Abbildungen der Seite

become pretty general both at Oxford and Cambridge. A prettier sight than a well-contested hurdle race can Kensington Grammar School had founded the first annual scarcely be imagined; but few first-class hurdle racers are series of gatherings held in London, whilst Cheltenham met with outside the universities and public schools. ScotCollege led the van amongst English public schools. After land is undoubtedly the birthplace both of hammer throwa few months negotiations the first Oxford v. Cambridge ing and putting the weight, yet they are now practised at annual meeting was held in 1864, and is justly considered nearly every English and Irish meeting. 16 id is the usual the premier réunion of the whole year, the interest shown weight of the missile except in Ireland, where a 42-fd, and and the attendance of spectators being little, if anything, sometimes a 56-Id weight are put, though in a very unsatless than at the

annual boat race between the same two seats isfactory fashion. Athletic sports may be practised in a of learning. Two years later the annual amateur cham- well-rolled grass field, but the best arena is an enclosure, pionship meeting was founded in London, when the Oxford with a regularly laid down running track, the foundation and Cambridge victors meet representatives from all parts made of clinkers and rubble, and the surface of well-rolled of the United Kingdom, and contend for the blue fine cinder ashes.

(H. F. w.) ribands” of the various events. The principal athletic ATHLONE, a market-town and parliamentary borough society at present in existence is undoubtedly the “ London of Ireland, lying partly in West Meath and partly in Athletic Club," which takes the lead in all matters per- Roscommon, 76 miles W. of Dublin. The river Shannon taining to athletics throughout the United Kingdom. In divides the town into two portions, which are connected England, moreover, there is now scarcely a country town, by a handsome new bridge, opened in 1844. The rapids sea-side watering-place, cricket, rowing, or football club of of the Shannon at this point are obviated by means of a importance, and probably not a single university or school, canal about a mile long, which renders the navigation of which does not hold its annual gathering for athletic pur- the river practicable for 71 miles above the town. In poses. Across the border the professional still far eclipses the war of 1688 the possession of Athlone was considered the amateur element, and there is no meeting of amateurs of the greatest importance, and it consequently sustained which can by any means be compared with the autumn two sieges, the first by William !II. in person, which Highland gatherings at Braemar and elsewhere. Until re- . failed, and the second by General Ginkell, who, in the face cently the two classes contended indiscriminately together, of the Irish, forded the river and took possession of the and the prowess displayed by such amateurs as the late town, with the loss of only fifty men. At the time of the Professor Wilson affords ample testimony that gentlemen last war with France it was strongly fortified on the Roswere quite capable of holding their own against profes- common side, the works covering 15 acres and containing sionals. The number of annual amateur gatherings held two magazines, an ordnance store, an armory with 15,000 in Scotland is, however, extremely limited, and scarcely stand of arms, and barracks for 1500 men. There are two extends beyond the universities and chief schools connected parish churches, two Roman Catholic parochial chapels, a with Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. In Franciscan and Augustinian chapel, Presbyterian, Baptist, Ireland the origin of the pastime is again attributable to and Methodist meeting-houses, a court-house, bridewell, a the leading university, viz., Trinity College, Dublin, where union work-house, and two branch banks. It has a woollen the decision of isolated events, from about the year 1845, factory, as well as other industries, and an active trade is has given rise to the meetings now annually held in the carried on with Shannon harbor and Limerick by steamers, picturesque College Park at Dublin. The Irish civil ser- and with Dublin by the Grand and Royal Canals and sev. vice meeting was inaugurated in 1867, since which time the eral railway lines, while the importance of its fairs and pastime has made marvellous strides in the island, as is markets is increasing: There is also a valuable fishery in testified by important meetings now held annually in the river. Market-days, Tuesday and Saturday. The Belfast, Cork, and Galway; whilst the recently formed borough returns one member to parliament. Population Irish Champion Athletic Club takes the lead, and stands in 1871, 6566; constituency in 1873, 336.