Transcriber's notes:
(1) Numbers following letters (without space) like C2 were originally
printed in subscript. Letter subscripts are preceded by an
underscore, like C_n.
(2) Characters following a carat (^) were printed in superscript.
(3) Side-notes were relocated to function as titles of their respective
paragraphs.
(4) Macrons and breves above letters and dots below letters were not
inserted.
(5) [root] stands for the root symbol; [alpha], [beta], etc. for greek
letters.
(6) The following typographical errors have been corrected:
ARTICLE GEOFFREY: "... his history in chiefly one of quarrels, with
the see of Canterbury, with the chancellor William Longchamp, with
his half-brothers Richard and John, and especially with his canons
at York." 'William' amended from 'Willian'.
ARTICLE GEOLOGY: "... and at the same time greater appreciation has
been shown of the signification and strength of the geological
proofs of the high antiquity of our planet." 'strength' amended
from 'stength'.
ARTICLE GEOLOGY: "... it can be demonstrated that sometimes an inch
or two of sediment might, on certain horizons, represent the
deposit of an enormously longer period than a hundred or a thousand
times the same amount of sediment on other horizons." 'might'
amended from 'much'.
ARTICLE GEOLOGY: "But no such extensive disturbance of the normal
conditions of the distribution of life can take place without
carrying with it many secondary effects, and setting in motion a
wide cycle of change and of reaction in the animal and vegetable
kingdoms." 'kingdoms' amended from 'kindgoms'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "The bases and altitudes of equal solid
parallelepipeds are reciprocally proportional; and if the bases and
altitudes be reciprocally proportional, the solid parallelepipeds
are equal." 'are' amended from 'and'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "An alternative method of testing a relation is
illustrated in the following example:--If A, B, C, D, E,
F be six collinear points, then" 'following example:--' amended
from 'example: following'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "3. In an hyperbolic involution any two conjugate
points are harmonic conjugates with regard to the two foci." 'an'
amended from 'a'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "If two lines, given by their projections,
intersect, the intersection of their planes and the intersection of
their elevations must lie in a line perpendicular to the axis,
because they must be the projections of the point common to the two
lines." 'planes' amended from 'plans'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "Where this is the case, if [alpha] be the measure
of curvature, the linear element can be put into the form" 'if'
amended from 'it'.
ARTICLE GEOMETRY: "The development of the consequences of these
metrical definitions is the subject of non-Euclidean geometry."
'subject' amended from 'subjct'.
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE
AND GENERAL INFORMATION
ELEVENTH EDITION
VOLUME XI, SLICE VI
GEODESY to GEOMETRY
ARTICLES IN THIS SLICE:
GEODESY GEOFFROY, ÉTIENNE FRANÇOIS
GEOFFREY (Martel) GEOFFROY, JULIEN LOUIS
GEOFFREY (Plantagenet) GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, ÉTIENNE
GEOFFREY (duke of Brittany) GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, ISIDORE
GEOFFREY (archbishop of York) GEOGRAPHY
GEOFFREY DE MONTBRAY GEOID
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH GEOK-TEPE
GEOFFREY OF PARIS GEOLOGY
GEOFFREY THE BAKER GEOMETRICAL CONTINUITY
GEOFFRIN, MARIE THÉRÈSE RODET GEOMETRY
GEODESY (from the Gr. [Greek: gê], the earth, and [Greek: daiein], to
divide), the science of surveying (q.v.) extended to large tracts of
country, having in view not only the production of a system of maps of
very great accuracy, but the determination of the curvature of the
surface of the earth, and eventually of the figure and dimensions of the
earth. This last, indeed, may be the sole object in view, as was the
case in the operations conducted in Peru and in Lapland by the
celebrated French astronomers P. Bouguer, C.M. de la Condamine, P.L.M.
de Maupertuis, A.C. Clairault and others; and the measurement of the
meridian arc of France by P.F.A. Méchain and J.B.J. Delambre had for
its end the determination of the true length of the "metre" which was to
be the legal standard of length of France (see EARTH, FIGURE OF THE).
The basis of every extensive survey is an accurate triangulation, and
the operations of geodesy consist in the measurement, by theodolites, of
the angles of the triangles; the measurement of one or more sides of
these triangles on the ground; the determination by astronomical
observations of the azimuth of the whole network of triangles; the
determination of the actual position of the same on the surface of the
earth by observations, first for latitude at some of the stations, and
secondly for longitude; the determination of altitude for all stations.
For the computation, the points of the actual surface of the earth are
imagined as projected along their plumb lines on the mathematical
figure, which is given by the stationary sea-level, and the extension of
the sea through the continents by a system of imaginary canals. For many
purposes the mathematical surface is assumed to be a plane; in other
cases a sphere of radius 6371 kilometres (20,900,000 ft.). In the case
of extensive operations the surface must be considered as a compressed
ellipsoid of rotation, whose minor axis coincides with the earth's axis,
and whose compression, flattening, or ellipticity is about 1/298.
_Measurement of Base Lines._
To determine by actual measurement on the ground the length of a side
of one of the triangles ("base line"), wherefrom to infer the lengths
of all the other sides in the triangulation, is not the least
difficult operation of a trigonometrical survey. When the problem is
stated thus--To determine the number of times that a certain standard
or unit of length is contained between two finely marked points on the
surface of the earth at a distance of some miles asunder, so that the
error of the result may be pronounced to lie between certain very
narrow limits,--then the question demands very serious consideration.
The representation of the unit of length by means of the distance
between two fine lines on the surface of a bar of metal at a certain
temperature is never itself free from uncertainty and probable error,
owing to the difficulty of knowing at any moment the precise
temperature of the bar; and the transference of this unit, or a
multiple of it, to a measuring bar will be affected not only with
errors of observation, but with errors arising from uncertainty of
temperature of both bars. If the measuring bar be not
self-compensating for temperature, its expansion must be determined by
very careful experiments. The thermometers required for this purpose
must be very carefully studied, and their errors of division and index
error determined.
In order to avoid the difficulty in exactly determining the
temperature of a bar by the mercury thermometer, F.W. Bessel
introduced in 1834 near Königsberg a compound bar which constituted a
metallic thermometer.[1] A zinc bar is laid on an iron bar two toises
long, both bars being perfectly planed and in free contact, the zinc
bar being slightly shorter and the two bars rigidly united at one end.
As the temperature varies, the difference of the lengths of the bars,
as perceived by the other end, also varies, and affords a quantitative
correction for temperature variations, which is applied to reduce the
length to standard temperature. During the measurement of the base
line the bars were not allowed to come into contact, the interval
being measured by the insertion of glass wedges. The results of the
comparisons of four measuring rods with one another and with the
standards were elaborately computed by the method of least-squares.
The probable error of the measured length of 935 toises (about 6000
ft.) has been estimated as 1/863500 or 1.2 µ (µ denoting a millionth).
With this apparatus fourteen base lines were measured in Prussia and
some neighbouring states; in these cases a somewhat higher degree of
accuracy was obtained.
The principal triangulation of Great Britain and Ireland has seven
base lines: five have been measured by steel chains, and two, more
exactly, by the compensation bars of General T.F. Colby, an apparatus
introduced in 1827-1828 at Lough Foyle in Ireland. Ten base lines were
measured in India in 1831-1869 by the same apparatus. This is a system
of six compound-bars self-correcting for temperature. The bars may be
thus described: Two bars, one of brass and the other of iron, are laid
in parallelism side by side, firmly united at their centres, from
which they may freely expand or contract; at the standard temperature
they are of the same length. Let AB be one bar, A'B' the other; draw
lines through the corresponding extremities AA' (to P) and BB' (to Q),
and make A'P = B'Q, AA' being equal to BB'. If the ratio A'P/AP equals
the ratio of the coefficients of expansion of the bars A'B' and AB,
then, obviously, the distance PQ is constant (or nearly so). In the
actual instrument P and Q are finely engraved dots 10 ft. apart. In
practice the bars, when aligned, are not in contact, an interval of 6
in. being allowed between each bar and its neighbour. This distance is
accurately measured by an ingenious micrometrical arrangement
constructed on exactly the same principle as the bars themselves.
The last base line measured in India had a length of 8913 ft. In
consequence of some suspicion as to the accuracy of the compensation
apparatus, the measurement was repeated four times, the operations
being conducted so as to determine the actual values of the probable
errors of the apparatus. The direction of the line (which is at Cape
Comorin) is north and south. In two of the measurements the brass
component was to the west, in the others to the east; the differences
between the individual measurements and the mean of the four were
+0.0017, -0.0049, -0.0015, +0.0045 ft. These differences are very
small; an elaborate investigation of all sources of error shows that
the probable error of a base line in India is on the average ±2.8 µ.
These compensation bars were also used by Sir Thomas Maclear in the
measurement of the base line in his extension of Lacaille's arc at the
Cape. The account of this operation will be found in a volume entitled
_Verification and Extension of Lacaille's Arc of Meridian at the Cape
of Good Hope_, by Sir Thomas Maclear, published in 1866. A
rediscussion has been given by Sir David Gill in his _Report on the
Geodetic Survey of South Africa, &c., 1896_.
A very simple base apparatus was employed by W. Struve in his
triangulations in Russia from 1817 to 1855. This consisted of four
wrought-iron bars, each two toises (rather more than 13 ft.) long; one
end of each bar is terminated in a small steel cylinder presenting a
slightly convex surface for contact, the other end carries a contact
lever rigidly connected with the bar. The shorter arm of the lever
terminates below in a polished hemisphere, the upper and longer arm
traversing a vertical divided arc. In measuring, the plane end of one
bar is brought into contact with the short arm of the contact lever
(pushed forward by a weak spring) of the next bar. Each bar has two
thermometers, and a level for determining the inclination of the bar
in measuring. The manner of transferring the end of a bar to the
ground is simply this: under the end of the bar a stake is driven very
firmly into the ground, carrying on its upper surface a disk, capable
of movement in the direction of the measured line by means of
slow-motion screws. A fine mark on this disk is brought vertically
under the end of the bar by means of a theodolite which is planted at
a distance of 25 ft. from the stake in a direction perpendicular to
the base. Struve investigated for each base the probable errors of the
measurement arising from each of these seven causes: Alignment,
inclination, comparisons with standards, readings of index, personal
errors, uncertainties of temperature, and the probable errors of
adopted rates of expansion. He found that ±0.8 µ was the mean of the
probable errors of the seven bases measured by him. The
Austro-Hungarian apparatus is similar; the distance of the rods is
measured by a slider, which rests on one of the ends of each rod.
Twenty-two base lines were measured in 1840-1899.
General Carlos Ibañez employed in 1858-1879, for the measurement of
nine base lines in Spain, two apparatus similar to the apparatus
previously employed by Porro in Italy; one is complicated, the other
simplified. The first, an apparatus of the brothers Brunner of Paris,
was a thermometric combination of two bars, one of platinum and one of
brass, in length 4 metres, furnished with three levels and four
thermometers. Suppose A, B, C three micrometer microscopes very firmly
supported at intervals of 4 metres with their axes vertical, and
aligned in the plane of the base line by means of a transit
instrument, their micrometer screws being in the line of measurement.
The measuring bar is brought under say A and B, and those micrometers
read; the bar is then shifted and brought under B and C. By repetition
of this process, the reading of a micrometer indicating the end of
each position of the bar, the measurement is made.
Quite similar apparatus (among others) has been employed by the French
and Germans. Since, however, it only permitted a distance of about 300
m. to be measured daily, Ibañez introduced a simplification; the
measuring rod being made simply of steel, and provided with inlaid
mercury thermometers. This apparatus was used in Switzerland for the
measurement of three base lines. The accuracy is shown by the
estimated probable errors: ±0.2 µ to ±0.8 µ. The distance measured
daily amounts at least to 800 m.
A greater daily distance can be measured with the same accuracy by
means of Bessel's apparatus; this permits the ready measurement of
2000 m. daily. For this, however, it is important to notice that a
large staff and favourable ground are necessary. An important
improvement was introduced by Edward Jäderin of Stockholm, who
measures with stretched wires of about 24 metres long; these wires are
about 1.65 mm. in diameter, and when in use are stretched by an
accurate spring balance with a tension of 10 kg.[2] The nature of the
ground has a very trifling effect on this method. The difficulty of
temperature determinations is removed by employing wires made of
invar, an alloy of steel (64%) and nickel (36%) which has practically
no linear expansion for small thermal changes at ordinary
temperatures; this alloy was discovered in 1896 by Benôit and
Guillaume of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures at
Breteuil. Apparently the future of base-line measurements rests with
the invar wires of the Jäderin apparatus; next comes Porro's apparatus
with invar bars 4 to 5 metres long.
Results have been obtained in the United States, of great importance
in view of their accuracy, rapidity of determination and economy. For
the measurement of the arc of meridian in longitude 98° E., in 1900,
nine base lines of a total length of 69.2 km. were measured in six
months. The total cost of one base was $1231. At the beginning and at
the end of the field-season a distance of exactly 100 m. was measured
with R.S. Woodward's "5-m. ice-bar" (invented in 1891); by means of
the remeasurement of this length the standardization of the apparatus
was done under the same conditions as existed in the case of the base
measurements. For the measurements there were employed two steel tapes
of 100 m. long, provided with supports at distances of 25 m., two of
50 m., and the duplex apparatus of Eimbeck, consisting of four 5-m.
rods. Each base was divided into sections of about 1000 m.; one of
these, the "test kilometre," was measured with all the five apparatus,
the others only with two apparatus, mostly tapes. The probable error
was about ±0.8 µ, and the day's work a distance of about 2000 m. Each
of the four rods of the duplex apparatus consists of two bars of brass
and steel. Mercury thermometers are inserted in both bars; these serve
for the measurement of the length of the base lines by each of the
bars, as they are brought into their consecutive positions, the
contact being made by an elastic-sliding contact. The length of the
base lines may be calculated for each bar only, and also by the
supposition that both bars have the same temperature. The apparatus
thus affords three sets of results, which mutually control themselves,
and the contact adjustments permit rapid work. The same device has
been applied to the older bimetallic-compensating apparatus of
Bache-Würdemann (six bases, 1847-1857) and of Schott. There was also
employed a single rod bimetallic apparatus on F. Porro's principle,
constructed by the brothers Repsold for some base lines. Excellent
results have been more recently obtained with invar tapes.
The following results show the lengths of the same German base lines
as measured by different apparatus:
metres.
Base at Berlin 1864 Apparatus of Bessel 2336·3920
" " 1880 " Brunner ·3924
Base at Strehlen 1854 " Bessel 2762·5824
" " 1879 " Brunner ·5852
Old base at Bonn 1847 " Bessel 2133·9095
" " 1892 " " ·9097
New base at Bonn 1892 " " 2512·9612
" " 1892 " Brunner ·9696
It is necessary that the altitude above the level of the sea of every
part of a base line be ascertained by spirit levelling, in order that
the measured length may be reduced to what it would have been had the
measurement been made on the surface of the sea, produced in
imagination. Thus if l be the length of a measuring bar, h its height
at any given position in the measurement, r the radius of the earth,
then the length radially projected on to the level of the sea is l(1 -
h/r). In the Salisbury Plain base line the reduction to the level of
the sea is -0.6294 ft.
The total number of base lines measured in Europe up to the present
time is about one hundred and ten, nineteen of which do not exceed in
length 2500 metres, or about 1½ miles, and three--one in France, the
others in Bavaria--exceed 19,000 metres. The question has been
frequently discussed whether or not the advantage of a long base is
sufficiently great to warrant the expenditure of time that it
requires, or whether as much precision is not obtainable in the end by
careful triangulation from a short base. But the answer cannot be
given generally; it must depend on the circumstances of each
particular case. With Jäderin's apparatus, provided with invar wires,
bases of 20 to 30 km. long are obtained without difficulty.
[Illustration: FIG. 1.]
In working away from a base line ab, stations c, d, e, f are carefully
selected so as to obtain from well-shaped triangles gradually
increasing sides. Before, however, finally leaving the base line, it
is usual to verify it by triangulation thus: during the measurement
two or more points, as p, q (fig. 1), are marked in the base in
positions such that the lengths of the different segments of the line
are known; then, taking suitable external stations, as h, k, the
angles of the triangles bhp, phq, hqk, kqa are measured. From these
angles can be computed the ratios of the segments, which must agree,
if all operations are correctly performed, with the ratios resulting
from the measures. Leaving the base line, the sides increase up to
10, 30 or 50 miles occasionally, but seldom reaching 100 miles. The
triangulation points may either be natural objects presenting
themselves in suitable positions, such as church towers; or they may
be objects specially constructed in stone or wood on mountain tops or
other prominent ground. In every case it is necessary that the precise
centre of the station be marked by some permanent mark. In India no
expense is spared in making permanent the principal trigonometrical
stations--costly towers in masonry being erected. It is essential that
every trigonometrical station shall present a fine object for
observation from surrounding stations.
_Horizontal Angles._
In placing the theodolite over a station to be observed from, the
first point to be attended to is that it shall rest upon a perfectly
solid foundation. The method of obtaining this desideratum must depend
entirely on the nature of the ground; the instrument must if possible
be supported on rock, or if that be impossible a solid foundation must
be obtained by digging. When the theodolite is required to be raised
above the surface of the ground in order to command particular points,
it is necessary to build two scaffolds,--the outer one to carry the
observatory, the inner one to carry the instrument,--and these two
edifices must have no point of contact. Many cases of high scaffolding
have occurred on the English Ordnance Survey, as for instance at
Thaxted church, where the tower, 80 ft. high, is surmounted by a spire
of 90 ft. The scaffold for the observatory was carried from the base
to the top of the spire; that for the instrument was raised from a
point of the spire 140 ft. above the ground, having its bearing upon
timbers passing through the spire at that height. Thus the instrument,
at a height of 178 ft. above the ground, was insulated, and not
affected by the action of the wind on the observatory.
At every station it is necessary to examine and correct the
adjustments of the theodolite, which are these: the line of
collimation of the telescope must be perpendicular to its axis of
rotation; this axis perpendicular to the vertical axis of the
instrument; and the latter perpendicular to the plane of the horizon.
The micrometer microscopes must also measure correct quantities on the
divided circle or circles. The method of observing is this. Let A, B,
C ... be the stations to be observed taken in order of azimuth; the
telescope is first directed to A and the cross-hairs of the telescope
made to bisect the object presented by A, then the microscopes or
verniers of the horizontal circle (also of the vertical circle if
necessary) are read and recorded. The telescope is then turned to B,
which is observed in the same manner; then C and the other stations.
Coming round by continuous motion to A, it is again observed, and the
agreement of this second reading with the first is some test of the
stability of the instrument. In taking this round of angles--or "arc,"
as it is called on the Ordnance Survey--it is desirable that the
interval of time between the first and second observations of A should
be as small as may be consistent with due care. Before taking the next
arc the horizontal circle is moved through 20° or 30°; thus a
different set of divisions of the circle is used in each arc, which
tends to eliminate the errors of division.
It is very desirable that all arcs at a station should contain one
point in common, to which all angular measurements are thus
referred,--the observations on each arc commencing and ending with
this point, which is on the Ordnance Survey called the "referring
object." It is usual for this purpose to select, from among the points
which have to be observed, that one which affords the best object for
precise observation. For mountain tops a "referring object" is
constructed of two rectangular plates of metal in the same vertical
plane, their edges parallel and placed at such a distance apart that
the light of the sky seen through appears as a vertical line about 10"
in width. The best distance for this object is from 1 to 2 miles.
This method seems at first sight very advantageous; but if, however,
it be desired to attain the highest accuracy, it is better, as shown
by General Schreiber of Berlin in 1878, to measure only single angles,
and as many of these as possible between the directions to be
determined. Division-errors are thus more perfectly eliminated, and
errors due to the variation in the stability, &c., of the instruments
are diminished. This method is rapidly gaining precedence.
The theodolites used in geodesy vary in pattern and in size--the
horizontal circles ranging from 10 in. to 36 in. in diameter. In
Ramsden's 36-in. theodolite the telescope has a focal length of 36 in.
and an aperture of 2.5 in., the ordinarily used magnifying power being
54; this last, however, can of course be changed at the requirements
of the observer or of the weather. The probable error of a single
observation of a fine object with this theodolite is about 0".2. Fig.
2 represents an altazimuth theodolite of an improved pattern used on
the Ordnance Survey. The horizontal circle of 14-in. diameter is read
by three micrometer microscopes; the vertical circle has a diameter of
12 in., and is read by two microscopes. In the great trigonometrical
survey of India the theodolites used in the more important parts of
the work have been of 2 and 3 ft. diameter--the circle read by five
equidistant microscopes. Every angle is measured twice in each
position of the zero of the horizontal circle, of which there are
generally ten; the entire number of measures of an angle is never
less than 20. An examination of 1407 angles showed that the probable
error of an observed angle is on the average ± 0".28.
For the observations of very distant stations it is usual to employ a
heliotrope (from the Gr. [Greek: hêlios], sun; [Greek: tropos], a
turn), invented by Gauss at Göttingen in 1821. In its simplest form
this is a plane mirror, 4, 6, or 8 in. in diameter, capable of
rotation round a horizontal and a vertical axis. This mirror is placed
at the station to be observed, and in fine weather it is kept so
directed that the rays of the sun reflected by it strike the distant
observing telescope. To the observer the heliotrope presents the
appearance of a star of the first or second magnitude, and is
generally a pleasant object for observing.
Observations at night, with the aid of light-signals, have been
repeatedly made, and with good results, particularly in France by
General François Perrier, and more recently in the United States by
the Coast and Geodetic Survey; the signal employed being an acetylene
bicycle-lamp, with a lens 5 in. in diameter. Particularly noteworthy
are the trigonometrical connexions of Spain and Algeria, which were
carried out in 1879 by Generals Ibañez and Perrier (over a distance of
270 km.), of Sicily and Malta in 1900, and of the islands of Elba and
Sardinia in 1902 by Dr Guarducci (over distances up to 230 km.); in
these cases artificial light was employed: in the first case electric
light and in the two others acetylene lamps.
[Illustration: FIG. 2.--Altazimuth Theodolite.]
_Astronomical Observations._
The direction of the meridian is determined either by a theodolite or
a portable transit instrument. In the former case the operation
consists in observing the angle between a terrestrial
object--generally a mark specially erected and capable of illumination
at night--and a close circumpolar star at its greatest eastern or
western azimuth, or, at any rate, when very near that position. If the
observation be made t minutes of time before or after the time of
greatest azimuth, the azimuth then will differ from its maximum value
by (450t)² sin 1" sin 2[delta]/ sin z, in seconds of angle, omitting
smaller terms, [delta] being the star's declination and z its zenith
distance. The collimation and level errors are very carefully
determined before and after these observations, and it is usual to
arrange the observations by the reversal of the telescope so that
collimation error shall disappear. If b, c be the level and
collimation errors, the correction to the circle reading is b cot z ±
c cosec z, b being positive when the west end of the axis is high. It
is clear that any uncertainty as to the real state of the level will
produce a corresponding uncertainty in the resulting value of the
azimuth,--an uncertainty which increases with the latitude and is very
large in high latitudes. This may be partly remedied by observing in
connexion with the star its reflection in mercury. In determining the
value of "one division" of a level tube, it is necessary to bear in
mind that in some the value varies considerably with the temperature.
By experiments on the level of Ramsden's 3-foot theodolite, it was
found that though at the ordinary temperature of 66° the value of a
division was about one second, yet at 32° it was about five seconds.
In a very excellent portable transit used on the Ordnance Survey, the
uprights carrying the telescope are constructed of mahogany, each
upright being built of several pieces glued and screwed together; the
base, which is a solid and heavy plate of iron, carries a reversing
apparatus for lifting the telescope out of its bearings, reversing it
and letting it down again. Thus is avoided the change of temperature
which the telescope would incur by being lifted by the hands of the
observer. Another form of transit is the German diagonal form, in
which the rays of light after passing through the object-glass are
turned by a total reflection prism through one of the transverse arms
of the telescope, at the extremity of which arm is the eye-piece. The
unused half of the ordinary telescope being cut away is replaced by a
counterpoise. In this instrument there is the advantage that the
observer without moving the position of his eye commands the whole
meridian, and that the level may remain on the pivots whatever be the
elevation of the telescope. But there is the disadvantage that the
flexure of the transverse axis causes a variable collimation error
depending on the zenith distance of the star to which it is directed;
and moreover it has been found that in some cases the personal error
of an observer is not the same in the two positions of the telescope.
To determine the direction of the meridian, it is well to erect two
marks at nearly equal angular distances on either side of the north
meridian line, so that the pole star crosses the vertical of each mark
a short time before and after attaining its greatest eastern and
western azimuths.
If now the instrument, perfectly levelled, is adjusted to have its
centre wire on one of the marks, then when elevated to the star, the
star will traverse the wire, and its exact position in the field at
any moment can be measured by the micrometer wire. Alternate
observations of the star and the terrestrial mark, combined with
careful level readings and reversals of the instrument, will enable
one, even with only one mark, to determine the direction of the
meridian in the course of an hour with a probable error of less than a
second. The second mark enables one to complete the station more
rapidly and gives a check upon the work. As an instance, at Findlay
Seat, in latitude 57° 35', the resulting azimuths of the two marks
were 177° 45' 37".29 ± 0".20 and 182° 17' 15".61 ± 0".13, while the
angle between the two marks directly measured by a theodolite was
found to be 4° 31' 37".43 ± 0".23.
[Illustration: FIG. 3.]
We now come to the consideration of the determination of time with the
transit instrument. Let fig. 3 represent the sphere stereographically
projected on the plane of the horizon,--ns being the meridian, we the
prime vertical, Z, P the zenith and the pole. Let p be the point in
which the production of the axis of the instrument meets the celestial
sphere, S the position of a star when observed on a wire whose
distance from the collimation centre is c. Let a be the azimuthal
deviation, namely, the angle wZp, b the level error so that Zp = 90° -
b. Let also the hour angle corresponding to p be 90° - n, and the
declination of the same = m, the star's declination being [delta], and
the latitude [phi]. Then to find the hour angle ZPS = [tau] of the
star when observed, in the triangles pPS, pPZ we have, since pPS = 90
+ [tau] - n,
-Sin c = sin m sin [delta] + cos m cos [delta] sin (n - [tau]),
Sin m = sin b sin [phi] - cos b cos [phi] sin a,
Cos m sin n = sin b cos [phi] + cos b sin [phi] sin a.
And these equations solve the problem, however large be the errors of
the instrument. Supposing, as usual, a, b, m, n to be small, we have
at once [tau] = n + c sec [delta] + m tan [delta], which is the
correction to the observed time of transit. Or, eliminating m and n by
means of the second and third equations, and putting z for the zenith
distance of the star, t for the observed time of transit, the
corrected time is t + (a sin z + b cos z + c) / cos [delta]. Another
very convenient form for stars near the zenith is [tau] = b sec [phi]
+ c sec [delta] + m (tan [delta] - tan [phi]).
Suppose that in commencing to observe at a station the error of the
chronometer is not known; then having secured for the instrument a
very solid foundation, removed as far as possible level and
collimation errors, and placed it by estimation nearly in the
meridian, let two stars differing considerably in declination be
observed--the instrument not being reversed between them. From these
two stars, neither of which should be a close circumpolar star, a good
approximation to the chronometer error can be obtained; thus let
[epsilon]1, [epsilon]2, be the apparent clock errors given by these
stars if [delta]1, [delta]2 be their declinations the real error is
[epsilon] = [epsilon]1 + ([epsilon]1 - [epsilon]2)
(tan [phi] - tan [delta]1) / (tan [delta]1 - tan [delta]2).
Of course this is still only approximate, but it will enable the
observer (who by the help of a table of natural tangents can compute
[epsilon] in a few minutes) to find the meridian by placing at the
proper time, which he now knows approximately, the centre wire of his
instrument on the first star that passes--not near the zenith.
The transit instrument is always reversed at least once in the course
of an evening's observing, the level being frequently read and
recorded. It is necessary in most instruments to add a correction for
the difference in size of the pivots.
The transit instrument is also used in the prime vertical for the
determination of latitudes. In the preceding figure let q be the point
in which the northern extremity of the axis of the instrument produced
meets the celestial sphere. Let nZq be the azimuthal deviation = a,
and b being the level error, Zq = 90° - b; let also nPq = [tau] and Pq
= [psi]. Let S' be the position of a star when observed on a wire
whose distance from the collimation centre is c, positive when to the
south, and let h be the observed hour angle of the star, viz. ZPS'.
Then the triangles qPS', gPZ give
-Sin c = sin [delta] cos [psi] - cos [delta] sin [psi] cos (h + [tau]),
Cos [psi] = sin b sin [phi] + cos b cos [phi] cos a,
Sin [psi] sin [tau] = cos b sin a.
Now when a and b are very small, we see from the last two equations
that [psi] = [phi] - b, a = [tau] sin [psi], and if we calculate
[phi]' by the formula cot [phi]' = cot [delta] cos h, the first
equation leads us to this result--
[phi] = [phi]' + (a sin z + b cos z + c)/cos z,
the correction for instrumental error being very similar to that
applied to the observed time of transit in the case of meridian
observations. When a is not very small and z is small, the formulae
required are more complicated.
[Illustration: FIG. 4.--Zenith Telescope constructed for the
International Stations at Mizusawa, Carloforte, Gaithersburg and
Ukiah, by Hermann Wanschaff, Berlin.]
The method of determining latitude by transits in the prime vertical
has the disadvantage of being a somewhat slow process, and of
requiring a very precise knowledge of the time, a disadvantage from
which the zenith telescope is free. In principle this instrument is
based on the proposition that when the meridian zenith distances of
two stars at their upper culminations--one being to the north and the
other to the south of the zenith--are equal, the latitude is the mean
of their declinations; or, if the zenith distance of a star
culminating to the south of the zenith be Z, its declination being
[delta], and that of another culminating to the north with zenith
distance Z' and declination [delta]', then clearly the latitude is
½([delta] + [delta]') + ½(Z - Z'). Now the zenith telescope does away
with the divided circle, and substitutes the measurement
micrometrically of the quantity Z' - Z.
In fig. 4 is shown a zenith telescope by H. Wanschaff of Berlin, which
is the type used (according to the Central Bureau at Potsdam) since
about 1890 for the determination of the variations of latitude due to
different, but as yet imperfectly understood, influences. The
instrument is supported on a strong tripod, fitted with levelling
screws; to this tripod is fixed the azimuth circle and a long vertical
steel axis. Fitting on this axis is a hollow axis which carries on its
upper end a short transverse horizontal axis with a level. This latter
carries the telescope, which, supported at the centre of its length,
is free to rotate in a vertical plane. The telescope is thus mounted
eccentrically with respect to the vertical axis around which it
revolves. Two extremely sensitive levels are attached to the
telescope, which latter carries a micrometer in its eye-piece, with a
screw of long range for measuring differences of zenith distance. Two
levels are employed for controlling and increasing the accuracy. For
this instrument stars are selected in pairs, passing north and south
of the zenith, culminating within a few minutes of time and within
about twenty minutes (angular) of zenith distance of each other. When
a pair of stars is to be observed, the telescope is set to the mean of
the zenith distances and in the plane of the meridian. The first star
on passing the central meridional wire is bisected by the micrometer;
then the telescope is rotated very carefully through 180° round the
vertical axis, and the second star on passing through the field is
bisected by the micrometer on the centre wire. The micrometer has thus
measured the difference of the zenith distances, and the calculation
to get the latitude is most simple. Of course it is necessary to read
the level, and the observations are not necessarily confined to the
centre wire. In fact if n, s be the north and south readings of the
level for the south star, n', s' the same for the north star, l the
value of one division of the level, m the value of one division of the
micrometer, r, r' the refraction corrections, µ, µ' the micrometer
readings of the south and north star, the micrometer being supposed to
read from the zenith, then, supposing the observation made on the
centre wire,--
[phi] = ½([delta] + [delta]') + ½(µ - µ')m + ¼(n + n' - s - s')l +
½(r - r').
It is of course of the highest importance that the value m of the
screw be well determined. This is done most effectually by observing
the vertical movement of a close circumpolar star when at its greatest
azimuth.
In a single night with this instrument a very accurate result, say
with a probable error of about 0".2, could be obtained for latitude
from, say, twenty pair of stars; but when the latitude is required to
be obtained with the highest possible precision, two nights at least
are necessary. The weak point of the zenith telescope lies in the
circumstance that its requirements prevent the selection of stars
whose positions are well fixed; very frequently it is necessary to
have the declinations of the stars selected for this instrument
specially observed at fixed observatories. The zenith telescope is
made in various sizes from 30 to 54 in. in focal length; a 30-in.
telescope is sufficient for the highest purposes and is very portable.
The net observation probable-error for one pair of stars is only
±0".1.
The zenith telescope is a particularly pleasant instrument to work
with, and an observer has been known (a sergeant of Royal Engineers,
on one occasion) to take every star in his list during eleven hours on
a stretch, namely, from 6 o'clock P.M. until 5 A.M., and this on a
very cold November night on one of the highest points of the
Grampians. Observers accustomed to geodetic operations attain
considerable powers of endurance. Shortly after the commencement of
the observations on one of the hills in the Isle of Skye a storm
carried away the wooden houses of the men and left the observatory
roofless. Three observatory roofs were subsequently demolished, and
for some time the observatory was used without a roof, being filled
with snow every night and emptied every morning. Quite different,
however, was the experience of the same party when on the top of Ben
Nevis, 4406 ft. high. For about a fortnight the state of the
atmosphere was unusually calm, so much so, that a lighted candle could
often be carried between the tents of the men and the observatory,
whilst at the foot of the hill the weather was wild and stormy.
The determination of the difference of longitude between two stations
A and B resolves itself into the determination of the local time at
each of the stations, and the comparison by signals of the clocks at A
and B. Whenever telegraphic lines are available these comparisons are
made by telegraphy. A small and delicately-made apparatus introduced
into the mechanism of an astronomical clock or chronometer breaks or
closes by the action of the clock an electric circuit every second. In
order to record the minutes as well as seconds, one second in each
minute, namely that numbered 0 or 60, is omitted. The seconds are
recorded on a chronograph, which consists of a cylinder revolving
uniformly at the rate of one revolution per minute covered with white
paper, on which a pen having a slow movement in the direction of the
axis of the cylinder describes a continuous spiral. This pen is
deflected through the agency of an electromagnet every second, and
thus the seconds of the clock are recorded on the chronograph by
offsets from the spiral curve. An observer having his hand on a
contact key in the same circuit can record in the same manner his
observed times of transits of stars. The method of determination of
difference of longitude is, therefore, virtually as follows. After the
necessary observations for instrumental corrections, which are
recorded only at the station of observation, the clock at A is put in
connexion with the circuit so as to write on both chronographs,
namely, that at A and that at B. Then the clock at B is made to write
on both chronographs. It is clear that by this double operation one
can eliminate the effect of the small interval of time consumed in the
transmission of signals, for the difference of longitude obtained from
the one chronograph will be in excess by as much as that obtained from
the other will be in defect. The determination of the personal errors
of the observers in this delicate operation is a matter of the
greatest importance, as therein lies probably the chief source of
residual error.
These errors can nevertheless be almost entirely avoided by using the
impersonal micrometer of Dr Repsold (Hamburg, 1889). In this device
there is a movable micrometer wire which is brought by hand into
coincidence with the star and moved along with it; at fixed points
there are electrical contacts, which replace the fixed wires.
Experiments at the Geodetic Institute and Central Bureau at Potsdam in
1891 gave the following personal equations in the case of four
observers:--
Older Procedure. New Procedure.
A-B -0^s.108 -0^s.004
A-G -0^s.314 -0^s.035
A-S -0^s.184 -0^s.027
B-G -0^s.225 +0^s.013
B-S -0^s.086 -0^s.023
G-S +0^s.109 -0^s.006
These results show that in the later method the personal equation is
small and not so variable; and consequently the repetition of
longitude determinations with exchanged observers and apparatus
entirely eliminates the constant errors, the probable error of such
determinations on ten nights being scarcely ±0^s.01.
_Calculation of Triangulation._
The surface of Great Britain and Ireland is uniformly covered by
triangulation, of which the sides are of various lengths from 10 to
111 miles. The largest triangle has one angle at Snowdon in Wales,
another on Slieve Donard in Ireland, and a third at Scaw Fell in
Cumberland; each side is over a hundred miles and the spherical excess
is 64". The more ordinary method of triangulation is, however, that of
chains of triangles, in the direction of the meridian and
perpendicular thereto. The principal triangulations of France, Spain,
Austria and India are so arranged. Oblique chains of triangles are
formed in Italy, Sweden and Norway, also in Germany and Russia, and in
the United States. Chains are composed sometimes merely of consecutive
plain triangles; sometimes, and more frequently in India, of
combinations of triangles forming consecutive polygonal figures. In
this method of triangulating, the sides of the triangles are generally
from 20 to 30 miles in length--seldom exceeding 40.
The inevitable errors of observation, which are inseparable from all
angular as well as other measurements, introduce a great difficulty
into the calculation of the sides of a triangulation. Starting from a
given base in order to get a required distance, it may generally be
obtained in several different ways--that is, by using different sets
of triangles. The results will certainly differ one from another, and
probably no two will agree. The experience of the computer will then
come to his aid, and enable him to say which is the most trustworthy
result; but no experience or ability will carry him through a large
network of triangles with anything like assurance. The only way to
obtain trustworthy results is to employ the method of least squares.
We cannot here give any illustration of this method as applied to
general triangulation, for it is most laborious, even for the simplest
cases.
Three stations, projected on the surface of the sea, give a spherical
or spheroidal triangle according to the adoption of the sphere or the
ellipsoid as the form of the surface. A spheroidal triangle differs
from a spherical triangle, not only in that the curvatures of the
sides are different one from another, but more especially in this
that, while in the spherical triangle the normals to the surface at
the angular points meet at the centre of the sphere, in the spheroidal
triangle the normals at the angles A, B, C meet the axis of revolution
of the spheroid in three different points, which we may designate
[alpha], ß, [gamma] respectively. Now the angle A of the triangle as
measured by a theodolite is the inclination of the planes BA[alpha]
and CA[alpha], and the angle at B is that contained by the planes ABß
and CBß. But the planes AB[alpha] and ABß containing the line AB in
common cut the surface in two distinct plane curves. In order,
therefore, that a spheroidal triangle may be exactly defined, it is
necessary that the nature of the lines joining the three vertices be
stated. In a mathematical point of view the most natural definition is
that the sides be geodetic or shortest lines. C.C.G. Andrae, of
Copenhagen, has also shown that other lines give a less convenient
computation.
K.F. Gauss, in his treatise, _Disquisitiones generales circa
superficies curvas_, entered fully into the subject of geodetic (or
geodesic) triangles, and investigated expressions for the angles of a
geodetic triangle whose sides are given, not certainly finite
expressions, but approximations inclusive of small quantities of the
fourth order, the side of the triangle or its ratio to the radius of
the nearly spherical surface being a small quantity of the first
order. The terms of the fourth order, as given by Gauss for any
surface in general, are very complicated even when the surface is a
spheroid. If we retain small quantities of the second order only, and
put [A], [B], [C] for the angles of the geodetic triangle, while A, B,
C are those of a plane triangle having sides equal respectively to
those of the geodetic triangle, then, [sigma] being the area of the
plane triangle and [a], [b], [c] the measures of curvature at the
angular points,
[A] = A + [sigma](2[a] + [b] + [c])/12,
[B] = B + [sigma]([a] + 2[b] + [c])/12,
[C] = C + [sigma]([a] + [b] + 2[c])/12.
For the sphere [a] = [b] = [r], and making this simplification, we
obtain the theorem previously given by A.M. Legendre. With the terms
of the fourth order, we have (after Andrae):
[epsilon] [sigma] /m² - a² [a] - k \
[A] - A = --------- + -------k ( -------k + ------- ),
3 3 \ 20 4k /
[epsilon] [sigma] /m² - b² [b] - k \
[B] - B = --------- + -------k ( -------k + -------- ),
3 3 \ 20 4k /
[epsilon] [sigma] /m² - c² [c] - k \
[C] - C = --------- + -------k ( -------k + -------- ),
3 3 \ 20 4k /
in which [epsilon] = [sigma] k {1 + (m²k / 8)}, 3m² = a² + b² + c², 3k
= [a] + [b] + [c]. For the ellipsoid of rotation the measure of
curvature is equal to 1 / [rho]n, [rho] and n being the radii of
curvature of the meridian and perpendicular.
It is rarely that the terms of the fourth order are required. As a
rule spheroidal triangles are calculated as spherical (after
Legendre), i.e. like plane triangles with a decrease of each angle of
about [epsilon] / 3; [epsilon] must, however, be calculated for each
triangle separately with its mean measure of curvature k.
The geodetic line being the shortest that can be drawn on any surface
between two given points, we may be conducted to its most important
characteristics by the following considerations: let p, q be adjacent
points on a curved surface; through s the middle point of the chord pq
imagine a plane drawn perpendicular to pq, and let S be any point in
the intersection of this plane with the surface; then pS + Sq is
evidently least when sS is a minimum, which is when sS is a normal to
the surface; hence it follows that of all plane curves on the surface
joining p, q, when those points are indefinitely near to one another,
that is the shortest which is made by the normal plane. That is to
say, the osculating plane at any point of a geodetic line contains the
normal to the surface at that point. Imagine now three points in
space, A, B, C, such that AB = BC = c; let the direction cosines of AB
be l, m, n, those of BC l', m', n', then x, y, z being the
co-ordinates of B, those of A and C will be respectively--
x - cl : y - cm : z - cn
x + cl': y + cm': z + cn'.
Hence the co-ordinates of the middle point M of AC are x + ½c(l' - l),
y + ½c(m' - m), z + ½c(n' - n), and the direction cosines of BM are
therefore proportional to l' - l : m' - m : n' - n. If the angle made
by BC with AB be indefinitely small, the direction cosines of BM are
as [delta]l : [delta]m : [delta]n. Now if AB, BC be two contiguous
elements of a geodetic, then BM must be a normal to the surface, and
since [delta]l, [delta]m, [delta]n are in this case represented by
[delta](dx/ds), [delta](dy/ds), [delta](dz/ds), and if the equation of
the surface be u = 0, we have
d²x / du d²y / du d²z / du
--- / -- = --- / -- = --- / --,
ds² / dx ds² / dy ds² / dz
which, however, are equivalent to only one equation. In the case of
the spheroid this equation becomes
d²x d²y
y --- - x --- = 0,
ds² ds²
which integrated gives ydx - xdy = Cds. This again may be put in the
form r sin a = C, where a is the azimuth of the geodetic at any
point--the angle between its direction and that of the meridian--and r
the distance of the point from the axis of revolution.
From this it may be shown that the azimuth at A of the geodetic
joining AB is not the same as the astronomical azimuth at A of B or
that determined by the vertical plane A[alpha]B. Generally speaking,
the geodetic lies between the two plane section curves joining A and B
which are formed by the two vertical planes, supposing these points
not far apart. If, however, A and B are nearly in the same latitude,
the geodetic may cross (between A and B) that plane curve which lies
nearest the adjacent pole of the spheroid. The condition of crossing
is this. Suppose that for a moment we drop the consideration of the
earth's non-sphericity, and draw a perpendicular from the pole C on
AB, meeting it in S between A and B. Then A being that point which is
nearest the pole, the geodetic will cross the plane curve if AS be
between ¼AB and 3/8 AB. If AS lie between this last value and ½AB, the
geodetic will lie wholly to the north of both plane curves, that is,
supposing both points to be in the northern hemisphere.
The difference of the azimuths of the vertical section AB and of the
geodetic AB, i.e. the astronomical and geodetic azimuths, is very
small for all observable distances, being approximately:--
Geod. azimuth = Astr. azimuth -(1/12) [e²/(1 - e²)] (s²/[rho]n)
(cos²[phi] sin 2[alpha] + (s/4a)|sin 2[phi] sin [alpha]), in which: e
and a are the numerical eccentricity and semi-major axis respectively
of the meridian ellipse, [phi] and [alpha] are the latitude and
azimuth at A, s = AB, and [rho] and n are the radii of curvature of
the meridian and perpendicular at A. For s = 100 kilometres, only the
first term is of moment; its value is 0".028 cos² [phi] sin 2[alpha],
and it lies well within the errors of observation. If we imagine the
geodetic AB, it will generally trisect the angles between the vertical
sections at A and B, so that the geodetic at A is near the vertical
section AB, and at B near the section BA.[3] The greatest distance of
the vertical sections one from another is e²s³ cos² [phi]0 sin
2[alpha]0/16a², in which [phi]0 and [alpha]0 are the mean latitude and
azimuth respectively of the middle point of AB. For the value s = 64
kilometres, the maximum distance is 3 mm.
An idea of the course of a longer geodetic line may be gathered from
the following example. Let the line be that joining Cadiz and St
Petersburg, whose approximate positions are--
Cadiz. St Petersburg.
Lat. 36° 22' N. 59° 56' N.
Long. 6° 18' W. 30° 17' E.
If G be the point on the geodetic corresponding to F on that one of
the plane curves which contains the normal at Cadiz (by
"corresponding" we mean that F and G are on a meridian) then G is to
the north of F; at a quarter of the whole distance from Cadiz GF is
458 ft., at half the distance it is 637 ft., and at three-quarters it
is 473 ft. The azimuth of the geodetic at Cadiz differs 20" from that
of the vertical plane, which is the astronomical azimuth.
The azimuth of a geodetic line cannot be observed, so that the line
does not enter of necessity into practical geodesy, although many
formulae connected with its use are of great simplicity and elegance.
The geodetic line has always held a more important place in the
science of geodesy among the mathematicians of France, Germany and
Russia than has been assigned to it in the operations of the English
and Indian triangulations. Although the observed angles of a
triangulation are not geodetic angles, yet in the calculation of the
distance and reciprocal bearings of two points which are far apart,
and are connected by a long chain of triangles, we may fall upon the
geodetic line in this manner:--
If A, Z be the points, then to start the calculation from A, we obtain
by some preliminary calculation the approximate azimuth of Z, or the
angle made by the direction of Z with the side AB or AC of the first
triangle. Let P1 be the point where this line intersects BC; then, to
find P2, where the line cuts the next triangle side CD, we make the
angle BP1P2 such that BP1P2 + BP1A = 180°. This fixes P2, and P3 is
fixed by a repetition of the same process; so for P4, P5 .... Now it
is clear that the points P1, P2, P3 so computed are those which would
be actually fixed by an observer with a theodolite, proceeding in the
following manner. Having set the instrument up at A, and turned the
telescope in the direction of the computed bearing, an assistant
places a mark P1 on the line BC, adjusting it till bisected by the
cross-hairs of the telescope at A. The theodolite is then placed over
P1, and the telescope turned to A; the horizontal circle is then moved
through 180°. The assistant then places a mark P2 on the line CD, so
as to be bisected by the telescope, which is then moved to P2, and in
the same manner P3 is fixed. Now it is clear that the series of points
P1, P2, P3 approaches to the geodetic line, for the plane of any two
consecutive elements P_(n-1) P_n, P_n P_(n+1) contains the normal at
P_n.
If the objection be raised that not the geodetic azimuths but the
astronomical azimuths are observed, it is necessary to consider that
the observed vertical sections do not correspond to points on the
sea-level but to elevated points. Since the normals of the ellipsoid
of rotation do not in general intersect, there consequently arises an
influence of the height on the azimuth. In the case of the measurement
of the azimuth from A to B, the instrument is set to a point A' over
the surface of the ellipsoid (the sea-level), and it is then adjusted
to a point B', also over the surface, say at a height h'. The vertical
plane containing A' and B' also contains A but not B: it must
therefore be rotated through a small azimuth in order to contain B.
The correction amounts approximately to -e²h' cos²[phi] sin
2[alpha]/2a; in the case of h' = 1000 m., its value is 0".108
cos²[phi] sin 2[alpha].
This correction is therefore of greater importance in the case of
observed azimuths and horizontal angles than in the previously
considered case of the astronomical and the geodetic azimuths. The
observed azimuths and horizontal angles must therefore also be
corrected in the case, where it is required to dispense with geodetic
lines.
When the angles of a triangulation have been adjusted by the method of
least squares, and the sides are calculated, the next process is to
calculate the latitudes and longitudes of all the stations starting
from one given point. The calculated latitudes, longitudes and
azimuths, which are designated geodetic latitudes, longitudes and
azimuths, are not to be confounded with the observed latitudes,
longitudes and azimuths, for these last are subject to somewhat large
errors. Supposing the latitudes of a number of stations in the
triangulation to be observed, practically the mean of these determines
the position in latitude of the network, taken as a whole. So the
orientation or general azimuth of the whole is inferred from all the
azimuth observations. The triangulation is then supposed to be
projected on a spheroid of given elements, representing as nearly as
one knows the real figure of the earth. Then, taking the latitude of
one point and the direction of the meridian there as given--obtained,
namely, from the astronomical observations there--one can compute the
latitudes of all the other points with any degree of precision that
may be considered desirable. It is necessary to employ for this
purpose formulae which will give results true even for the longest
distances to the second place of decimals of seconds, otherwise there
will arise an accumulation of errors from imperfect calculation which
should always be avoided. For very long distances, eight places of
decimals should be employed in logarithmic calculations; if seven
places only are available very great care will be required to keep the
last place true. Now let [phi], [phi]' be the latitudes of two
stations A and B; [alpha], [alpha]^* their mutual azimuths counted
from north by east continuously from 0° to 360°; [omega] their
difference of longitude measured from west to east; and s the distance
AB.
First compute a latitude [phi]1 by means of the formula [phi]1 = [phi]
+ (s cos [alpha]) / [rho], where [rho] is the radius of curvature of
the meridian at the latitude [phi]; this will require but four places
of logarithms. Then, in the first two of the following, five places
are sufficient--
s² s²
[epsilon] = ------- sin [alpha] cos a, [eta] = ------- sin²[alpha] tan[phi]1,
2[rho]n 2[rho]n
s
[phi]' - [phi] = ---- cos ([alpha] - 2/3[epsilon]) - [eta],
rho0
s sin (alpha - 1/3[epsilon])
[omega] = ----------------------------,
n cos ([phi]' + 1/3[eta])
[alpha]^* - [alpha] = [omega] sin ([phi]' + 2/3[eta]) - [epsilon] + 180°.
Here n is the normal or radius of curvature perpendicular to the
meridian; both n and [rho] correspond to latitude [phi]1, and [rho]0
to latitude ½([phi] + [phi]'). For calculations of latitude and
longitude, tables of the logarithmic values of [rho] sin 1", n sin 1",
and 2 n [rho] sin 1" are necessary. The following table contains these
logarithms for every ten minutes of latitude from 52° to 53° computed
with the elements a = 20926060 and a : b = 295 : 294 :--
+------+------------------+--------------+--------------------+
| | 1 | 1 | 1 |
| Lat. | Log.------------.| Log.--------.| Log.--------------.|
| | [rho] sin 1" | n sin 1" | 2[rho]n sin 1" |
+------+------------------+--------------+--------------------+
| ° ' | | | |
|52 0 | 7.9939434 | 7.9928231 | 0.37131 |
| 10 | 9309 | 8190 | 29 |
| 20 | 9185 | 8148 | 28 |
| 30 | 9060 | 8107 | 26 |
| 40 | 8936 | 8065 | 24 |
| 50 | 8812 | 8024 | 23 |
|53 0 | 8688 | 7982 | 22 |
+------+------------------+--------------+--------------------+
The logarithm in the last column is that required also for the
calculation of spherical excesses, the spherical excess of a triangle
being expressed by a b sin (C/2[rho]n) sin 1".
It is frequently necessary to obtain the co-ordinates of one point
with reference to another point; that is, let a perpendicular arc be
drawn from B to the meridian of A meeting it in P, then, [alpha] being
the azimuth of B at A, the co-ordinates of B with reference to A are
AP = s cos ([alpha] - 2/3[epsilon]), BP = s sin ([alpha] -
1/3[epsilon]),
where [epsilon] is the spherical excess of APB, viz. s² sin [alpha]
cos [alpha] multiplied by the quantity whose logarithm is in the
fourth column of the above table.
If it be necessary to determine the geographical latitude and
longitude as well as the azimuths to a greater degree of accuracy than
is given by the above formulae, we make use of the following formula:
given the latitude [phi] of A, and the azimuth [alpha] and the
distance s of B, to determine the latitude [phi]' and longitude
[omega] of B, and the back azimuth [alpha]'. Here it is understood
that [alpha]' is symmetrical to [alpha], so that [alpha]^* + [alpha]'
= 360°.
Let
[theta] = s [Delta] / a, where [Delta] = (1 - e² sin² [phi])^½
and
e² [theta]²
[xi] = ----------- cos² [phi] sin 2[alpha],
(4 (1 - e²)
e² [theta]³
[xi]' = ----------- cos² [phi] cos² [alpha];
(6 (1 - e²)
[xi], [xi]' are always very minute quantities even for the longest
distances; then, putting [kappa] = 90° - [phi],
[alpha]' + [xi] - [omega] sin ½([kappa] - [theta] - [xi]') [alpha]
tan------------------------- = -------------------------------- cot -------
2 sin ½([kappa] + [theta] + [xi]') 2
[alpha]' + [xi] + [omega] cos ½([kappa] - [theta] - [xi]') [alpha]
tan------------------------- = -------------------------------- cot -------
2 cos ½([kappa] + [theta] + [xi]') 2
s sin ½([alpha]' + [xi] - [alpha]) / [theta]² [alpha]' - [alpha]\
[phi]' - [phi] = --------------------------------------- ( 1 + --------cos² ------------------ );
[rho]0 sin ½([alpha]' + [xi] + [alpha]) \ 12 2 /
here [rho]0 is the radius of curvature of the meridian for the mean
latitude ½([phi] + [phi]'). These formulae are approximate only, but
they are sufficiently precise even for very long distances.
For lines of any length the formulae of F.W. Bessel (_Astr. Nach._,
1823, iv. 241) are suitable.
If the two points A and B be defined by their geographical
co-ordinates, we can accurately calculate the corresponding
astronomical azimuths, i.e. those of the vertical section, and then
proceed, in the case of not too great distances, to determine the
length and the azimuth of the shortest lines. For _any_ distances
recourse must again be made to Bessel's formula.[4]
Let [alpha], [alpha]' be the mutual azimuths of two points A, B on a
spheroid, k the chord line joining them, µ, µ' the angles made by the
chord with the normals at A and B, [phi], [phi]', [omega] their
latitudes and difference of longitude, and (x² + y²)/a² + z² b² = 1
the equation of the surface; then if the plane xz passes through A the
co-ordinates of A and B will be
x = (a/[Delta]) cos [phi], x' = (a/[Delta]') cos [phi]' cos [omega],
y = 0 y' = (a/[Delta]') cos [phi]' sin [omega],
z = (a/[Delta]) (1 - e²) sin [phi], z' = (a/[Delta]') (1 - e²) sin [phi]',
where [Delta] = (1 - e² sin² [phi])^½, [Delta]' = (1 - e² sin²
[phi]')^½, and e is the eccentricity. Let f, g, h be the direction
cosines of the normal to that plane which contains the normal at A and
the point B, and whose inclinations to the meridian plane of A is =
[alpha]; let also l, m, n and l', m', n' be the direction cosines of
the normal at A, and of the tangent to the surface at A which lies in
the plane passing through B, then since the first line is
perpendicular to each of the other two and to the chord k, whose
direction cosines are proportional to x' - x, y' - y, z' - z, we have
these three equations
f(x' - x) + gy' + h(z' - z) = 0
fl + gm + hn = 0
fl' + gm' + hn' = 0.
Eliminate f, g, h from these equations, and substitute
l = cos [phi] l' = - sin [phi] cos [alpha]
m = 0 m' = sin [alpha]
n = sin [phi] n' = cos [phi] cos [alpha],
and we get
(x' - x) sin [phi] + y' cot [alpha] - (z' - z) cos [phi] = 0.
The substitution of the values of x, z, x', y', z' in this equation
will give immediately the value of cot [alpha]; and if we put [zeta],
[zeta]' for the corresponding azimuths on a sphere, or on the
supposition e = 0, the following relations exist
cos [phi] Q
cot [alpha] - cot [zeta] = e² ------------------
cos [phi]' [Delta]
cos [phi]' Q
cot [alpha]' - cot [zeta]' = e² ------------------
cos [phi] [Delta]'
[Delta]' sin [phi] - [Delta] sin [phi]' = Q sin [omega].
If from B we let fall a perpendicular on the meridian plane of A, and
from A let fall a perpendicular on the meridian plane of B, then the
following equations become geometrically evident:
k sin µ sin [alpha] = (a/[Delta]') cos [phi]' sin [omega]
k sin µ' sin [alpha]' = (a/[Delta]) cos [phi] sin [omega].
Now in any surface u = 0 we have
k² = (x' - x)² + (y' - y)² + (z' - z)²
_ _
| du du du | / / du² du² du² \ ½
-cos µ = |(x' - x) -- + (y' - y) -- + (z' - z) -- | / k ( --- + --- + --- )
|_ dx dy dz_|/ \ dx² dy² dz² /
_ _
| du du du | / / du² du² du² \ ½
-cos µ' = |(x' - x) --- + (y' - y) --- + (z' - z) --- | / k ( ---- + ---- + ---- ).
|_ dx' dy' dz'_|/ \ dx'² dy'² dz'² /
In the present case, if we put
xx' zz'
1 - --- - --- = U,
a² b²
then
k² /z' - z \ ²
-- = 2U - e² ( ------ )
a² \ b /
cos µ = (a/k) [Delta]U; cos µ' = (a/k) [Delta]'U.
Let u be such an angle that
(1 - e²)^½ sin [phi] = [Delta] sin u
cos [phi] = [Delta] cos u,
then on expressing x, x', z, z' in terms of u and u',
U = 1 - cos u cos u' cos [omega] - sin u sin u';
also, if v be the third side of a spherical triangle, of which two
sides are ½[pi] - u and ½[pi] - u' and the included angle [omega],
using a subsidiary angle [psi] such that
sin [psi] sin ½v = e sin ½(u' - u) cos ½(u' + u),
we obtain finally the following equations:--
k = 2a cos [psi] sin ½v
cos µ = [Delta] sec [psi] sin ½v
cos µ' = [Delta]' sec [psi] sin ½v
sin µ sin [alpha] = (a/k) cos u' sin [omega]
sin µ' sin [alpha]' = (a/k) cos u sin [omega].
These determine rigorously the distance, and the mutual zenith
distances and azimuths, of any two points on a spheroid whose
latitudes and difference of longitude are given.
