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1835.]
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ELEVATION OF A RIVER-COURSE.

not most wonderful that men should have attempted such operations, without the use of iron or gunpowder? Mr. Gill also mentioned to me a most interesting, and, as far as I am aware, quite unparalleled case, of a subterranean disturbance having changed the drainage of a country. Travelling from Casma to Huaraz (not very far distant from Lima), he found a plain covered with ruins and marks of ancient cultivation, but now quite barren. Near it was the dry course of a considerable river, whence the water for irrigation had formerly been conducted. There was nothing in the appearance of the water-course, to indicate that the river had not flowed there a few years previously; in some parts, beds of sand and gravel were spread out; in others, the solid rock had been worn into a broad channel, which in one spot was about 40 yards in breadth and 8 feet deep. It is self-evident that a person following up the course of a stream, will always ascend at a greater or less inclination: Mr. Gill, therefore, was much astonished, when walking up the bed of this ancient river, to find himself suddenly going down hill. He imagined that the downward slope had a fall of about 40 or 50 feet perpendicular. We here have unequivocal evidence that a ridge had been uplifted right across the old bed of a stream. From the moment the river-course was thus arched, the water must necessarily have been thrown back, and a new channel formed. From that moment, also, the neighbouring plain must have lost its fertilizing stream, and become a desert.

 

June 21th.—We set out early in the morning, and by mid-day reached the ravine of Paypote, where there is a tiny rill of water, with a little vegetation, and even a few algarroba trees, a kind of mimosa. From having fire-wood, a smelting-furnace had formerly been built here: we found a solitary man in charge of it, whose sole employment was hunting guanacos. At night it froze sharply; but having plenty of wood for our fire, we kept ourselves warm.

28th.—We continued gradually ascending, and the valley now changed into a ravine. During the day we saw several guanacos, and the track of the closely-allied species, the Vicuña: this latter animal is pre-eminently alpine in its habits; it seldom descends