—Thom's Irish in the same relation to Ireland as the London Athletic Almanac for 1875. Club does to the whole of Great Britain. Athletic sports ATHOR, ATHYR, HATHOR, the name of the Egyptian are also now extending on the Continent, at many great divinity corresponding to Aphrodite or Venus. Her name watering-places where Englishmen are in the habit of con- neant "the abode of Hor” or Horus, and she was the gregating. Our great colonies of India, Australia, New mother of that deity in some of his types, and as such a Zealand, and Canada, too, as well as the United States of form of Isis, of whom she was a higher or celestial mani. America, Buenos Ayres, China, and even Japan, are not festation. Her name occurs as early as the 4th dynasty, without their annual gatherings for competitors of the when she is styled the mistress of the tree, or sycamore, Anglo-Saxon race. The contests now classified under the neha, or the tree of the south. Besides the local titles of name “athletic sports" are, walking, running, leaping, the different cities over which she presided, she was entitled throwing the hammer, and putting the weight. Leaping regent of the gods, living mistress of the upper and lower and running are respectively identical with the ahua and world, mistress of the heaven and regent of the West, and opóros of the ancient pentathlon; whereas throwing the pupil or eye of Ra, or the Sun, with whom she was conhammer and putting the weight bear some resemblance to nected. In her celestial character she is represented as an throwing the diokos. Spear-hurling, åkóviloy, is never Egyptian female holding a sceptre, her head surmounted practised but by a few gymnastic societies; and wrestling by the sun's disk, horns, and uræus, and her flesh colored Fráin, between amateurs is rarely witnessed! Running and blue, the color of the heaven, or yellow, that of gold and leaping, however, are nearly always combined on every beauty (according to Egyptian notions), a term also applied occasion in two descriptions of contests, viz., steeplechasing to Aphrodite in Greek mythology. In her terrestrial chaand hurdle-racing. Race-walking finds most votaries in racter she was the goddess who presided over sports and London, the northern counties of England, and in Ireland, dancing, music and pleasure, like the Greek Aphrodite, the all distances, from 1 mile to 7, being in vogue amongst goddess of love; but her particularly special type was the amateurs. Running comprises all distances from 100 yards white or spotted cow, the supposed mother of the sun. up to 4 miles. Leaping may be divided into three principal The solar deities Shu and Tefnut were her children. In heads, viz., running high-leaping, running wide-leaping, certain legends she is mentioned as the seven cows of and running pole-leaping, which are found to be included Athor, which appear in the Ritual or Book of the Dead. in nearly every athletic programme. Adjuncts to these are These cows, like the Moire, or fates of Greek mythology, the running hop-step-and-jump, standing high-leaping, and appeared at the births of legendary persons, and predicted standing wide-leaping, all of which are favorite pastimes the course and events of their lives. It is in this capacity in the northern and midland counties of England." Vault- that Athor is connected with Ptah, or the Egyptian He ing, too, is sometimes practised, but belongs rather to the phæstus, and is allied to Sekhet or Bast, called the wife gymnasium than outdoor athletic arena. Steeplechasing or mistress of Ptah, the seven cows being the mystical proper can only be practised over natural courses across companions of the Apis, the second life or incarnation of country. Its home is to be found at Rugby School, and the god of Memphis. She was also represented under the amongst members of hare-and-hounds' clubs, who keep attributes and with the titles of the goddess Nut, or the themselves in exercise thereby during the winter months. Egyptian Rhea. The cow of Athor wore on its head the Artificial steeplechase courses are often made on athletic solar disk, and hawk feather plumes, like Amen Ra; and in grounds; but the leaps are generally far too sensational, this character as the great cow she has on some :nonuments and constructed rather to afford merriment to the spec- her human head replaced by that of a cow wearing a disk, Lators than a fair test of the competitors' leaping powers. I or the disk and plumes. This emblem also appears in her A G

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]


type at a later period, when her head is represented with | as the seat of government about the same time; and long tresses curled into a spiral at the end, and she has shortly afterwards there followed the establishments Iveron the ears of a cow instead of human ears. Her head is (TÜL iBhpwr), Vatopedi (Baronédov), and Sphigmenu (roi then surmounted by a doorway or its cornice, emblem of 1 :Eodeyjévov)." The family of the Comneni (1056–1204) the abode of the sun, which she represented. This is bestowed great privileges on the existing monasteries, and sometimes surmounted by the disk and horns. The added to their number. In the reign of Alexius the first handle of the sistrum, a musical instrument with bars, purely Slavonic monastery (that of Chilandari) was founded was generally made in shape of this head and cornice, as by the Servian prince Stephen Nemenja. The taking of were also the pitals of the columns of Abusimbel, Denderah, and other temples, and the ægis and prows of certain arks. As the goddess of beauty and youth,