By a series of reductions from the equations containing [zeta],
[zeta]' it may be shown that
[alpha] + [alpha]' = [zeta] + [zeta]' + ¼e^4[omega]([phi]' - [phi])²
cos^4 [phi]0 sin [phi]0 + ...,
where [phi]0 is the mean of [phi] and [phi]', and the higher powers of
e are neglected. A short computation will show that the small quantity
on the right-hand side of this equation cannot amount even to the
thousandth part of a second for k < 0.1a, which is, practically
speaking, zero; consequently the sum of the azimuths [alpha] +
[alpha]' on the spheroid is equal to the sum of the spherical
azimuths, whence follows this very important theorem (known as Dalby's
theorem). If [phi], [phi]' be the latitudes of two points on the
surface of a spheroid, [omega] their difference of longitude, [alpha],
[alpha]' their reciprocal azimuths,
tan ½[omega] = cot ½([alpha] + [alpha]') {cos ½([phi]' - [phi])/
sin ½([phi]' + [phi])}.
The computation of the geodetic from the astronomical azimuths has
been given above. From k we can now compute the length s of the
vertical section, and from this the shortest length. The difference of
length of the geodetic line and either of the plane curves is
e^4 s^5 cos^4 [phi]0 sin² 2[alpha]0/360 a^4.
At least this is an approximate expression. Supposing s = 0.1a, this
quantity would be less than one-hundredth of a millimetre. The line s
is now to be calculated as a circular arc with a mean radius r along
AB. If [phi]0 = ½([phi] + [phi]'), [alpha]0 = ½(180° + [alpha] -
[alpha]'), [Delta]0 = (1 - e² sin² [phi]0)^½, then 1/r = [Delta]0/a [1
+ e²/(1 - e²) (cos² [phi]0 cos² [alpha]0)], and approximately sin
(s/2r) = k/2r. These formulae give, in the case of k = 0.1a, values
certain to eight logarithmic decimal places. An excellent series of
formulae for the solution of the problem, to determine the azimuths,
chord and distance along the surface from the geographical
co-ordinates, was given in 1882 by Ch. M. Schols (_Archives
Néerlandaises_, vol. xvii.).
_Irregularities of the Earth's Surface._
In considering the effect of unequal distribution of matter in the
earth's crust on the form of the surface, we may simplify the matter
by disregarding the considerations of rotation and eccentricity. In
the first place, supposing the earth a sphere covered with a film of
water, let the density [rho] be a function of the distance from the
centre so that surfaces of equal density are concentric spheres. Let
now a disturbance of the arrangement of matter take place, so that the
density is no longer to be expressed by [rho], a function of r only,
but is expressed by [rho] + [rho]', where [rho]' is a function of
three co-ordinates [theta], [phi], r. Then [rho]' is the density of
what may be designated disturbing matter; it is positive in some
places and negative in others, and the whole quantity of matter whose
density is [rho]' is zero. The previously spherical surface of the sea
of radius a now takes a new form. Let P be a point on the disturbed
surface, P' the corresponding point vertically below it on the
undisturbed surface, PP' = N. The knowledge of N over the whole
surface gives us the form of the disturbed or actual surface of the
sea; it is an equipotential surface, and if V be the potential at P of
the disturbing matter [rho]', M the mass of the earth (the
attraction-constant is assumed equal to unity)
M M M
----- + V = C = -- - -- N + V.
a + N a a²
As far as we know, N is always a very small quantity, and we have with
sufficient approximation N = 3V/4[pi][delta]a, where [delta] is the
mean density of the earth. Thus we have the disturbance in elevation
of the sea-level expressed in terms of the potential of the disturbing
matter. If at any point P the value of N remain constant when we pass
to any adjacent point, then the actual surface is there parallel to
the ideal spherical surface; as a rule, however, the normal at P is
inclined to that at P', and astronomical observations have shown that
this inclination, the deflection or deviation, amounting ordinarily to
one or two seconds, may in some cases exceed 10", or, as at the foot
of the Himalayas, even 60". By the expression "mathematical figure of
the earth" we mean the surface of the sea produced in imagination so
as to percolate the continents. We see then that the effect of the
uneven distribution of matter in the crust of the earth is to produce
small elevations and depressions on the mathematical surface which
would be otherwise spheroidal. No geodesist can proceed far in his
work without encountering the irregularities of the mathematical
surface, and it is necessary that he should know how they affect his
astronomical observations. The whole of this subject is dealt with in
his usual elegant manner by Bessel in the _Astronomische Nachrichten_,
Nos. 329, 330, 331, in a paper entitled "Ueber den Einfluss der
Unregelmässigkeiten der Figur der Erde auf geodätische Arbeiten, &c."
But without entering into further details it is not difficult to see
how local attraction at any station affects the determinations of
latitude, longitude and azimuth there.
Let there be at the station an attraction to the north-east throwing
the zenith to the south-west, so that it takes in the celestial sphere
a position Z', its undisturbed position being Z. Let the rectangular
components of the displacement ZZ' be [xi] measured southwards and
[eta] measured westwards. Now the great circle joining Z' with the
pole of the heavens P makes there an angle with the meridian PZ =
[eta] cosec PZ' = [eta] sec [phi], where [phi] is the latitude of the
station. Also this great circle meets the horizon in a point whose
distance from the great circle PZ is [eta] sec [phi] sin [phi] = [eta]
tan [phi]. That is, a meridian mark, fixed by observations of the pole
star, will be placed that amount to the east of north. Hence the
observed latitude requires the correction [xi]; the observed longitude
a correction [eta] sec [phi]; and any observed azimuth a correction
[eta] tan [phi]. Here it is supposed that azimuths are measured from
north by east, and longitudes eastwards. The horizontal angles are
also influenced by the deflections of the plumb-line, in fact, just as
if the direction of the vertical axis of the theodolite varied by the
same amount. This influence, however, is slight, so long as the sights
point almost horizontally at the objects, which is always the case in
the observation of distant points.
The expression given for N enables one to form an approximate estimate
of the effect of a compact mountain in raising the sea-level. Take,
for instance, Ben Nevis, which contains about a couple of cubic miles;
a simple calculation shows that the elevation produced would only
amount to about 3 in. In the case of a mountain mass like the
Himalayas, stretching over some 1500 miles of country with a breadth
of 300 and an average height of 3 miles, although it is difficult or
impossible to find an expression for V, yet we may ascertain that an
elevation amounting to several hundred feet may exist near their base.
The geodetical operations, however, rather negative this idea, for it
was shown by Colonel Clarke (_Phil. Mag._, 1878) that the form of the
sea-level along the Indian arc departs but slightly from that of the
mean figure of the earth. If this be so, the action of the Himalayas
must be counteracted by subterranean tenuity.
Suppose now that A, B, C, ... are the stations of a network of
triangulation projected on or lying on a spheroid of semiaxis major
and eccentricity a, e, this spheroid having its axis parallel to the
axis of rotation of the earth, and its surface coinciding with the
mathematical surface of the earth at A. Then basing the calculations
on the observed elements at A, the calculated latitudes, longitudes
and directions of the meridian at the other points will be the true
latitudes, &c., of the points as projected on the spheroid. On
comparing these geodetic elements with the corresponding astronomical
determinations, there will appear a system of differences which
represent the inclinations, at the various points, of the actual
irregular surface to the surface of the spheroid of reference. These
differences will suggest two things,--first, that we may improve the
agreement of the two surfaces, by not restricting the spheroid of
reference by the condition of making its surface coincide with the
mathematical surface of the earth at A; and secondly, by altering the
form and dimensions of the spheroid. With respect to the first
circumstance, we may allow the spheroid two degrees of freedom, that
is, the normals of the surfaces at A may be allowed to separate a
small quantity, compounded of a meridional difference and a difference
perpendicular to the same. Let the spheroid be so placed that its
normal at A lies to the north of the normal to the earth's surface by
the small quantity [xi] and to the east by the quantity [eta]. Then in
starting the calculation of geodetic latitudes, longitudes and
azimuths from A, we must take, not the observed elements [phi],
[alpha], but for [phi], [phi] + [xi], and for [alpha], [alpha] + [eta]
tan [phi], and zero longitude must be replaced by [eta] sec [phi]. At
the same time suppose the elements of the spheroid to be altered from
a, e to a + da, e + de. Confining our attention at first to the two
points A, B, let ([phi]'), ([alpha]'), ([omega]) be the numerical
elements at B as obtained in the first calculation, viz. before the
shifting and alteration of the spheroid; they will now take the form
([phi]') + f[xi] + g[eta] + hda + kde,
([alpha]') + f'[xi] + g'[eta] + h'da + k'de,
[omega] + f"[xi] + g"[eta] + h"da + k"de,
where the coefficients f, g, ... &c. can be numerically calculated.
Now these elements, corresponding to the projection of B on the
spheroid of reference, must be equal severally to the astronomically
determined elements at B, corrected for the inclination of the
surfaces there. If [xi]', [eta]' be the components of the inclination
at that point, then we have
[xi]' = ([phi]') - [phi]' + f[xi] + g[eta] + hda + kde,
[eta]' tan [phi]' = ([alpha]') - [alpha]' + f'[xi] + g'[eta] + h'da + k'de,
[eta]' sec [phi]' = ([omega]) - [omega] + f"[xi] + g"[eta] + h"da + k"de,
where [phi]', [alpha]', [omega] are the observed elements at B. Here
it appears that the observation of longitude gives no additional
information, but is available as a check upon the azimuthal
observations.
If now there be a number of astronomical stations in the
triangulation, and we form equations such as the above for each point,
then we can from them determine those values of [xi], [eta], da, de,
which make the quantity [xi]² + [eta]² + [xi]'² + [eta]'² + ... a
minimum. Thus we obtain that spheroid which best represents the
surface covered by the triangulation.
In the _Account of the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain and
Ireland_ will be found the determination, from 75 equations, of the
spheroid best representing the surface of the British Isles. Its
elements are a = 20927005 ± 295 ft., b : a - b = 280 ± 8; and it is so
placed that at Greenwich Observatory [xi] = 1".864, [eta] = -0".546.
Taking Durham Observatory as the origin, and the tangent plane to the
surface (determined by [xi] = -0".664, [eta] = -4".117) as the plane
of x and y, the former measured northwards, and z measured vertically
downwards, the equation to the surface is
.99524953 x² + .99288005 y² + .99763052 z² - 0.00671003xz - 41655070z = 0.
_Altitudes._
The precise determination of the altitude of his station is a matter
of secondary importance to the geodesist; nevertheless it is usual to
observe the zenith distances of all trigonometrical points. Of great
importance is a knowledge of the height of the base for its reduction
to the sea-level. Again the height of a station does influence a
little the observation of terrestrial angles, for a vertical line at B
does not lie generally in the vertical plane of A (see above). The
height above the sea-level also influences the geographical latitude,
inasmuch as the centrifugal force is increased and the magnitude and
direction of the attraction of the earth are altered, and the effect
upon the latitude is a very small term expressed by the formula h (g'-
g) sin 2 [phi] / ag, where g, g' are the values of gravity at the
equator and at the pole. This is h sin 2 [phi] / 5820 seconds, h being
in metres, a quantity which may be neglected, since for ordinary
mountain heights it amounts to only a few hundredths of a second. We
can assume this amount as joined with the northern component of the
plumb-line perturbations.
The uncertainties of terrestrial refraction render it impossible to
determine accurately by vertical angles the heights of distant points.
Generally speaking, refraction is greatest at about daybreak; from
that time it diminishes, being at a minimum for a couple of hours
before and after mid-day; later in the afternoon it again increases.
This at least is the general march of the phenomenon, but it is by no
means regular. The vertical angles measured at the station on Hart
Fell showed on one occasion in the month of September a refraction of
double the average amount, lasting from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. The mean
value of the coefficient of refraction k determined from a very large
number of observations of terrestrial zenith distances in Great
Britain is .0792 ± .0047; and if we separate those rays which for a
considerable portion of their length cross the sea from those which do
not, the former give k = .0813 and the latter k = .0753. These values
are determined from high stations and long distances; when the
distance is short, and the rays graze the ground, the amount of
refraction is extremely uncertain and variable. A case is noted in the
Indian survey where the zenith distance of a station 10.5 miles off
varied from a depression of 4' 52".6 at 4.30 P.M. to an elevation of
2' 24".0 at 10.50 P.M.
If h, h' be the heights above the level of the sea of two stations,
90° + [delta], 90° + [delta]' their mutual zenith distances ([delta]
being that observed at h), s their distance apart, the earth being
regarded as a sphere of radius = a, then, with sufficient precision,
/ 1 - 2k \ / 1 - 2k \
h' - h = s tan ( s -------- - [delta] ), h - h' = s tan ( -------- - [delta]' ).
\ 2a / \ 2a /
If from a station whose height is h the horizon of the sea be observed
to have a zenith distance 90° + [delta], then the above formula gives
for h the value
a tan² [delta]
h = -- ------------.
2 1 - 2k
Suppose the depression [delta] to be n minutes, then h = 1.054n² if
the ray be for the greater part of its length crossing the sea; if
otherwise, h = 1.040n². To take an example: the mean of eight
observations of the zenith distance of the sea horizon at the top of
Ben Nevis is 91° 4' 48", or [delta] = 64.8; the ray is pretty equally
disposed over land and water, and hence h = 1.047n² = 4396 ft. The
actual height of the hill by spirit-levelling is 4406 ft., so that the
error of the height thus obtained is only 10 ft.
The determination of altitudes by means of spirit-levelling is
undoubtedly the most exact method, particularly in its present
development as precise-levelling, by which there have been determined
in all civilized countries close-meshed nets of elevated points
covering the entire land. (A. R. C; F. R. H.)
FOOTNOTES:
[1] An arrangement acting similarly had been previously introduced by
Borda.
[2] _Geodetic Survey of South Africa_, vol. iii. (1905), p. viii;
_Les Nouveaux Appareils pour la mesure rapide des bases géod._, par
J. René Benoît et Ch. Éd. Guillaume (1906).
[3] See a paper "On the Course of Geodetic Lines on the Earth's
Surface" in the _Phil. Mag._ 1870; Helmert, _Theorien der höheren
Geodäsie_, 1. 321.
[4] Helmert, Theorien der höheren Geodäsie, 1. 232, 247.
GEOFFREY, surnamed MARTEL (1006-1060), count of Anjou, son of the count
Fulk Nerra (q.v.) and of the countess Hildegarde or Audegarde, was born
on the 14th of October 1006. During his father's lifetime he was
recognized as suzerain by Fulk l'Oison ("the Gosling"), count of
Vendôme, the son of his half-sister Adela. Fulk having revolted, he
confiscated the countship, which he did not restore till 1050. On the
1st of January 1032 he married Agnes, widow of William the Great, duke
of Aquitaine, and taking arms against William the Fat, eldest son and
successor of William the Great, defeated him and took him prisoner at
Mont-Couër near Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes on the 20th of September 1033. He
then tried to win recognition as dukes of Aquitaine for the sons of his
wife Agnes by William the Great, who were still minors, but Fulk Nerra
promptly took up arms to defend his suzerain William the Fat, from whom
he held the Loudunois and Saintonge in fief against his son. In 1036
Geoffrey Martel had to liberate William the Fat, on payment of a heavy
ransom, but the latter having died in 1038, and the second son of
William the Great, Odo, duke of Gascony, having fallen in his turn at
the siege of Mauzé (10th of March 1039) Geoffrey made peace with his
father in the autumn of 1039, and had his wife's two sons recognized as
dukes. About this time, also, he had interfered in the affairs of Maine,
though without much result, for having sided against Gervais, bishop of
Le Mans, who was trying to make himself guardian of the young count of
Maine, Hugh, he had been beaten and forced to make terms with Gervais in
1038. In 1040 he succeeded his father in Anjou and was able to conquer
Touraine (1044) and assert his authority over Maine (see ANJOU). About
1050 he repudiated Agnes, his first wife, and married Grécie, the widow
of Bellay, lord of Montreuil-Bellay (before August 1052), whom he
subsequently left in order to marry Adela, daughter of a certain Count
Odo. Later he returned to Grécie, but again left her to marry Adelaide
the German. When, however, he died on the 14th of November 1060, at the
monastery of St Nicholas at Angers, he left no children, and transmitted
the countship to Geoffrey the Bearded, the eldest of his nephews (see
ANJOU).
See Louis Halphen, _Le Comté d'Anjou au XI^e siècle_ (Paris, 1906). A
summary biography is given by Célestin Port, _Dictionnaire historique,
géographique et biographique de Maine-et-Loire_ (3 vols.,
Paris-Angers, 1874-1878), vol. ii. pp. 252-253, and a sketch of the
wars by Kate Norgate, _England under the Angevin Kings_ (2 vols.,
London, 1887), vol. i. chs. iii. iv. (L. H.*)
GEOFFREY, surnamed PLANTAGENET [or PLANTEGENET] (1113-1151), count of
Anjou, was the son of Count Fulk the Young and of Eremburge (or
Arembourg of La Flèche); he was born on the 24th of August 1113. He is
also called "le bel" or "the handsome," and received the surname of
Plantagenet from the habit which he is said to have had of wearing in
his cap a sprig of broom (_genêt_). In 1127 he was made a knight, and on
the 2nd of June 1129 married Matilda, daughter of Henry I. of England,
and widow of the emperor Henry V. Some months afterwards he succeeded to
his father, who gave up the countship when he definitively went to the
kingdom of Jerusalem. The years of his government were spent in subduing
the Angevin barons and in conquering Normandy (see ANJOU). In 1151,
while returning from the siege of Montreuil-Bellay, he took cold, in
consequence of bathing in the Loir at Château-du-Loir, and died on the
7th of September. He was buried in the cathedral of Le Mans. By his wife
Matilda he had three sons: Henry Plantagenet, born at Le Mans on Sunday,
the 5th of March 1133; Geoffrey, born at Argentan on the 1st of June
1134; and William Long-Sword, born on the 22nd of July 1136.
See Kate Norgate, _England under the Angevin Kings_ (2 vols., London,
1887), vol. i. chs. v.-viii.; Célestin Port, _Dictionnaire historique,
géographique et biographique de Maine-et-Loire_ (3 vols.,
Paris-Angers, 1874-1878), vol. ii. pp. 254-256. A history of Geoffrey
le Bel has yet to be written; there is a biography of him written in
the 12th century by Jean, a monk of Marmoutier, _Historia Gaufredi,
ducis Normannorum et comitis Andegavorum_, published by Marchegay et
Salmon; "Chroniques des comtes d'Anjou" (_Société de l'histoire de
France_, Paris, 1856), pp. 229-310. (L. H.*)
GEOFFREY (1158-1186), duke of Brittany, fourth son of the English king
Henry II. and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, was born on the 23rd of
September 1158. In 1167 Henry suggested a marriage between Geoffrey and
Constance (d. 1201), daughter and heiress of Conan IV., duke of Brittany
(d. 1171); and Conan not only assented, perhaps under compulsion, to
this proposal, but surrendered the greater part of his unruly duchy to
the English king. Having received the homage of the Breton nobles,
Geoffrey joined his brothers, Henry and Richard, who, in alliance with
Louis VII. of France, were in revolt against their father; but he made
his peace in 1174, afterwards helping to restore order in Brittany and
Normandy, and aiding the new French king, Philip Augustus, to crush some
rebellious vassals. In July 1181 his marriage with Constance was
celebrated, and practically the whole of his subsequent life was spent
in warfare with his brother Richard. In 1183 he made peace with his
father, who had come to Richard's assistance; but a fresh struggle soon
broke out for the possession of Anjou, and Geoffrey was in Paris
treating for aid with Philip Augustus, when he died on the 19th of
August 1186. He left a daughter, Eleanor, and his wife bore a
posthumous son, the unfortunate Arthur.
GEOFFREY (c. 1152-1212), archbishop of York, was a bastard son of Henry
II., king of England. He was distinguished from his legitimate
half-brothers by his consistent attachment and fidelity to his father.
He was made bishop of Lincoln at the age of twenty-one (1173); but
though he enjoyed the temporalities he was never consecrated and
resigned the see in 1183. He then became his father's chancellor,
holding a large number of lucrative benefices in plurality. Richard
nominated him archbishop of York in 1189, but he was not consecrated
till 1191, or enthroned till 1194. Geoffrey, though of high character,
was a man of uneven temper; his history in chiefly one of quarrels, with
the see of Canterbury, with the chancellor William Longchamp, with his
half-brothers Richard and John, and especially with his canons at York.
This last dispute kept him in litigation before Richard and the pope for
many years. He led the clergy in their refusal to be taxed by John and
was forced to fly the kingdom in 1207. He died in Normandy on the 12th
of December 1212.
See Giraldus Cambrensis, _Vita Galfridi_; Stubbs's prefaces to _Roger
de Hoveden_, vols. iii. and iv. (Rolls Series). (H. W. C. D.)
GEOFFREY DE MONTBRAY (d. 1093), bishop of Coutances (_Constantiensis_),
a right-hand man of William the Conqueror, was a type of the great
feudal prelate, warrior and administrator at need. He knew, says
Orderic, more about marshalling mailed knights than edifying
psalm-singing clerks. Obtaining, as a young man, in 1048, the see of
Coutances, by his brother's influence (see MOWBRAY), he raised from his
fellow nobles and from their Sicilian spoils funds for completing his
cathedral, which was consecrated in 1056. With bishop Odo, a warrior
like himself, he was on the battle-field of Hastings, exhorting the
Normans to victory; and at William's coronation it was he who called on
them to acclaim their duke as king. His reward in England was a mighty
fief scattered over twelve counties. He accompanied William on his visit
to Normandy (1067), but, returning, led a royal force to the relief of
Montacute in September 1069. In 1075 he again took the field, leading
with Bishop Odo a vast host against the rebel earl of Norfolk, whose
stronghold at Norwich they besieged and captured.
Meanwhile the Conqueror had invested him with important judicial
functions. In 1072 he had presided over the great Kentish suit between
the primate and Bishop Odo, and about the same time over those between
the abbot of Ely and his despoilers, and between the bishop of Worcester
and the abbot of Ely, and there is some reason to think that he acted as
a Domesday commissioner (1086), and was placed about the same time in
charge of Northumberland. The bishop, who attended the Conqueror's
funeral, joined in the great rising against William Rufus next year
(1088), making Bristol, with which (as Domesday shows) he was closely
connected and where he had built a strong castle, his base of
operations. He burned Bath and ravaged Somerset, but had submitted to
the king before the end of the year. He appears to have been at Dover
with William in January 1090, but, withdrawing to Normandy, died at
Coutances three years later. In his fidelity to Duke Robert he seems to
have there held out for him against his brother Henry, when the latter
obtained the Cotentin.
See E.A. Freeman, _Norman Conquest_ and _William Rufus_; J.H. Round,
_Feudal England_; and, for original authorities, the works of Orderic
Vitalis and William of Poitiers, and of Florence of Worcester; the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; William of Malmesbury's _Gesta pontificum_, and
Lanfranc's works, ed. Giles; Domesday Book. (J. H. R.)
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH (d. 1154), bishop of St Asaph and writer on early
British history, was born about the year 1100. Of his early life little
is known, except that he received a liberal education under the eye of
his paternal uncle, Uchtryd, who was at that time archdeacon, and
subsequently bishop, of Llandaff. In 1129 Geoffrey appears at Oxford
among the witnesses of an Oseney charter. He subscribes himself Geoffrey
Arturus; from this we may perhaps infer that he had already begun his
experiments in the manufacture of Celtic mythology. A first edition of
his _Historia Britonum_ was in circulation by the year 1139, although
the text which we possess appears to date from 1147. This famous work,
which the author has the audacity to place on the same level with the
histories of William of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon, professes to
be a translation from a Celtic source; "a very old book in the British
tongue" which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, had brought from Brittany.
Walter the archdeacon is a historical personage; whether his book has
any real existence may be fairly questioned. There is nothing in the
matter or the style of the _Historia_ to preclude us from supposing that
Geoffrey drew partly upon confused traditions, partly on his own powers
of invention, and to a very slight degree upon the accepted authorities
for early British history. His chronology is fantastic and incredible;
William of Newburgh justly remarks that, if we accepted the events which
Geoffrey relates, we should have to suppose that they had happened in
another world. William of Newburgh wrote, however, in the reign of
Richard I. when the reputation of Geoffrey's work was too well
established to be shaken by such criticisms. The fearless romancer had
achieved an immediate success. He was patronized by Robert, earl of
Gloucester, and by two bishops of Lincoln; he obtained, about 1140, the
archdeaconry of Llandaff "on account of his learning"; and in 1151 was
promoted to the see of St Asaph.
Before his death the _Historia Britonum_ had already become a model and
a quarry for poets and chroniclers. The list of imitators begins with
Geoffrey Gaimar, the author of the _Estorie des Engles_ (c. 1147), and
Wace, whose _Roman de Brut_ (1155) is partly a translation and partly a
free paraphrase of the _Historia_. In the next century the influence of
Geoffrey is unmistakably attested by the _Brut_ of Layamon, and the
rhyming English chronicle of Robert of Gloucester. Among later
historians who were deceived by the _Historia Britonum_ it is only
needful to mention Higdon, Hardyng, Fabyan (1512), Holinshed (1580) and
John Milton. Still greater was the influence of Geoffrey upon those
writers who, like Warner in _Albion's England_ (1586), and Drayton in
_Polyolbion_ (1613), deliberately made their accounts of English history
as poetical as possible. The stories which Geoffrey preserved or
invented were not infrequently a source of inspiration to literary
artists. The earliest English tragedy, _Gorboduc_ (1565), the _Mirror
for Magistrates_ (1587), and Shakespeare's Lear, are instances in point.
It was, however, the Arthurian legend which of all his fabrications
attained the greatest vogue. In the work of expanding and elaborating
this theme the successors of Geoffrey went as far beyond him as he had
gone beyond Nennius; but he retains the credit due to the founder of a
great school. Marie de France, who wrote at the court of Henry II., and
Chrétien de Troyes, her French contemporary, were the earliest of the
avowed romancers to take up the theme. The succeeding age saw the
Arthurian story popularized, through translations of the French
romances, as far afield as Germany and Scandinavia. It produced in
England the _Roman du Saint Graal_ and the _Roman de Merlin_, both from
the pen of Robert de Borron; the _Roman de Lancelot_; the _Roman de
Tristan_, which is attributed to a fictitious Lucas de Gast. In the
reign of Edward IV. Sir Thomas Malory paraphrased and arranged the best
episodes of these romances in English prose. His _Morte d'Arthur_,
printed by Caxton in 1485, epitomizes the rich mythology which
Geoffrey's work had first called into life, and gave the Arthurian story
a lasting place in the English imagination. The influence of the
_Historia Britonum_ may be illustrated in another way, by enumerating
the more familiar of the legends to which it first gave popularity. Of
the twelve books into which it is divided only three (Bks. IX., X., XI.)
are concerned with Arthur. Earlier in the work, however, we have the
adventures of Brutus; of his follower Corineus, the vanquisher of the
Cornish giant Goemagol (Gogmagog); of Locrinus and his daughter Sabre
(immortalized in Milton's _Comus_); of Bladud the builder of Bath; of
Lear and his daughters; of the three pairs of brothers, Ferrex and
Porrex, Brennius and Belinus, Elidure and Peridure. The story of
Vortigern and Rowena takes its final form in the _Historia Britonum_;
and Merlin makes his first appearance in the prelude to the Arthur
legend. Besides the _Historia Britonum_ Geoffrey is also credited with
a _Life of Merlin_ composed in Latin verse. The authorship of this work
has, however, been disputed, on the ground that the style is distinctly
superior to that of the _Historia_. A minor composition, the _Prophecies
of Merlin_, was written before 1136, and afterwards incorporated with
the _Historia_, of which it forms the seventh book.
For a discussion of the manuscripts of Geoffrey's work, see Sir T.D.
Hardy's _Descriptive Catalogue_ (Rolls Series), i. pp. 341 ff. The
_Historia Britonum_ has been critically edited by San Marte (Halle,
1854). There is an English translation by J.A. Giles (London, 1842).
The _Vita Merlini_ has been edited by F. Michel and T. Wright (Paris,
1837). See also the _Dublin Univ. Magazine_ for April 1876, for an
article by T. Gilray on the literary influence of Geoffrey; G.
Heeger's _Trojanersage der Britten_ (1889); and La Borderie's _Études
historiques bretonnes_ (1883). (H. W. C. D.)
GEOFFREY OF PARIS (d. c. 1320), French chronicler, was probably the
author of the _Chronique métrique de Philippe le Bel, or Chronique rimée
de Geoffroi de Paris_. This work, which deals with the history of France
from 1300 to 1316, contains 7918 verses, and is valuable as that of a
writer who had a personal knowledge of many of the events which he
relates. Various short historical poems have also been attributed to
Geoffrey, but there is no certain information about either his life or
his writings.
The _Chronique_ was published by J.A. Buchon in his _Collection des
chroniques_, tome ix. (Paris, 1827), and it has also been printed in
tome xxii. of the _Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France_
(Paris, 1865). See G. Paris, _Histoire de la littérature française au
moyen âge_ (Paris, 1890); and A. Molinier, _Les Sources de l'histoire
de France_, tome iii. (Paris, 1903).
GEOFFREY THE BAKER (d. c. 1360), English chronicler, is also called
Walter of Swinbroke, and was probably a secular clerk at Swinbrook in
Oxfordshire. He wrote a _Chronicon Angliae temporibus Edwardi II. et
Edwardi III._, which deals with the history of England from 1303 to
1356. From the beginning until about 1324 this work is based upon Adam
Murimuth's _Continuatio chronicarum_, but after this date it is valuable
and interesting, containing information not found elsewhere, and closing
with a good account of the battle of Poitiers. The author obtained his
knowledge about the last days of Edward II. from William Bisschop, a
companion of the king's murderers, Thomas Gurney and John Maltravers.
Geoffrey also wrote a _Chroniculum_ from the creation of the world until
1336, the value of which is very slight. His writings have been edited
with notes by Sir E.M. Thompson as the _Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de
Swynebroke_ (Oxford, 1889). Some doubt exists concerning Geoffrey's
share in the compilation of the _Vita et mors Edwardi II._, usually
attributed to Sir Thomas de la More, or Moor, and printed by Camden in
his _Anglica scripta_. It has been maintained by Camden and others that
More wrote an account of Edward's reign in French, and that this was
translated into Latin by Geoffrey and used by him in compiling his
_Chronicon_. Recent scholarship, however, asserts that More was no
writer, and that the _Vita et mors_ is an extract from Geoffrey's
_Chronicon_, and was attributed to More, who was the author's patron. In
the main this conclusion substantiates the verdict of Stubbs, who has
published the _Vita et mors_ in his _Chronicles of the reigns of Edward
I. and Edward II._ (London, 1883). The manuscripts of Geoffrey's works
are in the Bodleian library at Oxford.
GEOFFRIN, MARIE THÉRÈSE RODET (1699-1777), a Frenchwoman who played an
interesting part in French literary and artistic life, was born in Paris
in 1699. She married, on the 19th of July 1713, Pierre François
Geoffrin, a rich manufacturer and lieutenant-colonel of the National
Guard, who died in 1750. It was not till Mme Geoffrin was nearly fifty
years of age that we begin to hear of her as a power in Parisian
society. She had learned much from Mme de Tencin, and about 1748 began
to gather round her a literary and artistic circle. She had every week
two dinners, on Monday for artists, and on Wednesday for her friends the
Encyclopaedists and other men of letters. She received many foreigners
of distinction, Hume and Horace Walpole among others. Walpole spent much
time in her society before he was finally attached to Mme du Deffand,
and speaks of her in his letters as a model of common sense. She was
indeed somewhat of a small tyrant in her circle. She had adopted the
pose of an old woman earlier than necessary, and her coquetry, if such
it can be called, took the form of being mother and mentor to her
guests, many of whom were indebted to her generosity for substantial
help. Although her aim appears to have been to have the _Encyclopédie_
in conversation and action around her, she was extremely displeased with
any of her friends who were so rash as to incur open disgrace. Marmontel
lost her favour after the official censure of _Bélisaire_, and her
advanced views did not prevent her from observing the forms of religion.
A devoted Parisian, Mme Geoffrin rarely left the city, so that her
journey to Poland in 1766 to visit the king, Stanislas Poniatowski, whom
she had known in his early days in Paris, was a great event in her life.
Her experiences induced a sensible gratitude that she had been born
"_Française_" and "_particulière_." In her last illness her daughter,
Thérèse, marquise de la Ferté Imbault, excluded her mother's old friends
so that she might die as a good Christian, a proceeding wittily
described by the old lady: "My daughter is like Godfrey de Bouillon, she
wished to defend my tomb from the infidels." Mme Geoffrin died in Paris
on the 6th of October 1777.
See _Correspondance inédite du roi Stanislas Auguste Poniatowski et de
Madame Geoffrin_, edited by the comte de Mouÿ (1875); P. de Ségur, _Le
Royaume de la rue Saint-Honoré, Madame Geoffrin et sa fille_ (1897);
A. Tornezy, _Un Bureau d'esprit au XVIII^e siècle: le salon de Madame
Geoffrin_ (1895); and Janet Aldis, _Madame Geoffrin, her Salon and her
Times, 1750-1777_ (1905).
GEOFFROY, ÉTIENNE FRANÇOIS (1672-1731), French chemist, born in Paris on
the 13th of February 1672, was first an apothecary and then practised
medicine. After studying at Montpellier he accompanied Marshal Tallard
on his embassy to London in 1698 and thence travelled to Holland and
Italy. Returning to Paris he became professor of chemistry at the Jardin
du Roi and of pharmacy and medicine at the Collège de France, and dean
of the faculty of medicine. He died in Paris on the 6th of January 1731.
His name is best known in connexion with his tables of affinities
(_tables des rapports_), which he presented to the French Academy in
1718 and 1720. These were lists, prepared by collating observations on
the actions of substances one upon another, showing the varying degrees
of affinity exhibited by analogous bodies for different reagents, and
they retained their vogue for the rest of the century, until displaced
by the profounder conceptions introduced by C.L. Berthollet. Another of
his papers dealt with the delusions of the philosopher's stone, but
nevertheless he believed that iron could be artificially formed in the
combustion of vegetable matter. His _Tractatus de materia medica_,
published posthumously in 1741, was long celebrated.
His brother CLAUDE JOSEPH, known as Geoffroy the younger (1685-1752),
was also an apothecary and chemist who, having a considerable knowledge
of botany, devoted himself especially to the study of the essential oils
in plants.
GEOFFROY, JULIEN LOUIS (1743-1814), French critic, was born at Rennes in
1743. He studied in the school of his native town and at the Collège
Louis le Grand in Paris. He took orders and fulfilled for some time the
humble functions of an usher, eventually becoming professor of rhetoric
at the _Collège Mazarin_. A bad tragedy, Caton, was accepted at the
_Théâtre Français_, but was never acted. On the death of Élie Fréron in
1776 the other collaborators in the _Année littéraire_ asked Geoffroy to
succeed him, and he conducted the journal until in 1792 it ceased to
appear. Geoffroy was a bitter critic of Voltaire and his followers, and
made for himself many enemies. An enthusiastic royalist, he published
with Fréron's brother-in-law, the abbé Thomas Royou (1741-1792), a
journal, _L'Ami du roi_ (1790-1792), which possibly did more harm than
good to the king's cause by its ill-advised partisanship. During the
Terror Geoffroy hid in the neighbourhood of Paris, only returning in
1799. An attempt to revive the _Année littéraire_ failed, and Geoffroy
undertook the dramatic feuilleton of the _Journal des débats_. His
scathing criticisms had a success of notoriety, but their popularity was
ephemeral, and the publication of them (5 vols., 1819-1820) as _Cours de
littérature dramatique_ proved a failure. He was also the author of a
perfunctory _Commentaire_ on the works of Racine prefixed to Lenormant's
edition (1808). He died in Paris on the 27th of February 1814.
GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, ÉTIENNE (1772-1844), French naturalist, was the
son of Jean Gèrard Geoffroy, procurator and magistrate of Étampes,
Seine-et-Oise, where he was born on the 15th of April 1772. Destined for
the church he entered the college of Navarre, in Paris, where he studied
natural philosophy under M.J. Brisson; and in 1788 he obtained one of
the canonicates of the chapter of Sainte Croix at Étampes, and also a
benefice. Science, however, offered him a more congenial career, and he
gained from his father permission to remain in Paris, and to attend the
lectures at the Collège de France and the Jardin des Plantes, on the
condition that he should also read law. He accordingly took up his
residence at Cardinal Lemoine's college, and there became the pupil and
soon the esteemed associate of Brisson's friend, the abbé Haüy, the
mineralogist. Having, before the close of the year 1790, taken the
degree of bachelor in law, he became a student of medicine, and attended
the lectures of A.F. de Fourcroy at the Jardin des Plantes, and of
L.J.M. Daubenton at the Collège de France. His studies at Paris were at
length suddenly interrupted, for, in August 1792, Haüy and the other
professors of Lemoine's college, as also those of the college of
Navarre, were arrested by the revolutionists as priests, and confined in
the prison of St Firmin. Through the influence of Daubenton and others
Geoffroy on the 14th of August obtained an order for the release of Haüy
in the name of the Academy; still the other professors of the two
colleges, save C.F. Lhomond, who had been rescued by his pupil J.L.
Tallien, remained in confinement. Geoffroy, foreseeing their certain
destruction if they remained in the hands of the revolutionists,
determined if possible to secure their liberty by stratagem. By bribing
one of the officials at St Firmin, and disguising himself as a
commissioner of prisons, he gained admission to his friends, and
entreated them to effect their escape by following him. All, however,
dreading lest their deliverance should render the doom of their
fellow-captives the more certain, refused the offer, and one priest
only, who was unknown to Geoffroy, left the prison. Already on the night
of the 2nd of September the massacre of the proscribed had begun, when
Geoffroy, yet intent on saving the life of his friends and teachers,
repaired to St Firmin. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd of
September, after eight hours' waiting, he by means of a ladder assisted
the escape of twelve ecclesiastics, not of the number of his
acquaintance, and then the approach of dawn and the discharge of a gun
directed at him warned him, his chief purpose unaccomplished, to return
to his lodgings. Leaving Paris he retired to Étampes, where, in
consequence of the anxieties of which he had lately been the prey, and
the horrors which he had witnessed, he was for some time seriously ill.
At the beginning of the winter of 1792 he returned to his studies in
Paris, and in March of the following year Daubenton, through the
interest of Bernardin de Saint Pierre, procured him the office of
sub-keeper and assistant demonstrator of the cabinet of natural history,
vacant by the resignation of B.G.E. Lacépède. By a law passed in June
1793, Geoffroy was appointed one of the twelve professors of the newly
constituted museum of natural history, being assigned the chair of
zoology. In the same year he busied himself with the formation of a
menagerie at that institution.
In 1794 through the introduction of A.H. Tessier he entered into
correspondence with Georges Cuvier, to whom, after the perusal of some
of his manuscripts, he wrote: "Venez jouer parmi nous le rôle de Linné,
d'un autre législateur de l'histoire naturelle." Shortly after the
appointment of Cuvier as assistant at the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle,
Geoffroy received him into his house. The two friends wrote together
five memoirs on natural history, one of which, on the classification of
mammals, puts forward the idea of the subordination of characters upon
which Cuvier based his zoological system. It was in a paper entitled
"Histoire des Makis, ou singes de Madagascar," written in 1795, that
Geoffroy first gave expression to his views on "the unity of organic
composition," the influence of which is perceptible in all his
subsequent writings; nature, he observes, presents us with only one plan
of construction, the same in principle, but varied in its accessory
parts.
In 1798 Geoffroy was chosen a member of the great scientific expedition
to Egypt, and on the capitulation of Alexandria in August 1801, he took
part in resisting the claim made by the British general to the
collections of the expedition, declaring that, were that demand
persisted in, history would have to record that he also had burnt a
library in Alexandria. Early in January 1802 Geoffroy returned to his
accustomed labours in Paris. He was elected a member of the academy of
sciences of that city in September 1807. In March of the following year
the emperor, who had already recognized his national services by the
award of the cross of the legion of honour, selected him to visit the
museums of Portugal, for the purpose of procuring collections from them,
and in the face of considerable opposition from the British he
eventually was successful in retaining them as a permanent possession
for his country. In 1809, the year after his return to France, he was
made professor of zoology at the faculty of sciences at Paris, and from
that period he devoted himself more exclusively than before to
anatomical study. In 1818 he gave to the world the first part of his
celebrated _Philosophie anatomique_, the second volume of which,
published in 1822, and subsequent memoirs account for the formation of
monstrosities on the principle of arrest of development, and of the
attraction of similar parts. When, in 1830, Geoffroy proceeded to apply
to the invertebrata his views as to the unity of animal composition, he
found a vigorous opponent in Georges Cuvier, and the discussion between
them, continued up to the time of the death of the latter, soon
attracted the attention of the scientific throughout Europe. Geoffroy, a
synthesist, contended, in accordance with his theory of unity of plan in
organic composition, that all animals are formed of the same elements,
in the same number, and with the same connexions: homologous parts,
however they differ in form and size, must remain associated in the same
invariable order. With Goethe he held that there is in nature a law of
compensation or balancing of growth, so that if one organ take on an
excess of development, it is at the expense of some other part; and he
maintained that, since nature takes no sudden leaps, even organs which
are superfluous in any given species, if they have played an important
part in other species of the same family, are retained as rudiments,
which testify to the permanence of the general plan of creation. It was
his conviction that, owing to the conditions of life, the same forms had
not been perpetuated since the origin of all things, although it was not
his belief that existing species are becoming modified. Cuvier, who was
an analytical observer of facts, admitted only the prevalence of "laws
of co-existence" or "harmony" in animal organs, and maintained the
absolute invariability of species, which he declared had been created
with a regard to the circumstances in which they were placed, each organ
contrived with a view to the function it had to fulfil, thus putting, in
Geoffroy's considerations, the effect for the cause.
In July 1840 Geoffroy became blind, and some months later he had a
paralytic attack. From that time his strength gradually failed him. He
resigned his chair at the museum in 1841, and died at Paris on the 19th
of June 1844.
Geoffroy wrote: _Catalogue des mammifères du Muséum National
d'Histoire Naturelle_ (1813), not quite completed; _Philosophie
anatomique_--t. i., _Des organes respiratoires_ (1818), and t. ii.,
_Des monstruosités humaines_ (1822); _Système dentaire des mammifères
et des oiseaux_ (1st pt., 1824); _Sur le principe de l'unité de
composition organique_ (1828); _Cours de l'histoire naturelle des
mammifères_ (1829); _Principes de philosophie zoologique_ (1830);
_Études progressives d'un naturaliste_ (1835); _Fragments
biographiques_ (1832); _Notions synthétiques, historiques et
physiologiques de philosophie naturelle_ (1838), and other works; also
part of the _Description de l'Égypte par la commission des sciences_
(1821-1830); and, with Frédéric Cuvier (1773-1838), a younger brother
of G. Cuvier, _Histoire naturelle des mammifères_ (4 vols.,
1820-1842); besides numerous papers on such subjects as the anatomy of
marsupials, ruminants and electrical fishes, the vertebrate theory of
the skull, the opercula of fishes, teratology, palaeontology and the
influence of surrounding conditions in modifying animal forms.
See _Vie, travaux, et doctrine scientifique d'Étienne Geoffroy
Saint-Hilaire, par son fils M. Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire_ (Paris
and Strasburg, 1847), to which is appended a list of Geoffroy's works;
and Joly, in _Biog. universelle_, t. xvi. (1856).
GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, ISIDORE (1805-1861), French zoologist, son of
the preceding, was born at Paris on the 16th of December 1805. In his
earlier years he showed an aptitude for mathematics, but eventually he
devoted himself to the study of natural history and of medicine, and in
1824 he was appointed assistant naturalist to his father. On the
occasion of his taking the degree of doctor of medicine in September
1829, he read a thesis entitled _Propositions sur la monstruosité,
considérée chez l'homme et les animaux_; and in 1832-1837 was published
his great teratological work, _Histoire générale et particulière des
anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux_, 3 vols. 8vo.
with 20 plates. In 1829 he delivered for his father the second part of a
course of lectures on ornithology, and during the three following years
he taught zoology at the Athénée, and teratology at the École pratique.
He was elected a member of the academy of sciences at Paris in 1833, was
in 1837 appointed to act as deputy for his father at the faculty of
sciences in Paris, and in the following year was sent to Bordeaux to
organize a similar faculty there. He became successively inspector of
the academy of Paris (1840), professor of the museum on the retirement
of his father (1841), inspector-general of the university (1844), a
member of the royal council for public instruction (1845), and on the
death of H.M.D. de Blainville, professor of zoology at the faculty of
sciences (1850). In 1854 he founded the Acclimatization Society of
Paris, of which he was president. He died at Paris on the 10th of
November 1861.
Besides the above-mentioned works, he wrote: _Essais de zoologie
générale_ (1841); _Vie ... d'Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire_ (1847);
_Acclimatation et domestication des animaux utiles_ (1849; 4th ed.,
1861); _Lettres sur les substances alimentaires et particulièrement
sur la viande de cheval_ (1856); and _Histoire naturelle générale des
règnes organiques_ (3 vols., 1854-1862), which was not quite
completed. He was the author also of various papers on zoology,
comparative anatomy and palaeontology.
GEOGRAPHY (Gr. [Greek: gê], earth, and [Greek: graphein], to write), the
exact and organized knowledge of the distribution of phenomena on the
surface of the earth. The fundamental basis of geography is the vertical
relief of the earth's crust, which controls all mobile distributions.
The grander features of the relief of the lithosphere or stony crust of
the earth control the distribution of the hydrosphere or collected
waters which gather into the hollows, filling them up to a height
corresponding to the volume, and thus producing the important practical
division of the surface into land and water. The distribution of the
mass of the atmosphere over the surface of the earth is also controlled
by the relief of the crust, its greater or lesser density at the surface
corresponding to the lesser or greater elevation of the surface. The
simplicity of the zonal distribution of solar energy on the earth's
surface, which would characterize a uniform globe, is entirely destroyed
by the dissimilar action of land and water with regard to radiant heat,
and by the influence of crust-forms on the direction of the resulting
circulation. The influence of physical environment becomes clearer and
stronger when the distribution of plant and animal life is considered,
and if it is less distinct in the case of man, the reason is found in
the modifications of environment consciously produced by human effort.
Geography is a synthetic science, dependent for the data with which it
deals on the results of specialized sciences such as astronomy, geology,
oceanography, meteorology, biology and anthropology, as well as on
topographical description. The physical and natural sciences are
concerned in geography only so far as they deal with the forms of the
earth's surface, or as regards the distribution of phenomena. The
distinctive task of geography as a science is to investigate the control
exercised by the crust-forms directly or indirectly upon the various
mobile distributions. This gives to it unity and definiteness, and
renders superfluous the attempts that have been made from time to time
to define the limits which divide geography from geology on the one hand
and from history on the other. It is essential to classify the
subject-matter of geography in such a manner as to give prominence not
only to facts, but to their mutual relations and their natural and
inevitable order.
The fundamental conception of geography is form, including the figure of
the earth and the varieties of crustal relief. Hence mathematical
geography (see MAP), including cartography as a practical application,
comes first. It merges into physical geography, which takes account of the
forms of the lithosphere (geomorphology), and also of the distribution of
the hydrosphere and the rearrangements resulting from the workings of
solar energy throughout the hydrosphere and atmosphere (oceanography and
climatology). Next follows the distribution of plants and animals
(biogeography), and finally the distribution of mankind and the various
artificial boundaries and redistributions (anthropogeography). The
applications of anthropogeography to human uses give rise to political and
commercial geography, in the elucidation of which all the earlier
departments or stages have to be considered, together with historical and
other purely human conditions. The evolutionary idea has revolutionized
and unified geography as it did biology, breaking down the old
hard-and-fast partitions between the various departments, and substituting
the study of the nature and influence of actual terrestrial environments
for the earlier motive, the discovery and exploration of new lands.
HISTORY OF GEOGRAPHICAL THEORY
The earliest conceptions of the earth, like those held by the
primitive peoples of the present day, are difficult to discover and
almost impossible fully to grasp. Early generalizations, as far as
they were made from known facts, were usually expressed in symbolic
language, and for our present purpose it is not profitable to
speculate on the underlying truths which may sometimes be suspected in
the old mythological cosmogonies.
Early Greek ideas.
Flat earth of Homer.
Hecataeus.
Herodotus.
The idea of symmetry.
The first definite geographical theories to affect the western world
were those evolved, or at least first expressed, by the Greeks.[1] The
earliest theoretical problem of geography was the form of the earth.
The natural supposition that the earth is a flat disk, circular or
elliptical in outline, had in the time of Homer acquired a special
definiteness by the introduction of the idea of the ocean river
bounding the whole, an application of imperfectly understood
observations. Thales of Miletus is claimed as the first exponent of
the idea of a spherical earth; but, although this does not appear to
be warranted, his disciple Anaximander (c. 580 B.C.) put forward the
theory that the earth had the figure of a solid body hanging freely in
the centre of the hollow sphere of the starry heavens. The Pythagorean
school of philosophers adopted the theory of a spherical earth, but
from metaphysical rather than scientific reasons; their convincing
argument was that a sphere being the most perfect solid figure was the
only one worthy to circumscribe the dwelling-place of man. The
division of the sphere into parallel zones and some of the
consequences of this generalization seem to have presented themselves
to Parmenides (c. 450 B.C.); but these ideas did not influence the
Ionian school of philosophers, who in their treatment of geography
preferred to deal with facts demonstrable by travel rather than with
speculations. Thus Hecataeus, claimed by H.F. Tozer[2] as the father
of geography on account of his _Periodos_, or general treatise on the
earth, did not advance beyond the primitive conception of a circular
disk. He systematized the form of the land within the ring of
ocean--the [Greek: oikoumenê], or habitable world--by recognizing two
continents: Europe to the north, and Asia to the south of the midland
sea. Herodotus, equally oblivious of the sphere, criticized and
ridiculed the circular outline of the _oekumene_, which he knew to be
longer from east to west than it was broad from north to south. He
also pointed out reasons for accepting a division of the land into
three continents--Europe, Asia and Africa. Beyond the limits of his
personal travels Herodotus applied the characteristically Greek theory
of symmetry to complete, in the unknown, outlines of lands and rivers
analogous to those which had been explored. Symmetry was in fact the
first geographical theory, and the effect of Herodotus's hypothesis
that the Nile must flow from west to east before turning north in
order to balance the Danube running from west to east before turning
south lingered in the maps of Africa down to the time of Mungo
Park.[3]
Aristotle and the sphere.
To Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) must be given the distinction of founding
scientific geography. He demonstrated the sphericity of the earth by
three arguments, two of which could be tested by observation. These
were: (1) that the earth must be spherical, because of the tendency of
matter to fall together towards a common centre; (2) that only a
sphere could always throw a circular shadow on the moon during an
eclipse; and (3) that the shifting of the horizon and the appearance
of new constellations, or the disappearance of familiar stars, as one
travelled from north to south, could only be explained on the
hypothesis that the earth was a sphere. Aristotle, too, gave greater
definiteness to the idea of zones conceived by Parmenides, who had
pictured a torrid zone uninhabitable by reason of heat, two frigid
zones uninhabitable by reason of cold, and two intermediate temperate
zones fit for human occupation. Aristotle defined the temperate zone
as extending from the tropic to the arctic circle, but there is some
uncertainty as to the precise meaning he gave to the term "arctic
circle." Soon after his time, however, this conception was clearly
established, and with so large a generalization the mental horizon was
widened to conceive of a geography which was a science. Aristotle had
himself shown that in the southern temperate zone winds similar to
those of the northern temperate zone should blow, but from the
opposite direction.
Fitting the oekumene to the sphere.
While the theory of the sphere was being elaborated the efforts of
practical geographers were steadily directed towards ascertaining the
outline and configuration of the _oekumene_, or habitable world, the
only portion of the terrestrial surface known to the ancients and to
the medieval peoples, and still retaining a shadow of its old monopoly
of geographical attention in its modern name of the "Old World." The
fitting of the _oekumene_ to the sphere was the second theoretical
problem. The circular outline had given way in geographical opinion to
the elliptical with the long axis lying east and west, and Aristotle
was inclined to view it as a very long and relatively narrow band
almost encircling the globe in the temperate zone. His argument as to
the narrowness of the sea between West Africa and East Asia, from the
occurrence of elephants at both extremities, is difficult to
understand, although it shows that he looked on the distribution of
animals as a problem of geography.
Problem of the Antipodes.
Pythagoras had speculated as to the existence of antipodes, but it was
not until the first approximately accurate measurements of the globe
and estimates of the length and breadth of the _oekumene_ were made by
Eratosthenes (c. 250 B.C.) that the fact that, as then known, it
occupied less than a quarter of the surface of the sphere was clearly
recognized. It was natural, if not strictly logical, that the ocean
river should be extended from a narrow stream to a world-embracing
sea, and here again Greek theory, or rather fancy, gave its modern
name to the greatest feature of the globe. The old instinctive idea of
symmetry must often have suggested other _oekumene_ balancing the
known world in the other quarters of the globe. The Stoic
philosophers, especially Crates of Mallus, arguing from the love of
nature for life, placed an _oekumene_ in each quarter of the sphere,
the three unknown world-islands being those of the Antoeci, Perioeci
and Antipodes. This was a theory not only attractive to the
philosophical mind, but eminently adapted to promote exploration. It
had its opponents, however, for Herodotus showed that sea-basins
existed cut off from the ocean, and it is still a matter of
controversy how far the pre-Ptolemaic geographers believed in a
water-connexion between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. It is quite
clear that Pomponius Mela (c. A.D. 40), following Strabo, held that
the southern temperate zone contained a habitable land, which he
designated by the name _Antichthones_.
Aristotle's geographical views.
Aristotle left no work on geography, so that it is impossible to know
what facts he associated with the science of the earth's surface. The
word geography did not appear before Aristotle, the first use of it
being in the [Greek: Peri kosmôn], which is one of the writings
doubtfully ascribed to him, and H. Berger considers that the
expression was introduced by Eratosthenes.[4] Aristotle was certainly
conversant with many facts, such as the formation of deltas,
coast-erosion, and to a certain extent the dependence of plants and
animals on their physical surroundings. He formed a comprehensive
theory of the variations of climate with latitude and season, and was
convinced of the necessity of a circulation of water between the sea
and rivers, though, like Plato, he held that this took place by water
rising from the sea through crevices in the rocks, losing its
dissolved salts in the process. He speculated on the differences in
the character of races of mankind living in different climates, and
correlated the political forms of communities with their situation on
a seashore, or in the neighbourhood of natural strongholds.
Strabo.
Strabo (c. 50 B.C.-A.D. 24) followed Eratosthenes rather than
Aristotle, but with sympathies which went out more to the human
interests than the mathematical basis of geography. He compiled a very
remarkable work dealing, in large measure from personal travel, with
the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. He may be said to have
set the pattern which was followed in succeeding ages by the compilers
of "political geographies" dealing less with theories than with
facts, and illustrating rather than formulating the principles of the
science.
Ptolemy.
Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. A.D. 150) concentrated in his writings the
final outcome of all Greek geographical learning, and passed it across
the gulf of the middle ages by the hands of the Arabs, to form the
starting-point of the science in modern times. His geography was based
more immediately on the work of his predecessor, Marinus of Tyre, and
on that of Hipparchus, the follower and critic of Eratosthenes. It was
the ambition of Ptolemy to describe and represent accurately the
surface of the _oekumene_, for which purpose he took immense trouble
to collect all existing determinations of the latitude of places, all
estimates of longitude, and to make every possible rectification in
the estimates of distances by land or sea. His work was mainly
cartographical in its aim, and theory was as far as possible excluded.
The symmetrically placed hypothetical islands in the great continuous
ocean disappeared, and the _oekumene_ acquired a new form by the
representation of the Indian Ocean as a larger Mediterranean
completely cut off by land from the Atlantic. The _terra incognita_
uniting Africa and Farther Asia was an unfortunate hypothesis which
helped to retard exploration. Ptolemy used the word _geography_ to
signify the description of the whole _oekumene_ on mathematical
principles, while _chorography_ signified the fuller description of a
particular region, and _topography_ the very detailed description of a
smaller locality. He introduced the simile that geography represented
an artist's sketch of a whole portrait, while chorography corresponded
to the careful and detailed drawing of an eye or an ear.[5]
The Caliph al-Mam[ = u]n (c. A.D. 815), the son and successor of H[ =
a]r[ = u]n al-Rash[ = i]d, caused an Arabic version of Ptolemy's great
astronomical work ([Greek: Suntaxis megistê]) to be made, which is
known as the _Almagest_, the word being nothing more than the Gr.
[Greek: megistê] with the Arabic article _al_ prefixed. The geography
of Ptolemy was also known and is constantly referred to by Arab
writers. The Arab astronomers measured a degree on the plains of
Mesopotamia, thereby deducing a fair approximation to the size of the
earth. The caliph's librarian, Abu Jafar Muhammad Ben Musa, wrote a
geographical work, now unfortunately lost, entitled _Rasm el Arsi_ ("A
Description of the World"), which is often referred to by subsequent
writers as having been composed on the model of that of Ptolemy.
Geography in the middle ages.
The middle ages saw geographical knowledge die out in Christendom,
although it retained, through the Arabic translations of Ptolemy, a
certain vitality in Islam. The verbal interpretation of Scripture led
Lactantius (c. A.D. 320) and other ecclesiastics to denounce the
spherical theory of the earth as heretical. The wretched subterfuge of
Cosmas (c. A.D. 550) to explain the phenomena of the apparent
movements of the sun by means of an earth modelled on the plan of the
Jewish Tabernacle gave place ultimately to the wheel-maps--the T in an
O--which reverted to the primitive ignorance of the times of Homer and
Hecataeus.[6]
The journey of Marco Polo, the increasing trade to the East and the
voyages of the Arabs in the Indian Ocean prepared the way for the
reacceptance of Ptolemy's ideas when the sealed books of the Greek
original were translated into Latin by Angelus in 1410.
Revival of geography.
The old arguments of Aristotle and the old measurements of Ptolemy
were used by Toscanelli and Columbus in urging a westward voyage to
India; and mainly on this account did the crossing of the Atlantic
rank higher in the history of scientific geography than the laborious
feeling out of the coast-line of Africa. But not until the voyage of
Magellan shook the scales from the eyes of Europe did modern geography
begin to advance. Discovery had outrun theory; the rush of new facts
made Ptolemy practically obsolete in a generation, after having been
the fount and origin of all geography for a millennium.
Apianus.
The earliest evidence of the reincarnation of a sound theoretical
geography is to be found in the text-books by Peter Apian and
Sebastian Münster. Apian in his _Cosmographicus liber_, published in
1524, and subsequently edited and added to by Gemma Frisius under the
title of _Cosmographia_, based the whole science on mathematics and
measurement. He followed Ptolemy closely, enlarging on his distinction
between geography and chorography, and expressing the artistic analogy
in a rough diagram. This slender distinction was made much of by most
subsequent writers until Nathanael Carpenter in 1625 pointed out that
the difference between geography and chorography was simply one of
degree, not of kind.
Münster.
