Student's Elements of Geology

Geology defined. — Successive Formation of the Earth's Crust. — Classification of Rocks according to their Origin and Age. — Aqueous Rocks. — Their Stratification and imbedded Fossils. — Volcanic Rocks, with and without Cones and Craters. — Plutonic Rocks, and their Relation to the Volcanic. — Metamorphic Rocks, and their probable Origin. — The term Primitive, why erroneously applied to the Crystalline Formations. — Leading Division of the Work.


Mineral Composition of Strata. — Siliceous Rocks. — Argillaceous. — Calcareous. — Gypsum. — Forms of Stratification. — Original Horizontality. — Thinning out. — Diagonal Arrangement. — Ripple-mark.


Successive Deposition indicated by Fossils. — Limestones formed of Corals and Shells. — Proofs of gradual Increase of Strata derived from Fossils. — Serpula attached to Spatangus. — Wood bored by Teredina. — Tripoli formed of Infusoria. — Chalk derived principally from Organic Bodies. — Distinction of Fresh-water from Marine Formations. — Genera of Fresh-water and Land Shells. — Rules for recognising Marine Testacea. — Gyrogonite and Chara. — Fresh-water Fishes. — Alternation of Marine and Fresh-water Deposits. — Lym-Fiord.


Chemical and Mechanical Deposits. — Cementing together of Particles. — Hardening by Exposure to Air. — Concretionary Nodules. — Consolidating Effects of Pressure. — Mineralization of Organic Remains. — Impressions and Casts: how formed. — Fossil Wood. — Goppert's Experiments. — Precipitation of Stony Matter most rapid where Putrefaction is going on. — Sources of Lime and Silex in Solution.


Why the Position of Marine Strata, above the Level of the Sea, should be referred to the rising up of the Land, not to the going down of the Sea. — Strata of Deep-sea and Shallow-water Origin alternate. — Also Marine and Fresh-water Beds and old Land Surfaces. — Vertical, inclined, and folded Strata. — Anticlinal and Synclinal Curves. — Theories to explain Lateral Movements. — Creeps in Coal-mines. — Dip and Strike. — Structure of the Jura. — Various Forms of Outcrop. — Synclinal Strata forming Ridges. — Connection of Fracture and Flexure of Rocks. — Inverted Strata. — Faults described. — Superficial Signs of the same obliterated by Denudation. — Great Faults the Result of repeated Movements. — Arrangement and Direction of parallel Folds of Strata. — Unconformability. — Overlapping Strata.

Denudation defined. — Its Amount more than equal to the entire Mass of Stratified Deposits in the Earth's Crust. — subaërial Denudation. — Action of the Wind. — Action of Running Water. — Alluvium defined. — Different Ages of Alluvium. — Denuding Power of Rivers affected by Rise or Fall of Land. — Littoral Denudation. — Inland Sea-Cliffs. — Escarpments. — Submarine Denudation. — Dogger-bank. — Newfoundland Bank. — Denuding Power of the Ocean during Emergence of Land.


How we obtain an Insight at the Surface, of the Arrangement of Rocks at great Depths. — Why the Height of the successive Strata in a given Region is so disproportionate to their Thickness. — Computation of the average annual Amount of subaërial Denudation. — Antagonism of Volcanic Force to the Levelling Power of running Water. — How far the Transfer of Sediment from the Land to a neighbouring Sea-bottom may affect Subterranean Movements. — Permanence of Continental and Oceanic Areas.

Aqueous, Plutonic, volcanic, and metamorphic Rocks considered chronologically. — Terms Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary; Palæozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic explained. — On the different Ages of the aqueous Rocks. — Three principal Tests of relative Age: Superposition, Mineral Character, and Fossils. — Change of Mineral Character and Fossils in the same continuous Formation. — Proofs that distinct Species of Animals and Plants have lived at successive Periods. — Distinct Provinces of indigenous Species. — Great Extent of single Provinces. — Similar Laws prevailed at successive Geological Periods. — Relative Importance of mineral and palæontological Characters. — Test of Age by included Fragments. — Frequent Absence of Strata of intervening Periods. — Tabular Views of fossiliferous Strata.


