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Theory of the Earth, Volume 2 (of 4)   By: (1726-1797)

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First Page:

THEORY OF THE EARTH

WITH PROOFS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

IN FOUR PARTS.

BY JAMES HUTTON, M.D. AND F.R.S.E.

VOL. II.

1795

CONTENTS.

PART II.

Farther Induction of Facts and Observations, respecting the Geological Part of the Theory

INTRODUCTION

CHAP. I.

Facts in Confirmation of the Theory of Elevating Land above the Surface of the Sea.

CHAP. II.

The same Subject continued, with Examples from different Countries.

CHAP. III.

Facts in confirmation of the Theory, respecting those Operations which re dissolve the Surface of the Earth.

CHAP. IV.

The same Subject continued, in giving still farther Views of the Dissolution of the Earth.

CHAP. V.

Facts in confirmation of the Theory respecting the Operations of the Earth employed in forming Soil for Plants.

CHAP. VI.

A View of the Economy of Nature, and necessity of Wasting the Surface of the Earth, in serving the purposes of this World.

CHAP. VII.

The same Subject continued, in giving a View of the Operations of Air and Water upon the Surface of the Land.

CHAP. VIII.

The present Form of the Surface of the Earth explained, with a View of the Operation of Time upon our Land.

CHAP. IX.

The Theory Illustrated, with a View of the Summits of the Alps.

CHAP. X.

The Theory Illustrated, with a View of the Valleys of the Alps.

CHAP. XI.

Facts and Opinions concerning the Natural Construction of Mountains and Valleys.

CHAP. XII.

The Theory Illustrated, by adducing Examples from the different Quarters of the Globe.

CHAP. XIII.

The same Subject continued.

CHAP. XIV.

Summary of the Doctrine which has been now Illustrated.

PART II.

FARTHER INDUCTION OF FACTS AND OBSERVATIONS, RESPECTING THE GEOLOGICAL PART OF THE THEORY .

INTRODUCTION.

By the present theory, the earth on which we dwell is represented as having been formed originally in horizontal strata at the bottom of the ocean; hence it should appear, that the land, in having been raised from the sea, and thus placed upon a higher level, had been of a different shape and condition from that in which we find it at the present time. This is a proposition now to be considered.

In whatever order and disposition the hard and solid parts of the land were at the time of its emerging from the surface of the sea, no provision would have then been made for conducting the rivers of the earth; therefore, the water from the heavens, moving from the summits of the land to the shores, must have formed for themselves those beds or channels in which the rivers run at present; beds which have successively changed their places over immense extents of plains that have often been both destroyed and formed again; and beds which run between the skirts of hills that have correspondent angles, for no other reason but because the river has hollowed out its way between them.

In this view of things, the form of our land must be considered as having been determined by three different causes, all of which have operated, more or less, in producing the present state of those things which we examine. First, There is a regular stratification of the materials, from whence we know the original structure, shape, and situation of the subject. Secondly, There are the operations of the mineral region, some of which have had regular effects upon the strata, as we find in the veins or contractions of the consolidated masses; others have had more irregular effects, but which may still be distinguished by means of our knowing the original state and structure of those masses. Lastly, There are operations proper to the surface of this globe, by which the form of the habitable earth may be affected; operations of which we understand both the causes and the effects, and, therefore, of which we may form principles for judging of the past, as well as of the future. Such are the operations of the fun and atmosphere, of the wind and water, of the rivers and the tides... Continue reading book >>




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