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About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


ESP Digital Book

Principles of Geology, Vols 1-3

Charles Lyell

Table of Contents:

Front Matter
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 1
Geology defined - Compared to History - Its relation to other Physical Sciences - Its distinctness from all - Not to be confounded with Cosmogony
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 2
Oriental Cosmogony - Doctrine of the successive destruction and renovation of the world - Origin of this doctrine - Common to the Egpytians - Adopted by the Greeks - System of Pythagoras - Of Aristotle - Dogmas concerning the extinction and reproduction of genera and species - Strabo's theory of elevation by earthquakes - Pliny - Concluding remarks on the knowledge of the Ancients
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 3
Arabian writers of the Tenth century - Persecution of Omar - Cosmogony of the Koran - Early Italian writers - Fracastoro - Controversy as to the real nature of organized fossils - Fossil shells attributed to the Mosaic deluge - Palissy - Steno - Scilla - Quirini - Boyle - Plot - Hooke's Theory of Elevation by earthquakes - His speculations on lost species of animals - Ray - Physico-theological writers - Woodward's Diluvial Theory - Burnet - Whiston - Hutchinson - Leibnitz - Vallisneri - Lazzoro Moro - Generelli - Buffon - His theory condemned by the Sorbonne as unorthodox - Buffon's declaration - Targioni - Ardinino - Michell - Catcott - Raspe - Fortis - Testa - Whitehurst - Pallas - Saussure
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 4
Werner's application of Geology to the art of Mining - Excursive character of his lectures - Enthusiasm of his pupils - His authority - His theoretical errors - Desmarest's map and description of Auvergne - Controversy between the Vulcanists and Neptunists - Intemperance of the rival Sects - Hutton's theory of the Earth - His discovery of granite veins - Originality of his views - Why opposed - Playfair's illustrations - Influence of Voltaire's writings on Geology - Imputations cast on the Huttonians by Williams, Kirwau, and De Luc - Smith's map of England - Geological Society of London - Progress of the Science in France - Growing importance of the study of organic remains
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 5
Review of the causes which have retarded the progress of Geology - Effects of prepossessions in regard to the duration of past time - Of prejudices arising from our peculiar position as inhabitants of the land - Of those occasioned by our not seeing subterranean changes now in progress - All these causes combine to make the former course of Nature appear different from the present - Several objections to the assumption, that existing causes have produced the former changes of the earth's surface, removed by modern discoveries
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 6
Proofs that the climate of the Northern hemisphere was formerly hotter - Direct proofs from the Organic remains of the Sicilian and Italian strata - Proofs from analogy derived from extinct Quadrupeds - Imbedding of Animals in Icebergs - Siberian Mammoths - Evidence in regard to temperature, from the fossil remains of tertiary and secondary rocks - From the plants of the coal formation
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 7
On the causes of vicissitudes in climate - Remarks on the present diffusion of heat over the globe - On the dependence of the mean temperature on the relative position of land and sea - Isothermal lines - Currents from equatorial regions - Drifting of Icebergs - Different temperature of Northern and Southern hemispheres - Combination of causes which might produce the extreme cold of which the earth's surface is susceptible - On the conditions necessary for the production of the extreme of heat, and its probable effects on organic life
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 8
Geological proofs that the geographical features of the northern hemisphere, at the period of the deposition of the carboniferous strata, were such as would, according to the theory before explained, give rise to an extremely hot climate - Origin of the transition and mountain limestones, coal-sandstones, and coal - Change in the physical geography of northern latitudes, between the era of the formation of the carboniferous series and the lias - Character of organic remains, from the lias to the chalk inclusive - State of the surface when these deposits originated - Great accession of land, and elevation of mountain-chains, between the consolidation of the newer secondary and older tertiary rocks - Consequent refrigeration of climate - Abrupt transition from the organic remains of the secondary to those of the tertiary strata - Maestricht beds - Remarks on the theory of the diminution of central heat
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 9
Theory of the progressive development of organic life considered - Evidence in its support wholly inconclusive - Vertebrated animals in the oldest strata - Differences between the organic remains of successive formations - Remarks on the comparatively modern origin of the human race - The popular doctrine of successive development not confirmed by the admission that man is of modern origin - In what manner the change in the system caused by the introduction of man affects the assumption of the uniformity of the past and future course of physical events
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 10
Division of the subject into changes of the organic and inorganic world - Inorganic causes of change divided into the aqueous and igneous - Aqueous causes - Destroying and transporting power of running water - Sinuosities of rivers - Two streams when united do not occupy a bed of double surface - Heavy matter removed by torrents and floods - Recent inundations in Scotland - Effects of ice in removing stones - Erosion of chasms through hard rocks - Excavations in the lavas of Etna by Sicilian rivers - Gorge of the Simeto - Gradual recession of the cataracts of Niagara - Speculations as to the time required for their reaching Lake Erie
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 11
Action of running water, continued - Course of the Po - Desertion of its old channel - Artificial embankments of the Po, Adige, and other Italian rivers - Basin of the Mississippi - Its meanders - Islands - Shifting of its course - Raft of the Atchafalaya - Drift wood - New-formed lakes in Louisiana - Earthquakes in the valley of the Mississippi - Floods caused by landslips in the White mountains - Bursting of a lake in Switzerland - Devastations caused by the Anio at Tivoli
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 12
