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or depression of the land.” The hypothesis of the rising of the land, he adds, “agrees well with the Huttonian theory, which holds that our continents are subject to be acted upon by the expansive forces of the mineral regions; that by these forces they have been actually raised up, and are sustained by them in their present situation.”f In the year 1807, Von Buch, after returning from a tour in Scandanavia, announced his conviction, “that the whole country, from Frederickshall in Sweden to Åbo in Finland, and perhaps as far as St. Petersburgh, was slowly and insensibly rising.” He also suggested “that Sweden may rise more than Norway, and the northern more than the southern part.”f He was led to these conclusions principally by information obtained from the inhabitants, and pilots, and in part by the occurrence of marine shells of recent species, which he had found at several points on the coast of Norway above the level of the sea. He also mentions the marks set on the rocks. Von Buch, therefore, has the merit of being the first geologist who, after a personal examination of the evidence, declared in favour of the rise of land in Scandinavia. The attention excited by this subject in the early part of the last century, induced many philosophers in Sweden to endeavour to determine, by accurate observations, whether the standard level of the Baltic was really subject to periodical variations; and under their direction, lines or grooves, indicating the ordinary level of the water on a calm day, together with the date of the year, were chiselled out upon the rocks. In 1820-21, all the marks made before those years were examined by the officers of the pilotage establishment of Sweden; and in their report to the Royal Academy of Stockholm they declared, that on comparing the level of the sea at the time of their observations with that indicated by the ancient marks, they found that the Baltic was lower relatively to the land in certain places, but the amount of change during equal periods of time had not been every where the same. During their survey, they cut new marks for the guidance of future observers, several of which I had an opportunity of examining fourteen years after (in the summer of 1834), and in that interval the land appeared to me to have risen at certain places north of Stockholm four or five inches. I also convinced myself, during my visit to Sweden, after conversing with many civil engineers, pilots, and fishermen, and after examining some of the ancient marks, that the evidence formerly adduced in favour of the change of level, both on the coasts of Sweden and Finland, was full and satisfactory. The alteration
* Sect. 393. # Sect. 398. # Transl. of his Travels, p. 387. § In former editions I expressed many doubts as to the validity of the proofs of a gradual rise of land in Sweden. A detailed statement of the observations which I made in 1834, and which led me to change my opinion, will be found in the Philosophical Transactions for 1835, part i. Vol. I.-3 F
of level evidently diminishes as we proceed from the northern parts of the Gulf of Bothnia towards the south, being slight around Stockholm, and not in the least degree perceptible in Scania, the southernmost province of Sweden. Some writers have indeed represented the rate of depression of the waters at Stockholm as very considerable, because certain houses in that city which are built on piles have sunk down within the memory of persons still living, so as to be out of the perpendicular; and this in consequence of the tops of the piles giving way, and decaying, owing to a fall of the waters which has exposed them to be alternately wet and dry. The houses alluded to are situated on the borders of Lake Maeler, a large lake, the outlet of which joins the Baltic in the middle of Stockholm. This lake is certainly lower than formerly; but the principal cause of the change is not the elevation of the land, but the removal of two old bridges built on piles, which formerly obstructed the discharge of the sresh water into the sea. Another cause is the opening, in the year 1819, of a new canal at Södertelje, a place south of Stockholm, by means of which a new line of communication was formed between Lake Maeler and the Baltic." It will naturally be asked, whether the mean level of a sea like the Baltic can ever be determined so exactly as to permit us to appreciate a variation of level, amounting only to one or two feet. In reply, I may observe, that, except near the Cattegal, there are no tides in the Baltic; and it is only when particular winds have prevailed for several days in succession, or at certain seasons when there has been an unusually abundant influx of river water, or when these causes have combined, that this sea is made to rise two or three feet above its standard level. The fluctuations due to these causes are nearly the same from year to year; so that the pilots and fishermen believe, and apparently with reason, that they can mark a deviation, even of a few inches, from the ordinary or mean height of the waters. - There are, moreover, peculiarities in the configuration of the shores of Norway, and Sweden, which facilitate, in a remarkable degree, the appreciation of slight changes in the relative level of land and water. It has osten been said, that there are two coasts, an inner and an outer one; the inner being the shore of the mainland; the outer one, a fringe of countless rocky islands of all dimensions, called the skär (shair). Boats and small vessels make their coasting voyages within this skār; for here they may sail in smooth water, even when the sea without is strongly agitated. But the navigation is very intricate, and the pilot must possess a perfect acquaintance with the breadth and depth of every narrow channel, and the position of innumerable sunken rocks. If on such a coast the land rises
* See Professor Johnston's Paper, Ed. New Phil. Journ, No. 29, July 1833; and my remarks, Phil. Trans., 1835, p. 12.