Sebastian Münster, on the other hand, in his _Cosmographia
universalis_ of 1544, paid no regard to the mathematical basis of
geography, but, following the model of Strabo, described the world
according to its different political divisions, and entered with great
zest into the question of the productions of countries, and into the
manners and costumes of the various peoples. Thus early commenced the
separation between what were long called mathematical and political
geography, the one subject appealing mainly to mathematicians, the
other to historians.
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries the rapidly accumulating store
of facts as to the extent, outline and mountain and river systems of
the lands of the earth were put in order by the generation of
cartographers of which Mercator was the chief; but the writings of
Apian and Münster held the field for a hundred years without a serious
rival, unless the many annotated editions of Ptolemy might be so
considered. Meanwhile the new facts were the subject of original study
by philosophers and by practical men without reference to classical
traditions. Bacon argued keenly on geographical matters and was a
lover of maps, in which he observed and reasoned upon such
resemblances as that between the outlines of South America and Africa.
Cluverius.
Philip Cluver's _Introductio in geographiam universam tam veterem quam
novam_ was published in 1624. Geography he defined as "the description
of the whole earth, so far as it is known to us." It is distinguished
from cosmography by dealing with the earth alone, not with the
universe, and from chorography and topography by dealing with the
whole earth, not with a country or a place. The first book, of
fourteen short chapters, is concerned with the general properties of
the globe; the remaining six books treat in considerable detail of the
countries of Europe and of the other continents. Each country is
described with particular regard to its people as well as to its
surface, and the prominence given to the human element is of special
interest.
Carpenter.
A little-known book which appears to have escaped the attention of
most writers on the history of modern geography was published at
Oxford in 1625 by Nathanael Carpenter, fellow of Exeter College, with
the title _Geographie delineated forth in Two Bookes, containing the
Sphericall and Topicall parts thereof_. It is discursive in its style
and verbose; but, considering the period at which it appeared, it is
remarkable for the strong common sense displayed by the author, his
comparative freedom from prejudice, and his firm application of the
methods of scientific reasoning to the interpretation of phenomena.
Basing his work on the principles of Ptolemy, he brings together
illustrations from the most recent travellers, and does not hesitate
to take as illustrative examples the familiar city of Oxford and his
native county of Devon. He divides geography into _The Spherical
Part_, or that for the study of which mathematics alone is required,
and _The Topical Part_, or the description of the physical relations
of parts of the earth's surface, preferring this division to that
favoured by the ancient geographers--into general and special. It is
distinguished from other English geographical books of the period by
confining attention to the principles of geography, and not describing
the countries of the world.
Varenius.
A much more important work in the history of geographical method is
the _Geographia generalis_ of Bernhard Varenius, a German medical
doctor of Leiden, who died at the age of twenty-eight in 1650, the
year of the publication of his book. Although for a time it was lost
sight of on the continent, Sir Isaac Newton thought so highly of this
book that he prepared an annotated edition which was published in
Cambridge in 1672, with the addition of the plates which had been
planned by Varenius, but not produced by the original publishers. "The
reason why this great man took so much care in correcting and
publishing our author was, because he thought him necessary to be read
by his audience, the young gentlemen of Cambridge, while he was
delivering lectures on the same subject from the Lucasian Chair."[7]
The treatise of Varenius is a model of logical arrangement and terse
expression; it is a work of science and of genius; one of the few of
that age which can still be studied with profit. The English
translation renders the definition thus: "Geography is that part of
_mixed mathematics_ which explains the state of the earth and of its
parts, depending on quantity, viz. its figure, place, magnitude and
motion, with the celestial appearances, &c. By some it is taken in too
limited a sense, for a bare description of the several countries; and
by others too extensively, who along with such a description would
have their political constitution."
Varenius was reluctant to include the human side of geography in his
system, and only allowed it as a concession to custom, and in order to
attract readers by imparting interest to the sterner details of the
science. His division of geography was into two parts--(i.) General or
universal, dealing with the earth in general, and explaining its
properties without regard to particular countries; and (ii.) Special
or particular, dealing with each country in turn from the
chorographical or topographical point of view. General geography was
divided into--(1) the _Absolute_ part, dealing with the form,
dimensions, position and substance of the earth, the distribution of
land and water, mountains, woods and deserts, hydrography (including
all the waters of the earth) and the atmosphere; (2) the _Relative_
part, including the celestial properties, i.e. latitude, climate
zones, longitude, &c.; and (3) the _Comparative_ part, which
"considers the particulars arising from comparing one part with
another"; but under this head the questions discussed were longitude,
the situation and distances of places, and navigation. Varenius does
not treat of special geography, but gives a scheme for it under three
heads--(1) _Terrestrial_, including position, outline, boundaries,
mountains, mines, woods and deserts, waters, fertility and fruits, and
living creatures; (2) _Celestial_, including appearance of the heavens
and the climate; (3) _Human_, but this was added out of deference to
popular usage.
This system of geography founded a new epoch, and the book--translated
into English, Dutch and French--was the unchallenged standard for more
than a century. The framework was capable of accommodating itself to
new facts, and was indeed far in advance of the knowledge of the
period. The method included a recognition of the causes and effects of
phenomena as well as the mere fact of their occurrence, and for the
first time the importance of the vertical relief of the land was
fairly recognized.
The physical side of geography continued to be elaborated after
Varenius's methods, while the historical side was developed
separately. Both branches, although enriched by new facts, remained
stationary so far as method is concerned until nearly the end of the
18th century. The compilation of "geography books" by uninstructed
writers led to the pernicious habit, which is not yet wholly overcome,
of reducing the general or "physical" part to a few pages of
concentrated information, and expanding the particular or "political"
part by including unrevised travellers' stories and uncritical
descriptions of the various countries of the world. Such books were in
fact not geography, but merely compressed travel.
Bergman.
The next marked advance in the theory of geography may be taken as the
nearly simultaneous studies of the physical earth carried out by the
Swedish chemist, Torbern Bergman, acting under the impulse of
Linnaeus, and by the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Bergman's
_Physical Description of the Earth_ was published in Swedish in 1766,
and translated into English in 1772 and into German in 1774. It is a
plain, straightforward description of the globe, and of the various
phenomena of the surface, dealing only with definitely ascertained
facts in the natural order of their relationships, but avoiding any
systematic classification or even definitions of terms.
Kant.
The problems of geography had been lightened by the destructive
criticism of the French cartographer D'Anville (who had purged the map
of the world of the last remnants of traditional fact unverified by
modern observations) and rendered richer by the dawn of the new era of
scientific travel, when Kant brought his logical powers to bear upon
them. Kant's lectures on physical geography were delivered in the
university of Königsberg from 1765 onwards.[8] Geography appealed to
him as a valuable educational discipline, the joint foundation with
anthropology of that "knowledge of the world" which was the result of
reason and experience. In this connexion he divided the communication
of experience from one person to another into two categories--the
narrative or historical and the descriptive or geographical; both
history and geography being viewed as descriptions, the former a
description in order of time, the latter a description in order of
space.
Physical geography he viewed as a summary of nature, the basis not
only of history but also of "all the other possible geographies," of
which he enumerates five, viz. (1) _Mathematical geography_, which
deals with the form, size and movements of the earth and its place in
the solar system; (2) _Moral geography_, or an account of the
different customs and characters of mankind according to the region
they inhabit; (3) _Political geography_, the divisions according to
their organized governments; (4) _Mercantile geography_, dealing with
the trade in the surplus products of countries; (5) _Theological
geography_, or the distribution of religions. Here there is a clear
and formal statement of the interaction and causal relation of all the
phenomena of distribution on the earth's surface, including the
influence of physical geography upon the various activities of mankind
from the lowest to the highest. Notwithstanding the form of this
classification, Kant himself treats mathematical geography as
preliminary to, and therefore not dependent on, physical geography.
Physical geography itself is divided into two parts: a general, which
has to do with the earth and all that belongs to it--water, air and
land; and a particular, which deals with special products of the
earth--mankind, animals, plants and minerals. Particular importance is
given to the vertical relief of the land, on which the various
branches of human geography are shown to depend.
Humboldt.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the first modern geographer to
become a great traveller, and thus to acquire an extensive stock of
first-hand information on which an improved system of geography might
be founded. The impulse given to the study of natural history by the
example of Linnaeus; the results brought back by Sir Joseph Banks, Dr
Solander and the two Forsters, who accompanied Cook in his voyages of
discovery; the studies of De Saussure in the Alps, and the lists of
desiderata in physical geography drawn up by that investigator,
combined to prepare the way for Humboldt. The theory of geography was
advanced by Humboldt mainly by his insistence on the great principle
of the unity of nature. He brought all the "observable things," which
the eager collectors of the previous century had been heaping together
regardless of order or system, into relation with the vertical relief
and the horizontal forms of the earth's surface. Thus he demonstrated
that the forms of the land exercise a directive and determining
influence on climate, plant life, animal life and on man himself. This
was no new idea; it had been familiar for centuries in a less definite
form, deduced from a priori considerations, and so far as regards the
influence of surrounding circumstances upon man, Kant had already
given it full expression. Humboldt's concrete illustrations and the
remarkable power of his personality enabled him to enforce these
principles in a way that produced an immediate and lasting effect. The
treatises on physical geography by Mrs Mary Somerville and Sir John
Herschel (the latter written for the eighth edition of the
_Encyclopaedia Britannica_) showed the effect produced in Great
Britain by the stimulus of Humboldt's work.
Ritter.
Humboldt's contemporary, Carl Ritter (1779-1859), extended and
disseminated the same views, and in his interpretation of "Comparative
Geography" he laid stress on the importance of forming conclusions,
not from the study of one region by itself, but from the comparison of
the phenomena of many places. Impressed by the influence of
terrestrial relief and climate on human movements, Ritter was led
deeper and deeper into the study of history and archaeology. His
monumental _Vergleichende Geographie_, which was to have made the
whole world its theme, died out in a wilderness of detail in
twenty-one volumes before it had covered more of the earth's surface
than Asia and a portion of Africa. Some of his followers showed a
tendency to look on geography rather as an auxiliary to history than
as a study of intrinsic worth.
Geography as a natural science.
During the rapid development of physical geography many branches of
the study of nature, which had been included in the cosmography of the
early writers, the physiography of Linnaeus and even the _Erdkunde_ of
Ritter, had been so much advanced by the labours of specialists that
their connexion was apt to be forgotten. Thus geology, meteorology,
oceanography and anthropology developed into distinct sciences. The
absurd attempt was, and sometimes is still, made by geographers to
include all natural science in geography; but it is more common for
specialists in the various detailed sciences to think, and sometimes
to assert, that the ground of physical geography is now fully occupied
by these sciences. Political geography has been too often looked on
from both sides as a mere summary of guide-book knowledge, useful in
the schoolroom, a poor relation of physical geography that it was
rarely necessary to recognize.
The science of geography, passed on from antiquity by Ptolemy,
re-established by Varenius and Newton, and systematized by Kant,
included within itself definite aspects of all those terrestrial
phenomena which are now treated exhaustively under the heads of
geology, meteorology, oceanography and anthropology; and the inclusion
of the requisite portions of the perfected results of these sciences
in geography is simply the gathering in of fruit matured from the seed
scattered by geography itself.
The study of geography was advanced by improvements in cartography
(see MAP), not only in the methods of survey and projection, but in
the representation of the third dimension by means of contour lines
introduced by Philippe Buache in 1737, and the more remarkable because
less obvious invention of isotherms introduced by Humboldt in 1817.
The teleological argument in geography.
The "argument from design" had been a favourite form of reasoning
amongst Christian theologians, and, as worked out by Paley in his
_Natural Theology_, it served the useful purpose of emphasizing the
fitness which exists between all the inhabitants of the earth and
their physical environment. It was held that the earth had been
created so as to fit the wants of man in every particular. This
argument was tacitly accepted or explicitly avowed by almost every
writer on the theory of geography, and Carl Ritter distinctly
recognized and adopted it as the unifying principle of his system. As
a student of nature, however, he did not fail to see, and as professor
of geography he always taught, that man was in very large measure
conditioned by his physical environment. The apparent opposition of
the observed fact to the assigned theory he overcame by looking upon
the forms of the land and the arrangement of land and sea as
instruments of Divine Providence for guiding the destiny as well as
for supplying the requirements of man. This was the central theme of
Ritter's philosophy; his religion and his geography were one, and the
consequent fervour with which he pursued his mission goes far to
account for the immense influence he acquired in Germany.
The theory of evolution in geography.
The evolutionary theory, more than hinted at in Kant's "Physical
Geography," has, since the writings of Charles Darwin, become the
unifying principle in geography. The conception of the development of
the plan of the earth from the first cooling of the surface of the
planet throughout the long geological periods, the guiding power of
environment on the circulation of water and of air, on the
distribution of plants and animals, and finally on the movements of
man, give to geography a philosophical dignity and a scientific
completeness which it never previously possessed. The influence of
environment on the organism may not be quite so potent as it was once
believed to be, in the writings of Buckle, for instance,[9] and
certainly man, the ultimate term in the series, reacts upon and
greatly modifies his environment; yet the fact that environment does
influence all distributions is established beyond the possibility of
doubt. In this way also the position of geography, at the point where
physical science meets and mingles with mental science, is explained
and justified. The change which took place during the 19th century in
the substance and style of geography may be well seen by comparing the
eight volumes of Malte-Brun's _Géographie universelle_ (Paris,
1812-1829) with the twenty-one volumes of Reclus's _Géographie
universelle_ (Paris, 1876-1895).
In estimating the influence of recent writers on geography it is usual
to assign to Oscar Peschel (1826-1875) the credit of having corrected
the preponderance which Ritter gave to the historical element, and of
restoring physical geography to its old pre-eminence.[10] As a matter
of fact, each of the leading modern exponents of theoretical
geography--such as Ferdinand von Richthofen, Hermann Wagner, Friedrich
Ratzel, William M. Davis, A. Penck, A. de Lapparent and Elisée
Reclus--has his individual point of view, one devoting more attention
to the results of geological processes, another to anthropological
conditions, and the rest viewing the subject in various blendings of
the extreme lights.
The two conceptions which may now be said to animate the theory of
geography are the genetic, which depends upon processes of origin, and
the morphological, which depends on facts of form and distribution.
PROGRESS OF GEOGRAPHICAL DISCOVERY
Exploration and geographical discovery must have started from more
than one centre, and to deal justly with the matter one ought to treat
of these separately in the early ages before the whole civilized world
was bound together by the bonds of modern intercommunication. At the
least there should be some consideration of four separate systems of
discovery--the Eastern, in which Chinese and Japanese explorers
acquired knowledge of the geography of Asia, and felt their way
towards Europe and America; the Western, in which the dominant races
of the Mexican and South American plateaus extended their knowledge of
the American continent before Columbus; the Polynesian, in which the
conquering races of the Pacific Islands found their way from group to
group; and the Mediterranean. For some of these we have no certain
information, and regarding others the tales narrated in the early
records are so hard to reconcile with present knowledge that they are
better fitted to be the battle-ground of scholars championing rival
theories than the basis of definite history. So it has come about that
the only practicable history of geographical exploration starts from
the Mediterranean centre, the first home of that civilization which
has come to be known as European, though its field of activity has
long since overspread the habitable land of both temperate zones,
eastern Asia alone in part excepted.
From all centres the leading motives of exploration were probably the
same--commercial intercourse, warlike operations, whether resulting in
conquest or in flight, religious zeal expressed in pilgrimages or
missionary journeys, or, from the other side, the avoidance of
persecution, and, more particularly in later years, the advancement of
knowledge for its own sake. At different times one or the other motive
predominated.
Before the 14th century B.C. the warrior kings of Egypt had carried
the power of their arms southward from the delta of the Nile well-nigh
to its source, and eastward to the confines of Assyria. The
hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt and the cuneiform inscriptions of
Assyria are rich in records of the movements and achievements of
armies, the conquest of towns and the subjugation of peoples; but
though many of the recorded sites have been identified, their
discovery by wandering armies was isolated from their subsequent
history and need not concern us here.
The Phoenicians.
The Phoenicians are the earliest Mediterranean people in the
consecutive chain of geographical discovery which joins pre-historic
time with the present. From Sidon, and later from its more famous
rival Tyre, the merchant adventurers of Phoenicia explored and
colonized the coasts of the Mediterranean and fared forth into the
ocean beyond. They traded also on the Red sea, and opened up regular
traffic with India as well as with the ports of the south and west, so
that it was natural for Solomon to employ the merchant navies of Tyre
in his oversea trade. The western emporium known in the scriptures as
Tarshish was probably situated in the south of Spain, possibly at
Cadiz, although some writers contend that it was Carthage in North
Africa. Still more diversity of opinion prevails as to the southern
gold-exporting port of Ophir, which some scholars place in Arabia,
others at one or another point on the east coast of Africa. Whether
associated with the exploitation of Ophir (q.v.) or not the first
great voyage of African discovery appears to have been accomplished by
the Phoenicians sailing the Red Sea. Herodotus (himself a notable
traveller in the 5th century B.C.) relates that the Egyptian king
Necho of the XXVIth Dynasty (c. 600 B.C.) built a fleet on the Red
Sea, and confided it to Phoenician sailors with the orders to sail
southward and return to Egypt by the Pillars of Hercules and the
Mediterranean sea. According to the tradition, which Herodotus quotes
sceptically, this was accomplished; but the story is too vague to be
accepted as more than a possibility.
The great Phoenician colony of Carthage, founded before 800 B.C.,
perpetuated the commercial enterprise of the parent state, and
extended the sphere of practical trade to the ocean shores of Africa
and Europe. The most celebrated voyage of antiquity undertaken for the
express purpose of discovery was that fitted out by the senate of
Carthage under the command of Hanno, with the intention of founding
new colonies along the west coast of Africa. According to Pliny, the
only authority on this point, the period of the voyage was that of the
greatest prosperity of Carthage, which may be taken as somewhere
between 570 and 480 B.C. The extent of this voyage is doubtful, but it
seems probable that the farthest point reached was on the east-running
coast which bounds the Gulf of Guinea on the north. Himilco, a
contemporary of Hanno, was charged with an expedition along the west
coast of Iberia northward, and as far as the uncertain references to
this voyage can be understood, he seems to have passed the Bay of
Biscay and possibly sighted the coast of England.
The Greeks.
The sea power of the Greek communities on the coast of Asia Minor and
in the Archipelago began to be a formidable rival to the Phoenician
soon after the time of Hanno and Himilco, and peculiar interest
attaches to the first recorded Greek voyage beyond the Pillars of
Hercules. Pytheas, a navigator of the Phocean colony of Massilia
(Marseilles), determined the latitude of that port with considerable
precision by the somewhat clumsy method of ascertaining the length of
the longest day, and when, about 330 B.C., he set out on exploration
to the northward in search of the lands whence came gold, tin and
amber, he followed this system of ascertaining his position from time
to time. If on each occasion he himself made the observations his
voyage must have extended over six years; but it is not impossible
that he ascertained the approximate length of the longest day in some
cases by questioning the natives. Pytheas, whose own narrative is not
preserved, coasted the Bay of Biscay, sailed up the English Channel
and followed the coast of Britain to its most northerly point. Beyond
this he spoke of a land called _Thule_, which, if his estimate of the
length of the longest day is correct, may have been Shetland, but was
possibly Iceland; and from some confused statements as to a sea which
could not be sailed through, it has been assumed that Pytheas was the
first of the Greeks to obtain direct knowledge of the Arctic regions.
During this or a second voyage Pytheas entered the Baltic, discovered
the coasts where amber is obtained and returned to the Mediterranean.
It does not seem that any maritime trade followed these discoveries,
and indeed it is doubtful whether his contemporaries accepted the
truth of Pytheas's narrative; Strabo four hundred years later
certainly did not, but the critical studies of modern scholars have
rehabilitated the Massilian explorer.
Alexander the Great.
The Greco-Persian wars had made the remoter parts of Asia Minor more
than a name to the Greek geographers before the time of Alexander the
Great, but the campaigns of that conqueror from 329 to 325 B.C. opened
up the greater Asia to the knowledge of Europe. His armies crossed the
plains beyond the Caspian, penetrated the wild mountain passes
north-west of India, and did not turn back until they had entered on
the Indo-Gangetic plain. This was one of the few great epochs of
geographical discovery.
The world was henceforth viewed as a very large place stretching far
on every side beyond the Midland or Mediterranean Sea, and the land
journey of Alexander resulted in a voyage of discovery in the outer
ocean from the mouth of the Indus to that of the Tigris, thus opening
direct intercourse between Grecian and Hindu civilization. The Greeks
who accompanied Alexander described with care the towns and villages,
the products and the aspect of the country. The conqueror also
intended to open up trade by sea between Europe and India, and the
narrative of his general Nearchus records this famous voyage of
discovery, the detailed accounts of the chief pilot Onesicritus being
lost. At the beginning of October 326 B.C. Nearchus left the Indus
with his fleet, and the anchorages sought for each night are carefully
recorded. He entered the Persian Gulf, and rejoined Alexander at Susa,
when he was ordered to prepare another expedition for the
circumnavigation of Arabia. Alexander died at Babylon in 323 B.C., and
the fleet was dispersed without making the voyage.
The dynasties founded by Alexander's generals, Seleucus, Antiochus and
Ptolemy, encouraged the same spirit of enterprise which their master
had fostered, and extended geographical knowledge in several
directions. Seleucus Nicator established the Greco-Bactrian empire and
continued the intercourse with India. Authentic information respecting
the great valley of the Ganges was supplied by Megasthenes, an
ambassador sent by Seleucus, who reached the remote city of
Patali-putra, the modern Patna.
The Ptolemies.
The Ptolemies in Egypt showed equal anxiety to extend the bounds of
geographical knowledge. Ptolemy Euergetes (247-222 B.C.) rendered the
greatest service to geography by the protection and encouragement of
Eratosthenes, whose labours gave the first approximate knowledge of
the true size of the spherical earth. The second Euergetes and his
successor Ptolemy Lathyrus (118-115 B.C.) furnished Eudoxus with a
fleet to explore the Arabian sea. After two successful voyages,
Eudoxus, impressed with the idea that Africa was surrounded by ocean
on the south, left the Egyptian service, and proceeded to Cadiz and
other Mediterranean centres of trade seeking a patron who would
finance an expedition for the purpose of African discovery; and we
learn from Strabo that the veteran explorer made at least two voyages
southward along the coast of Africa. The Ptolemies continued to send
fleets annually from their Red Sea ports of Berenice and Myos Hormus
to Arabia, as well as to ports on the coasts of Africa and India.
The Romans.
The Romans did not encourage navigation and commerce with the same
ardour as their predecessors; still the luxury of Rome, which gave
rise to demands for the varied products of all the countries of the
known world, led to an active trade both by ships and caravans. But it
was the military genius of Rome, and the ambition for universal
empire, which led, not only to the discovery, but also to the survey
of nearly all Europe, and of large tracts in Asia and Africa. Every
new war produced a new survey and itinerary of the countries which
were conquered, and added one more to the imperishable roads that led
from every quarter of the known world to Rome. In the height of their
power the Romans had surveyed and explored all the coasts of the
Mediterranean, Italy, Greece, the Balkan Peninsula, Spain, Gaul,
western Germany and southern Britain. In Africa their empire included
Egypt, Carthage, Numidia and Mauritania. In Asia they held Asia Minor
and Syria, had sent expeditions into Arabia, and were acquainted with
the more distant countries formerly invaded by Alexander, including
Persia, Scythia, Bactria and India. Roman intercourse with India
especially led to the extension of geographical knowledge.
Before the Roman legions were sent into a new region to extend the
limits of the empire, it was usual to send out exploring expeditions
to report as to the nature of the country. It is narrated by Pliny and
Seneca that the emperor Nero sent out two centurions on such a mission
towards the source of the Nile (probably about A.D. 60), and that the
travellers pushed southwards until they reached vast marshes through
which they could not make their way either on foot or in boats. This
seems to indicate that they had penetrated to about 9° N. Shortly
before A.D. 79 Hippalus took advantage of the regular alternation of
the monsoons to make the voyage from the Red Sea to India across the
open ocean out of sight of land. Even though this sea-route was known,
the author of the _Periplus of the Erythraean Sea_, published after
the time of Pliny, recites the old itinerary around the coast of the
Arabian Gulf. It was, however, in the reigns of Severus and his
immediate successors that Roman intercourse with India was at its
height, and from the writings of Pausanias (c. 174) it appears that
direct communication between Rome and China had already taken place.
After the division of the Roman empire, Constantinople became the last
refuge of learning, arts and taste; while Alexandria continued to be
the emporium whence were imported the commodities of the East. The
emperor Justinian (483-565), in whose reign the greatness of the
Eastern empire culminated, sent two Nestorian monks to China, who
returned with eggs of the silkworm concealed in a hollow cane, and
thus silk manufactures were established in the Peloponnesus and the
Greek islands. It was also in the reign of Justinian that Cosmas
Indicopleustes, an Egyptian merchant, made several voyages, and
afterwards composed his [Greek: Christianikê topographia] (Christian
Topography), containing, in addition to his absurd cosmogony, a
tolerable description of India.
The Arabs.
The great outburst of Mahommedan conquest in the 7th century was
followed by the Arab civilization, having its centres at Bagdad and
Cordova, in connexion with which geography again received a share of
attention. The works of the ancient Greek geographers were translated
into Arabic, and starting with a sound basis of theoretical knowledge,
exploration once more made progress. From the 9th to the 13th century
intelligent Arab travellers wrote accounts of what they had seen and
heard in distant lands. The earliest Arabian traveller whose
observations have come down to us is the merchant Sulaiman, who
embarked in the Persian Gulf and made several voyages to India and
China, in the middle of the 9th century. Abu Zaid also wrote on India,
and his work is the most important that we possess before the
epoch-making discoveries of Marco Polo. Masudi, a great traveller who
knew from personal experience all the countries between Spain and
China, described the plains, mountains and seas, the dynasties and
peoples, in his _Meadows of Gold_, an abstract made by himself of his
larger work _News of the Time_. He died in 956, and was known, from
the comprehensiveness of his survey, as the Pliny of the East. Amongst
his contemporaries were Istakhri, who travelled through all the
Mahommedan countries and wrote his _Book of Climates_ in 950, and Ibn
Haukal, whose _Book of Roads and Kingdoms_, based on the work of
Istakhri, was written in 976. Idrisi, the best known of the Arabian
geographical authors, after travelling far and wide in the first half
of the 12th century, settled in Sicily, where he wrote a treatise
descriptive of an armillary sphere which he had constructed for Roger
II., the Norman king, and in this work he incorporated all accessible
results of contemporary travel.
The Northmen.
The Northmen of Denmark and Norway, whose piratical adventures were
the terror of all the coasts of Europe, and who established themselves
in Great Britain and Ireland, in France and Sicily, were also
geographical explorers in their rough but practical way during the
darkest period of the middle ages. All Northmen were not bent on
rapine and plunder; many were peaceful merchants. Alfred the Great,
king of the Saxons in England, not only educated his people in the
learning of the past ages; he inserted in the geographical works he
translated many narratives of the travel of his own time. Thus he
placed on record the voyages of the merchant Ulfsten in the Baltic,
including particulars of the geography of Germany. And in particular
he told of the remarkable voyage of Other, a Norwegian of Helgeland,
who was the first authentic Arctic explorer, the first to tell of the
rounding of the North Cape and the sight of the midnight sun. This
voyage of the middle of the 9th century deserves to be held in happy
memory, for it unites the first Norwegian polar explorer with the
first English collector of travels. Scandinavian merchants brought the
products of India to England and Ireland. From the 8th to the 11th
century a commercial route from India passed through Novgorod to the
Baltic, and Arabian coins found in Sweden, and particularly in the
island of Gotland, prove how closely the enterprise of the Northmen
and of the Arabs intertwined. Five-sixths of these coins preserved at
Stockholm were from the mints of the Samanian dynasty, which reigned
in Khorasan and Transoxiana from about A.D. 900 to 1000. It was the
trade with the East that originally gave importance to the city of
Visby in Gotland.
In the end of the 9th century Iceland was colonized from Norway; and
about 985 the intrepid viking, Eric the Red, discovered Greenland, and
induced some of his Icelandic countrymen to settle on its inhospitable
shores. His son, Leif Ericsson, and others of his followers were
concerned in the discovery of the North American coast (see VINLAND),
which, but for the isolation of Iceland from the centres of European
awakening, would have had momentous consequences. As things were, the
importance of this discovery passed unrecognized. The story of two
Venetians, Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, who gave a vague account of
voyages in the northern seas in the end of the 13th century, is no
longer to be accepted as history.
Close of the dark ages.
At length the long period of barbarism which accompanied and followed
the fall of the Roman empire drew to a close in Europe. The Crusades
had a favourable influence on the intellectual state of the Western
nations. Interesting regions, known only by the scant reports of
pilgrims, were made the objects of attention and study; while
religious zeal, and the hope of gain, combined with motives of mere
curiosity, induced several persons to travel by land into remote
regions of the East, far beyond the countries to which the operations
of the crusaders extended. Among these was Benjamin of Tudela, who set
out from Spain in 1160, travelled by land to Constantinople, and
having visited India and some of the eastern islands, returned to
Europe by way of Egypt after an absence of thirteen years.
Asiatic journeys.
Joannes de Plano Carpini, a Franciscan monk, was the head of one of
the missions despatched by Pope Innocent to call the chief and people
of the Tatars to a better mind. He reached the headquarters of Batu,
on the Volga, in February 1246; and, after some stay, went on to the
camp of the great khan near Karakorum in central Asia, and returned
safely in the autumn of 1247. A few years afterwards, a Fleming named
Rubruquis was sent on a similar mission, and had the merit of being
the first traveller of this era who gave a correct account of the
Caspian Sea. He ascertained that it had no outlet. At nearly the same
time Hayton, king of Armenia, made a journey to Karakorum in 1254, by
a route far to the north of that followed by Carpini and Rubruquis. He
was treated with honour and hospitality, and returned by way of
Samarkand and Tabriz, to his own territory. The curious narrative of
King Hayton was translated by Klaproth.
While the republics of Italy, and above all the state of Venice, were
engaged in distributing the rich products of India and the Far East
over the Western world, it was impossible that motives of curiosity,
as well as a desire of commercial advantage, should not be awakened to
such a degree as to impel some of the merchants to visit those remote
lands. Among these were the brothers Polo, who traded with the East
and themselves visited Tatary. The recital of their travels fired the
youthful imagination of young Marco Polo, son of Nicolo, and he set
out for the court of Kublai Khan, with his father and uncle, in 1265.
Marco remained for seventeen years in the service of the Great Khan,
and was employed on many important missions. Besides what he learnt
from his own observation, he collected much information from others
concerning countries which he did not visit. He returned to Europe
possessed of a vast store of knowledge respecting the eastern parts of
the world, and, being afterwards made a prisoner by the Genoese, he
dictated the narrative of his travels during his captivity. The work
of Marco Polo is the most valuable narrative of travels that appeared
during the middle ages, and despite a cold reception and many denials
of the accuracy of the record, its substantial truthfulness has been
abundantly proved.
Missionaries continued to do useful geographical work. Among them were
John of Monte Corvino, a Franciscan monk, Andrew of Perugia, John
Marignioli and Friar Jordanus, who visited the west coast of India,
and above all Friar Odoric of Pordenone. Odoric set out on his travels
about 1318, and his journeys embraced parts of India, the Malay
Archipelago, China and even Tibet, where he was the first European to
enter Lhasa, not yet a forbidden city.
Ibn Batuta, the great Arab traveller, is separated by a wide space of
time from his countrymen already mentioned, and he finds his proper
place in a chronological notice after the days of Marco Polo, for he
did not begin his wanderings until 1325, his career thus coinciding in
time with the fabled journeyings of Sir John Mandeville. While Arab
learning flourished during the darkest ages of European ignorance, the
last of the Arab geographers lived to see the dawn of the great period
of the European awakening. Ibn Batuta went by land from Tangier to
Cairo, then visited Syria, and performed the pilgrimages to Medina and
Mecca. After exploring Persia, and again residing for some time at
Mecca, he made a voyage down the Red sea to Yemen, and travelled
through that country to Aden. Thence he visited the African coast,
touching at Mombasa and Quiloa, and then sailed across to Ormuz and
the Persian Gulf. He crossed Arabia from Bahrein to Jidda, traversed
the Red sea and the desert to Syene, and descended the Nile to Cairo.
After this he revisited Syria and Asia Minor, and crossed the Black
sea, the desert from Astrakhan to Bokhara, and the Hindu Kush. He was
in the service of Muhammad Tughluk, ruler of Delhi, about eight years,
and was sent on an embassy to China, in the course of which the
ambassadors sailed down the west coast of India to Calicut, and then
visited the Maldive Islands and Ceylon. Ibn Batuta made the voyage
through the Malay Archipelago to China, and on his return he proceeded
from Malabar to Bagdad and Damascus, ultimately reaching Fez, the
capital of his native country, in November 1349. After a journey into
Spain he set out once more for Central Africa in 1352, and reached
Timbuktu and the Niger, returning to Fez in 1353. His narrative was
committed to writing from his dictation.
Spanish exploration.
The European country which had come the most completely under the
influence of Arab culture now began to send forth explorers to distant
lands, though the impulse came not from the Moors but from Italian
merchant navigators in Spanish service. The peaceful reign of Henry
III. of Castile is famous for the attempts of that prince to extend
the diplomatic relations of Spain to the remotest parts of the earth.
He sent embassies to all the princes of Christendom and to the Moors.
In 1403 the Spanish king sent a knight of Madrid, Ruy Gonzalez de
Clavijo, to the distant court of Timur, at Samarkand. He returned in
1406, and wrote a valuable narrative of his travels.
Italians continued to make important journeys in the East during the
15th century. Among them was Nicolo Conti, who passed through Persia,
sailed along the coast of Malabar, visited Sumatra, Java and the south
of China, returned by the Red sea, and got home to Venice in 1444
after an absence of twenty-five years. He related his adventures to
Poggio Bracciolini, secretary to Pope Eugenius IV.; and the narrative
contains much interesting information. One of the most remarkable of
the Italian travellers was Ludovico di Varthema, who left his native
land in 1502. He went to Egypt and Syria, and for the sake of visiting
the holy cities became a Mahommedan. He was the first European who
gave an account of the interior of Yemen. He afterwards visited and
described many places in Persia, India and the Malay Archipelago,
returning to Europe in a Portuguese ship after an absence of five
years.
Portuguese exploration--Prince Henry the Navigator.
In the 15th century the time was approaching when the discovery of the
Cape of Good Hope was to widen the scope of geographical enterprise.
This great event was preceded by the general utilization in Europe of
the polarity of the magnetic needle in the construction of the
mariner's compass. Portugal took the lead along this new path, and
foremost among her pioneers stands Prince Henry the Navigator
(1394-1460), who was a patron both of exploration and of the study of
geographical theory. The great westward projection of the coast of
Africa, and the islands to the north-west of that continent, were the
principal scene of the work of the mariners sent out at his expense;
but his object was to push onward and reach India from the Atlantic.
The progress of discovery received a check on his death, but only for
a time. In 1462 Pedro de Cintra extended Portuguese exploration along
the African coast and discovered Sierra Leone. Fernan Gomez followed
in 1469, and opened trade with the Gold Coast; and in 1484 Diogo Cão
discovered the mouth of the Congo. The king of Portugal next
despatched Bartolomeu Diaz in 1486 to continue discoveries southwards;
while, in the following year, he sent Pedro de Covilhão and Affonso de
Payva to discover the country of Prester John. Diaz succeeded in
rounding the southern point of Africa, which he named Cabo
Tormentoso--the Cape of Storms--but King João II., foreseeing the
realization of the long-sought passage to India, gave it the
stimulating and enduring name of the Cape of Good Hope. Payva died at
Cairo; but Covilhão, having heard that a Christian ruler reigned in
the mountains of Ethiopia, penetrated into Abyssinia in 1490. He
delivered the letter which João II. had addressed to Prester John to
the Negus Alexander of Abyssinia, but he was detained by that prince
and never allowed to leave the country.
Columbus.
The Portuguese, following the lead of Prince Henry, continued to look
for the road to India by the Cape of Good Hope. The same end was
sought by Christopher Columbus, following the suggestion of
Toscanelli, and under-estimating the diameter of the globe, by sailing
due west. The voyages of Columbus (1492-1498) resulted in the
discovery of the West Indies and North America which barred the way to
the Far East. In 1493 the pope, Alexander VI., issued a bull
instituting the famous "line of demarcation" running from N. to S. 100
leagues W. of the Azores, to the west of which the Spaniards were
authorized to explore and to the east of which the Portuguese received
the monopoly of discovery. The direct line of Portuguese exploration
resulted in the discovery of the Cape route to India by Vasco da Gama
(1498), and in 1500 to the independent discovery of South America by
Pedro Alvarez Cabral. The voyages of Columbus and of Vasco da Gama
were so important that it is unnecessary to detail their results in
this place. See COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER; GAMA, VASCO DA.
Vasco da Gama.
The three voyages of Vasco da Gama (who died on the scene of his
labours, at Cochin, in 1524) revolutionized the commerce of the East.
Until then the Venetians held the carrying trade of India, which was
brought by the Persian Gulf and Red sea into Syria and Egypt, the
Venetians receiving the products of the East at Alexandria and Beirut
and distributing them over Europe. This commerce was a great source of
wealth to Venice; but after the discovery of the new passage round the
Cape, and the conquests of the Portuguese, the trade of the East
passed into other hands.
Spaniards in America.
The discoveries of Columbus awakened a spirit of enterprise in Spain
which continued in full force for a century; adventurers flocked
eagerly across the Atlantic, and discovery followed discovery in rapid
succession. Many of the companions of Columbus continued his work.
Vicente Yañez Pinzon in 1500 reached the mouth of the Amazon. In the
same year Alonso de Ojeda, accompanied by Juan de la Cosa, from whose
maps we learn much of the discoveries of the 16th century navigators,
and by a Florentine named Amerigo Vespucci, touched the coast of South
America somewhere near Surinam, following the shore as far as the Gulf
of Maracaibo. Vespucci afterwards made three voyages to the Brazilian
coast; and in 1504 he wrote an account of his four voyages, which was
widely circulated, and became the means of procuring for its author at
the hands of the cartographer Waldseemüller in 1507 the
disproportionate distinction of giving his name to the whole
continent. In 1508 Alonso de Ojeda obtained the government of the
coast of South America from Cabo de la Vela to the Gulf of Darien;
Ojeda landed at Cartagena in 1510, and sustained a defeat from the
natives, in which his lieutenant, Juan de la Cosa, was killed. After
another reverse on the east side of the Gulf of Darien Ojeda returned
to Hispaniola and died there. The Spaniards in the Gulf of Darien were
left by Ojeda under the command of Francisco Pizarro, the future
conqueror of Peru. After suffering much from famine and disease,
Pizarro resolved to leave, and embarked the survivors in small
vessels, but outside the harbour they met a ship which proved to be
that of Martin Fernandez Enciso, Ojeda's partner, coming with
provisions and reinforcements. One of the crew of Enciso's ship, Vasco
Nuñez de Balboa, the future discoverer of the Pacific Ocean, induced
his commander to form a settlement on the other side of the Gulf of
Darien. The soldiers became discontented and deposed Enciso, who was a
man of learning and an accomplished cosmographer. His work _Suma de
Geografia_, which was printed in 1519, is the first Spanish book which
gives an account of America. Vasco Nuñez, the new commander, entered
upon a career of conquest in the neighbourhood of Darien, which ended
in the discovery of the Pacific Ocean on the 25th of September 1513.
Vasco Nuñez was beheaded in 1517 by Pedrarias de Avila, who was sent
out to supersede him. This was one of the greatest calamities that
could have happened to South America; for the discoverer of the South
sea was on the point of sailing with a little fleet into his unknown
ocean, and a humane and judicious man would probably have been the
conqueror of Peru, instead of the cruel and ignorant Pizarro. In the
year 1519 Panama was founded by Pedrarias; and the conquest of Peru by
Pizarro followed a few years afterwards. Hernan Cortes overran and
conquered Mexico from 1518 to 1521, and the discovery and conquest of
Guatemala by Alvarado, the invasion of Florida by De Soto, and of
Nueva Granada by Quesada, followed in rapid succession. The first
detailed account of the west coast of South America was written by a
keenly observant old soldier, Pedro de Cieza de Leon, who was
travelling in South America from 1533 to 1550, and published his story
at Seville in 1553.
Pacific Ocean.
The great desire of the Spanish government at that time was to find a
westward route to the Moluccas. For this purpose Juan Diaz de Solis
was despatched in October 1515, and in January 1516 he discovered the
mouth of the Rio de la Plata. He was, however, killed by the natives,
and his ships returned. In the following year the Portuguese
Ferdinando Magalhães, familiarly known as Magellan, laid before
Charles V., at Valladolid, a scheme for reaching the Spice Islands by
sailing westward. He started on the 21st of September 1519, entered
the strait which now bears his name in October 1520, worked his way
through between Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and entered on the
vast Pacific which he crossed without sighting any of its innumerable
island groups. This was unquestionably the greatest of the voyages
which followed from the impulse of Prince Henry, and it was rendered
possible only by the magnificent courage of the commander in spite of
rebellion, mutiny and starvation. It was the 6th of March 1521 when he
reached the Ladrone Islands. Thence Magellan proceeded to the
Philippines, and there his career ended in an unimportant encounter
with hostile natives. Eventually a Biscayan named Sebastian del Cano,
sailing home by way of the Cape of Good Hope, reached San Lucar in
command of the "Victoria" on the 6th of September 1522, with eighteen
survivors; this one ship of the squadron which sailed on the quest
succeeded in accomplishing the first circumnavigation of the globe.
Del Cano was received with great distinction by the emperor, who
granted him a globe for his crest, and the motto _Primus circumdedisti
me_.
Portuguese in Africa and the East.
While the Spaniards were circumnavigating the world and completing
their knowledge of the coasts of Central and South America, the
Portuguese were actively engaged on similar work as regards Africa and
the East Indies.
With Abyssinia the mission of Covilhão led to further intercourse. In
April 1520 Vasco da Gama, as viceroy of the Indies, took a fleet into
the Red sea, and landed an embassy consisting of Dom Rodriguez de Lima
and Father Francisco Alvarez, a priest whose detailed narrative is the
earliest and not the least interesting account we possess of
Abyssinia. It was not until 1526 that the embassy was dismissed; and
not many years afterwards the negus entreated the help of the
Portuguese against Mahommedan invaders, and the viceroy sent an
expeditionary force, commanded by his brother Cristoforo da Gama, with
450 musketeers. Da Gama was taken prisoner and killed, but his
followers enabled the Christians of Abyssinia to regain their power,
and a Jesuit mission remained in the country. The Portuguese also
established a close connexion with the kingdom of Congo on the west
side of Africa, and obtained much information respecting the interior
of the continent. Duarte Lopez, a Portuguese settled in the country,
was sent on a mission to Rome by the king of Congo, and Pope Sixtus V.
caused him to recount to his chamberlain, Felipe Pigafetta, all he had
learned during the nine years he had been in Africa, from 1578 to
1587. This narrative, under the title of _Description of the Kingdom
of Congo_, was published at Rome by Pigafetta in 1591. A map was
attached on which several great equatorial lakes are shown, and the
empire of Monomwezi or Unyamwezi is laid down. The most valuable work
on Africa about this time is, however, that written by the Moor Leo
Africanus in the early part of the 16th century. Leo travelled
extensively in the north and west of Africa, and was eventually taken
by pirates and sold to a master who presented him to Pope Leo X. At
the pope's desire he translated his work on Africa into Italian.
In Further India and the Malay Archipelago the Portuguese acquired
predominating influence at sea, establishing factories on the Malabar
coast, in the Persian Gulf, at Malacca, and in the Spice Islands, and
extending their commercial enterprises from the Red sea to China.
Their missionaries were received at the court of Akbar, and Benedict
Goes, a native of the Azores, was despatched on a journey overland
from Agra to China. He started in 1603, and, after traversing the
least-known parts of Central Asia, he reached the confines of China.
He appears to have ascended from Kabul to the plateau of the Pamir,
and thence onwards by Yarkand, Khotan and Aksu. He died on the journey
in March 1607; and thus, as one of the brethren pronounced his
epitaph, "seeking Cathay he found heaven."
English, Dutch and French.
The activity and love of adventure, which became a passion for two or
three generations in Spain and Portugal, spread to other countries. It
was the spirit of the age; and England, Holland and France were fired
by it. English enterprise was first aroused by John and Sebastian
Cabot, father and son, who came from Venice and settled at Bristol in
the time of Henry VII. The Cabots received a patent in 1496,
empowering them to seek unknown lands; and John Cabot discovered
Newfoundland and part of the coast of America. Sebastian afterwards
made a voyage to Rio de la Plata in the service of Spain, but he
returned to England in 1548 and received a pension from Edward VI. At
his suggestion a voyage was undertaken for the discovery of a
north-east passage to Cathay, with Sir Hugh Willoughby as
captain-general of the fleet and Richard Chancellor as pilot-major.
They sailed in May 1553, but Willoughby and all his crew perished on
the Lapland coast. Chancellor, however, was more fortunate. He reached
the White Sea, performed the journey overland to Moscow, where he was
well received, and may be said to have been the founder of the trade
between Russia and England. He returned to Archangel and brought his
ship back in safety to England. On a second voyage, in 1556,
Chancellor was drowned; and three subsequent voyages, led by Stephen
Burrough, Arthur Pet and Charles Jackman, in small craft of 50 tons
and under, carried on an examination of the straits which lead into
the Kara sea.
The French followed closely on the track of John Cabot, and Norman and
Breton fishermen frequented the banks of Newfoundland at the beginning
of the 16th century. In 1524 Francis I. sent Giovanni da Verazzano of
Florence on an expedition of discovery to the coast of North America;
and the details of his voyage were embodied in a letter addressed by
him to the king of France from Dieppe, in July 1524. In 1534 Jacques
Cartier set out to continue the discoveries of Verazzano, and visited
Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence. In the following year he
made another voyage, discovered the island of Anticosti, and ascended
the St Lawrence to Hochelaga, now Montreal. He returned, after passing
two winters in Canada; and on another occasion he also failed to
establish a colony. Admiral de Coligny made several unsuccessful
endeavours to form a colony in Florida under Jean Ribault of Dieppe,
René de Laudonnière and others, but the settlers were furiously
assailed by the Spaniards and the attempt was abandoned.
The Elizabethan era.
The reign of Elizabeth is famous for the gallant enterprises that were
undertaken by sea and land to discover and bring to light the unknown
parts of the earth. The great promoter of geographical discovery in
the Elizabethan period was Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616), who was active
in the formation of the two companies for colonizing Virginia in 1606;
and devoted his life to encouraging and recording similar
undertakings. He published much, and left many valuable papers at his
death, most of which, together with many other narratives, were
published in 1622 in the great work of the Rev. Samuel Purchas,
entitled _Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas his Pilgrimes_.
It is from these works that our knowledge of the gallant deeds of the
English and other explorers of the Elizabethan age is mainly derived.
The great and splendidly illustrated collections of voyages and
travels of Theodorus de Bry and Hulsius served a similar useful
purpose on the continent of Europe. One important object of English
maritime adventurers of those days was to discover a route to Cathay
by the north-west, a second was to settle Virginia, and a third was to
raid the Spanish settlements in the West Indies. Nor was the trade to
Muscovy and Turkey neglected; while latterly a resolute and successful
attempt was made to establish direct commercial relations with India.
The conception of the north-western route to Cathay now leads the
story of exploration, for the first time as far as important and
sustained efforts are concerned, towards the Arctic seas. This part of
the story is fully told under the heading of POLAR REGIONS, and only
the names of Martin Frobisher (1576), John Davis (1585), Henry Hudson
(1607) and William Baffin (1616) need be mentioned here in order to
preserve the complete conspectus of the history of discovery. The
Dutch emulated the British in the Arctic seas during this period,
directing their efforts mainly towards the discovery of a north-east
passage round the northern end of Novaya Zemlya; and William Barents
or Barendsz (1594-1597) is the most famous name in this connexion, his
boat voyage along the coast of Novaya Zemlya after losing his ship and
wintering in a high latitude, being one of the most remarkable
achievements in polar annals.
Many English voyages were also made to Guinea and the West Indies, and
twice English vessels followed in the track of Magellan, and
circumnavigated the globe. In 1577 Francis Drake, who had previously
served with Hawkins in the West Indies, undertook his celebrated
voyage round the world. Reaching the Pacific through the Strait of
Magellan, Drake proceeded northward along the west coast of America,
resolved to attempt the discovery of a northern passage from the
Pacific to the Atlantic. The coast from the southern extremity of the
Californian peninsula to Cape Mendocino had been discovered by Juan
Rodriguez Cabrillo and Francisco de Ulloa in 1539. Drake's discoveries
extended from Cape Mendocino to 48° N., in which latitude he gave up
his quest, sailed across the Pacific and reached the Philippine
Islands, returning home round the Cape of Good Hope in 1580.
Thomas Cavendish, emulous of Drake's example, fitted out three vessels
for an expedition to the South sea in 1586. He took the same route as
Drake along the west coast of America. From Cape San Lucas Cavendish
steered across the Pacific, seeing no land until he reached the
Ladrone Islands. He returned to England in 1588. The third English
voyage into the Pacific was not so fortunate. Sir Richard Hawkins
(1593) on reaching the bay of Atacames, in 1°N. in 1594, was attacked
by a Spanish fleet, and, after a desperate naval engagement, was
forced to surrender. Hawkins declared his object to be discovery and
the survey of unknown lands, and his voyage, though terminating in
disaster, bore good fruit. _The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins in
his Voyage into the South Sea_, published in 1622, are very valuable.
It was long before another British ship entered the Pacific Ocean. Sir
John Narborough took two ships through the Strait of Magellan in 1670
and touched on the coast of Chile, but it was not until 1685 that
Dampier sailed over the part of the Pacific where Hawkins met his
defeat.
The exploring enterprise of the Spanish nation did not wane after the
conquest of Peru and Mexico, and the acquisition of the vast empire of
the Indies. It was spurred into renewed activity by the audacity of
Sir John Hawkins in the West Indies, and by the appearance of Drake,
Cavendish and Richard Hawkins in the Pacific.
In the interior of South America the Spanish conquerors had explored
the region of the Andes from the isthmus of Panama to Chile. Pedro de
Valdivia in 1540 made an expedition into the country of the Araucanian
Indians of Chile, and was the first to explore the eastern base of
the Andes in what is now Argentine Patagonia. In 1541 Francisco de
Orellana discovered the whole course of the Amazon from its source in
the Andes to the Atlantic. A second voyage on the Amazon was made in
1561 by the mad pirate Lope de Aguirre; but it was not until 1639 that
a full account was written of the great river by Father Cristoval de
Acuña, who ascended it from its mouth and reached the city of Quito.
Spaniards in the Pacific.
The voyage of Drake across the Pacific was preceded by that of Alvaro
de Mendaña, who was despatched from Peru in 1567 to discover the great
Antarctic continent which was believed to extend far northward into
the South sea, the search for which now became one of the leading
motives of exploration. After a voyage of eighty days across the
Pacific, Mendaña discovered the Solomon Islands; and the expedition
returned in safety to Callao. The appearance of Drake on the Peruvian
coast led to an expedition being fitted out at Callao, to go in chase
of him, under the command of Pedro Sarmiento. He sailed from Callao in
October 1579, and made a careful survey of the Strait of Magellan,
with the object of fortifying that entrance to the South sea. The
colony which he afterwards took out from Spain was a complete failure,
and is only remembered now from the name of "Port Famine," which
Cavendish gave to the site at which he found the starving remnant of
Sarmiento's settlers. In June 1595 Mendaña sailed from the coast of
Peru in command of a second expedition to colonize the Solomon
Islands. After discovering the Marquesas, he reached the island of
Santa Cruz of evil memory, where he and many of the settlers died. His
young widow took command of the survivors and brought them safely to
Manila. The viceroys of Peru still persevered in their attempts to
plant a colony in the hypothetical southern continent. Pedro Fernandez
de Quiros, who was pilot under Mendaña and Luis Vaez de Torres, were
sent in command of two ships to continue the work of exploration. They
sailed from Callao in December 1605, and discovered several islands of
the New Hebrides group. They anchored in a bay of a large island which
Quiros named "Australia del Espiritu Santo." From this place Quiros
returned to America, but Torres continued the voyage, passed through
the strait between Australia and New Guinea which bears his name, and
explored and mapped the southern and eastern coasts of New Guinea.
The Portuguese, in the early part of the 17th century (1578-1640),
were under the dominion of Spain, and their enterprise was to some
extent damped; but their missionaries extended geographical knowledge
in Africa. Father Francisco Paez acquired great influence in
Abyssinia, and explored its highlands from 1600 to 1622. Fathers
Mendez and Lobo traversed the deserts between the coast of the Red sea
and the mountains, became acquainted with Lake Tsana, and discovered
the sources of the Blue Nile in 1624-1633.
Rivalry in the East.
But the attention of the Portuguese was mainly devoted to vain
attempts to maintain their monopoly of the trade of India against the
powerful rivalry of the English and Dutch. The English enterprises
were persevering, continuous and successful. James Lancaster made a
voyage to the Indian Ocean from 1591 to 1594; and in 1599 the
merchants and adventurers of London resolved to form a company, with
the object of establishing a trade with the East Indies. On the 31st
of December 1599 Queen Elizabeth granted the charter of incorporation
to the East India Company, and Sir James Lancaster, one of the
directors, was appointed general of their first fleet. He was
accompanied by John Davis, the great Arctic navigator, as pilot-major.
This voyage was eminently successful. The ships touched at Achin in
Sumatra and at Java, returning with full ladings of pepper in 1603.
The second voyage was commanded by Sir Henry Middleton; but it was in
the third voyage, under Keelinge and Hawkins, that the mainland of
India was first reached in 1607. Captain Hawkins landed at Surat and
travelled overland to Agra, passing some time at the court of the
Great Mogul. In the voyage of Sir Edward Michelborne in 1605, John
Davis lost his life in a fight with a Japanese junk. The eighth
voyage, led by Captain Saris, extended the operations of the company
to Japan; and in 1613 the Japanese government granted privileges to
the company; but the British retired in 1623, giving up their factory.
The chief result of this early intercourse between Great Britain and
Japan was the interesting series of letters written by William Adams
from 1611 to 1617. From the tenth voyage of the East India Company,
commanded by Captain Best, who left England in 1612, dates the
establishment of permanent British factories on the coast of India. It
was Captain Best who secured a regular _firman_ for trade from the
Great Mogul. From that time a fleet was despatched every year, and the
company's operations greatly increased geographical knowledge of India
and the Eastern Archipelago. British visits to Eastern countries, at
this time, were not confined to the voyages of the company. Journeys
were also made by land, and, among others, the entertaining author of
the _Crudities_, Thomas Coryate, of Odcombe in Somersetshire, wandered
on foot from France to India, and died (1617) in the company's factory
at Surat. In 1561 Anthony Jenkinson arrived in Persia with a letter
from Queen Elizabeth to the shah. He travelled through Russia to
Bokhara, and returned by the Caspian and Volga. In 1579 Christopher
Burroughs built a ship at Nizhniy Novgorod and traded across the
Caspian to Baku; and in 1598 Sir Anthony and Robert Shirley arrived in
Persia, and Robert was afterwards sent by the shah to Europe as his
ambassador. He was followed by a Spanish mission under Garcia de
Silva, who wrote an interesting account of his travels; and to Sir
Dormer Cotton's mission, in 1628, we are indebted for Sir Thomas
Herbert's charming narrative. In like manner Sir Thomas Roe's mission
to India resulted not only in a large collection of valuable reports
and letters of his own, but also in the detailed account of his
chaplain Terry. But the most learned and intelligent traveller in the
East, during the 17th century, was the German, Engelbrecht Kaempfer,
who accompanied an embassy to Persia, in 1684, and was afterwards a
surgeon in the service of the Dutch East India Company. He was in the
Persian Gulf, India and Java, and resided for more than two years in
Japan, of which he wrote a history.
Dutch exploration, 16th-17th centuries.
The Dutch nation, as soon as it was emancipated from Spanish tyranny,
displayed an amount of enterprise, which, for a long time, was fully
equal to that of the British. The Arctic voyages of Barents were
quickly followed by the establishment of a Dutch East India Company;
and the Dutch, ousting the Portuguese, not only established factories
on the mainland of India and in Japan, but acquired a preponderating
influence throughout the Malay Archipelago. In 1583 Jan Hugen van
Linschoten made a voyage to India with a Portuguese fleet, and his
full and graphic descriptions of India, Africa, China and the Malay
Archipelago must have been of no small use to his countrymen in their
distant voyages. The first of the Dutch Indian voyages was performed
by ships which sailed in April 1595, and rounded the Cape of Good
Hope. A second large Dutch fleet sailed in 1598; and, so eager was the
republic to extend her commerce over the world that another fleet,
consisting of five ships of Rotterdam, was sent in the same year by
way of Magellan's Strait, under Jacob Mahu as admiral, with William
Adams as pilot. Mahu died on the passage out, and was succeeded by
Simon de Cordes, who was killed on the coast of Chile. In September
1599 the fleet had entered the Pacific. The ships were then steered
direct for Japan, and anchored off Bungo in April 1600. In the same
year, 1598, a third expedition was despatched under Oliver van Noort,
a native of Utrecht, but the voyage contributed nothing to geography.
The Dutch Company in 1614 again resolved to send a fleet to the
Moluccas by the westward route, and Joris Spilbergen was appointed to
the command as admiral, with a commission from the States-General. He
was furnished with four ships of Amsterdam, two of Rotterdam and one
from Zeeland. On the 6th of May 1615 Spilbergen entered the Pacific
Ocean, and touched at several places on the coast of Chile and Peru,
defeating the Spanish fleet in a naval engagement off Chilca. After
plundering Payta and making requisitions at Acapulco, the Dutch fleet
crossed the Pacific and reached the Moluccas in March 1616.
The Dutch now resolved to discover a passage into the Pacific to the
south of Tierra del Fuego, the insular nature of which had been
ascertained by Sir Francis Drake. The vessels fitted out for this
purpose were the "Eendracht," of 360 tons, commanded by Jacob Lemaire,
and the "Hoorn," of 110 tons, under Willem Schouten. They sailed from
the Texel on the 14th of June 1615, and by the 20th of January 1616
they were south of the entrance of Magellan's Strait. Passing through
the strait of Lemaire they came to the southern extremity of Tierra
del Fuego, which was named Cape Horn, in honour of the town of Hoorn
in West Friesland, of which Schouten was a native. They passed the
cape on the 31st of January, encountering the usual westerly winds.
The great merit of this discovery of a second passage into the South
sea lies in the fact that it was not accidental or unforeseen, but was
due to the sagacity of those who designed the voyage. On the 1st of
March the Dutch fleet sighted the island of Juan Fernandez; and,
having crossed the Pacific, the explorers sailed along the north coast
of New Guinea and arrived at the Moluccas on the 17th of September
1616.
