 900 feet high. . at the other it joins the high land of Senegambia. states of south of Abyssinia at one end. between the two projections or promontories of Abyssinia and Senegambia. but declines to the westward. to S. north. latitude the eastern slope of the table-land towards the Red Sea is nearly twenty times greater than the counter-slope towards the Nile . 700 miles wide.W.142 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and on the east sinks abruptly to the coast at a short distance from the Red Sea. The character of Abyssinia is in that respect like the Deccan. The vast alpine promontory of Abyssinia or Ethiopia. 3000 to 4000 the edge of the latter. and ends in the pro- montory of Sierra Leone. to the plains of Senaar and Kordofan on the west. and Begharmi from the It extends barbarous nations on the table-land. however. so that in the loth parallel of N.

on the other. and in some parts desert. land of Abyssinia is a succession of undulating plains. The edge of steep . on coining he finds himself on a high plain. but the caravan-road between Wallega and Kami Gojeb .000 to 15. and the the Hawash and which flow into the Indian Ocean. enjoys perpetual spring. with occasional mountain-masses. which in Samien. crossing a mountain-range. Beke. from the accounts he received. table-land towards the Nile is run to the low lands through valleys from 3000 to 4000 feet deep. attain an absolute altitude of from 11. Godjam. as they only produce barley: the country towards Kaffa and the sources of the is still higher. ABYSSINIA. travelled to within less than ten degrees of the equator. the valuable country south of Abyssinia appears to be similar to extensive undulating those of Slioa and Godjam plains. swamps. to whom we are indebted for so much information with regard to this part of Africa. and occasionally coffee. and. Dr. verdant meadows.CHAP. 143 The tablegradually towards that of Coroinandel. and tra- versed by numerous streams . This elevated country has lakes. hand. producing various grains. so that a traveller in ascending them might imagine that he the streams is to the top. and cultivated land. the granary of the country. and in Kaffa more to the south. broken by higher insulated mountain-masses. The plain of the Dembia. VII.000 feet. whereas. The plains are intersected its by its streams which form the Nile and the one tributaries numerous on affluents. wide tracts must be 7000 or 8000 feet high.

occasionally limestone. under the a tropical sun. the Gambia.144 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. . VII. the commencement of the African low lands. but unhealthy from the rankness of the vegetation. only by ladders : prisons. is not seen for four or five days successively . passes through a vast forest impervious to the rays of the sun. fertilizes a tract of fiery radiance of country stretching from sea to sea across the continent. according to the accounts of the merchants. also projects far into the low lands. CHAP. The moisture that descends from the northern edge of the table-land of South Africa. The to that of the geological structure of Abyssinia is similar Cape of Good Hope. which. such insulated spots are used as state Large tracts are of ancient volcanic rocks. Senegal. schist. and other rivers run into the Atlantic over a rich cultivated plain. and from the other side. the elephant-hunting grounds of the Galla tribes. The granite comes sinia. and breccia. Senegambia. often lying on the tops of the mountains in enormous accessible flat by steps cut in the rocks or masses. and is the watershed whence the streams flow on one side to the plains of Soudan. the base being granite and the superstructure sandstone. the appendage to the western ex- tremity of the table-land. and west of the Dedhesa there are immense grassy plains. especially in Shoa. to the surface in the lower parts of Abys- but sandstone predominates in the upper parts and assumes a tabular form. where they join the Joliba or Niger .

but a far greater disgrace to the more savage purchaser assume the sacred name of Christian. VII. but nature is so bountiful that rice and millet are raised in sufficient quantity to supply the wants of a numerous population. the moisture becomes less and the soil gradually worse.000 miles. but man is the a disgrace to the savage staple of their commerce who sells his fellow-creature. I. and vast solitudes in which no white men ever trade. wandering Bedouin. the natives in irrigating the ground. Gold is found in the river-courses. is a very productive The abundance of water. is of small width compared with its In receding from the mountains. which extends northwards 800 miles in unvaried desolation to the grassy steppes at the foot of the Atlas Atlantic blighted land and for 1000 miles between the and the Red Sea the nakedness of this . the periodical and the tropical heat leave the soil no repose. and. At last a hideous barren waste begins. poisonous swamps. SENEGAMBIA. in some of a lower level. . who dares to This long belt of never-failing its vitality. and there are elephants in the forests . the industry of country.CHAP. which contains 145 A great many kingdoms and commercial cities. deep forests of gigantic trees. VOL. part of this region. sufficing only to produce grass for the flocks of the length. is covered by the trackless I. In the west about 760. an area equal of the Mediterranean Sea. which has large lakes. to that parts. is Agriculture in a rude state. is unbroken but by the valley of the Nile and a few oases. rains.

The wind the east nine months in the year . scorched by blows from at the equi- the sand in clouds before it. and low bare rocks occur at times. northern borders barren and dreary . and overwhelming caravans of men and animals in common destruction. Then the sand is heaped up in waves ever varying with the blast even the atmosphere is of sand. VII. this is terrific dreary waste. and sublime . There are many salt lakes to the north. carried in the sun like diamonds. with an arenaceous or calcareous border enclosing their emerald verdure like a frame. flash Sand not less is tracts of gravel not the only character of the desert . The smaller produce herbage. which is even prolonged for miles into the Atlantic Ocean in the form of This desert is alternately heat and pinched by cold. and noxes it rushes in a hurricane. The oases are generally depressed below the level of the desert. sands of the Sahara desert. CHAP. The desolation of . boundless to the eye as the ocean. and the particles. aloft by whirlwinds. and some shrubs . the setting sun seems to be a volcanic fire. the dry heated air is like a red vapour. but on the eastern and of the Sahara fresh water rises near the surface. ferns. and even the springs are of brine . and produces an occasional oasis where barrenness and vitality meet.146 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. forests of date-palms grow in the larger. producing the darkness of night at midday. acacias. thick incrustations of dazzling salt cover the ground. driving sand-banks. and at times the burning wind of the desert is the blast of death. oases .

and a variety of birds. Seliine. separated by low rocky ridges. and in the night it is chilled under a clear sky sparkling with its host of stars. which distance of is only 540 feet above the sea at the is 750 miles inland. This furrow. This shelving cut transversely country. panthers. lying east and west. In the Nubian and Libyan deserts. the Great and 1. Strangely but not a tree nor a shrub land without a shadow. over a hideous flinty plain. with its blue waters foaming in rapids among wild rocks. the continent shelves down towards the Mediterranean in a series of terraces. and containing the oases of Darfour. are flanked by rocky eminences which run north the Nile. On deserts silence the interminable sands and rocks of these no animal . it.2 . lies the furrow already mentioned. the Nile. and by a deep furrow parallel to from the table-land. 147 which are the resort of lions. AFRICAN DESERTS. gazelles. nearly parallel to both. and the Red Sea. to the east of the Sahara. no insect breaks the dread is to be seen in this In the glare of noon the air quivers with the heat reflected from the red sand. or quietly spreading in a calm stream amidst fields of corn and the august monuments of past ages. VII. At the distance of a few days' journey west from the Nile. reptiles. consisting of vast level sandy or gravelly deserts. trending to the north. beautifully contrasted with these scorched solitudes is the narrow valley of the Nile. in by which there is a long line of oases.CHAP. threading the desert for 1000 miles in emerald green.

amounts popuand these are mostly wandering tribes who feed their flocks on the . At the Great Syrtis the Sahara comes to the shores of the Medi- and.000. and the parallel valleys of the Natron and Bahr-Belama or the " Dry River. from the Atlantic along the southern foot of the without a tree Atlas to the Great Syrtis. is 120 miles long the Lesser Oasis. or Oasis of Thebes. and at one time contained 360 convents. CHAP. mixed with the ruins of remote antiquity. Another line of oases runs along the latitude of Cairo. Great Oasis. VII. with fresh-water lakes consequently no less fertile than the preceding. monks of old date have recently been obtained. indeed. The ruins of the Temple of Jupiter Ammon are in one of them. 35 miles west of the Nile . separated from by 40 miles of desert. with vil. and 4 or 5 broad it lages amid palm-groves and fruit-trees. the ground lation only is so unprofitable that the to about 30.148 Little Oases. for 1100 miles between the termination of the Atlas and the little table-land of terranean . the southern part is a beautiful northern quiet spot. are pasture-lands an ocean of verdure." The Lakes. Both are rich in verdure and cultivation. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is of the same form. of which 4 only remain from these some very valuable manuscripts in the . Barca. offering scenes of peaceful and soft beauty contrasted with the sur- rounding gloom. Hundreds of miles on the northern edge of the desert. The Natron Lakes are in the part of the Valley of Nitrun. that became the retreat of Christian middle of the second century.

it is surmised that the mountains surrounding the two triangles in question are of corresponding constitution strata . even now there are many populous commercial cities. that. AFRICAN DESERTS. and in the position if. and run directly across the continent. 149 grassy steppes. but has a great analogy to the Deccan in its triangular form. though a great part of these valuable kingdoms is badly cultivated or not cultivated at all. Assouan and Esneh.CHAP. its elevated platform. susceptible of cultivation. if do exist in this part of Africa. History. It similar in to would appear that Southern Africa. every reason to believe. The stiff clay base of the sandy parts of North Africa is in Lower Nubia. red and white granite prevail. though its unbroken surface and peninsular shape it South America. attest their former splendour . bears no resemblance to in other respects. between the parallels of . and much grain is raised. and the ruins of many great cities. from the fertile region to the north. Magnificent countries lie along the Mediterranean coast north of the Atlas. VII. followed by argillaceous sandstone . is of or that the Komri mountains have a real existence. they any secondary must be . as well as from partial information. From the connexion already mentioned between external appearance and internal structure. as there its encompassing mountain-chains. either that South Africa descends in a succession of terraces to the low lands. and lower down the alluvium of the Nile covers the surface. Middle Egypt is calcareous .

seem to have been the most recently reclaimed. and neither on the . The same may be salt 1 said of the Sahara where and recent shells are plentiful. as in the Deccan. There are also many long districts of the same sterile nature Europe and if to these sandy plains the deserts of Siberia be added. through at least 120 degrees of longitude. exterior to these chains. inland seas at no The low and the Lake of Aral. have formed the lakes. tion prevails The A zone of almost irretrievable desola- from the Atlantic Ocean across Africa and through Central Asia almost to the Pacific Ocean. CHAP. from the great proportion of shells in them identical with those now existing in these seas. the unproductive land in . lands round the Black Sea and Caspian. . desert. and proves that they have been part of the bed of the ocean or of very remote geological period. in salt the Old "World is prodigious.150 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The quantity of on the sandy plains is enormous. Johnston's Physical Atlas. 1 basins of fresh-water prodigious extent of desert is one of the most extraordinary circumstances in the structure of the old continent. together with all the barren and rocky mountain tracts. summits of the high mountains nor in the interior and that any tertiary strata on the table-land must. VII.

CHAP. be experienced in the journey of a few hours from the burning plains of Peru to the snow-clad peaks . In this course every variety of climate is to be met with. prothe ducing greatest influence on the form of the continent. of South America Brazil. VIII. which. and North America yet . and the peculiar simplicity that prevails cooling. mountain systems. 151 CHAPTER American Continent VIII. The continent is 9000 miles long. it is divided by nature into three parts. and. running along the coast of the Pacific from within the Arctic nearly to the Antarctic circle. its form being two great peninsulas joined by a long narrow isthmus. with very few exceptions. but little inferior in height to the Himalaya. from the rigour of polar congelation to the scorchwhile the mountains are ing heat of the torrid zone so high that the same extremes of heat and cold may . AMERICAN CONTINENT. or been rent by contraction of the strata in Through this the Andes had arisen. have a general tendency from north in its principal to south. of South. these three are connected by the mighty chain of the Andes. Central. The Mountains The Andes The Mountains of the Parima and SOME thinner portion of the crust of the globe under the meridians that traverse the continent of America from Cape Horn to the Arctic Ocean must have yielded to the expansive forces of the subterranean fires.

between the river of the Amazons and the lying Orinoco. .1 52 In this PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. though not entirely. generally Chippewayan or Rocky Mountains. one in Brazil between the Rio de la Plata and the river of the the other is that of Parima and Guiana. which and Cape Blanco on the Pacific it attains its greatest breadth of nearly 2750 miles. long chain there are three distinct varieties of character. but descend- ing on the east in high valleys and occasional offsets to plains of vast extent. corresponding to the three natural divisions of the The Andes of South America differ macontinent. above. nearly. dipping rapidly to the narrow maritime plains of the Pacific. terially from those of Central America and Mexico. latitude of Cape Roque on the Atlantic. Nevertheless two detached mountain systems rise on these plains. between graphical miles. It consists of three mountain systems. known as the The greatest length of South America from Cape Horn to the Isthmus of Panama is about 4020 geoIt is very narrow at its southern but increases in width northwards to the extremity. VIII. separated by the basins of three of the greatest rivers in the world. CHAP. The Andes run along the western coast from Cape Horn to the Isthmus of Panamd. Amazons The great chain of the Andes first raises its crest . while both are dissimilar to the North American prolongation of the chain. whose dead level is for hundreds of miles as unbroken as that of the ocean by which they are bounded. in a single chain of inconsiderable width but majestic height.

' Dr. Mr. Poeppig's Travels in South America. The Pacific washes the very base of the Patagonian Andes for about 1000 miles. 153 above the waves of the Antarctic Ocean in the majestic dark mass of Cape Horn. in the more southern coast is part. which. and Chile Baron Humboldt. 1 like the continent itself. are in fact filled the Andes profound longitudinal valleys of by the ocean. ending often in glaciers fed by the snow on the summits of Peat-mosses cover the mountains 6000 feet high. . lined The whole by a succession of archipelagos and islands. THE AXDES. islands.' are the authorities for the account of Tierra del Fuego. or fiords. separated from the iron-bound shores by narrow arms of the sea. Patagonia. islands sink which occupy the western side of this cluster of down to wide level plains to the east.. R. for Peru and the Andean Chain to the ' . to of mountainous in size Britain.N. The islands are penetrated in every direction is by bays and narrow inlets of the sea. so that the chain of ' 1 The Voyage of Captain King. and their flanks are beset with densely entangled forests of brown beech. which never lose their dusky leaves. higher declivities of these mountains. of which the archipelago is but the southern extremity. Pocppig and Meyer of Berlin. Darwin's Journal of a Naturalist. VIII. from Cape Horn to the 40th parallel of south latitude. Pentland. Isthmus of Panama. dismal scene.CHAP. Drs. Mr. the southernmost This point of the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. equal group cut off from the main land by the Straits of Magellan. producing The mountains altogether a savage.

154 islands is PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Colchagua. similar to those on the Norwegian shore. clothed The with sea in sweeping breakers through these islands and the mainland are thickly forests. a chain of hills. ending in tremendous glaciers. the capital of Chile. and some of which are active volcanos. In lat. whose masses. and the archipelago of Chiloe. a term generally applied in Chile to every elevated and . borders the coast between which and the exists a longitudinal valley. 32 39' of the American Andes. The coast itself for 650 miles is begirt by walls of rock. nay the Andes garden of the Chilian republic the rich provinces of Santiago. the Nevado of Aconcagua. falling with a crash like thunder. drive the chasms. rises the giant Valparaiso. Between the Pass of Chacabuco north of Santiago. and is so clearly visible from. Many peaks of the Andes enter within the limits of perpetual snow. torn by long crevices or fiords. running parallel to the axes of the mountains but the summits of an exterior range rising above the sea. This longitudinal depression may be considered as a prolongation of the strait that separates Chiloe from the mainland. and Maule. composed . which sink into unfathomable depths. which tow^ers over the Chilian village of the same name. in general of crystalline rocks. which are of a less sombre aspect as the latitude decreases. well watered by the rivers descending from the central chain. CHAP. and which constitutes the most fertile portion. VIII. between the 40th and 31st parallels . Although designated as a volcano.

and tile-red hills and mountains are only dotted here and there with low trees and bushes in central Chile for nine . months in the year. the consequence of which is sterility on the western precipitous and unbroken descent of the Andes . VIII. About the latitude of Concepcion the dense forests Its height. after the heavy showers have moistened the cracked ground. wooded to a great The Sierra de Cordova. of the Chilian 1 Captain Beechey's very accurate observations. origin. exceeds 24. and Juguy stretches from the valley of Catamarca and Tucuman towards to the north the Sierra di Salta This great height has been deduced. adopting the position of the Peak as fixed by Captain Fitz Roy. and employing the angles of elevation observed by Captain Beechey near Val1 paraiso. tropical character.000 feet.CHAP. 8 Dr. THE ANDES. In some valleys it is more permanent and of a with alpine plants. it is covered with a beautiful but transient flora. according to of Araucarias and of other semi-tropical plants cease with the humid equable climate and as no rain falls . offers It appears to be no trace of modern igneous composed of a species of in the centre porphyry generally found chain. mixed southern Chile rain falls only but on the east. very soon. the most southern height. it 155 snowy peak. of these. and extends in the direction of the Pampas more . the brown. two secondary branches leave the central Cordillera. purple. . however. which extend 300 or 400 miles into the plains. begins between the 33rd and 31st parallels. Pceppig's Travels. 2 In once in two or three years.

but damp luxuriant forests. or those lower in Europe. The width of the coast is nearly the same to the Isthmus of Panama. parallel Cordilleras are united at various points enormous transverse groups or mountain-knots. rising much above it. seldom above 60 miles broad. whence offsets diverge to the level plains. but north of that the chain intercepts a very elevated wide longitudinal valley. From its southern in 21 extremity to the Nevado of 30' S. CHAP. in the direcbounded on each side by a parallel range of high mountains. like dykes. and parallel to the sea coast.. Unlike the table-lands of Asia of the same elevawhere cultivation is confined to the more shelstill tered spots. or tion of the chain. the Andes are merely Chorolque. and of an intervening sandy desert. begin about the latitude of Payta. The chain takes the name of the Peruvian Andes about the 24th degree of south latitude. one of the tributaries of the Rio la Plata. on which rain scarcely ever falls. a lat. where bare rocks pierce through the moving sand. full of orchideae. tion. and continue northwards. these lofty regions of the . one grand and continuous range of mountains. or by by single ranges crossing between structure that prevails to Pasto. 6" N. de the Rio Vermejo. These table-land. is The the dip also very rapid to the east. and is separated from the Pacific by a range of hills composed of crystalline rocks. which are only fit for pasture. lat.156 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 1 descent to the Pacific is very steep them 13' . VIII.

some of the snowy peaks large rising 8300 feet above the surface of the tableland." The table-land or valley of Desaguadero. THE ANDES. 157 Andes grain. and occupying an area three times as as Switzerland. it stretches and a breadth varying from 30 to 60 400 miles between the two parallel chains of the Andes. and the enormous mountain-knot of Vilcanota. VIII.CHAP.. . shuts in the valley on the north-west. 16. lat.150 feet above the sea level. libraries. since these table-lands were once the centre of civilization by a race of mankind which " bear the same relation to the Incas and the present inhabitants that the Etruscans bear to the ancient Romans and to the Italians of our own days. which. valley is This table-land or bounded on each side : by the two grand that on the west is chains of the Bolivian 1 Andes The worked to the celebrated silver mines of Potosi were formerly very summit of that metalliferous mountain.900 miles : feet. extending from east to west. and between the trans- verse mountain-group of Lipez. which is 12. worked top of at heights as great 1 Villages are placed and mines are and even greater than the Mont Blanc. at altitudes equal to that of establishments. from which an idea may be formed of the gigantic scale of the Andes. This state is not limited to the present times. civil and life. in 20 S. religious the Peak of Teneriffe. one of the most remarkable of these. yield exuberant crops of every European cities enjoying the with universities. has an absolute altitude of 12.170 feet above and have many populous luxuries of the sea-level.

21. is lie so near the edge whole breadth of the table-land.150 feet. and the valley of Totoral. the eastern Cordillera. begins is the metalliferous mountain of below the level of perpetual snow its to the south. . The lowest glacier on its southern slope does not descend below 16. of Supiiiwasi. . whose serrated ridges are elongated in the direction of the axis of the chain. the range on the east the Bolivian Cordillera. and Illimani.158 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 1 These two rows of mountains that the both. VIII. and the two Cordilleras of the Bolivian Andes given in the text. but northern portion contains the three peaked mountains of Sorata. comes between Illimani and the Nevado of La Mesada. and is one of the most magnificent portions of the Andes. CHAP. of SupaiVasi or Huayna Potosi. and on its north-west prolongation the Cordillera Real. he also determined the heights of Illimani to be 21.260 feet and of Ancohuma or the Nevado of Sorata. 20. and are descent 'all . where it unites with the Cordillera of the coast. Baron Humboldt and Mr. 1 * Pentland. situate near the maritime declivity of the chain is very abrupt.500 feet. from whence the eastern Cordillera runs to the north-west in a continuous line of snow-clad peaks to the group of Vilcanota. properly speaking . Cordilleras of the coast are either active volcanoes or of igneous origin. was measured by Mr. which Potosi.290 feet. at The consequently. the Cordillera of the coast is . The breadth of the table-land. a mere gulf in which Vesuvius might stand. including All the snowy peaks of the only 226 miles. 2 The snowy part begins \vith the gigantic mass of Illimani. Pentlaud.

having in full view the vast Nevado of Illimani to the east-south-east at a distance of seven leagues. throughout the mining district. The northern part of the valley is populous. and pro- duces wheat. monuments of a people more ancient tlian the Incas. and other grain . con- taining 13. of Bolivia. lies to the north-east of Potosi. twenty times as large as the Lake fills the north-western portion of this great basin. in the south. Potosi. which contains nearly 50.330 feet.000 inhabitants. not far from southern shores. was the capital of the empire of the Incas it still con: . The islands and shores of this lake still exhibit ruins of gigantic magnitude. the most important is the Cordillera of Yuracaraes.000 inhabitants. THE ANDES. stands at an absolute elevation of 13. The city of Cusco. has a considerable variety of surface . The modern of Geneva. VIII. 159 The valley of the Desaguadero. the highest city in the world. Many offsets leave the eastern side of the Bolivian Cordillera which terminates in the great plain of Chiquitos and Paraguay . Lake of barley. which bounds the rich valley of Cochabamba on the north. in the midst of cultivated fields. stands in the most sublime situation that can be imagined. and ends near the town of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. There are some fertile valleys in the snow- capped group of Vilcanota and Cusco. city of its La Paz with 40. occupying 150.000 square miles. at the foot of a mountain celebrated for Chiquisaca. it is poor and cold.CHAP.000 inhabitants. the capital its silver- mines. and the Titicaca.

some of them may have been craters of extinct volcanos. at a height of 14. some even within the range of perpetual snow. They are very cold and deep. which shuts in the valley of Bombon be- tween the llth and 10th parallels of south latitude: that in the centre separates the wide fertile valley of the Upper Maranon from the still richer valley of the Huallaga. among which of the Temple of the Sun and its Cyclopean Fortress still mark its former splendour..160 tains PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 11 S. we except the Neno mountain north of if . There are many small lakes on the table-lands and high valleys of the Andes. The western chain alone reaches the limit of perpetual snow. Four ancient Peruvian roads led from Cusco to the different parts of the empire. encircled by the Andes. as one of the sources of the Amazon. is the elevated plain of Bombon. vado of Huaylillas. CHAP. whilst the more eastern forms the barrier between the latter and the tropical valley of the Yucayali. The chain of the Andes is divided into three ranges of mountains running from south to north in the transverse group or mountain-knot of Pasco and Huanuco. and. is situated the Lake of Lauricocha. near to the celebrated silver-mines of Pasco. from its remoteness. VIII. in lat. in 7 50'. little inferior in respects to the old Roman ways : all crossing many moun- tain-passes higher than the Peak of Teneriffe. the remains numerous ruins of that dynasty.000 feet above the sea. On the northern prolongation of the chain. which In if may be considered. often of the purest sea-green colour .

as the valley itself is in that of the aboriginal races of the New World. Don George Juan and Ulloa. and Quito. From this knot the chain divides into two great longitudinal ridges or Cordilleras. and celeginated. that of whilst the valley of Quito is Tapia is magnificent one of extraordinary beauty on either side rise a . the 161 this for nearly 400 miles to arrives at the snow-line. the French Academy brity on the names of Bouguier. The VOL. in which the cinchona or Peruvian bark was discovered. divided longitudinal valley. in an extent of 350 miles. which hems in the valley M . by the cross ridges of Assuay and Chisinche into three basins. once celebrated for its forests. VIII. The plain of Cuen9a offers little interest . : series of snow-capped peaks. These ridges enclose a vast which. and Godin. the Andes form knot of Loxa. Here the energies of volcanic action have been studied with the greatest fruits . celebrated in every way in the history of science. here. form the valleys of Cuenca. Andes of Quito the mountain- In lat. who conducted it on the part of the crowns of France and of Spain. THE ANDES. took place that measurement of an arc of the meridian which afforded the most accurate data at the time towards the determination of the mass and form of our planet. La Condamine. now one hundred years ago. and which has conferred eternal honour on the body with which it ori- of Sciences . passing through the republic of the Equator that of to the New mountain-group of Los Pastes in Grenada.CHAP. 4 50' S. Tapia. cordillera or ridge I.

of Tungaragua and el-Altar. as well as the first approximate value of the barometrical coefficient. one of the finest in the is 200 miles long and 30 wide. whilst the Nevado of Cayambe. one of the most beautiful of active volcanos. was deduced. the latonce equal to Chimborazo in height. the wreck of an ancient volcano. traversed by . of Quito on the east contains the snow-capped peaks of Antisana. and of the other peaks that encircle it. by very careful operations. perhaps the greatest and most remarkable landmark on the surface of our planet. with a mean altitude of 10. North of Chimborazo and near it is the Carguairazo. VIII. of the of Cayambe TJrcu. Cotopaxi. The western range includes the gigantic Chimborazo.000 feet. directly above the level of the ocean. The Andes. valley of Quito.775 feet.162 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. ter which may be seen from the coast of the Pacific. CHAP. bounded by the most magnificent series of volcanos and mountains in the New World. and close to the city of Quito rises the scarcely less celebrated volcano of Pichincha. the pyramidal peak of Illinissa. The height of Illinissa was measured by the French Academicians. and by its means the absolute elevation of the valley of Quito. the latter being visible from it . and Sangay. peculiar interest is attached to two A many volcanos in the parallel Cordilleras that The beautiful snow-clad cone flank it on each side. whose dazzling cone rises to a height of 18. elevated 19. closes the north-east extremity of the valley. as already stated. whose summit.535 feet. is traversed by the terrestrial equator.

rivers. The city is well built and handsome . its valleys. mixed with the bold features of primary mountains.CHAP. the comforts and luxuries of civilized life. the most remarkable division it 103 of the the equator. and greater very often the flame.924 feet above the Pacific. Although the Andes are inferior in height to the Himalaya. Stupendous 1 Baron Humboldt. THE ANDES. populous Many monuments of the Incas are still found in good pre- with its mountains and servation in these plains. issuing from these regions of perpetual snow increase its sublimity. which served for a signal to Bouguier and La Condamine in their memorable measurement of an arc of the 1 meridian. Thus on the very summit of the Andes there is a world by itself. while the smoke. on the side of Pichincha has an absolute height of 9540 but the feet. where the scenery is most noble eleven volcanic cones are visible from one spot. it possesses universities. and the serrated ruins of those that are extinct. Some sterile. and in the western Cordillera the cross stands on the summit of Pichincha.000 inhabitants. 15. the churches are splendid . VIII. the truncated cones of the active volcanos. in a situation of unrivalled grandeur and beauty. parts of the plain of Quito to the south are soil generally is good. globe closes on the north still . give an infinitely variety to the scene. yet the domes of trachyte. containing 70. M2 . city of Quito. its lakes and towns and cultivated fields. and perpetual The spring clothes it with exuberant vegetation.

the ancient Cun- . and others. greatly reduced in height.. VIII. and so difficult of access. but are carried it is rich in gold and platina. the not again to unite. it is so steep. of which little more is known than that it forms two great masses. Between the large group of Los Pastos. they are merely the inequalities of the tops of the Andes. from the plains of the table-land.164 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the serrated summit of that as these mountains appear even mighty chain. or Cordillera of Quindiu. Tunja. containing several active volcanos. called The most easterly of the three the Sierra de la Summa Paz. and with the chain of Choco forms the low mountains of the Isth- mus of Panama. the bottom of the valley is only 6900 feet above the sea . trends to the N. and the lowest of the three.W. it is only 5000 feet Though but 20 high. CHAP. spreads out on its western declivity into the tablelands of Bogota. miles broad. and Atrato. and north of the latter mountain-knot the crest of the Andes splits into three Cordilleras. Cordilleras. branch. which diverge The most westerly of these. last chains are united by the mountain-knot of Antioquia. and the group of Las Papas. chain of Choco. divides the valley of the Cauca from the Pacific . runs due north between the Magdalena and Cauca. which. rising to a on men's shoulders : The central two The great height in the volcanic Peak of Tolima. which may be considered the conriver tinuation of the great chain. that travellers cannot cross it on mules. Cauca. in the second degree of north latitude. after separating the streams of the Magdalena.

. the most elevated 1 is so high that vegetation Baron Humboldt. and ends at Cape Paria in the Caribbean Sea. offering a valley between. and is like an which are two natural composed of stones that have This been jammed between the rocks in their fall. This coast-chain is so majestic and beautiful that Baron Humboldt says it is like the Alps rising out of the sea without their snow.CHAP. where it joins the coast-chain of Venezuela or Caraccas. which runs due east. stands on an extensive plain between the delta of the Magdalena and the sea lake of Maracaybo. and is a landmark to mariners far off in the Caribbean Sea. occurs in the path leading from the city of Santa Fe viari de Bogota to the banks of the Magdalena. which form the head waters of the The tremendous crevice of Icononzo Orinoco. 19. across is the lowest 1 Merida. The passes over the Chilian Andes are numerous . and goes north-east through New Grenada to the 10th northern parallel. Jago to Menthe highest . whilst on its eastern slope rise the rivers Gua- and Meta. VIII. a diminutive representation of the great Peru-Bolivian depression and of the valley of doza. Cordillera comprises the Andes of Cundinamarca and empty mineral bridges : vein. It probably was formed by an earthquake. which have an elevation of about 9000 feet . it crosses two ridges. or rather at the eastern extremity of the island of Trinidad.000 feet high. THE ANDES. deeply covered with snow. leading from St. that of the Portillo. The insulated group of Santa Martha. 165 dinamarca. is Quito .

its summit. that many of their passes are higher The passes of than in the equatorial portion of the chain. Rumihuasi. and 1 Tt appears by the measurements of Mr. in the plain of Quito.166 ceases far below PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.160 feet. those to the north are but little The : pass of Quindiu in Colombia. where the road in is nearly as high as Mont Blanc. From the total absence of vegetation.600.520 English feet .422 feet respectively.790. and the intense cold. few reach the snow-line. it supposed to be 16. VIII. on the high road from Cuseo to Arequipa. 13. 15.750. whilst in the Eastern or Bolivian 14. 15. of Gualillas and Chullunquiani (between Arica and La Paz). of Vilcanota (between the valley of the Collao and that of the river Yucay).160. attain the respective elevations of 16.892 and 14. all in the Western Cordillera. Pentland in the Peru-Bolivian Andes. CHAP. and 15. for example.600.350. . Those in Peru are higher. In Bolivia the though very mean elevation of the passes in the western and eastern Cordillera is 14. of Toledo (between Arequipa and Puno). Cordillera the passes of Challa (between Oruro and Cochabamba). is the most difficult of all across the Andes but those crossing the mountain-knots from one table-land to another are the most dangerous . of Purnapacheta (between the lake of Titicaca and the affluents to the Amazon). of Pacuani (between La Paz and Coroico). rise to heights of 13. except at their most southern extremity. On the western side of the Andes or no rain falls. though not so high.000 feet above the Pacific lower. that over the Paramo del Assuay. and 14. That leading from Sorata Tipuani is is to the auriferous valley of perhaps the highest in Bolivia. and travellers not unfrequently perish 1 from cold winds little attempting it.

till at last the barren rocks are covered only by snow and glaciers. while the crash of the avalanche. when the sky is clear and the wind hushed. strike the imagination . Changes of weather are sudden and violent . where nature has been shaken by terrific convulsions. The steepness eastern side and of the declivities and the dry ness of the air. the landscape is lurid and colourless : the dark- blue shadows are sharply defined. In the Andes near the equator glaciers descending below the snow-line are unknown. diminishes as the height increases. startles the ear. the mural and the chasms yawning into dark un- known depths. and from the thinness of the air it is hardly possible to make a just estimate of distance. THE ANDES. the huge masses of bold rock. cessive heat and moisture combine its offsets to cover the with tangled forests of This exuberance large trees and dense brushwood. or the rolling thunder of the volcano. In the very elevated plains in the transverse groups.CHAP. the hollow moaning of the volcanic fire fills the Indian with superstitious dread in the deathlike stillness of these solitudes. In the dead of night. however pure the sky. Nothing can surpass the desola- tion of these regions. precipices. watered by streams from the Andes. The dazzling snow fatigues the eye . clouds of black vapour arise and are . VIII. 167 scanty vegetation appears only on spots or in small Exvalleys. at such great elevations. prevent any accumulation of infilthe annual changes of temperature trated water : besides are small. such as that of Bombon.

singular instance. which is not yet accounted for they generally occur two hours after sunset. carried by fierce winds over the barren plains and hail are driven with irresistible impetuosity . . sometimes issuing from the ground. CHAP. a kind of undescribable reddish light. similar to the equally partial blasts of hot air in the Alps. without warning. Jujuy. lands to the east of the Andes are divided 1 Dr. 1 warm air are occasionally met with on the crest of the an extraordinary phenomenon on such gelid heights. and it has also been seen in Egypt. : Andes are local and narrow. of earth-light occurs in crossing the Andes from Chile A to Mendoza. the crash of the peals is quite appalling while the lightning runs along the scorched grass. as those of Tucuman. loud and awful. probably. in the republic of La Plata. Notwithstanding the thinness of the air. destroys a team of . On this rocky scene a peculiar brightness occasionally rests. Pceppig not perceptible on sunny days. VIII. which vanishes during the winter rains. with That of Tucuman is 2500 feet above others. Pceppig. The Andes descend series to the eastern plains by a of cultivated levels.168 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and thunder-storms come on. snow . many the sea The low the garden of the republic. mules or a flock of sheep Currents of at one flash. and Salta. and. and ascribes the Dr. not exceeding a few fathoms in width. to the ness of the air : dry phenomenon he was confirmed in his opinion from afterwards is observing a similar brightness on the coast of Peru.

and is twice as long as it is broad. It is quite unconnected with the Andes. which come within one or two degrees of the equator. Beginning at the mouth of the Meta. Andes. being 80 leagues east from the mountains of New Grenada. is everywhere escarped. cross the table-land from west to east. and the Atlantic Ocean. the plains are so low and flat. and the The Llanos or grassy steppes of the Orinoco. of which the chief is the Sierra del Parima. ' 169 by the table-lands and mountains of Parima and the Brazil into three parts of very different aspect deserts and pampas of Patagonia and Buenos Ayres. and in . the Silvas or woody basin of the Amazons. which extends 600 or 700 miles from east to west. the Rio Negro. VIII. besides groups of mountains. between the river Orinoco. that a rise of 1000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean would submerge more than half the continent of South America. and ascends by four successive terraces to undulating plains. The system of Parima is a group of mountains especially at the foot of the scattered over a table-land not more than 2000 feet above the sea. and forms the watershed between the tributaries of the Amazons and those of the Orinoco. feet high. the Amazons. Seven chains. The Orinoco rises on the its northern side of the Sierra del Parima. THE PARIMA. eastern table-lands nowhere exceed 2500 feet of absolute height . It begins 60 or 70 miles from the coast of Venezuela.CHAP. it crosses the plains of Esmeralda to the This chain is not more than 600 borders of Brazil.

the vegetation in these countries is beautiful beyond imagination the regions of the Upper Orinoco and : Rio Negro. mixed with flowers. In the district of the palm-forests. rains covered with a carpet of emerald-green The grass. but after The great height. which forms the especially the bed of the river. though not of are. . VIII. near Charichana. covered with luxuriant tropical vegetation. CHAP. circuitous course over the plains of Esmeralda it breaks through that chain and the parallel chain of the Maypures 36 miles to the south dashing with : violence against the transverse shelving rocks and dykes. and of almost all the mountains and banks of rivers in Guiana. Upper Orinoco. occasioned by the difference of temperature of the external air and that which fills the deep narrow crevices with which the rock is everywhere torn. are clothed with majestic and impenetrable forests. often six feet high. from whence the Parima mountains have got the name of the Cordillera of the cataracts of the Orinoco. whose moist and hot recesses 1 Baron Humboldt. very rugged and often crowned with mural ridges they are separated by flat savannahs. The chain fills is of banks and granite. generally barren in the dry season. Something of the same kind occurs at Mount Sinai. there is a granite rock which emits musical sounds at sunrise.170 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. it forms the magnificent series of rapids and cataracts of Maypures and Atures. . like the notes of an organ. 1 other parallel chains that extend over the table-land in Venezuela and Guiana.

. South of Pacaraime. and one of the highest mounThe fine tains in South America east of the Andes. 171 are the abode of the singular and beautiful race of the Orchideae and tangled creepers of many kinds. they are not high the inaccessible peak of the Cerro Duida." 1 great only during the periodical floods. and its base extends. Although all the mountains of the system of Parima are wild and rugged. Thus a line drawn from the fall of the river of the Tocantins. which occupies half that empire. nowhere more than 2500 feet high. " the Great Lake with golden banks. from the mouth of the Rio de la Plata to within three degrees of the equator. the object of the unfortunate expedition of Sir AValter Raleigh about . On the southern side of the basin of the river Amazons lies the table-land of Brazil. which rises . in 1 Baron Humboldt's Personal Narrative. the far-famed city of Manoa was supposed to stand. whose apex is at the confluence of the rivers Mamore and Beni. VIII. Its form is a triangle. is the culminating point. insulated 7155 feet above the plain of Esmeralda. It is difficult to define the limits of this vast territory. TABLE-LAND OF GUIANA. it but some idea may be formed of by following the direction of the rapids and cataracts of the rivers descending from it to the plains around.CHAP. near an inlet of the river. together with part of the Argentine republic and Uruguay Orientale. 11 miles south-west of which is situate the lake Amucu. savannahs of the Rupununi were the country of romance in the days of Queen Elizabeth. near the shore of the Atlantic.

and the continuous chains of the Serro Frio. All the mountains in Brazil have a general tendency from to N. by the great falls of the river Iguassu. in the eighth degree of south latitude. The parallel chain of Espenhao. and forming the western boundary of the basin of the Rio San Francisco. is the highest in Brazil. except bay of Santos.E. Of " Mar. VIII.. or the coast-chain." reaches more from the river Uruguay to Cape San Roque. to the junction of the Mamore and Beni . nearly parallel.W. 28 40'. south of the island of St. one of its mountains. in lat. along the ridges of mountains called the Cordillera Geral. to the cataracts of the Madeira. which form such picturesque objects in that most magnificent of pa- noramas the bay of Rio de Janeiro. will nearly mark its northern boundary . . extend from south-west to north-east.172 3 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. to the south of the Offsets diverge to the right peaks of the Corcovado and Tejuco. being 8426 feet above the sea. lastly called the Sete Quedas. CHAP. 700 miles along the base of these the Sierra do the triangle. with a breadth of about 400 miles. to the Morro de Santa Martha. begin- ning near the town of San Paolo. never distant than 20 miles from the Atlantic. Itambe. and from thence. and left the granitic . from thence the line would run S.W. latitude. Chains of mountains. it would proceed south to the cataract of the Parana. are the ends of one. in 24 30' S. 30' S. where it is 80. except the transverse chain of the Sierra dos Vertentes. and Sierra Parecis. lat. Catherine. which begins 60 miles south of S. . then turning to the S.E.

is 3500 feet above the sea is : western detached hills. are the only ranges in the continent of America that do not entirely. land bear a coarse nutritious grass after the rains only. VIII. MOUNTAINS OF BRAZIL. lie in the direction of the meridians. where the soil is rich and the Many of the plains on the table- verdure brilliant. This merely a succession of chain. those of the Rio de la Plata on the south its its greatest height part. and . others forests of dwarf trees . and the mountains of Parima. bound together by tangled creeping and parasitical plants. to similar the Great Gobi on the table-land of Tibet. and the Campos Parecis. It forms the watershed of the tributaries of the Sari Francisco and Amazons on the north. or in some degree. clothe the declivities of the mountains and line the borders of the Brazilian rivers. the Sierra Parecis. and runs in a tortuous line to its termination near the junction of the Mamore and Beni. in the province of G rosso. Matto north of the Sierra dos Vertentes. the coast-chain of Venezuela. but vast undulating tracts are always verdant with excellent pasture intermixed with fields of corn : some parts are bare sand and rolled quartz. . 173 Villa Rica. is a sandy desert of unknown extent.CHAP. Magnificent forests of tall trees.

and by lakes. but a succession of shingly horizontal plains at higher and higher levels. of 1. for even at the foot of the 1 Captain King. CHAP. Desert of Patagonia The The Silvas of the Amazons Llanos of the Orinoco and Venezuela Geological Notice. barren as the rest. . the gable ends of the tiers or plains. Darwin. brineincrustations of salt. tufts of brown grass. It occasionally diversified by huge boulders. they stretch from Tierra del Fuego over 27 degrees of latitude. deep snow covers many months in the year. is a desert of shingle. for 800 miles from the is land's end to 1 beyond the Rio Colorado. begins on the eastern part of Tierra del Fuego. like plains of iron. separated by long lines of cliffs or escarpments. black basaltic platforms. however.. at the foot of the Ancles. the other Palms grow at one end. The ascent is small. white as snow. Eastern Patagonia. IX. is not one universal flat. which. low bushes armed with spines. This enormous plain. nearly to Tucuman and the mountains of Brazil.000 square miles.174 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.620. CHAPTER The Low Lands of South America The Pampas of Buenos Ayres IX. or 1900 miles. R. THE southern plains are the most barren of the three great tracts of American low lands. and Mr.N. which is a flat covered with trees. and therefore superior to its continuation on the continent through eastern Pata- gonia.

affording inexhaust- . During the the dried stalks are broken by the wind. This all wide space. The tranfrom intense heat to intense cold is sition rapid.In spring the verdure fades. DESERT OF PATAGOXIA. and piercing winds often rush in hurricanes over these deserts. shunned even by the Indian. as as level the sea and without a stone. the only tree of this soil. This country. IX. region intermixed with gaudy flowers. except when he crosses them to visit the tombs of his fathers. rising like a great landmark. For 1 80 miles west from Buenos Ayres they are covered with thistles and lucern of the most vivid green so long as the moisture from the rain lasts. so dense and so protected summer ground. and the lucern again spreads freshness over the The Pampas is for 430 miles west of this a thicket of long tufted luxuriant grass. the waters of which do not fertilize the blighted soil. though almost destitute of water. and a month afterwards the thistles shoot up 10 feet high.CHAP. In the Pampas of Buenos Ayres there are four distinct regions. by spines that they are impenetrable. without a tree or bush. is not of the same description. interrupted only at vast distances by a solitary umbu. and for 1000 miles between the Atlantic and the Andes. The shingle ends a few miles to the north of the Rio Colorado: there the red calcareous earth of the Pampas begins. 175 feet Ancles the highest of these platforms is only 3000 above the ocean. monotonously covered with coarse tufted grass. The plains are here and there intersected by a ravine or a stream. extends nearly almost to the table-land of Brazil.

infinite variety . called bright with orange-groves. the scene of the most laborious and beneficent exertions of the Jesuit Missionaries towards the civilization of the aborigines of South America in the last century. which also inundate the Pampas. of 1000 square miles. and with cattle-farms. A II Gran Chaco. These swamps are swollen to thousands of square miles by the annual floods of the rivers. and the drought that sometimes succeeds is . leaving a fertilizing coat of mud. lagoons of prodigious size. ible pasture to thousands of horses is and . and wideThe swamp or lagoon of Ybera. CHAP. reaching to the Andes. confined to a variety Adjoining this desert are the Bolivian provinces of Chiquitos and Moxos. The banks of the Parana. collect in large swamps. The Pampas of Buenos Ayres. and. those of Santa Fe. especially the graceful tribe of palms and the river inlands are desert of sand. 1000 feet above sea. exists west of the is Paraguay. are of sward. sink to a low level along the foot of the the Andes. spreading salines. and a great part of Cordova and Tucuman. covered with forests and jungle.176 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. cattle IX. is entirely covered with aquatic plants. this followed by a tract of swamps and bogs. lastly. Multitudes of animals perish in the floods. to which succeeds a region of ravines and stones. where the streams from the mountains lakes. other tributaries of the La Plata. are adorned with an of tropical productions. the vegetable produce of which of the aloe and cactus tribes. Entre Rios in Uruguay. a dwarf zone. of thorny bushes and The flat plains in trees in one dense thicket.

lying between the 18th parallel of south latitude and the 7th of north . THE SILVAS. Between the years 1830 and 1832 two millions of cattle died from want of food. According to Baron Humboldt. There are some marshy savannahs between the 3rd and 4th degrees of north latitude. which extend 1500 miles compared . when co- The Silvas of the river of the Amazons. N . the soil. and the vegetation is it can only be penetrated by sailing The forests not only tributaries. Millions of animals are sometimes destroyed by casual and dreadful conflagrations in these countries 1 vered with dry grass and thistles. IX. and some grassy steppes south but they are insignificant of the Pacaraimo chain with the Silvas. and I. so that the whole forms an area of woodland more than six times the size of France. so dense that river or This country is more uneven than the Pampas. the Sierra dos Vertentes and Parima. consequently inter-tropical and traversed by the equator. and probably more. Head's Journey over the Pampas. along the river.CHAP. where not a breath of air Sir Francis Sir Woodbine Parish on Buenos Ayres. VOL. cover the basin of the Amazons from the Cordillera up the its of Chiquitos to the mountains of Parima. lying in the centre of the continent. 177 more fatal. consists of the richest mould. varying in breadth from 350 to 800 miles. The heat is suffocating in the deep and dark recesses of these 1 primeval woods. form the second division of the South American low lands. enriched for ages by the spoils of the forest. but also its limiting mountain-chains.

and all nature tops of the lofty trees rustle ominously. scream in terror at the noise made by bands of its inhabitants flying from some night-prowling foe. The whole startled forest often resounds when the animals. a pause they " ' all burst forth in choral minstrelsy. The . not continuous. penetrates. till the forest rings in universal uproar.178 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Profound silence prevails broken at the dawn of morning roar of the wild chorus. and envelops the entangled creepers stretching from bough to bough. The . the damp is so excessive that a blue of the mist rises in the early morning among the huge stems trees. another general by Nighttoo fits of silence and have their ingales song after which is . at As A some sudden gale had swept hundred airy harps." if once Coleridge. A death-like stillness prevails from sunrise to sunset. which soon after groan and creak with the blast of the hurricane. Their anxiety and terror before a thunder-storm is excessive. midnight darkness envelops the ancient forests. from their sleep. but in bursts. The beasts seem to be periodically and unanimously roused by some unknown impulse. and where. after being drenched by the periodical rains. 1 CHAP. IX. at midnight. gions of the atmosphere comes as a warning from the black floating vapour . though not a breath of air a hollow whistling in the high reagitates them seems to partake in the dread. then the thou- sands of animals that inhabit these forests join in one loud discordant roar.

covered with long grass. frequently there is not an emi- nence a foot high in 270 square miles.E. fishes are affected with the general consternation . the climate is the more most These steppes for the part are destitute of trees or bushes. The Llanos of the Orinoco and Venezuela. flat as the surface of the sea. blows constantly from the ardent the farther west. for in a few minutes the Amazons rages in waves like a stormy sea. between the affluents of the Orinoco and the streams In flowing to the northern coast of Terra Firma. IX. form the third department of South American low lands. It 1 1 is possible to travel over these flat plains for 00 miles from the delta of the Orinoco to the foot of the Andes of Pasto . one consists of banks or shoals of grit or compact limestone. N 2 . perfectly level for several leagues. to N. THE LLANOS. They are and as the wind twice as long as they are broad . is.CIIAP. yet in some places they are dotted with the mauritia and other palm-trees. and imperceptible except on their edges : the other inequality can only be detected by the barometer or levelling instruments . it is called a Mesa. and is an eminence rising imperceptibly to Small as the elevation the height of some fathoms. rendered still 179 the vivid gloom is more hideous by Even lightning and the stunning crash of thunder.000 square miles between the deltas of the Orinoco and the river Coqueta. five or six feet high.W. some Flat as these plains are. and occupy 153. a mesa forms the watershed from S.. east. there are in places two kinds of inequalities .