one or two feet in the course of half a century, the minute topography of the skär is entirely altered. To a stranger, indeed, who revisits it after an interval of many years, its general aspect remains the same ; but the inhabitant finds that he can no longer penetrate with his boat through channels where he formerly passed ; and he can tell of countless other changes in the height and breadth of isolated rocks, now exposed, but once only seen through the clear water. The rocks of gneiss, mica-schist, and quartz, are usually very hard on this coast, slow to decompose, and, when protected from the breakers, remaining for ages unaltered in their form. Hence it is easy to mark the stages of their progressive emergence by the aid of natural and artificial marks imprinted on them. Besides the summits of fixed rocks, there are numerous erratic blocks of vast size strewed over the shoals and islands in the skär, which have been probably drifted by ice in the manner before suggested.* All these are observed to have increased in height and dimensions within the last half century. Some, which were formerly known as dangerous sunken rocks, are now only hidden when the water is highest. On their first appearance, they usually present a smooth, bare, rounded protuberance, a few feet or yards in diameter; and a single sea-gull often appropriates to itself this resting-place, resorting there to devour its prey. Similar points, in the mean time, have grown to long reefs, and are constantly whitened by a multitude of sea fowl; while others have been changed from a reef, annually submerged, to a small islet, on which a few lichens, a fir-seedling, and a few blades of grass, attest that the shoal has at length been fairly changed into dry land. Thousands of wooded islands around show the greater alterations which time can work. In the course of centuries also, the spaces intervening between the existing islands may be laid dry, and become grassy plains encircled by heights well clothed with lofty firs. This last step of the process, by which long fiords and narrow channels, once separating wooded islands, are deserted by the sea, has been exemplified within the memory of living witnesses on several parts of the coast. Had the apparent fall of the waters been observed in the Baltic only, we might have endeavoured to explain the phenomenon by local causes assecting that sea alone. For instance, the channel by which the Baltie discharges its surplus waters into the Atlantic, might be supposed to have been gradually widened and deepened by the waves and currents, in which case a fall of the water, like that besore alluded to in Lake Maeler, might have occurred. But the lowering of level would in that case have been uniform and universal, and the waters could not have sunk at Torneo, while they retained their sormer level at Copenhagen. Such an explanation is also untenable on other grounds; for it is a fact, as Celsius long
* See pp. 174,439.