Difference between the transporting power of springs and rivers - Many springs carry matter from below upwards - Mineral ingredients most abundant in springs - Connexion of mineral waters with volcanic phenomena - Calcareous springs - Travertin of the Elsa - Baths of San Vignone, and of San Filippo, near Radicofani - Spheroidal structure in travertin, as in English magnesian limestone - Bulicami of Viterbo - Lake of the Solfatara, near Rome - Travertin at Cascade of Tivoli - Ferruginous springs - Cementing and colouring property of iron - Brine springs - Carbonated springs - Disintegration of Auvergne granite - Caverns in limestone - Petroleum springs - Pitch lake of Trinidad
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 13
Reproductive effects of running water - Division of deltas into lacustrine, mediterranean, and oceanic - Lake deltas - Growth of the delta of the Rhone in the Lake of Geneva - Chronological computations of the age of deltas - Recent deposits in Lake Superior - Deltas of inland seas - Rapid shallowing of the Baltic - Arguments for and against the hypothesis of Celsius - Elevated beaches on the coast of Sweden - Marine delta of the Rhone - Various proofs of its increase - Stony nature of its deposits - Delta of the Po, Adige, Isonzo, and other rivers entering the Adriatic - Rapid conversion of that gulf into land - Mineral characters of the new deposits - Delta of the Nile - Its increase since the time of Homer - Its growth why checked at present
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 14
Oceanic deltas - Delta of the Ganges and Burrampooter - Its size, rate of advance, and nature of its deposits - Formation and destruction of islands - Abundance of crocodiles - Inundations - Delta of the Mississippi - Deposits of drift wood - Gradual filling up of the Yellow Sea - Rennell's estimate of the mud carried down by the Ganges - Formation of valleys illustrated by the growth of deltas - Grouping of new strata in general - Convergence of deltas - Conglomerates - Various causes of stratification - Direction of laminae - Remarks on the interchange of land and sea
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 15
Destroying and transporting effects of Tides and Currents - Shifting of their position - Differences in the rise of the tides - Causes of currents - Action of the sea on the British coast - Shetland Islands - Large blocks removed - Effects of lightning - Breach caused in a mass of porphyry - Isles reduced to clusters of rocks - Orkney Isles - East coast of Scotland - Stones thrown up on the Bell Rock - East coast of England - Waste of the cliffs of Holderness, Norfolk, and Suffolk - Silting up of Estuaries - Origin of submarine forests - Yarmouth estuary - Submarine forests - Suffolk coast - Dunwich - Essex coast - Estuary of the Thames - Goodwin Sands - Coast of Kent - Formation of Straits of Dover - Coast of Hants - Coast of Dorset - Portland - Origin of the Chesel Bank - Cornwall - Lionnesse tradition - Coast of Brittany
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 16
Action of Tides and Currents, continued - Inroads of the sea upon the delta of the Rhine in Holland - Changes in the arms of the Rhine - Estuary of the Bies Bosch, formed in 1421 - Formation of the Zuyder Zee, in the 13th century - Islands destroyed - Delta of the Ems converted into a bay - Estuary of the Dollart formed - Encroachment of the sea on the coast of Sleswick - Inroads on the eastern shores of North America - Tidal wave called the Bore - Influence of tides and currents on the mean level of seas - Action of currents on inland lakes and seas - Baltic - Cimbrian deluge - Straits of Gibraltar - Under currents - Shores of Mediterranean - Rocks transported on floating icebergs - Dunes of blown sand - Sands of the Libyan Desert - De Luc's natural chronometers
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 17
Reproductive effects of Tides and Currents - Silting up of Estuaries does not compensate the loss of land on the borders of the ocean - Bed of the German Ocean - Composition and extent of its sand-banks - Strata formed by currents on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean - Transportation by currents of the sediment of the Amazon, Orinoco, and Mississippi - Stratification - Concluding remarks
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 18
Division of igneous agents into the volcano and the earthquake - Distinct regions of subterranean disturbance - Region of the Andes - System of volcanos extending from the Aleutian Isles to the Moluccas - Polynesian archipelago - Volcanic region extending from the Caspian Sea to the Azores - Former connexion of the Caspian with Lake Aral and the Sea of Azof - Low steppes skirting these seas - Tradition of deluges on the shores of the Bosphorus, Hellespont, and the Grecian archipelago - Periodical alternation of earthquakes in Syria and Southern Italy - Western limits of the European region - Earthquakes rarer and more feeble in proportion as we recede from the centres of volcanic action - Extinct volcanos not to be included in lines of active vents
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 19
History of the volcanic eruptions in the district round Naples - Early convulsions in the island of Ischia - Numerous cones thrown up there - Epomeo not an habitual volcano - Lake Avernus - The Solfatara - Renewal of the eruptions of Vesuvius A.D. 79 - Pliny's description of the phenomena - Remarks on his silence respecting the destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii - Subsequent history of Vesuvius - Lava discharged in Ischia in 1302 - Pause in the eruptions of Vesuvius - Monte Nuovo thrown up - Uniformity of the volcanic operations of Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields in ancient and modern times
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 20
Dimensions and structure of the cone of Vesuvius - Dikes in the recent cone, how formed - Section through Vesuvius and Somma - Vesuvian lavas and minerals - Effects of decomposition of lava - Alluvions called "aqueous lavas" - Origin and composition of the matter enveloping Herculaneum and Pompeii - Controversies on the subject - Condition and contents of the buried cities - Proofs of their having suffered by an earthquake - Small number of skeletons - State of preservation of animal and vegetable substances - Rolls of Papyrus - Probability of future discoveries of MSS. - Stabiae - Torre del Greco - Concluding remarks on the destroying and renovating agency of the Campanian volcanos
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 21
External physiognomy of Etna - Minor cones produced by lateral eruptions - Successive obliteration of these cones - Early eruptions of Etna - Monti Rossi thrown up in 1669 - Great fissure of S. Lio - Towns overflowed by lava - Part of Catania destroyed - Mode of the advance of a current of lava - Excavation of a church under lava - Series of subterranean caverns - Linear direction of cones formed in 1811 and 1819 - Flood produced in 1755 by the melting of snow during an eruption - A glacier covered by a lava stream on Etna - Volcanic eruptions in Iceland - New island thrown up in 1783 - Two lava-currents of Skaptár Jokul in the same year - Their immense volume - Eruption of Jorullo in Mexico - Humboldt's Theory respecting the convexity of the Plain of Malpais