There were several early indications of the existence of the great
Australian continent, and the Dutch endeavoured to obtain further
knowledge concerning the country and its extent; but only its northern
and western coasts had been visited before the time of Governor van
Diemen. Dirk Hartog had been on the west coast in latitude 26° 30' S.
in 1616. Pelsert struck on a reef called "Houtman's Abrolhos" on the
4th of June 1629. In 1697 the Dutch captain Vlamingh landed on the
west coast of Australia, then called New Holland, in 31° 43' S., and
named the Swan river from the black swans he discovered there. In 1642
the governor and council of Batavia fitted out two ships to prosecute
the discovery of the south land, then believed to be part of a vast
Antarctic continent, and entrusted the command to Captain Abel Jansen
Tasman. This voyage proved to be the most important to geography that
had been undertaken since the first circumnavigation of the globe.
Tasman sailed from Batavia in 1642, and on the 24th of November
sighted high land in 42° 30' S., which was named van Diemen's Land,
and after landing there proceeded to the discovery of the western
coast of New Zealand; at first called Staten Land, and supposed to be
connected with the Antarctic continent from which this voyage proved
New Holland to be separated. He then reached Tongatabu, one of the
Friendly Islands of Cook; and returned by the north coast of New
Guinea to Batavia. In 1644 Tasman made a second voyage to effect a
fuller discovery of New Guinea.
French in North America.
The French directed their enterprise more in the direction of North
America than of the Indies. One of their most distinguished explorers
was Samuel Champlain, a captain in the navy, who, after a remarkable
journey through Mexico and the West Indies from 1599 to 1602,
established his historic connexion with Canada, to the geographical
knowledge of which he made a very large addition.
Missionaries in the East.
The principles and methods of surveying and position finding had by
this time become well advanced, and the most remarkable example of the
early application of these improvements is to be found in the survey
of China by Jesuit missionaries. They first prepared a map of the
country round Peking, which was submitted to the emperor Kang-hi, and,
being satisfied with the accuracy of the European method of surveying,
he resolved to have a survey made of the whole empire on the same
principles. This great work was begun in July 1708, and the completed
maps were presented to the emperor in 1718. The records preserved in
each city were examined, topographical information was diligently
collected, and the Jesuit fathers checked their triangulation by
meridian altitudes of the sun and pole star and by a system of
remeasurements. The result was a more accurate map of China than
existed, at that time, of any country in Europe. Kang-hi next ordered
a similar map to be made of Tibet, the survey being executed by two
lamas who were carefully trained as surveyors by the Jesuits at
Peking. From these surveys were constructed the well-known maps which
were forwarded to Duhalde, and which D'Anville utilized for his atlas.
The 18th century.
Asia.
Several European missionaries had previously found their way from
India to Tibet. Antonio Andrada, in 1624, was the first European to
enter Tibet since the visit of Friar Odoric in 1325. The next journey
was that of Fathers Grueber and Dorville about 1660, who succeeded in
passing from China, through Tibet, into India. In 1715 Fathers
Desideri and Freyre made their way from Agra, across the Himalayas, to
Lhasa, and the Capuchin Friar Orazio della Penna resided in that city
from 1735 until 1747. But the most remarkable journey in this
direction was performed by a Dutch traveller named Samuel van de
Putte. He left Holland in 1718, went by land through Persia to India,
and eventually made his way to Lhasa, where he resided for a long
time. He went thence to China, returned to Lhasa, and was in India in
time to be an eye-witness of the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1737.
In 1743 he left India and died at Batavia on the 27th of September
1745. The premature death of this illustrious traveller is the more to
be lamented because his vast knowledge died with him. Two English
missions sent by Warren Hastings to Tibet, one led by George Bogle in
1774, and the other by Captain Turner in 1783, complete Tibetan
exploration in the 18th century.
From Persia much new information was supplied by Jean Chardin, Jean
Tavernier, Charles Hamilton, Jean de Thévenot and Father Jude
Krusinski, and by English traders on the Caspian. In 1738 John Elton
traded between Astrakhan and the Persian port of Enzelî on the
Caspian, and undertook to build a fleet for Nadir Shah. Another
English merchant, named Jonas Hanway, arrived at Astrabad from Russia,
and travelled to the camp of Nadir at Kazvin. One lasting and valuable
result of Hanway's wanderings was a charming book of travels. In 1700
Guillaume Delisle published his map of the continents of the Old
World; and his successor D'Anville produced his map of India in 1752.
D'Anville's map contained all that was then known, but ten years
afterwards Major Rennell began his surveying labours, which extended
over the period from 1763 to 1782. His survey covered an area 900 m.
long by 300 wide, from the eastern confines of Bengal to Agra, and
from the Himalayas to Calpi. Rennell was indefatigable in collecting
geographical information; his Bengal atlas appeared in 1781, his
famous map of India in 1788 and the memoir in 1792. Surveys were also
made along the Indian coasts.
Arabia received very careful attention, in the 18th century, from the
Danish scientific mission, which included Carsten Niebuhr among its
members. Niebuhr landed at Loheia, on the coast of Yemen, in December
1762, and went by land to Sana. All the other members of the mission
died, but he proceeded from Mokha to Bombay. He then made a journey
through Persia and Syria to Constantinople, returning to Copenhagen in
1767. His valuable work, the _Description of Arabia_, was published in
1772, and was followed in 1774-1778 by two volumes of travels in Asia.
The great traveller survived until 1815, when he died at the age of
eighty-two.
Africa.
James Bruce of Kinnaird, the contemporary of Niebuhr, was equally
devoted to Eastern travel; and his principal geographical work was the
tracing of the Blue Nile from its source to its junction with the
White Nile. Before the death of Bruce an African Association was
formed, in 1788, for collecting information respecting the interior of
that continent, with Major Rennell and Sir Joseph Banks as leading
members. The association first employed John Ledyard (who had
previously made an extraordinary journey into Siberia) to cross Africa
from east to west on the parallel of the Niger, and William Lucas to
cross the Sahara to Fezzan. Lucas went from Tripoli to Mesurata,
obtained some information respecting Fezzan and returned in 1789. One
of the chief problems the association wished to solve was that of the
existence and course of the river Niger, which was believed by some
authorities to be identical with the Congo. Mungo Park, then an
assistant surgeon of an Indiaman, volunteered his services, which were
accepted by the association, and in 1795 he succeeded in reaching the
town of Segu on the Niger, but was prevented from continuing his
journey to Timbuktu. Five years later he accepted an offer from the
government to command an expedition into the interior of Africa, the
plan being to cross from the Gambia to the Niger and descend the
latter river to the sea. After losing most of his companions he
himself and the rest perished in a rapid on the Niger at Busa, having
been attacked from the shore by order of a chief who thought he had
not received suitable presents. His work, however, had established the
fact that the Niger was not identical with the Congo.
While the British were at work in the direction of the Niger, the
Portuguese were not unmindful of their old exploring fame. In 1798 Dr
F.J.M. de Lacerda, an accomplished astronomer, was appointed to
command a scientific expedition of discovery to the north of the
Zambesi. He started in July, crossed the Muchenja Mountains, and
reached the capital of the Cazembe, where he died of fever. Lacerda
left a valuable record of his adventurous journey; but with Mungo Park
and Lacerda the history of African exploration in the 18th century
closes.
South America.
In South America scientific exploration was active during this period.
The great geographical event of the century, as regards that
continent, was the measurement of an arc of the meridian. The
undertaking was proposed by the French Academy as part of an
investigation with the object of ascertaining the length of the degree
near the equator and near the pole respectively so as to determine the
figure of the earth. A commission left Paris in 1735, consisting of
Charles Marie de la Condamine, Pierre Bouguer, Louis Godin and Joseph
de Jussieu the naturalist. Spain appointed two accomplished naval
officers, the brothers Ulloa, as coadjutors. The operations were
carried on during eight years on a plain to the south of Quito; and,
in addition to his memoir on this memorable measurement, La Condamine
collected much valuable geographical information during a voyage down
the Amazon. The arc measured was 3° 7' 3" in length; and the work
consisted of two measured bases connected by a series of triangles,
one north and the other south of the equator, on the meridian of
Quito. Contemporaneously, in 1738, Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis,
Alexis Claude Clairaut, Charles Etienne Louis Camus, Pierre Charles
Lemonnier and the Swedish physicist Celsius measured an arc of the
meridian in Lapland.
The Pacific Ocean.
The British and French governments despatched several expeditions of
discovery into the Pacific and round the world during the 18th
century. They were preceded by the wonderful and romantic voyages of
the buccaneers. The narratives of such men as Woodes Rogers, Edward
Davis, George Shelvocke, Clipperton and William Dampier, can never
fail to interest, while they are not without geographical value. The
works of Dampier are especially valuable, and the narratives of
William Funnell and Lionel Wafer furnished the best accounts then
extant of the Isthmus of Darien. Dampier's literary ability eventually
secured for him a commission in the king's service; and he was sent on
a voyage of discovery, during which he explored part of the coasts of
Australia and New Guinea, and discovered the strait which bears his
name between New Guinea and New Britain, returning in 1701. In 1721
Jacob Roggewein was despatched on a voyage of some importance across
the Pacific by the Dutch West India Company, during which he
discovered Easter Island on the 6th of April 1722.
The voyage of Lord Anson to the Pacific in 1740-1744 was of a
predatory character, and he lost more than half his men from scurvy;
while it is not pleasant to reflect that at the very time when the
French and Spaniards were measuring an arc of the meridian at Quito,
the British under Anson were pillaging along the coast of the Pacific
and burning the town of Payta. But a romantic interest attaches to the
wreck of the "Wager," one of Anson's fleet, on a desert island near
Chiloe, for it bore fruit in the charming narrative of Captain John
Byron, which will endure for all time. In 1764 Byron himself was sent
on a voyage of discovery round the world, which led immediately after
his return to the despatch of another to complete his work, under the
command of Captain Samuel Wallis.
The expedition, consisting of the "Dolphin" commanded by Wallis, and
the "Swallow" under Captain Philip Carteret, sailed in September 1766,
but the ships were separated on entering the Pacific from the Strait
of Magellan. Wallis discovered Tahiti on the 19th of June 1767, and he
gave a detailed account of that island. He returned to England in May
1768. Carteret discovered the Charlotte and Gloucester Islands, and
Pitcairn Island on the 2nd of July 1767; revisited the Santa Cruz
group, which was discovered by Mendaña and Quiros; and discovered the
strait separating New Britain from New Ireland. He reached Spithead
again in February 1769. Wallis and Carteret were followed very closely
by the French expedition of Bougainville, which sailed from Nantes in
November 1766. Bougainville had first to perform the unpleasant task
of delivering up the Falkland Islands, where he had encouraged the
formation of a French settlement, to the Spaniards. He then entered
the Pacific, and reached Tahiti in April 1768. Passing through the New
Hebrides group he touched at Batavia, and arrived at St Malo after an
absence of two years and four months.
Captain Cook.
The three voyages of Captain James Cook form an era in the history of
geographical discovery. In 1767 he sailed for Tahiti, with the object
of observing the transit of Venus, accompanied by two naturalists, Sir
Joseph Banks and Dr Solander, a pupil of Linnaeus, as well as by two
astronomers. The transit was observed on the 3rd of June 1769. After
exploring Tahiti and the Society group, Cook spent six months
surveying New Zealand, which he discovered to be an island, and the
coast of New South Wales from latitude 38° S. to the northern
extremity. The belief in a vast Antarctic continent stretching far
into the temperate zone had never been abandoned, and was vehemently
asserted by Charles Dalrymple, a disappointed candidate nominated by
the Royal Society for the command of the Transit expedition of 1769.
In 1772 the French explorer Yves Kerguelen de Tremarec had discovered
the land that bears his name in the South Indian Ocean without
recognizing it to be an island, and naturally believed it to be part
of the southern continent.
Cook's second voyage was mainly intended to settle the question of the
existence of such a continent once for all, and to define the limits
of any land that might exist in navigable seas towards the Antarctic
circle. James Cook at his first attempt reached a south latitude of
57° 15'. On a second cruise from the Society Islands, in 1773, he,
first of all men, crossed the Antarctic circle, and was stopped by ice
in 71° 10' S. During the second voyage Cook visited Easter Island,
discovered several islands of the New Hebrides and New Caledonia; and
on his way home by Cape Horn, in March 1774, he discovered the
Sandwich Island group and described South Georgia. He proved
conclusively that any southern continent that might exist lay under
the polar ice. The third voyage was intended to attempt the passage
from the Pacific to the Atlantic by the north-east. The "Resolution"
and "Discovery" sailed in 1776, and Cook again took the route by the
Cape of Good Hope. On reaching the North American coast, he proceeded
northward, fixed the position of the western extremity of America and
surveyed Bering Strait. He was stopped by the ice in 70° 41' N., and
named the farthest visible point on the American shore Icy Cape. He
then visited the Asiatic shore and discovered Cape North. Returning to
Hawaii, Cook was murdered by the natives. On the 14th of February
1779, his second, Captain Edward Clerke, took command, and proceeding
to Petropavlovsk in the following summer, he again examined the edge
of the ice, but only got as far as 70° 33' N. The ships returned to
England in October 1780.
In 1785 the French government carefully fitted out an expedition of
discovery at Brest, which was placed under the command of François La
Pérouse, an accomplished and experienced officer. After touching at
Concepcion in Chile and at Easter Island, La Pérouse proceeded to
Hawaii and thence to the coast of California, of which he has given a
very interesting account. He then crossed the Pacific to Macao, and in
July 1787 he proceeded to explore the Gulf of Tartary and the shores
of Sakhalin, remaining some time at Castries Bay, so named after the
French minister of marine. Thence he went to the Kurile Islands and
Kamchatka, and sailed from the far north down the meridian to the
Navigator and Friendly Islands. He was in Botany Bay in January 1788;
and sailing thence, the explorer, his ship and crew were never seen
again. Their fate was long uncertain. In September 1791 Captain
Antoine d'Entrecasteaux sailed from Brest with two vessels to seek for
tidings. He visited the New Hebrides, Santa Cruz, New Caledonia and
Solomon Islands, and made careful though rough surveys of the
Louisiade Archipelago, islands north of New Britain and part of New
Guinea. D'Entrecasteaux died on board his ship on the 20th of July
1793, without ascertaining the fate of La Pérouse. Captain Peter
Dillon at length ascertained, in 1828, that the ships of La Pérouse
had been wrecked on the island of Vanikoro during a hurricane.
The work of Captain Cook bore fruit in many ways. His master, Captain
William Bligh, was sent in the "Bounty" to convey breadfruit plants
from Tahiti to the West Indies. He reached Tahiti in October 1788, and
in April 1789 a mutiny broke out, and he, with several officers and
men, was thrust into an open boat in mid-ocean. During the remarkable
voyage he then made to Timor, Bligh passed amongst the northern
islands of the New Hebrides, which he named the Banks Group, and made
several running surveys. He reached England in March 1790. The
"Pandora," under Captain Edwards, was sent out in search of the
"Bounty," and discovered the islands of Cherry and Mitre, east of the
Santa Cruz group, but she was eventually lost on a reef in Torres
Strait. In 1796-1797 Captain Wilson, in the missionary ship "Duff,"
discovered the Gambier and other islands, and rediscovered the islands
known to and seen by Quiros, but since called the Duff Group. Another
result of Captain Cook's work was the colonization of Australia. On
the 18th of January 1788 Admiral Phillip and Captain Hunter arrived in
Botany Bay in the "Supply" and "Sirius," followed by six transports,
and established a colony at Port Jackson. Surveys were then undertaken
in several directions. In 1795 and 1796 Matthew Flinders and George
Bass were engaged on exploring work in a small boat called the "Tom
Thumb." In 1797 Bass, who had been a surgeon, made an expedition
southwards, continued the work of Cook from Ram Head, and explored the
strait which bears his name, and in 1798 he and Flinders were
surveying on the east coast of Van Diemen's land.
Yet another outcome of Captain Cook's work was the voyage of George
Vancouver, who had served as a midshipman in Cook's second and third
voyages. The Spaniards under Quadra had begun a survey of
north-western America and occupied Nootka Sound, which their
government eventually agreed to surrender. Captain Vancouver was sent
out to receive the cession, and to survey the coast from Cape
Mendocino northwards. He commanded the old "Discovery," and was at
work during the seasons of 1792, 1793 and 1794, wintering at Hawaii.
Returning home in 1795, he completed his narrative and a valuable
series of charts.
Arctic regions.
The 18th century saw the Arctic coast of North America reached at two
points, as well as the first scientific attempt to reach the North
Pole. The Hudson Bay Company had been incorporated in 1670, and its
servants soon extended their operations over a wide area to the north
and west of Canada. In 1741 Captain Christopher Middleton was ordered
to solve the question of a passage from Hudson Bay to the westward.
Leaving Fort Churchill in July 1742, he discovered the Wager river and
Repulse Bay. He was followed by Captain W. Moor in 1746, and Captain
Coats in 1751, who examined the Wager Inlet up to the end. In November
1769 Samuel Hearne was sent by the Hudson Bay Company to discover the
sea on the north side of America, but was obliged to return. In
February 1770 he set out again from Fort Prince of Wales; but, after
great hardships, he was again forced to return to the fort. He started
once more in December 1771, and at length reached the Coppermine
river, which he surveyed to its mouth, but his observations are
unreliable. With the same object Alexander Mackenzie, with a party of
Canadians, set out from Fort Chippewyan on the 3rd of June 1789, and
descending the great river which now bears the explorer's name reached
the Arctic sea.
In February 1773 the Royal Society submitted a proposal to the king
for an expedition towards the North Pole. The expedition was fitted
out under Captains Constantine Phipps and Skeffington Lutwidge, and
the highest latitude reached was 80° 48' N., but no opening was
discovered in the heavy Polar pack. The most important Arctic work in
the 18th century was performed by the Russians, for they succeeded in
delineating the whole of the northern coast of Siberia. Some of this
work was possibly done at a still earlier date. The Cossack Simon
Dezhneff is thought to have made a voyage, in the summer of 1648, from
the river Kolyma, through Bering Strait (which was rediscovered by
Vitus Bering in 1728) to Anadyr. Between 1738 and 1750 Manin and
Sterlegoff made their way in small sloops from the mouth of the
Yenesei as far north as 75° 15' N. The land from Taimyr to Cape
Chelyuskin, the most northern extremity of Siberia, was mapped in many
years of patient exploration by Chelyuskin, who reached the extreme
point (77° 34' N.) in May 1742. To the east of Cape Chelyuskin the
Russians encountered greater difficulties. They built small vessels at
Yakutsk on the Lena, 900 m. from its mouth, whence the first
expedition was despatched under Lieut. Prontschichev in 1735. He
sailed from the mouth of the Lena to the mouth of the Olonek, where he
wintered, and on the 1st of September 1736 he got as far as 77° 29'
N., within 5 m. of Cape Chelyuskin. Both he and his young wife died of
scurvy, and the vessel returned. A second expedition, under Lieut.
Laptyev, started from the Lena in 1739, but encountered masses of
drift ice in Chatanga bay, and with this ended the voyages to the
westward of the Lena. Several attempts were also made to navigate the
sea from the Lena to the Kolyma. In 1736 Lieut. Laptyev sailed, but
was stopped by the drift ice in August, and in 1739, during another
trial, he reached the mouth of the Indigirka, where he wintered. In
the season of 1740 he continued his voyage to beyond the Kolyma,
wintering at Nizhni Kolymsk. In September 1740 Vitus Bering sailed
from Okhotsk on a second Arctic voyage with George William Steller on
board as naturalist. In June 1741 he named the magnificent peak on the
coast of North America Mount St Elias and explored the Aleutian
Islands. In November the ship was wrecked on Bering Island; and the
gallant Dane, worn out with scurvy, died there on the 8th of December
1741. In March 1770 a merchant named Liakhov saw a large herd of
reindeer coming from the north to the Siberian coast, which induced
him to start in a sledge in the direction whence they came. Thus he
reached the New Siberian or Liakhov Islands, and for years afterwards
the seekers for fossil ivory resorted to them. The Russian Captain
Vassili Chitschakov in 1765 and 1766 made two persevering attempts to
penetrate the ice north of Spitsbergen, and reached 80° 30' N., while
Russian parties twice wintered at Bell Sound.
Geographical societies.
In reviewing the progress of geographical discovery thus far, it has
been possible to keep fairly closely to a chronological order. But in
the 19th century and after exploring work was so generally and
steadily maintained in all directions, and was in so many cases
narrowed down from long journeys to detailed surveys within relatively
small areas, that it becomes desirable to cover the whole period at
one view for certain great divisions of the world. (See AFRICA; ASIA;
AUSTRALIA; POLAR REGIONS; &c.) Here, however, may be noticed the
development of geographical societies devoted to the encouragement of
exploration and research. The first of the existing geographical
societies was that of Paris, founded in 1825 under the title of La
Société de Géographie. The Berlin Geographical Society (Gesellschaft
für Erdkunde) is second in order of seniority, having been founded in
1827. The Royal Geographical Society, which was founded in London in
1830, comes third on the list; but it may be viewed as a direct result
of the earlier African Association founded in 1788. Sir John Barrow,
Sir John Cam Hobhouse (Lord Broughton), Sir Roderick Murchison, Mr
Robert Brown and Mr Bartle Frere formed the foundation committee of
the Royal Geographical Society, and the first president was Lord
Goderich. The action of the society in supplying practical instruction
to intending travellers, in astronomy, surveying and the various
branches of science useful to collectors, has had much to do with
advancement of discovery. Since the war of 1870 many geographical
societies have been established on the continent of Europe. At the
close of the 19th century there were upwards of 100 such societies in
the world, with more than 50,000 members, and over 150 journals were
devoted entirely to geographical subjects.[11] The great development
of photography has been a notable aid to explorers, not only by
placing at their disposal a faithful and ready means of recording the
features of a country and the types of inhabitants, but by supplying a
method of quick and accurate topographical surveying.
THE PRINCIPLES OF GEOGRAPHY
As regards the scope of geography, the order of the various
departments and their inter-relation, there is little difference of
opinion, and the principles of geography[12] are now generally
accepted by modern geographers. The order in which the various
subjects are treated in the following sketch is the natural succession
from fundamental to dependent facts, which corresponds also to the
evolution of the diversities of the earth's crust and of its
inhabitants.
Mathematical geography.
The fundamental geographical conceptions are mathematical, the
relations of space and form. The figure and dimensions of the earth
are the first of these. They are ascertained by a combination of
actual measurement of the highest precision on the surface and angular
observations of the positions of the heavenly bodies. The science of
geodesy is part of mathematical geography, of which the arts of
surveying and cartography are applications. The motions of the earth
as a planet must be taken into account, as they render possible the
determination of position and direction by observations of the
heavenly bodies. The diurnal rotation of the earth furnishes two fixed
points or poles, the axis joining which is fixed or nearly so in its
direction in space. The rotation of the earth thus fixes the
directions of north and south and defines those of east and west. The
angle which the earth's axis makes with the plane in which the planet
revolves round the sun determines the varying seasonal distribution of
solar radiation over the surface and the mathematical zones of
climate. Another important consequence of rotation is the deviation
produced in moving bodies relatively to the surface. In the form known
as Ferrell's Law this runs: "If a body moves in any direction on the
earth's surface, there is a deflecting force which arises from the
earth's rotation which tends to deflect it to the right in the
northern hemisphere but to the left in the southern hemisphere." The
deviation is of importance in the movement of air, of ocean currents,
and to some extent of rivers.[13]
Physical geography.
In popular usage the words "physical geography" have come to mean
geography viewed from a particular standpoint rather than any special
department of the subject. The popular meaning is better conveyed by
the word physiography, a term which appears to have been introduced by
Linnaeus, and was reinvented as a substitute for the cosmography of
the middle ages by Professor Huxley. Although the term has since been
limited by some writers to one particular part of the subject, it
seems best to maintain the original and literal meaning. In the
stricter sense, physical geography is that part of geography which
involves the processes of contemporary change in the crust and the
circulation of the fluid envelopes. It thus draws upon physics for the
explanation of the phenomena with the space-relations of which it is
specially concerned. Physical geography naturally falls into three
divisions, dealing respectively with the surface of the
lithosphere--geomorphology; the hydrosphere--oceanography; and the
atmosphere--climatology. All these rest upon the facts of mathematical
geography, and the three are so closely inter-related that they cannot
be rigidly separated in any discussion.
Geomorphology.
Geomorphology is the part of geography which deals with terrestrial
relief, including the submarine as well as the subaërial portions of
the crust. The history of the origin of the various forms belongs to
geology, and can be completely studied only by geological methods. But
the relief of the crust is not a finished piece of sculpture; the
forms are for the most part transitional, owing their characteristic
outlines to the process by which they are produced; therefore the
geographer must, for strictly geographical purposes, take some account
of the processes which are now in action modifying the forms of the
crust. Opinion still differs as to the extent to which the
geographer's work should overlap that of the geologist.
The primary distinction of the forms of the crust is that between
elevations and depressions. Granting that the geoid or mean surface of
the ocean is a uniform spheroid, the distribution of land and water
approximately indicates a division of the surface of the globe into
two areas, one of elevation and one of depression. The increasing
number of measurements of the height of land in all continents and
islands, and the very detailed levellings in those countries which
have been thoroughly surveyed, enable the average elevation of the
land above sea-level to be fairly estimated, although many vast gaps
in accurate knowledge remain, and the estimate is not an exact one.
The only part of the sea-bed the configuration of which is at all well
known is the zone bordering the coasts where the depth is less than
about 100 fathoms or 200 metres, i.e. those parts which sailors speak
of as "in soundings." Actual or projected routes for telegraph cables
across the deep sea have also been sounded with extreme accuracy in
many cases; but beyond these lines of sounding the vast spaces of the
ocean remain unplumbed save for the rare researches of scientific
expeditions, such as those of the "Challenger," the "Valdivia," the
"Albatross" and the "Scotia." Thus the best approximation to the
average depth of the ocean is little more than an expert guess; yet a
fair approximation is probable for the features of sub-oceanic relief
are so much more uniform than those of the land that a smaller number
of fixed points is required to determine them.
Crustal relief.
The chief element of uncertainty as to the largest features of the
relief of the earth's crust is due to the unexplored area in the
Arctic region and the larger regions of the Antarctic, of which we
know nothing. We know that the earth's surface if unveiled of water
would exhibit a great region of elevation arranged with a certain
rough radiate symmetry round the north pole, and extending southwards
in three unequal arms which taper to points in the south. A depression
surrounds the little-known south polar region in a continuous ring and
extends northwards in three vast hollows lying between the arms of the
elevated area. So far only is it possible to speak with certainty, but
it is permissible to take a few steps into the twilight of dawning
knowledge and indicate the chief subdivisions which are likely to be
established in the great crust-hollow and the great crust-heap. The
boundary between these should obviously be the mean surface of the
sphere.
Sir John Murray deduced the mean height of the land of the globe as
about 2250 ft. above sea-level, and the mean depth of the oceans as
2080 fathoms or 12,480 ft. below sea-level.[14] Calculating the area
of the land at 55,000,000 sq. m. (or 28.6% of the surface), and that
of the oceans as 137,200,000 sq. m. (or 71.4% of the surface), he
found that the volume of the land above sea-level was 23,450,000 cub.
m., the volume of water below sea-level 323,800,000, and the total
volume of the water equal to about 1/666th of the volume of the whole
globe. From these data, as revised by A. Supan,[15] H.R. Mill
calculated the position of mean sphere-level at about 10,000 ft. or
1700 fathoms below sea-level. He showed that an imaginary spheroidal
shell, concentric with the earth and cutting the slope between the
elevated and depressed areas at the contour-line of 1700 fathoms,
would not only leave above it a volume of the crust equal to the
volume of the hollow left below it, but would also divide the surface
of the earth so that the area of the elevated region was equal to that
of the depressed region.[16]
Areas of the crust according to Murray.
A similar observation was made almost simultaneously by Romieux,[17]
who further speculated on the equilibrium between the weight of the
elevated land mass and that of the total waters of the ocean, and
deduced some interesting relations between them. Murray, as the result
of his study, divided the earth's surface into three zones--the
_continental area_ containing all dry land, the _transitional area_
including the submarine slopes down to 1000 fathoms, and the _abysmal
area_ consisting of the floor of the ocean beyond that depth; and Mill
proposed to take the line of mean-sphere level, instead of the
empirical depth of 1000 fathoms, as the boundary between the
transitional and abysmal areas.
An elaborate criticism of all the existing data regarding the volume
relations of the vertical relief of the globe was made in 1894 by
Professor Hermann Wagner, whose recalculations of volumes and mean
heights--the best results which have yet been obtained--led to the
following conclusions.[18]
Areas of the crust according to Wagner.
The area of the dry land was taken as 28.3% of the surface of the
globe, and that of the oceans as 71.7%. The mean height deduced for
the land was 2300 ft. above sea-level, the mean depth of the sea
11,500 ft. below, while the position of mean-sphere level comes out as
7500 ft. (1250 fathoms) below sea-level. From this it would appear
that 43% of the earth's surface was above and 57% below the mean
level. It must be noted, however, that since 1895 the soundings of
Nansen in the north polar area, of the "Valdivia," "Belgica," "Gauss"
and "Scotia" in the Southern Ocean, and of various surveying ships in
the North and South Pacific, have proved that the mean depth of the
ocean is considerably greater than had been supposed, and mean-sphere
level must therefore lie deeper than the calculations of 1895 show;
possibly not far from the position deduced from the freer estimate of
1888. The whole of the available data were utilized by the prince of
Monaco in 1905 in the preparation of a complete bathymetrical map of
the oceans on a uniform scale, which must long remain the standard
work for reference on ocean depths.
By the device of a hypsographic curve co-ordinating the vertical
relief and the areas of the earth's surface occupied by each zone of
elevation, according to the system introduced by Supan,[19] Wagner
showed his results graphically.
This curve with the values reduced from metres to feet is reproduced
below.
Wagner subdivides the earth's surface, according to elevation, into
the following five regions:
_Wagner's Divisions of the Earth's Crust:_
+---------------------+-----------+-------------+-------------+
| Name. |Per cent of| From | To |
| | Surface. | | |
+---------------------+-----------+-------------+-------------+
| Depressed area | 3 | Deepest. |-16,400 feet.|
| Oceanic plateau | 54 |-16,400 feet.|- 7,400 " |
| Continental slope | 9 |- 7,400 " |- 660 " |
| Continental plateau | 28 |- 660 " |+ 3,000 " |
| Culminating area | 6 |+ 3,300 " | Highest. |
+---------------------+-----------+-------------+-------------+
[Illustration]
The continental plateau might for purposes of detailed study be
divided into the _continental shelf_ from -660 ft. to sea-level, and
_lowlands_ from sea-level to +660 ft. (corresponding to the mean level
of the whole globe).[20] _Uplands_ reaching from 660 ft. to 2300 (the
approximate mean level of the land), and _highlands_, from 2300
upwards, might also be distinguished.
Arrangement of world-ridges and hollows.
A striking fact in the configuration of the crust is that each
continent, or elevated mass of the crust, is diametrically opposite to
an ocean basin or great depression; the only partial exception being
in the case of southern South America, which is antipodal to eastern
Asia. Professor C. Lapworth has generalized the grand features of
crustal relief in a scheme of attractive simplicity. He sees
throughout all the chaos of irregular crust-forms the recurrence of a
certain harmony, a succession of folds or waves which build up all the
minor features.[21] One great series of crust waves from east to west
is crossed by a second great series of crust waves from north to
south, giving rise by their interference to six great elevated masses
(the continents), arranged in three groups, each consisting of a
northern and a southern member separated by a minor depression. These
elevated masses are divided from one another by similar great
depressions.
Lapworth's fold-theory.
He says: "The surface of each of our great continental masses of land
resembles that of a long and broad arch-like form, of which we see the
simplest type in the New World. The surface of the North American arch
is sagged downwards in the middle into a central depression which lies
between two long marginal plateaus, and these plateaus are finally
crowned by the wrinkled crests which form its two modern mountain
systems. The surface of each of our ocean floors exactly resembles
that of a continent turned upside down. Taking the Atlantic as our
simplest type, we may say that the surface of an ocean basin resembles
that of a mighty trough or syncline, buckled up more or less centrally
in a medial ridge, which is bounded by two long and deep marginal
hollows, in the cores of which still deeper grooves sink to the
profoundest depths. This complementary relationship descends even to
the minor features of the two. Where the great continental sag sinks
below the ocean level, we have our gulfs and our Mediterraneans, seen
in our type continent, as the Mexican Gulf and Hudson Bay. Where the
central oceanic buckle attains the water-line we have our oceanic
islands, seen in our type ocean, as St Helena and the Azores. Although
the apparent crust-waves are neither equal in size nor symmetrical in
form, this complementary relationship between them is always
discernible. The broad Pacific depression seems to answer to the broad
elevation of the Old World--the narrow trough of the Atlantic to the
narrow continent of America."
Suess's theory.
The most thorough discussion of the great features of terrestrial
relief in the light of their origin is that by Professor E. Suess,[22]
who points out that the plan of the earth is the result of two
movements of the crust--one, subsidence over wide areas, giving rise
to oceanic depressions and leaving the continents protuberant; the
other, folding along comparatively narrow belts, giving rise to
mountain ranges. This theory of crust blocks dropped by subsidence is
opposed to Lapworth's theory of vast crust-folds, but geology is the
science which has to decide between them.
Geomorphology is concerned, however, in the suggestions which have
been made as to the cause of the distribution of heap and hollow in
the larger features of the crust. Élie de Beaumont, in his
speculations on the relation between the direction of mountain ranges
and their geological age and character, was feeling towards a
comprehensive theory of the forms of crustal relief; but his ideas
were too geometrical, and his theory that the earth is a spheroid
built up on a rhombic dodecahedron, the pentagonal faces of which
determined the direction of mountain ranges, could not be proved.[23]
The "tetrahedral theory" brought forward by Lowthian Green,[24] that
the form of the earth is a spheroid based on a regular tetrahedron, is
more serviceable, because it accounts for three very interesting facts
of the terrestrial plan--(1) the antipodal position of continents and
ocean basins; (2) the triangular outline of the continents; and (3)
the excess of sea in the southern hemisphere. Recent investigations
have recalled attention to the work of Lowthian Green, but the
question is still in the controversial stage.[25] The study of tidal
strain in the earth's crust by Sir George Darwin has led that
physicist to indicate the possibility of the triangular form and
southerly direction of the continents being a result of the
differential or tidal attraction of the sun and moon. More recently
Professor A.E.H. Love has shown that the great features of the relief
of the lithosphere may be expressed by spherical harmonics of the
first, second and third degrees, and their formation related to
gravitational action in a sphere of unequal density.[26]
In any case it is fully recognized that the plan of the earth is so
clear as to leave no doubt as to its being due to some general cause
which should be capable of detection.
The continents.
If the level of the sea were to become coincident with the mean level
of the lithosphere, there would result one tri-radiate land-mass of
nearly uniform outline and one continuous sheet of water broken by
few islands. The actual position of sea-level lies so near the summit
of the crust-heap that the varied relief of the upper portion leads to
the formation of a complicated coast-line and a great number of
detached portions of land. The hydrosphere is, in fact, continuous,
and the land is all in insular masses: the largest is the Old World of
Europe, Asia and Africa; the next in size, America; the third,
possibly, Antarctica; the fourth, Australia; the fifth, Greenland.
After this there is a considerable gap before New Guinea, Borneo,
Madagascar, Sumatra and the vast multitude of smaller islands
descending in size by regular gradations to mere rocks. The contrast
between island and mainland was natural enough in the days before the
discovery of Australia, and the mainland of the Old World was
traditionally divided into three continents. These "continents,"
"parts of the earth," or "quarters of the globe," proved to be
convenient divisions; America was added as a fourth, and subsequently
divided into two, while Australia on its discovery was classed
sometimes as a new continent, sometimes merely as an island, sometimes
compromisingly as an island-continent, according to individual
opinion. The discovery of the insularity of Greenland might again give
rise to the argument as to the distinction between island and
continent. Although the name of continent was not applied to large
portions of land for any physical reasons, it so happens that there is
a certain physical similarity or homology between them which is not
shared by the smaller islands or peninsulas.
Homology of continents.
The typical continental form is triangular as regards its sea-level
outline. The relief of the surface typically includes a central plain,
sometimes dipping below sea-level, bounded by lateral highlands or
mountain ranges, loftier on one side than on the other, the higher
enclosing a plateau shut in by mountains. South America and North
America follow this type most closely; Eurasia (the land mass of
Europe and Asia) comes next, while Africa and Australia are farther
removed from the type, and the structure of Antarctica and Greenland
is unknown.
If the continuous, unbroken, horizontal extent of land in a continent
is termed its _trunk_,[27] and the portions cut up by inlets or
channels of the sea into islands and peninsulas the _limbs_, it is
possible to compare the continents in an instructive manner.
The following table is from the statistics of Professor H. Wagner,[28]
his metric measurements being transposed into British units:
_Comparison of the Continents._
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+--------+------+------+
| | | | | Area | | | |
| | Area | Mean | Area |penin-| Area | Area | Area |
| | total |height,| trunk,|sulas,|islands,|limbs,|limbs,|
| | mil. | feet. | mil. | mil. | mil. | mil. | per |
| | sq. m.| | sq. m.|sq. m.| sq. m. |sq. m.| cent.|
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+--------+------+------+
| Old World | 35.8 | 2360 | | | | | |
| New World | 16.2 | 2230 | | | | | |
| Eurasia | 20.85 | 2620 | 15.42 | 4.09 | 1.34 | 5.43 | 26 |
| Africa | 11.46 | 2130 | 11.22 | .. | 0.24 | 0.24 | 2.1 |
| North America | 9.26 | 2300 | 6.92 | 0.78 | 1.56 | 2.34 | 25 |
| South America | 6.84 | 1970 | 6.76 | 0.02 | 0.06 | 0.08 | 1.1 |
| Australia | 3.43 | 1310 | 2.77 | 0.16 | 0.50 | 0.66 | 19 |
| Asia | 17.02 | 3120 | 12.93 | 3.05 | 1.04 | 4.09 | 24 |
| Europe | 3.83 | 980 | 2.49 | 1.04 | 0.30 | 1.34 | 35 |
+---------------+-------+-------+-------+------+--------+------+------+
Islands.
The usual classification of islands is into continental and oceanic.
The former class includes all those which rise from the continental
shelf, or show evidence in the character of their rocks of having at
one time been continuous with a neighbouring continent. The latter
rise abruptly from the oceanic abysses. Oceanic islands are divided
according to their geological character into volcanic islands and
those of organic origin, including coral islands. More elaborate
subdivisions according to structure, origin and position have been
proposed.[29] In some cases a piece of land is only an island at high
water, and by imperceptible gradation the form passes into a
peninsula. The typical peninsula is connected with the mainland by a
relatively narrow isthmus; the name is, however, extended to any limb
projecting from the trunk of the mainland, even when, as in the Indian
peninsula, it is connected by its widest part.
Coasts.
Small peninsulas are known as promontories or headlands, and the
extremity as a cape. The opposite form, an inlet of the sea, is known
when wide as a gulf, bay or bight, according to size and degree of
inflection, or as a fjord or ria when long and narrow. It is
convenient to employ a specific name for a projection of a coast-line
less pronounced than a peninsula, and for an inlet less pronounced
than a bay or bight; outcurve and incurve may serve the turn. The
varieties of coast-lines were reduced to an exact classification by
Richthofen, who grouped them according to the height and slope of the
land into cliff-coasts (_Steilküsten_)--narrow beach coasts with
cliffs, wide beach coasts with cliffs, and low coasts, subdividing
each group according as the coast-line runs parallel to or crosses the
line of strike of the mountains, or is not related to mountain
structure. A further subdivision depends on the character of the
inter-relation of land and sea along the shore producing such types as
a fjord-coast, ria-coast or lagoon-coast. This extremely elaborate
subdivision may be reduced, as Wagner points out, to three types--the
continental coast where the sea comes up to the solid rock-material of
the land; the marine coast, which is formed entirely of soft material
sorted out by the sea; and the composite coast, in which both forms
are combined.
Coast-lines.
On large-scale maps it is necessary to show two coast-lines, one for
the highest, the other for the lowest tide; but in small-scale maps a
single line is usually wider than is required to represent the whole
breadth of the inter-tidal zone. The measurement of a coast-line is
difficult, because the length will necessarily be greater when
measured on a large-scale map where minute irregularities can be taken
into account. It is usual to distinguish between the general
coast-line measured from point to point of the headlands disregarding
the smaller bays, and the detailed coast-line which takes account of
every inflection shown by the map employed, and follows up river
entrances to the point where tidal action ceases. The ratio between
these two coast-lines represents the "coastal development" of any
region.
Submarine forms.
While the forms of the sea-bed are not yet sufficiently well known to
admit of exact classification, they are recognized to be as a rule
distinct from the forms of the land, and the importance of using a
distinctive terminology is felt. Efforts have been made to arrive at a
definite international agreement on this subject, and certain terms
suggested by a committee were adopted by the Eighth International
Geographical Congress at New York in 1904.[30] The forms of the ocean
floor include the "shelf," or shallow sea margin, the "depression," a
general term applied to all submarine hollows, and the "elevation." A
depression when of great extent is termed a "basin," when it is of a
more or less round form with approximately equal diameters, a "trough"
when it is wide and elongated with gently sloping borders, and a
"trench" when narrow and elongated with steeply sloping borders, one
of which rises higher than the other. The extension of a trough or
basin penetrating the land or an elevation is termed an "embayment"
when wide, and a "gully" when long and narrow; and the deepest part of
a depression is termed a "deep." A depression of small extent when
steep-sided is termed a "caldron," and a long narrow depression
crossing a part of the continental border is termed a "furrow." An
elevation of great extent which rises at a very gentle angle from a
surrounding depression is termed a "rise," one which is relatively
narrow and steep-sided a "ridge," and one which is approximately equal
in length and breadth but steep-sided a "plateau," whether it springs
direct from a depression or from a rise. An elevation of small extent
is distinguished as a "dome" when it is more than 100 fathoms from the
surface, a "bank" when it is nearer the surface than 100 fathoms but
deeper than 6 fathoms, and a "shoal" when it comes within 6 fathoms of
the surface and so becomes a serious danger to shipping. The highest
point of an elevation is termed a "height," if it does not form an
island or one of the minor forms.
Land forms.
The forms of the dry land are of infinite variety, and have been
studied in great detail.[31] From the descriptive or topographical
point of view, geometrical form alone should be considered; but the
origin and geological structure of land forms must in many cases be
taken into account when dealing with the function they exercise in the
control of mobile distributions. The geographers who have hitherto
given most attention to the forms of the land have been trained as
geologists, and consequently there is a general tendency to make
origin or structure the basis of classification rather than form
alone.
The six elementary land forms.
The fundamental form-elements may be reduced to the six proposed by
Professor Penck as the basis of his double system of classification by
form and origin.[32] These may be looked upon as being all derived by
various modifications or arrangements of the single form-unit, the
_slope_ or inclined plane surface. No one form occurs alone, but
always grouped together with others in various ways to make up
districts, regions and lands of distinctive characters. The
form-elements are:
1. The _plain_ or gently inclined uniform surface.
2. The _scarp_ or steeply inclined slope; this is necessarily of small
extent except in the direction of its length.
3. The _valley_, composed of two lateral parallel slopes inclined
towards a narrow strip of plain at a lower level which itself slopes
downwards in the direction of its length. Many varieties of this
fundamental form may be distinguished.
4. The _mount_, composed of a surface falling away on every side from
a particular place. This place may either be a point, as in a volcanic
cone, or a line, as in a mountain range or ridge of hills.
5. The _hollow_ or form produced by a land surface sloping inwards
from all sides to a particular lowest place, the converse of a mount.
6. The _cavern_ or space entirely surrounded by a land surface.
Geology and land forms.
These forms never occur scattered haphazard over a region, but always
in an orderly subordination depending on their mode of origin. The
dominant forms result from crustal movements, the subsidiary from
secondary reactions during the action of the primitive forms on mobile
distributions. The geological structure and the mineral composition of
the rocks are often the chief causes determining the character of the
land forms of a region. Thus the scenery of a limestone country
depends on the solubility and permeability of the rocks, leading to
the typical Karst-formations of caverns, swallow-holes and underground
stream courses, with the contingent phenomena of dry valleys and
natural bridges. A sandy beach or desert owes its character to the
mobility of its constituent sand-grains, which are readily drifted and
piled up in the form of dunes. A region where volcanic activity has
led to the embedding of dykes or bosses of hard rock amongst softer
strata produces a plain broken by abrupt and isolated eminences.[33]
Classification of mountains.
It would be impracticable to go fully into the varieties of each
specific form; but, partly as an example of modern geographical
classification, partly because of the exceptional importance of
mountains amongst the features of the land, one exception may be made.
The classification of mountains into types has usually had regard
rather to geological structure than to external form, so that some
geologists would even apply the name of a mountain range to a region
not distinguished by relief from the rest of the country if it bear
geological evidence of having once been a true range. A mountain may
be described (it cannot be defined) as an elevated region of irregular
surface rising comparatively abruptly from lower ground. The actual
elevation of a summit above sea-level does not necessarily affect its
mountainous character; a gentle eminence, for instance, rising a few
hundred feet above a tableland, even if at an elevation of say 15,000
ft., could only be called a hill.[34] But it may be said that any
abrupt slope of 2000 ft. or more in vertical height may justly be
called a mountain, while abrupt slopes of lesser height may be called
hills. Existing classifications, however, do not take account of any
difference in kind between mountain and hills, although it is common
in the German language to speak of _Hügelland_, _Mittelgebirge_ and
_Hochgebirge_ with a definite significance.
The simple classification employed by Professor James Geikie[35] into
mountains of accumulation, mountains of elevation and mountains of
circumdenudation, is not considered sufficiently thorough by German
geographers, who, following Richthofen, generally adopt a
classification dependent on six primary divisions, each of which is
subdivided. The terms employed, especially for the subdivisions,
cannot be easily translated into other languages, and the English
equivalents in the following table are only put forward tentatively:--
RICHTHOFEN'S CLASSIFICATION OF MOUNTAINS[36]
I. _Tektonische Gebirge_--Tectonic mountains.
(a) _Bruchgebirge oder Schollengebirge_--Block mountains.
1. _Einseitige Schollengebirge oder Schollenrandgebirge_--
Scarp or tilted block mountains.
(i.) _Tafelscholle_--Table blocks.
(ii.) _Abrasionsscholle_--Abraded blocks.
(iii.) _Transgressionsscholle_--Blocks of unconformable
strata.
2. _Flexurgebirge_--Flexure mountains.
3. _Horstgebirge_--Symmetrical block mountains.
(b) _Faltungsgebirge_--Fold mountains.
1. _Homöomorphe Faltungsgebirge_--Homomorphic fold mountains.
2. _Heteromorphe Faltungsgebirge_--Heteromorphic fold
mountains.
II. _Rumpfgebirge oder Abrasionsgebirge_--Trunk or abraded mountains.
III. _Ausbruchsgebirge_--Eruptive mountains.
IV. _Aufschüttungsgebirge_--Mountains of accumulation.
V. _Flachböden_--Plateaux.
(a) _Abrasionsplatten_--Abraded plateaux.
(b) _Marines Flachland_--Plain of marine erosion.
(c) _Schichtungstafelland_--Horizontally stratified tableland.
(d) _Übergusstafelland_--Lava plain.
(e) _Stromflachland_--River plain.
(f) _Flachböden der atmosphärischen Aufschüttung_--Plains of
aeolian formation.
VI. _Erosionsgebirge_--Mountains of erosion.
Mountain forms.
From the morphological point of view it is more important to
distinguish the associations of forms, such as the _mountain mass_ or
group of mountains radiating from a centre, with the valleys furrowing
their flanks spreading towards every direction; the _mountain chain_
or line of heights, forming a long narrow ridge or series of ridges
separated by parallel valleys; the _dissected plateau_ or highland,
divided into mountains of circumdenudation by a system of deeply-cut
valleys; and the _isolated peak_, usually a volcanic cone or a hard
rock mass left projecting after the softer strata which embedded it
have been worn away (Monadnock of Professor Davis).
Distribution of mountains.
The geographical distribution of mountains is intimately associated
with the great structural lines of the continents of which they form
the culminating region. Lofty lines of fold mountains form the
"backbones" of North America in the Rocky Mountains and the west coast
systems, of South America in the Cordillera of the Andes, of Europe in
the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians and Caucasus, and of Asia in the
mountains of Asia Minor, converging on the Pamirs and diverging thence
in the Himalaya and the vast mountain systems of central and eastern
Asia. The remarkable line of volcanoes around the whole coast of the
Pacific and along the margin of the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas
is one of the most conspicuous features of the globe.
Functions of land forms.
Land waste.
Glaciers.
If land forms may be compared to organs, the part they serve in the
economy of the earth may, without straining the term, be characterized
as functions. The first and simplest function of the land surface is
that of guiding loose material to a lower level. The downward pull of
gravity suffices to bring about the fall of such material, but the
path it will follow and the distance it will travel before coming to
rest depend upon the land form. The loose material may, and in an arid
region does, consist only of portions of the higher parts of the
surface detached by the expansion and contraction produced by heating
and cooling due to radiation. Such broken material rolling down a
uniform scarp would tend to reduce its steepness by the loss of
material in the upper part and by the accumulation of a mound or scree
against the lower part of the slope. But where the side is not a
uniform scarp, but made up of a series of ridges and valleys, the
tendency will be to distribute the detritus in an irregular manner,
directing it away from one place and collecting it in great masses in
another, so that in time the land form assumes a new appearance. Snow
accumulating on the higher portions of the land, when compacted into
ice and caused to flow downwards by gravity, gives rise, on account of
its more coherent character, to continuous glaciers, which mould
themselves to the slopes down which they are guided, different
ice-streams converging to send forward a greater volume. Gradually
coming to occupy definite beds, which are deepened and polished by the
friction, they impress a characteristic appearance on the land, which
guides them as they traverse it, and, although the ice melts at lower
levels, vast quantities of clay and broken stones are brought down and
deposited in terminal moraines where the glacier ends.
Rain.
River systems.
Adjustment of rivers to land.
Rain is by far the most important of the inorganic mobile
distributions upon which land forms exercise their function of
guidance and control. The precipitation of rain from the aqueous
vapour of the atmosphere is caused in part by vertical movements of
the atmosphere involving heat changes and apparently independent of
the surface upon which precipitation occurs; but in greater part it is
dictated by the form and altitude of the land surface and the
direction of the prevailing winds, which itself is largely influenced
by the land. It is on the windward faces of the highest ground, or
just beyond the summit of less dominant heights upon the leeward side,
that most rain falls, and all that does not evaporate or percolate
into the ground is conducted back to the sea by a route which depends
only on the form of the land. More mobile and more searching than ice
or rock rubbish, the trickling drops are guided by the deepest lines
of the hillside in their incipient flow, and as these lines converge,
the stream, gaining strength, proceeds in its torrential course to
carve its channel deeper and entrench itself in permanent occupation.
Thus the stream-bed, from which at first the water might be blown away
into a new channel by a gale of wind, ultimately grows to be the
strongest line of the landscape. As the main valley deepens, the
tributary stream-beds are deepened also, and gradually cut their way
headwards, enlarging the area whence they draw their supplies. Thus
new land forms are created--valleys of curious complexity, for
example--by the "capture" and diversion of the water of one river by
another, leading to a change of watershed.[37] The minor tributaries
become more numerous and more constant, until the system of torrents
has impressed its own individuality on the mountain side. As the river
leaves the mountain, ever growing by the accession of tributaries, it
ceases, save in flood time, to be a formidable instrument of
destruction; the gentler slope of the land surface gives to it only
power sufficient to transport small stones, gravel, sand and
ultimately mud. Its valley banks are cut back by the erosion of minor
tributaries, or by rain-wash if the climate be moist, or left steep
and sharp while the river deepens its bed if the climate be arid. The
outline of the curve of a valley's sides ultimately depends on the
angle of repose of the detritus which covers them, if there has been
no subsequent change, such as the passage of a glacier along the
valley, which tends to destroy the regularity of the cross-section.
The slope of the river bed diminishes until the plain compels the
river to move slowly, swinging in _meanders_ proportioned to its size,
and gradually, controlled by the flattening land, ceasing to transport
material, but raising its banks and silting up its bed by the dropped
sediment, until, split up and shoaled, its distributaries struggle
across its delta to the sea. This is the typical river of which there
are infinite varieties, yet every variety would, if time were given,
and the land remained unchanged in level relatively to the sea,
ultimately approach to the type. Movements of the land either of
subsidence or elevation, changes in the land by the action of erosion
in cutting back an escarpment or cutting through a col, changes in
climate by affecting the rainfall and the volume of water, all tend to
throw the river valley out of harmony with the actual condition of its
stream. There is nothing more striking in geography than the
perfection of the adjustment of a great river system to its valleys
when the land has remained stable for a very lengthened period. Before
full adjustment has been attained the river bed may be broken in
places by waterfalls or interrupted by lakes; after adjustment the bed
assumes a permanent outline, the slope diminishing more and more
gradually, without a break in its symmetrical descent. Excellent
examples of the indecisive drainage of a new land surface, on which
the river system has not had time to impress itself, are to be seen in
northern Canada and in Finland, where rivers are separated by scarcely
perceptible divides, and the numerous lakes frequently belong to more
than one river system.
The geographical cycle.
The action of rivers on the land is so important that it has been made
the basis of a system of physical geography by Professor W.M. Davis,
who classifies land surfaces in terms of the three factors--structure,
process and time.[38] Of these time, during which the process is
acting on the structure, is the most important. A land may thus be
characterized by its position in the "geographical cycle", or cycle of
erosion, as young, mature or old, the last term being reached when the
base-level of erosion is attained, and the land, however varied its
relief may have been in youth or maturity, is reduced to a nearly
uniform surface or peneplain. By a re-elevation of a peneplain the
rivers of an old land surface may be restored to youthful activity,
and resume their shaping action, deepening the old valleys and
initiating new ones, starting afresh the whole course of the
geographical cycle. It is, however, not the action of the running
water on the land, but the function exercised by the land on the
running water, that is considered here to be the special province of
geography. At every stage of the geographical cycle the land forms, as
they exist at that stage, are concerned in guiding the condensation
and flow of water in certain definite ways. Thus, for example, in a
mountain range at right angles to a prevailing sea-wind, it is the
land forms which determine that one side of the range shall be richly
watered and deeply dissected by a complete system of valleys, while
the other side is dry, indefinite in its valley systems, and sends
none of its scanty drainage to the sea. The action of rain, ice and
rivers conspires with the movement of land waste to strip the layer of
soil from steep slopes as rapidly as it forms, and to cause it to
accumulate on the flat valley bottoms, on the graceful flattened cones
of alluvial fans at the outlet of the gorges of tributaries, or in the
smoothly-spread surface of alluvial plains.
The whole question of the régime of rivers and lakes is sometimes
treated under the name hydrography, a name used by some writers in the
sense of marine surveying, and by others as synonymous with
oceanography. For the study of rivers alone the name potamology[39]
has been suggested by Penck, and the subject being of much practical
importance has received a good deal of attention.[40]
Lakes and internal drainage.
The study of lakes has also been specialized under the name of
limnology (see LAKE).[41] The existence of lakes in hollows of the
land depends upon the balance between precipitation and evaporation. A
stream flowing into a hollow will tend to fill it up, and the water
will begin to escape as soon as its level rises high enough to reach
the lowest part of the rim. In the case of a large hollow in a very
dry climate the rate of evaporation may be sufficient to prevent the
water from ever rising to the lip, so that there is no outflow to the
sea, and a basin of internal drainage is the result. This is the case,
for instance, in the Caspian sea, the Aral and Balkhash lakes, the
Tarim basin, the Sahara, inner Australia, the great basin of the
United States and the Titicaca basin. These basins of internal
drainage are calculated to amount to 22% of the land surface. The
percentages of the land surface draining to the different oceans are
approximately--Atlantic, 34.3%; Arctic sea, 16.5%; Pacific, 14.4%;
Indian Ocean, 12.8%.[42]
Terminology of river systems.
The parts of a river system have not been so clearly defined as is
desirable, hence the exaggerated importance popularly attached to "the
source" of a river. A well-developed river system has in fact many
equally important and widely-separated sources, the most distant from
the mouth, the highest, or even that of largest initial volume not
being necessarily of greater geographical interest than the rest. The
whole of the land which directs drainage towards one river is known as
its basin, catchment area or drainage area--sometimes, by an incorrect
expression, as its valley or even its watershed. The boundary line
between one drainage area and others is rightly termed the watershed,
but on account of the ambiguity which has been tolerated it is better
to call it water-parting or, as in America, divide. The only other
important term which requires to be noted here is _talweg_, a word
introduced from the German into French and English, and meaning the
deepest line along the valley, which is necessarily occupied by a
stream unless the valley is dry.
The functions of land forms extend beyond the control of the
circulation of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the water which is
continually being interchanged between them; they are exercised with
increased effect in the higher departments of biogeography and
anthropogeography.
Biogeography.
The sum of the organic life on the globe is termed by some geographers
the biosphere, and it has been estimated that the whole mass of living
substance in existence at one time would cover the surface of the
earth to a depth of one-fifth of an inch.[43] The distribution of
living organisms is a complex problem, a function of many factors,
several of which are yet but little known. They include the biological
nature of the organism and its physical environment, the latter
involving conditions in which geographical elements, direct or
indirect, preponderate. The direct geographical elements are the
arrangement of land and sea (continents and islands standing in sharp
contrast) and the vertical relief of the globe, which interposes
barriers of a less absolute kind between portions of the same land
area or oceanic depression. The indirect geographical elements, which,
as a rule, act with and intensify the direct, are mainly climatic; the
prevailing winds, rainfall, mean and extreme temperatures of every
locality depending on the arrangement of land and sea and of land
forms. Climate thus guided affects the weathering of rocks, and so
determines the kind and arrangement of soil. Different species of
organisms come to perfection in different climates; and it may be
stated as a general rule that a species, whether of plant or animal,
once established at one point, would spread over the whole zone of the
climate congenial to it unless some barrier were interposed to its
progress. In the case of land and fresh-water organisms the sea is the
chief barrier; in the case of marine organisms, the land. Differences
in land forms do not exert great influence on the distribution of
living creatures directly, but indirectly such land forms as mountain
ranges and internal drainage basins are very potent through their
action on soil and climate. A snow-capped mountain ridge or an arid
desert forms a barrier between different forms of life which is often
more effective than an equal breadth of sea. In this way the surface
of the land is divided into numerous natural regions, the flora and
fauna of each of which include some distinctive species not shared by
the others. The distribution of life is discussed in the various
articles in this _Encyclopaedia_ dealing with biological, botanical
and zoological subjects.[44]
Floral zones.