IX. . The Llanos lie between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer . and form temporary lakes. manured by the sediment. and leaves the clayey soil sterile for years. and mimosas skirt the rivers. till vicissitudes of weather crumble the brick-like surface into earth. the wet season. of some affluents of the Orinoco are driven backwards From by the floods of that river. even where there is no wind. especially when aided by When the the wind. are mantled with verdure. the grass is burnt to powder . and hundreds of square miles of the Llanos are inundated by the floods of the rivers. destroying every animal. the air is filled with dust raised by currents occasioned by difference If by of temperature. an odour peculiar to many South American quadru- the flatness of the country too. the waters peds. and produce ananas. from April to the end of October. the mean annual temperature is about 84 of Fahrenheit. in which so many horses and other animals perish. the tropical rains pour down in torrents. with occasional groups of fan palm-trees. these steppes. waters subside. feet The water is sometimes 12 deep in the hollows. CHAP. that the ground smells of musk. When the dry weather returns. any accident a spark of fire falls on the scorched plains a conflagration spreads from river to river.180 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. The heat is most intense during the rainy season. when tremendous thunder-storms are of common occurrence.

as in the PeruBolivian portion. . near to the ruins of the Temple of the Inga Viracocha. 12'. 68" 19^'). The most remarkable circumstance gical features of the South in the geolois American continent the vast development of volcanic force. to the part nearest the sea-coast. is composed of a most perfect trachyte. long.. and where it has acquired a considerable breadth. to say that there are no traces of modern volcanic action at a great distance from the sea :' it is one of those theories which fallacy of. h owever. in the valley of the Yucay (lat. with well. lat. It is probable that many of the most celebrated mining districts of Alto Peru Potosi. a monument and a locality celebrated in Peruvian legend. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE.000 feet). situated in a porphyry very recent period. 71 and at an elevation of 12.500 feet above. which is confined to tlie chain of the Andes. It would be wrong. IX. long. 16 3(Y and the mountain of Litanias. 14 15' W. Modern volcanic rocks are not wanting in the valley of the Desaguadero volcanic conglomerates exist in the deep ravines round the city of La Paz.CHAP. . 16 42'. marked currents of lava issuing from it a rare occurrence in the higher craters of the Andes near to San Pedro de Cacha. extending from the latitude of Chiloe to that 1 Mr. for have been upheaved at a instance. and rises to a height of 14. stone for that Bolivian city (lat. which furnishes the building. 181 GEOLOGY OF SOUTH AMERICA. the nearest point of the seacoast being 175 miles distant. and at a distance of 160 miles from the Pacific. Pentland found a very perfect volcanic crater. in linear recent discoveries in both continents have proved the The volcanic vents occur in the Andes groups : the most southern of these is that of Chile.

Atacama The said to be mountain of Isluga. the Nevado of Tacora. and fires the volcano of Llanquihae or Osorno. Sahama. rises to a height of 22. but the great centre of volcanic action in this part of the Western Cordillera extends from 18 10' to 16 20'. limits of this line of vents the former. at a comparatively recent period . on one of its sides. is an active volcano. 17 43'. : CHAP. is . the crater of Uvinas. the most northern that of of which are sometimes seen from Between the 33rd parallel and the capital of Chile. and an active solfaterra. Between this point and the volcano of Arequipa no active volcano has been observed.350 feet. in the province of Tarapaca. where the Andes have changed their direction from being parallel to the meridian to one inclined nearly The and trachytic giant the Nevado of 45 degrees to that line. Pomarape and Parinacota. It is well known that the latter has vomited flames and ashes. 42 to 33 S. IX. in lat. in this space exist five of Santiago. near to it are the twin Nevados of 54' W. offers a broken-down crater. one of the most perfect trachytic pyramids in the Andes.182 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is in lat. the M. Chuquibamba mark the N. The group of snowy peaks seen from Arica. 18 7' and long. the Bolivian frontier there does not [appear to be a single volcanic vent. and : S. the most well-authenticated craters in ignition southern is observed by Maypu. 68 . and spread desolation around. Gaye. one of which appears to emit smoke. active in the 16th century. the centre of which. but in the province of rises the volcano of San Pedro of Atacama. domes of the Andes.

and rich in gold and specular iron. of Tuqueres or Los Pastos. which seems to be the base of the whole is widely spread to the east and south it appears in Tierra del Fuego and in the Patagonian continent.CHAP. all situated most remote from the ocean. Granite. IX. that travel years in the falling in Baron Humboldt says a person might Andes of Peru and Quito without with it. here and there associated with the granite. dillera Tunguragua. This Equatorial group extends over a latitude of meridional line of 3 degrees between the Peak of Sangay and the volcano of Los Pastos. schist is line rocks. and where are situated the into mineral riches of the former republic . generally mixed with It somemica. but mica- by much the most common of the crystalQuartz rock. is much developed. . GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. 183 now filled up and completely extinct. The most remarkable of these volcanic vents are the Sangay. the volcanos of Chiles. : Andes abundantly.500 feet. probably of the Devonian period. He never saw it at a greater Gneiss is height above the sea than 11. in the Cor- Pichincha burned as recently as 1831 and north of the Equator. and at great elevations. Imbaburu. and in Chile and southern Peru forms the line of hills parallel to the Pacific. the Andes do not present a single active crater. of Sotara and Purace. but it comes view so rarely in the northern parts of the chain. and Cotopaxi. Between the Arequipa (16 24') and the Equatorial group of volcanos. mark the extension of actual volcanic action into our hemisphere. of Cumbal. .

CHAP. Puno. Bed sandstone. Prodigious quantities of 1 Dr. The rocks 'give great variety to the colouring in Chile. One variety which frequently occurs is rich in metals. Coal is sometimes associated with it. mountains. .184 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and all the great it. in Peru. times extends several leagues in the western declivities of Peru 6000 feet thick. occurs in the Andes. bare and precipitous porphyryof the Oruro.750 feet above the sea. and is found in the Andes of Pasco. in 10. IX. are formed of dome-shaped Masses of this rock. of the age of our English red marl.000 feet for example. from Patagonia to Colombia. with its gypseous and saliferous marls. from 14. those of Potosi. on the slopes and summits of the mountains.000 to 18. 1 Trachyte of the is almost as abundant as porphyry . are seen on Chimborazo and Pichincha. and hence has been designated as metalliferous: in celebrated silver it are situated some of the most mines of Peru.a. and brown are contrasted with the snow on the summit Andes. of vast dimensions. of very different ages and mineralogical characters. as in Colombia. at every elevation. Porphyry abounds all over the Andes. but. on the plains of Tarqui and in the valley of Cuenc. it spreads over thousands of square miles" to the shores of the It is widely extended at altitudes of Atlantic.000 and 12. many loftiest parts. 14. where some places. and on the table-land east of them. Pceppig. where purple. rising to the greatest elevation. tile-red.000 feet thick. especially of the chain.

occur on the western face of the Andes. which encircle the valley of Desa- This is especially the case in guadero. where volcanos are active. at greater elevations. lava. with granites. and rock-salt of the most beauti- oolitic limestone. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. On the eastern side that. after twice subsiding some thousand feet. containing gypsum. was brought up by a slow movement in mass during the Eiocene period.500 feet. and those of the carboniferous limestone as high as 14. 185 volcanic products. ful colours. furnish a striking example.200 in several parts of Upper Peru. lat. heavings and subsidences have taken place in the chain of the Andes. Towards Chile. and tra- chytic conglomerates eastern Cordillera consists of stratified rocks of the Silurian system. while the of the and syenites injected. after which it sank down once more several hundred feet. . Pentland found fossil shells of the Silurian period at a height of 17.CHAP. the case is ditferent. and of secondary rocks triassic period. and throughout the Chilian range. and marls. obsidian. on the Bolivian Is'evado of Antakaua. and obsidian. quai tziferous porphyries. part of the chain The Bolithe and between Chile. tufa. IX. 1 The whole range. 1 These vicissitudes Mr. to be again uplifted to its present level by a slow and often interrupted motion. The Cordillera of the coast is composed of crystalline and stratified rocks at its base. Sea-shells of different geological periods are found which shows that many up- at various elevations. there are none. and of trachytes. because active volcanos are there in the centre of the chain. 16 21'. equator lying vian Cordilleras.

Darwin extremity. especially at its southern Stems of large trees. though it is sometimes suddenly elevated by a succession of small upheavings of a few feet by earthquakes. . found in a fossil state in the Uspallata range. with the volcanic soil on which they had grown. after five alternations of sedimentary deposits and deluges of submarine lava of prodigious thickness. 1 modern it appears that the whole area of the Chilian Andes has been rising for centuries by a gradual motion . now 700 miles distant from the Atlantic. IX. and now forms the Uspallata chain. on the eastern declivity of the Chilian Andes.186 are PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the embedded trunks have been brought in into view in a silicified state. is now rising by the same imperceptible degrees. which Mr. very perceptible. from the soil and scarcely comprehensible as such must ever appear. the whole mass was raised up. by the wearing of streams. projecting which they grew now solid rock. had sunk from the beach to the bottom of a deep ocean. CHAP. similar to that which shook the con- and the coast 1 Mr. These trees." From the quantity of shingle and sand in the valleys in the lower ridges. as well as at altitudes from 7000 to 9000 feet above the present level of the sea. exhibit a remarkable example of such vicissitudes. Darwin's Journal of Travels in South America. Subsequently. " Vast absolutely compared with many of the fossiliferous strata of Europe and America. from which. yet they have all occurred changes within a period recent when compared with the hisand the Cordillera itself is tory of the Cordillera .

within the period of the shell-fish now existing. and indeed the whole Andean chain. as they rose Cordillera. from the the Atlantic and the Andes. so that in all probability there was a subterranean lake of burning lava below this end of the continent twice as large as the 1 Black Sea. it has been only a few inches in the same line. . shingle and fossil shells found on both sides of the sea-coast. at least eight long periods of interrupted by marked by the edges of the successive plains. Darwin's Journal of Travels in South America. which. The gradual upward movement was rest. The rise on the coast of Chile has been at the rate of several feet in a century . but it has diminished eastward. even still retain their colours. till. Patagonian plains and Pampas. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. in many parts of these plains. On the eastern side of the Andes the land from Tierra del Fuego to the Rio de la Plata lias been raised en masse by one great elevating force. extending from south to north. had formed so many lines of higher and higher between It appears. 187 tinent for 1000 miles on the 20th of February. if it be considered that at the time of the earthquake of 1835 the volcanos in the Chilian Andes were in eruption contemporaneously for 720 miles in one direction and 400 in another. The instability of the southern part of the conin the tinent is less astonishing. that the whole south-western extremity of the continent has been rising slowly for a long time. 1 Mr. acting equally and imperceptibly for 2000 miles. 1835. which. IX.CHAP.

The superstructure of the latter consists of metamorphic and old igneous rocks. which we owe Mr. even at a period when the present shell-fish The Pampas of the Patagonian seas existed. and water. Darwin. The mata sufficient to nourish large tribe. stunted vegetation of these sterile plains was animals of the pachyder- now extinct. spread over the coast for 700 miles in length. chiefly of porphyry. and with syenite forms the base of the table-land. These myriads of pebbles. not in basins.worn. in which are large caverns with bones of extinct animals. on both sides of the Andes. CHAP. the deposit of the Rio de la Plata. sandstone. but in one great deposit. with a mean breadth of 200 miles. clay-slate. The terraced plains of Patagonia. which extend hundreds of miles along the coast. are tertiary strata. IX. extending at least 500 miles. which have been supposed to have been transported by icebergs which had descended to lower latitudes in ancient times than they do now to observations of great interest. Gold is found in . Granite prevails to the extent of 2000 miles along the coast of Brazil. at a period subsequent a period of to the deposition of the tertiary strata incalculable duration. Over the whole lies the shingle already mentioned. of Buenos Ayres are entirely alluvial. above which a thick stratum of a white pumaceous substance. are strewed with huge boulders. a tenth part of which lies consists of marine infusoria. and alluvial soil. All the plains of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. and 50 feet thick.188 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. have been torn from the rocks of the Andes. limestone.

caps the granite of the solitary prismthe culminating mountain of the Parima system. and manured by the decay of a thousand forests. IX. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. The sandstone of the Andes is found there also . in a ferruginous conglomerate of a very recent period. Limestone appears in the Bri- gantine or Cocollar. the most southern of the three ranges of the coast-chain of Venezuela . it has been gradually deposited. The fertile soil of the Silvas has travelled from afar : washed down from the Andes. which has deeply indented that coast. soil 189 rivers. broken up into detached masses by these irresistible powers. the other two are of granite. . in the table-land and mountains of the Parima system. the alluvial on the banks of the and diamonds. and crystalline schists. and on the plains of Esmeralda it shaped Duida. metamorphic rocks. chain of islands in the Spanish main is merely the wreck of a more northern ridge.CHAP. torn by earthquakes and worn by the The sea. in more than its usual ruggedness. so abundant in that country. Granite again appears.

at the a regular chain. but as a mass of high land they continue through Central America and Mexico. . is very steep on its western side. CHAPTER Central America X. and the watershed between the two oceans.W. Costarica. varying in breadth from 20 to 300 or 400 miles. where Central America narrow .E. the group of Honduras and Nicaragua. of land. This country consists of three distinct groups. and the group of Guatemala.190 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. X. the high land recedes to a greater distance from the shore than the Andes do in any other part between Cape Horn and Mexico. about 1200 miles. 1 1 Johnston's Physical Atlas. in an irregular mixture of table-lands and mountains. where it becomes wider. the Andes descend suddenly Isthmus of Panama. namely. which unites the continents of North and South America. Geological Notice. to N. West Indian Islands TAKING the natural divisions of the continent alone into consideration. CHAP. Central America may be regarded as lying between the Isthmus of Panama and Darien and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. and runs is near the coast of the Pacific. stretches from S. and consequently This narrow tortuous strip in a tropical climate. but to the north. As The mass of high land which forms the central ridge of the country. divided by valleys which run from sea to sea.

from which active volcanos. some of which are volcanos. X. From thence the forest- Veragua. Andean and forms the second break in the great The lake is only 128 feet above chain. 191 The plains of Panama. In the southern part of the table-land the cities of Old and New . and encompasses the Bay of Hon- duras with terraces of high mountains. extends to the small but elevated table-land of Costarica. of the absolute height of 5000 feet.CHAP. follow the direction of the isthmus for 280 miles. flows from its The river separated by a line of San Juan de Nicaragua it is eastern end into the Caribbean Sea. supposed to be 9000 feet high. CENTRAL AMERICA. with the Mosquito country and Honduras. and end at the Bay of Parita. It spreads to the east in the peninsula of at Yucatan. The table- land of Guatemala consists of undulating verdant plains of great extent. after an interval of The high land begins again. which lies between the plain of Comayagua and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. it is the Pacific. which terminates Cape Catoche. Managua or Leon by the has been Pena- By this water-line it projected to unite the two seas. occupies an area of 30. and covered Cordillera of terminates at the plain of Nicaragua. very little raised above the sea. and at its northern extremity connected with the river smaller lake of loya. Guatemala is a table-land intersected by deep valleys. and in some parts studded with hills. 170 miles. which.000 square miles. surrounded by volcanos. fragrant with flowers. which mostly consist of tablelands and high mountains. together with its lake.

where the high land of Guatemala ends in parallel ridges of mountains. rising from 7000 to 10. CHAP. are beautiful beyond de- scription. in the Mexican language. or Usumasinta. and flows over the table-land Gulf of Mexico. X. at the foot of which Old Guatemala stands. and form a scene of wonderful boldness and beauty. Guatemala are 12 miles apart. verdant to its summit. and de Agua.000 feet above the plain. la Papian. The now The Volcano del Fuego generally emits smoke from one and the Volcano de Pacayo is only of its peaks . Guatemala signifying. which occasionally pours forth torrents of boiling water and stones. filling half the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. situate.192 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. old city has been twice destroyed by it. is a perfect cone. The Volcano de Agua. and unites the table-land of Guatemala with that of Mexico. Though there are large savannahs on the high there are also magnificent plains of Guatemala. . as the name of the country implies. a The banks of the Rio de place covered with trees. by deep valleys to the north. which run from east to west along the 94th meridian. The portion of the plain on which the new city stands is bounded on the west by the three volcanos of Pacayo. The wide grassy plains are cut occasionally active. these. which rises in the alpine lake to the of Lacandon. and is nearly deserted on account of earthquakes. del Fuego. called the Cerro Pelado. lie close to the new city on the west. primeval forests. which is 140 miles broad.

The sugarcane is indigenous. at various distances from the shore. and on the declivity of the table-land. VOLCANOS OF CENTRAL AMERICA. and wooded mountains dip Nearly all the coast of the Pacific is skirted by an alluvial plain. high. and the mouths of the rivers are dense masses of jungle with feet mangroves and reeds 100 into the water. through which the inThere are more than ternal fire had found a vent. the vegezone is there in perfection. and 20th parallels of north latitude VOL. I. besides much that is peculiar to the country. of small width. 193 The coasts of Central America are generally narrow. volcanos. along the junction of the mountains and the shore. As the climate is tation of the temperate cool on the high lands. and in some places the mountains and high lands come close to the water's edge. yet delightful savannahs vary the scene. 20 active volcanos in succession between the 10th .CHAP. In a line along the western side of the table-land and the mountains there is a continued succession of at various heights. some higher O . and where nature is for the most part undisturbed. as in other countries where heat and moisture are in excess. vegetation is vigorous to rarikness air : forests of gigantic timber seek the foul above an impenetrable undergrowth. and on the low lands of the eastern coast islands is all the ordinary produce of the West Indian raised. It seems as if a great crack or fissure had been pro- duced in the earth's surface. X. and generally very different in character from that on the Atlantic side. On the low lands.

Lucia. the Lesser Antillas or the Greater An ti lias. CHAP. Tobago. The Colombian Archipelago. with its conThe row is single to the vexity facing the east. and several Altogether there are in Central 39 America. covered by ancient forests. which are mostly in the single part of the chain. which slopes to the sea all around. which is exposed to the force of the Atlantic current. 17 of which are in Guate- mala a greater number than in any other country. than the mountains of the central ridge. which may be regarded as the wreck of a submerged part of the continent of South and Central America. have conical mountains bristled with rocks of a still more rugged form . known as the Windward and Leeward Islands. consists of three distinct groups. or West Indian Islands. which form a semi- enclosing the Caribbean Sea. or gullies. circle. subject to violent eruptions. island of Guadaloupe. The volcanic islands. Tri- nidad. bold. and Dominica are particularly mountainous. and the mountains are cut by deep narrow ravines. and the Islands. Caribbean Islands. where it splits into two chains.194 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. more precipitously on their general character the eastern side. with a single mountain or group of mountains in the centre. namely. X. Java excepted. Bahama or Lucay but Some of the Lesser Antillas are is flat. Most of them are surrounded . but almost all the islands of the Lesser Antillas have a large portion of excellent vegetable soil in a high state of cultivation. St. Trinidad is the most southerly of a line of magnificent islands.

which make it difficult to return. The o2 . with wooded mountains passing through its centre nearly from east to west. Porto Rico. and still less with the Greater Antillas. by a serpentine bend. which furnish abundance of water. X. and there is little intercourse between these islands. and are clothed with undisturbed tropical forests. Porto Rico is 90 miles long and 36 broad. lie in a line parallel to the coastchain of Venezuela. Haiti or San Domingo. which render navigation dangerous. some only a few feet above the sea. and Jamaica. from the Gulf of Mexico. Haiti or San Domingo. or Sea of the Antillas. has a chain of mountains in its centre. from east to west . extend* ing from east to west like all the mountains in the Greater Antillas. branch diverges from the A main stem to Cape Tiburon. The four islands which form the group of the Greater Antillas are the largest and finest in the Archipelago. separates the Caribbean Sea. WEST IXDIAX ISLANDS. but the climate near the sea is unhealthy. The mountains are susceptible of cultivation nearly to the summit. The Lesser Antillas terminate with the group of the Virgin Islands. which are small and flat. There are extensive savannahs in the interior. separated from the Virgin Islands by a narrow channel. while Cuba. and very rich soil on the northern coast. on account of the prevailing winds and currents. 340 miles long and ] 32 broad. the highest point of which is 9000 feet above the sea.CHAP. so that Haiti contains a great proportion of high land. 195 by coral reefs. and most of them are mere coral rocks.

occupy the centre and fill island. Cuba. the declivistately forests. but so beset with coral reefs. which attain the height of SCOO Its feet. ties steep. many small rivers. only yards cover all the eastern part of the island . has an area of 4256 square miles. X. The the mountains plains are often unhealthy. sandbanks. and the soil. descending to verdant savannahs. mountains. The mean summer-heat is is 80 of Fahrenheit. The more elevated ridges are east to west. . from some places from it The offsets four across. the most valuable of the British possessions in the West Indies. fever has never pre- vailed at the elevation of 2500 feet. and 200 miles of coast. extensive plains are well watered. and rocks. Jamaica. CHAP. with so sharp a crest that in flanked by lower ranges. the largest island in the Colombian Archipelago. The escarpments and mingled with are wild. and the coast-line is 500 miles long. and not more than a twenThere are tieth part of the island is level ground. is which 110. has an area of 3615 square leagues. in a great longitudinal line. chiefly as sugar-plantations. with at least 30 good harbours.196 PHYSICAL GEOGKAPIIY.000 acres are cultivated. The Blue Mountains it is lies in principal chain of the the centre of the island. of not deep. some of them are very high. that only a third of it is accessible. though productive. but the air in is salubrious. the eastern part of the Iso island in these seas is more important with regard to situation and natural productions and although much of the . and that of winter 75. The valleys are very narrow.

and mica-slate . The geology of Central America is nevertheless it known . The Great Bahama is the first New World on which Columbus landed little part the next was Haiti. of them 500 of about islands. form the substrata of the country but the abundance of igneous rocks bears witness to strong volcanic action. of table-lands and mountain-chains in that the subterraneous forces partially must have acted more North America. From the identity of the fossil remains of extinct quadrupeds. appears. GEOLOGY OF CENTRAL AMERICA. swampy and unhealthy. lying east of Cuba and the coast of Florida. chiefly of corals. both in ancient and in modern times. of palm-trees. or pores. and irregularly than either in Soutli or Granite. there are vast is savannahs. from the confused mixture all directions.CHAP. The most intricate labyrinth of shoals and reefs. and about a seventh part of the island The Bahama least Islands are the least valuable and The the Archipelago. which still maintains its activity in the volcanic groups of Guatemala and Mexico. Twelve are rather large. gneiss. is 197 low ground cultivated. madrevated . and sand. and that the rugged and tortuous isthmus . there is every reason to believe that the West Indian Archipelago was once part of South America. where his ashes rest. many group mere rocks. them of the rise to the surface. and are cultiinteresting part of consists and though arid. encompass these islands some of and are adorned with groves . X. they produce Campeche log-wood and mahogany.

and the stillexisting fire in St. X. the volcanic nature of many of the West Indian islands. Montserrat. Martinique. : St. and consequently at a very recent geological period. which possibly has been increased by the erosion of the Gulf-stream and ground-swell a current of common temporary great impetuosity. Eustatins. Vincent's.198 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. extend from 12 may be mences with Grenada and ceases with it comdesignated as the Caribbean range St. Nevis. among May. The powerful volcanic action in Central America and Mexico.. volcanic action In the Colombian is confined to the smaller islands. Lucia. Archipelago. forming a line in a meridional to 18 N. islands and the serpentine chain of winding from Cumana to the peninsula of Florida. since the water is of considerable depth between the islands. of Central America. CHAP. and which direction. and it must have taken place after the destruction of the great quadrupeds. a great portion of Guadaloupe. The elevation of the table-land of Mexico may have been a contemporaneous event. and St. which. render it more than probable that the Carib- bean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico are one great area of subsidence. together with the tremendous earthquakes to which the whole region is subject. most of them possess craters recently extinct. Vincent. the West Indian islands from October to The subsidence of this extensive area must have been very great. which have vomited ashes and lava within . St. are but the shattered remains of an unbroken continent. Kitts are volcanic.

Bartholomew's. whilst the less elevated of the Leeward and Windward Islands. .CHAP. are composed either of calcareous or coral rocks. Barbadoes. with the Virgin Islands and Bahamas. Antigua. Barbuda and St. 190 historical periods. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. X. Deseada. Tobago.

its Its greatest length is about 3100 miles. is from south to north.PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. It is of its longer than South America. and breadth. which stretch from the Carolinas to the Gulf of St. which are the continuation of the high land of the Andes. but the irregularity outline renders it impossible to estimate its area. and terminates in the Arctic Ocean. as they maintain a degree of parallelism to the two coasts. The general structure of North America is still more simple than continent. is 3500 miles. that of the southern part of the The table-land of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains. to the natural division of the conti- North America begins about the 20th degree of north latitude. The Ions: narrow . and at no great distance from Although the general direction of the mountains it. CHAPTER XL North America Table-Land and Mountains of Mexico The Rocky Mountains Russian America. yet. they diverge towards the north one inclining towards the north-west. parallel to the Atlantic. run along the western side. The Maritime Chain and Mountains of ACCORDING nent. CHAP. The immense plains to the east are divided longitudinally by the Alleghanny Mountains. but at so great a distance from the Pacific as to admit of another system of mountains along the coast. XI. Lawrence. and the other towards the north-east. at the widest part.

where it attains its greatest breadth of 360 miles. which is nearly equal to north extremity of Scotland to Gibraltar. seen from a distance. XI. The descent from this plateau to the low lands is very steep on all sides . even to the 32nd degree of north latitude. There are only two carriage -roads to it from the Mexican Gulf. from whence it rises towards the west to the height of 7430 feet at the city of Mexico. but it still bears the character of a table-land. 201 is plain between the Atlantic and the Alleghannies divided. The most easterly part in that parallel is 7500 feet above the sea. Its height in California is not known. the outcropping edge of the Second Terrace. and there also it is highest. by a line of cliffs not more than 200 or 300 feet above the Atlantic plain. whose rolling surface goes west to the foot of the mountains. or Atlantic Slope. by passes 500 miles asunder one at . a distance of about miles. It is narrow towards the south. MEXICAN MOUNTAINS. and maintains an elevation of 6000 feet along the east side of the Sierra Madre. especially. enormous table-land occupies the greater part It begins at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. where it sinks to a lower level before join- ing the Rocky Mountains. and expands towards the 42nd 1600 the distance from the to the north-west till about the latitude of the city of Mexico. on the east.CHAP. it is like a range of high mountains. and extends north-west parallel of north latitude. An of Mexico or Anahuac. and then gradually diminishes to 4000 feet towards the Pacific. it is so precipitous that. throughout its length.

Xalapa. near the in to the west stands the its Mexican Gulf. once the capital of the empire of Montezuma. More a low range of wooded hill?. seen like a star . surrounded by a wall of porphyritic mountains. with ever-fiery crater. the most eastern of them. the other at is ocean. the plain of Tenochtitlan. to the Pacific. CHAP. it is as level as the There is a carriage-road over it for 1500 hills. snow-shrouded cone of Orizaba. Where the surface of the table. The descent to the shores of the Pacific is no less so. and that to the south where. not traversed by mountains. stretches from the Gulf of Mexico. One of Mexico the singular crevices through which the internal fire finds a vent. . surrounded by hills from 500 to 1000 feet high. and terminates in high mountains. west of Monterey. many remains of feet its ancient glory tes- It is 7430 above the sea. without from the city of Mexico to Santa Fe. In one of these. which must have far surpassed the modern city in extent and splendour.202 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. leaving only a narrow margin of hilly maritime coast. for 300 miles between the plains of Tehuan tepee and the Rio Yopez. it presses on the shores of the Pacific. The southern part of the plateau is divided into four parts or distinct plains. miles. near Vera Cruz. stands the city of Mexico. in a line about 16 miles south of the city of very remarkable row of active volcanos occurs along this parallel Tuxtla. directly across the table-land. A is in the 95th degree of west longitude. as tify. almost equally rapid. XI.

. chain of smaller A a plain on the western of the and about 70 miles in a table-land. group containing silver-mines of Fresnillo and Zacatecas : it soon after character of a regular chain. between the western declivity of the table-land and the Pacific. the loftiest mountain in Mexico. stands insulated great cone of Colima. proceeds in parallel ridges resumes its 1 Baron Humboldt. the last of this volcanic in the plain of that name. lies still farther west. and in a state of constant eruption. 1759. which has obtained it the " Mountain of the Cittalapetl Popocatepetl. slope from line the Pacific.CHAP. and. its continuity is broken into the insulated ridges of the Sierra and the the celebrated Altamina. on the night of the 29th of September. lat.b84 feet above the sea. is the volcanic cone straight volcanos unites the three. form a kind of is volcanic circus in the midst of which the city of Mexico and its lake are situated. The series." 17. MEXICAN TABLE-LAND. with the peaks of Iztacihuatl and of Toluca. feet It suddenly appeared. after running north about 60 miles. Star. in the XI. high range of mountains extends along the eastern margin of the table-land to the Real tie Catorce. and. with a breadth of 100 miles. and rose 1683 above the plain. 203 the name of darkness of the night. . and is the highest of six mountains 1 the table-land which have been thrown up on this part of since the middle of last century. and the surface of the plain is divided into two parts A by the Sierra Madre. On of Jorullo. which begins at 21 of X. which.

air is where the more cool. and between the parallels of 36 and 42.000 feet high and 4000 feet above their base . . and treeless. except in some places where oaks grow to an enormous size. where it banks of the Rio Bravo del Norte. free of underwood. and mountains on the The perpetually covered with snow. left bank of the last-mentioned river are the eastern ridges of the Sierra Madre. lat. where the chain is the watershed between the Rio Colorado and the Rio Bravo del Norte. to New Mexico. are a characteristic Deep rents. CHAP.204 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and joins the Sierra Verde. length. which. the most southern part of the Rocky Mountains. sterile. consequently the splendour which adorns the low lands vanishes on the high plains. called feature of the table-lands of Mexico two or three miles in breadth. though producing much grain and pasture. Vegetation varies with the elevation . some points of the Sierra Madreare said to be 10. with overhanging rocks covered with large trees. are often saline. often descending 1000 feet of the plain. with a brook or the tributary of some river flowing through them. in 40 of N. Their sides are preci- they are long and many more in below the surface : pitous and rugged. they are still higher. cavities. XI. Barancas. and longitudinal valleys skirts both To the south. and contain the sources of the innumerable affluents of the Missouri and Mississippi and other rivers that flow into the Mexican Gulf. The intense heat adds to the contrast between these hollows and the bare plains.

and it probably still higher towards the sources of the Peace above where the mountains. XI. but. The long which run through Texas to the Mississippi. it. THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN'S. and sometimes trees. but the general elevation is only above the line of trees. which is of rapids and cataracts for nearly 100 miles . only 15CO feet The are perpetually covered with snow. Sierra Verde is 490 miles from the Pacific. The western range is not so high till north of the 55th parallel. though the transverse valleys have fertile spots only offset in the with grass. 205 The Rocky Mountains run rallel chains from the Sierra 1 500 miles in two paVerde to the mouth of the Mackenzie river in the Arctic Ocean. skirts the Gulf . since the tributaries of the Colombia river descend from it in a series Mountains. and even far united above it. where both ranges are of the same height. one of which. the coast trends due north to the Sound of Juan de Fuca. The mountains on the west coast consist of two chains. sometimes by a transverse ridge. in 60 of Is - lat. from that point to the latitude of Behring's Sea. They are generally barren. as river. the western range of the Rocky Mountains maintains a dis-tance of 380 miles from the ocean.CHAP. must have considerable elevation in the south. as in Mounts Hooper and Brown . about the same latitude with the Sierra Madre. Their south is the Saba and Ozark moun- tains. In some places the eastern range rises to the snow-line. beginning in Mexico. valley between the two rows of the Rocky is 100 miles wide. and frequently higher than the snow-line.





of California on the east, and maintains rather an inland course till north of the Oregon river, where it

forms the Sea Alps of the coast and then, increasing in breadth as it passes through Russian America, it

ends at Nootka Sound.


other chain,


as the Sea

Alps of Cali-

fornia, begins at the extremity of the peninsula, and,

running northward with increasing height close to the Pacific, it passes through the island of Quadra

and Vancouver, and,
north-west coast,

after joining the Alps of the terminates at Mount St. Elias,

which is 17,860 feet high. range of very high snowy mountains, which begins at Cape Mendocino, goes directly across both of these coast-chains, and It forms the unites them to the Rocky Mountains. watershed between the Colorado, which goes to the Gulf of California, and the affluents of the Oregon or Colombia river, which flows into the Pacific, and


continued to the east of the

a less elevation, under the

Rocky Mountains, at name of the Black Mounthe









and the Rocky

Mountains from California

to the north of the

a mass

The Oregon

coast, for




of undisturbed forest-thickets and marshes; and north from it, with few exceptions, is a mountainous
region of bold aspect, often reaching above the snowline. branch of the Sea Alps, which runs west-



to Bristol

so has that

Bay, has many active volcanos, and which fills the promontory of Aliaska.


archipelagos and islands along the coast, from






California to the promontory of Aliaska, have the same bokl character as the mainland, and may be


regarded as the tops of a submarine chain of tableand mountains which constitute the most

Prince of westerly ridge of the maritime chains. Wales's Archipelago contains seven active volcanos.

The mountains on
islands are in

the coasts of the Pacific and the
places covered with colossal in the south are sandy









North America, continued
of the Mississippi

Plains, or Valley

The Great Central

The Alleghanny Mountains
Geological Notice

The Atlantic


Atlantic Plain

The Mean

Height of the Continents.

THE great central plain of North America, lying between the Rocky and Alleghanny Mountains, and reaching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic
Ocean, includes the valleys of the Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Nelson, Churchill, and most of those of the Missouri, Mackenzie, and Coppermine rivers.
It has an area of 3,245,000 square miles, which is 245,000 square miles more than the central plain of South America, and about half the size of the great

plain of the old continent,



less fertile



although the whole of America is not more than half the size of the old continent, it contains at least as

much productive soil. The plain, 5000 miles

long, becomes wider to-

wards the north, and has no elevations, except a low table-land which crosses it at the line of the Canadian lakes and the sources of the Mississippi, and

nowhere above 1500 feet high, and rarely more than 700 it is the watershed between the streams



to the Arctic

Ocean and those that flow
character of the plain


the Mississippi.



of perfect

uniformity, rising

by a gentle regular





of the

ascent from the Gulf of


to the sources

Mississippi, which river is the great feature of the North American low lands. The ground rises in the same equable manner from the right bank of the

Mississippi to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, but its ascent from the left bank to the Alleghannies is

broken into



dale, containing the



in the



so wide a

range of latitude the plain embraces a great variety of soil, climate, and productions but, being almost in a state of nature, it is characterized in its middle

and southern parts by interminable grassy savannahs, or prairies, and enormous forests, and in the
far north

by deserts which

rival those

of Siberia in


In the south a sandy


400 or 500 miles

wide, stretches along the base of the Rocky Mountains to the 41st degree of N. lat. The dry plains of

Texas and the upper region of the Arkansas have all the characteristics of Asiatic table-lands ; more to
the north the bare treeless steppes on the high grounds of the far west are burnt up in summer, and frozen in winter by biting blasts from the Rocky


soil improves towards the Mismouth, indeed, there are marshes which cover 35,000 square miles, bearing a rank

but the


vegetation, and




a labyrinth of streams

and lakes, with dense brushwood. There are also large tracts of forest and saline ground, especially


Saline between the rivers Arkansas and

Neseikelongo, which

often covered


two or three p





All the inches deep with salt like a fall of snow. cultivation on the right bank of the river is along

Gulf of Mexico and

in the adjacent


entirely tropical, consisting

provinces, of sugar-cane,


and indigo.



so characteristic

of North America, then begin. To the right of the Mississippi these savannahs
are sometimes rolling, butoftener level, and interminable as the ocean, covered with long rank grass of

tender green, blended
liliaceous kind,



with flowers chiefly of the the air with their fragrance.

districts they are sometimes interwith spersed groups of magnolia, tulip, and cotton trees and in the north with oak and black walnut.

In the southern

These are rare occurrences,
traversed for

as the prairies

may be

days without finding a shrub, except on the banks of the streams, which are beautifully fringed with myrtles, azaleas, kalmias, andro-


medas, and rhododendrons. On the wide plains the only objects to be seen are countless herds of wild
horses, bisons,

and deer.

The country assumes a

more severe aspect

in higher latitudes.


capable of producing rye and barley in the territories of the Assinaiboia Indians, and round Lake Winnea low vegetation with peg there are great forests grass follows, and towards the Icy Ocean the land is barren and covered with numerous lakes.

East of the Mississippi there is a magnificent undulating country about 300 miles broad, extending 1000 miles from south to north between that great river and the Alleghanny mountains, mostly covered








When America

uninterrupted forest spread over the country,
to the

was discovered, one from

Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Canadian lakes Gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic Ocean

crossed the Alleghanny mountains, descended into the valley of the Mississippi on the north, but on the south it crossed the main stream of that river altogether, forming an ocean of vegetation of more than 1,000,000 of square miles, of which the greater part still remains. Although forests occupy so much of

the country, there are
side of the river also.



on the



the interior,

Pine barrens, stretching far occupy the whole coast of the


Gulf eastward

Pearl river,

through Alabama and a great part of Florida. These vast monotonous tracts of sand, covered
with forests of gigantic pine-trees, are as peculiarly a distinctive feature of the continent of North Ameof the United States

rica as the prairies, and are not confined to this part ; they occur to a great extent

North Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere.


and Kentucky, though much cleared, still possess large forests, and the Ohio flows for hundreds of miles among magnificent trees, with an unnessee

dergrowth of azaleas, rhododendrons, and other beautiful shrubs, matted together by creeping plants.
forests appear in all their glory : the gigantic deciduous cypress, and the tall tuliptree, overtopping the forest by half its height, a variety of noble oaks, black walnuts, American

There the American

plane, hickory, sugar-maple, and the lyreodenclron,

r 2





the most splendid of the magnolia tribe, the pride

of the forest.


Illinois waters a

country of prairies ever fresh

and green, and five new states are rising round the great lakes, whose territory of 280,000 square miles contains 180,000,000 of acres of land of excellent



These states, still mostly covered with between the lakes and the Ohio, and they

reach from the United States to the



a country twice as large as France, and six times the size of England.

The quantity of water in the north-eastern part of the central plain greatly preponderates over that of the land ; the five principal lakes, Huron, Superior, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario, cover an area equal to
Great Britain, without reckoning small lakes and
rivers innumerable.