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 22
Volcanic Archipelagos - The Canaries - Eruptions of the Peak of Teneriffe - Cones thrown up in Lancerote in 1730-36 - Pretended distinction between ancient and modern lavas - Recent formation of oolitic travertine in Lancerote - Grecian Archipelago - Santorin and its contiguous isles - Von Buch's Theory of "Elevation Craters" considered - New islands thrown up in the Gulf of Santorin - Supposed "Crater of Elevation" in the Isle of Palma - Description of the Caldera of Palma - Barren island in the Bay of Bengal - Origin of the deep gorge on the side of "Elevation Craters" - Stratification of submarine volcanic products - Causes of the great size of the craters of submarine volcanos - Cone of Somma, formed in the same manner as that of Vesuvius - Mineral composition of volcanic products - Speculations respecting the nature of igneous rocks produced at great depths, by modern volcanic eruptions
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 23
Earthquakes and their effects - Deficiency of ancient accounts - Ordinary atmospheric phenomena - Changes produced by earthquakes in modern times considered in chronological order - Earthquake in Murcia, 1829 - Bogota in 1827 - Chile in 1822 - Great extent of country elevated - Aleppo in 1822 - Ionian Isles in 1820 - Island of Sumbawa in 1815 - Town of Tomboro submerged - Earthquake of Cutch in 1819 - Subsidence of the delta of the Indus - Earthquake of Caraccas in 1812 - South Carolina in 1811 - Geographical changes in the valley of the Mississippi - Volcanic convulsions in the Aleutian Islands in 1806 - Reflections on the earthquakes of the eighteenth century - Earthquake in Quito, 1797 - Cumana, 1797 - Caraccas, 1790 - Sicily, 1790 - Java, 1786 - Sinking down of large tracts
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 24
Earthquake in Calabria, February 5th, 1783 - Shocks continued to the end of the year 1786 - Authorities - Extent of the area convulsed - Geological structure of the district - Difficulty of ascertaining changes of relative level even on the sea-coast - Subsidence of the quay at Messina - Shift or fault in the Round Tower of Terranuova - Movement in the stones of two obelisks - Alternate opening and closing of fissures - Cause of this phenomenon - Large edifices engulphed - Dimensions of new caverns and fissures - Gradual closing in of rents - Bounding of detached masses into the air - Landslips - Buildings transported entire, to great distances - Formation of fifty new lakes - Currents of mud - Small funnel-shaped hollows in alluvial plains - Fall of cliffs along the sea-coast - Shore near Scilla inundated - State of Stromboli and Etna during the shocks - Illustration afforded by this earthquake of the mode in which valleys are formed
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 25
Earthquakes of the eighteenth century, continued - Java, 1772 - Truncation of a lofty cone - Caucasus, 1772 - Java, 1771 - Colombia, 1766 - Chile, 1760 - Azores, 1757 - Lisbon, 1755 - Sinking down of the quay to the depth of six hundred feet - Shocks felt throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and the West Indies - Great wave - Shocks felt at sea - St. Domingo, 1751 - Conception Bay, 1750 - Permanent elevation of the bed of the sea to the height of twenty-four feet - Peru, 1746 - Kamtschatka, 1737 - Martinique, 1727. Iceland, 1725 - Teneriffe, 1706 - Java, 1699 - Landslips obstruct the Batas vian and Tangaran rivers - Quito, 1698 - Sicily, 1693 - Subsidence of land - Moluccas,1693 - Jamaica,1692 - Large tracts engulphed - Portion of Port Royal sunk from twenty to fifty feet under water - The Blue Mountains shattered - Reflections on the amount of change in the last one hundred and forty years - Proofs of elevation and subsidence of land on the coast of the Bay of Baise - Evidence of the same afforded by the present state of the Temple of Serapis
Chapter Vol 1 Chap 26
Magnitude of the subterranean changes produced by earthquakes at great depths below the surface - Obscurity of geological phenomena no proof of want of uniformity in the system, because subterranean processes are but little understood - Reasons for presuming the earthquake and volcano to have a common origin - Probable analogy between the agency of steam in the Icelandic geysers, and in volcanos during eruptions - Effects of hydrostatic pressure of high columns of lava - Of the condensation of vapours in the interior of the earth - That some earthquakes may be abortive eruptions - Why all volcanos are in islands or maritime tracts - Gases evolved from volcanos - Regular discharge of heat and of gaseous and earthy matter from the subterranean regions - Cause of the wave-like motion and of the retreat of the sea during earthquakes - Difference of circumstances of heat and pressure at great depths - Inferences from the superficial changes brought about by earthquakes - In what matter the repair of land destroyed by aqueous causes takes place - Proofs that the sinking in of the earth's crust somewhat exceeds the forcing out by earthquakes - Geological consequences of this hypothesis, that there is no ground for presuming that the degree of force exerted by subterranean movements in a given time has diminished - Concluding remarks
Front Matter
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 1
Changes of the Organic World now in progress - Division of the Subject - Examination of the question, Whether Species have a real existence in Nature? - Importance of this question in Geology - Sketch of Lamarck's arguments in favour of the Transmutation of Species, and his conjectures respecting the Origin of existing Animals and Plants - His Theory of the transformation of the Orang Outang into the Human Species
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 2
Recapitulation of the arguments in favour of the theory of transmutation of species - Their insufficiency - The difficulty of discriminating species mainly attributable to a defective knowledge of their history - Some mere varieties possibly more distinct than certain individuals of distinct species - Variability in a species consistent with a belief that the limits of deviation are fixed - No facts of transmutation authenticated - Varieties of the Dog - The Dog and Wolf distinct Species - Mummies of various animals from Egypt identical in character with living individuals - Seeds and plants from the Egyptian tombs - Modifications produced in plants by agriculture and gardening
