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TILtf. « . 



MANY books, as Sir A. Geikie's Scenery of 
Scotland and Sir J. Lubbock's Scenery of 
Switzerland, give an account of the origin of the 
scenery of limited areas, but I believe that there 
is room for an English work which treats of the 
origin of scenery in general. 

Under the title The Scientific Study of Scenery 
I have written a work which may be regarc^ed as an 
Introductory Treatise on Geomorphology, a subject 
which has sprung from the union of Geology and 

I have tried to make the work useful to the 
student, and also to rouse the interest of the general 
reader, and hope that I have not thereby rendered 
it unpalatable to both. 

For those who desire to pursue the study of the 
subject, I have introduced numerous references to 
works of a more technical character. In addition 
to those cited in the text, I would refer the student 
to Professor J. Geikie's Earth Sculpture and Professor 
W. M. Davis's Physical Geography, These books 
have appeared since the text was written. 

To Mr. Geo. Allen, of Ruskin House, I am irv- 


debted for permission to make the quotations from 

Mr. Ruskin's works, and also for the use of the 

block from which Figure 3 is printed ; I wish to 

thank Mr. W. G. Collingwood for leave to use this 

figure. My thanks are due to the Hon. D. W. 

Carnegie and to the Council of the Geographical 

Society for permission to reproduce the illustration 

of a Spinifex desert ; the illustration in this work is 

from a copy (made by my sister, Miss C. Marr) of 

the figure in the Geographical JournaL Mr. A. W. 

Rogers, of the Geological Survey of Cape Colony, 

kindly sent me the photograph from which the plate 

of the Langebergen Mountains is taken, and Mr. 

R. D. Oldham, of the Geological Survey of India, 

that from which the plate showing the lake in 

the Garo Hills is copied. The plate illustrating 

Ingleborough Cave is from a photograph by Mr. 

G. Towler, of Settle, Yorkshire, and that of the 

Wastwater Screes from one by Mr. Herbert Bell, 

of Ambleside. The other plates are reproductions 

of photographs by Mr. E. J. Garwood, to whom I 

offer my special thanks. In conclusion, I desire to 

express my indebtedness to a friend for kindly 

reading the proofs of my book. 

J. E. M. 

Cambridge, September^ 1899 



Scope of the Study — ^Attributes of Scenery , . . Pages 1-7 

Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, and Atmosphere -•- Rocks — 

Divisional Planes of Rocks . ... 8-19 

Accumulation of Material — Elevation and Depression — 

Sculpture . . . ... 20-28 



Colour — Clouds — Cyclones and Anti-Cyclones . . . 29-45 

Production and General Structure of Continents and Ocean 

Basins — Initiation of River Drainage . . . 46-54 

Classification of Mountains— Folded Mountains— Faulted 

Mountains . . . . 55-69 


MOUNTAINS (continued). 

Formation of Watersheds— The Processes of Denudation . 'l^>^^ 


MOUNTAINS (continued). 
Details of Mountain Structure — Influence of the Sculpturing 
Agents — Influence of Rock Composition and Stracture 
— Vegetation on Mountains . • . Pages 94-112 

Classiflcation of Valleys — Angles of Valley Slopes — Valleys 

of Erosion . . , • • . iis-iji 

VALLEYS {continued). 
Complications of River Drainage— Waterfalls — Underground 

Rivers . . . ... 139-157 


Classification of Lakes — Lakes formed by Accumulation of 
Material — Lakes formed by Earth Movement — Crater 
Lakes — Lakes formed by Erosion , . , 158-187 

LAKES {continued), 
Topc^raphical Features of Lake Shores and Lake Basins — 

Islands in Lakes— Colour of Lakes . . . 188-202 



Theories of Vulcanicity — Outlines and Structures of Vol- 
canoes — Fissure Eruptions — Geysers — Mud Volcanoes — 
Earthquakes . . ... 203-230 

Formation and Characters of Plains — Formation and Charac- 
ters of Plateaux . . ... 231-247 

Production of Deserts — Erosion of Deserts— Accumulation 

in Deserts-^Vegetatioij of Deserts . . . 248-271 



Hoar-frost — Snow — Glaciers . . . Pages 272-296 



Norway— Spitsbergen — Alaska — Greenland . . . 297-309 



Glacial Erosion — Glacial Accumulations and Deposits . 310-320 

Oceanic Erosion — Formation of Coast-lines — Oceanic Islands 
— Raised Sea-margins— Marine Vegetation— Ice in the 
Ocean . . . ... 321-351 

Conclusion . . . ... 352-361 

Index . . . . . 363-368 


King's Bay Glacier, Spitsbergen . . . Frontispiece 

Upper Surface of Cloud in Eden Valley . To face page 21 

Langebergen, Mossel Bay District . . ,, 86 

Nunatak, Nordenskjold Glacier . . „ 90 

Hornsund Tind . . . . ,, 109 

The Drei Zinnen . . . • », 109 

The Matterhorn, from the Hornli . . „ 11 1 

High Force, Teesdale . . . „ 150 

Ingleborough Cave, Clapham, Yorks . . ,, 156 

The Ober-Gabelhorn from the Schwarz See . ,, 159 

Marjelen See . . . • >» 161 

Sty Head Tarn . . . „ 166 

Haweswater . . . . ,, 169 

Small water . . . . ,, 169 

Lago dell' Inferno . . . . ,, 175 

Earthquake-lake, Garo Hills . . . ,, 180 

The Screes, Wastwater . . ,, 196 

Spinifex : Queen Victoria Desert, Western Australia , , 268 

Ice-fall on Glacier below Scerscen and Roseg, Engadine , , 286 

Baldhead and Booming Glaciers, Spitsbergen . ,, 299 

Englacial River, King's Glacier, Spitsbergen . ,, ^oa 2.M 





A WIDESPREAD appreciation of the beauties 
of nature is not the least of the many beneficent 
changes which have marked the Victorian era, and 
with this appreciation has sprung up a desire on 
the part of many people to obtain some insight into 
the causes of scenery. Few persons at the present 
day are content to believe that the superficial features 
of the earth have always been as they are now, and 
the wish to know something of the changes which 
are responsible for the production of the existing 
features of the globe is a very natural one, and its 
fulfilment not only affords additional pleasure to a 
vast number of lovers of scenery, but gives them an 
insight into a noble aim of the natural sciences 
which is too often overlooked. These sciences are 
too frequently regarded from a purely, philosophical 
or a merely economic standpoint, and their aesthetic 
side is ignored, though this is very valuable as a 
means of education. 


The scientific study of scenery is concerned with 
all the existing features of earth, sky, and sea, which 
are visible to the eye, quite apart from their relative 
attractiveness, which is indeed often a matter of 
individual taste, for a view which one person con- 
siders tame and uninteresting will produce feelings 
of profound satisfaction in another. It is well known 
that mountains which are now attractive to so many 
were generally regarded with repulsion or horror at 
no remote period ; while a fenland flat which arouses 
little enthusiasm in some is contemplated with in- 
tense pleasure by others. 

If we take this comprehensive view of the scope 
of our study, it will be seen that it covers a large 
portion of the field of physical geography ; and 
indeed no better method of imparting the elementary 
principles of physical geography exists than that of 
teaching the student the significance of the earth's 
superficial features, especially those of the districts 
with which he is acquainted. When this is recog- 
nised, physical geography will take its proper place 
as a subject eminently adapted for schools, and as 
an introduction to a knowledge of geology of far 
greater interest to the bulk of educated persons than 
the dry details concerning rocks and fossils which 
are frequently supplied to them as an introduction 
to the science, details which naturally cause them 
to turn away from the pursuit of the study with a 
feeling of aversion. 

In viewing any scene, the attributes which strike 
us specially are size, form, character, surface, colour, 
and movement, and of these attributes there is little 
doubt that form is by far the most important, and 
it will be most attentively considered in this work, 


though occasional references will necessarily be made 
to other attributes. The importance of form is so 
great that it is necessary to devote a few words to 
its consideration, but this will best be done by 
quoting the words of acknowledged masters of the 
study of scenery. Thus Ruskin writes : " We shall 
see hereafter, in considering ideas of beauty, that 
colour, even as a source of pleasure, is feeble com- 
pared with form";i while concerning magnitude 
Wordsworth observes that " a short residence among 
the British mountains will furnish abundant proof, 
that, after a certain point of elevation . . . the sense 
of sublimity depends more upon form and relation 
of objects to each other than upon their actual 
magnitude." 2 

As the four attributes size, colour, movement, and 
character of surface, or, as we may term the last, 
texture, will not be treated systematically, it will be 
convenient at this point to make a few further 
observations concerning them. 

I. Size. — It is evident that mere size cannot add 
directly to the beauty of an object or group of 
objects, and the influence of magnitude of natural 
objects is dependent upon the imagination. The 
truth of this statement is well illustrated by an 
example given by Ruskin, which I may be pardoned 
for quoting at length : — 

"Not long ago, as I was leaving one of the towns of 
Switzerland, early in the morning, I saw in the clouds 
behind the houses an Alp which I did not know, a grander 
Alp than any I knew, nobler than the Schreckhorn or the 

^ Modem Painters^ vol. i., part ii., sec. i., chap. v. 
2 A Complete Guide to the Lakes^ , . . with Mr, WordsworiKi 
Description of the ScentTy 0/ ^he Country y%i^Q„Vf, 


Monch; terminated, as it seemed, on one side by a 
precipice of almost unimaginable height; on the other, 
sloping away for leagues in one field of lustrous ice, clear 
and fair and blue, flashing here and there into silver under 
the morning sun. For a moment I received a sensation of 
as much sublimity as any natural object could possibly excite; 
the next moment, I saw that my unknown Alp was the glass 
roof of one of the workshops of the town rising above its 
nearer houses and rendered aerial and indistinct by some 
pure blue wood smoke which rose from intervening chimneys. 
** It is evident, that so far as mere delight of the eye was 
concerned, the glass roof was here equal, or at least equal 
for a moment, to the Alp. Whether the power of the 
object over the heart was to be small or great, depended 
altogether upon what it was understood for, upon its being 
taken possession of and apprehended in its full nature, 
either as a granite mountain or a group of panes of glass ; 
and thus, always, the real majesty of the appearance of the 
thing to us, depends upon the degree in which we our- 
selves possess the power of understanding it. . . . For 
though the casement had indeed been an Alp, there are 
many persons on whose minds it would have produced no 
more eflfect than the glass roof. It would have been 
to them a glittering object of a certain apparent length 
and breadth, and whether of glass or ice, whether twenty 
feet in length, or twenty leagues, would have made no 
difference to them ; or, rather, would not have been in any 
wise conceived or considered by them. Examine the 
nature of your own emotion (if you feel it) at the sight oj 
the Alp, and you find all the brightness of that emotior 
hanging, like dew on gossamer, on a curious web of subtlt 
fancy and imperfect knowledge." ^ 

II. Colour, — It would be impossible in a work lik< 
the present to give a lengthy account of the infinit< 

* Modem Painters^ vol. iii., part iv., chap. x. 


variations in colouring produced by different atmo- 
spheric conditions, though something will be said 
upon this subject when we consider the atmosphere. 
But beyond this variation we find definite colours 
associated with particular objects, and these often 
play an important part in affecting the aspect of a 
scene. For instance, the colour of pure water is 
stated to be a greenish blue, as will be more fully 
described when treating of expanses of water. The 
colour of terrestrial surfaces is largely affected by the 
nature of the vegetation as well as by that of the 
rocks. Though foliage has a more general effect than 
flowers in giving colour to landscape, the influence 
of the latter is by no means small. The vivid scarlet 
of Poppy land, the purple tracts of heather in High- 
land districts, the richly coloured carpet of flowers 
in Alpine meadows before the hay is cut, are cases 
where a marked effect is produced. The foliage of 
trees and grasses need only be mentioned, though of 
the latter it may be remarked that the most striking 
effects are produced in rainy regions. The brilliant 
green of our Lakeland vales is due to the excessive 
rainfall, which in more ways than one must be 
accounted beneficial to the lover of scenery. It is 
to lowlier vegetation that we are indebted for some 
of oui^ richest colouring. The changes which occur 
in the bracken of Westmorland are thus described by 
Wordsworth : — 

" When in the heat of advancing summer, the fresh green 
tint of the herbage has somewhat faded, it is again revived 
by the appearance of the fern profusely spread over the 
same ground ; and, upon this plant, more than upon any- 
thing else, do the changes which the seasons make in the 
colouring of the mountains depend. About the fvtsl nn^^Vl 


in October, the rich green, which prevailed through the 
whole summer, is usually passed away. The brilliant and 
various colours of the fern are then in harmony with the 
autumnal woods : bright yellow or lemon-colour, at the base 
of the mountains, melting gradually, through orange, to a 
dark russet-brown towards the summits, where the plant, 
being more exposed to the weather, is in a more advanced 
state of decay." ^ 

The same writer refers to the effect of the 
lichens, which is also thus beautifully described by 
Ruskin : — 

"As in one sense the humblest, in another they are the 
most honoured of the earth-children. Unfading, as motion- 
less, the worm frets them not, and the autumn wastes not. 
Strong in lowliness, they neither blanch in heat nor pine 
in frost. To them, slow-fingered, constant-hearted, is 
entrusted the weaving of the dark, eternal tapestries of 
the hills; to them, slow - pencilled, iris-dyed, the tender 
framing of their endless imagery. Sharing the stillness of 
the unimpassioned rock, they share also its endurance; 
and while the winds of departing spring scatter the white 
hawthorn blossom like drifted snow, and summer dims on 
the parched meadow the drooping of its cowslip-gold, — far 
above, among the mountains, the silver lichen-spots rest, 
star-like, on the stone ; and the gathering orange stain upon 
the edge of yonder western peak reflects the sunsets of a 
thousand years." ^ 

But though the colouring of rocks as seen in 
nature is so often due to vegetation upon their 
surface, the bare rock frequently possesses colour 
of its own, owing to the presence of organic matter, 
or of some compound of iron. The formef usually 

^ Wordsworth, loc, cit,^ sec. i. 

' Ruskin, Modem Painters^ vol. v., part vi, chap. x. 


gives a grey-blue or black colour, while the colouring 
due to iron varies according to the particular com- 
pound which is present. The peroxide of iron 
produces a rich red, so well known in the red 
sandstones of Britain, the hydrated oxide gives 
yellow, orange, or rust-brown hues, while the silicate 
is green. The effect due to colouring matter in the 
rocks is specially well brought out in desert regions 
where the vegetation is scanty; for instance, it is 
very noticeable in the walls of the deep caftons of 
the western territories of North America. 

III. Texture, — The important influence of texture 
is well illustrated by the frequency of such expres- 
sions as "fleecy clouds," "an oily sea," "soft and 
downy pasturage," in descriptions of scenery. It 
is largely determined by differences of shape, which 
are too minute to be detected in detail, though they 
produce a general effect upon the surface which is 
viewed, and on this account it is superfluous to do 
more than call attention to this attribute of surfaces 
as affecting scenes. Lustre largely depends upon 
the texture of surfaces, and may be conveniently 
regarded under this head. 

IV. Movement — The effect of movement in air, 
on water, or on land is often very noticeable as an 
attribute of a scene which may produce a feeling 
of exhilaration in the mind of the beholder. It is 
only necessary to refer to the effect of moving cloud, 
of the eddying torrent, the sea-wave, and the waving 
vegetation of cornfield, down, or mountain-brow as 
illustrations of the influence of motion upon scenery. 



THE unknown interior of the earth is surrounded 
by three envelopes, the lithosphere, hydro- 
sphere, and atmosphere, of which the first and third * 
are continuous, while the second is interrupted in 
places, and allows portions of the first to project 
upwards into the third. The lithosphere is that 
portion of the earth which is popularly spoken of 
as its crust, and is in the solid condition ; the 
hydrosphere is liquid, and is composed of the oceans, 
rivers, lakes, and indeed all the surface waters of the 
globe ; the atmosphere is the gaseous envelope 
which surrounds the lithosphere and hydrosphere, 
and extends for an unknown but limited distance 
outward from their surfaces. Portions of these 
envelopes are capable of passing from one state 
to another; for instance, parts of the waters of 
the hydrosphere enter into the composition of the 
lithosphere, or as aqueous vapour pass into the 
atmosphere ; fragments of lithosphere — e.g,^ volcanic 
dust — are often suspended for a long period in the 
atmosphere, while the gases of the atmosphere are 
taken up by the earth's crust and the waters of the 
globe. This power which the envelopes possess of 
interchanging some of their coinponents will be 



found to exercise a marked influence upon scenic 

It is unnecessary at present to touch more fully 
upon the characteristics of atmosphere and hydro-, 
sphere, but the nature of the lithosphere requires 
further consideration at this initial stage of our 
inquiries, for the features of the globe are notably 
affected by the composition and structure of the 
earth's crust. 

The lithosphere is composed of rocks^ which are 
aggregates of mineral particles, the term rock being 
used quite irrespectively of any consideration of hard- 
ness or coherence. Thus a geologist would speak of 
the loose sand of the sea-shore as a rock equally with 
the hardest granite or basalt. Rocks are divided 
into two great classes. The igneous class consists of 
rocks which have directly consolidated from a state of 
fusion, while the derivative class has been formed 
by accumulation of material on the surface of the 
earth, that material not having been in a state of 
fusion immediately before its accumulation. These 
derivative 'rocks may be composed of materials 
derived from the atmosphere (as carbonaceous 
accumulations such as peat and coal, formed of 
carbon compounds extracted by vegetation from 
the atmosphere, and ice derived from the aqueous 
vapour of the atmosphere), or they may be formed 
of substances previously contained in solution in the 
waters of the hydrosphere, and brought into the 
solid condition by precipitation or by the agency of 
organisms (for instance, rock-salt, gypsum, and many 
limestones and siliceous deposits), or they may 
consist of fragments broken from pre-existing rocks 
and carried by mechanical means to the positvotv \tv 


which they are accumulated (as sandstone and mud), 
or they may be due to a combination of two or all of 
these processes. The great bulk of the derivative 
rocks are accumulated in layers (generally, though 
not universally, at the bottom of sheets of water), 
and hence they are frequently spoken of as stratified 

Igneous and stratified rocks alike may undergo 
considerable changes after their formation, and these 
changes are spoken of as metamorphic, and we meet, 
therefore, with metamorphic igneous as well as 
metamorphic aqueous rocks. 

In the following chapter we shall call attention to 
the operations of certain agents which are responsible 
for the sculpture of the rocks of the earth's crust, 
and before studying these operations it is necessary 
to allude to various characteristics of rocks which 
influence the sculpturing processes. 

If all rock had the same composition, and was 
absolutely homogeneous throughout, the agents 
which affect it would do so over the entire surface 
in the same manner, assuming that these agents 
worked uniformly, but a very brief inspection of the 
crust of the globe shows that the work is not per- 
formed in a uniform manner, even under conditions 
in which the agents can work uniformly, and accord- 
ingly it is clear that rocks differ from one another 
in certain respects, some being more durable than 
others. Some of the differences, such as difference 
of chemical composition, may be discovered in a hand 
specimen. This difference may be complete as 
between chalk and flint, the former being composed 
of carbonate of lime, the latter of silica, or it may 
be partial as between a calcareous sandstone and a 


ferruginous sandstone, one possibly composed of 
grains of silica cemented by carbonate of lime, the 
other of grains of the same material with a cement 
of oxide of iron. As some of these constituents are 
very soluble in ordinary water, others less soluble, 
and others again practically insoluble, it is clear that 
the influence of water upon rocks of different com- 
position may produce very different results. 

Other differences may be observed in a hand 
specimen between rocks of the same composition. 
Thus a siliceous rock may be practically homo- 
geneous, like flint, or it may be composed of a 
number of grains cemented into a more or less hard 
sandstone. Mechanical differences of this nature, 
which are readily observable in a hand specimen, 
may be spoken of as differences of texture. 

Again, when we examine the rocks of a country 
we shall certainly find differences which are not 
easily detected, if at all, in a hand specimen. Among 
the most noticeable are the divisional planes which 
cause rocks to break more readily in one direction 
than another. These may be spoken of as differences 
of structure. As these structural differences play a 
most important part in determining and controlling 
the action of the agents of sculpture, it is necessary 
to treat of them at some length. 

To the geologist the difference between divisional 
planes is of prime importance, mainly with regard to 
the way in which they are produced, though for our 
present purpose their importance is commensurate 
with their effect upon superficial features ; but as the 
planes produced in any one way generally give rise 
to similar effects, which differ from those caused by 
planes produced otherwise, it is quite convemeivt to 


classify these planes according to their origin, anc 
they may be grouped under three heads : — (i) Plane 
formed during the formation of the rocks ; (ii) thos< 
formed after formation by fracture ; (iii) those pro 
duced by metamorphism. It is not easy in all casej 
to distinguish between (ii) and (iii), but there is nc 
difficulty in effecting a practical separation between 
the two. 

In class (i) we place planes of stratification and 
lamination^ in (ii) joint-planes and fault-planes, and in 
(iii) cleavage-planes and planes of foliation. Between 
these planes we may now proceed to discriminate. 

(a) Planes of Stratification and Lamination, — It is 
found as the result of observation that stratified 
rocks are accumulated in layers, which are separated 
by divisional planes; these when the rocks are 
formed lie generally in a horizontal position. 
These planes are planes of stratification, or when 
they are near together (say several in the thickness 
of an inch of deposit) planes of lamination, the latter 
being merely planes of stratification on a small scale. 
A plane of stratification, then, separates two beds or 
strata of rock. It need not necessarily be a plane of 
discontinuity, but may merely separate two beds of 
different composition, as mud and limestone, which 
are nevertheless welded together, but the majority of 
planes of stratification, and those with which we are 
here chiefly concerned, are actual planes of discon- 
tinuity along which rocks may be split. It is obvious 
that these planes are, strictly speaking, absent from 
igneous rock, but similar planes may separate lava flows 
from sediments which overlie or underlie them, and we 
may conveniently include such planes in this division. 

It was stated above that planes of stratification are 


usually formed as horizontal planes, but they are 
frequently found at all angles and even turned over, 
so that a bed which was once lower now lies above 
the original upper one. It is known that this is the 
result of movements of the earth's crust occurring 
subsequently to the deposition of the strata, which 
have produced a series of folds. A few words must 
be devoted to the nomenclature applied to these 
disturbed strata. 

The greatest angle which an inclined stratum 
makes >yith the horizon is known as the angle of 
dip of the stratum, and the direction in which the 
stratum plunges down into the crust along the line 
of this greatest angle is the direction of dip. 
Imagine that the roof of a house whose ridge runs 
north and south is composed of a bent bed. Then 
the dip is east on one side and west on the other, 
and if the greatest angle of the slope is 30"", the bed 
would be said to dip to the east or west at 30°. A 
horizontal line at right angles to the direction of dip 
is known as the line of strike of the beds. Thus, 
in the above example, the ridge of the roof lies along 
the line of strike, which is always at right angles 
to the direction of greatest inclination, along which 
a stream of water would flow if it were poured upon 
the surface of the bed. The line along which a plane 
of stratification (or a plane of joint, fault, cleavage, 
or foliation) comes to the surface of the ground is 
spoken of as its outcrops and the outcrop of the 
stratum is when the bed itself comes to the surface, 
in this case not as a line, but as a narrow belt 
bounded by approximately parallel lines of stratifi- 
cation, and a bed or divisional plane is spoken of 
as cropping out along such a belt or line. 


The folds into which inch'ned strata are thrown 
are known to geologists by different names accord- 
ing to their character, but it will be convenient to use 
less technical terms in the body of the work, though 
the technical names are given here for purposes of 
reference. Fig. i shows the character of some of 
these folds. 

When the strata dip away on either side from 
an axis the structure may be termed a saddle 
(anticline), as in A I of figure, while when they dip 
towards an axis, as in A 2, we have a trough (syncline). 
When strata are horizontal, then dip in any direction, 
and once more become horizontal, we get a hogback 
{monocline), as in A 3. B i and B 2 show the 
method in which the strata of a saddle and trough 
crop out upon a flat surface (if the top of the fold be 
cut offj. The arrow indicates the direction of the 
dip, and the numbers the angle. Thus the axes of 
the saddle and trough here run north and south, 
and the beds dip at an angle of 45° east and west, 
away from the axis in the former figure, towards it 
in the latter. If the strata, instead of being folded 
around an axial line, are folded round a point, the 
saddle is replaced by a dome (B 3), and the trough 
by a basin (B 4). It will be seen that the section 
across a dome is similar to that across a saddle at 
right angles to its axis, and that of a basin to that 
of a trough, though the outcrop of the beds in plan 
is different. In nature the domes and basins are 
usually somewhat unsymmetrical, and we get every 
gradation from the ideal saddles and troughs to the 
symmetrical domes and basins. When a fold con- 
sisting of saddle and trough has been continued 
until the central part has been turned over, as in 


A 4 (Fig. i), so that in that part the stratum i, 
originally below, now rests upon the stratum a, the 
fold is termed an ovcrfold. 

(b) Joint-planes, — In addition to the planes of 
stratification which separate strata, we often find a 
number of more or less regular planes running at 
different angles to the stratification - planes, and 
similar planes are found in igneous rocks. They 
may be, and in many cases have been, produced in 
different ways, but it is not our province to consider 
their mode of production. They clearly differ from 
the planes of stratification, and there is this important 
difference between them and cleavage -planes, that, 
whereas the rock between two contiguous joint-planes 
shows no tendency to split parallel to the joint- 
planes, that between adjoining cleavage-planes in 
a fragment of a cleaved rock may be split up into 
extremely thin plates, whose surfaces run parallel 
with the two cleavage faces with which we com- 
menced ; indeed, with delicate tools, the splitting 
process may be carried on almost indefinitely. The 
joints are often very irregular, but we frequently find 
the more important ones running with a considerable 
degree of regularity. The columnar jointing of basalt 
and other rocks is somewhat rare, and need not be now 
considered, but both igneous and aqueous rocks often 
show parallel systems of joints, which allow the rock 
to be broken with comparative ease into rectangular 
masses. These joints are termed master-joints. In 
igneous rocks three sets of master-joints, each at 
right angles to the other two, must exist, in order 
that the rock may be separated into rectangular 
blocks. In stratified rocks the planes of stratification 
already form one set of planes of weakness, and these 


rocks may be separated into rectangular blocks if 
two sets of joints exist When the strata are 
horizontal the master-joints tend to be vertical and 
at right angles to one another. Thus if one set 
runs north and south the other will run east and 

Very important to us is the relationship which 
frequently exists between the direction of the dip 
and strike of inclined strata and that of the master- 
joints. One set usually runs parallel to the line of 
strike, the other in the direction of dip, the former 
being termed strike-joints and the latter dip-joints. 
Of these the strike-joints are usually more important 
than those parallel to the dip ; also the planes of the 
strike-joints in inclined strata will in most cases be 
approximately at right angles to the planes of the 
strata. Thus if the strata dip at 30** to the east 
the strike-joints may slope downwards towards the 
west at an angle of 6o^ 

(c) Fault-planes, — The existence of strata thrown 
into folds proves that in the circumstances in which 
the rocks were folded they had lost much of the 
rigidity which they normally possess ; but, never- 
theless, in many cases movement of the strata has 
occurred in a way which prevented the rocks from 
being accommodated to the new conditions by 
folding only, and they have become fractured, and 
the relative position of the rocks on the two sides 
of the fracture has been altered, the rocks on one 
side having been carried up or down relatively to 
those on the other side of the plane of fracture, 
giving rise to what is known as a fault, as illustrated 
in section in Fig. 2, where the portion of the stratum 
c on the right of the section, which was otvce eoiv- 


tinuous with c on the left, has been thrown down,^ 
so that it now abuts against another bed. The 
fissure X F is an actual plane of discontinuity, 
comparable with a joint-plane, and indeed it is a 
joint-plane, along which differential movement of 
the rocks has occurred. Accordingly we often find 
one set of important faults which have a trend 
parallel to the strike of the strata and another set 
at right angles ; these are strike-faults and dip- 
faults. To the student of scenery faults are of 

Surface of X qrovjid 




importance chiefly because they frequently cause 
rocks of different degrees of durability to exist in 

(d) Cleavage-planes. — When rocks have been sub- 
jected to intense lateral compression the particles 
of the rock become flattened in the direction of 
pressure and elongated in a direction at right angles 
to this, and the rock has a tendency to split into 
thin plates at right angles to the direction in which 
the pressure was applied. Rocks which possess this 
property are known as slates, and the planes along 
which fission occurs are cleavage-planes. As these 

^ The side of the fault where the strata are relatively lower is termed 
the downthrow side, the opposite being the upthrow side. These 
terms are used for convenience, without assuming that one side has 
been actually pushed downwards and the other upwards. 


planes are frequently parallel over wide regions and 
often highly inclined to the horizon, cleaved rocks 
are very prone to become affected by the agents of 
disintegration, whose operations will be subsequently 
considered, and a country occupied by slaty rocks 
often exhibits characteristic scenic features. 

(e) Foliation - planes. — Many metamorphic rocks 
consist of felted masses of crystals, whose longer 
a^^es lie parallel, and the rocks exhibit a fissile 
structure, the planes of fissility being also parallel 
to the direction of the longer axes of the crystals. 
These rocks are termed schists, and the planes of 
fissility are spoken of as foliation-planes. There is 
no doubt that these rocks are closely related to 
slates, which also frequently exhibit a crystalline 
structure, and we find every gradation from slate to 
schist. In some cases the foliation-planes were 
originally stratification-planes, and in others planes 
of cleavage. Consequently the planes of discon- 
tinuity in schists are comparable with other planes, 
and the rocks are here placed in a separate class 
chiefly on account of their characteristic texture, 
owing to the parallelism of the more or less coarsely 
crystalline components. 

It will be seen that the distinctions above given 
enable the rocks to be separated into classes closely 
comparable with those adopted by Ruskin. The 
igneous rocks largely contain his massive crystallines, 
the foliated rocks his slaty crystallines, the cleaved 
rocks his slaty coherents, and the ordinary stratified 
rocks his compact coherents. 


THE changes which produce the characteristic 
forms in sky, sea, and surface of the solid land 
are strictly comparable upon broad lines, and may be 
separated into three divisions, namely, accumulation, 
elevation and depression, and sculpture. 

Accumulation is concerned with bringing together 
of the material which will subsequently be moulded 
into the various forms which delight the eye, whether 
of cloud, terrestrial water-surface, or dry land, and in 
each case the effect of accumulation is to give rise to 
comparatively level surfaces, which, in the absence of 
other change, would present a monotonous aspect 
Commencing with the atmosphere, we find that it is 
divisible into layers whose surfaces are approximately 
parallel with the earth's surface, each layer, under 
conditions of equilibrium, having a temperature 
differing from that of the layers above and beneath, 
and accordingly capable of retaining a different 
amount of aqueous vapour. When this aqueous 
vapour condenses, it tends to accumulate in level 
layers, if the barometric and other conditions are 
uniform over wide spaces, and accordingly we have 
an accumulation of cloud with a flat upper surface. 
Turning to the hydrosphere, as water tends to seek 


-5-1 K -■■■y'.' YOKK 

r},yjZ LIBRARY. 

T H.piV.N hOUNDAr.O'-'-:- 


its own level, the sheets of water when at rest have 
also a flat upper surface. This flatness in the case of 
the Hthosphere is caused by the accumulation of 
stratified rocks in horizontal layers, so that if the 
ocean, which is the great receptacle of sediment, 
continuously received deposit, and no other change 
took place, it would eventually be silted up, and 
converted into a level plane, whose surface would 
coincide with that of the present ocean surface, 
though, apart from this complete silting up, a flat 
surface is produced beneath the ocean-top by the 
level deposit of material. 

Elevation and depression modify these monoto- 
nous surfaces, diversifying them by the production 
of dome and basin or ridge and trough, the former 
being usually more local than the latter. The ridge 
and trough structure is due to the formation of a 
series of waves, and air-waves, water-waves, and 
earth-waves are comparable with one another, though 
produced by different causes, which in each case 
bring about differential movement of horizontal 
surfaces in contact with one another. One layer of 
air moving over another throws the lower one into 
waves, which are often defined by the condensed 
aqueous vapour in the lower layer; air moving over 
water similarly throws the water into waves ; and, 
lastly, differential movement of different layers of 
the earth's crust causes the rocks to be thrown into 
waves, which are often defined by the superficial 
contour of the ground, as well as by the folding of 
the planes of stratification. The identity of ap- 
pearance of these waves is illustrated by the plate 
showing clouds in the Eden Valley, and Fig. 3 
showing earth-waves in the Jura. The p\ale s\vo^^ 


the upper surface of a fog, with waves produced 
by a light breeze. It was taken on a calm day 
in January, by Mr. E. J. Garwood, from the slopes 
of the Crossfell range, overlooking the Eden Valley 
in Westmorland. Fig. 3, reproduced from The 
Limestone Alps of Savoy, by kind permission of 
the author, Mr. W. G. CoUingwood, is a bird's-eye 
view of part of the Jura mountains and the Alps of 
Savoy, near Geneva, and admirably illustrates the 
wave-like character of these mountain ranges. The 
similarity between the cloud-waves, earth-waves, and 
ordinary water-waves is rendered perfectly clear by 
these illustrations. Dome - structure may be pro- 
duced in fluid as well as in solid media — witness the 
cumulus cloud, the geyser, and the laccolite — but the 
wave-structure is sufficient for purposes of illustration. 
As the result of this change the flat surfaces produced 
by accumulation are converted into surfaces present- 
ing alternate convex ridges and concave hollows. 

Further diversity is produced by the agents of 
sculpture. We need only mention in passing the 
effects of these agents upon air and water-waves, but 
must devote some consideration to the changes which 
are brought about by them upon the earth-waves. 

The undulating clouds produced owing to differ- 
ential movements are sculptured by winds and by 
differences of temperature. The wind breaks the 
masses of condensed vapour into fantastic forms, 
and a somewhat similar result is produced by the 
evaporation of a fragment of cloud here and the 
condensation of a portion of vapour there. The 
ocean waves are broken up by wind, ultimately 
producing the storm -wrack and spin -drift of the 
tempest-tossed sea. 



Similarly the earth-waves are carved out by the 
^raviii^-tools of nature, and the effects are generally 
similar to those produced on ocean-waves by the 
wind. Indeed, all writers upon mountain scenery 
have Ix^cn led to compare the serried ranks of hills 
with the broken billows of a stormy sea. Let me 
(liiote an instance: "Suppose the sea waves exalted 
to nearly a thousand times their normal height, crest 
them with foam, and fancy yourself upon the most 
commanding crest, with the sunlight from a deep 
blue heaven illuminating such a scene, and you will 
have some idea of the form under which the Alps 
present themselves from the summit of the Weiss- 
horn. East, west, north, and south, rose those 
* billows of a granite sea,' back to the distant heaven, 
which they hacked into an indented shore." ^ 

The scenery of the earth's crust is mainly depend- 
ent upon three things, namely, the structure of the 
crust, the nature of the sculpturing agent or agents^ 
and the character of the climate. The processes of 
sculpture are known to geologists by the name of 
denudation. Denudation is the stripping of por- 
tions of rock from one place and their removal 
to another, and is performed by agents which are 
generally familiar to all. Among these agents may 
be mentioned change of temperature, wind, rain, frost, 
rivers, sea waves, and action of organisms, for the 
most part assisted by gravitation, as the result of 
which the material is carried from a higher to a 
lower level, and ultimately to the sea, if not checked. 
Thus the land is the great theatre of destruction by 
denuding agencies, and the ocean the great re- 
ceptacle of the sediment produced by these agencies. 

^ Tyndall, Mountaineering in i86iy chap. vi. 


Let us take our stand at the foot of some mountain 
cliff on a winter day. The stillness of the frosty air 
is ever and anon broken by the fall of a fragment 
of rock from the cliff on to the slope beneath. 
This fragment has commenced its journey seaward. 
The spring freshet, generated by the melting of the 
snow, may wash one fragment into the mountain 
burn, there to be dashed against many a similar 
fragment, knocking off its asperities, and rounding 
it, while the broken portions are worn into particles 
of sand and dust If we take up a position on some 
bridge in the lower reaches of the river during a 
heavy flood, we shall find the swollen waters turbid 
with the sediment produced by the breakage of the 
rocks above, and following the river still further to 
its junction with the ocean, may notice the sand banks 
and mud flats accumulating by the deposition of the 
sediment where the current of the river is checked 
upon entering the sea. Our rock -fragment and 
many another have now found rest until disturbed 
by other changes. If we travel far from our own 
country to the arid deserts of sub-tropical regions or 
the ice-bound hills of the arctic tracts, we shall notice 
that the agents are in some ways different, but the 
ultimate effects the same. The materials composing 
the crust are constantly being broken up, and carried 
from a higher to a lower level, where they are spread 
out to form fresh deposits. The agents, I say, are 
in some ways different, and here the effects of climate 
are noticed. Nature works in the wet way and in 
the dry way, to borrow an expression from the 
chemist, and where she carries out the processes of 
denudation in the wet way, in regions subjected to 
considerable rainfall, the scenic results differ in kitvd 


from those characteristic of deserts and arctic lands, 
where much of the work is performed in the dry 

The agents of denudation are at work over all 
parts of the earth's surface above sea level, though 
their effects are more marked in some places than in 
others. In one place rain is the principal s^ent, in 
another frost, in a third the brook or river, and 
accordingly one part of the surface is more worn 
than another, and the monotony of the wave-curve 
is broken by the removal of less material from one 
place than from an adjoining one. But the difference 
between the aspect of two places is further empha- 
sised by the difference of structure. One rock is 
more durable than another, and resists the work of 
denudation to a greater extent Some rocks are 
harder than others, and tend to stand out after 
denudation has been in operation for some time. 
Some are soluble, others practically insoluble, and 
in this case the insoluble rock will tend to form 
eminences, the soluble depressions. One rock may 
be separated into numerous blocks by planes of 
lamination, joints, and cleavage-planes, another may 
possess fewer divisional planes, and the former will be 
more easily worn away than the latter. 

Again, though some agent of denudation is at 
work on all parts of the earth's surface, the amount 
of material which accumulates may be greater than 
that which is removed, and the character of the 
surface on which accumulation takes place will differ 
according to the nature of the accumulation. The 
talus slope at the base of the cliff, the alluvial flat by 
the riverside, the sand - dune on the sea-shore, the 
cone of the volcanic vent, are caused by excess of 


accumulation over material removed by denudation. 
Each has its own character, and tends to diversify 
the earth's surface. 

We shall further find that differential movements of 
portions of the earth's surface produce their effects 
upon scenery over and above the development of 
the earth -waves. The earthquake shock tilts up 
parts of the earth and depresses others, producing 
fault-cliffs, landslips, and often damming back the 
waters of rivers, causing lakes. A similar ponding 
back of waters is produced by slower movements, 
which occur so gradually that we are not aware of 
them except by their effects. 

As the results of accumulation here, of denudation 
there, of difference of climate in different places, of 
difference of rock -structure, of variations in the 
nature and energy of the denuding agents, of 
differences in the nature and amount of the materials 
which are accumulated, and, lastly, of the operation 
of earth-movements, we are presented with those 
diversified features of our earth's surface which it is 
our present object to study in detail. Here we meet 
with mountain chains, there with rivers meandering 
through their valleys; in one place is the desert- 
floor, in another the fenland flat. Anon we stand 
by the sparkling mountain tarn ; again we wander 
along the salty borders of the inland sea. At one 
portion of the river -course we find the stream 
foaming amid boulders, or hurled boldly over the 
precipice,' at another winding sluggishly through 
oozy swamps. At one time we may be standing 
above the seething cauldron of the volcanic vent, at 
another watching the apparently motionless sweep 
of the glacier. The eye may be gladdened by \.\\^ 


vivid carpet of Alpine flowers or saddened by the 
monotonous hue of the desert scrub. We may gaze 
at the vivid colouring of the striped rocks of the 
American gorge or the white glint of the chalk cliffs 
of Albion, at the turbid waters of the Yellow Sea or 
the azure hue of the Alpine tarn. Over all is the 
ever-changing sky, with the clouds hurrying past, 
driven by the tempest, or wreathing languidly around 
the mountain-peak. Happy is the man who takes 
heed of these things, and pleasurable are the 
emotions which are excited by inquiry into the 
causes which have produced them ! And lives there 
one who, communing thus with Nature, and admitted 
to some of her secrets, is not led to ponder with 
reverence upon the First Great Cause? 


THE atmosphere is a gaseous envelope, consisting 
of a mechanical mixture of various substances 
surrounding the lithosphere and hydrosphere, and 
extending outwards to an unknown distance (pro- 
bably not less than 200 miles) from the surface of 
the lithosphere. As is well known, it consists 
essentially of a mixture of about seventy-nine parts 
of nitrogen and twenty-one of oxygen ; of these 
oxygen is by far the more important constituent ; 
of the other components which are important with 
reference to our present inquiries may be mentioned 
aqueous vapour and carbon dioxide (carbonic acid 
gas), while the solid particles which are derived 
from the lithosphere and float in the air are also 
of importance. 

Colours in the Sky, — The prevalent blue colour in 
the clear sky is produced in a way which is still a 
topic for discussion among physicists, and it would 
require a fuller acquaintance with physical principles 
than can be assumed here in order to present the 
reader with an intelligible idea of the suggestions 
which have been made to account for this blue 
colour. Lord Rayleigh many years ago suggested 
that the colour was due to the occurrence of solid 



particles in the air. It is generally known that a 
ray of white light when passed through a prism is 
broken up into a number of coloured rays, the solar 
spectrum, varying from violet to red. The length of 
the waves of different coloured light varies, the 
waves of the red light being longest, those of the 
violet shortest. Now, just as a post standing in 
the water will stop and reflect the small waves and 
let the larger ones pass by, so the short waves may 
be stopped by particles which allow the larger ones 
to pass, and the short ones are reflected to the 
observer, and are visible to him as blue ; as a result 
of this the sky appears blue. Recent experiments 
by Professor Dewar, however, show that the colour 
of pure oxygen is blue, and the colour of the air may 
be simply that of one of its most important con- 

Whatever be the cause of the blue colour, the 
yellow and red colours seen at sunset are generally 
recognised as due to the obstruction of the rays of 
small wave-length. In this case the colour seen is 
due to transmitted, and not to reflected, light ; hence 
it is the rays of greater wave-length, which are not 
obstructed by the particles, which appear to the 
observer. As the obstructing particles are found in 
greater abundance in the lower strata of the at- 
mosphere, the effect of the obstruction is emphasised 
as the sun sinks lower, and the violet and blue 
colours are replaced by yellow and orange, and 
finally by red.^ 

^ The rose-coloured glow seen on the higher Alps when the sun 
is below the horizon depends partly upon the above conditions, which 
are further complicated. The reader will find an explanation of the 
rosy glow given by Mr. J. Ball in a note appended to chap. viL 
of Peaks^ Fosses^ and Glaciers, 


Any occurrence which causes the existence of an 
abnormal number of the obstructing particles in the 
atmosphere will intensify the character of the sunset 
colours. Readers will recollect the remarkable sun- 
set glows which were visible in our country as well 
as in others during the winter and spring following 
the violent outbreak of the volcanoes of Krakatoa 
in 1883. There is evidence that the wave of air 
produced by the eruption travelled more than three 
times round the earth, and that fine dust from the 
volcano was carried with it, and there is good reason 
for supposing that the vivid sunset effects referred to 
above were produced as the result of the existence 
of this dust in the atmosphere.^ 

Nature and Forms of Clouds, — The importance of 
the presence of aqueous vapour in the atmosphere 
has already been noted. Different portions of the 
atmosphere contain varying proportions of aqueous 
vapour, the usual proportion being about 1*5 per 
cent., and this when condensed forms cloud. It is 
evident that the atmosphere cannot contain an un- 
limited quantity of the vapour, and when it holds 
as much as it can carry without any portion being 
condensed it is said to be saturated. 

It is also known that air when at a high tempera- 
ture can hold more vapour than when at a lower 
one ; hence condensation does not always take place 
at the same temperature : in other words, the dew- 
pointy or temperature at which condensation occurs, 
varies with the amount of aqueous vapour in the 
air. The condensation of the vapour gives rise to 
numerous droplets of water which compose clouds ; 

1 See Royal Society Report oti Krakatoa^ 1&&S. 


these when at a low level are termed fogs or 

There are various ways in which the chilling of 
the atmosphere, which brings about condensation, 
may be effected, as (i) radiation ; (ii) ascent of 
moisture-laden air into higher and therefore colder 
rcf^ions of the atmosphere ; (iii) contact of moisture- 
laden air with a cold body as the solid ground ; and 
(iv) admixture of masses of cold and hot air. 

The form of clouds depends to a large extent upon 
movements of the atmosphere, which are in turn due 
to differences of barometric pressure. The way in 
which these movements are set up will be referred 
to anon. But though winds produce marked effects 
upon the clouds, their primary shape depends upon 
movements which take place so slowly that they 
would hardly be termed winds, and these movements 
take place vertically as well as horizontally, the 
shapes of some clouds being largely due to vertical 
movements, those of others to movements in a hori- 
zontal direction, while others again are produced by 
a combination of the two sets of movements. 

Clouds may be classified according to their shapes, 
or according to their modes of origin, but as the 
former is largely dependent upon the latter, the two 
classifications are similar. Nevertheless, there is still 
much diversity of opinion as to the classification to 
be adopted. Clouds were originally classified by Mr. 
L. Howard in 1803.^ He defined three primary types 

^ Mr. J. AlTKEN {Trans. Roy. Soc.y Edin.y vol. xxx., p. 337) 
maintains that the presence of foreign bodies as particles of dust in 
the atmosphere is necessary to the production of condensation. This 
necessity has been questioned. 

* Howard, L., Essay on the Modifications of Clouds, 


of cloud, namely cirrus^ cumulus, and stratus, and 
four compound types formed by combinations of 
these : cirro-cumulus, cirro-stratus, cumulo-stratus, and 
nimbus ; the last is a term applied to any cloud from 
which rain is falling, and can hardly be included 
among the other types, and accordingly we are left 
with three primary and three secondary types.^ 

According to their origin, Mr. Clement Ley classifies 
clouds as clouds of radiation, including some kinds of 
fog, clouds of inversion, as cumulus, clouds of interfret, 
as stratus, and clouds of inclination, as cirrus, and it 
will be most convenient to adopt this classification 
when considering the principal types of cloud. 

(i) Clouds of Radiation. — The ground becomes 
cooled by radiation of heat into space, and when 
cooled below dew-point the air in immediate contact 
with the ground deposits its moisture as dew, but 
the air above this, containing solid particles, is also 
chilled, and the solid particles themselves become 
cooled by radiation. Accordingly moisture is de- 
posited on the solid particles, giving rise to one 
form of fog. This may be complicated when low 
ground is surrounded by higher ground by inter- 
mixture of cold, vapour-charged air from the higher 
ground with that which immediately overlies the low 
country. The fog whose upper surface is seen in 
the plate showing clouds in the Eden Valley was of 
this composite character. Fogs due to radiation have 

^ The reader will find an account of cloud -shapes and cloud-forma- 
tion in Elementary Meteorology, by R. H. Scott, F.R.S. (International 
Scientific Series); in Clotidland, by the Rev. W. Clement Ley 
(Stanford, 1894); and in a paper by A. F. Osler, "On the Normal 
Forms of Clouds," Report of the British Association for 1886 (Bir- 
mingham), p. 530. From these works the account of clouds given here 
is largely taken. 


been termed "radiation fogs" by Herschel, to dis- 
tinguish them from other fogs, which present affinities 
to other classes of cloud, for "clouds . . . are really 
nothing else but fog or mist, and the most solid- 
looking night-cap on a hill-top is found by those 
who are enveloped in it to be neither more nor less 
than a driving mist."^ 

(ii) Clouds of Inversion, — These clouds are due to 
an upward movement of a portion of the atmo- 
sphere, which tends to produce interchange of air 
between lower and higher atmospheric strata. The 
upward movement is due to a mass of air in a lower 
stratum being rendered lighter than it was previously, 
either owing to its becoming charged with vapour, 
thus diminishing its specific gravity, or on account of 
its expansion when heated by the rays of the sun. 
As the rising column of air reaches higher altitudes, 
it becomes chilled, and some of the vapour is con- 
densed, forming cloud, the base of which may be 
level. The process of condensation liberates heat, 
which causes further rise and condensation, until the 
upper part of the* column becomes chilled below 
the temperature of the surrounding air, and a down- 
ward movement takes place at the top. In this way, 
speaking briefly, are formed cumulus clouds, which 
have not inaptly been compared by Tyndall to the 
steam escaping from the funnel of a locomotive. The 
friction of the particles of the minute droplets is 
sufficient to prevent them from falling when raised 
to the required height.^ These cumulus clouds are, 
in our country, essentially clouds of summer, and 
also clouds of the day-time. 

' Scott, R. H. op. ciL^ p. 123. 

* For further account of formation of cumulus, see Ley, Cloudland, 
chap. I and Fig. i. 


(ill) Clouds of Intetfret are due to the existence 
of two successive strata of air moving in different 
directions, or moving in the same direction, but with 
different velocities. A certain amount of intermixture 
will take place about the plane of junction, and if 
condensation occur, straight sheets of cloud — stratus 
— will be formed. As has already been seen, a series 
of waves will be developed on the bounding plane, 
as the result of movement, which may give rise to 
various complications. If the upper stratum, as is 
usually the case, is the colder, the wave-crests of the 
lower stratum will be at a higher level than the troughs, 
and therefore the air of the wave-crests colder than 
the air of the troughs. Accordingly condensation may 
occur on the wave-crests, and not in the troughs, thus 
giving rise to detached clouds, which, if the waves 
are linear, will run in parallel lines, while, if the waves 
are complicated, the clouds may be "cut up into small 
waves, ripples, and vortices like a * choppy sea.* In 
this . . . case we have innumerable patches and 
flecks of cloud so often seen in fairly quiet weather 
in summer."^ The wavy surface of the fog seen in 
the plate showing the upper surface of cloud in the 
Eden Valley is due to the movement of an upper 
stratum over a lower one, the latter in this case 
being the cooler, but here the waves are due to 
mechanical disturbance of air in which the vapour 
has already been condensed. Condensation in the 
crests of complex waves is undoubtedly the cause 
of one form of the cloud-group which is somewhat 
loosely spoken of as " mackerel - sky," and this 
particular form is termed stratus maculosus by 
Mr. Ley, though some writers upon clouds have 
1 Ley, C, op. cit,, p. 13. 


called the mackerel -sky cirro-cumulus. There is, 
however, another way in which a stratiform mass 
of vapour may be cut up into detached por- 
tions, as described by Mr. Osier, by a combina- 
tion of lateral and vertical movements. Suppose 
that a sheet of stratus - cloud, produced by 
differential horizontal movement of adjacent strata, 
is bodily elevated as a result of vertical movement, 
greatest at one point, and dying out laterally ; the 
original flat mass will take a gentle curved form, and 
will therefore occupy more superficial area than 
before, and the cloud will be ruptured in the same 
way as a pane of glass when struck by a stone. 
As Mr. Osier remarks, it "will be rent into frag- 
ments or small groups, and thus produce what is 
called a * mackerel-sky,* just as a similar result is 
produced, but by the reverse action, in mud that 
has dried up and shrunk into small patches while 
the damp earth beneath remains expanded by the 
moisture it still contains." 

As the result of vertical movement followed by 
horizontal movement, cumulus cloud, as noted by 
Mr. Osier, may be converted into a stratiform cloud, 
cumulo-stratus. " The friction of the earth from the 
irregularities of its surface, and the denser state of 
the lower air, causing it to flow less rapidly than 
that which is higher and more attenuated, the upper 
portion of a cloud moves more rapidly than the 
lower, and the cumulus shears over into a slanting 
position, and finally assumes the form of the cumulo- 
stratus, and, however reduced in depth or thickness 
the cloud may become by this flattening and some- 
what attenuating process, the cumulus character, 
though much diminished, is seldom, if ever, entirely 


obliterated." The writer aptly illustrates this by 
reference to the flat brown cloud of smoke from a 
passing steamer, which came from the funnel in 
great rounded masses. We may sometimes observe 
one set of clouds having a linear arrangement per- 
pendicular to the direction in which the wind is 
blowing, while another set has a linear arrangement 
parallel to this direction. When the wind is slight, 
cloud waves are developed at right angles to the 
direction in which the wind is blowing. With a 
strong wind, we often notice bars of stratiform cloud 
running parallel to the wind's direction, and if the 
wind be strong near the earth's surface and gentler 
above, two sets of stratiform clouds may occur at 
the same time, the upper with lines at right angles 
to the wind's direction and the lower arranged in 
lines parallel to it. 

The cloud-banner, which is often observed on the 
lee-side of a mountain, is a particular form of stratus, 
condensation only taking place in the upper, faster- 
moving stratum when it is chilled below dew-point 
by contact with the cold surface of the mountain. 
As is well known, though the cloud is often stationary, 
it is constantly changing its substance, fresh vapour 
being condensed against the mountain as the pre- 
viously condensed vapour becomes evaporated some 
distance on the lee-side of the mountain. 

(iv) Clouds of Inclination. — The principal clouds of 
inclination are cirrus, which are formed high above 
the earth's surface. In the rarefied atmosphere at 
these heights, when water vapour is condensed into 
cloud, it can fall, owing to its weight, to lower parts 
of the atmosphere, and if these are moving more 
slowly than the upper layers, as will probably be the 


case, the upper part of the cloud moves faster than 
the lower, which lags behind, thus giving rise to the 
characteristic curved form of the cirrus or curl-cloud. 
As the condensed vapour falls still lower it gets to 
a stratum in which the air is sufficiently warm to 
allow of the re-evaporation of the condensed matter, 
and thus the cloud probably ends in a point It is 
known, from observation of the characters of haloes 
and mock-suns, that these elevated clouds of inclina- 
tion are often formed of spicules of ice, and not of 
drops of water. 

There is general agreement as to the mode of 
origin of the primary types of clouds, but enough has 
been said to show that the various processes which 
form and shape the clouds may act in combination, 
and when we add to this the modifications which 
are produced by winds, changes of temperature, and 
other minor causes, after the clouds have once been 
formed, we need not be astonished at the infinite 
variety presented by cloud outlines, which, while 
rendering the sky a subject for profound contempla- 
tion and reverence by the lover of scenery, causes 
the student of cloud -classification to experience a 
feeling of bewilderment when he is confronted with 
the great differences in the nomenclature adopted 
by different writers in their treatment of secondary 
and complex cloud-types. 

Distribution of Clouds. — It has already been noted 
that certain clouds occur at some times and seasons 
more than at others ; in other words, clouds have a 
diurnal as well as an annual distribution ; but, besides 
this distribution in time, we have a distribution in 
space, both horizontal and vertical. With regard to 
the vertical distribution, it is easily seen that- clouds 


' of different types do not exist at the same height ; 
many of us have been in or above stratus or even 
secondary types of cumulus, and still found cirrus far 
above us. The following may be taken as the average 
heights for the primary types of cloud : — 

Stratus . . 3000 to 20,000 feet. 

Cumulus . . 4000 to 10,000 „ 

Cirrus . . 25,000 to 30,000 „ 

The horizontal distribution of different kinds of 
clouds in space is affected by the time-variations, 
but over and above this it is specially affected by 
types of weather, and the connection of different 
types of clouds with weather variations is a matter 
of such great importance to us that it is remarkable 
how little interest is evinced in it by the majority of 
people. The local shepherd "can discern the face 
of the sky" and foretell the weather with considerable 
accuracy as the result of close observation of the 
changes in the heavens, but comparatively few 
people are weatherwise owing to their knowledge 
of these changes, and most of us base our 
prognostications on the changes of the barometer, 
and are apt to speak lightly of the weather 
reports in our daily papers, though these are 
drawn up as the result of barometric observations 
over wide areas in addition to numerous observations 
on thq character of the sky in these areas. We read 
that " a cyclone is approaching our shores," and if 
we give more thought to it, we are probably satisfied 
with a further statement that " showery weather may 
be experienced in our northern and north-western 
counties," and may give no heed to the glorious 
changes in the canopy of clouds which are likely to 


accompany the passag^e of this cyclone. Let us 
bricn\- consider the probable nature of these changes. 
It will be necessary at the outset to say something 
about cyclones. 

The atmosphere is heated by the sun, but it is 
transj)arcnt to the direct rays of the sun, and receives 
its heat from the dark rays given off by the earth's 
surface. Accordingly the lower strata of the earth 
become most heated, and the temperature falls as 
one passes from sea-level to higher altitudes. Now, 
heated air expands, and a given bulk becomes lighter 
when heated, on account of this expansion, and also 
because hot air can hold more water vapour than 
cold, and the water vapour is lighter than the air 
which it displaces. The lighter heated air tends to 
rise, and accordingly, if one spot in the earth's surface 
is heated more than the surrounding area, the air 
above the spot rises, and the column of air above 
that spot is higher than those above the surrounding 
places, and the top of this elevated column will flow 
out at the top of the atmosphere in order to restore 
equilibrium, just as water will flow from one vessel 
to another when the surface of the water is at a 
different level in the two vessels if the barrier 
between them be removed. As a result of this, the 
columns of air around the column which rose owing 
to expansion will contain more air than they did 
originally, and these columns will therefore press 
on the earth's surface with force greater than that 
exerted before the disturbance of equilibrium. We 
have, in fact, a point of low barometric pressure, 
surrounded by a ring or area of high barometric 
pressure. This system is not yet in equilibrium, 
and equilibrium is restored by the movement of 


air from the ring of high pressure to the point of 
low pressure just above the surface of the earth. 
Air, then, tends to flow upwards and outwards in the 
higher regions of the atmosphere from areas of low 
pressure to areas of high pressure, and to flow down- 
wards and inwards in the strata immediately over- 
lying the earth's surface from areas of high pressure 
to areas of low pressure. It is the latter movements 
which specially concern us. 

If the earth were stationary, the movements would 
be in straight lines, but, owing to the earth's rotation, 
the movements are really spiral. The earth is 
rotating on its axis from west to east, and the air 
is carried round with it. Thus a point on the equator 
performs a journey of about 24,000 miles per diem, 
and the same is the case with a particle of air just 
above it, while a point at the poles is stationary, and 
points situated between pole and equator perform 
a longer or shorter journey according to their near- 
ness to, or remoteness from, the equator. Now, a 
particle of air moving in a northerly or southerly 
direction retains for some time the initial velocity 
which it possessed owing to the movement of rotation. 
Suppose a particle of air in the northern hemisphere 
to be travelling from north to south ; it proceeds from 
a place with relatively small velocity to one with 
greater, and accordingly appears to lag behind, and, 
instead of reaching a point due south of its starting- 
point will, reach one south-westward of it. Again, a 
particle in the same hemisphere travelling from south 
to north starts with considerable velocity, communi- 
cated by the earth's rotation, and travels to a point 
where the velocity of a point on the earth is less 
than its own ; so it appears to advance instead cA 


lagging behind, and, instead of reaching a point due 
north of its starting-point, will reach one to the north- 
eastward. In each case the wind is deflected to the 
right of its direct course, and this is so with all winds 
in the northern hemisphere, except those blowing 
due cast or due west It will be found that in the 
southern hemisphere the winds are similarly deflected, 
but to the left of their direct course. In the case of 
a point of low pressure surrounded by a ring of high 


\ ' 1 


A B 

Fig. 4. 

A. Cyclone. X. Low-pressure point. 

B, Anti-cyclone, Y. High-pressure point. 

Arrows show direction of wind. 

pressure area the winds to the north of the point are 
deflected westward, those to the south of it eastward, 
and air does not flow in directly to the point of low 
pressure from all surrounding points, but flows in 
spirally in a direction contrary to the direction of 
movement of the hands of a watch in the northern 
hemisphere. Such a system is called a cyclone 
(Fig. A A). 

A cyclone, then, is a system of winds blowing in 
spirally downwards towards a low pressure area 
from a surrounding area of high pressure, and the 


winds move in a direction contrary to the hands 
of a watch in the northern hemisphere, and in the 
direction of the hands in the southern hemisphere. 

Conversely an anti-cyclone (Fig. 4 ^) is a system of 
winds blowing spirally upwards to a high pressure 
area from a surrounding area of low pressure, and in 
this case the winds move in the direction of the 
hands of a watch in the northern hemisphere, and 
in the contrary direction in the southern hemisphere. 

The velocity of the winds of a cyclonic system is 
generally much greater than that of the winds of an 
anti-cyclonic system, and accordingly cyclones are 
often accompanied by gales and storms, anti-cyclones 
by calm. 

The centre of a wind system is not usually 
stationary for any length of time, but has itself a 
more or less definite path, which, in the case of our 
islands, is usually in a north-easterly direction along 
a line running south-west and north-east; hence we 
so frequently read of cyclones approaching our shores 
from the Atlantic. 

The shape of the system may be circular, or may 
be elliptical. In the latter case, when the longer 
axis of the ellipse is a considerable multiple of the 
shorter diameter, only one side of the ellipse is likely 
to occur over our islands at once ; this forms a figure 
in the shape of a V, and accordingly we speak of 
the half of an elongated cyclone as a V-shaped 
depression^ while that of an elongated anti-cyclone 
is known as a col^ or ridge between two V-shaped 

Now the type of cloud over our islands and 
elsewhere is largely dependent upon the nature of 
the wind system which affects the areas. 


An anti- cyclone is usually marked by quiet 
weather ; the long periods of dry weather in summer, 
the prolonged fogs of autumn, and frosts of winter 
occur during the prevalence of anti - cyclonic con- 
ditions. Clear skies or fogs are frequent accom- 
paniments, or, if the sky be cloudy, we find a haze 
and belts of stratus, with cirrus in the higher 
regions. Anti-cyclonic conditions are by no means 
always conducive to fine scenic effects, and in 
mountain regions especially the hills are apt to be 
obscured by haze for days together, and the colour- 
ing is frequently monotonous. 

When a cyclone passes, there is often a definite 
relationship between the different portions of the 
cyclone and the nature of the cloud. In front^of 
an advancing cyclone, gossamer-like threads of the 
secondary cloud of inclination known as cirro^filum 
are seen, followed by a thicker mass of veil-like cirro- 
velum. This is followed by the nimbus or complex 
mass of cloud, from which rain is discharged. The 
centre of the cyclone is marked by alternate patches 
of blue sky and broken clouds. In the rear of the 
cyclone cumulus is abundant, especially on the south 
side of the system, with stratus on the north side; 
and, lastly, we have bands of cirrus and its secondary, 

Thunderstorms occur when an area is occupied 
by a low-pressure system, though the system is not 
always of the same nature. Most of our summer 
thunderstorms are accompaniments of small, shallow 
depressions (that is, depressions where the pressure 
in the centre is not very different from the pressures 
around), while other thunderstorms occur along the 
^ See diagram. Ley, C, Cloudland^ Plate VI., fiudng p. 176, 


edges of deep, cyclonic disturbances, and may occur 
at all seasons.^ 

* Besides electrical phenomena, there are various optical phenomena, 
as rainbows, mock-suns, haloes, which are of interest to the student of 
scenery, but, on account of their comparative rarity, it is unnecessary 
to treat of them in a work like the present. The reader will find an 
account of them in Mr. R. H. Scott's Elementary Meteorology^ 
X. and xL 



IT is generally recognised that the land surfaces 
of the globe are essentially areas of denudation 
or destruction of rock, and the ocean basins, regions of 
reception and deposition of sediment, in other words 
that rock-strata are on the whole manufactured in 
the oceans, destroyed on the dry land. The oceanic 
origin of the major portion of the strata which now 
form our land surfaces is amply proved by the 
general occurrence of the remains of marine organisms 
within them, and the comparative rarity of terrestrial 
or fresh-water organisms. We have thus indisput- 
able proofs that our land masses have not always 
existed as dry land, but that large tracts of them 
have been submerged beneath the ocean waters. 
Proofs are also forthcoming, though they are naturally 
not so patent, that tracts of present ocean-floor once 
existed as dry land, but as the student of scenery is 
not directly concerned with the aspect of the ocean- 
floor, it is unnecessary to enter into this matter at 

Admitting that extensive tracts of dry land have 
been submerged, it is necessary to account for their 
emergence, which may be brought about in two 
ways : either by movement of the water, or upheaval 



of the outer part of the Hthosphere above water-level. 
Our first thought would naturally be that the level of 
the mobile ocean rather than that of the apparently 
stable earth -crust would be changed in order to 
produce the land masses, but a number of facts prove 
that it is the land which has risen above the ocean 
level, and not the latter which has changed. Promi- 
nent among these, and sufficient for our purpose, is 
the fact that the strata, originally laid down in 
horizontal sheets, are now found inclined at various 
angles, sometimes vertical, or even overturned, and 
as these strata compose the Hthosphere, the statement 
that the strata have been moved is the same as the 
statement that the Hthosphere has been moved. The 
cause, or rather causes, of this movement do not 
directly concern us in our present inquiry, and 
there is a considerable amount of uncertainty on 
the subject in the minds of geologists, though the 
contraction of the earth^s crust is generally con- 
sidered to be the most important factor in producing 
earth movement. The earth is hotter inside than 
outside. Now a cooling body contracts more when 
suffering the loss of a given amount of heat if it 
be at a high temperature than if at a lower one; 
accordingly the hot interior of the earth would 
contract more than the cooler exterior, and tend to 
shrink away from it, but the weight of the exterior 
would prevent the formation of a space, and the 
exterior would settle down in wrinkles, just as an 
apple wrinkles owing to the loss of more moisture 
from the interior than from the rind. Whether this 
be the true explanation or not, inspection of the 
earth's crust shows that it has been wrinkled into 
a wavy surface, very like the surface of an oc^axv 


ruffled by the wind. In places we find evidence 
of alternate ridges and troughs ; in other places, 
where the movements have been complicated, the 
earth is like an ocean surface affected by a choppy 
sea, two or more sets of movements having occurred 
at different angles, and just as the major waves 
of the sea are often accompanied by minor ripples 
on their surfaces, so we find minor folds of the 
earth's crust superposed upon the larger ones. 
Every earth-wave may be looked upon as composed 
of two parts, a trough and an arch, with a septum 
common to the two, and as in the case of the sea- 
wave, so with the earth-wave, there is a tendency for 
the slope of the septum to be steeper than that of 
the other portions of the wave, as shown in Fig. 5. 

In this case the wave system as a whole has moved 
in the direction indicated by the arrow. Now a 
movement of this character, if on a sufficiently lai^e 
scale, might give rise to an ocean basin in the trough 
and a continental uplift on the arch, assuming that 
the crust had previously been exactly at sea-level, 
and we may briefly inquire if there is any evidence 
that continents and ocean basins are due to move- 
ments of this nature.^ 

It requires little study of geological literature to 
discover that as a general rule the most elevated 
parts of continental masses are those in which the 
strata have undergone most disturbance in compara- 
tively recent geological times ; the flat tracts of Russia 
are composed of horizontal strata, the sloping 
plateaux of North America of gently inclined strata, 

^ A very suggestive account of the structure of continents and ocean 
basins will l)e found in Professor Lapworth's address to section C of 
the British Association, Rep, Brit, Assoc. ^ Edinburgh, 1S92, p. 695. 


the craggy summits of the Alpine chains of highly 
contorted rocks, and further study shows that if 
we omit the minor complications, and take into 
account the main features, the contours of the land 
masses, apart from the modifications produced by 
denudation, tally with the slopes which would be 
formed as the result of the various uplifts of which 
we have independent evidence. The structure of 
the lithosphere beneath the oceans is, from the facts 
of the case, hidden, but comparison of the land and 

Fig. 5. 
A, Arch. T, Trough. S, Septum. 

ocean features shows that one is complementary to 
the other, as well shown in Professor Lapworth's 
address, to which reference has just been made : — 

" The surface of each of our great continental masses of 
land resembles that of a long and broad arch-like form, of 
which we see the simplest type in the New World. The 
surface of the North American arch is sagged downwards 
in the middle into a central depression which lies between 
two long marginal plateaux, and these plateaux are finally 
crowned by the wrinkled crests which form its two modern 
mountain systems. The surface of each of our ocean-floors 
exactly resembles that of a continent turned upside down. 
Taking the Atlantic as our simplest type, we may say that 
the surface of an ocean basin resembles that of a mighty 
trough or syncline, buckled up more or less centialV^ \t\X.o ^ 


medial ridge, which is bounded by two long and deep 
marginal hollows, in the cores of which still deeper grooves 
sink lo the profoundest depth. This complementary 
relationship descends even to the minor features of the 
two. Where the great continental sag sinks below the 
ocean level we have our gulfs and our Mediterraneans, 
seen in our type continent as the Mexican Gulf and 
Hudson Bay. Where the central oceanic buckle attains 
tlie waler-linc we have our oceanic islands, seen in our 
type ocean as St. Helena and the Azores. Although the 
aj)parent crust-waves are neither equal in size nor sym- 
metrical in form, this complementary relationship between 
tliem is always discernible. The broad Pacific depression 
seems to answer to the broad elevation of the Old World, 
the narrow trough of the Atlantic to the narrow continent 
of America." 

Similar movements on a smaller scale, as will be 
eventually pointed out, account for our mountain 
uplifts and valleys of depression, and even the 
vtjlcanocs which modify portions of the lithosphere 
owe their geographical distribution to supplementary 
phenomena connected with the production of these 
great earth-waves. 

If a continent were composed exclusively of 
stratified rocks, and produced by one uplift of 
a set of stratified deposits originally laid down 
horizontally on the sea-floor, and if the uplift were 
unaccompanied by denudation, the surface of the 
continent would be completely covered by the upper- 
most stratum, and the bedding planes separating 
the strata would lie in curves parallel to the 
surface of the ground. Study of our continents 
indicates that they are of a much more complex 
character, and due to alternate uplifts above and de- 


pressions beneath the ocean level. Each depression 
will allow of the accumulation of sediment ; each 
uplift raises these sediments to form land, and as that 
land is always subjected to denuding agents, these 
sediments will be partially swept from the land, and 
the edges of the strata will abut against the surface, 
just as if we curved a number of sheets of paper into 
an arch, and cut off the top of the arch : the edges of 
the sheets, which may be taken to represent strata, 
would abut against the surface produced by the 
cutting process. Subsequent depression would admit 
of the deposition of more horizontal strata on the 
upturned edges of the earlier ones. Such an 
arrangement of strata is known to geologists as an 
unconformity^ and the frequency of unconformities 
among the stratified rocks of our land surfaces shows 
that many portions of our continents have been 
submerged and elevated again and again, and that 
each land surface is as a rule not the result of a 
simple uplift, but that they have grown by a process 
of accretion of fresh masses of land at different times. 
In these circumstances it will be well to leave the 
actual structure of our main land surfaces for the 
present, and to consider the events which would 
occur, and modify the land masses, if we commenced 
with a simple uplift of horizontal sediments. 