The Canadas


millions of acres of


covered with immense

Upper Canada

the most

the most fertile, and in many respects is one of valuable of the British colonies in the


requires a hot thrives there.

every European grain, and every plant that summer and can endure a cold winter,


forest consists chiefly

of black

and white spruce, the Weymouth and other pines trees which do not admit of undergrowth they


to great height, like bare spars, with a tufted

The fall of crown, casting a deep gloom below. large trees from age is a common occurrence, and not without danger, as it often causes the destruction of
those adjacent

and an ice-storm







After a heavy fall of snow, succeeded by rain and a partial thaw, a strong frost coats the trees and all their branches with transparent ice often an inch

the noblest trees bend under the load, icicles

hang from every bough, which come down
with the least breath of wind.


The hemlock-spruce

especially, with its long drooping brandies,
like a solid mass.

If the wind freshens, the smaller trees become like corn beaten down by the tempest,

while the large

ones swing heavily in the breeze.


forest at


way under







tree with

sudden and


violence, crushing all before them, till the whole is one wild uproar, heard from afar like successive discharges of artillery. Nothing, however, can be

imagined more brilliant and beautiful than the effect of sunshine in a calm day on the frozen boughs, where every particle of the icy crystals sparkles, and
nature seems decked in diamonds.

Although the



perpetually frozen at the

depth of a few feet below the surface beyond the 56th degree of north latitude, yet trees grow in some
places up to the 64th parallel.

Farther north the

gloomy and majestic forests cease, and are succeeded by a bleak, barren waste, which becomes progressively

more dreary







Four-fifths of

are like the wilds of Siberia
in the

in surface

and climate, covered many months

year with deep snow. During the summer it is the resort of herds of rein-deer and bisons, which come

Mr. Taylor.

000. and results from These mountains have no central axis. and separated by fertile longitudinal valleys. which occupy more than two. it is 150 miles broad. rarely more than 3000 or 4000 feet high.214 from the south PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the only part of the chain to which the name of the Alleghanny mountains properly belongs. St. and the river New Brunswick. XII. which constitutes the second or subordinate system of North American mountains. This high land is tra- versed throughout 1000 miles. running nearly parallel through1 Sir Charles Lyell's Travels in North America. forming alternate hills and their peculiar structure. Its base is a strip of table-land. CHAP. to browse on the tender short grass which then springs up along the streams and lakes. between Alabama and Vermont. by from three to five parallel ridges of low mountains. at the mouth of Lawrence.thirds of its breadth of 100 miles. and the uniform level of their summits. from 1000 to 3000 feet high. rivers Alabama and Yazan. . but consist of a series of convex and concave flexures.000 of square miles. which is lower and less wild than the Rocky Mountains. and the whole is computed to have an area of 2. In Virginia and Pennsylvania. The parallelism of the ridges. The uni- formity of outline in the southern and middle parts of the chain is very remarkable. separates the great central plain from that which lies along the Atlantic Ocean. 1 longitudinal valleys. lying between the sources of the in the southern states of the Union. are the characteristics of this chain. The Alleghanny or Appalachian chain.

and the base the mean length and breadth of the same. and They fill the Canadas. 215 out their length. for. and their western slope is considered one of the finest To the south they countries in the United States. and even if the mountains be the higher of the two.CHAP. maintain a distance of 200 miles from the Atlantic. XII. supposing both to be of the same base and altitude. from whence their general course is northerly to the river St. and thus its mass may be computed approximately. It is evident that a table-land effect on the mean height of a continent than a chain of mountains. But the Blue Mountains. or the area on which the chain stands. New BrunsNova Scotia with branches as high as the is mean 1 elevation of the principal chain. are continued in the double range of the Green Mountains to Gaspe Point in the Gulf of St. which form the most easterly ridge. and extend chain of mountains A assumed to be a three-sided hori- zontal prism. Law- rence. Maine. The watershed nearly follows the windings of the coast from the point of Florida to the north-western extremity of the State of Maine. they are generally clothed with a luxuriant vegetation. . 1 The picturesque and Appalachian mountains is peaceful scenery of the well known . but approach close to the coast in the south-eastern part of the State of New York. and cut transversely by the rivers that flow to the Atlantic on one hand. and to the Mississippi on the other. Lawrence. their upper parts contain much less solid matter than their lower on account of the intervals and deep valleys between the peaks. wick. THE ALLEGHAXNIES. whose height is the mean elevation of the chain. one would be exactly double the must have a greater other .

except that they probably extend to from S. is low and destitute of wood.000 souls by its fisheries to Britain than any part of America the distance from the port of St. though low. length. but the western part. XII. the mouths of the Churchill and that of the Mackenzie river. are always covered with snow. maintains a popuit is nearer lation of 70. produce flax and timber . England and Wales. on the east it descends as steeply to the coast.E. which are of much greater . and the majestic forest is superseded by the arctic birch. till on the arctic shores the soil becomes incapable of culture. though little favoured by and Newfoundland. which creeps on the ground. as large as : in Ireland is only 1656 nautical miles. but vegetation in general. Many of the islands along the north-eastern coasts. from Quebec and Mealy Mountains. John to the harbour of Valentia nature.E. plain which between the Appalachian mountains and the Atlantic extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the lies The long and comparatively narrow . known the Barren Ground. The country between Hudson's Bay. CHAP. extend from Ottowa River to Sandwich Bay.W. Lawrence. even to the dreary regions of Baffin's Bay.216 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. N. Not only the deep forests. diminishes as the latitude increases. the One goes N. Little is known of the high lands within the Arctic Circle. is also an unknown region . and. The chief Canadian branches are parallel to the river St. covered with low precipitous hills. The whole is except on the banks of the streams.

Rogers. affording scenes of great beauty. and undulates westward to the foot of the Blue Mountains. . extremities in Alabama and New York. for Esq. not more Atlantic Plain. where It is islands. D. merely includes the coast divided throughout its length by a it line of cliff's from 200 to in Alabama and ends on is 300 feet high.. At its southern extremity gradually becomes narrower in to it joins the plain of the Mississippi.CHAP. after dashing over the rocky barrier. More than twenty-three rivers of considerable size fall in cascades down this ledge between New York and the Mississippi. It is and cultivation. the eastern edge of the terrace which rises above the Maritime or Atlantic Plain. run in tranquil streams to the ocean. much valuable information.' by H. 217 its eastern coast of Massachusetts. ridges of hills and long valleys run along it parallel to the mountains. surface of the slope is of great uniformity . 1 The author is indebted to the ' Physical Geography of North America. the most eastern It is narrow at its ridge of the Appalachian chain. which begins the coast of Massachusetts. which are precipitated over its rocky edge to the plains on the west. close to which rich in soil it is 600 feet high. of the United States. but in Vir- The ginia and the Carolinas it is 200 miles wide. and northern course New England. and has an immense in the streams and rivers flowing from water-power the mountains across it. THE ATLANTIC SLOPE. and the plain itself is a monotonous level. XII. 1 Both land and water assume a new aspect on the The rivers. This escarpment known as the Atlantic Slope.

CHAP. for the most part covered with plutonic and volcanic formations and secondary limestone : yet granite comes to the surface on the coast of Acapulco. Nature. maintains her sway in some parts. but original proprietors of the soil irresistibly not a solitary. The greater part of the magnificent countries east of the Alleghannies is in a high state of cultivation and commercial prosperity. and occasionally on the plains and mountains of the The Rocky Mountains are mostly Silutable-land. with innumerable creeks.000. especially where pine-barrens and swamps prevail. instance of the rapid extinction of a whole race. the greater part of which capable of producing everything that is useful man. form the substratum of Mexico. except the eastern ridge.000 of square miles.000. fertile. than 100 feet above the surface of the sea. and the tide of white men is continually and pressing onwards to the ultimate extinction of the a melancholy. rian. however.218 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. abounding in mineral treasures. The outposts of civilization have already advanced half-way to the Pacific. with natural advantages still not surpassed in any country.000 or 8. but not more than a twenty-sixth part of is to it has been cleared. XII. which is of stratified . rich in precious and other metals. the it soil generally healthy. The territory of the United States occupies 7. Crystalline and Silurian rocks. the coast it is Alons: O scooped into valleys and ravines. and The climate is possesses every advantage from navigable rivers and excellent harbours.

XII. volcanic action in the southern part of the is entirely confined to the coast and high land along the Pacific. which form a semicircle between Cape Aliaska. even since the sea was inhabited by the existing species of shell-fish. the country it is full ductions. and the peninsula of Kamtchatka. as continent. From the similar nature of the coasts and 'the identity of the fossil mammalia on each side of Behring's Strait. Some of the gigantic quadrupeds of the old continent are supposed to have crossed. Wales's Archipelago. it is more than probable that the two continents were united. Though a considerable interval occurs north of them.CHAP. Elias westward through the whole southern coast of the peninsula of Russian America and the Aleutian Islands. with immense tracts of volcanic rocks. and again finds vent of igneous proin Prince of canos. volcanic vents occur. in America. 219 crystalline rocks. The numerous vents in Mexico and California are often in great activity. especially obsidian. both ancient and modern. and to have wandered southward through the longitudinal valleys of the . where the fire is dormant. ter. and hot springs abound. except in Mexico and the Andes. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. which is noM'here developed on a greater scale. to America . amygdaloid and ancient volcanic The coast-chain has the same characproductions. and in the latter peninsula there are three of great height. either over the land or over the ice. In North America. which has seven active volFrom Mount St.

* . since creatures not larger than a rat vanished from Brazil within the same period. Richardson on the Fauna of the High Latitudes of Sir Charles Lyell. however. These animals were not destroyed by the agency of man. But on the Patagonian plains. 1 mice. and had existed at the same time with those already mentioned. at least [as far as yet known. and to have spread over the vast plains of both conAn extinct tinents. others like rats all or hippopotamus had lived on vegetables. probably even since the existence of the Indians. even to their utmost extremity. the mastodon. one like an anteater of great magnitude. though on a very reduced scale. skeletons of creatures of gigantic size and anomalous forms have been found. The skeletons of these creaits America tures are found in great numbers in the saline marshes on the prairies called the Licks. and a hollow-horned ru- minating animal roamed over the prairies of North certainly since the sea was peopled by present inhabitants. XII. covered with a prodigious coat of mail similar to that of the armadillo . North America. There were. a species of elephant. Rocky Mountains. and Central America. three gigantic edentata. which are 2 still the resort of the existing races. as large as the of which Dr.220 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. South America still retains in many cases the type of its ancient inhabitants. Mexico. various animals peculiar America. as well as to to each part of that continent. and on the Pampas. CHAP. 1 species of horse.

. GEOLOGICAL NOTICE. and Lapland. prevail over Gneiss. sional granite. and the Ural Mountains. and occawide areas in the Alle- ghannies. derick Murchison has traced them through central and eastern Europe. even Throughout these vast regions. de Verneuil and Sharpe. and in the more northern parts of America. mica-schist. the Silurian strata are followed to Siberia. or to such 1 as contain shells of recent species only. In the latter countries. Sir Charles Lyell has observed that the fossiliferous rocks belong either to the most ancient or to the newest formations .CHAP. becomes infinitely more so when viewed in connection with that of northern and middle Europe. both in America and Europe. remarkable analogy exists in the structure of the land on each side of the A North Atlantic basin. XII. the all the country of the Polar Ocean. on the Atlantic Slope. and still more in the northern latitudes of the American continent . to the Silurian strata. and geological outline of the United States. and they range also through the greater part of Scandinavia. the middle and high latitudes of North America. Finland. though highly interesting in itself. 1 This remarkable analogy between the fossil remains of the Silurian systems in the Old and New World has been more particularly shown by the researches of Messrs. 221 The Canadas. no inter- immense 2000 miles in regions. they occupy a tract nearly as great between the most mediate formation appearing through Silurian strata extend over westerly headlands of Norway and those that separate the "White Sea from the Polar Ocean and Sir Ro.

000 square There are many limits of that state and Alabama. Vast carboniferous basins . and in northern Europe. XII. which are developed on scale in the United States. in ascending order by the Devonian and carbonia stu- ferous formations. great lakes are formed along the junction of the strata. a mile and a half thick in as New much in others of great magnitude. chiefly in the pendous Alleghauny mountains and on the Atlantic Slope. and traces of it are found on the shores and in the islands of the Polar Ocean. both in the States and to the north of them. the whole analogy affording a proof of the wide diffusion of the same geological conditions in the northern regions at a very remote . so very distant from one another. CHAP. the British isles. the general range of the rocks is from north-east to south-west . and even in Spitzbergen. between the northern miles occupies 63. and North America. The coal formation is also developed in New Brunswick. and three times one single coal-field where Pennsylvania.222 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the Silurian strata The Silurian rocks in coalfields many instances are the same. all the England are 3000 miles off. exist in Belgium. which is not the least of the many advantages enjoyed by that flourishing country. precisely and the In of New similar to those in Wales. on the east coast of Greenland. The Devonian and carboniferous strata together are York. more northern countries that have been mentioned. above and a great portion of Britain is perfectly similar in structure to North America. so that most valuable of all minerals is inexhaustible.

found that the table-lands. on account of their by whom much greater influence For example. it would great extent and mass. have a only raise the soil 6 feet the Alps. most likely. XII. whereas the compact plateau of the Spanish peninsula. Pyrenees stand. Volcanic agency has not been wanting to complete the analogy. so that the table-land of the Spanish peninsula would produce an effect four times as great as the whole system of the Alps. computation was effected. while the land was still covered by the deep. are now scattered over the higher latitudes of both continents. would elevate the soil of Europe 76 feet . brought from the north by drift ice or currents. in the very distant and less-known island of and Jan Meyen. great extent of low land necessarily compen- A . upon if the range of the Pyrenees were pulverized. and strewed equally over the whole of Europe. which occupy an area four times as great as that on which the . the result than mountain-chains. would only raise it 22 feet . 223 At a later time those erratic blocks. Even now the volcanic fires are in great acti- vity in the very centre of that basin in Iceland. with their slopes. high lands and tiie Baron Humboldt.CHAP. and they appear North Atlantic and Polar Seas. MEAN HEIGHT OF CONTINENTS. were. The average level of the sea all the height of the continents above the is the mean between the height of all the low. which has only 1920 feet of mean height. The Silurian and overlying strata have been pierced in many places by also in the islands of the trappean rocks on both continents. which period.

at a point nearer the Indian than the Arctic Sea. the elevation is only 830 feet. on account of the depression round the Caspian Sea . and still more from the very low level and the enormous extent of Siberia. which is of but 380 nine times as large as France. and all the other French moun- 870 feet. As the mean elevation of the passes gives the mean height of the mountains. which is 300 feet higher than the mean height of the Alps. and the third part of Asia has According to M. 1 .224 sates for the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. has a mean altitude feet. The intumescences in these vast plains are insignificant in comparison with their vast area. Vosges. which larger than all is a third Europe. The mean tains. though the peaks in the Alps have a greater elevation than those of the Pyrenees in the ratio 1^ to 1. which is not half the height of the city of Munich. including the Pyrenees. Charpentier. although it has a few intumescences. so that it is 200 feet lower than the mean height of France. XII. high at least it diminishes its effect. CHAP. is only 670 feet. however. and even on the Upper Angora. because the vast European plain. of 1. for Tobolsk is only 115 feet above the level of the sea . Baron Humboldt estimated from the height of 23 passes over the Pyrenees that the mean crest of that chain is 7990 feet high. which. Juras. is elevation of France.' The the great table-land of Eastern Asia.720.000 square miles. while the mean height of the whole European continent. has a much less effect on- mean height of Asia than might have been expected. the area of the base of the Pyrenees is 1720 square English miles. with its colossal mountain-chains. are not much above 1000 feet high.

but when the minor added mountain systems and the table-land of Brazil are to the Andes. The smalluess of this mean is owing to hollows in the table-land. I.CHAP. chains of the Himalaya and Kuen-lun. The effect of the Great Gobi. whose mean elevation. the dry basin of an ancient sea of considerable extent near Erge. The tableland of Tibet. 225 a mean height of only 255 feet. so that this great desert has a mean height of but 4220 feet. North America. especially in the desert of the Great Gobi. and consequently it only raises the centre of gravity of the Asiatic continent 128 feet. that part of the table-land lying be- tween Lake Baikal and the wall of China. XII. the mean level of Asia above the sea is 1 150 feet. whose in mountain-chains are far inferior to those 1 the The Russian Academicians MM. it would not raise them above 518 feet. VOL. is 11. their mass has little effect on the continent of South America on account of the extent of the eastern plains. is diminished by a vast hollow 2560 feet deep. For if these mountains were reduced to powder. and strewn equally over them. Fuss and Bunge found by barometrical measurement the mean height of that part of the Eastern Asiatic table-land lying between Lake Baikal and the Great Wall of China to be only about 6960 feet. MEAN HEIGHT OF CONTINENTS. the mean height of the whole of South America is 1130 feet. though it is twice as large as Germany. Q . together with the it.600 feet. 1 Notwithstanding the height and length of the Andes. which enclose On the whole only produces an effect of 358 feet. which are exactly one-third larger than Europe. according to Baron Hmnboldt.

has its mean elevation increased by the table-land of Mexico. somewhat less under South America.420 21.G66 15.000 feet as the absolute elevation of the in the middle of the height of the snow-line on the mountains Asiatic table-land. 15. In the course of ages changes will take place in these reon account both of the sudden and gradual rise of the land in some parts of the earth.200 22.380 . \ . . so that mean height. north are the lowest portions of our hemisphere. the elevation of the highest peaks. but Colonel Sabiue observes that these measures want confirmation. . the Peak of Dhawalaghini is certainly 28. .300 15. Eastern Cordillera Western Cordillera Alps j < Between 1 8 and ia & S. and least of all under Europe. . Thus it appears that the internal action in ancient times has been most powerful under Asia. considerably less under North America. Africa excepted. is 1010 feet.226 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. . southern part of the continent.700 21. . CHAP. . The continental masses of the pression in others.000 feet as the high. and the height of the it has 750 feet of the New centre of gravity of all the continental masses above the level of the sea. 1 1 By the mensuration and computation of Baron Humboldt and Mr.250 14. Himalaya Andes between 5 N. and its desults.000 or 19.900 7. and the mean heights of the Himalaya. since the mean heights of Europe and North America are 670 and 750 feet. 25. and 30. Pen tl and. of the Equatorial and Bolivian Andes and the Alps. . XII. Height.670 11.000 feet Captain Gerard gives 18. The mean elevation of the whole of World is 930 feet. lat.353 . and 2 i S. are as follows : Peaks. Mean . However.

and the earth itself increasing in density towards its centre. XII. La Place has proved that the of the equilibrium of the ocean can never be subverted by any physical cause a general inundation from the mere instability of the ocean is stability : therefore impossible. and their extent only about a fourth of that of the sea. the mean height of the From its small influence on the gravitating force. the continents is about 1000 feet. they might be easily submerged. to known of the bed of the ocean that no drawn with regard to its heights and what relation its mean depth bears land. La Place assumed As the mean height of it to be about four miles.CHAP. in consequence of the sea being only one-fifth of the mean density of the earth. 227 So little is inference can be and hollows. MEAN* DEPTH OF THE OCEAN. were it not that. .

XIII. Earthquakes Secular Changes in the Level of THE continent of New is Holland. and by harbours that might give shelter to all the navies in Europe. is fectly similar in structure. as far as it has been explored. or Van Diemen's Land Pelasgic Islands Atolls Continental Islands Xew Zea- land New Guinea Borneo Coral Reefs Barrier Reefs tlie Encircling Reefs Volcanic Islands Areas of Subsidence and Elevation in Bed of the Pacific Active Volcanos the Land. so destitute of large navigable interior. It is 2400 miles from to south. CHAP. New Guiis .228 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. separated from New Holland by Torres Straits. CHAPTER The Continent of Australia Islands XIII. and traversed by the same chain of mountains with New Holland and Van Diemen's Land. The most distinguishing feature of the eastern side. situate in the East- ern Pacific Ocean. but it is still so little known that no idea can be formed of its mean elevarivers that probably tion. . so pera de- The coasts of New Holland are indented by very large bays. that it forms but tached member of the adjacent continent. which is chiefly occupied by the British colony of New South Wales. seems to be singularly flat and low. from north and nea. and 1700 divided into two unequal parts by the Tropic of Capricorn consequently it has both a temperate and a tropical climate. east to west. Tasmania. no very high land exists in its which.

where it ends.AV. It is low the New in northern parts of New . by a chain of mountainous islands across Bass's Straits to Cape the continent.CHAP. It is continued at one extremity from Torres Straits. from thence the range proceeds in a zigzag line of high and picturesque mountains to South Cape. is XIII. its course of 1500 miles. from whence. however. at the north of the interior of Gulf of Carpentaria. AUSTRALIAN MOUNTAINS. and forms the wild group of the Corecudgy Peaks.E. being in but about the 30th it assumes the form of a reguand. yet soon returns. it proceeds in a general westerly direction to the land's end. The average . the southern extremity of It is continued. its highest part. running in a very tortuous line from N. to S. Portland. under the names of the Blue Mountains and Australian Alps. far into the Guinea. maintains a meridi- onal direction through 35 degrees of latitude. in Van Diemen's Land . in waters. Holland.. separated the drainage of both countries into eastern and western The 32nd distance of the chain from the sea in is it New the South "Wales parallel from 50 to 100 miles. 229 from the a long cliain of mountains which never retires far coast. with the exception of some short its deviations in southern part. some places merely a high land degree of south latitude lar mountain-chain. terminates its visible course at Wilson's Promontory. having. height of these mountains is only from 2400 to 4700 feet above the level of the sea. and at the other it traverses the whole of Van Diemen's Land. but at recedes to 150. and.

is peaks. by dark and almost subterraneous gullies. and streams flowing through them in black silent eddies or foaming difficulty torrents. and flat crowned by naked needles. left it These shoot right and range. . The spurs give a terrific character to these mountains. XIII. CHAP. equal to from the ridgy axis of the main in height. position so favourable. though wooded along from the flanks. 1 In New South Wales the country slopes westward from these mountains to a low. their rounded and covered with forests . iron-bound by impracticable precipices. both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. the danger of descending into them. 1 Memoirs of Count Strzelecki. unbroken plain. min- gled with patches of snow. tooth-formed crests of granite or porphyry. and separated from it. it is true. that the view from its snowy and craggy top sweeps over an area of 7000 The rugged and savage character of square miles. almost a com- plete barrier between the country on the coast and that in the interior a circumstance very unfavour- able to the latter. and the chain. and from one another. The intricate character of these ravines. the loftiest of the not more than 6500 feet high . and even Mount Australian yet its Alps. but by are tops far the greater part of the chain. in of getting out again. flat. like rents in the bosom of the earth. render this mountainNew South Wales at least. is is Kosciusko. these mountains far exceeds what might be expected their height : in some places.230 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and in many places render them altogether inaccessible.

darkly verdant and round-topped and ridges are promiscuously grouped together. Beyond and the land better. some large However unpropitious the centre of the continent . to swamps. and bounded on the east by a feet high. None of the rivers of New Holland are navigable any great distance from their mouths. between the Gulfs of Van their Diemen and Carpentaria. NEW HOLLAND. it was not colonized till 1788. The want of water is severely felt in the interior. as if they served for drains to body of water. in this the 4000 range of primary mountains from 3000 to which granite occasionally appears. founded partly on the nature of the and also because all the rivers that flow into the is sea on the northern coast. coast. yet a belief prevails that there and is a large sea or fresh-water lake in its centre . 231 On hills the east side. and forms colony. to leading a richly-wooded lands which gradually descends to the the valuable undulating country. is a treeless desert of sand. of the British Dis- covered by Cook in the year 1770. parts suffer the privations and difficulties incident to their position. country is level. and jungle. with the comforts and luxuries of civilized life. which. yet there is educated society in the towns. as far as it is known.CHAP. The land is coast-belt on the western side of New Hol- generally of inferior land. It has become a prosperous counand although new settlers in the more remote try . with richer tracts interspersed near the rivers. XIII. this opinion soil. converge towards sources. though nowhere very productive except in grass.

No country has a greater number of deep. and. though its peculiar character is pastoral. may be barren character and the shores generally have the same there is abundance of fine country inland .200 square miles. though not navigable to any distance. In the colonies. separates it into two nearly equal parts. commodious harbours. with a mean height of 3750 feet. and is very mountainous. rises winding through Van Diemen's Land again from Cape Portland. perature. of triangular form. There are large forests on the mountains and elsewhere.from the coast. the clearing of a great extent of land has modified in some degree the mean annual temtries in the drier. they afford secure anchorage for ships of any size. and as most of the rivers. The offsets which shoot in all directions are as it savage and full of impassable chasms as is itself. in the form of the letter Z. ends at South Cape. On the north all tropical productions might be raised. so that the climate has and not thereby improved. It encloses the basins of the Derwent and Heron rivers. and. and in so large a continent there must be extensive tracts of arable land. CHAP. There are cultivable plains . end in arms of the sea. XIII. and at an average distance of 40 miles from the sea. yet that moisture is wanting which clothes other coun- same latitudes with rank vegetation. has an area of 27. The mountain-chain that traverses the colony of New South Wales and the islands in Bass's Straits.232 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. after sending a branch betwen them to Hobart Town. become hotter and Van Diemen's Land.

form. as many parts of the main chain. Von Buch into the two 1 distinct classes of Continental and Count Strzelecki. is of granite. XIII. are of and quartz rock the older igneous rocks. the species of other countries. they have been grouped by M. is poor in species. . is than the adjacent continent. CLASSIFICATION OF ISLANDS. but their fossil fauna tical with. and most of its offsets. and character. as it is at the present day.CHAP. previous to the carboniferous period. far inferior to that in the greater part 1 of North or South America. The South central axis of the mountain-range. Some are idenand others are representatives of. . bearing a striking resemblance in character to a similar portion of the Altai' chain described by Baron Ilumboldt. 233 and valleys along the numerous rivers and large so that lakes by which the country is well watered Van Diemen's Land is more agricultural and fer. in New Wales and nite. Though the innumerable islands that are scattered through the ocean and seas differ much in size. and extends far into the interior of the continent. Granite constitutes the entire floor of the western portion of New South Wales. but its climate is The uncleared soil of both countries. even of England. The fossiliferous strata of the two colonies are mostly of the Palaeozoic period. tile wet and cold. however. It appears from their coal-measures that the flora of these countries was as distinct in appearance from that of the northern hemisphere. in Van Diemen's Land. sye- but in early times there had been great invasions of volcanic substances.

Continental islands are in proportion to their breadth. so that they suggest the idea of a submarine portion of the maritime range that has not yet completely emerged from the deep or. which elongated dimensions. America island. extending from Chiloe to Cape Horn. The various islands along the American coast of the Polar Ocean are the shattered fragments of the continent. Jamaica. and still mark its ancient boundary. the ancient margin of the mainland is marked by the curved group of Porto Rico. as if they had been formed during the elevation long of the mainland.234 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and ending with Vancouver's Island. and are mostly of the same structure. or had subsequently been separated from it by the action of the sea. . if sinking. Another range of Continental islands occurs at the southern extremity of America. evidently an exterior range of the Patagonian Andes. generally run parallel to the maritime chains of mountains. and follow each other in succession along the margin of the continents. San Domingo. offers numerous examples of this kind of a long chain of them. These islands. beginning with the New Norfolk group. has not yet follow one another in their disappeared below the waves. XIII. all simithe north-western coast there is On lar and parallel to the maritime cliain. and the southern prolongation of the granitic or coast chain of Chile in the Gulf . most of the latter being either of volcanic or coral formation. of Mexico. and Cuba. Pelasgic islands. CHAP. which nearly joins the peninsula of Yucatan.

also. or in part often very lofty sometimes single. from North Cape southwards. The great central chain of Madagascar and its elongated form. as Corsica and Sardinia. which are a continuation of the Maritime Alps. . and have at the surface . with islands. are It remarkable instances of Continental islands. would be superfluous to mention the various instances which occur in the Mediterranean. a centre of volcanic action in one or more of the islands. that in great hollow domes by the either remained so. and generally far from land. Asia. They are mostly volcanic. there is a continuous chain of rocky islands similar and parallel to the great range of the Scandinavian Alps. round which the others have been formed. Pelasgic islands have risen from the bed of the ocean. Java. and each group merly has had. show that the island once formed part of the African continent. altogether . and Zetland itself. as Sumatra. or for- frequently in groups. independently of the continents. Orkney. and another vast chain extends along the western coast of Asia from Formosa to Kamtchatka. abounds in instances. and the Moluccas. XIII. have become rent vapours. CLASSIFICATION OF ISLANDS. continent also affords 235 innumerable The old . they have been raised up internal elastic have craters of elevation. where many of the islands are merely the prolonof the mountain. parallel to the Lupata Mountains.chains of the mainland gations rising above the sea. is Many to say. and has. Great Britain the Hebrides. examples along the whole coast of Norway.CHAP.

when the pressure from below was removed active vents. into gigantic fissures. by the erup- tion of loose incoherent matter. has the group of Zealand or Tasmania. is partly the wreck of a continent that has been en- gulfed by the ocean. Von Bucb. and altogether forms a region which. XIII. Van Diemen's Land. In the Atlantic.236 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Canaries. is little 1 known. in Teneriffe. CHAP. or of lava currents. Helena. is one of the . from the unstable nature of the surface of the earth. in which craters have formed. St. which all but unites this enormous archi- New pelago to the continent of Asia. M. on the south. : most magnificent volcanic cones in the world. This extensive portion of the globe is in many parts terra incognita . within the Ant- arctic Circle. and from the 130th eastern meridian to Sumatra. are all of volcanic formation. and Azores have each volcanic vents the peak of Teyda. with its appendage. Tristan da Cunha. . the Indian Archipelago has been little explored. and. The cific labyrinth of islands scattered over the PaOcean for more than 30 degrees on each side of the equator. or have collapsed into hollow cups. and the continent of Australia. and Madeira are volcanic. though none are active. witli the exception of our colonies in New Holland and New Zealand. l : a considerable number have The mous small islands and groups scattered at enordistances from one another. Ascension. though not now actively so whereas the Cape de Verde. and partly the summits of a new one rising above the waves.

forests. Britain. and even in The coast is a broken water too hot to be endured. Von Buch conceives that the enormous circuit. volcanic origin. once formed Ireland. the best of harbours. in the most northerly. Louisiade. on the exhibiting grandest scale all the alpine characters. with the addition of active volcanos on thirds of their height in the eastern and western coasts : that of Tangarara pours forth deluges of boiling water. overrun by ferns and a low kind of myrtle but the mountain-ridges are clothed with dense and gigantic . New Hebrides. XKW ZEALAND. beginning with New Zealand and extending through Norfolk Island. and beauty and of mineral variety vegetable productions. . of permanent snow and glaciers. There are undulating tracts and table-lands of great extent without a tree. overspread with a most luxuriant but dark and gloomy vegetation. XIII. There is much good 1 land and many lakes. New Hanover. mountains. and a mild Mansel. and such is that plants 1 country. the western and northern boundary of the Australian Solomon's Island. New and New Guinea. New continent.CHAP. Esq. 237 M.000 feet above the stormy ocean around. High . Iceland . fertility. run through the which. which deposit vast quantities of siliceous sinter like the Geysers in the vitality of the vegetation grow richly on the banks. New Caledonia. New Zealand. rise 14. divided into three islands by rocky and dangerous channels. is superior to Australia in it abounds in a richness of soil. with navigable rivers. buried twoislands.

next in size to island. covered with palms and other beautiful forms of tropical vegetation that they restrial paradise. and two volcanos burn on its northern shores. vivified by the glowing sun of the equator. so that CHAP. which descend in cascades rushing The whole is so densely through wild crevices. loaded with aromatic verdure. coasts are cut by deep inlets. that shelve to the shore. crowned by lofty mountains. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. XIII. seem to realize a ter- Papua 400 or Pacific after in width. and watered Their by the purest streams. divided into . 1100 miles long and mountains rising above mounin the west they attain the height of New Guinea. the New Holland. or dip into a transparent glassy sea. New Guinea. itself to the north of Aus- There. with till tains. It may be considered. the islands of the Indian Archipelago are of matchless beauty. From its position so near the equator the east.238 climate . from the little that is known of it.000 feet. no country is better suited for a pros- perous and flourishing colony. it is probable that New Guinea has same vegetation with the Spice Islands to the and. even at this early period of its colonial existence. capped with snow. is largest island in the 16. must be one of the finest countries in existence. very different scene from the stormy seas of A NCAV Zealand presents tralia. which end in three Borneo. is a noble two nearly equal parts by the equator. as the Great Britain of the southern hemisphere. and traversed through its whole length by magnificent chains of mountains.

Beautiful 239 rivers flow branches at the Java Sea. field a wide Honourable Captain Keppel. since our China have been extended. among the peaks of Keni-Balu. gutta percha. rich in coal. gums. on which They have become of much importance relations with . appendage. whose civilization and prosperity hand down to posterity the name of the enterphilanthropic Sir James Brooke. aspire. and . and antimony point of the island. and other officers of Her Majesty's Navy. are among its minerals all cious woods. with the highest honour to which man can will prising. it will in the course of time become the seat of a great nation. XIII. BORNEO. Rajah of Sarawak. The climate in is healthy. riches of the Many of the islands are hardly known . gold. and in the direct line of an extensive and valuable commerce. from them to the plains. prekinds of spices and tropical fruits are among its vegetable productions. the highest Diamonds. and its small island the of Labuan.CHAP. is happily situate in the route of steam-vessels be- some tween India and China. A volume might be written on the beauty and Indian Archipelago. and several of these spring from a spacious lake on the table-land in the interior. tempered by sea- breezes. and they are now of easier access since the seas have been cleared of pirates by the exertions of the number has never been explored. the interior of the greater so that they offer of discovery to the enterprising traveller. Situate in the centre of a vast archipelago. and parts even European .

with the latitude. and in mountains and plains.2-iO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. studded with coral islands or atolls. and their detritus. It is instability of the a singular circumstance. barrier reefs. are 1 actually sinking below it. except is New Caledonia and the Seychelles fact. They are all nearly confined to the tropical regions the Pacific and Indian Oceans alone. their lakes climate they vary. in the In- dian Seas. with their and rivers . all entirely pro- duced by the growth of organic beings. lagoon islands or atolls. whereas there is every reason to believe that those vast spaces. that all the smaller tropical pelasgic islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are either volcanic or coralline. encircling reefs. The great intertropical islands of the Pacific. There are four different kinds of coral formations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. like the main land. and have been for ages. Sir F. Darwin on Coral Reefs. XIII. that in . and it a startling most cases where there are volcanos the land is rising by slow and almost imperceptible degrees above the ocean. CHAP. under the able direction of the Hydrographer of the Navy. Ceylon and Madagascar. . Beaufort. and coral fringes. arising from the crust of the earth. namely. account surveys of their coasts have been already made. only that continental climates are more extreme both as to heat and cold. and are going on. . which by the way do not differ in character from the preceding. likewise other as large islands. the atolls to An atoll or 1 lagoon island consists of a chaplet or Mr. are really continents in miniature.

CHAP. washed up by the surf. 241 ring of coral. unless when they are covered with the cocoa-nut. oftener less. XIII.11 the coral at a ing-line a mile and a half long. B . or circlet shelves down to the distance of 100 or 200 yards from to its edge. though not of the On same species with those which build the exterior wall and the foundations of the whole ring. so that the sea gradually deepens 25 fathoms. Even rapid descent than the cone of any at the small distance of some hun- dred yards no bottom has been found with a soundA. also of living coral. Hence the lagoon islands are not discernible. which is so tremendous on the windward side of the tropical islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. I. and is frequently the first warning to seamen of their approach to an atoll. moderate depth below water is alive dead. with a more volcano. The of water into contact with perpetual change brought the external coral by the breakers probably supplies VOL. the lagoon side. enclosing a lagoon or portion of the The average breadth of the ocean in its centre. which is On the outer side this ring frequently the case. part of the ring above the surface of the sea is about a quarter of a mile. the bounding ring or reef shelves into it by a succession of ledges. beyond which the sides plunge at once into the unfathomable depths of the ocean. or the pandanus. being the detritus of the living all above is part. where the water is calm. palm. ATOLLS. and it seldom rises higher than from 6 to 10 or 12 feet above the waves. even at a very small distance. that it is often heard miles off.

CHAP. coral is of the most varied and delicate structints : and of the most beautiful dark brown. shine through the limpid water while fish of the most gorgeous hues swim among kinds. because the still water in the lagoon. much slower growth. cular.242 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. departments of any one class is checked and limited by others. but 1 Supplement to the Observations on the Temple of Serapis. in different atolls. few of the lagoons have been filled up . 1 of the lagoon varies. Esq. . pink. the exuberant increase of nature. The depth from 20 to 50 fathoms. Lagoon islands are sometimes cirmore frequently oval or irregular in their Sometimes they are solitary or in groups. peachcolour. but the process is very slow from the causes assigned. take their place. vivid green. and of . XIII. and also because there are marine animals that feed on the all In its indefinite growth. ceases to produce the hardier and species of more delicate forms. the bottom being partly detritus and By the growth of the coral. some partly live coral. and prevent The ture. they deprive the riant growth. being supplied from the exterior by corals openings in the ring. deep blue. whole of the coral in the interior of the most nourishing part of their food. them with more food than they could obtain in a quieter sea. living coral. contrasted with . by Charles Babbage. with dazzling white. the branching coral. deep shadows. yellow. but form. which may account for their more luxuAt the same time. which are of many different though all combine in the structure of these singular islands. rich purple.

with the atolls elongated in the same direction. which beats upon them with such violence that it may be heard at the distance of 8 miles. channels between the Dangerous Archipelago. R2 . for they are so low that the in high tides or storms. is one of the most remarkable assemblages of atolls in the Pacific Ocean. The reefs or rings are about half a mile wide. and waves break over them by these ships may sail into the lagoons. where the tide enters. They have openings or channels in their circuit. 243 they occur most frequently in elongated archipelagos. generally on the leeward side. and islets are frequently formed on the coral rings by the washing up of the detritus. and yet on that side the coral insects build better. XIII. the largest of all. than more vigorously. and seldom rise more than 10 feet above the edge of the surf. The grouping of atolls bears a perfect analogy to the grouping of the archipelagos of ordinary islands. CORAL REEFS.CHAP. and vegetation on the other. thrives Many of the islets are inhabited. surrounding very deep lagoons. which are excellent harbours. and extends its atolls in 60 groups over 1000 miles. and even on the surface of the circlet or reef itself there are occasionally boatislets. lies north of the equator. Many are of great size. There are 80 of them. generally in a circular form. and separated from each other by profound depths. lying east of the Society Islands. The from 2 size of these fairy-rings of the ocean varies to 90 miles in diameter. The Caroline Archipelago.

into which their sides descend with more than ordinary rapidity. sional hurricanes. the next in size. The Laccadives run to the north of pelago in this archiatolls. differ in no respect from atoll- except that they have one or more islands in their lagoon. they encircle . or afford The Malabar. are beat by a tempestuous sea and The atolls in the Pacific occa- Ocean and China Sea are beyond enumeration. at a distance of two or three miles from the shore. former is 470 miles long and about 50 miles broad. They commonly form a ring round mountainous islands. and separated from the land by a These lagoon or channel 200 or 300 feet deep. Suadiva. a double line of nearly circular islets. rising on the outside from a very deep ocean. XIII. with atolls arranged in a double row. CHAP. none are more more perfect specimens of this than the Maldive and Laccadive peculiar formation. The largest atoll 88 miles long. to which there is access is by 42 openings. rising by a steep ascent to the surface. and. is 44 miles by 23. on which are low inhabited Encircling reefs reefs. with a large lagoon in its centre. There are inhabited islets on most of the chaplets or rings not higher than 20 feet. separated by an unfathomable sea. nearly parallel to the coast of interesting. reefs surround the submarine base of the island.244 and all PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and elongated in that direction. Though less frequent in the Indian Ocean. while the reefs themselves are nowhere more than 6 feet above the surge. both archipelagos. and somewhat less than 20 broad .

and is hemmed in from the ocean by a coral band of the usual kind. The lagoon. and lofty island. bar- A rier reef off the north-east coast of the continent of Australia is the grandest coral formation existing. with a breadth . forests of cocoa-nut. is another instance of an encircled island of the most it rises in mountains 7000 feet beautiful kind high.CHAP. and. XIII. it extends 1000 miles along the coast. 245 itself. or encircling reef of the former is 135 miles in its very irregular circuit. it is covered with . the largest of the Society group. Rising at once from an unfathomable ocean. except where cleared for cultivation. Barrier-reefs are of precisely the same structure as the two preceding classes. The Caroline Archipelago exgood examples of this structure in the encircled islands of Hogoleu and Siniavin the narrow ring the island hibits . palms. it only a strip of water from 2 to 5 miles wide and 30 fathoms that Otaheite. bananas. with only a narrow plain along the shore. from which they only differ in their position with regard to the land. and the that a frigate might sail of Siniavin is narrow reef encircling so large. ENCIRCLING AND BARRIER REEFS. The lawhich it like an enormous encompasses moat. at a distance varying from half a mile to three miles. is 30 fathoms deep. and other productions of a tropical climate. goon. on which are a vast number of islets six or eight islands rise to a considerable : height from its it opening to into it. which is so deep. bread-fruit. lagoon leaves is so nearly filled by a round deep. its it and irregular.