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 3
Variability of a species compared to that of an individual - Species which are susceptible of modification may be altered greatly in a short time, and in a few generations
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 4
Consideration of the question whether species have a real existence in nature, continued - Phenomena of hybrids - Hunter's opinions as to mule animals - Mules not strictly intermediate between the parent species - Hybrid plants - Experiments of Kölreuter - The same repeated by Wiegmann - Vegetable hybrids prolific throughout several generations - Why so rare in a wild state - Decandolle's opinion respecting hybrid plants - The phenomena of hybrids confirms the doctrine of the permanent distinctness of species - Theory of the gradation in the intelligence of animals as indicated by the facial angle - Discovery of Tieddemann that the brain of the foetus in mammalia assumes successively the form of the brain of a fish, reptile, and bird - Bearing of this discovery on the theory of progressive development and transmutation - Recapitulation
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 5
Laws which regulate the geographical distribution of species - Analogy of climate not attended with identity of species - Botanical geography - Stations - Habitations - Distinct provinces of indigenous plants - Vegetation of islands - Marine vegetation - In what manner plants become diffused - Effects of wind, rivers, marine currents - Agency of animals - Many seeds pass through the stomachs of animals and birds undigested - Agency of man in the dispersion of plants, both voluntary and involuntary - Its analogy to that of the inferior animals
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 6
Geographical distribution of Animals - Buffon on the specific distinctness of the quadrupeds of the old and new world - Different regions of indigenous mammalia - Quadrupeds in islands - Range of the Cetacea - Dissemination of quadrupeds - Their powers of swimming - Migratory instincts - Drifting of quadrupeds on ice-floes - On floating islands of drift-timber - Migrations of Cetacea - Habitations of Birds - Their migrations and facilities of diffusion - Distribution of Reptiles and their powers of dissemination
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 7
Geographical distribution and migrations of fish - Of testacea - Causes which limit the extension of many species - Their mode of diffusion - Geographical range of zoophytes - Their powers of dissemination - Distribution of insects - Migratory instincts of some species - Certain types characterize particular countries - Their means of dissemination - Geographical distribution and diffusion of man - Speculations as to the birth-place of the human species - Progress of human population - Drifting of canoes to vast distances - On the involuntary influence of man in extending the range of many other species
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 8
Theories respecting the original introduction of species - Proposal of an hypothesis on this subject - Supposed centres or foci of creation - Why the distinct provinces of animals and plants have not become more blended together - Brocchi's speculations on the loss of species - Stations of plants and animals - Complication of causes on which they depend - Stations of plants, how affected by animals - Equilibrium in the number of Species, how preserved - Peculiar efficacy of insects in this task - Rapidity with which certain insects multiply, or decrease in numbers - Effect of omnivorous animals in preserving the equilibrium of species - Reciprocal influence of aquatic and terrestrial species on each other
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 9
The circumstances which constitute the Stations of Animals are changeable - Extension of the range of one species alters the condition of others - Supposed effects which may have followed the first entrance of the Polar Bears into Iceland - The first appearance of a new species in a region causes the chief disturbance - Changes known to have resulted from the advance of human population - Whether man increases the productive powers of the earth - Indigenous Quadrupeds and Birds of Great Britain known to have been extirpated - Extinction of the Dodo - Rapid propagation of the domestic Quadrupeds over the American Continent - Power of exterminating species no prerogative of Man - Concluding Remarks
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 10
Influence of inorganic causes in changing the habitations of species - Powers of diffusion indispensable, that each species may maintain its ground - How changes in the physical geography affect the distribution of species - Rate of the change of species cannot be uniform, however regular the action of the inorganic causes - Illustration derived from subsidences by earthquakes - From the elevation of land by the same - From the formation of new islands - From the wearing through of an isthmus - Each change in the physical geography of large regions must occasion the extinction of species - Effects of a general alteration of climate on the migration of species - Gradual refrigeration causes species in the northern and southern hemispheres to become distinct - Elevation of temperature the reverse - Effects in the distribution of species which must result from vicissitudes in climate inconsistent with the theory of transmutation
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 11
Theory of the successive extinction of species consistent with their limited geographical distribution - The discordance in the opinions of botanists respecting the centres from which plants have been diffused may arise from changes in physical geography subsequent to the origin of living species - Whether there are grounds for inferring that the loss from time to time of certain animals and plants is compensated by the introduction of new species? - Whether any evidence of such new creations could be expected within the historical era, even if they had been as frequent as cases of extinction? - The question whether the existing species have been created in succession can only be decided by reference to geological monuments
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 12
Effects produced by the powers of vitality on the state of the earth's surface - Modifications in physical geography caused by organic beings on dry land inferior to those caused in the subaqueous regions - Why the vegetable soil does not augment in thickness - Organic matter drifted annually to the sea, and buried in subaqueous strata - Loss of nourishment from this source, how supplied - The theory, that vegetation is an antagonist power counterbalancing the degradation caused by running water, untenable - That the igneous causes are the true antagonist powers, and not the action of animal and vegetable life - Conservative influence of vegetation - Its bearing on the theory of the formation of valleys, and on the age of the cones of certain extinct volcanos - Rain diminished by the felling of forests - Distribution of the American forests dependent on the direction of the predominant winds - Influence of man in modifying the physical geography of the globe