Order of Succession of Sedimentary Formations. — Frequent Unconformability of Strata. — Imperfection of the Record. — Defectiveness of the Monuments greater in Proportion to their Antiquity. — Reasons for studying the newer Groups first. — Nomenclature of Formations. — Detached Tertiary Formations scattered over Europe. — Value of the Shell-bearing Mollusca in Classification. — Classification of Tertiary Strata. — Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene Terms explained.

Recent and Post-pliocene Periods. — Terms defined. — Formations of the Recent Period. — Modern littoral Deposits containing Works of Art near Naples. — Danish Peat and Shell-mounds. — Swiss Lake-dwellings. — Periods of Stone, Bronze, and Iron. — Post-pliocene Formations. — Coexistence of Man with extinct Mammalia. — Reindeer Period of South of France. — Alluvial Deposits of Paleolithic Age. — Higher and Lower-level Valley-gravels. — Loess or Inundation-mud of the Nile, Rhine, etc. — Origin of Caverns. — Remains of Man and extinct Quadrupeds in Cavern Deposits. — Cave of Kirkdale. — Australian Cave-breccias. — Geographical Relationship of the Provinces of living Vertebrata and those of extinct Post-pliocene Species. — Extinct struthious Birds of New Zealand. — Climate of the Post-pliocene Period. — Comparative Longevity of Species in the Mammalia and Testacea. — Teeth of Recent and Post-pliocene Mammalia.


Geographical Distribution, Form, and Characters of Glacial Drift. — Fundamental Rocks, polished, grooved, and scratched. — Abrading and striating Action of Glaciers. — Moraines, Erratic Blocks, and "Roches Moutonnees". — Alpine Blocks on the Jura. — Continental Ice of Greenland. — Ancient Centres of the Dispersion of Erratics. — Transportation of Drift by floating Icebergs. — Bed of the Sea furrowed and polished by the running aground of floating Ice-islands.

  • Chapter_XII - POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD, continued.—GLACIAL CONDITIONS, concluded.

Glaciation of Scandinavia and Russia. — Glaciation of Scotland. — Mammoth in Scotch Till. — Marine Shells in Scotch Glacial Drift. — Their Arctic Character. — Rarity of Organic Remains in Glacial Deposits. — Contorted Strata in Drift. — Glaciation of Wales, England, and Ireland. — Marine Shells of Moel Tryfaen. — Erratics near Chichester. — Glacial Formations of North America. — Many Species of Testacea and Quadrupeds survived the Glacial Cold. — Connection of the Predominance of Lakes with Glacial Action. — Action of Ice in preventing the silting up of Lake-basins. — Absence of Lakes in the Caucasus. — Equatorial Lakes of Africa.

Glacial Formations of Pliocene Age. — Bridlington Beds. — Glacial Drifts of Ireland. — Drift of Norfolk Cliffs. — Cromer Forest-bed. — Aldeby and Chillesford Beds. — Norwich Crag. — Older Pliocene Strata. — Red Crag of Suffolk. — Coprolitic Bed of Red Crag. — White or Coralline Crag. — Relative Age, Origin, and Climate of the Crag Deposits. — Antwerp Crag. — Newer Pliocene Strata of Sicily. — Newer Pliocene Strata of the Upper Val d'Arno. — Older Pliocene of Italy. — Subapennine Strata. — Older Pliocene Flora of Italy.

Upper Miocene Strata of France. — Faluns of Touraine. — Tropical Climate implied by Testacea. — Proportion of recent Species of Shells. — faluns more ancient than the Suffolk Crag. — Upper Miocene of Bordeaux and the South of France. — Upper Miocene of Oeningen, in Switzerland. — Plants of the Upper Fresh-water Molasse. — Fossil Fruit and Flowers as well as Leaves. — Insects of the Upper Molasse. — Middle or Marine Molasse of Switzerland. — Upper Miocene Beds of the Bolderberg, in Belgium. — Vienna Basin. — Upper Miocene of Italy and Greece. — Upper Miocene of India; Siwalik Hills. — Older Pliocene and Miocene of the United States.