The classification of the land surface into areas inhabited by
distinctive groups of plants has been attempted by many
phyto-geographers, but without resulting in any scheme of general
acceptance. The simplest classification is perhaps that of Drude
according to climatic zones, subdivided according to continents. This
takes account of--(1) the _Arctic-Alpine_ zone, including all the
vegetation of the region bordering on perpetual snow; (2) the _Boreal_
zone, including the temperate lands of North America, Europe and Asia,
all of which are substantially alike in botanical character; (3) the
_Tropical_ zone, divided sharply into (a) the tropical zone of the New
World, and (b) the tropical zone of the Old World, the forms of which
differ in a significant degree; (4) the _Austral_ zone, comprising all
continental land south of the equator, and sharply divided into three
regions the floras of which are strikingly distinct--(a) South
American, (b) South African and (c) Australian; (5) the _Oceanic_,
comprising all oceanic islands, the flora of which consists
exclusively of forms whose seeds could be drifted undestroyed by ocean
currents or carried by birds. To these might be added the antarctic,
which is still very imperfectly known. Many subdivisions and
transitional zones have been suggested by different authors.
Vegetation areas.
From the point of view of the economy of the globe this classification
by species is perhaps less important than that by mode of life and
physiological character in accordance with environment. The following
are the chief areas of vegetational activity usually recognized: (1)
The ice-deserts of the arctic and antarctic and the highest mountain
regions, where there is no vegetation except the lowest forms, like
that which causes "red snow." (2) The tundra or region of intensely
cold winters, forbidding tree-growth, where mosses and lichens cover
most of the ground when unfrozen, and shrubs occur of species which in
other conditions are trees, here stunted to the height of a few
inches. A similar zone surrounds the permanent snow on lofty mountains
in all latitudes. The tundra passes by imperceptible gradations into
the moor, bog and heath of warmer climates. (3) The temperate forests
of evergreen or deciduous trees, according to circumstances, which
occupy those parts of both temperate zones where rainfall and sunlight
are both abundant. (4) The grassy steppes or prairies where the
rainfall is diminished and temperatures are extreme, and grass is the
prevailing form of vegetation. These pass imperceptibly into--(5) the
arid desert, where rainfall is at a minimum, and the only plants are
those modified to subsist with the smallest supply of water. (6) The
tropical forest, which represents the maximum of plant luxuriance,
stimulated by the heaviest rainfall, greatest heat and strongest
light. These divisions merge one into the other, and admit of almost
indefinite subdivision, while they are subject to great modifications
by human interference in clearing and cultivating. Plants exhibit the
controlling power of environment to a high degree, and thus vegetation
is usually in close adjustment to the bolder geographical features of
a region.
Faunal realms.
The divisions of the earth into faunal regions by Dr P.L. Sclater have
been found to hold good for a large number of groups of animals as
different in their mode of life as birds and mammals, and they may
thus be accepted as based on nature. They are six in number: (1)
_Palaearctic_, including Europe, Asia north of the Himalaya, and
Africa north of the Sahara; (2) _Ethiopian_, consisting of Africa
south of the Atlas range, and Madagascar; (3) _Oriental_, including
India, Indo-China and the Malay Archipelago north of Wallace's line,
which runs between Bali and Lombok; (4) _Australian_, including
Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Polynesia; (5) _Nearctic_ or
North America, north of Mexico; and (6) _Neotropical_ or South
America. Each of these divisions is the home of a special fauna, many
species of which are confined to it alone; in the Australian region,
indeed, practically the whole fauna is peculiar and distinctive,
suggesting a prolonged period of complete biological isolation. In
some cases, such as the Ethiopian and Neotropical and the Palaearctic
and Nearctic regions, the faunas, although distinct, are related,
several forms on opposite sides of the Atlantic being analogous, e.g.
the lion and puma, ostrich and rhea. Where two of the faunal realms
meet there is usually, though not always, a mixing of faunas. These
facts have led some naturalists to include the Palaearctic and
Nearctic regions in one, termed _Holarctic_, and to suggest
transitional regions, such as the _Sonoran_, between North and South
America, and the _Mediterranean_, between Europe and Africa, or to
create sub-regions, such as Madagascar and New Zealand. Oceanic
islands have, as a rule, distinctive faunas and floras which resemble,
but are not identical with, those of other islands in similar
positions.
Biological distribution as a means of geographical research.
The study of the evolution of faunas and the comparison of the faunas
of distant regions have furnished a trustworthy instrument of
pre-historic geographical research, which enables earlier geographical
relations of land and sea to be traced out, and the approximate
period, or at least the chronological order of the larger changes, to
be estimated. In this way, for example, it has been suggested that a
land, "Lemuria," once connected Madagascar with the Malay Archipelago,
and that a northern extension of the antarctic land once united the
three southern continents.
The distribution of fossils frequently makes it possible to map out
approximately the general features of land and sea in long-past
geological periods, and so to enable the history of crustal relief to
be traced.[45]
Reaction of organisms on environment.
While the tendency is for the living forms to come into harmony with
their environment and to approach the state of equilibrium by
successive adjustments if the environment should happen to change, it
is to be observed that the action of organisms themselves often tends
to change their environment. Corals and other quick-growing calcareous
marine organisms are the most powerful in this respect by creating new
land in the ocean. Vegetation of all sorts acts in a similar way,
either in forming soil and assisting in breaking up rocks, in filling
up shallow lakes, and even, like the mangrove, in reclaiming wide
stretches of land from the sea. Plant life, utilizing solar light to
combine the inorganic elements of water, soil and air into living
substance, is the basis of all animal life. This is not by the supply
of food alone, but also by the withdrawal of carbonic acid from the
atmosphere, by which vegetation maintains the composition of the air
in a state fit for the support of animal life. Man in the primitive
stages of culture is scarcely to be distinguished from other animals
as regards his subjection to environment, but in the higher grades of
culture the conditions of control and reaction become much more
complicated, and the department of anthropogeography is devoted to
their consideration.
Anthropogeography.
The first requisites of all human beings are food and protection, in
their search for which men are brought into intimate relations with
the forms and productions of the earth's surface. The degree of
dependence of any people upon environment varies inversely as the
degree of culture or civilization, which for this purpose may perhaps
be defined as the power of an individual to exercise control over the
individual and over the environment for the benefit of the community.
The development of culture is to a certain extent a question of race,
and although forming one species, the varieties of man differ in
almost imperceptible gradations with a complexity defying
classification (see ANTHROPOLOGY). Professor Keane groups man round
four leading types, which may be named the black, yellow, red and
white, or the Ethiopic, Mongolic, American and Caucasic. Each may be
subdivided, though not with great exactness, into smaller groups,
either according to physical characteristics, of which the form of the
head is most important, or according to language.
Types of man.
The black type is found only in tropical or sub-tropical countries,
and is usually in a primitive condition of culture, unless educated by
contact with people of the white type. They follow the most primitive
forms of religion (mainly fetishism), live on products of the woods or
of the chase, with the minimum of work, and have only a loose
political organization. The red type is peculiar to America,
inhabiting every climate from polar to equatorial, and containing
representatives of many stages of culture which had apparently
developed without the aid or interference of people of any other race
until the close of the 15th century. The yellow type is capable of a
higher culture, cherishes higher religious beliefs, and inhabits as a
rule the temperate zone, although extending to the tropics on one side
and to the arctic regions on the other. The white type, originating in
the north temperate zone, has spread over the whole world. They have
attained the highest culture, profess the purest forms of monotheistic
religion, and have brought all the people of the black type and many
of those of the yellow under their domination.
The contrast between the yellow and white types has been softened by
the remarkable development of the Japanese following the assimilation
of western methods.
The actual number of human inhabitants in the world has been
calculated as follows:
By Continents.[46]
Asia 875,000,000
Europe 392,000,000
Africa 170,000,000
America 143,000,000
Australia and Polynesia 7,000,000
-------------
Total 1,587,000,000
By Race.[47]
White (Caucasic) 770,000,000
Yellow (Mong.) 540,000,000
Black (Ethiopic) 175,000,000
Red (American) 22,000,000
-------------
Total 1,507,000,000
In round numbers the population of the world is about 1,600,000,000,
and, according to an estimate by Ravenstein,[48] the maximum
population which it will be possible for the earth to maintain is 6000
millions, a number which, if the average rate of increase in 1891
continued, would be reached within 200 years.
While highly civilized communities are able to evade many of the
restrictions of environment, to overcome the barriers to
intercommunication interposed by land or sea, to counteract the
adverse influence of climate, and by the development of trade even to
inhabit countries which cannot yield a food-supply, the mass of
mankind is still completely under the control of those conditions
which in the past determined the distribution and the mode of life of
the whole human race.
Influence of environment on man.
In tropical forests primitive tribes depend on the collection of wild
fruits, and in a minor degree on the chase of wild animals, for their
food. Clothing is unnecessary; hence there is little occasion for
exercising the mental faculties beyond the sense of perception to
avoid enemies, or the inventive arts beyond what is required for the
simplest weapons and the most primitive fortifications. When the
pursuit of game becomes the chief occupation of a people there is of
necessity a higher development of courage, skill, powers of
observation and invention; and these qualities are still further
enhanced in predatory tribes who take by force the food, clothing and
other property prepared or collected by a feebler people. The
fruit-eating savage cannot stray beyond his woods which bound his life
as the water bounds that of a fish; the hunter is free to live on the
margin of forests or in open country, while the robber or warrior from
some natural stronghold of the mountains sweeps over the adjacent
plains and carries his raids into distant lands. Wide grassy steppes
lead to the organization of the people as nomads whose wealth consists
in flocks and herds, and their dwellings are tents. The nomad not only
domesticates and turns to his own use the gentler and more powerful
animals, such as sheep, cattle, horses, camels, but even turns some
predatory creatures, like the dog, into a means of defending their
natural prey. They hunt the beasts of prey destructive to their
flocks, and form armed bands for protection against marauders or for
purposes of aggression on weaker sedentary neighbours. On the fertile
low grounds along the margins of rivers or in clearings of forests,
agricultural communities naturally take their rise, dwelling in
villages and cultivating the wild grains, which by careful nurture and
selection have been turned into rich cereals. The agriculturist as a
rule is rooted to the soil. The land he tills he holds, and acquires a
closer connexion with a particular patch of ground than either the
hunter or the herdsman. In the temperate zone, where the seasons are
sharply contrasted, but follow each other with regularity, foresight
and self-denial were fostered, because if men did not exercise these
qualities seed-time or harvest might pass into lost opportunities and
the tribes would suffer. The more extreme climates of arid regions on
the margins of the tropics, by the unpredictable succession of
droughts and floods, confound the prevision of uninstructed people,
and make prudence and industry qualities too uncertain in their
results to be worth cultivating. Thus the civilization of agricultural
peoples of the temperate zone grew rapidly, yet in each community a
special type arose adapted to the soil, the crop and the climate. On
the seashore fishing naturally became a means of livelihood, and
dwellers by the sea, in virtue of the dangers to which they are
exposed from storm and unseaworthy craft, are stimulated to a higher
degree of foresight, quicker observation, prompter decision and more
energetic action in emergencies than those who live inland. The
building and handling of vessels also, and the utilization of such
uncontrollable powers of nature as wind and tide, helped forward
mechanical invention. To every type of coast there may be related a
special type of occupation and even of character; the deep and gloomy
fjord, backed by almost impassable mountains, bred bold mariners whose
only outlet for enterprise was seawards towards other lands--the
_viks_ created the vikings. On the gently sloping margin of the
estuary of a great river a view of tranquil inland life was equally
presented to the shore-dweller, and the ocean did not present the only
prospect of a career. Finally the mountain valley, with its patches of
cultivable soil on the alluvial fans of tributary torrents, its narrow
pastures on the uplands only left clear of snow in summer, its
intensified extremes of climates and its isolation, almost equal to
that of an island, has in all countries produced a special type of
brave and hardy people, whose utmost effort may bring them comfort,
but not wealth, by honest toil, who know little of the outer world,
and to whom the natural outlet for ambition is marauding on the
fertile plains. The highlander and viking, products of the valleys
raised high amid the mountains or half-drowned in the sea, are
everywhere of kindred spirit.
It is in some such manner as these that the natural conditions of
regions, which must be conformed to by prudence and utilized by labour
to yield shelter and food, have led to the growth of peoples differing
in their ways of life, thought and speech. The initial differences so
produced are confirmed and perpetuated by the same barriers which
divide the faunal or floral regions, the sea, mountains, deserts and
the like, and much of the course of past history and present politics
becomes clear when the combined results of differing race and
differing environment are taken into account.[49]
Density of population.
The specialization which accompanies the division of labour has
important geographical consequences, for it necessitates communication
between communities and the interchange of their products. Trade
makes it possible to work mineral resources in localities where food
can only be grown with great difficulty and expense, or which are even
totally barren and waterless, entirely dependent on supplies from
distant sources.
The population which can be permanently supported by a given area of
land differs greatly according to the nature of the resources and the
requirements of the people. Pastoral communities are always scattered
very thinly over large areas; agricultural populations may be almost
equally sparse where advanced methods of agriculture and labour-saving
machinery are employed; but where a frugal people are situated on a
fertile and inexhaustible soil, such as the deltas and river plains of
Egypt, India and China, an enormous population may be supported on a
small area. In most cases, however, a very dense population can only
be maintained in regions where mineral resources have fixed the site
of great manufacturing industries. The maximum density of population
which a given region can support is very difficult to determine; it
depends partly on the race and standard of culture of the people,
partly on the nature and origin of the resources on which they depend,
partly on the artificial burdens imposed and very largely on the
climate. Density of population is measured by the average number of
people residing on a unit of area; but in order to compare one part of
the world with another the average should, strictly speaking, be taken
for regions of equal size or of equal population; and the portions of
the country which are permanently uninhabitable ought to be excluded
from the calculation.[50] Considering the average density of
population within the political limits of countries, the following
list is of some value; the figures for a few smaller divisions of
large countries are added (in brackets) for comparison:
_Average Population on 1 sq. m._ (_For 1900 or 1901._)
+--------------------+---------+-------------------+---------+
| Country. | Density | Country. | Density |
| | of pop. | | of pop. |
+--------------------+---------+-------------------+---------+
| (Saxony) | 743* | Ceylon | 141** |
| Belgium | 589* | Greece | 97 |
| Java | 568** | European Turkey | 90 |
| (England and Wales)| 558 | Spain | 97 |
| (Bengal) | 495** | European Russia | 55** |
| Holland | 436 | Sweden | 30 |
| United Kingdom | 344 | United States | 25 |
| Japan | 317 | Mexico | 18 |
| Italy | 293 | Norway | 18 |
| China proper | 270** | Persia | 15 |
| German Empire | 270 | New Zealand | 7 |
| Austria | 226 | Argentina | 5 |
| Switzerland | 207 | Brazil | 4.5 |
| France | 188 | Eastern States of | |
| Indian Empire | 167** | Australia | 3 |
| Denmark | 160** | Dominion of Canada| 1.5 |
| Hungary | 154** | Siberia | 1 |
| Portugal | 146 | West Australia | 0.2 |
+--------------------+---------+-------------------+---------+
* Almost exclusively industrial.
** Almost exclusively agricultural.
Migration.
The movement of people from one place to another without the immediate
intention of returning is known as migration, and according to its
origin it may be classed as centrifugal (directed _from_ a particular
area) and centripetal (directed _towards_ a particular area).
Centrifugal migration is usually a matter of compulsion; it may be
necessitated by natural causes, such as a change of climate leading to
the withering of pastures or destruction of agricultural land, to
inundation, earthquake, pestilence or to an excess of population over
means of support; or to artificial causes, such as the wholesale
deportation of a conquered people; or to political or religious
persecution. In any case the people are driven out by some adverse
change; and when the urgency is great they may require to drive out in
turn weaker people who occupy a desirable territory, thus propagating
the wave of migration, the direction of which is guided by the forms
of the land into inevitable channels. Many of the great historic
movements of peoples were doubtless due to the gradual change of
geographical or climatic conditions; and the slow desiccation of
Central Asia has been plausibly suggested as the real cause of the
peopling of modern Europe and of the medieval wars of the Old World,
the theatres of which were critical points on the great natural lines
of communication between east and west.
In the case of centripetal migrations people flock to some particular
place where exceptionally favourable conditions have been found to
exist. The rushes to gold-fields and diamond-fields are typical
instances; the growth of towns on coal-fields and near other sources
of power, and the rapid settlement of such rich agricultural districts
as the wheat-lands of the American prairies and great plains are other
examples.
There is, however, a tendency for people to remain rooted to the land
of their birth, when not compelled or induced by powerful external
causes to seek a new home.
Political geography.
Thus arises the spirit of patriotism, a product of purely geographical
conditions, thereby differing from the sentiment of loyalty, which is
of racial origin. Where race and soil conspire to evoke both loyalty
and patriotism in a people, the moral qualities of a great and
permanent nation are secured. It is noticeable that the patriotic
spirit is strongest in those places where people are brought most
intimately into relation with the land; dwellers in the mountain or by
the sea, and, above all, the people of rugged coasts and mountainous
archipelagoes, have always been renowned for love of country, while
the inhabitants of fertile plains and trading communities are
frequently less strongly attached to their own land.
Amongst nomads the tribe is the unit of government, the political bond
is personal, and there is no definite territorial association of the
people, who may be loyal but cannot be patriotic. The idea of a
country arises only when a nation, either homogeneous or composed of
several races, establishes itself in a region the boundaries of which
may be defined and defended against aggression from without. Political
geography takes account of the partition of the earth amongst
organized communities, dealing with the relation of races to regions,
and of nations to countries, and considering the conditions of
territorial equilibrium and instability.
Boundaries.
The definition of boundaries and their delimitation is one of the most
important parts of political geography. Natural boundaries are always
the most definite and the strongest, lending themselves most readily
to defence against aggression. The sea is the most effective of all,
and an island state is recognized as the most stable. Next in
importance comes a mountain range, but here there is often difficulty
as to the definition of the actual crest-line, and mountain ranges
being broad regions, it may happen that a small independent state,
like Switzerland or Andorra, occupies the mountain valleys between two
or more great countries. Rivers do not form effective international
boundaries, although between dependent self-governing communities they
are convenient lines of demarcation. A desert, or a belt of country
left purposely without inhabitants, like the mark, marches or
debatable lands of the middle ages, was once a common means of
separating nations which nourished hereditary grievances. The
"buffer-state" of modern diplomacy is of the same ineffectual type. A
less definite though very practical boundary is that formed by the
meeting-line of two languages, or the districts inhabited by two
races. The line of fortresses protecting Austria from Italy lies in
some places well back from the political boundary, but just inside the
linguistic frontier, so as to separate the German and Italian races
occupying Austrian territory. Arbitrary lines, either traced from
point to point and marked by posts on the ground, or defined as
portions of meridians and parallels, are now the most common type of
boundaries fixed by treaty. In Europe and Asia frontiers are usually
strongly fortified and strictly watched in times of peace as well as
during war. In South America strictly defined boundaries are still the
exception, and the claims of neighbouring nations have very frequently
given rise to war, though now more commonly to arbitration.[51]
Forms of government.
The modes of government amongst civilized peoples have little
influence on political geography; some republics are as arbitrary and
exacting in their frontier regulations as some absolute monarchies. It
is, however, to be noticed that absolute monarchies are confined to
the east of Europe and to Asia, Japan being the only established
constitutional monarchy east of the Carpathians. Limited monarchies
are (with the exception of Japan) peculiar to Europe, and in these the
degree of democratic control may be said to diminish as one passes
eastwards from the United Kingdom. Republics, although represented in
Europe, are the peculiar form of government of America and are unknown
in Asia.
The forms of government of colonies present a series of transitional
types from the autocratic administration of a governor appointed by
the home government to complete democratic self-government. The latter
occurs only in the temperate possessions of the British empire, in
which there is no great preponderance of a coloured native population.
New colonial forms have been developed during the partition of Africa
amongst European powers, the sphere of influence being especially
worthy of notice. This is a vaguer form of control than a
protectorate, and frequently amounts merely to an agreement amongst
civilized powers to respect the right of one of their number to
exercise government within a certain area, if it should decide to do
so at any future time.
The central governments of all civilized countries concerned with
external relations are closely similar in their modes of action, but
the internal administration may be very varied. In this respect a
country is either centralized, like the United Kingdom or France, or
federated of distinct self-governing units like Germany (where the
units include kingdoms, at least three minor types of monarchies,
municipalities and a crown land under a nominated governor), or the
United States, where the units are democratic republics. The ultimate
cause of the predominant form of federal government may be the
geographical diversity of the country, as in the cantons occupying the
once isolated mountain valleys of Switzerland, the racial diversity of
the people, as in Austria-Hungary, or merely political expediency, as
in republics of the American type.
The minor subdivisions into provinces, counties and parishes, or
analogous areas, may also be related in many cases to natural features
or racial differences perpetuated by historical causes. The
territorial divisions and subdivisions often survive the conditions
which led to their origin; hence the study of political geography is
allied to history as closely as the study of physical geography is
allied to geology, and for the same reason.
Towns.
The aggregation of population in towns was at one time mainly brought
about by the necessity for defence, a fact indicated by the defensive
sites of many old towns. In later times, towns have been more often
founded in proximity to valuable mineral resources, and at critical
points or nodes on lines of communication. These are places where the
mode of travelling or of transport is changed, such as seaports, river
ports and railway termini, or natural resting-places, such as a ford,
the foot of a steep ascent on a road, the entrance of a valley leading
up from a plain into the mountains, or a crossing-place of roads or
railways.[52] The existence of a good natural harbour is often
sufficient to give origin to a town and to fix one end of a line of
land communication.
Lines of communication.
In countries of uniform surface or faint relief, roads and railways
may be constructed in any direction without regard to the
configuration. In places where the low ground is marshy, roads and
railways often follow the ridge-lines of hills, or, as in Finland, the
old glacial eskers, which run parallel to the shore. Wherever the
relief of the land is pronounced, roads and railways are obliged to
occupy the lowest ground winding along the valleys of rivers and
through passes in the mountains. In exceptional cases obstructions
which it would be impossible or too costly to turn are overcome by a
bridge or tunnel, the magnitude of such works increasing with the
growth of engineering skill and financial enterprise. Similarly the
obstructions offered to water communication by interruption through
land or shallows are overcome by cutting canals or dredging out
channels. The economy and success of most lines of communication
depend on following as far as possible existing natural lines and
utilizing existing natural sources of power.[53]
Commercial geography.
Commercial geography may be defined as the description of the earth's
surface with special reference to the discovery, production, transport
and exchange of commodities. The transport concerns land routes and
sea routes, the latter being the more important. While steam has been
said to make a ship independent of wind and tide, it is still true
that a long voyage even by steam must be planned so as to encounter
the least resistance possible from prevailing winds and permanent
currents, and this involves the application of oceanographical and
meteorological knowledge. The older navigation by utilizing the power
of the wind demands a very intimate knowledge of these conditions, and
it is probable that a revival of sailing ships may in the present
century vastly increase the importance of the study of maritime
meteorology.
The discovery and production of commodities require a knowledge of the
distribution of geological formations for mineral products, of the
natural distribution, life-conditions and cultivation or breeding of
plants and animals and of the labour market. Attention must also be
paid to the artificial restrictions of political geography, to the
legislative restrictions bearing on labour and trade as imposed in
different countries, and, above all, to the incessant fluctuations of
the economic conditions of supply and demand and the combinations of
capitalists or workers which affect the market.[54] The term "applied
geography" has been employed to designate commercial geography, the
fact being that every aspect of scientific geography may be applied to
practical purposes, including the purposes of trade. But apart from
the applied science, there is an aspect of pure geography which
concerns the theory of the relation of economics to the surface of the
earth.
Conclusion.
It will be seen that as each successive aspect of geographical science
is considered in its natural sequence the conditions become more
numerous, complex, variable and practically important. From the
underlying abstract mathematical considerations all through the
superimposed physical, biological, anthropological, political and
commercial development of the subject runs the determining control
exercised by crust-forms acting directly or indirectly on mobile
distributions; and this is the essential principle of geography.
(H. R. M.)
FOOTNOTES:
[1] A concise sketch of the whole history of geographical method or
theory as distinguished from the history of geographical discovery
(see later section of this article) is only to be found in the
introduction to H. Wagner's _Lehrbuch der Geographie_, vol. i.
(Leipzig, 1900), which is in every way the most complete treatise on
the principles of geography.
[2] _History of Ancient Geography_ (Cambridge, 1897), p. 70.
[3] See J.L. Myres, "An Attempt to reconstruct the Maps used by
Herodotus," _Geographical Journal_, viii. (1896), p. 605.
[4] _Geschichte der wissenschaftlichen Erdkunde der Griechen_
(Leipzig, 1891), Abt. 3, p. 60.
[5] Bunbury's _History of Ancient Geography_ (2 vols., London, 1879),
Müller's _Geographi Graeci minores_ (2 vols., Paris, 1855, 1861) and
Berger's _Geschichte der wissenschaftlichen Erdkunde der Griechen_ (4
vols., Leipzig, 1887-1893) are standard authorities on the Greek
geographers.
[6] The period of the early middle ages is dealt with in Beazley's
_Dawn of Modern Geography_ (London; part i., 1897; part ii., 1901;
part iii., 1906); see also Winstedt, _Cosmos Indicopleustes_ (1910).
[7] From translator's preface to the English version by Mr Dugdale
(1733), entitled _A Complete System of General Geography_, revised by
Dr Peter Shaw (London, 1756).
[8] Printed in _Schriften zur physischen Geographie_, vol. vi. of
Schubert's edition of the collected works of Kant (Leipzig, 1839).
First published with notes by Rink in 1802.
[9] _History of Civilization_, vol. i. (1857).
[10] See H.J. Mackinder in _British Association Report_ (Ipswich),
1895, p. 738, for a summary of German opinion, which has been
expressed by many writers in a somewhat voluminous literature.
[11] H. Wagner's year-book, _Geographische Jahrbuch_, published at
Gotha, is the best systematic record of the progress of geography in
all departments; and Haack's _Geographen Kalender_, also published
annually at Gotha, gives complete lists of the geographical societies
and geographers of the world.
[12] This phrase is old, appearing in one of the earliest English
works on geography, William Cuningham's _Cosmographical Glasse
conteinyng the pleasant Principles of Cosmographie, Geographie,
Hydrographie or Navigation_ (London, 1559).
[13] See also S. Günther, _Handbuch der mathematischen Geographie_
(Stuttgart, 1890).
[14] "On the Height of the Land and the Depth of the Ocean," _Scot.
Geog. Mag._ iv. (1888), p. 1. Estimates had been made previously by
Humboldt, De Lapparent, H. Wagner, and subsequently by Penck and
Heiderich, and for the oceans by Karstens.
[15] _Petermanns Mitteilungen_, xxv. (1889), p. 17.
[16] _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin._ xvii. (1890) p. 185.
[17] _Comptes rendus Acad. Sci._ (Paris, 1890), vol. iii. p. 994.
[18] "Areal und mittlere Erhebung der Landflächen sowie der
Erdkruste" in Gerland's _Beiträge zur Geophysik_, ii. (1895) p. 667.
See also _Nature_, 54 (1896), p. 112.
[19] _Petermanns Mitteilungen_, xxxv. (1889) p. 19.
[20] The areas of the continental shelf and lowlands are
approximately equal, and it is an interesting circumstance that,
taken as a whole, the actual coast-line comes just midway on the most
nearly level belt of the earth's surface, excepting the ocean floor.
The configuration of the continental slope has been treated in detail
by Nansen in _Scientific Results of Norwegian North Polar
Expedition_, vol. iv. (1904), where full references to the literature
of the subject will be found.
[21] _British Association Report_ (Edinburgh, 1892), p. 699.
[22] _Das Antlitz der Erde_ (4 vols., Leipzig, 1885, 1888, 1901).
Translated under the editorship of E. de Margerie, with much
additional matter, as _La Face de la terre_, vols. i. and ii. (Paris,
1897, 1900), and into English by Dr Hertha Sollas as _The Face of the
Earth_, vols. i. and ii. (Oxford, 1904, 1906).
[23] Élie de Beaumont, _Notice sur les systèmes de montagnes_ (3
vols., Paris, 1852).
[24] _Vestiges of the Molten Globe_ (London, 1875).
[25] See J.W. Gregory, "The Plan of the Earth and its Causes," _Geog.
Journal_, xiii. (1899) p. 225; Lord Avebury, _ibid._ xv. (1900) p.
46; Marcel Bertrand, "Déformation tétraédrique de la terre et
déplacement du pôle," _Comptes rendus Acad. Sci._ (Paris, 1900), vol.
cxxx. p. 449; and A. de Lapparent, _ibid._ p. 614.
[26] See A.E.H. Love, "Gravitational Stability of the Earth," _Phil.
Trans._ ser. A. vol. ccvii. (1907) p. 171.
[27] _Rumpf_, in German, the language in which this distinction was
first made.
[28] _Lehrbuch der Geographie_ (Hanover and Leipzig, 1900), Bd. i. S.
245, 249.
[29] See, for example, F.G. Hahn's _Insel-Studien_ (Leipzig, 1883).
[30] See _Geographical Journal_, xxii. (1903) pp. 191-194.
[31] The most important works on the classification of land forms are
F. von Richthofen, _Führer für Forschungsreisende_ (Berlin, 1886); G.
de la Noë and E. de Margerie, _Les Formes du terrain_ (Paris, 1888);
and above all A. Penck, _Morphologie der Erdoberfläche_ (2 vols.,
Stuttgart, 1894). Compare also A. de Lapparent, _Leçons de géographie
physique_ (2nd ed., Paris, 1898), and W.M. Davis, _Physical
Geography_ (Boston, 1899).
[32] "Geomorphologie als genetische Wissenschaft," in _Report of
Sixth International Geog. Congress_ (London, 1895), p. 735 (English
Abstract, p. 748).
[33] On this subject see J. Geikie, _Earth Sculpture_ (London, 1898);
J.E. Marr, _The Scientific Study of Scenery_ (London, 1900); Sir A.
Geikie, _The Scenery and Geology of Scotland_ (London, 2nd ed.,
1887); Lord Avebury (Sir J. Lubbock), _The Scenery of Switzerland_
(London, 1896) and _The Scenery of England_ (London, 1902).
[34] Some geographers distinguish a mountain from a hill by origin;
thus Professor Seeley says "a mountain implies elevation and a hill
implies denudation, but the external forms of both are often
identical." _Report VI. Int. Geog. Congress_ (London, 1895), p. 751.
[35] "Mountains," in _Scot. Geog. Mag._ ii. (1896) p. 145.
[36] _Führer für Forschungsreisende_, pp. 652-685.
[37] See, for a summary of river-action, A. Phillipson, _Studien über
Wasserscheiden_ (Leipzig, 1886); also I.C. Russell, _River
Development_, (London, 1898) (published as _The Rivers of North
America_, New York, 1898).
[38] W.M. Davis, "The Geographical Cycle," _Geog. Journ._ xiv. (1899)
p. 484.
[39] A. Penck, "Potamology as a Branch of Physical Geography," _Geog.
Journ._ x. (1897) p. 619.
[40] See, for instance, E. Wisotzki, _Hauptfluss und Nebenfluss_
(Stettin, 1889). For practical studies see official reports on the
Mississippi, Rhine, Seine, Elbe and other great rivers.
[41] F.A. Forel, _Handbuch der Seenkunde: allgemeine Limnologie_
(Stuttgart, 1901); F.A. Forel, "La Limnologie, branche de la
géographie," _Report VI. Int. Geog. Congress_ (London, 1895), p. 593;
also _Le Léman_ (2 vols., Lausanne, 1892, 1894); H. Lullies, "Studien
über Seen," _Jubiläumsschrift der Albertus-Universität_ (Königsberg,
1894); and G.R. Credner, "Die Reliktenseen," _Petermanns
Mitteilungen_, Ergänzungshefte 86 and 89 (Gotha., 1887, 1888).
[42] J. Murray, "Drainage Areas of the Continents," _Scot. Geog.
Mag._ ii. (1886) p. 548.
[43] Wagner, _Lehrbuch der Geographie_ (1900), i. 586.
[44] For details, see A.R. Wallace, _Geographical Distribution of
Animals and Island Life_; A. Heilprin, _Geographical and Geological
Distribution of Animals_ (1887); O. Drude, _Handbuch der
Pflanzengeographie_; A. Engler, _Entwickelungsgeschichte der
Pflanzenwelt_; also Beddard, _Zoogeography_ (Cambridge, 1895); and
Sclater, _The Geography of Mammals_ (London, 1899).
[45] See particularly A. de Lapparent, _Traité de géologie_ (4th ed.,
Paris, 1900).
[46] Estimate for 1900. H. Wagner, _Lehrbuch der Geographie_, i. P.
658.
[47] Estimate for year not stated. A.H. Keane in _International
Geography_, p. 108.
[48] In _Proc. R. G. S._ xiii. (1891) p. 27.
[49] On the influence of land on people see Shaler, _Nature and Man
in America_ (New York and London, 1892); and Ellen C. Semple's
_American History and its Geographic Conditions_ (Boston, 1903).
[50] See maps of density of population in Bartholomew's great
large-scale atlases, _Atlas of Scotland_ and _Atlas of England_.
[51] For the history of territorial changes in Europe, see Freeman,
_Historical Geography of Europe_, edited by Bury (Oxford), 1903; and
for the official definition of existing boundaries, see Hertslet,
_The Map of Europe by Treaty_ (4 vols., London, 1875, 1891); _The Map
of Africa by Treaty_ (3 vols., London, 1896). Also Lord Curzon's
Oxford address on _Frontiers_ (1907).
[52] For numerous special instances of the determining causes of town
sites, see G.G. Chisholm, "On the Distribution of Towns and Villages
in England," _Geographical Journal_ (1897), ix. 76, x. 511.
[53] The whole subject of anthropogeography is treated in a masterly
way by F. Ratzel in his _Anthropogeographie_ (Stuttgart, vol. i. 2nd
ed., 1899, vol. ii. 1891), and in his _Politische Geographie_
(Leipzig, 1897). The special question of the reaction of man on his
environment is handled by G.P. Marsh in _Man and Nature, or Physical
Geography as modified by Human Action_ (London, 1864).
[54] For commercial geography see G.G. Chisholm, _Manual of
Commercial Geography_ (1890).
GEOID (from Gr. [Greek: gê], the earth), an imaginary surface employed
by geodesists which has the property that every element of it is
perpendicular to the plumb-line where that line cuts it. Compared with
the "spheroid of reference" the surface of the geoid is in general
depressed over the oceans and raised over the great land masses. (See
EARTH, FIGURE OF THE.)
GEOK-TEPE, a former fortress of the Turkomans, in Russian Transcaspia,
in the oasis of Akhal-tekke, on the Transcaspian railway, 28 m. N.W. of
Askabad. It consisted of a walled enclosure 1¾ m. in circuit, the wall
being 18 ft. high and 20 to 30 ft. thick. In December 1880 the place was
attacked by 6000 Russians under General Skobelev, and after a siege of
twenty-three days was carried by storm, although the defenders numbered
25,000. A monument and a small museum commemorate the event.
GEOLOGY (from Gr. [Greek: gê], the earth, and [Greek: logos], science),
the science which investigates the physical history of the earth. Its
object is to trace the structural progress of our planet from the
earliest beginnings of its separate existence, through its various
stages of growth, down to the present condition of things. It seeks to
determine the manner in which the evolution of the earth's great surface
features has been effected. It unravels the complicated processes by
which each continent has been built up. It follows, even into detail,
the varied sculpture of mountain and valley, crag and ravine. Nor does
it confine itself merely to changes in the inorganic world. Geology
shows that the present races of plants and animals are the descendants
of other and very different races which once peopled the earth. It
teaches that there has been a progressive development of the
inhabitants, as well as one of the globe on which they have dwelt; that
each successive period in the earth's history, since the introduction of
living things, has been marked by characteristic types of the animal and
vegetable kingdoms; and that, however imperfectly the remains of these
organisms have been preserved or may be deciphered, materials exist for
a history of life upon the planet. The geographical distribution of
existing faunas and floras is often made clear and intelligible by
geological evidence; and in the same way light is thrown upon some of
the remoter phases in the history of man himself. A subject so
comprehensive as this must require a wide and varied basis of evidence.
It is one of the characteristics of geology to gather evidence from
sources which at first sight seem far removed from its scope, and to
seek aid from almost every other leading branch of science. Thus, in
dealing with the earliest conditions of the planet, the geologist must
fully avail himself of the labours of the astronomer. Whatever is
ascertainable by telescope, spectroscope or chemical analysis, regarding
the constitution of other heavenly bodies, has a geological bearing. The
experiments of the physicist, undertaken to determine conditions of
matter and of energy, may sometimes be taken as the starting-points of
geological investigation. The work of the chemical laboratory forms the
foundation of a vast and increasing mass of geological inquiry. To the
botanist, the zoologist, even to the unscientific, if observant,
traveller by land or sea, the geologist turns for information and
assistance.
But while thus culling freely from the dominions of other sciences,
geology claims as its peculiar territory the rocky framework of the
globe. In the materials composing that framework, their composition and
arrangement, the processes of their formation, the changes which they
have undergone, and the terrestrial revolutions to which they bear
witness, lie the main data of geological history. It is the task of the
geologist to group these elements in such a way that they may be made to
yield up their evidence as to the march of events in the evolution of
the planet. He finds that they have in large measure arranged themselves
in chronological sequence,--the oldest lying at the bottom and the
newest at the top. Relics of an ancient sea-floor are overlain by traces
of a vanished land-surface; these are in turn covered by the deposits of
a former lake, above which once more appear proofs of the return of the
sea. Among these rocky records lie the lavas and ashes of long-extinct
volcanoes. The ripple left upon the shore, the cracks formed by the
sun's heat upon the muddy bottom of a dried-up pool, the very imprint of
the drops of a passing rainshower, have all been accurately preserved,
and yield their evidence as to geographical conditions often widely
different from those which exist where such markings are now found.
But it is mainly by the remains of plants and animals imbedded in the
rocks that the geologist is guided in unravelling the chronological
succession of geological changes. He has found that a certain order of
appearance characterizes these organic remains, that each great group of
rocks is marked by its own special types of life, and that these types
can be recognized, and the rocks in which they occur can be correlated
even in distant countries, and where no other means of comparison would
be possible. At one moment he has to deal with the bones of some large
mammal scattered through a deposit of superficial gravel, at another
time with the minute foraminifers and ostracods of an upraised
sea-bottom. Corals and crinoids crowded and crushed into a massive
limestone where they lived and died, ferns and terrestrial plants matted
together into a bed of coal where they originally grew, the scattered
shells of a submarine sand-bank, the snails and lizards which lived and
died within a hollow-tree, the insects which have been imprisoned within
the exuding resin of old forests, the footprints of birds and
quadrupeds, the trails of worms left upon former shores--these, and
innumerable other pieces of evidence, enable the geologist to realize in
some measure what the faunas and floras of successive periods have been,
and what geographical changes the site of every land has undergone.
It is evident that to deal successfully with these varied materials, a
considerable acquaintance with different branches of science is needful.
Especially necessary is a tolerably wide knowledge of the processes now
at work in changing the surface of the earth, and of at least those
forms of plant and animal life whose remains are apt to be preserved in
geological deposits, or which in their structure and habitat enable us
to realize what their forerunners were. It has often been insisted that
the present is the key to the past; and in a wide sense this assertion
is eminently true. Only in proportion as we understand the present,
where everything is open on all sides to the fullest investigation, can
we expect to decipher the past, where so much is obscure, imperfectly
preserved or not preserved at all. A study of the existing economy of
nature ought thus to be the foundation of the geologist's training.
While, however, the present condition of things is thus employed, we
must obviously be on our guard against the danger of unconsciously
assuming that the phase of nature's operations which we now witness has
been the same in all past time, that geological changes have always or
generally taken place in former ages in the manner and on the scale
which we behold to-day, and that at the present time all the great
geological processes, which have produced changes in the past eras of
the earth's history, are still existent and active. As a working
hypothesis we may suppose that the nature of geological processes has
remained constant from the beginning; but we cannot postulate that the
action of these processes has never varied in energy. The few centuries
wherein man has been observing nature obviously form much too brief an
interval by which to measure the intensity of geological action in all
past time. For aught we can tell the present is an era of quietude and
slow change, compared with some of the eras which have preceded it. Nor
perhaps can we be quite sure that, when we have explored every
geological process now in progress, we have exhausted all the causes of
change which, even in comparatively recent times, have been at work.
In dealing with the geological record, as the accessible solid part of
the globe is called, we cannot too vividly realize that at the best it
forms but an imperfect chronicle. Geological history cannot be compiled
from a full and continuous series of documents. From the very nature of
its origin the record is necessarily fragmentary, and it has been
further mutilated and obscured by the revolutions of successive ages.
And even where the chronicle of events is continuous, it is of very
unequal value in different places. In one case, for example, it may
present us with an unbroken succession of deposits many thousands of
feet in thickness, from which, however, only a few meagre facts as to
geological history can be gleaned. In another instance it brings before
us, within the compass of a few yards, the evidence of a most varied and
complicated series of changes in physical geography, as well as an
abundant and interesting suite of organic remains. These and other
characteristics of the geological record become more apparent and
intelligible as we proceed in the study of the science.
_Classification._--For systematic treatment the subject may be
conveniently arranged in the following parts:--
1. _The Historical Development of Geological Science._--Here a brief
outline will be given of the gradual growth of geological conceptions
from the days of the Greeks and Romans down to modern times, tracing the
separate progress of the more important branches of inquiry and noting
some of the stages which in each case have led up to the present
condition of the science.
2. _The Cosmical Aspects of Geology._--This section embraces the
evidence supplied by astronomy and physics regarding the form and
motions of the earth, the composition of the planets and sun, and the
probable history of the solar system. The subjects dealt with under this
head are chiefly treated in separate articles.
3. _Geognosy._--An inquiry into the materials of the earth's substance.
This division, which deals with the parts of the earth, its envelopes of
air and water, its solid crust and the probable condition of its
interior, especially treats of the more important minerals of the crust,
and the chief rocks of which that crust is built up. Geognosy thus lays
a foundation of knowledge regarding the nature of the materials
constituting the mass of the globe, and prepares the way for an
investigation of the processes by which these materials are produced and
altered.
4. _Dynamical Geology_ studies the nature and working of the various
geological processes whereby the rocks of the earth's crust are formed
and metamorphosed, and by which changes are effected upon the
distribution of sea and land, and upon the forms of terrestrial
surfaces. Such an inquiry necessitates a careful examination of the
existing geological economy of nature, and forms a fitting introduction
to an inquiry into the geological changes of former periods.
5. _Geotectonic or Structural Geology_ has for its object the
architecture of the earth's crust. It embraces an inquiry into the
manner in which the various materials composing this crust have been
arranged. It shows that some have been formed in beds or strata of
sediment on the floor of the sea, that others have been built up by the
slow aggregation of organic forms, that others have been poured out in a
molten condition or in showers of loose dust from subterranean sources.
It further reveals that, though originally laid down in almost
horizontal beds, the rocks have subsequently been crumpled, contorted
and dislocated, that they have been incessantly worn down, and have
often been depressed and buried beneath later accumulations.
6. _Palaeontological Geology._--This branch of the subject, starting
from the evidence supplied by the organic forms which are found
preserved in the crust of the earth, includes such questions as the
relations between extinct and living types, the laws which appear to
have governed the distribution of life in time and in space, the
relative importance of different genera of animals in geological
inquiry, the nature and use of the evidence from organic remains
regarding former conditions of physical geography. Some of these
problems belong also to zoology and botany, and are more fully discussed
in the articles PALAEONTOLOGY and PALAEOBOTANY.
7. _Stratigraphical Geology._--This section might be called geological
history. It works out the chronological succession of the great
formations of the earth's crust, and endeavours to trace the sequence of
events of which they contain the record. More particularly, it
determines the order of succession of the various plants and animals
which in past time have peopled the earth, and thus ascertains what has
been the grand march of life upon this planet.
8. _Physiographical Geology_, proceeding from the basis of fact laid
down by stratigraphical geology regarding former geographical changes,
embraces an inquiry into the origin and history of the features of the
earth's surface--continental ridges and ocean basins, plains, valleys
and mountains. It explains the causes on which local differences of
scenery depend, and shows under what very different circumstances, and
at what widely separated intervals, the hills and mountains, even of a
single country, have been produced.
Most of the detail embraced in these several sections is relegated to
separate articles, to which references are here inserted. The following
pages thus deal mainly with the general principles and historical
development of the science:--
PART I.--HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
_Geological Ideas among the Greeks and Romans._--Many geological
phenomena present themselves in so striking a form that they could
hardly fail to impress the imagination of the earliest and rudest
races of mankind. Such incidents as earthquakes and volcanic
eruptions, destructive storms on land and sea, disastrous floods and
landslips suddenly strewing valleys with ruin, must have awakened the
terror of those who witnessed them. Prominent features of landscape,
such as mountain-chains with their snows, clouds and thunderstorms,
dark river-chasms that seem purposely cleft open in order to give
passage to the torrents that rush through them, crags with their
impressive array of pinnacles and recesses must have appealed of old,
as they still do, to the awe and wonder of those who for the first
time behold them. Again, banks of sea-shells in far inland districts
would, in course of time, arrest the attention of the more intelligent
and reflective observers, and raise in their minds some kind of
surmise as to how such shells could ever have come there. These and
other conspicuous geological problems found their earliest solution in
legends and myths, wherein the more striking terrestrial features and
the elemental forces of nature were represented to be the
manifestation of the power of unseen supernatural beings.
The basin of the Mediterranean Sea was especially well adapted, from
its physical conditions, to be the birth-place of such fables. It is a
region frequently shaken by earthquakes, and contains two distinct
centres of volcanic activity, one in the Aegean Sea and one in Italy.
It is bounded on the north by a long succession of lofty snow-capped
mountain-ranges, whence copious rivers, often swollen by heavy rains
or melted snows, carry the drainage into the sea. On the south it
boasts the Nile, once so full of mystery; likewise wide tracts of arid
desert with their dreaded dust storms. The Mediterranean itself,
though an inland sea, is subject to gales, which, on exposed coasts,
raise breakers quite large enough to give a vivid impression of the
power of ocean waves. The countries that surround this great sheet of
water display in many places widely-spread deposits full of sea
shells, like those that still live in the neighbouring bays and gulfs.
Such a region was not only well fitted to supply subjects for
mythology, but also to furnish, on every side, materials which, in
their interest and suggestiveness, would appeal to the reason of
observant men.
It was natural, therefore, that the early philosophers of Greece
should have noted some of these geological features, and should have
sought for other explanations of them than those to be found in the
popular myths. The opinions entertained in antiquity on these subjects
may be conveniently grouped under two heads: (1) Geological processes
now in operation, and (2) geological changes in the past.
Earthquakes and volcanoes.
1. _Contemporary Processes._--The geological processes of the present
time are partly at work underground and partly on the surface of the
earth. The former, from their frequently disastrous character,
received much attention from Greek and Roman authors. Aristotle, in
his _Meteorics_, cites the speculations of several of his predecessors
which he rejects in favour of his own opinion to the effect that
earthquakes are due to the generation of wind within the earth, under
the influence of the warmth of the sun and the internal heat. Wind,
being the lightest and most rapidly moving body, is the cause of
motion in other bodies, and fire, united with wind, becomes flame,
which is endowed with great rapidity of motion. Aristotle looked upon
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as closely connected with each
other, the discharge of hot materials to the surface being the result
of a severe earthquake, when finally the wind rushes out with
violence, and sometimes buries the surrounding country under sparks
and cinders, as had happened at Lipari. These crude conceptions of
the nature of volcanic action, and the cause of earthquakes, continued
to prevail for many centuries. They are repeated by Lucretius, who,
however, following Anaximenes, includes as one of the causes of
earthquakes the fall of mountainous masses of rock undermined by time,
and the consequent propagation of gigantic tremors far and wide
through the earth. Strabo, having travelled through the volcanic
districts of Italy, was able to recognize that Vesuvius had once been
an active volcano, although no eruption had taken place from it within
human memory. He continued to hold the belief that volcanic energy
arose from the movement of subterranean wind. He believed that the
district around the Strait of Messina, which had formerly suffered
from destructive earthquakes, was seldom visited by them after the
volcanic vents of that region had been opened, so as to provide an
escape for the subterranean fire, wind, water and burning masses. He
cites in his _Geography_ a number of examples of widespread as well as
local sinkings of land, and alludes also to the uprise of the
sea-bottom. He likewise regards some islands as having been thrown up
by volcanic agency, and others as torn from the mainland by such
convulsions as earthquakes.
The most detailed account of earthquake phenomena which has come down
to us from antiquity is that of Seneca in his _Quaestiones Naturales_.
This philosopher had been much interested in the accounts given him by
survivors and witnesses of the earthquake which convulsed the district
of Naples in February A.D. 63. He distinguished several distinct
movements of the ground: 1st, the up and down motion (_succussio_);
2nd, the oscillatory motion (_inclinatio_); and probably a third, that
of trembling or vibration. While admitting that some earthquakes may
arise from the collapse of the walls of subterranean cavities, he
adhered to the old idea, held by the most numerous and important
previous writers, that these commotions are caused mainly by the
movements of wind imprisoned within the earth. As to the origin of
volcanic outbursts he supposed that the subterranean wind in
struggling for an outlet, and whirling through the chasms and
passages, meets with great store of sulphur and other combustible
substances, which by mere friction are set on fire. The elder Pliny
reiterates the commonly accepted opinion as to the efficacy of wind
underground. In discussing the phenomena of earthquakes he remarks
that towns with many culverts and houses with cellars suffer less than
others, and that at Naples those houses are most shaken which stand on
hard ground. It thus appears that with regard to subterranean
geological operations, no advance was made during the time of the
Greeks and Romans as to the theoretical explanation of these
phenomena; but a considerable body of facts was collected, especially
as to the effects of earthquakes and the occurrence of volcanic
eruptions.
Action of rivers.
The superficial processes of geology, being much less striking than
those of subterranean energy, naturally attracted less attention in
antiquity. The operations of rivers, however, which so intimately
affect a human population, were watched with more or less care.
Herodotus, struck by the amount of alluvial silt brought down annually
by the Nile and spread over the flat inundated land, inferred that
"Egypt is the gift of the river." Aristotle, in discussing some of the
features of rivers, displays considerable acquaintance with the
various drainage-systems on the north side of the Mediterranean basin.
He refers to the mountains as condensers of the atmospheric moisture,
and shows that the largest rivers rise among the loftiest high
grounds. He shows how sensibly the alluvial deposits carried down to
the sea increase the breadth of the land, and cites some parts of the
shores of the Black Sea, where, in sixty years, the rivers had brought
down such a quantity of material that the vessels then in use required
to be of much smaller draught than previously, the water shallowing so
much that the marshy ground would, in course of time, become dry land.
Strabo supplies further interesting information as to the work of
rivers in making their alluvial plains and in pushing their deltas
seaward. He remarks that these deltas are prevented from advancing
farther outward by the ebb and flow of the tides.
Occurrences of fossils.
2. _Past Processes._--The abundant well-preserved marine shells
exposed among the upraised Tertiary and post-Tertiary deposits in the
countries bordering the Mediterranean are not infrequently alluded to
in Greek and Latin literature. Xenophanes of Colophon (614 B.C.)
noticed the occurrence of shells and other marine productions inland
among the mountains, and inferred from them that the land had risen
out of the sea. A similar conclusion was drawn by Xanthus the Lydian
(464 B.C.) from shells like scallops and cockles, which were found far
from the sea in Armenia and Lower Phrygia. Herodotus, Eratosthenes,
Strato and Strabo noted the vast quantities of fossil shells in
different parts of Egypt, together with beds of salt, as evidence that
the sea had once spread over the country. But by far the most
philosophical opinions on the past mutations of the earth's surface
are those expressed by Aristotle in the treatise already cited.
Reviewing the evidence of these changes, he recognized that the sea
now covers tracts that were once dry land, and that land will one day
reappear where there is now sea. These alternations are to be regarded
as following each other in a certain order and periodicity. But they
are apt to escape our notice because they require successive periods
of time, which, compared with our brief existence, are of enormous
duration, and because they are brought about so imperceptibly that we
fail to detect them in progress. In a celebrated passage in his
_Metamorphoses_, Ovid puts into the mouth of the philosopher
Pythagoras an account of what was probably regarded as the Pythagorean
view of the subject in the Augustan age. It affirms the interchange of
land and sea, the erosion of valleys by descending rivers, the washing
down of mountains into the sea, the disappearance of the rivers and
the submergence of land by earthquake movements, the separation of
some islands from, and the union of others with, the mainland, the
uprise of hills by volcanic action, the rise and extinction of burning
mountains. There was a time before Etna began to glow, and the time is
coming when the mountain will cease to burn.
From this brief sketch it will be seen that while the ancients had
accumulated a good deal of information regarding the occurrence of
geological changes, their interpretations of the phenomena were to a
considerable extent mere fanciful speculation. They had acquired only
a most imperfect conception of the nature and operation of the
geological processes; and though many writers realized that the
surface of the earth has not always been, and will not always remain,
as it is now, they had no glimpse of the vast succession of changes of
that surface which have been revealed by geology. They built
hypotheses on the slenderest basis of fact, and did not realize the
necessity of testing or verifying them.
_Progress of Geological Conceptions in the Middle Ages._--During the
centuries that succeeded the fall of the Western empire little
progress was made in natural science. The schoolmen in the monasteries
and other seminaries were content to take their science from the
literature of Greece and Rome. The Arabs, however, not only collected
and translated that literature, but in some departments made original
observations themselves. To one of the most illustrious of their
number, Avicenna, the translator of Aristotle, a treatise has been
ascribed, in which singularly modern ideas are expressed regarding
mountains, some of which are there stated to have been produced by an
uplifting of the ground, while others have been left prominent, owing
to the wearing away of the softer rocks around them. In either case,
it is confessed that the process would demand long tracts of time for
its completion.
After the revival of learning the ancient problem presented by fossil
shells imbedded in the rocks of the interior of many countries
received renewed attention. But the conditions for its solution were
no longer what they had been in the days of the philosophers of
antiquity. Men were not now free to adopt and teach any doctrine they
pleased on the subject. The Christian church had meanwhile arisen to
power all over Europe, and adjudged as heretics all who ventured to
impugn any of her dogmas. She taught that the land and the sea had
been separated on the third day of creation, before the appearance of
any animal life, which was not created until the fifth day. To assert
that the dry land is made up in great part of rocks that were formed
in the sea, and are crowded with the remains of animals, was plainly
to impugn the veracity of the Bible. Again, it had come to be the
orthodox belief that only somewhere about 6000 years had elapsed since
the time of Adam and Eve. If any thoughtful observer, impressed with
the overwhelming force of the evidence that the fossiliferous
formations of the earth's crust must have taken long periods of time
for their accumulation, ventured to give public expression to his
conviction, he ran considerable risk of being proceeded against as a
heretic. It was needful, therefore, to find some explanation of the
facts of nature, which would not run counter to the ecclesiastical
system of the day. Various such interpretations were proposed,
doubtless in an honest endeavour at reconciliation. Three of these
deserve special notice: (1) Many able observers and diligent
collectors of fossils persuaded themselves that these objects never
belonged to organisms of any kind, but should be regarded as mere
"freaks of nature," having no more connexion with any once living
creature than the frost patterns on a window. They were styled
"formed" or "figured" stones, "lapides sui generis," and were asserted
to be due to some inorganic imitative process within the earth or to
the influence of the stars. (2) Observers who could not resist the
evidence of their senses that the fossil shells once belonged to
living animals, and who, at the same time, felt the necessity of
accounting for the presence of marine organisms in the rocks of which
the dry land is largely built up, sought a way out of the difficulty
by invoking the Deluge of Noah. Here was a catastrophe which, they
said, extended over the whole globe, and by which the entire dry land
was submerged even up to the tops of the high hills. True, it only
lasted one hundred and fifty days, but so little were the facts then
appreciated that no difficulty seems to have been generally felt in
crowding the accumulation of the thousands of feet of fossiliferous
formations into that brief space of time. (3) Some more intelligent
men in Italy, recognizing that these interpretations could not be
upheld, fell back upon the idea that the rocks in which fossil shells
are imbedded might have been heaped up by repeated and vigorous
eruptions from volcanic centres. Certain modern eruptions in the
Aegean Sea and in the Bay of Naples had drawn attention to the
rapidity with which hills of considerable size could be piled around
an active crater. It was argued that if Monte Nuovo near Naples could
have been accumulated to a height of nearly 500 ft. in two days, there
seemed to be no reason against believing that, during the time of the
Flood, and in the course of the centuries that have elapsed since
that event, the whole of the fossiliferous rocks might have been
deposited. Unfortunately for this hypothesis it ignored the fact that
these rocks do not consist of volcanic materials.
Leonardo da Vinci; Fracastorio; Falloppio.
So long as the fundamental question remained in dispute as to the true
character and history of the stratified portion of the earth's crust
containing organic remains, geology as a science could not begin its
existence. The diluvialists (those who relied on the hypothesis of the
Flood) held the field during the 16th, 17th and a great part of the
18th century. They were looked on as the champions of orthodoxy; and,
on that account, they doubtless wielded much more influence than would
have been gained by them from the force of their arguments. Yet during
those ages there were not wanting occasional observers who did good
service in combating the prevalent misconceptions, and in preparing
the way for the ultimate triumph of truth. It was more especially in
Italy, where many of the more striking phenomena of geology are
conspicuously displayed, that the early pioneers of the science arose,
and that for several generations the most marked progress was made
towards placing the investigations of the past history of the earth
upon a basis of careful observation and scientific deduction. One of
the first of these leaders was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), who,
besides his achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture and
engineering, contributed some notable observations regarding the great
problem of the origin of fossil shells. He ridiculed the notion that
these objects could have been formed by the influence of the stars,
and maintained that they had once belonged to living organisms, and
therefore that what is now land was formerly covered by the sea.
Girolamo Fracastorio (1483-1553) claimed that the shells could never
have been left by the Flood, which was a mere temporary inundation,
but that they proved the mountains, in which they occur, to have been
successively uplifted out of the sea. On the other hand, even an
accomplished anatomist like Gabriello Falloppio (1523-1562) found it
easier to believe that the bones of elephants, teeth of sharks, shells
and other fossils were mere earthy inorganic concretions, than that
the waters of Noah's Flood could ever nave reached as far as Italy.
Nicolas Steno.