A GA A N many of the queens of Egypt assumed her type and attributes, and young females after death, at the Ptolemaic and subsequent periods, had their names preceded by

SE A that of the goddess, as both sexes had “Osiris" from the period of the 19th dynasty, that of Athor being a later substitute, and for females only. The third month of the Egyptian year was named Athor after her, and the fish aten or latus, a kind of carp, was sacred to her. The names and titles of Athor were very numerous, and she is named in the inscriptions the lady or mistress of Silsilis, Abusimbul, Pselcis, Ombos, Hermonthis, Apollonopolis Magna, and Helio


STATIONER polis; but the chief site of her worship

was Denderah, or Tentyris, where she is mentioned under many names, and all the different festivals held in her honor are re

@ULF OF corded in the calendar of the temple. Athor is one of the oldest of the Egyptian deities, and her worship continued till the fall of Pantheism and substitution of


ST MEGOVER Christianity. Her worship passed from Egypt to the neighboring isles, cow-headed figures of the goddess having been discovered in Cyprus. Her figures and representation are common. Jablonski, Panth.; Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, iv. 387; Birch, Gall. Antiq., p. 25; Duemichen, Bauurkunde der Dendera, Leip. 1865.

(8. B.)

Sketch-Map of Athos. ATHOS is, strictly speaking, the terminal peak of the most eastern of the three peninsular promontories which , Constantinople by the Latins in 1204 brought persecution stretch south from the coast of Turkey (Macedonia), like and pillage on the monks; this reminded them of earlier the prongs of a trident, into the Archipelago. The name Saracenic invasions, and led them to appeal for protection is, however, frequently extended to the whole peninsula to Pope Innocent III., who gave them a favorable reply: which was formerly known as Acte. The peak rises like Under the Palæologi they recovered their prosperity, and a pyramid, with a steep summit of white marble, to a were enriched by gifts from various sources. In the 14th height of 6780 feet, and can be seen at sunset from the century the peninsula

became the chosen retreat of several plain of Troy on the one hand, and on the other from the of the emperors, and the monasteries were thrown into slopes of Olympus. The whole peninsula is remarkable commotion by the famous dispute about the mystical for the beauty of its scenery, with rocky heights and richly- Hesychasts. Their numbers were gradually increased by wooded flanks, ravines" embowered from the light," and the foundation of St. Dionysius, Simopetra, Constamonitu, glimpses or free outlook over the surrounding sea. The Russico, St. Paul. In the 15th century the monks made climate is for the most part healthy and pleasant, though | terms with the Turkish conqueror Amurath, and havo the western side is perhaps too much exposed to the heats since been molested by none of the sultans, except Soliman of summer; and Lucian assures us that in ancient times the Magnificent, who laid waste some parts of the peninsula. the inhabitants were famous for longevity. Several towns, In 1545 Stavroniceta, the last monastery, was added to the such as Sane, Dium, Olophyxus, Cleonæ, are mentioned by list. The hospodars of Wallachia, who were recognized Greek and Latin writers as existing in the Peninsula; but as the protectors of Athos, enriched the communities with none of them seem to have attained any great importance, lands; but a process of secularization was commenced by and the most remarkable event in the ancient history of Capodistrias, who confiscated their holdings in Greece; Athos is the construction by Xerxes of a ship-canal across and more recently they have been stripped of their posthe isthmus between the outer sea and the Singitic gulf. sessions in the Danubian principalities. They still retain Traces of this canal, which was regarded by Juvenal as a some property in parts of the Archipelago. A Turkish Greek myth, have been found almost right across the neck official resides at Caryes, and collects the taxes, which of land, and leave no doubt of the truth of the story. In amount to about ten shillings a head; but for the most more modern times the district of Athos has been famous for part the peninsula is autonomous, being, governed by an the number of hermits and monks that have found shelter administrative body of four presidents (éniorátai), one of in its retreats. No fewer than 935 churches, chapels, and whom bears the title of "First Man of Athos," and a oratories are said to exist, and many of the communities representative body called the Holy Synod, which consists possess considerable wealth. It is believed that, with the of twenty members, one from each of the monasteries exception of the dwellings of Pompeii, some buildings in proper. "These twenty communities are partly Coenobitic, Athos are the oldest specimens of domestic architecture in with a common stock and a warden, and partly Idiorrhyth. Europe; the shrines are in many cases richly decorated mic, with a kind of republican government and great with goldsmith's work of great antiquity; the wealth individual liberty. Besides these regular monasteries, of the monastic libraries in illuminated manuscripts has there are a number of áoknthpua, or sketes, which consist of long been celebrated; and nowhere, according to Mr. several small associations gathered round'a central church, Tozer, can the Byzantine school of painting be studied and numerous little communities known as kabiguata, or with equal advantage. The date of the oldest religious retreats, as well as genuine hermitages. Harmony is not foundation in the peninsula is not clearly ascertained, and always maintained between the different establishments, as the traditional chronology of the monks themselves can was shown by a bitter dispute about a water-course between hardly be trusted. A bull of Romanus Lecapenas speaks Cutlumusi and Pantocratoros, which led to the interference of the restoration of the monastery of Xeropotamu in 924, of the British consuls at Salonica and Cavalla, in answer and as early as 885 a rescript of Basil the Macedonian to an appeal from some Ionian monks who were British forbids the molestation of the "holy hermits.” Lavra, on subjects (1853). For the most part, however, the inhabitMount Athos proper, was founded by St. Athanasius in ants of Athos are quiet and moderately industrious. They 960; the village of Caryes or “The Hazels,” was appointed are said to number about 3000, all 'men; for no female, even of the lower animals, is permitted to desecrate the more appropriate to describe them under a separate head precincts of the Holy Mountain.

