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under the tenements, so that the foundations of the ground set in motion by the earthquake were loosened. Another example of subsidence, where the edifices were not destroyed, is mentioned by Grimaldi, as having taken place in the city of Catanzaro, the capital of the province of that name. The houses in the quarter called San Giuseppe subsided with the ground to various depths from two to four feet, but the buildings remained uninjured. It would be tedious, and our space would not permit us, to follow the different authors through their local details of landslips produced in minor valleys; but they are highly interesting, as showing to how great an extent the power of rivers to widen valleys, and to carry away large portions of soil towards the sea, is increased where earthquakes are of periodical occurrence. Among other territories, that of Cinquefrondi was greatly convulsed, various portions of soil being raised or sunk, and innumerable fissures traversing the country in all directions. (See Fig. 52.) Along the flanks of a small valley in this district there appears to have been an almost uninterrupted line of landslips.
landslip, near coors. Number of new formed lakes.—Vivenzio states, that near Sitizzano a valley was nearly filled up to a level with the high grounds on each side, by the enormous masses detached from the boundary hills, and cast down into the course of two streams. By this barrier a lake was formed of great depth, about two miles long and a mile broad. The same author mentions that, upon the whole, there were fisty lakes occasioned during the convulsions: and he assigns localities to all of these. The government surveyors enumerated 215 lakes, but they included in this number many small ponds. Currents of mud.—Near S. Lucido, among other places, the soil is . described as having been “dissolved,” so that large torrents of mud in
undated all the low grounds, like lava. Just emerging from this mud, the tops only of trees and of the ruins of farmhouses were seen. Two miles from Laureana, the swampy soil in two ravines became filled with calcareous matter, which oozed out from the ground immediately before the first great shock. This mud, rapidly accumulating, began, ere long, to roll onward, like a flood of lava, into the valley, where the two streams uniting, moved forward with increased impetus from east to west. It now presented a breadth of 225 feet by fifteen in depth, and, before it ceased to move, covered a surface equal in length to an Italian mile. In its progress it overwhelmed a flock of thirty goats, and tore up! by the roots many olive and mulberry trees, which floated like ships upon its
surface. When this calcareous lava had ceased to move, it gradually became dry and hard, during which process the mass was lowered seven feet and a half. It contained fragments of earth of a ferruginous colour, and emitting a sulphureous smell. Comes of sand thrown up —Many of the appearances exhibited in the alluvial plains indicate clearly the alternate rising and sinking of the ground. The first effect of the more violent shocks was usually to dry up the rivers, but they immediately afterwards overflowed their banks. Along the alluvial plains, and in marshy places, an immense number of cones of sand were thrown up. These appearances Hamilton explains, by supposing that the first movement raised the fissured plain from below upwards, so that the rivers and stagnant waters in bogs sank down, or at least were not upraised with the soil. But when the ground returned with violence to its former position, the water was thrown up in jets through fissures.”
Formation of circular hollows.-In the report of the Academy, we find that some plains were covered with circular hollows, for the most part about the size of carriage-wheels, but often somewhat larger or smaller. When filled with water to within a foot or two of the surface, they appeared like wells ; but, in general, they were filled with dry sand, sometimes with a concave surface, and at other times convex. (See Fig. 53, p. 407.) On digging down, they found them to be funnel-shaped, and the moist loose sand in the centre marked the tube up which the water spouted. The annexed cut (Fig. 54.) represents a section of one of these inverted cones when the water had disappeared, and nothing but dry micaceous sand remained.
Fall of the sea cliffs.—Along the sea-coast of the Straits of Messina, near the celebrated rock of Scilla, the fall of huge masses detached from the bold and losty clists overwhelmed many villas and gardens. At Gian Greco a continuous line of cliff, for a mile in length, was thrown down. Great agitation was frequently observed in the bed of the sea during the shocks, and, on those parts of the coast where the movement was most violent, all kinds of fish were taken in abundance, and with unusual facility. Some rare species, as that called Cicirelli, which usually lie buried in the sand, were taken on the surface of the waters in great quantity. The sea is said to have boiled up near Messina, and to have been agitated as if by a copious discharge of vapours from its bottom.