By much the most important member of this early band of Italian
writers was undoubtedly Nicolas Steno (1631-1687), who, though born in
Copenhagen, ultimately settled in Florence. Having made a European
reputation as an anatomist, his attention was drawn to geological
problems by finding that the rocks of the north of Italy contained
what appeared to be sharks' teeth closely resembling those of a
dog-fish, of which he had published the anatomy. Cautiously at first,
for fear of offending orthodox opinions, but afterwards more boldly,
he proclaimed his conviction that those objects had once been part of
living animals, and that they threw light on some of the past history
of the earth. He published in 1669 a small tract, _De solido intra
solidum naturaliter contento_, in which he developed the ideas he had
formed of this history from an attentive study of the rocks. He showed
that the stratified formations of the hills and valleys consist of
such materials as would be laid down in the form of sediment in turbid
water; that where they contain marine productions this water is proved
to have been the sea; that diversities in their composition point to
commingling of currents, carrying different kinds of sediment of which
the heaviest would first sink to the bottom. He made original and
important observations on stratification, and laid down some of the
fundamental axioms in stratigraphy. He reasoned that as the original
position of strata was approximately horizontal, when they are found
to be steeply inclined or vertical, or bent into arches, they have
been disrupted by subterranean exhalations, or by the falling in of
the roofs of underground cavernous spaces. It is to this alteration of
the original position of the strata that the inequalities of the
earth's surface, such as mountains, are to be ascribed, though some
have been formed by the outburst of fire, ashes and stones from inside
the earth. Another effect of the dislocation has been to provide
fissures, which serve as outlets for springs. Steno's anatomical
training peculiarly fitted him for dealing authoritatively with the
question of the nature and origin of the fossils contained in the
rocks. He had no hesitation in affirming that, even if no shells had
ever been found living in the sea, the internal structure of these
fossils would demonstrate that they once formed parts of living
animals. And not only shells, but teeth, bones and skeletons of many
kinds of fishes had been quarried out of the rocks, while some of the
strata had skulls, horns and teeth of land-animals. Illustrating his
general principles by a sketch of what he supposed to have been the
past history of Tuscany, he added a series of diagrams which show how
clearly he had conceived the essential elements of stratigraphy. He
thought he could perceive the records of six successive phases in the
evolution of the framework of that country, and was inclined to
believe that a similar chronological sequence would be found all over
the world. He anticipated the objections that would be brought against
his views on account of the insuperable difficulty in granting the
length of time that would be required for all the geographical
vicissitudes which his interpretation required. He thought that many
of the fossils must be as old as the time of the general deluge, but
he was careful not to indulge in any speculation as to the antiquity
of the earth.
Lazzaro Moro.
To the Italian school, as especially typified in Steno, must be
assigned the honour of having thus begun to lay firmly and truly the
first foundation stones of the modern science of geology. The same
school included Antonio Vallisneri (1661-1730), who surpassed his
predecessors in his wider and more exact knowledge of the
fossiliferous rocks that form the backbone of the Italian peninsula,
which he contended were formed during a wide and prolonged submergence
of the region, altogether different from the brief deluge of Noah.
There was likewise Lazzaro Moro (1687-1740), who did good service
against the diluvialists, but the fundamental feature of his system of
nature lay in the preponderant part which, unaware of the great
difference between volcanic materials and ordinary sediment, he
assigned to volcanic action in the production of the sedimentary rocks
of the earth's crust. He supposed that in the beginning the globe was
completely surrounded with water, beneath which the solid earth lay as
a smooth ball. On the third day of creation, however, vast fires were
kindled inside the globe, whereby the smooth surface of stone was
broken up, and portions of it, appearing above the water, formed the
earliest land. From that time onward, volcanic eruptions succeeded
each other, not only on the emerged land, but on the sea-floor, over
which the ejected material spread in an ever augmenting thickness of
sedimentary strata. In this way Moro carried the history of the
stratified rocks beyond the time of the Flood back to the Creation,
which was supposed to have been some 1600 years earlier; and he
brought it down to the present day, when fresh sedimentary deposits
are continually accumulating. He thus incurred no censure from the
ecclesiastical guardians of the faith, and he succeeded in attracting
increased public attention to the problems of geology. The influence
of his teaching, however, was subsequently in great part due to the
Carmelite friar Generelli, who published an eloquent exposition of
Moro's views.
_The Cosmogonists and Theories of the Earth._--While in Italy
substantial progress was made in collecting information regarding the
fossiliferous formations of that country, and in forming conclusions
concerning them based upon more or less accurate observations, the
tendency to mere fanciful speculation, which could not be wholly
repressed in any country, reached a remarkable extravagance in
England. In proportion as materials were yet lacking from which to
construct a history of the evolution of our planet in accordance with
the teaching of the church, imagination supplied the place of
ascertained fact, and there appeared during the last twenty years of
the 18th century a group of English cosmogonists, who, by the
sensational character of their speculations, aroused general attention
both in Britain and on the continent. It may be doubted, however,
whether the effect of their writings was not to hinder the advance of
true science by diverting men from the observation of nature into
barren controversy over unrealities. It is not needful here to do more
than mention the names of Thomas Burnet, whose _Sacred Theory of the
Earth_ appeared in 1681, and William Whiston, whose New Theory of the
Earth was published in 1696. Hardly less fanciful than these writers,
though his practical acquaintance with rocks and fossils was
infinitely greater, was John Woodward, whose _Essay towards a Natural
History of the Earth_ dates from 1695. More important as a
contribution to science was the catalogue of the large collection of
fossils, which he had made from the rocks of England and which he
bequeathed to the university of Cambridge. This catalogue appeared in
1728-1729 with the title of _An attempt towards a Natural History of
the Fossils of England_.
Descartes.
A striking contrast to these cosmogonists is furnished by another
group, which arose in France and Germany, and gave to the world the
first rational ideas concerning the probable primeval evolution of our
globe. The earliest of these pioneers was the illustrious philosopher
René Descartes (1596-1650). He propounded a scheme of cosmical
development in which he represented the earth, like the other planets,
to have been originally a mass of glowing material like the sun, and
to have gradually cooled on the outside, while still retaining an
incandescent, self-luminous nucleus. Yet with this noble conception,
which modern science has accepted, Descartes could not shake himself
free from the time-honoured error in regard to the origin of volcanic
action. He thought that certain exhalations within the earth condense
into oil, which, when in violent motion, enters into the subterranean
cavities, where it passes into a kind of smoke. This smoke is from
time to time ignited by a spark of fire and, pressing violently
against its containing walls, gives rise to earthquakes. If the flame
breaks through to the surface at the top of a mountain, it may escape
with enormous energy, hurling forth much earth mingled with sulphur or
bitumen, and thus producing a volcano. The mountain might burn for a
long time until at last its store of fuel in the shape of sulphur or
bitumen would be exhausted. Not only did the philosopher refrain from
availing himself of the high internal temperature of the globe as the
source of volcanic energy, he even did not make use of it as the cause
of the ignition of his supposed internal fuel, but speculated on the
kindling of the subterranean fires by the spirits or gases setting
fire to the exhalations, or by the fall of masses of rock and the
sparks produced by their friction or percussion.
Leibnitz.
The ideas of Descartes regarding planetary evolution were enlarged and
made more definite by Wilhelm Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716), whose
teaching has largely influenced all subsequent speculation on the
subject. In his great tract, the _Protogaea_ (published in 1749,
thirty-three years after his death), he traced the probable passage of
our earth from an original condition of incandescent vapour into that
of a smooth molten globe, which, by continuous cooling, acquired an
external solid crust and rugose surface. He thought that the more
ancient rocks, such as granite and gneiss, might be portions of the
earliest outer crust; and that as the external solidification
advanced, immense subterranean cavities were left which were filled
with air and water. By the collapse of the roofs of these caverns,
valleys might be originated at the surface, while the solid
intervening walls would remain in place and form mountains. By the
disruption of the crust, enormous bodies of water were launched over
the surface of the earth, which swept vast quantities of sediment
together, and thus gave rise to sedimentary deposits. After many
vicissitudes of this kind, the terrestrial forces calmed down, and a
more stable condition of things was established.
An important feature in the cosmogony of Leibnitz is the prominent
place which he assigned to organic remains in the stratified rocks of
the crust. Ridiculing the foolish attempts to account for the presence
of these objects by calling them "sports of nature," he showed that
they are to be regarded as historical monuments; and he adduced a
number of instances wherein successive platforms of strata, containing
organic remains, bear witness to a series of advances and retreats of
the sea. He recognized that some of the fossils appeared to have
nothing like them in the living world of to-day, but some analogous
forms might yet be found, he thought, in still unexplored parts of the
earth; and even if no living representatives should ever be
discovered, many types of animals might have undergone transformation
during the great changes which had affected the surface of the earth.
In spite of his clear realization of the vast store of potential
energy residing within the highly heated interior of the earth,
Leibnitz continued to regard volcanic action as due to the combustion
of inflammable substances enclosed within the terrestrial crust, such
as stone-coal, naphtha and sulphur.
Buffon.
Appealing to a much wider public than Descartes or Leibnitz, and
basing his speculations on a wider acquaintance with the organic and
inorganic realms of nature, G.L.L. de Buffon (1707-1788) was
undoubtedly one of the most influential forces that in Europe guided
the growth of geological ideas during the 18th century. He published
in 1749 a _Theory of the Earth_, in which he adopted views similar to
those of Descartes and Leibnitz as to planetary evolution; but though
he realized the importance of fossils as records of former conditions
of the earth's surface, he accounted for them by supposing that they
had been deposited from a universal ocean, a large part of which had
subsequently been engulfed into caverns in the interior of the globe.
Thirty years later, after having laboured with skill and enthusiasm in
all branches of natural history, he published another work, his famous
_Époques de la nature_ (1778), which is specially remarkable as the
first attempt to deal with the history of the earth in a chronological
manner, and to compute, on a basis of experiment, the antiquity of the
several stages of this history. His experiments were made with globes
of cast iron, and could not have yielded results of any value for his
purpose; but in so far as his calculations were not mere random
guesses but had some kind of foundation on experiment, they deserve
respectful recognition. He divided the history of our earth into six
periods of unequal duration, the whole comprising a period of some
70,000 or 75,000 years. He supposed that the stage of incandescence,
before the globe had consolidated to the centre, lasted 2936 years,
and that about 35,000 years elapsed before the surface had cooled
sufficiently to be touched, and therefore to be capable of supporting
living things. Terrestrial animal life, however, was not introduced
until 55,000 or 60,000 years after the beginning of the world or about
15,000 years before our time. Looking into the future, he foresaw
that, by continued refrigeration, our globe will eventually become
colder than ice, and this fair face of nature, with its manifold
varieties of plant and animal life, will perish after having existed
for 132,000 years.
Buffon's conception of the operation of the geological agents did not
become broader or more accurate in the interval between the appearance
of his two treatises. He still continued to believe in the lowering of
the ocean by subsidence into vast subterranean cavities, with a
consequent emergence of land. He still looked on volcanoes as due to
the burning of "pyritous and combustible stones," though he now called
in the co-operation of electricity. He calculated that the first
volcanoes could not arise until some 50,000 years after the beginning
of the world, by which time a sufficient extent of dense vegetation
had been buried in the earth to supply them with fuel. He appears to
have had but an imperfect acquaintance with the literature of his own
time. At least there can be little doubt that had he availed himself
of the labours of his own countryman, Jean Etienne Guettard
(1715-1786), of Giovanni Arduíno (1714-1795) in Italy, and of Johann
Gottlob Lehmann (d. 1767) and George Christian Füchsel (1722-1773) in
Germany, he would have been able to give to his "epochs" a more
definite succession of events and a greater correspondence with the
facts of nature.
James Hutton.
Among the writers of the 18th century, who formed philosophical
conceptions of the system of processes by which the life of our earth
as a habitable globe is carried on, a foremost place must be assigned
to James Hutton (1726-1797). Educated for the medical profession, he
studied at Edinburgh and at Paris, and took his doctor's degree at
Leiden. But having inherited a small landed property in Berwickshire,
he took to agriculture, and after putting his land into excellent
order, let his farm and betook himself to Edinburgh, there to gratify
the scientific tastes which he had developed early in life. He had
been more especially led to study minerals and rocks, and to meditate
on the problems which they suggest as to the constitution and history
of the earth. His journeys in Britain and on the continent of Europe
had furnished him with material for reflection; and he had gradually
evolved a system or theory in which all the scattered facts could be
arranged so as to show their mutual dependence and their place in the
orderly mechanism of the world. He used to discuss his views with one
or two of his friends, but refrained from publishing them to the world
until, on the foundation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he
communicated an outline of his doctrine to that learned body in 1785.
Some years later he expanded this first essay into a larger work in
two volumes, which were published in 1795 with the title of _Theory of
the Earth, with Proofs and Illustrations_.
John Playfair.
Hutton's teaching has exercised a profound influence on modern
geology. This influence, however, has arisen less from his own
writings than from the account of his doctrines given by his friend
John Playfair in the classic work entitled _Illustrations of the
Huttonian Theory_, published in 1802. Hutton wrote in so prolix and
obscure a style as rather to repel than attract readers. Playfair, on
the other hand, expressed himself in such clear and graceful language
as to command general attention, and to gain wide acceptance for his
master's views. Unlike the older cosmogonists, Hutton refrained from
trying to explain the origin of things, and from speculations as to
what might possibly have been the early history of our globe. He
determined from the outset to interpret the past by what can be seen
to be the present order of nature; and he refused to admit the
operation of causes which cannot be shown to be part of the actual
terrestrial system. Like other observers who had preceded him, he
recognized in the various rocks composing the dry land evidence of
former geographical conditions very different from those which now
prevail. He saw that the vast majority of rocks consist of hardened
sediments and must have been deposited in the sea. He could
distinguish among them an older or Primary series, and a younger or
Secondary series; and did not dispute the existence of a Tertiary
series claimed by Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811). He believed that
these various aqueous accumulations had been consolidated by
subterranean heat, that the oldest and lowest rocks had suffered most
from this action, that into these more deep-seated masses subsequent
veins and larger bodies of molten matter were injected from below, and
thus that what was originally loose detritus eventually became changed
in such crystalline schists as are now found in mountain-chains. In
the course of these terrestrial revolutions sedimentary strata,
originally more or less nearly horizontal, have been pushed upward,
dislocated, crumpled, placed on end, and even elevated to form ranges
of lofty mountains. Hutton looked upon these disturbances as due to
the expansive power of subterranean heat; but he did not attempt to
sketch the mechanism of the process, and he expressly declined to
offer any conjecture as to how the land so elevated remains in that
position. He thought that the interior of our planet may "be a fluid
mass, melted, but unchanged by the action of heat"; and, far from
connecting volcanoes with the combustion of inflammable substances, as
had been the prevalent belief for so many centuries, he looked upon
them as a beneficent provision of "spiracles to the subterranean
furnace, in order to prevent the unnecessary elevation of land and
fatal effects of earthquakes."
A distinguishing feature of the Huttonian philosophy is to be seen in
the breadth of its conceptions regarding the geological operations
continually in progress on the surface of the globe. Hutton saw that
the land is undergoing a ceaseless process of degradation, through the
influence of the air, frost, rain, rivers and the sea, and that in
course of time, if no countervailing agency should intervene, the
whole of the dry land will be washed away into the sea. But he also
perceived that this universal erosion is not everywhere carried on at
the same rate; that it is specially active along the channels of
torrents and rivers, and that, owing to this difference these channels
are gradually deepened and widened, until the complicated
valley-system of a country is carved out. He recognized that the
detritus worn away from the land must be spread out over the floor of
the sea, so as to form there strata similar to those that compose most
of the dry land. As he could detect in the structure of land
convincing evidence that former sea floors had been elevated to form
the continents and islands of to-day, he could look forward to future
ages, when the same subterranean agency which had raised up the
present land would again be employed to uplift the bed of the existing
ocean, thus to renew the surface of our earth as a habitable globe,
and to start a fresh cycle of erosion and deposition.
Lamarck.
Though Hutton was not unaware that organic remains abound in many of
the stratified rocks, he left them out of consideration in the
elaboration of his theory. It was otherwise with one of his French
contemporaries, the illustrious J.B. Lamarck (1744-1829), who, after
having attained great eminence as a botanist, turned to zoology when
he was nearly fifty years of age, and before long rose to even greater
distinction in that department of science. His share in the
classification and description of the mollusca and in founding
invertebrate palaeontology, his theory of organic evolution and his
philosophical treatment of many biological questions have been tardily
recognized, but his contributions to geology have been less generally
acknowledged. When he accepted the "professorship of zoology; of
insects, of worms and of microscopic animals" at the Museum of Natural
History, Paris, in 1793, he at once entered with characteristic ardour
and capacity into the new field of research then opened to him. In
dealing with the mollusca he considered not merely the living but also
the extinct forms, especially the abundant, varied and well-preserved
genera and species furnished by the Tertiary deposits of the Paris
basin, of which he published descriptions and plates that proved of
essential service in the stratigraphical work of Cuvier and Alexandre
Brongniart (1770-1847). His labours among these relics of ancient seas
and lakes led him to ponder over the past history of the globe, and as
he was seldom dilatory in making known the opinions he had formed, he
communicated some of his conclusions to the National Institute in
1799. These, including a further elaboration of his views, he
published in 1802 in a small volume entitled Hydrogéologie.
This treatise, though it did not reach a second edition and has never
been reprinted, deserves an honourable place in geological literature.
Its object, the author states, was to present some important and novel
considerations, which he thought should form the basis of a true
theory of the earth. He entirely agreed with the doctrine of the
subaerial degradation of the land and the erosion of valleys by
running water. Not even Playfair could have stated this doctrine more
emphatically, and it is worthy of notice that Playfair's
_Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory_ appeared in the same year with
Lamarck's book. The French naturalist, however, carried his
conclusions so far as to take no account of any great movements of the
terrestrial crust, which might have produced or modified the main
physical features of the surface of the globe. He thought that all
mountains, except such as were thrown up by volcanic agency or local
accidents, have been cut out of plains, the original surfaces of which
are indicated by the crests and summits of these elevations.
Lamarck, in reflecting upon the wide diffusion of fossil shells and
the great height above the sea at which they are found, conceived the
extraordinary idea that the ocean basin has been scoured out by the
sea, and that, by an impulse communicated to the waters through the
influence chiefly of the moon, the sea is slowly eating away the
eastern margins of the continents, and throwing up detritus on their
western coasts, and is thus gradually shifting its basin round the
globe. He would not admit the operation of cataclysms; but insisted as
strongly as Hutton on the continuity of natural processes, and on the
necessity of explaining former changes of the earth's surface by
causes which can still be seen to be in operation. As might be
anticipated from his previous studies, he brought living things and
their remains into the forefront of his theory of the earth. He looked
upon fossils as one of the chief means of comprehending the
revolutions which the surface of the earth has undergone; and in his
little volume he again and again dwells on the vast antiquity to which
these revolutions bear witness. He acutely argues, from the condition
of fossil shells, that they must have lived and died where their
remains are now found.
In the last part of his treatise Lamarck advances some peculiar
opinions in physics and chemistry, which he had broached eighteen
years before, but which had met with no acceptance among the
scientific men of his time. He believed that the tendency of all
compound substances is to decay, and thereby to be resolved into their
component constituents. Yet he saw that the visible crust of the earth
consists almost wholly of compound bodies. He therefore set himself to
solve the problem thus presented. Perceiving that the biological
action of living organisms is constantly forming combinations of
matter, which would never have otherwise come into existence, he
proceeded to draw the extraordinary conclusion that the action of
plant and animal life (the _Pouvoir de la vie_) upon the inorganic
world is so universal and so potent, that the rocks and minerals which
form the outer part of the earth's crust are all, without exception,
the result of the operations of once living bodies. Though this
sweeping deduction must be allowed to detract from the value of
Lamarck's work, there can be no doubt that he realized, more fully
than any one had done before him, the efficacy of plants and animals
as agents of geological change.
Cuvier.
The last notable contributor to the cosmological literature of geology
was another illustrious Frenchman, the comparative anatomist Cuvier
(1769-1832). He was contemporary with Lamarck, but of a very different
type of mind. The brilliance of his speculations, and the charm with
which he expounded them, early gained for him a prominent place in the
society of Paris. He too was drawn by his zoological studies to
investigate fossil organic remains, and to consider the former
conditions of the earth's surface, of which they are memorials. It was
among the vertebrate organisms of the Paris basin that he found his
chief material, and from them that he prepared the memoirs which led
to him being regarded as the founder of vertebrate palaeontology. But
beyond their biological interest, they awakened in him a keen desire
to ascertain the character and sequence of the geographical
revolutions to which they bear witness. He approached the subject from
an opposite and less philosophical point of view than that of Lamarck,
coming to it with certain preconceived notions, which affected all
his subsequent writings. While Lamarck was by instinct an
evolutionist, who sought to trace in the history of the past the
operation of the same natural processes as are still at work, Cuvier,
on the other hand, was a catastrophist, who invoked a succession of
vast cataclysms to account for the interruptions in the continuity of
the geological record.
In a preliminary _Discourse_ prefixed to his _Recherches sur les
ossemens fossiles_ (1821) Cuvier gave an outline of what he conceived
to have been the past history of our globe, so far as he had been able
to comprehend it from his investigations of the Tertiary formations of
France. He believed that in that history evidence can be recognized of
the occurrence of many sudden and disastrous revolutions, which, to
judge from their effects on the animal life of the time, must have
exceeded in violence anything we can conceive at the present day, and
must have been brought about by other agencies than those which are
now in operation. Yet, in spite of these catastrophes, he saw that
there has been an upward progress in the animal forms inhabiting the
globe, until the series ended in the advent of man. He could not,
however, find any evidence that one species has been developed from
another, for in that case there should have been traces of
intermediate forms among the stratified formations, where he affirmed
that they had never been found. A prominent position in the
_Discourse_ is given to a strenuous argument to disprove the alleged
antiquity of some nations, and to show that the last great catastrophe
occurred not more than some 5000 or 6000 years ago. Cuvier thus linked
himself with those who in previous generations had contended for the
efficacy of the Deluge. But his researches among fossil animals had
given him a far wider outlook into the geological past, and had opened
up to him a succession of deeply interesting problems in the history
of life upon the earth, which, though he had not himself material for
their solution, he could foresee would be cleared up in the future.
_Gradual Shaping of Geology into a Distinct Branch of Science._--It
will be seen from the foregoing historical sketch that it was only
after the lapse of long centuries, and from the labours of many
successive generations of observers and writers, that what we now know
as the science of geology came to be recognized as a distinct
department of natural knowledge, founded upon careful and extended
study of the structure of the earth, and upon observation of the
natural processes, which are now at work in changing the earth's
surface. The term "geology,"[1] descriptive of this branch of the
investigation of nature, was not proposed until the last quarter of
the 18th century by Jean André De Luc (1727-1817) and Horace Benedict
De Saussure (1740-1749). But the science was then in a markedly
half-formed condition, theoretical speculation still in large part
supplying the place of deductions from a detailed examination of
actual fact. In 1807 a few enterprising spirits founded the Geological
Society of London for the special purpose of counteracting the
prevalent tendency and confining their intention "to investigate the
mineral structure of the earth." The cosmogonists and framers of
Theories of the Earth were succeeded by other schools of thought. The
Catastrophists saw in the composition of the crust of the earth
distinct evidence that the forces of nature were once much more
stupendous in their operation than they now are, and that they had
from time to time devastated the earth's surface; extirpating the
races of plants and animals, and preparing the ground for new
creations of organized life. Then came the Uniformitarians, who,
pushing the doctrines of Hutton to an extreme which he did not
propose, saw no evidence that the activity of the various geological
causes has ever seriously differed from what it is at present. They
were inclined to disbelieve that the stratified formations of the
earth's crust furnish conclusive evidence of a gradual progression,
from simple types of life in the oldest strata to the most highly
developed forms in the youngest; and saw no reason why remains of the
higher vertebrates should not be met with among the Palaeozoic
formations. Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was the great leader of this
school. His admirably clear and philosophical presentations of
geological facts which, with unwearied industry, he collected from the
writings of observers in all parts of the world, impressed his views
upon the whole English-speaking world, and gave to geological science
a coherence and interest which largely accelerated its progress. In
his later years, however, he frankly accepted the views of Darwin in
regard to the progressive character of the geological record.
The youngest of the schools of geological thought is that of the
Evolutionists. Pointing to the whole body of evidence from inorganic
and organic nature, they maintain that the history of our planet has
been one of continual and unbroken development from the earliest
cosmical beginnings down to the present time, and that the crust of
the earth contains an abundant, though incomplete, record of the
successive stages through which the plant and animal kingdoms have
reached their existing organization. The publication of Darwin's
_Origin of Species_ in 1859, in which evolution was made the key to
the history of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, produced an
extraordinary revolution in geological opinion. The older schools of
thought rapidly died out, and evolution became the recognized creed of
geologists all over the world.
Werner.
_Development of Opinion regarding Igneous Rocks._--So long as the idea
prevailed that volcanoes are caused by the combustion of inflammable
substances underground, there could be no rational conception of
volcanic action and its products. Even so late as the middle of the
18th century, as above remarked, such a good observer as Lazzaro Moro
drew so little distinction between volcanic and other rocks that he
could believe the fossiliferous formations to have been mainly formed
of materials ejected from eruptive vents. After his time the notion
continued to prevail that all the rocks which form the dry land were
laid down under water. Even streams of lava, which were seen to flow
from an active crater, were regarded only as portions of sedimentary
or other rocks, which had been melted by the fervent heat of the
burning inflammable materials that had been kindled underground. In
spite of the speculations of Descartes and Leibnitz, it was not yet
generally comprehended that there exists beneath the terrestrial crust
a molten magma, which, from time to time, has been injected into that
crust, and has pierced through it, so as to escape at the surface with
all the energy of an active volcano. What we now recognize to be
memorials of these former injections and propulsions were all
confounded with the rocks of unquestionably aqueous origin. The last
great teacher by whom these antiquated doctrines were formulated into
a system and promulgated to the world was Abraham Gottlob Werner
(1749-1815), the most illustrious German mineralogist and geognost of
the second half of the 18th century. While still under twenty-six
years of age, he was appointed teacher of mining and mineralogy at the
Mining Academy of Freiberg in Saxony--a post which he continued to
fill up to the end of his life. Possessed of great enthusiasm for his
subject, clear, methodical and eloquent in his exposition of it, he
soon drew around him men from all parts of the world, who repaired to
study under the great oracle of what he called geognosy (Gr. [Greek:
gê], the earth, [Greek: gnôsis], knowledge) or earth-knowledge.
Reviving doctrines that had been current long before his time, he
taught that the globe was once completely surrounded with an ocean,
from which the rocks of the earth's crust were deposited as chemical
precipitates, in a certain definite order over the whole planet. Among
these "universal formations" of aqueous origin were included many
rocks, which have long been recognized to have been once molten, and
to have risen from below into the upper parts of the terrestrial
crust. Werner, following the old tradition, looked upon volcanoes as
modern features in the history of the planet, which could not have
come into existence until a sufficient amount of vegetation had been
buried to furnish fuel for their maintenance. Hence he attached but
little importance to them, and did not include in his system of rocks
any division of volcanic or igneous materials. From the predominant
part assigned by him to the sea in the accumulation of the materials
of the visible part of the earth, Werner and his school were known as
"Neptunists."
Origin of basalt.
But many years before the Saxon professor began to teach, clear
evidence had been produced from central France that basalt, one of the
rocks claimed by him as a chemical precipitate and a universal
formation, is a lava which has been poured out in a molten state at
various widely separated periods of time and at many different places.
So far back as 1752 J.E. Guettard (1715-1786) had shown that the
basaltic rocks of Auvergne are true lavas, which have flowed out in
streams from groups of once active cones. Eleven years later the
observation was confirmed and greatly extended by Nicholas Desmarest
(1725-1815), who, during a long course of years, worked out and mapped
the complicated volcanic records of that interesting region, and
demonstrated to all who were willing impartially to examine the
evidence the true volcanic nature of basalt. These views found
acceptance from some observers, but they were vehemently opposed by
the followers of Werner, who, by the force of his genius, made his
theoretical conceptions predominate all over Europe. The controversy
as to the origin of basalt was waged with great vigour during the
later decades of the 18th century. Desmarest took no part in it. He
had accumulated such conclusive proof of the correctness of his
deductions, and had so fully expounded the clearness of the evidence
in their favour furnished by the region of Auvergne, that, when any
one came to consult him on the subject, he contented himself with
giving the advice to "go and see." While the debate was in progress on
the continent, the subject was approached from a new and independent
point of view by Hutton in Scotland. This illustrious philosopher, as
already stated, realized the importance of the internal heat of the
globe in consolidating the sedimentary rocks, and believed that molten
material from the earth's interior has been protruded from below into
the overlying crust. Some of the material thus injected could be
recognized, he thought, in granite and in the various dark massive
rocks which, known in Scotland under the name of "whinstone," were
afterwards called "Trap," and are now grouped under various names,
such as basalt, dolerite and diorite. So important a share did Hutton
thus assign to the internal heat in the geological evolution of the
planet, that he and those who adopted the same opinions were styled
"Plutonists," or, especially where they concerned themselves with the
volcanic origin of basalt, "Vulcanists." The geological world was thus
divided into two hostile camps, that of the Neptunists or Wernerians,
and that of the Plutonists, Vulcanists or Huttonians.
After many years of futile controversy the first serious weakening of
the position of the dominant Neptunist school arose from the defection
of some of the most prominent of Werner's pupils. In particular Jean
François D'Aubuisson de Voisins (1769-1819), who had written a
treatise on the aqueous origin of the basalts of Saxony, went
afterwards to Auvergne, where he was speedily a convert to the views
expounded by Desmarest as to the volcanic nature of basalt. Having
thus to relinquish one of the fundamental articles of the Freiberg
faith, he was subsequently led to modify his adherence to others
until, as he himself confessed, his views came almost wholly to agree
with those of Hutton. Not less complete, and even more important, was
the conversion of the great Leopold von Buch (1774-1853). He, too, was
trained by Werner himself, and proved to be the most illustrious pupil
of the Saxon professor. Full of admiration for the Neptunism in which
he had been reared, he, in his earliest separate work, maintained the
aqueous origin of basalt, and contrasted the wide field opened up to
the spirit of observation by his master's teaching with the narrower
outlook offered by "the volcanic theory." But a little further
acquaintance with the facts of nature led Von Buch also to abandon his
earlier prepossessions. It was a personal visit to the volcanic region
of Auvergne that first opened his eyes, and led him to recant what he
had believed and written about basalt. But the abandonment of so
essential a portion of the Wernerian creed prepared the way for
further relinquishments. When a few years later he went to Norway and
found to his astonishment that granite, which he had been taught to
regard as the oldest chemical precipitate from the universal ocean,
could there be seen to have broken through and metamorphosed
fossiliferous limestones, and to have sent veins into them, his faith
in Werner's order of the succession of the rocks in the earth's crust
received a further momentous shock. While one after another of the
Freiberg doctrines crumbled away before him, he was now able to
interrogate nature on a wider field than the narrow limits of Saxony,
and he was thus gradually led to embrace the tenets of the opposite
school. His commanding position, as the most accomplished geologist on
the continent, gave great importance to his recantation of the
Neptunist creed. His defection indeed was the severest blow that this
creed had yet sustained. It may be said to have rung the knell of
Wernerianism, which thereafter rapidly declined in influence, while
Plutonism came steadily to the front, where it has ever since
remained.
Although Desmarest had traced in Auvergne a long succession of
volcanic eruptions, of which the oldest went back to a remote period
of time, and although he had shown that this succession, coupled with
the records of contemporaneous denudation, might be used in defining
epochs of geological history, it was not until many years after his
day that volcanic action came to be recognized as a normal part of the
mechanism of our globe, which had been in operation from the remotest
past, and which had left numerous records among the rocks of the
terrestrial crust. During the progress of the controversy between the
two great opposing factions in the later portion of the 18th and the
first three decades of the 19th century, those who espoused the
Vulcanist cause were intent on proving that certain rocks, which are
intercalated among the stratified formations and which were claimed by
the Neptunists as obviously formed by water, are nevertheless of truly
igneous origin. These observers fixed their eyes on the evidence that
the material of such rocks, instead of having been deposited from
aqueous solution, had once been actually molten, and had in that
condition been thrust between the strata, had enveloped portions of
them, and had indurated or otherwise altered them. They spoke of these
masses as "unerupted lavas"; and undoubtedly in innumerable instances
they were right. But their zeal to establish an intrusive origin led
them to overlook the proofs that some intercalated sheets of igneous
material had not been injected into the strata, but had been poured
out at the surface as truly volcanic discharges, and therefore
belonged to the ancient periods represented by the strata between
which they are interposed. It may readily be supposed that any proofs
of the contemporaneous intercalation of such sheets would be eagerly
seized upon by the Neptunists in favour of their aqueous theory. The
influence of the ancient belief that "burning mountains" could only
rise from the combustion of subterranean inflammable materials
extended even into the ranks of the Vulcanists, so far at least as to
lead to a general acquiescence in the assumption that volcanoes
appeared to belong to a late phase in the history of the planet. It
was not until after considerable progress had been made in determining
the palaeontological distinctions and order of succession of the
stratified formations of the earth's crust that it became possible to
trace among these formations a succession of volcanic episodes which
were contemporaneous with them. In no part of the world has an ampler
record of such episodes been preserved than in the British Isles. It
was natural, therefore, that the subject should there receive most
attention. As far back as 1820 Ami Boué (1794-1881) showed that the
Old Red Sandstone of Scotland includes a great series of volcanic
rocks, and that other rocks of volcanic origin are associated with the
Carboniferous formations. H.T. de la Beche (1796-1855) afterwards
traced proofs of contemporaneous eruptions among the Devonian rocks of
the south-west of England. Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) showed, first in
the Lake District, and afterwards in North Wales, the presence of
abundant volcanic sheets among the oldest divisions of the Palaeozoic
series; while Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) made similar
discoveries among the Lower Silurian rocks. From the time of these
pioneers the volcanic history of the country has been worked out by
many observers until it is now known with a fulness as yet unattained
in any other region.
_Growth of Opinion regarding Earthquakes._--We have seen how crude
were the conceptions of the ancients regarding the causes of volcanic
action, and that they connected volcanoes and earthquakes as results
of the commotion of wind imprisoned within subterranean caverns and
passages. One of the earliest treatises, in which the phenomena of
terrestrial movements were discussed in the spirit of modern science,
was the posthumous collection of papers by Robert Hooke (1635-1703),
entitled _Lectures and Discourses of Earthquakes and Subterranean
Eruptions_, where the probable agency of earthquakes in upheaving and
depressing land is fully considered, but without any definite
pronouncement as to the author's conception of its origin. Hooke still
associated earthquakes with volcanic action, and connected both with
what he called "the general congregation of sulphurous subterraneous
vapours." He conceived that some kind of "fermentation" takes place
within the earth, and that the materials which catch fire and give
rise to eruptions or earthquakes are analogous to those that
constitute gunpowder. The first essay wherein earthquakes are treated
from the modern point of view as the results of a shock that sends
waves through the crust of the earth was written by the Rev. John
Michell, and communicated to the Royal Society in the year 1760. Still
under the old misconception that volcanoes are due to the combustion
of inflammable materials, which he thought might be set on fire by the
spontaneous combustion of pyritous strata, he supposed that, by the
sudden access of large bodies of water to these subterranean fires,
vapour is produced in such quantity and with such force as to give
rise to the shock. From the centre of origin of this shock waves, he
thought, are propagated through the earth, which are largest at the
start and gradually diminish as they travel outwards. By drawing lines
at different places in the direction of the track of these waves, he
believed that the place of common intersection of these lines would be
nearly the centre of the disturbance. In this way he showed that the
great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 had its focus under the Atlantic,
somewhere between the latitudes of Lisbon and Oporto, and he estimated
that the depth at which it originated could not be much less than 1
m., and probably did not exceed 3 m. Michell, however, misconceived
the character of the waves which he described, seeing that he believed
them to be due to the actual propagation of the vapour itself
underneath the surface of the earth. A century had almost passed after
the date of his essay before modern scientific methods of observation
and the use of recording instruments began to be applied to the study
of earthquake phenomena. In 1846 Robert Mallet (1810-1881) published
an important paper "On the Dynamics of Earthquakes" in the
_Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy_. From that time onward he
continued to devote his energies to the investigation, studying the
effects of the Calabrian earthquake of 1857, experimenting on the
transmission of waves of shock through various materials, caused by
exploding charges of gunpowder, and collecting all the information to
be obtained on the subject. His writings, and especially his work in
two volumes on _The First Principles of Observational Seismology_,
must be regarded as having laid the foundations of this branch of
modern geology (see EARTHQUAKE; SEISMOMETER).
_History of the Evolution of Stratigraphical Geology._--Men had long
been familiar with the evidence that the present dry land once lay
under the sea, before they began to realize that the rocks, of which
the land consists, contain a record of many alternations of land and
sea, and relics of a long succession of plants and animals from early
and simple types up to the manifold and complex forms of to-day. In
countries where coal-mining had been prosecuted for generations, it
had been recognized that the rocks consist of strata superposed on
each other in a definite order, which was found to extend over the
whole of a district. As far back as 1719 John Strachey drew attention
to this fact in a communication published in the _Philosophical
Transactions_. John Michell (1760), in the paper on earthquakes
already cited, showed that he had acquired a clear understanding of
the order of succession among stratified formations, and perceived
that to disturbances of the terrestrial crust must be ascribed the
fact that the lower or older and more inclined strata form the
mountains, while the younger and more horizontal strata are spread
over the plains.
In Italy G. Arduíno (1713-1795) classified the rocks in the north of
the peninsula as Primitive, Secondary, Tertiary and Volcanic. A
similar threefold order was announced for the Harz and Erzgebirge by
J.G. Lehmann in 1756. He recognized in that region an ancient series
of rocks in inclined or vertical strata, which rise to the tops of the
hills and descend to an unknown depth into the interior. These masses,
he thought, were contemporaneous with the making of the world. Next
came the Flötzgebirge, consisting of younger sediments, disposed in
flat or gently inclined sheets which overlie the first and more
disturbed series, and are full of petrified remains of plants and
animals. Lastly he included the mountains which have from time to time
been formed by local accidents. Still more advanced were the
conceptions of G.C. Füchsel, who in the year 1762 published in Latin
_A History of the Earth and the Sea, based on a History of the
Mountains of Thuringia_; and in 1773, in German, a _Sketch of the most
Ancient History of the Earth and Man_. In these works he described the
stratigraphical relations and general characters of the various
geological formations in his little principality; and taking them as
indicative of a general order of succession, he traced what he
believed to have been a series of revolutions through which the earth
has passed. In interpreting this geological history, he laid great
stress on the evidence of the fossils contained in the rocks. He
recognized that the various formations differ from each other in their
enclosed organic remains, and that from these differences the
existence of former sea-bottoms and land surfaces can be determined.
The labours of these pioneers paved the way for the advent of Werner.
Though the system evolved by this teacher claimed to discard theory
and to be established on a basis of observed facts, it rested on a
succession of hypotheses, for which no better foundation could be
shown than the belief of their author in their validity. Starting from
the extremely limited stratigraphical range displayed in the
geological structure of Saxony, he took it as a type for the rest of
the globe, persuading himself and impressing upon his followers that
the rocks of that small kingdom were to be taken as examples of his
"universal formations." The oldest portion of the series, classed by
him as "Primitive," consisted of rocks which he maintained had been
deposited from chemical solution. Yet they included granite, gneiss,
basalt, porphyry and serpentine, which, even in his own day, were by
many observers correctly regarded as of igneous origin. A later group
of rocks, to which he gave the name of "Transition," comprised, in his
belief, partly chemical, partly mechanical sediments, and contained
the earliest fossil organic remains. A third group, for which he
reserved Lehmann's name "Flötz," was made up chiefly of mechanical
detritus, while youngest of all came the "Alluvial" series of loams,
clays, sands, gravels and peat. It was by the gradual subsidence of
the ocean that, as he believed, the general mass of the dry land
emerged, the first-formed rocks being left standing up, sometimes on
end, to form the mountains, while those of later date, less steeply
inclined, occupied successively lower levels down to the flat alluvial
accumulations of the plains. Neither Werner, nor any of his followers,
ventured to account for what became of the water as the sea-level
subsided, though, in despite of their antipathy to anything like
speculation, they could not help suggesting, as an answer to the
cogent arguments of their opponents, that "one of the celestial bodies
which sometimes approach near to the earth may have been able to
withdraw a portion of our atmosphere and of our ocean." Nor was any
attempt made to explain the extraordinary nature of the supposed
chemical precipitates of the universal ocean. The progress of inquiry
even in Werner's lifetime disproved some of the fundamental portions
of his system. Many of the chemical precipitates were shown to be
masses that had been erupted in a molten state from below. His order
of succession was found not to hold good; and though he tried to
readjust his sequence and to introduce into it modifications to suit
new facts, its inherent artificiality led to its speedy decline after
his death. It must be conceded, however, that the stress which he laid
upon the fact that the rocks of the earth's crust were deposited in a
definite order had an important influence in directing attention to
this subject, and in preparing the way for a more natural system,
based not on mere mineralogical characters, but having regard to the
organic remains, which were now being gathered in ever-increasing
numbers and variety from stratified formations of many different ages
and from all parts of the globe.
It was in France and in England that the foundations of stratigraphy,
based upon a knowledge of organic remains, were first successfully
laid. Abbé J.L. Giraud-Soulavie (1752-1813), in his _Histoire
naturelle de la France méridionale_, which appeared in seven volumes,
subdivided the limestones of Vivarais into five ages, each marked by a
distinct assemblage of shells. In the lowest strata, representing the
first age, none of the fossils were believed by him to have any living
representatives, and he called these rocks "Primordial." In the next
group a mingling of living with extinct forms was observable. The
third age was marked by the presence of shells of still existing
species. The strata of the fourth series were characterized by
carbonaceous shales or slates, containing remains of primordial
vegetation, and perhaps equivalents of the first three calcareous
series. The fifth age was marked by recent deposits containing remains
of terrestrial vegetation and of land animals. It is remarkable that
these sagacious conclusions should have been formed and published at a
time when the geologists of the Continent were engaged in the
controversy about the origin of basalt, or in disputes about the
character and stratigraphical position of the supposed universal
formations, and when the interest and importance of fossil organic
remains still remained unrecognized by the vast majority of the
combatants.
The rocks of the Paris basin display so clearly an orderly
arrangement, and are so distinguished for the variety and perfect
preservation of their enclosed organic remains, that they could not
fail to attract the early notice of observers. J. É. Guettard, G.F.
Rouelle (1703-1770), N. Desmarest, A.L. Lavoisier (1743-1794) and
others made observations in this interesting district. But it was
reserved for Cuvier (1769-1832) and A. Brongniart (1770-1847) to work
out the detailed succession of the Tertiary formations, and to show
how each of these is characterized by its own peculiar assemblage of
organic remains. The later progress of investigation has slightly
corrected and greatly amplified the tabular arrangement established by
these authors in 1808, but the broad outlines of the Tertiary
stratigraphy of the Paris basin remain still as Cuvier and Brongniart
left them. The most important subsequent change in the classification
of the Tertiary formations was made by Sir Charles Lyell, who,
conceiving in 1828 the idea of a classification of these rocks by
reference to their relative proportions of living and extinct species
of shells, established, in collaboration with G.P. Deshayes, the now
universally accepted divisions Eocene, Miocene and Pliocene.
Long before Cuvier and Brongniart published an account of their
researches, another observer had been at work among the Secondary
formations of the west of England, and had independently discovered
that the component members of these formations were each distinguished
by a peculiar group of organic remains; and that this distinction
could be used to discriminate them over all the region through which
he had traced them. The remarkable man who arrived at this
far-reaching generalization was William Smith (1769-1839), a land
surveyor who, in the prosecution of his professional business, found
opportunities of traversing a great part of England, and of putting
his deductions to the test. As the result of these journeys he
accumulated materials enough to enable him to produce a geological map
of the country, on which the distribution and succession of the rocks
were for the first time delineated. Smith's labours laid the
foundation of stratigraphical geology in England and he was styled
even in his lifetime the "Father of English geology." From his day
onward the significance of fossil organic remains gained rapidly
increasing recognition. Thus in England the outlines traced by him
among the Secondary and Tertiary formations were admirably filled in
by Thomas Webster (1773-1844); while the Cretaceous series was worked
out in still greater detail in the classic memoirs of William Henry
Fitton (1780-1861).
There was one stratigraphical domain, however, into which William
Smith did not enter. He traced his sequence of rocks down into the
Coal Measures, but contented himself with only a vague reference to
what lay underneath that formation. Though some of these underlying
rocks had in various countries yielded abundant fossils, they had
generally suffered so much from terrestrial disturbances, and their
order of succession was consequently often so much obscured throughout
western Europe, that they remained but little known for many years
after the stratigraphy of the Secondary and Tertiary series had been
established. At last in 1831 Murchison began to attack this _terra
incognita_ on the borders of South Wales, working into it from the Old
Red Sandstone, the stratigraphical position of which was well known.
In a few years he succeeded in demonstrating the existence of a
succession of formations, each distinguished by its own peculiar
assemblage of organic remains which were distinct from those in any of
the overlying strata. To these formations he gave the name of Silurian
(q.v.). From the key which his researches supplied, it was possible to
recognize in other countries the same order of formations and the same
sequence of fossils, so that, in the course of a few years,
representatives of the Silurian system were found far and wide over
the globe. While Murchison was thus engaged, Sedgwick devoted himself
to the more difficult task of unravelling the complicated structure of
North Wales. He eventually made out the order of the several
formations there, with their vast intercalations of volcanic material.
He named them the Cambrian system (q.v.), and found them to contain
fossils, which, however, lay for some time unexamined by him. He at
first believed, as Murchison also did, that his rocks were all older
than any part of the Silurian series. It was eventually discovered
that a portion of them was equivalent to the lower part of that
series. The oldest of Sedgwick's groups, containing distinctive
fossils, retain the name Cambrian, and are of high interest, as they
enclose the remains of the earliest faunas which are yet well known.
Sedgwick and Murchison rendered yet another signal service to
stratigraphical geology by establishing, in 1839, on a basis of
palaeontological evidence supplied by W. Lonsdale, the independence of
the Devonian system (q.v.).
For many years the rocks below the oldest fossiliferous deposits
received comparatively little attention. They were vaguely described
as the "crystalline schists" and were often referred to as parts of
the primeval crust in which no chronology was to be looked for. W.E.
Logan (1798-1875) led the way, in Canada, by establishing there
several vast series of rocks, partly of crystalline schists and
gneisses (Laurentian) and partly of slates and conglomerates
(Huronian). Later observers, both in Canada and the United States,
have greatly increased our knowledge of these rocks, and have shown
their structure to be much more complex than was at first supposed
(see ARCHEAN SYSTEM).
During the latter half of the 19th century the most important
development of stratigraphical geology was the detailed working out
and application of the principle of zonal classification to the
fossiliferous formations--that is, the determination of the sequence
and distribution of organic remains in these formations, and the
arrangement of the strata into zones, each of which is distinguished
by a peculiar assemblage of fossil species (see under Part VI.). The
zones are usually named after one especially characteristic species.
This system of classification was begun in Germany with reference to
the members of the Jurassic system (q.v.) by A. Oppel (1856-1858) and
F.A. von Quenstedt (1858), and it has since been extended through the
other Mesozoic formations. It has even been found to be applicable to
the Palaeozoic rocks, which are now subdivided into palaeontological
zones. In the Silurian system, for example, the graptolites have been
shown by C. Lapworth to furnish a useful basis for zonal subdivisions.
The lowest fossiliferous horizon in the Cambrian rocks of Europe and
North America is known as the _Olenellus_ zone, from the prominence in
it of that genus of trilobite.
Another conspicuous feature in the progress of stratigraphy during the
second half of the 19th century was displayed by the rise and rapid
development of what is known as Glacial geology. The various deposits
of "drift" spread over northern Europe, and the boulders scattered
across the surface of the plains had long attracted notice, and had
even found a place in popular legend and superstition. When men began
to examine them with a view to ascertain their origin, they were
naturally regarded as evidences of the Noachian deluge. The first
observer who drew attention to the smoothed and striated surfaces of
rock that underlie the Drifts was Hutton's friend, Sir James Hall, who
studied them in the lowlands of Scotland and referred them to the
action of great debacles of water, which, in the course of some
ancient terrestrial convulsion, had been launched across the face of
the country. Playfair, however, pointed out that the most potent
geological agents for the transportation of large blocks of stone are
the glaciers. But no one was then bold enough to connect the travelled
boulders with glaciers on the plains of Germany and of Britain. Yet
the transporting agency of ice was invoked in explanation of their
diffusion. It came to be the prevalent belief among the geologists of
the first half of the 19th century, that the fall of temperature,
indicated by the gradual increase in the number of northern species of
shells in the English Crag deposits, reached its climax during the
time of the Drift, and that much of the north and centre of Europe was
then submerged beneath a sea, across which floating icebergs and floes
transported the materials of the Drift and dropped the scattered
boulders. As the phenomena are well developed around the Alps, it was
necessary to suppose that the submergence involved the lowlands of the
Continent up to the foot of that mountain chain--a geographical change
so stupendous as to demand much more evidence than was adduced in its
support. At last Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), who had varied his
palaeontological studies at Neuchâtel by excursions into the Alps, was
so much struck by the proofs of the former far greater extension of
the Swiss glaciers, that he pursued the investigation and satisfied
himself that the ice had formerly extended from the Alpine valleys
right across the great plain of Switzerland, and had transported huge
boulders from the central mountains to the flanks of the Jura. In the
year 1840 he visited Britain and soon found evidence of similar
conditions there. He showed that it was not by submergence in a sea
cumbered with floating ice, but by the former presence of vast
glaciers or sheets of ice that the Drift and erratic blocks had been
distributed. The idea thus propounded by him did not at once command
complete approval, though traces of ancient glaciers in Scotland and
Wales were soon detected by native geologists, particularly by W.
Buckland, Lyell, J.D. Forbes and Charles Maclaren. Robert Chambers
(1802-1871) did good service in gathering additional evidence from
Scotland and Norway in favour of Agassiz's views, which steadily
gained adherents until, after some quarter of a century, they were
adopted by the great majority of geologists in Britain, and
subsequently in other countries. Since that time the literature of
geology has been swollen by a vast number of contributions in which
the history of the Glacial period, and its records both in the Old and
New World, have been fully discussed.
_Rise and Progress of Palaeontological Geology._--As this branch of
the science deals with the evidence furnished by fossil organic
remains as to former geographical conditions, it early attracted
observers who, in the superficial beds of marine shells found at some
distance from the coast, saw proofs of the former submergence of the
land under the sea. But the occurrence of fossils embedded in the
heart of the solid rocks of the mountains offered much greater
difficulties of explanation, and further progress was consequently
slow. Especially baneful was the belief that these objects were mere
sports of nature, and had no connexion with any once living organisms.
So long as the true organic origin of the fossil plants and animals
contained in the rocks was in dispute, it was hardly possible that
much advance could be made in their systematic study, or in the
geological deductions to be drawn from them. One good result of the
controversy, however, was to be seen in the large collections of these
"formed stones" that were gathered together in the cabinets and
museums of the 17th and 18th centuries. The accumulation and
comparison of these objects naturally led to the production of
treatises in which they were described and not unfrequently
illustrated by good engravings. Switzerland was more particularly
noted for the number and merit of its works of this kind, such as
that of K.N. Lang (_Historia lapidum figuratorum Helvetiae_, 1708) and
those of Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672-1733). In England, also,
illustrated treatises were published both by men who looked on fossils
as mere freaks of nature, and by those who regarded them as proofs of
Noah's flood. Of the former type were the works of Martin Lister
(1638-1712) and Robert Plot (_Natural History of Oxfordshire_, 1677).
The Celtic scholar Edward Llwyd (1660-1709) wrote a Latin treatise
containing good plates of a thousand fossils in the Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford, and J. Woodward, in 1728-1729, published his _Natural History
of the Fossils of England_, already mentioned, wherein he described
his own extensive collection, which he bequeathed to the University of
Cambridge, where it is still carefully preserved. The most voluminous
and important of all these works, however, appeared at a later date at
Nuremberg. It was begun by G.W. Knorr (1705-1761), who himself
engraved for it a series of plates, which for beauty and accuracy have
seldom been surpassed. After his death the work was continued by
J.E.I. Walch (1725-1778), and ultimately consisted of four massive
folio volumes and nearly 300 plates under the title of _Lapides
diluvii universalis testes_. Although the authors supposed their
fossils to be relics of Noah's flood, their work must be acknowledged
to mark a distinct onward stage in the palaeontological department of
geology.
It was in France that palaeontological geology began to be cultivated
in a scientific spirit. The potter Bernard Palissy, as far back as
1580, had dwelt on the importance of fossil shells as monuments of
revolutions of the earth's surface; but the observer who first
undertook the detailed study of the subject was Jean Etienne Guettard,
who began in 1751 to publish his descriptions of fossils in the form
of memoirs presented to the Academy of Sciences of Paris. To him they
were not only of deep interest as monuments of former types of
existence, but they had an especial value as records of the changes
which the country had undergone from sea to land and from land to sea.
More especially noteworthy was a monograph by him which appeared in
1765 bearing the title "On the accidents that have befallen Fossil
Shells compared with those which are found to happen to shells now
living in the Sea." In this treatise he showed that the fossils have
been encrusted with barnacles and serpulae, have been bored into by
other organisms, and have often been rounded or broken before final
entombment; and he inferred that these fossils must have lived and
died on the sea-floor under similar conditions to those which obtain
on the sea-floor to-day. His argument was the most triumphant that had
ever been brought against the doctrine of _lusus naturae_, and that of
the efficacy of Noah's flood--doctrines which still held their ground
in Guettard's day. When Soulavie, Cuvier and Brongniart in France, and
William Smith in England, showed that the rock formations of the
earth's crust could be arranged in chronological order, and could be
recognized far and wide by means of their enclosed organic remains,
the vast significance of these remains in geological research was
speedily realized, and palaeontological geology at once entered on a
new and enlarged phase of development. But apart from their value as
chronological monuments, and as witnesses of former conditions of
geography, fossils presented in themselves a wide field of
investigation as types of life that had formerly existed, but had now
passed away. It was in France that this subject first took definite
shape as an important branch of science. The mollusca of the Tertiary
deposits of the Paris basin became, in the hands of Lamarck, the basis
on which invertebrate palaeontology was founded. The same series of
strata furnished to Cuvier the remains of extinct land animals, of
which, by critical study of their fragmentary bones and skeletons, he
worked out restorations that may be looked on as the starting-point of
vertebrate palaeontology. These brilliant researches, rousing
widespread interest in such studies, showed how great a flood of light
could be thrown on the past history of the earth and its inhabitants.
But the full significance of these extinct types of life could not be
understood so long as the doctrine of the immutability of species, so
strenuously upheld by Cuvier, maintained its sway among naturalists.
Lamarck, as far back as the year 1800, had begun to propound his
theory of evolution and the transformation of species; but his views,
strongly opposed by Cuvier and the great body of naturalists of the
day, fell into neglect. Not until after the publication in 1859 of the
_Origin of Species_ by Charles Darwin were the barriers of old
prejudice in this matter finally broken down. The possibility of
tracing the ancestry of living forms back into the remotest ages was
then perceived; the time-honoured fiction that the stratified
formations record a series of catastrophes and re-creations was
finally dissipated; and the earth's crust was seen to contain a noble,
though imperfect, record of the grand evolution of organic types of
which our planet has been the theatre.
_Development of Petrographical Geology._--Theophrastus, the favourite
pupil of Aristotle, wrote a treatise _On Stones_, which has come down
to our own day, and may be regarded as the earliest work on
petrography. At a subsequent period Pliny, in his _Natural History_,
collected all that was known in his day regarding the occurrence and
uses of minerals and rocks. But neither of these works is of great
scientific importance, though containing much interesting information.
Minerals from their beauty and value attracted notice before much
attention was paid to rocks, and their study gave rise to the science
of mineralogy long before geology came into existence. When rocks
began to be more particularly scrutinized, it was chiefly from the
side of their usefulness for building and other economic purposes. The
occurrence of marine shells in many of them had early attracted
attention to them. But their varieties of composition and origin did
not become the subject of serious study until after Linnaeus and J.G.
Wallerius in the 18th century had made a beginning. The first
important contribution to this department of the science was that of
Werner, who in 1786 published a classification and description of
rocks in which he arranged them in two divisions, simple and compound,
and further distinguished them by various external characters and by
their relative age. The publication of this scheme may be said to mark
the beginning of scientific petrography. Werner's system, however, had
the serious defect that the chronological order in which he grouped
the rocks, and the hypothesis by which he accounted for them as
chemical precipitates from the original ocean, were both alike
contrary to nature. It was hardly possible indeed that much progress
could be made in this branch of geology until chemistry and mineralogy
had made greater advances; and especially until it was possible to
ascertain the intimate chemical and mineralogical composition, and the
minute structure of rocks. The study, however, continued to be pursued
in Germany, where the influence of Werner's enthusiasm still led men
to enter the petrographical rather than the palaeontological domain.
The resources of modern chemistry were pressed into the service, and
analyses were made and multiplied to such a degree that it seemed as
if the ultimate chemical constitution of every type of rock had now
been thoroughly revealed. The condition of the science in the middle
of the 19th century was well shown by J.L.A. Roth, who in 1861
collected about 1000 trustworthy analyses which up to that time had
been made. But though the chemical elements of the rocks had been
fairly well determined, the manner in which they were combined in the
compound rocks could for the most part be only more or less plausibly
conjectured. As far back as 1831 an account was published of a process
devised by William Nicol of Edinburgh, whereby sections of fossil wood
could be cut, mounted on glass, and reduced to such a degree of
transparency as to be easily examined under a microscope. Henry Sorby,
of Sheffield, having seen Nicol's preparations, perceived how
admirably adapted the process was for the study of the minute
structure and composition of rocks. In 1858 he published in the
_Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society_ a paper "On the
Microscopical Structure of Crystals." This essay led to a complete
revolution of petrographical methods and gave a vast impetus to the
study of rocks. Petrology entered upon a new and wider field of
investigation. Not only were the mineralogical constituents of the
rocks detected, but minute structures were revealed which shed new
light on the origin and history of these mineral masses, and opened up
new paths in theoretical geology. In the hands of H. Vogelsang, F.
Zirkel, H. Rosenbusch, and a host of other workers in all civilized
countries, the literature of this department of the science has grown
to a remarkable extent. Armed with the powerful aid of modern optical
instruments, geologists are now able with far more prospect of success
to resume the experiments begun a century before by de Saussure and
Hall. G.A. Daubrée, C. Friedel, E. Sarasin, F. Fouqué and A. Michel
Lévy in France, C. Doelter y Cisterich and E. Hussak of Gratz, J.
Morozewicz of Warsaw and others, have greatly advanced our knowledge
by their synthetical analyses, and there is every reason to hope that
further advances will be made in this field of research.