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 13
Effects produced by the action of animal and vegetable life on the material constituents of the earth's crust - Imbedding of organic remains in deposits on emerged land - Growth of Peat - Peat abundant in cold and humid climates - Site of many ancient forests in Europe now occupied by Peat - Recent date of many of these changes - Sources of Bog iron-ore - Preservation of animal substances in Peat - Causes of its antiseptic property - Miring of quadrupeds - Bursting of the Solway Moss - Bones of herbivorous quadrupeds found in Peat - Imbedding of animal remains in Caves and Fissures - Formation of bony breccias - Human bones and pottery intermixed with the remains of extinct quadrupeds in caves in the South of France - Inferences deducible from such associations
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 14
Imbedding of organic remains in alluvium and the ruins caused by landslips - Effects of sudden inundations - Of landslips - Terrestrial animals most abundantly preserved in alluvium and landslips, where earthquakes prevail - Erroneous theories which may arise from overlooking this circumstance - On the remains of works of art included in alluvial deposits - Imbedding of organic bodies and human remains in blown sand - Temple of Ipsambul on the Nile - Dried carcasses of animals buried in the sands of the African deserts - Towns overwhelmed by sand-floods in England and France - Imbedding of organic bodies and works of art in volcanic formations on the land - Cities and their inhabitants buried by showers of ejected matter - by lava - In tuffs or mud composed of volcanic sand and ashes
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 15
Imbedding of organic remains in subaqueous deposits - Division of the subject - Phenomena relating to terrestrial animals and plants first considered - Wood sunk to a great depth in the sea instantly impregnated with salt-water - Experiments of Scoresby - Drift timber carried by the Mackenzie into Slave Lake and into the sea - Cause of the abundance of drift timber in this river - Floating trees in the Mississippi - In the Gulf stream - Immense quantity thrown upon the coast of Iceland, Spitzbergen, and Labrador - Imbedding of the remains of insects - Of the remains of reptiles - Why the bones of birds are so rare in subaqueous deposits - Imbedding of terrestrial quadrupeds - Effects of a flood in the Solway Firth - Wild horses annually drowned in the savannahs of South America - Skeletons in recent shell marl - Drifting of mammiferous and other remains by tides and currents
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 16
Imbedding of the remains of man and his works in subaqueous strata - Drifting of bodies to the sea by river-inundations - Destruction of bridges and houses - Burial of human bodies in the sea - Loss of lives by shipwreck - Circumstances under which human corpses may be preserved under a great thickness of recent deposits - Number of wrecked vessels - Durable character of many of their contents - Examples of fossil skeletons of men - Of fossil canoes, ships, and works of art - Of the chemical changes which certain metallic instruments have undergone after long submergence - Effects of the subsidence of land in imbedding cities and forests in subaqueous strata - Earthquake of Cutch in 1819 - Submarine forests - Berkely's arguments for the recent date of the creation of man - Concluding remarks
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 17
Imbedding of aquatic species in subaqueous strata - Inhumation of freshwater plants and animals - Shell marl - Fossilized seed-vessels and stems of Chara - Recent deposits in the American lakes - Fresh-water species drifted into seas and estuaries - Lewes levels - Alternations of marine and freshwater strata, how caused - Imbedding of marine plants and animals - Cetacea stranded on our shores - Their remains should be more conspicuous in marine alluvium than the bones of land quadrupeds - Liability of littoral and estuary testacea to be swept into the deep sea - Effects of a storm in the Frith of Forth - Burrowing shells secured from the ordinary action of waves and currents - Living testacea found at considerable depths
Chapter Vol 2 Chap 18
Formation of coral reefs - They are composed of shells as well as corals - Conversion of a submerged reef into an island - Extent and thickness of coral formations - The Maldiva isles - Growth of coral not rapid - Its geological importance - Circular and oval forms of coral islands - Shape of their lagoons - Causes of their peculiar configuration - Openings into the lagoons - Why the windward side both in islands and submerged reefs is higher than the leeward - Stratification of coral formations - Extent of some reefs in the Pacific - That the subsidence by earthquakes in the Pacific exceeds the elevation due to the same cause - Elizabeth, or Henderson's Island - Coral and shell limestones now in progress, exceed in area any known group of ancient rocks - The theory that all limestone is of animal origin, considered - The hypothesis that the quantity of calcareous matter has been and is still on the increase, controverted
Descriptioon of the Plates and Maps
Front Matter
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 1
Connexion between the subjects treated of in the former parts of this work and those to be discussed in the present volume - Erroneous assumption of the earlier geologists respecting the discordance of the former and actual causes of change - Opposite system of inquiry adopted in this work - Illustrations from the history of the progress of Geology of the respective merits of the two systems - Habit of indulging conjectures respecting irregular and extraordinary agents not yet abandoned - Necessity in the present state of science of prefixing to a work on Geology treatises respecting the changes now in progress in the animate and inanimate world
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 2
Arrangement of the materials composing the earth's crust - The existing continents chiefly composed of subaqueous deposits - Distinction between sedimentary and volcanic rocks - Between primary, secondary, and tertiary - Origin of the primary - Transition formations - Difference between secondary and tertiary strata - Discovery of tertiary groups of successive periods - Paris basin - London and Hampshire basins - Tertiary strata of Bordeaux, Piedmont, Touraine, &c. - Subapennine beds - English crag - More recent deposits of Sicily, &c.
