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of the ocean. By this character alone a geologist would generally be able to recognise an assemblage of Baltic fossils as distinguished from those derived from a deposit in the ocean. The absence also of oysters, barnacles, whelks, scallops, limpets (ostrea, balanus, buccinum, pecten, patella), and many other forms abounding alike in the sea near Uddevalla, and in the fossilliferous deposits of modern date on that coast, supplies an additional negative character of the greatest value, distinguishing assemblages of Baltic from those of oceanie shells. Now the strata containing Baltic shells are found in many localities near Stockholm, Upsala, and Gefle, and will probably be discovered every where around the borders of the Bothnian Gulf; for I have seen similar remains brought from Finland, in marl resembling that found near Stockholm. The utmost distance to which these deposits have yet been traced inland, is on the southern shores of Lake Maeler, at a place seventy miles from the sea.” As no accurate observations on the rise of the Swedish coast refer to periods more remote than a century and a-hals from the present time, and as traditional information, and that derived from ancient buildings on the coast, do not enable the antiquary to trace back any monuments of change for more than five or six centuries, we cannot declare whether the rate of the upheaving force is uniform during very long periods. In those districts where the fossil shells are found at the height of more than 200 feet above the ocean, as at Uddevalla, Orust, and Lake Rogvarpen, the present rate of rise seems less than four feet in a century. Even at that rate it would have required five thousand years to list up those deposits. But as the movement is now very different in different places, it may also have varied much in intensity at different periods. Whether any of the land in Norway is now rising must be determined by future investigations. Marine fossil shells, of recent species, have been collected from inland places near Drontheim ; but Mr. Everest, in his “Travels through Norway,” informs us that the small island of Munkholm, which is an insulated rock in the harbour of Drontheim, affords conclusive evidence of the land having in that region remained stationary for the last eight centuries. The area of this isle does not exceed that of a small village, and by an official survey, its highest point has been determined to be twenty-three seet above the mean high water mark, that is, the mean between neap and spring tides. Now, a monastery was sounded there by Canute the Great, A.D. 1028, and thirty-three years before that time it was in use as a common place of execution. According to the assumed average rate of rise in Sweden (about forty inches in a century), we should be obliged to suppose that this island had been three feet eight inches below high-water mark when it was originally chosen as the site of the monastery. But we have not only to learn whether the motion proceeds always at
* Phil. Trans., 1835, part i.
the same rate, but also whether it has been uniformly in one direction. The level of the land may oscillate ; and for centuries there may be a depression, and afterwards a re-elevation, of the same district. This idea is rendered the more probable by the proofs lately brought to light by two Danish investigators, Dr. Pingel and Captain Graah, of the sinking down of part of the west coast of Greenland, for a space of more than 600 miles from north to south. The observations alluded to were made by Captain Graah during a survey of Greenland in 1823–24; and afterwards in 1828–29; those by Dr. Pingel were made in 1830–32. It appears from various signs and traditions, that the coast has been subsiding for the last four centuries from the Firth called Igalliko in lat. 60° 43' N. to Disco Bay, extending to nearly the 69th degree of north latitude. Ancient buildings on low rocky islands and on the shore of the mainland have been gradually submerged, and experience has taught the aboriginal Greenlander never to build his hut near the water's edge. In one case, the Moravian settlers have been obliged more than once to move inland the poles upon which their large boats were set, and the old poles still remain beneath the water as silent witnesses of the change.” Some phenomena in the neighbourhood of Stockholm, appear to me only explicable on the supposition of the alternate rising and sinking of the ground since the country was inhabited by man. In digging a canal, in 1819, at Södertelje, about sixteen miles to the south of Stockholm, to unite Lake Maeler with the Baltic, marine strata, containing fossil shells of Baltic species, were passed through. At a depth of about sixty seet, they came down upon what seems to have been a buried fishing-hut, constructed of wood, in a state of decomposition, which soon crumbled away on exposure to the air. The lowest part, however, which had stood on a level with the sea, was in a more persect state of preservation. On the floor of this hut was a rude fireplace, consisting of a ring of stones, and within this were cinders and charred wood. On the outside lay boughs of the fir, cut as with an axe, with the leaves or needles still attached. It seems impossible to explain the position of this buried hut, without imagining, as in the case of the Temple of Serapis (see p. 426), first, a subsidence to the depth of more than sixty feet, then a re-elevation. During the period of submergence, the hut must have become covered over with gravel and shelly marl, under which not only the hut, but several vessels also were sound, of a very antique form, and having their timbers fastened together by wooden pegs instead of nails.f The probable cause of these movement, whether of elevation or depression, will be more appropriately discussed in the following chapters, when the origin of subterranean heat is considered. But I may remark here, that the rise of Scandinavia has naturally been regarded as a very singular and scarcely credible phenomenon, because no region on the globe has been more free within the times of authentic history from violent earthquakes. In common, indeed, with our own island, and with almost every spot on the globe, some movements have been, at different periods, experienced, both in Norway and Sweden. But some of these, as for example during the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, may have been mere vibrations of the earth's crust prolonged from a great distance. Others, however, have been sufficiently local to indicate a source of disturbance immediately under the country itself. Notwithstanding these shocks Scandinavia has, upon the whole, been as tranquil in modern times, and as free from subterranean convulsions, as any region of equal extent on the globe. There is also another circumstance which has made the change of level in Sweden appear anomalous, and has for a long time caused the proofs of the fact to be received with reluctance. Volcanic action, as we have seen, is usually intermittent: and the variations of level to which it has given rise have taken place by starts, not by a prolonged and insensible movement similar to that experienced in Sweden. Yet, when we are once assured of the reality of the gradual rise of a large region, it enables us to account for many geological appearances otherwise very difficult of explanation. There are large continental tracts and high table lands where the strata are nearly horizontal, bearing no marks of having been thrown up by violent convulsions, nor by a series of movements, such as those which occur in the Andes, and cause the earth to be rent open, and raised or depressed from time to time, while large masses are engulfed in subterranean cavities. The result of a series of such earthquakes might be to produce in a great lapse of ages a country of shattered, inclined, and perhaps vertical strata. But a movement like that of Scandinavia would cause the bed of the sea, and all the strata recently formed in it, to be upheaved so gradually, that it would merely seem as if the ocean had formerly stood at a higher level, and had slowly and tranquilly sunk down into its present bed. The fact also of a very gradual and insensible elevation of land may explain many geological monuments of denudation, on a grand scale. If, for example, instead of the hard granitic rocks of Norway and Sweden, a large part of the bed of the Atlantic, consisting chiefly of soft strata, should rise up, century after century, at the rate of about half an inch, or an inch, in a year, how easily might oceanic currents, such as those described in the sixth chapter, sweep away the thin film of matter thus brought up annually within the sphere of aqueous denudation The tract, when it finally emerged, might present table lands and ridges of horizontal strata, with intervening valleys and vast plains, where origi
* See Proceedings of Geol. Soc., No. 42, p. 208. I also conversed with Dr. Pingel on the subject at Copenhagen in 1834. f See the paper before referred to, Phil. Trans., 1835, part i.