_Rise of Physiographical Geology._--Until stratigraphical geology had
advanced so far as to show of what a vast succession of rocks the
crust of the earth is built up, by what a long and complicated series
of revolutions these rocks have come to assume their present
positions, and how enormous has been the lapse of time which all these
changes represent, it was not possible to make a scientific study of
the surface features of our globe. From ancient times it had been
known that many parts of the land had once been under the sea; but
down even to the beginning of the 19th century the vaguest conceptions
continued to prevail as to the operations concerned in the submergence
and elevation of land, and as to the processes whereby the present
outlines of terrestrial topography were determined. We have seen, for
instance, that according to the teaching of Werner the oldest rocks
were first precipitated from solution in the universal ocean to form
the mountains, that the vertical position of their strata was
original, that as the waters subsided successive formations were
deposited and laid bare, and that finally the superfluous portion of
the ocean was whisked away into space by some unexplained co-operation
of another planetary body. Desmarest, in his investigation of the
volcanic history of Auvergne, was the first observer to perceive by
what a long process of sculpture the present configuration of the land
has been brought about. He showed conclusively that the valleys have
been carved out by the streams that flow in them, and that while they
have sunk deeper and deeper into the framework of the land, the spaces
of ground between them have been left as intervening ridges and hills.
De Saussure learnt a similar lesson from his studies of the Alps, and
Hutton and Playfair made it a cardinal feature in their theory of the
earth. Nevertheless the idea encountered so much opposition that it
made but little way until after the middle of the 19th century.
Geologists preferred to believe in convulsions of nature, whereby
valleys were opened and mountains were upheaved. That the main
features of the land, such as the great mountain-chains, had been
produced by gigantic plication of the terrestrial crust was now
generally admitted, and also that minor fractures and folds had
probably initiated many of the valleys. But those who realized most
vividly the momentous results achieved by ages of subaerial denudation
perceived that, as Hutton showed, even without the aid of underground
agency, the mere flow of water in streams across a mass of land must
in course of time carve out just such a system of valleys as may
anywhere be seen. It was J.B. Jukes who, in 1862, first revived the
Huttonian doctrine, and showed how completely it explained the
drainage-lines in the south of Ireland. Other writers followed in
quick succession until, in a few years, the doctrine came to be widely
recognized as one of the established principles of modern geology.
Much help was derived from the admirable illustrations of
land-sculpture and river-erosion supplied from the Western Territories
and States of the American Union.
Another branch of physiographical geology which could only come into
existence after most of the other departments of the science had made
large progress, deals with the evolution of the framework of each
country and of the several continents and oceans of the globe. It is
now possible, with more or less confidence, to trace backward the
history of every terrestrial area, to see how sea and land have there
succeeded each other, how rivers and lakes have come and gone, how the
crust of the earth has been ridged up at widely separated intervals,
each movement determining some line of mountains or plains, how the
boundaries of the oceans have shifted again and again in the past, and
thus how, after so prolonged a series of revolutions, the present
topography of each country, and of the globe as a whole, has been
produced. In the prosecution of this subject maps have been
constructed to show what is conjectured to have been the distribution
of sea and land during the various geological periods in different
parts of the world, and thus to indicate the successive stages through
which the architecture of the land has been gradually evolved. The
most noteworthy contribution to this department of the science is the
_Antlitz der Erde_ of Professor Suess of Vienna. This important and
suggestive work has been translated into French and English.
PART II.--COSMICAL ASPECTS
Before geology had attained to the position of an inductive science, it
was customary to begin investigations into the history of the earth by
propounding or adopting some more or less fanciful hypothesis in
explanation of the origin of our planet, or even of the universe. Such
preliminary notions were looked upon as essential to a right
understanding of the manner in which the materials of the globe had been
put together. One of the distinguishing features of Hutton's Theory of
the Earth consisted in his protest that it is no part of the province of
geology to discuss the origin of things. He taught that in the materials
from which geological evidence is to be compiled there can be found "no
traces of a beginning, no prospect of an end." In England, mainly to the
influence of the school which he founded, and to the subsequent rise of
the Geological Society of London, which resolved to collect facts
instead of fighting over hypotheses, is due the disappearance of the
crude and unscientific cosmologies by which the writings of the earlier
geologists were distinguished.
But there can now be little doubt that in the reaction against those
visionary and often grotesque speculations, geologists were carried too
far in an opposite direction. In allowing themselves to believe that
geology had nothing to do with questions of cosmogony, they gradually
grew up in the conviction that such questions could never be other than
mere speculation, interesting or amusing as a theme for the employment
of the fancy, but hardly coming within the domain of sober and inductive
science. Nor would they soon have been awakened out of this belief by
anything in their own science. It is still true that in the data with
which they are accustomed to deal, as comprising the sum of geological
evidence, there can be found no trace of a beginning, though the
evidence furnished by the terrestrial crust shows a general evolution of
organic forms from some starting-point which cannot be seen. The oldest
rocks which have been discovered on any part of the globe have probably
been derived from other rocks older than themselves. Geology by itself
has not yet revealed, and is little likely ever to reveal, a trace of
the first solid crust of our globe. If, then, geological history is to
be compiled from direct evidence furnished by the rocks of the earth, it
cannot begin at the beginning of things, but must be content to date
its first chapter from the earliest period of which any record has been
preserved among the rocks.
Nevertheless, though geology in its usual restricted sense has been, and
must ever be, unable to reveal the earliest history of our planet, it no
longer ignores, as mere speculation, what is attempted in this subject
by its sister sciences. Astronomy, physics and chemistry have in late
years all contributed to cast light on the earlier stages of the earth's
existence, previous to the beginning of what is commonly regarded as
geological history. But whatever extends our knowledge of the former
conditions of our globe may be legitimately claimed as part of the
domain of geology. If this branch of inquiry, therefore, is to continue
worthy of its name as the science of the earth, it must take cognizance
of these recent contributions from other sciences. It must no longer be
content to begin its annals with the records of the oldest rocks, but
must endeavour to grope its way through the ages which preceded the
formation of any rocks. Thanks to the results achieved with the
telescope, the spectroscope and the chemical laboratory, the story of
these earliest ages of our earth is every year becoming more definite
and intelligible.
Up to the present time no definite light has been thrown by physics on
the origin and earliest condition of our globe. The famous nebular
theory (q.v.) of Kant and Laplace sketched the supposed evolution of the
solar system from a gaseous nebula, slowly rotating round a more
condensed central portion of its mass, which eventually became the sun.
As a consequence of increased rapidity of rotation resulting from
cooling and contraction, the nebula acquired a more and more lenticular
form, until at last it threw off from its equatorial protuberance a ring
of matter. Subsequently the same process was repeated, and other similar
rings successively separated from the parent mass. Each ring went
through a corresponding series of changes until it ultimately became a
planet, with or without one or more attendant satellites. The intimate
relationship of our earth to the sun and the other planets was, in this
way, shown. But there are some serious physical difficulties in the way
of the acceptance of the nebular hypothesis. Another explanation is
given by the meteoritic hypothesis, according to which, out of the
swarms of meteorites with which the regions of space are crowded, the
sun and planets have been formed by gradual accretion.
According to these theoretical views we should expect to find a general
uniformity of composition in the constituent matter of the solar system.
For many years the only available evidence on this point was derived
from the meteorites (q.v.) which so constantly fall from outer space
upon the surface of the earth. These bodies were found to consist of
elements, all of which had been recognized as entering into the
constitution of the earth. But the discoveries of spectroscopic research
have made known a far more widely serviceable method of investigation,
which can be applied even to the luminous stars and nebulae that lie far
beyond the bounds of the solar system. By this method information has
been obtained regarding the constitution of the sun, and many of our
terrestrial metals, such as iron, nickel and magnesium, have been
ascertained to exist in the form of incandescent vapour in the solar
atmosphere. The present condition of the sun probably represents one of
the phases through which stars and planets pass in their progress
towards becoming cool and dark bodies in space. If our globe was at
first, like its parent sun, an incandescent mass of probably gaseous
matter, occupying much more space than it now fills, we can conceive
that it has ever since been cooling and contracting until it has reached
its present form and dimensions, and that it still retains a high
internal temperature. Its oblately spheroidal form is such as would be
assumed by a rotating mass of matter in the transition from a vaporous
and self-luminous or liquid condition to one of cool and dark solidity.
But it has been claimed that even a solid spherical globe might develop,
under the influence of protracted rotation, such a shape as the earth at
present possesses.
The observed increase of temperature downwards in our planet has
hitherto been generally accepted as a relic and proof of an original
high temperature and mobility of substance. Recently, however, the
validity of this proof has been challenged on the ground that the
ascertained amount of radium in the rocks of the outer crust is more
than sufficient to account for the observed downward increase of
temperature. Too little, however, is known of the history and properties
of what is called radium to afford a satisfactory ground on which to
discard what has been, and still remains, the prevalent belief on this
subject.
An important epoch in the geological history of the earth was marked by
the separation of the moon from its mass (see TIDE). Whether the
severance arose from the rupture of a surrounding ring or the gradual
condensation of matter in such a ring, or from the ejection of a single
mass of matter from the rapidly rotating planet, it has been shown that
our satellite was only a few thousand miles from the earth's surface,
since when it has retreated to its present distance of 240,000 m. Hence
the influence of the moon's attraction, and all the geological effects
to which it gives rise, attained their maximum far back in the
development of the globe, and have been slowly diminishing throughout
geological history.
The sun by virtue of its vast size has not yet passed out of the
condition of glowing gas, and still continues to radiate heat beyond the
farthest planet of the solar system. The earth, however, being so small
a body in comparison, would cool down much more quickly. Underneath its
hot atmosphere a crust would conceivably begin to form over its molten
surface, though the interior might still possess a high temperature and,
owing to the feeble conducting power of rocks, would remain intensely
hot for a protracted series of ages.
Full information regarding the form and size of the earth, and its
relations to the other planetary members of the solar system, will be
found in the articles PLANET and SOLAR SYSTEM. For the purposes of
geological inquiry the reader will bear in mind that the equatorial
diameter of our globe is estimated to be about 7925 m., and the polar
diameter about 7899 m.; the difference between these two sums
representing the amount of flattening at the poles (about 26½ m.). The
planet has been compared in shape to an orange, but it resembles an
orange which has been somewhat squeezed, for its equatorial
circumference is not a regular circle but an ellipse, of which the major
axis lies in long. 8° 15' W.--on a meridian which cuts the north-west
corner of America, passing through Portugal and Ireland, and the
north-east corner of Asia in the opposite hemisphere.
The rotation of the earth on its axis exerts an important influence on
the movements of the atmosphere, and thereby affects the geological
operations connected with these movements. The influence of rotation is
most marked in the great aerial circulation between the poles and the
equator. Currents of air, which set out in a meridional direction from
high latitudes towards the equator, come from regions where the velocity
due to rotation is small to where it is greater, and they consequently
fall behind. Thus, in the northern hemisphere a north wind, as it moves
away from its northern source of origin, is gradually deflected more and
more towards the west and becomes a north-east current; while in the
opposite hemisphere a wind making from high southern latitudes towards
the equator becomes, from the same cause, a south-east current. Where,
on the other hand, the air moves from the equatorial to the polar
regions its higher velocity of rotation carries it eastward, so that on
the south side of the equator it becomes a north-west current and on the
north side a south-west current. It is to this cause that the easting
and westing of the great atmospheric currents are to be attributed, as
is familiarly exemplified in the trade winds.
The atmospheric circulation thus deflected influences the circulation of
the ocean. The winds which persistently blow from the north-east on the
north side of the equator, and from the south-east on the south side,
drive the superficial waters onwards, and give rise to converging
oceanic currents which unite to form the great westerly equatorial
current.
A more direct effect of terrestrial rotation has been claimed in the
case of rivers which flow in a meridional direction. It has been
asserted that those, which in the northern hemisphere flow from north to
south, like the Volga, by continually passing into regions where the
velocity of rotation is increasingly greater, are thrown more against
their western than their eastern banks, while those whose general course
is in an opposite direction, like the Irtisch and Yenesei, press more
upon their eastern sides. There cannot be any doubt that the tendency of
the streams must be in the directions indicated. But when the
comparatively slow current and constantly meandering course of most
rivers are taken into consideration, it may be doubted whether the
influence of rotation is of much practical account so far as
river-erosion is concerned.
One of the cosmical relations of our planet which has been more
especially prominent in geological speculations relates to the position
of the earth's axis of rotation. Abundant evidence has now been obtained
to prove that at a comparatively late geological period a rich flora,
resembling that of warm climates at the present day, existed in high
latitudes even within less than 9° of the north pole, where, with an
extremely low temperature and darkness lasting for half of the year, no
such vegetation could possibly now exist. It has accordingly been
maintained by many geologists that the axis of rotation must have
shifted, and that when the remarkable Arctic assemblage of fossil plants
lived the region of their growth must have lain in latitudes much nearer
to the equator of the time.
The possibility of any serious displacement of the rotational axis since
a very early period in the earth's history has been strenuously denied
by astronomers, and their arguments have been generally, but somewhat
reluctantly, accepted by geologists, who find themselves confronted with
a problem which has hitherto seemed insoluble. That the axis is not
rigidly stable, however, has been postulated by some physicists, and has
now been demonstrated by actual observation and measurement. It is
admitted that by the movement of large bodies of water the air over the
surface of the globe, and more particularly by the accumulation of vast
masses of snow and ice in different regions, the position of the axis
might be to some extent shifted; more serious effects might follow from
widespread upheavals or depressions of the surface of the lithosphere.
On the assumption of the extreme rigidity of the earth's interior,
however, the general result of mathematical calculation is to negative
the supposition that in any of these ways within the period represented
by what is known as the "geological record," that is, since the time of
the oldest known sedimentary formations, the rotational axis has ever
been so seriously displaced as to account for such stupendous geological
events as the spread of a luxuriant vegetation far up into polar
latitudes. If, however, the inside of the globe possesses a great
plasticity than has been allowed, the shifting of the axis might not be
impossible, even to such an extent as would satisfy the geological
requirements. This question is one on which the last word has not been
said, and regarding which judgment must remain in suspense.
In recent years fresh information bearing on the minor devagations of
the pole has been obtained from a series of several thousand careful
observations made in Europe and North America. It has thus been
ascertained that the pole wanders with a curiously irregular but
somewhat spiral movement, within an amplitude of between 40 and 50 ft.,
and completes its erratic circuit in about 428 days. It was not supposed
that its movement had any geological interest, but Dr John Milne has
recently pointed out that the times of sharpest curvature in the path of
the pole coincide with the occurrence of large earthquakes, and has
suggested that, although it can hardly be assumed that this coincidence
shows any direct connexion between earthquake frequency and changes in
the position of the earth's axis, both effects may not improbably arise
from the same redistribution of surface material by ocean currents and
meteorological causes.
If for any reason the earth's centre of gravity were sensibly displaced,
momentous geological changes would necessarily ensue. That the centre of
gravity does not coincide with the centre of figure of the globe, but
lies to the south of it, has long been known. This greater aggregation
of dense material in the southern hemisphere probably dates from the
early ages of the earth's consolidation, and it is difficult to believe
that any readjustment of the distribution of this material in the
earth's interior is now possible. But certain rearrangements of the
hydrosphere on the surface of the globe may, from time to time, cause a
shifting of the centre of gravity, which will affect the level of the
ocean. The accumulation of enormous masses of ice around the pole will
give rise to such a displacement, and will thus increase the body of
oceanic water in the glaciated hemisphere. Various calculations have
been made of the effect of the transference of the ice-cap from one pole
to the other, a revolution which may possibly have occurred more than
once in the past history of the globe. James Croll estimated that if the
mass of ice in the southern hemisphere be assumed to be 1000 ft. thick
down to lat. 60°, its removal to the opposite hemisphere would raise the
level of the sea 80 ft. at the north pole, while the Rev. Osmond Fisher
made the rise as much as 409 ft. The melting of the ice would still
further raise the sea-level by the addition of so large a volume of
water to the ocean. To what extent superficial changes of this kind have
operated in geological history remains an unsolved problem, but their
probable occurrence in the past has to be recognized as one of the
factors that must be considered in tracing the revolutions of the
earth's surface.
_The Age of the Earth._--Intimately connected with the relations of our
globe to the sun and the other members of the solar system is the
question of the planet's antiquity--a subject of great geological
importance, regarding which much discussion has taken place since the
middle of the 19th century. Though an account of this discussion
necessarily involves allusion to departments of geology which are more
appropriately referred to in later parts of this article, it may perhaps
be most conveniently included here.
Geologists were for many years in the habit of believing that no limit
could be assigned to the antiquity of the planet, and that they were at
liberty to make unlimited drafts on the ages of the past. In 1862 and
subsequent years, however, Lord Kelvin (then Sir William Thomson)
pointed out that these demands were opposed to known physical facts, and
that the amount of time required for geological history was not only
limited, but must have been comprised within a comparatively narrow
compass. His argument rested on three kinds of evidence: (1) the
internal heat and rate of cooling of the earth; (2) the tidal
retardation of the earth's rotation; and (3) the origin and age of the
sun's heat.
1. Applying Fourier's theory of thermal conductivity, Lord Kelvin
contended that in the known rate of increase of temperature downward and
beneath the surface, and the rate of loss of heat from the earth, we
have a limit to the antiquity of the planet. He showed, from the data
available at the time, that the superficial consolidation of the globe
could not have occurred less than 20 million years ago, or the
underground heat would have been greater than it is; nor more than 400
million years ago, otherwise the underground temperature would have
shown no sensible increase downwards. He admitted that very wide limits
were necessary. In subsequently discussing the subject, he inclined
rather towards the lower than the higher antiquity, but concluded that
the limit, from a consideration of all the evidence, must be placed
within some such period of past time as 100 millions of years.
2. The argument from tidal retardation proceeds on the admitted fact
that, owing to the friction of the tide-wave, the rotation of the earth
is retarded, and is, therefore, much slower now than it must have been
at one time. Lord Kelvin affirmed that had the globe become solid some
10,000 million years ago, or indeed any high antiquity beyond 100
million years, the centrifugal force due to the more rapid rotation must
have given the planet a very much greater polar flattening than it
actually possesses. He admitted, however, that, though 100 million years
ago that force must have been about 3% greater than now, yet "nothing
we know regarding the figure of the earth, and the disposition of land
and water, would justify us in saying that a body consolidated when
there was more centrifugal force by 3% than now, might not now be in all
respects like the earth, so far as we know it at present."
3. The third argument, based upon the age of the sun's heat, is
confessedly less to be relied on than the two previous ones. It proceeds
upon calculations as to the amount of heat which would be available by
the falling together of masses from space, which gave rise by their
impact to our sun. The vagueness of the data on which this argument
rests may be inferred from the fact that in one passage P.G. Tait placed
the limit of time during which the sun has been illuminating the earth
as, "on the very highest computation, not more than about 15 or 20
millions of years"; while, in another sentence of the same volume, he
admitted that, "by calculations in which there is no possibility of
large error, this hypothesis [of the origin of the sun's heat by the
falling together of masses of matter] is thoroughly competent to explain
100 millions of years' solar radiation at the present rate, perhaps
more." In more recently reviewing his argument, Lord Kelvin expressed
himself in favour of more strictly limiting geological time than he had
at first been disposed to do. He insists that the time "was more than 20
and less than 40 millions of years and probably much nearer 20 than 40."
Geologists appear to have reluctantly brought themselves to believe that
perhaps, after all, 100 millions of years might suffice for the
evolution of geological history. But when the time was cut down to 15 or
20 millions they protested that such a restricted period was
insufficient for that evolution, and though they did not offer any
effective criticism of the arguments of the physicists they felt
convinced that there must be some flaw in the premises on which these
arguments were based.
By degrees, however, there have arisen among the physicists themselves
grave doubts as to the validity of the physical evidence on which the
limitation of the earth's age has been founded, and at the same time
greater appreciation has been shown of the signification and strength of
the geological proofs of the high antiquity of our planet. In an address
from the chair of the Mathematical Section of the British Association in
1886, Professor (afterwards Sir) George Darwin reviewed the controversy,
and pronounced the following deliberate judgment in regard to it: "In
considering these three arguments I have adduced some reasons against
the validity of the first [tidal friction], and have endeavoured to show
that there are elements of uncertainty surrounding the second [secular
cooling of the earth]; nevertheless, they undoubtedly constitute a
contribution of the first importance to physical geology. Whilst, then,
we may protest against the precision with which Professor Tait seeks to
deduce results from them, we are fully justified in following Sir
William Thomson, who says that 'the existing state of things on the
earth, life on the earth--all geological history showing continuity of
life--must be limited within some such period of past time as 100
million years'." Lord Kelvin has never dealt with the geological and
palaeontological objections against the limitation of geological time to
a few millions of years. But Professor Darwin, in the address just
cited, uttered the memorable warning: "At present our knowledge of a
definite limit to geological time has so little precision that we should
do wrong summarily to reject theories which appear to demand longer
periods of time than those which now appear allowable." In his
presidential address to the British Association at Cape Town in 1905 he
returned to the subject, remarking that the argument derived from the
increase of underground temperature "seems to be entirely destroyed" by
the discovery of the properties of radium. He thinks that "it does not
seem extravagant to suppose that 500 to 1000 million years may have
elapsed since the birth of the moon." He has "always believed that the
geologists were more nearly correct than the physicists, notwithstanding
the fact that appearances were so strongly against them," and he
concludes thus: "It appears, then, that the physical argument is not
susceptible of a greater degree of certainty than that of the
geologists, and the scale of geological time remains in great measure
unknown" (see also Tide, chap. viii.).
In an address to the mathematical section of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science in 1889, the vice-president of the
section, R.S. Woodward, thus expressed himself with regard to the
physical arguments brought forward by Lord Kelvin and Professor Tait in
limitation of geological time: "Having been at some pains to look into
this matter, I feel bound to state that, although the hypothesis appears
to be the best which can be formulated at present, the odds are against
its correctness. Its weak links are the unverified assumptions of an
initial uniform temperature and a constant diffusivity. Very likely
these are approximations, but of what order we cannot decide.
Furthermore, if we accept the hypothesis, the odds appear to be against
the present attainment of trustworthy numerical results, since the data
for calculation, obtained mostly from observations on continental areas,
are far too meagre to give satisfactory average values for the entire
mass of the earth."
Still more emphatic is the protest made from the physical side by
Professor John Perry. He has attacked each of the three lines of
argument of Lord Kelvin, and has impugned the validity of the
conclusions drawn from them. The argument from tidal retardation he
dismisses as fallacious, following in this contention the previous
criticism of the Rev. Maxwell Close and Sir George Darwin. In dealing
with the argument based on the secular cooling of the earth, he holds it
to be perfectly allowable to assume a much higher conductivity for the
interior of the globe, and that such a reasonable assumption would
enable us greatly to increase our estimate of the earth's antiquity. As
for the third argument, from the age of the sun's heat, he points out
that the sun may have been repeatedly fed by a supply of meteorites from
outside, while the earth may have been protected from radiation, and
been able to retain much of its heat by being enveloped in a dense
atmosphere. Remarking that "almost anything is possible as to the
present internal state of the earth," he concludes thus: "To sum up, we
can find no published record of any lower maximum age of life on the
earth, as calculated by physicists, than 400 millions of years. From the
three physical arguments Lord Kelvin's higher limits are 1000, 400 and
500 million years. I have shown that we have reasons for believing that
the age, from all these, may be very considerably underestimated. It is
to be observed that if we exclude everything but the arguments from mere
physics, the _probable_ age of life on the earth is much less than any
of the above estimates; but if the palaeontologists have good reasons
for demanding much greater times, I see nothing from the physicists'
point of view which denies them four times the greatest of these
estimates."
A fresh line of argument against Lord Kelvin's limitation of the
antiquity of our globe has recently been started by the remarkable
discoveries in radio-activity. From the ascertained properties of radium
it appears to be possible that our estimates of solar heat, as derived
from the theory of gravitation, may have to be augmented ten or twenty
times; that stores of radium and similar bodies within the earth may
have indefinitely deferred the establishment of the present temperature
gradient from the surface inward; that consequently the earth may have
remained for long ages at a temperature not greatly different from that
which it now possesses, and hence that the times during which our globe
has supported animal and vegetable life may be very much longer than
that allowed in the estimates previously made by physicists from other
data (see RADIOACTIVITY).
The arguments from the geological side against the physical contention
that would limit the age of our globe to some 10 or 20 millions of years
are mainly based on the observed rates of geological and biological
changes at the present time upon land and sea, and on the nature,
physical history and organic contents of the stratified crust of the
earth. Unfortunately, actual numerical data are not obtainable in many
departments of geological activity, and even where they can be procured
they do not yet rest on a sufficiently wide collection of accurate and
co-ordinated observations. But in some branches of dynamical geology,
material exists for, at least, a preliminary computation of the rate of
change. This is more especially the case in respect of the wide domain
of denudation. The observational records of the action of the sea, of
springs, rivers and glaciers are becoming gradually fuller and more
trustworthy. A method of making use of these records for estimating the
rate of denudation of the land has been devised. Taking the Mississippi
as a general type of river action, it has been shown that the amount of
material conveyed by this stream into the sea in one year is equivalent
to the lowering of the general surface of the drainage basin of the
river by 1/6000 of a foot. This would amount to one foot in 6000 years
and 1000 ft. in 6 million years. So that at the present rate of waste in
the Mississippi basin a whole continent might be worn away in a few
millions of years.
It is evident that as deposition and denudation are simultaneous
processes, the ascertainment of the rate at which solid material is
removed from the surface of the land supplies some necessary information
for estimating the rate at which new sedimentary formations are being
accumulated on the floor of the sea, and for a computation of the length
of time that would be required at the present rate of change for the
deposition of all the stratified rocks that enter into the composition
of the crust of our globe. If the thickness of these rocks be assumed to
be 100,000 ft., and if we could suppose them to have been laid down over
as wide an area as that of the drainage basins from the waste of which
they were derived, then at the present rate of denudation their
accumulation would require some 600 millions of years. But, as Dr A.R.
Wallace has justly pointed out, the tract of sea-floor over which the
material derived from the waste of the terrestrial surface is laid down
is at present much less than that from which this material is worn away.
We have no means, however, of determining what may have been the ratio
between the two areas in past time. Certainly ancient marine sedimentary
rocks cover at the present day a much more extensive area than that in
which they are now being elaborated. If we take the ratio postulated by
Dr Wallace--1 to 19--the 100,000 ft. of sedimentary strata would require
31 millions of years for their accumulation. It is quite possible,
however, that this ratio may be much too high. There are reasons for
believing that the proportion of coast-line to land area has been
diminishing during geological time; in other words, that in early times
the land was more insular and is now more continental. So that the 31
millions of years may be much less than the period that would be
required, even on the supposition of continuous uninterrupted denudation
and sedimentation, during the whole of the time represented by the
stratified formations.
But no one who has made himself familiar with the actual composition of
these formations and the detailed structure of the terrestrial crust can
fail to recognize how vague, imperfect and misleading are the data on
which such computations are founded. It requires no prolonged
acquaintance with the earth's crust to impress upon the mind that one
all-important element is omitted, and indeed can hardly be allowed for
from want of sufficiently precise data, but the neglect of which must
needs seriously impair the value of all numerical calculations made
without it. The assumption that the stratified formations can be treated
as if they consisted of a continuous unbroken sequence of sediments,
indicating a vast and uninterrupted process of waste and deposition, is
one that is belied on every hand by the actual structure of these
formations. It can only give us a minimum of the time required; for,
instead of an unbroken series, the sedimentary formations are full of
"unconformabilities"--gaps in the sequence of the chronological
records--as if whole chapters and groups of chapters had been torn out
of a historical work. It can often be shown that these breaks of
continuity must have been of vast duration, and actually exceeded in
chronological importance thick groups of strata lying below and above
them (see Part VI.). Moreover, even among the uninterrupted strata,
where no such unconformabilities exist, but where the sediments follow
each other in apparently uninterrupted sequence, and might be thought to
have been deposited continuously at the same general rate, and without
the intervention of any pause, it can be demonstrated that sometimes an
inch or two of sediment might, on certain horizons, represent the
deposit of an enormously longer period than a hundred or a thousand
times the same amount of sediment on other horizons. A prolonged study
of these questions leads to a profound conviction that in many parts of
the geological record the time represented by sedimentary deposits may
be vastly less than the time which is not so represented.
It has often been objected that the present rate of geological change
ought not to be taken as a measure of the rate in past time, because the
total sum of terrestrial energy has been steadily diminishing, and
geological processes must consequently have been more vigorous in former
ages than they are now. Geologists do not pretend to assert that there
has been no variation or diminution in the activities of the various
processes which they have to study. What they do insist on is that the
present rate of change is the only one which we can watch and measure,
and which will thus supply a statistical basis for any computations on
the subject. But it has been dogmatically affirmed that because
terrestrial energy has been diminishing therefore all kinds of
geological work must have been more vigorously and more rapidly carried
on in former times than now; that there were far more abundant and more
stupendous volcanoes, more frequent and more destructive earthquakes,
more gigantic upheavals and subsidences, more powerful oceanic waves and
tides, more violent atmospheric disturbances with heavier rainfall and
more active denudation.
It is easy to make these assertions, and they look plausible; but, after
all, they rest on nothing stronger than assumption. They can be tested
by an appeal to the crust of the earth, in which the geological history
of our planet has been so fully recorded. Had such portentous
manifestations of geological activity ever been the normal condition of
things since the beginning of that history, there ought to be a record
of them in the rocks. But no evidence for them has been found there,
though it has been diligently sought for in all quarters of the globe.
We may confidently assert that while geological changes may quite
possibly have taken place on a gigantic scale in the earliest ages of
the earth's existence, of which no geological record remains, there is
no proof that they have ever done so since the time when the very oldest
of the stratified formations were deposited. There is no need to
maintain that they have always been conducted precisely on the same
scale as now, or to deny that they may have gradually become less
vigorous as the general sum of terrestrial energy has diminished. But we
may unhesitatingly affirm that no actual evidence of any such
progressive diminution of activity has been adduced from the geological
record in the crust of the earth: that, on the contrary, no appearances
have been detected there which necessarily demand the assumption of
those more powerful operations postulated by physicists, or which are
not satisfactorily explicable by reference to the existing scale of
nature's processes.
That this conclusion is warranted even with regard to the innate energy
of the globe itself will be seen if we institute a comparison between
the more ancient and the more recent manifestations of that energy.
Take, for example, the proofs of gigantic plication, fracture and
displacement within the terrestrial crust. These, as they have affected
the most ancient rocks of Europe, have been worked out in great detail
in the north-west of Scotland. But they are not essentially different
from or on a greater scale than those which have been proved to have
affected the Alps, and to have involved strata of so recent a date as
the older Tertiary formations. On the contrary, it may be doubted
whether any denuded core of an ancient mountain-chain reveals traces of
such stupendous disturbances of the crust as those which have given rise
to the younger mountain-chains of the globe. It may, indeed, quite well
have been the rule that instead of diminishing in intensity of effect,
the consequences of terrestrial contraction have increased in magnitude,
the augmenting thickness of the crust offering greater resistance to
the stresses, and giving rise to vaster plications, faults,
thrust-planes and metamorphism, as this growing resistance had to be
overcome.
The assertion that volcanic action must have been more violent and more
persistent in ancient times than it is now has assuredly no geological
evidence in its support. It is quite true that there are vastly more
remains of former volcanoes scattered over the surface of the globe than
there are active craters now, and that traces of copious eruptions of
volcanic material can be followed back into some of the oldest parts of
the geological record. But we have no proof that ever at any one time in
geological history there have been more or larger or more vigorous
volcanoes than those of recent periods. It may be said that the absence
of such proof ought not to invalidate the assertion until a far wider
area of the earth's surface has been geologically studied. But most
assuredly, as far as geological investigation has yet gone, there is an
overwhelming body of evidence to show that from the earliest epochs in
geological history, as registered in the stratified rocks, volcanic
action has manifested itself very much as it does now, but on a less
rather than on a greater scale. Nowhere can this subject be more
exhaustively studied than in the British Isles, where a remarkably
complete series of volcanic eruptions has been chronicled ranging from
the earliest Palaeozoic down to older Tertiary time. The result of a
prolonged study of British volcanic geology has demonstrated that, even
to minute points of detail, there has been a singular uniformity in the
phenomena from beginning to end. The oldest lavas and ashes differ in no
essential respect from the youngest. Nor have they been erupted more
copiously or more frequently. Many successive volcanic periods have
followed each other after prolonged intervals of repose, each displaying
the same general sequence of phenomena and similar evidence of gradual
diminution and extinction. The youngest, instead of being the feeblest,
were the most extensive outbursts in the whole of this prolonged series.
If now we turn for evidence of the alleged greater activity of all the
epigene or superficial forces, and especially for proofs of more rapid
denudation and deposition on the earth's surface, we search for it in
vain among the stratified formations of the terrestrial crust. Had the
oldest of these rocks been accumulated in a time of great atmospheric
perturbation, of torrential rains, colossal tides and violent storms, we
might surely expect to find among the sediments some proof of such
disturbed meteorological and geographical conditions. We should look, on
the one hand, for tumultuous accumulations of coarse unworn detritus,
rapidly swept by rains, floods and waves from land to sea, and on the
other hand, for an absence of any evidence of the tranquil and
continuous deposit of such fine laminated silt as could only settle in
quiet water. But an appeal to the geological record is made in vain for
any such proofs. The oldest sediments, like the youngest, reveal the
operation only of such agents and such rates of activity as are still to
be witnessed in the accumulation of the same kind of deposits. If, for
instance, we search the most ancient thick sedimentary formation in
Britain--the Torridon Sandstone of north-west Scotland, which is older
than the oldest fossiliferous deposits--we meet with nothing which might
not be found in any Palaeozoic, Mesozoic or Cainozoic group of similar
sediments. We see an accumulation, at least 8000 or 10,000 ft. thick, of
consolidated sand, gravel and mud, such as may be gathering now on the
floor of any large mountain-girdled lake. The conglomerates of this
ancient series are not pell-mell heaps of angular detritus, violently
swept away from the land and huddled promiscuously on the sea-floor.
They are, in general, built up of pebbles that have been worn smooth,
rounded and polished by prolonged attrition in running water, and they
follow each other on successive platforms with intervening layers of
finer sediment. The sandstones are composed of well water-worn sand,
some of which has been laid down so tranquilly that its component grains
have been separated out in layers according to their specific gravity,
in such manner that they now present dark laminae in which particles of
magnetic iron, zircon and other heavy minerals have been sifted out
together, just as iron-sand may be seen gathered into thin sheets on
sandy beaches at the present day. Again, the same series of primeval
sediments includes intercalations of fine silt, which has been deposited
as regularly and intermittently there as it has been among the most
recent formations. These bands of shale have been diligently searched
for fossils, as yet without success; but they may eventually disclose
organic remains older than any hitherto found in Europe.
We now come to the consideration of the palaeontological evidence as to
the value of geological time. Here the conclusions derived from a study
of the structure of the sedimentary formations are vastly strengthened
and extended. In the first place, the organization of the most ancient
plants and animals furnishes no indication that they had to contend with
any greater violence of storm, flood, wave or ocean-current than is
familiar to their modern descendants. The oldest trees, shrubs, ferns
and club-mosses display no special structures that suggest a difference
in the general conditions of their environment. The most ancient
crinoids, sponges, crustaceans, arachnids and molluscs were as
delicately constructed as those of to-day, and their remains are often
found in such perfect preservation as to show that neither during their
lifetime nor after their death were they subject to any greater violence
of the elements than their living representatives now experience. Of
much more cogency, however, is the evidence supplied by the grand upward
succession of organic forms, from the most ancient stratified rocks up
to the present day. No biologist now doubts for a moment that this
marvellous succession is the result of a gradual process of evolution
from lower to higher types of organization. There may be differences of
opinion as to the causes which have governed this process and the order
of the steps through which it has advanced, but no one who is conversant
with the facts will now venture to deny that it has taken place, and
that, on any possible explanation of its progress, it must have demanded
an enormous lapse of time. In the Cambrian or oldest fossiliferous
formations there is already a large and varied fauna, in which the
leading groups of invertebrate life are represented. On no tenable
hypothesis can these be regarded as the first organisms that came into
being on our planet. They must have had a long ancestry, and as Darwin
first maintained, the time required for their evolution may have been
"as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the
Silurian [Cambrian] age to the present day." The records of these
earliest eras of organic development have unfortunately not survived the
geological revolutions of the past; at least, they have not yet been
recovered. But it cannot be doubted that they once existed and
registered their testimony to the prodigious lapse of time prior to the
deposition of the most ancient fossiliferous formations which have
escaped destruction.
The impressive character of the evidence furnished by the sequence of
organic forms throughout the great series of fossiliferous strata can
hardly be fully realized without a detailed and careful study of the
subject. Professor E.B. Poulton, in an address to the zoological section
of the British Association at the Liverpool Meeting in 1896, showed how
overwhelming are the demands which this evidence makes for long periods
of time, and how impossible it is of comprehension unless these demands
be conceded. The history of life upon the earth, though it will probably
always be surrounded with great and even insuperable difficulties,
becomes broadly comprehensible in its general progress when sufficient
time is granted for the evolution which it records; but it remains
unintelligible on any other conditions.
Taken then as a whole, the body of evidence, geological and
palaeontological, in favour of the high antiquity of our globe is so
great, so manifold, and based on such an ever-increasing breadth of
observation and reflection, that it may be confidently appealed to in
answer to the physical arguments which would seek to limit that
antiquity to ten or twenty millions of years. In the present state of
science it is out of our power to state positively what must be the
lowest limit of the age of the earth. But we cannot assume it to be much
less, and it may possibly have been much more, than the 100 millions of
years which Lord Kelvin was at one time willing to concede.[2]
PART III.--GEOGNOSY. THE INVESTIGATION OF THE NATURE AND COMPOSITION OF
THE MATERIALS OF WHICH THE EARTH CONSISTS
This division of the science is devoted to a description of the parts of
the earth--of the atmosphere and ocean that surround the planet, and
more especially of the solid materials that underlie these envelopes and
extend downwards to an unknown distance into the interior. These various
constituents of the globe are here considered as forms of matter capable
of being analysed, and arranged according to their composition and the
place they take in the general composition of the globe.
Viewed in the simplest way the earth may be regarded as made up of three
distinct parts, each of which ever since an early period of planetary
history has been the theatre of important geological operations. (1) An
envelope of air, termed the _atmosphere_, which surrounds the whole
globe; (2) A lower and less extensive envelope of water, known as the
_hydrosphere_ (Gr. [Greek: hydôr], water) which, constituting the oceans
and seas, covers nearly three-fourths of the underlying solid surface of
the planet; (3) A globe, called the _lithosphere_ (Gr. [Greek: lithos],
stone), the external part of which, consisting of solid stone, forms the
_crust_, while underneath, and forming the vast mass of the interior,
lies the _nucleus_, regarding the true constitution of which we are
still ignorant.
1. _The Atmosphere._--The general characters of the atmosphere are
described in separate articles (see especially ATMOSPHERE; METEOROLOGY).
Only its relations to geology have here to be considered. As this
gaseous envelope encircles the whole globe it is the most universally
present and active of all the agents of geological change. Its efficacy
in this respect arises partly from its composition, and the chemical
reactions which it effects upon the surface of the land, partly from its
great variations in temperature and moisture, and partly from its
movements.
Many speculations have been made regarding the chemical composition of
the atmosphere during former geological periods. There can indeed be
little doubt that it must originally have differed greatly from its
present condition. If the whole mass of the planet originally existed
in a gaseous state, there would be practically no atmosphere. The
present outer envelope of air may be considered to be the surviving
relic of this condition, after all the other constituents have been
incorporated into the hydrosphere and lithosphere. The oxygen, which
now forms fully a half of the outer crust of the earth, was doubtless
originally, whether free or in combination, part of the atmosphere.
So, too, the vast beds of coal found all over the world, in geological
formations of many different ages, represent so much carbonic acid
once present in the air. The chlorides and other salts in the sea may
likewise partly represent materials carried down out of the atmosphere
in the primitive condensation of the aqueous vapour, though they have
been continually increased ever since by contributions from the
drainage of the land. It has often been suggested that, during the
Carboniferous period, the atmosphere must have been warmer and more
charged with aqueous vapour and carbon dioxide than at the present
day, to admit of so luxuriant a flora as that from which the
coal-seams were formed. There seems, however, to be at present no
method of arriving at any certainty on this subject. Lastly, the
amount of carbonic acid absorbed in the weathering of rocks at the
surface, and the consequent production of carbonates, represents an
enormous abstraction of this gas.
As at present constituted, the atmosphere is regarded as a mechanical
mixture of nearly four volumes of nitrogen and one of oxygen, together
with an average of 3.5 parts of carbon dioxide in every 10,000 parts
of air, and minute quantities of various other gases and solid
particles. Of the vapours contained in it by far the most important is
that of water which, although always present, varies greatly in amount
according to variations in temperature. By condensation the water
vapour appears in visible form as dew, mist, cloud, rain, hail, snow
and ice, and in these forms includes and carries down some of the
other vapours, gases and solid particles present in the air. The
circulation of water from the atmosphere to the land, from the land to
the sea, and again from the sea to the land, forms the great
geological process whereby the habitable condition of the planet is
maintained and the surface of the land is sculptured (Part IV.).
2. _The Hydrosphere._--The water envelope covers nearly three-fourths of
the surface of the earth, and forms the various oceans and seas which,
though for convenience of reference distinguished by separate names, are
all linked together in one great body. The physical characters of this
vast envelope are discussed in separate articles (see OCEAN and
OCEANOGRAPHY). Viewed from the geological standpoint, the features of
the sea that specially deserve attention are first the composition of
its waters, and secondly its movements.
Sea-water is distinguished from that of ordinary lakes and rivers by
its greater specific gravity and its saline taste. Its average density
is about 1.026, but it varies even within the same ocean, being least
where large quantities of fresh water are added from rain or melting
snow and ice, and greatest where evaporation is most active. That
sea-water is heavier than fresh arises from the greater proportion of
salts which it contains in solution. These salts constitute about
three and a half parts in every hundred of water. They consist mainly
of chlorides of sodium and magnesium, the sulphates of magnesium,
calcium and potassium, with minuter quantities of magnesium bromide
and calcium carbonate. Still smaller proportions of other substances
have been detected, gold for example having been found in the
proportion of 1 part in 15,180,000.
That many of the salts have existed in the sea from the time of its
first condensation out of the primeval atmosphere appears to be
probable. It is manifest, however, that, whatever may have been the
original composition of the oceans, they have for a vast section of
geological time been constantly receiving mineral matter in solution
from the land. Every spring, brook and river removes various salts
from the rocks over which it moves, and these substances, thus
dissolved, eventually find their way into the sea. Consequently
sea-water ought to contain more or less traceable proportions of every
substance which the terrestrial waters can remove from the land, in
short, of probably every element present in the outer shell of the
globe, for there seems to be no constituent of this earth which may
not, under certain circumstances, be held in solution in water.
Moreover, unless there be some counteracting process to remove these
mineral ingredients, the ocean water ought to be growing, insensibly
perhaps, but still assuredly, saltier, for the supply of saline matter
from the land is incessant.
To the geologist the presence of mineral solutions in sea-water is a
fact of much importance, for it explains the origin of a considerable
part of the stratified rocks of the earth's crust. By evaporation the
water has given rise to deposits of rock-salt, gypsum and other
materials. The lime contained in solution, whether as sulphate or
carbonate, has been extracted by many tribes of marine animals, which
have thus built up out of their remains vast masses of solid
limestone, of which many mountain-chains largely consist.
Another important geological feature of the sea is to be seen in the
fact that its basins form the great receptacles for the detritus worn
away from the land. Besides the limestones, the visible parts of the
terrestrial crust are, in large measure, composed of sedimentary rocks
which were originally laid down on the sea-bottom. Moreover, by its
various movements, the sea occupies a prominent place among the
epigene or superficial agents which produce geological changes on the
surface of the globe.
3. _The Lithosphere._--Beneath the gaseous and liquid envelopes lies the
solid part of the planet, which is conveniently regarded as consisting
of two parts,--(a) the crust, and (b) the interior or nucleus.
The crust.
It was for a long time a prevalent belief that the interior of the globe
is a molten mass round which an outer shell has gradually formed through
cooling. Hence the term "crust" was applied to this external solid
envelope, which was variously computed to be 10, 20, or more miles in
thickness. The portion of this crust accessible to human observation was
seen to afford abundant evidence of vast plications and corrugations of
its substance, which were regarded as only explicable on the supposition
of a thin solid collapsible shell floating on a denser liquid interior.
When, however, physical arguments were adduced to show the great
rigidity of the earth as a whole, the idea of a thin crust enclosing a
molten nucleus was reluctantly abandoned by geologists, who found the
problem of the earth's interior to be incapable of solution by any
evidence which their science could produce. They continued, however, to
use the term "crust" as a convenient word to denote the cool outer layer
of the earth's mass, the structure and history of which form the main
subjects of geological investigation. More recently, however, various
lines of research have concurred in suggesting that, whatever may be the
condition of the interior, its substance must differ greatly from that
of the outer shell, and that there may be more reason than appeared for
the retention of the name of crust. Observations on earthquake motion by
Dr John Milne and others, show that the rate and character of the waves
transmitted through the interior of the earth differ in a marked degree
from those propagated along the crust. This difference indicates that
rocky material, such as we know at the surface, may extend inwards for
some 30 m., below which the earth's interior rapidly becomes fairly
homogeneous and possesses a high rigidity. From measurements of the
force of gravity in India by Colonel S.G. Burrard, it has been inferred
that the variations in density of the outer parts of the earth do not
descend farther than 30 or 40 m., which might be assumed to be the limit
of the thickness of the crust. Recent researches in regard to the
radio-active substances present in rocks suggest that the crust is not
more than 50 m. thick, and that the interior differs from it in
possessing little or no radio-active material.
The interior.
Though we cannot hope ever to have direct acquaintance with more than
the mere outside skin of our planet, we may be led to infer the
irregular distribution of materials within the crust from the present
distribution of land and water, and the observed differences in the
amount of deflection of the plumb-line near the sea and near
mountain-chains. The fact that the southern hemisphere is almost wholly
covered with water appears explicable only on the assumption of an
excess of density in the mass of that portion of the planet. The
existence of such a vast sheet of water as that of the Pacific Ocean is
to be accounted for, as Archdeacon J.H. Pratt pointed out, by the
presence of "some excess of matter in the solid parts of the earth
between the Pacific Ocean and the earth's centre, which retains the
water in its place, otherwise the ocean would flow away to the other
parts of the earth." A deflection of the plumb-line towards the sea,
which has in a number of cases been observed, indicates that "the
density of the crust beneath the mountains must be less than that below
the plains, and still less than that below the ocean-bed." Apart
therefore from the depression of the earth's surface in which the oceans
lie, we must regard the internal density, whether of crust or nucleus,
to be somewhat irregularly arranged, there being an excess of heavy
materials in the water hemisphere, and beneath the ocean-beds, as
compared with the continental masses.
In our ignorance regarding the chemical constitution of the nucleus of
our planet, an argument has sometimes been based upon the known fact
that the specific gravity of the globe as a whole is about double that
of the crust. This has been held by some writers to prove that the
interior must consist of much heavier material and is therefore probably
metallic. But the effect of pressure ought to make the density of the
nucleus much higher, even if the interior consisted of matter no heavier
than the crust. That the total density of the planet does not greatly
exceed its observed amount seems only explicable on the supposition that
some antagonistic force counteracts the effects of pressure. The only
force we can suppose capable of so acting is heat. But comparatively
little is yet known regarding the compression of gases, liquids and
solids under such vast pressures as must exist within the nucleus.
That the interior of the earth possesses a high temperature is inferred
from the evidence of various sources. (1) Volcanoes, which are openings
that constantly, or intermittently, give out hot vapours and molten lava
from reservoirs beneath the crust. Besides active volcanoes, it is known
that former eruptive vents have been abundantly and widely distributed
over the globe from the earliest geological periods down to our own day.
(2) Hot springs are found in many parts of the globe, with temperatures
varying up to the boiling point of water. (3) From mines, tunnels and
deep borings into the earth it has been ascertained that in all quarters
of the globe below the superficial zone of invariable temperature, there
is a progressive increase of heat towards the interior. The rate of this
increase varies, being influenced, among other causes, by the varying
conductivity of the rocks. But the average appears to be about 1° Fahr.
for every 50 or 60 ft. of descent, as far down as observations have
extended. Though the increase may not advance in the same proportion at
great depths, the inference has been confidently drawn that the
temperature of the nucleus must be exceedingly high.
The probable condition of the earth's interior has been a fruitful
source of speculation ever since geology came into existence; but no
general agreement has been arrived at on the subject. Three chief
hypotheses have been propounded: (1) that the nucleus is a molten mass
enclosed within a solid shell; (2) that, save in local vesicular spaces
which may be filled with molten or gaseous material, the globe is solid
and rigid to the centre; (3) that the great body of the nucleus consists
of incandescent vapours and gases, especially vaporous iron, which under
the gigantic pressure within the earth are so compressed as to confer
practical rigidity on the globe as a whole, and that outside this main
part of the nucleus the gases pass into a shell of molten magma, which,
in turn, shades off outwards into the comparatively thin, cool
solidified crust. Recent seismological observations have led to the
inference that the outer crust, some 30 to 45 m. thick, must rapidly
merge into a fairly homogeneous nucleus which, whatever be its
constitution, transmits undulatory movements through its substance with
uniform velocity and is believed to possess a high rigidity.
The origin of the earth's high internal temperature has been variously
accounted for. Most usually it has been assumed to be the residue of the
original "tracts of fluent heat" out of which the planet shaped itself
into a globe. According to another supposition the effects of the
gradual gravitational compression of the earth's mass have been the main
source of the high temperature. Recent researches in radio-activity, to
which reference has already been made, have indicated another possible
source of the internal heat in the presence of radium in the rocks of
the crust. This substance has been detected in all igneous rocks,
especially among the granites, in quantity sufficient, according to the
Hon. R.J. Strutt, to account for the observed temperature-gradient in
the crust, and to indicate that this crust cannot be more than 45 m.
thick, otherwise the outflow of heat would be greater than the amount
actually ascertained. Inside this external crust containing radio-active
substances, it is supposed, as already stated, that the nucleus consists
of some totally different matter containing little or no radium.
_Constitution of the Earth's Crust._--As the crust of the earth
contains the "geological record," or stony chronicle from which
geology interprets the history of our globe, it forms the main subject
of study to the geologist. The materials of which this crust consists
are known as minerals and rocks. From many chemical analyses, which
have been made of these materials, the general chemical constitution
of, at least, the accessible portion of the crust has been
satisfactorily ascertained. This information becomes of much
importance in speculations regarding the early history of the globe.
Of the elements known to the chemist the great majority form but a
small proportion of the composition of the crust, which is mainly
built up of about twenty of them. Of these by far the most important
are the non-metallic elements oxygen and silicon. The former forms
about 47% and the latter rather more than 28% of the original crust,
so that these two elements make up about three-fourths of the whole.
Next after them come the metals aluminium (8.16%), iron (4.64),
calcium (3.50), magnesium (2.62), sodium (2.63), and potassium (2.35).
The other twelve elements included in the twenty vary in amount from a
proportion of 0.41% in the case of titanium, to not more than 0.01% of
chlorine, fluorine, chromium, nickel and lithium. The other fifty or
more elements exist in such minute proportions in the crust that,
probably, not one of them amounts to as much as 0.01%, though they
include the useful metals, except iron. Taking the crust, and the
external envelopes of the ocean and the air, we thus perceive that
these outer parts of our planet consist of more than three-fourths of
non-metals and less than one-fourth of metals.
The combinations of the elements which are of most importance in the
constitution of the terrestrial crust consist of oxides. From the mean
of a large number of analyses of the rocks of the lower or primitive
portion of the crust, it has been ascertained that silica (SiO2) forms
almost 60% and alumina (Al2O3) upwards of 15% of the whole. The other
combinations in order of importance are lime (CaO) 4.90%, magnesia
(MgO) 4.36, soda (Na2O) 3.55, ferrous oxide (FeO) 3.52, potash (K2O)
2.80, ferric oxide (Fe2O3) 2.63, water (H2O) 1.52, titanium oxide
(TiO2) 0.60, phosphoric acid (P2O5) 0.22; the other combinations of
elements thus form less than 1% of the crust.
These different combinations of the elements enter into further
combinations with each other so as to produce the wide assortment of
simple minerals (see MINERALOGY). Thus, silica and alumina are
combined to form the aluminous silicates, which enter so largely into
the composition of the crust of the earth. The silicates of magnesia,
potash and soda constitute other important families of minerals. A
mass of material composed of one, but more usually of more than one
mineral, is known as a _rock_. Under this term geologists are
accustomed to class not only solid stone, such as granite and
limestone, but also less coherent materials such as clay, peat and
even loose sand. The accessible portion of the earth's crust consists
of various kinds of rocks, which differ from each other in structure,
composition and origin, and are therefore susceptible of diverse
classifications according to the point of view from which they are
considered. The details of this subject will be found in the article
PETROLOGY.
_Classification of Rocks._--Various systems of classification of rocks
have been proposed, but none of them is wholly satisfactory. The most
useful arrangement for most purposes of the geologist is one based on
the broad differences between them in regard to their mode of origin.
From this point of view they may be ranged in three divisions:
1. In the first place, a large number of rocks may be described as
original or underived, for it is not possible to trace them back to
any earlier source. They belong to the primitive constitution of the
planet, and, as they have all come up from below through the crust,
they serve to show the nature of the material which lies immediately
below the outer parts of that crust. They include the numerous
varieties of lava, which have been poured out in a molten state from
volcanic vents, also a great series of other rocks which, though they
may never have been erupted to the surface, have been forced upward in
a melted condition into the other rocks of the crust and have
solidified there. From their mode of origin this great class of rocks
has been called "igneous" or "eruptive." As they generally show no
definite internal structure save such as may result from joints, they
have been termed "massive" or "unstratified," to distinguish them from
those of the second division which are strongly marked out by the
presence of a stratified structure. The igneous rocks present a
considerable range of composition. For the most part they consist
mainly of aluminous silicates, some of them being highly acid
compounds with 75% or more of silica. But they also include highly
basic varieties wherein the proportion of silica sinks to 40%, and
where magnesia greatly predominates over alumina. The textures of
igneous rocks likewise comprise a wide series of varieties. On the one
hand, some are completely vitreous, like obsidian, which is a natural
glass. From this extreme every gradation may be traced through gradual
increase of the products of devitrification, until the mass may become
completely crystalline. Again, some crystalline igneous rocks are so
fine in grain as not to show their component crystals save under the
microscope, while in others the texture is so coarse as to present the
component minerals in separate crystals an inch or more in length.
These differences indicate that, at first, the materials of the rock
may have been as completely molten as artificial glass, and that the
crystalline condition has been subsequently developed by cooling, and
the separation of the chemical constituents into definite crystalline
minerals. Many of the characters of igneous rocks have been reproduced
experimentally by fusing together their minerals, or the constituents
of their minerals, in the proper proportion. But it has not yet been
found possible to imitate the structure of such rocks as granite.
Doubtless these rocks consolidated with extreme slowness at great
depths below the surface, under vast pressures and probably in the
presence of water or water-vapour--conditions which cannot be
adequately imitated in a laboratory.
Though the igneous rocks occupy extensive areas in some countries,
they nevertheless cover a much smaller part of the whole surface of
the land than is taken up by the second division or stratified rocks.
But they increase in quantity downwards and probably extend
continuously round the globe below the other rocks. This important
series brings before us the relations of the molten magma within the
earth to the overlying crust and to the outer surface. On the one
hand, it includes the oldest and most deep-seated extravasations of
that magma, which have been brought to light by ruptures and upheavals
of the crust and prolonged denudation. On the other, it presents to
our study the varied outpourings of molten and fragmentary materials
in the discharges of modern and ancient volcanoes. Between these two
extremes of position and age, we find that the crust has been, as it
were, riddled with injections of the magma from below. These features
will be further noticed in Part V. of this article.
2. The "sedimentary" or "stratified rocks" form by much the larger
part of the dry land of the globe, and they are prolonged to an
unknown distance from the shores under the bed of the sea. They
include those masses of mineral matter which, unlike the igneous
rocks, can be traced back to a definite origin on the surface of the
earth. Three distinct types may be recognized among them: (a) By far
the largest proportion of them consists of different kinds of sediment
derived from the disintegration of pre-existing rocks. In this
"fragmental" group are placed all the varieties of shingle, gravel,
sand, clay and mud, whether these materials remain in a loose
incoherent condition, or have been compacted into solid stone. (b)
Another group consists of materials that have been deposited by
chemical precipitation from solution in water. The white sinter laid
down by calcareous springs is a familiar example on a small scale.
Beds of rock-salt, gypsum and dolomite have, in some regions, been
accumulated to a thickness of many thousand feet, by successive
precipitations of the salt contained in the water of inland seas. (c)
An abundant and highly important series of sedimentary formations has
been formed from the remains of plants and animals. Such accumulations
may arise either from the transport and deposit of these remains, as
in the case of sheets of drift-wood, and banks of drifted sea-shells,
or from the growth and decay of the organisms on the spot, as happens
in peat bogs and in coral-reefs.
As the sedimentary rocks have for the most part been laid down under
water, and more especially on the sea-floor, they are often spoken of
as "aqueous," in contradistinction to the igneous rocks. Some of them,
however, are accumulated by the drifting action of wind upon loose
materials, and are known as "aeolian" formations. Familiar instances
of such wind-formed deposits are the sand-dunes along many parts of
the sea coast. Much more extensive in area are the sands of the great
deserts in the arid regions of the globe.
It is from the sedimentary rocks that the main portion of geological
history is derived. They have been deposited one over another in
successive strata from a remote period in the development of the globe
down to the present time. From this arrangement they have been termed
"stratified," in contrast to the unstratified or igneous series. They
have preserved memorials of the geographical revolutions which the
surface of the earth has undergone; and above all, in the abundant
fossils which they have enclosed, they furnish a momentous record of
the various tribes of plants and animals which have successively
flourished on land and sea. Their investigation is thus the most
important task which devolves upon the geologist.
3. In the third place comes a series of rocks which are not now in
their original condition, but have undergone such alteration as to
have acquired new characters that more or less conceal their first
structures. Some of them can be readily recognized as altered igneous
masses; others are as manifestly of sedimentary origin; while of many
it is difficult to decide what may have been their pristine character.
To this series the term "metamorphic" has been applied. Its members
are specially distinguished by a prevailing fissile, or schistose,
structure which they did not at first possess, and which differs from
anything found in unaltered igneous or sedimentary rocks. This
fissility is combined with a more or less pronounced crystalline
structure. These changes are believed to be the result of movements
within the crust of the earth, whereby the most solid rocks were
crushed and sheared, while, at the same time, under the influence of a
high temperature and the presence of water, they underwent internal
chemical reactions, which led to a rearrangement and recomposition of
their mineral constituents and the production of a crystalline
structure (see METAMORPHISM).