The un- broken roar of the surf. yet so deep toned as not to interfere with the slightest . XIII. The rolling of the billows along the great Australian reef has been " The long ocean-swell. The reef is really 1200 miles the sea included between the land is The great arm of long. curling over. called the Coralline Sea. and as of the Pacific which lies between it is them. suddenly impeded by this barrier. being admirably described. and at an average of from 20 to 30 miles from the shore. Each line of breaker ran often one or two miles in length with not a perceptible gap in its continuity. probably from some great river on that There are also extensive barrier-reefs on the island. distance varying from 200 yards to a mile. There was a simple grandeur and display of power and beauty in this scene that rose even to sublimity. interrupted off the southern coast of it New Guinea by muddy water. increasing in some places to 60 and even 70 miles. fell on the edge of the reef in an un- broken cataract of dazzling white foam. which destroys the coral animals. and is safely navigable throughout its whole length. lifted itself in one great continuous ridge of deep blue water.246 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. as each succeeding swell fell first on the outer edge of the reef. with a few transverse openings by which ships can enter. occasionally 60 fathoms deep. islands of Louisiade and New Caledonia. which. because It is stretches nearly across Torres Straits. which are atolls stud that part exactly opposite to the great Australian reef. it and nowhere less than 10. was almost deafening. with its regular pulsation of thunder. CHAP.

and. Mr. precipitously to unfathomable depths . fringed by these reefs.CHAP. both on the no lagoons. as they line the shore itself. XIII. is as they frequently surround shoals. Darwin has found an explanation of these singular phenomena in the instability of the crust of the earth. From an extensive survey of the Coralline Seas of the tropics. A continents and islands. the foundation and support of the reef. Jukes.. and others sinking 1 By Mr. work of various species of coral animals but those particular polypi which build the external wall." Coral-reefs are distinct from all the foregoing. yet the perpendicular thickness of the coral is known to be very great. R. they are very dangerous. Since there are certain proofs that large areas of the dry land are gradually rising. Torres Straits. are most vigorous when most exposed to the breakers . .N. and. extending hundreds of feet below the depth at which these polypi cease to live. Naturalist to the Surveying in Voyage of Captain Blackwood. LAGOON ISLANDS. 247 nearer and sharper sound Both the sound with and sight were such as to impress the spectator the consciousness of standing in the presence of an overwhelming majesty and power. and although the whole of it is not the work of these animals. they cannot exist at a greater depth than 25 or 30 fathoms at most. and die immediately when left dry yet the coral wall descends whole ring or . l they are merely fringes of coral along the margin of a shore. they have vast extent of coast. Lagoon islands are the .

and would form archipelagos elongated in the direction of the mountain-chains. which constructs the outward wall and mass of the reefs. the coral-animal. There are strong reasons Pacific. Now. As the subsidence continued. down. till at length the island would entirely disappear. the island surface of the ocean. never builds laterally.248 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the lagoon would would diminish. it Hence. XIII. on the lagoon islands indicate a subsidence in others changes arising from the expansion and contraction of the strata under the bed of the ocean. so the bottom of the ocean the general change that is state of things . each peak would . and cannot exist at a greater depth than 25 or 30 fathoms. of a rise in certain parts of the basis of the ocean. and the base of the coral-reef would sink deeper and deeper. sank down below the surface of the deep. the tops of mountains and table-lands would remain as islands of different magnitude and elevation. if it began to lay the reef on the submerged flanks of an would be obliged to build its wall upwards its in proportion as the island sank down. and a perfect atoll would be left. so that at length a lagoon would be formed between it and the land. so new not exempt from slowly bringing about a and as there is evidence. If the island were mountainous. for believing that a con- tinent once occupied a great part of the tropical some part of which subsided by slow and As portions of it gradually imperceptible degrees. while the animal would always keep its top just below the increase. foundation of island. is CHAP. multitudes of the volcanic islands in the Pacific.

the continuity of the reef. accompanied with smoke. and the distance increases to 16 miles near the southern extremity. See Beechey's Voyages. tinued on 1 At each the side other eud the reefs are con- 150 miles beyond the subto the formation of the is lagoon but the edge of a submarine elevation crater. . in lat 30 14'. Another theory relative that the coral circuit and Captain Beechey. and for many leagues never approaches within 8 miles of its shore. and Pceppig's Eeise. all of which are but the tops of submerged mountain-chains. receives corroborafrom the perfect conformity in shape between many of the lagoon islands of the Gambier group and the known elevation craters. the islands in the middle of the lagoons. and the enwould have different forms. Every intermediate form between an 1 atoll and an encircling reef exists : New Caledonia is a link between them. XIII. and the forms of the archipelago. 249 circled islands reefs form a separate island in the lagoon. to whom we are indebted more than to any other navigator for positive information and admirable tion surveys of the coral islands of the Pacific. LAGOON ISLANDS. which has been adopted by Von Buch edifice. and from the circumstance of a lagoon island having been seen to rise in 1825. the different distances of the reefs from them. islands is. reef runs along the north-western A coast of that island 400 miles. on which the coral animals have raised their This view. This theory per- fectly explains the appearances of the lagoon islands and barrier-reefs.CHAP. and communicating so high a temperature to the surrounding sea as rendered it impossible to land. and generally partake of their elongated forms. which the would follow continuously. so exactly similar to the archipelagos of ordinary islands.





marine prolongation of the land, marking the former extent of the island. In the lagoon of Keeling
Atoll, situate in the Indian Ocean,

600 miles south

of Sumatra, many fallen trees and a ruined storehouse show that it has subsided these movements

take place during the earthquakes at Sumatra, which are also felt in this atoll. Violent earthquakes have
lately been felt at

Yanikora (celebrated

for the


Perouse), a lofty island of the Queen Charlotte group, with an encircling reef in the western
part of the South Pacific, and on which there are marks of recent subsidence. Other proofs are not



"wanting of this great movement in the beds of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
atoll formations, including the encircling reefs, is enormous. In the Pacific, from the southern end of Low Archipelago to the northern extremity of Marshall or Ra-


extent of the




dick Archipelago, a distance of 4500 miles, and many degrees of latitude in breadth, atolls alone

above the ocean.

The same may be

said of the

space in the Indian Ocean between Saya de Matha and the end of the Laccadives, which includes 25 degrees of latitude such are the enormous areas

have been, and probably still are, slowly Other spaces of great extent may also subsiding.

be mentioned,

as the large archipelago of the Carolinas, that in the Coralline Sea of the northwest coast of Australia, and an extensive one in the

China Sea.


the volcanic islands in the Pacific are so

CHAP. xin.



numerous, there is not one within the areas mentioned, and there is not an active volcano within
several hundred

group of


miles of an archipelago, or even This is the more interesting, as

recent shells and fringes of dead coral, found at various heights on their surfaces, show that the

volcanic islands have been rising more and more above the surface of the ocean for a very long time. The volcanic islands also occupy particular zones

the Pacific, and

it is

found from extensive ob-

servation that all the points of eruption fall on the 1 areas of elevation.

One of

the most terribly active of these zones

begins with the Banda group of islands, and extends through the Sunda group of Timor, Sumbawa, Bali,

Java, and Sumatra, separated only by narrow channels, and altogether forming a gently curved line

2000 miles long


but as the volcanic zone



tinued through Barren Island and Narcondam in the Bay of Bengal, northward through the islands

along the coast of Aracan, the entire length of this volcanic range is a great deal more. During the

hundred years all the islands and rocks for 100 miles along the coast of Aracan have been gradually rising. The greatest elevation of 22 feet
has taken



place about the centre of the line of the north-west end of the island of

Few books have more interest than Mr. Darwin's on ) Coral Reefs and Volcanic Islands, to which the author is much indebted. Consult also Captain Beechey's Voyages, and his
beautiful charts of the Coral Islands in the Pacific.





Cheduba, containing two mud volcanos, and is continued through Foul Island and the Terribles. The little island of Gonung-Api, belonging to


Banda group, contains a volcano of great



and such


the elevating pressure of the in that part of the ocean, that a mass

of black basalt rose up, of such magnitude as to fill a bay 60 fathoms deep, so quietly that the inhabitants

were not aware of what was going on till it was Timor and the other adjacent islands nearly done.
also bear

marks of recent


not a spot of its size on the face of the earth that contains so many volcanos as the island of




range of volcanic mountains, from 5000

to 13,000 feet high, forms the central crest of the island, and ends to the east in a series of 38 separate



with broad bases, rising gradually into all stand on a plain but little elevated

above the

and each individual mountain seems

have been formed independently of the rest. Most of them are of great antiquity, and are covered with
thick vegetation. Some are extinct, or only emit smoke ; from others sulphureous vapours issue with

prodigious violence; one has a large crater filled with boiling water ; and a few have had fierce

The island is covered with eruptions of late years. volcanic spurs from the main ridge, united by cross
chains, together with other chains of less magnitude,

but no

less fury.


the Nautical Survey in 1818.


Sir Stamford Raffles ou Java.





In 1772 the greater part of one of the largest volcanic mountains was swallowed up after a short
but severe combustion

a luminous cloud enveloped

the mountain on the llth of

August, and soon after

the huge mass actually disappeared under the earth

wiih tremendous noise, carrying with it about 90 square miles of the surrounding country, 40 villages,

and 2957 of their inhabitants.

The northern

coast of




and swampy,

but the southern provinces are beautiful and romantic yet in the lovely peaceful valleys the stilldisturbed by the deep roaring of the volcanos, many of which are perpetually burning
ness of night

with slow but

terrific action.

Separated by narrow channels of the sea, Bali and Sumbawa are but a continuation of Java, the same in nature and structure, but on a smaller scale, their

mountains being


more than 8000

feet high.

intensity of the volcanic force under this part of the Pacific may be imagined from the eruption of Tomboro in Sumbawa in 1815, which continued


from the 5th of April till July. The explosions and in were heard at the distance of 970 miles


at the

distance of



the darkness

during the day was like that of deep midnight, from the quantity of ashes that filled the air they were

Bencoolen, a distance of 1100 miles, with which, regard to distance, is as if the ashes of Vesuvius had fallen at Birmingham. The country

round was ruined, and the town of Tomboro was submerged by heavy rollers from the ocean.





In Sumatra the extensive granitic formations of
Eastern Asia join the volcanic series which occupies This most beauso large a portion of the Pacific.
tiful of islands presents the boldest aspect ; it is indented by arms of the most transparent sea, and watered by innumerable streams; it displays in its vegetation all the bright colouring of the tropics.

Here the submarine

fire finds

vent in three volcanos

on the southern, and one on the northern side of the few atolls, many hundreds of miles to the island.




that this volcanic zone alternates with

an area of subsidence.


to the


and nearly parallel to the

preceding zone, begins to the north of

another line of volcanic

New Guinea, and passes New New Britain, Ireland, Solomon Islands, through and the New Hebrides, containing many open vents.
This range or area of elevation separates the Coralline Sea from the great chain of atolls on the north



it lies

group and the Caroline Islands, so between two areas of subsidence.
and greatest of all the zones of volcanic one of the Molucca group,
with volcanic cones



islands includes Gilolo,


and from

northwards through the Philippine Islands and Formosa bending thence to

may be

the north-east,

passes through

Loo-Choo, the Japan

continued by the Kurile Islands to the peninsula of Kamtchatka, where there are several volcanos of great elevation.

Archipelago, and



Islands and

Formosa form the





volcanic separation between the atoll region in the China Sea, and that of the Caroline and Pellew


There are

six islands east

of Jephoon in the Japan

Archipelago which are subject to eruptions, and the internal fire breaks through the Kurile Islands in

18 vents, besides having raised two new islands in
the beginning of this century, one 4 miles round, and the other 3000 feet high, though the sea there
is so deep that the bottom has not been reached with a line 200 fathoms long.

Thus some long
from the tropics

rent in the earth had extended

Okhotsk, probably connected with the peninsula of Kamtchatka a new one begins to the east of the latter in the

to the gelid seas of

Aleutian Islands, which are of the most barren and
desolate aspect, perpetually beaten by the surge of a restless ocean, and bristled by the cones of 24 vol-





they sweep in a half-moon round Behring's they join the volcanic peninsula of Russian
line of volcanic



beyond the

limits of the coral-working animals,

agency has been followed far which

extend but a short way on each side of the tropics ; but it has been shown that in the equatorial regions

immense areas of elevation
areas of subsidence

alternate with as great

north of


Holland they are

mixed that


indicates a point of convergence. the other side of the Pacific the whole chain

of the Andes, and

the adjacent


of Juan

Mr. Darwin on Volcanic






Fernandez and the Galapagos, form a vast volcanic and though which is actually now rising

there are

few volcanic islands

north of the zone

yet those that be indicate great internal activity, especially in the Sandwich Islands, where the volcanos of Owhyhee are inferior to none in



awful sublimity. That of Kirawah is on the flanks of Mowna Roa, which is itself a volcano. It was
seen in high activity by Mr. Douglas in 1834; he describes it as a deep sunken pit, occupying five

square miles, covered with masses of lava which had In the midst of been in a state of recent fusion.
in both there these were two lakes of liquid lava was a vast caldron in furious ebullition, occasionally

spouting to the height of from 20 to 70 feet, whence streams of lava, hurrying along in fiery waves, were finally precipitated down an ignited arch, where the
force of the lava was partly arrested

by the escape of gases, which threw back huge blocks, and literally spun them into threads of glass, which were carried

He says like the refuse of a flax-mill. that of all the the noise could hardly be described steam-engines in the world would be a whisper to it ; and the heat was so overpowering, and the dryness
by the wind
of the air so intense, that the very eyelids scorched and dried up. 1

may be

fringes, the


observed that, where there are coral is either for, rising or stationary




Douglas's Voyage to the Sandwich Islands in Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of






were it subsiding, lagoons would be formed. On the contrary, there are many fringing reefs on the shores of volcanic islands along the coasts of the Red Sea,
the Persian Gulf, and the

West Indian

islands, all


Indeed, this occurrence, in numrising. berless instances, coincides with the existence of up-

which are

raised organic remains on the land. As the only coral formations in the Atlantic are

fringing reefs, and as there


not one in



expanse, except



may be concluded

that the bed of the ocean is not sinking; and with the exception of the Leeward Islands, the Canaries, the Azores, and the Cape de Verde groups, there are no active volcanos on the islands or on the coasts

of that ocean.

At present the great continent has few centres of volcanic action in comparison with what it once
The Mediterranean is still undermined by which occasionally finds vent in Vesuvius and the stately cone of Etna. Though Stromboli conhad.

stantly pours forth inexhaustible showers of incan-

descent matter, and a temporary island now and then starts up from the sea, the volcanic action is

and Italy has

become comparatively




table-land of

Western Asia, especially Azer-


had once been the seat of intense commotion, spent, as the Seiban Dagh and Ararat, or only

smoking from the snowy cone of Demavend. The table-land of Eastern Asia furnishes the solitary
instance of igneous explosion at a distance of loOO




and when a flame is rises applied. hot springs. with a them. The encompassed by the volcanic islands of Palma and . to 3000 feet deep: from some of these containing a great quantity of common from others gases issue . Besides the two active volcanos of the Pe-shan in the and Ilo-tcheou chain itself. in the country of the Kirghiz. is used in the evaporation of salt water from the neighbouring gas. extensive volcanic district. There are altogether about 270 active volcanos. in CHAP. the latter are real Artesian wells five or six inches wide. The bamboo cane. but there are many fire-hills and fire-springs . the volcanic chain of the Thean-Tchan. not by volcanos. and from 1500 water salt . In the range of Targatubai. the sea. cific. it is solfatara between the centre of a most. but by solfataras. rising 20 or 30 feet high. at the distance of 670 miles from each other. there is a mount said to emit smoke and even flame. chain of the Andes furnishes a magnificent example of linear volcanos. conducted in tubes of springs. It is not ascertained that there are any mountains in China that eject lava. and vapours. of which 190 are on the shores and islands of the Pa- They are generally disposed in lines or groups. XIII. with a noise like thunder. fire rushes out with great violence. which produces sulphur and sal- ammoniac in abundance. tains.258 miles from PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in extending northward to the Altai Mounwhich there are many points of connexion between the interior of the earth and the atmosphere. The peak of Teneritfe.

as was experienced at the destruction of Pompeii. these may be added acidulous springs. though not otherwise apparent. explosion to flow. A more feeble effort solfataras. feet high. is of the volcanic force appears in the numerous Hot springs show that the volcanic fire To not extinguished. the only instance to the contrary among pressure In Etna also the the lofty volcanos in Quito. 18. and Cheduha in the Bay of Bengal.775 and Tungaragua in the Andes. On account in perpetual activity of the force requisite to raise lava to such great elevations. group. as the Volcano de Agua in Guatemala. and various kinds of gas.CHAP. petroleum. mixed with aqueous vapour An and gases then masses of rock and molten matter in a half-fluid state are ejected with tremendous . whereas Cotopaxi. is so great that the lava forces its way through the sides of the mountain or at the base of the cone. There are several volcanos which eject only streams of boiling water. have only been active once in a hundred years. it is Antisana all rarely flows from very elevated cones. those' of naphtha. XIII. Java. as in the islands of Trinidad. others pour forth boiling mud. explosion begins by a dense volume of smoke issuing from the crater. ACTIVE VOLCANOS. as s2 . after \vhich lava begins and the whole terminates by a shower of ashes from the crater often the most formidable part of the phenomenon. than in high volcanos is an equally good specimen of a central Eruptions are much more frequent in low : that in the island of Stromboli . and violence. is 259 Lancerote.

CHAP. and the Persian mountains. A more or tion 1 less subject to shocks . carbonic acid gas. which ruin the works of man. but even at pre- sent extends from pole to pole. in the Journal of the Geographical Society of London. the top of a felt . Notwithstanding the numerous volcanic vents in the globe. Caucasus. but. with the excep- of the shores of the Red Sea and the northern Letter from Alex. It joins a vast volcanic district in Central Asia. and often change the configuration of the country. and nothing that has a nauseous sickening sensation is life can enter its precincts without being immediately suffocated. London. hill. Asia Minor. The most extensive district of earthquakes comprises the Mediterranean and the adjacent countries. as is fearfully seen in the Guero Upas.260 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. with a few large stones and not a ves- tige of vegetation on the bottom." in Java 35 : it is half a mile in circumference and about feet deep.. which is covered with the skeletons of human beings and the bones of animals and birds blanched white as ivory. . the Caspian Sea. the food of plants and. whose chief focus seems to be the Thean-Tchan. the destruction of animals. XIII. On apthe of the which is situate on proaching edge valley. many places are subject to violent earth- quakes. possibly more it intense in former times. or " Valley of Death. but there always has been volcanic action. which includes Lake Baikal and the neighbouring great part of the continent of Asia is regions. 1 The seat of activity has been perpetually changing. when breathed. Esq.

EARTHQUAKES. There must be some singular volcanic action underneath part of Great Britain. relieve the tension which the strata acquire during their slow refrigeration. they are extremely rare in the great eastern plains of South America. For the most part the shocks are transmitted in the line of the primary mountain-chains. is 261 from these parts of Barbary. vapour. the Andean chain itself.CHAP. fogs. or a sudden pressure upwards. notwiththe terrible earthquakes which shake the standing countries west of the Andes. tive. of the rest 14 took place on the borders of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. of which 139 took place in Scotland the most violent of them have been : felt at Comre. singular that. as a fall of the barometer. in Stratherne . which has occasioned 255 slight shocks of earthquake. 30 in Wales. and in the Maremma of Tus- cany. which there find vent. the shock . Africa entirely free . and 31 on the south coast of England : sudden triness they were preceded by singular phenomena. Earthquakes are probably produced by fractures and sudden heavings and subsidences in the elastic crust of the globe. where they have of late years been attended with very disastrous effects. from the pressure of the liquid fire. tremendous scourges and it is and all the countries round the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. and gases in its interior. and seem often to be limited by them in the other direction. XIII. the two latter are said to indicate these con- vulsions about Siena. and unusual sul. and restore equiBut whether the initial impulse be eruplibrium.

the original impulse is a fracture or erupbed of the deep ocean. where lost. is finally spent and continued in the oppoit is site land. or. far from land. and like them they become broader and lower as the distance increases. how- ever. and is transmitted from the former to the ocean. whence the shocks travel in undulations to the No ible : surrounding shores. forces that can internal pressure is readily in a belt of great supposed to find relief most breadth that surrounds the land at a considerable distance from the coa^t. in the interior as in sound through the air. the elastic wave is propagated through the solid crust of the earth. XIII. and. till they gradually subside travels . similar to those produced by dropping a stone into a pool. and that of the superincumbent water. Almost all the great earthquakes. doubt many of small intensity are imperceptit is only the violent efforts of the internal overcome the pressure of the ocean's The bed. which would to give rise to seem sudden flexures and submarine eruptions. as well weaker terminates. have their origin in the bed of the ocean. is being formed of the debris. two kinds of waves or undulations are produced and propagated tion of lava in the When .262 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. elastic surface originating in that point is propagated through tl. CHAP.e of the earth in a series of circular or oval undulations. manner the shock becoming weaker and When the impulse begins of a continent. the internal temperature in a perpetual state of fluctuation. in this through till it the land. if very powerful.

in Philosophical 1 "CO. rose The sea 50 feet at Li>bon and 60 at Cadiz after the great earthquake . and reaches it in time to complete the destruction long after the shock or wave through the solid ocean-bed has arrived and spent itself on the land. aqueous wave . 1 The height to which the surface of the ground is elevated. and the water in Loch Lomond in Scotland rose two feet four inches so extensive was the oceanic wave. Three other 1 series of undulations are formed simul- Transactions for Mitchell on the Causes of Earthquakes. the centre of disturbance is either immediately under. it is comes to soundings it carries with imperceptible. which the true earthquake shock. . varies from one inch to two or three feet. but when it to the land a long. which rolls to the shore. and coincident with this a wave is formed and propagated on the is surface of the ocean. is the small forced wave that gives the shock to and not the great wave. the vessel. or very nearly under. on arriving at the beach. or the vertical height of the shock-wave. At Kinsale in Ireland a body of water rushed into the harbour. EARTHQUAKES. so that at that moment the sea seems to recede before the great ocean-wave arrives. on passing under deep water.CHAP. 263 simultaneously one through the bed of the ocean. and 15 times at Funchal in Madeira. XIII. it rose and fell 18 times at Tangier on the coast of Africa. the water drops in arrear from the superior velocity of the shock. but when ships are struck in very deep water. It ships. Tin's earth-wave. Hat.

by the wave that is propagated through the water of the sea. The velocity of the great oceanic wave varies as . and travels with a velocity of 1123 feet in a second. lastly. which only takes place when the origin of the earthquake is a submarine explosion. like the rolling of distant thunder. and somewhat less in looser materials.264 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in Caraccas. the ocean. formed. nor its in the rich silver-mines 1600 feet below surface. and the air. taneously with the preceding. or at the same moment with. The bellowings of Guanaxuato afford a singular instance : these subterraneous noises have been heard for a month uninterruptedly when there was no earthquake felt on the table-land of Mexico. The rollsounds the arrival of the precede ing great wave on the coasts. CHAP. and produces the hollow sounds that are the harbingers of ruin. Sounds sometimes occur when there is no earthquake : they were heard on the plains of the Rio Apure.000 hard rock. Vincent's. by that passing through the air. the shock. which travels at the rate of 4700 feet in a second. at the moment the volcano in St. 700 miles off. That through the earth travels at the rate of from feet in a second in 7000 to 10. and. first. by which the sound of the explosion is conveyed through the earth. with different velocities. and arrives at the coast a short time before. When there is a succession of shocks all the phe- nomena are repeated. discharged a stream of lava. XIII. then follows a continuous succession of sounds. and are continued after the terrific catas- trophe when the eruption is extensive.

which nothing can resist it is occasioned by the crossing of two waves of horizontal vibration. so that shocks will occur both upwards and downwards.wave passes through strata of different elasticity. which . . the earthquake will be a horizontal motion. Hence most damage is done at the junction of deep alluvial plains with the hard strata of the mountains. and to Portsmouth at the rate of a little more than two miles in a minute. several hun- dred feet in height. 265 consequently lias the square root of the depth it a rapid progress through deep water. When the height of the undulations is small. and a wave will be sent back. and less when it comes to soundings. The worst of all is a verticose or twisting motion. inhabitants were thrown across a river. The concussion was upwards earthquake which took place at Riobamba in Baron Humboldt mentions that some of the 1797. as in the great earthquake in Calabria in the year 1783. producing a shock refracted. the motions are combined. which least is the destructive . . The velocity of the shock varies with the elasticity of the it passes through. when central and horizontal height great. hence. or its in a contrary direction. The undulations of the strata earth are subject to the same laws as those of light and sound . when the shock or earth. EARTHQUAKES. and partly course changed. to the right or to the left of the original line of transit. and is the the effect in the is terrible. XIII.CHAP. it will partly be reflected. That raised during the earth- quake at Lisbon travelled to Barbadoes at the rate of 7'8 miles in a minute. on a neighbouring mountain.

from whence the shock extended over an .' There are few places where the earth tracts of country. 1822. unite at their point of intersection and form a rotaThis. The shock of an earthquake at Lyons in February. where the shock diverged on all from a centre through a highly elastic base covered with alluvial soil. and the interferences of tory movement. that happened in 1812 in Guadaloupe was felt over an extent of 3000 miles in length and that which destroyed Lisbon had its origin in the bed of the Atlantic. which was tossed about in every direction. and those extiaordinary phenomena that took place during the earthqi ake of 1783 sides in Calabria. which had previously been at rest. Mallet in a very interesting ' Transactions of the Royal Irish paper in the is long at of those secular elevations and rest. CHAP. was not generally per- under that ceptible at Paris. for. independently subsidences that are in progress over such expensive Academy. XIII. though im- perceptible to our senses. The undulations of some of the great earthquakes have spread to an enormous extent. The dynamics of earthquakes are ably discussed by Mr. small earthquake-shocks must be much more frequent than we imagine. and only to be detected by means of instruments. account for the repose in some places. The earthquake . and was detected by the swinging of the large declination needle at the Observatory. shocks arriving at the same point from different origins or routes of different lengths.266 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. yet the wave reached and passed city.

000 square mile?. in the silver-mine of Marienberg. Fahlun. Norway. both instances depending on the elasticity of the strata. islands. XIII. Scotland. and through Sweden were agitated by effects In linear distance the of that earthquake extended 300 miles. separated by such short intervals that in 50 seconds Baron Humboldt's works 10. 267 area of about 700. as in the year 1802. only lasted two minutes but it was not very extensive. the earthquake at Caraccas. and the lakes in it. the depth of the impulses. which lasted three or four seconds. in Calabria.000 people perished. EARTHQUAKES. and in five minutes the city was a heap of ruins.CHAT. which com- pletely changed the face of the countiy. Sometimes a shock has been perceived underground which was not felt at the surface. or a twelfth part of the circumference of the globe the West Indian . in March 1812. especially with regard to the trtmeiidous convulsions in South America. the shocks were felt through a line of 2700 per- miles. without warning. are full of interesting details on this subject. sible to shocks felt on the surface above. yet all the towns and villages for 22 miles round the small town of Oppido were utterly ruined. and in the vibrations or tremors were It began water through 4000 miles. in the In some instances miners have been insenHartz. Sweden. or obstacles that pened in at in in 1823 which hapcircumstances . ceptible The earthquake of . consisted of three shocks. The destruction is generally accomplished in a fearfully short time . 1783.

east to west in the parallel of is 56 3' N.. masses raised up. not at all improbable that there may be motions. It is like tides. in regions where these convulsions are unknown. and To the north of it 1000 miles. between Gottenburg and North Cape. and the configuration of the country altered . but the gradual and almost imperceptible change of level through immense tracts of the globe is altogether a recent discovery . countries for the most part subject to earth- quakes they take place. During earthquakes take place. liave CHAP. . perfectly stable. to a vast extent. for the changes are by no means confined to those enormous elevations and subsidences that appear to be in progress in the basin of the Pacific and its coasts. There seems to be an extraordinary flexibility in the crust of the globe from the 54th or 55th parallel of north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. rocks are hurled down. XIII. for along which the ground has been so for centuries. ebbing and flowing in the internal lava. the course of rivers is changed. There is a line crossing Sweden from lat.2(38 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and subsequent contraction by the retreat of the melted matter from below them. nor to the Andes and the great plains east of them . The power of the earthquake in raising and depressing the land has long been well known. it has been ascribed to the expansion of rocks by heat. there will be no noise. and in some instances they have been permanently dried up. but if there be no fracture at the point of original impulse. may changed tlie course of the terrestrial undudislocations of strata lation.

XIII. and Dr. opposite to Copenhagen. has submerged ancient buildings on the low rocky islands. CHANGES IX THE LEVEL OF THE LAND. Greenland. island of Saltholm. The of the Feroe Islands. the pressed encroachment of the sea. and extends through 600 miles from Igalito Firth to Disco Mr. and the Moravian settlers have had to move inland the poles to which they moor their boats. the latter at the rate of a foot in a century. Pingel. It has been in progress for four centuries. which takes place at North Cape. while the coast of Pillau has sunk down an west coast of Denmark inch and a half in the same period. now 380 sinking through part of Christianstad and for the village of Stassten in Scania is feet nearer to the Baltic than it was in the time of Linnaeus. 1 our own country the land has been for ages on the 1 Captain Graali's Survey hi 1823-4. . on the contrary. the maximum elevation. . The Greenlander never builds near the sea on that account. by whom it was measured 87 The coast of Denmark on the Sound. being at the rate of five feet in a century. 269 the ground is rising. the years ago. The coast of Memel on the Baltic lias last actually risen a foot and four inches within the 30 years. from whence it gradually diminishes to South of the land is three inches in a century at Stockholm. 1830-2. and on the main land. the Malmo. in consequence of the change of level. Robert Chambers has shown that in Bay.CHAP. and that of Born holm are rising. part and the west coast of Greenland are all being debelow their former In level. line of stability.

in ]8vo. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. as the land alternately rose and remained stationary. are merely margins left by the retreat of the water. especially on the Murray Firth and Channel islands. Darwin's observations on the same subject. CHAP.270 rise. in the voyage of the Adventure and Beagle. In the present day the elevation is going on in many in the places. . 1 all the details i Lyell's Principles of Geology. XIII. have so long afforded and that the parallel roads in Glen Roy. See also Mr. which matter of discussion. The notice of this curious subject of the gradual changes of level on the land has been chiefly revived by Sir Charles Lyell. in whose admirable works on geology will be found.

gloom. XIV. This table-land bounded by mountains rising from the deep in mural precipices. the southern extremity of a group of rocky islands. the surface of the table-land for 100 miles into the sea. and cloven by fiords. 271 CHAPTER Arctic Lands canic XIV. are feet hemmed high. which are sometimes forced on by the pressure of the upper ice- They . in by walls whose summits are hid now shaded in of rock often 2000 in the clouds. GREENLAND. which are separated by a channel five miles wide from a table-land of appalling aspect. the most extensive of the Arctic lands. The coating of ice is so continuous and thick that may be regarded as one which overlaps the rocky edges and dips between the mountain-peaks into the sea. of alternate snow and bare rock. generally terminate in glaciers. narrow to the south. occasionally leaving a narrow shore. These deep inlets of the now sparkling in sunshine. The coasts are beset with rocky islands. or in parallel terraces. begins with the lofty promontory of Cape Farewell.CHAP. Iceland Its Greenland Spitzbergen Vol- Phenomena and Geysers Jan Mayen's Land Victoria Continent. interior. which terminate in needles and pyramids. but increasing in breadth northward to a distance of is which only 1300 miles are known. which in some instances wind like rivers enormous glacier. New- Siberian Islands Antarctic Lands GREENLAND.

These icebergs. The pelasgic islands in the Arctic Ocean are highly In volcanic. beech and willow trees grow by the streams. on the west coast. especially along the borders of the fiords. there are mea- dows where the service-tree bears fruit. are stranded on the into Arctic coast. last extends indefinitely towards the pole but . which. . undermined by the surge. the Arctic regions its prevailing tints are blue. Danish colonies and missionaries have made settlements on some of the islands and at the mouths of fiords . making the sea boil. In some sheltered spots in south Greenland. carried by currents. and even project far into the sea like bold headlands. is produce a striking A great fiord which it is in the 68th parallel of latitude sup- posed to extend completely across the table-land. so that. still farther north the willow and juniper scarcely rise above the surface . the Esquimaux inhabit the coasts even to the extremity of Baffin's Bay. altogether inaccessible from the frozen sea and the iron-bound shore.272 plains PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. green. excepting a very small portion of the coast. till they fill the fiord. and orange. or are drawn lower latitudes. yet this country has South of the island of Disco a flora peculiar to itself. effect. in The ice is very transparent and compact . CHAP. contrasted with the dazzling whiteness of the snow and the gloomy hue of the rocks. huge masses of ice fall from them with a crash like thunder. di- viding the country into south and north Greenland. with the exception of Spitzbergen. when. but not taller than a man . XIV. it is an unknown region.

yet a colony of Russian hunters and fishermen lead a miserable existence there.CHAP. I. ten in which appears mission her northern or twelve days without interdeclination. the aurora. long VOL. when the intensity of the cold splits rocks. and in the with a thin end of August the sea at night is covered coating of ice. more than 2000 from which he saw a huge fragment hurled into the sea. Seven valleys filled presenting a sublime spectacle. with a sea-face in one part feet high. XIV. and the moon. 273 the island of Spitzbergen the mountains spring sharp and grand from the margin of the sea in dark gloomy masses. which it lashed into vapour. the most northern in- habited spot on the globe. within 10 of the pole. T . the ther- mometer does not rise above 45 of Fahrenheit. furnish the enjoy in their greatest light the inhabitants winter. SPITZBERGEX. Although the direct rays of the sun are powerful in sheltered spots within the Arctic Circle. several months in the year. as it broke The sun is not seen for into a thousand pieces. mixed with pure snow and enormous glaciers. to winter in this island. July is the only month in which snow does not fall. of ice seen by Captain Scoresby on the island was north of Horn Sound : it extended 11 miles along the shore. and makes the sea reek like a boilMany have perished in the attempt ing caldron. snow-blink. the stars. and a summer often passes without The one day that can be called warm. by glaciers ending at the sea form a remarkable One of the largest masses object on the east coast.

bursting into dreadful activity. they conceal under a cold and tranquil coating of ice the fiery germs of terrific convulsions. separated by a longitudinal valley nearly 100 miles wide. sometimes quiescent The most extensive of the two parallel ranges of Jockuls or Ice Mountains runs along the eastern side of the valley. CHAP. through the very centre of the island. as in the trachytic mountains of the Andes and elsewhere . which its most northern part touches. sepastructure rated by deep ravines. the highest point in Iceland. These mountains assume rounded forms. which reaches from sea to sea. to S. with long level summits or domes with sloping declivities. but such huge masses of tufa and conglomerate project from their sides in perpendicular or overhanging precipices. and contains Ordefa. not more than 4000 square miles are habitable. Though a fifth part larger than Ireland. XIV. and lies south of the Arctic Circle.E. sometimes for ages. and pushing far into the low lands. stretching from N.AV. consists of two vast parallel table-lands covered with ice-clad mountains. that the regularity of their can only be perceived from a distance . The peculiar feature of Iceland lies in a trachytic It region which seems to rest on an ocean of fire. : Glaciers cover many thousand square miles in Iceland. all beside being a chaos of volcanos and ice. seen like a white cloud from a great distance at sea the western high land passes through the centre of the island.274 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. This tendency of the ice to . descending from the mountains. Iceland is 200 miles east from Greenland.

spreading devastremendous eruptions. and ashes. of which Heckla is most known. extending from sea to sea. and loosens the longitudinal space between the mountainous table-lands is a low valley 100 miles wide. As herds of reincomplete deer are seen browsing on the Iceland moss that piled grows plentifully at its edges. there are many volcanos. abode of a thriving and ashes in : T 2 . approached without dread even by the natives a scene of perpetual conflict between the antagonist powers of fire and frost. scoria.three violent eruptions have taken place. never volcanic cones. XIV. confused mass of streams of lava rent by crevices . 275 encroach has very materially diminished the quantity of habitable ground. the scene of desolation. without a drop of water or a blade of grass no living creature is to be seen The surface is a not a bird. and the progress of the glaciers is facilitated by the influence of the ocean of subterranean fire. The extremities of the valley are more especially the theatres of perpetual volcanic activity. now covered with lava. one of which continued six years. At the southern end. studded with low It is a tremendous desert. which heats the superincumbent ground. nor even an insect. a wide plain. from its insulated position. where a substratum of trachyte is The covered with lava. and its to the sea in which opens Between the years 1004 and 1766 twenty. and occasional glaciers. sand. its vicinity to the coast. ice.CHAP. it is presumed that some unknown parts may be less barren. tation over a country once the colony. and rocks on rocks. ICELAND. .

mendous earthquake ruined a wide extent of Calabria that year. and destroyed the fishing on the coast. places from thickness. rivers were heated to ebullition. poured into which filled the sea nearly 50 miles from the places of its erupSome tion. been in fearful The volcanic fire must have for a tre- commotion under Europe. at the distance of 150 miles. Its fires suddenly ceased. which broke out on the 8th of May. which extended to England and Holland. the island was shaken by earthquakes. is one of the most dreadful recorded. when. Previous to the explosion an dreadful earthquake. the year 1846 it was in full activity. The eruption of the Skaptar Jockul. and in the course of the two succeeding years 1300 people and 150. quantity of matter thrown out in this eruption at fifty or sixty thousand millions of The 20 to lava flowed in a stream in some 30 miles broad. ominous mildness of temperature indicated the approach of the volcanic fire towards the surface of the . CHAP.276 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. others dried up. and of enormous the beds of rivers. they burst in Skaptar. and continued till August. the condensed vapour fell in snow and torrents of rain the country was laid waste famine and disease . 30 miles from the south-west cape of Iceland. The clouds of vapour. ensued . and a submarine volcano had been burning fiercely for many weeks in the ocean.000 sheep and horses The scene of horror was closed by a perished. 1783. forth with almost unexampled fury sun was hid many months by dense The was computed cubic yards. . and clouds of ashes were carried many hundreds of miles to sea. XIV.

Krabla : these caldrons throw from the crater of Krabla must. the shattered craters of ancient volcanos. enveloped in clouds of steam. with loud explosion. XIV. semicircle of volcanic mountains on the eastern A side of the lake Myvatr is phenomena valley. at regular That which issues intervals. and also on the flanks of Mount up jets of the dark matter. which is 20 miles in circumference. be one of the most terrific objects in nature.E.CHAP. and poured such a quantity of lava into the lake Myvatr. by holding siliceous matter in solution. . Henderson's description. The eruptive boiling springs of Iceland are per- haps the most extraordinary phenomena in this sinAll the great aqueous eruptions gular country. sul- phuretted hydrogen Numerous instances of spouting springs occur at the extremities of the great central valley. of the After years of lake. Various caldrons of boiling mineral pitch. occur at the base of this semicircle of mountains. 277 earth . by Mr. especially at its southern end. in this district no less formidable. similar warnings had been observed before in the eruptions of Ileckla. at the northern the focus of the igneous end of the great central Leirhnukr and Krabla. quiescence they suddenly burst into violent eruption. they are charac- by their high temperature. which they deposit in the form of siliceous sinter. have been equally formidable. occur terised in the trachytic formation . VOLCANIC PHENOMENA OF ICELAND. and by the discharge of gas. that the There are other volcanos water boiled many clays. on the N.

and tube till the basin takes place empty explosion are again replenished. with an orifice of 8 feet. to be 260^ of Fahrenheit. the ground trembles. is a circular well. water long boiled becomes more and more free from air. 35 miles north-west from Heckla. MM. who visited Ice- land in 1846. between 46 and 50 basin is filled feet in diameter : as soon as the by the boiling water that rises through the tube. The Great Geyser and Strokr. before a great eruption. CHAP. to agitate). XIV. while at the bottom the temD perature exceeds that of boiling water by about 24 . with tremendous noise. No farther followed by large volumes of steam. tion a 140 yards from the Great Geyser. the water is thrown to the height of 100 or 150 feet. are the most magnificent at regular intervals they project large columns of boiling water 100 feet high. . en. others periodical some merely agitated. little more than 44 feet deep. explosions are heard. an interval of 28 hours passed without any eruption. where more than of a few acres fifty have been counted in the space some constant. which diminishes to little more than 10 inches of 27 feet. at the depth of 72 feet. Donny of Ghent. The tube of the Great Geyser whence the jet issues is about 10 feet in diameter and 75 feet deep it opens into the centre of a basin 4 feet deep and . or stagnant. veloped in clouds of steam. found the temperature of the Great Geyser.278 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. By the experiments of M. and after the erup- 251^. at a depth The surface of the water is in constant ebullition. Descloiseaux and Bunsen. The Strokr (from stroka.

The dismal coasts are torn in every direction by fiords. and become so purified from air. one of the most conspicuous mountains in Iceland. or gas with a Such fountains are not small quantity of water. and many issue from the crevices in the lava-bed of Lake Myvatr. in the place. is which play alternately remarkable from having two for about four minutes Some springs emit gas only. A 5000 feet high.CHAP. confined to the land or fields of ice . which have been formed by streams of lava at very ancient epochs. tions of the Geysers. the production of steam is so instantaneous and so considerable as to To this cause he ascribes the erupcause explosion. is 279 so by which the cohesion of the particles increased that to much when it is exposed to a heat ^sufficient overcome the force of cohesion. region of the same character with the mountains of the Icelandic desert extends due west from it to the extremity of the long narrow promontory of the Sneefield Syssel. valley of Reikholt. XIV. With the exception of the purely volcanic districts described. and splitting into endless branches. in the sea. occasionally 4000 feet deep. last that the strong heat at the bottom at overcomes the cohesion of the particles. jets. ending in the snow-clad cone of the Sneefield Jockul. penetrating many miles into the interior. which are in constant ebullition for many hours. and rise in jets above the surface of the water. they occur also each. and an explosion takes The boiling spring of Tunquhaer. In these fissures the . GEYSERS OF ICELAND. trap-rocks cover a great part of Iceland.

The tities inhabitants are supplied with fuel by the Gulf Stream. do not here. that of the . however. grow in the vale of Lagerflest. between walls of rock The fiords. which is the most favoured portion of this Rivers abounding in fish are much more frequent there than elsewhere . terminate in glaciers. and the verdure is fine on the banks of those streams which are heated by volcanic fires. or in transient verdure along meadows which have a some of the fiords. XIT. CHAP. and there is more vegetation than in any other part of Iceland. and deep. the island is The mean temperature in the south of about 39 of Fahrenheit. ants have their abode. and birch-trees. high. 1000 feet high. the Carolinas. where the sea is so deep that ships find safe anchorage. 20 feet desolate land. the only place which produces them large enough for house-building. is quanfrom Mexico. In the valleys on the northern coast. and it would be still milder were not the air chilled by the immense fields of ice from the Polar Sea which beset its shores. but are prostill. as in Greenland. the river Lawrence. Virginia. through >vhich streams and In these valleys the inhabitrivers run to the sea. which brings drift-wood St. willows and juniper adorn the valleys. The climate of Iceland is much less rigorous than that of Greenland. near as they approach to the Arctic Circle.280 sea is PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. dark. longed in narrow valleys. the soil is wonderfully good. with the exception of the eastern shore. and some even from the Pacific Ocean in great drifted by currents round by the northern shores of Siberia.

The group of New north of the Siberian Islands. 281 it is 36. it the most northern Its principal the volcano of Beerenberg. lies is midway between feature is Iceland and Spitzbergen volcanic country known. At the northern end of the island the sun is always above the horizon in the middle of summer. lofty 6870 feet high.. central districts JAN MA YEN'S LAND. . and although thunder is seldom heard in high latitudes. : elephants' tusks found there have for years been an article of commerce. wind from the sea covers mountain and valley with thick fog. lat. which oc- cupy three hollows in an almost perpendicular cliff. whose snow-capped cone. have so rude a climate that they have no permanent inhabitants they are remarkable for the vast quantity of fossil bones they contain the . but that is a rare occurrence. and in the north rarely above the freezing point. It is flanked by enormous glaciers^ like frozen cataracts. has been seen to emit fire and smoke. and under it in mid-winter. Hurricanes are frequent and furious . for tremendous thunder-storms are not uncommon there a circumstance no doubt owing to the volcanic nature of that island. apparently inaccessible. The cold is most intense when as the the sky is clear. which descends from the base of the mountain to the sea. yet there is no absolute darkness. which lie province of Yakutsk. as lightning accompanies volcanic eruptions everywhere. Iceland is an exception. and in about 78 of N.CHAP. XIV. The island of Jan Mayen .

who in commanded vernment the expedition sent by the British go1839 to ascertain the position of the south magnetic pole.2&2 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY... the llth of January. first to S. The in the interior at indentations of the coast are filled with ice many hundreds of feet thick. lat. which from its extent seems to form part of a continent. A lofty range of peaked mountains rises Cape North. covered with unbroken snow.. XIV. in about latitude 71 and longitude 171 E. its most . as those to the north. stretching as far as the eye can reach. at which point it suddenly east. northern point. The was discovered by Sir James Ross. 1841. and then in a southerly direction lat. only relieved from uniform whiteness by shadows produced by the undulations of the surface. and as deeply ice-bound.E. first the Antarctic continent was seen. "On S. bends to the and extends in one continuous verdescribed tical ice-cliff to an unknown distance in that direc- tion. to 78J of S. This extensive tract lies under the meridian of New Zealand Cape North. from 200 to 500 feet high. by E. Victoria Land. The first view of Victoria Land is as most magnificent. which makes it impossible to To the east of Cape North the coast trends land. and 165 28' E. the general . and varying from one to nine or ten miles in circum- ference. is situate in 70 31' S. To the west of that cape the northern coast of this new land terminates in perpendicular ice-cliffs. south polar lands are equally volcanic. CHAP. with a chain of grounded icebergs extending for miles from the base of the in size cliffs. all of tabular form. long.