Shore near Scilla inundated.—The Prince of Scilla had persuaded a great part of his vassals to betake themselves to their fishing-boats for safety, and he himself had gone on board. On the night of the 5th of February, when some of the people were sleeping in the boats, and others on a level plain slightly elevated above the sea, the earth rocked, and
* Phil. Trans., vol. lxxiii. p. 180.
suddenly a great mass was torn from the contiguous Mount Jaci, and thrown down with a dreadful crash upon the plain. Immediately afterwards, the sea, rising more than twenty feet above the level of this low tract, rolled foaming over it, and swept away the multitude. It then retreated, but soon rushed back again with greater violence, bringing with it some of the people and animals it had carried away. At the same time every boat was sunk or dashed against the beach, and some of them were swept far inland. The aged Prince, with 1430 of his people, was destroyed. State of Stromboli and Etna during the shocks.-The inhabitants of Pizzo remarked that, on the 5th of February, 1783, when the first great shock afflicted Calabria, the volcano of Stromboli, which is in full view of that town, and at the distance of about fifty miles, smoked less, and threw up a less quantity of inflamed matter, than it had done for some years previously. On the other hand, the great crater of Etna is said to have given out a considerable quantity of vapour towards the beginning, and Stromboli towards the close, of the commotions. But as no eruption happened from either of these great vents during the whole earthquake, the sources of the Calabrian convulsions, and of the volcanic fires of Etna and Stromboli, appear to be very independent of each other; unless, indeed, they have the same mutual relation as Vesuvius and the volcanos of the Phlegraean Fields and Ischia, a violent disturbance in one district serving as a safety-valve to the other, and both never being in full activity at once. Eaccavations of valleys.--It is impossible for the geologist to consider attentively the effect of this single earthquake of 1783, and to look forward to the alterations in the physical condition of the country to which a continued series of such movements will hereafter give rise, without perceiving that the formation of valleys by running water can never be understood, if we consider the question independently of the agency of earthquakes. It must not be imagined that rivers only begin to act when a country is already elevated far above the level of the sea, for their action must of necessity be most powerful while land is rising or sinking by successive movements. Whether Calabria is now undergoing any considerable change of relative level, in regard to the sea, or is, upon the whole, nearly stationary, is a question which our observations, confined almost entirely to the last half century, cannot possibly enable us to determine. But we know that strata, containing species of shells identical with those now living in the contiguous parts of the Mediterranean, have been raised in that country, as they have in Sicily, to the height of several thousand feet. Now, those geologists who grant that the present course of Nature in the inanimate world, has continued the same since the existing species of animals were in being, will not feel surprise that the Calabrian streams Vol. I.-3 B
and rivers have cut out of such comparatively modern strata a great system of valleys, varying in depth from fisty to six hundred feet, and often several miles wide, if they consider how numerous must have been the earthquakes which lifted those recent marine strata to so prodigious a height. Some speculators, indeed, who disregard the analogy of existing Nature, and who are always ready to assume that her forces were more energetic in by-gone ages, may dispense with a long series of movements, and suppose that Calabria “rose like an exhalation” from the deep, after the manner of Milton's Pandemonium. But such an hypothesis would deprive them of that peculiar removing force required to form a regular system of deep and wide valleys; for time, which they are so unwilling to assume, is essential to the operation. Time must be allowed in the intervals between distinct convulsions, for running water to clear away the ruins caused by landslips, otherwise the fallen masses will serve as buttresses, and prevent the succeeding earthquake from exerting its full power. The sides of the valley must be again cut away by the stream, and made to form precipices and overhanging cliffs, before the next shock can take effect in the same manner. Possibly the direction of the succeeding shock may not coincide with that of the valley, a great extent of adjacent country being equally shaken. Still it will usually happen that no permanent geographical change will be produced except in valleys. In them alone will occur landslips from the boundary cliffs, and these will frequently divert the stream from its accustomed course, causing the original ravine to become both wider and more tortuous in its direction. If a single convulsion of extreme violence should agitate at once an entire hydrographical basin, or if the shocks should follow each other too rapidly, the previously existing valleys would be annihilated, instead of being modified and enlarged. Every stream might in that case be compelled to begin its operations anew, and to shape out new channels, instead of continuing to deepen and widen those already excavated. But if the subterranean movements have been intermittent; and if sufficient periods have always intervened between the severer shocks to allow the drainage of the country to be nearly restored to its original state, then are both the kind and degree of force supplied by which running water may hollow out valleys of any depth or size consistent with the elevation above the sea which the districts drained by them may have attained. When we read of the drying up and desertion of the channels of rivers, the accounts most frequently refer to their deflection into some other part of the same alluvial plain, perhaps several miles distant. Under certain circumstances, a change of level may undoubtedly force the water to flow over into some distinct hydrographical basin; but even then it will fall immediately into some other system of valleys already formed. We learn from history that, ever since the first Greek colonists settled in Calabria, that region has been subject to devastation by earthquakes;