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 3
Different circumstances under which the secondary and tertiary formations may have originated - Secondary series formed when the ocean prevailed: Tertiary during the conversion of sea into land, and the growth of a continent - Origin of interruption in the sequence of formations - The areas where new deposits take place are always varying - Causes which occasion this transference of the places of sedimentary deposition - Denudation augments the discordance in age of rocks in contact - Unconformability of overlying formations - In what manner the shifting of the areas of sedimentary deposition may combine with the gradual extinction and introduction of species to produce a series of deposits having distinct mineral and organic characters
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 4
Chronological relations of mineral masses the first object in geological classification - Superposition, proof of more recent origin - Exceptions in regard to volcanic rocks - Relative age proved by included fragments of older rocks - Proofs of contemporaneous origin derived from mineral characters - Variations to which these characters are liable - Recurrence of distinct rocks at successive periods - Proofs of contemporaneous origin derived from organic remains - Zoological provinces are of limited extent, yet spread over wider areas than homogeneous mineral deposits - Different modes whereby dissimilar mineral masses and distinct groups of species may be proved to have been contemporaneous
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 5
Classification of tertiary formations in chronological order - Comparative value of different classes of organic remains - Fossil remains of testacea the most important - Necessity of accurately determining species - Tables of shells by M. Deshayes - Four subdivisions of the Tertiary epoch - Recent formations - Newer Pliocene period - Older Pliocene period - Miocene period - Eocene period - The distinct zoological characters of these periods may not imply sudden changes in the animate creation - The recent strata form a common point of departure in distant regions - Numerical proportion of recent species of shells in different tertiary periods - Mammiferous remains of the successive tertiary eras - Synoptical Table of Recent and Tertiary formations
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 6
Newer Pliocene formations - Reasons for considering in the first place the more modern periods - Geological structure of Sicily - Formations of the Val di Noto of newer Pliocene period - Divisible into three groups - Great limestone - Schistose and arenaceous limestone - Blue marl with shells - Strata subjacent to the above - Volcanic rocks of the Val di Noto - Dikes - Tuffs and Peperinos - Volcanic conglomerates - Proofs of long intervals between volcanic eruptions - Dip and direction of newer Pliocene strata of Sicily
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 7
Marine and volcanic formations at the base of Etna - Their connexion with the strata of the Val di Noto - Bay of Trezza - Cyclopian isles - Fossil shells of recent species - Basalt and altered rocks in the Isle of Cyclops - Submarine lavas of the bay of Trezza not currents from Etna - Internal structure of the cone of Etna - Val di Calanna - Val del Bove not an ancient crater - Its precipices intersected by countless dikes - Scenery of the Val del Bove - Form, composition, and origin of the dikes - Lavas and breccias intersected by them
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 8
Speculations on the origin of the Val del Bove on Etna - Subsidences - Antiquity of the cone of Etna - Mode of computing the age of volcanos - Their growth analogous to that of exogenous trees - Period required for the production of the lateral cones of Etna - Whether signs of Diluvial Waves are observable on Etna
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 9
Origin of the newer Pliocene strata of Sicily - Growth of submarine formations gradual - Rise of the same above the level of the sea probably caused by subterranean lava - Igneous newer Pliocene rocks formed at great depths, exceed in volume the lavas of Etna - Probable structure of these recent subterranean rocks - Changes which they may have superinduced upon strata in contact - Alterations of the surface during and since the emergence of the newer Pliocene strata - Forms of the Sicilian valleys - Sea cliffs - Proofs of successive elevation - Why the valleys in the newer Pliocene districts correspond in form to those in regions of higher antiquity - Migrations of animals and plants since the emergence of the newer Pliocene strata - Some species older than the stations they inhabit - Recapitulation
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 10
Tertiary formations of Campania - Comparison of the recorded changes in this region with those commemorated by geological monuments - Differences in the composition of Somma and Vesuvius - Dikes of Somma, their origin - Cause of the parallelism of their opposite sides - Why coarser grained in the centre - Minor cones of the Phlegraean Fields - Age of the volcanic and associated rocks of Campania - Organic remains - External configuration of the country, how produced - No signs of diluvial waves - Marine Newer Pliocene strata visible only in countries of earthquakes - Illustrations from Chili - Peru - Parallel roads of Coquirnbo - West-Indian archipelago - Honduras - East-Indian archipelago - Red Sea
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 11
Newer Pliocene fresh - water formations - Valley of the Elsa - Travertins of Rome - Osseous breccias - Sicily - Caves near Palermo - Extinct animals in newer Pliocene breccias - Fossil bones of Marsupial animals in Australian caves - Formation of osseous breccias in the Mores - Newer Pliocene alluviums - Difference between alluviums and regular subaqueous strata - The former of various ages - Marine alluvium - Grooved surface of rocks - Erratic blocks of the Alps - Theory of deluges caused by paroxysmal elevations untenable - How ice may have contributed to transport large blocks from the Alps - European alluviums chiefly tertiary - Newer Pliocene in Sicily - Loss of the Valley of the Rhine - Its origin - Contains recent shells
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 12