. 1'. the burning volcano. Mount Erebus. basalt. ice nor snow. its 283 volcanic cha- outline of which at once indicated racter. beneath.. and ending in a cape. exhibited a scene of such unequalled magnificence and splen- dour as would baffle all power of language to portray. whose steep escarpments. and a third to 8444 feet above the level of the sea. affording shelter to neither alone showed the jet black lava or frost. From these peaks ridges descended to the coast. checking all farther progress south. an extinct crater near to which has doubtless once given vent to fires it. from which a dense column of black smoke towered high above the other numerous lofty cones and crateriferous peaks with which this extraordinary land is studded from the 72nd to the 78th degree of latitude. ANTARCTIC LAX US.. and clustered together in countless from the ocean in a groups resembling a vast mass of crystallisation. peak above peak enveloped in perpetual snow. in lat. from which a vast barrier of ice extended in an easterly direction. feet. was its discovered. One very remarkable peak." 161 which reposed beneath the mantle of eternal . rising steeply stupendous mountain-range. another to 9096. Its height above the sea is 12. or give the faintest conception of.884 feet in height. covered with ice and snow from to its base summit. ter- minating abruptly in bold capes and promontories. which.367 and Mount Terror.CHAP. as the sun's rays were reflected on it. in shape like a huge crystal of quartz. This . being 10. attains an altitude little inferior. XIV. 77 31' and long. "On the 28th. rose to the height of 7867 feet.

by Robert MacCormick. according to Sir James C. Various tracts of land have been discovered near Remarks on the Antarctic Continent and Southern Islands. there not the smallest appearance of a fissure throughout its whole extent. The South Magnetic Pole. of ice. in 75 5' S. dition. the greater is part of which is below the surface of the sea. one of the objects of the expeLand. we traced for 300 miles.. In the North Polar Ocean. which corresponds with August in England. Fahrenheit's thermometer did not rise above 14 at noon. Surgeon of H. and the intensely blue sky beyond indicated plainly the great distance to which the ice- Gigantic icicles hang from every projecting point of the icy cliff. when ' the pack-ice obstructed all farther progress. The whole of this country is beyond the pale of vegetation no moss. XIV.284 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 1 continuous perpendicular wall varying in height from 200 to 100 feet. is stretching south from Mount Terror to the 79th pathe most southern land yet discovered. rallel. and 154 8' E. lat. streams of water flow from every ice- berg during the summer. on the contrary..M.S. long." The solid mass of ice about 1000 vertical cliff in question forms a completely feet thick. not even . is situate in Victoria Ross's observations. 1 . a lichen.. Esq. its summit presenting an almost unvarying level outline. although in the plains reach southward. a lofty range. CHAP. Erebus. showing that it sometimes thaws in these latitudes. covers the barren soil where everlasting winter reigns. Parry's Mountains. month of February.

is destitute of vegetation. Captain Bisco dis1 covered Enderby's Land and Graham's Land in 1832. which is all that is yet whalers have known. and the coast of Alexander the First. of the brig William. being covered with snow and ice. Captain Smith. discovered New South Shetland in 1819. and American governments have increased our knowledge of these remote regions. VICTORIA LAND. Captain Weddel discovered the Southern Orcades. Admiral d'Urville La Terre d'Adelie in 1841. . 285 it. and Sir James Ross Victoria Land in the same year. at least the coast-line. land within the Antarctic Circle is generally volcanic. French. and that. and within though none to in so high a latitude as Victoria Land. and the spirited adventures of British merchants and captains of 1 The contributed quite as much.CHAP. Whether they be ascer- form part of one large continent remains tained. the Antarctic Circle. Captain Cook discovered Sandwich Land in 1772-5. Captain Billingshausen discovered Peter's Island. XIV. Discovery ships sent by the Russian.

CHAP. 1 to . Esq." Gold was among the first lux- our own country. strangers came from afar to carry off the produce of the Cornish mines. Nature and Character of Mineral Veins Metalliferous Deposits Their Drainage and Ventilation Gold Silver Diffusion of the Metals Mines Their Depth Lead British Tin Cornish Mines Copper Most abundant in the Temperate Zones. and Mr. silent operations on the minute atoms of matter by which Nature seems to have filled the fissures in the rocks with her precious gifts of metals and minerals. Leithart.. R. XV. CHAPTER XV. uries. Bart. esIron Coal European and British Iron and pecially in the Northern Arsenic and other Metals American Iron and Coal Coal Mines Quicksilver Salt Sulphur Diffusion of the Gems. and even in 1 The author owes much information 'on British mines two publications on the Mining District of the North of England. from a store of valuable materials contained in the Progress of the Nation. Esq. Sopwith. On the Cornish mines she has derived much information from the writings of John Taylor.' by G. by J. Tubal-cain was " the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. from time immemorial.. Mine Agent. THE is tumultuous and sudden action of the volcano and the earthquake on the great masses of the earth in strong contrast with the calm. Civil Engineer. and Sir Charles Lemon. ' .286 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. sought for by man from the earliest ages to the present clay.

287 The ancients scarcely were acquainted with a third of the thirty-five metals now known. tungsten. natrium. yet they maintain a general direction. cadmium. Esq. and the metallic bases of the alkalis only date from the time of Sir Humphry Davy. manganese. XV. tin. ral distribution of minerals over the globe. lantanium. in beds. MINERAL VEINS. strontium. magnesium. cerium. molybdenum. titanium. tellurium. Veins are cracks or fissures in rocks. palladium.' and various other sources. columbium. from the Penny . namely calcium. and silicium. . . though in a zigzag form. as gold and tin. 1 The metals are gold. nickel. are metals combined with oxygen. seldom deviating from the perpendicular by so much as forty-five degrees. chrome. dydynium. seldom in a found . potassium. lithium. bismuth. silver. erbium. quicksilver. platinum. straight line. yttrium. in masses. The three last are little known. Sir Humphry Davy discovered that lime. osmium. striking downwards at a very high angle. are disseminated through the rocks. iridium. rhodium. There are thirteen of these metalloids. though rarely. having formed a remarkable 1 his brilliant discoveries. barium. pelapium. magnesia. Most of the metals are in veins a few. zinc. iron and copper.CHAP. thorium. arsenic. and other similar substances. and extend- They are for the ing to an unfathomable depth. tantalum. copper. of part Minerals are deposited in veins or fissures of rocks. the detritus of water. glucinum. uranium. antimony. vanadium. ferbium. lead. zirconium. iron. alumine. aluminum. most part accompanied by a subsidence of the strata and on the genefrom the Statistical Journal Porter. and sometimes in gravel and sand. cobalt. ' Cyclopaedia.

but in space. Veins have been filled with substances foreign to them. and the chemical changes almost always observed on the adjacent rocks. CHAP. or perpendicular distance between the corresponding strata on the opposite sides of a vein. forty. veins bear a strong analogy to the course and effects of a downwards on the very powerful electrical discharge. the throw. and. after are plored. and in a circumstances which longer time when it is hard show an intestine motion of the particles. even a hundred fathoms. and by an elevation on the other . is The beginning or scarcely ever known . and electricity. mutual attraction. XV. Nothing can be more certain than that the minute particles of matter are constantly in motion from the action of heat. they to a greater or less distance. and its place supplied by mineral matter . but. on one side of their course.288 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. they entire continuing end of a vein branch into small veins or strings. not only in their relative positions. when exfound to begin abruptly. which there . and the excavations made in rocks diminish sensibly in size in a short time if the rock be soft. varies from a few inches to thirty. which have probably been disseminated in atoms in the adjacent rocks or by sublimation. Prismatic crystals of salts of zinc are changed in a few seconds into crystals of a totally different form by the heat of the sun casts of shells are found in rocks. In the downward zigzag course of a vein. the bending of the strata upwards on one side and other. from which the animal matter has been re: moved.

generally whose only VOL. is as the different substances of which the earth different states of electro. education was at a Sunday-school. Leithart is an instance of the intelligence that prevails among miners. the electric being stopped in their course. Veins at right angles to 1 This subject is ably discussed by Mr. so well known in the scienmeridians. U . XV. if not the sole agent. composed are in and are often interrupted by non-conducting rocks.CHAP. I. 289 every reason to believe is owing to electricity a power which. that not only the nature of the deposits must have been determined by their relative electrical conditions. or from north-east to south-west. has long since shown. Hence Mr. the world are in parallel veins or fissures tending from east to west. must at least have co-operated essentially in the formation and filling of mineral veins.magnetism. is METALLIFEROUS DEPOSITS. already mentioned. through Now. Mr. from observations that such currents do flow all metallic veins. tific in the Cornish mines. on the formation and filling of metallic veins. in fact. act chemically on all the liquids and substances they meet with. He was a working miner. Fox. world. almost . but that the direction of the metallic veins tion of the magnetic meridians all the metallic deposits in themselves must have been influenced by the direcand. Fox has come to the conclusion currents. 1 The magnetism of owing the earth is presumed to be its to electrical currents circulating through surface in a direction at right angles to the magnetic Mr. notwithstanding the scanty opportunities of acquiring that knowledge which they are so eager to obtain. Leithart in his work.

' page 364. and deposited where the temperature was lowest at or near the surface in the rocks among which they * ' are situated. and both veins are richer near the point of crossing than elsewhere. these are generally non-metalliferous. as in the silver-mine at Pasco. XV. The primum mobile of the whole Mexico. or Peru probably lies far beyond our globe we must look to nerals 1 . Connexion of the Physical Sciences. the richest veins would be lowest. where the greatest quantities of ore have been found near the surface a fact that may be explained by supposing the mineral substances brought by sublimation from the interior of the earth. and others deposited in them when held in solution by ascending and descending streams of water . Sir Henry de la Beche conceives that the conti- nued expansion and elevation of an intensely heated mass from below would occasion numerous vertical fissures through the superincumbent strata. In some few cases both contain the same ore. Rotation alone produces electrical currents in the earth. 7th edition. but in very different quantities. if they do contain metallic ores.290 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. within which some mineral matters may have been drawn up by sublimation. 1 at great depths Mineral veins are generally richer near the surface than this is particularly the case in the mines of : the precious metals in America. if not as the sole cause of electrical currents. in the Andes. But if veins were filled from below. direction of the rents but even on this hypothesis the and the deposition of the mi- would be influenced by the electrical currents. CHAP. : the sun's heat. . at least as combined with the 2 earth's rota- tion in their evolution. they are of a different kind. which is not the case in Cornwall. and.

291 When veins cross one another. often of great size and value. with here and there irregular masses of the metallic Solitary veins ores. where the electro-molecular and electro-chemical actions are most energetic. and such the case with the metalliferous veins. METALLIFEROUS DEPOSITS. and is rare where . in the Ural. are generally unproductive. porphyry. especially in and near situations where these two classes of rocks are in contact with one another. Granite. or where the metamorphic structure has been induced upon the sedimentary. the traversed veins are presumed to be of prior formation to those traversing. which are therefore the most recent. XV. because the latter are dislocated and often heaved out of their course at the point of meeting . the north of England. iron abounds in the coal u 2 . but mineral deposits are also abundant in rocks of sedimentary origin. and the plutonic rocks are often eminently metalliferous . called its matrix. Veins are is rarely filled in every part with ore. iron and copper abound . The prevalence and richness of mineral veins are intimately connected with the proximity or junction of dissimilar rocks. and all the great mining districts.CHAP. The metalliferous deposits are peculiar to particular rocks : gold and tin are most plentiful in granite and the rocks lying immediately above it . they contain sparry and stony matter. copper is deposited in various slate formations rest- ing on the preceding. This is remarkably the case in Cornwall. and veins are richer when near one another. and in the trias lead is found in the mountain-limestone system.

a shaft like a well is sunk perpendicularly from the surface of the ground. copper. other. the "When a mine is opened. that. It is the coal-measures none of the believed that in the strata lying above more precious metals in England in such plenty as to defray the expense of raising them. Metals exist the primary and early secondary strata. oolitic strata. abound only in and near the districts which have been In greatly shaken by subterraneous movements. where copper and in our new red sandstone is series. tin. other countries. CHAP. presence of igneous rocks may have caused mineral veins to appear in more recent strata than those which contain them in Great Britain.. bonate in the older rocks and . and from it horizontal galleries are dug at different levels . although such a rule does not extend to the continent of Europe or to have been found South America. silver is found its in almost all of these formations ores being fre- quently combined with those of other metals. as Auvergne and the Pyrenees. XV. when in the same vein intersects clay-slate and the contents of the parts enclosed in one rock differ very much from what is found in the granite. especially near the junction of the granite and slates and it is a . silver ores abound In Great Britain no metal raised in any stratum newer than the chiefly in magnesian limestone. espeThere is such a concially of lead and copper. nexion between the contents of a vein and the nature of the rock in which the fissure oldest rocks the is. fact that rich veins of lead. &c.292 and PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and in a state of oxidule and car.

for ventilation as well as for facility in raising the ore.CHAP. sides other perpendicular : communications under- ground from level to level the depth of the whole of these shafts added together amounts to about 25 miles . and in order to accelerate the operation. ^Vhen mines extend very far in a it becomes necessary to sink more shafts. the shaft is worked simultaneously from the different galleries or levels of the mine. 293 according to the direction of the metallic veins. The steam-engine is often the only way of accomwhat in would cases otherwise be plishing many and the of mines has been in produce impossible. that the work can be ground surveying carried on at the same time from above and below so exactly as to meet . DRAINAGE OF MIXES. In this manner a perpendicular shaft was sunk 204 fathoms deep. 1 The infiltration of the rain and surface-water. and 2500 people are employed in it yet this is but one of many mines now in operation in the mining district of Cornwall alone. to- gether with subterranean springs and pools. about nineteen years ago. mines in . Taylor. on Cornish Mines. and gunpowder is used to blast the rocks when too hard for the pickaxe. Such in is the perfection of under- England. . horizontal direction. would soon inundate a mine and put a stop to the work. were not adequate means employed to remove it. in the Consolidated Cornwall it was finished in twelve months. XV. worked in fifteen different points at been having In that mine there are ninety-five shafts. Esq.. 1 J. beonce. the galleries and levels extend horizontally : about 43 miles.

which are made. The power of the average depth steam . which ramifications drains to that depth. together lift from. it begins in a valley near the sea. CHAP. forms a similar drain to : Moor it is a stupendous aqueduct 9 feet broad. thirty of water per minute. J. from an fifty hogsheads of 230 fathoms. One of these adits extends through the large mining district of Gwennap. The largest engine is between 300 and 350 horse-power but as horses must rest. pumping out the water the to steam-engines constantly four of these.294 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.000. and with all its 30 miles long.. and goes through it is all the neighbouring mines. Nent Force Level. 1 ground are sometimes drained to a certain depth by an adit or gallery dug from the bottom of a shaft in a sloping direction to a neighin high Mines bouring valley. Taylor. on Cornish Mines. in the north of England. . XV.engines in draining the Cornish mines is equal to 44. and in some places from 16 to 20 feet high .000 of men. Esq. and very little above its level. in Cornwall . coals performing the . and the engine works incessantly. In the Consolidated mines already mentioned there are nine . 1 and is Nent to Nentsbury enginenavigated underground by long narrow The total vas equal to that amount of steam-power in Great Britain in 1833 of 2. proportion to the successive improvements in that machine. it would require 1000 horses to do its work.000 horses largest ever one-sixth of a bushel of work of a horse. it passes for more than 3 miles under the mines in Alston the course of the river shaft.

In some cases fresh carried into the mines to by streams that are made flow down some of the shafts. happen Humphry Davy's The 1 access to deep mines. the unforeseen result of chance by new combinations of matter. By means of a light enclosed in a wire- gauze lantern. a miner now works with safety surrounded by To the honour of the illustrious author of this fire-damp. third of a miner's physical strength was exhausted in ascending and descending a deep mine : they are now drawn up by the steam-engine. be it observed that it was not. which are in commu- nication with the others.CHAP. . DEPTH OF MIXES. accidents from the carelessness of the miners. with rails at the sides for waggons. as in Cornwall. safety -lamp is used. XV. which it required the genius of a philosophic mind like his to arrive at. the heat. 1 that flame does not pass through fine wire-gauze. but the solution of a question based on scientific experiment and induction. by which thousands of lives have been lost. adits Most of the admit of the passage of men and horses. prevents the fatal explosion of inflammable air in the mines. The splendid discovery of Sir Humphry Davy. which increases with the depth. boats. disco very. sometimes uninterrupted. for. Were this not done. its 295 seen like a star at Daylight at mouth is the distance of a mile in the interior. even where Sir . so that currents of air flow up one and down the air is others. is The ing ventilation of mines accomplished by burn- fires in some of the shafts. is by a series of perpendicular or slightly-inclined ladders. would be insupportable ventilation diminishes the danger from the fire-damp. but generally broken at It is computed that oneintervals by resting-places. like that of gunpowder and others.

is higher The saltthan anywhere on the earth's surface. which Esperance.296 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and various other mines. * Note to the English translation of Kosmos. near Guanaxuato in Mexico. or the cathedral of Strasburg. and 1993 feet below the level of the sea. do the same. The The Eselschacht mine at Kuttenberg in Bohemia. and it is eight times greater than the height of the pyra- mid of Cheops. Mines on high ground may be very deep without extending to the sea-level that : of Valenciana. XV. greatest depth to which man has excavated is nothing when compared with the radius of the earth. such as the Liege coal-mine of the barometer stands there at 31-80. but their relative depth 1 is unknown. and the mines must be much more. on the depths below the surface of the tained by man. The Monkwearmouth coal-mine near Sunderland to descends so that 1500 feet below the level of the 1 sea. The fire-springs at Tseu-lieu-tsing in China are 3197 feet deep. has not yet reached that level. and that of Mont Massi. is 1686 feet deep. now inaccessible. only 150 feet less than the height of Vesuvius. CHAP. which is 3778 feet below the surIts depth is face. yet its bottom is 5960 feet above the surin the higher Andes For the same reason the rich mine of Joachimsthal in Bohemia. in the Maremma of Tuscany. at- Sabine. 2 How insignificant Supposing the barometer to be 30 inches on the level of the sea. by Colonel earth. face of the sea . . is deeper than any other mine. works of New Saltzwerk in Prussia are 2231 feet deep. 2120 feet deep.

small number occur pure. especially in Siberia.600 feet long did not reach the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.000 ounces annually.CHAP. are all DIFFUSION OF METALS. but in general they are found in the form of ores. together with . Hungary. A The earth. and the Wicklow mountains Gold abounds rich. Gold is found in almost every country. in Ireland. is nearly 60. in Asia. in which the metal is chemically combined with other substances. 297 ! line the works of man compared with nature 27. which is rarely more than a third or fourth part of the mass brought above ground. and in the form of crystals. and the bed of the Danube. It is almost always in a native state. silver. or rolled masses. metals are very profusely diffused over the Few countries of any extent do not contain some of them. Sometimes it is combined with parts of where Europe was formerly found. but in such minute quantities that it is often not worth the expense of working. A and the ore is often so matter and rock that it is mixed with earthy necessary to reduce it to a coarse powder in order to separate the ore. The deposits at the foot of the Ural mountains are very In 23 pounds 1826 a piece of pure gold weighing was found there. in the lead-hills in Scotland. the it It is exhausted in several north-western districts of Austria. grains. along with others weighing three or four pounds each. The united produce of the mines in Transylvania. XV. Gold is found in small quantities in Spain.

and more men- tioned. in gold has been extracted. from which a great quantity of Gold is found in Tibet. All the diluvium there to the east. In South America. a region as large as France has lately been discovered with a soil rich in gold-dust. it occurs Africa has long furnished a large supply to Europe. is the bones of elephants.298 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. CHAP. in Brazil. resting on In 1834 the treasures in that rocks filled with it. found in particles and pieces the streams from the as well those that de- scend to the low ground to the north. It in a reddish sand. where the most it westerly of the three chains of the in gold Andes is rich and platinum a metal found only there. The largest piece . XV. in Japan. the western Cordillera is poor in metals except in New Grenada. On the shores of the Red Sea was found in sufficient quantity to induce the Portuguese to form a settlement there. the Chinese province of Yun-nan. forming a mountain-knot nearly as large as England. as already ferruginous . In the latter island near the surface in six different places. and on the European side of the Ural mountains in alluvial deposits. to 25 feet below the surface. and abundantly in the mountains of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. table-land is Most of bring down gold. That part of the Kong Mountains west of the meridian of Greenwich is one of the most auriferous The gold stratum lies from 20 regions in the world. part of the Altai chain called the Gold Mountains were discovered. as those that flow to the Atlantic. and Borneo. and increases in richness with the depth.

Mexico. Transylvania. Guaviare is celebrated for its metallic Almost all the Brazilian rivers bring down and the mine of Gongo Socco. Tibet. the expense of living in a barren country.CHAP. but the mines are frequently on such high ground that the profits are diminished by the diffi- culty of carriage. also found in Saxony. 299 of platinum that has been found weighed 21 ounces. The great deal of silver is raised in Europe. gold . the mountains of Georgia. found near the surface in California is very great. where the . as also the mines near Christiania in A mountains of the Erzgebirge are also very Sweden. especially in the district of Kolywan. The richness of the Andes in silver can hardly be conceived. are silver-mines in Armenia. sometimes destitute of water. on the low lands to the east of them. Gold is found in sand and gravel on the high plains of the Andes. XV. Silver is Austria. DIFFUSION OF METALS. Central America. and California are auriThe quantity of gold recently ferous countries. mines of Hungary are the most productive. China. near Rio de is Janeiro. said to yield several varieties of gold-ore. and in almost all the rivers that flow on that side. The whole country between Jaen de Bracamores and the riches. and Japan. A considerable quantity is found in Tenessee. and on 1000 square miles of North Carolina it occurs in grains and masses. especially The metalthose in the mountains of Chemnitz. liferous rich. Cochin-China. Anatolia. and In no part of the old continent is silver in greater abundance than in the Ural and Altai mounThere tains.

Poeppig's Travels in Chile and Peru. and the ' Dr. which were discovered by an Indian in 1630. 16. They have been worked without interruption since the beginning of the seventeenth The century. the want of fuel. and seem to be still inexhaustible. They extend over 150 square leagues.' . but the nests of ore are numerous. In Peru there are silver-mines along the whole range of the Andes. 1 of the desert of Atacama. before three weeks elapsed. who upon a mass of silver in rooting out a tree.150 feet above the sea-level. The mines of Potosi. CHAP. miners suffer from the cold and snow. silver lies 1 The small depth at which the on the high plains of the Andes. and not a drop of water country is to be found in a circuit of nine miles. the ores probably forming a series of beds contemporaneous with the strata. pieces which lay on the surface produced a large A single mass weighed 5000 pounds. are celebrated for riches. and especially This is particularly the case at in the silver-mines of Copiapo is Chile. from Caxamarea to the confines quantity of pure silver. forty more. The richness of these beds is not everywhere the same. but the owners have to contend with all the difficulties which such a situation imposes. XT. These hit mines were discovered by a poor man in 1832. not reckoning The rolled smaller ramifications. soil under the town of Pasco is metalliferous. The richest at present are those of Pasco. and. were discovered.300 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Sixteen veins of silver were found in the first four days. where the utterly barren.

1 According to Baron Humboldt. and Yorkshire. ' 301 quantity of it on the surface. to the greater deposition of the sublimed mineral from refrigeration near the surface. Durham. and Tees. of which one weighed 800 pounds. XV. Poeppig. 1 There are other extensive mining Dr. and even in summer is the thermometer night. is probably owing. there are mines where masses of pure silver are found. the Wear. and is It is one of the then called Argentiferous Galena. It comprises Alston Moor.CIUI'. The ore in the mines at Chota is near the surface over an extent of half a square league. and the filaments of silver are sometimes even entwined feet with the roots of the grass. the quantity of the precious metals brought to Europe between the discovery of America and the year 1803 was worth 1257 millions sterling. Westmoreland. . and the dales of Derwent. below the freezing-point in the In the district of Huantajaya. DIFFUSION OF METALS. not far from the borders of the Pacific. and the silver alone taken from the mines during that period would form a ball 89 feet in diameter. as has beeTi already stated. East and West Allen. British the of mines. which occupies 400 square miles at the junction of Northumberland. Lead-ore is very often combined with silver.300 above the level of the sea. Cumberland. The disturbed state of the South American republics has interfered with the working of the mines. principal productions especially in the northern mining district. the mountain-ridge of Crossfell. This mine is 13.

though not always enough to indemnify the expense of refining or separating the silver.302 tracts separated PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Esq. dales of the Tyne. where they are very rich. . and in the annals in of some places even twenty feet wide. a dead loss to the proprietor. and Carinthia. Mexico. basin of the river and in California. The this process are deleterious vapours resulting from conveyed in a tube along the sur. Lead-mines are in operation in France. and in one inl stance yield metal to the annual value of 10. XV. Wear. 1 Constructed under the direction of Thomas Sopwith. unexampled from ten to twelve. in the Amur. and all of it con- from tains more or less silver. peninsula beyond the Ganges. as formerly. and Tees. but not to any great amount : those of the south of Spain fur: nish large quantities of this metal also in Saxony. Lead it is not very frequently found in Siberia. It is also a production of of the China.000 ounces of silver. The this rich district are lead and of principal products The lead-mines lie chiefly in the upper copper. were filled with ore which is entirely obtained with the pickaxe. 32. they are condensed in their passage. lead-mine in that district has yielded treasures almost The veins. though does occur in the Nerchinsk mining district. The Hudgillburn mining. where the richest argentiferous lead is worked. face of the ground for 14 miles and instead of being. without In 1821 the galena of this mine yielded blasting. CHAP. Bohemia. It is also found in Lower Peru.0001. this by cultivated ground. and of America.

303 in separating Quicksilver silver a metal so important ores. the mines of now almost deserted. The mines forms a principal part of our own mineral wealth. China. where the quicksilver is found in the state of sulphuret chiefly. from its and in other arts as well as in occurs either liquid in the native state. The richest quickmines of Europe. China.000 tons of quicksilver. These mines were worked 700 years before the Christian era. occurs in as It Mexico. XV. up to the beginning of the present century. at San Onofro in in Peru. in the Palatinate on the left silver bank of the Rhine. and is often associated with tin. in Almost every country in Sweden. or combined with sulphur in that of cinnabar. and as many 1200 tons of the metal are extracted annually. in Persia. The Siberian mines are very productive both in ore and native copper. and the choicest spe- cimens come from Siberia. at the present day. enumerate the where it is is produced in Africa and America. and in Spain. Norway. India. Malachite is the most beautiful of the ores. Copper be vain It to is of such common occurrence localities that it would found. In Cornwall it is very plentiful. and which. the enormous quantity of 54. The period at which the Cornish mines were first worked goes far beyond is raised in all the principal . produced.CHAP. It is in the medicine found in the mines of Idria and some other places Austrian empire. Japan. and Japan. and Germany are very productive and it . are those of Almaden. and Ceylon. DIFFUSION OF METALS. It mining districts in England and Wales. Europe yields copper. at Guancavelica.

and penetrate both the granite and the clay-slate. however. it is very rarely succeeded by tin. In Cornwall clay-slate rests upon granite. XV. it is that the Phoenicians came to Britain for tin. run east and west. tin deep without a trace of copper but if copper discovered. or even tradition : certain. If discovered. Bart. The most valuable tin-mines on the continent of Europe are Sir Charles Lemon.304 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. it sometimes disappears after the mine 100 feet deeper. never or copper. history. in consequence of the in1 vention of an improved machine for draining them. cobalt. and is traversed by porphyritic dykes. in horizontal beds of sand is and gravel. and 1 called stream-tin. No miner in Cornwall has ever seen the end or bottom of a vein . or both. or antimony. their width varies from the thickness of a sheet of the average is paper to 30 feet feet. . . Probably copper was also worked very early in small quantities. CHAP. is first Tin is found in rolled pieces. is . for its exportation was forbidden in the time of Henry VIII. silver. It was only in the beginning of the eighteenth century that the Cornish copper-mines were worked with success. which with little exception are believed to be always in the clay-slate. The and it non-metalliferous veins run if veins in that direction is tin north and south do contain any metal. when copper is sinking and in some instances tin is found 1000 feet found. from one to three tin It rarely happens that either found nearer the surface than 80 or 100 be first or copper feet. The veins which contain copper or tin. . but lead.

1 many parts of Northern China. and very abundant in many parts of the Altai and Ural. near Oruro. useful of metals. Japan. In the eastern mining district of Siberia. and 1 M. is in One of the richest deposits of tin known the province of Tenasserim. the most . in the Malayan peninsula. on the east side of the gulf of Martaban. 305 Bohemia. There are comparatively few coal-mines worked within the tropics . The best of all conies from the island of Banca. .' ' VOL. is chiefly found in the carboniferous strata. Erman's Travels in Siberia. In the latter the mountain of Blagod. the ores are very rich. In fact. a layer eight or ten feet thick of sand and gravel. those in Saxony IROX AND COAL. near the desert of the Great Gobi. and in Bolivia. These deposits occur in several parts of that country the richest is . and Spain. in the valley of the river Vilui. XV.CHAP. found in the alluvial tracts through every part of the island. they are mostly in the tem- perate zones. in which masses of oxide of tin are sometimes the size of a pigeon's egg. it follows the same distribution. Siberian mining Great deposits occur also district the of Nertshinsk. especially between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer and as iron. the most productive iron-mines yet known are in the temperate zones. at 1534 feet above the sea. at the extremity of the Malacca peninsula . is one mass of Coal and iron are worked in so magnetic iron-ore. and much goes to China. rarely more than 25 feet in below the surface. it also occurs in France. X . I. a large portion of it is imIt is ported into Britain. India.

Altogether there are about 220 mines. all contain fields plentifully. which yield iron sufficient for our own enormous consumption and for exportation. which the few pence. In Britain many of the coal- contain subordinate beds of a rich argillaceous iron-ore. that them. Scotland. lie chiefly north of the Alps. on the north-east frontier of the great coal-basin of South Wales. There are extensive iron-mines in Staffordshire. would be tedious enumerate In Europe the richest mines of coal. A bushel of coals. it Styria. The mines lie near Birmingham. worked at the same time and in the same manner . which serves as a flux for melting the metal. XV. near Pontypool and Merthyr Tydvil. it CHAP. and France. in the furnace of a steamengine generates a power which in a few minutes will raise 20. These productive mines would have been of no avail had it not been for the abundance of fuel with which the greater part of them in the north of England. and Scotland. and Wales are associated the great source of our national Most of wealth. Norway. besides. interstratified with coal. like those of Russia. there is a substratum of limestone. Yorkshire. more precious than mines of gold. Sweden. to Eastern Asia. iron. Shropshire. Derbyshire. North and South Wales. Germany.306 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.000 gallons of water from a depth of costs only a 360 feet an effect which could not be accomplished in a shorter time than a whole day by the continuous . Belgium. the coal-mines would have been inaccessible but for means which their produce affords of draining them at a small expense.

has caused a greater number of men to be employed in the mines. is which includes Leicester. there is 1000 years. XV. though in some instances several layers come together. so far from lessening the demand for human labour. London The second chiefly supor central coalfield. The centre of the Liege coal-basin is 21. or 3 geographical miles deep. which is often at a vast depth below the surface of the ground. north of the Trent. ham amounts to enough plied from to last it. 307 the labour of twenty men working with common pump. These fissures.CHAP.921 persons employed in the mines of Great Britain and Ireland. and then it is 20 and even 30 feet thick . which raise the coal-seam towards the surface. so that an accumulation of water takes place. and occupies an area of 360 square miles and although the quantity of coal annually raised in Northumberland and Durfirst The lies . are with clay. and 1 In 1841 there -were 196. Yet this circumstance. a million and a half of tons. which divide filled the coalfield into insulated masses. BRITISH COALFIELDS. Worcester. There are three immense coalfields in England. 1 The coal strata lie in basins.358 feet. of the strata at the edges. dipping from the sides towards the centre. Stafford. thickness and ness from The coal lies in strata of small It varies in thickgreat extent. and Shropshire. or inclination. which must be pumped up. 3 to 9 feet. has an area of 1495 square miles. which is easily estimated from the dip. but these layers are interrupted by frequent dislocations. and the extent of the basin. X2 .

1 1 In the year 1829 the value of the mineral produce of Europe. 100 miles long. Moreover. Wales alone is The Workington and Whitehaven mile under the sea . a substitute for coal will probably be discovered before our own mines are worked out. but the island contains only four principal coal districts Leinster. The Scotch coal-measures occupy the great central low land of Scotland.000 Combustibles Total . tinues to advance at the rate amounted to Gold and Silver Other metals . . Coal has been found in seventeen counties in Ireland.050.943. but exclusive of manganese.148. . supplies the manufactories round it. lying between the southern high lands and the Highland mountains . it if science con- has lately done.308 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. some of the seams being nine feet thick. the whole of that rude tract is occupied by them. Munster. GloucesterThe coalfield of South shire. several shafts in the latter are 100 fathoms deep and it is one of the finest in England for extent and thickness of strata. and Somersetshire.1. Salts . .000 . . coal-mines go a . 28.000 7.519. and Ulster. Connaught. . or western coalfield includes South Wales. XV.640. CHAP.000 . . 18. and were it exhausted. and 18 or 20 broad. Thus there is coal enough in the British islands to last some thousands of years . our friends across the Atlantic have enough to supply the world for ages uncountable. including Asiatic Russia.000 56. and the midland The third counties south and east of Derbyshire. besides which there are other coalfields of less extent. England .

000 Vitriol 536. nearly John Taylor.600 Alum Coal . Total .000. 33. : especially in ship-building between the years 1 830 and 1 847..000 of tons are consumed in our ironfoundries alone. Cornish Mines.250 33. where the country yielding S.. Nation.000. 309 The carboniferous strata are enormously developed in the States of North America. 150 iron vessels were launched in Britain.000 of tons of coals consumed in Great Britain annually. The quantity of tin has also increased from our own mines. The tons. 25 of the steam- ships of the East India Company are of iron. lat to 3 The produce produce amounts to 300 tons of pure metal. NORTH AMERICAN COALFIELD. iron Iron is made in Britain in 1844 amounted to 1.369.000 13. namely. coalfield extends.CHAP. 2nd edition.000 and 600..500 Copper Iron 1.292. besides the quantity exported to our colonies and to foreign countries.716. XV. Silver 28.000 now applied to many uses instead of timber.000. England contributed more than half this amount. R.000 sterling. lat The yearly stream-tin extends from 7 N.000. The Appalachian 720 miles. in its ' Progress of the and Commercial Relations.000 tons are used in making gas.000 11.400.' by G. .. amounting to nearly 2. since the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century.750 Esq..000 756. 8. Porter. At present there are 34. Esq. . which yielded 3.000 Lead Tin Salts 760. Between 500. In France there are 62 coal-mines. without interruption.000.000 of tons. and also from the extensive importation of that metal from Banca. on the 29.410.000 28.200 Social tons . of our copper-mines has increased threefold within the last 60 years. .

975. The quantity of coal raised in one year is. among the ridges of the Appalachian chain. 10 feet thick.000 square miles. the facility is so great. from the northern border of Pennsylvania to near Huntsville. 3.000 tons 4. maximum breadth of 280 miles. .000 Belgium France . is an extensive outlying and in 1838 the 12 iron districts in that country yielded to the value of 4.783. occupying an area of 63. forty miles to the east. CHAP. 347. extends. In Britain the coalfields occupy one-twentieth part of the area of the country in Belgium one twenty-second part in France one two hundred and tenth part of its area.000.000 Germany .228/. than to cut down the trees with which the country is covered for fuel. that it is more profitable to convey the coal by water to New Orleans.000 square miles. . The British coal and metal imported into France amounted to 1. and the which expose to view the seams of coal on It The Pittsburg seam. . their banks.' by R. Indeed. . . The coal is bituminous. Valpy. and in many places literally so. rivers Ohio is intersected by three great navigable the Monogahela. Esq. and which may be had for the expense of felling. . in Alabama.000. XV.000.310 with a PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. . .424/. so that this seam of coal may be worked for ages almost on the surface. and covers an area of 14. similar to the greater part of the British coal .222. 225 miles in length and 100 in breadth. . according to The Statistics of Germany. however. exposed on the banks of the Monogahela. Belgium is next to Britain as a European coal country. the Alleghanny. Progress of the Nation.000 3. 1100 miles distant. . horizontally. there tons in 1841. ' In Britain .

CHAP. SALT. and Ne\v Zealand are rich in coal and iron. As the qualities of the greater part of the more rare metals are little known. and consists of horizontal strata.' ' Travels in the United States of North . 1 tropical regions of the globe have been so explored that no idea can be formed of the quantity of coal or iron they contain . it is probable that coal is not wanting. and antimony are raised to a considerable amount. In the western States the which occupies part of Illinois. COALFIELDS the great ARSENIC coalfield. that the mineral produce must be more limited than in the northern. 311 yields member of winch an- thracite. Manganese. burning without smoke. and Kentucky. XV. yet New Holland. Van Diemen's Land. and in various parts is There Both abound in Borneo. bismuth. The mines of rock-salt in Cheshire seem to be in1 Sir Charles Lyell's America. a species of coal which has the advantage of Illinois coalfield. they have hitherto been interesting chiefly to the mineralogist. used in the arts and manufactures. is as large as England. is generally found combined with other metals in many countries as well as our own. Indiana. little The It is found in Formosa. zinc. Iron is worked in many parts of the States. Arsenic. but as iron is so universal. is a vast coalfield also in Michigan. comparatively so little land in the southern temperate zone. of tropical Africa and America. from witli numerous seams of rich bituminous coal. Connecticut to South Carolina. There Large areas in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia abound in coal.

XV. CHAP. on the great platform of . they are the produce of tracts on each side of the Sierra E*penhac. strata. some at great in Volcanic countries phur. is unconnected with the volcanic the magazine which supplies the greater part of the manufactures of Europe. and throughout wide It districts in Austria. Gallicia.378/. The celebrated mines of Golconda also found have produced many splendid diamonds they are in Borneo. Asphalt. which produced one weigh. and of a district watered by some of the affluents in 1822. Enormous deposits of salt extend 600 and miles on each side of the Carpathian mountains. in Asia where rock-salt has been found. nitre. of the Rio San Francesco. Syria. would not be easy to enumerate the places Spain. and in the beds of rivers. where it is found in the tertiary marine district. and natron is procured from small lakes in an oasis on the west of the Valley of the Nile. both continents yield sul- Sicily.o. and the Andes contain heights. most of the diamonds in commerce . The diffusion of precious stones is Diamonds are mostly found in a soil very limited. of sand and Brazil furnishes gravel. During the century ending diamonds were collected in Brazil to the value of three millions sterling. and naphtha are found in various parts of Europe and Asia. Armenia. valued at 269. of rock-salt. one of which weighed carats. parts of the Thian-Tchan. and extensive tracts in the Punjab abound in it. alum. also China and the Ural vast deposits district . The eastern ing 367 carats.312 exhaustible. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. It is often found beautifully crystallized.




Asia, and a wide district of the Ural Mountains,
yield diamonds.

The ruby and sapphire have the same crystalline form, and are nearly allied to corundum ; both are found in Ceylon, in the gravel of streams. The
rubies at Gharan, on the verge of the river Oxus,

are found imbedded in limestone.
rivulets in the


gravel of

Birman empire contains the

and opalescent rubies.


spinelle also occurs

in that country in a district five days' journey



The Hungarian

rubies are of inferior value.


blue, green, yellow,

and white sapphires are the

produce of the Birman empire, and the spinelle

uncommon in Brazil. The finest emeralds come from
Musa, Brazil, and

in the valley of

New Grenada.

veins of clay-slate Beryls are

found in


Zabarah, Upper Egypt. of the Heubach Valley, near Saltzburg, are very inferior in colour and quality.


old mines in Mount Those of Hungary and

Hungary and Bohemia

yield the finest opals



most esteemed are opaque, of a pale brown, and shine with the most brilliant iridescence some are

white, transparent, or semi-transparent, and radiant in colours the precious opal is found in Hungary




The most

beautiful garnets


from Bohemia and Hungary they are found in the Hartz mountains, Ceylon, and many other localities.


turquoise is a Persian gem, and supposed to be the fossilized enamel of the tooth of a fossil mastodon ;

also found in Tibet


in the

Belat-Tagh in

Badakshan, which

the country of the lapis lazuli,




mined by heating the rock, and then throwing cold water upon it. This beautiful mineral is also found in several places of the Hindoo Coosh, in the hills of
Istalif north

of Cabool, in Tibet, and in the Baikal


in Siberia.

the king of is peculiar to Ceylon inches broad. had one two Topaz, beryl, Kandy and amethyst are of very common occurrence, espeThey cially in Brazil, Siberia, and other places.
little valued, and scarcely accounted gems. Agates are so beautiful on the table-land of Tibet, and in some parts of the desert of the Great Gobi,



that they form a considerable article of commerce in China ; and some are brought to Rome, where they

are cut into cameos and intaglios. But the greater of the and chalcedonies used part agates, cornelians,

Europe are found

in the trap-rocks

of Oberstein,

in the Palatinate.

Thus, by her unseen ministers, electricity and action, the great artificer Nature has adorned the depths of the earth and the heart of the

mountains with her most admirable works,



veins with metals, and building the atoms of matter, with the most elegant and delicate symmetry, into

innumerable crystalline forms of inimitable grace and beauty. The calm and still exterior of the
in its

earth gives no indication of the activity that prevails bosom, where treasures are preparing to enrich
future generations of man. Gold will still be sought for in the deep mine, and the diamond will be

gathered among the debris of the mountains, while time endures.





The Ocean
its Size,


Colour, Pressure, and Saltness


their Height

and Force


their Effect


The Stratum of Constant TempeNorth and South Line of Maximum Temperature
Inland Seas.

Polar Ice


ocean, which fills a deep cavity in the globe, and covers three-fourths of its surface, is so un-

equally distributed that there is three times more land in the northern than in the southern hemisphere.

The torrid zone is chiefly occupied by sea, and only one twenty-seventh part of the land on one side of the earth has land opposite to it on the other. The
form assumed by

of a spheroid, flattened at the poles
level is nearly the same, for

immense mass of water is that and as its mean

anything we know to

the contrary, it serves as a base to which all heights of land are referred. the ocean, like that of the land, of the continuation, is diversified by plains and mountains, table-lands and valleys, sometimes

The bed of
it is


barren, sometimes covered with marine vegetation,

and teeming with life. Now it sinks into depths which the sounding-line has never fathomed, now it
appears in chains of islands, or rises near to the surface in hidden reefs and shoals, perilous to the

Springs of fresh water


from the bot-




volcanos eject their lavas and scoriae, earthquakes trouble the deep waters.


The ocean is continually receiving the spoils of the land, and from that cause would constantly be decreasing in depth, and, as the quantity of water is
always the same, its superficial extent would increase. There are, however, counteracting causes to check the secular elevation of the land over this tendency

extensive tracts in


parts of the world


one of

Volcanos, coral islands, and barrier-reefs show that great changes of level are
the most important.
constantly taking place in the bed of the ocean itself that symmetrical bands of subsidence and elevation

extend alternately over an area equal to a hemisphere, from which it may be concluded that the balance is

always maintained between the sea and land, although the distribution may vary in the lapse of time.