(POLAR REGIONS), the Atlantic will be here treated as " Descriptio Montis Atho ot xxii. ejus Monast.,” by Jo. bounded at the north by the Arctic circle, which nearly Comnenus in Montfaucon's Palæographia Græca ; Georgirenes, corresponds with the natural closing-in of its basin by the Description of Present State of Šamos, Patmos, Nicaria, and approach of the coasts of Norway and Greenland with Mount Athos, Lond., 1678; Lieut. Webber Smith, “On Mount Iceland lying between them; while at the south, where Athos," &c., in Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc., 1837; Curzon, Visits to the basin is at its widest, its only boundary is the Antarctic Monasteries in the Levant, 1849; Fallmerayer, Fragmenta aus circle. The line which separates its southern extension dem Orient, 1845; Gass, Commentatio Historica, &c., and Zur from the Indian Ocean may be considered to be the Geschichte, &c., 1866; Ramper's Hist. Taschenbuch, 1860 (art. meridian of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the by Pischon); Report by M. Minoide Minas, 1846 ; J; Müller, African continent; whilst the boundary between the South Denkmäler in den Klöstern von Athos; Langlois, Athos, &c.; Atlantic and South Pacific would be formed in like manner Didron's Iconographie Chrétienne, 1844; Journal Asiatique, by the meridian of Cape Horn. Although the Baltic and 1867; Tozer's Highlands of Turkey, 1869.

the Mediterranean are commonly regarded as appendages ATHY, a market-town of Ireland, county of Kildare, to the Atlantic, yet their physical conditions are so peculiar 34 miles S.W. of Dublin. It is a station on the Great as to require separate treatment. (See BALTIC and MEDISouthern and Western Railway, and is intersected by the TERRANEAN.) river Barrow, which is here crossed by a bridge of five Every physical geographer who has written upon the arches. It has a church, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Atlantic has noticed the curious parallelism between its Presbyterian and a Methodist meeting-house, court-house, eastern and its western borders,--their salient and retiring jail, two banks, hospital, dispensary, barracks, &c. Adjoin- angles corresponding very closely to each other. Thus, ing the town is a small chapel, an ancient cemetery, and a beginning as the north we see that the projection formed by small Dominican monastery. Previous to the Union it the British Islands (which extends much further westwards returned two members to the Irish parliament. The prin- at 100 fathoms below the surface than it does above the cipal trade is in corn, which is ground at the neighboring sea-level) answers to the wide entrance to Baffin's Bay; mills. Population in 1871, 4510.