nally, and during its period of submergence, the surface was level and nearly uniform. These speculations relate to superficial changes; but others must be continually in progress in the subterranean regions. The foundations of the country, thus gradually uplifted in Sweden, must be undergoing important modifications. Whether we ascribe these to the expansion of solid matter by continually increasing heat, or to the liquefaction of rock, or to the crystallization of a dense fluid, or the accumulation of pent-up gases, in whatever conjectures we indulge, we can never doubt sor a moment, that at some unknown depth the structure of the globe is in our own times becoming changed from day to day, throughout a space probably more than a thousand miles in length, and several hundred in breadth.
Intimate connexion between the causes of volcanos and earthquakes—Supposed original state of fusion of the planet—Universal fluidity not proved by spheroidal figure of the earth—Heat in mines increasing with the depth (p. 452.)—Objections to the supposed intense heat of a central fluid—Whether chemical changes may produce volcanic heat (p. 456.)—Currents of electricity circulating in the earth's crust—Theory of an unoxidated metallic nucleus (p. 460.)—The metallic oxides when heated may be deoxidated by hydrogen.
It will hardly be questioned, after the description before given of the phenomena of earthquakes and volcanos, that both of these agents have, to a certain extent, a common origin; and I may now, therefore, proceed to inquire into their probable causes. But first, it may be well to recapitulate some of those points of relation and analogy which lead naturally to the conclusion, that they spring from a common source. The regions convulsed by violent earthquakes include within them the site of all the active volcanos. Earthquakes, sometimes local, sometimes extending over vast areas, often precede volcanic eruptions. The subterranean movement and the eruption return again and again, at irregular intervals of time, and with unequal degrees of force, to the same spots. The action of either may continue for a few hours, or for several consecutive years. Paroxysmal convulsions are usually followed, in both cases, by long periods of tranquillity. Thermal and mineral springs are abundant Vol. I.-3 G
in countries of earthquakes and active volcanos. Lastly, hot springs situated in districts considerably distant from volcanic vents have been observed to have their temperature suddenly raised, and the volume of their water augmented, by subterranean movements. All these appearances are evidently more or less connected with the passage of heat from the interior of the earth to the surface; and where there are active volcanos, there inust exist, at some unknown depth below, enormous masses of matter intensely heated, and, in many instances, in a constant state of fusion. We have first, then, to inquire, whence is this heat derived 2 It has long been a favourite conjecture, that the whole of our planet was originally in a state of igneous fusion, and that the central parts still retain a great portion of their primitive heat. Some have imagined, with the late Sir W. Herschel, that the elementary matter of the earth may have been first in a gaseous state, resembling those nebulae which we behold in the heavens, and which are of dimensions so vast, that some of them would fill the orbits of the remotest planets of our system. It is conjectured that such ačriform matter (for in many cases the nebulous appearance cannot be referred to clusters of very distant stars), if concentrated, might form solid spheres; and others have imagined that the evolution of heat, attendant on condensation, might retain the materials of the new globes in a state of igneous fusion. Without dwelling on such speculations, which can only have a distant bearing on geology, we may consider how far the spheroidal form of the earth affords sufficient ground for presuming that its primitive condition was one of universal fluidity. The discussion of this question would be superfluous, were the doctrine of original fluidity less popular; for it may well be asked, why the globe should be supposed to have had a pristine shape different from the present one?—why the terrestrial materials, when first called into existence, or assembled together in one place, should not have been subject to rotation, so as to assume at once that sorm which alone could retain their several parts in a state of equilibrium ? Let us, however, concede that the statical figure may be a modification of some other pre-existing form, and suppose the globe to have been at first a perfect and quiescent sphere, covered with an uniform ocean—what would happen when it was made to turn round on its axis with its present velocity ? “A centrifugal sorce,” says Sir J. Herschel, “would in that case be generated, whose general tendency would be to urge the water at every point of the surface to recede from the aris. A rotation might indeed be conceived so swist as to flirt the whole ocean from the surface, like water from a mop. But this would require a far greater velocity than what we now speak of. In the case supposed, the weight of the water would still keep it on the earth; and the tendency to recede from the axis could only be satisfied, therefore, by the water leaving the poles, and