Lower Miocene Strata of France. — Line between Miocene and Eocene. — Lacustrine Strata of Auvergne. — Fossil Mammalia of the Limagne d'Auvergne. — Lower Molasse of Switzerland. — Dense Conglomerates and Proofs of Subsidence. — Flora of the Lower Molasse. — American Character of the Flora. — Theory of a Miocene Atlantis. — Lower Miocene of Belgium. — Rupelian Clay of Hermsdorf near Berlin. — Mayence Basin. — Lower Miocene of Croatia. — Oligocene Strata of Beyrich. — Lower Miocene of Italy. — Lower Miocene of England. — Hempstead Beds. — Bovey Tracey Lignites in Devonshire. — Isle of Mull Leaf-Beds. — Arctic Miocene Flora. — Disco Island. — Lower Miocene of United States. — Fossils of Nebraska.

Eocene Areas of North of Europe. — Table of English and French Eocene Strata. — Upper Eocene of England. — Bembridge Beds. — Osborne or St. Helen's Beds. — Headon Series. — Fossils of the Barton Sands and Clays. — Middle Eocene of England. — Shells, Nummulites, Fish and Reptiles of the Bracklesham Beds and Bagshot Sands. — Plants of Alum Bay and Bournemouth. — Lower Eocene of England. — London Clay Fossils. — Woolwich and Reading Beds formerly called "Plastic Clay". — Fluviatile Beds underlying Deep-sea Strata. — Thanet Sands. — Upper Eocene Strata of France. — Gypseous Series of Montmartre and Extinct Quadrupeds. — Fossil Footprints in Paris Gypsum. — Imperfection of the Record. — Calcaire Silicieux. — Gres de Beauchamp. — Calcaire Grossier. — Miliolite Limestone. — Soissonnais Sands. — Lower Eocene of France. — Nummulitic Formations of Europe, Africa, and Asia. — Eocene Strata in the United States. — Gigantic Cetacean.

Lapse of Time between Cretaceous and Eocene Periods. — Table of successive Cretaceous Formations. — Maestricht Beds. — Pisolitic Limestone of France. — Chalk of Faxoe. — Geographical Extent and Origin of the White Chalk. — Chalky Matter now forming in the Bed of the Atlantic. — Marked Difference between the Cretaceous and existing Fauna. — Chalk-flints. — Pot-stones of Horstead. — Vitreous Sponges in the Chalk. — Isolated Blocks of Foreign Rocks in the White Chalk supposed to be ice-borne. — Distinctness of Mineral Character in contemporaneous Rocks of the Cretaceous Epoch. — Fossils of the White Chalk. — Lower White Chalk without Flints. — Chalk Marl and its Fossils. — Chloritic Series or Upper Greensand. — Coprolite Bed near Cambridge. — Fossils of the Chloritic Series. — Gault. — Connection between Upper and Lower Cretaceous Strata. — Blackdown Beds. — Flora of the Upper Cretaceous Period. — Hippurite Limestone. — Cretaceous Rocks in the United States.

Classification of marine and fresh-water Strata. — Upper Neocomian. — Folkestone and Hythe Beds. — Atherfield Clay. — Similarity of Conditions causing Reappearance of Species after short Intervals. — Upper Speeton Clay. — Middle Neocomian. — Tealby Series. — Middle Speeton Clay. — Lower Neocomian. — Lower Speeton Clay. — Wealden Formation. — Fresh-water Character of the Wealden. — Weald Clay. — Hastings Sands. — Punfield Beds of Purbeck, Dorsetshire. — Fossil Shells and Fish of the Wealden. — Area of the Wealden. — Flora of the Wealden.