whilst, on the other hand, the projection of the American ATINA, a town of Naples, province of Terra di Lavoro, coast at Newfoundland answers to the Bay of Biscay, Dear the Melfa, and 12 miles S.E. of Sora. It has a Further south, the great rounded prominence of Northern cathedral, convent, and hospital, with about 5000 inhabit- Africa corresponds with the vast bay that stretches from ants; but it is chiefly remarkable for its ancient renains, Nova Scotia to St. Thomas; whilst the angular projection consisting of portions of its walls, the ruins of an extensive of South America towards the east corresponds with that aqueduct, and numerous other structures, besides monu- receding portion of the mid-African coast-line which is ments and inscriptions. The city is of great antiquity, known as the Gulf of Guinea. and was a place of importance down to the days of the This correspondence suggested to Humboldt the idea that Roman empire. It is remarkable now, as of old, for the the Atlantic basin was originally excavated by a very vioexceptional coolness of its situation.

lent rush of water from the south, which, being repulsed ATITLAN, a lake in the department of Solola, in by the mountain ranges of Brazil, was directed by them Guatemala, 20 miles long, with an average breadth of 9 towards the coast of Africa, and formed the Gulf of miles. It seems to occupy the crater of an extinct volcano, Guinea; being there checked and turned to the west by and its depth is reported to be very great. The scenery in the mountains of Upper Guinea, the stream excavated the the neighborhood is striking and picturesque, the volcano Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico; and issuing of Atitlan rearing its head 12,500 feet above the level of thence, it ran_between the mountains of North America the sea. A little Indian town, Santiago de Atitlan, nestles and Western Europe, until it gradually diminished in ve at the foot of the mountain.

locity and force, and at length subsided. Another writer ATLANTA, the capital of Georgia, one of the United speaks of the basin of the Atlantic as an immense rift, made States of North America, is situated about 7 miles to the by some terrible force, which rent the surface-land asunder, S.E. of the Chattahoochee River, at an elevation of 1100 but left the edges of the ravine to show by their form that feet above the sea. Laid out in 1845, and incorporated as they had once been connected. For neither of these specua city in 1847, it has since rapidly increased. It is the lations, however, is there the smallest foundation in fact. centre of a large trade in grain and cotton, and has exten- What has to be accounted for, indeed, in regard to either of sive railway communication in all directions. Engineering the great areas at present covered by water, is not so much work of various kinds is carried on, as well as the manu- the excavation of its sea-bed, as its segregation from an facture of cast iron, flour, and tobacco. There are two ocean originally universal by the boundaries that now ennational and two savings banks. Educational institutions close it; in other words, not so much the depression of the are numerous, and comprise the North Georgia Female bottom of its basin as the elevation of its sides. Not only College, Oglethorpe College, a medical college, a university is the proportion of the land-surface of the globe to its for men of color, and a variety of schools. The state water-surface scarcely more than one-third (being as 1 to library contains upwards of 16,000 volumes. There are 2:78), but the entire mass of the land which thus covers about' thirty churches of different denominations, the little more than one-fourth of the surface of the globe is Methodists being most largely represented, and one of quite insignificant in comparison with that of the water their churches ranking among the finest buildings in the which covers the remaining three-fourths. For whilst the city. During the war Atlanta was the centre of important average elevation of the whole land is certainly less than military operations, and suffered greatly in consequence one-fifth of a mile, giving from 9 to 10 millions of cubic (1864). It was strongly fortified by the Confederates, and miles as the total mass of land that rises above the seadefended, first by General Joseph E. Johnston, and then level, the average depth of the sea (so far as at present by General Hood, against the attack of General Sherman. known) may be taken at about 2 miles, giving a total of Kood was compelled to evacuate the city, and Sherman nearly 290 millions of cubic miles of water, which is thereafterwards retired to Chattanooga,-movements which occa- fore about thirty times the mass of the land. From the comsioned the destruction by fire of the greater part of the putation of Keith Johnston, it appears that, “if we conceive buildings, both public and private. Population—(1860), an equalizing line, which, passing around the globe, would 9554; (1870), 21,789.

leave a mass of the earth's crust above it, just sufficient to Plate 1.