ago affirmed, that the alteration of level extends to the western shores of Sweden, bordering the ocean. The signs of elevation observed between Uddevalla and Gothenburg are as well established as those on the shores of the Bothnian Gulf. Among the places where they may be studied, are the islands of Marstrand and Gulholmen, the last-mentioned locality being one of those particularly pointed out by Celsius. The inhabitants there and elsewhere affirm, that the rate of the sinking of the sea (or elevation of land) varies in different and adjoining districts, being greatest at points where the coast is low. But in this they are deceived; for they measure the amount of rise by the area gained, which is most considerable where the land descends with a gentle slope into the sea. In the same manner, some advocates of the Celsian theory formerly appealed to the increase of lands near the mouths of rivers, not sufficiently adverting to the fact, that if the bed of the sea is rising, the change will always be most sensible where the bottom has been previously rendered shallow; whereas, at a distance from these points, where the scarped granitic cliffs plunge at once into deep water, a much greater amount of elevation is necessary to produce an equally conspicuous change. As to the area in northern Europe which is subject to this slow upheaving movement, we have not as yet sufficient data for estimating it correctly. It seems probable, however, that it reaches from Gothenburg to Torneo, and from thence to the North Cape, the rate of elevation increasing always as we proceed farther northwards. The two extremities of this line are more than a thousand geographical miles distant from each other; and as both terminate in the ocean, we know not how much farther the motion may be prolonged under water. As to the breadth of the tract, its limits are equally uncertain, though it evidently extends across the widest parts of the Gulf of Bothnia, and may probably stretch far into the interior, both of Sweden and Finland. Now, if the elevation continue, a larger part of the Gulf of Bothnia will be turned into land, as also more of the ocean off the west coast of Sweden between Gothenburg and Uddevalla; and, on the other hand, if the change has been going on for thousands of years at the rate of several feet in a century, large tracts of what is now land must have been submarine at periods comparatively modern. It is natural therefore to inquire whether there are any signs of the recent sojourn of the sea on districts now inland 2 The answer is most satisfactory. Near Uddevalla and the neighbouring coastland, we find upraised deposits of shells belonging to species such as now live in the ocean; while on the opposite or eastern side of Sweden, near Stockholm, Gefle, and other places bordering the Bothnian Gulf, there are analogous beds containing shells of species characteristic of the Baltic. Won Buch announced, in 1807, that he had discovered in Norway and at Uddevalla in Sweden, beds of shells of existing species, at considerable heights above the sea. Since that time, other naturalists have confirmed his observation; and, according to Ström, deposits occur at an elevation of more than 400 feet above the sea in the northern part of Norway. M. Alex. Brongniart, when he visited Uddevalla, ascertained that one of the principal masses of shells, that of Capellbacken, is raised more than 200 feet above the sea, resting on rocks of gneiss, all the species being identical with those now inhabiting the contiguous ocean. The same naturalist also stated that on examining with care the surface of the gneiss, immediately above the ancient shelly deposit, he found barnacles (balani) adhering to the rocks, showing that the sea had remained there for along time. I was fortunate enough to be able to verify this observation by finding, in the summer of 1834, at Kured, about two miles north of Uddevalla, and at the height of more than 100 feet above the sea, a surface of gneiss newly laid open by the partial removal of a mass of shells used largely in the district for making lime and repairing the roads. So firmly did these barnacles adhere to the gneiss that I broke off portions of the rock with the shells attached. The face of the gneiss was also encrusted with small zoophytes (Cellepora? Lam.), but had these or the barnacles been exposed in the atmosphere ever since the elevation of the rocks above the sea, they would probably have decomposed and been obliterated. The town of Uddevalla stands at the head of a narrow creek overhung by steep and barren rocks of gneiss, of which all the adjacent country is composed, except in the low grounds and bottoms of valleys, where strata of sand, clay, and marl frequently hide the fundamental rocks. To these newer and horizontal deposits the fossil shells above mentioned belong, and similar marine remains are found at various heights above the sea on the opposite island of Orust. The extreme distance from the sea to which such fossils extend is as yet unknown, but they have been already found at Trollhättan in digging the canal there, and still sarther inland on the northern borders of lake Wener, fifty miles from the sea, at an elevation of 200 feet, near Lake Rogvarpen. To pass to the Baltic: I observed near its shores at Södertelje, sixteen miles S.W. of Stockholm, strata of sand, clay, and marl, more than 100 feet high, and containing shells of species now inhabiting the Bothnian Guls. These consist partly of marine and partly of freshwater species; but they are few in number, the brackishness of the water appearing to be very unfavourable to the development of testacea. The most abundant species are the common cockle, and the common muscle and periwinkle of our shores (Cardium edule, Mytilus edulis, and Littorina littorea), together with a small tellina (T. Baltica), and a few minute univalves allied to Paludina ulva. These live in the same waters as a Lymneus, a Neritina (N. fluviatilis), and some other freshwater shells. But the marine mollusks of the Baltic above mentioned, although very numerous in individuals, are dwarfish in size, scarcely ever attaining a third of the average dimensions which they acquire in the salter waters