Pacific, or

Great Ocean, exceeds

in superficies

the dry land on the globe. It has an area of 50 millions of square miles ; including the Indian Ocean,



16,000 miles. Its than the Atlantic, as it only communicates with the Arctic Ocean by Behring's Straits, whereas the Atlantic, as far as we know, stretches


nearly 70 millions the coast of Africa




breadth from


is less

from pole

to pole.

continent of Australia occupies a comparasmall tively portion of the Pacific, while innumerable islands stud its surface many degrees on either side


showing that

of the equator, of which a great number are volcanic, its bed has been, and indeed actually







is its

the theatre of violent igneous eruptions. So great that a line five miles has not reached depth, long

the bottom in




of the ocean counts for

little in

yet as the whole mass the total amount of

terrestrial gravitation, its mean depth fraction of the radius of the globe.

but a small

The bed of the Atlantic is a long deep valley, with few mountains, or at least but few that raise their summits as islands above its surface. Its greatest
breadth, including the

Gulf of Mexico,



miles, and its superficial extent is about 25 millions of square miles. This sea is exceedingly deep : in



and 17 29'

W. longitude Sir James

Ross found the depth to be 14,550 feet; about 450 miles west from the Cape of Good Hope it was 16,062

more than the height of Mont Blanc St. Helena a line of 27,600 feet did not reach the bottom, a depth which is equal to the height of some of the most elevated peaks of
feet, or




and 900 miles west from

the Himalaya


but there


reason to believe that

many parts of the ocean are part of the German Ocean


A great

only 93 feet deep, though on the Norwegian side, where the coast is bold, the depth is 190 fathoms. Immense sandbanks often project from the land, which rise from great depths to within a few fathoms

Of these, the Aghullas Banks, off the of Good are amongst the most remarkable; Hope, Cape those of Newfoundland are still greater in extent :
of the surface.
they consist of a double sandbank, which is supposed to reach to the north of Scotland. The Dogger Bank,

in the



North Sea, and many others, are well known. According to Mr. Stevenson, one-fifth of the German Ocean is occupied by sandbanks, whose average
is 78 feet, an area equal to about one-third of Great Britain. Currents are sometimes deflected from their course by sandbanks whose tops do not come within 50 or even 100 feet of the surface.


Some on

the coast of


are surrounded by

such deep water that they must be submarine tableAll are the resort of fish. lands.

The pressure at great depths is enormous. In the Arctic Ocean, where the specific gravity of
lessened, on account of the greater fresh water produced by the melting of proportion of the ice, the pressure at the depth of a mile and a quarter is 2809 pounds on a square inch of

the water






says, in his

was confirmed by Captain Scoresby, ' Arctic Voyages,' that the wood of

a boat suddenly dragged to a great depth by a whale was found, when drawn up, so saturated with water
forced into

pores, that


sank in water like a

stone for a year afterwards.

Even sea-water





bulk from 20 to 19 solid inches at the

depth of 20 miles. The compression that a whale can endure is wonderful. Many species of fish are capable of sustaining great pressure, as well as sudden changes

of pressure. Divers in the pearl-fisheries exert great muscular strength, but man cannot bear the
increased pressure at great depths, because his lungs are full of air, nor can he endure the diminution of

at great altitudes

above the earth.

CHAP. xvi.




The depth to which the sun's light penetrates the ocean depends upon the transparency of the water, and cannot be less than twice the depth to which a
In parts of the person can see from the surface. Arctic Ocean shells are distinctly seen at the depth of 80 fathoms ; and among the West India islands,

as if seen in air

80 fathoms water, the bed of the sea is as clear shells, corals, and sea-weeds of

every hue display the
purest spring water of the ocean ;


of the rainbow.

not more limpid than the it absorbs all the prismatic colours, except that of ultramarine, which, being reflected in every direction, imparts a hue approach-


The colour of the sea ing the azure of the sky. varies with every gleam of sunshine or passing cloud,

true tint


always the same when seen

The reflecsheltered from atmospheric influence. tion of a boat on the shady side is often of the
clearest blue, while the surface of the water exposed

sun is bright as burnished gold. The waters of the ocean also derive their colour from animalcules of
to the

particles of matter.

the infusorial kind, vegetable substances, and minute It is white in the Gulf of

Guinea, black round the Maldives
the Vermilion Sea


off California

so called on account of the

red colour of the infusoria



the same red

colour was observed by Magellan near the mouth of The Persian Gulf is called the the river Plate.

Green Sea by eastern geographers, and there is a trail water off the Arabian coast so distinct that of green O a ship has been seen in green and blue water at the





Rapid transitions take place


Arctic Sea, from ultramarine to olive-green, from

These appearances are not depurity to opacity. lusive, but constant as to place and colour; the
is produced by myriads of minute insects, which devour one another and are a prey to the



The colour of


that of



clear shallow water depends over chalk or white sand it is

apple-green, over yellow sand dark-green, brown or black over dark ground, and grey over mud.


supposed to have acquired its saline the globe was in the act of subsiding The density of sea-water from a gaseous state.



depends upon the quantity of saline matter it contains: the proportion is generally a little above 3 per cent.,

though it varies in different places the ocean contains more salt in the southern than in the northern

hemisphere, the Atlantic more than the Pacific. The greatest proportion of salt in the Pacific is in
the parallels of 22



and 17

S. lat.


near the

least, equator from the melting of the ice. The saltness varies with the seasons in these regions, and the fresh

is less,

in the

Polar Seas

it is

Eain makes the water, being lightest, is uppermost. surface of the sea fresher than the interior parts,
and the
influx of rivers renders the ocean less salt at

their estuaries

the Atlantic


brackish 300 miles

from the mouth of the Amazons.


seas are


saline than those that are shallow,

and inland

communicating with the ocean are less salt, from the rivers that flow into them to this, how;

so that the saline principle preserves the sea in a liquid state to a much higher latitude than if it had been fresh. it does not to 28^ till its temperature is reduced of Fahrenheit. while its is it is better suited for navi- gation by of the sea tides The healthfulness greater buoyancy.CHAP. the Mediterranean is an exception. occasioned by the great evaporation. and. As of the Greenland Sea freeze the specific gravity of the water is about 1 '02664. since it has constantly received the debris of the land and all its organised matter. Raised by the moon and is the area of the ocean waves which keep lower meridian. portions of other substances too small to be detected by chemical analysis. ascribed to the mixing of the water by and currents which prevents the accumulation of putrescent matter. XVI. The water in the Straits of Gibraltar at the depth of 670 fathoms is four times as salt as that at the surface. Y . in both cases producing VOL. and the influx of salt currents from the Atlantic. I. the sea contains bromine and sodine in very minute quantities. much lower. Besides its saline ingredients. 321 ever. THE OCEAN : ITS SALTNESS. Fahrenheit is Fresh water freezes at the temperature of 32 of the point of congelation of salt water . modified by the sun. at the drawn from the earth by her same time that she draws the earth from the water diametrically opposite to her. elevated into great tidal time with the attractions of these luminaries at each return to the upper and The water under the moon is attraction. no doubt.

but much more upon local The spring-tides happen at new and circumstances. meridian for junction. and Atlantic Oceans. full in both cases the sun moon. giving birth to the tides which wash the shores of the vast continents and islands which rise above their surfaces .322 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. so as to hours. of these positions their attraction is . the tides rise depends upon the relative positions of the sun and moon. while on produce only one tide in 24 hand there have been known three and even four tides in the same space of time. on the contrary. Indian. and when the moon is new they are in conwhen she is full they are in opposition. but in what manner these off branch marginal tides from the parent wave. XVI. and are diffused over the Pacific. The height to which a tide of nearly equal height. The tides ordinarily happen twice in 24 hours. CHAP. science lias not yet : determined we know only their course along each . but peculiar local circumstances sometimes the other affect the tides. As the earth revolves. the neap or lowest tides happen when the moon is in quadrature. because the rotation of the globe brings the same point of the ocean twice under the meridian of the moon . consequently. or 90 distant from the sun. because and moon are in the same . upon their declination and dis- tance from the earth. for then they counteract each other's attraction to a certain degree. and in each combined to raise the water to its greatest height while. a succession of tides follow one another. twice in a month.

whilst among the islands in the Pacific they are scarcely perceptible. and finally washes the shores of Hindostan. 323 shore. in Nova Scotia. yet observations at islands in the open sea and towards the centres of the oceans contradict the idea of corresponding progressive waves throughout the entire area of those seas. and impinges upon the coasts of North America and of Europe. In the Atlantic the marginal wave travels towards the north. in conse- Y2 . from the local . but in the open and deep sea they are less . circumstances of the coast and bottom of the sea while in the centre of the ocean. The mean height of the tides will be increased by a very small quantity for ages to come. The spring-tides rise more than 40 feet at and in the Bay of Fundy. the general height in the North Atlantic is 10 or 12 feet. the the waves diverge from the equator towards but in all they partake also of the poles westerly course of the moon. Upon the coasts of Britain and New Brunswick the tides are high. where they are due to the action of the sun and moon only. on the contrary. Bristol. they rise upwards of 50 feet .CHAP. In the Indian Ocean it also pursues a northerly course. and at St. XVI. Helena they are not more than 3 feet. and the Arabian Gulf: while in the Pacific. they are remarkably small. Although such are the directions in which the tides unquestionably proceed along the shores of those seas. TIDES. but are unable to connect these curves with the great ridge of the tidal wave. the Bay of Bengal.

324 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.nature and form of the shores. Thus. velocity varies inversely as the square of the depth a law which theoretically affords the means of ascertaining the proportionate depth of the sea inIts different parts . and then passes round the north of Scotland. and is to fluids what the pendulum is to solids a connecting link between time and force. quence of the decrease in the mean distance of the contrary effect will the moon from the earth take place after that period has elapsed. the time of propagation depends on the depth of the water as well as on the . and the consequent minute increase in the height of the tides. CHAP. XVI. The great oceanic wave that twice a-day brings the tides to our shores. having in about 18 hours. see page 4? For the reason of this secular variation in the Moon's disof The Connexion of the Physical Sciences. has occupied a day and a half in travelling from the place where it was generated. The wave first impinges on the west coast of Ireland and England. the mean distance of the moon. 1 wave extends to the bottom of the moves uniformly and with great speed in very deep water.' . moon at the rate of 1000 miles an hour it moves very slowly tance. and enters the Thames. up the North Sea. made the tour of Great Britain At 1 the equator the tide-wave follows the . moon's mean distance begins to increase again. it is one of the great constants of nature. do for many ages. and . variably and slow in shallow water tidal The ocean. and the . will which it will continue to oscillate between fixed limits for ever.

occurs in the Ganges . follows the moon. the tide flows suddenly up a river encumbered with shoals. and at the estuaries of rivers. at the equi- noxes. in the northern seas TIDES. in the Amazon. and the water rises to double the height would otherwise have attained. it checks the descent of the stream the water spreads over the sands. and confirmed by Captain Hewett. When . it complete A extinction of the tide takes place when a high-water interferes in the same manner with a low-water. from 12 to 15 feet high. such varieties occur chiefly in channels among islands existed. that till a tide is sometimes impeded by an obstacle a second tide reaches the same point by a different course. during three successive days. the water ea. and a high crested wave. follow one another up lesser degree in that river daily . There may be some small flow of stream with the oceanic tide but that does not necessarily follow. A bird resting . and in a some of our own rivers. called a This bore. five of these destructive waves. XVI. not the stream. 325 on account of the shallowness of but the tides are so retarded by the form of the coasts and irregularities of the bottom of the . and the resulting height is equal to their difference . as in the centre of the German Ocean a circumstance predicted by theory. since the tide in the open ocean is merely an alternate rise and fall of the surface : so that the wave. the greater overpowers the lesser. who was not aware that such an interference When two unequal tides of contrary phases meet. is driven with force up the channel. .CHAP. where.

according to the theory of undulations. however. if so heavy a body as water were to 1000 miles in an hour. so that. not independently of the other a of superficial but causes transfer raises waves. and near the land. extremely limited and momentary. CHAP. it would cause universal destruction. but this motion is Over shallows. The motion of each particle is in an ellipse lying "wholly in the vertical plane. During the passage of the great tidal wave in deep water.326 on the sea is PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Esq. Scott Russell. and then retire to their places . both the water and the waves advance during the flow of the tide.' by J. and 1 roll on the beach. the particles of the fluid glide for the moment over each other into a new arrangement. brings its lower stratum into adhesive contact with the surface of the sea. but if 1 it be inclined. since in the most violent fall . after the momentary disturbance during the passage of the wave. If the motion of the wind be parallel to the surface. only . . in however small a Every undulating motion consists of two distinct things an advancing form and a molecular movement. however. move at the rate of hurricanes the velocity of the wind hardly exceeds 100 miles an hour. as well as the pressure of the atmosphere. ' Theory of Waves. and. but the water will be smooth as a mirror. each produces its effect wind. not carried forward as the waves rise and indeed. they return to their places again. there will still be friction. water air alsoi Attraction between the particles of and water. The friction of the wind combines with the tides in agitating the surface of the ocean. XVI.

327 The friction raises degree. naturally leads to an over estimate of the magnitude of the waves. called cats'-paws by sailors. XVI. whose elevation protects the water beyond it from the wind. and form a sublime and sea. The waves are short and abrupt in small shallow seas. a minute wave. are owing to a partial deviation of the wind from a horizontal direction. The agitation at first extends little below the surface. as they are proverbially said to do: there is. each impulse. but in long-continued gales even the deep water troubled : is the billows rise higher and higher. combining with the other. fall in wreaths of foam. awful of waves overtake one another. a ripple will appear. and. the however. The resistance of the water increases with the strength and inclination of the wind. The highest waves known are those which occur during a north-west gale off the Cape aptly called by the ancient Portuguese navigators the Cape of Storms Cape Horn The also seems to be the abode of the tempest. which consequently impinges on the surface at a small distance beyond .CHAP. which appear to rise moun- tains high. sublimity of the scene. thus. produces an undulation which continually advances. their " monstrous heads." impelled beyond the perpenSometimes several dicular. : Good Hope. united to the threatened danger. as the surface of the sea is driven before the wind. WAVES. Those beautiful silvery streaks on the surface of a tranquil sea. and on that account . reason to doubt if the highest waves off Cape of Good Hope exceed 40 feet from the hollow trough to the summit.

continuing to break. while the individual waves of each maintain that there their parallelism." The waves raised by the wind are altogether independent of the tidal waves . so them may be three or four systems or series of coexisting waves. " The sea-shore infinite after a storm presents a scene of It exhibits the expenditure of gigantic force. Esq. whereas the The ground-swell is rapidly transmitted through the ocean to regions far beyond the direct influence of 1 J. for they increase in height. which is confined to the area vexed by the wind . is totally difby ferent from the tossing of the billows. all going in different directions. CHAP.328 are PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is gradually lessened in bulk till it ends in a fringed higher. undulation called a ground-swell. . and as the inequalities of the coasts in all directions. breaks with great violence. fall or the thunder. assumes a form of unstable equilibrium. Scott Russell. totters. Finally the wave becomes more pointed. but diminish in length. becomes crested with foam. 1 margin. on Wayes.. each maintains its undisturbed course reflect . they modify those they encounter and offer new resistance to the wind. Long before the waves reach the shore they may be said to feel the bottom as the water becomes shallower. XVI. which impresses the mind with the presence of elemental power as sublime as the water- grandeur. occasioned the continuance of a heavy gale. more dangerous than the long rolling billows of the wide ocean. and.

Cape de Verde Islands are seen at a When great distance approaching like mountains. and it continues to heave the smooth and glassy surface of the deep long after the wind and the billows are at rest. XVI. tossing huge masses of rock and shaking the cliffs to their foundation:!. did not the loud grinding noise of the ice warn him of his approach. producing a vast commotion even in a dead calm. in is generally a swell to the which would be very formidable mariner in thick weather. sometimes comes from a quarter in direct opposition to the wind. billows which must have travelled 1000 miles against the trade-wind from the seat of the storm. when they roll in surf to the shore. At addition to other dangers. of its approach. there the margin of the polar ice. and not unfrequently they are the harbingers the surface. In the South Pacific. 1 During heavy gales on the coast of Beechey's Voyage to the Pacific. without ruffling They are the heralds that point out to the mariner the distant region where the tempest has howled.CHAP. or till the undulation is checked by the resistance of land. till rollers at the The or dash in spray and foam over the rocks. is to a the commotion added is a gale ground-swell great and the force of the surge tremendous. WAVES. and occasionally from various A points of the compass at the same time. expend their fury on the lee side of the many 1 swell coral islands which bedeck that sunny sea. . Heavy swells are propagated through the ocean they gradually subside from the friction of the water. 329 the gale that raised it.

civil engineer. Madras the surf breaks the shore. Now as the pressure of feet high not in motion is only about half a ton on a square foot. fathoms water at the distance of four and even four and a half miles from The violence of the tempest is sometimes so intense as to quell the billows and scatter its surface in a heavy shower called by sailors spoondrift. On the 20th ground-swells . on the west coast of Scotland. in nine CHAP. though 112 feet high. During the storm that took place on to the 9th of March. such occasions saline particles have imair to the distance of 50 miles inland. XVI. is lite- rally buried in foam and spray to the very top during when there is no wind. Steven- son. or three times as great. The rolling breakers on the are magnificent cliffs on the west coast of Ireland that feet high. Lord Adair measured some were 50 and even 150 In the Isle of 10 stone was Man a block which weighed about its place and carried inland a during north-westerly gale . in the The Bell Rock lighthouse German Ocean. On mendous from experiments made by Mr. it shows how much of their force waves owe : to their velocity. the pregnated The force of the waves in gales of wind is tre. it amounted a wave 20 6083 pounds. 1845. and in the Hebrides a block of 42 tons weight was moved several feet by lifted from the force of the waves. while in winter it was 2086 pounds.330 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. it appears that the average pressure of the waves during the summer months was equal to 611 pounds weight on a square foot of surface. exposed to the whole fury of the Atlantic.

magnitude.CHAP. hence the sea is not so rough in rainy as in dry weather. and other long-continued winds . others on ever-varying causes. its suppresses attraction for water is diminished. The effect of a gale descends to a comparatively small distance below the surface . Currents of various extent. were it not so. Anything that diminishes the friction of the wind smooths the surface of the sea for ex- or a small stream of packed ice. and from every gale of some duration. which even a swell. their density is greater or less than that of the sur- rounding sea. them depend upon circumstances permanent as the globe itself. perpetual A kept up in the waters of the main by these vast marine streams they are sometimes superficial and sometimes submarine. melting ice. according as circulation is . and the trade-winds. oil so is the friction . ^the poles and the equator affects the great currents of the ocean. The exchange of water between . 1827. the heat of the sun. "When the air is moist. so that the pressure was computed by Mr. XVI. Stevenson to be nearly three tons on a square foot. periodical currents are occasioned by tides. 331 of November. the water would be turbid and shellfish would be destroyed. temporary currents arise from the tides. and velosome of city disturb the tranquillity of the ocean . Constant currents are produced by the combined action of the rotation of the earth. monsoons. the spray rose 117 feet. CURRENTS. and consequently ample. the sea is probably tranquil at the depth of 200 or 300 feet .

leave the poles they flow towards the equator is but. the between the by the direct rays of the sun. they arrive at the tropics before they have acquired the same velocity of rotation with the intertropical ocean. in order to restore the equilibrium. When motion earth. before proceeding far. both of causes disturb the equilibrium of the ocean. as. The trade-winds. which The rotation of the earth also gives the water a tendency to take an oblique direction in its flow towards the equatorial regions.332 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and also occa- sion strong and rapid evaporation. for For that reason the whole surface of the 30 degrees on each side of the equator. these currents . and is transmits the heat to the surface strata above. their deflected by the diurnal rotation of the At the poles they have no rotatory motion it . On that account they are in left a direction contrary behind. which revolves at the rate of 1000 miles an hour. which produces all the effects of a great current or stream flowing in that direction. they differ essentially in this rethat whereas the atmosphere is heated spect from below by heated at its its contact with the earth. has an apparent tendency from east to west. CHAP. and consequently seem to flow to the diurnal rotation of the earth. as Although these depend upon the same causes the trade-winds. which . ocean. deranged by so many circumstances. XVI. and although they gain progress to more and more in their the equator. especially which diminish. the sea strata. great streams perpetually descend from either pole. specific gravity of the upper tropics.

in 333 blow constantly this current a mean one direction. In consequence of the uninterrupted expanse of ocean in the southern hemisphere. a great oceanic current is origiDriven by the prenated in the Antarctic Sea. It has been supposed that the primary currents. combine to give velocity of 10 or 11 miles in 24 hours. trade-wind. the Eastern Peninsula. tween the islands. and 24 N. In the north this stream is interrupted by the coast of China. maintains a westerly course between the 10th and 20th parallels of south latitude as it . the prevalence of westerly winds. vailing winds. while the main cold stream flows down the American shore . and the tendency of the polar water towards the equator. as well as those derived from them. where it is divided. and joins the great equatorial current of the Indian Ocean. small A part doubles Cape Horn. bends round the northern end of Madagascar. are subject to periodical variations of intensity occasioned by the melting of the ice at each pole alternately. impelled by the S. flows through .CHAP. which crosses that ocean between the parallels of 26 S.E. the waters take an easterly direction inclining to the northward. in a vast stream nearly 3500 miles broad. which. approaches the Island of Madagascar the stream is divided . and the islands of the Indian Archipelago but a part forces its way be. one part runs to the north-west. and one part sets upon the American coast. CURRENTS. XVI. it loses itself in the great equatorial current of the Pacific. then turning sud- denly to the west.

after strength in the Caribbean Sea. and keeping 150 miles outside of the Cape or Agullhas current. Though much weakened in passing the West Indian islands. Roque. and along the North American coast to Newfoundland under the name of the . met with 2000 miles from the The principal branch of the great equatorial current takes a northerly course from off Cape St. it acquires new From thence. and rushes along the coast of Brazil with such force and depth that it suffers only a temporary deflection by the powerful streams of the river Amazon and of the Orinoco. becomes insensible before it reaches the Straits of Magellan but an offset from it stretches directly . Helena. it runs along the west coast of Africa to the parallel of St. CHAP.334 the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. which runs in the opposite direction. it doubles the Cape of Good Hope outside of the Agullhas Bank. under the name other of the South Atlantic Current. it flows through the Straits of Florida. sweeping round the Gulf of Mexico with the high among temperature of 88" 52' of Fahrenheit. Mosambique Channel. One branch of the stream setting south- ward along the continent of South America. are course into the Indian Ocean. XVI. having made the circuit of the South Atlantic Ocean. which flows westward and divides upon Cape St. and forms the Great Atlantic Equatorial Current. being joined by the branch. There it is deflected by the coast of Guinea. across the Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope. it pursues it its where traces of Cape. and. Roque in Brazil. and.

and aided rejoins the equatorial cur- by the north-east trade having- made a circuit of 3800 miles with velocity. Its greatest velocity is 78 miles . and plants of unknown appearance. : CURRENTS. even at the edge of perpetual ice in the Polar Ocean brandies at the depth . and after passing Newfoundland by a current from Baffin's. and its a-day soon after leaving the Florida Strait breadth increases with its distance from the strait until the warm the ocean. and in consequence of some of these is the Spitzbergen Sea the 6 or 7 its warmer surface. of 200 fathoms than at Though as it warmth of the Gulf-stream diminishes " that the goes north. it where it till reaches Newfoundland. XVI. brought to the Azores by this stream. becomes turbid from the shallowness of that part of the sea. Bay. towards Britain and subdivided into Norway . An water spreads over a large surface of important branch leaves the current setting near Newfoundland.CHAP. The bodies of men. The Gulf-stream is more rest salt. and thus led to the discovery of America. \vhich is again many brandies. animals. which is thickly various covered with sea-weed. 335 Gulf-stream it is there deflected eastward by the form of the land and the prevalent wind. rent. leaving a vast loop or space of water nearly stagnant in its centre. From the Azores it bends southward. suggested to Columbus the idea of land beyond the Western Ocean. Lieutenant Murray says heat which it of over the Atlantic spreads quantity . warmer. and of a deeper blue than the of the ocean. whose origin is recognised by their greater warmth.

The current in the Atlantic is 160 miles broad off the coast of Africa. since it is not deflected by the river La Plata. together with the current from Davis's Straits. When currents pass over banks and shoals. Brazilian branch must be very profound. brings icebergs to the margin of the Gulf-Stream. and towards its midcourse across the Atlantic its width becomes nearly equal to the length of Great Britain : but as it then sends off a branch to the N. XVI. These oceanic streams exceed all the rivers in the equatorial world in breadth and depth as well as length. but the great stream is unknown . the colder water rises to the surface and gives warning it of the danger. along the coast of North America to Florida.. CHAP. the great north polar current coming along the coasts of Greenland and Labrador. it is diminished to The depth of this 200 miles before reaching the coast of Brazil.336 in PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. a winter's day would be sufficient to raise the whole atmosphere that covers France and Great Britain from the freezing point to summer heat . and beyond it since it sends an under- . which crosses with so strong a current that its fresh muddy waters are perceptible 500 miles from its mouth.W. difference between the temperatures of these The two oceanic streams brought into contact is the cause of the dense fogs that brood over the banks of Newfoundland. and it really is the cause of the mildness and of the damp of Ireland and the south of England. In summer. The north polar current runs inside of the Gulf-Stream.

CHAP. In the Persian Gulf this order is reversed . in the Indian Ocean and China Sea the waters are driven alter- nately backwards and forwards by the monsoons. Periodical currents are frequent in the eastern seas : one flows into the Red Sea from October to May. and seems to merge in it at last. promontory of Shetland. The Roost of Sumat southern the burgh. indeed. it holds a southerly direction at some distance . running with great in the opposite direction. I. and a tremendous surf on the Coromandel. . the water running in one direction during the flood. . 337 Counter-currents current into the Caribbean Sea. mass of water into the Mediter- ranean. and the contrary way in the ebb. CURRENTS. a current running in along one and a counter-current running out along the other. XVI. One of the most remarkable occurs in the Atlantic: it after sending a begins off the coast of France. t lie strongest tidal currents known are among the Orkney and Shetland islands their great velocity arises Z VOL. and. It is the south-westerly monsoon that causes inundations in the coast of Ganges. east it flows rapidly for in 1000 miles due to the Bight of Biafra immediate contact with the velocity equatorial current. The tides also produce periodical currents on the coasts and in straits. from the continent of Africa till. runs at the rate of lo miles an hour. on the surface are of such frequent occurrence that there is scarcely a strait joining two seas that does not furnish an example shore. after passing Cape Mesurada. and out of it from May to October.

across the Pacific to Manilla or Canton. and so violent at the distance of several leagues. Although with winds. CHAP. that a vessel. partaking of the universal quiet. in Mexico. and currents. or to avoid them if unfavourable. and the direction of the permanent and periodical winds it is frequently set . going from Ja- . the trade- wind and the equatorial current are so favourable that the voyage is accomplished in 50 or 60 days . shortened by following a very circuitous track to take advantage of them if favourable. yet in the equatorial regions. ocean move at the rate of from one to three miles an hour. The safety and length of a voyage depends upon the skill with which a seaman avails himself of the of the different currents. . it a mile and a half in its that roar is heard diameter. whereas. far from land. From Acapulco. dead calms prevail the sea is of the most perfect stillness day after day . on the coast of . XVI. and heaving flat its low if waves in noiseless and regular periods as nature were asleep. but the velocity is bottom of the stream from less at the margin and friction. Norway. Currents in the wide from local circumstances.338 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 90 or 100 are required. is is occasioned by the meeting of tidal cur- rents round the islands of Lofoden and Moskoe . Within the Antillas navigation is so difficult from in winds and currents. tides "Whirlpools are produced by opposing winds and the whirlpool of Maelstrom. it might seem that the ocean is ever in motion. tides. returning.

the lesser 339 sail Antillas. will be the means of increasing the steam navigation of the Pacific. but the Gulf-stream it is avoided the outward voyage. but it is neces- ssary to regulate the voyage from the Cape to India and China according to the seasons of the monsoons. the Mauritius. The extensive deposits of coal discovered in the Bay of Talcahuano. The and is passage to the Cape of Good Hope from the British Channel may be undertaken at any season. New Zealand. accomplished in 50 or 60 days . in Australia. because would lengthen the time by a fortnight. and extends to the island of Timor. generally make the Canary Islands in order to fall in with the N. Ships going to the "West Indies. and shortening the voyages upon that ocean. from Europe. inaica lo EFFECT OF CURRENTS. On account of the prevalence of westerly winds rope in in to the the North Atlantic. Central or South America. There are various courses adopted for that purpose. therefore z 2 . XVI.CHAP. in Chile. but all of them pass through the very focus of the hurricane district. trade-winds. and Bourbon. cannot directly across the Caribbean Sea. but must go round about through the windward passage between Cuba and Haiti to the ocean . in the British settlement at Labuan. nearly as many weeks are requisite to accomplish this voyage as it takes days to return. Sea-water is a bad conducter of heat. the voyage from EuUnited States is longer than that from the latter to Europe .E. and in Borneo. which includes the islands of from Madagascar Rodriguez.

lat. doubt that in all parts of the ocean the water has a constant temperature of about at a certain depth. depths where then gradually descends till S. from whence it . gradually rises to the surface in S. north from the equator the same law is observed. there are three regions in the ocean : one equatorial and two polar. In going feet below the surface. 56 26' it then sweeps down to 7200 feet at the equator. lat. is . higher than that of the stratum of while in the polar regions it is lower. where the water has the temperature of 39*5 at all rises till it conies to the surface in S. the temperature of the ocean changes than the atmosphere seasons is less liable to sudden the influence of the and as light feet.340 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is the surface of the stratum of constant tem- perature feet in a curve which begins at the depth of the southern basin. . lat. XVI. with regard 39*5 Thus 4500 . 70. imperceptible at the depth of 300 feet . 39'5 of Fahrenheit. In the equatorial region the temperature of the water at the surface of the ocean is 80 of Fahrenheit. from whence it descends again to a depth of 4500 feet in the northern basin. therefore Hence. it it is 4500 to temperature. and rises up again to the surface in the corre- sponding northern latitude. 56 26'. . CHAP. depending on the latitude. probably does not penetrate lower than 700 the heat of the sun cannot affect the bottom It has been established beyond a of a deep sea. At the equator the stratum of water at that temperature is from thence it gr dually at the depth of 7200 feet .

from thence 0to each tropic the decrease does not exceed 3 7. Its maximum where it temperature in the Pacific is 88*5 of Fahrenheit on the northern shores of New Guinea. and the remainder runs at a mean distance of 3 on its southern side. XVI. The not tropical temperature would be greater were it for the currents. The line of maximum temperature. is and as a great mass of water changes slow in following the in the atmosphere. the surface 341 of the The temperature of ocean For 10 decreases from the equator to the poles. and remarkably stable. six-tenths of its extent lies on an average 5 to the north of it. whereas in the temperate zones it is perceptible. It cuts the terrestrial equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 21 E. and the great evaporawhich absorbs the heat. is very irregular. prevent equilibrium . of the line the maximum is 80 on each side degrees of Fahrenheit. touches the terrestrial equator. TEMPERATURE. longitude in passing from the northern to the southern hemisphere. and its . because the surface reflects the sun's rays which fall on it than in directly. tion because the polar winds. and again between Sumatra and the peninsula of Malacca in returning from the southern to the northern. or that which passes through all the points of greatest heat in the ocean. much fewer of about 3'o of Fahrenheit warmer than the air above it . the vicissitude of day and night has little influence. higher latitudes where they fall In the torrid zone the surface of the sea is obliquely. and does not coincide with the terrestrial equator .CHAP.

filling the freezing area of a circle of between 3000 and 4000 miles in diameter. which has great influence on the climate of both countries . Red Sea. though subject is found to be nearly similar at the same season of each succeeding year. till ice. XVI. between the north in the of Bab-el-Mandeb and the coast decreases regularly from south to of Hindostan. In the Indian Ocean the highest temperature of the surface-water (87'4) Strait it is in the Arabian Sea. which furnishes the warm water of the Gulf-stream. and renders the air 11 cooler than the surrounding* atmosphere. towards the poles the sea is never free from In the Arctic Ocean the surface is at the point even in summer. yet there are periodical changes in the polar ice which are renewed cess after a series of years. highest temperature in the Atlantic. was first observed by Baron Humboldt. The to partial variations. CHAP. is much cooled on the east by the Antarctic current it sends a cold stream along the coasts of Chili and Peru. The superficial water of the Pacific . lies in the Gulf of Mexico. and is known as Humboldt's current. itself is The freezing proa bar to the unlimited increase of the .342 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. which is exactly the same. The superficial temperature diminishes from the tropics with the increase of the latitude more rapidly in the southern than in the northern hemisphere. outline of this circle. and during the months a continuous body of ice exwinter eight tends in every direction from the pole. It is more than 14 it colder than the adjacent ocean.

the In the year 1827 Sir Edward Parry arrived at latitude of 82 45'. The ice from the north pole comes so far south in winter as to render the coast of Newfoundland inaccessible : it envelops Greenland. and the heat given out. Fresh water congeals at the tempera- ture of 32o of Fahrenheit. sometimes even Iceland. so that the Arctic is Ocean mill's. retard the process of congelation more reduced to 28'5 : begins to freeze and more belo\v. in imminent into danger. but he was abandon the bold and hazardous attempt by dragging a boat over obliged to to reach the pole. In the year 1806 Captain Scoresby forced his ship through 250 miles of packed ice. As the sun comes north the ice breaks up enormous masses of what is called packed ice. it The following considerations have induced some persons to believe that there is sea instead of land at the north pole. POLAR ICE. which he accomplished fields of ice. is a circle whose diameter its 2400 geographical and circumference 7200.CHAT'. and always invests Spitzbergen and Nova Zambia. because the current drifted the ice southward more rapidly than he could travel over to the north. but sea-water must be before it deposits its salt and the salt thus set free. 343 oceanic ice. XVI. until he reached the parallel of 81 50'. The average latitude of the northern shores of the continent is 70. sea are On the Asiatic the side of tli is Nova Zembla and New . his the Frozen Ocean is nearest approach to the pole : rarely navigable so far.

probably latitudes.800 geographical miles could they go across the pole and through Behring's Straits to their North American settlements. 20 or 30 miles in diameter. beginning 16 miles north of the island of Kotelnoi. and consequently it may be is open sea at the north pole. reason to presume that the same structure prevail here also. As there are no large Spitzbergen.344 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. instead of going by Floating fields of ice. Possibly also it may be free from ice. direct course from the Thames. across the pole to Behring's Straits. : are frequent in the Arctic Ocean sometimes they . and a part of Old whose northern termination is unknown. is a America Melville Island Facing large island with some others not extending so far north as those mentioned consequently all of them may be considered continental islands. On the European and American sides are extending to 80. CHAP. while by Lancaster Sound it is 4660 miles. and extending to the meridian of Cape Jackan. latitude. Siberian islands. Greenland. islands very far there may from land in the other great oceans. each extending to about 76 N. A The Russians would be saved a voyage of 18. It owing to warm currents was through this channel his nearest that Captain Scoresby made approach to the pole. XVI. . for Admiral Wrangel found a wide and open sea. from low to latitude. In fine summers the ice suddenly clears away and leaves an open channel of sea along the western coast of Spitzbergen from 60 to 150 miles wide. Cape Horn. reaching to 80 or even 80^ N. is 3570 geographical miles. free from ice and navigable.

CHAP. They vary from a few yards to miles in circumference. is not seen. acquire a rotatory dashing collision. icebergs and masses detached from the which extend from the Arctic lands into the Bay. times these fields. stormy weather the fields and streams of ice are covered with haze and spray from constant tremendous concussions . boldly steer their ships amidst this hideous and discordant tumult. against one another with a tremendous Packed ice always has a tendency to drift southwards. and the air to a much greater distance. many thousand millions of tons in \reight.000 square miles of drift-ice are annually brought by the current along the coast of Greenland to Cape Farewell. Huge glaciers. motion of great velocity. as there is at least two-thirds of the mass below water. and rise hundreds of fjeet above the surface. are drifted southwards sea. ice at once When there is a swell the loose dashing against them raises the spray to their very summits . undismayed by the appalling danger. In swell of the sea. 345 extend 100 miles. XVI. causing a . which varies from 10 to 40 feet. yet our seamen. Seven hundred such masses have been seen in the polar basin. Some. where they cool the water sensibly for 30 or 40 miles around. so closely packed together that no opening is left between them their thickness. even in the calmest weather. and in their progress the ice-fields are rent in pieces by the It is computed that 20. and as they waste away they occa- sionally lose equilibrium and roll over. especially in Baffin's 2000 miles from their origin to melt in the Atlantic. POLAR ICE.

field-ice swell which breaks up the neighbouring . and are often of great size . An experienced seaman snow-light can readily distinguish by the blink. and the uproar resounds like thunder. and their place and. Icebergs have the appearance of chalk-cliffs \vith a glittering surface and emerald-green fractures pools of water of azure-blue lie on their surface or : fall in cascades into the sea. heavy. are extremely beautiful from the vividness and contrast of their colouring. pure white and a deep yellow tint indicates snow on land. racter are whether the or open. CHAP. and the masses that are heaped up on its surface. The field-ice also. ice is newly formed. with perpendicular sides 100 feet high : they are less varied than those on the northern seas. one observed by Captain D'Urville was 13 miles long. Icebergs come to a lower latitude by 10 from the south pole than from the north. a tabular form is the most prevalent. sometimes surfaces. cha- shown at night by the reflection of the on the horizon. every side. is The and : blink or snow-light of field-ice is the it is most lucid. The discovery ships under the command of with flat Sir James Ross met with multitudes 100 bounded by perpendicular cliffs on to 180 feet high. as it is termed. the commotion spreads far and wide. of packed ice ice newly formed has a greyish blink. tinged yellow . compact. A peculiar blackness in the atmosphere around a bright haze at the horizon indicates their position in a fog. they hare been seen near the Cape of Good Hope. and appear to be larger . from .346 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. XVI.

extending farther than the eye could reach even from the mast-head. situation can hardly be imagined than that of ships beset during a tempest in a dense pack of ice in a dark night. on the contrary. thick fog. and terrific agitated . with the spray beating perpetually over the decks. is almost always there is a perpetual swell. and freezing instantaneously. often under : the most appalling circumstances. POLAR ICE. It generally consists of smaller pieces than the packs in the comparatively tranquil North Polar seas. 347 several miles in fell in circumference. which break up the ice and render navigation perilous. that their masts quivered as if fall at every successive blow . The floe pieces are rarely a quarter of a mile in circumference.CIIAI'. Sir James Ross's alone give an idea of the terrors of one of the many gales which the two ships his own words can under command encountered : " Soon after mid- night our ships were involved in an ocean of rolling fragments of ice. The Antarctic Ocean. and the destruction of the ships seemed inevitable from the . often in Packed ice too is immense quantities way through a pack 1000 these ships forced their miles broad. which were dashed against them by the waves with so much they would violence. storms are common. where they are often several miles in diameter. and where fields of ice extend beyond the reach of vision. and drifting A more dreadful snow. and generally much smaller. hard as floating rocks of granite. On one occasion with a chain of stupendous bergs close they to one another. XVI.

were every way worthy on of British seamen. M. The loud noise of the straining and working of the crashing timbers and decks.348 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. was sufficient to fill the stoutest heart. and about the same time I was informed by signal that the Terror's was completely destroyed and nearly torn away from the stern-post. tremendous shocks they received. throwing huge masses upon one another. and untiring exertions of each individual. CHAP. we could not perceive that the swell had at all subsided. and then again burying them deep beneath . XVI.. the coolness. which all the exertions of our people could not prevent. as they were driven against some cumstances in which of the heavier pieces of ice. and I should commit an act of injustice to my companions if I did not express my admiration of their conduct this trying occasion. with dismay . over which the ocean rolled its mountainous waves. Throughout a period of 28 hours. during any one of which there appeared to be very little hope that we should live to see another. " The storm gained its height at 2 p. Although we had been forced many miles deeper into the pack. that was not supported by trust in Him who controls all events. steady obedience. Hour passed away after hour without the least mitigation of the awful cir- we were placed. and after that time began to rise. our ships still rolling and groaning amidst the heavy fragments of crushing bergs. when the barometer stood at 28'40 inches. In the early part of the storm the rudder of the Erebus was so much damaged as to be no longer of any use .

and river domains." For three successive years were these dangers encountered during this bold and hazardous enterprise. brings remote regions into contact. the drainage of more than a fifth of Europe flows of Only about a fourth part of the boundary enormous basin of 900. The ocean into seas is the interior one mass of water. dashing and grinding them together with fearful violence. XVI.000 square miles in the centre of northern Europe. its INLAND SEAS. entering of the continents. its . and.000. has formed and gulfs of great magnitude. . is one of the most important of the inland seas connected with the Atlantic. than those connected with the great ocean . 349 foaming waters. which. which occupies 125.000 miles to the former. a circumstance which gives a coast of 48. The Baltic. although inferior to the others in size. so that by inland navigation the Atlantic virtually enters into the deepest recesses of the land.CHAP. while that of the great ocean is only Most of these internal seas have extensive 44. The inland seas communicating with the Atlantic are larger.000 square miles is and so many navigable rivers flow mountainous into it from the watershed of the great European into it. which afford easy and rapid means of communication. improves the condition of the less cultivated races of mankind by commercial intercourse with those that are more civilized. while they temper the climates of the widely expanding continents. and penetrate more deeply into the continents.

which. has. plain. which also imperbut the waters of the Baltic occasionally rise more than three feet above their usual level The tides are from some unknown cause possibly from oscillations in its bed. CHAP. XVI. It receives some of the largest European rivers. Its depth rally it nowhere exceeds 167 fathoms.350 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. consequently its waters are brackish and freeze on its northern shores in It is very deep. and genenot 1 is more than 40 or 50.000 it must at a remote : period have been the Caspian Lake. ceptible . From that cause. From country. which penetrates most deeply into the continent of all the seas in question. the Baltic is frozen five months in the year. no bottom winter. and drains covered all about 950. The winds from the Atlantic bring warmth and moisture. having been reached with a line of 140 fathoms on the melting : 1 By Captain Albrecht's soundings. the flatness of the greater part of the adjacent the climate of the Baltic is subject to influences coming from regions far beyond the limits of its river-basin.000 square miles. an area of 190. in winter. falls in rain in summer. or from changes of atmospheric pressure. together with its freshness and northern latitude. The Black Sea. and deep snow makes the sea more fresh. . condensed by the cold blasts from the Arctic plains. and must have the Steppe of Astracan. together with square miles united with the Sea of Azov. that its waters are one-fifth less salt than those of the Atlantic : it receives at least 250 stream's.