'ATLANTIC OCEAN. The designation At- fill up the hollow which would be left below it, this line

lantic Ocean, originally given to the sea that would then fall nearly a mile below the present level of lies beyond the great range of Atlas in North-western the sea.". This is tantamount to saying that, if the solid Africa, has come to be applied, with the extension of geo- crust of the earth could be conceived to be smoothed down graphical knowledge, to the whole of that vast ocean which to one uniform level, its entire surface would be covered occupies the wide and deep trough that separates the New with water to the depth of about a mile. Hence it is from the Old World. Its limits are variously defined ; obvious that as the elevation of that crust into land over sume geographers regarding it as extending from pole to certain areas must be accompanied by a corresponding pole, whilst others consider it as bounded at its northern depression of the sea-bed over other areas, such depression, and southern extremities by the Arctic and Antarctic augmenting in those areas the previous depth of the aqueous circles respectively. As the peculiarity of the physical covering of the globe, would be quite sufficient to account conditions of the Polar Seas renders it on every account for the existence of the great oceanic basins, without any

14 After occupying the city ten weeks General Sherman advanced to Savannah.-AMER. ED.)

excavating action. And a confirmation of this view is I true of the North American continent, the same in princifound in the fact, ascertained by recent soundings, that the i ple was law for all continents." deepest local depressions of the sea-bed are met with in Dimensions of the Atlantic.—The length of the Atlantic the neighborhood of islands that have been raised by vol- basin, considered as extending from the Arctic to the Antcanic agency. Further, as the quantity of solid matter arctic circle, is nearly 8000 geographical miles. The nearthat must have been removed (on Humboldt's hypothesis) est approach of its boundaries is between Greenland and in the excavation of the Atlantic valley must have been Norway, whose coasts are only about 800 miles apart. nearly four times as great as that which forms the whole They thence recede from each other towards the south, as known land of the globe, and as it is impossible to conceive far as the parallel of 30° N. lat., where, between the penin. of any mode in which such a mass can have been disposed sula of Florida and the western coast of Marocco, there is of, we may dismiss that hypothesis as not only untenable in an interval of 70° of longitude, or about 3600 geographical regard to the Atlantic basin, but as equally inapplicable to miles. The channel then rapidly narrows as it passes southany other valley of similar width and depth.'

ward, so that between Cape St. Roque in Brazil (5° S. lat.) The general direction of geological opinion, indeed, has and the coast of Sierra Leone (between 5° and go N. lat.) of late been, on physical grounds, towards the high an- the African and American continents approach within 1500 tiquity of the great oceanic basins, not exactly as at present miles of each other. The sndden eastward recession of the bounded, but as areas of depression having the same rela- African coast as it approaches the equator, and the westtion as they have now to the areas of elevation which form ward trend of the South American coast-line between Cape the great continents. Thus Sir Charles Lyell was strongly St. Roque and Cape Horn, widen out the South Atlantic impressed by the fact that the mean depth of the sea is basin to the same breadth as that of the North Atlantic in not improbably fifteen times as great as the mean height the parallel of 30° N.,—the interval between the Cape of of the land ; and that depressions of the sea-bottom to a Good Hope and the estuary of La Plata, in the parallel of depth of three miles or more extend over wide areas, whilst 35° S., being no less than 731° of longitude, or about 3600 elevations of the land to similar height are confined to a geographical miles. few peaks and narrow ridges. Hence, he remarked," while The depth of the North Atlantic has been more carethe effect of vertical movements equalling 1000 feet in fully and systematically examined than that of any other both directions, upward and downward, is to cause a vast oceanic basin; and the general contours of its undulating ransposition of land and sea in those areas which are now sea-bed may now be regarded as pretty well determined. continental, and adjoining to which there is much sea not Putting aside the older soundings as utterly untrustworthy, exceeding 1000 feet in depth, movements of equal amount and accepting only those taken by the modern methods, would have no tendency to produce a sensible alteration whose reliability has been amply tested by the accordance in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or to cause the oceanic of diversified experiences, we can now assert with confiand continental areas to change places. Depressions of dence that scarcely any portion of its floor has a depth 2000 feet would submerge large areas of the existing land; exceeding 3000 fathoms, or about 3.4 miles, the greatest but fifteen times as much movement would be required to depth determined by the recent “Challenger” soundings, convert such land into an ocean of average depth, or to which was that of a limited depression about a hundred cause an ocean three miles deep to replace any one of the miles to the north of St. Thomas, having been 3875 fathexisting continents." And Professor Dana, who, more oms, or about 4.4 miles. Except in the neighborhood of than any other geologist, has studied the structure of the its coast-lines, and in certain shallower areas to be presexisting continents and the succession of changes concerned ently specified, the floor of the basin at its widest part in their elevation, has been led, by the consideration of the seems to lie at a depth of from 2000 to 3000 fathoms, its probable direction of the forces by which that elevation was slopes being extremely gradual. The central portion of effected, to conclude that the defining of the present con- the principal basin of the North Atlantic, however, is occutinental and oceanic areas began with the commencement pied by a plateau of irregular shape, of which a considerof the solidification of the earth's crust. “The continental able part sies at a less depth than 2000 fathoms. Of this areas are the areas of least contraction, and the oceanic plateau the Azores may be regarded as the culmination; oasins those of the greatest, the former having earliest had and that group being taken as its centre, it may be said to & solid crust. After the continental part was thus stiffened, extend to the north as far as lat. 50°, and to the south-west and rendered comparatively unyielding, the oceanic part as far as the tropic of Cancer. The northern extension of went on cooling, solidifying, and contracting throughout; this plateau narrows out into a sort of isthmus, which conconsequently, it became depressed, with the sides of the nects it with the plateau that occupies a great part of the depression somewhat abrupt. The formation of the oceanic Atlantic basin to the north of 50° N. lat., and it is across basins and continental areas was thus due to 'unequal this isthmus, and along the bottom of the deep narrow val. radial contraction.'” In the opinion of Professor Dana, ley on either side of it