The Purbeck Beds a Member of the Jurassic Group. — Subdivisions of that Group. — Physical Geography of the Oolite in England and France. — Upper Oolite. — Purbeck Beds. — New Genera of fossil Mammalia in the Middle Purbeck of Dorsetshire. — Dirt-bed or ancient Soil. — Fossils of the Purbeck Beds. — Portland Stone and Fossils. — Kimmeridge Clay. — Lithographic Stone of Solenhofen. — Archæopteryx. — Middle Oolite. — Coral Rag. — Nerinæa Limestone. — Oxford Clay, Ammonites and Belemnites. — Kelloway Rock. — Lower, or Bath, Oolite. — Great Plants of the Oolite. — Oolite and Bradford Clay. — Stonesfield Slate. — Fossil Mammalia. — Fuller's Earth. — Inferior Oolite and Fossils. — Northamptonshire Slates. — Yorkshire Oolitic Coal-field. — Brora Coal. — Palæontological Relations of the several Subdivisions of the Oolitic group.

Mineral Character of Lias. — Numerous successive Zones in the Lias, marked by distinct Fossils, without Unconformity in the Stratification, or Change in the Mineral Character of the Deposits. — Gryphite Limestone. — Shells of the Lias. — Fish of the Lias. — Reptiles of the Lias. — Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur. — Marine Reptile of the Galapagos Islands. — Sudden Destruction and Burial of Fossil Animals in Lias. — Fluvio-marine Beds in Gloucestershire, and Insect Limestone. — Fossil Plants. — The origin of the Oolite and Lias, and of alternating Calcareous and Argillaceous Formations.

Beds of Passage between the Lias and Trias, Rhætic Beds. — Triassic Mammifer. — Triple Division of the Trias. — Keuper, or Upper Trias of England. — Reptiles of the Upper Trias. — Foot-prints in the Bunter formation in England. — Dolomitic Conglomerate of Bristol. — Origin of Red Sandstone and Rock-salt. — Precipitation of Salt from inland Lakes and Lagoons. — Trias of Germany. — Keuper. — St. Cassian and Hallstadt Beds. — Peculiarity of their Fauna. — Muschelkalk and its Fossils. — Trias of the United States. — Fossil Foot-prints of Birds and Reptiles in the Valley of the Connecticut. — Triassic Mammifer of North Carolina. — Triassic Coal-field of Richmond, Virginia. — Low Grade of early Mammals favourable to the Theory of Progressive Development.

Line of Separation between Mesozoic and Palæozoic Rocks. — Distinctness of Triassic and Permian Fossils. — Term Permian. — Thickness of calcareous and sedimentary Rocks in North of England. — Upper, Middle, and Lower Permian. — Marine Shells and Corals of the English Magnesian Limestone. — Reptiles and Fish of Permian Marl-slate. — Foot-prints of Reptiles. — Angular Breccias in Lower Permian. — Permian Rocks of the Continent. — Zechstein and Rothliegendes of Thuringia. — Permian Flora. — Its generic Affinity to the Carboniferous.

Principal Subdivisions of the Carboniferous Group. — Different Thickness of the sedimentary and calcareous Members in Scotland and the South of England. — Coal-measures. — Terrestrial Nature of the Growth of Coal. — Erect fossil Trees. — Uniting of many Coal-seams into one thick Bed. — Purity of the Coal explained. — Conversion of Coal into Anthracite. — Origin of Clay-ironstone. — Marine and brackish-water Strata in Coal. — Fossil Insects. — Batrachian Reptiles. — Labyrinthodont Foot-prints in Coal-measures. — Nova Scotia Coal-measures with successive Growths of erect fossil Trees. — Similarity of American and European Coal. — Air-breathers of the American Coal. — Changes of Condition of Land and Sea indicated by the Carboniferous Strata of Nova Scotia.

Vegetation of the Coal Period. — Ferns, Lycopodiaceæ, Equisetaceæ, Sigillariæ, Stigmariæ, Coniferæ. — Angiosperms. — Climate of the Coal Period. — Mountain Limestone. — Marine Fauna of the Carboniferous Period. — Corals. — Bryozoa, Crinoidea. — Mollusca. — Great Number of fossil Fish. — Foraminifera.