Asia Minor.000 square miles. by the central current in the Straits of Gibraltar. and the fed Alps.000 square miles. the constant current that through the Dardanelles brings a great part of the drainage of the Black Sea. according to the situations. Of all the branches of the Atlantic that enter deeply into the bosom of the land. the Atlas. at its and for the is same reason the temperature : surface 3^ it of Fahrenheit higher than that of does not decrease so rapidly down- the Atlantic wards as in tropical seas. covering with its dark blue waters more than 760. Near Alexandria the surface of this sea is 26 feet 6 inches lower than the level of the Red Sea at . Mediterranean is salter than that of the ocean. 351 is of the snow such a body of water poured into it by is European which sets the western shore from produced. along the mouth of the Dnieper to the channel of Con- the great rivers that a rapid current stantinople. XVI. exposed to the heat of the African deserts on the south. so that it is really by the melted snow and rivers from the Caucasus. Although its own river domain is sets in only 250. the evaporation on that account the water of the is excessive . Situate in a comparatively low latitude. and sheltered on the north by the Alps.CHAP. the Mediterranean is the largest and most beautiful. Abyssinia. IXLAXD SEAS. exceeds that which goes out by the lateral currents. and it becomes constant at depths of from 340 to 1000 fathoms. Yet the quantity of water that flo\vs into the Mediterranean from the Atlantic.

sizes. Suez at low water.* The Mediterranean is divided into two basins by On a shallow that runs from Cape Bon on the African coast to the Strait of Messina.N. ii. p. Lepere in the French expeAnnales du Bureau de Longitude. into which the sea has been flowing for ages. 210. ascertained the depth to be raltar tides . places without reaching the bottom. opposing one another. 1 By the measurement of ' dition to Egypt. more than 1000 fathoms in several At Nice. XVI.. currents. perceptible. it is nearly 700 fathoms deep. . and said to be unfaM. on each side of which the water is thomable in some the depth of exceedingly deep. from the magnificent kingdom of Sicily to mere barren rocks some actively volcanic. whose terrors were much diminished by the earthquake of Its bed is subject to violent volcanic parox1783. Berard has sounded to parts. occasion the celebrated whirlpool of Charybdis. 960 fathoms between Gibis and Ceuta. * M.352 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Proceedings of the Royal Geological Society. R. and many of the secondary geological period. others of volcanic formation. vol. 1 lower at high the shore of Cephalonia there is a cavity in the rocks. and Captain Smyth. and at the Great Syrte to five feet at new and full moon. but in most other places they are scarcely The surface is traversed by various two of which.' 1836. within a few yards of the shore. in the This sea Gulf of Venice they not absolutely without rise three feet. and its surface is studded with islands of all ysms. and about 30 water. feet CHAP.

Hudson's Bay. Bay is' seldom above the freezing point here. one of the greatest of rivers. is but little less dreary. or about 625. of water. The surface of the sea in Baffin's . and the shores of the numerous islands. they are subject to severe northern VOL.INLAND SEAS. and spreads out into Baffin's Bay. it is as long from east to west as the distance between Great Britain and Newfoundland. 353 Various parts of its coasts are in a state of great instability in some places they have sunk down and risen . and miles. Very different is the character of those vast seas where the Atlantic comes "cranking in" between the northern and southern continents of America. twice the size of the Baltic. is more than half its size. again more than once within the historical period. and subject to all the rigours of an arctic winter the abode of the the very storehouse of icebergs walrus and the whale. the Of that huge mass Caribbean Sea is the largest . water is limpid. The trade-winds prevail there I. are dangerous from shoals and coral-reefs.000 square miles. while the Atlantic Ocean in the same latitude is not above 77 or 78. but the interior of these seas is not. fed by the Mississippi. partially separated from the Atlantic by a long line of islands and banks. on the contrary. very deep. though with- out the Arctic Circle. Its shores. Far to the north the Atlantic penetrates the American continent by Davis's Straits. 2 A . it is always 88 '5 of Fahrenheit. its so that the whole forms a sea of great magnitude. and occupies a million of square Its depth in many places is very great. The Gulf of Mexico. .

and to will assuredly be liable in all time to come. The Red Sea and Persian G ulf are joined to it by very narrow straits . but slowly. is and currents continually. the Sea of Japan. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. XVI. like the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. except the Yellow Sea. and some parts are occasionally visited by the levelling across the peninsula of Panama in 1828. perpetual agitation of the ocean by winds. and has separated large portions of the land. chang- ing the form and position of the land steadily producing those vicissitudes on the surface of the earth to it which it has been subject for ages. The tides. Lloyd. Pacific above that of the Atlantic was found to be three feet six inches. The Pacific does not penetrate the land in the same manner that the Atlantic does the continent of Europe. but almost all the internal seas on the eastern coast of Asia. which . to which the China Sea. and that of Okhotsk are perfectly analogous. are great gulfs shut in by islands. which now remain as islands a process which probably has been increased by the submarine fires extending along the eastern coast from the equator nearly to the Arctic Circle. The set of the great oceanic currents has scooped out and indented the southern and eastern coasts of the Asiatic continent into enormous bays and gulfs.354 gales. By by Mr. the mean height of the tremendous hurricanes. CHAP.

this Part of moisture restored to the earth is re- absorbed by the air. which restore it again to the earth in the form of rain. continually overflowing. 2 A 2 . Origin. where it accumulates in subterranean lakes often of great extent. which unite and run down their sides in is strata they contain. hence that has not been borne probably not a drop of water on the globe on the wings of the wind. Course.CHAP. SPRINGS. The mountains receive the greatest portion of the aerial moisture. form perennial springs at different elevations. &c. and. a incipient rivers. from the many alternations of permeable and impermeable of reservoirs complete system formed in them. great portion of the water at these high levels penetrates the earth till it comes to an impermeable stratum below the plains. hail. and the remaining through porous soils till it part penetrates arrives at a stratum im- pervious to water. and snow . a portion is carried off by the streams. 355 CHAPTER Springs Rivers XVII. African Rivers THE vapour which rises invisibly from the land and water ascends in the atmosphere till it is condensed by the cold there is into clouds. A and is forced by hydraulic pressure to rise in springs. part supplies the wants of animal and vegetable life. XVII. Niger. and Heads of Basins of the Ocean Hydraulic Systems of Europe the Nile. which. through cracks in the ground. where it collects in a sheet.

In boring Artesian up with such impetuby the hydrostatic pressure as to form jets 40 or 50 feet high. in many parts of which there are springs of fresh water. XVII. them escapes into the atmosphere. it is probable that Artesian wells might be bored with many parts of deserts is success. A spring will be intermittent when will it issues from an opening in the side of a reservoir fed from above. near . they also vary much in the quantity of foreign matter stop till Mountain-springs are generally very they contain. and their earthy is deposited as they run along. It rarely happens that water may not be procured in this way . Ouen. falls PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and the spring will the reservoir is replenished. for the water sink below the opening.356 to the surface. the operation was continued to a greater depth . and lining it with a tube. five sheets of water were found the water in the first four not being good. while wells and springs matter in the plains are hard. and even highly-inclined below the bed of the ocean. . and as the substratum in an argillaceous marl. so that riverwater from such sources is soft. In this operation several successive wells the water often rushes osity reservoirs have been met with . carbonic acid gas almost always found in the pure. In this manner the water which is on hills and mountains strata to carried through great depths. at St. if the supply be not equal to the waste. CHAP. and more or less mineral. Few springs give the same quantity of water at all times . it consists merely in boring a hole of small diameter. Paris.

of springs must therefore depend on the depth to which the water has penetrated before it has been forced to the surface. same ratio.CHAP. it acquires a temperature depending on that circumstance. of perpendicular depth the increase continue to follow the should hence. where it becomes permanent and equal to the mean annual temperaIt is evident that the depth ture of the air above. In Siberia is some hundred feet thick. If it never . either by the hydraulic pressure of water at higher levels or by steam. at which this stratum of invariable temperature latitude. Now. the temperature of the earth increases with the depth below the constant stratum at the rate of for every 1 of Fahrenheit . XVIL SPRINGS. even granite must be in fusion at little feet 50 or 60 more than five miles the stratum of frozen earth below the surface. in every part of the world where experiments have been made. is lies must vary with the effect of the seasons the equator the imperceptible at the depth of : At a foot below the surface between the parallels of 40 and 52 is the temperature of the ground in Europe : constant at the depth of from 55 to 60 feet and in the high Arctic regions the soil is perpetually frozen a foot below the surface. if the water has penetrated deep into the earth. but. is but below that the increase of heat with the depth The temperature three times as rapid as in Europe. The temperature of the surface of the earth varies with the seasons to a certain depth. 357 its The water of springs takes temperature from : that of the strata through which it passes mountainsprings are cold.

lower temperature deposit carbonate of lime in great quantities all over the world. and few countries of any extent are destitute of them. tum temperture will be invariable anil if from below it. the temperature. those in Cheshire are rich in salt. . more or face : less. iron. Springs of pure brine are rare. containing various ingredients. its the depth to which it has penetrated. magnesia. Boiling springs deposit silex. Iceland. and that of boiling springs has remained unchanged for ages shocks of earthquakes to earthquakes. though they are more frequent in volcanic countries and those subject The temperature of hot springs is very constant. CHAP. and other substances. according to the depth below the surshould the water come from the constant stia. and comes to the surface from great depths as medicinal springs. as in Iceland and in the Azores and others of . there hundreds of and even be hot boiling springs may miles distant from volcanic action and volcanic strata. . as in Both hot and cold water with dissolves it and combines meets with in many of the mineral substances the earth. of which there are many examples.358 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. So numerous are they that in the Austrian dominions alone there are 1500. They contain hydro- sulphuric and carbonic acids. the heat of the spring will vary with the seasons. and have even Jets of steam of high altogether. the heat will be in proportion to itself. Thus. goes below the stratum of invariable temperature. XVII. sulphur. sometimes affect stopped them tension are frequent in volcanic countries.

as naphtha. melted ciers . yet the sea is not full. and numberless springs and lakes of it boracic : It is surround some parts of the Caspian Sea. snow and gla- but the everlasting storehouses of the mightiest floods are the ice-clad mountains of table-lands. and. at last they flow into the ocean. in descending the mountains and traversing the till plains. since their velocity has been overcome by steam navigation. RIVERS. their ultimate destination and remote origin. alpine lakes. from perennial sources They in the mountains. which they unite \\ith the sea." because gives in evaporation an equivalent for what it receives. Many lie beyond our reach are brought to the surface by springs. the Arctic. and acid petroleum is particularly abundant iu Persia. and the Pacific Oceans are directly or indirectly the recipients of all the . Rivers are constantly increased. " All rivers run into it the sea. XVII. by tributaries. 359 and have flowed unchanged 1000 years. ORIGIN OF RIVERS. tion Rivers have had a greater influence on the locaand fortunes of the human race than almost any other physical cause. a proof of substances that the tranquil state of that part of the globe. The Atlantic. petroleum. in other instances they spring from small elevations in the plains. frequently rise in lakes. they have become the highway of the nations. found in immense quantities in various parts of the world.CHAP.

XVII. bounded by the . in size. the Black . while those that flow in a westerly direction are small and unim- The course of all rivers is changed when they pass from one geological formation to another. for the basin principal watersheds of the continents of a sea or ocean does not mean only the bed actually occupied by the water. Sea. as the mere convexity of a plain is often sufficient to throw the streams into different directions. by far the greater number of im- From portant rivers on the globe flow into the ocean in an easterly direction. and is bounded by an imaginary line passing through all These lines generally run through the their sources. or by dislocations of the strata the sudden deviations in : their directions are generally stances. and the Mediterranean. It nevertheless re- ceives nearly half the waters of the old continent. cases But the watershed does not coincide in all with mountain-crests of great elevation. owing to these circum- None of the European rivers flowing directly into the Atlantic exceed the fourth or fifth magnitude. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.360 rivers. those which flow to the south and north being the next portant. except the Rhine come to it the rest of the principal streams indirectly through the Baltic. the peculiar structure of the high land and mountain-chains. elevated parts of a country that divide the streams which flow in one direction from those that flou in another. therefore their basins are CHAP. . but comprehends also all the land drained by the rivers which fall into it.

The running waters of the rest of the world flow into the Pacific. nearly onefalls into half of all the running water in Europe the Black Sea and the Caspian. and a greater inclination forms a rapid or cataract. COURSE OF RIVERS. because the Andes and Rocky Mountains. large rivers run faster than but in each individual stream the velocity perpetually varying with the form of the banks. but also upon the height of the source of the river. lie and the rivers which rise along its western side. is . does not depend entirely upon the slope. as well as the very inferior streams of North European Russia. XVII. foot in 200 prevents a river from being navigable. and the pressure of the body of water in the upper part of its course . small. The Caspian and Lake Aral are mere salt-water lakes. A The speed. on the western slope of the Alleghannies are tributaries to the Mississippi. and their depth greater. consequently. Mountain-torrents gradually lose velocity in their descent to the low lands by friction. all 361 and almost the new. and when they enter the plains their course becomes still more slope of one gentle. which form the watershed of the American continent. under the same circumstances. which receive rivers but emit none. However. drains the high northern lati- and receives those magnificent Siberian rivers that originate in the Altai range from the Steppe of the Kerghis to the extremity of Kamtchatka. however.CHAP. The Arctic Ocean tudes of America. which comes indirectly into the Atlantic by the Gulf of Mexico.

In countries rivers are generally more meandering. and the Indus among the most rapid of the large rivers. one of the most rapid European rivers. and it once happened that the force was so great as to in a contrary direction. the Tigris. but not always proportionally to the width of the channel. that the mills . and the velocity of the tributary stream great. the sluggish rivers in Flanders have only one-half that velocity. and thus they afford a greater amount of irrigation. which sometimes even becomes less. are flat the windings of the Vistula are nearly equal to iiinetenths of its direct course from its source to its mouth. occasionally drives the water of the Rhone back into the Lake of Geneva. the winding of the course. the water failed so completely in the Clyde. CHAP.362 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. On the 26th of November. it sometimes forces the water of its primary to recede a short distance. When the angle of junction is very obtuse. The Arve. swollen by a freshet. The Danube. has a declivity of one foot in 2620. make the mill-wheels revolve Streams sometimes suddenly vanish. XVII. and Teviot. as at the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi. The Rhone. the depth and velocity are increased. and flows at the rate of 120 feet in a minute. and the changes in the width of the channel. 1838. and leaving their channels dry. and after flowing underground to some distance reappear at the surface. Nith. When one river falls into another. as in Derbyshire. Instances have oc- curred of rivers suddenly stopping in their course for some hours.

which often join again. or another river. and if deposited dually they are subject to inundations. or fluviatile. winch congealed the water near their sources. lacustrine. Deltas are some- times found in the interior of the continents at the junction of rivers. while the water. the lower are frozen. it The forms deltas at their mouths . The cause was the coincidence of a gale of wind and a strong frost. so that a labyrinth of streams and islands is formed. Exactly the contrary happens in the Siberian rivers. XVII. or are united by transverse channels. In the temperate zones rivers are subject to floods rains. The Po. from autumnal ample. inundates the country. according as the stream that forms them falls into the sea.CIIAI>. though less extensive deltas are said to be : maritime. and to a height far above the level of the sea: the tide is perceptible in the river of the Amazons 576 miles from its mouth. a lake. and it ascends 255 miles in the Orinoco. 3G3 were stopped eight hours in the lower part of their streams. spreads desolation far and wide over the . exactly similar to those on the ocean. and the melting of the snow. for exespecially on mountain-ranges. there they generally divide into branches. and an outlet. COURSE OF R1VKKS. the upper parts still are thawed. Tides flow up rivers to a great distance. and the coast flat. alluvial soil carried down by streams is graas their velocity diminishes. which flow from south to north over so many hundreds of not finding miles .

These due to the periodical rains. a regularity peculiar to phenomena are uniform in floods are on the contrary. XVH. nation of the sun.364 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. of rivers on one side of the equator are exactly the contrary of what they are in rivers on the other side of it. take place at the same season but the periods of the inun. yet the principal effect is owing to the latter. but these torrents are as variable in their recurrence and extent as the climate which produces them. as the southern face of the Himalaya is not beyond the influence of the monsoon. the immediate cause of all these The melting of the snow no doubt adds greatly to the floods of the tropical rivers which rise in high mountain-chains. south of the equinoctial line. for although the snow-water from the Himalaya swells the streams considerably before the rains begin. and the consequent periodical rains. which besides prevail all over the plains of India traversed by the great rivers and their tributaries. CHAP. whose sources have the same latitude. Under like circumstances. The flood in the Orinoco is at its greatest height in the month of August. The inundations of the rivers in the torrid zone. on account of the declination of dations the sun. plains of Lombarcly . but it is only an accessary circumstance . and are thus dependent on the declivariations. . which. occur with a region in which meteoric all their changes. follow the cessation of the trade- winds after the vernal equinox and at the turn of the monsoons. while that of the river of the Amazons. the floods of rivers. in tro- pical countries.

. direction it and as the rise happens at regular but different periods requires time to travel. When rivers rise in mountains. of water carried down is a measure of the mean humidity of the whole country comprised in its basin from year to year. and of Abyssinia. or rise in the low lands. to which the water rises in the annual floods depends upon the nature of the country. and thus the quantity . these periodical inundations the fresh soil of the mounborne down by the water.CHAP. XVII. mencement and end of the annual inundations in at its depend upon the mean time of the beon the duration of the rains in the and ginning. water communication is between them . but it is wonderfully constant in each individual river where the course is long for the inequality in the quantity of rain in a district drained by any of its affluents is imperceptible in the general flood. The waters from the high lands designated as the Mountains of the Moon. if very long. The periods of latitudes traversed by its affluents. have fertilized the banks of the Nile through a distance of 2500 miles for thousands of years. 1 365 The comgreatest elevation in March. in various The height parts of the same river. and the Baron Humboldt's Personal Narrative. enriches countries far remote from their source. By the admirable arrangement of tains. is HEADS OF RIVERS. the boundaries between the countries 1 drained by them become low. in the upper parts of their course impossible but when they descend to the plains. eacli river are the floods in such rivers as run towards the equator different from those flowing in an opposite .

XVII. The hydraulic system of Europe is eminently favourable to inland navigation. The Rio Negro.3G6 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. that the tributaries of the principal streams either unite or are connected by a natural canal by which a communication is formed between the two basins a circumstance advantageous to the navigation and commerce of both. is. and the lowness of its watershed. but very rare in the interior of continents. In the west. and to the Medi- . rivers of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. sending a branch to the Amazons. in Hindostan. At some be of great future period this junction will These bifurcations are importance. Baron Humboldt observes that the Orinoco. with regard to distance. with a velocity of 12 feet in a stream as large as the a second. CHAT'. is united to the Upper Orinoco in the plains of Esmeralda by the Cassiquiare Rhine. as if the Rhine should send one to the Seine or Loire. frequent in the deltas of rivers. seem to have something of and there are several instances in the great . The Mahamuddy and the kind Godavery. as on the Orinoco and Amazons in the interior of South America. however. the Alps and German mountains divide the waters that flow to the Atlantic on one side. small as the rivers are in comparison with those in other parts of the world . one of the largest affluents of the latter. but the flatness of the great plain. different systems may be united by canals. especially where the junction takes place far inland. It some- times happens in extensive and very level plains. are very favourable to the construction of canals.

merely a more elevated ridge of the plain for in all plains such undulations exist. systems of the Volga and Danube . from whence it winds in a tortuous course table-land. on the south of it. or are capable of becoming The streams to the north of the general watershed are very numerous are The magnitude. so. the northern declivity of the Carpathian Mountains about the 23rd meridian. and. into the Black Sea and the Caspian.CHAP. the former has a those to the south are of greater . and are rivers. . along the plain to the Valdai is which its highest point. HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS OF EUROPE. XVII. 1200 feet above the sea. but since the basin of a river compre- hends all tributaries the plains and valleys drained by it and its from its source to the sea. about the 60th parallel. and lastly turns in a very serpentine line to the sources of the Kama in the Ural mountains near the 62nd degree of north latitude. 367 terranean and Black Sea on the other eastern parts of is but in the Europe the division of the waters itself. Thus Europe is divided into two principal hydraulic systems . the principal centres of civilization. imperceptible to the eye. The waters north of this line run into the Baltic and White Sea. tlie most extensive in Europe. it then declines northward towards Onega. in a low range of hills though often This watershed begins on running between the sources of the Dnieper and the tributaries of the Vistula. each country is subdivided into as as all it lias many natural divisions or basins and these generally comprise primary the rich and habitable parts of the earth.

nearly as much into the Black Sea taken together. so that it has a miles. its meandering line is water is quantity of as that of all the rivers that Its 2400. and falls into the Caspian. themselves empty Its direct course is 900 miles. and is navigable throughout the greater part of its course of 1900 miles. It rises in the Black Forest at an elevation of 2850 feet above the level of the sea. The whole of Holland is a collection of deltoid islands. and the Baltic and Black Sea the are also connected by a canal between the Don and the Dnieper. and the . 550 feet above the level of the ocean.368 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.000 square miles. as well as rocks and rapids. so that it has considerable velocity. the Meuse. for 600 miles. formed by the Rhine. basin comprising 640. receives and 60 navigable tributaries. importance of these two rivers is much increased by their flowing into inland seas.000 square miles. but it navigable downwards. By canals between Volga and the rivers north of the watershed. fall of 633 feet in a course of more than 2400 It carries to the Caspian one-seventh of all the river-water of Europe. XVII. the Baltic and White Seas are connected with the Black Sea and the Caspian . which. through Austria. Altogether the water system of Russia is the most extensive in Europe. is impedes its navigation in many places. It rises in a small lake on the slopes of the Valdai table-land. from whence it flows in a The commercial gentle current to the Black Sea. CHAP. The Danube drains 300. to New Orsova. which is 83 feet 7 inches below the level of the Black Sea.

XVII. i. which has been carried to such perfection in is some points. but canals have rendered them beneficial to the country. the Spanish rivers are of inferior order. which by canals connect Venice and Milan with various fertile provinces of Northern Italy. and in the it was applied to two canals which unite the Ticino to the Adda. which only admit vessels of small burthen . Many navigable tains. especially the Po and its tributaries. has conduced mainly to the im- proved state of that great country. 480 miles. both in ancient and modern times.CHAP. The rivers took its rise in application of the science of hydraulics to Northern Italy. Lombardy end of the loth as early as the 13th century. of these the streams rise in the Spanish mounTagus has depth enough for the Its actual course is largest ships as high as Lisbon. but its direct line much less. In point of magnitude. that China the only country which can vie with it in the pracThe lock on canals was in use in tice of irrigation. by that great artist VOL. Italy is less favoured in her rivers. facilitated an extensive internal naviis The Mediterranean . 2 B . 369 Scheldt and which has gation. HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS OF EUROPE. extended over the whole of France by 7591 miles of inland navigation. already connected North Sea by the canal which runs from the Rhone to the Rhine and this noble system. however. with the a structure very favourable to commerce. but whatever advantages nature has afforded to the Italian states have been improved by able engineers. those on the north are by much the most important.

are the seat of the highest civilization. however. : CHAP. of which. and whose length is but 240 miles. and during the time he was painting the " Last Supper" he completed the Canal of Martesana. and throughout its navigable course a continued forest of : the remotest parts of the earth ficient to masts display the flags of every nation its banks. the Lakes of Como and Maggiore. . of containing whole navies a circumstance capable that gives an importance to streams otherwise insigniin their course. though short considerable distance . XVII. admit large vessels even up to London. By means of the Naviglio Grande. . 1 Various circumstances combine to make the Bri- more useful than many others of greater magnitude. they all run into branches of the tides flow up their channels to a and above all. they ficant. 204 are navigable. The larger streams are not encumbered tish rivers with rocks or rapids the Atlantic . and improved the course of the latter river from where it emerges from the Lake of Como to the Po. which are in a state of perfect cultivation. spreads its influence over its depth is suf. the great rivers of either The Thames. extending from the Adda to Milan. but the earnest and 1 Leonardo da Vinci was appointed Director of Hydraulic Operations in Lombardy by the Duke of Milan. the old or when compared with new continent. end in wide estuaries and sounds. whose basin is only 5027 square miles. moral and political. the Martesana canal establishes a water communication between the Adda and the Ticino.370 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Local circumstances have undoubtedly been favourable to this superior development. and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci about the same time he introduced the use of the lock into France.

in comparison with the size of the country. the whole. and to be navigable during the rains for 200 or 300 miles from its mouth. is probably largest : it is said to have a course of 900 miles. and those that do exist are tively size. its On AFRICAN RIVERS. XVII. The most southerly part is comparadestitute of them. where commercial enterprise and activity vie with Thames. and its inhabitants are for the most part alive to the bounties which Providence has bestowed. not 2 B2 . IN Africa the tropical climate and the extremes of and moisture give a totally different character to its rivers. Of the these the Zambesi. The Ozay. 5430 miles of inthat on the land navigation. which rise all those rivers is very abrupt. which has a long course on the table-land. except the Gariep. and. There are 2790 miles of canal in Britain.CHAP. but is nowhere navigable. is very great it is even said that no part of England is more than 15 miles distant . From the eastern edge of the aridity of inferior table-land of South Africa. including rivers. which. Europe is fortunate with regard to water systems. from water communication. " 371 energetic temperament of the Saxon races has ren- dered the advantages of their position available. which flow across the plains of and Mozambique Zanguebar to the Indian Ocean. or Quillimane. AFRICAN RIVERS. The same may be said of other rivers in the British islands. or Orange River.

is CHAP. The Zaire. but end in lakes and marshes. to chiefly in a ridge from S. The Hawash runs through a low desert the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb there note.372 far south PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Those to the Atlantic rise south of Lake N'yassi.E. after falling in cascades and rapids through the chains that border the table-land on the west. N.W. XVII. not reach the sea at all times of the year. runs southward parallel to the coast. Hawash. also believed to be of . or . while the Nile receives those of the counter slope. Between the Hawash and is no river of any In many parts of the coast. and. and every eastern vegetable production might be raised. yielding from 80 to 150 fold. that country inhabited by the Dankali Beduins from which come the waters of is the river recipient : the eastern declivity of the table-land of Abyssinia. of no great elevation which runs to the west of the dominions of the Cambeze. The part lel of the table-land between the 18th paral- of south latitude and the equator is the origin from whence the waters flow to the Atlantic on one which go hand. and the Juba. as the Haines and first. but in the rainy season they Some of those still farther north do are navigable. Angola. fertilize the luxuriant maritime plains of Ben- guela. grain ripens all the year. The after coming to within a small distance of the Indian Ocean. and falls into a very large and deep lake about a degree north of the equator. near the rivers. more to the north all these streams have little water at their mouths during' the dry season. of the equator. and to the Mediterranean on the other. great extent. Congo. and Loando.

and 160 fathoms deep mouth. XVII. In importance and historical ininferior to none. Africa. Bahr-el-Azrek. Senegambia and Abyssinia. The mountainous edge of the table-land. 373 Congo. which separate the northern from the southern deserts. from the abrupt descent of the high country to the maritime plains. Nile is Two Nile large rivers unite their streams to form the the Bahr-el-Abiad. which is a conti- . from the report of the natives. like that of most of .CHAP. where the ascent of the tide is stopped by cataracts. at a comparatively small distance from the sea. under the name of the Tubiri. or Blue Nile but the latter it is so far inferior to the Bahr-el-Abiad that may almost be The main stream has never regarded as a tributary. but. of which the Nile and the Niger yield in size only to some of the great Asiatic and American terest the rivers. in the country of Mono Moezi. to rise. been ascended by any traveller above 4 42' 42" north latitude. is supposed. by much the largest of these. is unknown the greater number are fordable on the table-land. are the principal source of running water in Various rivers have their origin in these mountainous regions. Its upper course. and the . Bahrel-Abiad. these rivers. full of islands. or White Nile. or the true Nile. is navigable for 140 miles. none of them afford access to the interior of South Africa. where a ledge of gneiss crossing it arrested the progress of the second expedition sent by the Viceroy of Egypt to discover its source. with its terminal projections. THE NILE. The lower course of this river is 5 or 6 at its miles broad.

a word which in all the languages of that part of Africa signifies the Moon hence the Nile has been : said. south of Abyssinia. the former makes a great fore it circuit round the country of Berri be- the Nile. to the 14th northern parallel. or N'yassi. to rise in the Moun- Amidst many windings it takes a general direction towards the N. or Blue River. nuation of the high plateau of Abyssinia. in which it separates the kingdoms of Guma and Enarea. It springs from a swampy meadow in the same elevated plains where the Godjeb and other affluents of the White Nile originate. makes a similar falls into spiral detour round Kaffa. CHAP.E. at events be pretty certain that its origin in the mountainous or hilly country of Mono to seems Moezi. enlarges to nearly The Abyssinian branch of the Nile. south of Abyssinia. since the days of Ptolemy. which double its size. XVII. it maintains a ge- . and under the it name of Subat joins the Nile. the chief affluents of the AVhite Nile. about 73 miles west of Sokka.374 PHYSICAL GEOGEAPHY. and after a completely spiral course. come from the east. The Shoaberri and Godjeb. rises under the name of the Dedhesa in the Galla country. situate to the north of the great Lake Zambeze. the capital of Enarea. the plains of Sennaar. known as the Bahr-el-Azrek. The all is natives say that it it flows from the lake itself. which has its in the origin great forest already mentioned. in the Galla country. whence it follows the same course till its junction near Khartum with the Blue Nile in tains of the Moon. and the Godjeb.

joins the Nile in 18 of the tropical rains.CHAP. falls into it. which are at first only a few yards wide. the Abiii. This river. near Lalibata. and at last falls into the Dedhesa or Bahr-elAzrek. N. ABYSSINIAN RIYKIiS. latitude. or Takkazie. they during break from table-lands fissures the inthe through They more than muddy brooks rocky surface. the northern limit The Abyssinian course are little rivers in the early part of their in the dry but the rains inundate the plains. remarkable for its churches hewn out of the living rock. the Nile of Bruce. from whence it takes a circular direction round the peninsula of Gojam. is formed The Takkazie rises in the moun- tains of Lasta. which divides the head waters of the two branches. passing through Lake Dembea. From that point no stream of any consequence joins either the Blue River. XVII. winding like the other rivers of this country. and the Tselari. the northern extremity of the high land of Lasta. after The united stream. in the district of Sakkata. or the united streams of the Blue and White Rivers. latitude. where the Atbarah. one of the most celebrated places in Abyssinia. 375 neral north-westerly direction till it joins the White Nile at Khartum. which springs from Mount Biala. is the greatest and most celebrated. Of the many tributaries to the Blue River. which is by two branches. season. Its sources are in a swampy meadow near Mount Giesk. in about 11 N. the principal tributary of the Nile. and receiving many affluents from the mountain-chain that forms the cone of the peninsula. . till 160 miles below their confluence.

separated by ranges of rocks running east and west. then continue to descend by a succession of falls and which decrease in height as they go northits wards to join the main stream. they return upon themselves at a short distance from their sources. Lepsius. similar to the snow-clad mountains of Samien and Kaffa. so that. It is by no means improbable that the head stream of the Nile itself takes a spiral course round a lofty mountain mass. interrupted by cataracts. peculiarity of most of the principal affluents of the Nile is their spiral course. form cataracts from 80 but gradually increase to several miles the streams to more than 100 feet high. Most of them are only rapids. the last of which is at Es-Souan (Syene). CHAP. a distance of 1200 miles. That they were higher at a former period has recently been ascertained by Dr. . and . the Nile does not receive a The first part of that course is brook.376 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. generally round insulated mountain masses. 1 From single the Takkazie down to the Mediterranean. Beke on the Nile and its Affluents. from the geological structure of the Nubian desert. The Takkazie takes name of " The Terrible " from the impetuosity with which it rushes through the chasms and over the precipices of the mountains. which consists of a succession of broad sterile terraces. rapids. XVII. after having A formed a curve of greater or less extent. the very intelligent traveller sent by 1 Dr. where it enters Egypt. Over these the Nile falls in nine or ten cataracts. where each successive fall of water is not a foot high.

while the rest of the valley is rich soil. enters the other. The fall from the great cataract to the sea is two inches in a mile. . Lower Egypt into two nearly equal parts. its aspect is less varied than might have been expected on account of the parched and showerless country it passes through. the upper part has a perpetual spring. the to BASIX OF THE NILE. so that the delta between these two places has a sea-coast of 1 87 miles. suddenly and strongly contrasted with the dreary waste of the Red Desert. on the at rocks Sennaar. Extending from the equatorial far into the temperate zone. occupying an area of 500. running in a northerly direction.CHAP. of which one. from the great elevation of the origin of the river. appears from these. Nevertheless. but for the greater part of a winding course of 27oO miles it is merely a verdant line of the softest beauty. though within a few degrees of the equator. marking the inscriptions and it of the Nile at different height periods . at 377 King of Prussia explore that the head of a mission He found a series of country. enters the sea above Damietta. cutting the Mediterranean below Rosetta . the Nile Fifteen miles below Cairo. The basin of the Nile. that in that country the bed of the river had been 30 feet higher than it is now. and at 90 miles from is divided into two branches. the detritus of the mountains for thousands of years. has an uncommon form : it is wide in Ethiopia and Nubia.000 square miles. XVII. the sea. At the foot of the table-land of Abyssinia the country is covered with dense tropical jungles.

at Cairo is and in the northern part of the delta only 4 feet. CHAP. their calendar of that star coincided with the commenced when the heliacal rising summer solstice the Now time at which the Nile began to swell at Cairo. in to swell the river and Sennaar begins Abyssinia April. As the mean flood. In the time of Hipparchus the summer solstice was in the sign of at the that the heat . it follows and periodical rains in Upper Ethiopia have not varied for 5000 years. XVII. varies from 30 35 feet . yet the flood is not sensible at Cairo till towards the summer solstice . is when not in about two miles and a half an hour. a particle of water would take twenty-two days and a half to descend from the junction of the Takkazie to the sea hence the retardation of the annual inun. velocity of the Nile. and arrives at its lowest point in April in and May. its course is a peculiarity of owing to some unknown cause towards In its origin which affects the whole stream. According to Champollion. it then continues to rise height about a hundred days. this coincidence made the nearest approach to accuracy 3291 years before the Christian era. or Sirius. from its supposed influence on the rising of the Nile. and remains at its greatest till the middle of October. The height to of the flood Upper it Egypt 23.378 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. dations of the Nile in this river. when it begins to subside. and as the rising of the river still takes place precisely same time and in the same manner. Anubis. the Dog-star. was worshipped by the Egyptians.

though its origin is probably forgotten.CHAP. The Niger. and thus the flowing of the Niger into that lonely ocean kept the natives in their original rude state. who have left magnificent and imperishable monu- ments of their genius and power. discharging for ages into a sea. . 379 Leo. and probably about that period the flowing of the fountains from the mouths of lions of basalt and granite was adopted as emblematical of the pouring The emblem is still forth of the floods of the Nile. are dissimilar in almost every circumstance the Nile. on the contrary. before the Pillars of Hercules had been passed. greatest African rivers. common in Rome. sacred and profane. as its still is. The two . XVII. for the exuberant fertility of its banks. and running through a country glowing with all the brilliancy of tropical vegetation. Such are the effects of local circumstances on the intellectual advancement of man. its course till lately was little known. has ever been in- and habited by barbarous or semi-barbarous nations . and by the Ked Sea it had intercourse with the most highly cultivated nations of the east from time immemorial. and the signs of the Zodiac have moved backwards more than 30. has been renowned by the earliest historians. and for the learning and wisdom of their inhabitants. and indeed long afterwards. though its rival in magnitude. Egypt was for ages the seat of science. THE NIGER. the Nile and the Niger. the Atlantic coast of Africa was an unknown region. the centre of commerce and civilization. source In early ages.

in the country of Bambarra. Its banks are studded with densely populous towns and villages. varying in breadth from 1 to 8 miles. XVII. makes a wide circuit in the plains of Soudan to Timbuctoo through eight or nine degrees of latitude it : then bending round. which drains the high land of Komri. at the distance of 1000 miles in a straight it source. or Quorra. after passing through Lake Debo.a navigable river larger than itself. . sources of the Niger. Joliba. 1 Captain W. groves of palm-trees. more than 1600 feet above the level of the sea. a course of 2300 miles. Allen. 1 Long before leaving the plains of Soudan it becomes a noble river with a smooth stream. R. designated by the ancients as the Mountains of the into it Moon. gliding at the rate of from 5 to 8 miles an hour. receives probably the outlet of the great lake Tchad. In the plains of Soudan it from its flows across the low lands into the many very large affluents from the high land of Senegambia on the west. and. and culti- vated fields. it Gulf of Guinea. and the Tchadda on the east. line again approaches the Kong Mountains.380 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. after a course of some hundred miles thus the Niger probably affords an a little : uninterrupted water-communication from the Atlantic to the heart of Africa.N. From thence runs north. are supposed to be on the northern side of the Kong The Mountains. CHAP. and falls below Fundah. and having threaded them. This great river divides into three branches near the head of a delta which is equal in area to Ireland.

all communicating with the Niger. and is There that which the brothers Lan- is the most eastern is . through which they thread their way in rapids and . united to the Niger by a natural its The Niger. The soil is rich mould. flows into the sea near der descended. The plains of Soudan are then covered with water and crowded by boats. west from the Niger. it rises in the high land of Cal- bongos. of no great magnitude. and also of streams. and with one another. is maritime plains on the Atlantic. six rivers which run into the Bight of Benin. course. These fertile regions are inaccessible to Europeans from the pernicious climate. and canal. The table-land of Sene- many course of an inferior order that fertilize the luxuriant Their navigable cut short by a semicircular chain of mountains which forms the boundary of the high land. throughout lies entirely long winding inundations. The coast of Guinea. however. The old Calabar are. about 40 or 50 days after the summer solstice. which is the principal or central branch. The Nun. XVII. the Senegal. the Gambia.CHAP. is within the tropic of Cancer. ETC. and others of great size. and to consequently subject periodical which reach their greatest height in August. is watered by many from the Kong gambia is the origin of the Rio Grande. and dangerous from the savage condition of many of the tribes. Cape Formosa. and the vegetation so rank that the trees seem to stream grow out of the water. 381 by navigable branches of the principal every direction. intersected in THE GAMBIA. Mountains.

and 600 miles enters the Atlantic by many branches connected by natural channels. and is united to the basin of the Gambia by the river Neriko. the largest river in this part of Africa. is 850 miles long. CHAP. The Gambia after a course of about rises in Foula Toro. . XVII.382 cataracts. The Senegal. islands. supposed at one time to be separate rivers. and the lower is full of It drains two lakes. It receives many tributaries in the upper part of its course. has several tributaries. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

000 square miles. and. Innumerable remains and inscriptions. immense mounds of earth. have been discovered by adventurous travellers. River Systems South Siberian Rivers. to the plains of Mesopotamia. it pierces the The W. of these celebrated streams. Taurus range about 100 miles above Mosul. from . north of Romkala. The whole river then descends in rapids through the Taurus chain. XVIII. Euphrates and Tigris of the Himalaya Chinese Rivers THE only river system is of importance in Western Asia that of the Euphrates arid In the basin Tigris. rise in the heart of Armenia. EUPHRATES AXD TIGRIS. in a desolate plain. containing an area of 230.CHAP. The Euphrates. point out the sites of some of the most celebrated cities of antiquity of Nineveh and Babylon. and of Dyar-bekir. they join the northern branch of the Euphrates. 383 CHAPTER Asiatic Rivers XVIII. the records of times very remote. Tigris rises in the mountains to the N. near Erzeroum. and affluent the Merad-Chai (sup- posed to be the stream forded. after running 1800 miles on the tableland to 38 41' of north latitude. by the Ten Thousand in their retreat). and bear testimony to the truth of some of the most its interesting pages of history. and after receiving several tributaries from the high lands of Kurdistan. which rises in the Glieul Mountains. as the Euphrates.

inhabited Christians. runs for 150 miles before it falls into the Persian Gulf. to Bussorah. receiving the Tyari mountains. are situated. From this point they run nearly parallel for more than 100 miles. It is to be hoped that our Government will follow up the researches commenced by Mr. farther south. The banks of the Korna. where they were once connected by two great canals.' 2 vols. and especially of Nimroud. and. CHAP. and forest-trees. to whose exerunder circumstances of peculiar difficulty. or Abou Selman of the Arabs.. and his illustrated work in folio the former one of the most interesting narratives ever published on the antiquities of Central Asia. flows 1 The country through which fields. Khorsabad. Layard. and that several of the gigantic sculptures removed by him. that the extensive ruins of Koyunjik. surrounded by every privation. the Khaus and the Great Zab. Near to the city of Bagdad the Tigris and Euphrates approach to within 12 miles. under the name of Shat el Arab. encircling the plain of Babylon or Southern Mesopotamia the modern Irak-Arabi. XVIII. it is rich in corn- date-groves. with such perseverance and labour. . Layard. ' See Mr. the last of -which have been so satisfactorily identified with the capital of Assyria the ancient Nineveh by our enter- countryman Mr. which. The two rivers unite at stream. 8vo. will ere long be added to the riches of the tions. and form one 1 It is in the space comprised between two of the eastern tributaries of the Tigris.384 whence it PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. our national Museum is indebted for that magnificent collection of Assyrian monuments which at this moment forms the admiration of the British public. prising and talented British Museum. Layard's work on Nineveh and its Remains. plain of ancient Assyria. descends in a tortuous course through the many streams from by the Nestorian from those of Luristan.

dependent on the rains alone for that luxuriant vegetation which. the Euphrates only eight months . afford easy intercourse with eastern Asia. The distance from Aleppo . the double system of the Ganges. bitants consist now Bagdad and Mosul. civilization. as it did in former times. rest of the continent conjointly. all different in origin. VOL. covered with brushwood and grass. What remains of civilization has taken refuge in the mountains. where the few traces of primitive and most ancient Christianity. to Bombay by the Euphrates is 2870 miles. once the seat of an extensive population. i. expressly for that navigation. of the rivers are very in their period beginning March. centres of population. and Brahmapootra. they attain their greatest height in June. and of art. however. of which 2700. direcand character. under an admirable system of irriExcepting the large gation. regular in The floods . Kurdish the inha- of nomade tribes. XVIII. and a fleet was then kept at Bir. 385 Tigris and Euphrates. are to be found in the Tyari range. are nearly deserted. Of these. it might. under the misapplied denomination of Nestorian Christians. INDUS AKD SUTLEJ. while they convey to the ocean a greater volume of water than all the rivers of the its tion. formerly covered them. 2 c . Six rivers of the first magnitude descend from the southern side of the table-land of eastern Asia and mountain barriers. The Persian Gulf may be navigated by steam all the year.CHAP. from Bir to Bombay. and industry. the Indus. are by water in the time of Queen Elizabeth this was the common route to India.

water the plains of southern Asia . which communicates with that of Manasarowar. the Indo-Chinese peninsula.386 and the three PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. in frightful chasms and clefts in the rocks. both flow westward along the extensive longitudinal valley of western Tibet. which is the smaller stream. and traverses the whole breadth of the chain. springs from the lake of Rakas Tal. the boundaries of our Asiatic territories. and the Shyook. to the . which extends along the table-land of Tibet. the Sutlej. The hard-fought battles and splendid victories recently achieved by British valour over a bold and well-disciplined foe have added to the historical inIndus and its tributary streams.200 feet. XVIII. and lastly the Siberian rivers. the largest branch of the Indus. both situated in a valley between the Himalaya and Gangri chain at the great elevation of fed side 15. the great system of rivers that descend from the eastern terraces of the table-land irrigates the fertile lands of China any . These rivers. has its origin in the snowy mountains of Karakorum . not inferior to in magnitude. carry the waters of the Altai and northern slope of the table-land to the Arctic Ocean. The Sutlej breaks through the Himalaya about the 75th meridian. parallel rivers in CHAP. rises in the Kentese or Gangri range. a ridge parallel to the Himalaya. terest of the now The sources of the Indus were only ascertained in 1812. north and west of the sacred lake of Manasarowar. by streams of melted snow from the northern of the Himalaya. These two streams join north-west of Ladak and form the Indus . its principal tribu- tary. the Ladak.