An ideal symmetrical uplift around a central point 
would give rise to a dome - shaped mass of land 
highest in the centre, and sloping away to the sea 
all round, with a coast-line forming a perfect circle. 
A section through the uplift would show the surface 
existing as a simple convex curve, and the planes of 
stratification beneath it running parallel to the curve 
as shown in Fig. 6. 


It will be more convenient, however, if we imagine 
the uphft as occurring around a horizontal straight 
line instead of above a point, in which case the result 
would be a long ridge, highest above this axial line, 
and sloping to the coasts, which in our imaginary 
continent would form two parallel lines. A section 
of this uplift at right angles to the axial line would 
be precisely similar to the section across the dome, 
shown in Fig. 6. 

We may now consider the relationship of the 
strata to the continent. The axial line of the con- 
tinent is also that of an anticlinal arch or saddle of 

Fig. 6. 

5 5'= Sea-level. 

the strata, and the strata dip away on either side of 
that line towards the coast, while the strike of the 
strata is parallel to the axial line, and therefore to 
the longer axis of the ideal land mass. It will be 
seen that the main watershed is immediately above 
the axial line, and accordingly the primary drainage 
system of the continent will be divided along a line 
coinciding with that from which the strata dip on 
opposite sides in different directions. The rain 
falling on the continent will determine two sets of 
rivers, running from the watershed to either coast 
Thus, in the case of a simple uplift, there is a direct 
connection between the folding of the strata and the 
initiation of the river system. If there were no 


inequalities on the surface, the rivers would run as 
straight lines in the direction of the dip of the 
strata from the watershed to the sea-coasts.^ It 
will be eventually seen that these rivers cut into the 
strata and carve valleys for themselves, thus ex- 
posing the junction between different strata on the 
earth's surface, and also producing secondary water- 
sheds between adjoining rivers. Now, the strata are 
of different degrees of hardness, and it will be found 
that the tributary streams tend to cut along the 
softer strata, and accordingly run at right angles to 
the primary rivers, and parallel to the strike of the 
strata. The primary rivers are known as consequent 
streams, being consequent upon the uplift, while the 
first-formed tributaries, which we shall here alone 
refer to, leaving the consideration of subsidiary 
streams to a future chapter, are termed subsequent 

The formation of these subsequent streams and 
their valleys will give rise to tertiary watersheds 
separating the subsequent streams, and accordingly 
in the case of a symmetrical and simple uplift, such 
as we have described, a river-system of the following 
character will be initiated (Fig. 7). 

An ideal continent then owes its existence and 
broader physical features to its main uplift; its 
mountain masses and plateaux, with the intervening 
broad depressions, are due to the formation of minor 
earth-waves ; if it possesses volcanoes, they will pro- 
bably occur with definite relationship to the major 
uplift ; and the minor features are due to sculpture 

^ All the primary rivers need not rise at the watershed, but some 
may rise at various points between the watershed and the sea. For 
the sake of simplicity, these may be at present ignored. 


by denuding agents, and to occasional accumulation 
mainly in the hollows : while an ideal ocean owes 
its broad features to its main depression ; its smaller 
elevations and depressions are due, as before, to minor 
earth-waves ; volcanoes may modify it, and its coast- 


1 !_ 







I. A 









"s\ — 


—-"I" - 

—I. '- . - 

— '••- 




...1 — 






— 1 




_i^** -- 

— h- 



... |_ 





— .... 


— L.. 

— | — 

I— » 




.«?.' _ 

' 3 







2 2 2. 

Fig. 7. 

I, I = Main watershed. 2, 2 = Secondary watersheds. 
3, 3 = Tertiary watersheds. 

lines will be affected by erosion ; but the principal 
minor modifications, unlike those of the land, are 
produced, not by denudation, but by deposition, 
which tends to fill up the inequalities by the forma- 
tion of blankets of sediment, producing extensive 
plains of deposition upon the ocean floor, ready upon 
uplift to give rise to portions of new continents. 



IT is obvious that as a valley, whether of move- 
ment or of erosion, is complementary to a 
mountain, the origin and structure of the two are 
closely connected, but it will nevertheless be con- 
venient to consider the two apart, though the 
reader will remember that much of what is written 
concerning mountains must be taken into account 
when considering the details of valley structure and 
valley formation. 

Mountains and hills have been classified, accord- 
ing to their formation : — (i.) by accumulation; (ii.) by 
upheaval ; (iii.) by circumdenudation. The hills of 
accumulation are formed by piling of material on 
the earth's surface, and the chief hills formed in 
this manner are volcanoes, while minor hills of 
accumulation are known as sand-hills or sand- 
dunes. Each of these will be more appropriately 
considered in later chapters, and we may here 
confine our attention to the hills of upheaval and 
circumdenudation, which constitute by far the largest 
proportion of the mountains of the globe. 

It is convenient, in our classification, to separate 
hills of upheaval, produced by uplift of portions of 
the earth's crust, from those of circumdenudation, 
due to the erosion of portions of that cy\xs\., 



llicrcln- leaving intervening portions to stand out 
c'ls hills above the general level of the eroded 
porti(Mis, but a moment's reflection will convince 
the reader that an ideal hill of upheaval or of 
circumdenudation cannot exist. The agents of 
enjsion affect all parts of the surface of the land, 
and therefore, however nearly a hill may approach 
to an ideal hill of upheaval, it must owe some of 
its surface features to erosion, whereas, in ^ the case 
of strata formed beneath the ocean, initial uplift 
is necessary before the agents of erosion, whose 
operation is essentially restricted to the land masses, 
can come into play. Nevertheless, as some hills 
owe most of their character to uplift, and others 
to circumdenudation, the division is useful, though 
it must be distinctly understood that a complete 
gradation can be traced from the hill which is 
almost entirely due to uplift, with very slight 
modification due to erosion, to one which is 
blocked out by erosion from an elevated tract of 
plateau region, in which the uplift has been so 
uniform that the outline of the individual hills owes 
practically nothing to uplift, but nearly everything 
to erosion. 

Our study of hill structure will be simplified if 
we consider the effects of uplift first, and those 
of erosion subsequently, though it must be remem- 
bered that in nature erosion commences with 
uplift, and operates simultaneously. As soon as 
the future hill-top has emerged above the water, 
the agents of erosion begin the work of destruction, 
and this destruction goes on while further emergence 
takes place ; and accordingly, in order to have hills 
at all, the uplift must occur in such a way that 


erosion cannot keep pace with it; otherwise the 
potential hill would be reduced to a level, while the 
rocks of which it was composed were pushed up. 

Before discussing the variations of hill structure 
produced by upheaval, a few words are necessary 
concerning the rate of operation of upheaval and 
other agents which are occupied in producing 
various scenic effects. We have every reason for 
supposing that when the race to which belonged 
the flint man of Abbeville and of Kent's Cavern 
occupied Europe the occupants gazed on hill and 
vale possessing much the same features as those 
which they now present ; and if a palaeolithic artist 
had represented Snowdon or Skiddaw on a piece 
of ivory, its outline would be recognisable as 
identical with that which it at present exhibits ; 
indeed, long before the appearance of man in 
Britain, the physical features of our country were 
essentially those of the present time. It is evident 
that no important change has taken place in 
historic times, and the geologist has to deal with 
aeons to which historic times are but as a day. 

No definite idea of the duration of geological 
time can be given ; its vastness becomes impressed 
upon one as the result of observation of geological 
phenomena; the geologist finds that the agents 
which are working at the present time are sufficient 
to account for all the phenomena of the stratified 
rocks with which he is acquainted ; but finding 
how slowly these agents do their work, and how 
insignificant are the changes which have occurred 
during periods of time which to an ordinary man 
seem enormous, he is led to infer that immense 
periods must have elapsed in order to expl^vcv ^\\ 


the changes, inorganic and organic, with whi< 
is acquainted. 

The casual observer, noting the strata 
mountain slope thrown into violent folds, zigzaj 
across the face of a cliff like a series of whip-h 
might easily suppose that these folds are d\ 
rapid and catastrophic movements ; but experi 
will show that under ordinary conditions the 
paratively rigid rocks cannot be bent as the : 
of sudden application of pressure — they will 
across — whereas if pressure be applied slowly 
may be bent into sharp folds. A simple experi 
may be tried with an ordinary stick of sealing 
If one tries to bend it suddenly, it will break a( 
but if pressure be applied very slowly, it mj 
bent into a complete circle with the fingers j 
Experiments of this nature do not neces 
indicate that folding cannot take place rapidly 
the rocks are far below the earth's surface 
affected by the pressure of thousands of fe 
superincumbent rock, but they show that i 
certain conditions rock folding can be produce 
slow pressure, and not by rapid movement 
therefore that violent contortion of the strata 
no means proof of rapid movement. We have 
further evidence of the slowness of movement 
large scale, but it is beyond our scope to enter 
into this question, which the reader will find disc 
in the larger works devoted to the study of geol 

Passing now to a consideration of the typ 
uplift which give rise to mountain masses, we 
divide them at the outset into two, the uplift 
duced as the result of folding of the rocks anc 
due to fracture, or, in other words, mountain t 


filre due (i) to folding; (li) to faulting. It will be 
seen in the sequel that the one is often accompanied 
by the other, but it will make mountain-structure 
dearer to the reader if we omit consideration of all 
complications in this place, and take ideal forms into 

Commencing with primary forms of mountain 
xnasses due to folding, we have the dome and the 
xidge, the former being the result of the bending 
of the strata into a dome, while the latter is caused 
\>y their curvature into a saddle.^ The symmetrical 
dome is comparatively rare on a large scale, and, so 
far as we know, is produced by vertical upthrust of 
strata, especially when igneous matter in a state of 
fusion is introduced beneath them. If this matter is 
brought up from below at a definite point and forced 
between strata, it will tend to be thickest above the 
point at which it enters the plane of stratification 
along which it spreads, and to thin out on all sides, 
so that it would have the general shape of a mush- 
room, the stalk being represented by the molten 
matter which flowed up the pipe, and the upper 
part of the mushroom by the mass which was forced 
along the plane of stratification, and if the mass 
were perfectly symmetrical, its outline would be a 
circle. The strata would be arched above it, the 
planes of stratification lying parallel to the convex 
(^rve of the surface of the ground and also to the 
upper surface of the igneous mass. To an igneous 
mass producing an elevation of this nature Dr. G. K. 

^ The rocks are spoken of as strata for convenience, and to 
emphasise the relationship which exists between surface contours and 
direction of planes of stratification, but it must be noted that the 
component rocks of mountain masses need not necessarily bt sU^xHSve.^. 


Gilbert has given the name laccolite, and as laccolites 
present us with the most symmetrical cases of uplift 
known to us, they have furnished us with much in- 
formation important to the student of scenery, and 
we shall frequently have occasion to refer to them 
hereafter. The typical laccolites are found constitut- 
\\\\^ the Henry mountains, situated in Southern Utah, 
and are described by Dr. Gilbert.^ 

The ideal ridge will differ from the laccolitic uplift, 
inasmuch as the strata are bent round a horizontal 
straight line instead of round a point, but a cross- 
section drawn at right angles to the axial line will 
show a convex curve similar to that furnished by 
a cross-section of the surface of a laccolite. It will 
be seen that the ideal ridge does not exist in nature, 
for it would go completely round the earth, and no 
mountain chain does this. The ridge-like elevations 
are, strictly speaking, elongated domes, of which one 
axis is very much longer than the other; but 
remembering this, it will be simpler to treat of the 
structure as that of a true ridge, to which it often 
approximates in the parallelism of its two sides for 
very long distances. The symmetrical ridge is, 
however, not common in nature, the normal ridge 
being usually steeper on one side than on the other, 
as in the ocean wave, where the septum is steeper 
than the other slopes, and a symmetrical ridge would 
really be a combination of two waves with a trough 
on each side of the uplift. Some of the ranges of 
the Jura mountains approximate to the type of a 
symmetrical ridge. 

^ See Gilbert, G. K., Geology of the Henry MoutUains {United 
States' Geographical atid Geological Survey of the Rocky A fountain 
Regunty Washington, 1880), a work to which frequent reference will be 
made in these pages. 


The unsymmetrical ridge may be regarded as the 
normal development in the case of a mountain uplift. 
The structure in this case is identical with that of 
the ideal uplift, giving rise to a simple continent and 
ocean basin, as seen in Fig. 5. Uplifts of this 
character are specially produced as the result of 
lateral pressure, and they tend to run in parallel 
waves, giving rise to parallel mountain chains with 
intervening valleys of depression. The degree of 
departure from actual symmetry varies. In some 
cases the septum is steeper than the other slopes, 
but is not vertical ; in other cases it is vertical, and 


Fig. 8, 

sometimes becomes turned over, when the strata of 
the septum are reversed, as in the case of the Mendip 
hills. It is obvious that in the last case denudation 
must produce a very marked influence on the ultimate 
outline of the mountain, otherwise a huge overhang- 
ing cliff would be left upon the mountain-side where 
the septum occurs. 

In the case of uplifts of unconformable strata, the 
upper strata may be completely denuded in the 
mountain centres, and the stratification of the older 
rock series may then show no relationship with the 
axis of uplift, as shown in Fig. 8, where a represents 
the structure before denudation, showing the relation- 
ship of the folding of the upper strata with the axis 
of uplift, and i the same after denudation, the former 


extension of the upper strata being indicated by the 
curved line. This comph'cation will be found to be 
Important when we enter into details concerning 
mountain and valley outline. 

Before discussing uplifts due to fracture, it will be 
necessary to say a few words concerning the minor 
folds which frequently accompany the main fold pro- 
ducing an uplift, and produce very marked effects 
upon the features presented by a mountain region 
such as the Alps. When the lateral pressure which 
produces the folds is comparatively slight, the 
minor folds are often fairly symmetrical, but as it 
increases in intensity, the earth-waves are compressed 
into narrower folds, and the entire rock mass loses 
greatly in horizontal extension, but gains proportion- 
ately in height, giving origin to what is known as 
a motmtain range, the major fold forming the crest, 
and the harmonic minor folds constituting the flanks 
of the range.^ 

Now towards the foot of this range the minor folds 
remain fairly symmetrical, but nearer to the centre 
the effect of the lateral thrust and counterthrust is 
complicated by the weight of the mass above, which 
presses the upper parts of the minor folds towards 
the base of the mountain range, and accordingly the 
plane surface which lies between the axial line and 
the summit line of a ridge or the bottom of a trough, 
which is vertical in the case of a symmetrical uplift, 
is forced out of the vertical and made to dip inwards 

* Quoted from a paper by Professor Lap worth in the G^/o^'^al 
Miigasim, dec, ii., vol. x , entitled, " The^ Secret of the Highlaads,** 
part ix. of which gives a summary of the work of IIetm, Aferka- 
tiis//ins ihr Qebirgshikfung^ published aE Zurich, 187S, The reader 
will find admirable illustrations of Alpine structure in ihe albs of the 
latter work. 


towards the centre of the range, and the strata form- 
ing the septum of each wave become inverted. This 
occurs on each side of the main axis, and gives rise 
to the well-known fan structure which characterises 
mountain ranges of Alpine type, as illustrated in 
Fig. 9. 

This fan structure may be repeated, giving rise to 
a mountain system, composed of more or less parallel 
mountain ranges, each of which is composed of a 
central crest and lateral flanks. Such a system is 

Fig. 9, 
owing the structure of a mountain range of Alpine type, without denudation. 

found in the Alps complicated by countless minor 
convolutions and fractures, but nevertheless composed 
of strata so arranged as to allow of the recognition 
of the fan structure on a large scale. For instance, 
in taking a traverse from north to south, starting at 
the Lake of Lucerne and travelling to the plain of 
Lombardy, we traverse three definite ranges having 
a general fan structure. On the north is the Aar 
range, separated from the central Gotthard range by 
the newer rocks of the Urserenthal, while the Gott- 
hard range is separated from the Tessin range on the 
south by the newer rocks in the valley in which 
Airolo stands. Similarly to the west of this the 
great Bernese Oberland range is separated from that 


of the Alps of the Valais by the upper portion of 
the Rhone valley, containing newer rocks. 

There is one type of unsymmetrical fold to which 
alhision has not yet been made here, known as the 
h(»,L,^back, or monocline. A monocline is sometimes 
sj)()kcn of as half an anticline or half a syncline, 
with strata on either side of it In reality a mono- 
cline consists of a complete earth-wave, the septum 
(jf which is inclined at a high angle, while the other 
sl()j)cs approach to horizontality. The monoclinal 
fold ^nves rise to steep, cur\'ed slopes overlooking 
gently sloping surfaces, as typically shown in the 
"hogbacks'* of the western territories of North 
America. When two hogbacks occur facing in 
opposite directions, and a comparatively level tract 
between them, we have the ** Uinta type " of moun- 
tain folding, typically developed in the Uinta 
mountains of North America, the general structure 
of which is cliagrammatically shown in Fig. lo. 

In summing up this part of our subject we may 
say that the principal types of mountain structure 
produced by folding are as follows : — 

I. Simple Types. 
(a) SymmeiricaL 

(a) Domes . . e.g. The Henry mountains. 

(b) Symmetrical saddles „ Some of the Jura mountains. 

(c) Uinta type . „ The Uinta mountains. 

(b) Unsymmetrical. 

(a) Hogbacks . . e.g. The "hogbacks" of the 

western territories. 

(b) Unsymmetrical saddles, e.g. The Mendip hills. 

2. Compound Type. 
Alpine type . . . e.g. The Alpine ranges. 



The classification is not altogether satisfactory, for, 
as already seen, the symmetrical saddles and the Uinta 
type should be looked upon as compounded of two 
earth-waves, and the hogbacks are really of the 
nature of unsymmetrical saddles, of which one slope 
is so small as to appear practically horizontal, but 
the grouping we have adopted distinguishes between 
different types each of which exhibits very definite 
features, and the features of those types which are 
placed in the same subdivision possess important 
points in common. 

Fig. 10. 

We may now proceed to consider uplifts which are 
primarily due to fracture, and must observe at the 
outset that fracture is the outcome of folding carried 
to excess, so that the strata will no longer yield by 
bending. If a rock were a mathematically rigid 
mass, we could completely separate fracture from 
folding, but in a mass which is not absolutely rigid 
a certain amount of folding precedes fracture. If 
one examines a broken iron bar, it will be often 
seen that the particles of the bar are slightly bent 
at the broken part, owing to the production of an 
incipient fold before fracture occurs, and the same 
is often noticeable with rocks. Accordingly every 
type of fold has its accompanying fault, which replaces 
the septum of the fold. A simple earth-wave, con- 
sisting of saddle and trough, where the sltsAB. ^v^ 


away from the axis of the saddle and towards the 
axis of the trough, has its septum replaced by what 
is known as a normal fault, in which the plane of the 
fault dips downwards towards the side of the trough, 
while the septum of an overfolded wave or sigmoidal 
flexure, in which the strata of the septum are inverted, 
is re{)laced by an overfault or thrust-fault, the plane 
of which dips downwards towards the side of the 
saddle, and a monoclinal fold or hogback is replaced 
by a monoclinal fault, which in the case of a normal 
monocline is normal, and in that of an overfolded 
monocline is reversed. This is illustrated in the 
following figure. 

Fig. II. 

a Symmetrical Earth-wave. 

a' Normal Fault. 

b Overfold. 

b' Faulted Overfold. 

c Normal Hogback. 

c* Monoclinal Fault. 

d Overfolded Hogback. 

d' Reversed Monoclinal Fault 

The main difference between a folded uplift and 
a faulted one is that, whereas the fold gives a convex 
surface to the uplifted region, the face of the fracture 
tends to be a plane surface, having the inclination of 
the determining fissure. Accordingly, if denudation 
did not occur, uplifts, where the folding is replaced 
by faulting, would be marked by the occurrence of 


straight cliffs. It is clear that the arrangement 
represented in Fig. 11 a' would give rise to a hill- 
range and valley of depression of exactly the same 
nature as those produced by the arrangement 
Fig. 1 1 a, except for the difference just alluded to. 
The best cases of ridges and valleys determined by 
fault scarps have been described by the explorers of 
the western territories of North America. These 
ridges and valleys have usually been profoundly 
modified by denudation, but the features due to 
movement are still ascertainable. Admirable ex- 
amples have been described by Professor J. W. 
Powell in his Geology of the Uinta Mountains, and 
the nature of the movements and the resulting 
features are well shown in Figs. 3 and 5 of that work. 
In the lower part of the latter figure, a restoration 
of part of the region is given showing the nature of 
the country as it would appear if displacement had 
not been accompanied by denudation, and it tallies 
very well with the actual features as shown in the 
upper portion of the same figure. The district has 
been broken up into a series of blocks bounded by 
rectilinear margins — the faults — and differential dis- 
placement of these blocks has occurred, some being 
elevated as compared with others, and also portions 
of one block being tilted up more than others, or 
one portion of a block being uplifted and another 
sagged down. The country, as observed by Powell, 
much resembles the surface of a mass of ice the 
blocks of which are "crowded in an eddy of a 
northern river at the time of its spring flood," and 
it is significant that a district of the character we 
are describing is often marked by great intrusions 
of igneous rock forced up from below, so tVvsA. \.\v^ 


structure suggests the buoying up of a mass of the 
earth's crust above a reservoir of molten rock and 
settlement of the cracked parts of the crust to 
different degrees in the molten mass below. 

In our own countrj' an illustration of this type of 
displacement is furnished by the Pennine chain, 
and it is es|)ecially well exhibited in the northern 
part of the chain, which overlooks the lower part 
of the Eden valley. This portion of the Vale of 
lulcn is a valley of depression, separated from the 
uplift of the Pennine Chain by the great Pennine 
fault, which has determined the existence of the great 
scarped cliff which faces westwards, a cliff specially 
noticeable to anyone travelling northwards by the 
main Midland line between Settle and Carlisle. 
The present features are due to denudation, but the 
uplift of the Pennines and depression of the Vale 
of Eden were undoubtedly determined by the faulted 
earth-wave which exists in the area 

If the fault be small, and the rocks on either side 
easily denuded, the fault scarp may be destroyed, or 
never called into existence. For instance, the Isle 
of Wight is marked by a monoclinal fold or hog- 
back with the septum partly replaced by a thrust- 
plane, but denudation has prevented the formation 
of a fault scarp, and the ground on the uplifted side 
of the fault, though higher than that on the other 
side, slopes down towards it with a comparatively 
small gradient. On account of the frequency with 
which denudation has levelled the ground on either 
side of a fault fissure, English geologists have 
perhaps been prone to overestimate the power of 
denudation to obliterate all inequalities produced by 
faulting. In areas where the fracture is recent, 


especially if agents of denudation are not very 
powerful, as in desert regions, the actual cliffs may 
be, and sometimes certainly are, directly due to 
faulting, as shown by Gilbert in the case of certain 
cliffs of the Great Basin region of North America, 
in the neighbourhood of Great Salt Lake. 

It will be seen that, as the result of earth 
movement, the land surfaces would possess convex 
curves among the hill ranges, and concave curves in 
the valleys of depression, due to folding, and linear 
straight-faced cliffs, as the result of faulting. The 
fact that these surfaces are only rarely found in- 
dicates that the existing superficial features, though 
indirectly due to earth movement, have been pro- 
foundly modified by other causes, and it remains to 
be seen what these causes are, and how they have 
produced the actual features presented by the prin- 
cipal tracts of the land surfaces. 

MOUNTAINS {Continued) 

HAVING considered the general structure of 
mountain ranges and mountain systems, we 
are in a position to discuss the nature of the 
modifications which they undergo, and the character 
and origin of individual mountains. As the result 
of uplift, mountain ranges are caused, but if the 
uplift be equal, as in the case of our ideal ridge, 
the ridge would be terminated at the summit 
by a horizontal line — the watershedding line — 
from which the streams would flow away on either 
side. This watershed would be precisely similar to 
that which we described in Chapter V., as forming the 
main watershed of a continental uplift, and the drain- 
age would be initiated and secondary watersheds 
developed as described in that chapter. 

It will be found that the modifications which result 
in the formation of isolated mountain peaks from 
mountain ranges are. due to the agents of denudation, 
which also greatly modify the general character of 
the range itself, and it is necessary, therefore, at 
this point to pay some attention to the effects of 

We noted in the third chapter that the agents of 
denudation operated in the dry way and in the wet 
way according to the climatic conditions of the 



region in which they are at work. Work in the dry 
way predominates in desert regions and the regions 
of "eternal frost/' though even there the effects of 
water are not entirely eliminated, but over the 
greater part of the earth's surface water action is 
dominant, and as there is reason to suppose that 
many areas now affected by desert conditions and 
others covered by a mantle of snow and ice were 
not always under these conditions, we must admit 
that the action of water is of paramount importance 
in effecting denudation, and its results must therefore 
be considered at the outset, the characteristic features 
of denudation in the dry way being discussed sub- 

The laws of water denudation have been very fully 
illustrated by Dr. Gilbert as a result of study of the 
simple conditions which ,exist in the uplifts of the 
Henry mountains, and much of the following de- 
scription is abstracted from his monograph upon 
those mountains. It has already been stated that 
the mountains are in the form of domes, marked by 
intrusion of a mushroom-shaped mass of igneous rock 
beneath the uplifted strata, but it will be convenient 
if we consider the case of drainage impressed upon 
an ideal ridge rather than upon a symmetrical dome. 

Watersheds. — The ideal ridge consists of an arch 
of strata bent symmetrically around a horizontal 
axial line, so that, if it be supposed that the ridge 
be cut in two along a vertical plane extending from 
the axial line to the parallel -horizontal straight line 
which would form the top of the arch, one side of 
the ridge would be the exact counterpart of the 
other, and its surface would form a slope approaching 
horizontality towards the summit (though it would not 


be absolutely horizontal exxept along a mathematical 
line— the watershedding line), sloping more steeply 
at some distance away from this line, and approach- 
ing; horizontality towards the bottom of the valley of 
depression, the central line of which would be again 
horizontal, so that the steepest part of the mountain 
slope would be the centre of the septum. This is 
shown in Fig. 12, representing a section across the 

The thick line a a indicates the ideal surface of the 

Fig. 12. 

ground, b the strata of which the uplifted tract is 
composed, c the point at which the axial line is cut 
in the section, d the watershed, c d the line in 
which the bisecting plane is cut in the section, e e 
the points at which the axial lines of the two de- 
pressions are cut in the section, // the sections of 
the lines of the bottom of the depressions, and g g 
the steepest parts of the slopes at the centres of the 

The rain which falls upon the actual water- 
shedding line would remain stationary ; there is no 
reason why it should flow down one side more than 
the other, but rain falling on either side of the water- 


shedding line would tend to flow down that side. 
In nature the water as a rule does not flow directly 
it reaches the ground, for all rocks can absorb water 
to a greater or less extent, and consequently the 
streams which course down the mountain - side do 
not rise absolutely beside the watershed, but some 
little distance below it on either side. We must now 
state a very important principle, to which we shall 
have to refer again and again, namely, that when 
conditions are unifornty and agents are acting with 
uniformity^ the results will be symmetrical^ and 
accordingly all departures from symmetry must be 
accounted for when we have evidence of conditions 
which are generally favourable to the production of 
symmetrical features. We have postulated the 
existence of a symmetrical uplift which we will 
suppose to affect homogeneous rocks, and if the 
rainfall is uniformly distributed it follows that the 
sources of the streams will arise at points equi- 
distant beneath the watershedding line on either 
side, and that these points must be equidistant from 
one another, so that drainage of an equal area of 
ground which has absorbed the water will issue from 
the springs at which the streams arise. The only 
symmetrical arrangement is that shown in Fig. 13, 
which represents a plan of a watershed, x y, with 
springs issuing from the points a b Cy , , , and giving 
rise to streams flowing along the dotted lines in the 
directions indicated by the arrows. It will be seen 
that streams rise alternately on either side, and that 
if three adjoining points, diS a b c or b c dyh^ joined 
by lines, the resulting figure is an equilateral triangle. 
It will be ultimately seen that the streams tend 
to carve out valleys, and that the erosiotv cota- 


mcnccs as soon as the water issues from the 
sprinji^, and accordingly valleys will be cut along 
the dotted lines in Fig. 14, and the ground from 
a I) downwards along the dotted lines will be 
rendered appreciably lower than the ground between 
the springs and the watershed. The action of the 











./• .A 

I I 




Fig. 13. 
X, Y = Watershed. 



fl, ^, c, dj ^,/, gf h, I, ^= Points of issue of water from springs. 

weather, assisted by gravity, will prevent the for- 
mation of a vertical cliff above a b ; material will 
slip down from the ground above, and be carried 
away by the stream ; and half-funnel-shaped valley 
heads will be formed around the springs, each 
having a semi-circular outline in plan, the springs 
marking the centres of the semi - circles. This 



arrangement is shown in Fig. 14, in which the 
zigzag line x y represents part of the primary 
watershed (the zigzag character of which we are 
about to explain); a b c the springs, and the 
dotted lines the streams flowing from them \ i 2 3 
secondary watersheds, which will also become zig- 







• e 

' Fig. 
s q r j^=Main watershed. 
abed ^= Points of origin of springs. 
12345 = Secondary watersheds. 

Dotted semi-circles = Incipient half-funnel-shaped hollows. 
q r J = Culminating peaks. 
tuv w=Cuts or passes. 

zagged, though for simplicity they are represented 
as straight ; and the dotted semi-circles, the summits 
of the half-funnel-shaped slopes above and around 
the springs. These half-funnel-shaped, terminations 
of valleys are frequent on a large scale as the 
cwms, combes, and cirques, which form so marked 
a feature of many upland regions. As the vaVVe^ 


becomes deepened, the funnels will be cut further 
and further back, and at last those on the two sides 
of the watershed will interfere with one another, 
and produce a change in the direction of the water- 
shed, which, instead of remaining straight, will now 
run as a zigzag line, the curves becoming converted 
into straight lines, as in this way only can symmetry 
be maintained ; the watershed will now run along 
the zigzag q r s y. The point t, in the centre of 
the line x q, will be equidistant from the points ^^, 
and accordingly the greatest erosive influence will 
be exerted here, and less and less erosion will take 
place as the result of weathering and the action 
of gravitation as one passes along the line to points 
more remote from a and b^ until we reach x and q, 
where the least erosive influence is exerted ; the 
points X and q are situated at the end of the line, 
and from them secondary watersheds extend on 
either side of the main one. Accordingly / will be 
the lowest point of the portion of the watershed 
represented by the line x q^ and x q the highest 
points, the intervening points being of intermediate 
heights, and if action be symmetrical, the line will 
appear in section as a curved line. Accordingly 
the watershed as seen in section will present the 
appearance shown in Fig. 15, the letters in which 
correspond with those of the plan Fig. 14. 

This change in the character of the watershed 
is of primary importance to the student of scenery, 
for when conditions are uniform, and symmetry 
therefore maintained, the mountain-tops will appear 
at the heads of the main valleys, while the cols or 
passes will notch the watersheds at the sides of the 
valleys, and from two adjoining mountain - tops 


secondary watersheds will extend in opposite 
directions. In nature we often find many departures 
from uniformity of conditions, which produce marked 
modifications of the ideal watershed described above, 
but there are a very large number of cases where the 
departure from uniformity is too slight to modify the 
natural arrangement to any great extent. 

As an illustration of the production of the arrange- 
ment of mountain, valley, and col described above, 
we may consider the district in the neighbourhood 
of Monte Rosa, which shows it fairly well, though 
there are several minor complications. Leaving these 

Fig. 15. 

out of account, we have the Matterhorn dominating 
the head of the Val Tournanche, and sending off 
the secondary watershed on which the Weisshorn 
is situated. (This is modified by the line of weakness 
which has allowed the valley in which the Zmutt 
glacier is placed to cut through it.) On either 
side of the Matterhorn, at the upper end of the 
Val Tournanche, we have a lateral col, the Col 
Tournanche to the west, the Theodul to the east. 
From the Matterhorn the watershed trends south- 
eastward to another culminating point, the Breithorn, 
which dominates the Visp Thai, and sends ridges 
to the south, though here the structure is com- 
plicated by minor valleys, themselves dominated 
by minor ridges, and accordingly the watershed 
does not turn to the north-east, as it would if 
uniformity had prevailed. The next culiivvt\^.\.vcv^ 


point is Monte Rosa itself, dominating the head 
of the Val de Gressonay, and sending to the 
northward a secondary ridge, which culminates in 
the Mischabclhorner. This secondary ridge exhibits 
a zij^za^ watershed, with very marked approach 
to symmetry, the culminating points, marking the 
aii^Mcs of the zigzag, occurring in the following 
order from south to north : Strahlhorn ; Rimpfisch- 
horn; Alleh'nhorn; Alphubel; an unnamed point just 
north of the Mischabeljoch; the two Mischabclhorner; 
Siid-Lcnspitzc; Nadelhom; Ulrichshom; Balfrin. It 
will be furthermore noted by referring to a map that 
the more marked ridges are given off alternately from 
these culminating points with considerable regularity. 

In the case of a dome-shaped uplift, the primary 
watershed will be a point at the centre of the dome, 
and the streams and secondary watersheds will 
radiate from this point like the spokes of a wheel. 
The drainage of the English Lake District is deter- 
mined and limited by watersheds of this nature, 
though more symmetrical domes with more accurately 
radial drainage are found among the Henry moun- 

A mountain range or mountain complex consists 
of mountains sculptured from an uplift or uplifts, 
of which the height is usually comparatively small 
as compared with the length, though the relation 
of height to length varies considerably, being pro- 
portionately large in sharp uplifts of Alpine type, 
and small in the plateaux, from which are sculptured 
those hills which most truly approach the ideal hill 
of circumdenudation. Further, the height of neigh- 
bouring tracts of the uplifts will not vary to any 
great extent, and accordingly neighbouring moun- 


tains formed by the sculpture of an uplift by denuding 
agents will not vary in height to any great extent, 
and no mountain, except one of accumulation, can 
be higher than the surface which would be produced 
by uplift alone. It will be eventually seen that 
position of watersheds may change owing to con- 
ditions of asymmetry, but with a symmetrical uplift, 
as erosion by streams on the watersheds is nil, the 
watersheds are not lowered to any great extent, and 
the mountains which are carved from the uplifted 
mass tend to have their summits remaining for long 
periods at a height not much lower than that of the 
original watershed. As the original primary watershed 
is higher than any parts of the gradually sloping 
secondary watersheds, the mountains situated along 
the line of primary watershed tend to be higher than 
those situated along the secondary lines, and the 
latter, under uniform conditions, will be lower and 
lower, the more remote their position is from the 
primary 'watershed. Thus we find the highest 
mountain of the Alps, Mont Blanc, on the primary 
watershed of the complex, and the highest point 
of the Lake District, Scawfell Pike, situated about 
the centre of the system of radial drainage lines. 
Taking the case of a secondary watershed, that which 
starts between the Val d'Herens and the Val 
d'Anniviers, in the Valais, and afterwards separates 
the two branches of the latter valley, though modified 
by complications where it joins the main watershed, 
has the following crests, varying in height as one 
passes from south to north, away from the main 
watershed: — Dent Blanche, 4364 metres; Grand 
Cornier, 3969 m. ; Bouquetin, 3484 m. ; Pigne de 
TAU^e, 3404 m. ; Garde de Bordon, 3316 m. 


Departure from uniformity is caused by a number 
f)f lhin<^s, amonjj which may be mentioned, as of 
sjvcial importance, want of symmetry in the uplifts, 
(liTfnviicc of structure and texture of the rocks, some 
of which arc more easily denuded than others, and 
variation in the character and amount of denudation 
in different places. The influence of these in pro- 
ducing variation from the uniform types will be 
considered in the sequel. Though their influence 
tends to complicate the ideal structure which would 
be pnxluced if the conditions had been uniform, this 
is usually only masked, and not destroyed, and when 
once it is detected, it is much easier to account for 
the causes of departure from uniformity than would 
be the case if the laws of mountain formation under 
uniform conditions had not previously been grasped. 

The Three Processes of Denudation, — Thus far we 
have mainly inquired into the importance of uplift in 
the production of mountain ranges and mountain 
s}'stems, and have only referred incidentally to the 
action of erosion or denudation. We have now 
reached a stage in which it is necessary to consider 
more particularly the operation and influence of the 
erosive agents. 

The agents of erosion are many, and the more 
important may be grouped as follows : atmospheric 
or meteoric agents, including changes of temperature, 
wind, and rain ; streams and rivers ; glaciers and sea- 
waves. As previously observed, the influence of rivers 
is of paramount importance to the student of scenery, 
not only on account of the capacity of individual 
rivers as agents of erosion, but also because of the 
great frequency and general distribution of rivers over 
land areas. It is found as the result of observation, 


and might readily be inferred, that rivers erode not so 
much by the direct action of the water on the river- 
bed as by the friction of the sediment transported by 
^ the river against the rocks which compose the river- 
bed. Now the majority of rocks are in a soHd and 
compact state, with their particles more or less firmly 
welded together, and before they are in a condition 
for transport by streams they must be broken up. 
This fracture and comminution of the solid rocks 
is chiefly carried out by atmospheric agents, and is 
therefore spoken of as weathering, and rock weather- 
ing is the first process in the work of denudation. 
Detailed accounts of the effects of weathering will be 
introduced more appropriately in various subsequent 
parts of this volume. It is sufficient for the present to 
understand that, as the result of weathering action, 
we are furnished with a supply of broken and com- 
minuted rock material, which is capable of being 
taken up and washed away by rivers. The latter 
process is spoken of as transportation, and, owing to 
gravitation, the transported material is carried from 
higher to lower levels, and, if unchecked, ultimately 
to the sea, where it settles down to form new deposits. 
During the process of transportation the transported 
material is rubbed and knocked against the bed of 
the river, gnawing it away and thus adding to the 
amount of material to be transported, and at the 
same time deepening the bed of the river. This 
action is termed by the American geologists corrasion, 
a term which is coming into general use. The three 
processes of ordinary denudation in a country with an 
abundant supply of rainfall and drained by rivers are, 
therefore, weathering, causing the comminution of 
solid rock, transportation of comminuted fragmetvls. 


of particles, and corrosion of the river-beds by thea 
particles. During these processes the larger frag- 
ments have their asperities knocked off and art 
converted into rounded pebbles, and the finer particles 
are converted into grains of sand, the very finest into 

Every river possesses a certain amount of energy, 
which enables it to do work, and the work which it 
jxirforms is of a twofold nature, namely, transporta- 
tion and corrasion. Its energy is not unlimited, and 
accordingly every river can only do a certain amount 
of work, which may be entirely transportation, or 
transportation and corrasion, according to circum- 
stances. The amount of energy of any river depends 
upon two circumstances, its volume and its velocity. 
Other things being equal, the velocity is dependent 
upon the inclination of the river-course ; the steeper 
the slope the greater the velocity. Now, imagine 
a river running down a uniform slope having an 
angle of, say, 30° along all parts of its course, 
and further suppose that the volume of this river 
is the same along all parts of that slope. Let that 
river be supplied with the exact load of sediment 
which it is capable of carrying, neither more nor less; 
all the energy of the stream will be utilised in carry- 
ing this sediment, and no energy will be available 
for the process of corrasion. Accordingly the river 
will carry its material along the slope, and no other 
change will take place. Let the volume and velocity 
remain as before, and take away some of the sedi- 
ment, and some of the energy of the river will be 
rendered available for corrasion, and the bed of the 
river will be corraded by the remaining sediment, 
and though the slope will remain uniform, it will 


be lowered by corrasion along its whole extent If, 
instead of taking away sediment, we add to the 
original amount of it, the river will be supplied with 
more material than it has energy to transport, and 
the surplus material will be deposited uniformly upon 
the slope until the river is left with the amount 
of sediment which it is able to carry, and this it will 
transport along the uniform slope, raised above its 
original level by deposition of sediment. 

If now, instead of imagining the slope to be a 
uniform slope of 30*, we suppose that the average 
slope is at that angle, some parts being more and 

Fig. 16. 

some less, as shown by the unbroken zigzag line 
in Fig. 16, and further imagine that the river is 
supplied with the maximum amount of sediment 
which it can carry without corrading or depositing, 
if its slope were uniformly one of 30^ then, as the 
parts b dyfky are at greater slope than the mean, the 
velocity of the stream is increased along here, and 
corrasion will occur, while along a by df, h /, the slope 
is less than the average slope, and the velocity of the 
stream will be diminished, so that the stream cannot 
carry all its load along these portions, but will 
deposit some of it. These processes of corrasion 
and deposition will occur along the alternating steep 
and gentle parts of the river-course until equilibrium 
is established and the stream has formed a uniform 


slope of 30* by the erosion of the portions included 
in the triangles a be, efg, and deposition of material 
to fill up the parts shown by the triangles cde.ghi 
This slope will form a straight line, a c e g i, 
corresponding with that existing in our original 
stream of uniform slope, and on the establishment 
of equilibrium material will be transported as before, 
neither corrading nor being deposited. A river which 
h«is established equilibrium in this way is said to 
have reached its base-line of erosion, and no further 
work of erosion or deposit can occur until the con- 
ditions are changed, causing alteration of its velocity, 
vcjiume, or load of sediment 

Our ideal uplift presented a convex curve having 
(liffcrcnt slopes along different portions (see Fig. 12), 
and rivers having the same volume, other conditions 
being equal, would tend to cut valleys, having 
uniform slopes along the valley bottoms until the 
base-line of erosion was reached. But the volume 
of a river varies along different parts of its course, 
being greatest where it is discharged into the sea; 
and as we pass up from the sea towards the source, 
and leave more and more tributaries, which swell its 
volume, behind us, the volume of the main stream 
becomes less and less, until at the watershed it is 
nil. Remembering that, other things being equal, the 
corrasion varies with the volume, it is clear that cor- 
rasive power is strongest where the volume is greatest, 
and there the river will make its slope flatter, while 
it will be less and less flat where the volume is 
smaller and the corrasive power less. Accordingly 
when it has established its base-line of erosion this 
line will be a curved one, ever increasing in steepness 
from the sea to the source. If we imagined two 


rivers rising opposite to one another in the watershed, 
a section along their courses would consist of two 
concave curves, as shown in Fig. 17, which would 
replace the convex curve of uplift shown by the 
dotted line. 

It has been seen that at the extreme summit of the 
river- courses the streams rise at some distance below 
the watershed, and the degradation of the ultimate 
slope is produced by weathering and slipping of 
material which tends to lower the watershed, though. 

Fig. 17. 

if the conditions be uniform, it will be situated verti- 
cally below its original position. The streams in the 
secondary watersheds will act in the same way, and, 
as the secondary streams have their velocity increased 
by increase of declivity when the primary stream 
lowers its level, their erosion will be increased, and 
the secondary watersheds will be thus modified, and 
their summits tend to be made parallel with the 
curve of the main stream. In this way a mountain 
uplift will be carved out by stream erosion into a 
series of slopes of the character represented in Fig. 
17 ; and viewed from a distance, though we are not 
looking at the actual stream courses, but a\. VW 


watersheds occurring between adjoining streams, the 
ouUiiie of a mountain car\'cd out by water erosion 
from s(^lid rock will present the curves seen in this 
fi^^ure. As erosion progresses the curve will still 
remain, though it will be rendered flatter, but it will 
always retain its character, being flattest at the 
mouth of the river and steepest at the watershed. 
It need hardly be observed that the curve is not 
cf)nfined to the mountain uplifts ; it must be pro- 
duced when the river traverses gently sloping ground, 
though in this case it will not be practically dis- 
tinL^Hiishablc from a straight line. 

The curve of river erosion produced in this way 
may be modified by a number of causes, but they 
usually produce minor effects, and amidst all the 
variations of outline, precipice, scree-slope, crag, and 
pinnacle, which modify mountain slopes, the denu- 
dation curve may be detected, if the main agent 
of denudation in the district is the river, and the 
work has proceeded for a period of time sufficient to 
enable the streams to establish or to approach to the 
establishment of their base-lines of erosion. The 
importance of the curve of river denudation as in- 
fluencing mountain scenery cannot be overestimated. 
Mere size, though impressive, does not produce the 
sense of beauty which is felt when viewing the har- 
monious curves of hills whose outline has been deter- 
mined by stream erosion. The adjoining plate is a 
reproduction of a photograph of the Langebergen, in 
Mossel Bay district, Cape Colony, which well illus- 
trates the outline of hills w^iose sculpture has been 
wrought by stream erosion, and it will at once be 
seen how much of their grace they owe to the 
beautiful curvature of their slopes. 


We may now take into consideration other causes 
which affect mountain outline on a large scale, and 
first may take note of hills in districts which are 
affected by stream erosion, which, while possessing 
the curve of stream erosion in the basal portion at 
each side, present a convex curve at the summit, as 
shown in Fig. 18 a. This is a very common outline, 
and it is obvious that the curve of erosion is modified 
or replaced by a curve due to some other cause. 
I have for some years taken note of hills possessing 
this outline, and they are fairly numerous ; the Moels 
of the Welsh hill system, as Moel Eilio, between 
Carnarvon and Beddgelert, show it, at any rate on 

Fig. 18. 

one side, and it is very perfectly shown on a small 
scale by the little Dunmallet, at the foot of Ullswater, 
and by the larger Mell Fells near it. In all cases 
where I have observed it, the portion of the hill 
occupied by the convex curve is covered by vegeta- 
tion, often by a thick accumulation of peat, while the 
lower part exposes bare rock, and this coincidence is 
so frequent that it would appear that the change of 
curve is produced by the presence of vegetation. 
Now where this vegetation grows corrasion is not 
taking place, or bare rock would be exposed, and the 
action of weathering is dominant, for the mass of soil 
is, like the skin of the body, constantly destroyed on 
the top, replenished from beneath. The removal is 
efifected by wind and inconstant rain runnels, the 


renovation by weathering of the rock beneath. It 
is well known that a square mass tends to become 
rounclcti by weathering, as seen in the granite tors 
of Devon, and as can be experimentally shown by 
subjecting a cube of limestone to the action of acid, 
(;r more simply by dissolving a cubical block of sugar 
in a cup of tea, for at every edge a given mass pre- 
sents twice as much surface as a cubical mass of the 
same size which is exposed away from the edge of a 
culxi. Thus a cube-shaped mass having a diameter of 
one inch, forming part of a large cube, presents two 
sides having a diameter of one inch if situated at 
the side of the main cube and only one if away 
from the side, while it exhibits three at the corners; 
consequently the corners wear away faster than the 
sides, and the sides faster than the general surface 
away from those sides, and a rounded form is de- 
veloped. Now if we suppose a block of country of 
a <^cnerally rectangular form bounded by four de- 
pressions, the top of the block being occupied by 
vegetation, in the absence of corrasive action, this 
block would be modified at the edges and comers by 
weathering action, and a rounded form would result 
This explanation receives confirmation by the. fre- 
quent occurrence of hills having the outline of Fig. 
1 8 b, where one side has the true water erosion curve 
to the summit, while the other exhibits the compound 
curve. This is frequently seen, as, for instance, on the 
above-mentioned Moel Eilio when viewed from the 
north-west, the curve of water erosion being on the 
north-east side, facing Llanberis, while the compound 
curve faces the south-west. In the English Lake 
District, the outline is frequently seen, as in Red 
Screes, near the head of the Kirkstone Pass, where 


the eastern face possesses the stream-erosion curve 
and the western face the compound one, and on Steel 
Fell, near the pass of Dunmail Raise, between Win- 
dermere and Keswick, where the respective curves 
occupy the same position. The rule amongst our 
British hills, where this outline is frequent, is that the 
stream curve should be on the east or north-east face 
of the hill, and the compound curve on its west or 
south-west side. It is well seen all along the Hel- 
vellyn and High Street ridges in the Lake District, 
and I believe that it is due to the fact that the 
south-west slopes in our country are under meteor- 
ological conditions allowing of extensive growth of 
vegetation on the west and south-west slopes, while 
its growth is checked on the east and north-east 

It now remains for us to consider the dominant 
outlines of mountains in regions where stream erosion 
is insignificant, and nature works in the dry way, 
namely, arctic and desert areas. Commencing with 
consideration of arctic regions, we have the arctic 
type of hill outline excellently exhibited in the case 
of the Greenland hills. It can hardly be supposed 
that the main forms of the mountains have been 
blocked out by denudation acting in the dry way, 
for, in the absence of water action, we know of no 
agent which is capable of carving out valleys and 
leaving the intermediate portions to stand out as 
ridges and mountains. Some writers have asserted 
that glaciers are capable of performing this work, 
but we shall subsequently see reasons for supposing 
that they are incapable of the task. We must there- 
fore suppose that a country like Greenland owes its 
mountains mainly to upheaval, the details of scul^twx^ 


only being executed by denuding ag^ents, or that at 
some far-distant time the country enjoyed a milder 
climate than its present one, and that the blocking 
out of the individual mountains was then performed 
by stream erosion. The latter supposition is more 
probable ; but, be that as it may, inspection of the 
mountains shows that their present outline has not 
been determined by stream erosion, for the cnrvt 
of stream erosion is absent and replaced by straight 
lines, which give the mountains an appearance 
which is aptly described by the term applied to 
this structure, namely, ** house- roof structure/* Illus- 
trations of this structure have been given by A^ 
Komerup,^ and it is very well shown in the accom- 
panying plates, of a hill projecting through Norden- 
skjold glacier, and of Hornsund Tind, in Spitsbergen, 
taken from photographs kindly furnished by Mr, E, ]^m 
Garwood B 

The principal agent which produces this structure 
is frost, acting along the divisional planes of the 
rocks. The water percolates along these divisionaJ 
planes, freezes, and in so doing expands, and wedges 
off angular fragments of rock, which fall down the 
slopes of the hills and accumulate there, forming 
scr££s. We have already seen that stratified rocks 
are specially affected by three sets of divisiona 
planes, namely, planes of stratificationj and two set 
of joint -planes at right angles to the planes ol 
stratification and to each other* Let us suppose 
that the planes of stratification are tilted at an angle 
of 45° in one direction and the joints at the same 
angle in the opposite direction ; the frost will work 
_alon g these planes, and produce a symmetrical^ 

^ MtddeUlsir em Grdnland. 



THK Nf-v; 

V' .'Hi-: 

PUBLIC i.i: 

r\ /•. i\ I . 

A^T'*- , ■ '. •. ' ■ 

T .1 r^^ \ ^ . ■. 




mountain with house -roof structure, as shown in 
Fig. ig a, whereas if the planes of stratification are 
less inclined and the joint-planes at a greater in- 
clination the resulting mountain will be unsym- 
metrical, as in Fig. ig 6. 

In some parts of Greenland this house- roof structure 
has been brought to a very perfect state as the result 
of frost action,^ and the higher peaks of Spitsbergen 
show it very well, though the stream line of erosion 

is often found in the lower parts of the islands, where 
stream action is very pronounced. (See frontispiece). 
The upper peaks and aiguilles of the Alps are also 
frequently marked by the possession of house -roof 
structure, but there is every reason for supposing that 
at no distant date the Alps were subject to the action 
of ordinary stream erosion in parts which are now 
permanently above the snow line and occupied by 

^ In parts of Greenland, valleys with parabolic section are found, 
and appear to-be due to denudation of rocks effected by a curved 
system of joints. See figure by Kornerup, Meddehlser om Gronland^ 
part i., fig. l6. 


snow and ice, and the curves of water erosion in 
many cases do not seem to be completely obliterated, 
though partly masked, by the subsequent action of 
frost. The outline of the Dents de Veisivi shows 
the frost outline very well as seen from Evolena, as 
docs also the beautiful Dent Blanche, on the opposite 
side of the Fcrpicle glacier, and a very perfect exaniple 
of a frost -formed aiguille, the Aiguille de la Za, is 
seen on the ridge of which the Veisivis form the 

Denudation in desert regions is also carried on 
essentially in the dry way, and though the agents 
are different, the resultant mountain forms are similar 
to those of arctic regions. The differences of 
temperature between day and night are very pro- 
nounced, as radiation at night causes the temperature 
to fall to a low point, and the rocks are subject to 
alternate expansion during the heat of the day and 
contraction during the cold nights, which causes 
large fragments to split off the cliffs and fall to a 
lower level. 

" Dr. Livingstone found in Africa (12° south latitude, 34** 
east longitude) that surfaces of rock which during the day 
were heated up to 137° Fahr. cooled so rapidly by radiation 
at night that, unable to bear the strain of contraction, they 
split and threw off sharp angular fragments from a few 
ounces to 100 or 200 pounds in weight. In the plateau 
region of North America, though the climate is too dry 
to afford much scope for the operation of frost, this daily 
vicissitude of temperature produces results that quite rival 
those usually associated with the work of frost. Cliffs are 
slowly disintegrated, the surface of arid plains is loosened, 
and the fine dkbris is blown away by the wind." ^ 

^ Geikie, Sir A., Text-book of Geology^ 3rd edition, p. 329. 


The wind in these regions plays the part of trans- 
porting agent in lieu of the rivers of areas enjoying 
a humid climate or the glaciers of arctic regions, 
and clears away the d^bris^ which would otherwise 
accumulate to such an extent as to mask the solid 
rock over which it lay. 

We have now considered the main causes of the 
general features of mountains of upheaval and 
circumdenudation. Ridges, domes, and plateaux are 
uplifted owing to earth movements, and these are 
alike sculptured by surface agencies, so that a series 
of minor ridges is developed in the direction of the 
greatest slopes, while both the primary ridge of a 
simple saddle-shaped uplift and the minor ridges 
determined by the formation of the consequent 
valleys are further carved into individual peaks, 
separated from each other by cols or passes. 


MOUNTAINS {continued) 

T\ETAILS of Mountain Structure, — We have 
^^ seen that two primary types of mountain out- 
line exist, according as the mountain mass has been 
hewn out of the solid block by the sculpturing action 
of running water, without modification by any other 
agent, when the double denudation curve is pro- 
duced, or whether it has been finished in the dry 
way by the action of frost, or by alternate expansion 
and contraction owing to rapid and marked changes 
of temperature. The characters of mountains formed 
according to the two types are recognisable at a 
distance, but when we are on the mountain the 
general outline is often concealed, and we notice 
minor effects, which, though on a small scale as com- 
pared with the bulk of the mountain, are sufficiently 
important to produce a marked influence on the 
scenery. A cliff 500 feet high on a mountain 15,000 
feet high may appear as a mere notch at a distance, 
hardly affecting the general character of the moun- 
tain outline, but when we are stationed near the 
base of that cliff it is an object sufficiently imposing 
to contemplate with feelings of awe. 

The minor features of mountain ranges and moun- 
tain-masses are due to two principal causes, namely, 
the character of the sculpturing agent and the nature 



and structure of the component rocks. The influence 
of these we may now proceed to consider. 

Influence of the Sculpturing Agents, — Little need 
be added here to what has already been said con- 
cerning these, for the effects which are produced on 
a large scale are, to some extent, repeated on a 
smaller one. Running water when passing over a 
surface consisting of alternate hard and soft rocks, 
before it has established its general base-line of erosion, 
frequently establishes a temporary series of such base- 
lines in the soft rocks, leaving the harder nearly in 
their original state for some time ; accordingly we 
frequently find a mountain-side defined by alternate 
precipices and curves of erosion. The work of frost, 
though most marked in Arctic and Alpine regions, is 
sufficiently pronounced in the upland districts of our 
own country on a small scale, and we find miniature 
house-roof structure and aiguilles among the hills of 
our island. The climbers whq visit Wasdale Head, 
in the Lake District, to whom the Great Gable is so 
familiar, need not be reminded of the appearance of 
the roof-like "Arrowhead Rock" or the aiguille-like 
" Napes Needle," which furnish us with excellent 
examples of mountain detail produced by the action 
of frost 

The effect of wind is specially marked in desert 
regions, and we shall pay attention to it at greater 
length when considering deserts, but its action is 
sometimes noticeable on a small scale in our own 
country. The wind sweeps particles of sand near 
the ground, and carries them against the rock like 
a sand blast, fretting away the rocks, especially along 
the divisional planes, such as planes of stratification 
and joints, and accordingly we get fantastic pillars 


formed with undercut bases standing from the cliffs, 
as SL-cn in the case of the well-known Brimham Rocks, 
carvi'd out of the millstone grit of West Yorkshire. 

The fraj^ments split from the cliffs, whether by 
frnst or by alternate contraction and expansion of 
the rock surfaces, accumulate at the bases of pre- 
cipices as screes, which often form apparently 
slrai<,dit lines, corresponding with the maximum 
an^^lc at which the loose fragments can rest. These 
screes frequently form prominent features of a scene ; 
witness the well-known screes of Wastwater, which 
rise about 1500 feet above the lake of that name. 
(See plate in a later chapter.) Screes which accumu- 
late at the bottom of a valley often possess an outline 
similar to that of the curve of water erosion, and as 
the stream-courses often branch from the top of the 
screes, and run in many ramifications down them, it 
might be supposed that the volume of the individual 
runlets decreased from top to base, and that a convex 
curve should be produced ; but although the stream- 
courses ramify, the discharge of water usually takes 
place down one watercourse at a time, so that the 
action of water may be neglected, and the curved 
form appears to be one normally produced by a self- 
supporting pile of loose blocks, which, under the 
influence of its own weight, tends to spread outwards 
at the base ; the larger fragments also tend to roll 
further down the slope than smaller ones, as they 
present less surface compared with their mass, and 
consequently are not so easily arrested owing to 
friction. These changes give rise to a logarithmic 
curve. ^ We find, therefore, that the apparently 

^ See Milne, Professor J., "On the Formation of Volcanoes," GeoL 
Mag»^ dec ii., vol. vi., p. 506. 


straight lines are not actually straight when closely 
examined, but form portions of a curve which ap- 
proaches most nearly to the straight line near the 
summit of the screes, and rapidly flattens out near 
the base, and this is true of screes, whether accumu- 
lated along a considerable line of cliff or forming a 
detrital, semi-conical mass, whose apex is situated at 
the bottom of a gully or scree- shoot, from which the 
material is discharged, sometimes by running water, 
at other times owing to the action of frost and other 
weathering agents. 

Other variations than those we have considered, 
which are due to differences in the nature or mode 
of operation of the sculpturing agent, are largely 
affected by the composition and structure of rocks, 
which we may now proceed to consider. 

Influence of Rock Composition and Structure, — 
Apart from all minor considerations, and whatever 
be the agent of denudation which is at work upon 
rocks, it may be laid down as a general law that 
rocks are denuded to a greater or less extent 
according to their relative durability ; the harder 
rocks tend to resist denudation, and the softer ones 
to be worn away. As the ultimate result of subaerial 
denudation (/>., of that denudation which is carried 
out over the general surface of the land by frost, 
rain, rivers, etc., as opposed to marine denudation^ 
which is performed along coast-lines by the agency 
of the sea) is to reduce a country to a general base 
level of erosion which is so nearly a plain that it 
would be undistinguishable from one by the eye — 
such a plain has been termed a peneplain by Professor 
W. M. Davis — and as a peneplain would be produced 
in softer rocks much more quickly than in those o{ 



more durable texture, it is evident that hard rocks 
arc likely to stand out as elevations in a country 
which has been subjected to denudation for long 
jKTiods after the soft rocks have been reduced to a 
peneplain. Accordingly most hilly regions are 
composed essentially of hard rocks, though there 
arc wide variations in the relative durability of the 
rocks which compose these regions, as well as those 
of the flatter tracts. Among the harder rocks the 
most noticeable are crystalline rocks, as granite, 
basalt, and the crystalline schists, also many sand- 
stones and limestones, while consolidated muds and 
clays constitute the most important softer rocks. 
But, apart from the actual durability of the rock 
substance, denudation is profoundly affected by the 
character of the divisional planes which traverse the 
rocks, and these are of the utmost importance, as 
determining the details of scenery in both moun- 
tainous and more level districts. It will be 
impossible to separate completely the effects of 
rock composition and rock texture from those which 
are determined by the divisional planes which run 
through rock masses, but we may do so to some 
extent, and begin with a consideration of the in- 
fluence of rock composition and rock texture upon 
scenery of mountain districts, premising that much 
that is said concerning this and also about the 
divisional planes applies equally to the scenery of 
lowland districts. 

Beginning with the igneous rocks, we may note, 
in the first place, that their influence upon scenery 
is specially determined by their composition, and by 
the conditions under which they have consolidated 
The composition is not only important on account 


of thtf different effects produced upon rocks of 
different composition by the agents of denudation, 
but also because the distribution of the rock mass 
is affected by its composition. Igneous rocks are 
divided into two main classes, according to their 
composition, namely, the acid class and the basic 
class ; the rocks of the former contain a much larger 
percentage of silica than those of the latter, and 
rocks of the acid class are generally fusible at a 
lower temperature than those of the basic class. 
Accordingly the acid rocks, whether erupted on the 
earth's surface or forced between masses of rock 
below the surface, do not as a rule spread far from 
the place at which they are intruded or extruded, 
for they cool quickly; whereas the more slowly 
cooling basic rocks frequently spread over a wide 
area before finally becoming solid. Acid rocks 
accordingly occur very frequently in massive bosses, 
while the basic rocks are apt to give rise to extensive 
sheets of rock, of no great thickness as compared 
with their horizontal extent, and having their two 
limiting surfaces approximately parallel. There are 
many exceptions to this rule — for instance, in Skye 
and Mull great masses of basic rock are found as 
irregular bosses — but taking the two widespread 
types of the two classes, namely, the acid granite 
and the basic basalt (using these terms in a some- 
what general sense), we find that they conform fairly 
closely to the above-mentioned conditions. We find 
accordingly that the granitic type of rock is often 
carved into massive hills and mountains, while the 
basaltic type frequently forms terraced hills and 

The texture of igneous rocks differs with t\\fe 

\>(\r>:ry M r^ 


conditions under which they have consolidated; rocks 
bcin^ coarsely crystalline, finely crj'stalline, or 
j^^lassy, according as they have been cooled very 
slowly, fairly slowly, or rapidly, and the difference 
of texture naturally produces some effect upon the 
action of the denuding agents, though no general 
rule can be laid down under this head, for difference 
of texture is comparatively unimportant as in- 
fluencing the structure of mountains upon a large 

Of greater importance is the shape of the igneous 
mass, which is due to the mode of intrusion or 
extrusion. Intrusive rocks may occur as irregular 
bosses or laccolitic masses, which give rise to irregular 
or dome-shaped eminences when left standing as 
elevations owing to denudation of the softer rocks 
around, or they may be forced into vertical or nearly 
vertical cracks as joints or fault- planes, forming 
igneous dykes, or along horizontal or nearly horizontal 
planes of bedding, forming intrusive sheets or sills, or 
they may be poured out on the surface as lava sheets, 
or, finally, they may fill the approximately cylindrical 
shaft of a volcano. The horizontal or nearly hori- 
zontal sheets, often alternating with softer rocks, 
may be treated as hard strata, and produce the 
same effects on a large scale. The cylindrical plugs, 
often surrounded by a hardened mass of baked rock, 
frequently resist denudation, and stand out as marked 
elevations, after the surrounding rocks have been 
worn away. 

The dykes merit a somewhat fuller consideration. 
They are forced between rocks as wall -like masses, 
and their effect upon scenery depends to a great 
extent upon their chemical composition. The 


processes of weathering are conducted in two ways, 
either mechanically or chemically. Hitherto we 
have not referred to the effects of chemical change 
on rock weathering, but as it produces marked 
influence on the character of the scenery, it is 
necessary to refer to it, and this is the most con- 
venient place in which to consider it, as different 
kinds of rock are affected by the weather in different 

The rain which falls upon the earth is charged 
with various solvent substances, the most important 
of which is carbonic anhydride (carbonic acid gas), 
and the water falling upon soil containing vegetable 
matter extracts other solvent acids, so that this 
acidulated water is capable of dissolving certain 
rock constituents. In the case of many of the 
sedimentary rocks, the materials of which they are 
composed have frequently been subjected to the 
action of carbonated waters at different times, and 
much of the more soluble material has been leached 
out of them ; but the igneous rocks, brought from 
the earth's interior, contain much soluble matter, and 
acidulated surface waters are .capable of producing 
marked changes in them in certain circumstances. 
Some igneous rocks yield to the chemical action 
of the weather more readily than others ; and 
accordingly, in the case of dykes, we find that they 
are frequently more capable of resisting the action 
of the denuding agents than are the rocks through 
which they have broken, especially when the 
denudation is largely mechanical ; in these circum- 
stances the dykes stand out as ribs of rock, looking 
like walls traversing the mountain slope. Anyone 
who has sailed down the Clyde and passed the \s\axvd 


of Great Cumbrae must have noticed two remark 
able wall -like masses of rock standing out abovi 
the shore near Millport, one being known as th 
Lion Rock. These are dykes which have resisted 
denudation to a greater extent than the surround- 
ing; strata. On the other hand, many dykes are 
more prone to break up under the influence of 
chemical weathering than the rocks through which 
they are intruded ; and, instead of standing out, they 
^Mve rise t(j depressions which may run as trenches 
alon^ comparatively gentle slopes or level surfaces, 
or form couloirs and gullies on the faces of steep 
slopes and precipices. Several gullies on the 
Scawfell group owe their existence to dykes which 
have been thus weathered. When weathering along 
a (l>'ke proceeds to a sufficient extent, a mountain 
peak may be thus severed into two, with a deep 
^^ash between, an event which has occurred on 
Scawfell. The highest point, Scawfell Pike, is 
strpanited from its lower neighbour, Scawfell, by a 
(ieej) rent, Micklcdore, which, as pointed out by 
the late Mr. Clifton Ward many years ago, is 
(occupied by a dyke which has weathered away 
nujre rapidly than the surrounding rocks. 

The characteristic outlines yielded by different 
forms of igneous rocks may now be considered. 
Rocks of granitic type are often traversed by very 
regular quadrangular joints which give rise to hemi- 
spherical and pillow-shaped outlines, as the result of 
the action of the weather, for a reason already ex- 
plained when describing the outlines of certain hills, 
mainly on account of the increased action of the 
weather at the edges and corners of the masses. 
Accordingly hills composed of granitic rocks are 


T often dome-shaped in outline, and the pillow struc- 

:ture is characteristic of small upstanding masses, 

Ti: and is specially emphasised when the granite forms 

- •* tors," like those of Devon and Cornwall. Though 
,- this is the normal shape of granite hills, we find that 

^ many granites are traversed by a series of close-set 
^ parallel joints, which give rise to spiry crests, very 

- different from the ordinary granitic outlines, as seen 

- in the case of the granite of Arran, rising into the 
sharp crests and pinnacles of Goatfell, that of the 
hills surrounding the Bodethal, near Thale, in the 
Harz mountains, and specially in that type of granite 
known as protogine, which often forms the cores of 
Alpine uplifts, as, for instance, in the Mont Blanc 

, It has already been stated that the basaltic type 
of rock, when occurring on a large scale, is prone to 
occur in sheet-like masses of wide extent, forming 
terraced hills, on which each sheet of basalt, usually 
well divided by vertical joints, gives rise to a preci- 
pice. The terraced hills of many of the western 
isles of Scotland, of parts of Greenland and other 
Arctic islands, of the Deccan district of India, and 
of portions of the western territories of North 
America are of this character. Another feature 
which, though not confined to basaltic rocks, is 
specially frequent in them, is the formation of 
columnar structure, due to shrinking of the mass 
while cooling, the columns usually standing at right 
angles to the cooling surfaces. I need only refer 
to the Giant's Causeway and Staffa to show that this 
columnar structure may produce locally considerable 
effect upon the scenery of a district. Another feature 
often found in basaltic rocks is a tendency to weatVv^x 


into exfoliating spheroids, which often occur on a 
considerable scale. 

The colour of granitic rocks is often sufficiently 
marked to influence the character of the scenery. 
Many of them are of a prevailing grey hue, owing' 
to the admixture of white felspar with dark mica, 
while if the felspar is pink, a distinct pink colour 
is observable at a distance. The basic rocks are 
(jften dark, sometimes black, and as the result of 
weathering the iron silicates contained in the rocks 
are converted into oxides and hydrates, which pro- 
duce the rusty oranges and browns forming so marked 
a feature in the case of weathered basic rocks. 

Closely connected with igneous rocks are the frag- 
mental rocks thrown out from a volcano. These 
consist of particles of various degrees of fineness, 
from the finest dust to blocks many feet in diameter. 
These volcanic ashes, when incoherent, allow water 
to percolate throuijh them with ease, and are apt to 
retain their original form. Owing to their composi- 
tion, they may be converted by chemical change into 
rocks of extreme hardness, and if well jointed, give 
rise to rugged eminences and precipices, the surfaces 
of which are peculiarly rough owing to the variation 
in size of the fragments and their different rates of 
weathering. The precipices of Scawfell, Great Gable, 
and other hills of the Lake District beloved by 
climbers, are composed of altered volcanic ashes, 
and to their texture is due that character which 
renders them particularly suitable for rock-climbing. 

The group of rocks to which the term " crystalline 
schists" is applied presents many points of resem- 
blance to igneous rocks, and indeed many of the 
rocks of the group are igneous rocks which have 


undergone alteration. They are particularly charac- 
terised by the possession of foliation - planes (see 
Chapter II.), and these planes are frequently curved 
in a very remarkable manner. As the crystalline 
schists are usually very durable, they tend to resist 
denudation, and stand out as mountain ridges and 
peaks. Owing to the closeness of the foliation 
planes, which causes the weathered rock to split 
into thin slabs, the crests of ridges and peaks of 
hills formed of schists are apt to be extremely jagged 
and serrated with fragments projecting like the teeth 
of a saw, and as the planes are frequently curved, the 
pinnacles and teeth frequently present curved out- 
lines, recalling in many cases the projecting ribs of a 
wrecked vessel. 

It was stated in Chapter II. that slates are closely 
related to schists, and that a gradation may be traced 
from one class of rock to the other. As a whole, 
slates are more finely crystalline than schists, and are 
more readily broken up by the action of the weather. 
The cleavage-planes of slates are more close-set and 
regular than those of schists, so that when slates do 
stand out the serrated structure of a ridge may be 
even more pronounced than that of a roof formed 
of schists, though the teeth may be on a smaller 

We may now turn to the consideration of the 
sedimentary rocks, which for our purpose may be 
divided into sandstones, shales, and limestones, and 
discuss the scenic effects of these in the order 

Sandstones are relatively hard, and when alternat- 
ing with shales, as is often the case, tend to stand 
out, while the shales are denuded. The joints \tv 


sandstones are often very regular, and two sets 
run at right angles to the planes of stratification and 
to one another, and the deposits of sandstone fre- 
quently consist of beds of some thickness, the im- 
portant bedding planes being separated from one 
another by a considerable interval of rock. Accord- 
ingly when mountains are composed of horizontal 
or nearly horizontal stratified rocks we find the 
sandstone bands marked by terraced cliffs and scarps, 
so well described by Miss Charlotte Bronte in the 
case of the characteristic millstone grit scenery of 
the West Riding of Yorkshire around her native 
village. Fig. 20 shows a diagrammatic representa- 
ticni of a hill composed of alternate deposits of nearly 
horizontal sandstone and shale, the sandstone being 
marked by dots and the shale by fine parallel lines, 
and a similar outline would be produced if the shale 
alternated with limestone or basalt 

As the result of change, sandstone is often con- 
verted into a hard white rock, quartzite, which is 
vei*}^ durable, being prone to resist both chemical 
and mechanical denudation, and accordingly it often 
gives rise to eminences which frequently betray their 
character owing to their dazzling whiteness. Some 
of the quartzite-capped hills of Sutherland and Ross, 
where the quartzite reposes upon rocks of a prevalent 
reddish colour, sometimes appear as though capped 
with snow. 