Geological monuments of the older Pliocene period - Subapennine formations - Opinions of Brocchi - Different groups termed by him Subapennine are not all of the same age - Mineral composition of the Subapennine formations - Marls - Yellow sand and gravel - Subapennine beds how formed - Illustration derived from the Upper Val d'Arno - Organic remains of Subapennine hills - Older Pliocene strata at the base of the Maritime Alps - Genoa - Savona - Albenga - Nice - Conglomerate of Valley of Magnan - Its origin - Tertiary strata at the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 13
Crag of Norfolk and Suffolk - Shown by its fossil contents to belong to the older Pliocene period - Heterogeneous in its composition - Superincumbent lacustrine deposits - Relative position of the crag - Forms of stratification - Strata composed of groups of oblique layers - Cause of this arrangement - Dislocations in the crag produced by subterranean movements - Protruded masses of chalk - Passage of marine crag into alluvium - Recent shells in a deposit at Sheppey, Ramsgate, and Brighton
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 14
Volcanic rocks of the older Pliocene period - Italy - Volcanic region of Olot in Catalonia - Its extent and geological structure - Map - Number of cones - Scoriae - Lava currents - Ravines in the latter cut by water - Ancient alluvium underlying lava - Jets of air called 'Bufadors' - Age of the Catalonian volcanos uncertain - Earthquake which destroyed Olot in 1421 - Sardinian volcanos - District of the Eifel and Lower Rhine - Map - Geological structure of the country - Peculiar characteristics of the Eifel volcanos - Lake craters - Trass - Crater of the Roderberg - Age of the Eifel volcanic rocks uncertain - Brown coal formation
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 15
Miocene period - Marine formations - Faluns of Touraine - Comparison of the Faluns of the Loire and the English Crag - Basin of the Gironde and Landes - Fresh-water limestone of Saucats - Position of the limestone of Blaye - Eocene strata in the Bordeaux basin - Inland cliff near Dax - Strata of Piedmont - Superga - Valley of the Bormida - Molasse of Switzerland - Basin of Vienna - Styria - Hungary - Volhynia and Podolia - Montpellier
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 16
Miocene alluviums - Auvergne - Mont Perrier - Extinct quadrupeds - Velay - Orleanais - Alluviums contemporaneous with Faluns of Touraine - - Miocene fresh - water formations - Upper Val d'Arno - Extinct mammalia - Coal of Cadibona - Miocene volcanic rocks - Hungary - Transylvania - Styria - Auvergne - Velay
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 17
Eocene period - Fresh-water formations - Central France - Map - Limagne d'Auvergne - Sandstone and conglomerate - Tertiary Red marl and sandstone like the secondary 'new red sandstone' - Green and white foliated marls - Indusial limestone - Gypseous marls - General arrangement and origin of the Travertin - Fresh-water formation of the Limagne - Puy en Velay - Analogy of the strata to those of Auvergne - Cantal - Resemblance of Aurillac limestone and its flints to our upper chalk - Proofs of the gradual deposition of marl - Concluding remarks
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 18
Marine formations of the Eocene period - Strata of the Paris basin how far analogous to the lacustrine deposits of Central France - Geographical connexion of the Limagne d'Auvergne and the Paris basin - Chain of lakes in the Eocene period - Classification of groups in the Paris basin - Observations of M. C. Prevost - Sketch of the different subdivisions of the Paris basin - Contemporaneous marine and fresh-water strata - Abundance of Cerithia in the Calcaire grossier - Upper marine formation indicates a subsidence - Part of the Calcaire grossier destroyed when the upper marine strata originated - All the Parisian groups belong to one great epoch - Microscopic shells - Bones of quadrupeds in gypsum - In what manner entombed - Number of species - All extinct - Strata with and without organic remains alternating - Our knowledge of the physical geography, fauna, and flora of the Eocene period considerable - Concluding remarks
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 19
Volcanic rocks of the Eocene period - Auvergne - Igneous formations associated with lacustrine strata - Hill of Gergovia - Eruptions in Central France at successive periods - Mont Dor an extinct volcano - Velay - Plomb du Cantal - Train of minor volcanos stretching from Auvergne to the Vivarais - Monts Domes - Puy de C(me - Puy Rouge - Ravines excavated through lava - Currents of lava at different heights - Subjacent alluviums of distinct ages - The more modern lavas of Central France may belong to the Miocene period - The integrity of the cones not inconsistent with this opinion - No eruptions during the historical era - Division of volcanos into ante-diluvian and post-diluvian inadmissible - Theories respecting the effects of the Flood considered - Hypothesis of a partial flood - Of a universal deluge - Theory of Dr. Buckland as controverted by Dr. Fleming - Recapitulation
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 20
Eocene formations, continued - Basin of the Cotentin, or Valognes - Rennes - Basin of Belgium, or the Netherlands - Aix in Provence - Fossil insects - Tertiary strata of England - Basins of London and Hampshire - Different groups - Plastic clay and sand - London clay - Bagshot sand - Fresh-water strata of the Isle of Wight - Palaeotherium and other fossil mammalia of Binstead - English Eocene strata conformable to chalk - Outliers on the elevated parts of the chalk - Inferences drawn from their occurrence - Sketch of a theory of the origin of the English tertiary strata
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 21
Denudation of secondary strata during the deposition of the English Eocene formations - Valley of the Weald between the North and South Downs - Map - Secondary rocks of the Weald divisible into five groups - North and South Downs - Section across the valley of the Weald - Anticlinal axis - True scale of heights - Rise and denudation of the strata gradual - Chalk escarpments once sea-cliffs - Lower terrace of 'firestone,' how caused - Parallel ridges and valleys formed by harder and softer beds - No ruins of the chalk on the central district of the Weald - Explanation of this phenomenon - Double system of valleys, the longitudinal and the transverse - Transverse how formed - Gorges intersecting the chalk - Lewes Coomb - Transverse valley of the Adur
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 22