Classification of the Old Red Sandstone in Scotland and in Devonshire. — Upper Old Red Sandstone in Scotland, with Fish and Plants. — Middle Old Red Sandstone. — Classification of the Ichthyolites of the Old Red, and their Relation to Living Types. — Lower Old Red Sandstone, with Cephalaspis and Pterygotus. — Marine or Devonian Type of Old Red Sandstone. — Table of Devonian Series. — Upper Devonian Rocks and Fossils. — Middle. — Lower. — Eifel Limestone of Germany. — Devonian of Russia. — Devonian Strata of the United States and Canada. — Devonian Plants and Insects of Canada.

Classification of the Silurian Rocks. — Ludlow Formation and Fossils. — Bone-bed of the Upper Ludlow. — Lower Ludlow Shales with Pentamerus. — Oldest known Remains of fossil Fish. — Table of the progressive Discovery of Vertebrata in older Rocks. — Wenlock Formation, Corals, Cystideans and Trilobites. — Llandovery Group or Beds of Passage. — Lower Silurian Rocks. — Caradoc and Bala Beds. — Brachiopoda. — Trilobites. — Cystideæ. — Graptolites. — Llandeilo Flags. — Arenig or Stiper-stones Group. — Foreign Silurian Equivalents in Europe. — Silurian Strata of the United States. — Canadian Equivalents. — Amount of specific Agreement of Fossils with those of Europe.

Classification of the Cambrian Group, and its Equivalent in Bohemia. — Upper Cambrian Rocks. — Tremadoc Slates and their Fossils. — Lingula Flags. — Lower Cambrian Rocks. — Menevian Beds. — Longmynd Group. — Harlech Grits with large Trilobites. — Llanberis Slates. — Cambrian Rocks of Bohemia. — Primordial Zone of Barrande. — Metamorphosis of Trilobites. — Cambrian Rocks of Sweden and Norway. — Cambrian Rocks of the United States and Canada. — Potsdam Sandstone. — Huronian Series. — Laurentian Group, upper and lower. — Eozoon Canadense, oldest known Fossil. — Fundamental Gneiss of Scotland.

External Form, Structure, and Origin of Volcanic Mountains. — Cones and Craters. — Hypothesis of "Elevation Craters" considered. — Trap Rocks. — Name whence derived. — Minerals most abundant in Volcanic Rocks. — Table of the Analysis of Minerals in the Volcanic and Hypogene Rocks. — Similar Minerals in Meteorites. — Theory of Isomorphism. — Basaltic Rocks. — Trachytic Rocks. — Special Forms of Structure. — The columnar and globular Forms. — Trap Dikes and Veins. — Alteration of Rocks by volcanic Dikes. — Conversion of Chalk into Marble. — Intrusion of Trap between Strata. — Relation of trappean Rocks to the Products of active Volcanoes.

Tests of relative Age of Volcanic Rocks. — Why ancient and modern Rocks can not be identical. — Tests by Superposition and intrusion. — Test by Alteration of Rocks in Contact. — Test by Organic Remains. — Test of Age by Mineral Character. — Test by Included Fragments. — Recent and Post-pliocene volcanic Rocks. — Vesuvius, Auvergne, Puy de Come, and Puy de Pariou. — Newer Pliocene volcanic Rocks. — Cyclopean Isles, Etna, Dikes of Palagonia, Madeira. — Older Pliocene volcanic Rocks. — Italy. — Pliocene Volcanoes of the Eifel. — Trass.

Volcanic Rocks of the Upper Miocene Period. — Madeira. — Grand Canary. — Azores. — Lower Miocene Volcanic Rocks. — Isle of Mull. — Staffa and Antrim. — The Eifel. — Upper and Lower Miocene Volcanic Rocks of Auvergne. — Hill of Gergovia. — Eocene Volcanic Rocks of Monte Bolca. — Trap of Cretaceous Period. — Oolitic Period. — Triassic Period. — Permian Period. — Carboniferous Period. — Erect Trees buried in Volcanic Ash in the Island of Arran. — Old Red Sandstone Period. — Silurian Period. — Cambrian Period. — Laurentian Volcanic Rocks.