The upper surfaces of gently inclined sandstones, 
often laid bare to form gentle slopes, owing to 
denudation of softer beds above, may simulate id 
some extent the surfaces of granitic districts and 
present rounded outlines, though very frequently 
they are comparatively flat if the sandstone is 



sufficiently durable to resist weathering even along 
joints. The effect of wind on masses of sandstone 
will be most conveniently considered when we de- 
scribe the characters of desert regions. 

Shales are composed of very fine particles, and are 
generally affected by close-set planes of lamination. 
Jointing is also often on a smaller scale than in the 
case of sandstones, and as the result of weathering 
shales tend to break up into small prismatic frag- 
ments, which present many surfaces to the weather 
and cause the rock fragments to be further comminuted 
into an incoherent mud, which is readily washed to 
a lower level, and gives rise to a slope of loose 

Fig. 20. 

material on which vegetation will readily grow ; 
accordingly shales are prone to produce gentle 
grass-covered slopes, separating the cliffs of more 
durable rock. On comparatively level surfaces, 
whether on the mountain-side or the lowlands, 
owing to the impervious nature of the shale, water 
finds a difficulty in penetrating into the ground, and 
in humid climates a tract occupied by shales is apt 
to give rise to rushy and marshy ground. 

The peculiar features of limestone countries are 
due to the well-jointed and thick-bedded character 
of many limestones, and to their porosity and solu- 
bility. The rocks break along joint-planes, producing 
cliffs resembling those formed by sandstones. As 
limestone is fairly soluble in carbonated water, awd 


as solution occurs along the joint-planes more ex- 
tensively than elsewhere, much of the drainage of 
limestone is underground, giving rise to caves, whose 
structure will be considered elsewhere. Owing to 
this underground drainage, limestones are often 
marked by absence of surface streams, and corrasion 
is of little account, and accordingly even soft lime- 
stones like chalk often stand out as hills. As the 
rain penetrates along joint-planes the limestone is 
often cut up into more or less quadrangular columns 
and pinnacles, and, owing to solution along fairly 
horizontal bedding planes, these pinnacles become 
fretted in an extraordinary manner. The small 
hollows on the general surface of a fairly horizontal 
tract of limestone hold the water^ and solution takes 
place in these hollows, causing their gradual enlarge- 
ment Accordingly the surfaces of fairly level lime* 
stone tracts (know^n as ''clints" in the north of 
England) present a rough, irregular surface, tra- 
versed by wide open fissures penetrating to ai^ 
considerable depth, often filled by masses of harts-^ 
tongue and other ferns, while the surface of the 
limestone is apt to be bare of vegetation, or if the 
limestone is impure a thin, dry soil is formed, which 
gives rise to a shorty sweet herbage like that covering 
the chalk downs. ^M 

The characters of a limestone area are ofteur" 
developed in an exaggerated form in a region com- 
posed of the rock formed of carbonates of lime and 
magnesia, and usually spoken of as dolomite. The 
joints in this .rock are frequently developed with 
extraordinary regularity, and give rise to those re- 
markable mural precipices and pinnacles which 1 
caused a certain area of the Eastern Alps tc 


\ T^- ;• 

'A' \'.iH:-: 


'I- <?'• 


\ '■. » z ' . '. - 

' c* • " 

f . • 

;':-^ N^. 

3ken of by the title of "The Dolomite Mountains." 
The Drei Zinnen (shown in the plate) and the 
""iinfifing^erspitze are well-known examples of this 
structure. Solution along bedding and joint-planes 
also produces very characteristic effects in detailj 
many of the summit ridges of the dolomite districts 
resembling piles of ruined masonry. The charac- 
teristic outline of dolomite rock, though specially 
well shown in the Easterri Alps on a large scale, is 
frequently reproduced on a small scale among the 
masses of dolomite which occur here and there 
among the crystalline rocks of the Valais and other 
parts of Western S^vitzerland. 

Before leaving the present subject reference must 
be made to the quartz veins which frequently traverse 
rocks of many kinds, both aqueous and igneous. 
They have been deposited from solution alon^ the 
various planes of weakness which traverse the rocks, 
and occur sometimes in regular bands, at other 
times in an irregular interlacing network of strings 
and knots» They frequently produce an effect 
owing to their conspicuous whiteness, but are also 
important to us because they often furnish a hard 
^skeleton to rocks which are othenvise soft, causing 
lem to resist denudation and to stand out as 
Passing from the influence of particular kinds of 
cks upon scenery, we must still say something about 
lajor divisional planes which traverse great belts of 
Dck of diverse composition, and also concerning the 
Iternation of inclined rocks of different degrees of 
iardness- Divisional planes, such as faults or parallel 
^stems of faults, act as planes of weakness along 
^hkh denudation readily acts, and the same may 




be said of Inclined soft strata. Complications thiis 
arise in the drainage lines which modify to a 
considerable degree the initial drainage which was 
established in accordance with the laws which we 
have discussed. These complications will be more 
fully considered when we treat of the formation of 
valleys in greater detail, and they are referred to 
here in order to point out their effect upon moun- 
tains. We have seen that mountain peaks are 
normally formed along ndges, and that each moun- 
tain peak of a symmetrical mountain ridge is 
separated from adjoining peaks by cols, and stands 
at the head of a consequent valley, while a secondar}^ 
ridge extends in a direction opposite to that of 
the valley. Accordingly most mountain peaks 
are merely the culminating points of ridges, with 
a loftg slope facing the consequent valley, and two 
aretes, or ridges, stretching to the cols. A true 
pyramid is therefore rare, and when it occurs excites 
interest If in any way the ridge which extends 
from a peak in a direction opposite to the conse- 
quent valley is cut through, the peak may become 
a true pyramid. On the flanks of the Pennine 
chain, in its course through Westmorland, four 
great buttresses^Roman Fell, Murton Pike, Dufton 
l^ike, and Knock Pike^stand out from the escarp- 
ment Two of thescj Murton and Dufton Pikes, 
are true pyramids, and form very conspicuous objects 
from the main line of the Midland Railway, They 
were once the terminations of secondary ridges, 
coming from the Pen nines ; but owing to the 
existence of a fault between them and the main 
scarp of the Pen nines, denudation has occurred 
along the plane of weakness, producing a depression, 

•■V .,.:V7 Y^'F.K 

hich has caused the Pikes to stand out as 

ly ram ids* 

Still more striking is the case of the Matterhorn, 

at mysterious-looking pyramid which has excited 

the wonder of all who have gazed at its apparently 

unscaleable clifFs» It has already been pointed out 

that it occurs at the head of the Val Tournanche, 

and is separated from the B re i thorn on on^ side 

and the Dent d'Herens on the other by cols, and 

hat a secondary ridge once extended from it on 

hich the Weisshorn stands. This secondarj^ ridge 

has been cut through by the valley occupied by 

e Zmutt glacier, which owes its existence to a 

ine of weakness apparently due to the occurrence 

of a belt of comparatively soft rock, which extends 

cross the Zermatt valley beneath the valley 

ecu pied by the Findelen glacier. Accordingly we 

find the Matterhorn, formerly the end of a long 

ridge at its junction with the main ridge, now 

approaching the form of a true pyramid, (See the 


Ve^eiatwn on Mountains. — ^It is well known that 

elevation produces its effect upon the character of 

the vegetation, and that a mountain near the equator 

sing to the snow line is occupied by 2ones of vegeta- 

!on which, to some extent, represent the zones which 

traceable when travelling from equatorial to polar 

gions. The detailed changes in vegetation vary 

ith the geographical position of the mountains, but 

hereas the lower slopes of the mountains in all 

lut arctic regions are frequently covered by belts 

dense forest, these are replaced higher up by 

rubby growths, still higher by grassy slopes en- 

iched by numerous brilliantly coloured flowering 



plants, at a higher elevation by lichens, and at last 
l)\' bare rock or i>er|XJtual snow. The peculiar type 
of vegetation which constitutes what is known as 
an Alpine flora exerts considerable influence upon 
the scenery owing to the peculiar conditions under 
wliich it grows. Supplied with abundance of water 
(luring the times of melting snow, and at other times 
(lepriyed of an outward supply of water during long 
intervals, the growth of the plants is modified in 
various ways to meet the peculiar conditions. 
Specially interesting to us is the formation of the 
cushion-shaped masses of plants, often covered with 
a profusion of bright flowers. As in the case of 
species of Silene, Androsace, Petrocallis, and Eritri- 
c/iiujfi, these masses frequently occur in such abun- 
dance on rocky slopes and moraines, that they pro- 
duce a very marked and pleasing influence upon the 
character of the scenery. 



VALLEYS are of two kinds, namely, those pro- 
duced by earth movement and those produced 
by denudation, though as in the case of mountains, 
so in that of valleys, the two processes work together. 
As the ridge of an earth-wave produces a mountain 
range, so the trough gives rise to a valley of de- 
pression, and when mountains are sculptured by 
denuding agents the intervening gaps are left as 
valleys of denudation. 

Valleys of depression will coincide with troughs of 
the strata, or we may have one side of the valley 
defined by a fault which replaces the septum of the 

Of valleys which are primarily defined by folding, 
we may mention in our own country the lower part 
of the Thames, between Windsor and the sea, while 
abroad a good instance is furnished by the upper part 
of the Rhone valley, between its source and Martigny, 
separating the Alps of the Bernese Oberland from those 
of the Valais. In each case the river runs along the 
bottom of a trough-shaped fold. An example of a 
valley produced by a faulted depression is that part 
of the Vale of Eden which lies between Kirkby 
Stephen and Carlisle, and an admirable example on a 
large scale in a foreign country is supplied by the 
Jordan valley, and its prolongation to the sowtVwN^x^* 
^ 113 


Though geolc^ists are generally agreed that the 
majorit}' of valleys are formed by erosion, and not 
l)y folding or cracking of the earth's crust, there are 
many jxioplc who will feel surprised when told that 
a river can carve out its own valley. Anyone who 
carefully considers the laws of erosion, as described 
in the preceding chapters on mountains, and sees 
how exactly the directions and structures of valleys 
of erosion agree with those which they should possess 
in accordance with those laws, will, I think, be com- 
[)cllcd to admit that these valleys must have been 
carved by erosion, but it will perhaps be as well 
to give some evidence that rivers can and do erode 
their valleys, though we cannot afford space to treat 
the matter at great length. 

In the first place, it may be remarked that many 
people have a very exaggerated notion of the slopes 
of valleys and mountains. Writers talk glibly of 
precipices and beetling cliffs when the prosaic sur- 
veyor finds that the general slope is perhaps less 
than 45°. Vertical precipices on a large scale are 
very rare, and, as before remarked, form comparatively 
insignificant features on a mountain-side when the 
mountain is viewed from a distance. Mr. Whymper 
notes that the east face of the Matterhorn, which looks 
so steep when viewed from the RifTel, slopes at an 
angle scarcely exceeding 40°, and he remarks : — 

" Forty degrees may not seem a formidable inclination to 
the reader, nor is it for only a small cliff. But it is very 
unusual to find so steep a gradient maintained continuously 
as the general angle of a great mountain slope, and very 
few instances can be quoted from the High Alps of such an 
angle being preserved over a rise of 3000 feet."^ 

^ Whymper, E., The Ascent of the Matterhorn^ p. 228. 



On the accompanying figure (Fig. 21 B) is 
shown a section through Mont Blanc and the 
valleys of Chamonix and of the river Doire, which 
is a portion of a section having the same vertical 
and horizontal scale given by the late Sir H. de la 
Beche in Plate II. of his Sections and Views Illus- 
trative of Geological Phenomena^ while above it {A) 
is a section across Snowdon reduced from one of 
the horizontal sections of H.M. Geological Survey on 







Fig. 21. 
A —Section across Snowdon from Llanberis to Gwynant. {After Sir 

A. Ramsay.) 
B = Section across Mont Blanc. (After Sir H. De la Beche.) 
In each section the vertical scale is the same as the horizontal 

scale. The scale of Section A is about three times as great as that of 

Section B. 

the scale of six inches to the mile, horizontal and 
vertical. These are sufficient to show the compara- 
tive smallness of angles in slopes which appear to be 
very steep. 

Examination of sections across valleys drawn to 
true scale will convince anyone that the majority 
of valleys are not mere cracks produced by Assuring 
of the earth's crust. It has already been stated that 
some valleys of depression are determined by lines 
of fault (though it can generally be proved that evew 


these largely owe their present features to subsequent 
denudation), but as it is found that most valley 
bottoms are not occupied by faults, but that the 
rock runs unbroken across them, faulting is out of 
the question in those cases. Again, it might be 
supposed that valleys could be produced by bending 
of the strata into an arch which was ruptured at the 
summit, giving rise to a V-shaped opening, and the 
coincidence of many valleys with lines of anticlinal 
folds of the strata seems at first sight to countenance 
this view. On examination, however, it is usually 
found that the slope of the strata is much smaller 
than it should be if this were the explanation of 
the origin of valleys. If a valley were formed by 
rupture of an arch composed of strata which were 
originally horizontal^ and the rupture gaped to such 
an extent as to give the valley sides slopes of 30^, 
a slope which is above the average slope of valleys, 
the strata should dip away at an angle of 60"* on 
either side, whereas when the direction of a valley 
does coincide with that of the axis of an anticlinal 
fold the dip of the strata on either side is often quite 
gentle. There is one method of producing an open 
depression by earth movement which has perhaps 
not received the attention which it deserves. When 
an arch is formed the upper strata are bent into 
a larger curve than the lower ones, and cracks may 
be formed in the upper beds which do not extend 
to the lower ones ; furthermore lateral sliding of the 
upper strata along a well-marked plane of stratifica- 
tion may take place, thus giving rise to a depression 
bounded by heights on either side. In rocks which 
have been subjected to much folding, it is probable 
that minor valleys have ofen been laitiated in Uiis 


way, but as a general rule we have abundant evidence 
that the action has not been responsible for the 
formation of valleys. It may be further remarked 
that the slope of a valley formed in this way should 
approach a plane surface, whereas the sides of valleys 
in regions which are marked by copious rainfall have 
the curve characteristic of stream erosion. 

I Anyone taking his stand on a height overlooking 
one of the Yorkshire dales, say the slopes of 
Ingleborough, will see the nearly horizontal cscar[> 
ments of the harder strata sweeping in continuous 
curves round the sides and heads of the valleys, 
each major deposit obviously represented by the 
corresponding strata on the other side of the valley, 

1 and examination of such a scene will be more useful 
than pages of description devoted to the subject to 
convince an observer that the valley has been carved 
out by erosion. 

But hitherto we have only put forward indirect 
proofs that running water can erode. We have 
discussed the ideal curve of stream erosion, and seen 
that the actual curve corresponds with it in areas 
where streams course over the surface of the country, 
and that the curves are absent where streams are 
wanting. Let us now examine the action of these 
streams, in order to see whether they are capable 
of exerting the requisite erosive power, for many 
writers, though admitting a limited erosive power 

r to rivers, deny that these are capable of performing 

I the work which geologists claim for them, and this 
is not to be wondered at, when the chances are that 

\ the first river which is examined will, under existing 

(conditions, have reached its base-level of erosion in 
a country which has not recently uprisen. 


If we take our stand by the side of a small rocky 
^orge, we shall probably see a number of hemiT 
spherical or cylindncal hollows in the bed of the 
stream and semi -cylindrical shafts on the rocky 
walls, which are known as potholes. Those which 
are submerged, as well as those which are now high 
and dry, will probably be occupied by a number of 
water- worn pebbles. During a flood it will be seen 
that eddies are at work over these hollows, and that 
the pebbles are whirled round and round by the 
eddies, gradually boring their w^ay into the rock, like 
the drill of a diamond boring machine. In time two 
contiguous potholes jom, and so a whole number 
may coalesce, and by their coalescence the gorge is 
deepened, and some of the isolated potholes left dry 
above the existing stream-level. In this case it is 
seen how a gorge can be formed, and its size is 
merely a question of time, so long as the stream 
can work without reaching its base-level of erosion. 
Now take the case of a gorge below a w^aterfall, as, 
for instance, Niagara, We know, as the result of 
direct observation, that the falls are cutting back- 
ward ; and we also know that the structure of the 
gorge is essentially similar through the whole of its 
extent, and accordingly writers are agreed that 
Niagara has cut out a gorge from 200 to 400 yards 
wide at the top, 200 to 300 feet deep, and seven 
miles in length, in times which are, in a geological 
sense, recent^ Here is a gorge which, it is generally 
admitted, has been carved by the river which now 
occupies it But we find every gradation from the 
waterfall J through the cascade and the rapids, to the 

^ For a fiill account of the fomiation of the Niagara gorge, see 
LvELL, Sir C, Primiplfs cf GeGhgy^ nth edition, vol» i», chap, xv. 


ordinary flowing river. The work is performed in 
each case in the same way, it is only the amount 
which is different; this amount, as we have seen, 
being dependent on declivity, when other things are 
equal. We may cite a few other instances of actual 
formation of small valleys which are known to have 
been formed by water action. "A great mass of 
iUbrzs was washed down from the sides of Blease 
Fell, on the east of the Lune, about two miles south 
of Tebay Junction, in the course of three or four 
hours during a thunderstorm, about the year 1858. 
The rain excavated deep channels in the weathered 
rock of the hill-side, and spread the rubbish over 
some pasture land below. The dibris still forms a 
striking object as seen from the train." ^ Gilpin 2 
describes the occurrence of a "cloud-burst" in the 
Vale of St. John, in the Lake District, on August 
.22nd, 1749, "which forced a new channel through 
a solid rock . . . and made a chasm at least ten feet 
wide." Again, in the same district, **an interesting 
gully is seen somewhat north of the top of High 
Street, where, as seen on the six-inch ordnance map, 
the Roman road is partially destroyed by a ravine, 
which has cut through it The head of the ravine 
is a few yards above the road, and where it cuts the 
road it is about eighteen feet deep and 103 feet across 
at the top. It is excavated partly in loose rubble, 
but largely through rock in situ, though much 
affected by weathering. Some of the material may 
have been removed by landslip, but the greater part 

* Strahan, a., Mem, GeoU Survey, ** The Geology of the District 
around Kendal," etc, p. 51. 

* Observatwtts oh the Mountains and Lakes of Cumberland and 
IVestm^rland, toL iL, p. 36. 


was probably disintegrated by running water, which 
has also removed it"^ In LyelFs Principles of 
Geology (vol. i., chap, xv.) an example is given of a 
gorge "from fifty to several hundred feet wide, and 
in some parts from forty to fifty feet deep," which 
has been excavated by the river Simeto in a current 
of lava which, according to Gemmellaro, flowed from 
Etna in 1603. "On entering the narrow ravine 
where the water foams down the two cataracts, we 
are entirely shut out from all view of the surround- 
ing country, and a geologist who is accustomed to 
associate the characteristic features of the landscape 
with the relative age of certain rocks can scarcely 
dissuade himself from the belief that he is contem- 
plating a scene in some rocky gorge of very ancient 

These examples will suffice to show that rivers 
can erode, and the last is specially instructive. If 
a gorge forty to fifty feet deep can be carved out 
of hard rock in less than three centuries, how much 
greater effects can be produced during the vast 
intervals of time which we can prove to have elapsed 
since the initiation of many of our existing drainage 

In some of the examples cited, it will be noted 
that the work was done during periods of excessive 
rainfall, and it must be remarked that periods of 
flood are the times when the work of denudation is 
almost exclusively performed. The transporting 
power of a river varies, not directly as the velocity, 
but as the sixth power of the velocity, and accord- 
ingly the corrasive power of a river is enormously 
increased during periods of flood. This should be 
^ Geographical Joumaly June, 1895, p. 621. 


r remembered by those who are inclined to minimise 

■X the importance of rivers as agents of denudation. 

^ In the forty years that have elapsed since the for- 
i[ mation of the ravines on Blease Fell, near Tebay, 

'•z the erosion which has occurred is as nothing com- 

r pared with that which was then performed in a few 

c hours. 

In Chapter V. allusion was made to the initiation 

- of the chief drainage lines of a country which had 
undergone uplift, producing a set of primary 
consequent streams running in a general direction 
at right angles to the axis of uplift, and therefore 
along the direction of the dip of the beds, and 
another set of secondary subsequent streams whose 
courses are directed along the strike of the strata, 
and approximately at right angles to those of the 
consequent streams.^ We have stated that the con- 
sequent and subsequent streams would, if conditions 
were uniform, run in straight lines, and the main 
direction of these streams often approaches the 
straight line, but in uplift of actual rocks thousands 
of minor inequalities would occur which would divert 
the stream now on one side, now on another, from 
its ideal course, and give it a sinuous track. The 
subsequent streams will only be approximately at 
right angles to the consequent streams, for although 
the secondary watershed between neighbouring con- 
sequent streams is parallel to the courses of those 
streams, the subsequent streams are also affected by 
the general declivity of the land towards the ocean, 

^ The terms "consequent" and "subsequent" are applied to rivers 
by Professor W. M. Davis in a paper on "The Development of Certain 
English Rivers" {Geograph, Journal^ vol. v., p. 127), which very 
clearly describes the initiation of a typical drainage system and its 


and diough this will probably be slight as compared 
with the slofie between the secondary watershed and 
the bottom of tile consequent valley, it will produce 
its effect, and cause the subsequent streams to run 
somewhat obliquely to the strike of the strata on 
thuir way to join the consequent streams. 

Consequent streams, being in the direction of the 
dip, have the divisional planes of the rocks on either 
side of the stream bearing the same relations to the 
stream if conditions be uniform, but this is not the 
case with subsequent streams, and accordingly the 
cross-section of a subsequent stream is apt to be 
unsymmctricaL In an ideal uplift the subsequent 
stream will at first run over one stratum, the upper- 
most, but, its course being somewhat oblique, it will 
flow over different strata as it corrades its valley] 
though, as shown by Gilbert, in a region of inclined 
strata there is a tendency on the part of streams 
which traverse soft beds to continue therein, and 
there is a tendency to eliminate drainage lines from m 
hard beds. m 

In Fig. 22 let A B be the surface of the ground, on 
which a series of inclined strata, H S, crop out, and 
let H be hard and S soft strata. Suppose a sub- 
sequent stream running on a hard stratum at X, the 
cross-section of its valley at the outset being 
indicated by the semicircular unbroken line. The 
stream, if the hard rock be uniform, will corrade 
vertically downward till it reaches the softer rock 
below, and if this be also uniform, it will corrade 
downward through this also, as shown by the loop- 
shaped dotted lines marking different stages of its 
progress. When it reaches tlie underlying hard 
stratum it will probably find it easier to cut sidewa; 




along the junction of soft and hard strata, as shown 
by the dotted lines to the right of the position of the 
original stream, and will tend to undercut the over- 
lying hard stratum. At Y, where the stream is 
supposed to originate in the soft rock, it cuts 
vertically down to the junction with the underlying 
hard rock, and then cuts sideways as before, and a 
stream developed along the soft rock between X 
and Y would act similarly. Now we have seen 
(Chapter II.) that the master-joints of rocks run in 
two sets, respectively parallel with the lines of dip 
and strike, and as the overlying hard rocks are 

undercut they will be detached by the action of the 
weather and in landslips, and the material will fall 
into the stream and be transported. In gently 
inclined rocks the joints will be highly inclined, and 
accordingly every valley formed by a subsequent 
stream will, when the inclination of the strata is less 
than 45**, as is usually the case, have a gentle slope 
on one side, formed by the summit of a hard rock 
(and this slope will possess the direction and degree 
of inclination of the dip of the rock), and a steep 
slope on the other, corresponding with the inclination 
of the strike joints. Accordingly, after gently 
inclined rocks are affected by the corrasion of 
subsequent streams, a section across the country at 
right angles to the direction of flow of the sub- 
sequent streams will present the appearance shown 


in Fig. 23. The gentle slopes, D, are known as dip- 
slopes, and the steeper ones, E, as escarpments, and 
every escarpment in a district which has been formed 
by a simple uplift of strata above sea-level will face 
inland, and each dip-slope will slant down seaward. 
In many cases, especially with softer rock, the slope 
of the escarpment, and often the dip slope also, will 
be diminished by accumulation of loose material, but 
with hard rocks the escarpments often stand out 
as parallel lines of cliff, each cliff being limited to 
the hard stratum or set of strata to which it owes its 
origin. These escarpments, of course, give rise to 
tertiary watersheds, from which streams flow in 

Fig. 23. 

either direction. Those which flow down the 
escarpment in a direction contrary to that of the 
primary consequent streams are termed obsequent 
streams by Professor Davis ; the other streams which 
flow down the dip-slopes will have courses parallel to 
those of the primary consequent streams. 

When we meet with great belts of alternating 
soft and hard strata, the escarpments may recede 
owing to general degradation by weathering and 
the action of obsequent streams and their tribu- 
taries, and the escarpment may recede while the 
subsequent stream which determines it remains 
practically stationary ; we then get an extensive 
plain occupied by the subsequent stream and 
its tributaries, and the courses of obsequent 


streams are lengthened by recession of the top 
of the escarpment. Thus we find the great plain 
of the soft Has and new red sandstone rocks of 
the east and south-east of England dominated by 
the westward-facing escarpment of the hard oolites. 
Approaching the east coast, we find that the dip- 
slope of the oolites, sloping eastward, plunges down 
to another plain formed of the soft upper Jurassic 
clays. Another escarpment facing westward is fre- 
quently encountered, formed of the more durable 
lower greensand, the dip -slope of which in turn 
sinks to the plain of soft gault clay, which is over- 
looked by the great escarpment of chalk, again 
facing westward. These two salient escarpments, 
that of the oolites and that of the chalk, with their 
corresponding plains, formed in the way described 
above, form dominant features of the scenery of the 
south-east portion of England. 

Owing to the tendency of the streams which run 
obliquely across harder and softer strata to eliminate 
their courses from the harder rocks, and to flow 
when possible over soft strata, a subsequent stream 
with an oblique course, indicated by the dotted line 
in the following plan, in which the outcrops of hard 
and soft strata are respectively represented by the 
letters H and S, will tend to alter its course, so 
that it ultimately flows in the direction indicated by 
the thick black line, though it must be understood 
that the stream, with its altered course, would not be 
actually beneath the original one, as the whole has 
shifted laterally. (The arrow indicates the direction 
of dip of the strata.) 

The formation of obsequent streams, and of the 
other tributaries to a subsequent stream which run 


d« »\vn the dif>-slopes, will give rise to another set of 
watersheds from which subsidiary tributaries may 
flow, so that a river system eventually may consist of 
c« »nsequent stream, with a whole network of tributaries, 
but with the formation of subsequent streams and 
their main tributaries we have obtained a sufficient 
insitjht into the development of a typical drainage 
s\stem in an area affected by a symmetrical uplift 

l^efore considering the deviations of drainage 
which may be subsequently produced in different 
ways in an uplifted area, it will be convenient if 


11 —^^ 



Fig. 24. 

we devote a short space to consideration of the 
forms of river valleys as shown in cross-section. 
" The typical river valley is bounded by two hill 
slopes, each possessing the denudation curve, and if 
conditions are uniform, the cross - section of the 
valley will show an outline similar to that repre- 
sented in Fig. 25 a, while if we take a longitudinal 
section from the watershed to the mouth of the 
river, along the valley-bottom, the denudation curve 
will appear as seen in Fig. 25 ^, though here the 
lower part of the curve will probably approximate to 
a straight line for a considerable part of its course.^ 

* An English term for the line taken by the course of a river apart 
from its meanderings is much needed, and we are driven to use the 
Gennan tenn TktUwe^ for this line. 


^ In the case of a consequent valley formed under 
uniform conditions, the curve will be bilaterally sym- 
metrical, whereas in a subsequent valley the curve 
will be greater on the escarpment side than on the 
side of the dip-slope as seen in Fig. 23. 

Writers sometimes speak of river valleys as 
I-shaped, V-shaped, U-shaped, and Y-shaped, accord- 
ing to the slopes, which roughly recall those of the 
letters with which they are compared, but all valleys 
of erosion will be ideally U-shaped, though the arms 
of the U will depart from verticality and become 


Fig. 25. 
fl— Cross-section of a valley of erosion. 
^= Line of Thalweg, 

separated to a greater or less extent, according to 
certain conditions controlling erosion, the principal of 
which are the nature of the rock, the character of the 
weathering, and the occurrence of earth movement, and 
of these the nature of the rock is really of import- 
ance mainly because the weathering is influenced by 
it, as soft rocks weather more readily than hard rocks. 
If a rock resists weathering, the rivers will cut 
narrower valleys than when the rock is readily 
weathered. This is seen by the fact that narrow 
gorges are apt to occur in rainless regions, though 
there are many exceptions to this, and under suitable 
circumstances extremely narrow gorges can be formed 
in r^ions of considerable rainfall. It is also well 
shown by the formation of those peculiar structures 


known as earth-pillars in districts where the condi- 
tions arc suitable for their formation, and as these 
earth-pillars, when well developed, are apt to excite 
the curiosity of those who see them, we may devote 
a short space to their description. 

When a river runs through a compact homo- 
geneous clay charged with large stones, as shown 
in Fig. 26, it cuts out a gorge with the characteristic 
denudation curve a b c. If the rainfall is great, and 
fairly vertical, the stones act like umbrellas, and 
protect the clay immediately beneath, while the 

Fig. 26. 

intervening clay is washed away by the rain and 
carried into the river. Accordingly the stone- 
protected masses stand up as pillars, the sides of 
which are furrowed by rain trickles, and they often 
possess minor pinnacles and buttresses, due to other 
stones occurring in the mass of the column. Now, 
if the stones had not been in the clay, the whole 
of the clay would have been washed away by rain 
action, and instead of the gorge a c b vie should 
meet with a wider valley, d b f. The pillars which 
occur near Botzen, in the Tyrol, are fully described and 
figured by Sir C. Lyell in his Principles of Geology 
(vol. i., chap. XV., and Plate II.); they vary in 
height from twenty to a hundred feet. The pillars 
near Stalden, above Visp, are well known, and 


some admirable examples are found at Useigne, in 
the Val d'Herens, where the process of formation 
is well shown. They are carved out of the material 
of the terminal moraine of the ancient Val d'Here- 
mence glacier. This moraine has been carved out 
into sharp ridges by stream action, and the ridges are 
further cut up by rain to form the pyramids, which 
are cut through by the road to Evolena, on either 
side of the mouth of the Val d'Heremence, though 
the pillars of the upper group are more striking 
than those of the lower. 

One of the most important conditions for the 
formation of a steep gorge is the occurrence of a 
swift stream which can corrade rapidly, in which 
case weathering action cannot widen the gorge to 
any extent while the river is deepening it. The 
swiftness of the stream may be due primarily to uplift, 
and this is no doubt the most important factor in 
producing steep-sided streams. When the upper part 
of a river-course is being elevated, while the lower 
part is stationary, corrasion will be increased, and 
a gorge will be formed. To this cause, as well as 
to the arid climate, the extraordinary cafions of 
the Colorado region are due. It follows that when 
a river has reached its base-level of erosion, and 
downward corrasion is stopped, the action of the 
weather will be very pronounced, and accordingly 
a gorge is not likely to exist for long periods in 
a rainy region when the base-level of erosion has 
been established. There are many secondary causes 
which increase the corrasive power of a river over 
parts of its course, and gorges may be carved out 
there; for instance, as already seen, a waterfall will 
form a gorge, and we shall show in the sequel that 



many waterfalls are due to secondary changes in 

When vertical corrasion and weathering are both 
at work, the width of the valley will depend on 
their relative imixDrtance ; but when the base-level 
of erosion is reached, important changes in the 
action of the river occur, which must now be 

So long as vertical corrasion is in operation, 
lateral corrasion of the side of the river-bed is in- 
significant ; but as soon as vertical corrasion is 
checked by the establishment of the base-level of 
erosion lateral corrasion becomes important, and 
the rivers work sideways instead of downward, 
though the width of the river is not necessarily 
increased thereby, for compensation is made for 
corrasion of one bank by deposition on the opposite 
one. We have already noted that the courses of 
streams arc unlikely to be actually straight In nature, 
as the river, on its initiation, will be turned from 
side to side by minor inequalities. Imagine a portion 
of a river-course flowing in the direction indicated 
in Fig. 27, that is from x toy^ and that it has a slight 
S - shaped curve owing to some inequality in its 
course. In the straight part of a river-course the 
centre of the stream flows more rapidly than the 
sides, and the top than the bottom, as the stream 
is retarded by friction against the bottom and sides. 
Now when the stream, after traversing a straight 
portion of its course, reaches the curve represented 
in the figure, the central swift part tends to flow 
on in the same straight line, and impinges against 
the concave bank at x, eroding it, while an eddy 
is set up, which causes the current to flow backward 



on the convex side, x', and to deposit material 
there. The same process takes place at 7, and, as 
a result, the S-shaped curve becomes emphasised, 
as shown by the dotted lines, and the river has a 
cross - section like that of by Fig. 27, which is a 
section taken from ^' to ^ in ^. The whole of the 
S - shaped curve tends to work down the valley 

owing to the general slope of the Thalweg; and 
accordingly, when a river has reached its base-line 
of erosion, it tends to widen its valley, and to form 
a plane surface which slopes gently towards the 
ocean. Through this plain the river meanders in 
loop-shaped folds. During flood -times the river 
overflows its banks, and in the slack water of the 
flooded portions sediment is deposited in the form 
of alluvium, which may build up the floor of tlv^ 


valley to a considerable height above the level 
which it reached when the base-line of erosion was 
established. These alluvial flats mark various parts 
of river - courses, though they are usually more 
numerous in the lower portions. A cross - section 
of a valley under these conditions will be as 
follows : — 

AUuivial \ Flat / 

Fig, 28. 

When the S-shaped folds have been growing for 
some time, they may form almost complete circles, 
and during floods the river may cut through the 
isthmus which separates portions of two loops, when 
the old course will be left as a crescentic lake. 

"A multitude of such crescent-shaped lakes, scattered 
far and wide over the alluvial plain, the greater number 
of them to the west, but some of them also eastward of 
the Mississippi, bear testimony to the extensive wanderings 
of the great stream in former ages." ^ 

After the establishment of an alluvial flat by 
lateral corrasion accompanied by deposition the 
plain will remain unaltered in its general characters, 
though it may increase in width, so long as conditions 
remain the same. Should the power of the stream 
to exert vertical corrasion be restored to it in any 
way, it will again cut downward, and a valley within 
a valley will be formed, as shown in Fig. 29, in which 
a exhibits a symmetrical cross -section, where the 
river-course happened to be in the centre of the 
alluvial plain at the time that vertical corrasive 
1 Lyell, Sir C, Principles of Geology^ vol. L, chap. xix. 


power was restored, while b shows an unsymmetrical 
cross -section, with the later part of the valley to- 
wards one side of the earlier portion. This diagram 
illustrates the character of the Grand Canon of the 
Colorado, which is a valley within a valley. It is 
clear that the loops which were formed when the 
base-level of erosion had been temporarily attained 
will still be retained, and as a consequence of the 
pause, followed by downward erosion, we are fur- 
nished with those remarkable cases of narrow valleys 
which run with very winding courses, such as the two 

Fig. 29. 

Crooks of Lune, above Lancaster and Kirkby Lons- 
dale, and the great bend of the Wear around Durham 

Restoration of the power of a stream to corrade 
vertically may be due to several causes, the chief of 
which is uplift of the land along the upper course 
of the stream, which, as already pointed out, in- 
creases the velocity of the stream. Besides this 
there are minor causes, which are of importance, 
which may be briefly noticed, and some of their 
effects considered. Increase in the amount of rain- 
fall, or diminution of the supply of sediment to a 
fully charged stream, or diversion of one stream into 
another (in ways to be presently described), thereby 
increasing the volume of the second stream, may 
restore the stream's power to corrade vertically. The 
most interesting of the minor causes, however, is 


the existence of hard and soft rocks which alternate 
with one another along the course of a stream. 
Suppose that a consequent stream is flowing across 
alternate stratified deposits of hard sandstone and 
soft shale, as in Fig. 30. The shale is more readily 
denuded than the sandstone under ordinary circum- 
stances, but a bed of shale cannot be corraded to 
an appreciably greater depth than the sandstone sur- 
face which occurs lower down the stream, or a pond 
would be formed filled with still water, which could 

not corrade. Accordingly if, as in the figure, a con- j 
sequent stream flows along the course A ^ in the 
direction of the arrow, the soft shale 5* between 
the two hard beds H H' may be worn down to a 
nearly level surface, as represented by the dotted 
line I 2, but it cannot be worn lower. The stream 
here will have formed a temporary base-line of 
erosion, and the same process will go on in the 
shale S\ As the hard beds H' H" are not worn 
away so rapidly, the result of lowering the level 
of the upper surface of the shale 5 will be that the 
slope of the stream is increased where the river 
passes from H' to 5 at 2, and a gorge will be 
formed, and the river will gradually lower its bed 
along H'y as shown by the dotted line 2 3 ; and 


then the portion of the stream running through the 
soft shale S' can be lowered, and formation of a 
gorge will commence in H'\ the course of the stream 
being finally along the dotted line 1234. It will 
be seen that the portion of the stream flowing over 
S\ which had temporarily established its base-line 
of erosion, 5 6, before the hard rock H' was corraded, 
is again capable of exerting a corrasive influence 
under the changed conditions, and the cross-section 
of that part of the valley situated over S' will appear 
as in Fig. 29. 

It follows from the above that a valley initiated in 
a country composed of alternating soft and hard rocks 
will be occupied by a river alternately flowing over 
gentle slopes and more abrupt ones, and that 
corrasion of the abrupt slopes will cause the river 
to cut back into the gentle ones, producing the 
Y-shaped cross -section, which may be repeated 
more than once. In the end hard and soft rocks 
will be cut down till the base-line of corrasion is 
reached, and accordingly alternation of rapids and 
cascades in a gorge with a sluggish stream along 
a flat can only occur in a young river or in an old 
one which has been affected by disturbing influences, 
for a rapid river which is charged with detritus and 
has been in existence for a long period will cut its 
channel till it has attained its base-level; for instance, 
the Colorado in a course of 1000 miles falls over 
5000 feet, and yet no waterfall is met with through 
the whole of this portion of its course. To the 
subject of waterfalls we shall recur in the next 
chapter. It need only be stated that the valley is 
likely to be narrow in the hard rocks and wider 
where it traverses the softer ones. 


When a river temporarily attains its base-line of 
LTusion, and subsequently becomes capable of cor- 
radin^ its bed vertically, if the main stream has a 
l«)n;^cr course than its tributaries it will probably 
possess a greater volume of water than that of each 
tributary, and may corrade to a considerable depth, 
while the tributaries exert little influence, notwith- 
standing the increase of slope. For a considerable 
period after the deepening of the main valley, the 
minor valleys will end as definite gorges some height 
above the floor of the main valley, and discharge 
tlicir waters in a series of cascades or falls down the 
side of the main valley, and this period may be 
lcnc;thcned owing to minor causes. In a district 
like the Lake District many of the major valleys, 
like that in which Thirlmere is situated, rise from 
comparatively low cols, and the main stream is not 
sup[)licd with a very large supply of sediment near 
its source. The tributary valleys rising amongst the 
frost-sliattercd ridges of the higher hills are supplied 
with a (juantity of material for transportation, and 
their power of corrasion of the unw^eathered rocks in 
the lower part of their course is greatly diminished, 
as their energy is mainly available for transportation 

Accordingly we find in the Lake District a 
number of tributary valleys occurring in the hearts 
of the ridges, and opening out far above the bottoms 
of the main valleys, discharging their waters down 
the slopes in cascades. They are specially well 
marked on the east side of Helvellyn, and a number 
of them also open into the upper branches of Borrow- 


Now, let the river of the main valley once more 
attain its base-level of erosion, and form an alluvial 
plain. The material which is brought down the hill- 
sides by streamlets is deposited in the form of " dry 
deltas" when the velocity of the streamlets is checked 
. on reaching the plain, and the major streams which 
issue from the upland valleys just described build 
deltas of considerable size, assuming the shape of 
half a cone, with its apex coinciding with the point 
at which the tributary stream issues from the hill- 
side to tumble down the slope of the main valley, 
and accordingly a series of more or less symmetrical 
"alluvial cones" are formed around the mouths 01 
these valleys. 

The dry delta is, of course, formed whenever a 
rapidly running tributary charged with much material 
enters into a main river flowing over a surface so 
gently inclined that it cannot transport the sediment 
brought down by the tributary. Now the water of the 
tributar}'' is impelled against the opposite side of the 
main river, producing corrasion of the bank there, 
and the formation of the dry delta drives the main 
stream to the opposite side of the valley, and, as a 
consequence, main streams tend to bend away from 
their tributaries where these join them. Admirable 
examples are found in the upper course of the Rhone 
valley, where it wanders through the flat marshes 
between Brieg and Martigny, the best being just east 
of Sion. Here the rapid Borgne, draining the Val 
d*Herens and Val d'Heremence to the south, drives 
the Rhone against its northern bank, while a little 
further east the Ri^re, flowing from the Wildstrubcl 
group to the north, forces the Rhone to its southern 
bank near St Leonhard. 


If a great quantity of dibris is carried into a main 
valley in this way, it may ultimately result in the 
formation of a lake, occupying the portion of the 
valley above the junction of the tributary, a process 
which will be more fully described in a future 


VALLEYS {Continued) 

WE have hitherto assumed that river systems 
are initiated as the result of uplift of an area 
composed of stratified rocks which were originally 
horizontal. These river systems are described by 
Gilbert as consequent upon the uplift (the term con- 
sequent being here used in a wider sense than that 
in which it is applied by Davis), and we have 
considered the conditions of drainage which would 
exist in the case of a symmetrical uplift, which 
must be in accordance with the laws which control 

We must now refer to the complications which 
will result owing to departure from uniformity. 

In the first place, actual drainage lines may differ 
from those which would be developed under ideal 
uniform conditions, on account of differences in the 
hardness of rocks; any rock or any fracture or 
system of fractures which permits weathering and 
corrasion to occur more readily than among the 
neighbouring rocks tends, if other conditions permit, 
to give rise to valleys. Accordingly the ideal alter- 
nate tributaries entering a main stream are often 
partly replaced by two tributaries entering the stream 
at the same point, the production of these being 
determined by a plane of weakness, and — a matter of 



greater importance from our present standpoint- 
tributaries of adjoining rivers may start from the 
same position on the watershed, giving rise to a 
depression at the top, which is not placed laterally 
to the valley heads, but occurs at the heads, and 
accordingly a valley of this character is not domi- 
nated by a mountain peak, and the valley loses one 
of its principal scenic attributes. The valley of 
Thirlmere and the corresponding valley, in which 
Grasmere is situated, are separated by the pass of 
Dunmail Raise, which is of this character. The effect 
of planes of weakness in giving rise to pyramidal 
hills by severance of the lateral ridge has already 
been considered. 

Another complication may be produced when a 
river has established its base-level of erosion. It 
has been seen that lateral corrasion becomes im- 
portant ; a river then eats into its banks, and it may 
eventually cut through the ridge separating it from 
an adjoining river, when the upper waters of the 
river at a higher level are switched off, and become 
tributaries to the river at a lower level, while the 
lower waters start from a freshly formed col. Many 
minor complications may result from this, such as 
increased erosive power of the one river, owing to 
increase of volume, causing deepening of its valley, 
and diminished erosive power of the other stream. 
The new col will not be dominated by a mountain 
peak, unless that at the head of the original valley is 
visible from the shortened valley. 

Other complications are produced according to 
what Gilbert terms the law of unequal slopes. In 
Fig- 3i> suppose the line C A C to represent a 
section across an unsymmetrical uplift with a steep 


slope A Cy and a gentle one AC. Weathering and 
corrasion will occur more extensively along A C 
than along A C\ and so, while a small thickness of 
rock, C D\ is worn away on the side of the gentle 
slope, a much greater thickness, C D, will be 
denuded on the steeper slope, and the result is that 
the watershed is shifted laterally from A to 5, and 
any tributaries of the streams coursing down the 

Fig. 31. 

gentle slope and entering them between A and B 
will be diverted into the streams flowing down the 
steep slope. The recession of the watershed will be 
continuous all along owing to weathering, but will be 
most marked at the heads of the major streams, and 
accordingly we may have gorges cut into the side-^ C, 
extending backwards and forming deep gashes in 
the gentler valleys on the side A C, as is well seen 
in the valley of High Cup Gill, near Appleby, in 
Westmorland, which has cut far backward into a 
shallow tributary of the Tees.^ Here we have 

See Geographical Journal y vol. vii., p. 607. 


another case of a valley which will not be dominated 
by a |Xiak at the head. 

The law of unequal slopes may control erosion 
when adjoining valleys are at different levels if the 
lower valley receives the waters of subsequent 
valleys. The subsequent valley falling into the 
lower stream will have greater erosive power than 
its neighbour over the col, and may gradually extend 
its course backward till it beheads the adjoining 
consequent stream, which will thus have its head 
waters diverted to the consequent stream existing 
at a lower level. In this way Professor Davis, in the 
paper cited in the last chapter, accounts for many 
complications in the drainage of East Anglia, and it 
is this process which appears to have severed the 
ridge extending northward from the Matterhorn, for 
at one time the stream in the Zinal valley seems to 
have had its source about the Tdte de Valpelline, and 
ran northward over the Zinal Joch, and was subse- 
quently beheaded by the river occupying the valley 
of the present Zmutt glacier, which severed the ridge 
between the upper part of the original Zinal valley 
and the Nikolai-thai. Obsequent streams flowing 
down the steep faces of escarpments cut back their 
heads, often forming combes, but as the adjoining 
subsequent stream at the foot of the dip -slope is 
naturally at a lower level than that beneath the 
escarpment, actual beheading will only occur under 
exceptional conditions. 

Change of drainage lines may occur owing to the 
existence of alluvial cones, though the results are 
insignificant to the student of scenery. If a cone be 
formed at the col separating two important valleys 
by a tributary entering the main valley close to the 


watershed, as the water shifts its position on the cone, 
deserting the channels which it has built up to some 
height above the general level, the water will flow now 
to one main stream, at another time to the other. 
A good case is exhibited on Dunmail Raise, where 
a, tributary coming down the Helvellyn range has 
formed cui alluvial cone on the watershed. The 
tributary drains towards Grasmere at present, but a 
small dry valley below the base of the cone towards 
Thirlmere shows that it flowed in that direction at no 
distant date. 

The last mode of diversion of drainage lines to 
which we shall call attention is described by Gilbert 
under the name of ponding. Either by subsequent 
uplift or by formation of a dam, a lake is formed 
along a river -course. We shall discuss the forma- 
tion of lakes in detail in a separate chapter. If 
the dam is lower than all the cols higher up the 
valley, the water issues from the lake over its original 
position, and no diversion of drainage occurs ; but if 
a col exists higher up the valley with its notch at 
a lower level than that of the lowest part of the 
barrier, the water of the lake escapes over this col, 
and a permanent diversion of drainage takes place, 
the ponded valley being beheaded by the uplifted or 
accumulated barrier. 

The main scenic effects due to diversions of drain- 
age, causing beheading of one valley and addition to 
the waters of an adjoining one, are (i) production 
of pyramidal mountains by severance of a ridge, 
culminating in a peak ; (ii) formation of cols or 
passes which are on the medial line of a valley, 
and accordingly the valley head is not dominated 
by a peak; (iii) production of dry valleys, often of 


considerable extent, beneath the new col, produced 
by diversion of the head waters of the valley into an 
adjoining valley: as these valleys, owing to absence 
of any large volume of running water, allow 
weathered material to accumulate, upon which a 
marsh vegetation often flourishes, they are apt to 
present a particularly desolate aspect ; (iv) pro- 
duction of waterfalls, as described in the latter part 
of the chapter. 

Drainage has been hitherto considered as though 
it were always due to emergence of strata from 
the sea, but we may have an uplift of a tract 
of land which has been reduced to a nearly level 
surface, or peneplain, by subaerial denudation, when 
the watershed will coincide with the axis of uplift, 
but will have no necessary relation to the inclination 
of the partly denuded strata, for they owe this in- 
clination to a previous movement. We may now 
proceed to consider what Gilbert terms inconsequent 
drainage, which he divides into two classes, namely, 
antecedent drainage and superinduced drainage. 

When an uplift takes place across a river-course, 
we have seen that the stream may be ponded back. 
If, however, the uplift is very slow, and the corrasive 
action of the stream rapid, the stream may keep its 
course open, notwithstanding the uplift, just as in 
a fixed saw, when a log is pressed up against it, the 
saw works in the same line, and cuts a fissure through 
the log. As the result of this process, rivers may 
run through mountains, and a gorge be formed. 
A similar result may follow owing to superim- 
posed drainage, and it is in many cases difficult 
to distinguish one process from the other. The 
course of the Green river through the Uinta moun- 


tains has been ascribed by Powell as due to ante- 
cedent drainage, ue,, drainage antecedent to the 
uplift, and Medlicott and Blanford thus explain the 
course of the Indus and the Brahmaputra through 
the Himalayas.^ 

Superimposed drainage may occur as the result of 
formation of plains by lateral corrasion, this is the 
drainage superimposed by planation, to use Gilbert's 
expression ; or the drainage may be imposed upon 
deposits, whether terrestrial, as alluvium, or marine, 
as ordinary sediments. Drainage in this case is 

Fig. 32. 

superimposed by alluviation or sedimentation. Upon 
uplift the drainage will coincide with the axis of 
uplift, but when the superficial deposits have been 
worn away, the drainage will have no apparent 
relation with the inclination of the tinconformable 
strata beneath the overlying eroded deposits; thus 
the axis of the anticlinal fold of a ridge need not 
underlie the main watershed. This is illustrated in 
Fig. 32, which is a section across the English Lake 
District. (See also Chapter VI.) 

The older strata ;ir;ir were formerly bent into an arch 
with its axis about the head of the arrow A. These 
arched strata were denuded to an approximately 

* It is only right to state that some cases of asserted antecedent 
drainage have been disputed by Professor W. M. Davis, but this is 
not the place to discuss controversial questions. 


level surface before the deposition of the strata yy 
upon them. The latter were originally deposited 
horizontally, and subsequently uplifted around a 
point situated about the position of the head of 
the arnnv B, and a radial drainage was initiated, 
which was consequent to the second uplift, and, as 
far as the rocks y y are concerned, was an ordinary 
case of consequent drainage. The strata y y have 
since been denuded over the centre of the district 
(their former extension being indicated by the dotted 
lines), and the drainage is superimposed upon the 
older strata x x and is inconsequent so far as their 
axis of uplift at A is concerned. 

The original consequent and subsequent streams 
will run approximately in their original directions 
after they have reached the older rocks, but a number 
of minor streams will be developed, owing to the 
occurrence of planes of weakness among the older 
rocks which did not extend into the newer ones. 
Thus in the Lake District the consequent streams, 
as those occupying the Keswick, Coniston, Winder- 
mere, and Ullswater valleys, run in the direction 
which was determined by the uplift of the strata 
which have now been eroded, though they have under- 
gone minor modifications as the result of the different 
nature of the rocks over which the streams now 
course, but tributary valleys have been developed, 
which owe nothing to the once overlying strata. 
Such a valley is the Vale of Troutbeck, determined 
by the occurrence of a great belt of broken rock, 
and accordingly marked by very steep, parallel sides, 
and a similar origin may be ascribed to the two 
valleys which start from Dunmail Raise. 

When an area has been reduced to a plain sur- 


face by subaerial denudation, and widespread uplift 
occurs, the cycle of denudation begins afresh, as 
described by Davis, and the peneplain will be cut 
up by denudation, which may give rise to new hills, 
carved out of the plain, and marked at first by the 
possession of flat tops ; to these Davis gives the 
name " monadnocks," from a hill in New Hampshire. 
An example is figured by Gilbert in his Geology of the 
Henry Mountains (Fig. 6). 

Before leaving the consideration of the causes 
which may give rise to complications of drainage, 
one suggested cause may be referred to, namely, the 
rotation of the earth on its axis. Of this Gilbert 
speaks as follows : — 

"The rotation of the earth, just as it gives direction to 
the trade winds and to ocean currents, tends to deflect 
rivers. In the southern hemisphere streams are crowded 
against their left banks, and in northern against the right. 
But this influence is exceedingly small. Mr. Ferrel's in- 
vestigations show that in latitude 45°, and for a current 
velocity of ten miles an hour, it is measured by less than 
one twenty-thousandth part of the weight of the water. 
(American journal of Science^ January, 1861). If its 
effects are ever appreciable, it must be where lateral 
corrasion is rapid, and even there it is probable that the 
chief result is an inclination of the flood-plain toward one 
bank or the other, amounting at most to two or three 

Waterfalls, — Reference has been made in passing 
to the conditions favourable for the formation of 
waterfalls, but on account of their prominent in- 
fluence on certain types of scenery they deserve 
more than passing mention. 

^ G§oU^ of the Henry Mountains^ p. 136. 


As the ultimate effect of river denudation is the 
production of the base-line of erosion, it is clear that 
waterfalls can only exist in the courses of streams 
which have not reached the base-level, or which, 
havin<^ once reached it, have been subjected to some^^e which has restored the corrasive power of 
the streams over parts of their courses. 

In the early history of a consequent stream a 
waterfall may be developed at any point where 
soft rocks are formed lower down the stream than 
hard rocks, so that the soft rocks may be readily 
denuded, and the hard rocks remain undenuded in 
the bed of the stream for a considerable time. Thus, 
if a dyke of igneous rock traversing soft shales be 
crossed by a stream, the shales below the dyke may 
be worn away, and a waterfall produced down the 
vertical wall of the dyke. Any mass of hard rock 
in contact with soft rock may thus cause a fall. A 
^ood example is furnished by Scale Force, near 
l^uttcrmere, in the Lake District, which is due to 
the erosion of soft clay rock and the resistance of 
a mass of granitic rock, down which the water now 
falls. Many of the most impressive falls, however, 
are produced in gently inclined strata, and their 
formation merits fuller description. 

Suppose a hard, well-jointed sandstone or lime- 
stone, a^ rests upon the surface of a deposit of soft 
shale, h, as in Fig. 33. It has been previously shown 
that where the shale crops out in the bed of a 
stream of uniform slope the shale will be worn 
away to a greater extent than the hard rock, and 
the corrasive power of the stream will be increased 
at the junction, and a cascade or rapid produced. 
After the establishment of the cascade the action 



of the water becomes somewhat different. The 
water bringing sediment over the cascade begins 
to undermine the soft deposit, and, as in the case of 
escarpments, the harder rock overhangs, until a mass 
breaks away along dominant joint-planes, and the 
process starts afresh ; a ravine is formed in this 
way, and the waterfall at the head of the ravine 
gradually recedes, thus lengthening the ravine. 
During the establishment of the cascade subsequent 
streams may form valleys along the strike of the 

Fig. 33. 

soft shale, giving rise to an escarpment, and it is 
often stated that a waterfall commenced at an 
escarpment, but with a young consequent river, 
waterfall and escarpment may be formed simul- 

Many of the best-known waterfalls are produced 
in the way described above. In England the 
numerous waterfalls of the Yorkshire dales, as 
Thornton Force, near Ingleton, and Hardraw Force, 
in Wensleydale, are due to the existence of masses 
of well-jointed limestone or sandstone upon shale, 
and High Force, in Teesdale, has been produced 
owing to the occurrence of a nearly horizontal svVV o^ 


intrusive rock in soft sediments. (See plate,) Niagara 
is the classic example of a waterfall having thb 
structure, and, as previously stated, a full description 

of its formation wil! be found in Sir Charles Lyell'^ 
Principles of Geology, while the geological structU] 
and physical features of the country surrounding 
gorge and fall are admirably illustrated in 
coloured bird's-eye view of the falls and adjacent 
country which forms the frontispiece to the first 
volume of the same author's 1 ravels in North 

Owing to the sudden change of volume of a 
stream at the bottom of a cirque, cwm, or corrie, 
causing sudden increased corrasion, the semicircuiar 
summit of the amphitheatre is often marked by a 
precipice, and any streams which rise on compara- 
tively flat ground above the precipice are hurled 
down its side as waterfalls. 

It has already been stated that under certain 
conditions a main valley may undergo further cor- 
rasion, which is checked in the case of tributar)^ 
valleys, opening out far above the floor of the main 
valley ; the tributary streams then flow down the side 
of the main valley as cascades. If the geological 
conditions are favourable, these cascades may be 
replaced by waterfalls. An example is seen in the 
case of the well-known Lodore, in Borrowdale, where 
the waters of the deep and narrow Watendlatli valley 
are hurled down a cliff at the entrance to the main 

In a region where the streams have established 
their base-lines of erosion^ deviation of the stream 
courses in any of the various methods described in 
the earlier part of the present chapter may give rise 



to waterfalls, either by diversion of the water over 
existing cliffs, or by the formation of falls by erosion 
of the softer rocks by the diverted stream. I have 
recently examined a large number of the minor 
waterfalls of Lakeland, and discovered that many 
of them owe their existence to recent diversion of 
stream-courses by the formation of dams of glacial 
detritus which have blocked the old courses of the 
streams. A pretty little example is seen in the 
Langstrath valley, one of the feeders of Borrowdale ; 
it is described and figured ^in the Geographical 
Journal (vol. vii., p. 617, and figure on p. 618). 

The course of the stream is often widened and 
apparently deepened just below a waterfall, giving 
rise to a deep, often more or less circukr, pool, which 
forms one of the characteristic features of a waterfall 
scene. The widening is due to the production of 
eddies, which cause the lateral corrasion of the cliffs 
below the fall. The deepening is due to the force 
of the water dashing stones and sediment against 
the bottom and excavating a basin. How far this 
process can occur I am unable to state, as I have 
found no detailed description of the formation of a 
large rock-bound pool of this character, though that 
it can occur to some extent is proved by the forma- 
tion of holes of some size below a waterfall. I 
have in recent years examined a large number of 
pools below minor waterfalls, and found that in 
many cases the pool is essentially due to accumu- 
lation of loose material some distance below the 
actual fall. The force of the stream is sufficient to 
carry away the transported sediment from the im- 
mediate foot of the fall, and a barrier is produced, 
damming back the waters to form a pool. This 


barrier is raised until an upward slope is made of 
sufTicirntl}' low gradient to allow the material to be 
carried up it by the swiftly flowing stream. If the 
stream flows through a narrow gorge beneath the 
fall, the force of the stream may be suflRcient to carry 
the material through the gorge, and to form the dam 
at the lower end, when the gorge will be occupied by 
water of some depth. To this is due the very 
striking appearance of the gorge below the little 
fall in the Langstrath valley referred to above. A 
barrier has been fonned at its lower end, and the 
gorge itself is occupied by deep water of extreme 
transparency, and of a lovely green hue, due to the 
nature of the rocks at its side and stones at the 

Underground Rivers. — In districts which are largely 
occupied by rocks which are capable of being carried 
away in solution by water charged with solvents, 
an underground circulation may be established, 
giving rise to caves ; and as the interior of these 
caverns is often of great interest and beauty, it 
is necessary to say a few words concerning their 
formation and structure, leaving the reader who is 
interested in the subject to gather further information 
from the second chapter of Professor Boyd Dawkins' 
work on Cave-hunting, in which the physical history 
of lin>cstone caverns is considered at some length. 

A porous, soluble rock like chalk permits drainage 
to take place underground to a considerable extent, 
and accordingly we meet with numerous cases of 
underground streams in a chalk district; hence also 
the general absence of surface drainage over the 
chalk, except when large streams contain a volume 
of water so great that only a portion of it can be 


absorbed. The chalk, therefore, is often marked 
by dry valleys, the origin of which has been a 
subject of dispute, though the suggestion of Mr. 
Clement Reid that they were formed at a time 
when the climate was sufficiently rigorous to freeze 
the water in the surface-pores, thus stopping the 
absorption of water and allowing the water to 
establish surface streams, satisfies all the require- 

It is, however, in the case of hard and regularly 
jointed limestone rocks that we meet with the most 
striking effects of underground circulation, exhibited 
in our own country in the limestone rocks of York- 
shire, Derbyshire, and Somerset, and abroad by those 
of Belgium, Greece, and Kentucky. 

We have already called attention to the formation 
of plateaux of limestone, with gaping fissures worn 
along the master -joint planes, by the action of 
acidulated rain water. The water coursing down 
the ordinary sediments, sandstones, and clays, which 
form the bed of the stream at a higher level, reaches 
one of these fissures, and plunges down it. A 
gyratory motion is given to the stones and sediment 
which it carries, and accordingly the stream bores 
a cylindrical shaft in the limestone, locally known 
as a " pothole " ; but as this term has been used in 
a different sense, the term "swallow-hole" is best 
applied to these cylindrical shafts in limestone 

The water, after forming a " swallow - hole " to 
some depth, may reacK a well-marked plane of 
stratification, along which it can penetrate, causing 
solution of the limestone along that plane, and 
giving rise to a cave. It will eventually issue at 


the side of a valley, where the bedding plane reaches 
the surface, as illustrated in Fig. 34, where 5 is shale, 
L limestone, in which the joints are represented by 
nearly vertical, the bedding planes 
by nearly horizontal, lines, and V 
is a valley. The portions worn 
away by the water are indicated 
by black, c being caves, and sh 
swallow-holes. The swallow-hole 
formed at the junction of the upper 
shale with the limestone may work 
as far as /, and then along the 
bedding plane from / to ^. If at 
2 it meets with another well- 
marked fissure, it may form another 
swallow -hole here, and proceed 
along a lower plane of bedding to 
J, where it appears at the surface. 
In time a swallow -hole may be 
formed at ^, and worked down to 
the junction with the lower shale 
until the water reaches the valley, 
when the upper portion of the 
cavern between j and /j. will be left 
dry. At a later period a swallow- 
hole may be formed at 5, and so 
on, and eventually the original 
swallow-hole will be deepened until 
it reaches the junction between 
limestone and shale, and the cavern 
will extend along this junction, the 
upper caverns and many of the 
swallow -holes being deserted by 
the water. 

I J I 


ij Ml 
,1 'I'l 


The cross-section of the cavern will vary. The 
floor will probably be occupied by a stream which 
forms a bed by mechanical erosion, but the main 
portion of the cavern may be determined by the 
solubility of a particular stratum of limestone, which 
is greater than that of the overlying and under- 
lying stratum, and fragments of the limestone may be 
detached from the sides along dominant joints, and 
from the top along a dominant plane of bedding, 
when the cave will possess a roughly rectangular 
cross-section. When the water percolates through 
important joints in the roof, these joints may be 
dissolved where the water hangs, thus producing 
dome-shaped expansions of the cave along these 
joints, as seen at x of the figure. Sometimes a 
considerable portion of the roof may fall in, as at j, 
producing a shaft like a swallow -hole of gigantic 
proportions ; such is the huge Helln Pot, on the 
west side of Ribblesdale, in Yorkshire ; and by a 
continuation of this process and the removal of the 
fallen rocks of limestone the cave may be converted 
into a ravine. This is the origin of many of the 
ravines occupying the sides of our limestone uplands. 
From the sides of lateral caverns streams may pour 
into these huge shafts formed by the subsidence 
of the roof, as shown in Weathercote Cave, near 

The beauty of the interior of limestone caverns 
is largely due to the formation of stalactites and 
stalagmite within them. The formation of a stalac- 
tite is well seen on the under-side of many bridges ; 
the water which percolates through the masonry 
dissolves some of the lime of the mortar, and when 
it reaches the air redeposits it in pendent masses 


like icicles. The process as seen in the cavem is 
as follows: — Water percolates along a joint and dis- 
solves some lime ; when it reaches the roof of the 
cave the water is suspended as a drop, and this 
evaporates on the exteriorj and a little film of lime 
is deposited as a ring round the drop, being pre- J 
vented from forming at the bottom by the movement | 
of the water The next drop hangs to this ring, and 
a further ring is formed in continuation of the first; 
and so the process goes on, till a long, pell ucid| straw- 
like tube hangs from the roof. Sooner or later the \ 
interior of this tube becomes blocked, and the water | 
trickles down the outside, causing the formation of 
coat after coat of lime, until the stalactite exists 
as a thick cylindrical or conical pendent mass. In 
the meantime drops fall on the floor beneath thej 
stalactite, undergo further evaporation there, and] 
form deposits of stalagmite in sheets or bosseSn 
The wall of the cavern is also bathed with moisturi 
in places, and, owing to the evaporation of thi^ 
masses of stalagmite swathe the sides of the caveral 
like folds of drapeiy. As the formation of stalactites| 
is mainly limited to the joint-planes they are ofte 
found running in linear series approximately at righi^ 
angles to one another, and as the direction of 
cavern is probably determined by the same joints, one 
set will be parallel to the length of the cavern, and 
the other will run across it In the accompanying 
plate, from a photograph of a portion of the Ingle 
borough Cave at Clapham, in Yorkshire, taken by 
Mr G. Towler, and reproduced by his permission, the 
formation of stalactites and stalagmite is well shown*! 
As caverns arc liable to destruction by further' 
operation of the cause which produced them — namely. 




water denudation — and as the materials which are 
washed into caves tend to accumulate there, while 
the lime which is carried in solution is deposited as 
stalactite and stalagmite, and the cave may be 
eventually filled up by material deposited from 
solution, it is evident that caves cannot be very 
long-lived, and that all existing caves must be, 
geologically speaking, of recent date. 

Before quitting consideration of caverns reference 
may be made to the remarkable ice •■caverns, or 
glacier es, which are the subject of a special work 
by the present Bishop of Bristol.^ These caves are 
found in several places, including the limestone 
districts of the Jura and the Pyrenees, and are 
remarkable as containing ice all the year round. 
They occur at high altitudes, and accordingly the 
air even in summer is not excessively warm. They 
are explained by Dr. Browne as follows : " Occurring 
at a lower level than the mouth, the ice formed in 
winter is kept from melting to any extent in summer 
because the warm, light air cannot displace the heavy, 
cold air beneath to a considerable degree, and the 
warm air which reaches the ice is deprived of its 
heat by the work of melting a small quantity of the 
ice, leaving the remainder to occupy the floor of the 
cave throughout the summer." 

* Ice-caves in France and Switzerland, by Rev. G. F. Browne (1865). 


THE study of lakes has received very consider- 
able attention during recent years. The great 
works of Forel on Geneva^ and of A. Delabecque 
on the lakes of France ^ have stimulated geographers 
to follow the pursuit of limnology, and in our own 
country the accurate and careful observations of 
Mill on the lakes of English Lakeland* have 
supplied the student of scenery with much valuable 

The existence of any hollow which is capable of 
retaining a considerable sheet of inland water may 
give rise to a lake, and as the requisite hollows may 
be formed in various ways, lakes may and do present 
considerable diversity of features. 

We may commence with consideration of the con- 
ditions which may produce a lake. Granted that the 
requisite hollow exists, the formation and character 
of the lake depends upon climatic conditions. In an 
arid climate the hollow may be waterless, or if the 
rainfall is small, the bottom of the hollow may be 
occupied by a lake having no outlet, whereas if the 
rainfall be sufficient to fill the hollow to the height of 

^ Forel, F. A., Le Liman, 

• Delabecque, A., Les Lacs Francois, 

3 Mill, H. R., The English Lakes. 

158 ^ 


;X AND < 

the lowest part of its rim an outflow will be estab- 
lished. The physical characteristics of the lakes of 
desert regions which depend upon climate wiH be 
discussed when we consider the features of those 
regions, and we shall here consider the conditions 
which are necessaiy for the formation of the hollows 
requisite for the accumulation of the waters of lakes. 
A hollow adapted for the retention of water may 
be formed in four ways : (i) by accumulation of 
material above the existing surface of the earth to 
form a barrier or dam ; (ii) by differential move- 
ment of a portion of the earth's crust; (iii) by 
volcanic action forming craters ; (iv) by erosion, 

E. {1} Lakes formed by accumulation of material are 
pery widely distributed, and the material which forms 
the barrier or dam may be accumulated under very 
dififerent conditions. In some cases the barrier may 
pompletely surround the hollow, as when the lake 
exists owing to unequal accumulation of extensive 
sheets of material Such lakes are often found exist- 
ing in the hollows of glacial drift, and are termed 
"kettle-holes" by American geologists. According 
to the late Professor Carvell Lewis, the meres of 
Cheshire are of this character. Small pools, many 
of which are dried up in times of drought, are 
frequently found among the moraine mounds of our 
upland regions ; they usually present few features 
of interest in themselves, though they are often 
effective as a foreground to mountain views. The 
little Schwarz See at Zermatt occupies a hollow in 
moraine material, and its immediate surroundings 
are tame, but the view of the Ober-Gabelhom as 
seen from the end opposite the little chapel is very 
impressive* (See plate,) 


When a region has been recently raised above 
sea- level, lakes may be formed in inequalities of tin 
former sea- floor. 