The Indus 70 miles in a is it after is not favourable to navigation : for leaves the mountains the descent it is boat dangerous. and is the only tributary of any magnitude that comes from the west. to the same plain. of the Punjab. and the more especially because it commands the principal roads between Persia and India. and only navigable . for steam-vessels of small draught of water yet. it must ultimately be a from the fertility valuable acquisition. XVIII. river. which rises near Guzni." now one of Punjab.CHAP. Three tributaries the Jelum or Hydaspes. and the Kavee or Hydraotes. and the near approach of its basin to that of the Ganges at the foot of the mountains. and with the Sutlej (the ancient Hyphasis) join the Indus before it reaches Mittun hence the name " the of the five rivers. the Indus. flows through picturesque The Cabul and dangerous defiles. and joins the Indus at the town of Attock. from the same cause the sterility of the country through which it passes. the Indus. plain the most valuable countries in the East. 2 c2 . does not receive a single accessary. like the Nile. 387 plains of the Punjab . all superior to the Rhone in size flow from the southern face of the Himalaya. the Chenab or Acescines. From . one through Cabul and Peshawer. after continuing its course on the table-land through several degrees of longitude farther. descends near the junction of the Himalaya and the Hindoo Coosh. west of the valley of Cashmere. THE INDUS. and is a joined by larger affluent from the southern declivities of the Hindoo Coosh. Mittun to the ocean.

and the other from Herat through Candahar. that a vessel wrecked on the coast was buried 'in sand and mud in two tides. second group of South Indian rivers. XVIII. but from the soil. with his friends. and presents a face of 120 miles to the sea at the Gulf of Oman.388 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and it drains an area of 400. may and the change of again resume its political pristine 60 miles long.000 square miles. and all are liable to change. it luxuriance of the circumstances. come to their height in July. are the who have accomplished the arduous expedition . of the gal. and which. The of the greatest. and so great is the quantity of mud carried by it. has long been a desert . The tide ascends them with extraordinary rapidity for 75 miles. CHAP. delta The of the Indus. Alexander Elliot. son first Body Guard in Ben- of Admiral Elliot. though wide little apart at their courses. and one is the double system of the Ganges and Brahmapootra. These two rivers. converging common delta. The length of this river is 1500 miles. constitute one of the most im- portant groups on the globe. of which It is only three or four are navigable : one only can be entered by vessels of 50 tons. The an- nual floods begin with the melting of the snow in the Himalaya in the end of April. Mr. on opposite sides of the cen- to a ridge of the Himalaya. and the absorbing violence of the eddies. have their sources re- moved from each tral other. aspect. formerly celebrated for its civilization. where the river empties itself by many mouths. and end in September.

" Many streams from the southern face of the Hi- malaya unite the river. cutting as Indus does at the chain. THE BRAHMAPOOTRA. could fancy a bird's-eye of all the mountains in the world in one cluster.CHAP. After watering the great longitudinal valley of eastern Tibet. and every one of them covered for it. XVIII. it makes a sudden bend to the south through the its Himalaya 90 E. in long. 82^ E. The Brahmapootra. of which 12 are larger than the Rhine. which rises near the sources of the Sutlej and the Indus. it word If you with snow. in long. Elliot says. About 220 miles in a direct line from the Bay of Bengal. " The view from the glacier was perfectly amazing . 389 to the sources of the Ganges. it would hardly give you an idea of the sight which presented itself. beautiful or magnificent is no was really quite astonishing. opposite extremity between Iskasdo and Attock . a river equal in the its waters to the Ganges. at Ilurdwar It flows to form the great body of from thence in a south-easterly direction through the plains of Bengal. Mr. the innumerable channels and branches into which it splits form an intricate maze over a volume of delta twice as large as that of the Nile. The river flows at once in a very rapid stream not less than 40 yards across. to which the pilgrims resort. into which the Ganges flows. receiving in its course the tribute of 19 or 20 rivers. from a huge cave in a perpendicular wall of ice at the distance of about three marches from the Temple of Gungootree. may be considered as the continuation of the Dzangho Tchou or river of Lassa. ..

though some are supposed orisrin O is un- to come from the table-land of Tibet. and. The upper part of the Brahmapootra parallel to the Himalaya Koond. CHAP.390 after PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. it enters Upper Assam. is only 80. the " offspring of Brahma :" the natives call it the Lahit. but vessels of considerable burthen ascend the parent stream as far as Sundiva. the Brahmapootra is probably is 500 miles shorter than the The : length of it 860 miles.188 cubic feet in a second the quantity the in the same time and discharged by Ganges under the same circumstances feet. in They are only navigable the plains. passing through the sacred pool of Brahmareceives the name which bears in the lower part of its course Brahmapootra. XVIII. after receiving the rivers of Bhotan and other streams. of which the known. through which it winds 500 miles and forms some extensive channel islands. " Red River. below Goyalpara.000 cubic In the perennial floods the quantity of water . it where. so that Ganges . branches of it unite with those of the Ganges about 40 miles from the coast. the volume of water discharged by it during the dry season is about 146. but the two rivers enter the sea by different mouths. it receives six very considerable accessories. it chain. the Brahmapootra runs with rapidity and in great volume. from but the northern mountains of the Birnian empire very known of until this part of is its basin. though they sometimes approach within two miles." In Sanscrit for the Upper Assam. which little is it receives several tributaries . Before it enters the plains of Bengal.

are perpetually changing. must have been enormous. but. all the lower parts of Bengal adjacent to the Ganges and Brahmapootra are under water from the swelling of these rivers by the rains. lay the plain of Bengal under water there is : for hundreds of miles annually. traversed in every direction by arms The Hoogly branch. the effects of which are perceptible 60 miles from the coast. longer on the plains. by the cessation of the rains fall though they continue to in the mountains. before their inferior streams overflow from that cause. passes Calcutta and Chandernagor . and indeed of the land generally. The increase is arrested before the middle of August. with their branches. as well as the Ganges properly so called.CHAP. at all times navigable. They begin to swell from the melting of the snow on first the mountains. of Upper Assam are an entire sheet of water from the loth of June to the loth of September. and no communication but by elevated causeways eight or ten feet high the two rivers. XVIII. congeries of innumerable river islands formed by . The elevation of the mountains. THE GANGES. ever. since it remains still so stupendous after The Sunderbunds. and the prodigious quantity of matter washed from the high lands . and the llauringotta arm is also navigable. The delta is of the rivers. howfrom the strength of the current.000 cubic feet of mud in a second. the Ganges alone carries to the sea 600. The channels. a ages of such degradation. 391 poured through the tributaries of the Brahmapootra from their snowy sources is incredible the plains .

that a canal only two miles long would unite them. Scarcely anything . These three great rivers of Southern India do not more widely in their physical circumstances than in the races of men who inhabit their banks. They rise in those elevated regions at the southeastern angle of the table-land of Tibet. a wilderness of jungle and heavy timber. as well as by the indentations of arms of the sea. between chains of mountains no less uniform. narrow channels of the . which spread out like a fan as they approach the sea.rivers. The tributaries of the Ganges and Indus come so near to each other at the foot of the mountains. and running in the direction of the meridian through the Indo-Chinese peninsula. line the coast of Bengal for 180 miles. the navigation from the Bay of Gulf of Oman might be esta- An immense volume of water is poured in a series of nearly parallel rivers of great magnitude. and water the great valleys that extend nearly from north to south with perfect uniformity. the lofty but unknown provinces of the Chinese empire. to empty themselves into the ocean on either side of the peninsula of Malacca. The united streams of the Ganges and Brahmapootra drain an area of 650. and thus an to inland Bengal blished. XVIII. and there is scarcely a spot in Bengal more than 20 miles distant from a river navigable even in the dry season. differ yet from their position they seem formed to unite nations the most varied in their aspect and speech.000 square miles. streams and CHAP.392 the endless PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

the Menam. the only one of its 14 mouths that is always navigable. and forms in its delta one of the most extensive The Rangoon is systems of internal navigation. From Ava to its delta the Irawady nificent river. the highest point attained by the British forces during the Burmese war. which flows into the Irawady at the city of Ava. and falls into the Bay of Their number amounts to Bengal river of at the Gulf of Martaban . : Siam The of mountains sources of the Irawady are in the same chain witli the eastern affluents of the BrahIts course is mapootra more to the south. one from the Chinese province of Yunnan. CHINESE RIVERS. places. is a magmore than four miles broad in some In but encumbered with channel islands. . this part of its course it receives its largest tributary. which flows the last two fall through the empire of Annam into the Gulf of Siam and the China Sea. but it through seems by boats before coming to the city of Amarapoora. countries hardly to be navigable known to Europeans. and with a few exceptions almost as little of the is lower. containing its four capital cities. all large. 446 miles from the sea. three the rest the Irawady. six or seven. XVIII. south of which it enters the finest and richest plain of the empire.CIIA1-. 393 known of the origin or upper parts of these rivers. There it receives two large affluents. which though surpass waters the Birman empire. . and in it the commerce of the empire is conThe internal communication is extended centrated. or and the river Cambodja.

navigable during the floods three of its mouths are permanently so for large vessels up to the capital. The Menarn. it is joined to the Menam by the natural canal of the Anan-Myit. river of Cambodja has the longest course of in the peninsula it is supposed to be the Lanany tsan-Kiang. More to the south it is gable. by the junction of the two most navigable deltoid branches with the rivers Saliiaen and Pegu by natural canals: that joining the former is 200 miles long. said to split into branches which unite again. . and enters the Gulf of Siam by three principal arms. which rises in the high land of K'lmm. which it cuts into several islands by many diverging branches.394 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. the canal uniting the latter is only navigable at high water. and runs through the kingdom of Siam. by the small Anan-Myit. where it is naviit rushes through the mountain barriers. extensive delta begins. and river. on reaching a wider valley about 300 miles from its mouth. about 1 50 miles from the sea . the Yang-tse-Kiang. in eastern Asia. and. not far from the sources of the great river The : Chinese river. a little to The the south its the ocean. to the Menam Kong. XVIII. CHAP. After traversing the elevated plain of Yunnan. the most easterly of which forms the harbour of Bangkok. projects far into is cut in all directions by arms of the . It is joined or Cambodja. ancient capital of Annam is situate on the Cambodja. is known than the Irawady it comes from the Chinese province of Yunnan. . one of the less largest Asiatic rivers.

Near its mouth it sends off several All branches to the eastern arm of the Cambodja. though said to be 1000 miles long. which fertilize the plains at the expense of the mountains. is 395 The Saung. rivers of this part of Asia are subject to periodical inundations. but Europeans have not ascended higher than the town of Sai-gon. the Hoang-Ho . CHINESE RIVERS. traverse the Chinese empire the Hong-Kiang. The is 2000 miles. The parallelism of the mountain-chains constitutes formidable barriers between the upper basins of the Indo-Chinese rivers. that their Though near sources they are widely separated by the mountainchains that border the table-land. which. to the east. From a map constructed by the . Four great systems of the eastern declivity of the rivers take their origin on great table-land of central Asia. Amur. and the great river of length of the Hoang-Ho of the Yang-tse-Kiang 2900. and decided lines of separation between the inhabitants of the intervening valleys. and are not more than 100 miles apart when they enter the Yellow Sea. more much shorter than the Cambodja. they approach as they proceed on their eastern course. but this inconvenience is in some degree compensated by the natural canals of junction and the extensive water communication towards the mouths of the rivers.CHAP. empties itself into the bay of Canton the Yang-tse-Kiang. and running from west to east. Yunnan. or Son of the Ocean . : rising in the province of . XVIII.

forming the grandest system of irrigation and of internal navigation in existence. as the tide ascends it for 80 miles.396 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. it is called the old. White River. former. . and. which have their own basins. rising to the east of the town of Yunnan. becomes navigable a few miles east of Pekin. Almost all the Chinese rivers of less note and feed these giant streams. that the Jesuit missionaries in the 18th century it appears mouth of the Hoang-Ho or Yellow River has shifted to the enormous distance of 126 leagues The Yang-tse-Kiang from its former position. The Hoang-Ho brings down so large a quantity of earthy matter to the sea. and for the time prevent the descent of the fresh water. which forms large interior seas fre- quented by thousands of trad ing. incourse by the Sekiang. CHAP. XVIII. like the Tiber of " Yellow " River. joins the Great Canal. flows through the plains of Canton eastward to the The Gulf of Canton. unites with the Eu-ho. and they irrigate the productive lands of central China. creased in its The into which it discharges itself. that. Strong tides ascend these rivers to the distance of 400 miles. from time immemorial the most highly cultivated and the most densely peopled region of the globe. with they are numerous the exception of the Ta-si or Hong-Kiang and the Pee-ho or White River.vessels. rising in the mountains near the Great Wall. and the Yellow River in the lower part of their course are united by innumerable canals. it is crowded with shipping.

it takes the name of Argun. and falls into the Pacific opposite to the island of Sagalin. it is then joined by the Shilka. the Lena. Three great rivers. carry off the waters of the Altai chain. the Yenessei. and has a basin of come 853.three of longitude. XVIII. a branch of the latter. is 2000 miles long. it is being the birthplace and the scene of the exploits of Tshingis Khan. not inferior in latitude size to any of the rivers of Asia. springs from mountains north of . Almost all its tributaries from that part of the Baikalian group Yablonnoi Khrebit by the Russians. whose basin occupies 800. After passing through the lake of Dalai-nor. 397 The Amur. and the double system of the Irtish and Oby. Tt receives most of the unknown rivers which come from the mountain-slopes of the Great Gobi. SIBERIAN RIVERS. including its windings. which is 210 miles in circumference. and forms the boundary between the Chinese and Russians for 400 miles . though its course is chiefly in the Mantchoo territory of China. of after having O O traversed three degrees O and thirty. and Khing-Khan-Oola by the Chinese.000 square miles. The Lena. and of the mountains which bound the northern border of the great Asiatic tableland.000 square miles. the sources of which are partly in the Russian dominions.CHAP. has its origin in the Khentai Khan. which is the parent stream. The river Onon. and though called the its course is celebrated as through an uninhabited country. where it assumes the Tunguse name of the Amur or Great River the Mandchoos call it the Sagalin or Black : Water.

with the Baikalian mountains to the north-west of 1 M. difference in the pressure of the air has been observed on the banks of this river. The length of the Lena. about the 63rd parallel of latitude. The former rises at the junction of the Sayansk range. 1 The Yenessei. prodigious masses of which are hurled down by Lena receives the Aldan. the former from the Baikal mountains.000 square miles. which also comes from the Stannovoi Khrebit . which in- dicates that in the distance of five degrees of latitude there is an apparent difference in the level of the sea A similar phenomenon was amounting to 139 feet. between banks of frozen mud. receiving in its course the Vitim and the Olekma. on the shores of A the Sea of Okhotzk. and runs north-east through more than half its course to the Siberian town of Yakutzk. . XVIII. the most southerly part of the Aldan range. and is formed by the union of the Great and Little Kem. North of Yakutzk.398 the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.000. the coldest town on the face of the earth. and bring to view the bones of those huge animals of extinct species which at some remote period had found their nourishment in these the desert plains. Erman. observed by Captain Foster near Cape Horn. it then goes to the Arctic Ocean. its summer floods. Lake of Baikal. is 1900 miles. drains about 1. including its windings. the greatest tributary. its two principal affluents. the latter from Staunovoi Khrebit. and by Sir James Ross throughout the South Polar Ocean. CHAP. and at Kamtchatka . a much larger river than the Lena.

entering the plains of Siberia chiefly the below the town of Krasnoyarsk. Issuing from thence. 200 miles in circumference. the Upper and large rivers from the Baikait lower down. it then crosses the Sagaetses range in cataracts and rapids. Oby is 2000 miles long. which crosses the steppe of the Kirghiz Cossacks from the Ural Mountains. which springs from numerous streams on the south-western declivity of the Little Altai'. " . the Lake of Gold.CHAP. XVIII. join greatest tributaries. and run westward into Lake Zaidzan. it takes a westerly course to the plain on the north of Semipolatinsk. . the latter to the north of the seisk. measured along The Oby rises the Lake of Toleskoi. SIBERIAN RIVERS. there its forming a large gulf. lat. so that these two meet nearly at right angles. the joint stream then The proceeds to the Arctic Ocean in 67 N. Below Angara from this the many Lake Baikal . Egtag or Little Altai. both lian mountains. but its Lower Tunguska." in Great Tartary it all the streams of great tri- the Lesser Altai unite to swell and its The rivers which come from the butary the Irtish. and soon unites with the Oby . bed. in length. those from the western side to the Irtish. town of Yeniits whence it runs north to the Icy Ocean. the first to the south. and the basin of these two rivers occupies a third part of Siberia. In the plain it is joined by the Tobol. rivers join it. in quite an opposite direction. being 2500 miles. the latter conies from the 399 Lake Kassagol . northern declivity of the mountains go to the Oby. and take the name of Yenessei .

Irtish. . and water-fowl. XVIII. and a soil which produces the luxuries of intersected with rivers navigable at seasons. Local circumstances have nowhere produced a greater difference in the human race than in the basins of the great rivers north and south of the The Indian. CHAP.400 Before the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. ships. snow melts they cover the country like seas and as . by the all finest climate. The bed of Oby very deep. frozen annually for many months. and there are no its soundings at its mouth might ascend at least to Its hence the largest vessels junction with the Irtish. and the . therefore these vast rivers never can be important as navigable streams but towards the mountains they afford water communication from the They abound in fish steppe of Issim to the Pacific. is only 72 feet When the higher both are consequently sluggish. and even the ocean along the Arctic coasts is rarely disencumbered from ice . Oby leaves the mountains. at a distance of 1200 miles from the Arctic Ocean. and affording easy communication with . at the same distance. did not the many affluents also might admit climate form an insurmountable obstacle the greater Indeed all Siberian rivers are part of the year. for which the Siberian braves the extremest severity of the climate. its surface has an absolute elevation of not more than 400 feet. life. those immense lakes and marshes the are formed which characterize this portion of Siberia. favoured table-land of eastern Asia. is . the inclination of the plains in the middle and lower parts of their course is not sufficient to carry oft' the water.

XVIII. 401 the surrounding nations.CHAP. . have never risen . doomed to in order to maintain contend with the rigours of the polar blasts mere existence. attained early a high degree of civilization . beyond the lowest grade of humanity softens the rigour of this stern life. SIBERIAN RIVERS. while the Siberian and Samoide. VOL. but custom so that even here a share of happiness is enjoyed. i.

. almost all connected with one another.600 square miles. is the watershed of the Mackenzie. which is a level. exclusive of the many lesser lakes with which it is in communication. runs north-east into the Atlantic and as the St. Iroquois. expanding in into is its north-easterly course Lakes St. it first known it from whence Montreal. Louis. the Mississippi. It has a basin of 297. and of the rivers that flow into Hudson's Bay. and Ontario. and St. after joining the Lakes Superior. Erie. and a table-land which contains the great lakes. nowhere more than 1200 or 1500 feet above the surface of the sea. of the St. the St. The St. Ocean This table-land. of which 94. But the principal . Lawrence at ends in an estuary 100 miles wide. Francis. CHAPTER XIX.402 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Rivers of Central America River Systems of North America Rivers of South America and of Australia. Lawrence rises under the name and 93 TV. CHAP.000 are covered with water. the Alleghannies. and. Peter. XIX. it issues from the last by the name of the lat. Louis in 47 43' N. Lawrence. long. and separates the rivers that flow into the Arctic from those which go to the Gulf of Mexico. Huron. is North of the watershed there intricate an endless and labyrinth of lakes and rivers. NORTH America is divided into four distinct water systems by the Rocky Mountains. St.

CHAP. 2o 2 Among . enters the Icy Sea at George the Fourth's Gulf. on the table-land at no greater height than 1500 feet above the sea. after tra. in consequence of its length and direction from south to north. Before their junction these streams frequently spread out into sheets of water. which flows north-east in a continued series of dangerous and all but impassable rapids to the Arctic Ocean at Melville Strait the Copper-mine River. 403 the Great Fish streams of these Arctic lands are River. several is sippi South of the table-land the valley of the Missisextends for 1000 miles. which. formed by the confluence of the Peace River and the Athabasca from the Rocky Mountains. and the Mackenzie. hundred miles long after the thawed. because its lower course remains frozen for upper part let. of much the same character. a stream of greater magnitude. through more degrees of latitude than any other. enters the Frozen Ocean in the Esquimaux country beyond the Arctic Circle. after flowing north over 16 degrees of latitude. finding no outflows over the ice and inundates the plains. versing many lakes. and this greatest of rivers has its origin in the juncof streams from the small lakes Itaska and Xorth American tion Ussawa. THE MISSISSIPPI. which. is subject to floods like the Siberian rivers. All these rivers are frozen more than half the year. and the Mississippi does the same in the upper part This river flows from north to south of its course. and the Mackenzie River. and receives so many tributaries of the higher orders that it would be difficult even to name them. XIX. and the water.

the former from the Rocky Mountains latter. and in the plains it sometimes passes through large prairies and through dense forests. is a stream much superior to the Missouri junction the Mississippi both in length and volume. and runs partly in a longitudinal of the Rocky Mountains. cataracts through the mountain regions.. at the head of which the Mississippi sends off a large branch called the Atchafalaya to the south. and the Red Ri%-er 1 tains. arid drains the whole of the country on the about 44 right bank of the Mississippi between the 49th and It descends in 40th parallels of north latitude. the joined by the Arkansas. the are the largest. and enters the main stream not far from the beginning of the delta. and partly at their valley foot. and has many affluents larger than the Rhine. in in all sometimes accom- plishing 3000 miles a very tortuous and generally till south-eastern direction it joins the Mississippi near the town of St. its CHAP. is Red . It rises in N. with many tributaries. each being in itself a mighty stream. XIX. the Missouri. and then by the River.404 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. and then turning to the east it discharges by five mouths at the extremity of a long itself tongue of land which stretches 50 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. the which rises in the table-land of New Mexico. having formed a delta considerably The shore is lined larger than that of the Nile. lat. fed by rivers from the Sierra del Sacramento. 2000 miles long. Before their receiving tributaries without number. Mississippi is Louis. . Lower down. those that swell volume from the Rocky MounArkansas.

XIX. it length Missouri 4265. having received many accessories. but they have been avoided by canals. THE MISSISSIPPI. from whence the river winds 948 miles through some of the finest states of . but at its greatest width. which offer advantages unrivalled even in this wonderful country. but. till its junction with the Mississippi. and the two unite at Pittsburg.CHAP. is a muddy sea. the latter from the Laurel ridge of the Alleghanny chain in Virginia the former comes from sources near Lake Erie. though much longer. The whole if the is of the Mississippi is 3160 miles. The Ohio is formed by the union of the rivers Alleghanny and Monongahela. Its valley it is 80 miles. be considered the main stem. six of which are navigable streams. Lawrence and the Gulf of Mexico. so that there is an internal water communication between the St. There are some obstacles to navigation in the Ohio. the Union. The breadth of the . This river is miles. run through countries of less promise than those which are traversed by the Ohio and the other rivers that flow into the Mississippi on the east. the abode of the crocodile. and the joint stream drains an area of about a million and a quarter of square miles. 405 delta the greater part of the salt lagoons covered with water and unhealthy marshes. at the junction of the White River. Other canals join both the Mississippi and its branches with Lake Erie. and during the floods it with shallow is . only beginning to be developed. is navigable for 2240 of variable width. The tributaries from the Rocky Mountains.

and deposited over the delta and Gulf of Mexico for hundreds of square miles. XIX. and comparatively small. and the trees. and after the junction of the Ohio it is not steamer may ascend the Mississippi for more. and another from the western versant of the Rocky Mountains. the length of which is 3101 miles. its violent floods. At the confluence of the Missouri each river is half a mile wide. and the whole are so united by canals that few places are not accessible by one of the greatest advantages a country can There are at least 24 canals in the United possess. one from the eastern versant of the Alleghannies. especially those to the north. which runs into the Pacific. 2000 miles from Balize without any perceptible A difference in its breadth. water Many of the streams which ultimately come to the . which flows into the Atlantic. All the streams that flow eastward through the United States to the Atlantic are short. States. because many of them. nowhere corresponds with its length. sweep away whole forests. are carried down by the spring floods. The deptli is 168 feet : where the it enters the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans of the river at Cape Girardeau is four inches This river is a rapid desolating torrent in a mile. from the melt- ing of the snow in the high latitudes. fall loaded with mud . but of the highest utility. CHAP. being matted together in masses many yards thick. by which the navigation is rendered very dangerous. North America can boast of two other great water systems. end in gulfs of vast magnitude.406 river PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

capital of the Chesapeake Bay. 407 chain. which . consequently the longer. to which the largest the ships can ascend. and little the largest are. the Oregon or Colombia. has rocky ledge. CENTRAL AMERICAS RIVElij. which terminates in a precipitous ledge for 300 miles parallel to the range. and Atlantic rise in the western ridges of the Alleghanny traverse its longitudinal valleys before leaving the mountains to cross the Atlantic slope. passes Washington. XIX. By falling over this rocky barrier in long rapids and picturesque cascades they afford an enormous and extensive water-power . which it receives Pacific at Astoria. many tributaries. are important rivers into the Delaware and Susquehanna. which. and the Rio Colorado. and after an exceedingly tortuous course.CHAP. bays. The watershed of Rocky Mountains lies at a greater distance from the Pacific than that of the Alleghannies from the Atlantic . it falls into the The Colorado is a Mexican . and as the rivers are navigable from the Atlantic quite across the maritime plains. these two circumstances have determined the location of most of the principal cities of the United States at the foot of this feet high. though not more than 300 had a greater influence on the political interests and commercial of the Union than the highest chains of mountains have had in other countries.. not far from those of the Missouri and of the Rio del in Norte . the United States. The Hudson in the north is navigable to Albany falls . The former has its sources rivers are known . ending in and the Potomac. but they are few.

which. XIX. and much inferior to either. and above 10 some miles . Parras. Guasacualco. six of these fall into the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Of these the Sea. is the The Rio cle largest river in the isthmus of Mexico is the or Rio Grande Santiago. CHAP. which. and four into the Pacific. flow northward and terminate in lakes. has been brought into notice of late from the extensive and rich auri- ferous country through which it flows in its course to the Bay of San Francisco on the Pacific. and after a course of 400 miles.408 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. which rises on the table-land of Toluca. which part with their superfluous water by evaporation. greatest. which traverses the Isthmus nearly from sea to sea. the first empties itself into the Gulf of Mexico. whilst the second flows into the Gulf of Honduras. passes through Lake Pacific Lerma Chapala. Of these the Rio Grande. a Californian stream. On the table-land of Mexico there is a basin of continental streams. lying the two. as the best point for a sea canal and which has by some been considered between the two oceans. after falls into the a course of 300 miles. stream. and fed by the periodical rains. rising from springs on the eastern side of the Sierra Madre. falls into the There are many rivers that are navigable for streams in Central America. which rises in the mountains near Guatemala . and has a long line of navigation. . and the Montagua. which comes from the Sierra into the its Verde and falls Gulf of California. forms numerous cascades. The Sacramento with between tributaries.

which drains the Lakes of Nicaragua and Leon. of the Cordilleras of SumaPaz and Quindiu. 409 In the southern part of the State of Guatemala is situated the River of San Juan. as the stream which waters the elevated plain of Bogota.CHAP. and by which it is supposed a water communication could be easily effected between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Magdalena. and is nearly as large as its primary. Many streams join the Magdalena on the right. SOUTH AMERICAN RIVERS. that there are no rise rivers of considerable size . while palms grow at the bottom. vapour rising from it is visible miles. at the divergence long. The Cauca. though a secondary river in America. illuminated only at noon by a few feeble rays. . are so close into the Pacific in to the sea. its only feeder on the comes from Popayan. which appears to have been formed by an earthquake. to which it runs parallel the greater parfc of its course. A dense cloud of at the distance of 15 is At the top the vegetation that of a tem- perate climate. and forms the cataract of Tequen- dama. The river rushes through a chasm 30 feet wide. and at a double bound descends 530 feet into a dark gloomy pool. it is navigable Honda. which empty themselves find even some of the streams that Cordilleras their the western way to the eastern plains. one of the most beautiful and wildest scenes in the Andes. and enters the Caribbean Sea by various channels as far as left. at the northern end of the Andes. The Andes. the extensive watershed of South America. XIX. is 620 miles It rises in the central chain. .

will. empties itself into the Gulf of Darien. the River of the Amazons. The Cauca and Mag- dalena. western declivity of the Andes to flow into the Pa"With these exceptions all the water from the inexhaustible is sources of the Andes north of poured into the Orinoco. a principal affluent of the Amazons. altogether a Colombian river. but they are insignificant when compared with these giant floods. indeed. and the Rio de la Plata. river Atrato. Chile the far south. parallel to tlie CHAP. many of which are navigable to the foot of the Andes. which convey it In eastward across the continent to the Atlantic. by means of canals. but the central parts of the basins of all three. of San Juan. the tributaries of these three great rivers. rises . when the wilds are inhabited by civilized man.410 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. form an extensive level. Ages hence. all rise on the cific. now The Orinoco. The their lower parts basins of these three rivers are separated in by the mountains and high lands of the Parima and Brazil . but less considerable. form a water system infinitely superior to any that exists. This peculiar structure is the cause of the natural plains. The rivers of Patia. and are only divided from one by imperceptible elevations in the barely sufficient to form the watersheds between the tributaries of these majestic rivers. of Las Esmeraldas. and of Guyaquil. XIX. there are the Colorado and Rio Negro. another canal of the Cassiquiare. toward the foot of the Andes. which joins the Upper Orinoco with the Rio Negro.

SOUTH AMERICAN* RIVERS. and Guaviare. which are heard at the distance of many miles. at the distance of 180 miles. it makes a complete circuit round the Parima mountains. so that its mouth is only two degrees distant from the meridian of its sources. XIX. and its mouth. and runs due north for three degrees of latitude. and joins the Rio Negro. where it receives the Atabapo. and filled . . and farther north by the Apure. extensive delta and enters the Atlantic by many As the Upper Orinoco runs west. is between banks almost inaccessible by dykes. and maintains a westerly course to San Fernando de Atabapo. which drain the whole eastern side of the Andes in then runs eastward to an extent of 10 degrees of latitude. granite and islands clothed with a variety of magniLarge portions of the river are here engulfed in crevices. and the Lower Orinoco east. river then forces a passage through the Sierra del Parima. 200 miles east of the elevated Peak of Duida. Atures and Apures. where it forms an channels. forming subterranean cascades and in this part are the celebrated falls of the . The Cassiquiare leaves the Orinoco near the south base of the Peak of Duida. two very large rivers. a chief tributary of the Amazons. 36 miles apart. At the end of this tumultuous part of its course it is joined by the Meta. is The Orinoco navigable for 1000 miles at all . 411 in the Sierra del Parima. which is larger than The the Danube here ends the Upper Orinoco. its bed traversed with boulders of ficent palm-trees.CHAP.

though many descend to it from both sides of the Parima. XIX. Below the confluence of the Apure the river is three miles and a quarter broad. The the quantity of rain that falls in the which exceeds 100 inches in a year. and attain their height nearly at the same time with those of the Ganges. of which the upper part is impenetrable forest. The Meta may be ascended to the Andes its mean depth is 36 feet. the Niger. navigable rivers. like those of all rivers entirely within the torrid zone. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. are very regular. wooded regions. but during the floods it is three times as much. owing to August. and the Gambia.412 seasons . a fleet CHAP. tions at its source differ as much from those at its confluence with the Orinoco. the lower is Llanos. They begin to swell about the 25th of March. as the vegetation of France does from that of Senegal. By the confluence of four of its greatest tributaries at the point at which . The The floods of the Orinoco. and in many places 80 or 90. the Atures. It rises so high in the Andes that Baron Humboldt says the vegetable producthe Danube. basin of the Orinoco has an area of 300. and arrive at their full and begin to decrease on the 25th of inundations are very great. The larger feeders of the Orinoco come from the Andes. of which the Guaand the Meta are each larger than It receives many viare.000 square miles. foot of the . Mouth to within might ascend it from the Dragon's 45 miles of Santa Fe de Bogota. in consequence of its long circuit among these mountains. though in the same latitude.

Upper Peru is the cradle of the Amazons. it is by Mr. till it reaches the Atriche. it West of San Borja and on its southern bank receives the Huallaga and Yucayali. issues in two streams from the Lake of Lauricocha in the plain of Bombon. The drain an area of two millions navigable 2200 miles from miles wide at its mouth. at a great elevation in the Andes: it runs in a deep longitudinal valley from south to north. the greatest of rivers. and is 96 The name of its the river is three times changed in course : it is known as the Maranon from its source to the confluence of the Yucayali . the Its highest branch. Pentland. XIX. S. where its source was visited and its position determined Amazons is supposed to and a half of square miles. which bears name of Marafion.CHAP. which is ten times the In some places it has a great depth . from whence it follows an uniform eastern course of nearly 4000 miles including its windings. its source. it SOUTH AMERICAN RIVERS. size of France. which drains the chain of the Andes from the equator to the 20th parallel of southern latitude. till it bursts through the eastern ridge at the Pongo de Manse- town of San Borja. the latter a river of great size which rises in the Andes of Vil- canota. it is called . from that point to its junction with the Rio Negro. in which 3600 square miles of the plain of consequence are under water during the inundation. near the lantic. of Cusco. The Ori- bends to the noco in many places smells of musk from the num- ber of dead crocodiles. 413 east. a low inland delta is formed.

and there is communication between the Amazons and the most distant is regions around by other navigable feeders. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. is believed by some eminent geographers to be the true Maranon. navigable almost to their sources. near the mission of San Joaquim de Omaguas. By these streams there is access to Peru. The number. Nothing known of the rivers that empty themselves into the Amazon on its southern bank. and at its junction with the main stream. even the affluents of its affluents are noble streams. it is almost a mile broad above its junction. XIX. the and the Yucayali its origin in the mining district of Pasco. and after a long northern course between the Cordilleras it breaks through a gorge similar to that of Manseriche and joins the Maranon in the plains . not inferior to the Maranon itself. The Yucayali. More than 20 superb rivers. The Spanish governor of Peru sent Pedro de Orsoa down this river in the year 1560 to search for the Lake of Parima and the city of El Dorado. CHAP. till it and from the Rio Negro enters it is the River of the Amazons. between the Yucayali and the Madeira the latter. . and volume of its tributaries are in proportion to its magnitude . which is its greatest affluent. waters into numberless. comes near the sources of the Paraguay.414 the Solimoes the ocean . and streams of less pour their importance are former has Two : of the largest are the Huallaga like their primary. the . length. and in breadth it is more like a sea than a river. a line of 50 fathoms does not reach the bottom. miles it is fed by accessaries In a course of 1080 from a wide extent of country. it.

The Amazons its begins to rise in December. its least in is at greatest height in March. were it not for the enormous evaporation. The main out its its its mouth nearly throughof river islands. divided into two branches at its it off. River of the Amazons is not less extensively connected on the north. 415 The principal accessary of the Rio de la Plata. white in others it is . and quantity of rain that falls in the deep forests traversed by this river is so great that. in equatorial of a deep coffeein the shade. they occur at opposite seasons. the Japura. SOUTH AMERICAN RIVERS. from is length. the other enters the ocean to the north of it. nearly nine miles broad. a little way above its junction with the Amazons. pendent river of Demerara. green when ruffled and. and other great navigable rivers the Rio Negro. lands of Colombia are ac- by the Putumayo. The and the streams that carry is would be flooded annually The Amazons the country of eight feet.CHAP. The annual floods of the Amazons are less regular than those of the Orinoco. full with it. as the two rivers are in different hemispheres. unites it with the Orinoco by the Cassiand lastly. but dark when seen or colour. perfectly transparent. of which one joins the Para south of the island of Das Joanes or Marajo. cessible The high . July and August. and. by a breeze. to the depth mouth. XIX. the sources of the Rio Branco quiare come very near to those of the Essequibo. an inde. The water America is of some of the rivers . and most of tributaries have deltoid branches at their junction stream.

1200 miles long. rarely. Schomburgk thinks they are stained by the iron in the granite . XIX. the greatest of which. and its channel islands are covered with orange: . principal stream. The Paraguay. For more than 100 miles it is a continued and rapids. the colouring matter has not been chemically ascertained. la The Rio de Plata forms the third great water system of South America. Above the fall the river is three miles broad. is black. The Orinoco and the Cassiquiare as its name implies. yet the water does not stain the rocks. and the Vermejo generally tend to the south. is the finest of these in its upper part it is singularly picturesque. the Pilcomayo. In Scotland the brown waters come from peat-mosses .416 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. found on the table-lands of the Andes. since they occur as often Sir Robert in forests as in savannahs. and unite at different distances before entering their primary at Corrientes. but it is not so in America. adorned with palms and other tropical vegetation. of a vivid green like some of the Swiss lakes. which are of a Black waters are sometimes. when all at once series of cataracts confined in a rocky pass only 60 yards wide. its the mountains of Minas Geraes. though dazzling white. the Salta Grande. and runs 500 miles on the tableland from north to south before it takes the name of Parana. Rio Negro. heard at the distance of many miles. through which it rushes over a ledge with thunderous The noise. it is Parana receives three large rivers on the right : the all Paraguay. CHAP. is in about 24 5' lat. rises in The Rio Grande. are white . however. in Brazil.

and may be ascended by vessels of considerable burthen through nineteen degrees of latitude. with the exception of a portage of three miles. on Campos Parecis. Were it not for the freshness of the ocean : its it is. by inland navigation. SOUTH AMERICAN RIVERS. cover 36. to the mouth of N.000 square miles. a vessel might sail from Buenos Ayres in the Orinoco in 9 35 S. The Paraguay is subject to dreadful floods. which takes its its name from the turbulence of streams. shallow. the former traverses the desert of the Gran Chaco. that.CH. In consequence of the vast extent of the very level plains along the base of the Andes. At Santa Fe the the latter the district of Tarija. The Rio de la Plata is 2700 miles long. So small are the elevations that determine their direction. and before entering the Atlantic is augmented by the Uruguay from the north. lat. it is never less than 170 miles broad. the southern slopes of the a chain of seven lakes. and loaded with mud. I. and for 200 miles from its mouth. XIX. the principal or upper branch of the La Plata. which its stains the Atlantic for 200 miles from mouth. 2 E . the begins of the three great rivers are apparently united. up to Buenos Ayres. VOL. lat. In 1812 the atmosphere was poisoned by the putrid The ordinary annual carcases of drowned animals. 417 It springs from groves. The Pilcomayo and Vermejo both come from Bolivia .Y1'. inundations of the Parana. in Brazil. water it might be mistaken for however. La Plata turns eastward.

and navigable only for four miles above Carmen . and. The Colorado. It rises in the Sierra Acaray. which separates its water. as it between that ocean and reaches a pass in the from snow. and the other from the north. unconnected with those described. one from the west. Andes run through. into which the river flows. mile and a quarter. which unite at a great distance from the Atlantic. its its transparent . it has a bar at its mouth. Of many which descend from the mountains of Guiana. it the has floods twice in the year. banks and those of all is basin from that of the Amazons. is formed of two principal branches. but do not the desolate plains of Patagonia. which in any other country would be esteemed of a high order. CHAP. and separates the Pampas from Patagonia. after a northerly . one from the rains. The Rio Negro or Cusu-debu rises at a great elevation. is There is Andes that is free some vegetation in its imme- diate neighbourhood . XIX. There are various rivers in South America. other from the melting of the snow in the Andes. I/ its Atlantic long course through arid deserts to the it does not receive a single adjunct. which runs in a long shallow stream through the Pampas of Buenos Ayres to the Atlantic.418 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. its general v.-idth is a the Essequibo is the largest . though black. but it forms a communication Chile. Some other streams from the Chilian fertilise. and on its adjuncts the forest reigns in impenetrable thickness.

1 ." says the distinguished traveller already mentioned. blessed as it is importance with abundant fruitfulness. the Orinoco. an affluent of the Mamore.icAX I. by an by three low islands Schomburgk. there is uninterrupted navi- gation to New Santa Fe de Bogota. the port of Demerara would rival any in the vast continent of 2 E 2 . this water communication alone would . a branch of the Rupununi. and. falls into the Atlantic near 7 outlet 14 miles broad. offers comcountries not far distant Amucu munication with Quito. by cutting a canal three miles long between the Madeira and Guapore. great though the distance be. But that is not the only water communication between Guayana and remote countries. a tributary of the Solimoes. Granada and " to within eight miles of If. an inland navigation might be opened from Demerara to Buenos Ayres. for the Napo. over an extent of 42 degrees of latitude.i. if emigration sufficient to make its resources available were properly directed thither. 419 course. the Huallaga with Peru and from the Pacific Ocean. lat. and tributary the Meta. this extensive inland navigation heightens its value as a British colony . separated into four branches. which flows into the Essequibo. By its the Rio Negro. not possess the fertility which " British Guayana did is such a distinguish- ing feature. xix.IVKI>. with the exception of a portage of only 800 yards in the rainy season between Lake and the Quatata. Sir Robert scientific N. SOUTH A. has shown that.Mi. whose journeys have made us acquainted with a country of which so little was known. the Cassiquiare. render it of vast but.

so here. and so much nearer to Great Britain than her colonies in the Pacific. attributed in a very great degree to the faciof transport afforded by their admirable river still more to the genius of the people to avail themselves systems.420 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. after running 1500 miles. abounding in valuable natural productions. it descends from the high lands in rapids in its north- erly course. and who knew how same may be of them . . lat. and. CHAP. XIX. after travelling northward between mountain ranges parallel to the coast. both rise on the table-land the former results from the union of the Tocantinsand Aragnay . Francisco is only 1275 miles long: it rises in the Sierra Canastra in the province of Minas Geraes. The historical renown and the high civilization of may be lity Asia and Europe. The Para and San zilian rivers : Francisco are the chief Bra. their great wealth and population." It is certainly very remarkable that the tide of emigration has never set towards a country of such promise. it breaks through them and reaches the ocean about the 1 1th degree of S. and. joins the southern branch of the Amazons before entering the The San Atlantic south of the island of Marajo. As in the Appalachian chain. many rivers come down the edge of the table-land to the level maritime plains of the Atlantic. South America. the said of the inhabitants of the United pos- States of America. while the Indians who have sessed these countries for ages never took advantage of the noble streams with which Providence had en- riched and embellished them.

XIX. After America. before entering the : ocean in Encounter Bay. New Holland appears in more than its usual aridity. the land of the river and the flood. running south-west. formed by the accumulation of mountain-torrents. . Hawkesbury. Vincent's Gulf. The and the Macquarrie.CHAP. -tlil RIVERS OF NEW HOLLAND. and would have short courses did they not run in longitudinal valleys. as for example Murumbidgee. The Darling is supposed to be merely the upper part of the Murray. but it is certain that no large river dis- charges its water into the ocean. After their junction they run into the Murray. the Lachlan. George's Lake. RIVERS OF NEW HOLLAND. coming from the east. it passes through the Alexandrine Marsh : it is too shallow even for boats. a rises in the The Murumbidgee much larger stream. is unknown : it is called the Fish after River between liarlmrst and it is Sydney. The absence of large rivers is one of the greatest impediments improvement of this continent. the largest. probably rising towards the head of The origin of the Macquarrie St. meets the Lachlan. What it may possess in the interior is to the not known. and most of the small ones are absorbed before they reach it. running 600 miles north-west lost in the marshes. though feet and not more than 20 deep only 350 feet broad. are ranges west of St. of unknown origin. and. The streams from the mountains on the eastern side of the continent are mere the torrents.

there are none. Stamford Street. much the same character and from that river to . along the whole of the west- ern and northern shores of the continent. as in Lombardy. . London : Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS. I.422 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. on the western side of the continent. and might be converted into canals by dams. Gulf of Carpentaria. has the Swan River. which deep channels. The want of water makes more in it to explore the interior of this continent. which could need of a complete system of irrieasily be accomplished from the lie in nature of the rivers. hardly possible No coun- try stands gation. END OF VOL. from whence the water might be conveyed by channels over the surrounding country. XIX. CHAP.

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