General Aspect of Plutonic Rocks. — Granite and its Varieties. — Decomposing into Spherical Masses. — Rude columnar Structure. — Graphic Granite. — Mutual Penetration of Crystals of Quartz and Feldspar. — Glass Cavities in Quartz of Granite. — Porphyritic, talcose, and syenitic Granite. — Schorlrock and Eurite. — Syenite. — Connection of the Granites and Syenites with the Volcanic Rocks. — Analogy in Composition of Trachyte and Granite. — Granite Veins in Glen Tilt, Cape of Good Hope, and Cornwall. — Metalliferous Veins in Strata near their Junction with Granite. — Quartz Veins. — Exposure of Plutonic Rocks at the surface due to Denudation.

Difficulty in ascertaining the precise Age of a Plutonic Rock. — Test of Age by Relative Position. — Test by Intrusion and Alteration. — Test by Mineral Composition. — Test by included Fragments. — Recent and Pliocene Plutonic Rocks, why invisible. — Miocene Syenite of the Isle of Skye. — Eocene Plutonic Rocks in the Andes. — Granite altering Cretaceous Rocks. — Granite altering Lias in the Alps and in Skye. — Granite of Dartmoor altering Carboniferous Strata. — Granite of the Old Red Sandstone Period. — Syenite altering Silurian Strata in Norway. — Blending of the same with Gneiss. — Most ancient Plutonic Rocks. — Granite protruded in a solid Form.

General Character of Metamorphic Rocks. — Gneiss. — Hornblende-schist. — Serpentine. — Mica-schist. — Clay-slate. — Quartzite. — Chlorite-schist. — Metamorphic Limestone. — Origin of the metamorphic Strata. — Their Stratification. — Fossiliferous Strata near intrusive Masses of Granite converted into Rocks identical with different Members of the metamorphic Series. — Arguments hence derived as to the Nature of Plutonic Action. — Hydrothermal Action, or the Influence of Steam and Gases in producing Metamorphism. — Objections to the metamorphic Theory considered.

Definition of slaty Cleavage and Joints. — Supposed Causes of these Structures. — Crystalline Theory of Cleavage. — Mechanical Theory of Cleavage. — Condensation and Elongation of slate Rocks by lateral Pressure. — Lamination of some volcanic Rocks due to Motion. — Whether the Foliation of the crystalline Schists be usually parallel with the original Planes of Stratification. — Examples in Norway and Scotland. — Causes of Irregularity in the Planes of Foliation.


Difficulty of ascertaining the Age of metamorphic Strata. — Metamorphic Strata of Eocene date in the Alps of Switzerland and Savoy. — Limestone and Shale of Carrara. — Metamorphic Strata of older date than the Silurian and Cambrian Rocks. — Order of Succession in metamorphic Rocks. — Uniformity of mineral Character. — Supposed Azoic Period. — Connection between the Absence of Organic Remains and the Scarcity of calcareous Matter in metamorphic Rocks.

Different Kinds of mineral Veins. — Ordinary metalliferous Veins or Lodes. — Their frequent Coincidence with Faults. — Proofs that they originated in Fissures in solid Rock. — Veins shifting other Veins. — Polishing of their Walls or "Slicken sides". — Shells and Pebbles in Lodes. — Evidence of the successive Enlargement and Reopening of veins. — Examples in Cornwall and in Auvergne. — Dimensions of Veins. — Why some alternately swell out and contract. — Filling of Lodes by Sublimation from below. — Supposed relative Age of the precious Metals. — Copper and lead Veins in Ireland older than Cornish Tin. — Lead Vein in Lias, Glamorganshire. — Gold in Russia, California, and Australia. — Connection of hot Springs and mineral Veins.