Again we may find the barrier block in fj the stream 
of a valley, and giving rise to a lake which drains 
over the barrier, but unless the barrier is prolonged 
for some distance down the valley, or is composed 

^of hard rock* lakes of this character are apt to be 
short-lived, for the water issuing from the lake erodes 
the barrier, and the lake is drained At other times 
the water runs between the barrier and the original 
surface slope, and a barrier of this nature is also 

Lreadily destructible. If the barrier be raised to a 
sufficient height, the lake level may be raised so 
that the %vater reaches a col which is at a lower 
level than the lowest part of the barrier, and lakes of 
this nature will, from the circumstances of the case^ 
be much more permanent than those which have 
an outlet over a dam of more or less incoherent 

We may now consider the nature of the material 
which may accumulate to form a dam sufficient to 
give rise to a lake. In the first place, we may take 
the case of ice^ for though an icy dam is naturally 
unstable, ice-barred lakes present many features of 
interest. Avalanches of ice falling from the terminal 
cliff of a glacier may accumulate across a valley 
bottom to form a dam^ which will allow the waters 
of a temporary lake to collect above it, as happened 
in iSiS in the valley of the Dranse, which was 
blocked by ice fragments falling from the G6troz 
glacier, giving rise to a lake, the subsequent bursting 
of which caused a disastrous flood in the Rhone 
valley. At the junction of two glaciers a hollow 



Ab I'T^H. L F-NCX ^M' 



may be formed between the glaciers and the rock, 
and a lake may be situated in this hollow, the water 
bdng supph'ed by the melting of the Ice. The lake 
H|l probably be very variable, and sometime.^ emptyi 
We variations in height being largely due to escape 
of the water through fissures in the ice* The little 
Lac du Tacul, at the junction of the two great feeders 
of the Mer de Glace at Chamonix — namely, the 
Glacier de Lechaud and the Glacier du G<!*ant — is 
of this character, 

BOf greater interest are the lakes which are held 
I by a barrier of ice, of which the lowest part is at 
a higher level than a neighbouring coU Lakes formed 
fn these circumstances may also be drained at inter- 
vals through fissures in the ice, but when water 
accumulates it can only reach a certain level, namely, 
that of the limiting col, and there is a tendency to 
form a beach line at that level. The classic example 
of a lake of this character is the well-known Marjelen 
See, at the elbow of the great Aletsch glacier- The 
glacier dams a tributary' valley between the /Eggisch- 
horn and the Valliser Viescherhorner, and the water 
which accumulates in this valley forms a lake, which, 
when fuli, used to drain naturally over a col into the 
adjoining valley occupied by the Viesch glacier. The 
little icebergs detached from the icy precipice over- 
looking the lake, and floating on its bosom, give rise 
to a scene of much beauty. The lake is shown in 

fe plate. 
Similar lakes on a larger scale, some of them 
being from twenty to thirty miles in length, are 
formed where the termination of the Greenland 
inland ice blocks valleys near the west coast. East 
the Frederikshaab glacier the lake of Tasersuak, 


some miles in length, is situated in a valley stopped 
at both ends by ice ; and to the north of the same 
glacier another valley is not only blocked by ice at 
its lower end, but a tongue of ice flows over a col 
in the centre and splits the lake into twOj separated 
by a mass of ice. Further north are several large 
lakesj one apparently about fifteen miles long, which 
are blocked at their lower ends, and the water flows 
to the sea over cols situated at the heads of the 
valleys. The terraces formed by these lakes may 
form conspicuous objects in the landscape when the 
ice has vanished. It is well known that many 
writers have advocated the formation of the famous 
Parallel Roads of Glen Roy in this manner. 

In Alaska some of the glaciers are in a very 
peculiar condition, which will be more fully con- 
sidered in die cliapters devoted to the scenic effects 
of ice. One of the results of this condition is, that 
the ice, while moving down the valleys, receives no 
addition from snow-fields at the head, and accord- 
ingly the tops of the valleys are free of ice. This 
is seen in some of the valleys which slope down to 
the Muir glacier, and the upper parts of these valleys 
are occupied by lakes, w^ich are supported by the 
barrier of ice below. Berg Lake, formed in this 
way, is four miles long ; and Main Lake, which runs 
across Main Valley, has a length of about seven 
miles. ^ 

In passing to the consideration of more permanent 
barriers, we may commence with one of the most 
durable, namely, lava poured out from a volcano, and 
crossing a valley, as described in the case of the 

^ Gushing, H. P*, '* Notes on the Hulr Glacier Region, Alaska/' 
Amen Cmhgisi^ October, [S91, 

LAKES 163 

river Simeto. It is obvious that the drainage may 
be ponded back by the barrier, and a lake formed. 
M. Delabecque, in his work on the lakes of France, 
mentions one or two lakes which were formed in 
this manner, including the Lac d'Aydat, near Cler- 
mont-Ferrand, dammed by a basaltic flow from the 
Puy de Lassolas. In rare cases a volcano may 
actually be formed at the bottom of a valley in such 
a position as to form a dam. Two possible cases are 
cited and figured by Delabecque, namely, the case of 
Lake Chambon, near Clermont-Ferrand, and that of 

The remaining barriers to be considered are formed 
by the accumulation of more or less incoherent 
material, and accordingly, as above stated, the lakes 
are usually short-lived, unless the barrier is so high 
that the drainage is diverted over a col formed of 
harder rock. 

Landslips may, and often do, give rise to lakes, 
for the amount of material is often so great, and the 
barrier is formed so suddenly, that the stream has 
no time to keep a passage open during the formation 
of the barrier. It may be remarked in this place 
that the lakes formed by incoherent barriers, and 
having their exits over the barriers, often have a 
longer existence than they would otherwise have, 
because the sediment of the river is deposited in the 
lake, and the issuing stream, being deprived of sedi- 
ment, is incapable of producing much corrasion in 
a short time even if its bed be composed of more or 
less incoherent materials. The Lake of Derborence, 
to the north-west of Sion, in the upper part of the 
Rhone valley, is a good example of a lake formed 
by a landslip. It came into existence in 1749 as. 


the result of a landslip from the Diablerets> and is 
blocked by a dam composed of huge angular frag- 

Near the sea- shore extensive sheets of water are 
often formed by the formation of barriers composed 
of beach deposit or blown sand. On the Atlantic 
and Mediterranean coasts of France a number of 
shallow lakes and lakelets exist, knowTL as etangs^ 
some of which are due to beach barriers, others to 
dams of blown sand^ and some, as shown by Dela- 
becquc, belong to a different ctasSj being caused 
to a large extent by subterranean solution. He 
mentions the Jiangs of Kerloch and Kergalan, on the 
Atlantic coast, and all those situated between Cape 
B^ar and the Etang de TEstomac, as well as that 
of Pesquiers, near Hyeres, as being due to barriers 
of beach, while several on the coast of Morbihan, 
and all those between the Pointe de Grave and the 
"falaises" of Biarritz, are due to barriers of blown 
sand. The actual origin of these barriers, composed 
of sea-beach and sand-dune, will be considered in 
later chapters. 

River deposits of organic and inorganic origin may 
form barriers which hold up lakes. Sir A. Geikie 
records the work of the beaver, which "by cutting 
down trees (sometimes one foot or more in diameter) 
and constructing dams with the stem and branches 
checks the flow of watercourses, intercepts floating 
materials, and sometimes even diverts the water into 
new channels. This action is typically displayed in 
Canada and in the Rocky Mountain regions of the 
United States. Thousands of acres in many valleys 
have been converted into lakes/' ^ 

1 GeikiE| SLf A i T£^i-b(i0k i?/ G^dagy^ 3rd edition, p. 474, 



The formation of crescentic lakes owing to vvind- 
llg rivers in an alluvial plain, forming " cuts-off " 
ind leaving the old windings as lakes and pools, was 
described in Chapter IX, It is to be noted that the 
water occupied its position before the formation of 
the barrier. The same is the case with the " broads " 
of Norfolk, whose origin is somewhat similar, though 
more complex* Their formation has been described 
by Dn J. W, Gregory^ and a reference to the litera- 
ture of the subject will be found at the end of his 
paper ^ He gives reason to suppose that the East 
Anglian rivers once opened into large estuaries like 
those of the Tees, Tyne, Thames, and the Wash and 
Humben Owing to the peculiar tidal movement off 
the East Anglian coasts which comes from the north 
through a narrowing sea^ the sediment is piled up by 
the tides on the north side of the mouths of the East 
Anglian rivers, and forms breakwaters, by which the 
force of the current of the rivers is checked, and they 
deposit their load of material against the inner side 
of these breakwaters, thus causing the estuaries to 
become silted up from their seaward terminations, 
instead of at the head only. This tract of silt "would, 
by the continuation of these operations, work its way 
gradually backward up the estuary, leaving a great 
sheet of water separated from the sea by a bank of 
alluvium ; of this Breydon Water may be the dimi- 
nished representative* But as the land worked further 
backward it would cross the entrance of branches of 
the estuary; the sediment would be carried along 
the central channel, upon the sides of which it would 
be deposited ; it could thus cut off the branches 
gther entirely, as in the case of Fritton Lake, or 

' Gkegory, J, W., Nahir^i Sdmcffi vol. i. (1892), p, 3^7, 


connected by a channel just sufficient for the escape 
of the surplus rainfall, as does the memorable Muck 
Fleet for the three great sheets of Rollesby, Ormesby, 
and Filby Broads/' The barriers are increased and 
compacted by the abundant growth of marsh vegeta- 
tion upon them. 

Dr. Gregory also points out that those broads which 
lie along the courses of the main rivers are more 
complicated One large broad is formed at first, and 
the main river forms a delta at its entrance- This 
delta grows outward along the course of the river, 
the sediment being strained ofif by the vegetation 
which grows on the banks formed on either side of 
the current By degrees this barrier is formed right 
across the original broad, dividing it into two, and 
the process of subdivision may take place more than 
once. In this way he accounts for the formation of 
Wroxham Broad, and of six other broads to the 
east of it, along tlie course of the river Bure, all 
having been formed by the subdivision of one 
original large broad. 

In the case of upland streams, lakes and tarns may 
be formed by the deposition of a delta by one stream 
where it enters another, if the main stream has not 
sufficient volume to carry away the sediment brought 
by the tributary- Anyone who has walked from 
Borrowdale to Wastdale, in the Lake District, over 
the Sty Head Pass, will remember a small tarn, Sty 
Head Tarn, near the head of the pass on the Borrow^- 
dale side (see plate). It is barred by a delta descending 
from the two Gabies, and as the small stream into 
which it flows has no great volume, it has been 
unable to carry away the material brought down the 
Gables' slope, and the accumulated delta has driven 



le main stream some way back and formed a 
Darrier^ which holds up the tarn, the waters from 
which now escape by a channel running between the 
margin of the delta and the solid rock on the other 
side. Lakes may be formed in this manner on a 
fairly large scale, especially when the upper waters 
of the main river are deflected by beheading, and 
accordingly the stream, owing to diminished volume, 
j^loses much of its transporting power. 

It may be stated here that these deltaic barriers 

may in mountain regions resemble moraines so 

closely that it requires considerable care to dis- 

tinguish them. The tate Professor J. D. Forbes ^ 

mtes :— 

** Between St, Nicholas and Randa several wild and 
bridgeless torrents have to be crossedj which, in bad 
leather, must make this route nearly impassable.^ I 
'noticed particularly the mode in which a violent torrent 
accumulates boulders, forming a mound of blocks on either 
hand, which serves, in some measure, to restrain its fury, 
whilst the level of its bed is continually raised by the 
detritus which !t accumulates ; and when, by extraordinary 
freshes, the barrier is broken, the country on either side 
is, of course, deluged, I only speak now of the wildest 
and most powerful torrents descending at a great angle, 
and which act sufficiently on blocks to roll them with the 
aid of gravity for a great way, and chafe them into 
irregularly rounded masses, with a noise which everyone 
who has visited the Alps recalls as one of the most striking 
of natural sounds, accompanied, as it always is, with an 
impression of irresistible force. Now, these rocky accumu- 
itioDs have a very striking resemblance to the moraines of 

* Forbes, J, D., A Tmtr 0/ MmU 8 km ami Monte Kasa, p, 337. 
' This was wriUen in 1S55. 


glaciers, and this is a circumstance which it is well to be 
aware of, and which has not, I think, been prominently 
stated. In form these mounds resemble moraines, the 
external, and even the internal slope, being in bo|h cases 
usually determined by the angk of repose of the blocks. 
The maieriais of both are also alike; — angular blocks, more 
or less rounded by friction, never quite smoothed or 
polished, angular gravel, and sharp sand. In the dis- 
position of the materials I have not observed that regularity 
of arrangement which is said to distinguish water action 
from that of glaciers. On the contrary, the deposit of 
these torrents seems to be wholly devoid of layers of 
coarser or finer materials, and, as in true moraines, the 
largest blocks often lie uppermost. I may mention the 
great torrent descending from the Dent du Midi, which 
devastates the country above St. Maurice, as another 
example of this." 

The dry deltas which descend from mountain 
slopes only differ froni torrent deltas in the inter- 
mittent character of the water supply, and the falling 
of blocks split off by frost and changes of tempera- 
ture in the dry season. They are intermediate in 
character between torrent deltas and screes, and may 
form barriers supporting lakes in the same way. 

Screes also act as barriers in the same way if some 
of the material is sufficiently comminuted to prevent 
the water from draining through the interstices be* 
tween the larger blocks. The tarn known as Goats* 
Water, on the side of the Old Man of Coniston, 
in the Furness district of North Lancashire, is 
dammed by screes^ and I may call attention to two 
other tarns formed in the same way, which admirably 
illustrate the manner in which a lake supported by 
^ barrier may have its drainage diverted from the 

CT»..;. . '_\' \ A\D 

barrier, so that it ultimately drains over bare rock. 
One is situated in Ruthwaite Cove, a recess of 
Helvellyn, and is known as Hard Tarn. It is quite 
small and extremely shallow, but is surrounded by 
solid rock on all sides except at the main exit, which 
runs over a barrier of screes which has formed the 
tarn» The water now stands at such a height that in 
wet weather the water level stands just above a low 
depression in the rock^ and accordingly there is here 
a wet- weather exit, along which a groove is being 
cut by the water. As the growth of the screes 
increaseSj the scree exit will be the wet -weather 
exit, and the normal exit will be over the solid rock, 
a state of things actually found in the tiny Ffynnon 
Freeh, in Cwm Glas^ on Snowdon, as described by 
Mr, W. W. Watts.^ The exit of each of these tarns 
will ultimately abandon the dam, and exist perma- 
nently over the solid rock, an event which has 
happened in the case of a large number of similar 
tarns and lakelets. 

In many mountain regions the cwms and corries 

re occupied by great snow-slopes during the winter 

months. The fragments split from the cliffs above 

by the action of the frost come flying down the 

slopes, and form a crescentic barrier around the 

mouth of the cwrh, which m^iy hold up the water to 

form a tarn. Similar slopes on the sides of a hill 

may block a valley just as a delta or slope of screes 

^■oes. The little tarn of Small water near H awes water, 

^H Lakeland, shown in the plate, seems to be due to 

I^Bis cause, and its exit is now permanently over solid 

' 'tock, with the somewhat remarkable consequence that 

Watts, W. W., "Notes on some Tarns near Snowdon,'* -^^r/. 



the bottom of the original valley below the dam is 
dry, and the present stream below the exit runs for 
some distance in a shallow groove cut into the rock 
of the hill-side some height above the valley bottom. 

We must now consider the barriers formed of 
glacial drift, which are tlie most important of the 
many barriers due to accumulatioYi of material across 
a valley. A great number of lakes and tarns at 
home and abroad owe their existence to a barrier 
of this nature. I may mention Codale and Easedale 
Tarns near Grasmere, Devoke Water between Esk- 
dale and the Duddon valley, Burnmoor Tarn and 
Sprinkling Tarn on Scawfell, Red Tarn and Keppel- 
cove Tarn on Helvellyn, in Lakeland ; Llyn Goch, 
Llyn Glas, and Llyn-y-nadroedd on the west side 
of Snowdon, and Llyn d'ur Arddu on its north-west 
side, in North Wales. Of larger lakes, Windermere, 
Bassenthwaite, Ulls water, and Thirl mere in Lake- 
land ; the lakes of Llanberis, Gwynant, and many 
others, may also be due to great barriers of drift 
extending far down the valleys. Delabecque cites 
a number of French lakes formed by a similar 
barrier, as the lakes of Chalain, Chambly, Nantua, 
and others in the Jura^ and Gerardmer, Longemer, 
Blanchemer, among those of the Vosges. Some of 
these lakes are produced by lateral moraines, others 
by terminal moraines, and others again by the great 
masses of '* drift '' which spread over extensive tracts 
of country. 

The statement that lakes may be blocked by 
terminal moraines requires a word of explanation. 
As an extensive torrent always issues from the end 
of a glacier, it might be supposed that a passage 
through the barrier would always be kept open- 

LAKES 171 

No doubt this is often the case, but the stream does 
not always cut down to the solid rock, for we often 
find it rushing over moraine material for some distance 
below the snout of the glacier, and on the recession 
of the ice sufficient moraine may be left to form 
a barrier supporting the waters of a lake, and, 
secondly, even if the stream does cut through solid 
rock, the point of issue of the stream need not be 
situated just over the bottom of the original valley, 
and here again a barrier of moraine may occur, which 
gives rise to a lake. 

The most striking tarns are those formed by a 
dam of moraine at the mouth of a cwm, the com- 
bination of lakelet and mural precipice being often 
extremely picturesque. The finest tarn in the Lake 
District, Bleawater Tarn, near H awes water, forms 
a nearly complete circle. The outer semicircle is 
bordered by the retaining dam of moraine, while 
the inner one is formed by the fine cliffs which rise 
almost straight from the shores of the tarn, and tower 
up many hundreds of feet to the ridge of High 

Those lakes which were formed by drift, where the 
exit was over the original valliey bottom, are usually 
drained quickly, as previously observed, and their 
sites marked by peat mosses, and the number of 
these moss-covered tracts in upland districts proves 
that the tarns and lakelets which survive are but 
a small proportion of those which once existed. 
Of lakes blocked by drift, of which the exit is 
now over solid rock, we may mention Burnmoor 
Tarn, Codale Tarn, Small Water, and Harrop Tarn 
in the Lake District, and of larger lakes Winder- 
mere and Bassenthwaite. Delabecque has shown 


that Longemer, in the Vosges^ has a similar 

A word of explanation concerning the character 
of the drift-filled valleys is necessary. In many 
cases they are wide as compared with their depth, 
but in others we meet with depressions occupied 
by drift at the surface, which are narrow and 
tortuous, and if they are filled with drift to the 
bottom, which is necessary in order that lakes 
may be formed by them, the drift must be very 
deep; a depth of two or three hundred feet is 
often necessary. The existence of such drift-filled 
depressions may seem unlikely, but it must be re- 
membered that in a glaciated region the waters of 
the streams issuing from the glacier are charged with 
abundance of minute angular particles of sediment, 
which are capable of cutting like a file, and these 
rivers must produce great vertical corrasion. Accord- 
ingly \ve frequently find that the valleys which have 
been occupied by ice comparatively recently are wide 
where the ice has recently receded, but that lower 
down the rivers which flow from the glaciers drain 
through extremely narrow gorges cut out by the 
streams, to which Desor has given the name roflas. 
The gorge of the Trient, near Vcrnayaz, in the Upper 
Rhone valley, is an example ; and many others 

Ff ice passed over these gorges, they would readily 
become filled with drift, especially if the ice moved 
transversely to their general direction, and when 
filled up their detection might be a matter of some 

There is one particular case in which glacial drift 
may produce a barrier under somewhat exceptional 

LAKES 173 

circumstances which must be noticed. It has been 
seen that much of the drainage in a limestone region 
is subterranean. Suppose a stream to fall down a 
swallow-hole. The stream above the swallow -hole 
will erode its channel and gradually lower it, and 
if the swallow-hole should slant downwards, a portion 
of the limestone above it may become engulfed. 
Eventually the stream will fall into the hole at some 
distance below the general level of the surface. If 
the swallow -hole be partly or entirely filled up in 
any way, the subterranean drainage may be stopped 
or checked to such an extent that the whole of the 
water cannot be carried underground, when it will 
accumulate in the old channel to form a lake, until 
it reaches a level at which it can overflow. M. 
Penck has suggested that in regions which were 
formerly glaciated the orifice may be stopped with 
impermeable morainic material, forming a barrier. 
In this manner M. Delabecqiie explains the 
formation of the . remarkable Lake Chaillexon, 
forming a part of the course of the Doubs, in the 
Jura, which is shown in Figs. 49, 53, and 104 of 
his work on the French lakes, while a plan is 
given in Plate VII. The lake is deepest at its lower 
end, where a submerged swallow-hole having a depth 
of 31 1 metres occurs. The lake itself is sinuous 
in form, its banks rising in precipices of limestone 
on either side, with the corresponding beds easily 
recognisable in each precipitous cliff. 

It is clear that the blocking of the swallow-hole 
by drift is not essential to the formation of a lake 
in a region of fissured limestone ; if the swallow-hole 
in any way becomes too small to allow the whole 
of the drainage to be carried away underground, a 


closing or partially 

lake will result, though gl 
form the most efficient plu^ 
closing the orifice, 

(ii) Lakes formed by differential movement of por- 
tions of the earth^s crust may now be considered 
Before discussing the formation of lakes owing to 
extensive movements of the earth's crust, produced 
by deep-seated changes, we may mention the origin 
of certain lakes produced by sinking of the super- 
ficial portion of the crust owing to the solution 
and removal of material beneath. We have already 
taken into account the action of acidulated water 
upon limestone rocks, and have seen that one of the 
effects was the giving way of the roofs of under- 
ground cavems, producing hollows above. These 
hollows would be admirably adapted for the for- 
mation of lakes were it not for the fissured nature 
of the limestone, which, as a general rule, permits 
the underground drainage of the water which would 
otherwise accumulate in the hollow, and give rise to 
a lake; and accordingly lakes formed by underground 
solution and removal of limestone appear to be 
comparatively rare, and lakes formed by solution 
of material beneath the surface are more frequently 
produced if rock-salt or gypsum be the material 
removed. Some writers have referred the formation 
of certain Cheshire meres to the solution of rock- 
salt, and it is a fact that the artificial removal of 
this material in the form of brine by introduction 
of water and artificial removal of the brine by 
pumping has caused serious subsidence in the 
Cheshire district, with occasional formation of sheets 
of water in the hollows. Many writers have referred 
the production of various lakes in Switzerland to 

midei'ground solution, M. Delabecque quotes cases 

several lakes which he considers to be probably 

irmed in this manner, for instance the Lac de la 

irotte, the lakes of Tipies, and the Lac du Mont 

enis. It iSj of course, difficult to obtain definite 

oofs that lakes have been formed in this manner, 

the proofs are concealed beneath the ground ; 

but when lakes are found in districts which are 

knowTi to contain deposits of gypsum, rock-saltj 

or dolomite, and the origin of the lakes by any 

other process is not indicated, it is legitimate to 

attribute them, with a certain amount of probability, 

to the solvent action of underground waters upon 

the above-mentioned salts. 

Mr. Garwood has furnished me with an illustration 
a lake the production of which he refers to under- 
^ound solution. (See plate.) This is the Lago dell' 
Inferno, at the foot of the Tre Signiori, a true 
rock -basin holding a lake about half a mile in 
length, and of considerable, though unknown, depth ; 
the rocky barrier round the lake is well seen in the 

We now arrive at the consideration of the lakes 
which show evidence of existence owing to the 
occurrence of those more widely spread foldings and 
fractures of the earth's crust whose nature we con- 
^^dered when discussing the character of continental 
^Kid mountain uplifts. 

^m The differential movement which results in bend- 
ing of the earth's crust, accompanied by occasional 
^Hacture, is spoken of by the American geologists 
^^^ '* warping/* the idea being that the crust of the 
eartli becomes warped, just as the cover of a book 
when held in front of the fire. Now it is clear that 


if warping occurred in such a way as to cause the 
bending up of the portion of the earth's crust in the 
lower part of a valley, and if the stream was unable 
to keep its original channel open by downward 
corrasioii, a lake would be produced by the proceA* 
of ponding, in the manner described in the preceding 
chapter. It is clear that there is no d priori objection 
to the formation of lakes in this manner^ and it 
remains for us to see whether we have any indis- 
putable evidence of lake formation by the ponding 

^ One objection to the extensive formation of lakes 
by this process was long ago made by Sir A* 
Ramsay, who pointed out that a vast majorit 
of lakes occur in regions which can be proved to 
have been glaciated in geologically recent times, 
whereas, if a majority be due to ponding, no such 
connection should be traceable. We have already 
seen that the formation of glacial dams may account 
for many lakes, and the association of lakes existing 
in live rock basins and not held up by a dam of 
accumulation, with glacial phenomena, was long ago 
satisfactorily explained by Lyell, who pointed out 
that ponding might be prevented in ordinary regions 
by the rivers keeping their waterways open daring 
the period of uphft, whereas, if the uplifted tract 
were covered by ice and the latter were unable to 
corrade to the same extent as water, the barriers 
could be formed, and on the recession of the ice 
the rock basins would be ready for the reception 
of water to form lakes. ^ We shall eventually call 
attention to the evidence which has been gathered 
during recent years bearing upon the erosive power 
^ Lyeix, Sir Cm Antiquity cf Alan, 4th edition, p. 36a 

LAKES 177 

of ice, which points to the comparative impotence 
of ice as an erosive agent. 

No one has ever seriously called into question the 
supposition that a large number of the great lake 
basins of the world originated as the result of 
differential earth movement. Among the basins 
which have been formed in this way are those of 
the Aralo-Caspian area, the Dead Sea, the large 
lakes of the interior of Africa, and those which 
occupy the Great Basin region of North America. 
These lakes, though their origin is generally similar, 
vary in matters of detail. Some of the fresh-water 
lakes of Africa may have been produced by con- 
version of part of the ocean floor into land, for Mr. 
Edgar A. Smith has found shells allied to marine 
forms in the slightly brackish waters of Tanganyika, 
while others have probably been at no time con- 
nected with the ocean, but are due to the formation 
of basins by warping, the basins being afterwards 
filled with fresh water. Dr. Gregory has described 
some of the African lakes as occurring in a great 
depression, bounded by steep parallel sides, due to 
faulting.^ "From the Lebanons . . . almost to the 
Cape there runs a valley, unique both on account 
of the persistence with which it maintains its trough- 
like form throughout the whole of its course of 4000 
miles, and also on account of the fact that scattered 
along its floor is a series of over thirty lakes, of 
which only one has an outlet to the sea.*' The 
lakes of the Aralo-Caspian area were undoubtedly 
once connected with the open ocean, and have been 
separated from it by uplift, for some of them still 
have seals living in their waters, whereas we find 

i Gregory, J. W., The Great Rift Valley (1896). 


evidence that the salt lakes of the Great Basin region 
of North America have at no tinie had any con- 
nection with the ocean. These lakes of the Great 
Basin of America are of peculiar interest on account 
of the very valuable detailed accounts of their 
characters and origin which we owe to the labours 
of the United States geological and geographical 
surveyors, and especially to G. K. Gilbert and L C, 
Russell, whose monographs on the old lakes of 
Lahontgn and Bonneville contain a host of infor- 
mation of the greatest importance to the student 
of the earth's history, ^ The region of the Great 
Basin extends from the British possessions on the 
north to Mexico on the south, and though two rivers 
traverse it on their way to the ocean^ the greater part 
of the area has no drainage to the ocean, and is 
occupied by barren tracts scattered over which are 
salt lakes. The old lakes of Bonneville and Lahontan 
have now disappeared owing to change of climate, 
but evidence of their former existence is furnished, 
among other things, by old lake shores at different 
levels. Each of these shores was naturally at ^ 
constant level when it was formed, but Gilbert and 
Russell have shown that they have since been bent 
by warping, so that the level of each terrace varies as 
one traces it laterally, and sometimes the change is 
sudden and marked by a fault scarp. The upper 
terraces have been deformed to a greater extent than 
the lower ones, showing that the process of warping 
has continued through long periods, and there is no 
doubt that the basin as a whole, as well as the two 

' Gilbert, G, K.^ Lake Bmrnsville^ and RusSELL, I. C, Gtohgual 
Hhtmy of Lake Lahantan^ monographs U*S. Gen], Survey, 1890 and 

LAKES 179 

great lakes which once existed in it, whose history 
has been written, originated owing to the warping 

Similar movements have also occurred around the 
great fresh -water lakes of Canada, as shown by 
Gilbert and more lately by Dr. J. W. Spencer, the 
deformation of the Iroquois beach around Lake 
Ontario and of the Algonquin beach surrounding 
Lake Huron being specially marked.^ The origin 
of the Canadian lakes is, however, still somewhat 
obscure, as great changes in the drainage have been 
produced by glacial interference, to such an extent, 
indeed, that some writers have advocated the forma- 
tion of the basins solely as the result of the produc- 
tion of glacial dams, though most students of these 
lakes consider their existence to be due to the opera- 
tion of warping accompanied by glacial interference, 
the latter having caused diversion of drainage. 

The origin of the Jordan depression and the Dead 
Sea is, as already stated, connected with that of the 
African lakes lying along the line of the Great Rift. 
Another fairly large lake, though a shallow one, 
which has been satisfactorily proved to be due to 
differential movement, is Lake Balaton (the Flatten 
See), in Hungary.^ 

The origin of the great lakes which flank the Alps 
has been much discussed, and most writers are now 
agreed that they owe their existence chiefly to differ- 
ential movement, though complications have also 
been produced by glacial interference with the river 

^ Spencer, J. W., ** Origin of the Basins of the Great Lakes of 
America," Quart, Jour, GeoL Soc, vol. xlvi., p. 523. 

' An account of this by Professor J. W. Judd will be found in the 
Geological Me^azine^ decade ii., vol. iii., p. 5. 


drainatre. The lakes differ in some respects; thus 
Neuchatel, Bienne» Morat, and the lower portion of 
Geneva run parallel with the axis of a great syncli- 
nal fold or trough, while Thun and Brienz, Zug, 
Zurich J Wallensce, Constance, Como, MaggiorCj 
Orta, and Lugano occupy valleys which are trans- 
verse to the main axes of folding. The transverse 
lakes, as pointed out by Heim, may be due to the 
sinking down of the great mass of the Alps by 
its own weight, causing relative depression of the 
heads of the valleys, though the shape of Como 
and Lugano suggests that they were formed in 
valleys which once ran northward. Deformation 
of terraces has also been noted in the case of the 
Alpine lakes ; Heim and Aeppli record them on 
the sides of Zurich. 

The existence of large lakes owing to earth move- 
ment has been satisfactorily proved, but it is a matter 
of considerable interest to inquire whether small lakes 
can be produced in the same manner Minor move- 
ments in a direction transverse to a river valley are 
not likely to give rise to lakes if they take place 
slowly^ as the rivers would keep their courses open, 
unless indeed the valleys were occupied by ice, but 
sudden changes, such as are productive of earth- 
quakesj might well cause the required uplift Mn 
R. D. Oldham has observed cases of the formation 
of small rock basins which hold up lakes in the 
district affected by the great Indian earthquake of 
June 1 2th, 1897. These lakes occur in granite rocks. 
Through the kindness of Mr Oldham, I am able to 
reproduce a photograph of a lake formed during this 
earthquake. (See plate.) This particular lake (Thirn 
Hat^ Garo Hills) is formed owing to the existence of 


LAKES i8i 

a visible fault, but some smaller lakes which he has 
observed, occurring in true rock basins, which were 
formed during this earthquake, show no external 
signs of faulting, as, for example, Naphak, in the 
Garo Hills. 

The existence of small rock basins due to earth- 
quake action is of great importance, and the possi- 
bility of the operation of earthquakes should be 
taken into consideration in discussing the origin of 
all lakes, large or small, which can be definitely 
proved to occur in basins margined by live rock 
around the entire sheet of water. 

(iii) Crater Lakes, The formation of volcanic 
craters will be described in its proper place ; it is 
sufficient to mention here that they may be formed 
as the result of accumulation, or of explosion, or 
of a combination of the two processes, and when 
the volcano is extinct, if the crater has not been 
breached or destroyed, and the material is not too 
porous to allow water to accumulate within it, a 
lake will be formed. Many well-known examples 
of crater lakes exist in various parts of the world, 
as the Lucrine lake and Avernus in the Phlegraean 
fields of Italy, the Laacher See in the Rhenish 
provinces, Gustavila in Mexico, of which a repre- 
sentation is given in Professor Judd's Volcanoes 
(Fig. 72), and especially those of Auvergne and 
Ardfeche, which are described and illustrated by 
M. Delabecque. Six of them are shown in plan 
on Plate XIV. of his work on the lakes of France, 
namely, Lacs d'Issarles, du Bouchet, de la Godi- 
velle d'en Haut, Chauvet, de Tazanat, and Pavin. 
They present a remarkably regular circular outline, 
and the isobaths, or lines of equal depth, are also 


extremely regular. The largest of the six, Lac 
d'Issarles, has a depth of io8 metres, and the 
comparatively small Pavin, with a diameter of about 
Soo metres, has a depth of 92 metres. A figure 
of the Lac du Bouchet is seen on p. 276 of the 
same work. Of the Lac d'Issarles the late Mn 
G. P. Scrope writes that it is one of those lakes 
which '' differ from ordinary craters, not only in their 
greater dimensions, but in the nature also and dis- 
position of their enclosure, which is usually of 
primary or^ at ail e vents, pre-existing rocks, merely 
sprinkled more or less copiously with scoriae and 
puzzolana, little, if at all, elevated above the surface 
of the surrounding country" 

(iv) Lakes formed by Erosion, — We now turn to 
the consideration of the formation of lakes by 
processes concerning which there has been a great 
deal of controversy. The agents which have been 
suggested as capable of forming rock basins by 
erosion of some of the surface materia] are wind, 
running water, and ice in the form of ice-sheets and 
glaciers. According to Gilbert, a number of small 
depressions are formed in the Colorado region by 
the action of wind upon rocks devoid of vegetation, 
and Pumpelly describes similar depressions occurring 
in the crystalhne rocks of the region between the 
Siberian frontier and the Great Wall of China, which 
he attributes to the removal of weathered rock by 

In a humid climate it is well known that rocks 
are weathered unequally according to the amount 
of vegetation which covers them. If a fairly flat 
^rface, diversified by small slopes, is formed of 
^ See Delabbcquk, Les Lacs Franfais^ p. 313. 

LAKES 183 

rock which is mostly bare, especially if the rock 
contains much soluble material, as in the case of 
many igneous rocks, the lichens, liverworts, and 
mosses, which retain the moisture, and hold it 
against the rock, at the same time supplying it 
by their decay with solvent organic acids, eat their 
way into the rock, and furnish a superficial soil, in 
which grass, heather, and other plants grow, and 
allow the process to continue on a larger scale. 
If for any reason the conditions should change 
and the vegetation die, the vegetable matter and 
decomposed rock beneath may be removed by the 
wind, giving rise to a small rock basin. Little 
basins of this character, a few feet or yards in 
diameter, are often met with in the English Lake 
District in every stage of formation. In some 
cases we may strip off the vegetation, and find the 
depression beneath, often containing some incoherent 
weathered rock particles ; at other times most of 
the vegetation has disappeared, and only a little 
peaty material is left at the bottom of a pool. 
How far this process is responsible for the for- 
mation of pools of any size is unknown, but it 
should be taken into account when discussing the 
origin of small rock basins. 

The other agent which has been considered 
capable of producing rock basins, often of consider- 
able size, is ice, and it is necessary to refer to this 
at some length. 

M. G. de Mortillet in 1859 suggested that the 
Alpine lakes had been filled up with alluvial deposits 
and afterwards excavated by glacial action ; and in 
the same year the late Sir Andrew Ramsay put 
forward his well-known theory that the basins had 


been scooped out of the solid rock by glacial 
act ion ^ and afterwards applied the theory to account 
for lakes in various regions, including even the 
great fresh -water lakes of Canada. Evidence in 
support of this theory was subsequently advanced 
by many writers, among whom special mention 
may be made of Mr. Clifton Ward^ whose work on 
the lakes of English Lakeland was distinguished by 
the care which marked all the work of this lamented 
geologist, whose labours hs6^e been fitly recorded 
by Canon Rawnsley in his Lileraty Reminiscences 
of the Lake District. Many writers have attacked 
the theory from various points of view, and even 
at the present day there is a considerable diversity 
of opinion as to the capacity of ice to excavate 
rock basins, some denying it in tota, while others, 
admitting its power to hollow out small basins, as 
those in which many of our upland tarns lie, or 
even the larger lakes of an area like North Wales, 
kdeny its po%ver to form basins like those in which 
the waters of the greater Alpine lakes are upheld 

We shall have occasion to speak about the asserted 
erosive power of ice in a chapter devoted to con- 
sideration of glaciers, and in the meantime may 
observe that in order to prove that ice can excavate 
a basin we must show, first, that the actual rock 
basin exists, and, secondly, that it cannot have been 
formed in any other way than by the erosive action 
of ice, which, by the way, will probably be found 
to be a matter of considerable difficulty. Not only 
must the contour of the lake shores be examined, 
but a complete survey of the subaqueous contours 
is also necessary. In only a few cases has this 
been done, notably by Mill and Delabecque; and 

LAKES i8s 

we shall consider the results of their work and its 
bearing upon the question of glacial erosion in the 
succeeding chapter. In the meantime we may call 
attention to recent writings where the existence of 
rock basins of small size has been asserted, which 
it is difficult to account for as being pn^duced by 
earth movement (though Mr. Oldham's obscrvati(Mis 
on the rock basins produced by the Assam earth- 
quake of 1897 must always be borne in mind). I 
mention recent writings only, because those who 
have studied these basins in recent years have been 
fully alive to the importance of establishing the 
existence of live rock all round the basin, and not 
merely where the stream issues from the lake, an 
occurrence which was wont to satisfy many of the 
earlier writers upon the origin of lakes that they 
were dealing with live rock basins, though we have 
had occasion to notice that the water often issues 
over rock as the result of diversion of drainage by 
glacial or other interference, and accordingly the 
dam of accumulated material may occur at any 
point around the margin of the lake. 

Mr. H. P. Gushing, in a description of the Muir 
glacier of Alaska,^ describes a number of diminutive 
pools on the tops of low hills near the termination 
of the glacier, some of the hills projecting from its 
mass. The pools are very shallow, and only a 
few yards in diameter ; and though the shores of 
some are partly formed of glacial debris, "some 
of them clearly occupy rock basins, rock in places 
being readily traced all round them." He states 
that all the basins which he saw " lie in small 
valleys on the mountain - tops, whose presence 

^ Gushing, H. P., American Geologist, 1891. 


seemed to depend on the fissure systems and on 
the varying depths to which loosening of blocks 
had taken place *' ; and further, " That the glacier 
has done little more than to remove the loosened 
rock and polish the resulting surface is shown in 
a vast number of localities/' The ice in this case 
appears to have removed blocks which had become 
detached as the result of weathering. 

A paper by Professor Bonney^ is devoted to con- 
sideration of " Some Small Lake Basins in the 
Lepontine Alps." He gives proofs of the existence 
of four rock basins holding the waters of the Lago 
di Tremorgio, Lake Ritom, Lake Cadagno, and Lake 
Tom, in the Val Bedretto and Val Piora. Sir John 
Lubbock^ remarks of two of these : *' Some of the 
smaller lakes in these regions, as, for instance, those 
of Cadagno and Tremorgio^ are 'meres' or lakes of 
sinking, like those of Cheshire." But Professor 
Bonney, though he speaks with extreme caution 
concerning their origin, seems to admit the possi- 
bility of their formation by glacial erosion. Of Lake 
Ritom he writes: "This basin, then, the part which 
lies below the present contoor line of 6000 feet (in 
round numbers), Is the utmost that, in my opinion, 
can possibly be attributed to the erosive action of 

M. Delabecque, like Professor Bonney, is not a 
believer in the efficacy of ice as a former of lake 
basins on a large scale. In his work on the French 
lakes/ when giving a summary of the various lakes 

^ Bonney, Ptofesaor T. G., Ce&hgiial Alagazine, dec* iv*, vol. v. 
(iggS), p. IS- 
^ Lubbock, Sir J. , Tke Seen ry &f Switseriami^ p, 44S. 
'^ Lei Loi'S FraTifais, p. 343. 

LAKES 187 

of France formed in different ways, he concludes with 
a list of lakes due to the excavation by glaciers of 
the weathered jDarts of rocks, including all the lakes 
which cannot be attributed to any of the other causes 
which he has previously considered. The list is as 
follows : — 

"In the (French) Alps: The lakes of Sept-Laux, the 
principal lakes of the massif of Belledonne (except 
Lake Robert), Lake Cornu, Lac de Rabuons, and 
most of the lakes situated in the eruptive rocks and 
crystalline schists. 

" In the Jura : Lake de Paladru (?). 

" In the Vosges : Lake de Retournemer. 

** On the Central Plateau : Lake de la Crdgut, de 
Laspialade, many of the small lakes of the plateau 
de TArtense, and of the neighbourhood of Riom-es- 

" In the Pyrenees : Lacs d'Artouste, d'Arrius, de Migue- 
lou, de Gaube, d'Estom, d'Espingou, de Saousat, 
d'Oo, the lakes of Port de Venasque, Lac Bleu 
or de Lesponne, the lakes of the massif of 
Neouvieille and of Caillaouas, Naguille, Lanoux, 
Garbet, Lers (?), Bassies, of the waste of Carlitte, 
and generally the greater part of the lakes situated 
on eruptive rocks and crystalline schists." 

He concludes, " I need scarcely say in conclusion that 
this list is far from being definite, and that the future 
progress of geology will- certainly modify it." 


LAKES {Continued) 

HITHERTO, while speaking of the origin of 
lakes, we have said little of the nature of the 
outlines of lake shores, or of the topography of their 
basins, and we may now proceed to consider the 
character of the shores and basins during different 
periods of the existence of lakes. 

Topographical Features of the Shores and Basins 
of Lakes, — The features of a lake* depend, in the 
first place, upon its origin, and, secondly, upon the 
changes which have taken place after its formation, 
some parts undergoing erosion, while others receive 
deposit. The diversity in the structures of lakes, 
due to difference of origin, has already been alluded 
to in passing. A crater lake often presents a circular 
outline, and may be very deep as compared with 
its horizontal extent; a lake of subsidence, due to 
underground solution, may vary extensively both as 
regards outline and nature of the hollow ; one formed 
by erosion of a rock basin would present a general 
basin-shaped cross-section ; lastly, lakes formed by 
blocking of pre-existing valleys, whether by forma- 
tion of dams of accumulation, or by differential uplift 
in a direction transverse to the valley (or, what 
comes to the same thing, sinking of the upper 
portion of the valley in a downward direction), will 


LAKES 189 

be distinguished by possessing a continuation of the 
subaerial features of the valley sides beneath the 
margin of the lake. These lakes are indeed drowned 
portions of river valleys, and will at first possess the 
physiographical features of such valleys, which may 
be afterwards modified by erosion, and especially by 
accumulation. We may consider, in the first place, 
the subaqueous features of lakes of the last class, and 
then refer to their marginal topography. The original 
subaqueous features will naturally become masked in 
lakes which have received a supply of sediment for 
any length of time, and accordingly we cannot ex- 
pect to find signs of features which were produced 
by subaerial denudation before the formation of the 
barrier in all lakes which form drowned parts of 
former river valleys; but we have several cases in 
which these features are developed to a sufficient 
extent to show that we are not dealing with ex- 
amples of basins hollowed out by erosion. Dr. Mill's 
work on the English Lake District brought to light 
examples of submerged river valleys beneath the 
waters of some of the lakes. In Windermere " a 
channel about 100 yards wide . . ., commencing 
off Ferry Head, runs close to the west shore, 
and spreads out to nearly the full width of the 
lake at Storr's Point. This channel suggests the 
remnant of an old river valley by its narrow and 
sinuous course.'* It has no doubt been modified by 
subsequent accumulation of deposit. In the same 
lake, a valley which enters near the head, in a direc- 
tion at right angles to the long axis of the lake, is 
continued beneath the water in Pull Bay ; and the 
Troutbeck valley, on the east side, is also found to 
run below the lake, though here the contour lines 


are modified as the result of subsequent deposition. 
Again, in Ul Is water the Fused ale valley is submerged 
where it joins the lake, as indicated by the course of 
the sublacus trine contour lines around the bay at 
Howtown. In UIls water and Crummock are excellent 
examples of subaqueous cliffs. Two soundings taken 
near the head of the former lake, at a distance of six 
feet from the shore, gave in one case a depth of 
forty-four, in the other a depth of forty-eight, feet; 
and in Crummock, " at Hause Point, on the right, the 
cliff ran sheer down, seventy feet being found eight 
feet off the rock " The floors of Butter mere, Crum- 
mock, and Wastwater are exceedingly flat for long 
distances, and suggest the existence of submerged 
alluvial flats formed before the conversion of valleys 
into lakes. Again, the existence of the ice-smoothed 
rock surfaces with a rough face on the lee sides^ both 
above and below water, on rocky islets, as seen in 
Windermere and Ullswater, gives another example 
of the identity of subaerial and sublacustrine scenery* 
in the case of the lakes of Lakeland This identity 
of the scenery above and below water is strong evi- 
dence that the lakes of Lakeland are ij^erely drowned 
lower portions of river valleys. 

More striking subaqueous features are found in the 
Canadian lakes. Many of these have been recorded 
by Dr. J. W. Spencer,^ and some examples may 
be quoted from his works. In Lake Ontario he 
has "shown ' that a narrow buried channel, of 
ninety fathoms depth or more, extends for about 

' See especially Spencer, J. W., *'A Short Sutdy of ihe Features 
of the Lower Great Lakes during the Great River Age/' Pra^. Am^r, 
j^Jifflf, fifr Advancement of Science, vol, xxx. ; also the fi^ime authorj 
Quarts jQun Ge<^L Sqc,^ vol, xlvi. 

LAKES 191 

ninety miles from near Oswego to the seventy- 
eighth meridian, and at a somewhat less depth 
(seventy fathoms) to near the meridian of the 
Niagara river. . . . From the Canadian shore the 
lake bottom slopes gently, . . . but from the New 
York side the slope for three or four miles is 
double that on the northern side, and then comes 
a plunge over the face of an escarpment. This 
escarpment is quite comparable with a subaerial 
escarpment, as that of the Niagara river. The 
escarpment can be traced for nearly 100 miles." 
Spencer has shown that Lakes Huron and Michi- 
gan also possess the characters of drowned subaerial 
valleys traversed by river systems. Huron possesses 
a submerged escarpment, 300 to 450 feet high, facing 
the north-east. Michigan "is in part bounded by 
vertical submerged escarpments, one of which, upon 
the eastern side, has a height of 500 feet." 

Submerged valleys occur in Switzerland, at the 
heads of Geneva and Constance, but Forel has shown 
that these are due to deposition, and not to the 
existence of drowned river valleys of erosion ; the 
denser water of the river, charged with very fine 
alluvial material, is bounded by walls of lighter water, 
and where it meets with these, deposits its alluvium 
in embankments which direct the course of the sub- 
lacustrine stream.^ 

The shore lines of lakes will at the outset be 
determined by the existing nature of the ground 
at the time of formation of the lake, in those lakes 
which are due to the drowning of a subaerial surface 

* Forel, F. A., Z^ Urnan^ vol. i., p. 385 ; and Delabecque, A., 
Archives des Sciences Physiques et NaturelleSy 4eme Periode, vol. i., 


by formation of barriers. Accordingly the relation- 
ship between depth and superficial extent will depend 
upon the relation between width and depth of the 
inequalities in which lakes are formed. Plateau lakes 
on the whole will be comparatively shallow, valley 
lakes comparatively deep. Moreover^ the width of 
the lake, as compared with its depth, will, in the case 
of valley lakes, depend upon the character of the 
valley* Wide shallow valleys will produce wide 
shallow lakes ; deep narrow valleys will give rise to 
deep and narrow sheets of water. Thus in the Lake 
District the comparatively narrow valleys above 
U lis water and Windermere continue as deep and 
narrow river-like lakes, while the wide shallow lower 
part of Eorrowdale Is continued in the lakes of 
Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, which present the 
same characteristics. 

If the original valley was tortuous, the lake will 
be tortuous, like our own Ullswater, and the lakes of 
Lucerne, Corao, and Maggiore. 

Again J where tributaries have cut their valleys 
down to the level of the main valley, lakes formed 
by barriers will extend up the tributary valleys as 
bays, the bay running up the tributary to a greater 
or less extent according to the slope of the Thalweg. 
If the slope is steep, the bay will be relatively small; 
if gentle, the bay will form a deep indentation. Hays 
of this character naturally become filled by sediment, 
as we shall see presently, when the lake has existed 
for some time, but if the supply of sediment be 
small, and the bay large, the bay may remain for a 
considerable period. The plateau tarns of Lakeland 
and North Wales are frequently indented with small 
bays, corresponding with minor valleys. Among 

LAKES 193 

the lai^er lakes, we have already noticed the bays 
extending up the Pullwyke and Troutbeck valleys 
in Windermere, and the Fusedale valley at How- 
town in Ullswater. In the Alpine region we may 
notice the two arms of Lucerne occupying tributary 
valleys, and the arm of Maggiore extending up the 
Val d'Ossola. 

The outlines of lakes forming drowned portions 
of river valleys will at the outset be marked by 
considerable irregularity, abrupt angles being fre- 
quently observable where the original ground was 
uneven. This may be seen at the present day with 
the artificially raised Thirlmere, a useful object-lesson 
furnished by the Manchester Corporation to show the 
difference between a newly formed lake and one that 
has adjusted itself to a stable condition. These 
outlines will be subsequently modified as results of 
erosion and deposition. 

Erosion does not exert any profound effect upon 
the shores of small lakes, though considerable erosive 
action occurs on larger ones, causing gradual reces- 
sion, especially of the more salient points of a lake 
shore, with formation of cliffs. This is seen in the 
large Canadian lakes, and also those of Sweden, which 
are often stirred by storms of considerable violence. 
Mill gives a figure in his work on the English lakes 
showing effect of wave erosion on the incoherent 
material of the Troutbeck delta at Windermere. 
Small cliffs, simulating sea-cliffs, may be produced 
by erosion, and a consideration of the formation of 
cliffs may be deferred until we consider the action 
of the sea. 

The most marked changes are produced by accu- 
mulation, which modifies to a very great extent the 


original outlines of a lake. Thus Mill has contrasted 
the straight line of the south-east side of H awes- 
water, which is practically its primitive outline, with 
the extremely sinuous north - western margin, pro- 
duced by subsequent accumulation of deposit. 

The first accumulation to be considered is the 
beach which surrounds a sheet of water* Now lake- 
beaches merely differ from sea - beaches in the 
absence of tidal action, and their essential features 
are the same, and their structure and origin will 
be more fully considered hereafter. It is sufficient 
here to notice that beaches are formed by on-shore 
travel of loose material, tending to fill up the hollows 
between salient points by deposition of material, 
which assumes a concave curve characteristic of 
lakes which have adjusted themselves to conditions 
of stability. The curvature of bays is one of the 
most striking features in the scenery of a lake, and 
the angular outlines of a recently dammed lake tike 
Thirlmere or the sheet of water at Tarn Howes, 
near Coniston, form a marked contrast to the flow- 
ing curves of a lake whose original angularities 
have been replaced by tlie concavities due to beach 
formation^ The view of Haweswater in the accom- 
panying plate shows the curved bays of the north- 
western shore on the right, and the straight line of 
the south-eastern shore on the left, of the figure. 

Next we have the deltaj formed where a stream 
enters the lake. The velocity of the water is at once 
checked on entering, and it deposits its material, 
gradually converting a portion of the lake into a 
flat tract of land, which ordinarily forms a fan, with 
semicircular margin, though this margin may be 
greatly complicated in many ways, especially by 

LAKES 195 

the tendency of streams to deposit ridges on their 
sides and build out parallel embankments rising 
above the surface for some distance beyond the 
general margin of the delta. Moreover, the shallow 
waters in front of the deltas are frequently occupied 
by a growth of marsh and water plants, as reeds and 
water-lilies, which form a peaty surface sometimes 
sufficiently firm to give rise to land, beyond the 
general margin of the delta which is due to mecha- 
nical deposit of sediment, as seen at the head of 
Derwentwater. The plate with the figure of Sty 
Head Tarn, besides exhibiting a delta at the foc^t 
of the lake which originated the tarn, shows twr; 
others; that at the head, seen in the foreground, 
which has considerably diminished the size of the 
lake, and another on the left-hand side, with a minor 
delta growing out from it, forming a promontory. 

When a very important river enters a lake between 
head and foot, it will build out its delta until the lake 
is converted into two sheets of water, connected by 
a narrow strait on the side opposite to that on which 
the delta is growing. Haweswater is thus converted 
into two sheets, known as High Water and Low 
Water, by the straits at Measand, where the lake is 
narrowed from a width of half a mile to about 100 
yards. In the figure of Haweswater the Measand 
delta is seen as a dark straight line just above and to 
the west of the boat-house, and concealing High 
Water beyond it, the straits being visible between the 
delta and the dark slope on the left. As the outward 
growth of deltas of this nature proceeds, they may, 
and often do, eventually form completely across the 
lake, severing it into two, as in the case of Butter- 
mere and Crummock, and Bassenthwaite and Derwent- 


water in the Lake District, the two lakes of Llanberis 
in Wales, and Bricnz and Thun in Switzerland, to 
mention a few examples* When this happens the 
two lakes are separated by a fiat alluvial tract, which 
may be completely submerged after heavy rains^ when 
the lake level rises, an event which occurs not in- 
frequently in the case of Derwentwater and Bassen- 

Screes and dry deltas often encroach upon lakes, 
altering the original topography of their shores. 
The dimensions of many of our upland tarns have 
considerably diminished as the result of material 
slipping down the slopes or falling down scree-shoots 
into the water. The well-known screes of Wast water, 
illustrated in the plate, have produced considerable 
diminution of the area of the lake, and also pro- 
foundly affected the scenery of its shores. 

Lastly, we have avalanches of rock descending 
from the hill-sides In mountain regions and tending 
to diminish the area of the lake when they fall into 
the water surrounding the shore. A somewhat 
peculiar result of the fall of avalanches is described 
in Delabecque's monograph on the French lakes^ 
the explanation of the phenomenon having been 
given by MM. J. Vallot and E, Bel Joe. In certain 
regions, as the Pyrenees, avalanches fall in winter 
and the early spring, and are arrested on the frozen 
surface of the lake. When it thaws the materials 
fall to the floor of the lake, and become rearranged 
to some ex tent J giving rise to a mound, which some- 
times forms an island and sometimes a little second- 
ary basin between the avalanche and the lake,^ 

By these various processes— deposition of sediment 

* See Delabecque, L^s Lacs Frafif^iiTj p. 364. 




LAKES 197 

in deltas, formation of screes and avalanches, and 
general growth of vegetation in the shallows pro- 
duced by growth of alluvium— lakes are gradually 
filled up. At the same time the top of the lake 
at the exit may become lowered by erosion, though, 
as before stated, the erosion is slight, owing to the 
general absence of sediment. Accordingly we find 
all stages from the existence of lakes in which the 
diminution of area has commenced, through those 
in which the tract of water consists of a pool 
surrounded by peat moss, to the final extinction 
of the lake and its replacement by turbary, or peat 
moss produced by growth of marsh vegetation on the 
flat alluvial tract caused by the silting up of the 
lake. These peat mosses are usually very abundant 
in mountain regions, and testify to the large number 
of lakes which once existed, and have now been 
destroyed by silting. 

Islands in Lakes, — It is very doubtful how far 
islands can exist in lakes produced by erosion, 
though, assuming that erosion can produce lakes, the 
existence of isolated masses of hard rock among 
softer rocks might permit the formation of islands. 
In lakes produced by " drowning " of the bottoms of 
river valleys, any isolated hill standing above the 
general level of the valley would remain as an island. 
The rocky islands of Ullswater and Windermere 
seem to be of this nature; and, as pointed out by 
Mill, submergence of the Ullswater valley to the 
extent of another hundred feet would convert Hallin 
Fell into an island a mile in diameter. Other islands 
are produced by existence of incoherent material in 
ridges ; thus, as suggested by Mill, the islands of 
Derwentwater, composed of masses of gravel, sand, 


and clay, are probably ridges of glacial drift which 
stood out above the general level of the floor of the 
valley to a sufficient height to escape submergence. 
The formation of islands by avalanches subsequently 
to the time when the lake came into being has been 
described above. 

The so-called floating islands, which are sometimes 
found, may be referred to, though they are of little 
interest to the student of scenery. One occasionally 
appears in Derwentwater, and the little lake Llyn-y- 
dywarchen^ between Carnarvon and Beddgelert^ in 
North Wales, receives its name from a similar appear- 
ance. It would seem that these floating islands are 
simply masses of peaty vegetable matter on the 
floors of shallow parts of the lake, which, owing to 
accumulation of light gases, formed by decomposi- 
tion of vegetable matter, are occasionally buoyed up 
to such an extent that they float upon the surface^ 
until the gases are disengaged sufficiently to allow 
them to sink once more to the bottom. This is the 
explanation given by Jonathan Otley, the old Lake 
District guide (whose geological work has hardly 
received the recognition which it merttsX in a paper 
published in the Lonsdale iMagamne in 1820 (p* 15), 
and there is very little doubt that it is substantially 

Colour qf Lakes. — The charm of lake scenery de- 
pends to a large extent on the limpidity of the water 
and the var>ing play of colours upon the surface. 
The transparency of the water is due to the deposi- 
tion of sediment where the streams enter the lake, 
leaving the main mass of the w^aters free from 
sediment, except when violent floods bring very fine 
particles into a lake of no great superficial extent 

LAKES 199 

The question of colour is more complex, and merits 
some consideration, especially as much diversity of 
opinion has arisen concerning the cause of colour in 
certain lakes. Over and above the ever-varying play 
of colour due to changes in the sky, we find that 
certain lake waters possess a very definite hue ; the 
intense blue of Geneva, for instance, is known to 

The water of lakes may be blue, green, yellow, or 
absolutely colourless. M. Forel has constructed a 
scale of colours for reference, made by mixing to- 
gether ammoniated sulphate of copper and chromate 
of potassium. The scale extends from I. to XL, I. 
containing none of the chromate solution, while XI. 
contains 65 per cent of the chromate and only 35 
of the copper sulphate. The colours from I. to IV. 
of the scale are blue, those between V. and VIII. 
green, and IX. to XI. yellow. 

Of blue lakes, we find in our own country two 
tarns on Snowdon — namely, Llyn - dur - Arddu and 
Glaslyn — of an intense indigo colour ; and the larger 
Llyn Llydaw has much the same hue. In Switzer- 
land, Geneva has already been referred to. There 
are also several small lakes, as the Blaue Seeli, near 
Kandersteg, and the Lac Bleu de Lucel, nesLr Arolla. 
The cause of this colour has been a subject for much 
discussion. Sir H. Davy suggested that the waters 
of Geneva owed their colour to the presence of 
iodine ; and other writers have supposed that it was 
due to minute particles of glacier mud. 

It is now known that the true colour for distilled 
water is blue. If distilled water be placed in a long 
tube, and viewed through the length of the tube, it 
will appear blue. Accordingly it is found that the 


water of the lakes just referred to is extremely pure, 
being free from any appreciable amount of organic 
matter, and also devoid of sediments. 

In the Gazette de Lausanne for October, 1887, 
Professor Forel describes the waters of the Lac 
Bleu de Lucel, a lake about 200 feet long and 
thirteen feet deep, fed by a spring which rises from 
the ground just above the lake. He finds that the 
waters of this lake are, so far as is known, the most 
transparent of all sheets of water, and they are devoid 
of life. I had the opportunity of seeing the lake in 
sunshine, and also when the sky was completely 
overcast, and under the latter conditions the colour 
was exquisite. 

The green colour may be due to reflection of light 
from a sandy bottom through shallow water. Again, 
solution of organic substances, such as humic and 
ulmic acids derived from vegetable matter, may, as 
shown by Forel, convert blue water into green, or 
even into yellow or brown, when the water is sur- 
rounded by peat mosses. This accounts for the 
green colour of many of the upland tarns of our hill 
regions, which frequently occur in association with 
peat mosses due to their partial silting up. Again, 
a green' or yellow colour may be produced by 
abundance of coloured microscopic organisms in the 
water, as suggested by Delabecque in the Lac de 
la Laudie, on the central plateau of France, which 
has a colour corresponding with No. XI. in Forel's 

Professor Spring has shown that blue distilled 
water rapidly loses its colour and becomes green, but 
that the addition of a small proportion of bichloride 
of mercury, which will destroy organisms, is sufficient 

LAKES 201 

to preserve the blue colour indefinitely. Again, water 
which does not contain organic impurities, but which 
contains minute particles of colourless mud, as glacier 
mud in suspension, gives a yellow tint to the water, 
which, combined with its natural blue, produces a 
green tint To this cause he attributes the green 
colour of Neuchatel and Constance. If the glacier 
mud is very thick, the water will be rendered turbid 
and grey, as seen where glacier streams pour into 
a lake, or where, unfortunately, finely divided mud 
is produced by mining operations, causing the grey- 
ness which sullies the head of Ullswater. Lastly, 
it has been observed that some lakes, which are 
ordinarily green, occasionally become colourless, and 
Professor Spring has shown that this change is pro- 
duced by the introduction of a fine reddish mud, 
coloured by oxide of iron, which neutralises the 
green hue, and renders the lake for the time being 
perfectly colourless. 

On March 30th, 1894, about 11.30 a.m., I noticed 
an interesting phenomenon on Windermere when 
looking up the lake from among the islands of 
Bowness Bay. The day was perfectly calm, and 
the fells at the head of the lake were seen dimly 
through a pearly blue haze. The sun was shining 
brightly on the islands in the foreground, with their 
graceful groups of birch, and on the light green 
larches mixed with the darker firs on Furness Fells. 
From the banks of the lake on either side a bar 
of prismatic colours, glowing most vividly, stretched 
out towards the centre, the red being next the 
shore, and the violet towards the middle of the 
lake. Looking about for an explanation, I found 
that the water around the boat was glistening from 


myriad points, and noticed that countless organism^ 
probably unicellular algae, were floating in the surface 
waters. Each of these acted as a little prism, and 
produced the iris bars which gave so strangely 
beautiful an effect to the whole scene. 

Effects due to mirage are often seen on lakes, 
but it is beyond our purpose to describe them in 
full. The fata morgana is often visible on Geneva, 
especially in the spring-time. A full account of the 
phenomenon will be found in Professor Forels work 
Le Liman (vol. ii., pp. 514 et seq.). 


VOLCANIC hills and plateaux are produced by 
accumulation of material which has been 
brought from the earth's interior in a liquid or 
fragmental condition upon the pre-existing surface 
of the earth. It was formerly supposed that volcanic 
hills were due to uplift of a blister-like mass of the 
earth's crust, like the viscid bubbles which form 
upon the surface of a plate of hot porridge ; but 
study of volcanoes in all states of dissection has 
abundantly proved that the hills are formed by 
accumulation, and the old "elevation-crater theory" 
has been abandoned. 

To account for the extrusion of material in a 
molten state on the earth's surface, we must take 
three things into consideration, namely, the pro- 
duction of the molten material, the formation of 
lines or spots of weakness through which it is 
extruded, and the force which brings the molten 
matter to the surface; these we may refer to in 
the above order. 

If the earth has, as generally supposed, con- 
solidated from a once fluid condition, it is possible 
that some of the originally molten material has 
remained unconsolidated ; but there is much evi- 
dence that the greater part at any rate of the rocks 



which are poured out on to the earth's surface in |j 
a molten condition have been solid, and have 
become liquefied. Liquefaction may be brougbt 
about in a solid rock by increase of temperature, 
diminution of pressure, or alteration of the com- 
position of the rock, thereby lowering its melting 
point. At the surface of the earth the rocks are 
solid owing to the low temperature which prevails 
there. Observations have shown that the tem- 
perature increases towards the interior, but so also 
does" the pressure, which tends to neutralise the 
effects of heat, and to keep rocks solid which, 
under the ordinary atmospheric pressure, would 
be fused. At a certain depth masses of rock may 
occur at a high temperature which are solid, but 
so near to the fusing point that minor changes may 
cause their liquefaction, and we may refer to the 
principal changes which have been claimed as 
capable of producing liquefaction. In the first place, 
transference of heat from one rock to another may 
produce liquefaction of a rock which was previously 
below its fusing point. Such transference must take 
place, but it is doubtful whether it can ever be a 
very potent factor in producing liquefaction. 

Sir Humphry Davy long ago suggested that a 
rise in temperature might occur as the result of the 
heat generated by oxidation of masses of metals 
of the alkalies enclosed among the rocks of the 
interior; he was afterwards led to abandon the 
suggestion, but some recent writers have maintained 
that oxidation of metals existing in the elementary 
condition may cause evolution of sufficient heat to 
produce liquefaction. Mr. Scrope called attention 
to the effects which would be produced by formation 


of thick masses of sediment. It is supposed that 
surfaces of equal temperature (isogeotherms) occur 
approximately parallel to the surface of the earth. 
An accumulation of some thousands of feet of 
sediment would raise the isogeotherms correspond- 
ingly, and in this way the temperature of rocks 
previously in a solid state might be raised to their 
fusing points. Mr. R. Mallet supposed that after 
the crust of the earth became too rigid to adapt 
itself to contraction by folding it would do so by 
crushing, and that belts of crushed rock would be 
formed, and that the friction due to the crushing 
would generate heat sufficient to cause liquefaction. 
Diminution of pressure might be produced by 
denudation of great masses of overlying sediment 
or by uplift of portions of the crust in domes and 
arches, relieving the pressure beneath the centres 
of the uplifts, or by actual Assuring of the earth's 
crust It must be noted that, though denudation 
would remove the pressure, it would lower the 
isogeotherms, and similarly accumulation of sedi- 
ment, while raising the isogeotherms, would increase 
the pressure. 

Alteration of composition, causing lowering of the 
fusing point, was first suggested by Professor Guthrie 
as a means of producing fusion, and has been strongly 
advocated by Professor Judd, especially to account 
for certain phenomena connected with the great 
eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Guthrie observed 
that certain salts were capable of forming unstable 
compounds with water, which he termed cryohy- 
drates, and he suggested that analogous compounds 
might be formed out of some of the constituents 
of rocks. These cryohydrates have a lower melting 


point than the corresponding anhydrous com- 

The capacity of these various processes to produce 
the requisite fusion has been very fully discussed 
in many works and memoirs. It is, of course, 
impossible to enter here into the technicalities 
requisite for the comprehension of the various 
arguments, but enough has been said to show that 
liquefaction may be produced in more than one 
way, and the probability is that the complexities 
of volcanic phenomena can only be accounted for 
on the supposition that the causes which produce 
liquefaction are also complex. 

The production of planes or lines of weakness, 
along which material may be extruded upon the 
earth's surface, has been already referred to when 
discussing the changes produced by movements of 
the earth's crust; it was then seen that fracture as 
well as folding frequently resulted from movements 
of the superficial covering of the earth. It now 
remains for us to call attention to the distribution 
of the planes of disruption, and to trace their 
connection with the distribution of volcanic vents. 
It has long been known that volcanoes are usually 
developed along definite lines, specially well seen 
in the case of the volcanoes which border the 
western coast line of the New World, but also 
easily traceable in other areas of vulcanicity. Now 
the most important of these lines occur along the 
septa of the great earth -waves, which are broken 
across by gigantic fault-planes, and it is here that 
volcanic activity is most rife. The reader will find 
this connection between the distribution of volcanoes 
and that of the great wave septa discussed in 


Professor Lapworth*s presidential address to Section C 
of the British Association at Edinburgh (1892), from 
which ^Jie following sentences are quoted : — 

"If we draw a line completely round the globe, crossing 
the Atlantic basin at its shallowest, between Cape Verde 
and Cape San Roque, and continued in the direction of 
Japan, where the Pacific is at its deepest, as the trace of a 
great circle, we find that we have before us a crust fold 
of the very highest and grandest order. We have one 
mighty continental arch stretching from Japan to Chili, 
broken medially by the sag of the Atlantic trough; and 
we see that this great terrestrial arch stands directly opposed 
to its natural complement, the great trough of the Pacific, 
which is bent up in the middle by the mightiest of all the 
submarine buckles of the earth-crust, on which stand the 
oceanic islands of the Central Pacific. 

"The course of this line which we have indicated as 
forming our grandest terrestrial fold returns upon itself. 
It is an endless fold, an endless band. . . . 

"Such an endless fold, again, must have an endless 
septum, which in the nature of things must cross it twice. 
Need I point out . . . that if we unite the Old and New 
Worlds and Australia with their intermediate sags of the 
Atlantic and Indian Oceans as one imperial earth-arch, 
and regard the unbroken watery expanse of the Pacific as 
its complementary depression, the circular coastal band of 
contrary surface flexure which lies between them should 
constitute the moving master septum of the present earth- 
crust? This is the * volcanic girdle of the Pacific,' our 
* terrestrial ring of fire.'" 

The great volcanic belts, then, will run parallel 
with our main coast-lines, forming the septa of the 
great continent-building folds. Other belts will lie 
along the septa of the mountain uplifts, giving rise 


to lines of volcanoes bordering mountain uplifts, Of 
will cause the formation of volcanoes along tbe 
fissures which break up the monoclinal folds of a 
plateau region. 

Turning now to consideration of the manner in 
which the material is brought to the surface, either 
in a molten or in a fragmental condition, we are at 
once struck with the active part played by steam in 
many volcanic eruptions. The immense volumes of 
steam which are sent forth from Vesuvius during an 
eruption, which spread in the air .with an outline 
resembling that of a stone pine, have long been 
familiar ; and similar phenomena presented by other 
volcanoes prove that superheated water exists in the 
rocks below the earth's surface to a considerable 
extent, and this, when pressure is removed, is flashed 
into steam. This steam is capable of exercising 
great power in raising rocks, and it is obvious that 
much of the fragmental matter is hurled out of 
volcanoes as the result of explosions of steam, 
though it is not quite so clear that molten rock is 
forced out by the same agent. Nevertheless a large 
number of obser\-ed facts go to prove that this does 
actually occur.^ 

The importance of steam as a factor in producing I 
volcanic phenomena is, perhaps, best shown by the j 
observations made by Mr. E. Whymper in the Andes. I 
When on the top of Chimborazo he witnessed an 
eruption of Cotopaxi. 

"At 5.40 a.m. two puffs of steam were emitted, and then 
there was a pause. At 5.45 a column of inky blackness 

' On this subject the reader may consult Professor Judd*s work on 
Volcanoes t chap. iL 


began to issue, and went up straight into the air with such 
prodigious velocity that in less than a minute it had risen 
20,000 feet above the rim of the crater. . . . The top of 
the column . . . was nearly 40,000 feet above the Iri'el 
of the sea. At that elevation it encountered a power- 
ful wind blowing from the east, and was rapidly borne 
towards the Pacific, remaining intensely black, seeming to 
spread very slightly, and presenting the appearance of a 
gigantic ^ drawn upon an otherwise perfectly clear sky."^ 

The column was formed of steam mixed with the 

volcanic fragments, and Mr. Whymper calculates 

" that, at least, two millions of tofis must have been 

ejected during this eruption." On another occasion, 

when encamped on Cayambe, he "saw Cotopaxi 

pouring out a prodigious volume of steam, which 

boiled up a few hundred feet above the rim of its 

crater, and then, being caught by a south-westerly 

wind, was borne towards the north-east, almost up 

to Cayambe. The bottom of this cloud was abcnit 

5000 feet above us ; it rose at least a mile high, and 

spread over a width of several miles. ... I estimate 

that on this occasion we saw a continuous body of 

not less than sixty cubic miles of cloud formed from 

steam. If this vast volume, instead of issuing from 

a free vent, had found its passage barred, itself 

imprisoned, Cotopaxi on that morning might have 

been effaced, and the whole continent might have 

quivered under an explosion rivalling or surpassing 

the mighty catastrophe at Krakatoa."^ 

But though steam clearly plays the principal part 

* The eruption is also of interest as bearing on the formation of 
stratus clouds. 