, that the telegraph cables are laid there has never been any essential change in the relations between Ireland and Newfoundland. Whether its southof these great features. It is hardly possible,” he says, western prolongation, known as the “Dolphin Rise” (fig. 1, " to conceive of any conditions of the contracting forces that infra), extends to the equator, so as to become continuous should have allowed of the continents and oceans in after with the elevated area which culminates in St. Paul's rocks, time changing places, or of oceans, as deep nearly as exist and by a further southward extension becomes continuous ing oceans, being made where are now the continental areas; either with the volcanic elevation of St. Helena and Ascenalthough it is a necessary incident to the system of things sion Island, or with the elevation in the middle of the that the continental plateaus should have varied greatly South Atlantic which culminates in the island of Tristan in their outline and outer limits, and perhaps thousands of da Cunha (fig. 2), has not yet been ascertained. Accordfeet in the depths of some portions of the overlying seas, ing to the view already suggested as to the formation of and also that the oceans should have varied in the extent the Atlantic basin, the plateau might be regarded as repof their lands."..."The early defining, even in Archæan resenting the original sea-bed (from which the Azores have times, of the final features of North America, and the con- been lifted up by volcanic action), whilst the deep valleys formity to one system visibly marked out in every event on either side of it are areas of subsidence" answering to through the whole history—in the positions of its outlines the "areas of elevation" of the land that borders them. and the formations of its rocks, in the character of its Generally speaking, the depths of these valleys increase oscillations, and the courses of the mountains from time to pretty rapidly with the distance from the shore-line, so that time raised-sustain the statement that the American con- the contour-lines of one and two miles follow the shoretinent is a regular growth. The same facts also make it lines pretty closely. But there are two localities in which evident that the oceanic areas between which the continent shallow water extends to a much greater distance from land lies have been chief among the regions of the earth's crust than it appears to do elsewhere. One of these lies in the that have vised the pent-up force in the contracting sphere neighborhood of the British Isles. For a distance of about to carry forward the continental developments. If this was 230 miles to the westward of Ireland there is a slope of only 1 The case of such a shallow trough as that of the Euglish Channel, fall of 9000 feet, after which there is little change of leve!

about 6 feet in a mile; but in the next 20 miles there is a whilst its bottom is nowhere 500 feet beneath the surface, is obvi- for 1200 miles. Hence as the depth of the sea immediously altogether different. The extraordinary depth of the Mediter- ately surrounding the British Isles is nowhere 100 fathoms 1: as, like the Atlantic, a portion of the original area of depression, (so that an elevation of their whole area to that amount circumscribed by the elevation of its borders.

3"On some Results of the Earth's Contraction from Cooling," in ' Principles of Geology, 11th ed. vol. i. p. 269.

| Amer. Journ. of Science, June, 1873.


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]
« ZurückWeiter »