Denudation of the Valley of the Weald, continued - The alternative of the proposition that the chalk of the North and South Downs were once continuous, considered - Dr. Buckland on the Valley of Kingsclere - Rise and denudation of secondary rocks gradual - Concomitant deposition of tertiary strata gradual - Composition of the latter such as would result from the wreck of the secondary rocks - Valleys and furrows on the chalk how caused - Auvergne, the Paris basin, and south-east of England one region of earthquakes during the Eocene period - Why the central parts of the London and Hampshire basins rise nearly as high as the denudation of the WealdEffects of protruding force counteracted by the levelling operations of water - Thickness of masses removed from the central ridge of the Weald - Great escarpment of the chalk having a direction north-east and south-west - Curved and vertical strata in the Isle of Wight - These were convulsed after the deposition of the fresh-water beds of Headen Hill - Elevations of land posterior to the crag - Why no Eocene alluviums recognizable - Concluding remarks on the intermittent operations of earthquakes in the south-east of England, and the gradual formation of valleys - Recapitulation
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 23
Secondary formations - Brief enumeration of the principal groups - No species common to the secondary and tertiary rocks - Chasm between the Eocene and Maestricht beds - Duration of secondary periods - Former continents placed where it is now sea - Secondary fresh-water deposits why rare - Persistency of mineral composition why apparently greatest in older rocks - Supposed universality of red marl formations - Secondary rocks why more consolidated - Why more fractured and disturbed - Secondary volcanic rocks of many different ages
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 24
On the relative antiquity of different mountain-chains - Theory of M. Elie de Beaumont - His opinions controverted - His method of proving that different chains were raised at distinct periods - His proof that others were contemporaneous - His reasoning why not conclusive - His doctrine of the parallelism of contemporaneous lines of elevation - Objections - Theory of parallelism at variance with geological phenomena as exhibited in Great Britain - Objections of Mr. Conybeare - How far anticlinal lines formed at the same period are parallel - Difficulties in the way of determining the relative age of mountains
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 25
On the rocks usually termed 'Primary' - Their relation to volcanic and sedimentary formations - The 'primary' class divisible into stratified and unstratified - Unstratified rocks called Plutonic - Granite veins - Their various forms and mineral composition - Proofs of their igneous origin - Granites of the same character produced at successive eras - Some of these newer than certain fossiliferous strata - Difficulty of determining the age of particular granites - Distinction between the volcanic and the plutonic rocks - Trappean rocks not separable from the volcanic - Passage from trap into granite - Theory of the origin of granite at every period from the earliest to the most recent
Chapter Vol 3 Chap 26
On the stratified rocks usually called 'primary' - Proofs from the disposition of their strata that they were originally deposited from water - Alternation of beds varying in composition and colour - Passage of gneiss into granite - Alteration of sedimentary strata by trappean and granitic dikes - Inference as to the origin of the strata called 'primary' - Conversion of argillaceous into hornblende schist - The term 'Hypogene' proposed as a substitute for primary - 'Metamorphic' for 'stratified primary' rocks - No regular order of succession of hypogene formations - Passage from the metamorphic to the sedimentary strata - Cause of the high relative antiquity of the visible hypogene formations - That antiquity consistent with the hypothesis that they have been produced at each successive period in equal quantities - Great volume of hypogene rocks supposed to have been formed since the Eocene period - Concluding remarks
Relative Ages of Different Formations
Deshay's Table of Shells
General Results
Fossil Shells Collected by Author

Sir Charles Lyell was a Scottish geologist, best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which presented uniformitarianism - the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same scientific processes still in operation today - to the broad general public. His scientific contributions included an explanation of earthquakes, the theory of gradual "backed up-building" of volcanoes, and in stratigraphy the division of the Tertiary period into the Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene. He also coined the currently-used names for geological eras, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Lyell, following deistic traditions, favoured an indefinitely long age for the earth, despite geological evidence suggesting an old but finite age. He was a close friend of Charles Darwin, and contributed significantly to Darwin's thinking on the processes involved in evolution. He helped to arrange the simultaneous publication in 1858 of papers by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace on natural selection, despite his personal religious qualms about the theory. He later published evidence from geology of the time man had existed on Earth.

Principles of Geology: being an attempt to explain the former changes of the Earth's surface, by reference to causes now in operation is a book by the Scottish geologist Charles Lyell, first published in 3 volumes in 1830-1833. Lyell used geology throughout as a basis to strengthen his argument for Uniformitarianism. He used geological proof to determine that the Earth was older than 6,000 years, as had been previously contested. The book shows that the processes that are occurring in the present are the same processes that occurred in the past. The book was influential, not least on the young graduate Charles Darwin, who was given Volume 1 of the first edition by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, just before they set out (December 1831) on their voyage on the Beagle. On their first stop ashore at St Jago, Darwin found rock formations which, when seen "through Lyell's eyes", gave him a revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island, an insight he applied throughout his travels. While in South America, Darwin received Volume 2, which rejected the idea of organic evolution, proposing "Centres of Creation" to explain diversity and territory of species.

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