' Whymper, E., Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator^ 
chaps, vii. and xviii. 


in many volcanic eruptions, there are many other 
cases where its action is as clearly secondary, and 
some other agent must be sought which is capable of 
raising rock from the earth's interior. 

In areas where we find the rocks affected by 
monoclinal faults we frequently find extensive sheets 
of lava which yield evidence of having welled up 
from the interior and spread out with a tranquillity- 
very far removed from the explosive violence of 
ordinary volcanic eruptions, as, for instance, in the 
plateau region of the western territories of North 
America. We have already seen that a region like 
that plateau region is composed of blocks tilted at 
various angles as though they had sagged down 
into a liquid mass beneath, and it is probable that 
during the process of faulting some of the molten 
matter below has been squeezed out through the 
cracks and spread tranquilly over the earth's surface 
above the fissure. Baron von Richthofen first main- ] 
tained that such massive eruptions, as he named 
them, or fissure eruptions, as they are sometimes 
termed, had occurred. 

It is, of course, possible that material may be 
brought up by a combination of the two processes, 
the sagging action of the earth's crust being aided 
by the presence of superheated water in the molten 

We have now considered the various processes 
which are necessary for the production of volcanoes, 
and may proceed to the consideration of the general 
character of the accumulations which are built up as 
the result of volcanic action. 

The nature of the hills and plateaux which are 
formed by volcanic agency depends primarily upon 


the character of the emitted and extruded material, 
the violence of the action, and the character of the 

It has already been noted that material is broii^dit 
out from volcanic vents in a molten or in a fra^mcntal 
condition, and accordingly any volcano may be 
entirely formed of material in one or other of these 
conditions or of the two kinds of material in vary- 
ing proportions. Commencing with the consideration 
of volcanic hills which are entirely composed of 
consolidated molten rock, we shall find that the 
outline of the hill very largely depends upon the 
condition in which the molten matter existed when 
it was extruded. We have seen that molten rocks 
may be divided into two main groups, the acid and 
the basic rocks, and that the latter are on the whole 
in a condition which enables them to flow further 
from the point or line of emission than the former, 
and the height of volcanoes formed of basic lavas is 
generally less when compared with the circumference 
than that of those composed of acid lavas. Many 
acid lavas, indeed, well up in a condition so viscid 
that they form a dome-shaped elevation covering the 
orifice, and marked with rugosities much resembling 
the products of a guttering candle. The reader will 
find descriptions of such domes, with illustrations, in 
the fifth chapter of Prof. Judd's Volcanoes. One of 
the best examples is the Puy de Sarcoui in the Au- 
vergne district, of which the late Mr. Poulett Scrope^ 
writes that *' in figure it is completely a flattened and 
rather elongated hemisphere, and is aptly compared 
by the mountain-shepherds to a kettle placed bottom 
upwards." Basic rocks often flow^for a considerable 

^ Sc&OFEs G. P., The Geology atid l^oicanoes of Central France. 


distance from the point of extrusion of the lavas. 
Mr. Poulett Scrope suggested that the plain of the 
Malpais in Mexico, which has a slope of about 6", 
was formed by extrusion of sheets of lava from 
points near its centre, each of these sheets gradually 
thinning away from its source and thus giving rise to 
a sloping surface. More striking examples, however, 
are furnished by the four great volcanoes of Hawaii, 
namely Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Kilauea, and 
Hualalai. An admirable monograph of these 
volcanoes from the pen of Captain C. E. Button has 
appeared in the Monographs of the U.S. Geological 
Survey.^ The mountains are composed of lava flows 
of a basaltic character, sheet lying above sheet, and 
there is a general absence of fragmental matter, 
Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa approach 14,000 feet in 
height, but " deep sea soundings in the vicinity have 
recently disclosed the fact that these volcanic piles 
are only the summits of gigantic masses rising 
suddenly from the bottom of the Pacific. . . . Mauna 
Loa and Mauna Kea, referred to their true bases at 
the bottom of the Pacific, are . . . mountains not far 
from 30,000 feet in height." Of the two Mauna Loa 
is remarkable not only for its size — it "is certainly 
the king of modern volcanoes, no other in the world 
approaches it in the vastness of its mass or in the 
magnitude of its eruptive activity" — but also for its 
symmetrical outline and the gentle slopes of its sides, 
which attain an angle not greater than 6°. The 
mountain is marked by the existence of a remarkable 
crateriform cavity at its summit, to which allusion 
will be made subsequently ; but this does not modify 
the general outline of the mountain, which appears 

* DUTTON, C. E., Kept. U,S. Geological Survey^ 1822-3. 


to be due to the gradual thinning out of the various 
lava flows issuing from round this central point. 
As denudation has produced little effect upon this 
active volcano, we get an example of the true outline 
of a volcanic mountain formed by gradual piling up 
lava flows, sheet over sheet, which is a convex curve, 
here approaching to flatness on account of the great 
distance to which the individual lava streams have 
flowed ; while in the hills formed of more viscid acid 
lavas the curve is still a convex one, but very much 
more pronounced, owing to the limited distance to 
which the lava has flowed from the point of its 
extrusion. When the volcanic hill is largely com- 
posed of fragmental material the structure will be 
different. If the volcano is a simple one, built up by 
ejection of fragmental material round a single vent, 
a conical hill will result, but the outline of the hill is 
not that of a true cone. Professor Milne^ has ex- 
plained the reason for the existence of the actual 
outlines possessed by cinder-cones, i.e., cones formed 
of ejected fragmental material, and I have already 
referred to his work when discussing the slope of 
screes. He finds that many volcanoes built up of 
fragmental materials possess a surface " which would 
be produced by a simple logarithmic curve revolving 
about an axis — consequently such a heap would have 
a slope diminishing from the top to the bottom" — 
thus generally resembling the curve produced by 
stream erosion. This curvature, according to Milne, 
would be produced by (i) "the tendency of a self- 
supporting heap, under the influence of its own 

1 Milne, J., "On the Form of Volcanoes," Gcol. Mas^., Dec. 2, 
vol. v., p. 337 ; and ** Further Notes upon the Form of A'olcanocs," 
ibuf,^ Dec. 2, vol. vi., p. 506. 


weight, to spread outwards at the base — this would 
tend to give a logarithmic curvature"; (ii) "the 
tendency during the building up of a mountain of 
the larger particles to roll further than the smaller 
ones '* ; (iii) the action of denudation. As he has 
examined many volcanoes in which the material is 
seldom found at a less angle than its proper angle of 
repose, he maintains that denudation cannot have 
played a very important part in determining the 
slope of those particular volcanoes, which must 
therefore owe their outline to the first two causes. 
Milne further notes that any hard core of a volcano, 
such as may be produced by ribs of once molten 
rock consolidated in cracks, will tend to contract 
the base of the mountain as compared with its 
height, just as the shape of a pile of sand poured 
upon a table will be altered if we first place a small 
box upon the table. 

It would appear, then, that the shape of a sym- 
metrical volcanic hill formed round a central orifice 
will be that of a plano-convex mass, with a circular 
line around the base, if the volcano be formed of 
emission of molten material, but that this will be 
replaced by a circular mass, whose cross section 
shows two logarithmic curves, ever increasing in 
steepness towards the summit of the hill where they 
meet, when the hill is formed by accumulation of | 
ejected fragments. (See Fig. 35 a) 

We have now to consider various causes which 
give rise to complications in the outline and structure 
of volcanoes, and may in the first place take into 
account the effect which is produced upon the 
appearance of the volcano owing to the character 
of the crater. It has been seen that in the case of 



volcanoes built up by emission of lava, the lava may 
entirely seal up the orifice from which the emission 
has taken place, so that no external sign of the 
orifice is visible. When volcanic hills are formed 


Fig. 35. 

a Outline of volcano formed of fragmental rock piled round a 
central orifice. 

b Outline of volcano truncated by paroxysmal outburst. The 
dotted line shows former height of hill. 

c Cross-section through a Hawaiian volcano, with caldera. 

d Volcano of type b^ with inner crater built up inside truncated 

e Compound volcano formed across two vents (indicated by dotted 
lines). The portion above the right-hand line has been removed by 
paroxysmal explosion or engulfment. 

of fragmental material, however, some of the 
material falls back towards the orifice, and a 
hollow is formed around the orifice like an inverted 
cone, though having its slope determined in the same 
manner as the outer slopes ; this hollow is the crater. 
When a cone is built up as the result of ejection of 


fra^mcntal materials, emitted with no great violence, 
the crater need not be very large, and the diameter 
of its upper rim need not therefore greatly modify 
the general conical form of the hill, as seen from 
a distance. The actual apex of the cone will appear 
to be cut off, as shown in the case of the cone of 
Cotopaxi, or that of Fusiyama, the latter so well 
known from representations on Japanese fans and 
other works of art, but the missing portion will fonn 
a very small portion of the entire cone, and merely 
gives the effect of a blunted point. In some circum- 
stances, however, the crater becomes of very great 
importance as modifying the general outline of the 
volcano ; this is specially well seen where eruptions 
of paroxysmal violence have occurred. In many 
early accounts of eruptions of excessive violence 
it is stated that the upper part of the volcano fell in, 
but there is little doubt that, as in the case of 
observed recent paroxysmal eruptions, it was not 
engulfed, but blown into the air in small fragments, 
which were dispersed far and wide around the 
volcanic hill. An explosion of this character may 
give rise to a truncated cone, containing a gigantic 
basin-shaped crater within (see Fig. 35 b)\ the interior 
hollow of Vesuvius before the great eruption which 
destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum was of this 
nature. The upper rim of the truncated volcano 
may be fairly regular, or may be of great irregularity, 
when from some points of view the volcanic character 
of the hill will be entirely concealed. Should the 
paroxysmal eruption which produced truncation be 
succeeded by comparatively feeble outbursts, allow- 
ing of fresh accumulation of ejected fragments, a 
new cone will be built up within the old crater- 


ring, and a cone within a cone so formed, as has 
happened with Vesuvius, where the modern cone is 
half surrounded by the partly destroyed old crater- 
ring, the surviving portion of which is known as 
Monte Somma. This type is illustrated in Fig. 35 d. 

Besides the ordinary craters, formed by rolling 
back of fragments to the orifice, and those due to 
paroxysmal explosions, there is another class of 
crater, apparently due to sinking of the upper 
portion of the volcano. This class is well repre- 
sented in the volcanoes of Hawaii, and the craters 
of this type are spoken of as calderas. (See Fig. 
35 ^.) The best known is that of Kilauea, though 
another occurs on the top of Mauna Loa, and a 
gigantic though somewhat irregular one on the 
summit of Haleakala, on the island of Maui. The 
caldera of Kilauea is of a general elliptical shape, 
with a longer diameter of three and a half miles, 
and a shorter one of two and a half miles, sur- 
rounded by precipitous clififs and varying in altitude 
from 300 to over 700 feet, according to the state of 
its floor. Haleakala possesses a V-shaped caldera, 
one limb of which is seven, and the other eight miles 
long ; the precipitous walls rise to a height of 1 500 
to 2000 feet above a plain from three to five miles 
wide. Haleakala is no longer active, but the nature 
of the eruptions of Kilauea is well known. When 
empty the crater-floor is about 700 feet below the 
rim. It consists of an undulating mass of black 
rock, with a large pile of rocks near the centre. 
From it issue jets of steam, and where a crack occurs, 
the red glow of the molten rock is seen. But at 
times the molten rock gradually rises towards the 
rim of the crater until it is tapped at some point 


lower down the mountain, when the lava wells tran- 
quilly out and flows for great distances until the floor 
of the crater is once more reduced to its normal 
level. Button quotes the following description given 
by Lieutenant Wilkes of the appearances of the 
crater when occupied by molten rock : — 

"All usual ideas of volcanic craters are dissipated upon 
seeing this. There is no elevated cone, no igneous matter 
or rocks ejected beyond the rim. The banks appear as if 
built of massive blocks, which are in places clothed with 
ferns nourished by the issuing vapours. What is wonder- 
ful in the day becomes ten times more so at night The 
immense pool of cherry-red liquid lava in a state of violent 
ebullition illuminates the whole expanse and flows in all 
directions like water, while the illuminated cloud hangs 
over it like a vast canopy." 

There is no doubt that these calderas have origin- 
ated in a manner different from that of ordinary 
volcanic craters, and Button gives reasons for sup- 
posing that they are due to successive sinking of 
slices of the walls along the lines of fissure into the 
molten mass below, a process which is still going 
on, and has given rise to a series of fault scarps and 
terraces around the sides of the crater. (See Fig. 
35 c.) 

Further complications in the form of volcanoes 
may be produced by the resistance of two or more 
adjacent orifices when the materials ejected from 
these coalesce to form a compound mountain, as has 
occurred in the case of the double Monti Rossi on 
the outskirts of Etna. Sartorius von Waltershausen 
has given reasons for supposing that Etna itself 
has been built up round two distinct axes of 


eruption, one coinciding with the present summit, 
the other being situated about the centre of the 
remarkable crateriform Val del Bove.^ Owing to 
the peculiar conditions we do not find two coalesced 
hills, but a deep depression around the secc^nd axis, 
namely, this Val del Bove. It is not clear how it 
was formed. Lyell supposes it to have been pro- 
duced by paroxysmal outbursts, but Button compares 
it with the calderas of the Hawaiian volcanoes. (See 
Fig. 35 e, and Lyell, loc. cit.. Fig. 71.) 

There are many minor causes which tend to 
produce a want of symmetry in volcanic hills. The 
prevailing wind may cause more material to fall on 
the leeward side of a cone built up of fragmcntal 
materials than on the windward side, and accord- 
ingly the edge of the crater will be higher on one 
side than on the other, and in the case of small 
cones an appreciable amount of distortion may 
be thus produced. Again, parasitic cones are often 
formed upon the sides of larger volcanic hills, and 
may interrupt the regularity of outline, though if 
the primary hill be very large and the parasitic cones 
small, their effect at a distance will not be material in 
influencing the nature of the outline of the hill. 
One side of a volcanic cone formed of fragmental 
materials may be breached by a lava-flow, which 
finds it easier to break through the mass of more 
or less incoherent material than to rise to the lip 
of the crater. A number of small cones — the puys 
of Auvergne — are breached in this way, leaving a 
semicircular cliff around the source of the lava-flow. 

The nature of the lava itself often produces 
marked effect upon the scenery of a volcanic district. 

^ See Lyell, Sir C, Principles of Geology, vol. ii., chap. xxvi. 


Owing to the relative abundance of alkaline com- 
pounds in the lavas and ashes, they frequently form 
fertile soils upon weathering, and many ancient 
lavas are covered by a luxuriant growth of vegeta- 
tion, but the recent flow often presents a black, 
forbidding surface, the nature of which will vary 
according to the character of the lava, as is very well 
seen in the case of the Hawaiian lavas, as described 
by Button. Two forms of lava are found in Hawaii, 
known to the natives by the names of "pahoehoe"and 
" aa." The former is thus described by Button : — 

" Imagine an army of giants bringing to a common 
dumping-ground enormous cauldrons of pitch and 
turning them upside down, allowing the pitch to run 
out, some running together, some being poured over 
preceding discharges, and the whole being finally 
left to solidify. The individuality of each vessel-full 
of pitch might be half preserved, half obliterated. 
The surface of the entire accumulation would be 
embossed and rolling, by reason of the multiplicity 
of the component masses, but each mass by itself 
would be slightly wrinkled, yet on the whole smooth, 
involving no further impediment to progress over 
it than the labour of going up and down the 
smooth-surfaced hummocks.'* It is produced by the 
surface solidifying while the interior of the flow is 
still liquid. The superficial crust cracks in numerous 
places, and little squirts of the fluid beneath are 
ejected through the fissures, which spread out and 
become quickly cooled, when the process is repeated. 
The "aa" "consists mainly of clinkers, sometimes 
detached, sometimes partially agglutinated together 
with a bristling array of sharp, jagged, angular frag- 
ments of a compact character projecting up through 


them. The aspect of one of these '* aa " streams is 
repellent to the last degree, and may without 
exaggeration be termed horrible. For one who has 
never seen it, it is difficult to conceive such super- 
lative roughness." The lava forming "aa" has the 
same composition as that which gives rise to 
"pahoehoe," and the difference is due to difference in 
the nature of the cooling. The mass of lava which 
forms "aa" is in a condition approaching consolidation, 
and it moves very slowly. During the movement 
"crushing strains of great intensity are set up 
throughout the entire mass, and its behaviour 
conforms strictly to that of viscous bodies. The 
superficial portions in part yield plastically to the 
strains, in part yield by crushing, splintering, and 
fissuring. The result is a chaos of angular frag- 

It has already been noted that difference of com- 
position determines different rates of flow, and ac- 
cordingly the surfaces of different kinds of lava vary 
considerably, and we have every gradation, from the 
comparatively smooth surfaces of some lavas, through 
the ropy and coiled tops of others, to the rough 
accumulation of clinkers which form the dreary "aa" 
of Hawaii. 

A few remarks concerning the atmospheric effects 
produced during volcanic eruptions may not be out 
of place. It is well known that the smoke and 
flames of popular descriptions of volcanic eruptions 
are not actually due to combustion, the "smoke" being 
really dense volumes of discharged steam, which 
condenses into thick clouds, often darkened by the 
mixture of myriads of solid particles, while the 
appearance of "flame" is due to the reflection of 


the molten lava upon the clouds of condensed vapour. 
The condensed vapour usually issues as a vertical 
column, until it reaches a considerable altitude, when 
it spreads out as cumulus or stratus clouds, or 
varieties of these. Reference has already been made 
to the ** stone-pine " arrangement of the Vesuvian 
vapour, and also to the remarkable mass ejected 
from Cotopaxi, recorded by Whymper, which at first 
formed a vertical column, then bent suddenly at right 
angles and proceeded for miles in one direction as a 
horizontal layer. The importance of the spread of 
minute particles of solid material through the atmo- 
sphere, in producing effects upon the nature of the 
sunset colours, as shown in the case of the great 
eruption of Krakatoa, has also been alluded to in 
a previous chapter. 

In some cases there is actual combustion of gas, 
usually giving a pale, lambent flame, which produces 
no very marked effect upon the scene. 

The scenic effects of different eruptions will vary 
considerably ; but a good idea of one may be ob- 
tained by reading the following description of an 
eruption of Kilauea in 1883, witnessed by the Rev. 
W. Ellis, whose description of the scene is quoted by 
Button, it being noted that some terms used in the 
description are used in a very general sense. After 
describing the caldera, he proceeds as follows : — 

" The bottom was covered with lava, and the south-east, 
north-east, and northern parts were one vast flood" of 
burning matter in a state of terrific ebullition, rolling to 
and fro its fiery surge and flaming billows. Fifty-one 
conical islands of varied form and size, containing as 
many craters, rose either around the edge or from the 
surface of the burning lake, twenty-two constantly emitting 


columns of grey smoke or pyramids of brilliant flame, and 
several of these at the same time vomiting from their 
ignited mouths streams of lava, which rolled in Mazing 
torrents down their black indented sides into the boiling 
mass below. . . . The grey, and in some [)laces ai)parently 
calcined, sides of the great crater before us, the fissures 
which intersected the surface of the plain on which we 
were standing, the long banks of suli)hur upon the oppf)site 
side of the abyss, the dense columns of vapour and smoke 
that rose at the north and south end of the plain, together 
with the range of steep rocks by which it was surrounded, 
probably in some places 300 or 400 feet in perpendicular 
height, presented an immense volcanic panorama, the effect 
of which was greatly augmented by the constant roaring 
of the vast furnaces below. . . . I3etween nine and ten 
in the evening the dark clouds and lava fog, that since 
the setting of the sun had hung over the volcano, gradually 
cleared away ; and the fires of Kilauea, darting their fierce 
light athwart the midnight gloom, unfolded a sight terrible 
and sublime beyond all we had yet seen. 

"The agitated mass of liquid lava, like a flood of 
melted metal, raged with tumultuous whirl. The lively 
flame that danced over its undulating surface, tinged with 
sulphurous blue or glowing with mineral red, cast a broad 
glare of dazzling light on the indented sides of the in- 
sulated craters, whose roaring mouths, amidst rising flames 
and eddying streams of fire, shot up at frequent intervals, 
with very loud detonations, spherical masses of fusing lava 
or bright, ignited stones." 

The remarkable gentleness of the slopes of the 
Hawaiian volcanoes has already been noticed. If 
lavas possessing the liquidity of the Hawaiian lavas 
issued for a considerable distance along the length 
of a fissure, instead of from isolated points, the 
flatness would be increased, and the products of 


vulcanicity instead of forming groups of hills would 
give rise to extensive horizontal, or nearly horizontal, 
plateaux. The massive eruptions of Richthofen are 
supposed to have produced plateaux of this nature, 
of which the best known are those of the Western 
Territories of North America, of the Deccan of India, 
of the Western Isles of Scotland, and the north-east 
portion of Ireland, and of various islands to the 
north of the Eurasian continent. Should the ground 
be uneven at the commencement of volcanic activity, 
the hollows will be filled with lava, and subsequent 
streams will flow over the comparatively even surface 
thus produced, sealing up the fissures from which the 
lava issued, and giving rise to stretches of flat country, 
through which rivers may flow in deep gorges and 
cafions, sufficiently narrow to prevent any inter- 
ference with the general flatness of the prospect 
Here is a description of one of these plateaux by 
the Snake River in Idaho, from the facile pen of Sir 
Archibald Geikie^ : — 

"We emerged from the mountains upon the great sea 
of black lava, which seems to stretch inimitably west- 
wards. With minds keenly excited by the incidents of 
the journey, we rode for hours by the side of that apparently 
boundless plain. Here and there a trachytic spur pro- 
jected from the hills, succeeded now and then by a valley 
up which the black flood of lava would stretch away unto 
the high grounds. It was as if the great plain had been 
filled with molten rock, which had kept its level, and 
wound in and out along the bays and promontories of the 
mountain slopes as a sheet of water w^ould have done. 
Copious springs and streams which issue from the 
mountains are soon lost under the arid basalt. The 

^ Geological Sketches at Home and Abroad^ No. xL 


Snake River itself, however, has cut out a deep gorge 
through the basalt down into the trachytic lavas under- 
neath, but winds through the desert witliout watering it. 
The precipitous walls of the canon show tliat the plnin is 
covered by a succession of parallel slieets of basalt to a 
depth of several hundred feet. . . . Ridini,' hour after hour 
among these arid wastes, I became eonviiiri-d that all 
volcanic phenomena arc not to be explained by the 
ordinary conception of volcanoes, but that there is another 
and grander type of volcanic action, where, instead of 
issuing from a local vent, whether or not along a line of 
fissure, and piling up a cone of lava and ashes around it, 
the molten rock has risen in many fissures, accompanied 
by the discharge of little or no fragmentary material, and 
has welled forth so as to flood the lower ground with 
successive horizontal sheets of basalt. Recent renewed 
examination of the basalt plateaux and associated tyi)es 
in the west of Scotland has assured me that this view of 
their origin and connection, which first suggested itself to 
my mind on the lava-plains of Idaho, furnishes the true 
key to their history." 

From the remarks made in the last paragraph, it 
will be seen that volcanic action produces its effect 
upon scenery even in areas where the volcanic forces 
are no longer in action, and we may briefly consider 
this effect. 

The fragmeintal material ejected from volcanic 
vents, on account of its porosity, often resists denu- 
dation for a considerable period, as proved by the 
perfection of the puys of Auvergne, which are built 
of fragmental material, but denudation sooner or 
later produces marked effects upon the accumulations 
of an extinct volcano, be these fragmental or con- 
sisting of once molten rock. The tract of ground 



formed of volcanic ejecta will be denuded in accord- 
ance with the ordinary laws of denudation, but as 
the volcanic rocks are often much more durable than 
ordinary stratified rocks, they frequently stand out 
after surrounding rocks have been worn away, giving 
rise to hills and plateaux. Of this nature are many 
of the Western Isles of Scotland. The portions 
which have escaped denudation may be covered up 
with sediment, and the latter may be again removed 
ages subsequently to its accumulation, once more 
exposing the volcanic mass to the action of surface 
agencies, and if they resist this action more than the 
surrounding sediments, they may again be formed 
into hills long ages after the extinction of the volcanic 
forces which produced them. The finest scenery of 
Cumbria and Cambria largely owes its character to 
the durability of volcanic rocks of great antiquity, 
which, having been for ages buried, have once again 
been exposed to the surface, and resisting denudation 
more than the surrounding sediments, have stood out 
as hill-masses, which thus owe their origin to ancient 
volcanic action, though only very indirectly. It need 
hardly be added that no traces of the original out- 
lines of the volcano or volcanoes are preserved in 
these circumstances. 

Hot Springs and Geysers, — Closely connected with 
ordinary volcanic phenomena are those of many hot 
springs, especially geysers, which are characteristic 
of volcanic regions, the heat being supplied from 
volcanic sources. Geysers differ from other hot 
springs in that the water is thrown into the air in 
the form of a fountain. There has been much dis- 
cussion as to the exact conditions which are necessary 
for the emission to take place, but it is generally 


agreed that superheated water, flashing into steam 
on the removal of pressure, is the active cause of the 
phenomenon, and it is furthermore admitted that the 
water becomes heated in the tube, which is connected 
with the surface. Water gains admission from the 
surface to the interior of the earth in a volcanic 
district until it reaches a place where the temperature 
is above its ordinary boiling point at no great 
distance below the surface, frequently in the lower 
portions of a still warm lava current which has long 
solidified. The steam is forced up a fissure, and 
gradually enlarges the sides of the fissure, forming 
a pipe-shaped cavity. In this the water collects, 
and the pressure of the superincumbent water is 
sufficient to prevent the water below from boiling 
at the ordinary boiling point, and accordingly it 
becomes heated above 100° C. In the meantime some 
of the water above is evaporated and the pressure 
lessened, until at last the diminution is sufficient to 
allow the superheated water to flash into steam, 
which violently expels the remaining water in the 
pipe into the air, causing an eruption of the geyser. 
The best-known geysers are those of Iceland, of the 
Yellowstone National Park of North America, and 
of the northern island of New Zealand. The " Old 
Faithful'' geyser of the Yellowstone Park ejects a 
fountain of water to a height of over 100 feet about 
every hour. The fact that there are differences in 
action of geysers indicates that the exact cause of 
eruption is not always the same. 

Geysers and other hot springs are also of interest 
to us on account of the accumulations which are 
formed by their agency. The hot water percolating 
through igneous rocks is capable of taking up various 


soluble substances, which it cannot hold in solution 
when cool, and accordingly the substances are de- 
posited around the springs in the form of sinter, 
which, in the case of geysers, tend to form rings 
enclosing a crater-shaped basin, in the centre of 
which is the orifice from which the water is ejected, 
and these rings may be built up to some height 
above the original surface to form conical mounds 
with the crateriform hollow in the centre, as seen 
around Old Faithful and the Giant Geyser of the 
Yellowstone Park. 

When the springs issue upon the slope of a hill, 
the remarkable sinter terraces of volcanic regions are 
formed. The water flows down the hill, and upon 
cooling deposits its dissolved material, as a terrace, 
chiefly below the place from which it issues, but 
eventually at the point of emergence, which may 
then be sealed up, and the water will be compelled 
to find a vent higher up the hill. The process is 
repeated again and again, until a series of terraces 
are formed one above the other on the hill-side, and 
if a number of springs issue along a line these 
terraces will extend for considerable distances and 
hold up the water in a series of pools. The re- 
searches of Mr. W. H. Weed have proved that 
certain algae which are capable of existing in hot 
water are largely responsible for the deposition of 
the dissolved carbonate of lime or silica, so that the 
process is not always a simple chemical one, but 
partly organic.^ The pink and white terraces of 
Rotamahana, New Zealand, destroyed by the great 
eruption of Tarawera in 1886, were the best 

1 Weed, W. H., Ninth Annual Report U.S. GeoL Survey, 1889, 
■od American Journal 0/ ScicncCy vol xxxvii., p. 351. 


examples of sinter terraces, but many exist in the 
Yellowstone Park. The water often pours from the 
basin of one terrace into that of the one beneath, 
and permits of the formation of stahigmitic and 
stalactitic growths, which often add to the remark- 
able appearance of the terraces. The terraces vary 
in colour from the purest white to various shades of 
pink, orange, and brown, the colour being due to 
compounds of iron mixed with the lime c)r silica. 
Perhaps the most impressive are the marble- white 
terraces, which support pools of pure water having 
its characteristic bright blue tint. 

Mud Volcanoes, — In many volcanic and some non- 
volcanic areas, various gases issue from the earth's 
interior and throw up masses of mud, which form 
cones with central craters sometimes to heights of 
two or three hundred feet, which resemble miniature 
volcanoes. Small mud-volcanoes are found in Sicily, 
but some of the most important occur over a con- 
siderable area in the basin of the Lower Indus. 

Earthquakes, — The effects of earthquakes may be 
briefly touched upon in this place, as many earth- 
quakes are clearly produced by volcanic action, 
though others are as obviously not so caused. 
Striking as are the effects of earthquakes, as bring- 
ing about destruction of life and property, their 
importance to the student of scenery is rather on 
account of the assistance which they afford to other 
agents, than because of any peculiar features to 
which they themselves give rise. Besides elevating 
and depressing tracts of country, and thus assisting 
the slow secular movements of elevation and de- 
pression, they frequently produce extensive gaping 
fissures, which may remain open for a considerable 


period, and thus initiate new lines of drainage. 
Again they are often the cause of landslips, and 
shatter the rock in such a way as to accelerate the 
action of the weather. They may give rise to lakes 
by engulfment of portions of the earth's crust, or 
by the formation of barriers owing to landslips, and 
as these barriers are often incoherent they may be 
unable to withstand the pressure of the water which 
accumulates behind them, when the temporary lake 
will burst, causing a disastrous flood, during whidi 
much corrasion and transport may occur. 

Submarine earthquakes often give rise to earth- 
quake waves, which are much greater than ordinary 
wind-waves, and accordingly more destructive, and 
these waves will, therefore, materially assist the 
ordinary marine agents in denuding the sea-coasts 
of a tract of country which is affected by them. 
During the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the earth- 
quake wave is stated to have been sixty feet high 
at Cadiz. Many of the inland waters of Europe 
were affected by waves due to the same earthquake. 

Though the ruin produced by earthquakes is often 
very apparent, the operation of the ordinary agents 
is sufficient to heal the scars due to earthquake 
action in a comparatively short time, and accord- 
ingly, as above stated, no important scenic effects 
can be directly ascribed to earthquake action. 



THE production of a comparatively level surface 
in a district which has previously been marked 
by very uneven ground, may be due either to denu- 
dation or to deposition, or to a combination of the 
two processes, and in these ways the minor plains 
of the earth's surface are formed. But as the sea is 
the great receptacle of deposit another event often 
takes place, causing the formation of a plain, namely, 
the uplift of the deposits which formerly existed 
upon the sea-bottom ; when this uplift brings the 
deposits above the surface of the ocean, and the 
uplift is comparatively equable, a plain is the result, 
and some of the most important plains which occupy 
the earth's surface have been produced by uplift of 
marine sediments. The terms plain and plateau 
are used somewhat vaguely. A plain is in no case 
absolutely level over large areas, and considerable 
departure from an ideal level may exist, yet the area 
may be spoken of as a plain, especially if it occurs 
in a position which causes it to present a marked 
contrast to an adjoining hill region, as the plain of 
York, which is contrasted with the Yorkshire Wolds 
on the one side and the moors on the other. Again, 
a plateau is usually defined as an elevated plain, but 
the amount of elevation necessary to turn a plain 



into a plateau cannot be stated, and the term plateau 
is often applied to a tract which is not more elevated 
than some other which would be termed a plain ; for 
instance, if a very extensive tract of land sloped gently 
upwards from sea-level to a height of 3000 or 4000 
feet above the sea, the whole might well be termed a 
plain, whereas if a small, flat level only 1000 to 2000 
feet above the sea was markedly separated by steep 
slopes from the adjoining low ground, it would be 
called a plateau. Plateaux, and to a less extent 
plains, are often traversed by river valleys of con- 
siderable depth, and as the process of erosion goes 
on, the portions left between the valleys become 
more and more restricted, and a plateau will thus be 
carved into isolated hills often flat-topped. It is, of 
course, impossible to give any definite statement of 
the exact amount of erosion necessary to make the 
term plateau inapplicable to such a sculptured tract 
of land which was originally flat. 

Any of the denuding agents, subaerial or marine, 
which are capable of corrasion and transport, are 
capable of giving rise to plains by corrasion in places 
and accumulation in others. The effects of wind, 
ice, and the sea will be considered in subsequent 
chapters, and we may here note the effect x>f rivers 
in producing plains by corrasion and deposit. It 
has already been seen that when a river has estab- 
lished its base-level of corrasion, lateral corrasion 
becomes effective, and the river commences to cut 
sideways at its curves, giving rise to flat tracts of 
planation, or, in other words, plains, which may be 
further modified by deposition of alluvium upon 
them. It has also been indicated that by lateral 
corrasion one river may tap another, and in this 


way the extent of a river plain may be largely 
increased. These plains will, of course, not be 
actually level, but will slope gently, though often 
imperceptibly, downwards towards the sea. The 
ultimate effect of this action, if unchecked, would 
be the general degradation of a continent by river 
action to form a peneplain, but as some checking 
process often intervenes, these peneplains are always 
restricted to portions of our continental tracts. 

We have pointed out in a preceding chapter that, 
when a consequent stream traverses alternating hard 
and soft strata, the river valley tends to be widened 
along the softer strata, and remains comparatively 
narrow where the river traverses the harder rocks. 
Furthermore, the base-level of corrasion will be 
locally reached along the course over the softer 
strata, while vertical corrasion still occurs among 
the harder ones, and small plains will therefore tend 
to arise over the softer rocks as the result of lateral 
corrasion, often possessing a general elliptical shape, 
and dying out where the river course is situated 
upon hard rocks above and below. It will be 
difficult to distinguish the alluvial tracts so produced 
from small plains which have resulted from the 
infilling of ancient lake-basins with sediment, in the 
absence of direct proof of the fluviatile origin of 
the alluvium, and it may be suspected that many 
alluvial tracts which have been asserted to occupy 
the sites of ancient lakes are really the result of 
stream action only. 

Many of our English rivers have formed fairly 
extensive plains where they traverse soft rocks ; for 
example, the Yorkshire Ouse, where it flows over 
the Triassic strata of the Vale of York, the Great 


Ouse, in its course over the Jurassic clays of the 
neighbourhood of Bedford, and the English Dee, 
which also traverses the Triassic rocks in the lower 
part of its course. 

In the case of the large rivers of the continents, 
these river-plains are often very extensive, and form 
important features in the scenery of a continent I 
will mention one example, that of the plain of the 
Mississippi, which has a length of over 600 miles 
in a straight line from its commencement above the 
junction of the Ohio to its termination at the river's 
mouth. Leaving the delta out of account, the plain 
above the head of the delta has a width of eighty 
miles at the mouth of the White river, and it varies 
between this and a minimum width of about thirty 

A feature may be noticed in this place, which is 
often of considerable importance in affecting the 
scenery of a river valley, namely, the existence of 
river-terraces upon the sides of the valley. If a river 
after producing an alluvial plain is subsequently 
enabled to corrade vertically, it deepens its valley, 
and the sides of the old alluvial plains are often 
left above the present river level as terraces. These 
terraces may be formed more than once, and we 
frequently see two or three terraces running along 
the sides of the valley, and generally parallel to the 
course of the stream. They usually have a flat 
upper surface (that of the old alluvial plain of which 
they were portions), and may slope down somewhat 
steeply. As they are generally composed of porous 
materials, and give a dry foundation and often a 
copious water supply, early settlements were fre- 
quently situated upon these terraces ; for instance, 


some of the older parts of London are situated on 
the gravel terraces which there border the river 

The mode of infilling of lakes by sediment and 
their ultimate conversion into plains has been con- 
sidered in Chapter XII. Scores of such plains often 
mark the sites of former lakes in many regions, and 
a lake district often possesses lakes which are only 
a small percentage of those which, once existent, 
have been destroyed by infilling of their basins. It 
has been remarked above that there is considerable 
resemblance between these infilled lakes and the 
alluvial flats of certain reaches of rivers ; the former, 
however, are more often marked by a covering of 
peat-moss over the sedimentary deposits than are 
the latter, for the shallow waters of the margin of 
a partially filled up lake favour the growth of 
vegetation, which rapidly gives rise to a layer 
of soil rich in humus, in which vegetation continues 
to flourish. Turbaries or peat-mosses marking the 
sides of filled-in lakes are frequently encountered 
in the upland regions of our hilly districts, and when 
surrounded by frowning crags produce a peculiar 
effect upon the scenery, especially if the lake be 
not completely filled in, when a pool or pools of dark 
brown water may be seen, often brightened by the 
blossoms of many a water-loving plant, as the water- 
lily and bog-bean, or the pale blue flowers on the 
raceme of the water-lobelia. 

Let us now proceed to the consideration of those 
plains which are formed by the accumulation of 
sediment in the sea, and the ultimate conversion of 
the tract which receives this sediment into land, and 
we may first deal with the river-delta. 


The primary cause of the formation of a delta, 
whether in a lake or in the sea, is the check received 
by the river current when it enters the larger body 
of water. It has been seen that the transporting 
power of a current, other things being equal, is 
dependent upon its velocity, and as the velocity is 
suddenly diminished when the river enters com- 
paratively still water, the transported sediment is 
deposited. In the case of the sea, should a marine 
current of sufficient velocity to carry away the 
material transported by the river sweep past the 
river's mouth, the formation of a delta will be pre- 
vented ; or should such a current exert its influence 
subsequently to the formation of a delta, the further 
growth of that delta will be stopped, as has hap- 
pened with the delta of the river Nile. When the 
river enters a narrow arm of the sea, as a fjord, the 
shape of the deltaic tract of land will be determined 
by the boundary walls of the fjord ; and we may get 
tortuous and even branched strips of flat land 
surrounded by comparatively high ground, which 
originally formed the sides of the fjords, as seen, 
for example, in the case of the ancient fjords of 
Carentan, in France, and those near Christiansand, in ] 
Norway.^ As a general rule, the widening estuary ! 
of a river becomes filled up, and then the delta 
grows out with a convex front to the open water, 
giving the familiar A -shaped form, in which the base 
of the A possesses the convex curve. The reason 
for the convex curve is as follows: The river de- 
posits material on its floor, and during flood seasons 
on its banks, and accordingly the level of the river- 

^ For figures of these see Rkclus' The Oceatty English edition, 
Figs. 54 and 55. 


bed becomes raised, until it breaks through its banks 
and seeks a new course, when the same thing occurs. 
Accordingly, in time, every part of the delta is 
drained by the river, though the tendency of the 
stream to keep its initial direction causes the 
greatest amount of sediment to be deposited at the 
point situated along the line of the general course 
of the river, and there is less and less tendency for 
deposition to occur, as one passes away from this 
point on either side, the ideal resultant form being 
that of the arc of a circle. There is a general, 
though gentle, slope of the delta above the surface 
of the water, and a more abrupt sigmoidal slope 
below water, which will only affect the scenery in the 
case of deltas which have been laid bare. In many 
cases the actual outline of the delta is far more 
irregular than that of the ideal delta. The sides of 
the river current after it has entered the sea are not 
so swift as the centre, and accordingly deposition 
occurs more extensively at the sides, and two banks 
of deposit may actually be raised out of the water 
with the current flowing between them. When the 
river has deserted this channel, the channel itself 
will be silted up, and thus finger-shaped prolonga- 
tions may extend into the sea beyond the general 
terminations of the delta. Such finger-like exten- 
sions are seen upon the delta of the Mississippi. 

The diversion of streams is due not only to over- 
flowing of banks during floods, but to obstruction 
by sunken timber or "snags,'' or even by extensive 
rafts of drift timber, which block the channels and 
cause accumulation of sediment against the upper 
sides. Hence we frequently find an intricate rami- 
fication of the streams of deltas well shown in the 


compound delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. 
In the low-lying ground of the deltas marshy con- 
ditions often prevail, and accordingly an abundant 
growth of marsh vegetation usually characterises 
deltaic plains, the particular character of the vege- 
tation depending upon the locality of the delta, and 
being largely dependent upon climatic conditions. 
The deltaic deposits of Greenland, due to the de- 
position of glacier mud at the heads of the fjords, 
are often devoid of vegetation, while parts of the 
delta of the Ganges are "overrun with reeds, long 
grass, the Taniarix Indica^ and other shrubs, forming 
impenetrable thickets, where the tiger, the rhinoceros, 
the buffalo, deer, and other wild animals take shelter."^ 

The formation of lake deltas has already been 
considered ; they differ in no essential particular from 
those formed along coast-lines, the main difference 
being due to the absence of effective tidal action in 
lakes, which affects the slopes of the subaqueous 
portion of the delta. 

In many regions, where numerous rivers reach the 
sea along a limited tract of coast, we find a number 
of coalescent deltas giving rise to extensive tracts 
of new land, as, for instance, along the north-west 
shores of the Adriatic. " Here,*' states Lyell, *' from 
the northern part of the gulf of Trieste, where the 
Isonzo enters, down to the south of Ravenna, there 
is an uninterrupted series of recent accessions of 
land more than lOO miles in length, which within 
the last 2000 years has increased from two to twenty 
miles m breadthr The same writer notes that "Adria 
was a seaport in the time of Augustus, and had, in 

^ Lyell, Sir. C, Principles of Geology y Eleventh Edition, voL L| 
chap. xiz. 


ancient times, given its name to the gulf; it is now 
about twenty Italian miles inland. Ravenna was 
also a seaport, and is now about four miles from 
the main sea." ^ It is true that the rate of growth 
of this deltaic strip has increased since artificial 
banking of the lower portions of the river was 
resorted to, but it took place with considerable 
rapidity before this. The area of the great plain 
of Northern Europe is being gradually increased 
by the silting up of the sea margins by the detritus 
Ixrought down by the rivers in that region. 

Another method of formation of flat land by 
silting up of an area originally occupied by the 
sea, is owing to the deposit of sea-silt, which has 
not been brought down by the rivers of the neigh- 
bourhood, but borne from a distance. The English 
fenlands supply a good instance of a plain surface 
produced in this manner. Their origin has been 
discussed by Mr. S. B. J. Skertchly in the Geological 
Survey Memoir, treating of the district, and also in 
a work entitled The Fenland by that author and 
Mr. S. H. Miller. Skertchly shows that the fenland 
forms a portion of a bay which has been silted up, 
the remaining part, the Wash, being still occupied 
by the sea, and the silt which has converted the 
former bay into land is not mud brought down by 
the rivers of the district, but marine mud, largely 
due to the wash of the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire 
coasts, carried into the bay by the southward-moving 
tides. The process of silting is still proceeding at 
the south end of the Wash, but further south the 
silt dovetails into the peat, which is due to vegetable 

* Ltsll, Sir C, Principles of Geology, Eleventh Edition, voL v., 
cbajx xvm. 


growth, and there is no doubt that peat has been 
formed in some parts contemporaneously with silt 
deposits in others. That earth-movement has par- 
ticipated in the formation of the fens is shown by 
the occurrence of buried forests below present tide- 
level, but these movements are merely accessory, and 
the deposit of silt and growth of peat upon it are 
the essential factors in fen-formation. When the silt 
has been raised to a height of about eight feet above 
mean tide-level the glasswort {Salicomia herbacea) 
begins to grow, and is only dry towards high water. 
This glasswort, by checking the flow of the water, 
assists in the deposition of the silt. When the flat 
has increased to a height of about eleven feet above 
mean tide-level it becomes covered with verdure, due 
to plants of more terrestrial habit.^ 

The actual peat is largely due to marsh vegetation, 
and Skertchly gives reasons for supposing that the ' 
forest growths which intervened at intervals occurred 
during periods unfavourable for the accumulation of 
peat.2 The peat is not formed of Sphagnum, like 
that of bogs, but consists chiefly of the decomposed 
remains of various aquatic herbaceous plants." ^ 

According to Skertchly the peat in some places 
is entirely made up of Hypnum fluitans. Other 
plants which contribute to it are various rushes and 
sedges, including Cladium mariscus, also the bladder- 
wort, starwort, and arrowhead, while, in the shallow 
waters of the meres, a calcareous marl was formed 
by the growth of Chara, 

The beauty of the fenland is the result of the 
atmospheric conditions and the nature of the vegeta- 

^ See The Fenland^ p. 223. 

' Babington, C. C, Flora of Cambridgeshire ^ p. xviii. 


tion. The glorious sunrises and sunsets, and the 
magnificence of the cloud effects have frcciuently 
been described. The peculiar vegetation of the 
fenland has nearly disappeared, though the flora 
which once occupied the meres still brightens the 
ponds and dikes which are scattered through the 
cultivated tracts, and one piece of undrained fen, 
Wicken Fen, yet survives to show the nature of 
the former uncultivated plain. There one can still 
roam through the sedges and rushes, and observe the 
fronds of the marsh fern {Lastrcea thelypteris) and 
the blossoms of many a fenland plant. The great 
pit at Roslyn, near Ely, filled with water at the 
bottom, gives some notion of the former appear- 
ance of the fenland meres. Anyone looking over the 
open spaces between the reeds from a boat, when the 
banks are out of sight and the water is covered in 
one place with the leaves and flowers of the yellow 
and white water lilies, in another with the pale 
yellow flowers of the bladder wort, and yet again 
with the beautiful yellow blossoms of the Lijfman- 
themum, can well imagine that he is afloat on one of 
the meres of the pristine fenland, and the knowledge 
that the flat places of the earth may be filled with 
beauty is here brought home to one in a striking 

Marine deposits may give rise to plains as the 
result of uplift, and these plains will not differ 
markedly from those formed by silting up of 
former sea-tracts, except that in all probability the 
seaward slope will be somewhat greater. The coastal 
plain of the east coast of North America is of this 
nature, and it serves as a good example of this class 
of plain. 



The last plains to be considered are those which 
are termed plains of marine denudation. Their 
mode of production will be more fully considered 
when we discuss the operations of the sea at 
length. It will be sufficient here to remark that 
the erosive power of the sea is limited to the 
superficial portion which is affected by waves 
and currents, and as the depth to which these 
operate is practically the same in all places, the 
ultimate result of marine denudation is to give rise 
to a comparatively level surface coinciding with the 
downward limit of operation of the waves and 
currents. This, if uplifted, will be a plain of marine 
denudation, and it will differ from a peneplain mainly 
in the absence of weathered material upon its surface, 
whereas the peneplain will usually retain some of 
the products of weathering upon the rocks which 
underlie it. 

The amount of the surface of the land which is 
of the nature of plain is very great. A great tract 
of plain extends from the western shores of Europe 
to the Altai Mountains in Asia, unbroken save by 
the Ural Mountains, and covering an area approach- 
ing 5,000,000 square miles, or nearly one-third of the 
Eurasian continent. As plains usually yield a soil 
which is pre-eminently cultivable, it is found that 
the population is extensively gathered upon the 
plains, and much of their surface is actually under 
cultivation. When uncultivated the scenery of a 
plain depends largely on the nature of the vegeta- 
tion. We find one plain differing considerably over 
different portions of its surface, owing to change in 
vegetation, and the names which are given to plains 
are often determined to s^orcve ^xt^xa by tKe character 


of the prevalent vegetation. The rolling grass- 
covered plains of North America are prairies, and 
in some places savannahs ; the river plains of South 
America, overflowed during the rainy season and 
covered with grass, but dry during the periods of 
drought, are called llanos ; in the same country the 
forest-clad plains are known as selvas, as in the 
basin of the Amazon ; the thistly and grassy plains 
of Parana and La Plata, alternating with bogs and 
often parched during the season of drought, are 
pampas; in the Old World the belt of jungle between 
Hindustan and the Himalayas, due to the detritus 
brought down by the Himalayan rivers, is called 
tarai ; the boggy flats of Siberia are tundras. The 
tundras and pampas approach the condition of 
deserts ; the amount of vegetation is in parts very 
sparse, and there is a gradual passage into deserts. 

The same plain may present different aspects in 
different parts. Thus the great plain of Europe and 
Siberia is cultivated river plain (polders) in one place, 
sandy heath in another, wooded flats in a third, and 
desert in a fourth. The most luxuriant vegetation 
Dccurs on the plains in temperate regions, and in 
sub-tropical regions supplied with abundant rain ; 
in sub-tropical regions of drought, the amount of 
vegetation rapidly declines, and the same is the case 
in Arctic regions. In the latter the vegetation be- 
comes stunted, and we find plains occupied by copses 
of dwarf willows and birches rarely rising to a man's 
height, or by grasses, mosses, and lichens, intermixed 
with brightly flowering plants, often in cushion- 
shaped masses. 

Plateaux, — The elevated tracts of country knowrv 
as plateaux may be due to (1) accurcvu\^\\oxv, ^"^ 


elevation of a pre-existing low-lying flat tract, or 
(3) denudation of an elevated region to one level. 

The principal plateaux of accumulation are due 
to the outflow of very liquid lavas which accumulate 
over one another in a series of sheets, each approach- 
ing to a condition of perfect horizon tality. The 
great lava flows of the Deccan, in India, have pro- 
duced a plateau of this character. The lava flows 
of the Deccan, according to Messrs. Medlicott and 
Blanford, have a thickness of about 6000 feet, and 
occupy an area of about 200,000 square miles, giving 
rise to plateaux of remarkable horizon tality. Similar 
plateaux are found among the Western Territories 
of North America, as, for instance, in Idaho. As 
the mode of origin of these lavas has already been 
discussed, we need say no more concerning lava- 
formed plateaux. 

Typical plateaux formed by uplift are also found 
among the slightly disturbed rocks of the North- 
western Territories. The rocks of this region are 
usually slightly inclined over wide areas, but broken 
up into blocks by faults, or uplifted by the existence 
of hogbacks, and accordingly we find plateaux " with 
broken edges where they are bounded by faults, 
flexed edges where they are bounded by monoclinal 
flexures, and escarpments where they are bounded 
by canons or lines of cliff's." 1 Powell figures a 
series of plateaux north of the Grand Cafion of 
the Colorado. Of these, the most westerly, Shi- wits 
plateau, is bounded on the west by a cafion, on the 
east by a fault ; the central one, the Kanab plateau, 
is faulted on the west, and cut through by a cafion in 
the centre, and above it rises the Kaibab plateau, 

^ Powell, J. W., Geology of the Mista MoutUatns^^, 14^. 


bounded on either side by a hogback or monoclinal 
fold. In Figure 5 he gives a bird's-eye view of a 
part of the Musinia zone of displacement, where 
a tract of country is broken up into horizontal or 
slightly sloping plateaux, each formed by a fractured 
mass of the earth's crust, bounded by faults on all 

Many of the great plateaux of the world, as that 
of Central Asia, are also due to uplift, though no 
doubt modified by denudation. In the case of these 
plateaux the scale is so large that considerable 
differences of level do not destroy the plateau-like 
character of the whole. We may find them cut up 
by deep valleys, and traversed by extensive mountain 
chains, and yet the plateau-structure can be discerned 
through these minor complications. 

The uplifted area may be one which originally 
possessed horizontality before its uplift, owing to 
the accumulation of sediment, the formation of a 
peneplain by subaerial denudation, or the formation 
of a plain of marine denudation owing to the action 
of the sea. In each case, if the upward movement 
is one of sufficient extent to preserve a general 
horizontality of the upraised block of earth's crust, a 
plateau will result. 

In the case of plateaux formed by denudation, as 
in those due to accumulation and the greater number 
of those originating in an uplift, general horizontality 
of the strata is a necessary condition for the pro- 
duction of the plateaux ; and one need hardly observe 
that uplift must precede or accompany denudation 
in order that the strata may reach the required 
height. Indeed, with plateaux, as with mountains, 
though we can separate those due to \ip\v^\. ^\:oYtv 


those due to denudation, the two processes must 
always take place ; and a plateau will be placed in 
one or the other class, according as its salient 
features are primarily produced by uplift or by 

Plateaux due to denudation are specially prone to 
occur when a comparatively level plane of demarca- 
tion separates overlying rocks, which are easily 
denuded, from underlying ones which resist denuda- 
tion. They very frequently occur on the upper 
surfaces of limestone strata, which were succeeded 
by ordinary mechanical sediments. It has already 
been shown that limestones largely resist subaerial 
denudation, owing to the absence of surface drainage, 
and accordingly, while overlying mechanical sedi- 
ments are cleared away by this kind of denudation, 
the limestone is left practically intact, except as 
regards minor changes. A considerable plateau of 
limestone, cut up by the valleys of the Ribble, Dale 
Beck, and some minor streams, ends in the neighbour- 
hood of Settle, in Yorkshire. Some of the overlying 
mechanical sediments have not yet been destroyed, 
and stand up above the general limestone plateau, 
forming the summits of Whernside, Ingleborough, 
and Penyghent ; and from the top of any of these 
hills the regularity of the limestone plateau may be 
noted. The peculiar effect of weathering along joints, 
giving rise to '' clints," has already been described in 
Chapter VIII. These clints are specially well shown 
on the plateau of the Settle district. 

Plateaux of denudation occurring on a larger scale 
are often irregular and present many inequalities. 

Owing to the elevation of plateaux they are liable 
to be carved out by denudation to a greater extent 


than plains ; and as the strata of a plateau-region so 
often approach horizontality, the hills which are 
formed from a plateau by erosion are apt to be 
tabular and flat-topped. Before the hill stage is 
reached the plateau may be cut up by deep narrow 
valleys, as in the case of the Colorado Region 
of North America. These valleys are often invisible 
until the traveller reaches their brinks ; and accord- 
ingly the aspect of the plateau is that of a horizontal 
tract of country, though that country may be actually 
carved out to a considerable degree by the rivers 
which traverse it. 

As the valleys widen, the intervening tabular hills, 
or mesas as they are termed in some parts of 
America, become more and more pronounced, and 
small isolated "outliers" standing away from the 
main cliff form " buttes." 

The ultimate result of subaerial denudation acting 
upon a plateau, as upon a mountain district, will 
be to reduce it to a peneplain. 


THE effect of climate has been incidentally 
mentioned more than once in the preceding 
chapters, but we must now take into account the 
influence of abnormal conditions of climate in 
affecting the scenery of certain regions of the earth. 
The principal conditions to which we must now pay 
attention are those of exceptional drought and of 
exceptional cold, and it is to the former that we 
owe the existence of deserts, while to the latter are 
due certain features which will be described in 
subsequent chapters. 

No area of the earth's surface is absolutely free 
from precipitation of the aqueous vapour which is 
held in the atmosphere, in the form of either rain 
or snow, and desert regions are merely due to paucity 
of rainfall and not to its actual non-occurrence. As 
any inequality in the earth's surface causes vapour- 
laden atmosphere to rise and become chilled, and 
thereby renders it incapable of retaining so much 
moisture as it could hold at a lower level, upland 
regions are apt to be favoured with much rain, and 
lowland regions are often comparatively dry. Hence, 
other things being equal, desert conditions are more 
liable to be developed in plains than in districts 
marked by great inequalities of surface^ and 


geographers have frequently treated of plains and 
deserts as though they were very intimately 
associated. But a district may be very uneven, 
and if all the winds which blow over that district 
carry air charged with very little aqueous vapour, 
that vapour need not be deposited, even when the 
ground rises to considerable elevations. Deserts, 
then, though often coincident with plains, are also 
frequently found in hilly regions, though even then 
some of the processes which occur in desert regions, 
which will be immediately described, tend to level 
pre-existing inequalities. 

Leaving out of account those barren regions which 
owe their barrenness to the condensation of vapour 
as snow and not as rain, we shall find that deserts 
occur most frequently in sub- tropical regions. In 
most tropical regions the rainfall during the rainy 
season is excessive, and we require something besides 
great heat for the existence of ordinary deserts, 
something which greatly reduces the annual rainfall, 
and produces long periods of drought. The con- 
ditions favourable for the existence of deserts on a 
large scale occur when an extensive mountain range 
separates a large tract of continent from the pre- 
vailing vapour-laden winds blowing from the ocean, 
and these conditions are fulfilled in all our great 
desert-regions. The vapour-laden winds strike the 
seaward side of the mountains, are compelled to 
rise, become chilled, and deposit a large quantity 
of their aqueous vapour. They reach the lee side 
of the mountains robbed of most of their moisture, 
and as they then pass from higher to lower levels 
they are able, when reaching the lowlands, to hold 
much more moisture than they actually poss^s>s», ^'cv^ 


accordingly the rainfall is exceedingly limited. The 
desert of Gobi in Asia is practically surrounded by 
mountains, which drain the winds of their contained 
moisture. The great Sahara Desert, occupying an 
area about two-thirds of that of Europe, is also shut 
off from the prevailing winds which cross expanses 
of ocean by mountain ranges, as is likewise the 
Kalahari Desert of South Africa. In North America 
a desert region in the North-west Territories is prac- 
tically surrounded by mountains ; in South America 
a desert region exists in Chili and Peru to the west 
of the Andes, for the moisture-laden winds there 
blow from the east. In Central Australia, again, we 
have a desert tract separated from the sea by 
elevated land. 

An examination of a map of existing deserts 
shows that they are chiefly confined to a belt of 
country lying between 20" and 45" on either side of 
the equator, that is between the belt of tropical 
rains and the regions of cold, and it is evident 
from this distribution that, apart from local causes, 
the deserts owe their existence to general meteor- 
ological conditions. Should these conditions alter, 
the distribution of deserts will be affected. At the 
present day we have our desert-belts as well defined 
as our glacial regions, but just as in past times 
glaciation has affected areas which now enjoy a 
genial climate, similar areas have formerly been 
marked by desert conditions. In the northern belt 
of deserts we find the desert area of Central Asia, 
and that stretching from the west coast of Africa 
into Arabia and Persia, and in the New World the 
desert regions of the western territories of North 
America. In the southern belt lie the Australian 



desert, the Kalahari desert of Africa, and the South 
American desert tracts. 

The scenery of deserts, as of other areas, is largely 
determined by the agents of erosion and accumula- 
tion, but the characteristic features are due to the 
particular character of these agents in the desert 
regions. There are four different kinds of deserts, 
namely rock-deserts, gravel-deserts, sand-deserts, and 
loam-deserts. In the rock-deserts the agents of 
transportation are sufficiently powerful to remove 
the results of disintegration of the rocks, leaving a 
surface of bare rock ; in the others the disintegrated 
material remains over the spot where disintegration 
has occurred, or it has been accumulated by transport 
from other regions, and the latter action is the cause 
of the more important desert tracts being covered by 
loose accumulations, for it is rare to find the material 
remaining on the spot where it is disintegrated. 

If a desert region has acquired its present characters 
in geologically recent times, the present agents in 
operation in that region may not have been able to 
efface the features produced when other conditions 
prevailed, and it is of importance to determine how 
long an existing desert has possessed its present 
conditions. This is not always an easy matter to 
decide, but there is considerable reason for supposing 
that at no distant period the rainfall of the desert 
region of the North-western Territories of North 
America was greater than it now is, while recent 
research points to the prevalence of desert conditions 
in the eastern part of the North African desert tract 
through long periods of time. 

It must also be borne in mind that the term desert 
is not one which can be strictly defined *, ^ d^s^x\.\^ ^ 


region where the rainfall is insufficient to allow of 
the growth of much vegetation, but there is every 
gradation from a desert region to one which we 
are apt to consider as one which possesses normal 
characters, and the amount of rainfall, though small 
in all deserts, is much greater in some than in others. 
Erosion of Deserts, The peculiar character of 
deserts is not only directly dependent upon the 
scarcity of rain, but also indirectly by its influence 
upon vegetation, as pointed out by Gilbert in the 
following passage^: — 

"Vegetation favours the disintegration of rocks, and 
retards the transportation of the disintegrated material. 
Where vegetation is profuse there is always an excess of 
material awaiting transportation, and the limit to the rate of 
erosion comes to be merely the limit to the rate of trans- 
portation. And since the diversities of rock texture, such 
as hardness and softness, affect only the rate of disentegra- 
tion (weathering and corrasion) and not the rate of trans- 
portation, these diversities do not affect the rate of erosion 
in regions of profuse vegetation, and do not produce 
corresponding diversities of form. 

" On the other hand, where vegetation is scant or absent, 
transportation and corrasion are favoured, while weathering 
is retarded. There is no accumulation of disentegrated 
material.2 The rate of erosion is limited by the rate of 
weathering, and that varies with the diversity of rock 
texture. The soft are eaten away faster than the hard, and 
the structure is embodied in the topographic forms. 

"Thus a moist climate, by stimulating vegetation, pro- 
duces a sculpture independent of diversities of rock texture, 
and a dry climate by repressing vegetation produces a 
sculpture dependent on those diversities." 

^ Gilbert, G. K., Geology of the Henry Mountains^ p. 113, 
' That is, over the spot where the disintegration occurs. 


Owing to the character of desert climates rain and 
-ivers play a minor part in the determination of 
:iesert features, and the main work of destruction 
ii.nd transport is due to changes of temperature 
aicting directly, or indirectly in the form of wind. 
Disintegration is mainly caused by change of tem- 
perature, as already noted in Chapter VII., though 
it is assisted by wind, and to a minor degree by 
chemical weathering. 

The changes of temperature cause the fracture 
of the rock, owing to its alternate expansion and 
contraction. Not only does the rock mass con- 
tract and expand as a whole, but it is known 
that expansion takes place in a crystal in different 
degrees along different crystalline axes, and this no 
doubt helps the fracture. The fracture is frequently 
assisted, owing to the presence of salts in the rock. 
Many rocks in desert regions were formerly de- 
posited in the sea, and contain sea-salts, which, 
owing to the dry conditions, have not been dissolved 
or removed. These salts come to the surface, owing 
to capillary action, and being hygroscopic, are dry in 
the daytime and damp at night, and owing to the 
alternate change from wet to dry conditions, the 
rocks are cracked in much the same way as that in 
which they are cracked by frost in higher latitudes.^ 

Wind transports material, and produces much the 
same results in nature as are produced artificially 
by the sand-blast. Pebbles are gradually worn 
down, often presenting edges, rocks may be striated, 
and pebbles and rocks alike often have a polished 

^ See Walther, J., Denudation in der Wiiste, Abhardl. der 
math.-phys. Classe der K. Sachs Gesellsch. der Wissenschaften, bd. 
xvi, Leipzig, 1891. 


appearance, as the result of the sand-blast. In the 
gravel desert of Morocco Walther describes the area 
as presenting a general varnished appearance, owing 
to the action of the sand-blast upon the little pebbles 
with which the desert is strewn. 

The general absence of running water on the hills 
of desert regions is indicated by the absence of the 
characteristic curve of water erosion, and the pro- 
duction of house-roof structure, as seen in the picture 
of the Ras Muhammed desert in the Sinaitic Peninsula 
figured in Plate III. of Walther's paper on the Coral 
Reefs of that peninsula, and also in the outlines of 
the hills in the same peninsula figured on p. 389 of 
his paper on the " Denudation of Deserts." Another 
feature of desert hills is the absence of accumulation 
of loose material, such as screes and rainwash at the 
foot of the hills — the action of the wind being 
sufficiently powerful to remove the material. The 
mountains of deserts, therefore, have a character of 
their own ; they differ from those of temperate 
regions in the absence of the curve of water erosion, 
and, although resembling those of Arctic lands in 
the general straightness of their sides, they have 
not the accumulation of loose material so fre- 
quently found at the foot of the hills of frost-bound 

The action of the wind removes the softer rocks, 
leaving the harder ones behind, as noticed by Gilbert, 
and also enlarges the lines of weakness, as joints and 
planes of stratification. In areas composed of hori- 
zontal strata, the soft rocks are removed, and the 
area lowered to the level of a harder stratum, which 
gives rise to a level plateau ; this in turn gets cut up, 
'^•^d the whole region reduced to a lower level coin- 


cident with the surface of the next hard stratum, 
and the process of levelling is continued in the 
same way. One result of this weathering is to pro- 
duce isolated columns, often undercut at the base, 
and etched into different shapes by the wind acting 
unequally upon rocks of different hardness, and 
accordingly the detailed scenery of desert uplands 
recalls that of a group of mountains composed of 

The effect of the wind on a rock presenting vary- 
ing degrees of hardness is well seen in that from 
which the sphinx of Gizeh is carved out. The 
lower part of the sphinx has been affected by wind 
action, and as different parts of the rock differ in 
hardness, owing to the infiltration of iron compounds 
forming ring-shaped masses, the softer parts have 
been etched by the wind, leaving the harder parts 
outstanding in ring-shaped bands. 

When rounded, hard masses occur in a rock on 
a flat surface, they not only stand out from the 
surrounding rock owing to the sand-blast, but a 
ridge of rock which is protected by them is left on 
the lee side, as shown by Walther in Fig. 55 of 
his work on the Denudation of Deserts, where 
manganese concretions in the Nubian sandstone of 
the Sinaitic desert have caused the formation of 
such ridges. 

Certain outlines due to denudation are found on a 
small scale in some desert regions, which present 
difficulties with regard to their explanation. The 
clayey deposits of the neighbourhood of the Henry 
Mountains in the Colorado region, and the old 
lacustrine deposits of the country around the salt 
lakes of Utah and in parts of Wyoming, are Vlyvonnvv 


as '* Bad Lands." *' This expressive name has been 
given to some of the strangest and, in many respects, 
most repulsive scenery in the world. They are 
tracts of irreclaimable barrenness, blasted and left for 
ever lifeless and hideous."^ Those of Wyoming are 
carved into buttes and intervening depressions largely 
by wind action, whereas near the Henry Mountains 
rain has caused the development of very regular 
water-ways, in which the Thalwegs present the 
normal curve of stream denudation at the base, 
whereas the summits of the ridges have a convex 
curve, though the nature of the rock appears to be 
the same at base and summit. Gilbert quotes these 
Bad Land ridges as exceptions from the ordinary 
law of water-erosion, which are as yet unexplained. 

In some deserts, like that of Egypt, the flat ground 
is carved out into butte-like elevations from six to 
one hundred and fifty feet in height, known as 
" Zcugcn." They consist of soft rock with a layer of 
hard rock at the summit, and beneath the hard cap 
the soft rock is carved into slopes which resemble 
the typical denudation curve, as shown in Fig. 36. 
Nevertheless, according to Walther, running water 
plays no part in their formation, as proved among 
other things by their most frequent occurrence in 
regions of least rainfall. He accounts for them on 
the supposition that they are due to wind action, 
assisted by chemical weathering. When a hollow 
has once been formed by the wind, weathering comes 
into play with different effectiveness on different 
parts of the slope. Immediately below the hard cap 
the rock retains what water it takes up, owing to the 
shade of the overlying hard cap, and accordingly 
^ Gbikib, Sir A., Geological Sketches at Home and Abroad^ No. iz. 


chemical weathering is most pronounced there, and 
the rock is rendered less coherent, and is easily 
transported by the wind ; below this the cap offers 
less and less protection, and the removal of the rock 
occurs in smaller and smaller quantity, until the 
curve is produced and the hard cap overhangs. As 
the shady side of the Zeuge is weathered to a greater 
extent than the sunny side, the Zcugc becomes 
crooked and the top breaks off, when all the soft 
material is removed, and the process is commenced 

Fig. 36. 
Ideal section across a Zeuge. 

afresh at a lower level with another soft stratum 
surmounted by a hard one. 

According to Walther, the influence of shade 
causing water to remain in shady spots longer than 
elsewhere, and thereby permitting chemical weather- 
ing to occur more extensively in the shade, is also 
responsible for the formation of extensive holes on 
the general surface of a rock desert. When these 
holes are once formed the shade in the interior 
becomes more pronounced, and accordingly the 
cavities grow wider as they proceed further down 
beneath the general surface of the rock. 

The fretted nature of wind-worn rocks in a desert 
region is increased, owing to the production of a 
peculiar brown crust, which has been noticed by 
many writers, e,g. Messrs. Brindley and Floyer, 
which gives a sameness of colourmg \.o mv^xv^ 



deserts. This crust has generally been referred to 
the effects of weathering, but Walther gives reasons 
against its production by simple weathering actioa 
It consists mainly of peroxides of iron and manga- 
nese, and rocks, like limestone, which do not contain 
these substances are covered by it, equally with 
those rocks which do contain them. 

When cliffs of rock are covered with the brown 
crust, it scales off in vertical strips in some un- 
explained manner, possibly owing to the trickling of 
rain-water. The exposed parts are influenced by 
the denuding action of desert agents, as weathering 
in the shade and the sand-blast, while the encrusted 
parts resist this action. The first result is the pro- 
duction of window-like recesses in the exposed parts. 
As the backs of these recesses are in the shade, the 
action goes on sideways behind the crust-protected 
intervening parts, producing passages behind the 
protected portions, which then remain as pillars 
between the window-shaped apertures. Some of 
these apertures are large enough for a man to enter 
in a stooping position. 

Again, when the upper part of an isolated butte 
is covered by the brown crust, this encrusted portion 
is protected, while the lower part is worn away, and 
a mushroom-shaped pillar is the result The stripping 
of vertical patches of the crust on the head of the 
mushroom allows of the formation of window-shaped 
cavities on the sides of the head, and projecting 
borders are frequently produced. Some of these 
mushroom -shaped rocks observed by Walther were 
over fifteen feet high, the brown summit occasionally 
projecting about a yard beyond the white stalk. 

The formation of valleys in desert regions is 


effected in more than one way. The buttes of the 
Bad Lands of Wyoming are the outstanding portions 
of rocks, which have been carved into small valleys 
by the action of the wind, and Walther ascribes the 
main part of the formation of the wadys of the 
Egyptian desert to this cause, and believes that 
water plays a very subordinate part in their pro- 
duction, though the effects of the thunder showers 
which occur there must not be overlooked. In some 
desert regions, as that of Colorado, rainfall, though 
slight, gives rise to streams and rivers which produce 
the characteristic caftons. Owing to absence of 
v^etation, the water when it does fall is given off 
rapidly and not slowly, and, accordingly, can effect 
much transportation, and therefore corrasion, when 
the declivity is sufficient, whereas owing to the 
infrequency of rain, weathering is retarded. It is 
in these regions that we find the steep-sided gorges 
carved out of the arid plateaux, which are gradually 
cut up into flat-topped mesas and buttes, of which 
the sides are terraced by alternation of softer and 
harder strata, and the softer strata are carved into 
intricate forms. 

"The water from the occasional rainfalls carves out 
innumerable little sinuous washes, which, in descending, 
come together, forming deep gullies. These keep on joining 
others, until the main drainage course of the valleys is 
reached. Between this network of washes are correspond- 
ing ridges, which in a favourable light give to the mesa-face 
the appearance of an elaborate and very artistic piece of 
ornamental carving.'' ^ 

* The above quotation is from W. II. Holmes' Geological Report of 
the San Juan District ; Ninth Annual Report of the United States 
Geological and Geographical Surrey, p. 256. The structuic is (v^i^d 
in Plate XXX of that work. 


Accumulation in Deserts. — The accumulations and 
deposits of desert regions are formed in hollows of 
the dry land and on the floors of inland lakes. The 
most extensive accumulation of the dry land is 
blown sand, which often covers great expanses of 
a desert. The surface of the sand is often irregular, 
owing to the formation of sand-hills or dunes, which 
may occur with intervals of the underlying rock 
showing between them, or may merely form the 
summits of considerable thicknesses of blown sand. 
If an obstacle exists in an area over which sand is 
being blown, some of the sand will be arrested by the 
obstacle and form a little heap around it, especially 
if the wind varies in direction. Such obstacles are 
often furnished by the sparsely-scattered plants 
which can grow on a sandy tract. The sand 
accumulates around these, the top of the plant 
continues to grow above the sand, and eventually 
a little mound of sand is produced, from the centre 
of which the plant which caused the formation of 
the hillock projects. If the plants are fairly abun- 
dant a very characteristic appearance is presented 
by the innumerable monticules, each possessing its 
tuft of vegetation. Walther figures examples of these 
hillocks (Neulinge), which have been formed around 
tamarisks in the desert of the Sinaitic Peninsula. 

Dunes of desert sand may be formed without 
any obstacle other than that furnished by the sand 
itself, as shown by Vaughan Cornish in a paper 
which treats of the formation of different kinds of 
dunes in detail, — a paper from which many of the 
facts recorded below are extracted.^ Desert sand 

* Cornish, V., **On the Formation of Sand-dunes,*' Geographical 
Journal^ March, 1897. 



differs to some extent from the sand of coast sand- 
hills or sand-dunes, in that the sand in the latter has 
been largely sorted by sea action, while desert sand 
contains particles of various sizes, from large grains 
to particles of dust. The former act as obstacles, 
and when the wind blows, the finer dust is heaped up 
against the coarse grains and a "ripple-mark'* is 
formed on the surface of the sand ; these " ripplc- 
marks" do not differ materially from dunes save 
in size. The structure of a dune is largely depend- 
ent upon the eddy produced on the lec-side, as 
shown in Figure 37 (after a figure by Cornish), 

Fig. 37. 

which represents a cross-section of two dunes and 
the directions of the air currents. 

The height from the crest of the dune to the 
bottom of the trough in front is the amplitude of 
the sand-wave and cannot strictly be spoken of as 
the height of the dune, as part of the hollow is 
produced by excavation and not by piling up ; it 
is only when a dune rests upon rock below that we 
can confidently speak of the height of a dune. The 
windward slope in the central part is one which will 
allow grains to be carried up by the wind ; the lower 
part of the lee-slope is produced by excavation on 
the part of the eddy, while higher up is a straighter 
portion due to slipping of the incoherent grains, and 
this slipping may also modify the base by iprodwcm^ 


a talus-slope. The descending air-current at the 
crest of the windward slope rounds off the upper 
part of that slope, and the lower part of the 
windward slope is, like that of the lee-slope, ex- 
cavated by the eddy. 

" Thus the normal profile left by the rippling of 
sand by wind has the following parts — viz., a wind- 
ward slope, consisting of a concave and convex cur\'e, 
and a lee-slope, consisting of a straight line and a 
concave curve." 

Reversible wind tends to turn the top of the dune, 
and gives rise to a hill which is steep on the wind- 
ward slope as well as on the lee side. 

The dunes grow sideways as well as upwards, 
owing to the opposition of the direct current by 
an eddy. As the centre of the dune has a greater 
height than the sides, the sides travel forwards more 
rapidly than the centre, producing a crescent-shaped 
mound with the horns pointing to leeward. This 
is the form of the barchanes or medanos of many 
desert regions. They may be produced by an 
obstacle, or where part of a current of air is 
relatively feebler than that in the immediate vicinity. 
When the wind varies in direction these barchanes 
may take very complex shapes, with many horn-like 
projections pointing in different directions. 

Dunes may, under different circumstances, lie 
longitudinally or transversely to the direction of 
the prevailing wind, the longitudinal type, as shown 
by Dr. Blanford, being associated with wind of 
greater force than that which determines the forma- 
tion of the transverse type. 

When stripes of wind of velocity different from 
that of the wind on either side produce barchanes. 


and the amount of sand in the sand-shower sub- 
sequently increases, the whole of the surface, except 
the deep excavations on the lee side of the bar- 
chanes, may be blurred or smoothed over, when 
these excavations will be left on an otherwise level 
surface of land as horseshoe-shaped hollows. Such 
hollows, known as fuljes, occur in many deserts. 

Dunes vary in height, but cannot grow to an in- 
definite height, for the work of the wind at the 
summits of the dunes is assisted by gravity, while 
that of the eddy in the trough is opposed by gravity, 
and accordingly, after a time, more sand is accumu- 
lated in the troughs than can be piled up on the 
crests. When this occurs the general height of the 
desert is increased, and great thicknesses of sand 
may be accumulated with the dunes upon their 
upper surface. The highest dunes are not much 
over 600 feet above the lowest parts of the troughs. 
The character of one of these sand deserts, in which 
the sand has been accumulated to a great thickness, 
has been well described by Captain A. H. McMahon.^ 

" Marching vid Darband and Amir Chah, we kept to 
the north of the Koh-i-Sultan, Damodun, and other 
mountain ranges. At times our journey lay through wide, 
open, level plains covered with black gravel, at others we 
floundered our weary way through broad expanses of deep 
sand-hills, which, near Amir Chah and other places, assumed 
the proportions of formidable sand-mountains. All the 
mountains we passed were apparently volcanic. . . . 
These mountains are all being gradually covered up and 
buried in sand, which is relentlessly creeping further and 
further up their sides. Many are already completely 

1 McMahon, a. H., "The Southern Borders of Afghanistan," 
Ccjgraphical Journal f April, 1897. 


buried, and a high mountain of sand marks their burial- 
place. Others have their black peaks just appearing out 
of the white expanse of sand-slopes. Here and there a 
loftier mass still towers with its black crags high above the 
devouring waste around, but the sand banked up on their 
sides, in places sometimes looo or 2000 feet above the 
level of their base, foretells a similar fate in store for them. 
The general effect of the scene they present is weird and 
unnatural in the extreme." 

The pebbly deserts, like that referred to by Captain 
McMahon,as covered with black gravel, are in many 
cases the residue of former sand deserts from which 
the finer particles of sand have been subsequently 
blown away. 

In some regions, especially those which lie to 
windward of areas which have formerly received 
accumulations of fine glacial mud, the wind-borne 
material consists of fine dust, which may be accumu- 
lated upon plains or in the depressions between hill- 
ranges, giving rise to steppes. When the steppes are 
plains the surface is flat, but when the fine dust is 
blown into depressions between hills the upper 
surface of the dust forms a catenary curve. The 
accumulations which have been formed in steppes 
are known as loess, and there is evidence that in 
geologically recent times steppe conditions, mark- 
ing widespread dry climate, prevailed over much 
more extensive areas than those whLch are now 
characterised by them.^ In many places the loess 
has subsequently been carved by water action into 
deep canon-like gorges, as in some parts of China. 

^ For a discussion on the origin of the loess, see a paper by Baron 
VON RiCHTiiOFEN, Geolo^cal Magazine^ decade ii., vol. ix. (1882), 
P' 29:. 


Loam deserts frequently mark the sites of ancient 
lakes, some of which possessed no outlet, as already 
stated when noticing the character of some of 
the Bad Lands of the western territories of North 
America. These desert lakes often present features 
of interest. If the rainfall be insufficient to fill a 
depression to the height of the lowest point of out- 
let from the depression, the lake will have no outlet 
and its level will fluctuate, owing to variations in the 
rainfall of the region, for much of the water is re- 
moved by evaporation. Accordingly we find well- 
marked shore lines accumulated where the surface 
was fairly constant in height for a sufficient time 
to allow of the accumulation of a beach. These 
lines of beach form a striking feature on the hill-sides 
around the Great Salt Lake of Utah and neigh- 
bouring lakes of the same region, and they have 
been frequently described and figured. 

When complete desiccation of these lakes occurs 
the salts which were in solution in the water arc 
deposited in crystalline sheets, often appearing like 
surfaces of ice in the desert. Such tracts of salt 
are found in the Shats of Algeria, and McMahon 
describes similar expanses in the southern border- 
lands of Afghanistan. 

Accumulations of salt may, however, be formed in 
desert regions without the formation of a lake. The 
thundershowers of many deserts carry salt from the 
rocks to a lower level, and as the water evaporates 
the salt is left behind, and in this way sheets of salt 
may accumulate in depressions. Again, it has been 
seen that salt may be brought to the surface by 
capillary action, and accordingly we find some deserts, 
like the alkali deserts of North America, characterised 


by coatings of salt, which form a whitish crust upon 
the surface of the ground.^ 

A word may be said concerning the atmospheric 
conditions of a desert region. Owing to the extra- 
ordinary dryness of the atmosphere the traveller can 
frequently see objects at great distances. Of the 
desert on the borders of Afghanistan, Captain 
McMahon writes, "The clear, dry, sparkling atmo- 
sphere, the deep blue, cloudless skies of the greater 
part of the year, and the almost boundless horizons 
produce feelings of exhilaration and a sense of free- 
dom which go far to make up for the shortcomings 
of the country in other respects." 

The mirage of the desert, like that of other regions, 
as the polar areas, the English fenlands, and the 
Lake of Geneva, is due to reflection from the surface 
of a stratum of air, where originally horizontal 
strata of different densities have been disturbed by 
differential heating or cooling from underneath. 
The reader who wishes for a fuller account of the 
phenomena of mirage may consult a paper by 
Professor Everett in Nature ^ November 19th and 
27th, 1874, 

Sand-storms occur during the prevalence of strong 
winds in desert regions. They may be due to 
wind blowing in one direction over wide areas when 
the sand is wafted on by the wind, and in these 
conditions sand-dunes are formed and increased in 
size. Some of the most remarkable and destructive 
sand-storms are cyclonic whirls of comparatively 
small size, which produce sand-pillars and cupola- 
shaped masses of sand, often miles in diameter ; the 

^ See Geikie, Sir A., Geological Sketches at Honie and Abroad^ 
p. 240, fig. 25. 


general circular mass may be complicated by minor 
spiral columns due to subsidiary spiral rotation 
of the wind on the margin of the main cyclone. 

It has already been stated that desert conditions 
are largely due to the general absence of vegeta- 
tion, but that which does exist in a desert has 
a character of its own, and produces considerable 
effect upon the scenery of those portions of desert 
which are occupied by a scant growth of vegetation. 
There are decided resemblances between the flora 
of the desert and that of high alpine or of arctic 
regjions, and the resemblances are due to the existence 
of similar physical conditions in desert and arctic 
areas, namely, long periods of dryness alternating 
with short periods when there is a considerable 
supply of moisture. In arctic regions the dryness 
is due to cold and wind, and the moisture is supplied 
by melting of snow. In the desert the dryness is due 
to heat and drought ; the moisture is supplied during 
the short periods of rainfall and to some extent by 
night dews. 

One effect of desert climate is that the plants 
occur in comparative isolation, often with considerable 
intervals of barren ground intervening between indi- 
vidual plants. Furthermore there is usually a special 
modification of the leaves of the plants, which enables 
them to resist the long periods of drought. The leaves 
are often scaly, sword-shaped or tufted, occurring in 
rosette-like growths ; sometimes they are modified 
into thorns, and in some cases shoots devoid of leaves 
are found. The prevailing colour of the desert plants 
is grey-green, dirty green, or grey-white. Succulent 
plants, however, are frequently found, and some deserts 
possess a considerable variety of flowering plants. 


In the Egypt'Arabian desert the leaves of the 
grasses are short and stiff; plants with shoots devoid 
of leaves occur, as Ephedra; in Tatnarix the leaves 
are modified into scales, and there are several thorny 
plants. Many bulbous plants are found, and in 
some parts flowering plants produce an eflTect upon 
the scenery, thus the storksbill {Erodiunf) when in 
flower gives a red hue to tracts where it grows. 

The remarkable edible lichen Parmelia escukni 
supposed to be the manna of the Scriptures, groid 
in the desert from Central Asia to Algeria; fragmenjj 
of it are detached from the rocks by the wind^ an 
these fragments are blown into other places. 

In the Kalahari desert of South Africa many oft 
plants possess tubers mimicking stones. There 
many bulbous plants and various succulent plant 
as spurges (Euphorbiaceae) ; also xerophilous plant 
that is, plants which flourish in a dry climate, 
Mimosa and various Protcacea;. 

In Australia parts of the desert are occupied 
the isolated stool-like masses of Triodia, there calk 
Spinifex, with a few needle-like spikes projecting, ; 
seen in the plate copied by permission of the autho 
and of the Council of the Geographical Society, fro 
a figure illustrating a paper by the Hon, D, 
Carnegie, "Explorations of the Interior of Weste 
Australia/' 1 

In North America the deserts are rendered mon^ 
tonous by the prevalent sage-brush, consisting 
various species of Ariemisia, especially A. tridentata 
An interesting feature of these deserts is the sudden 
change from highlands, supplied with abundant water 
and rich in vegetation, to desert lowlands. Mr. H, 
I Geographkal JoumaU March, i8g8 (yoL 3d,), 



A s T n R . I. c; N n X A N n 
TiLOr.v p •■ >, . 


Gannett thus speaks of the Uncompahgre plateau, in 
the Grand River District^ : — 

" Nowhere is the influence of vegetation on the character 
of the vegetation more plainly marked than on this plateau. 
In the interior, near the crest, the land is, to the Utes, one 
flowing with milk and honey. Here are fine streams of 
clear, cold water, beautiful aspen groves, the best of grass 
in the greatest abundance, and a profusion of wild fruits 
and berries, while the country is a perfect flower-garden. 
This extends as low as 7000 feet, below which the scene 
changes to one in all respects the reverse. Aspen gives 
place to piiion and cedar ; the grasses, fruits, and flowers, to 
sage, cacti, and bare rock. The streams become confined 
in rocky canons, turn muddy and warm, and gradually 
disappear. The game changes, black-tailed deer give place 
to the white-tailed species. Grouse disappear, while rattle- 
snakes and centipedes assert their proprietorship. In the 
place of an open, rolling country, we enter a district traversed 
by deep, narrow gorges, of abrupt precipices, a country 
difficult in the extreme to traverse without a knowledge of 
its few highways." 

I have already quoted part of Sir A. Geikie's 
description of the scenery of the North American 
Bad Lands. Here is an additional extract from that 
writer's account : — 

"There is a further feature which crowns the repulsive- 
ness of the Bad Lands. There are no springs or streams. 
Into the soil, parched by the fierce heats of a torrid summer, 
the moisture of the subsoil ascends by capillary attraction, 
carrying with it the saline solutions it has extracted from 
the rocks. At the surface it is at once evaporated, leaving 
behind a white crust or efflorescence, which covers the bare 
ground and encrusts the pebbles strewn thereon. Vegeta- 

* Report U.S, Geological and Geographical Survey^ 1875, P* 340» 


tion wholly fails, save here and there a bunch of salt-weed or 
a bush of the ubiquitous sage-brush, the parched livid green 
of which serves only to increase the desolation of the 

In these alkali deserts, and indeed in any desert 
where there is a considerable amount of salt, the 
flora frequently presents resemblances to that of the 
salt-marshes around the sea-coast. Besides cacti and 
spurges, which also grow in the sand deserts, we find 
marsh-samphire {Salicomia)^ plantains (^Plantago\zxA 
various representatives of the Chenopodiaceae or goose- 
foot plants. 

Oases occur wherever water issues from the ground 
to a sufficient degree to support vegetation. The 
water may be due to various causes, as relatively 
large amount of rainfall in some localities, or course 
of the underground water. The latter is probably 
often a cause of oases, as indicated by their frequent 
occurrence along definite lines, a distribution which 
often determines the routes of caravans. Various 
plants grow in these oases, including trees. In North 
Africa the date-palm is the only indigenous tree, 
though others have been introduced by man.^ 

Though the production of desert features on a 
large scale requires a dry climate, we find that an 
imitation of many of the characteristic features of a 
desert region may be developed in our own country 
upon a small scale. The nature of the sand-dunes 
of the coasts is similar in general characters to that 
of the desert dunes, and some of the attributes of 

^ For a fuller account of the vegetation of deserts the reader may 
consult E. Warming's Lehrbuch der okologischen Pflanzengeo^aphie^ 
Berlin, 1S96. 


desert v^etation occur among the plants of our 
coastal dunes. Tracts even more suggestive of sand 
deserts are found in some parts of East Anglia, at 
some distance from the sea, where the superficial 
deposits are ibrmed of incoherent sand, which is 
readily blown about by the wind. 

The alkaline and salt flats of desert regions have 
some resemblances to the salt marshes which occur 
in many of our estuaries ; they are particularly well 
'developed in the estuaries around Morecambe Bay, 
though some of these have been modified by culti- 
vation. It has already been stated that several of 
the plants of salt-deserts, as Salicornia and Cheno- 
podiaceae, are also found in these maritime salt 

Lastly we find simulation of rock deserts on a 
small scale among the Yorkshire moors, where the 
millstone grit, being very absorbent, frequently 
engulfs the rain-water as it descends, thereby 
limiting surface erosion by water, and causing 
chemical weathering, effect of change of temperature 
and wind to become dominant agents of sculpture. 
It is in such r^ions (as already noted in Chapter 
VIII.) that we find miniature representations of the 
wind-worn rocks of deserts, as, for instance, the 
Brimham Rocks, near Knaresborough, and the Cow 
and Calf at Ilkley. 


ALTHOUGH it is in alpine and arctic regions 
that the scenic effects due to frost are most 
striking, the effects of frost in a country like Britain, 
under its present climatic conditions, are far from 

The first point to notice in connexion with frost is 
the exceptional .behaviour of water as it is cooled 
down towards the freezing-point It is well known 
that water contracts when cooled until it possesses 
a temperature of 39° F'ahrenheit, when it expands, 
and accordingly grows lighter. At a temperature 
of 32° Fahrenheit, the freezing-point of fresh water, 
the change from the liquid to the solid condition 
is accompanied by a very considerable expansion 
(about one-fourteenth of its volume). One notice- 
able result of this expansion is the efficacy of frost 
as an agent of disintegration of rocks, as described 
in a preceding chapter. Another effect of great 
significance from the scenic point of view is that, 
owing to expansion occurring above freezing-point, 
the top water, after its temperature is reduced to 
39° Fahrenheit, becomes lighter, and therefore re- 
mains on the surface, so that the surface water 
freezes first, whereas, if contraction occurred as the 
temperature was lowered to tVv<^ {te-^iiti^-^oint, the 


cold water would continue to sink to the bottom, 
and the whole of a water area would be [gradually 
lowered to freezing-point, and a lake might thus be 
frozen solid, whereas, under the actual conditions 
which exist, the ice is formed upon the surface, and 
seldom extends to a very great depth in deep sheets 
of water.^ 

Water, like many other liquids, when consolidated, 
assumes a crystalline condition, the crystals belonging 
to systems termed by mineralogists the hexagonal 
and rhombohedral systems, and the compound 
crystals are also arranged in symmetrical shapes as 
well exhibited in many snowflakcs, which show 
various six-rayed forms. The crystalline structure 
may also be frequently seen in the products of hoar- 
frost and in other cases where consolidation has taken 
place under conditions favourable for the free growth 
of the crystal-outlines, but even when invisible it is 
there, for instance, in the ice on the surface of a pond, 
as may be proved by suitable experiments. The 
beautiful patterns seen on our windows on a frosty 
morning owe their beauty to the consolidation of 
water in a crystalline condition. We may here 
briefly notice some of the processes resulting in 
the formation of ice which give rise to minor or 
transient effects upon scenery. 

Hoar-frost is produced when the dew-point is 
below freezing-point, when the aqueous vapour is not 
condensed into minute drops of water, but the solid 
form is assumed. Hoar-frost, like dew, forms best 
on substances which are good radiators of heat, and 
accordingly it is prone to be formed on vegetation, 

* The exceptional conditions controlling the formation of " gj:ovxtvd- 
ke," or " andior iccv " on the floors of water areas do nol CQx^c^xTi>a&. 


hence giving rise to the picturesque appearance 
presented by trees which are laden with it 

Warm vapour-laden air coming in contact with 
frozen ground may have its vapour condensed and 
deposited in the solid form as "glazed frost" or 
"verglas," which is specially remarkable when rain 
falls. An interesting case of verglas is quoted from 
the Comptes Rendus of the French Academy by 
Dr. R. H. Scott, in his work on Elementary Meteor- 
olog}\ chapter vii. In mountain regions very re- 
markable effects are often produced, owing to the 
formation of ice crystals which are deposited on 
cold surfaces when a warm vapour-laden wind 
strikes against them. Irregular blocks of stone 
become covered with thick masses bristling with 
crystalline projections, and often assume very bizarre 
forms. This phenomenon may often be seen on our 
own hills in the winter and early spring months, but 
in higher latitudes or on higher altitudes it may be 
observed in the summer months. Mr. Garwood 
noticed a very striking case on Hornsund Tind, 
Spitsbergen. The projections, some of which were 
eighteen inches in length, grew out from a vertical 
face of cliff during about three weeks of continuous 

Ice is not only produced by contact of warm 
moisture-laden air with cold ground, but by the 
contact of cold air with warm ground. Owing to 
the fact that the air is not directly heated by the 
rays from the sun, but by the dark heat which is 
given off from the earth, we often find the earth*s 
surface is warm when the temperature of the air 
around is below freezing-point. Accordingly any 
snow or ice which is resting on the earth may be 


melted, and if it is resting on a projecting surface 
the water will flow down and hang as a drop on the 
edge of the projection. The contact of the cold air 
may cause this drop to freeze when it is at rest, and 
the next water which descends will swathe this drop 
with moisture, which, freezing in turn, will increase 
the diameter of the frozen knob, while more water, 
hanging from the extremity of the previously frozen 
drop, will in turn freeze, thus lengthening the frozen 
mass. By a continuation of the process an icicle is 
formed, much as a stalactite of carbonate of lime is 
formed under the arch of a bridge or on the roof of 
a cavern. Large masses of pendent icicles are often 
thus formed in the neighbourhood of waterfalls or at 
the edges of overhanging banks of a stream. In 
mountain regions, conditions favourable for their 
formation occur in the interior of the fissures or 
crevasses of glaciers, and also on the under surfaces 
of snow cornices, the mode of formation of which 
will be subsequently considered. 

The effects of hailstorm, though often very de- 
structive, are not of great interest to the student 
of scenery, and we may now pass on to consider the 
formation and mode of accumulation of snow. 

Snow, as is well known, is not frozen rain ; the snow- 
flakes are formed from aqueous vapour by consolida- 
tion before the vapour has given place to definite liquid 
drops. Snow will collect at the door of a crowded 
railway carriage containing foot- warmers, owing to the 
consolidation of the aqueous vapour in the carriage 
by the cold air coming through the apertures at the 
sides of the door, without any perceptible liquid 
water being formed previously, and the story of the 
SL Petersburg ball, where snow began to fall in the 


overheated room when the windows were broken to 
let in air, is often quoted. 

The amount of snow which falls during a severe 
storm is often exaggerated, as the thickness of drifted 
snow is frequently taken as representing the thick- 
ness of the actual fall. x^ccording to Dr. Scott 
a foot of snow yields about an inch of rain, and as 
a fall of three inches of rain in a day is a rare event 
in most parts of our island, statements of the fall of 
many feet of snow during one snowstorm must be 
received with caution. 

Snow is readily drifted by the wind, and collects 
in places where the force of the wind is diminished, 
so that a snowdrift may in many ways be compared 
to a sand-dune ; not altogether, however, for Mr. 
Cornish states in the discussion upon his paper on 
" The Formation of Sand-dunes " that some observa- 
tions which he has made "show curious differences 
between the tactics of drifting snow and those of 
blown sand." The effect of regelation, that property 
of ice which causes two pieces to cohere when in 
contact, must no doubt be taken into account when 
discussing the causes for the actual outlines of 
snowdrifts, as proved by the existence of snow 
cornices, which are portions of drifted snow pro- 
jecting over the leeward side of mountain-ridges and 
summits, owing to the consolidation of the snow 
particles. These snow cornices to some extent 
record the existence of the wind eddies which are 
formed on the leeward sides of obstacles ; they have 
a convex curve at the top, arching over, and a 
concave curve below where the eddy must exercise 
a destructive effect. They may project many feet 
beyond the actual tocky iVd^^ oC tiva taountain, 


and when fringed with icicles form very remarkable 

In some parts of the world snow is unknown, in 
other parts it only falls at intervals in winter and 
rapidly melts, while in other parts the snow lies 
all the year round. The elevation at which the 
annual amount of snowfall is just the same as the 
annual amount of snow melted is known as the snow- 
line, and above it are the regions of perpetual snow. 
As is well known, the altitude of the snovv-linc varies 
according to latitude, though local variations often 
produce modifications ; nevertheless in any one 
district the general level often approaches the 
horizontal so nearly that when viewed from a 
distance a horizontal straight line appears to be 
ruled across the mountains above which is perpetual 
snow, and below which there is practically none. 

At the equator the snow-line has a height of about 
16,000 feet, in the Alps it lies at about 9000 feet, 
in Norway at ,5000 feet, while at Spitsbergen it has 
fallen to a few hundred feet above sea-level. It 
must not be supposed, however, that all elevations 
above the snow-line are covered with snow. When 
the slope of the ground is very great the snow can 
only lie in patches on the ledges and gentler slopes, 
or collect in the couloirs and gullies. Thus it is that 
many of the Alpine peaks, as the Matterhorn, rise 
above the snow fields as rocky eminences, only 
scarred here and there with snow. Owing to this, 
and as the gullies and variations of slope are usually 
dependent upon geological structure, we can often 
learn much of the anatomy of a mountain by ob- 
servation of the lie of the snow, and this is the 
case also in regions below the snow-\m^ '\S. \^^ 


examine them when snow has fallen. Thus the 
direction of the main lines of stratification and 
jointing is often indicated by lines of snow on a 
mountain. Again, as certain rocks during the 
melting of the snow absorb the water more quickly 
than others, the snow will lie on these absorbent 
rocks for a longer time than on other rocks, where 
the water being left on the surface dissolves the I 
snow. Thus in early spring the western slopes of , 
the Pennine Chain facing the Eden Valley are often 
marked by long horizontal bands of dark rock 
practically devoid of snow, separated from one 
another by snowy strips. These dark lines mark 
the shales, which, owing to their impervious nature, 
keep the water on the surface, while the intervening 
white strips are beds of grit, which retain the snow, , 
though the grit slopes are often actually steeper than 
those occupied by shale. ^ 

The effect of slope on the accumulation of snow 
may be well illustrated by contrasting the snowy 
dome of Mont Blanc with the rocky pinnacles of 
its attendant Aiguilles, the latter being at an eleva- 
tion inferior to that of the topmost dome. 

Ice is often formed on mountain sides, adhering 
to the rocks in extensive sheets, which lie at an 
angle far greater than that at which loose snow 
will repose. These ice slopes are well known to 
Alpine climbers, and they often present a marked 
feature in the scenery. 

The snow -line being the elevation at which the 
annual amount of snowfall is just the same as the 
amount of snow melted, it follows that above the 

^ For effect of joints in retaining snow, see Meddelelser om Cronland^ 
Part II., Plate VII. Cfacins p. ie>^V 


snow -line more snow falls annually than is melted, 
and accordingly the snow of one year would tend 
to remain and be added to the snow of the preceding 
year. Does this accumulation go on indefinitely? 
If it did, the higher regions would in time become 
buried in vast accumulations of snow. But there 
are other ways besides actual melting by which the 
heights are rid of an excess of snow. We have 
seen that snow is not frozen rain, that the particles 
are frozen before they form liquid drops, and similarly 
snow may disappear without the production of 
appreciable masses of water on the surface. Durin*,^ 
a prolonged frost snow that has fallen befi^re the 
frost commenced, or at an early period of the settini; 
in of frosty conditions, may be observed to diminish, 
and it may even disappear, without any appreciable 
liquefaction, just as a mass of camphor does. The 
process is known as sublimation, and owing to it 
some snow is vaporised even above the sn(nv line. 
Again, on comparatively steep slopes, as the snow 
accumulates, large masses may break off and fall 
to a lower level as snow avalanches. These 
avalanches are well known in mountain regions ; 
their fall is very impressive, and the piled-up banks 
of avalanche snow frequently form a marked feature 
at the bases of the slopes from which they have 
fallen. But just as the superabundant rain of upland 
regions is carried to the lowlands by rivers, the 
superabundant snow of highlands is chiefly brought 
to a lower level by those icy rivers named glaciers, 
the nature of which we must now consider. 

In order that glaciers may exist, there must be 
conditions in an area favourable for their formation, 
and cold is the condition which natutaLWy sX.xW?we.'=i crwi 


as most important ; no glacier can be formed unless 
the temperature is sufficiently low to allow of the 
accumulation of a considerable quantity of snow. 
Secondly, the amount of aqueous vapour which is 
brought to the region from elsewhere must be large, 
in order to supply material for the production of 
snow. However cold a region may be, if it is also 
dry there will be no appreciable snowfall, and 
accordingly no glaciers. The importance of the 
supply of aqueous vapour is well illustrated by the 
Alaskan glaciers. The great glaciers of Alaska 
occur in the south, where the warm, moisture-laden 
winds of the Pacific Ocean strike the land, and are 
responsible for a large snowfall, and not further to 
the north, though it is colder, for there the winds 
have been robbed of much of their aqueous vapour, 
and blow over the colder tracts as dry winds. 
Thirdly, the physical conditions must be favourable 
for the accumulation of snow. It is clear that 
glaciers or the snow necessary for their production 
cannot form on a vertical cliff, and it is doubtful how 
far the movement which characterises glaciers could 
occur as the result of an accumulation of snow 
formed on level ground. It is among the inequalities 
of a mountainous region that we find the conditions 
most favourable for the accumulation of snow which 
will give rise to glaciers. 

That glaciers move is well known to everyone, one 
very significant indication of their movement being 
furnished by the fact that they often descend far 
below the snow-line. Herein lies one of the most 
striking features of these ice-rivers from the point of 
view of the student of scenery, for we frequently find 
a marked contrast beVw^^tv \.\\^ ^t^^\. ^jow^we. of Ice 


at the extremity of a glacier and its imincdiatc 
surroundings. The terminal face of the ice of the 
Tasman glacier in New Zealand is about 700 feet 
above sea level, and it "is hidden by a ^^rovc of 
Pines, Ratas, Beeches, and arborescent Ferns in the 

As we ascend a glacier from its termination 
toward the watershed, we find the lower part below 
the snow-line devoid of snow and consisting of ice. 
Higher up the ice is covered by unmelted snow, the 
junction of the snowy and snowless portions being 
sometimes irregular, though there is often a marked 
contrast between the two portions as seen from a 
distance. Proceeding still higher the glacier ice is 
found to be replaced by a granular substance in- 
termediate between snow and ice, known as ncvc or 
firn,^ and yet higher the n6v6 gives place to ordinary 

^ IIochstetter's New Zealandy quoted by A. C. Skward, J-osiil 
Plants as Tests of Climate. Cambridge, 1892. 

* The following description of the appearance of a Swiss ncvc is 
from the pen of Principal P'orbes {Edinburgh Keviav, Aj^ril, 1842). 
*' The neve or fim is the unconsolidated glacier. As wc approach 
it the fissures of the glacier become generally rarer and always narrower. 
The elevation above the sea being already very considerable, perhaps 
8ocX3 or 9000 English feet, the winter's snow lies all summer on ihe 
surface of the ice, conceals the crevasses^ and partly als») the structure 
of the matter of the glacier itself ; to discern which the snow nuist 
be carefully removed. It is a frequent, perhaps a general, characteristic 
of the transition from the glacier proper to the neve, that whilst 
the former presents a convex surface the latter is toncav^f and inos- 
culates insensibly into the snowy steeps which clothe the sides of the 
upper glacier basins at these great heights. Magnificent is the prospect 
which these fims sometimes present. The surface is smooth and 
almost level, like an artificial floor stretched across a valley, whose 
sides evidently descend to a great depth beneath. It is a real platform 
— to compare great things with small, it is a theatre with the pit 
boarded over ; and what a theatre ! From that even, snowy carpet 
of dazzling white rise hundreds of nameless ^[yeaks ou ^vl\vvii YvajcA^ 
seeming to pierce a sky whose azure hue is so mVen?.^ ^& Vo ^vcv^ \sa 


snow. How does the change from snow to n6v6 and 
from this to glacier ice take place? The formation 
of n6v6 from snow is sometimes stated to be due 
partly to melting and recrystallisation of part of the 
mass, and partly to pressure of overlying snow, but 
the process does not appear to be quite so simple. 
The ndve is composed of grains, of which each grain 
is a truly crystalline particle. 

" Regarded from a distance the n6y6 appears to be very 
finely stratified, layers of comparatively pure blue ice 
alternating with white ones. On close examination this 
stratified appearance is seen to be practically wholly due 
to the distribution in layers of countless imprisoned air- 
bubbles. . . . After a fall of snow surface-melting leads 
to the production of a mass of more or less spherical 
granules of ice, the interstices between which are occupied 
by air. Further accumulations of snow lead to pressure, 
the granules are compressed, and much of the air may be 
expelled. But under certain conditions of weather a 
surface layer of snow may be melted, and, freezing again, 
may form an impervious layer, and the adjacent air- 
bubbles be unable to escape, even under the pressure 
resulting from further falls of snow. Thus we have bands 
of air-bubbles parallel with the surface, and alternating 
with strata of blue ice which are comparatively free from 
air. Meteorological conditions will have a great influence 
upon the volume of air imprisoned."^ 

match in nature save the gentian, which expands its lovely .flowers 
close to the glacier. The sides, scathed by lightning and torn by the 
avalanche, scarcely permit a resting-place for the snow which accumu- 
lates in dazzling wreaths only in its sheltered nooks. Each of these 
pinnacles transported to an ordinary scene would seem one of nature's 
grandest objects, whilst here it is lost amidst the crowd of its fellows." 
^ R. M. Deeley and G. Fletcher, *' The Structure of Glacier Ice 
and its Bearing upon Glacier Motion," Geological Alagazinef decade iv., 
vol ii. (1895), P- 152. 


As the n6y6 passes into glacier ice, the stratifica- 
tion is still preserved for some distance, though the 
bubbles are gradually expelled owing to the pressure 
by which the ice is affected. The neve grains grow, 
according to Hagenbach, by the absorption of the 
smaller grains by the larger ones, and at the end of 
a glacier the grains may be of very great size. In 
Spitsbergen "some of them in a block which had 
fallen from the Booming Glacier were four inches in 
diameter. These were much bigger than any we had 
seen in Switzerland ; and the biggest that we re- 
member recorded thence were some found by Forel 
on the Aletsch glacier, which were as much as three 
inches in diameter.'* ^ 

Special attention is called to the glacier grains, 
as they produce a very marked efifect upon the 
appearance of glacier ice. The boundaries of the 
grains in the ice are usually extremely irregular. 
Often they are arranged in roughly parallel layers 
with their longer axes parallel to the layers, and 
we thus find the peculiar v^eined or ribboned structure 
of glacier ice, which has been compared to the 
cleavage structure of slates, and appears to have been 
produced in much the same way as the result of 
pressure, producing a rearrangement of the particles, 
or change of shape, accompanied by shear, which 
gives rise to the lamination, or, as it might be termed, 

It does not follow that because the Swiss glaciers 
are produced by passage of snow into nev6, and 
of the latter into glacier ice, that all glaciers are so 

^ E. J. Garwood and J. W. Gregory, ''Contributions to the 
Glacial Geology of Spitsbergen," Quart, Journ, Gto. Soc.^ vol. Uv.^ 
p. 220. 


caused. According to Messrs- Garwood and Gregory^ 
"many of the Spitsbergen glaciers do not di 
snow-fields^ and the material of which they consi 
passes directly into the condition of n6ve-ice ai 
glacier-ice. Thus at the head of nearly every glacier 
pass that we crossed (for example, Fox Pass, Bolter 
Pass, Flower Pass) we found no true n^ve or gathering 
ground for snow. In some cases such glacier-ice 
may have been formed by avalanches ; but at least 
in one case this explanation is inadmissible, and we 
were forced to the conclusion that under arctic 
conditions snow may be converted into ice without 
pressure, and that the existence of glaciers does not 
necessarily postulate the existence of great snow- 
fields;' J 
The cause of movement of the glacier is a topi^| 
which has given rise to much controversy. Many 
theories of glacier motion have been suggested, some 
of which assign gravitation as the primary cause of 
the movement, while others maintain that the cause 
is heat. The theories which regard heat as of 
primary importance are those of CharpentieTi 
Agassiz, Moseley, and Croll, w^hile those w^hich lay 
stress upon gravitation were enunciated by Saussure. 
Rendu, J, D. Forbes, and TyndalL The theory of 
Forbes, which regards ice as a viscous substance, 
and therefore capable of movement^ is the one which 
. is generally accepted at the present day, and without 
entering into any discussion as to the exact physical 
conditions which constitute viscosity, it is sufficient 
for our purpose to note that whether ice is, or is not, 
strictly viscous, in the technical sense of the term, its 
motion is similar to that of a viscous substance, 
^ Garwood aad Gregory, l&c. cit., p. too. 


The movement of ice as a viscous body does not, 
d{ course, prevent the action of thrusting, and this 
aiction undoubtedly produces minor efifccts in glacier 
movement, as shown by Garwood and Gregory in the 
case of the Booming glacier of Spitsbergen. 

A glacier then moves like a river, and like a river 
its lower surface is retarded by friction against 
its bed, and accordingly, as is well known, owing to 
accurate measurements taken by many observers, 
especially by Forbes, it moves faster at the surface 
than at the bottom, and faster in the middle than at 
the sides. Furthermore, other things being equal, it 
moves faster on a steep incline than on a gentler 

Owing to the differential movement of glaciers 
several phenomena are produced, which we may now 
proceed to consider. In the first place, in the region 
of n^v^ the upper part often adheres to the underlying 
rocks, while at a lower elevation, where the frozen 
material is thicker, it is capable of freer movement, 
and is dragged away from the more firmly attached 
portion, and if the action takes place so quickly that 
the ice cannot adjust itself to the new conditions by 
re-arrangement of its particles the lower part is 
separated from the higher by actual rupture, producing 
a fissure at right angles to the direction of pull. 
Such a fissure, which often runs for a considerable 
distance on the sides of the higher peaks, is known 
as a bergschrund. The fissure is inclined inwards 
towards the higher part of the mountain. It may 
be upwards of thirty feet in width. The bergschrund 
is often partially choked with snow, and may have 
cornices, as well as actual snow-bridges in places, 
and the formation of icicles, in the manner previously 


described, is peculiarly favoured by the shaded state 
of the interior of the bergschrund, Very often tv^o 
or more of these fissures are parallel to one anotinr 
at no great distance apart. They are often formed 
in snow-filled gullies or couloirs, where the slope 
suddenly changes. 

The fissures which are seen in an ordinary glacier 
are known as crevasses^ and are of three kind^, namely, 
transverse, longitudinal, and marginal* The trans- 
verse crevasses are produced when the slope of the 
glacier bed increases suddenly, so that the ice cannot 
accommodate itself to its bed without cracking.. In 
other wordsp transverse crevasses are the result of an 
'' ice-fall/' analogous to the waterfall of a riven Such 
crevasses may be seen at the ice* fall of the glacier 
below the Scerscen and Roseg, as shown in the plate 
The cracks are naturally at right angles to the 
direction of movement of the ice, and accordingly 
they are termed transverse. The broken ice is 
carried over these steep portions slice after slice. 
Local strain during the fall often causes further 
Assuring, at an angle to the main crevasses, and 
accordingly the ice may be broken up into fantastic 
pinnacles known as si^racs. Below the ice-fall die 
ice moves more slowly, and the more quickly moving 
ice above is jammed against it Furthermore the 
ice over the fall tends to take a convex cur\^e on the 
surface^ causing great tension of the upper portion, 
while below the surface becomes concave, causing 
compression of the upper portion. Owing to these 
causes the crevasses formed at an ice-fall are sealed 
up at no great distance below, though they are often 
marked by superficial furrows separated by ridges for 
some distance below the fall It will be seen^ there* 





. F: N O X AND 


••1 ■ -..'.<■,, ,v^_ 


fore, that though an ice-fall is constantly marked 
by transverse crevasses, they are not the same 
crevasses. As one set moves down, and gets scaled 
up, another set is formed at the fall and takes its 
place, and so the process goes on. Below these ice- 
falls the veined structure is frequently found, and 
Tyndall has spoken of them as structure-mills where 
the veining is produced. 

The longitudinal crevasses occur where the glacier- 
bed is somewhat suddenly widened below a narrow 
portion. Tension is here at right angles to the 
direction in which it occurred at the ice-fall, owing 
to the inability of the ice to adapt itself to its 
widened bed without fissuring. 

Marginal crevasses start at the sides of the glacier 
and extend towards the middle, pointing up the 
glacier towards the middle. They are produced 
owing to the faster movement of the central portion 
when compared with that of the sides. The 
obliquity of the crevasses was first explained by Mr. 
W. Hopkins, and a very clear explanation of it will 
be found in Tyndall's Forms of Water, paragraphs 
267-275. If we imagine a circular portion of ice at 
the side of the glacier at any time, that circle as the 
result of differential movement will be converted into 
an ellipse, as shown in Fig. 38, where X X repre- 
sents the rocky side of the glacier; the arrow points 
down the glacier; i represents the original circle, and 
2 the direction of inclination of the ellipse produced 
by its distortion. The pressure will be greatest at 
right angles to the longer axis of the ellipse, while 
the greatest tension will be at right angles to the 
direction of greatest pressure, and accordingly the 
fissure will be produced along the direction of 


the shorter diameter of the ellipse c d, which, 
as will be seen in the figure, points obliquely 
up the glacier towards its centre. Owing to the 
coalescence of the marginal crevasses with trans- 
verse crevasses in the centre of the glacier, curved 
fissures are often seen, with their convexities pointing 
up the glacier. 

When glaciers spread into a fan-like form at 


Fig. 38. 

their extremities, as they sometimes do, the trans- 
verse crevasses run in curves with their convexities 
pointing downwards, and the longitudinal ones 
become radial. 

In very cold regions there is yet another way in 
which crevasses may be formed. At a very low 
temperature ice changes its physical characters, and 
becomes very inelastic, and as it contracts as the 
result of the lowering of the temperature, fissures 
may be produced. Mr. K. J. V. Steenstrup found 
that when ice was in this condition the mere pressure 
of a needle was sufficient to splinter off large pieces 


of ice in little fragments, which were thrown to some 
distance with an explosive sound.^ 

In considering the formation of crevasses only the 
differential movement of the ice has been noticed. 
The rate of movement of glaciers as a whole docs 
not directly affect our present line of inquiry : it is 
sufficient to state that it varies in different glaciers 
as well as in different portions of the same glacier. 
Some glaciers only move a few inches per diem, 
while in other cases a rate of several feet in a day 
has been recorded. 

In the upper parts of the glaciers, where the 
underlying ice is concealed by snow, the crevasses 
themselves are often concealed, or only revealed by 
the presence of slight undulations noticeable by the 
experienced ice-man. Further down the glacier they 
are open to the light of day, though often, like the 
bergschrund, crossed by snow-bridges ; while in the 
lower reaches of the ice we may look down 
unchecked into their blue depths, until they are lost 
in the gloom of the interior. 

The fact that many glaciers descend below the 
snow-line has already been noticed, and mentioned 
as one of the proofs of movement of a glacier, for 
if the ice were not replenished from behind it would 
be melted like the snow, and cease at the snow-line. 
Owing to movement the process of replenishment 
does go on, for the surface of the glacier is constantly 
being lowered by melting or ablation, as it is termed, 
and as it nevertheless often keeps the same general 
height for considerable periods of time, in spite of 
this ablation, it is perfectly clear that the com 
pensation for the melted portion is made by the 

* MeddcUlser om Grbnland^ part vi, 


addition of fresh material from the higher parts of 
the ice-world. Owing to the heat received from the 
rocks at the side of the glacier, ablation takes place 
more quickly at the sides than towards the centre, 
and accordingly a cross section of a glacier usually 
presents a convex outline of the surface. 

As the result of melting, runnels and streams of 
water are often found on the surface of a glacier, 
especially on a summer day. When traced down- 
wards they frequently disappear, being swallowed by 
the ice at a crevasse. Action takes place here similar 
to that described when discussing the mode of forma- 
tion of swallow-holes in a limestone district. The 
water, often charged with rock-fragments, falls down 
the crevasse with a gyratory movement and wears 
out a cylindrical shaft, which may be excavated to 
the base of the glacier. These shafts, known as 
inoulinsy show the beautiful blue colour of ice, which 
is also exhibited in the crevasses. As the ice moves 
onwards, the crevasse, as before described, is sealed 
up, and a fresh one formed in its place. The old 
moulin is now deserted by the water, which excavates 
another shaft in a place situated a little higher up 
the glacier than the position now occupied by the 
deserted one, and as a result of the continuation of 
the process a line of several of these deserted moulins 
may be found below the position occupied by the 
active one. As a result of ablation and other 
changes, they gradually become shallower, and finally 

The water which flows on the surface, and is 
swallowed up by crevasses, ultimately finds its way 
to the base of the ice, though as will be eventually 
seen, some of it may flow in the ice for long distances 


in englacial caverns before it finally reaches the 
bottom. This englacial and subglacial running water 
issues from the end of a glacier, often in a con- 
siderable stream, giving rise to a terminal cavern, 
frequently exhibiting the beautiful blue colour of the 
ice. It is advisable to abstain from entering these 
caverns without expert guidance, as the caverns are 
enlarged by the detachment of large masses of ice 
from the roof, often without any preliminary warning. 

We have hitherto regarded the ice of glaciers as 
though it flowed onwards devoid of any burden, 
though it is well known that much material is carried 
down by many glaciers in the form of moraines, 
and we may now proceed to consider the character 
and mode of distribution of this material on and in 
the ice. 

The action of frost in splitting fragments from 
the solid rocks has already been noticed, and it was 
seen that these fragments, when the slope is steep, 
roll down the hill-sides to the valley beneath. If the 
bottom of that valley is occupied by a glacier many 
of these stones will come to rest on the side of the 
glacier, retaining the angular shape which they 
possessed when split from the parent rock. The 
angular fragments will descend upon some parts 
of the glacier more frequently than on others, the 
greatest number falling down gullies which are 
spoken of as screes-shoots. But as the glacier 
moves along, each portion of the side in turn passes 
such a screes-shoot, and the material which is piled 
upon it there is carried lower down, while the process 
is going on afresh at the original place. Accordingly 
every part of the glacier side becomes fringed with 
an accumulation of loose blocks, giving rise to a 


lateral moraine upon either side of the ice-river. 
When two tributary glaciers unite to form a single 
ice-stream, the adjacent lateral moraines also unite, 
and proceed down the centre of the main stream, 
thus producing a medial moraine, and when a glacier, 
as in the case of the Mer de Glace at Chamonix, 
is formed by the union of many tributaries, a number 
of medial moraines occupy the central portions of 
its surface. Now a glacier, like a river, tends to 
continue in its initial course, and when a bend occurs 
in its bed, the line of most rapid motion is diverted 
from the centre of the glacier towards the concave 
curve, and the medial moraine is carried with it 
Consequently, when a glacier flows through a sinuous 
valley, the sinuosities of the medial moraines are 
greater than those of the actual valley, and the 
peculiar serpentine appearance of the moraines is 

The moraines on a glacier appear to consist of 
great ridges composed of detritus, rising high above 
the general level of the ice. This appearance is 
deceptive ; the stones form a mere veneer upon the 
surface of a ridge of ice, the icy ridge being due 
to slighter ablation of the ice-surface beneath the 
moraine, for as rock is a bad conductor of heat, the 
ice beneath the moraine is protected from the rays of 
the sun. 

The formation of this ridge may go on to so great 
an extent that the slope becomes too steep for the 
stones to rest on it, when they fall to either side, and 
as this process goes on the original ice-ridge may be 
melted, and replaced by a ridge on either side, which 
may undergo the same process. In this way the 
morainic material tends to wander laterally over the 


glacier, and the lower portions of glaciers are thus 
frequently covered with a mass of morainic matter 
which may entirely conceal the ice beneath. 

When a glacier shrinks for many years in succession, 
as is the case with many Swiss glaciers, its general 
level is lowered, and the former height of the ice 
is marked by the original lateral moraines, while a 
continuous slope at the angle of rest of the loose 
material formed of the morainic material which was 
stranded during the sinking of the ice-surface 
stretches from the top of the old moraine to the 
present level of the glacier, which may be some 
hundreds of feet beneath it. 

The medial moraines are sometimes engulfed by 
crevasses, and then reappear at some distance from 
the place where they were engulfed, owing to the 
ablation of the surface. 

A certain amount of material, such as stones, sand, 
and very fine mud is carried beneath the ice, consti- 
tuting the moraine prof onde ; it is chiefly of interest 
to us on account of the effect it produces on the 
underlying rocks, which will be noticed in a later 

At the termination of the glacier all the rocky 
material which has been transported by the ice, 
whether on its surface, in its substance, or beneath 
it, is deposited to form a terminal moraine. As the 
centre of the glacier, owing to its more rapid move- 
ment, is carried further down than the sides before 
it melts, the termination of the glacier is often con- 
vex, with the convexity of the curve pointing down 
the valley. Accordingly the terminal moraine tends 
to assume a crescentic form, and if a glacier recedes, 
and there are pauses in the recession, a considerable 


quantity of material accumulates at the end during 
each of the pauses, and a number of crescents 
of morainic material may be formed one behind 

The stream which issues from the glacier, and the 
streamlets which course down the valley sides, often 
issuing from the ends of minor glaciers, cause much 
re-sorting of the morainic material, often filling up 
inequalities of the valley, and giving rise to a fairly 
uniform surface of fluvio-glacial deposit, which occurs 
below the ends of many of the Alpine glaciers, while 
ancient fluvio-glacial deposits laid down during 
former extension of the ice, and subsequently de- 
nuded in the centre by the river, form shelves on 
the valley sides, frequently covered with a rich soil, 
and accounting for the presence of many of the 
Alpine pastures at considerable heights above the 
present valley bottoms. 

Owing to the surface -wandering of morainic 
material, and other causes, detached fragments are 
often found on the ice, which may be of any size 
from blocks the size of a cottage down to the finest 
particles of mud. The large blocks, like the moraines, 
protect the ice beneath from the sun's rays. Accord- 
ingly a large block is often found standing on a 
pinnacle of ice, produced owing to this protective 
action, forming what is known as a glacier-table. 
This resembles to some extent the earth-pillars 
of which we have before spoken, and still more 
certain boulders which are sometimes found perched 
upon pinnacles of limestone which they have pro- 
tected from solution, as the celebrated blocks of 
slate which rest on pinnacles of the mountain lime- 
stone at Norber, near Settle, Yorkshire. As the 


pinnacles of ice increase in height the sun gradually 
diminishes their thickness, and in the Alps, the rays 
being most powerful on the south side, the pinnacle 
is melted away more rapidly on that side, and the 
superincumbent capping-stone gradually acquires a 
slant towards the south, when it slips off, and a new 
table is formed, while the original pinnacle of ice 
may remain to the north of it for some time, though 
it is eventually melted. 

Little collections of stone produce the same effect, 
giving rise to cones of ice, such as are frequent upon 
parts of the Corner Glacier. The stones slip from 
these, as they do from moraines, when the slope of 
the cone has become too great. In parts of Green- 
land cones of this character occur with a height of 
sixty feet. 

When the particles are small a different effect is 
produced. Rock, though a bad conductor, is a good 
absorber of heat, and as these small particles are 
thin the absorbed heat is partly conducted through 
them and melts the ice beneath, and accordingly 
small particles of stone gradually bore their way 
down into the ice, leaving a little pool of water 
above, and when they are abundant they produce 
a very noticeable honeycombed appearance of the 
surface of the glacier. 

Lastly, we must notice the well-known dirt-bands 
of glaciers, first observed by Forbes on the Mer de 
Glace, which give such clear indication of glacier 
movement They originate below an ice-fall, where 
the crevasses, though sealed up, give rise to alternate 
transverse ridges and furrows on the surface of the 
ice. Dirt is carried by wind and streamlets into 
the furrows, and as the ice moves onwards the ridges 


disappear by ablation, but the dirt which has been 
swept into the furrows still remains, and owing to 
the more rapid movement of the central part of the 
ice, assumes the familiar curved appearance, the 
convexities of the curves pointing down the glacier. 
The phenomena which have been described in the 
present chapter may all be studied in the Alpine 
regions of Switzerland, but there are many other 
glaciated areas which present scenic features of 
interest, sometimes of a different kind from those 
occurring in Switzerland, sometimes similar in kind, 
but on a larger scale. It will be convenient to 
consider these, by a cursory examination of some 
of the other glaciated regions of the world, and to 
this we may devote another chapter. 



\T OR WA Y. — The glaciers of Norway form the 
subject of a special work by the late J. D. 
Forbes,! who states that their conditions and struc- 
ture are almost identical with those of Switzerland, 
the main difference being the nature of the gather- 
ing ground for the snows. In Switzerland the snow- 
collects at the heads of valleys, and by accumulation 
forms glaciers, while in Norway it forms on vast 
table-lands surrounded by mountain peaks, and the 
glaciers escape through the passes which form the 
notches to this mountainous ring surrounding each 
snowy plateau ; accordingly the Norwegian glaciers 
are smaller as compared with their snowfields than 
are those of Switzerland. 

A very beautiful glacier in Fjaerland, the Suphelle 
Brae, is a good example of a type of glacier which 
is also found in Switzerland, though not in so perfect 
a degree as in the present case. It is known as a 
remanie glacier, and is not connected with the snow- 
field, but is formed by the reconsolidation of masses 
of ice precipitated as avalanches from a glacier above. 
A figure of it will be found on Plate VII. of Forbes' 

* FORBSS, J, D., Norway and its Glaciers visited in i8ji, Edinburgh, 


Spitsbergen. — An interesting paper by Messrs. 
Garwood and Gregory on the glacial geology of 
Spitsbergen, to which reference was made in the 
last chapter, gives some details concerning the ice 
of that region which are of interest to the student 
of scenery. Some of the Spitsbergen glaciers are of 
the Alpine type,^ others present examples of what 
is known as the piedmont type, which will be more 
fully noticed when we consider the nature of some 
of the Alaskan glaciers, while others are composed 
of a series of confluent glaciers, for which the authors 
adopt the name "inland ice-sheet," which has been 
used in another sense for the great icy pall which 
covers the interior of Greenland, which, however, they 
prefer to speak of as an " ice-cap." 

The most interesting feature of many of the Spits- 
bergen glaciers is the nature of the termination or 

The ordinary Alpine glacier ends in a tapering 
snout curving somewhat gently down to the base, 
and though this is found in the case of some of 
the glaciers of Spitsbergen, many of them end in 
a vertical face of ice, forming what is known as a 
"Chinese wall," and having an overhanging cornice 
at the top. The authors give reasons for supposing 
that this is due to advancing ice, and that receding 
glaciers have the characteristic Alpine termination. 
The two kinds of ends are seen close together in 

^ The Alpine glaciers, of course, differ from one another in detail, 
and have been spoken of as belonging to the first and second orders. 
There is no essential difference between them except that due to size 
and sometimes to inclination of slope, but there is a marked contrast 
between the large valley glaciers and the small glaciers adherent to the 
slopes and faces of mountains — hanging glaciers, as the latter are 

;■ L- : ■ 


the case of the Booming and Baldhead Glaciers. 
(See the plate.) Baldhead Glacier on the left of the 
plate shows the tapering snout, while Booming 
Glacier has a Chinese wall. Some of the advancing 
glacteifs have beneath the vertical face a talus of 
fallen blcxrks, due to the more rapid advance of the 
upper part of the ice, and the authors show that 
the upper ice moves over the talus, which becomes 
incorporated in the lower part of the glacier; this 
movement, owing to thrusting action, produces 
planes of discontinuity, and so " the glacier advances 
by an •over-rolling' motion, the top layer falling 
to the bottom, and then working upward over other 
fallen masses." They further note that though the 
lower part of the Booming Glacier is advancing, it 
is diminishing near its source, "apparently owing 
to a diminution of the snowfall at its head." Now 
the .upper surface of this glacier is saucer-shaped, 
having a concave cross-section in place of the normal 
convex one, and the authors believe that this shape 
is due to subsidence, "owing to the melting and 
solution of the lower layers of the ice." 

Many of the Spitsbergen glaciers reach the sea 
and give rise to icebergs, as for instance King's Bay 
Glacier, represented in the frontispiece, from a photo- 
graph by Mr. Garwood. The origin of these icebergs 
will be considered when we discuss the nature of the 
Greenland ice-cap. 

Messrs. Garwood and Gregory also notice the 
effect of marine ice as an agent of denudation. 
The effect of land ice in this connection will be 
considered in the next chapter, but it may be re- 
marked here that as a means of polishing and 
striattng rocks, the authors saw no means of dis- 


criminating between the effects of glaciers and those 
of floating ice. 

Baron Nordenskjold describes some remarkable 
features on the inland ice of North East Land, which 
are termed glacier-canals. They have a depth of 
forty feet in places, a breadth of from 30 to 
100 feet, and mostly run parallel to one another, 
with an interval of 300 feet only between adjoining 
canals in places. The walls are very straight and 
steep. Nordenskjold suggests that they are pro- 
duced by faulting of the ice, due to alternate 
contraction and expansion of the ice owing to 
changes of temperature.^ 

Alaska, — Some of the Alaskan glaciers are of the 
piedmont type, and have been described by Messrs. 
I. C. Russell and H. P. Cushing.^ The Muir Glacier, 
described by Gushing, lies east of Mount Fairweather, 
and ends in the Muir Inlet of the Pacific Ocean. 
It lies in an amphitheatre, partly surrounded by a 
semicircle of mountains, from which icy tributary 
glaciers of the Alpine type pour, and give rise to a 
great mass of nearly inert ice— the piedmont glacier — 
having a breadth of from twelve to over fifteen miles. 
As it approaches the inlet it is narrowed, and the ice 
is forced through a gap less than three miles wide. 
The inert ice is slowly rotting where it lies, and is 
extremely smooth. Some of the tributaries are also 
inert ; for instance, the Dirt Glacier, the lower part 
of which is completely covered with debris. Two 
valleys, namely. Main Valley and Berg Valley, 

^ The Arctic Voyages of Adolf Erik Nordenskfold^ 1858-1879; 
London, 1879, p. 258, and figure on p. 259. 

2 Russell, I. C, ThirttevUh Annual Rtpori of tU U,S. Geological 
Surveyy and Gushing, U. V., Amtrican Geologic, v'i^v^ 


contain ice in an extremely remarkable state, perhaps 
foreshadowed by the upper part of Booming Glacier 
in Spitsbergen. The glaciers occupying these valleys 
are retreating at the heads instead of at the snouts 
of the ice, the ice of Main Valley terminating ab- 
ruptly, and holding up the waters of a lake which 
occupies the head of the valley (as noticed in 
Chapter XL), though Mount Young, the highest 
mountain in the immediate vicinity, dominates the 
valley head. Similarly the glacier in Berg Valley 
holds up the waters of Berg Lake. The medial 
moraines of these glaciers stretch right up to the 
ice-cliffs overlooking the lakes, and there is therefore 
no doubt that the ice once extended upwards and 
has retreated from the valley heads. 

The Malaspina Glacier, described by Russell, is 
also a piedmont glacier, supplied by tributaries 
descending from the Mount St. Elias range. The 
average length of the glacier is from twenty to 
twenty-five miles, but it has a breadth of about 
seventy miles and an approximate area of 1500 
square miles. It consists of a nearly horizontal 
plateau of ice, the central portion being free from 
moraines and deeply crevassed, and having a broadly 
undulating surface. It possesses three principal 
lobes, each being a piedmont expansion of a large 
tributary glacier, and the lobes are separated by 
medial moraines. Part of the ice reaches the sea 
and forms icy cliffs, from which bergs break off, 
but other parts are separated from the ocean by 
a plain covered by glacio-marine, fluvio-glacial, and 
glacial deposits, occupied by dense forests, and pitted 
with morainic lakes. 

The end of the Malaspina Glacier is largely covered 


with debris, due to spreading of morainic material in 
the way previously described, and also to ablation. 
Some parts of this moraine-covered portion of the 
glacier are clothed with dense forests and under- 
growth of alder, spruce, huckleberry, ferns, etc. It 
is only on the inert or stagnant ice that these forests 
grow. They extend in places to a distance of four 
to five miles from the edge of the ice, and in many 
places the ice below them is not less than looo feet 

The inert, and partly inert ice of this glacier is 
drained by an extensive system of englacial rivers, 
forming caverns in the ice, which sometimes become 
choked with debris, an occurrence of considerable 
importance to the geologist. As the ice melts on the 
surface, portions of these caverns may be exposed, 
while intermediate portions are still arched over, 
showing tunnels of ice. 

Mr. Garwood has subsequently observed these en- 
glacial rivers on the ice of Spitsbergen, and I am 
able to give a reproduction of a photograph of one 
of these in the accompanying plate. 

It is interesting to notice that since glaciation 
commenced in the region, earth movement, accom- 
panied by faulting, has occurred to such an extent as 
to raise portions of the glacio-marine deposits to a 
height of over 2000 feet above sea-level. These 
elevated parts (the Chaix Hills) projecting through 
the ice, furnish admirable illustrations of the typical 
mountain forms produced by the erosion of running 

Greenland. — The great surface of inland ice of 
Greenland, long known in a general way, has been 
moxQ carefully studied ot xec^tv\. ^^»xs. by Torell, 



Nordenskjold, Nansen, Chamberlain, Peary, and 
Drygalski, among others ; but a systematic explora- 
tion has been undertaken by a Danish Commission, 
and the results published in a valuable series of re- 
ports, entitled Meddelelser om Grbnlandy from which 
most of the following account is abstracted. 

The inland ice or ice-cap of Greenland is estimated 
to occupy an area of about 20,000 square miles. It 
appears to form a gently sloping plateau, the in- 
clination of which, away from the coast, seldom 
exceeds i** for any distance, so that the surface 
usually appears as a plain, as is well shown by Dr. 
Nansen's transverse section, drawn to true scale 
between Umivik and Ameralik Fjords. (See plate 
at end of volume li. of The First Crossing of Green- 

As is well known, no rocky "divide" marks the 
centre of the country along the line of traverse taken 
by Nansen ; on the contrary, nothing but snow and 
ice was seen after leaving the rocks of one coast 
until those of the other were sighted, and the extreme 
purity of the surface of the ice in other places where 
it has been explored leads one to suppose that a 
rocky " divide " is absent elsewhere. Next to extent 
of ice, the absence of superficial morainic material on 
the Greenland ice (save under exceptional circum- 
stances to be noted presently) forms the great 
contrast between it and that of the glaciers of a 
country like Switzerland. The surface of the ice 
is also in many places free from crevasses for con- 
siderable distances, and accordingly the superficial 
rivers of the Greenland inland ice often attain a great 
size and volume, and when they do form moulins 
these are of exceptional magnificence. W^t^ vs^ "a. 


description of this superficial drainage from Baron 
Nordenskjold's pen.^ 

" At a short distance from our turning-point we came to 
a large, deep, and broad river flowing rapidly between its 
blue banks of ice, which here were not discoloured by any 
gravel, and which could not be crossed without a bridge. 
As it cut off" our return, we were at first somewhat dis- 
concerted ; but we soon concluded that ... it must at no 
great distance disappear under the ice. We therefore pro- 
ceeded along its bank in the direction of the current, and 
before long a distant roar indicated that our conjecture was 
right. The whole immense mass of water here rushed 
down a perpendicular cleft into the depths below. We 
observed another smaller, but nevertheless very remarkable 
waterfall the next day. . . . We saw, in fact, a pillar of 
watery vapour rising from the ice at some distance from 
our resting-place, and, as the spot was not far out of our 
way, we steered our course by it in the hope of finding — 
judging from the height of the misty pillar — a waterfall 
still greater than that just described. We were mistaken ; 
only a smaller yet tolerably large river rushed down from 
the azure-blue cliffs to a depth from which no splashes re- 
bounded to the mouth of the fall ; but there arose instead, 
from another smaller hole in the ice, in the immediate 
vicinity, an intermediate jet of water mixed with air, which, 
carried hither and thither by the wind, wetted the surround- 
ing ice-cliffs with its spray. We had thus here, in the 
midst of the desert of inland-ice, a fountain, as far as we 
could judge by the descriptions, very like the geysers which 
in Iceland are produced by volcanic heat." 

On this expedition Nordenskjold discovered a dust 
of volcanic material on the surface of the ice, ac- 
companied by a brown polycellular alga and other 

1 Nordenskjold, A. E., loc, cit.^ p. 167. 


microscopic organisms. The powder, which he called 
kryokonite, and the accompanying organisms form 
" a most dangerous enemy to the mass of ice," owing 
to the part which they play on the surface-melting. 
" This plant (the alga) has no doubt played the same 
part in our country; and we have it to thank, perhaps, 
that the deserts of ice which formerly covered the 
whole of Northern Europe and America have now 
given place to shady woods and undulating corn- 

Towards the coast the mountains gradually appear 
above the ice, first as islets of rock (nunataks) pro- 
jecting through the icy surface, lastly as con- 
tinuous ridges separating the fjords, into which the 
ice is finally discharged, as tongues which become 
greatly fissured, broken up, and finally carried away 
as icebergs. The ice towards its termination is often 
fairly steep, though even then usually gently inclined 
as compared with the surfaces of many Swiss glaciers. 
In the region of nunataks the surface of the ice is 
much fissured by transverse and longitudinal cre- 
vasses, depending, like the crevasses of Swiss glaciers, 
on inequalities of the bed of the ice ; and where the 
ice can move in fan-shape, as in the case of the 
tongfue known as the Frederikshaab Glacier, the 
crevasses are radial and tangential. Many very 
striking coloured illustrations of the Greenland 
crevasses are given in various numbers of the 

Of the various nunataks which have been described 
the most interesting are those of Jensen, situated 
about forty-five miles inland, to the east of the 
Frederikshaab Glacier. They form the summits of 
mountains having a height of about 5000 feet above 


sea-level, and as the ice here is nearly as high, only 
the summits project. It is of interest to note that 
even these isolated pinnacles are partly clothed with 
a characteristic arctic vegetation, twenty-six species 
of plants having been found upon them, including 
Oxyria renformis^ Saxifraga oppositifolia. S, cemua^ 
S, nivalis, Papaver nudicaule, Draba alpina, Silene 
acaulis, Cerastium alpinum var, lanatum, and Poten- 
tilla nivea. 

The ice is piled up on the inland side of the 
nunataks, like water on the higher side of a stone 
projecting above a river-surface, and a current of ice 
sweeps round each side of the rocky barrier, some- 
times leaving a hollow below the barrier, which 
becomes filled with water, giving rise to a lake. 
Small tongues of ice are forced through the passes 
or cols between adjacent nunataks, and end on the 
ice below. At the junction moraines are found, often 
showing a crescentic outline (as well seen in the 
nunataks of Dalager, not far from those of Jensen, 
but nearer the coast). These moraines are of interest 
on account of the general freedom of the Greenland 
ice from moraine material, but also because their 
character shows that they are portions of the moraine 
profonde brought to the surface in exceptional cir- 

In some of the Greenland ice-masses, as well as in 
those of Spitsbergen, stratified material is enclosed 
in the ice, and, owing to the differential movement 
of the ice, becomes faulted and also folded in a 
remarkable way, sometimes recalling the bands of an 
agate, as shown at the termination of the Njarartor- 
suak glacier in the fjord of Umanak, figured in 
Piatc III. of t\\e Fo\\n\vY^x\.ol >l\v^ McddeCefser. 


Where the Greenland ice does not reach the sea, 
but terminates on low ground, the country between it 
and the sea often consists of a plain of fluvio-glacial 
deposits, presenting an extremely dreary aspect, a 
remark which may also be made of similarly formed 
plains in Spitsbergen. At other times the plains are 
due to accumulation of glacio-marine deposits, as, for 
instance, a portion of that traversed by Nanscn at 
the head of the Ameralik Fjord after he had de- 
scended from the inland ice at the conclusion of his 
adventurous journey across Greenland. 

We may here discuss the mode of formation of ice- 
bergs, which break off glaciers in many places where 
the latter reach the sea, as off parts of the Malaspina 
Glacier, off many of the Spitsbergen glaciers, as shown 
in Garwood's photograph of King's Bay Glacier (sec 
frontispiece), and especially off the tongues of ice 
which project into the Greenland fjords. 

It is now unquestionable that the fracture of the 
ice to form icebergs does not always take place 
owing to the same causes. In some cases, when 
the glaciers are terminated by a vertical face, fracture 
of the emerged part of the ice occurs, and gives rise 
to small icebergs, which fall with a splash into the 
water. In other cases, however, as in the ice of 
Jacobshavn Fjord, owing to the buoyancy of the ice, 
the ice of the central parts of the glacier floats on 
the water, and gradually becomes broken up along 
lines of crevasses, giving rise to a great quantity of 
icebergs. Some of the bergs of Jacobshavn Fjord 
were measured by Hammer. The highest was about 
350 feet above sea-level, or more than 1 50 feet higher 
than the upper edge of the glacier where it reaches 
the sea. Others were about half this height. 


It IS well known that when the berg is in a state 
of stable equilibrium, by far the greater part of its 
mass is below the level of the water. The proportion 
of the submerged part to that above sea-level differs 
according to the nature of the water, whether it is 
salt or fresh, and according also to the character of 
the ice. The proportion of emerged and submerged 
ice in the case of frozen sea-water floating in sea- 
water, is about I : 5*3, but that of glacier-ice in 
sea-water is approximately i : 9. Accordingly ice- 
bergs may easily be stranded on shoals, even where 
the water is of some depth, hence the mass of icebergs 
which are often found stranded on the banks of 
Newfoundland, and on the shoal water which exists 
between the east coast of Greenland and Iceland. 

The submerged parts of bergs melt much more 
rapidly than the emerged portions, and accordingly 
icebergs frequently capsize after the submerged part 
has been considerably melted. As the melting often 
takes place in an apparently capricious manner, this 
partly accounts for the fantastic forms which are 
often assumed by icebergs. 

Huge as are the icebergs produced by the 'calving' 
of the Greenland ice-tongues, they are far exceeded 
in size by the great tabular icebergs which are shed 
from the almost unknown ice-cap of the Antarctic 
regions, one of which has been recorded with a 
circumference of two miles. 

We may conclude this chapter with a few remarks 
upon the colour of snow and ice. The white 
appearance of snow, and of rough ice, is due to 
reflection of the sun from innumerable surfaces, and 
pure transparent ice, like water, is blue, as seen in the 
crevasses and mouWns ot ^^c\^x?», ^V^x^ \i\& vc-^ is in 


a state of purity, and is not broken up. The surface 
of snow and ice is often grey, owing to accumulation 
of dirt, which naturally increases in amount as 
evaporation or melting progresses. In some cases 
ice has a green tint, as described by Forbes in the 
case of the crevasses of the ndvd of the Viesch 
Glacier, and Garwood informs me that the crevasses 
of some of the icebergs of the Spitsbergen seas also 
exhibit a green hue, which must be due to some 
unexplained condition of the ice. Lastly, there is 
the red snow, due to the occurrence of an alga 
{Protococcus nivalis) upon the surface of the snow. 
This often colours extensive tracts of snow, and is 
especially noticeable when fresh snow has fallen over 
the coloured snow, and anyone treads through the 
new snow and exposes the coloured snow beneath, 
giving rise to the appearance of flesh-coloured foot- 
prints upon the white surface. 


ONE cannot learn much of a watch by an inspec- 
tion of its outer case, and similarly the work 
of existing glaciers is, to a large extent, concealed by 
the mass of ice beneath which much of the work is 
being carried on. I have, therefore, left the con- 
sideration of the products of erosion of ice, and of 
many of the effects produced by deposition and ac- 
cumlation due to ice, to be taken up when we proceed 
to an examination of areas once occupied by ice, 
from which the ice has receded. It is true that 
many of the effects which we now have to consider 
may be noted at the termination of Alpine glaciers ; 
but as they can also be observed, often on a more 
imposing scale, in regions more easily accessible to 
us than that of the glaciers of Switzerland, and 
especially than those of the ice-sheets of Spitsbergen 
and of the inland ice of Greenland, it is convenient 
to call attention to them when describing the results 
of glaciation in regions from which the ice has long 
since vanished. 

The occurrence of an Ice Age, or Glacial Period, 
in times which are geologically recent is so well 
known, that it needs no further reference here save 
to remark that, owing to its recency, our country and 
other glaciated areas had already acquired physical 



features differing in no essential respect from those 
which they possess at the present day ; and accord- 
ingly the influence of ice has been of minor import- 
ance from a scenic point of view, merely modifying 
here and there the main scenic features of an area 
which have been produced owing to the operation 
of other agents. 

Sig^s of vanished glaciers in Britain were first 
detected by Agassiz before the middle of the present 
century, and his conclusions were afterwards verified 
by Dean Buckland. These signs may be considered 
under two heads, namely, features due to erosion, and 
those due to accumulation. 

Glacial Erosion, — The signs of glacial erosion arc 
very characteristic, and, in ordinary circumstances, 
readily recognisable. It is, however, even now a 
subject of dispute as to whether ice is or is not a 
very potent factor in producing erosion ; and although 
it is easy to point to evidences of the erosive action 
of ice, no example can be cited which would be 
indisputably regarded as one of glacial erosion on a 
very extensive scale. 

The main results of glacial erosion are the round- 
ing, smoothing, polishing, and striation of pre-exist- 
ing rough surfaces. These results are due to the 
passage of ice charged with rock fragments of various 
sizes, from large boulders down to the finest particles 
of dust, over its rocky bed. Owing to the great pres- 
sure, the rocks of the bed become ground down and 
smoothed, and if capable of receiving a polish, the 
fine particles of matter carried by the ice act like 
emery-powder, and produce a more or less polished 
surface. The angular grains of quartz score fine 
striations on the rock-face, and owing to the pressure 


and steady advance of the ice these striae are usually 
of great regularity, many of them frequently running 
parallel to one another, and each being straight, as 
though formed with a ruler. Larger fragments of 
rock produce larger grooves, sometimes several inches 
in depth and width. 

When a mass of rock projects above the surround- 
ing ground, the ice of a glacier is pressed against 
the side facing the direction from which the ice 
comes, and this side undergoes the rounding and 
smoothing processes. The other side is protected, to 
some extent, from the action of the ice by the actual 
mass of rock, and the ice passes over it without 
rounding or smoothing it. This immunity from 
erosion may be increased by the accumulation of 
fragments broken from the other side, on the lee 
side, and these may act as a cushion protecting the 
rock beneath from the action of the ice. Further- 
more, as Mr. P. F. Kendall has pointed out, the ice 
on the lee side tends to tear away fragments of rock 
from the parent mass, owing to the existence of 
divisional planes, as planes of stratification and 
cleavage, and especially of jointing, in the rock. 
Accordingly a projecting rock, after being acted on 
by a valley glacier, will be rounded and smoothed on 
the side facing the head of the valley, and rough and 
fractured on the side facing the lower end of the 
valley, as shown in the accompanying diagram, in 
which the dotted line indicates the original irregular 
rocky mass, and the continuous line the outline which 
results from glacial erosion. (Fig. 39.) Rocks which 
have been subjected to glacial erosion, and have as- 
sumed this appearance, are known as roches vtou- 
tonndes, and show the most characteristic effects of 



glacial erosion. The upland valleys of the hilly 
districts of our own country — of Cambria, Cumbria, 
and the highlands of Scotland, for example — show 
these roches moutonnies in a very striking manner, 
and the experienced eye looking down the valley will 
readily note the contrast between the smoothed and 
rounded rocks of the valley floor, and lower parts of 
of the valley sides, and the jagged, frost-riven rocks 
of the intervening ridges and upper portions of the 
valley sides ; so that there is no difficulty in ascer- 
taining the height to which the ice extended in the 

Fig. 39. 

case of a valley in which the effects of glaciation 
have not been removed by subsequent denudation 
by streams and atmospheric agents. It follows from 
what has been said concerning the nature of roches 
moutonn^eSy that this contrast will not be marked by 
one looking up the valley, who is confronted with the 
rough lee sides of the same roches moutonnies. The 
nature of these ice-worn rocks will be seen in many 
of the figures illustrating an article originally written 
for Peaks ^ Passes, and Glaciers, by the late Sir 
Andrew Ramsay, and subsequently published separ- 
ately under the title of The Old Glaciers of Switser- 
land and North Wales, where also the other effects of 
glacier action are admirably described. 


The tearing action noticed on a small scale at the 
lower ends of roches moutonnees appears to be produced 
on a much larger scale in the case of soft rocks, huge 
fragments of these being torn from the bed of the ice 
and transported for some distance, and in this way 
irregular hollows of considerable size may be formed. 

Though the power of ice as an erosive agent has, 
as above remarked, been variously estimated, there 
is no doubt that the valley glaciers which once occu- 
pied our upland regions did little more than round 
off the minor irregularities of the original rocky 
surface. Pre-glacial escarpments may be often seen, 
as, for instance, in the beautiful little valley of Cwm 
Glas, on the side of Snowdon, and on the plateau in 
which Sprinkling Tarn nestles on the north side of 
Scawfell, where the original shape of the cliff formed 
by weather and stream-action is distinctly preserved, 
and the action of the ice has been merely that of 
sand-paper, rounding off the edges of the pre-existing 

Insignificant as the action of ice has been in many 
places in directly producing erosion, the indirect 
influence due to the large volume of water which 
escapes from the glaciers, and especially the angular 
nature of the material with which the water is 
charged, must not be overlooked, Daubrde called 
attention to the angular nature of the grains of sand 
with which glacier-streams are charged. This must 
materially increase the corrasive action of the glacier- 
streams, and it is no doubt owing to it, as suggested 
in the eleventh chapter, that those narrow, tortuous 
gorges known as "roflas" are so frequently formed 
by the streams of glacier regions. 

Another interesting result of water-erosion in a 



district occupied by glaciers is the "giant's kettle," 
which resembles a pothole produced by a river, but 
is often on a larger scale, and is frequently found in 
spots where ordinary river potholes arc not formed. 
The giant's kettle is formed at the base of a moulin, 
and is the continuation downward into the rock of 
the shaft penetrating the ice. It is produced by the 
gyration of stones carried down the moulin by the 
glacier-stream, and owing to the height of the fall 
these giants' kettles are often of great depth. The 
well-known glacier garden of Lucerne exhibits them 
in great perfection, and instances are not unknown in 
our own country, though they are often partly de- 
stroyed by subsequent denudation, and still more 
frequently filled up, partly by the stones which caused 
their formation, more particularly, however, by the 
material which has been subsequently introduced. 

Glacial Accumulations a7id Deposits, — The accumu- 
lations and deposits which are due to ice are often 
of very considerable importance, on account of the 
effect which they produce on the scenery of a district. 
The upland valleys of our own country are often 
marked by the moraines which have been left behind 
on the retreat of the ice, in the way described in a 
previous chapter. The lateral moraines are naturally 
cut up, to some extent, by the streams which flow 
down the hill-sides, but the terminal moraines are 
frequently seen, often presenting the characteristic 
crescentic outlines, and consisting of hummocks com- 
posed of incoherent sand, gravel, and boulders, 
usually covered with vegetation. Special mention 
may be made of the moraine by the side of Llyn 
Llydaw, on Snowdon, of some extensive moraines in 
Greenup Gill and in the Rosthwaite alluvial flat in 


Borrowdale, Cumberland, and more particularly of 
a moraine occurring beneath a crag, called Wolf 
Crag, on the northern slope of the Helvellyn range, 
which was formed by a small corrie-glacier. This 
moraine, which was noticed by the late Mr. Clifton 
Ward, is the most perfect moraine which the writer 
has seen in this country, and it is well worth a 
visit by those who are interested in glacial action. 
Along the summit of it runs the old hill-road from 
Patterdale to Keswick, and it may easily be reached 
from the latter place. 

It has been noted in another chapter that moraine- 
like accumulations may be formed at the foot of a 
corrie by the sliding of material down snow-slopes, 
and that moraines may be, to some extent, simulated 
in other ways. 

Another very interesting effect of glaciation is the 
deposit of isolated blocks of rock, often of large size, 
on the summits and sides of prominent elevations. 
As the ice gradually recedes these blocks are left 
stranded in places where they could not have rested 
unless gently deposited. They are known as perched 
blocks, and produce a very marked effect upon the 
scenery of some valleys. They are especially notice- 
able in the Pass of Llanberis, and it is somewhat 
remarkable, as pointed out by Ward, that they are 
comparatively rare in the Lake District. Many of 
them occur, however, around Scawfell, especially on 
the plateau below Great End. 

Away from the regions formerly occupied by valley 
glaciers we find extensive accumulations of glacial 
origin, known as boulder-clay or till. This boulder- 
clay usually consists of a clayey or sometimes of a 
sandy matrix charged with angular and subangular 


fragments (the latter often striated) of various sizes, 
and the accumulation usually shows no signs of 
stratification. Some of it is undoubtedly the result 
of the melting of inland ice, and the deposit of the 
material carried beneath, within, and in some cases 
above the ice, upon the ground formerly occupied by 
that ice. In other cases it may be a glacio-marine 
deposit Occasionally it has been laid down as 
ridges, locally known as drumlins, but it often forms 
an extensive deposit, the upper part of which is 
roughly parallel to the original surface of the ground, 
though minor inequalities are often concealed owing 
to excessive accumulation of material within them, 
and on account of this, as previously shown, exten- 
sive changes in the direction of our river-drainages 
have been brought about, and lakes have also been 
produced in many cases. 

On account of the character of the boulder-clay, it 
frequently illustrates the nature of water-erosion, oc- 
curring subsequently to its formation, in a very 
marked manner. This is beautifully shown along 
the Yorkshire coast, especially when boulder-clay 
rests upon the chalk. The chalk has been worn 
away along dominant planes of stratification and 
jointing, but the more homogeneous boulder-clay 
above has been carved into little hills and ridges, 
showing the characteristic curves of water-erosion, 
and the ridges are so sharp that they imitate on a 
small scale the aretes of an alpine region. 

The existence of ridges of incoherent material 
which has been accumulated upon the original 
surface, is very frequent in a region which has been 
subjected to former glaciation. Two kinds of ridges 
have already been noted, namely, the moraine and 


the drumlin. Other ridges consist of stratified 
deposits of sand and gravel, and are spoken of 
variously as kames, eskers, and asar, and to these 
we must now direct our attention. The terms kame 
and esker have been applied somewhat loosely to 
various kinds of ridges of stratified material, some of 
which are almost certainly of fluviatile origin, formed 
as ridges between two adjacent rivers, often, no doubt, 
emanating from a retreating ice-mass. Others, how- 
ever, cannot be explained in this way, and though 
an attempt has been made to show that they are 
of marine origin, all the evidence is against this 
mode of their formation. Eskers of this nature are 
specially well - developed in the central plain of 
Ireland, and they resemble in all respects except 
size the asar of Scandinavia, They frequently 
ramify, and the tributary eskers join the main ones 
as the tributaries of a river join the main stream. 
Again, they often show the tortuous course of a 
river, sometimes possessing actual loops. The steep 
inclination of their sides, the general slope of the 
strata at the sides in a direction parallel to the 
surface of the ridge, and the frequent existence of 
erratic blocks of glacial character on their summits 
and sides, forbids the supposition that they were 
produced by ordinary rivers, and suggests formation 
by rivers which were confined at the sides by steep 
walls which have since disappeared. Again, they 
frequently run across irregularities of the ground, 
sometimes actually traversing the present valleys 
at right angles to their general directions, and 
passing over the intervening ridges which separate 
the valleys. For these and other reasons Hummel 
maintained that they were the result of accumulation 


in englacial streams, and Professor Soil as has sub- 
sequently applied this view to account for the 
principal eskers of the central plain of Ireland,^ 
and it is certainly supported by the recent exam- 
ination of the Malaspina j^lacier, which induced 
Russell to adopt the same explanation, which, 
indeed, accounts for all the peculiarities of cskcr- 
formation and distribution. 

The filling of hollows by boulder-clay is a potent 
factor in giving rise to a plain surface, as the result 
of the spread of boulder-clay over a pre-existing 
irregular surface ; and the deposit of fluvio-glacial 
materials forms a still more pronounced plain. 
Reference has already been made to plains formed 
in this manner in extra-British territories, but it is 
a moot point how far some of our flats have been 
produced by levelling of irregular surfaces by 
fluvio-glacial deposit as opposed to true glacial 
deposits, whether terrestrial or marine. There is no 
doubt that some of the minor flats of an upland region 
owe their character to the accumulation of fluvio- 
glacial deposit, but the late Professor Carvill Lewis 
maintained that much of the boulder-clay of the 
Eastern and Midland Counties of England was also 
of fluvio-glacial origin, a view which, though not 
generally accepted, has by no means been disproved. 

One other possible result of glaciation may be 
noted. It is well known that many plants which 
are found in alpine regions are still found lingering 
in the upland regions of Britain. Among them may 
be mentioned Saxifraga oppositifolia, Gentiana verna, 
G. nivalis^ Silene acaulisy and Lloydia serotina. Any- 
one who has seen the first-mentioned plant on the 

* SOLLAS, W. J., ^ci. Trans, Roy. Dublin Soc.y ser. 2, vol. v., p. 786. 


rocks of some of the recesses of Snowdonia, occurring 
in great patches, with its reddish-purple flowers spread 
over a considerable space in the early spring, or who 
has seen the blossoms of the spring gentian, with 
their exquisite blue colour, lighting up the slopes 
of Teesdale, will admit that these flowers produce a 
distinct effect upon the scene. It has been maintained 
that these plants were distributed through the interven- 
ing lowlands during the cold of the Ice Age, and that 
on the amelioration of the climate they, disappeared 
from the lowlands, but lingered on in the uplands. 
This explanation has, perhaps, not been completely 
proved to be the true one, but it may be mentioned 
as a possible cause of the existence in Britain of a 
group of plants which exercises a strange fascination 
on the mind of the botanist and of the lover of 
mountain scenery. 



APART from the play of colour upon the surface 
Xm. of the ocean, and the variety presented by the 
appearance of that surface, at one time glassy calm, 
at another ruffled by the wind, or churned into foam 
or spin-drift by the tempest, the effect of the present 
oceans in influencing scenery is confined to the coast- 
lines which form the ocean margins, and to these we 
shall have to direct our attention more particularly. 

Still water has comparatively little effect in chang- 
ing the character of the surrounding land. A little 
chemical solution of rocks no doubt takes place, but 
it is a change which may be neglected for our present 
purposes, and we must devote attention to the 
changes which result from the ocean movements. 
These movements are of three kinds, namely, waves, 
tides, and currents, and each plays its part in modify- 
ing the scenery of the earth's surface, waves being 
specially effective as agents of erosion, while tides and 
currents play the chief part in transporting material 
which has already been eroded. 

It is of importance to our inquiry that we should 
obtain some notion of the true nature of a wave, and 
a few words must, therefore, be here devoted to this 
topic. A wave has been defined as "a system of 
movements in which the several particles move to 

V 32« 


and fro, or round and round, about definite points, in 
such a manner as to produce the continued onward 
transmission of a condition or series of conditions." 
The reader will notice that the condition or con- 
ditions are transmitted and not the particles. This 
is well illustrated when the wind is blowing over a 
hayfield or cornfield. The onward movement of the 
waves is clearly seen, but it is equally clear that the 
particles composing the blades of grass or com do 
not move on with the waves, each one returning to 
its place after a wave has passed. Again, a cork 
floating on the sea bobs up and down as the wave 
passes, but there is no onward movement of the 
cork, if it be floating where the water is deep some 
distance from the land. As a matter of fact the cork 
does not merely bob up and down, it describes a 
circle, and a similar circle is described by a particle 
of water on the surface during the passage of a wave. 
A complete wave consists of a trough in front and 
an arch behind, and a wave-length is the distance 
from the crest of one arch to the crest of a succeeding 
one, or from any point on one wave to that point 
on the adjoining one which is moving in the same 
manner, while the amplitude of the wave is the 
vertical distance from the level of the wave crest to 
that of the wave trough. Supposing a particle to be 
situated in the centre of the front slope of an 
advancing arch of the wave. This particle moves 
forward through a quadrant of a circle till it is 
situated on the summit of the crest, it then moves 
backward through another quadrant, until situated 
in the centre of the hinder slope of the advancing 
arch, still backward through another quadrant, until 
at the bottom of the trough of the succeeding wave, 


and then forward through a fourth quadrant, which 
places it in the centre of the forward slope of the 
advancing arch of this wave ; it has now moved 
through a circle and reached its initial position. 

Ordinary sea-waves are produced by wind blowing 
on the surface, and owing to the friction the water 
is thrown into a series of undulations, which may 
travel onwards beyond the area in which they were 
produced, with ever diminishing intensity ; they are 
then known as ground-swell. Tidal waves, due to 
the action of the sun and moon, differ from wind- 
waves in their length, which is enormous as compared 
with their amplitude, and accordingly particles are 
moved in flattened ellipses, and considerable forward 
and backward movements of bodies of water occur 
as tidal currents. When a tidal wave enters a 
narrow estuary the arch of the wave is forced forward 
upon the trough, giving rise to a bore or Jegre, which 
breaks upon the shore of the estuary, and accord- 
ingly exercises effects comparable with those of 
wind-waves, which will be presently discussed. These 
bores are well known in many parts of the world, the 
best known being those of the Bay of Fundy in 
Nova Scotia, the Hooghly in north-western India, and 
the Severn in our own country. When the tidal wave, 
thus influenced by the shape of the coast, attains 
different heights in two adjacent tracts of water 
united by narrow straits, the difference of level is 
atoned for by a current flowing through the straits 
from the higher to the lower tract of water as a 
race. As the tract which has the highest tide has 
also the lowest, the direction of the race is reversed 
with change of tide. The eddies produced along the 
coasts in a race give rise to whirlpools like the well- 


known Maelstrom, and when the race is moving 
against a wind the resultant waves are of exceptional 
size and violence. 

Ocean currents are produced in various ways. 
Some, as already stated, are due to diflferences in the 
height of the tide in adjoining areas. Others are 
marked by differences of saltness of adjoining tracts 
of water depending upon greater evaporation in one 
place than another, as in the case of the surface 
current flowing to the more saline waters of the 
Mediterranean from the less salt Atlantic Ocean, 
through the Straits of Gibraltar, or upon slight evapo- 
ration which cannot remove the excessive amount of 
fresh water poured in by rivers, as in the case of 
the surface current which flows out of the fresher 
Baltic to the more saline North Sea. The principal 
oceanic currents which flow upon the surface are, as 
is now generally agreed, due to surface winds. A 
temporary wind produces a temporary current, a 
periodical wind a periodical current, and a permanent 
wind a permanent current. All of these currents 
are important as transporting agents, which carry 
denuded material from one place to another. 

Having briefly considered the nature of the prin- 
cipal agents of marine denudation, we may now turn 
to an examination of their effects. The principal 
work is the destruction of coast-lines and the re- 
moval of this material (as well as of that which is 
produced by the agents of subaerial denudation) to 
other places, where it is deposited. 

The most effective agents in denuding the coast- 
line are the waves of the sea. It has been seen that 
in the open ocean the effect of a wave is to give a 
particle a circular motion and to restore it to its 


original position when the wave has passed. As the 
wave reaches shallow water the lower part of the wave 
is retarded by friction against the bottom and the 
upper part moves over it, so that we find actual 
onward translation of particles of a wave, whether an 
ordinary wind- wave or one which belongs to the 
ground-swell, and the upper part is often carried 
forward until it breaks at the crest, causing a 
" breaker." Any solid matter suspended in the water, 
as a grain of sand or a pebble, likewise acquires this 
motion of translation, becoming hurled forward, and 
it is on account of these fragments of rock being 
hurled against the coast-lines that much of the 
waste of the coast is produced. 

One often hears persons speaking glibly of waves 
running "mountains high," but, as a matter of fact, 
the greatest height attained by wind-waves does not 
appear to exceed fifty feet in the open ocean, though 
when the waves break masses of foam and splashes 
of water are frequently carried to heights of over 
100 feet " During north-westerly gales the windows 
of the Dunnet Head lighthouse, at a height of 
upwards of 300 feet above high-water mark, are said 
to be sometimes broken by stones swept up 
the cliffs by the sheets of sea-water which then 
deluge the building."^ 

It is also important for us to have some idea of the 
depth below the general surface of the water to 
which the influence of these sea- waves extends. The 
reason why this is important will appear in the 
sequel, in the meantime it may be stated that the 
wind-wave is a superficial phenomenon. Although 
there is evidence of gentle movement being ^rodvic^d 
' Gbikis, Sir A., Texi Book of Geology y yd tdkvoxL, ^. e^TH « 


by waves to a depth of over 600 feet, the distance 
below the surface at which waves can produce 
appreciably erosive effect on hard rock is probably 
very much less than this, and various statements 
made by engineers seem to indicate that at a depth 
of considerably less than 100 feet the erosive effect 
of waves is practically unimportant. 

The force of the waves has also been calculated 
in many cases. " A single roller of the ground-swell, 
twenty feet high, falls, according to Mr. Scott 
Russell, with a pressure of about a ton on every 
square foot. Mr. Thomas Stevenson conducted 
some years ago a series of experiments on the 
force of the breakers on the Atlantic and North 
Sea coasts of Britain. The average force in summer 
was found in the Atlantic to be 611 lbs. per square 
foot, while in the winter it was 2086 lbs., or more 
than three times as great. On several occasions, 
both in the Atlantic and North Sea, the winter 
breakers were found to exert a pressure of three 
tons per square foot, and at Dunbar as much as 
three tons and a half"^ 

In considering the effect of waves, the influence 
of the comparatively rare, but exceptionally large, 
earthquake waves which sometimes break upon 
coasts must not be forgotten. They no doubt 
largely assist the work of erosion in regions subject 
to earthquakes. 

That waves hurled against the coast-line with the 
force which has been indicated above must produce 
great destruction is obvious. Nevertheless, the 
destruction is largely due, not to the water itself, 
but to the solid matter which is held up by the 

^ GklVLlE., ^vt K., loc. cit. 


water. This solid matter, which normally forms a 
beach, is not always present ; the mode of its 
arrangement as beach-material will be considered 
eventually. Where it is absent, as, for instance, 
where the sea coast plunges suddenly down into 
deep water, comparatively little erosion by wave 
action may be produced. 

An ideal uplift, as has been observed, would 
consist of a tract of land having a convex surface 
sloping from the centre seaward, and the curve 
would be continued below sea-level ; there would be 

Fig. 40. 

no sea-cliff. In Fig. 40,^ let the line ab represent 
part of such a land, s s being sea-level, and X X the 
height above which the waves could not act The 
waves, charged with sand and pebbles, would 
gradually wear away the land as shown by the 
dotted lines, causing the upper part to overhang. 
(They would also wear away material below sea- 
level to the depth at which their erosive action 
became ineffective, but this action we may for the 
present ignore.) The overhanging portion could not 
be prolonged indefinitely, and eventually the upper 
part would fall away, giving rise to landslips In 
nature it is usually removed more gradually, for 
reasons which will presently be stated. When the 
overhanging part opq had fallen and been washed 
1 The lines X X and s s should be VkonioiiXaX Vcv \3tit ^^ivt. 


away, a sea-cliff, op r, would be produced, and the 
process would go on as before. If, therefore, the 
action of the sea-waves alone produced cliffs, we 
should expect to find a coast-line marked bycliffs^ 
which overhang above the base in places, while in 
other places, where the material had fallen and been 
removed, there would be no overhanging. Now an 
overhanging cliff is comparatively rare, and it is 
obvious that some other operation or operations 
besides the action of the waves are concerned with 
the erosion of coast lines. 

A good illustration of an overhanging cliff, under- 
cut at the base by the waves, has recently been 
furnished by Mr. C. W. Andrews in Christmas 
Island, an island in the Indian Ocean. "The shore 
terrace slopes gently down from the foot of the first 
inland cliff to the sea-cliff, which is from fifty to 
eighty or more feet high, and is often undercut by 
the waves to a remarkable extent, so that it some- 
times overhangs more than twenty feet."^ 

On examining sea-cliffs we soon find that the out- 
line of the cliff is largely determined by the nature and 
trend of the divisional planes by which the rocks are 
affected, especially the planes of stratification, and 
more particularly the joints. When the joints are 
inclined seawards a cliff is formed sloping towards 
the sea (Fig. 41 a), if the joints are vertical, though 
the cliff will probably not be vertical it will tend to 
consist of a series of steps, portions of which ap- 
proach verticality (Fig. 41 b), while if the joints are 
inclined towards the land portions of the cliff may 
actually overhang. (Fig. 41 r.) 

^ Andrews, C. W., Geographical Journal^ vol. xiii., No. i Qan., 
'^^)> pi 24 ; see also illustrations on pp. 23 and 27. 



The dependence of cliff outline upon joints is thus 
rell exhibited.^ 

As the upper parts of these cliffs are frequently 
bove ordinary wave action, it is clear that their 
utiines at the upper parts are not directly deter- 
lined by this action, and inspection of the cliffs 
all show that in many cases subaerial agents are 
ssponsible for their backward wear. But in addition 
D this there is another process which comes into 
•lay in the formation of sea-cliffs, to which we 
lust briefly refer. The waves themselves wear 
.way material more easily when affected by divisonal 

)lanes than when it is not so affected. Suppose the 
:liff in Fig. 42 has a plane of stratification or an 
lasily denuded stratum j, below high tide level h h, 
ind above the level of low tide. The rock will be 
nore easily denuded along this plane of weakness, 
ind a cavern may be worn out, as shown by the 
jhaded portion c. Such caves will be specially prone 
;o occur where downward joints, traversing the cliffs 
/ertically, coincide with a stratification plane at the 
>ase, and they are very. numerous around sea-coasts, 
[f another joint j be encountered after the cave has 
Deen worn some distance inward, the erosive action 

* On this subject the reader may well consult an article by Sir A. 
^kie on "The Old Man of Hoy," in his Geological Sketches at Home 
md Abroad^ p. 26. 


will be facilitated by it, and an upward extension of 
the cavern will be here formed, as shown by the 
shaded portion c\ This may grow upward until it 
reaches the surface, when during high tide the water 
will be forced up, and issue on the surface of the 
cliff some distance away from the edge as a jet of 
water. This is a blow-hole or puffing-hole, and 
these blow-holes are often found behind high cliffs, 
even some way from the edge. Many of them occur 

Fig. 42. 

round the Irish coast, as indicated in the following 
description given by the late Professor J. B. Jukes in 
his Manual of Geology : — 

" At the promontory of Loop Head, Mr. Marcus Keane 
has observed that considerable blocks of rock have been 
blown into the air on the formation of one of these 
puffing-holes, and that large holes, opening down into 
cavernous gullies, lead from one cove to another, behind 
bold headlands of over a hundred feet in height, showing 
how the land is undermined by the sea, and headlands 
gradually made into islaivd^. Ow^ ^wcVv s^o^axe precipitous 


island, which is now at least twenty yards from the main- 
land, was said by the farmer who held the ground to have 
been accessible by a twelve-foot plank when he was a boy. 
Mr. W. L. Wilson, late of the Geological Survey of Ire- 
land, found in the far part of the promontory between 
Bantry and Dunmanus Bays, dark holes in the fields some 
distance back from the edge of the cliffs, looking down 
into which the sea might be dimly seen washing back- 
wards and forwards in the narrow caverns below. In 
County Kerry, Ballybunnion Head is completely under- 
mined by caverns, into which the sea enters from both 
sides. The whole coast of Clare, and of the Arran Islands, 
is a succession of precipitous cliffs with vertical faces, the 
result of the sea acting on the large cuboidal joints that 
traverse the rocks. The celebrated rocks of Moher in that 
county, which rise with a perfectly vertical face to heights 
of more than 600 feet, afford magnificent examples of the 
way in which the ocean takes advantage of the joint 
structure to cut back into the land, however lofty or how- 
ever hard and unyielding it may apparently be." 

Much of the erosive action above described is due 
to the compression of air, when the waves enter the 
cave at high water. In Fig. 42 the cave c being full 
of water, when a wave comes in, the water in the 
part d rises and compresses the air above, and this 
sudden compression may force off a great mass of 
rock between the joint j and the face of the cliff. 

The dominant joints which run down the face of 
a cliff facilitate erosion, and determine the formation 
of the narrow chimneys which often seam the faces 
of a cliff. 

When a mass of rock juts out as a promontory, 
a cavern may be drilled through this promontory, 
ai}d on enlargement an arch wiW be fotm^^. 'SiXi.O^ 


arches are frequently found on our coast-lines, as for 
instance, on the Durham coast, that of the Isle of 
Wight, and that of Pembrokeshire. If the top of 
the arch falls in, an isolated "stack" or "needle "is 
formed, or the same may be due to the cutting 
through of a promontory along a vertical plane of 
weakness, without the preliminary formation of the 
arch. Examples of this are furnished by the Needles 
of the Isle of Wight, and the more remarkable 
Eh'gug Stacks carved out of the mountain limestone 
of the Pembrokeshire coast 

When the land is composed of soft rocks, sub- 
aerial erosion may produce a gentle slope above, just 
as it does inland, and then the sea-cliff is absent. 
This is seen in many parts of the east coast of 
England, which is largely composed of soft rocks, 
but even these, when devoid of divisional planes and 
composed of stiff clay, may give rise to cliffs, as in 
many places where the coast consists of boulder- 

When the strata dip gently towards the sea, and 
porous strata rest on impervious, the conditions are 
favourable for landslips, just as they are inland, and 
accordingly landslips may and do occur in these 
circumstances, like that which recently took place 
at Sandgate, or the more classic one of Axmouth, 
in Dorsetshire, which produced a very marked effect 
upon the scenery, owing to the way in which the 
fallen mass became fissured and displaced. 

It has been observed that the denuded material 
may or may not accumulate at the margin of the 
land to form beaches. If beaches are formed, their 
existence for some time facilitates erosion, as they 
furnish material v/hvch rcvaiy \^ VvwA^d \yj \ke. ^Na.ves 



against the land behind, but if the amount of material 
which accumulates is excessive, it acts as a break- 
water, and retards erosion, instead of facilitating it 

We have now considered the formation of the 
sea-cliff with its attendant phenomena of chimneys, 
caverns, blow-holes, arches, stacks and needles, 
and are in a position to proceed to a considera- 
tion of the character of coast-lines as a whole 
and the way in which they are partly dependent 
upon the transport of material by the action of 
currents. In order to do this we must pay some 
attention to the mode of formation of beaches, which 
has only been alluded to in very general terms. 
Two important memoirs upon beaches have ap- 
peared, in which the student will find much informa- 
tion concerning their detailed structure, one by 
Dr. G. K. Gilbert, " On the Topographical Features 
of Lake Shores,"^ and the other by Mr. Vaughan 
Cornish, "On Sea Beaches and Sandbanks." ^ 

The first point to notice in the formation of a 
beach is the sorting of the material. It is generally 
known that the coarse material is mainly deposited 
near the shore, and the finer out to sea, and the 
explanation which is usually given to account for 
this is that the fragments are dropped according 
to their size and weight. Though this is true, it is 
by no means the whole truth, and many other causes 
contribute to the sorting, to some of which reference 
must be made, though the student should consult 
Mr. Cornish's paper for full details. When a wave 

1 Gilbert, G. K., Fifth Annual Report of the U.S, Geological 

■ COKNISH, v., Geographical Journal^ vol. xi. (1898V No. <^^ 
p. 52S^ «ad No 6, p, 628, 


breaks upon the shore, the forward velocity of the 
crest of the wave is greater than the backward 
velocity of the under part The latter is often 
spoken of as undertow, though there are really two 
distinct movements. Now if the velocity of the on- 
shore movement be sufficient to carry forward sand 
and pebbles, and that of the off-shore movement be 
sufficient to carry sand and not pebbles, the pebbles 
will be deposited on the beach, and the sand carried 
back. Again, when a pebble-beach is formed, much 
of the water percolates through the pebbles on its 
way back, and is unable to carry pebbles with it 
The sand, kept in suspension for a considerable period 
by eddies, is often carried some way out, and owing 
to its inertia is borne for some distance onward, 
when the current is checked or turned, and settles 
in sandbanks. All the fragments, whether of pebble, 
sand, or mud, are moved while raised from the 
bottom by the eddies which are set up during the 
passage of waves. With the heavier pebbles, the 
period of lifting is short, with sand longer, but with 
mud so long that, according to Mr. Cornish, the mud 
forms an emulsion in the water, and " the transit of 
mud down the slope from the shore is not due to the 
action of gravity," but "the principal factor in de- 
termining the well-known direction of mud-transport 
is the diminution of intensity of bottom agitation 
from the shallows to the depths." 

The cross section of a beach is often very com- 
plicated, small beaches being frequently superposed 
upon the larger ones, but the general profile of a 
beach as seen in cross-section is a flattened sigmoidal 

More important from the s»cetvvc i^vtvt of view than 


the vaijeties of structure of a beach (which are fully 
considered in Mr. Cornish's paper) is the wandering 
of beach-materials along shore, which is determined 
by currents, whether tidal or due to the prevailing 
winds. A wind blowing towards the shore, and not 
at right angles to the direction of the coast, sets up 
a current which, when it reaches the coast, moves 
along it, parallel to its direction and in the general 
direction of the wind which caused it. Owing to 
this current the beach-material is gradually carried 
along the shore, and if the coast-outline is com- 
paratively regular, the pebbles are swept along the 
pre-existing coast-line. When there is a deep in- 
dentation, however, the material is carried onward, 
owing to inertia, and builds up a shingle spit, which 
may be eventually carried right across a bay and 
convert it into a lagoon, or may be carried from 
mainland to island, or vice versa, or both, eventually 
converting the island into a peninsula, as has hap- 
pened in the case of the Isle of Portland, which is 
now connected with the mainland by the Chesil 

It will be seen, therefore, that if conditions remain 
uniform the tendency of the onward travel of shingle 
is to simplify coast-lines by obliteration of the in- 
dentations of the coast, which will usually be found 
on examination to owe their existence to subaerial 
denudation followed by depression. 

Inspection of a map of many areas shows the 
frequent tendency of the coast-line to assume the 
form of a series of concave curves or bays, separated 
from one another by headlands or salient points, 
which are often, though by no means universally, 
formed hy the meeting of two concave cwt\^^, \l ^^ 


examine a map of England, we shall find these con- 
cave curves on a large scale, usually modified by the 
existence of minor bays along the line of each larger 
one. An examination of the geological structure of 
the country points to the conclusion that the larger 
bays were formed when the area was at a different 
level to that at which it now is, but this is a point 
which cannot be discussed here. The concave curve 
of the minor bays is that which produces so very 
marked an influence upon the scenery of many 
seaside localities, and we may briefly consider the 
cause of these concave curves, which are character- 
istic of lake-shores, as shown by Gilbert, as well as 
of those of the ocean. 

The primary cause of alternating embay men ts 
and salient points is to be sought for by an ex- 
amination of the geological structure of the region 
adjoining the coast-line. It is usually found that 
the dominant headlands or salient points owe their 
existence to resistance of the rocks of which they 
are composed to the agents of erosion, while the 
embayments are marked by the occurrence of more 
easily eroded rock in or towards the centres. 
Thus the great bay which extends (modified by 
many a minor indentation) from Cumberland to the 
north coast of Anglesea, has its limiting salients 
formed in the durable rocks of those districts, and 
the centre of the embayment occurs in the soft 
Triassic rocks of Lancashire and Cheshire ; the bay 
extending from the south of Carnarvonshire to Pem- 
brokeshire has its salients formed of the slaty rocks 
which are associated with hard igneous rocks, while 
the centre of the embayment in Cardigan is in rocks 
which are not penetrated \iY v\\e?»^ V^axd vgxeous ribs ; 



and, to give one more example, the bay between the 
Start and the Bill of Portland has its salients formed 
of the hard Devonian rocks on one hand and the 
hard Oolites on the other, while the centre is com- 
posed of soft Triassic, Liassic, and Cretaceous rocks. 

In the case of bays formed in inland lakes, where 
the power of the waves is small as compared with 
that of sea-waves, the formation of the hollows which 
ultimately give rise to bays is often primarily due to 
subaerial erosion (a point which should be taken into 
account when considering the origin of lakes), and 
this is the case to some extent with many bays along 
the sea-coast, though here the action of the waves is 
often sufficient to produce marked erosion in the 
centres of the bays. 

On a small scale, as has already been seen, the 
waves of the sea are capable of fretting the coast 
into irregular shapes, but it is perfectly clear that if 
a soft rock coming to the shore as a narrow strip be 
worn away, a time must come when the indentation 
penetrates so far inland as compared with its width 
that the water will be calm even during storms, and 
accordingly the erosion is checked, until the harder 
rocks on either side are worn away to a sufficient 
extent to allow of further removal of the soft rock, 
and beach material will tend to accumulate in these 
hollowed-out portions ; so that as the result of differen- 
tial wear and of accumulation in places, inequalities 
of the coast-line gradually disappear, and there is 
a tendency to development of a regular curved outline 
between the salient points. ^ 

^ In some cases the salient points are replaced by convex curves, as, 
for instance, that which occurs on the Norfolk coast. A blunted fore- 
land is due to scour off the original poinU 


The action of the on-shore currents may be in 
many ways compared with that of a river, if we 
compare the horizontal action of the former with the 
vertical action of the latter. It has already been 
remarked that in some cases the amount of shingle 
which collects on a foreshore is sufficient to check 
denudation, and there must be a point where neither 
denudation of the land nor deposition of shingle takes 
place. Any pre-existing indentation will produce 
slack-water and cause deposition of shingle, while 
any projection will tend to be cut away and recede 
backward, until eventually a marine denudation curve 
will be formed by deposition in embayments and 
denudation on salient points until equilibrium is 
established. The curve will differ from the denuda- 
tive curve of running water, in being horizontal 
instead of vertical, and will sweep from one salient 
point to another, just as the denudation curve sweeps 
from ridge to ridge. ^ In rare cases the conditions 
are such as to allow of the growth of salient points 
by deposition. They are spoken of as " cuspate fore- 
lands,*' the term foreland being used by American 
geographers to denote the flat ground formed by 
deposition in front of the original coast -line. A 
good example of such a cuspate foreland is Dunge- 
ness, which has been described by Mr. Cornish and 
also by Dr. T. P. Gulliver. ^ 

^ It must be noted that the existence of a stable beach does not 
imply that the land is not undergoing denudation. As Mr. Cornish 
observes, ** The erosion of the sea-bottom seaward of the beach, which 
is really a slow waste of the land, pushes landward the proper and 
stable position of the beach. Thus, unless shingle be supplied in such 
quantity as to produce a shingle ness or foreland, the barrier is not 
fixed in position, although it be stable." 

' GULLlVERj T. P.J Geographical JoHmaU\(la?i^\%<5fl. 


Should a coast be subjected to marine action with- 
out further change, the salients will gradually become 
eroded and the embayments filled, and the curvature 
will thereby diminish, until a state of equilibrium is 
attained. Before this equilibrium has been attained 
it will be approached more closely when other con- 
ditions are similar, if the difference of hardness of 
the rocks is not very marked. 

In a country like our own additional complication 
is introduced by change in the relative level of land 
and sea in comparatively recent times. A movement 
of upheaval will give rise to a simple coast -line 
formed largely of sediment, upon which denudation 
will operate, but our country has recently undergone 
a movement of depression, and this renders condi- 
tions much more complex. Inequalities have been 
produced by subaerial denudation, and the hollows 
excavated by subaerial agents when submerged give 
rise to indentations of the coast which are occupied 
by the sea, and if the indentations are very long they 
may exist for a considerable time before they are 
destroyed or cut off by the formation of shingle 
barriers across the mouths, especially if the water is 
very deep at the mouth. To this cause we owe the 
great indentation of our western coasts, the sea-lochs 
of Scotland, the corresponding loughs of Ireland, 
and the long, winding estuaries of Wales, Devon, and 
Cornwall ; and the fjords of Norway and of Green- 
land are due to the same thing. Many of our 
smaller bays which occur along the line of the larger 
may have been initiated in the same way. 

For instance, on the south-west coast of Anglesea, 
which forms part of the great bay between Holyhead 
and Bardsea Island,^ we find several bays — ^OytwK^e.^'^ss. 


Bay, Aberffraw Bay, Malldraeth Bay, and, I may add, 
Carnarvon Bay — which at present present the normal 
concave curve, but the heads are filled in with shingle 
banks, blown sand, and marsh accumulation, and the 
outline of the original land is so irregular that it 
seems almost certain that it owes its origin to sub- 
aerial action, while in each case an important river 
runs into the bay (except in Carnarvon Bay, where 
the former river is now occupied by the south-western 
part of the Menai Straits).^ 

A few words concerning the formation of sand- 
banks may be of interest on account of the import- 
ance which they play upon the scenery of a coast at 
sunrise and sunset. The condition under which sand 
is deposited has already been briefly noted. Tidal 
movement produces a series of vibrating segments of 
water, which Mr. Cornish believes to be elongated 
ellipses, and nodes occur between the segments along 
which sand is deposited, especially along those nodes 
which separate the ellipses and lie parallel with their 
longer axes, thus producing longitudinal sandbanks. 

^ The origin of Qords is now generally admitted to be due to occu- 
pation by the sea of hollows originally formed by subaerial erosion. 
Various explanations have been offered to account for the original 
formation of the hollows, but any cause which produces a hollow on 
the land will naturally give rise to an indentation of the coast-line 
when that hollow is occupied by the sea. Professor Brogger has 
written an elaborate paper on the Christiania Fjord {Nyt Magazin for 
Natttrvide7iskabeme^ 1886) in which he shows that the fjord lies in a 
broken anticline, affected by faults, which have let down softer rocks 
against harder ones, and that the softer rocks have been eroded by sub- 
aerial agencies in such a way that the major lines of the Qord coin- 
cide closely with the major faults, and in many cases the minor lines 
similarly coincide with minor faults. The same thing is observable to 
some extent on the north shore of Morecambe Bay with its estuaries. 
The coast-lines of the flords of Western Greenland have been lai^ely 
determined by erosion aioikig 0:ie isaC\oi YA!ci\.-\^as«&. 


" Such are the sandbanks parallel to the shore, which 
are numerous off the coasts from Flamborough Head • 
to the South Foreland, and from Calais, at least, as 
far as the Zuyder Zee. These sandbanks are parallel 
to the main run of the along-shore tidal currents." 
Other sandbanks are formed on the lee side of head- 
lands, " of which the Skerries shoal, eastward of Start 
Point, and the Shambles shoal, eastward of Port- 
land Bill," are examples. Mr. Cornish terms these 
"banner sandbanks," inasmuch as they resemble 
cloud-banners in being formed by a moving current, 
their permanence being due to fresh supply of sand 
to compensate for the loss. Sand-bars off river- 
mouths are usually stated to be due to the checkfng 
of the river - current when it enters the sea, but 
Mr. Cornish gives reasons for supposing that the 
action is not quite so simple, and is probably due 
to the motions which attend the mixing of the 

Hitherto we have considered chiefly the action of 
the sea along the actual shore-line, though we have 
noted that there is erosion on the seaward side of 
the beach accumulations. It has already been stated 
that the downward trend of this erosion is limited by 
the depth at which wave-action is efficacious as an 
agent of erosion, and that this depth is slight, 
although it probably varies somewhat according to 
the character of the waves. As the variations will 
not be great in the same locality, the ultimate result 
of marine erosion as the sea encroaches upon the 
land will be to reduce the destroyed land to the 
level at which the waves cannot any longer exert an 
erosive influence, that is to a level of at most a few 
score fathoms beJow the ocean swi^StC^. ?iwOcs. -^ 


levelled tract is known as a plain of marine denuda- 
tion^ and its importance is well known to the geologist 
To us it is important, because if upheaved by a gentle 
and extensive uplift it will give rise to a continental 
plain, thus adding another and very important cause 
to those which we have already considered as respon- 
sible for the formation of plains. 

It has already been noted that the marine deposits 
when laid down, present a fairly level upper surface, 
which may be spoken of as a plain of marine deposi- 
tion, and the upheaval of these plains of deposit 
furnishes yet another class of continental plains. 

Oceanic Islands. — Islands are produced in the ocean 
in various ways. Many of them were originally 
portions of continents which have been separated 
at different times as the result of denudation or of 
depression of intervening tracts, or by a combination 
of the two processes. Others are due to upheaval 
of parts of the sea-floor, which, if continued, may 
result in the coalescence of the island with an adjoin- 
ing continent. Others, again, are due to accumu- 
lation, either of detrital material derived from the 
denudation of continents, or of volcanic matter, or 
of the hard parts of organisms. 

Islands which have been separated from the 
continents present the same features of coast-line 
as do the continental tracts. An island, like a con- 
tinent, when undergoing submergence, is marked by 
fjord-like indentations of the coast-line, if the original 
slopes were steep. In this way has been produced 
the very remarkable shape of the island of Celebes, 
which is the relic of a mass of land of greater 
extent, much of which has been submerged. 

Islands formed by upVv^^N^.V ^x^ <x^a;jAfttvtly found 


along lines of uplift, and run in linear groups, the 
line being often a curved one, with the concavity 
facing an adjoining continent. Such islands are 
known as festoon islands, and are the tops of uplifts, 
which as the process is continued may give rise to 
a continuous tract of land, and finally may be added 
to the adjoining continent. Examples of festoon 
islands are furnished by the West Indies and Japan 
and Sagalien Island. 

Those islands which are formed by deposit of 
material derived from denudation of the land are 
usually low-lying, and are readily destroyed when 
conditions change, allowing of denudation to take 
place where deposition occurred previously. From 
a scenic point of view they are of little interest. 

Islands which are wholly composed of volcanic 
rocks commence as submarine shoals, and if the 
action of the waves is not sufficiently strong to 
check the growth of the volcano above the water 
an island is formed. A large number of oceanic 
islands are of volcanic origin. When a volcanic 
island has been affected by paroxysmal eruptions, 
which have reduced the lower part of the crater to 
a depth below sea-level, and the sea has communica- 
tion with the interior, we may have an island with 
a central lagoon of water communicating with the 
ocean by one channel, as was once, though erroneously, 
stated to be the case with Barren Island in the Bay 
of Bengal ; the Lago del Bagno in Ischia fills an old 
crater, and has been converted into a harbour, but by 
artificial means. Other craters which are filled by 
the sea open to the ocean by several passages, for 
the old crater-ring has had gaps formed in various 
places. Thus the Archipelago oi ?j^xsto\Ycv v^ "^^ 


Eastern Mediterranean consists of the three islands 
Thcra, Therasia and Aspronisi, enclosing a roughly 
circular lagoon, in the centre of which rise the small 
Kaimenis, islands formed by minor cones in the 
middle of the ancient truncated cone, and Krakatoa 
forms a similar ring; consisting of the main island 
and Verlaten and Lang Islands. 

There remain the coral islands, which have always 
exercised a fascination in the minds of travellers and 
those who are interested in scenery, on account of 
their nature and surroundings, and much attention 
has been directed to them during recent years, on 
account of the discussion which has arisen concerning 
their origin. It is unnecessary to enter into any 
detail concerning this discussion in a work like the 
present, all that we can do is to note the general 
characters of coral reefs, and briefly allude to their 
formation. It is well known that three kinds of 
reef are found, which differ in their character. 
Fringing reefs consist of a fringe of organically- 
formed limestone, adhering to the side of an island 
usually composed of volcanic rock. Barrier reefs, 
or encircling reefs as those which encircle an island 
are termed, may extend along part of a continental 
mass, as the Great Barrier Reef which runs for iioo 
miles off the north coast of Australia, or may surround, 
or partly surround, an island. They are characterised 
by the existence of a tract of water often of con- 
siderable depth lying between them and the land 
to which they form a barrier ; when this is an island 
the water between the barrier and the island forms 
a lagoon. Lastly atolls are ring-shaped masses of 
coral surrounding a lagoon, with no island in the 
centre of the lagoon. Th.e tvA^ r£\^.v he^ and often 


IS, very irr^ular, and though frequently approaching 
the form of a circle, often approximates to that of 
an ellipse. These coral-reefs are found only in clear 
seas, and in tropical or sub-tropical regions, and the 
fact that the distribution of reef-building corals is 
limited by temperature is further proved by the 
discovery that reef-building corals have a vertical 
limit ; it was formerly stated that they could not 
flourish at a depth exceeding thirty fathoms, but 
they have been found at a greater depth, and their 
exact downward limit seems to be still undetermined.^ 

The rim of rock which forms the foundation of 
the island, and lies below high-water mark, is largely 
composed of various kinds of corals, both massive 
and branching, but calcareous nullipores also con- 
tribute very largely to its substance in many places. 
The actual islands, which lie on this submarine 
foundation, are composed of fragments piled up by 
the waves to form a beach, and cemented owing to 
the solvent action of percolating water. Between the 
islands are usually a number of passages, in the 
case of barrier reefs and atolls, which connect the 
lagoon with the open ocean. At low water con- 
siderable tracts of coral-rock with a flat surface are 
often exposed and extend some way seawards ; they 
are usually terminated by very steep slopes, often 
extending downwards to great depths. 

As these coral islands often rise from very deep 

* The structure and characters of coral-reefs are described in 
Darwin's Coral Reefs and J. D. Dana's Corals and Coral Islands ; 
beautiful illustrations of the appearance of coral-reefs accompany 
Mr. Savile Kent's work on the Great Barrier Reef; and an account of 
Sir J. Murray's views will be found in a jjaper by him in Nature^ 
vol. xjiii, p. SSI. 


parts of the ocean, and as the reef-forming coral has 
a downward limit not far removed from the surface, 
it becomes of importance to determine how the 
islands were formed. According to Darwin, atolls 
usually commenced as fringing reefs, and owing to 
depression of the island, and the building up of the 
corals in a nearly vertical direction, the outer margin ' 
of the reef gradually grew away from the island, 
and owing to the unfavourable state of the inner 
part of the reef for coral-growth, a lagoon was 
formed. When the island in the lagoon finally sank 
the barrier reef was converted into an atoll. Sir J. 
Murray, on the other hand, supposes that submarine 
platforms are raised by volcanic action and the 
accumulation of the tests of pelagic organisms floating 
in the upper waters of the ocean to the height of 
the downward limit of coral formation, when corals 
begin to build reefs. The inner portions of these 
reefs will be unfavourable to coral growth, and owing 
to this and to solution a lagoon will be formed. 
Fragments broken off by the waves will roll down 
the outer slope and raise portions of it to the 
requisite height for coral-growth, and the reef- 
forming corals will extend outwards upon this 
raised portion. Thus Murray considers that the 
atoll does not grow from a barrier reef, but practically 
commences as an atoll, and that as the outer part of 
the reef expands outwards on the fallen blocks, the 
lagoon also expands by solution — in fact that an atoll 
commences as a small ring, which gradually grows 
in diameter, the width of the actual islets practically 
remaining constant during the process. It must be 
noted that Darwin actually took into consideration 
this mode of formatvotv of atolls^ and rejected it as 


inapplicable to the larger number of atolls on account 
of what he conceived to be the improbability of the 
formation of the requisite number of submarine 
platforms raised to the required height without 
emerging to the surface of the ocean. The relative 
applicability of the two theories to explain atoll 
formation is a matter which is still sub judice^ but 
the words of Professor Huxley, quoted by Professor 
Judd, in a discussion to a recent paper at the 
Geographical Society, probably express the truth of 
the matter. Professor Judd remarked that he had 
been discussing the question with Professor Huxley, 
and that the latter observed, " I am convinced, from 
all that is being done now, that we shall not find 
any simple, easy explanation of all coral-reefs ; that 
the study of coral-reefs is one of the very greatest 
complexity ; that the conditions under which they 
were formed would have varied greatly in different 
cases ; and that one theory of their origin will 
probably not be found to suit all the cases '■ ; and, 
adds Professor Judd, " I think that the experience 
of the last few years will tend to convince everyone 
of the truth of this observation." 

The peculiar scenery of a coral-reef encircling a 
lagoon is dependent upon the dazzling whiteness of 
the beach, formed of broken calcareous fragments, 
upon the contrast between the still waters of the 
lagoon and the surge which breaks on the outer part 
of the reef, and upon the character of the vegetation, 
which soon springs up, owing to the seeds trans- 
ported by the ocean, or probably more frequently 
by birds, which germinate, and grow into plants 
which gradually give rise to a soil capable of 
supporting the luxuriant vegetation vjYvvcVv vs. ^^ 


frequently met with on, and forms so marked a 
character of, these coral islets. 

Raised Sea-Margins. — As the result of uplift, or 
it may be in some cases of the retirement of the 
sea, the features which were noticed in the last 
chapter as characteristic of the action of the sea 
along the sea-coast, are often found some distance 
inland. We meet with raised sea-cliffs, frequently 
pierced by sea-caverns, and in other places with 
raised beaches. Each of these often forms a marked 
feature in the scenery of a district. Beginning with 
the cliffs — raised cliffs may be found on many 
parts of our coast, especially on the western side, 
far removed from the wash of the waves of the 
present ocean. They are frequently separated from 
the present cliff by a nearly flat or gently sloping 
terrace, which may be a plain of marine denudation, 
or a plain of deposition, or one due to the deposition 
of a thin deposit of sediment upon a plain of denu- 
dation. Of this nature are many of the carses of 
Scotland, well seen along the estuary of the Clyde, 
and frequently backed by the old sea-cliffs. When 
surrounding an island these carses give the isle a 
very characteristic appearance, the raised interior 
being surrounded by a low, flat terrace standing 
above a small modern cliff, as in the case of Great 
and Little Cumbrae, on the Clyde estuary. Among 
coral islands raised reefs often take the place of the 
sea- cliffs, and the ancient lagoon may be formed on 
the landward side of these reefs as a depression, 
as recently described by Mr. Andrews in the case 
of Christmas Island.^ 

Raised beaches are very frequent, and often give 

^ Andrews, C. N^., Gfogra|)Hical Journal, loc» cit« 


lise to terraced lines, resembling in general aspect 
those Parallel Roads of Glenroy to which reference 
has been already made. They are frequent along 
the coast of Scotland, often rising terrace above 
terrace to heights of 100 feet above present sea-level. 
In Norway they are frequently seen running in 
parallel lines around the fjords, and a magnificent 
series of terraces is found surrounding the shores of 
the White Sea. Some of the most remarkable of 
these terraces exist in South America, where they 
have been very fully described by Darwin.^ They 
occur, with well-marked features, to heights of over 
300 feet above sea-level, and have been found at 
intervals along the Atlantic coast from Tierra del 
Fuego for a distance of 11 80 miles northward, and 
along the Pacific coast have been traced for a distance 
of 2075 miles. For a length of 775 miles they occur 
on both sides of the Continent in the same latitude. 
In Greenland, again, these raised beaches have been 
described on the western coast, and they are also 
found in New Zealand and in many other areas. 

Marine Vegetation. — The marine algae, which have 
a prevalent olive-brown or olive-green hue, though 
many are red or violet, often produce a considerable 
effect upon marine scenery. At low water our shores 
are often seen to be densely clad with masses of 
algae, and they may be seen waving on the shallows 
when a boat passes over them, many of them being 
buoyed up by the vesicles which they possess. In 
the southern polar seas grows the gigantic Macro- 
cystis pyrifera, which sometimes attains a length of 
over 500 yards. 

In addition to the algae found around the coasts, 
' Geolo^al Odservations^ p. 2^2. 


attached to the sea-bottom, are others which float 
freely in the water, as the well-known Sargassum 
bacciferumy or gulf-weed, of which detached masses 
cover thousands of square miles of the oceans in 
those great central " whirls " of quiet water which lie 
inside, and are due to the circulating masses of 
oceanic water which, in the northern hemisphere, 
move in the direction of the hands of a clock, and 
in the southern hemisphere in the contrary direction. 
The best known of these areas is the Sargasso Sea, 
in the North Atlantic, though similar accumulations 
of "weed" and other flotsam are also formed in 
the Pacific Ocean, and form the home of countless 
animals, some of which are attached to the " weed," 
while others float and swim among it 

Ice in the Ocean, — We have already considered the 
mode of formation of icebergs, and made brief allu- 
sion to the pack-ice of Spitsbergen, but it yet remains 
to make a few remarks concerning this ice and its 
formation. The water on the coasts of Arctic 
regions freezes in winter, and forms a coating at- 
tached to the coasts known as coast-ice. It forms 
on the surface and beneath, and often attains a great 
thickness. Material falls on to it from cliffs, and is 
frozen into it when it forms against beaches, and 
when the ice breaks up in spring it floats away, trans- 
porting this material and depositing it elsewhere. 

Further, the whole surface of great tracts of the 
ocean freezes in the winter in Arctic regions, and 
breaks up on the approach of summer along exten- 
sive lines of fissure, the detached portions floating off" 
as ice-floes. These floes are often formed of g^eat 
sheets of ice reared up edgewise, and piled up one 
on the top of tV\e oVVv^t Vo ^ox\s\ ^^cWv:.^. ll v& this 


Mick-ice which, forced through the narrow straits of 
Spitsbergen and elsewhere by currents and races of 
jreat velocity, and often of considerable constancy 
>f direction, gives rise to those rounded and striated 
•ocks which, in the present state of our knowledge, 
t is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish from 
he rounded, smoothed, and striated rocks which have 
icquired their present shape as the result of the 
lotion of land-ice. 


AN attempt has been made in the foregoing 
chapters to show that the various scenic 
features of the earth's surface were produced by the 
operation of agents, whose mode of action is familiar 
to us. We need not invoke the aid of any 
mysterious force, in order to account for these 
featiires ; allow a sufficient amount of time, and the 
sea will receive enough sediment to supply material 
for the formation of fresh continents, the forces 
which are at work on the earth's interior will elevate 
these sediments above the level of the sea, convert- 
ing them into dry land, and the incessant action of 
the sculpturing tools, of wind, rain, frost, rivers, 
glaciers, sea-waves, and the like, will carve out the 
continents into those shapes whose origin it has 
been our task to consider. The nature of these 
changes and their effects are so clearly understood 
that they have become the ^very alphabet of modern 
geological science, but there is yet much work to 
be done in working out the details, and also in 
discussing the causes of many of the changes. 

As the student of scenery pursues his inquiries 
into the origin of the earth's features, he will find 
that he is led into many by-paths, of whose 
existence he vjas pteNvoxi^V^ wxNajN^xe. Roaming 


among the sand-dunes of the ooast, he is first led 
to inquire how the sand was heaped up to form 
the crescentic ridges, but when he has done this he 
will not be content until he has gained some know- 
ledge of the history of the individual sand-grains, 
and here he will find a story so strange that it seems 
at first well nigh incredible. The grain was perhaps 
brought into existence as a grain long, long ages 
ago, upon the consolidation of a mass of molten 
rock deep down within the bowels of the earth. 
The crystalline forces which called it into being 
were capable of giving it a shape as definite as the 
form of a living organism, but the conditions were 
perhaps unfavourable for the assumption of that 
shape. Ages roll by, and the grain is locked up 
in the earth's interior, until the slow upheaval of 
part of the crust, and the removal by denudation 
of the exterior of that crust, expose it upon the 
surface. Acidulated water may corrode it, fragments 
of it may be chipped off during its passage down 
some river to the sea, and it may be deposited in 
its altered form at the sea- bottom, perhaps to be 
uplifted and again denuded time after time. In its 
present state on the dune it may become rounded 
by friction against other grains when blown along 
by the wind, until it has been materially reduced 
in size. We can destroy it now, as a grain of sand, 
by immersing it in an acid which will dissolve silica 
— it would be killed — but if we do not thus destroy 
it the crystalline forces which called it into existence 
may act upon it at some future time under circum- 
stances favourable to its completion as a crystal of 
definite outline. After long ages of unfavourable 
existence it will then have attained \\.s ^>iC^ ^\avN*(^, 
a A 


and its decay may be prolonged through ages as vast 
as those which have been required for its growth. 
There are thus many analogies between the growth 
and decay of a crystal and the growth and decay 
of an organism ; but how insignificant is the period 
of duration of the organism as compared with that 
of the crystal ! Another grain we may discover 
composed of a fragment of an organism, or fragments 
of many organisms, and we are thus led to inquire 
into the life of the globe in past times. We may 
discover that the apparently structureless limestone 
which, after accumulating to a thickness of thousands 
of feet on the ocean floor, has been reared up and 
sculptured into mighty hills and strange pinnacles, 
is a mosaic composed of particles so small that they 
can only be seen beneath the microscope, and yet 
each particle consists of the exquisitely ornate shell 
of a lovely creature which once existed in a long- 
departed ocean. We thus learn that the present 
earth-features are but records of a brief period ; that 
past periods have succeeded one another before the 
present, each marked by features of the earth's 
surface, in many respects similar to those which are 
at present in being, but each probably characterised 
by something belonging to the period, which never 
occurred before and will never occur again. One is 
thus led to pass in review in one's imagination the 
whole of the earth's history, from the time when 
the earth was a formless nebula, to a later period 
when it was a molten mass ; yet later, when, though 
solid, it was a lifeless desert ; and so through the long 
ages of geological time until one arrives at the 
contemplation of the present condition of things. 
And the future"? TVv^ ^<5io\o^vat Vvas no direct 


evidence of the beginning of things. When the first 
sediments of which we have any certain knowledge 
were deposited, the condition of the earth had in 
many ways approximated so nearly to existing con- 
ditions that we feel that the time that had elapsed 
before this was enormous as compared with the time 
which has since passed by, vast as this must be. 
And, as the geologist has no direct knowledge of 
the beginning of things, he sees no signs of an 
approaching end; he turns to the physicist and 
astronomer for information of the death of the earth 
as of its birth. But he sees no reason for supposing 
that that death is imminent ; the earth's surface may 
be sculptured and upheaved through long aeons of 
time to come before the end. 

But let us leave this subject of geological time, 
a subject so awe-inspiring that the brain reels when 
contemplating it too closely, and turn to take a last 
look at the condition of things as they now are. 

We have noted a difference in the operation of the 
dominant agents which give rise to the varied scenic 
features of the earth's surface, when we study different 
parts of the earth's surface. The desert, the sea- 
coast, the arctic uplands, the river-plain, each has its 
own particular features. Now some of these features 
are due to climatic conditions, and we accordingly 
find definite types of scenery which are apt to occur 
in similar latitudes. We may divide the earth's 
surface into seven belts, namely, the tropical belt, the 
north and south sub-tropical belts, the north and south 
temperate belts, and the arctic and antarctic belts. 

Commencing with the tropical belt, we find that 
Its characteristic features are largely dependent upon 
the excessive rainfall, which is due to >j£\fe ^^"^ 


evaporation caused by the sun's heat in equatorial 
regions. This rainfall, combined with the heat, is 
favourable for the growth of luxuriant vegetation, 
and accordingly the tropical zone is specially marked 
by its extensive forests, and these in turn, for reasons 
which we have already given, tend to produce a 
certain sameness of outline in the country, which is 
not greatly diversified by the work of erosive agents, 
as is the case with countries which are not so 
extensively covered with vegetation. 

Many people have exaggerated ideas of the beauty 
of tropical vegetation, and I am tempted to quote 
Mr. A. R. Wallace's descriptions of the tropical 
forests of South America :^ "The beauty of the palm- 
trees can scarcely be too highly drawn ; they are 
peculiarly characteristic of the tropics, and their 
varied and elegant forms, their beautiful foliage, and 
their fruits .... give them a never-failing interest 
to the naturalist, and to all who are familiar with 
descriptions of the countries where they most abound. 
The rest of the vegetation was hardly what I 
expected. We found many beautiful flowers and 
cHmbing plants, but there are also many places which 
are just as weedy in their appearance as in our own 
bleak climate." And again, " A few forest trees were 
.... in blossom ; and it was a truly magnificent 
sight to behold a great tree covered with one mass of 
flowers, and to hear the deep, distant hum of millions 
of insects gathered together to enjoy the honeyed 
feast. But all is out of reach of the curious and 
admiring naturalist. It is only over the outside of 
the great dome of verdure exposed to the vertical 
rays of the sun that flowers are produced, and on 

* Wallace, A. R., Travels on the Amazon^ chaps, i. and ii. 


many of these trees there is not a single blossom to 
be found at a less height than a hundred feet. The 
whole glory of these forests could only be seen by 
sailing gently in a balloon over the undulating 
flowery surface above; such a treat is perhaps re- 
served for the traveller of a future age." 

It is in the sub-tropical belts, as has already been 
stated, that the main deserts of the earth's surface 
occur, and present characters which have been con- 
sidered in the chapter devoted to the desert-regions. 
It is not to be supposed that the whole of the 
sub-tropical regions are occupied by desert, any more 
than that the whole of the tropical belt is covered by 
forest-growth, but when the physical conditions are 
such as are necessary for the existence of deserts, 
the sub -tropical climate specially favours desert 

In these desert regions, the operation of agents in 
a dry way is very marked, and the scenic features are 
largely due to change of temperature, and the action 
of wind. 

In the temperate belts, the climate is of a nature 
specially suited for cultivation, and accordingly it is in 
these regions that man has most thickly congregated, 
and has produced most influence upon the scenery 
of the earth's surface, owing to the modifications 
brought about by his labours. In these belts, owing 
to the abundant rainfall, denudation is usually carried 
on in the wet way, especially by streams and rivers, 
but, owing to the less dense growth of vegetation, as 
compared with that of tropical regions, the effect of 
denudation is to produce greater superficial inequali- 
ties than those which are carved out in the forest- 
clad belt on either side of the equator. 


In the arctic and antarctic regions, the scenery is 
essentially affected, so far as sculpture is concerned, 
by the action of frost It is in these regions that the 
house-roof type of mountain with straight sides is 
carved out with greatest frequency. 

The above remarks concerning the influence of 
climate have been inserted, because we are too prone 
to consider the physical features of our own area 
to be typical of those which are found elsewhere, 
and to overlook the fact that climatic conditions 
play so important a role in the production of scenic 
features that different belts of the earth's surface 
have different kinds of scenery, partly due directly 
to difference in the character of the vegetation, and 
partly indirectly to the same difference, but partly 
also to the difference in the relative importance of 
the different denuding agents as sculpturing tools. 

Allusion has just been made to the influence of 
man in modifying the scenery of the earth's surface. 
Perhaps too marked a contrast has been drawn 
between the work of man and of other animals in 
affecting the appearance of the outer surface of the 
globe, as indicated by the use of the expression 
** natural " scenery, and by talk of" artificial " changes 
made therein ; some writers indeed speak of the 
work of man as though it generally tended to mar 
the aspect of a country. When speaking enthusias- 
tically to a Scotch boatman of the beautiful hill 
scenery of the north end of the Isle of Arran, I was 
at first somewhat surprised at his remark that I 
should see the flatter south end with its cornfields ; 
I was not prepared for the influence of contrast 
with the normal surroundings, in determining a 
n's ideas of what is beautiful. Anyone who had 


journeyed long in a desert region would no doubt 
be more profoundly affected by the sight of the 
cultivated fields of our own country, with the rustic 
cottages nestling here and there among their orchards, 
than by the finest "natural" scenery in the world. 
Nevertheless, one would regret the obliteration of all 
"natural" scenery, even if it were replaced by a 
harmonious substitute, due to the labours of man. 
Much more does one regret the mutilation of a 
district rich in natural beauty, by works which pro- 
duce a feeling of discord — works which are often 
wrought, not for the general advantage of man, but 
for the sake of benefiting the pockets of greedy 
speculators to the extent of a few pounds. And yet 
this mutilation of some of the fairest scenes of our 
own country has proceeded, and is proceeding, un- 
noticed save for the words of regret of a few lovers 
of Nature, whose protests are, alas ! unheeded by the 
great mass of our countrymen. America has its 
National Park set aside for ever, as a thing of beauty, 
owing to the far-sighted intelligence of its legislators. 
We too have our exquisite jewels of natural beauty, 
jewels so exquisite that they are prized not only by 
hosts of our own countrymen, but by others who 
come from afar to gaze at them. Devon and Corn- 
wall, Wales, the Highlands of Scotland, and perhaps, 
above all, the Lake District of Cumberland and West- 
morland, are glorious possessions of the English 
people, where the jaded dweller in towns may find 
an exceeding great peace. Do we appreciate these 
as we should ? Alas ! the very stones cry out against 
us. The two lakes of Llanberis, things of beauty at 
a time within the recollection of the present genera- 
tion, are now receptacles of slate rubbvs\\, ^^\x^c\s.^ 


from the adjoining hills^ which are marked by scars 
that cannot be eflaced till long ages have rolled by. 
One of the most beautiful upland hollows of Wales, 
which nestles under the glorious precipice of Snow- 
don, has been sadly despoiled for the sake of a few 
pounds of copper ore ; the curv^ed bays of Thirlmere 
— effect of wave-lapping along the beach for many a 
long day — are replaced by angular indentations of 
the banks of a reservoirj made to supply the thirsty 
folk of a large town. This conversion of lake into 
reservoir is justifiable on the ground of necessity, but 
who can look without indignation on the unsightly 
heaps of slate refuse which have sullied the beauty 
of that fair valley which was the chosen home of 
Wordsworth ? 

The library of Alexandria was burnt down, and 
men Have not ceased to bewail its loss, though the 
chief thoughts of men which were embodied in its 
tomes have doubtless been since recorded. The work 
of nature is being daily mutilated, and men look upon 
the havoc with indifference. Man can here destroys 
but he cannot replace. Ages ago the almost 
structureless masses of jelly living in a bygone 
ocean, built up an exquisite mosaic of rock, formed 
with almost inconceivable slowness. Other ages pass 
away, and the delicate graving tools of Nature carve 
out this rock into spiry pinnacles and impending 
cliffs, wreathed with ivy and roses and many another 
plant Then comes man, and with a few pounds of 
gunpowder destroys this work of ages in a moment, 
and the white cliffs of Derbyshire are marked by 
a hideous, indelible scar. 

Will this go on always, and will the English people 
look on with indifference while their glorious heritage. 


due to the toil of Nature's servants through the count- 
less aeons of geological time, is slowly but surely 
squandered ? Let us hope not ; let us rather believe 
that the time is now at hand when the national im- 
portance of the question of our natural scenery will 
be fully appreciated, and when the study of natural 
scenery 'Will be looked upon as one of the most 
beneficial of our means of education. 


Ablation, 289. 

Accumulation, Mountains of, 55. 

Acid rocks, 99. 

^Egre, 323. 

Agassiz, A., 31 1. 

Aiguilles, 91. 

Aitken, J., 32. 

Alkali deserts, 265, 270. 

Alluvial cones, 137, 142. 

flats, 132, 196, 233, 235. 

Alpine type of mountains, 62, 63. 
Andrews, C. W. , 328. 
Antecedent drainage, 144. 
Anticline, 14. 
Anti-cyclone, 43. 

Asar, 318. 

Ashes, Volcanic, 225. 
Atmosphere, 29-45. 
Atolls, 344, 346, 347. 
Attributes of scenery, 2-7. 
Avalanches of rock, 196. 
of snow, 279. 


Bad Lands, 256, 269. 

Ball, J., 30. 

Barchanes, 262. 

Bars, 341. 

Basalt, 99. 

Base-line (of erosion), 84, 86. 

Basic rocks, 99. 

Basin (of strata), 14. 

Bays, 192, 193, 335. 

Beaches of lakes, 188, 194, 265. 

sea, 332-335- 

raised, 348. 

Beaver-dams, 164. 

Beheaded rivers, 142. 

Belloc, E., 196. 

Bergschrund, 285. 

Blanford, W. T., 145, 244, 262. 

Blocs perches, 316. 

Blow-holes, 330. 

Bonney, T. G., 186. 

Bore, 323. 

Boulder-clay, 316-319. 

Breakers, 325. 

Broads, 165. 

Brcigger, W. C, 340. 

Browne, G. F., 157. 

Buckland, W., 311. 

Buttes, 247, 256, 258, 259. 


Calderas, 217, 218. 
Ca&ons, 129, 259. 
Carses, 348. 
Cascades, 150. 
Caves, 153-157. 

in glaciers, 291, 302. 

Sea, 329, 330. 

Chinese walls, 298. 
Cinder-cones, 213, 214. 
Circumdenudation, Mountains of, 

Cirques, 75. 
Cirrus, 33, 37, 38. 
Cleavage-planes, 18. 
Cliffs, Subaqueous, 190. 

of erosion, 193. 

Sea, 327-332. 

Climate, Effect of, 355-358. 
Clints, 108, 246. 
Clouds, 31-45. 

Classification of, 32. 

Collingwood, W. G., 22. 




Colour, Effect of, 4. 

in the sky, 29. 

of lakes, 198-20 1. 

of ice, 308. 

Cols, 75-77. 

in meteorology, 43. 

Columnar structure, 103. 

Combes, 75. 

Consequent river-systems, 139. 

streams, 121. 

Continents, Structure of, 46-54. 
Contraction theory, 47. 
Coral-islands, 344-348. 
Cornish, V., 260, 276, 333, 338- 

Corrasion, 81-84. 

Lateral, 130. 

Crater lakes, 181, 188. 
Craters, 214-219. 
Crevasses, 286-289. 
Cumulus, 33, 34. 
Currents of ocean, 324. 
Cushing, H. P., 162, 185, 300. 
Cuts-off, 165. 
Cwms, 75. 
Cyclones, 40-43. 


Dana, J. D., 345. 

Darwin, C, 345, 349- 

Daubree, A., 314. 

Davis, W. M., 97, 121, 124, 139, 

142, 145, 147. 
Davy, Sir H., 199, 204. 
Dawkins, W. B., 152. 
Deeley, R. M., 282. 
De la Beche, Sir H., 115. 
Delabecque, A., 158, 163, 170, 

171, I73» I75» 181, 182, 184, 

186, 191, 196, 200. 
Deltas, 236-238. 

of lakes, 1 94- 1 96. 

Denudation, 70. 

Processes of, 80. 

Derivative rocks, 9. 
Deserts, 248-271. 
Desor, E., 172. 
Dewar, J., 30. 
Dip-slope, 124. 
Dirt-bonds, 295. 

Diversion of river-drainage, 140- 

Dolomite mountains, 108, 109. 
Domes, Drainage of, 78. 

Volcanic, 211. 

of strata, 14. 

Drumlins, 217. 
Dry deltas, 137, 168, 196. 
Dunes, 260-264, 270. 
Dutton, C. E., 212, 218, 220. 
Dykes, 100. 


Earth-pillars, 128, 129. 
Earthquakes, 229, 230. 
Ellis, W., 222. 
Englacial rivers, 302. 
Escarpments, 124. 
Eskers, 318. 
Etangs, 164. 
Everett, Professor, 266. 

Falaises, 164. 
P'an-structure, 63. 
Fata morgana, 202. 
Faulted mountains, 65-69. 
Fault-planes, 17. 

Influence of, 109. 

Fens, 239-241. 

Firn, 281. 

Fissure-eruptions, 224, 225. 

Fjords, 236, 339. 

Fletcher, G., 282. 

Floating islands, 198. 

Floe-ice, 350. 

Fluvio-glacial deposits, 294, 307. 

Folded mountains, 59-65. 

strata, 14. 

Foliation- planes, 19. 

Forbes, J. D., 167, 281, 284, 

285, 295, 297. 
Forel, F. A., 158, 191, 199, 200, 

Forelands, 338. 
Frost, 89, 90, 92, 272-274. 
Fuljes, 263. 



Garwood, E. J., 175, 274, 283, 

298, 299, 302. 
Geikie, Sir A., 92, 164, 224, 266, 

269, 325* 329. 
Gemmellaro, M., 120. 
Geysers, 226, 229. 
Giants* kettles, 315. 
Gilbert, G. K., 60, 69, 71, 122, 

139, 140, 143, 145, U7, 178, 

179. 182, 252, 254, 333. 
Gilpin, W., 119. 
Glacier-canals, 300. 
Glacieres, 157. 
Glaciers, 279-320. 

Movement of, 284. 

Remanies, 297. 

Erosion by, 311-315. 

Glacier-tables, 294. 

Gorges, n8. 

Granite, 99. 

Gregory, J. W., 165, 166, 177, 

283, 298, 299. 
Gulliver, T. P., 338. 
Guthrie, Professor, 205. 


Heim, A, 62, 180. 
Herschel, J., 34, 
Hoar-frost, 273. 
Hogbacks, 14, 64. 
Holmes, W. H., 259. 
Hopkins, W., 287. 
House-roof structure, 90, 254. 
Howard, L., 32. 
Hummel, D., 318. 
Huxley, T. H., 347. 


Ice, 272-320, 350, 351. 
Icebergs, 307, 308. 
Ice-cap, 298. 

of Greenland, 303-307. 

Ice-sheet, 298. 
Icicles, 275. 
Igneous rocks, 9, 98. 
Inclination of slopes, 1 14-1 1 7. 
Isbmds in lakes, 197, 198. 

Islands, Oceanic, 342^348. 

Volcanic, 343, 344. 

Coral, 344, 348. 


Joint- planes, 16. 

Judd, J. W., 179, 18 r, 205, 208, 

211, 347. 
Jukes, J. B.,330. 


Kames, 318. 
Kendall, P. F., 312. 
Kent, S , 345. 
Kettle-holes, 159. 
Kornerup, A., 90, 91. 
Kryokonite, 305. 


Laccolite, 60, 100. 
Lagoons, 335, 344. 
Lakes, 158, 202. 

without outlet, 265. 

Lamination, Planes of, 12. 

Landslips, 163, 230, 332. 

Lapworth, C, 48, 62, 207. 

Lava, 219-221. 

Lewis, H. C., 319. 

Ley» C., 33-35, 44. 

Limestone, Influence of, 107-109, 

Livingstone, D., 92. 
Llanos, 243. 
Lochs, Sea, 339. 
Loess, 264. 
Lubbock, Sir J., 186. 
Lyell, SirC., 118, 120, 128, 132, 

150, 176, 219, 238. 


Mallet, R., 205. 

Massive eruptions, 224, 225. 

Master-joints, 16. 

McMahon, A. H., 263, 264, 266. 

Medanos, 262, 



Medlicott, H., 145, 244. 

Meres, 159, 174, 186. 

Mesas, 247. 

Melamorphic rocks, 10. 

Mill, H. R., 158, 184, 189, 193. 

194, 197. 
Miller, S. H., 239. 
Milne, J., 96, 213. 
Mirage, 202, 266. 
Moels, 87. 
Monadnocks, 147. 
Monoclinal faults, 66. 
Monocline, 14. 
Moraine lakes, 159. 
Moraines, 292-295, 306, 315, 316. 
Mortillet, G. de, 183. 
Moulins, 290, 303. 
Mountain-range, 62. 
Mountains, 55-112. 

of deserts, 254. 

Movements, Effect of, 7. 
Mud-volcanoes, 229. 
Murray, Sir J., 345. 


Nansen, F., 303. 

Needles, 332. 

Neulinge, 260. 

Neve, 281. 

Nimbus, 33. 

Nordenskjold, Baron A. E., 300. 

Nunataks, 305, 306. 

Oases, 270. 

Obsequent streams, 124. 
Oceans, 46-54, Z^i-ZS^- 
Oldham, R. D., 180, 185. 
Osier, A. F., 33, 36. 
Otley, J., 198. 
Outcrop, 13. 
Overfault, 66. 
Overfold, 66. 

Pack-ice, 350. 
Pampas, 243. 
Parallel roads of Glen Roy, 162. 

Parasitic cones, 219. 
Passes, 75-77. 
Peat-mosses, 171, 197, 235. 
Penck, A., 173. 
Peneplains, 97, 247. 
Perched blocks, 316. 
Piedmont glaciers, 298, 300, 301. 
Plains, 231-243, 319, 342. 
Planation, 145. 
Planes of lamination, 12. 
Planes of stratification, 12. 
Plateaux, 231, 243-247. 
Polders, 243. 
Ponding, 143, 176. 
Potholes, 118, 153. 
Powell,;. W., 67, 145, 244. 
Prairies, 243. 
Puffing-holes, 330. 
Puys, 219. 
Pyramidal hills, 1 10. 


Quartz-veins, 109. 

Race, 323. 
Ramsay, Sir A. €., 115, 176, 183, 

Reclus, E., 236. 
Reefs, Coral, 344-348. 
Reid, C, 153. 

Richthofen, Baron von, 210, 264. 
Rivers, erosion of, 80, 232. 

Deposits, 232. 

River-terraces, 234. 

Roches moutonnees, 312, 313. 

Rock-basins, 181-187. 

Rock-structure, 11. 

Influence of, on denudation, 

Rock-texture, ii. 
Roflas, 172, 314. 
Ruskin, J., 3. 4i 6, 19. 
Russell, I. C., 178, 300. 


Sand-banks, 334, 340, 341. 
Sand-dunes, 260-264, 270. 



Sand-pillars, 266. 

Sand-storms, 266. 

Sandstone hills, 105-107. 

Savannahs, 243. 

Schist-hills, 104, 105. 

Scott, R. II., 33, 34, 45, 274, 276. 

Screes, 90, 96, 168, 196. 

Scrope, G. P., 1S2, 204, 211, 212. 

S-curve (of rivers), 131. 

Selvas, 243» 

Septum (of fold), 48, 49. 

Shales, Influence of, 107, 134. 

Sheets (of igneous rock), 100. 

Shores, of lakes, 188, I9I-I97- 

Sigmoidal folds, 66. 

Sills, 100. 

Sinter- terraces, 228, 229. 

Size, effect of, 3. 

Skertdbly, S. B J., 239. 

Slate-hills, 105. 

Smith, E, A., 177. 

Snow. 275-279. 

►*— Cornices of, 276. 

Red, 309. 

SnowflakeSj 273, 
Snow-line, 277. 


Spencer, J. W., 179, 190. 

Spring, Professor, 200, 201. 

Springs, 73. 

^^ Hot, 226-229. 

Slacks, 332. 

Stalactites, 155. 

Stalagmite, 155. 

Steenstrup, K, J. V., 288. 

Steppes, 264. 

Strahan, A., 119. 

StratiBt^tion-pl&nes, iz* 

Stratified rocks, 10, 

Stratus, 33. 35-37- 

Slriation (glacial), jn, 312, 351. 

Subsequent streams, 121. 

Superiaduced drainage, 144. 

Sift-allow-holes, 153, iS4i >73« 

Symmetrical mountains, 64. 

Syncline, 14. 

Tarai, 243. 
Tarns, 166. 
Temced hills, 103. 

Terraces, River, 234. 
Texture, Effect of, 7. 
Thalweg, 126. 
Thunderstorms, 44. 
Thrust-faults, 66. 
Till, 316. 
Tors, 103. 
Transportation, 81. 
Tundras, 243. 
Turbary, 197, 235. 
Tyndall,J.,24, 34, 287. 


Uinta type, 64. 
Unconformity, 51. 
Underground rivers, 152-157. 
Unsymmetrical mountains, 64. 
Upheaval, Mountains of, 55, 58- 

Valleys, 1 13-157. 

Classification of, 113. 

Vallot, J., 196. 

Vegetation on mountains, ill, 

in lakes, 197, 235. 

on deltas, 238. 

of fens, 240, 241. 

in arctic regions, 243. 

of deserts I 267-270. 

on glaciers, 301 304, 309. 

on nunataks, 306. 

alpine, 319. 

marine, 349, 350. 

Verglas, 274, 
Volcanoes, 203-230. 

Mud, 229. 

V-shaped depression, 43. 
Vulcanicity, Causes of, 203-210. 


Wadys, 259. 
Wallace, A. R., 356. 
Waltershausen, S. von, 218. 
Walther, J., 253-258, 260. 
Ward, J. C, 102, 184, 316. 
Warming, E., 270. 



Warpmg, 175. 

Waterfalk, 147-152. 

Watersheds, 52, 54, 71-80. 

Watts, W. W.. 169. 

Waves, 321. 

— - Erosion by, 324-332, 337. 

Weathering, 81. 

Weed, W. H., 228. 

Whirlpools, 323. 

Whymper, E., 114, 208, 209. 

Wilkes, Lieatenant, 218. 
Wind, Action of, 93, 182, 219. 
Wordsworth, W., 3, 5, 6. 


Xerophiloos plants, 268. 

Zeugen, 256, 257. 








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Crcmn Spo. £ack Vfflumei <lctk 31, net ; leather 45. 6d. net. 
Messrs. Methuen have in preparation an editionof those novels of Charles 
iMckens which have now passed out of copyright, Mr. George Gissing* 
whose critical study of Dickena m both sympathetic aad acytej has writteo an 



Introductioti to each of the books, and a very attractive feature of this edition 
will be the illustrations of the old houses, inns, and buildings, whlcli Dickeoi 
described, and which have now in many instances disappeared under the 
touch of modern civilisation* Another valuable feature will be a series d" 
topographical and general notes to each book by Mr. F. G. Kitton, The bookt 
will be produced with the greatest care as to printing, paper and binding. 

The first volumes are : 

THE PICKWICK PAPERS. With Illustrations by E. H, Nnw. Twb Vdumes. 

'As pkas^mt a i^opy us suiy one could desire. The botes add much to the value of Lhe 

edUioa, axid Mr. New's ilJustn^tians nre also hittoricaL The vQlmnes pronu&e ndt 

for tihe saccess of the vdlliQTi^'^Sc&isman* 

Wat xtttlc Xibrat^ 

'The voluiDes are compact in size^ printed on thin but good paper in clear typek 
prettily and at the sasic time strongly bounds and altogethef good to Eook up«i ttfit 
handle- ' —£?(*//(?(?** 

Pcit Sm?. Each Vciumef cloth is, Sd. fuf^ Uatker 2J, 6d. net, 

Messrs. Ma'THtfEN intend to produce a series of small books undei the 
above title, containing some of the famous books in English and otbct 
literatures, in the domains of fiction ^ poetry^ and belles lettrcs. The seii» 
will also contain several volumes of selections in prose and verse, 

The books will be edited with the most sympathetic and scholarly caie# 
Each one will contain an Introduction which will give (i) a short biography of 
the author, (a) u critical estimate of the book. Where they are necessai)*, 
short notes will be added at the foot of the page. 

Each book will have a portrait or frontispiece in photogravure, and the 
volumes will be produced with great care in a style uniform with that of *Tli£ 
Library of Devotion, ' 

The first volumes are : 

VANITY FAIR. By W. M. Thack- 
ERAY, With an Introduction by S. 
GwYNN. Illasiiated by G. P. 
JACOMB Hood. Tkr^e VQlumes. 

' Belighlful little volumes/— /'w^fijA^nt' 

^Charming little volumes with an admlr* 
able introduction,'— >SYfl;n 

THE PRINCESS, By Alfred, Lokd 
Tennyso?^. Edited by Elizabeth 
Wordsworth. Illustrated by W, 
E. F, Britten, 

' Ju5t what a pcscket edition should b& 
Miss Wordsworth dontrilmtesi an acMpt- 
able introduction J as well as nDteftwli(dk 
one is equally glad to gct.'—Cnardim 

T£b€ Xittle ©ui5es 

FitU Svi>j doth 3J* ; hather^ 3J. &/, ntt 

By J. Wells, M.A, Fellow and 
Tutor of Wadham College. Illus- 
trated by E. H. New. Third EMiion. 
^ An admirable and accurate little tteatUe, 

attractively illn&trated.'— W^j?r/<£ 
'Alutninous and tasteful little volume.'^ 
iJ^fVjr ChrenkU. 

LEG ES. By A. H amilton THOM^' 
SON. Illustrated by E. H. New* 

' It 1% brig;htly written and learned^ and ii 
juj^t such a book as a cultured 
needs. '"J'ciJ/JflfiKw . 

Methuen's Catalogue 


B. C. WiNDLF- F R.S., M,A. lilus- 
tmted by E. H, New. 

*Mr- Windle ii thorougbly cDnv&raajit with 
his iiibjecit and the work Is exceedingly 

kwell done^ The drawings, by Mr. 
Edmund H. Hew, ^dd macb to the 

attracriiwtiess of tha vokme/— iVe^j- 

*One of thfl most channing guide bookK, 
Both for the lihriiry tmd as n traveUmg 
corn p anion the book ij equally choice 
iind serviceable, ' — Academy* ^ 

'A guide book of the best kind, whkh 
takea rank as litcr»mre.' — Guardum, 

Illustrated and Gift Books 


ALBUM, 4^, fij. 

ThiB highly intefe*tttng volume contains too 

drawiDgS'by Air. Phil May, and is repre' 

tentative of his earliest and finest work. 

* There IS a laugh in eacU drawing.'— 


scribed and depicted by A* H. Milne. 
Smuil quarU. 3 J* 6d. 
The adventurer of XJlyjssfiSj toM in bnmor^ 

Qus verfrc and pictures^ 
' A delicloug bit of foaiing.' — Quetu^ 
' Clever j droll, i\mztl,'^CifArdian* 

Eflmmiidfielom TOMMY SMITH'S 

ANIMALS. By Edmund Selous. 

Illustrated by G. W. Okd. Feap. Sw^, 

ay. 6d. 

A little book designed to teach children 

respect and reverence for animftlf. 
*A most fascinating little natural hif^tory 

*A little book which calls for more than 
praise^ it is one to be grateful for.' — 

'A quaint, fascinating^ little book; a aur- 
aery cla&^ic/ — Athenaum. 

3, Banns Gould. THE CROCK OF 
(tOLD, Fairy Stories told by R. 
Baring Gould. Crau^n Bvo. vs. 

* Twelve delightful faliy t^lcs/^PufKL 

m. U awynn. A BIRTHDAY BOOK. 
Arranged and Edited by M. L, 
GwTNN, Demjf Eva. I2J. 6d. 
Thlf. is a birthday 'book of exceptional 
dignity, and the exsractJ have been 
chosen with particular care. 
The three passages for e.nth day bear a 
certain relation to each other, and form 
a repertory of .sententious wisdom from 
the best anthon; living or dead. 

JtihD. Bnnyan* THE PILGRIM'S 
PROGRESS, By John Bukyan. 


Edited, with an IntrodiicHion, by C H. 
FiRTW, M.A- With 39 IllustratioTxs 
by R. Anning Bell. Crmvn Evq. 6j» 
' Tht best " Pil^im'a Progress. " "— 

Mducatiffftai T'lmfS, 
With many Coloured Pictures by F, 
D. Bedford, Super J^ttyai Bv(>. 5/, 
' Ad excellent selection of the best known 
rhymes, wiih beautifully colDured pic- 
tures exquisitely printed/ — Pali Mali 

8. Baflllg Gould. A BOOK OF 
FAIRY TALES retold by a Baring 
Gould. Witb numerous Illustra- 
tions and Initial Letters by Arthur 
J. GASKtN, Sec&nd Ediiisn, Cr. Bvq. 
Bttckram, 6s, 
' Mr. Baring Gould is deserving of grati- 
tude, in rc'Writing^ in simple style the 
aid stories that delighted our fathers and 

aringr GonXd. OLD ENGLISH 
FAIRY TALES. Collected and 
edited by S, Baring Gould. Witb 
Numerous IllU5tralions by P, D. 
Bedford. Seeond Edition^ Cr. Zv&. 

*A charming volume.'— fTtfdtiEi'f^in. 
a, Bariiiff Gould, A BOOK OF 
RHYMES. Edited hv S. BARING 
Gould, and Illustrated by ibe Bir- 
mingham Art School Buckram, gilt 
top. Crown SvfJ. 6s. 
H. 0, Beechinff. A BOOK OF 
H. C, Beeckikg, M,A,» and IllJis- 
trated by Walter Cr ane, Cr. Zvo, 
gilt tef, 3J. td. 

An anthology which, from its unity of aim 
and high poetic excellence, has a better 
right to exist than most of its fellows/— 


Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 

Fimd^l Petrle. A HISTORY OF 


TO THE PRiiSfcNT DaV- Edited by 

W, M. Flindkhs Petrir, D,aL., 

LL.D** l^o lessor of Egyptology at 

Uni vcrsi ty Cotiege. Fuily JUusiraied. 

In Six V&lum€s^ Cr. ^v&. 6r. eaek. 

Vol, I. Prehistoric Times to 

XVITH Dynasty. W, M, F. 

Peine. Faarih £diUo». 

Vol. IL The XVI I th and 

XVIIITH Dynastjes. W. M. 

P\ Petrie. Third Ediiim. 

Vol. IV. The Egypt of the 

Ptolemies. J. P. Mahaifr. 
Vol. V. RosiAN Egypt, J, G. 
' A hifitaiy wrkteq in tbe spirit of scieiitifi.c 
precision so wortllily repreiieiited h^ Br. 
retrie and his school cannot but pro- 
mote sound and accurate study, add 
supply & vacant plaqe id tke Kfigli^ 
literature of Egyptology.' — Timts, 

Plimdera Feme. RELIGION AND 
EGYPT. By W. M. Flinders 
Pete ie, D. C. L. , LL. D. Fully lUu^ 
traled. Crmtfri Bva. 2J^ 6d. 

* The lectures will afford a fimd of valuable 

jcift^mation for srud^nis of ajiclent 
ethics^' — ' Afit nikisttr GuArdian. 

FUndora Petrie. SYRIA AND 



Flinders Petri e, D,C.L., LL,D. 

Crown ^vo. 2S. 6d. 

'A itiarvellousi rccnrd. The addition made 

to our knowledge 13 nothing' short of 

atmazing,' — Timci. 

FUadcra Petrle, EGYPTIAN TALES. 
Edited by W, M. Flinders Petrie, 
lUastraied by Tristram Ellis* In 
Ttvo Volumes, Cr. Eva. 3J, &d. tack. 

* ravaluable as a picture of life in Palestine 

and Egj'pL''-£3'fli'/p Nsf^s* 

Plindtrs Petiie. EGYPTIAN DECO- 
DERS PetHie. With 120 IllustratioDs. 
Cr, Bi-w. 3J. M. 
' In fliese lecture^ he displays rare fiktll in 
eluctdaiji^g the development of decora- 
rivc art in Egypt/— 2t>nei. 


aw. OnuuL A HISTORY or THE 

ART OF WAR. Vol. ll. : The 

Middle Ages, fram the Fourth to the 

Fourteenth Century. By C» W. 

Oman, M.A., Fellow of All Souls'* 

Oxford. lUusttated. Demy^vs, aii. 

*Tbe hook is based throw ^ boat upon a 

tboroagh study of the oneinal louFces, 

aod wul be an LndiaprDsaDle nid tQ all 

students of mediseval bisioty/— j4M#' 

' The whole art of war in its historic evolu- 
tion has never been treated on such &□ 
ample and comprehensive scale^ and we 
cmeaiion if any recent contribution lo 
the e?:act history of the world has pos^ 
sesscd more enduring value.*— i)*;]^ 

S. Bajdng^GkniltL THE TRAGEDY 
OF THE OESARS- With nume- 
rous Illustratloria from Busts* Gems, 
Caiiieos,eia ByS.BAHiNGGoULD. 
Fourth Edition. Royal 0iw, 15J. 
'A most splendid and fascinating book out 
subject of utidyin^ interest. The gre*s 
feature of the hook is th« us« the author 
has made of the existing portrmiti of 
the Caesars and the adnur^hle critical 
subtlety ke has exhibited tn dealing wjih 
this line of research. It Is brilliaaily 
written, and the illustrations are sup- 
plied on a scale of profuse magntiicetice.* 
— Daiiy CAromele^ 
F. W. Maitaand. CANON LAW IN 
ENGLAND. By F. W. Maitland. 
LL.D., Downing Professor of the 
Laws of England in the University 
of Cambridge. J^oyal %vs. ^s, 6d. 
* Professor MaiEland has put Btudents of 
English law under a fres^h debt' These 
essays arc landmarks in the f;tudy qfihe 
history of Canon Law, ' — I'ttrtes^ 
H. 4© B, GlhWna. INDUSTRY IN 
Litt.D,, M.A. With 5 Maps. Se- 
cond Editwn. Derny Bvc. lox, 6d. 
H, 1. EgertoiL A HISTORY OF 
By H. E. Egbrton, M,Ah Uemy 
Bv&. laj, 6d, 

It is a good book, distinguished by aocB- 
TSkCy in detail, clear arranfemeut of fa^ti, 
and a broad gntsp uf principlej.'^— 
MoHcMtfer €nardt<aH, 

Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 


SOREL, of IbfS Fristicb Academy. 
Translated by F. C, Bhakwell, 
M. A, With a Map, Cr* Sw?. 31, td. 

C, H. Qrinlliif. A HISTORY OF 
WAY, 1B45-9S, By Charles H, 
Grinlinq. With Maps and Illus- 
trations. Demy %vo. los. 6d, 
' Mr. Grlnlmg has dune for a Railway wh^t 
MacAulay did for English Histtji?/— 

COLLEGE, By W. Sterry, M.A. 
Willi numerous lUtistraiions, Dem/ 

* A treasury of ijiiaint and interesting reajj^ 

ing. ^ Mr. Sttrry has by hts skilJ nod 
¥iv*dty given these records new !ile/— 

BURY bCflOOL. By a W. 
FtSH£K^ M.A. JaiQ Assjsiam Mast(?r. 
With numerous Illustrations- Demy 

6V0. lOJ. 6(i, 
' This careful, enidke book. ^—iJoj'/y 

* A book of which Old Salopians are sure 

to be proqd.' — Gleiff. 

J. BarEeaunt. ANNALS OF WEST* 
GKAUMT, M,A., Assistant Master. 
With nutnefous Illustrations, Dtmy 

OXFORD: Their History and their 
Traditions. By Members of the 
University, Edited by A. Clark, 
M. A, Fellow and Tutor of Linooln 
College. Sm. raj. 6rf. 
VA work which vrili be appealed to for 

roiiay yvan u the itandard book.'— 

ROME. By T. M. Tayloh. M. A., 
Fellow of Gonvilleand Caius College, 
Cambridge^ Senior Chancellor's 
Medallist for Classics, Porscn Uni^ 
versJty Scholar, etc, etc. Cfown 

^ We fully lecogDise the value of this care- 
fully written work, ami adniire e.^pedMl]y 
the f&irn£Mi utd sobriety of hU Judgmcot 
and the huntan interest with which he 
has ihsiiircd ft subject which in somt 
hands becom&i a mere serieB of cold 
abvtnctions. It Is a work Umt will be 
stiinakclog to the i^tudenc of Roduui 
hivlQiy/ — A tktnxMwL 

ROME, By J. Wklls. M.A., 
Fellow and Tutor of Wadham Coll.* 
Oxford, Third Edition. With 3 
Maps, Crawit Sm3. 3J. 6(/, 
Thii book if iDtended for the Middle and 
Upper Form* of Public Schools and for 
Pass Students at the Univeisides, It 
contains copiotjs TableSi etc 
*An ori;;inai work written on an original 
pl^n, And with uncommoa freshness and 
vigquT. '—Sp^er* 

O. :&tmixlii^. A SHORT HISTORY 
1250^1530. By Oscar Browning, 
Fellow and Ttitor of King's College, 
Cambridge. In Twa V&lumis, Cr. 

Vol. l 1 250-1409. — Guelphs and 

Vol. II. i^Qt)-T^jQ^^'^h& Age of 

the Condottieri. 

LjVND. By Standish 0'Gkady» 
Author of ' Fmn and his Companions, 


Translated into EngUsh by F, J. 

HAMTLTON, D,D.. and E. W. 

Brooks. Bemy %vo, lar, bd. net, 
EVAGRIUS. Edited by I^ofessor 

Byzantine Texts 

Edited by J. E. BURY, M.A. 

lAo^ Pakmektikr and M, Bidrz. 
Demy Bt/o. loj, 6d. neL 
By C, S ATM AS, D^y Bt^ is^. 





iS Messrs, Methuen's Catalogue 


, L. StffTenfloiL THE LETTERS 
FRIENDS. Selected and Edited, 
with Notes and 1 production 5 ^ by 
Sidney Colvin. Tkird Edit ion. 
Demy 3w?, a vols. , sp. net. 
]rre£isE|h1e in their racin ess, their variety, 
their animation ^ > < of cxtraDrdinnry 
fascination. A detightrul inberltance^ 
tJbe truest: record of a '* richly com- 
pounded spirit" that the Uterntprc of 
qUt time has praseni'edi ' — Tttnes, 
There are few books so interesEing, so 
movm^t ^^^ so valuable as this col Sec- 
tion of let ters. One can gnly commend 
people to Tea d and re-read the book. The 
volUTTies arc bcautifuJ, and Mr. Col v ill's 
part of the work could not have been 
better done, his introduclion is a master- 

EVERETT MILLAIS. President of 
the Royal Academy. By bis Son, 
J. G. MiLLAis. With 319 Illus- 
iraiions, of which g are in Photo- 
gravure. Second Editian, 2 i-jj/j, 
J^ityal Bv^, S2S, nei. 
'Of unusual interegE and charni^ as manl^i 
unatifeoted, and Eimplet £ts was Millais 
himself*'— i>fli7y Chr&nicie. 
The illustrations make the book del i^ttful 
to handle or to read. The eye hngers 
Jovingly upon ^e beautiful pictures.'— 
This charming book is a ffold mine of ^o«d 

things/^^ i?ai/^ Jfgws. 
This splendid work.'— ^ar/t/. 
De^rves an honoured place on every 

bookshet f. '"Pfli7 Mali Gazrttr, 
Of such ahsorbine; intercut is itj of such 
completeness m scope and bsiuty. 
Special tribute must be paid to the 
extraordinary completeness of the iUus- 
tfations. '^Craphk, 
. Baiiiiff Oonld. THE LIFE OF 
S. Baring Got;LD. With over 450 
Illustraiions in the Text and 12 
Photogravure Plates. Large quarts. 
GiU tap, 36J. 

The main feature of this eorgeous volume 
is its great wealth of Wautifnl photo- 
gTuvures and finely- ei:ecuted wood 
cngraTings, constituting a complete 

pictorial cbrOQicle of N^poleoD W 
personal history from the days of bis early 
childhood at Ajaccio to the date of his 
second interment,'— i?fli7y T§legrapK 

By Admiral P. H. COLOMB. With 
a Portrait* Demy %u&, i6j. 

Morris Fiin^. THE LIFE AND 
ANT. D.D. {1571-1641), Bishop of 
Salisbury. By MORRiS FULLEB, 
B.D. Demy ^-vo, lor. 6<f, 

CANTERBURY: A Cti after in 
THE HrsTOKr OF Religion. By 
J. M. RiGG. Dtmy Bvt^. fs. 6d, 

F. W. Jorc«. THE LIFE OF 
LEV. By F. W, Joyce, M. A. 7J. 6d, 

W. G. CoUingwood. THE LIFE OF 
Colling WOOD, M.A With Por- 
traits, aod 13 Dmwings by Mr, 
Ru^kin. Second Edition, a v&h, 
%vo. 3,2 J. 

* It is long sbce we had a bioermphF with 

such delights of Bubataace and of form- 
Such a book is a pleasure for the day, 
and a joy for ever.^ — Da-Uy Cknfniclt^ 

C. WaldateiiL JOHN RUSKIN. By 
Charles Walostein, M*A. With 
a Photogravure Portrait, FosfBitp. 5J. 

A M. F. ParmsBteter, THE LIFE 
Madame Darmestetir* With 
PDrtraiL, Second Edition. CkBv0. 6x. 

HUTTON, M.A- With Portraits, 
Second Edition. Cr, Bt'a. 51. 

* The book kys gOQd claim to high rank 

among OUT blographiM. It iscxccUeailyj 
even lovingly, written.' — Scfftimam^ 

S. Bajing Gould. THE VICAR OF 
IvlORWENSTOW : A Biography. 
By S, Baring Gould, M.A. A 
new and Revised Edition. With 
Portrait. Crvwn Bvo. 3^. 6d. 
A completely new edition of the well known 
biegiaphy of K. S. Hawker. 


Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 


Travel, Adventure and Topography 

STen H«diiL TftROUGH ASIA. By 
SvEH Hedfn, Gold Medallist of the 
Royal Geographical Society. With 
300 Illustrations from Sketches 
and Photographs by the Author> 
and Maps. 2 vals, Royal %va, soj^ tut, 
* One of the greatest booka. cf the kind 
i»u^ dunng the century. It l» icn- 
possible tf> giivc an adequate idea of the 
richness of the couttnts of thiA bcwk, 
nor of it& abouodiDg attrictions ai 3 stary 
Qf travel unsurpassed in geographical 
and human interest.. Much of it is a 
fevcl&tiofi. Altogether the work is one 
which m solidity I novelty, and interest 
must take a first rank Amons publica- 
tions of its class, '— Timfs, 
F. H. Btrise and £, D. Eoae* THE 
Skrine and E. D« Ross. With 
Maps and many Ulustmtions by 
Vkre^TChagin. Large Crown Si^. 
ictf. 6rf* mi. 
' This volume will form a landmark in our 
knovrlcdgc of Central A&ia. ,. ^ „ Illiiinjn- 
atlng and convincing. For the fiLrat 
time we are enabled clearly to under* 
stand not only how Russia has estab- 
lished her rule in Central A»iai but 
what that rule actually means to the 
Central Asian poopilet. This bock is 
ziot only Jklix ^pflrtuniiaiei but of 
«tidnring value.' — Times, 
THE OR EAT ICE. By R, E. PeAhy, 
Gold Medallist of the Royal Geogra- 
phical Society. With over 800 lllus- 
trsttions, atrtf/j, EoyslBvo, 3^^. nti. 
' Hii book will take its place among the po"^ 
manent Uttrature or Arctic exploration.' 
— Time*. 
E A. PltzOerald. THE HIGHEST 
ANDES. By E. A. FitzGrbald. 
With s MapSn 51 Illustraiioris, 13 of 
which are in Photogravure, and a 
Panorama. Ho^al %vo, 30^. mi. 
Also a Small Edition on Handmade 
rafter, hmited to 50 Copies, 4 /'a. 

/ 5> S-r- 

' We have nothing but praise for Mr. Fiti- 
Gerald's admirable narrative. A book 
which is not only popuLir in the btst 
sense of th« wonl^ but is a permnnenE 
and solid contribution to the literature 
of mountaineering.' — Times. 


' The record of the fir^t a^ent of the highest 
maun tain yet conquejned W mortal nmn. > 
A volume which will continue |o be the ' 
classic bock of travel on this region of 
the Andes. The photographs arc ad- 
mirably reproduced^ and the book Is cot 
up with a c^re and linish worthy of so 
great a subject/— /?i]f/{)^ Ckrenicu^ 

With many IltustrationS fitid Maps< 
Demy %vo. rzj. 6d. ntt. 
*A real contribution tg our knowledge afj 
the peoples and i&ljiudj of Micronesia] ' 
05 well a--; fascinating as a narrative of 
travels and adventure.'— vSt^/jmiMi. 
H. H, JohnfltOiL BRITISH CEN- 
Johnston, K.C.B. With nearly 
Two Himdred lUtistrations, ajid Six 
Maps. Second EditWH, Crown 4/tf. 
i8j, net. 
^A fascinating book, writteu with equal,: 
skill and charm— tbe work at once of a^ 
literary artist and of a man of action 
who is singnlarty wise, brave, and eic- 
perjenced. It abounds in admirable 
sketches. '^WeHminsttr G^ieitt* 



Decle. With 100 Illustrations and 

S Maps. Second Edition. Demy %vo^ 

J ox* 6d. net. 

' Its bright pa^es give a better general 

survey of Amca from the Cape to the 

Efiuator than any single volume that 

has yet been published. —T'i'jwtfj* 

A. Hulme BeamflJL TWENTY 
By A. HULME Beam AN. D^my 
Bvo. With Portrait. loi. 6d. 

Henri of OTleimi. FROM TONKIN 
TO INDIA, By Prince Henri of 
Orleans. Translated by Hamley 
Bent, M.A. With 100 lllmtrations 
itnd a Map. Cr. 4/0, gilt top. 25s, 

S. t. Htode. THE FALL OF THE 
With Phms, etc. Demy Evo. 12 j, 6^ 

A- St. H, Oibboaa. EXPLORATION 
AFRICA. By Major A, St. H, 
Gibbons. With full-page lUuaira- 

Messrs, Methuen's Catalogue 

tiorts by C* Whvmpeh, and Maps* 
Demf %v^. tt^. 
ON A WHEEL. By John Foster 
Fhaser. Wtth roo Illustrations. 

' Tlie story ts tdd wtth deliglitful E^etr, 
hantour, and crispn csa. There has rarely 
appeared g, more latereS'tiiig Eale of 
modem trcivcl/ — Sci^itm^n. 

' A clas^c of cyclingt eraphic and witty/ — 
] '(jrjtf A| re Port. 

R, L, JafferBon. A NEW RIDE TO 
RHIVA. By R, L. Jefferson. 
Illustrated. Crman ^vq, 6i. 
The accouDt of ati adveomrous ride on a 
bicycle thrctigh Ru&iia nod the deserts 
of Asia to Khiv^zi. 
* An eKccptionally faRcinating boolc of 
iravcL ' —Fall Ma II GasitU. 
J, K. TtoUer. THE NIGER 
SOURCES. By Colonel J. K. 
Trottkr* R,A* Wiih a Map aud 
lllqstralions. Crc^n a&«?* 5J* 
Hecliael Davitt. LIFE AND PRO- 
MrcHAEL Davitt, M.P, 500 pp. 
With 2 Map& Cnmfn Sw* 6s. 

W. J. G^oway. ADVANCED AUS- 
TRALIA. By WiLLiAja jf. Gal- 
UOWAVi M»F, Crown %vo. 31. 6^ 
' This \a ad utiusally thorough and infcHtiu- 
tive Utrle work. — Momtn^ PffsK 

w. otoo^. the NORTH^ 

INDIA: Their Ethnology and 

Wtih Mapis and lUustretioiis, D^w^ 
Bvo.. loj. 6d. 


SAC RE. By CaptAin Bojsragon. 

Seemtd Edition, Cr, 8iw. 3J. ^. 

' If the story had beeti nrHtteit foor haadred 

years ago It would be read to^lay as an 

English classic' — Seirtsmajt, 


GRACES: OR, the Great Stokf 

Temples of Tripoli, By H. S. 

Co wp ER , F. S* A. With M:ip^, Plaos, 

and 75 niustrationSL D^m^Bv^. zos.^d. 

W. Bl Worsfold. SOUTH AFRICA 

By W. B. WORSPOLD. M.A. With 

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*■ A book which the Etiiabethans would ha vie 
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%ht Cbutcbman'B JSible 

General Editor. J, H, BURN, RD. 

Messrs. Methukm are issuing a series of expositions upon piost of Ihe books of 
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THE CONFESSIONS OF ST AU- 'The translation is an excellent ptcceA- 

GUSTINE. Newly Tratislanled, English, and the irjt rod net ion ts am**- 

with an Introduction and Notes, by ^*^\^ exposition. W^ auBor well of a 

C. Bigg. D.D. , late Student of Christ *^^^ *^"=^ ^=S'°^ ^^ satisfactorily, '- 

Church. Sesand EdiHan, ' 


Keble. With iDtroduetlon and 

Notes by Walter Lock, RDp» 

Warden of Keble College, Ireland 

Professor at Oxford. 

' T^e valunte is Very prettity botidd and 

pricted^ aad may fairiy daim to be an 

sdviui^e on any [:iTevious editions,' — 

Revised Translation, witb an Introduc- 
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A prajctjcally dcw Lransl&tlc»n of this book^ 
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W. Stanbridge^ B,D,, Rector of 
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It is probably^ the hest book of iti. kiac] . It 
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Keble. Edited, with Introduction 
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Warden of Keble College, Oxford, 

AND HOLY LIFE. By William 
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by C, Bigg, D.D., late Student of 
Christ Church, 
Thi^ ifl a reprint, word for word and line for 
line, of the Mditio Prince^, 

ȣIET, Edited, with an Introduction 
and Notes, by E. C, S. GiESOn, 
D.D., Vicar of Leeds, 
This editicn contains Walton's Life of 
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*■ As neat and deiirahle njx edition of the 
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Xcaaers of IRcIlfllon 

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A series of short biographies of the most prominetit leaders of religious 
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TON. M,A. 

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ByT. HoDGKiN, D,C;L» 



LYLE and A. J. Carlyle, M.A, 

Other volumes will be aimounced in due course. 



Marie OoreUi's Novels 

^H Ninettentk EdUtuftn 

^f VENDETTA. Fifieentk Edition, 

~ THELMA. Twenty-^ryt Ediiif>n. 

DEAD SELF, Ehvinik EdUhtt. 
WORMWOOD. Ninik Edition, 

Methubn's Catalogue 

fQurih Edition^ 

' The tendier reverence of the trtatmenL 
ftnd the imaginative beauty^ of the writ- 
ing bftve rcconciicid uji ca the diiring of | 
the conception^ and the conviction Is 
forced on us that even &q exalted a. sub- 
ject cumot be made too familiar ta usj 

pnmded itbepre&eoted ia the tm* ^pil 
of Cknstiati faJLb. Tbe amplification 
of the ScriiJtUf e narrative ore ofteD coo- 
ceivntd with high pcNrtic insigbti and tiui 
"Dream of ihe World's Tragedy" is 
a iofty and not inad equate parapbru« 
of the SBpreme climax of the ifispiitd 
njurattve/— i?wi/iH I^eview^ 


Ferfy-firit Ediiien, 
*Aver7 powerful piece of work, . , ♦ The 
CDuccption ill magulGiCeDt, mad is liktljr 
tQ wtn An abiding place ivubia ibe 
memory of man. . . • The autbor b^ 
immeiLse command of ^n^uage, and i 
limitless audacity. , , - This interesting 
and remarkable romance vrill Live JoDg 
arte:r much of the ephemeral Uteiatufe 
of the day is forgotten. , . , A litcrwy 
pbenomenon + . . novel, and even sub- 
Ume/"W. T. StKJld * ' ~ ' 

in the R^ciew 

Antliony Hope's Novels 

Crown Sv{>, Ss. tack. 




' A very remarkable bqokt deatTTiiig of 
critical analysis impossible within our 
limit ; brilliant, but not BUpertdal J 
well considcredf, but not elaborated ; 
constructed with the proverbial art that 
conceals, but yet allows itself to be 
enjoyed by readers to whgm fine litciary 
method ts a keen pleasure. — TAf W^rid. 

A CHANGE OF AIR. Fifth Editiun., 
'A graceful J, vivacious comcdyj true to 
human nature. The chariictetB we 
traced with a mastorly hand*'— TjImk*. 

A MAN OF MARK. Fifth Ediiiim. 
"Of all Mr. Hope's hooks, "A Man of 
Mark" is the one which best compares 
with " The Prisoner of Zenda." '^ 

ANTONIO. Fevrth Edition. 

' It is a perfectly enchanting story of love 
and chiv^liT- J and pure romance- The 
Count is the most constant, desperate, 
and modest and teoder of lovers^ a peer* 
less gentleman, an intrepid figblefj a 
faithful friend, and a magnanimous foe.' 

PHROSO. Tlliisttuted by H. R. 

MiLLAK. Fourth Edition, 
*The talc is tlioroHgbJy fresh, qutdb with 
vitality, surriog the blood/— ^T/, /i^mtii 
"From cover to cover "Phioso" not only 
engaged the attention, but came* the 
reader in Httlc whirls of delight from 
adventure to adventure.'— ^iwrf^nn-jf. 

lUuslrated. Third 


^ A brilliant novel. The ^tor^ is rapid and 
mowi excellenll^ told^ A-^ far tbc hero, 
iie LS a perfect bero of rooiange '— 

'Thfir€ is sejtrcbing anaJysis of liaman 
iLaturej, with a most ingCdJotiAly con- 
structed plot* ^ Mr* Hope has draitfTi the 
I contrasts of his women with marvellous 
fubtlcty and delicaqy.' — Tima* 


* In degance, delicacy, and tact it lanka 

with Che best of hia novels, whilo tti the 
wide range of it& portraiture and thti 
subtiky of Its analy^^ij it ^urpasat^ all hb 
earlier ventures, ^^^peetatsr. 

* A work of artji and of c^^'od art- ' — TitHiS- 
**^The Kin^'ii Mirror is a BCrong book* 

charged with close n.nalysi5 and exquisite 
irony ; a book fall of pathos and moml 
fibre — ici shorty a book to be read/— 
Daily ChranicU* 

Gilbert Parker's Novels 


Fifth Edition. 
'Stories happily conceived aod finely ex- 
ecmted, l'h«re u strength and genios m 
Mr* Parker's strk."— Z'itiTj' TtUgra^h. 

MRS. FALCHION. Fourth Ediii&n, 

* A iplendid study of character.'— 

*A very striking and admirable novel/— 
Si. jamei't GAx^tif^ 

*Tlie plot 15 original and one dilBcult to 
work out; but Mr. Parker has dooe it 
with great skill and dcUcacy. The 
reader who is not interested in this 
original, fresh^ and well-told tale mn&t 
b« a dnll person indeed/ — 

Daily ChnmtcU. 

Illiisirated. Sixth EdittGn. 
' A rousing and dramatic tale. A book like 
this,, in which a words liashi great sur- 
prises are uridcrtaken, and daring deeds 
done, in *hich men and women live and 
lore iti the old passionate way, Is a joy 
inexpressible.' — Daiiy Chrom^ts- 

PONTIAC: The Story of a Lost 
Napoleon* F&urtft Edition. 

* Here we find romance-^real, breathing;, 
^^ Jiving romance. The character of Vat- 
^^ mond is drawn tin erring] 3f. The book 
HI mmx be read, we may say re read, for 
^K any one thoroughly to appreciate Mr, 

Parker's delicate loiicb ajid innate sym- 
pathy with humanity.' — Padi Mall 

^B trtMTFirf. 

NORTH t The Last Adventures of 
* Pretty Pierre.* S^^nd Ediiimt, 
*■ The present hook is fult of fine and mov- 
ing stories of the great North, and it 
wUl add to Mr. Parker^s already high 
reputation. '*^C/flUtfi?«if Htra-M^ 

iHustrated. Ttntk Edition, 
' Mr. Parker seems to become stroiiger and 
easier with every serioUJ novel that he 
attempts. He shows the mat me d power 
which his former novels have led us to 
expect, and has produced a really fine 
historical novei.' — Atkmarurm, 
* A great hadk^^Blmck and White, 

TES. Second Edition, y. 6d. 
' Livingj breathing romance, genuine and 
nrs forced pathos, and a deeper and more 
subtle knowledge of human nature than 
Mr+ Parker has ever displayed before* 
It is, in a word, the work of a true artist." 
^Patt Madl Cnz^tte. 


a Romance of Two Kingdotns. 

Illustrated. Fourth Edition, 

' Nothing more vigorous or mate hunmn has 

come from Mr* Gilbert Paiker than this 

novel, it has all the graphic power of 

his last book^ with truer feeling for the 

romance j both of human life and wild 

nature* There is no character without its 

unique and picturesque interest* Mr* 

Parker's stylcj especially his descriptive 

stylCj basin this book, perhaps even more 

than elsewhere, aptness and vitciUty*'— 


38 Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 

S, Baring Qonld'a Ko^ela 

Crown Bvo. 6s. eacA^ 

■Tq say ihut & book h by the author of "Mehalah'" is to imply that ii cootaifiia 
itorf CASt OD strong lines, contiiiin.iRg dmirt&tic pos^blUcies, vivid una sympathetu: dacti^ 
lions of Natune, luid a. weaJth of LOfemciiis imagery/ — S^iaktr. 

*Tb.%% whatever Mt* Banng Gould writes k well worth readmEi is a condiL^ion that Oif 
be very generally accepted. Hii views of life are fresh and vigorous, bis lan^uife 
poioted and characterUtio, the incidents of which be makes ose are striking ai^d on^inxlr 
bis characters are life-like^ and chough somewhat eiEceptional people, are drawn &aci 
coloured with artistic force. Add to this that his desciipiions of scenes and scenery wr 
painted with the loving eyes and skilled fiattd:^ of a master of his^art^ that he i£ afwap 
iresh and never dull, and it is uo wonder that readers^ have gained confidence in )k\i 
power of amusing aud satis^ing Cbem, and that year by year hi& popalarity videos '^ 
C&itrt Citvit/ar. 

ARM I NELL, FmrtA EdiH&n, 

URITH. Fifth Edithn. 


Sixth Edithft. 

VEN. Eifurm Edition. 


JACQUETTA, Third Ediiim. 
KITTY ALONE. Fi/ih Ediii^n. 

NOEML lUusiratcd. FmrtkEdOim, 
THE BROOM-SQUlItEL Illustrated. 

E&arth Ediiian. 

Third Edition. 

trated. Second Edition^ 
BLADYS- Illtisirated. Second Edi^sK 

DOMITIA. Illustrated* StcmdM- 



LAMP. By A, CoNAN Doyle. 

Sixth Edition. Crimen Bv^. 6j. 

The book is far and away the heat view 

that has been vouchsafed us behind the 

scenes, of the coitsnlting-room. '— //A* J- 

inaiid L&nd6» J^iwi. 

Stanley Weymaa. UNDER THE 
RED ROHE. By Stanley Wev- 
MAU, Author of * A Gentleman of 
France/ With lllustratiotis by R, C. 
WooDViLLE. Fiftetnth Edition. 
Cnrwtt Bvv. 6j. 
' Every one who reads hooks at all mast 
read this thrithng ramance, from the 
fii^i page nf which to the last the breath- 
leu reader is haled along. An inspira- 
tion of manliness and courage.*— Z^fliVj^ 

SIN. By Lucas Malist, Thir- 
teenth Edition. Crown Sv^. 6j, 

Liwaa Milet. THE CARISSIMA. 
By Lucas, Author of 'The 

Wages of Sin,' etc. Third Edition. 
Crown Stiff. 6ur. 
a*org« QlMlag. THE TOWN TRA- 
VELLER. By George Gisshig. 
Author of ' Demos,' ' In the Year of 
Jubilee/ etc. Second Edition,, Cr. 

'It js a bright aud witty hook &bove all 
EhingB, Folly S].iarkes ts a splendid bit 
of work/— Ptf // Malt GaicttM. 
' The spttit of Dickens is in it, '—Biwkmitit. 
George GiBBlng. THE CROWN OF 
L!FI^. By George Giss INC. Author 
of ' Demos/ * The Tawn Trarellcr.* 
etc. Crown Si-o. 6j. 
* Mr. Gissing: is at hk best/— ^HiradSrwj^. 
*A ftne novel.'— Ow^/wif. 
'We are hooking upon life it^tf.'- 2>«f7/ 

8. R. Crockett. LOCHINVAR, By 

S. R. CkoCKETT, Author of 'The 

Raiders/ etc. Illustrated* Second 

Edition. Crown %vo. 6j. 

' Full of gallautry and pathi»t of the dash 

Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 

^V c>f urmSf and brighten^ by episodei of 
bumour and lave. . . *^Watminii€r 

B. B. Crockett. THE STANDARD 
I Crown Bvff^ 6s. 

^ A de I igh t rul tale .'^S/eaktr. 

' Mr, Croclccu at his hc&tJ—Liferature* 

\ Artlmr MorrlaoiL TALES OF 


' Morrison. Fi/iA Edilim. Cr. 

%v&, 6jf. 

' Told with consuBJinate art and eilra* 

□Tdin^kry detail, la the true hutnajiity 

of the bcrok lies its Justificaiiont ibe 

penpsinence of its inttrc:St, ^cd its in^ 

dubi table triuinph/ — A t^i^n^rum. 

^A great book. The author's metbod i:^ 

ajnaiingly eflective^ and produce;!) a 

thriJJing seo^e cif realky^ The writer 

lays upoa us a insist er band. The book 

is smply appalUng and iiresiistjble in 

its interesL It is humorous also ; vrith- 

out bumoui' It Would not make the mark 

it is certain to make.' — IVifrld. 

Anamr Morrison. A CHILD OF 
THE J AGO. By Akthur MOREi- 
SON, Third Edition. Cr. Zvo^ 6j. 

' Tbe book la a masterpiece.^ — Pail Mail 

' ToM with great vigour and powerM aim- 



TO\\'N. By Arthur Morrison, 

Author of 'Tales of Mean Streets/ 

etc. Se£otid Ediiion, Crown^vo. 6j. 

^ We bave idyllic picLurus, woodland scene.^ 

full of tendej-ness and grace. . . * This 

1$ the new Mr. Arthur MorrtsonKraciou.'i 

and tender, sympathetic; atid human.'— 

'The easy swing of detail pnoclainis the 
miL^ter of bis subject and the artist in 
rendering/ — Pall Mail Gas^tie. 

*Mr. Morrison bas broketi new ground with 
admirahle sudcesft, . » , Excellently 
in-itten and wtistically sincere/— ZJaiTj' 

M. Sutherlana. ONE HOUR AND 

THE NEXT. By The Duchess 

OF Sutherland. Third Edition. 

Crcfmn %vq. Cj, 

*As a piece of literary work this btsok 

stanU^ high* It is written by one who 

has dmwn some deep breaths of the 

divine A0la itt^: —M. A . P. 

'Passionate, vivid, dt^m^^\z.'~IM€raiu7t. 

tises marked qualities^ descriptive, 
laginative," — Moriting^ Post. 


* The work of a reSnedj thougbtTql^ aad 

cultivated mind.' — British fire^Afy. 
VLra. Cliffqrcl. A FLASH OF 
SUMMER. By Mrs. W. K. Clif- 
ford, Author of 'Atant Atine/ etc. 
Second Edition. Crumn Zvo. 6j. 
' The stoty is a very beautiluJ oaoj exqais- 
itely iQ\d.* —Spei^tr. 

Emilj Lawless. H U R RISH. By the 
Honblc. Emily Lawless, Aathor of 
' Mactcho/ etc. Fifth EdiHim, Cr. 

EmU^LawlefiE. MAELCHO : a Six- 
teenth Century Romance, By the 
Honble. Emily Lawless. Second 
Editufa^ Cruwn ^va. 6j. 

* A really great book.*— ,J/ir^rf]?4?r. 

* One of the most remarkable literajry 

achievements of this generation. '^^^dtt- 
ikfiifr G^uirdmn. 
Emily Lawlesft. TKAITS AND 
CONFIDENCES, By the Honble. 
Emily Lawless. Crown Ssw. 6s. 
Edflu Hinipottfl. THE HUMAN 
BOY. By Ede?J Phillpotts. Atithor 
of ' Children of the Mist.' With a 
Frontispiece. Eoarth Edition. Crewn 
Bi/o. 6s. 
' Mr. Fhillpotts knows exactly what school- 
boys do, and can lay bare their intnoBtE: 
thoughts; like wife he shows an all-per- 
vading sense ol bumour.' — Acadrmf. 
*An unrestrained fund of humout ripplwj 
through every page*' — Worid. ' 

* Described wiih delightful spirit and 

hum our.* — Truth . 

E. W, Honmng. THE AMATEUR 
NUNG, Crofvn fiiw. 6s, 
'An aydaciou:ily entertaining volume.'— 

* Fascinating and entertaining in a supreme 

degTee. ' — Daity MaiL 
Jane Barlow. A CREEL OF IRISH 
Author of 'Irish Idylls,' Si£ond 
Editi&n. Crown %vo. 6j, 

* Vivid and singularly real.'— J'f tf^inMEW, 

Jaa© Barlow. FROM THE EAST 
Barlow* Crown Zvo, 6j. 

By Mrs. Caffyn (lota)^ Author of 
* The Yeilow Aster.' Second Edition^ 
Crown 8fd. &. 


Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 



B^tfflln Swift. SIREN CITY. Bj 

B&MJAJCIN Swift, Amborof ' Nancy 

Noom*' Crmim fttfo. 6s. 

***Sirtii City" h ttrtainljr hh best hook, 

and it i* (Jiie work of 9. stfong mwi. It 

ha& so brie ly^ iwt ooly of manner, but of 

spui V* — ^ &(demy. 

J. H. mt^ater. THE GREEN 
Jake H. Findlateh. Ftmrth 
EdiHvn. Cruwn %ve. 6j. 
■ A powwful wjd vhid %\mj"—Stmndm.riL 
^ K beautifuJ story^ ^K^di and strange as truLk 
\\s^V—V unity Fair. 

* A v^7 charmmg and poitbetic talc.'— /^t// 


* A sin^lArly DriginjaJjclcvrr^ and beaadful 

siorf . '^{;wdfi^i4tt. 

* ReveaJs to US a new wrjter of midoobted 

faculty and reserve force.' — SpBctatsor, 

* Ail ejcqui.^iu idyll, delicate, afiectine:, a:nd 

beautiful, —i^ijr* mmd IVhiU^ 

J. K Rudlater. A DAUGHTER 
OF STRIFE. By Jane Helen 
FINDLATIR. Ctman Bvff. 6j. 

J. R KudlatiT. RACHEL. By 
Jane H, Findlater. Second 
Edition. Crown Bvo. 6j, 

* A not nnwfjrthy swocessor to *' The Green 

Graves of Bajgowxie," *— C»TfW<P. 

mary Flaaiater. OVER THE 
Second Ediiicn. Cr, %^a. ^, 

* A strong and wiRe bcjok of dtcp insight uid 

iiniimdiiDg truth/ — Birmingham Fosi. 

Mary HndUter. BETTY MUS- 

GRAVE. By MaeIT FindlAter. 

Second Edifian. Cr&wn Zva. 6f , 

^ Handled with dignity and delicacy. , . , 

A most touching story.' — SpfCtaiar. 

Alfwd Omvaat. OWD BOB, THE 
Alfred Ollivant. Second Ediiion, 

' Weird, thrilling, strikingly graphic ' — 

' We admire this book, , , . It lit one to read 

with admiration and to praJse with ^n.' 

thusiasm ."^ AW^f«wrt* 

* It is a fine, open-air, blood-stirring book, 

to ^e enjoyed by every roan and woman 
to whom a dog is dear/ — Liiirai'urt, 

R H. Ciuteer. PEGGY OF THE 
BARTONa By B, M. Croker, 

Author of *Okna Bamagton.' 

Fourth Edition, Crowm Bvo. bs. 

Mtti. Crokcif eircds in the admirably sue^ 

easy, and direct flow of her oaiTBtivc, die 

briskness of her dialogue, and theget]]- 

ality of her ^ortrsiiMm.^-^p^ciAtiFr. 

Mary L, Pender&cL AN ENGLISH- 
MAN, By Mary L. Pekdeked, 
Cro7tm Bsw, fir. 
' Her bot>k is most healthy in tone, and 
leaves a p1eaB»nt taste in the mgutb-'— 
r*tll Mail Gasetie, 
' A vefy liobl e book . 1 1 is iill ed with wudom 

and sympathy/— Zi/g*iar^ f^ffrid. 

^ At once sciufid aiid diverting." — Jicada^. 

Violet Hunt. THE HUMAN IN^ 


Author of 'A Hard Woman,' etc. 

Crown %vo. 6j. 

'Clever observation and tiDJbiling wit.— 

*The insight is keen, the irony is Mi- 



By A. J. DAwaON, Author of 

' BJsmiUah/ Crown Bvo. Ss. 

'A strong and interesting story.*— JifoN* 

ckeiiei- CuardioH, 
'Alive with incident. '—^Au^i^w* Hermld* 

H. O. Wella. THE STOLEN BA^ 

CiLLUSt and other Stories. By 

H* G. W£LLS. S^0nd Edition. 

Crown BuQ, 6j, 

* They art the impTessiDbs of a very strCkin^ 

imagination} which, it would seem^ has 

a great deal within its reach.' — SsturdAf 

STORY AND Others. By H. G. 
Wells. Second Edition. Cn 8w, 

' Weltd and mysterious, they seem to hold 

the reader ai by a magic spelL^— xSf?^- 


Sajfa Jeaimette Duncan. A VOYAGE 


J E ANNETTE D UN CAN, Author qf ' An 

American Girl in Loudon.' Illua- 

trated. Third Edition, Cn Svo. 6s. 

'A most delightfully bright book.* — Dmly 

The dmlogue is full of wit/— GMr. 
' Lauphtcr Lurks ia every page.^ — D^U^ 

Sara Jeaimette DuneajL THE PATH 
OF A STAR. By Sara Jeannktte 
Duncan, Author of ' A Vo>^e of 

Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 


Consola.tioii.* Illustmted. Sea>nd 
Mditiott, Crown %vo. 6j. 
'Richnesi! *nd ftjlJn«5 of local cdourifig, 
briUia.iicy of eEyk, sciiting phrases, and 
the diapbjr of very pretty htunour are 
graces which fiti: heme in proTujiiiOn. The 
mte^ est ne vtr flngs. '^Pa U MaliC^xriie. 
By C, F. KEAtiV. 0* 8^. 6s. 
It is niJC indeed to find such poetical sym- 
pfltthy with Kn-Uirc joined to cloHcJitudy 
of chaxactcr and bingtilarly iruthrul dia- 
lOiguc : bat then *' The Journalist " is 
altogether a rare book.' — A thtmrumy 
% F. Benaon. DODO: A DETAIL 
SixUenik Editicri. Cr. Zvo, 6s. 
A perpetpal feast of epigram and pu^ox.' 

E. F, Benson. Author of * Dodo:' 
IHtistrated by G- P, Jacomb-Hood. 
Third Ediii&n, Crmuft Ev0, 6j. 
< Full of fire^ eamcsttiesSj and beauty.* — 
TAf IFcrtd. 
E. F, BbssoN* Author of * Dodo,' 
With Illustrations by G. P. Jacomb- 
HooDi ^€€md BdifiCM, Cr. 8v&, 6j, 
The ^ory moves through an atmosphere 
of heroism and adventure/ — Manchesier 
By W. E, NoiiKis, Author of ' Made- 
moisdle de Mersac,* etc. Fcnrth 
Editioti. Crown %vo. 6s, 
b 'An iutellectually satisfactory and monlly 
■ bracinE noveL" — Daily Teifgrafik. 

I W. B, HorrlB. HIS GRACE. By W. E. 
I NORHis. Third Edition. Cr. Bvo. 6s. 

^^, E. Noma, THE DESPOTIC 
^B NoKRiS. Crman ^vo. df, 


By W, 5. NoRRis. Cr. Zv&. 6i. 

* As a story it is adrnlrftbkj as a/fw dfjprii 

it is capita], as a lay sermon studded 

with gems of wit and vdsdom it is a 

model/— T'*? World. 


iW. E. NoRRis. lilusirated. Second 
EditUn. Crown BfCf, &r* 
Clever, bright, and entertaining.'— 
Vanity Fair. 
We tncct real men and women. ^^S^eaker. 
Xnter»tlng] wholesome, and chaindngly 

W, Clarlc Eusaell MY DANISH 
RussELU Illustraud. Fourth 
Edition, Crown Bvo. 6s. 
TAird Ediiion. Cr. Evo. 6s. 
' A book which has abundantly sstis^ed us 
by h 5 capi tal hu rnour^ ' — Dm^iy CAr^nhh. 
*Mr« Edrr ha& achieved a triumph.'— Pa^/ 

Eobort ferr. THE MUTABLE 

MANY, By Robert Barr. Second 

Edition. Cnrnm Bfo. 61. 

* Very much^ the best novel that Mr. Barr 

hasyetgivtn us. There is much insight 

in it^ m.nd much axccilcnt humour.'— 

Daily CkreniclSy 

Eotwrt Barr. THE COUNTESS 

TEKLA. By Robert Bahh. Seeond 

EdiHan, Crown Zvo, dr, 

' Such a tale as Mr. Marr's would ever 

receive a hearty welcome. Of these 

mediaeval romances, which are naw 

gaining ground, ^^The Countess Tekla'* 

15 the_ very best wt have seen. The 

story is written in clear English, and a 

picturesque, moving style,'— /'df// Mail 


Andrew Balfour, BY STROKE OF 
SWORD. By A. Balpour, Illus- 
trated, Fourth Edili&n. Cr. %Vi>. 6s. 
A banquet of good things.* — Academy. 
' A recital of thrillinfi; interest, told with 

unflaj^Eiiig vigour. ^-<;^fl£«r. 
An unu:;ually eircellent cjrample of a semi* 
historic romance.'— f*>r/i^. 

Amlrow Balfour, TO ARMS I By 
Andrew Balfour. THu5trated. 
Second Edition. Crown Evo^ 6i, 
'The marvellous perils through which AUan 
passes are told in powerful and livdy 
fashion.* — P^ii Malt Gasgtte. 
MINE, By Anokew Balfouk, 
Author of 'By Stroke of Sword,' 
Illustrated. Crowjt ^-vo, ts. 
' A vigorous piece of work^ well written, nntl 
abounding in stirring^ incidents.'— Ciiaf- 
jOTu Herald. 

J. MacMnen Cobban, THE KING 

OF ANDAMAN: A Saviour of 

Society, By J. Maclar^n COBBAN. 

Crown ^vo. 6s. 

'An unquestionably interesting bisok. It 

contains one character, at least, who has 

in him the root of iuitiiQtrtality.'^— /"a// 



Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 

J. ICulaftiiL Cobb&lL THE ANGEL 
Maclahen Cobban* Ct, Bvi** 6j. 

Hus&an fiaundOTB, ROSE A CHAR- 
LITTEi A Romantic Story of ' 
Acadie. By KLikshall Saitndess. ( 
CrvaeH Sto, 6*. 

B. ML ItepHeoi. AN ENE^fV TO 
THB KING. By R. N, Stephens. 

'It k full of iiuiv«Matt ai^d the movement 

* A stifTine fttory wicb plenty of monmemJ 

E. H, StepHeai. A GENTLEM.\X 
PLAYER. By R. N. Stephens, 
Author of * An Enemy to the King/ 
Crvsem 8iv. 6j. 

* A \m^ and 5pirit«I ftnoanee of adven- 

ture, fiiE of mpvement and changing 

^msbsoM. BYEWAVa By Robert 
HlCB£N&. Autbor of ' Flames, etc.* 
^etrnd Edition, Cr, ^vo, 6if. 

* Tbc wdrk is cndeniAbly that af a man of 

striking Lmagination.'— i?j«V|^ ili^kwi- 
J. 8. FLetCber. THE PATHS OF 

T H K PRU D ENT. By J . S, Flet- 

CH£S ♦ Crmom 8i;s, fij, 


Burton. Second Edition . Cr. Bve. 6j. 

* Vnusualiy inter^tia£ and full of bigbJy 

dramatic aJtuatloELSw — GMmr^iArt. 

J. B, Bnrtcm. DENOUNCED. By 
J. Bloukoelle- Burton. Sumd 
£diii0A, Crown %vo. 6j* 
* A fine, manly^ spirited piece of woriL — 

J. B. Btirton, THE CL.4SH OF 

ARMS. By J. Bloundelle-Bue- 

TON, Second Edition. Cr. Bw, 6f. 

*A story— btave in deed* brave a 

weird, brave in tboxjgbt-'— ^/. fiuntit 

SEAS, By J. BloundelLE^-Burtos* 
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