Among the less altered metamorphic rocks of sedimentary origin, the
successive laminae of deposit of the original sediment can be easily
observed; but they are also traversed by a new set of divisional
planes, along which they split across the original bedding. Together
with this superinduced cleavage there have been developed in them
minute hairs, scales and rudimentary crystals. Further stages of
alteration are marked by the increase of micaceous scales, garnets and
other minerals, especially along the planes of cleavage, until the
whole rock becomes crystalline, and displays its chief component
minerals in successive discontinuous folia which merge into each
other, and are often crumpled and puckered. Massive igneous rocks can
be observed to have undergone intense crushing and cleavage, and to
have ultimately assumed a crystalline foliated character. Rocks which
present this aspect are known as schists (q.v.). They range from the
finest silky slates, or phyllites, up to the coarsest gneisses, which
in hand-specimens can hardly be distinguished from granites. There is
indeed every reason to believe that such gneisses were probably
originally true granites, and that their foliation and
recrystallization have been the result of metamorphism.
The schists are more especially to be found in the heart of
mountain-chains, and in regions where the lowest and oldest parts of
the earth's crust have, in the course of geological revolutions, been
exposed to the light of day. They have been claimed by some writers
to be part of the original or primitive surface of our globe that
first consolidated on the molten nucleus. But the progress of
investigation all over the world has shown that this supposition
cannot be sustained. The oldest known rocks present none of the
characters of molten material that has cooled and hardened in the air,
like the various forms of recent lava. On the contrary, they possess
many of the features characteristic of bodies of eruptive material
that have been injected into the crust at some depth underground, and
are now visible at the surface, owing to the removal by denudation of
the rocks under which they consolidated. In their less foliated
portions they can be recognized as true eruptive rocks. In many places
gneisses that possess a thoroughly typical foliation have been found
to pierce ancient sedimentary formations as intrusive bosses and
veins.
PART IV.--DYNAMICAL GEOLOGY
This section of the science includes the investigation of those
processes of change which are at present in progress upon the earth,
whereby modifications are made on the structure and composition of the
crust, on the relations between the interior and the surface, as shown
by volcanoes, earthquakes and other terrestrial disturbances, on the
distribution of oceans and continents, on the outlines of the land, on
the form and depth of the sea-bottom, on climate, and on the races of
plants and animals by which the earth is tenanted. It brings before us,
in short, the whole range of activities which it is the province of
geology to study, and leads us to precise notions regarding their
relations to each other and the results which they achieve. A knowledge
of this branch of the subject is thus the essential groundwork of a true
and fruitful acquaintance with the principles of geology, seeing that it
necessitates a study of the present order of nature, and thus provides a
key for the interpretation of the past.
The whole range of operations included within the scope of inquiry in
this branch of the science may be regarded as a vast cycle of change,
into which we may break at any point, and round which we may travel,
only to find ourselves brought back to our starting-point. It is a
matter of comparatively small moment at what part of the cycle we begin
our inquiries. We shall always find that the changes we see in action
have resulted from some that preceded, and give place to others which
follow them.
At an early time in the earth's history, anterior to any of the periods
of which a record remains in the visible rocks, the chief sources of
geological action probably lay within the earth itself. If, as is
generally supposed, the planet still retained a great store of its
initial heat, it was doubtless the theatre of great chemical changes,
giving rise, perhaps, to manifestations of volcanic energy somewhat like
those which have so marvellously roughened the surface of the moon. As
the outer layers of the globe cooled, and the disturbances due to
internal heat and chemical action became less marked, the conditions
would arise in which the materials for geological history were
accumulated. The influence of the sun, which must always have operated,
would then stand out more clearly, giving rise to that wide circle of
superficial changes wherein variations of temperature and the
circulation of air and water over the surface of the earth come into
play.
In the pursuit of his inquiries into the past history and into the
present _régime_ of the earth, the geologist must needs keep his mind
ever open to the reception of evidence for kinds and especially for
degrees of action which he had not before imagined. Human experience has
been too short to allow him to assume that all the causes and modes of
geological change have been definitively ascertained. On the earth
itself there may remain for future discovery evidence of former
operations by heat, magnetism, chemical change or otherwise, which may
explain many of the phenomena with which geology has to deal. Of the
influences, so many and profound, which the sun exerts upon our planet,
we can as yet only perceive a little. Nor can we tell what other
cosmical influences may have lent their aid in the evolution of
geological changes.
Much useful information regarding many geological processes has been
obtained from experimental research in laboratories and elsewhere, and
much more may be confidently looked for from future extensions of this
method of inquiry. The early experiments of Sir James Hall, already
noticed, formed the starting-point for numerous subsequent researches,
which have elucidated many points in the origin and history of rocks. It
is true that we cannot hope to imitate those operations of nature which
demand enormous pressures and excessively high temperatures combined
with a long lapse of time. But experience has shown that in regard to a
large number of processes, it is possible to imitate nature's working
with sufficient accuracy to enable us to understand them, and so to
modify and control the results as to obtain a satisfactory solution of
some geological problems.
In the present state of our knowledge, all the geological energy upon
and within the earth must ultimately be traced back to the primeval
energy of the parent nebula or sun. There is, however, a certain
propriety and convenience in distinguishing between that part of it
which is due to the survival of some of the original energy of the
planet and that part which arises from the present supply of energy
received day by day from the sun. In the former case we have to deal
with the interior of the earth, and its reaction upon the surface; in
the latter, we deal with the surface of the earth and to some extent
with its reaction on the interior. This distinction allows of a broad
treatment of the subject under two divisions:
I. Hypogene or Plutonic Action: The changes within the earth caused by
internal heat, mechanical movement and chemical rearrangements.
II. Epigene or Surface Action: The changes produced on the superficial
parts of the earth, chiefly by the circulation of air and water set in
motion by the sun's heat.
_DIVISION I.--HYPOGENE OR PLUTONIC ACTION_
In the discussion of this branch of the subject we must carry in our
minds the conception of a globe still possessing a high internal
temperature, radiating heat into space and consequently contracting in
bulk. Portions of molten rocks from inside are from time to time poured
out at the surface. Sudden shocks are generated by which destructive
earthquakes are propagated through the diameter of the globe as well as
to and along its surface. Wide geographical areas are pushed up or sink
down. In the midst of these movements remarkable changes are produced
upon the rocks of the crust; they are plicated, fractured, crushed,
rendered crystalline and even fused.
(A) _Volcanoes and Volcanic Action._
This subject is discussed in the article VOLCANO, and only a general
view of its main features will be given here. Under the term volcanic
action (vulcanism, vulcanicity) are embraced all the phenomena
connected with the expulsion of heated materials from the interior of
the earth to the surface. A volcano may be defined as a conical hill
or mountain, built up wholly or mainly of materials which have been
ejected from below, and which have accumulated around the central vent
of eruption. As a rule its truncated summit presents a cup-shaped
cavity, termed the crater, at the bottom of which is the opening of
the main funnel or pipe whereby communication is maintained with the
heated interior. From time to time, however, in large volcanoes rents
are formed on the sides of the cone, whence steam and other hot
vapours and also streams of molten lava are poured forth. On such
rents smaller or parasitic cones are often formed, which imitate the
operations of the parent cone and, after repeated eruptions, may rise
to hills hundreds of feet in height. In course of centuries the result
of the constant outpouring of volcanic materials may be to build up a
large mountain like Etna, which towers above the sea to a height of
10,840 feet, and has some 200 minor cones along its flanks.
But all volcanic eruptions do not proceed from central orifices. In
Iceland it has been observed that, from fissures opened in the ground
and extending for long distances, molten material has issued in such
abundance as to be spread over the surrounding country for many miles,
while along the lines of fissure small cones or hillocks of
fragmentary material have accumulated round more active parts of the
rent. There is reason to believe that in the geological past this
fissure-type of eruption has repeatedly been developed, as well as the
more common form of central cones like Vesuvius or Etna.
In the operations of existing volcanoes only the superficial
manifestations of volcanic action are observable. But when the rocks
of the earth's crust are studied, they are found to enclose the relics
of former volcanic eruptions. The roots of ancient volcanoes have thus
been laid bare by geological revolutions; and some of the
subterranean phases of volcanic action are thereby revealed which are
wholly concealed in an active volcano. Hence to obtain as complete a
conception as possible of the nature and history of volcanic action,
regard must be had, not merely to modern volcanoes, but to the records
of ancient eruptions which have been preserved within the crust.
The substances discharged from volcanic vents consist of--(1) Gases
and vapours: which, dissolved in the molten magma of the interior,
take the chief share in volcanic activity. They include in greatest
abundance water-gas, which condenses into the clouds of steam so
conspicuous in volcanic eruptions. Hydrochloric acid and sulphuretted
hydrogen are likewise plentiful, together with many other substances
which, sublimed by the high internal temperature, take a solid form on
cooling at the surface. (2) Molten rock or lava: which ranges from the
extremely acid type of the obsidians and rhyolites with 70% or more of
silica, to the more basic and heavy varieties such as basalts and
leucite-lavas with much iron, and sometimes no more than 45% of
silica. The specific gravity of lavas varies between 2.37 and 3.22,
and the texture ranges from nearly pure glass, like obsidian, to a
coarse granitoid compound, as in some rhyolites. (3) Fragmentary
materials, which are sometimes discharged in enormous quantity and
dispersed over a wide extent of country, the finer particles being
transported by upper air-currents for hundreds of miles. These
materials arise either from the explosion of lava by the sudden
expansion of the dissolved vapours and gases, as the molten rock rises
to the surface, or from the breaking up and expulsion of portions of
the walls of the vent, or of the lava, which happens to have
solidified within these walls. They vary from the finest impalpable
dust and ashes, through increasing stages of coarseness up to huge
"bombs" torn from the upper surface of the molten rock in the vent,
and large blocks of already solidified lava, or of non-volcanic rock
detached from the sides of the pipe up which the eruptions take place.
Nothing is yet known as to the determining cause of any particular
volcanic eruption. Some vents, like that of Stromboli, in the
Mediterranean, are continually active, and have been so ever since man
has observed them. Others again have been only intermittently in
eruption, with intervals of centuries between their periods of
activity. We are equally in the dark as to what has determined the
sites on which volcanic action has manifested itself. There is reason,
indeed, to believe that extensive fractures of the terrestrial crust
have often provided passages up which the vapours, imprisoned in the
internal magma, have been able to make their way, accompanied by other
products. Where chains of volcanoes rise along definite lines, like
those of Sumatra, Java, and many other tracts both in the Old and the
New World, there appears to be little doubt that their linear
distribution should be attributed to this cause. But where a volcano
has appeared by itself, in a region previously exempt from volcanic
action, the existence of a contributing fissure cannot be so
confidently presumed. The study of certain ancient volcanoes, the
roots of which have been exposed by long denudation, has shown an
absence of any visible trace of their having availed themselves of
fractures in the crust. The inference has been drawn that volcanic
energy is capable of itself drilling an orifice through the crust,
probably at some weaker part, and ejecting its products at the
surface. The source of this energy is to be sought in the enormous
expansive force of the vapours and gases dissolved in the magma. They
are kept in solution by the enormous pressure within the earth; but as
the lava approaches the surface and this pressure is relieved these
dissolved vapours and gases rush out with explosive violence, blowing
the upper part of the lava column into dust, and allowing portions of
the liquid mass below to rise and escape, either from the crater or
from some fissure which the vigour of explosion has opened on the side
of the cone. So gigantic is the energy of these pent-up vapours, that,
after a long period of volcanic quiescence, they sometimes burst forth
with such violence as to blow off the whole of the upper part or even
one side of a large cone. The history of Vesuvius, and the great
eruptions of Krakatoa in 1883 and of Bandaizan in 1888 furnish
memorable examples of great volcanic convulsions. It has been observed
that such stupendous discharges of aeriform and fragmentary matter may
be attended with the emission of little or no lava. On the other hand,
some of the largest outflows of lava have been accompanied by
comparatively little fragmentary material. Thus, the great lava-floods
of Iceland in 1783 spread for 40 m. away from their parent fissure,
which was marked only by a line of little cones of slag.
The temperature of lava as it issues from underground has been
measured more or less satisfactorily, and affords an indication of
that existing within the earth. At Vesuvius it has been ascertained to
be more than 2000° Fahr. At first the molten rock glows with a white
light, which rapidly reddens, and disappears under the rugged brown
and black crust that forms on the surface. Underneath this badly
conducting crust, the lava cools so slowly that columns of steam have
been noticed rising from its surface more than 80 years after its
eruption.
Considerable alteration in the topography of volcanic regions may be
produced by successive eruptions. The fragmentary materials are
sometimes discharged in such abundance as to cover the ground for many
miles around with a deposit of loose ashes, cinders and slag. Such a
deposit accumulating to a depth of many feet may completely bury
valleys and water-courses, and thus greatly affect the drainage. The
coarsest materials accumulate nearest to the vent that emits them. The
finer dust is not infrequently hurled forth with such an impetus as to
be carried for thousands of feet into the tracks of upper
air-currents, whereby it may be borne for hundreds of miles away from
the vent so as ultimately to fall to the ground in countries far
removed from any active volcano. Outflows of lava, from their greater
solidity and durability, produce still more serious and lasting
changes in the external features of the ground over which they flow.
As they naturally seek the lowest levels, they find their way into the
channels of streams. If they keep along the channels, they seal them
up under a mass of compact stone which the running water, if not
wholly diverted elsewhere, will take many long centuries to cut
through. If, on the other hand, the lava crosses a stream, it forms a
massive dam, above which the water is ponded back so as to form a
lake.
As the result of prolonged activity a volcanic cone is gradually built
up by successive outflows of lava and showers of dust and stones.
These materials are arranged in beds, or sheets, inclined outwards
from the central vent. On surrounding level ground the alternating
beds are flat. In course of time, deep gullies are cut on the outer
slopes of the cone by rain, and by the heavy showers that arise from
the condensation of the copious discharges of steam during eruptions.
Along the sides of these ravines instructive sections may be studied
of the volcanic strata. The larger rivers of some volcanic regions
have likewise eroded vast gorges in the more horizontal lavas and
ashes of the flatter country, and have thus laid bare stupendous
cliffs, along which the successive volcanic sheets can be seen piled
above each other for many hundred feet. On a small scale, some of
these features are well displayed among the rivers that drain the
volcanic tracts of central France; on a great scale, they are
presented in the course of the Snake river, and other streams that
traverse the great volcanic country of western North America. Similar
volcanic scenery has been produced in western Europe by the action of
denudation in dissecting the flat Tertiary lavas of Scotland, the
Faeroe Isles and Iceland.
Of special interest to the geologist are those volcanoes which have
taken their rise on the sea-bottom; for the volcanic intercalations
among the stratified formations of the earth's crust are almost
entirely of submarine origin. Many active volcanoes situated on
islands have begun their eruptions below sea-level. Both Vesuvius and
Etna sprang up on the floor of the Mediterranean sea, and have
gradually built up their cones into conspicuous parts of the dry land.
Examples of a similar history are to be found among the volcanic
islands of the Pacific Ocean. In some of these cases a movement of
elevation has carried the submarine lavas, tuffs and agglomerates
above sea-level, and has furnished opportunities of comparing these
materials with those of recent subaerial origin, and also with the
ancient records of submarine eruptions which have been preserved among
the stratified formations. From the evidence thus supplied, it can be
shown that the materials ejected from modern submarine volcanic vents
closely resemble those accumulated by subaerial volcanoes; that the
dust, ashes and stones become intermingled or interstratified with
coral-mud, or other non-volcanic deposit of the sea-bottom, that
vesicular lavas may be intercalated among them as on land, and that
between the successive sheets of volcanic origin, layers of limestone
may be laid down which are composed chiefly, or wholly, of the remains
of calcareous marine organisms.
Though active volcanoes are widely distributed over the globe, and are
especially abundant around the vast basin of the Pacific Ocean, they
afford an incomplete picture of the extent to which volcanic action
has displayed itself on the surface of our planet. When the rocks of
the land are attentively studied they disclose proofs of that action
in many districts where there is now no outward sign of it. Not only
so, but they reveal that volcanoes have been in eruption in some of
these districts during many different periods of the past, back to the
beginnings of geological history. The British Islands furnish a
remarkable example of such a series of ancient eruptions. From the
Cambrian period all through Palaeozoic times there rose at intervals
in that country a succession of volcanic centres from some of which
thousands of feet of lavas and tuffs were discharged. Again in older
Tertiary times the same region witnessed a stupendous outpouring of
basalt, the surviving relics of which are more than 3000 ft. thick,
and cover many hundreds of square miles. Similar evidence is supplied
in other countries both in the Old and the New world. Hence it is
proved that, in the geological past, volcanic action has been vigorous
at long intervals on the same sites during a vast series of ages,
though no active vents are to be seen there now. The volcanoes now
active form but a small proportion of the total number which has
appeared on the surface of the earth.
With regard to the cause of volcanic action much has been speculated,
but little can be confidently affirmed. That water in the form of
occluded gas plays the chief part in forcing the lava column up a
volcanic chimney, and in the violent explosions that accompany the
rise of the molten material, is generally admitted. But opinions
differ as to the source of this water. According to some
investigators, it should be regarded as in large measure of meteoric
origin, derived from the descent of rain into the earth, and its
absorption by the molten magma in the interior. Others, contending
that the supply so furnished, even if it could reach and be dissolved
in the magma, would yet be insufficient to furnish the prodigious
quantity of aqueous vapour discharged during an eruption, maintain
that the water belongs to the magma itself. They point to the admitted
fact that many substances, particularly metals in a state of fusion,
can absorb large quantities of vapours and gases without chemical
combination, and on cooling discharge them with eruptive phenomena
somewhat like those of volcanoes. This question must be regarded as
one of the still unsolved problems of geology.
(B) _Movements of the Earth's Crust._
Among the hypogene forces in geological dynamics an important place
must be assigned to movements of the terrestrial crust. Though the
expression "the solid earth" has become proverbial, it appears
singularly inappropriate in the light of the results obtained in
recent years by the use of delicate instruments of observation. With
the facilities supplied by these instruments (see SEISMOMETER), it has
been ascertained that the ground beneath our feet is subject to
continual slight tremors, and feeble pulsations of longer duration,
some of which may be due to daily or seasonal variations of
temperature, atmospheric pressure or other meteorological causes. The
establishment of self-recording seismometers all over the world has
led to the detection of many otherwise imperceptible shocks, over and
above the appreciable earth-waves propagated from earthquake centres
of disturbance. Moreover, it has been ascertained that some parts of
the surface of the land are slowly rising, while others are falling
with reference to the sea-level. From time to time the surface suffers
calamitous devastation from earthquakes, when portions of the crust
under great strain suddenly give way. Lastly, at intervals, probably
separated from each other by vast periods of time, the terrestrial
crust undergoes intense plication and fracture, and is consequently
ridged up into mountain-chains. No event of this kind has been
witnessed since man began to record his experiences. But from the
structure of mountains, as laid open by prolonged denudation, it is
possible to form a vivid conception of the nature and effects of these
most stupendous of all geological revolutions.
In considering this department of geological inquiry it will be
convenient to treat it under the following heads: (1) Slow depression
and upheaval; (2) Earthquakes; (3) Mountain-making; (4) Metamorphism
of rocks.
1. _Slow Depression and Upheaval._--On the west side of Japan the land
is believed to be sinking below the sea, for fields are replaced by
beaches of sand or shingle, while the depth of the sea off shore has
perceptibly increased. A subsidence of the south of Sweden has taken
place in comparatively recent times, for streets and foundations of
houses at successive levels are found below high-water mark. The west
coast of Greenland over an extent of more than 600 m. is sinking, and
old settlements are now submerged. Proofs of submergence of land are
furnished by "submerged forests," and beds of terrestrial peat now
lying at various depths below the level of the sea, of which many
examples have been collected along the shores of the British Isles,
Holland and France. Interesting evidence that the west of Europe now
stands at a lower level than it did at a late geological period is
supplied in the charts of the North Sea and Atlantic, which show that
the valleys of the land are prolonged under the sea. These valleys
have been eroded out of the rocks by the streams which flow in them,
and the depth of their submerged portions below the sea level affords
an indication of the extent of the subsidence.
The uprise of land has been detected in various parts of the world.
One of the most celebrated instances is that of the shores of the Gulf
of Bothnia, where, at Stockholm, the elevation, between the years 1774
and 1875, appears to have been 48 centimetres (18½ in.) in a century.
But on the west side of Sweden, fronting the Skager Rak, the coast,
between the years 1820 and 1870, rose 30 centimetres, which is at the
rate of 60 centimetres, or nearly 2 ft. in a century. In the region of
the Great Lakes in the interior of Canada and the United States it has
been ascertained that the land is undergoing a slow tilt towards the
south-west, of which the mean rate appears to be rather less than 6
in. in a century. If this rate of change should continue the waters of
Lake Michigan, owing to the progress of the tilt, will, in some 500 or
600 years, submerge the city of Chicago, and eventually the drainage
of the lakes will be diverted into the basin of the Mississippi. Proof
of recent emergence of land is supplied by what are called "raised
beaches" or "strand-lines," that is, lines of former shores marked by
sheets of littoral deposits, or platforms cut by shore-waves in rock
and flanked by old sea-cliffs and lines of sea-worn caves. Admirable
examples of these features are to be seen along the west coast of
Europe from the south of England to the north of Norway. These lines
of old shores become fainter in proportion to their antiquity. In
Britain they occur at various heights, the platforms at 25, 50 and 100
ft. being well marked.
The cause of these slow upward and downward movements of the crust of
the earth is still imperfectly understood. Upheaval might conceivably
be produced by an ascent of the internal magma, and the consequent
expansion of the overlying crust by heat; while depression might
follow any subsidence of the magma, or its displacement to another
district. If, as is generally believed, the globe is still
contracting, the shrinkage of the surface may cause both these
movements. Subsidence will be in excess, but between subsiding tracts
lateral thrust may suffice to push upward intervening more solid and
stable ground; but no solution of the problem yet proposed is wholly
satisfactory.
2. _Earthquakes._--As this subject is discussed in a separate article
it will be sufficient here to take note of its more important
geological bearings. It was for many centuries taken for granted that
earthquakes and volcanoes are due to a common cause. We have seen that
in classical antiquity they were looked on as the results of the
movements of wind imprisoned within the earth. Long after this notion
was discarded, and a more scientific appreciation of volcanic action
was reached, it was still thought that earthquakes should be regarded
as manifestations of the same source of energy as that which displays
itself in volcanic eruptions. It is true that earthquakes are frequent
in districts of active volcanoes, and they may undoubtedly be often
due there to the explosions of the magma, or to the rupture of rocks
caused by its ascent towards the surface. But such shocks are
comparatively local in their range and feeble in their effects. There
is now a general agreement that between the great world-shaking
earthquakes and volcanic phenomena, no immediate and intimate
relationship can be traced, though they may be connected in ways which
are not yet perceived. Some of the more recent great earthquakes on
land have proved that the waves of shock are produced by the sudden
rupture or collapse of rocks under great strain, either along lines of
previous fracture or of new rents in the terrestrial crust; and that
such ruptures may occur at a remote distance from any volcano. Thus
the recent disastrous San Francisco earthquake has been recognized to
have resulted from a slipping of ground along the line of an old
fault, which has been traced for a long distance in California
generally parallel to the coast. The position of this fault at the
surface has long been clearly followed by its characteristic
topography. After the earthquake these superficial features were found
to have been removed by the same cause that had originated them. For
some 300 m. on the track of this old fault-line a renewed slipping was
seen to have taken place along one or both sides, and the ground at
the surface was ruptured as well as displaced horizontally. Obviously,
the jar occasioned by the sudden and simultaneous subsidence of a
portion of the earth's crust several hundred miles long, must be far
more serious than could be produced by an earthquake radiating from a
single local volcanic focus.
From their disastrous effects on buildings and human lives, an
exaggerated importance has been imputed to earthquakes as agents of
geological change. Experience shows that even after a severe shock
which may have destroyed numerous towns and villages, together with
thousands of their inhabitants, the face of the country has suffered
scarcely any perceptible change, and that, in the course of a year or
two, when the ruined houses and prostrate trees have been cleared
away, little or no obvious trace of the catastrophe may remain. Among
the more enduring records of a great earthquake may be enumerated (a)
landslips, which lay bare hillsides, and sometimes pond back the
drainage of valleys so as to give rise to lakes; (b) alterations of
the topography, as in fissuring of the ground, or in the production of
inequalities whereby the drainage is affected; new valleys and new
lakes may thus be formed, while previously existing lakes may be
emptied; (c) permanent changes of level, either in an upward or
downward direction.
3. _Mountain-making._--This subject may be referred to here for the
striking evidence which it supplies of the importance of movements of
the earth's crust among geological processes. The structure of a great
mountain-chain such as the Alps proves that the crust of the earth has
been intensely plicated, crumpled and fractured. Vast piles of
sedimentary strata have been folded to such an extent as to occupy now
only half of their original horizontal extent. This compression in the
case of the Alps has been computed to amount to as much as 120,000
metres or 74 English miles, so that two points on the opposite sides
of that chain have been brought by so much nearer to each other than
they were originally before the movements. Besides such intense
plication, extensive rupturing of the crust has taken place in the
same range of mountains. Not only have the most ancient rocks been
squeezed up into the central axis of the chain, but huge slices of
them have been torn away from the main body, and thrust forward for
many miles, so as now actually to form the summits of mountains, which
are almost entirely composed of much younger formations. If these
colossal disturbances occurred rapidly, they would give rise to
cataclysms of inconceivable magnitude over the surface of the globe.
No record has been discovered of such accompanying devastation. But
whether sudden and violent, or prolonged and gradual, such stupendous
upturnings of the crust did undoubtedly take place, as is clearly
revealed in innumerable natural sections, which have been laid open by
the denudation of the crests and sides of the mountains.
4. _Metamorphism of Rocks_ (see METAMORPHISM).--During the movements
to which the crust of the earth has been subject, not only have the
rocks been folded and fractured, but they have likewise, in many
regions, acquired new internal structures, and have thus undergone a
process of "regional metamorphism." This rearrangement of their
substance has been governed by conditions which are probably not yet
all recognized, but among them we should doubtless include a high
temperature, intense pressure, mechanical movement resulting in
crushing, shearing and foliation, and the presence of water in their
pores. It is among igneous rocks that the progressive stages of
metamorphism can be most easily traced. Their definite original
structure and mineral composition afford a starting-point from which
the investigation may be begun and pursued. Where an igneous rock has
been invaded by metamorphic changes, it may be observed to have been
first broken down into separate lenticles, the cores of which may
still retain, with little or no alteration, the original
characteristic minerals and crystalline structure of the rock. Between
these lenticles, the intervening portions have been crushed down into
a powder or paste, which seems to have been squeezed round and past
them, and shows a laminated arrangement that resembles the
flow-structure in lavas. As the degree of metamorphism increases, the
lenticles diminish in size, and the intervening crushed and foliated
matrix increases in amount, until at last it may form the entire mass
of the rock. While the original minerals are thus broken down, new
varieties make their appearance. Of these, among the earliest to
present themselves are usually the micas, that impart their
characteristic silvery sheen to the surfaces of the folia along which
they spread. Younger felspars, as well as mica, are developed, and
there arise also sillimanite, garnet, andalusite and many others. The
texture becomes more coarsely crystalline, and the segregation of the
constituent minerals more definite along the lines of foliation. From
the finest silky phyllites a graduation may be traced through
successively coarser mica-schists, until we reach the almost granitic
texture of the coarsest gneisses.
Regional metamorphism has arisen in the heart of mountain-chains, and
in any other district where the deformation of the crust has been
sufficiently intense. There is another type of alteration termed
"contact-metamorphism," which is developed around masses of igneous
rock, especially where these have been intruded in large bosses among
stratified formations. It is particularly displayed around masses of
granite, where sandstones are found altered into quartzite, shales and
grits into schistose compounds, and where sometimes fossils are still
recognizable among the metamorphic minerals.
_DIVISION II.--EPIGENE OR SUPERFICIAL ACTION_
It is on the surface of the globe, and by the operation of agents
working there, that at present the chief amount of visible geological
change is effected. In considering this branch of inquiry, we are not
involved in a preliminary difficulty regarding the very nature of the
agencies as is the case in the investigation of plutonic action. On the
contrary, the surface agents are carrying on their work under our very
eyes. We can watch it in all its stages, measure its progress, and mark
in many ways how accurately it represents similar changes which, for
long ages previously, must have been effected by the same means. But in
the systematic treatment of this subject we encounter a difficulty of
another kind. We discover that while the operations to be discussed are
numerous and readily observable, they are so interwoven into one great
network that any separation of them under different subdivisions is sure
to be more or less artificial and to convey an erroneous impression.
While, therefore, under the unavoidable necessity of making use of such
a classification of subjects, we must always bear in mind that it is
employed merely for convenience, and that in nature superficial
geological action must be continually viewed as a whole, since the work
of each agent has constant reference to that of the others, and is not
properly intelligible unless that connexion be kept in view.
The movements of the air; the evaporation from land and sea; the fall of
rain, hail and snow; the flow of rivers and glaciers; the tides,
currents and waves of the ocean; the growth and decay of organized
existence, alike on land and in the depths of the sea;--in short, the
whole circle of movement, which is continually in progress upon the
surface of our planet, are the subjects now to be examined. It is
desirable to adopt some general term to embrace the whole of this range
of inquiry. For this end the word epigene (Gr. [Greek: epi], upon) has
been suggested as a convenient term, and antithetical to hypogene (Gr.
[Greek: hypo], under), or subterranean action.
A simple arrangement of this part of Geological Dynamics is in three
sections:
A. _Air._--The influence of the atmosphere in destroying and forming
rocks.
B. _Water._--The geological functions of the circulation of water
through the air and between sea and land, and the action of the sea.
C. _Life._--The part taken by plants and animals in preserving,
destroying or reproducing geological formations.
The words destructive, reproductive and conservative, employed in
describing the operations of the epigene agents, do not necessarily
imply that anything useful to man is destroyed, reproduced or preserved.
On the contrary, the destructive action of the atmosphere may turn
barren rock into rich soil, while its reproductive effects sometimes
turn rich land into barren desert. Again, the conservative influence of
vegetation has sometimes for centuries retained as barren morass what
might otherwise have become rich meadow or luxuriant woodland. The
terms, therefore, are used in a strictly geological sense, to denote the
removal and re-deposition of material, and its agency in preserving what
lies beneath it.
(A) _The Air._
As a geological agent, the air brings about changes partly by its
component gases and partly by its movements. Its destructive action is
both chemical and mechanical. The chemical changes are probably
mainly, if not entirely, due to the moisture of the air, and
particularly to the gases, vapours and organic matter which the
moisture contains. Dry air seems to have little or no appreciable
influence in promoting these reactions. As the changes in question are
similar to those much more abundantly brought about by rain they are
described in the following section under the division on rain.
Among the more recognizable mechanical changes effected in the
atmosphere, one of considerable importance is to be seen in the result
of great and rapid changes of temperature. Heat expands rocks, while
cold contracts them. In countries with a great annual range of
temperature, considerable difficulty is sometimes experienced in
selecting building materials liable to be little affected by the
alternate expansion and contraction, which prevents the joints of
masonry from remaining close and tight. In dry tropical climates,
where the days are intensely hot and the nights extremely cold, the
rapid nocturnal contraction produces a strain so great as to rival
frost in its influence upon the surface of exposed rocks,
disintegrating them into sand, or causing them to crack or peel off in
skins or irregular pieces. Dr Livingstone found in Africa (12° S.
lat., 34° E. long.) that surfaces of rock which during the day were
heated up to 137° Fahr., cooled so rapidly by radiation at night that,
unable to sustain the strain of contraction, they split and threw off
sharp angular fragments from a few ounces to 100 or 200 [lb] in
weight. In temperate regions this action, though much less pronounced,
still makes itself felt. In these climates, however, and still more in
high latitudes, somewhat similar results are brought about by frost.
By its motion in wind the air drives loose sand over rocks, and in
course of time abrades and smoothes them. "Desert polish" is the name
given to the characteristic lustrous surface thus imparted. Holes are
said to be drilled in window glass at Cape Cod by the same agency.
Cavities are now and then hollowed out of rocks by the gyration in
them of little fragments of stone or grains of sand kept in motion by
the wind. Hurricanes form important geological agents upon land in
uprooting trees, and thus sometimes impeding the drainage of a country
and giving rise to the formation of peat mosses.
The reproductive action of the air arises partly from the effect of
the chemical and mechanical disintegration involved in the process of
"weathering," and partly from the transporting power of wind and of
aerial currents. The layer of soil, which covers so much of the
surface of the land, is the result of the decay of the underlying
rocks, mingled with mineral matter blown over the ground by wind, or
washed thither by rain, and with the mouldering remains of plants and
animals. The extent to which fine dust may be transported over the
surface of the land can hardly be realized in countries clothed with a
covering of vegetation, though even there, in dry weather during
spring, clouds of dust may often be seen blown away by wind from bare
ploughed fields. Intercepted by the leaves of plants and washed down
to their roots by rain, this dust goes to increase the soil below. In
arid climates, where dust clouds are dense and frequent, enormous
quantities of fine mineral particles are thus borne along and
accumulated. The remarkable deposit of "Loess," which is sometimes
more than 1500 ft. thick and covers extensive areas in China and other
countries, is regarded as due to the drifting of dust by wind. Again
the dunes of sand so abundant along the inner side of sandy
sea-beaches in many different parts of the world are attributable to
the same action.
(B) _Water._
In treating of the epigene action of water in geological processes it
will be convenient to deal first with its operations in traversing the
land, and then with those which it performs in the sea. The
circulation of water from land to sea and again from sea to land
constitutes the fundamental cause of most of the daily changes by
which the surface of the land is affected.
1. _Rain._--Rain effects two kinds of changes upon the surface of the
land. It acts _chemically_ upon soils and stones, and sinking under
ground continues a great series of similar reactions there. It acts
_mechanically_, by washing away loose materials, and thus powerfully
affecting the contours of the land. Its chemical action depends mainly
upon the nature and proportion of the substances which, in descending
to the earth, it abstracts from the atmosphere. Rain always absorbs a
little air, which, in addition to its nitrogen and oxygen, contains
carbonic acid, and in minute proportions, sodium chloride, sulphuric
acid and other ingredients, especially inorganic dust, organic
particles and living germs. Probably the most generally efficient of
these constituents are oxygen, carbonic acid and organic matter. Armed
with these reagents, rain effects a chemical decomposition of the
rocks on which it falls, and through which it sinks underground. The
principal changes thus produced are as follows: (a) Oxidation.--Owing
to the prominence of oxygen in rain-water, and its readiness to unite
with any substance which can contain more of it, a thin oxidized
pellicle is formed on the surface of many rocks on which rain falls,
and this oxidized layer if not at once washed off, sinks deeper until
a crust is formed over the stone. A familiar illustration of this
action is afforded by the rust, or oxide, which forms on iron when
exposed to moisture, though this iron may be kept long bright if
allowed to remain screened from moist air and rain. (b)
Deoxidation.--Organic matter having an affinity for more oxygen
decomposes peroxides by depriving them of some part of their share of
that element and reducing them to protoxides. These changes are
especially noticeable among the iron oxides so abundantly diffused
among rocks. Hence rain-water, in sinking through soil and obtaining
such organic matter, becomes thereby a reducing agent. (c)
Solution.--This may take place either by the simple action of the
water, as in the solution of rock-salt, or by the influence of the
carbonic acid present in the rain. (d) Formation of Carbonates.--A
familiar example of the action of carbonic acid in rain is to be seen
in the corrosion of exposed marble slabs. The carbonic acid dissolves
some of the lime, which, as a bicarbonate, is held in solution in the
carbonated water, but is deposited again when the water loses its
carbonic acid or evaporates. It is not merely carbonates, however,
which are liable to this kind of destruction. Even silicates of lime,
potash and soda, combinations existing abundantly as constituents of
rocks, are attacked; their silica is liberated, and their alkalis or
alkaline earths, becoming carbonates, are removed in solution. (e)
Hydration.--Some minerals, containing little or no water, and
therefore called anhydrous, when exposed to the action of the
atmosphere, absorb water, or become hydrous, and are then usually more
prone to further change. Hence the rocks of which they form part
become disintegrated.
Besides the reactions here enumerated, a considerable amount of decay
may be observed as the result of the presence of sulphuric and nitric
acid in the air, especially in that of large towns and manufacturing
districts, where much coal is consumed. Metallic surfaces, as well as
various kinds of stone, are there corroded, while the mortar of walls
may often be observed to be slowly swelling out and dropping off,
owing to the conversion of the lime into sulphate. Great injury is
likewise done from a similar cause to marble monuments in exposed
graveyards.
The general result of the disintegrating action of the air and of
rain, including also that of plants and animals, to be noticed in the
sequel, is denoted by the term "weathering." The amount of decay
depends partly on conditions of climate, especially the range of
temperature, the abundance of moisture, height above the sea and
exposure to prevalent winds. Many rocks liable to be saturated with
rain and rapidly dried under a warm sun are apt to disintegrate at the
surface with comparative rapidity. The nature and progress of the
weathering are mainly governed by the composition and texture of the
rocks exposed to it. Rocks composed of particles liable to little
chemical change from the influence of moisture are best fitted to
resist weathering, provided they possess sufficient cohesion to
withstand the mechanical processes of disintegration. Siliceous
sandstones are excellent examples of this permanence. Consisting
wholly or mainly of the durable mineral quartz, they are sometimes
able so to withstand decay that buildings made of them still retain,
after the lapse of centuries, the chisel-marks of the builders. Some
rocks, which yield with comparative rapidity to the chemical attacks
of moisture, may show little or no mark of disintegration on their
surface. This is particularly the case with certain calcareous rocks.
Limestone when pure is wholly soluble in acidulated water. Rain
falling on such a rock removes some of it in solution, and will
continue to do so until the whole is dissolved away. But where a
limestone is full of impurities, a weathered crust of more or less
insoluble particles remains after the solution of the calcareous part
of the stone. Hence the relative purity of limestones may be roughly
determined by examining their weathered surfaces, where, if they
contain much sand, the grains will be seen projecting from the
calcareous matrix, and where, should the rock be very ferruginous, the
yellow hydrous peroxide, or ochre, will be found as a powdery crust.
In limestones containing abundant encrinites, shells, or other organic
remains, the weathered surface commonly presents the fossils standing
out in relief. The crystalline arrangement of the lime in the organic
structures enables them to resist disintegration better than the
general mechanically aggregated matrix of the rock. An experienced
fossil collector will always search well such weathered surfaces, for
he often finds there, delicately picked out by the weather, minute
and frail fossils which are wholly invisible on a freshly broken
surface of the stone. Many rocks weather with a thick crust, or even
decay inwards for many feet or yards. Basalt, for example, often shows
a yellowish-brown ferruginous layer on its surface, formed by the
conversion of its felspar into kaolin, and the removal of its calcium
silicate as carbonate, by the hydration of its olivine and augite and
their conversion into serpentine, or some other hydrous magnesian
silicate, and by the conversion of its magnetite into limonite.
Granite sometimes shows in a most remarkable way the distance to which
weathering can reach. It may occasionally be dug into for a depth of
20 or 30 ft., the quartz crystals and veins retaining their original
positions, while the felspar is completely kaolinized. It is to the
endlessly varied effects of weathering that the abundant fantastic
shapes assumed by crags and other rocky masses are due. Most varieties
of rock have their own characteristic modes of weathering, whereby
they may be recognized even from a distance. To some of these features
reference will be made in Part VIII.
The mechanical action of rain, which is intimately bound up with its
chemical action, consists in washing off the fine superficial
particles of rocks which have been corroded and loosened by the
process of weathering, and in thus laying open fresh portions to the
same influences of decay. The detritus so removed is partly carried
down into the soil which is thereby enriched, partly held in
suspension in the little runnels into which the rain-drops gather as
they begin to flow over the land, partly pushed downwards along the
surface of sloping ground. A good deal of it finds its way into the
nearest brooks and rivers, which are consequently made muddy by heavy
rain.
It is natural that a casual consideration of the subject should lead
to an impression that, though the general result of the fall of rain
upon a land-surface must lead to some amount of disintegration and
lowering of that surface, the process must be so slow and slight as
hardly to be considered of much importance among geological
operations. But further attention will show such an impression to be
singularly erroneous. It loses sight of the fact that a change which
may be hardly appreciable within a human lifetime, or even within the
comparatively brief span of geological time embraced in the compass of
human history, may nevertheless become gigantic in its results in the
course of immensely protracted periods. An instructive lesson in the
erosive action of rain may be found in the pitted and channelled
surface of ground lying under the drip of the eaves of a cottage. The
fragments of stone and pebbles of gravel that form part of the soil
can there be seen sticking out of the ground, because being hard they
resist the impetus of the falling drops, protecting for a time the
earth beneath them, while that which surrounded and covered them is
washed away. From this familiar illustration the observer may advance
through every stage in the disappearance of material which once
covered the surface, until he comes to examples where once continuous
and thick sheets of solid rock have been reduced to a few fragments or
have been entirely removed. Since the whole land surface over which
rain falls is exposed to this waste, the superficial covering of
decayed rock or soil, as Hutton insisted, is constantly, though
imperceptibly, travelling outward and downward to the sea. In this
process of transport rain is an important carrying agent, while at the
same time it serves to connect the work of the other disintegrating
forces, and to make it conducive to the general degradation of the
land. Though this decay is general and constant, it is obviously not
uniform. In some places where, from the nature of the rock, from the
flatness of the ground, or from other causes, rain works under great
difficulties, the rate of waste may be extremely slow. In other places
it may be rapid enough to be appreciable from year to year. A survey
of this department of geological activity shows how unequal wasting by
rain, combined with the operations of brooks and rivers, has produced
the details of the present relief of the land, those tracts where the
destruction has been greatest forming hollows and valleys, others,
where it has been less, rising into ridges and hills (Part VIII.).
Rain-action is not merely destructive, but is accompanied with
reproductive effects, chief of which is the formation of soil. In
favourable situations it has gathered together accumulations of loam
and earth from neighbouring higher ground, such as the "brick-earth,"
"head," and "rain-wash" of the south of England--earthy deposits,
sometimes full of angular stones, derived from the subaerial waste of
the rocks of the neighbourhood.
2. _Underground Water._--Of the rain which falls upon the land one
portion flows off into brooks and rivers by which the water is
conducted back to the ocean; the larger part, however, sinks into the
ground and disappears. It is this latter part which has now to be
considered. Over and above the proportion of the rainfall which is
absorbed by living vegetation and by the soil, there is a continual
filtering down of the water from the surface into the rocks that lie
below, where it partly lodges in pores and interstices, and partly
finds its way into subterranean joints and fissures, in which it
performs an underground circulation, and ultimately issues once more
at the surface in the form of springs (q.v.). In the course of this
circulation the water performs an important geological task. Not only
carrying down with it the substances which the rain has abstracted
from the air, but obtaining more acids and organic matter from the
soil, it is enabled to effect chemical changes in the rocks
underneath, and especially to dissolve limestone and other calcareous
formations. So considerable is the extent of this solution in some
places that the springs which come to the surface, and begin there to
evaporate and lose some of their carbonic acid, contain more dissolved
lime than they can hold. They consequently deposit it in the form of
calcareous tuff or sinter (q.v.). Other subterranean waters issue with
a large proportion of iron-salts in solution which form deposits of
ochre. The various mineral springs so largely made use of for the
mitigation or cure of diseases owe their properties to the various
salts which they have dissolved out of rocks underground. As the
result of prolonged subterranean solution in limestone districts,
passages and caves (q.v.), sometimes of great width and length, are
formed. When these lie near the surface their roofs sometimes fall in
and engulf brooks and rivers, which then flow for some way underground
until the tunnels conduct them back again to daylight on some lower
ground.
Besides its chemical activity water exerts among subterranean rocks a
mechanical influence which leads to important changes in the
topography of the surface. In removing the mineral matter, either in
solution or as fine sediment, it sometimes loosens the support of
overlying masses of rock which may ultimately give way on sloping
ground, and rush down the declivities in the form of landslips. These
destructive effects are specially frequent on the sides of valleys in
mountainous countries and on lines of sea-cliff.
3. _Brooks and Rivers._--As geological agents the running waters on
the face of the land play an important part in epigene changes. Like
rain and springs they have both a chemical and a mechanical action.
The latter receives most attention, as it undoubtedly is the more
important; but the former ought not to be omitted in any survey of the
general waste of the earth's surface. The water of rivers must possess
the powers of a chemical solvent like rain and springs, though its
actual work in this respect can be less easily measured, seeing that
river water is directly derived from rain and springs, and necessarily
contains in solution mineral substances supplied to it by them and not
by its own operation. Nevertheless, it is sometimes easy to prove that
streams dissolve chemically the rocks of their channels. Thus, in
limestone districts the base of the cliffs of river ravines may be
found eaten away into tunnels, arches, and overhanging projections,
presenting in their smooth surfaces a great contrast to the angular
jointed faces of the same rock, where now exposed to the influence
only of the weather on the higher parts of the cliff.
The mechanical action of rivers consists (a) in transporting mud,
sand, gravel and blocks of stone from higher to lower levels; (b) in
using these loose materials to widen and deepen their channels by
erosion; (c) in depositing their load of detritus wherever possible
and thus to make new geological formations.
(a) _Transporting Power._--River-water is distinguished from that of
springs by being less transparent, because it contains more or less
mineral matter in suspension, derived mainly from what is washed down
by rain, or carried in by brooks, but partly also from the abrasion of
the water-channels by the erosive action of the rivers themselves. The
progress of this burden of detritus may be instructively followed from
the mountain-tributaries of a river down to the mouth of the main
stream. In the high grounds the water-courses may be observed to be
choked with large fragments of rock disengaged from the cliffs and
crags on either side. Traced downwards the blocks are seen to become
gradually smaller and more rounded. They are ground against each
other, and upon the rocky sides and bottom of the channel, getting
more and more reduced as they descend, and at the same time abrading
the rocks over or against which they are driven. Hence a great deal of
débris is produced, and is swept along by the onward and downward
movement of the water. The finer portions, such as mud and fine sand,
are carried in suspension, and impart the characteristic turbidity to
river-water; the coarser sand and gravel are driven along the
river-bottom. The proportion of suspended mineral matter has been
ascertained with more or less precision for a number of rivers. As an
illustrative example of a river draining a vast area with different
climates, forms of surface and geological structure the Mississippi
may be cited. The average proportion of sediment in its water was
ascertained by Humphreys and Abbot to be 1/1500 by weight or 1/2900 by
volume. These engineers found that, in addition to this suspended
material, coarse detritus is constantly being pushed forward along the
bed of the river into the Gulf of Mexico, to an amount which they
estimated at about 750,000,000 cubic ft. of sand, earth and gravel;
they concluded that the Mississippi carries into the gulf every year
an amount of mechanically transported sediment sufficient to make a
prism one square mile in area and 268 ft. in height.
(b) _Excavating Power._--It is by means of the sand, gravel and stones
which they drive against the sides and bottoms of their channels that
streams have hollowed out the beds in which they flow. Not only is the
coarse detritus reduced in size by the friction of the stones against
each other, but, at the same time, these materials abrade the rocks
against which they are driven by the current. Where, owing to the
shape of the bottom of the channel, the stones are caught in eddies,
and are kept whirling round there, they become more and more worn down
themselves, and at the same time scour out basin-shaped cavities, or
"pot-holes," in the solid rock below. The uneven bed of a swiftly
flowing stream may in this way be honeycombed with such eroded basins
which coalesce and thus appreciably lower the surface of the bed. The
steeper the channel, other conditions being equal, the more rapid will
be the erosion. Geological structure also affects the character and
rate of the excavation. Where the rocks are so arranged as to favour
the formation and persistence of a waterfall, a long chasm may be
hollowed out like that of the Niagara below the falls, where a hard
thick bed of nearly flat limestone lies on softer and more easily
eroded shales. The latter are scooped out from underneath the
limestone, which from time to time breaks off in large masses and the
waterfall gradually retreats up stream, while the ravine is
proportionately lengthened. To the excavating power of rivers the
origin of the valley systems of the dry land must be mainly assigned
(see Part VIII.).
(c) _Reproductive Power._--So long as a stream flows over a steep
declivity its velocity suffices to keep the sediment in suspension,
but when from any cause, such as a diminution of slope, the velocity
is checked, the transporting power is lessened and the sediment begins
to fall to the bottom and to remain there. Hence various river-formed
or "alluvial" deposits are laid down. These sometimes cover
considerable spaces at the foot of mountains. The floors of valleys
are strewn with detritus, and their level may thereby be sensibly
raised. In floods the ground inundated on either side of a stream
intercepts some part of the detritus, which is then spread over the
flood-plain and gradually heightens it. At the same time the stream
continues to erode the channel, and ultimately is unable to reach the
old flood-plain. It consequently forms a new plain at a lower level,
and thus, by degrees, it comes to be flanked on either side by a
series of successive terraces or platforms, each of which marks one of
its former levels. Where a river enters a large body of water its
current is checked. Some of its sediment is consequently dropped, and
by slow accumulation forms a delta (q.v.). On land, every lake in
mountain districts furnishes instances of this kind of alluvium. But
the most important deltas are those formed in the sea at the mouths of
the larger rivers of the globe. Off many coast-lines the detritus
washed from the land gathers into bars, which enclose long strips of
water more or less completely separated from the sea outside and known
as lagoons. A chain of such lagoon-barriers stretches for hundreds of
miles round the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern shores of the United
States.
4. _Lakes._--These sheets of water, considered as a whole, do not
belong to the normal system of drainage on the land whereby valleys
are excavated. On the contrary they are exceptional to it; for the
constant tendency of running water is to fill them up, or to drain
them by wearing down the barriers that contain them at their outflow.
Some of them are referable to movements of the terrestrial crust
whereby depressions arise on the surface of the land, as has been
noted after earthquakes. Others have arisen from solution such as that
of rock-salt or of limestone, the removal of which by underground
water causes a subsidence of the ground above. A third type of
lake-basin occurs in regions that are now or have once been subject to
the erosive action of glaciers (see under next subdivision,
_Terrestrial Ice_). Many small lakes or tarns have been caused by the
deposit of débris across a valley as by landslips or moraines.
Considered from a geological point of view, lakes perform an important
function in regulating the drainage of the ground below their outfall
and diminishing the destructive effects of floods, in filtering the
water received from their affluent streams, and in providing
undisturbed areas of deposit in which thick and extensive lacustrine
formations may be accumulated. In the inland basins of some dry
climates the lakes are salt, owing to excess of evaporation, and their
bottoms become the sites of chemical deposits, particularly of
chlorides of sodium and magnesium, and calcium sulphate and carbonate.
5. _Terrestrial Ice._--Each of the forms assumed by frozen water has
its own characteristic action in geological processes. Frost has a
powerful influence in breaking up damp soils and surfaces of stone in
the pores or cracks of which moisture has lodged. The water in
freezing expands, and in so doing pushes asunder the component
particles of soil or stone, or widens the space between the walls of
joints or crevices. When the ice melts the loosened grains remain
apart ready to be washed away by rain or blown off by wind, while by
the widening of joints large blocks of rock are detached from the
faces of cliffs. Where rivers or lakes are frozen over the ice exerts
a marked pressure on their banks; and when it breaks up large sheets
of it are driven ashore, pushing up quantities of gravel and stones
above the level of the water. The piling up of the disrupted ice
against obstructions in rivers ponds back the water, and often leads
to destructive floods when the ice barriers break. Where the ice has
formed round boulders in shallow water, or at the bottom
("anchor-ice"), it may lift these up when the frost gives way, and may
transport them for some distance. Ice formed in the atmosphere, and
descending to the ground in the form of hail, often causes great
destruction to vegetation and not infrequently to animal life. Where
the frozen moisture reaches the earth as snow, it serves to protect
rock, soil and vegetation from the effects of frost; but on sloping
ground it is apt to give rise to destructive avalanches or landslips,
while indirectly, by its rapid melting, it may cause serious floods in
rivers.
But the most striking geological work performed by terrestrial ice is
that achieved by glaciers (q.v.) and ice-sheets. These vast masses of
moving ice, when they descend from mountains where the steeper rocks
are clear of snow, receive on their surface the débris detached by
frost from the declivities above, and bear these materials to lower
levels or to the sea. Enormous quantities of rock-rubbish are thus
transported in the Alps and other high mountain ranges. When the ice
retreats the boulders carried by it are dropped where it melts, and
left there as memorials of the former extension of the glaciers.
Evidence of this nature proves the much wider extent of the Alpine ice
at a comparatively recent geological date. It can also be shown that
detritus from Scandinavia has been ice-borne to the south-east of
England and far into the heart of Europe.
The ice, by means of grains of sand and pieces of stone which it drags
along, scores, scratches and polishes the surfaces of rock underneath
it, and, in this way, produces the abundant fine sediment that gives
the characteristic milky appearance to the rivers that issue from the
lower ends of glaciers. By such long-continued attrition the rocks are
worn down, portions of them of softer nature, or where the ice acts
with especial vigour, are hollowed out into cavities which, on the
disappearance of the ice, may be filled with water and become tarns or
lakes. Rocks over which land-ice has passed are marked by a peculiar
smooth, flowing outline, which forms a contrast to the more rugged
surface produced by ordinary weathering. They are covered with
groovings, which range from the finest striae left by sharp grains of
sand to deep ruts ground out by blocks of stone. The trend of these
markings shows the direction in which the ice flowed. By their
evidence the position and movement of former glaciers in countries
from which the ice has entirely vanished may be clearly determined
(see GLACIAL PERIOD).
6. _The Sea._--The physical features of the sea are discussed in
separate articles (see OCEAN AND OCEANOGRAPHY). The sea must be
regarded as the great regulator of temperature and climate over the
globe, and as thus exerting a profound influence on the distribution
of plant and animal life. Its distinctly geological work is partly
erosive and partly reproductive. As an eroding agent it must to some
extent effect chemical decompositions in the rocks and sediments over
which it spreads; but these changes have not yet been satisfactorily
studied. Undoubtedly, its chief destructive power is of a mechanical
kind, and arises from the action of its waves in beating upon
shore-cliffs. By the alternate compression and expansion of the air in
crevices of the rocks on which heavy breakers fall, and by the
hydraulic pressure which these masses of sea-water exert on the walls
of the fissures into which they rush, large masses of rock are
loosened and detached, and caves and tunnels are drilled along the
base of sea-cliffs. Probably still more efficacious are the blows of
the loose shingle, which, caught up and hurled forward by the waves,
falls with great force upon the shore rocks, battering them as with a
kind of artillery until they are worn away. The smooth surfaces of the
rocks within reach of the waves contrasted with their angular forms
above that limit bear witness to the amount of waste, while the
rounded forms of the boulders and shingle show that they too are being
continually reduced in size. Thus the sea, by its action on the
coasts, produces much sediment, which is swept away by its waves and
currents and strewn over its floor. Besides this material, it is
constantly receiving the fine silt and sand carried down by rivers. As
the floor of the ocean is thus the final receptacle for the waste of
the land, it becomes the chief era on the surface of the globe for the
accumulation of new stratified formations. And such has been one of
its great functions since the beginning of geological time, as is
proved by the rocks that form the visible part of the earth's crust,
and consist in great part of marine deposits. Chemical precipitates
take place more especially in enclosed parts of the sea, where
concentration of the water by evaporation can take place, and where
layers of sodium chloride, calcium sulphate and carbonate, and other
salts are laid down. But the chief marine accumulations are of
detrital origin. Near the land and for a variable distance extending
sometimes to 200 or 300 m. from shore the deposits consist chiefly of
sediments derived from the waste of the land, the finer silts being
transported farthest from their source. At greater depths and
distances the ocean floor receives a slow deposit of exceedingly fine
clay, which is believed to be derived from the decomposition of pumice
and volcanic dust from insular or submarine volcanoes. Wide tracts of
the bottom are covered with various forms of ooze derived from the
accumulation of the remains of minute organisms.
(C) _Life._
Among the agents by which geological changes are carried on upon the
surface of the globe living organisms must be enumerated. Both plants
and animals co-operate with the inorganic agents in promoting the
degradation of the land. In some cases, on the other hand, they
protect rocks from decay, while, by the accumulation of their remains,
they give rise to extensive formations both upon the land and in the
sea. Their operations may hence be described as alike destructive,
conservative and reproductive. Under this heading also the influence
of Man as a geological agent deserves notice.
(a) _Plants._--Vegetation promotes the disintegration of rocks and
soil in the following ways: (1) By keeping the surfaces of stone
moist, and thus promoting both mechanical and chemical dissolution, as
is especially shown by liverworts, mosses and other moisture-loving
plants. (2) By producing through their decay carbonic and other
acids, which, together with decaying organic matter taken up by
passing moisture, become potent in effecting the chemical
decomposition of rocks and in promoting the disintegration of soils.
(3) By inserting their roots or branches between joints of rock, which
are thereby loosened, so that large slices may be eventually wedged
off. (4) By attracting rain, as thick woods, forests and peat-mosses
do, and thus accelerating the general waste of a country by running
water. (5) By promoting the decay of diseased and dead plants and
animals, as when fungi overspread a damp rotting tree or the carcase
of a dead animal.
That plants also exert a conservative influence on the surface of the
land is shown in various ways. (1) The formation of a stratum of turf
protects the soil and rocks underneath from being rapidly
disintegrated and washed away by atmospheric action. (2) Many plants,
even without forming a layer of turf, serve by their roots or branches
to protect the loose sand or soil on which they grow from being
removed by wind. The common sand-carex and other arenaceous plants
bind the loose sand-dunes of our coasts, and give them a permanence,
which would at once be destroyed were the sand laid bare again to
storms. The growth of shrubs and brushwood along the course of a
stream not only keeps the alluvial banks from being so easily
undermined and removed as would otherwise be the case, but serves to
arrest the sediment in floods, filtering the water and thereby adding
to the height of the flood plain. (3) Some marine plants, like the
calcareous nullipores, afford protection to shore rocks by covering
them with a hard incrustation. The tangles and smaller Fuci which grow
abundantly on the littoral zone break the force of the waves or
diminish the effects of ground swell. (4) Forests and brushwood
protect the soil, especially on slopes, from being washed away by rain
or ploughed up by avalanches.
Plants contribute by the aggregation of their remains to the formation
of stratified deposits. Some marine algae which secrete carbonate of
lime not only encrust rocks but give rise to sheets of submarine
limestone. An analogous part is played in fresh-water lakes by various
lime-secreting plants, such as _Chara_. Long-continued growth of
vegetation has, in some regions, produced thick accumulations of a
dark loam, as in the black cotton soil (_regur_) of India, and the
black earth (_tchernozom_) of Russia. Peat-mosses are formed in
temperate and arctic climates by the growth of marsh-loving plants,
sometimes to a thickness of 40 or 50 ft. In tropical regions the
mangrove swamps on low moist shores form a dense jungle, sometimes 20
m. broad, which protects these shores from the sea until, by the
arrest of sediment and the constant contribution of decayed
vegetation, the spongy ground is at last turned into firm soil. Some
plants (diatoms) can abstract silica and build it into their
framework, so that their remains form a siliceous deposit or ooze
which covers spaces of the deep sea-floor estimated at more than ten
millions of square miles in extent.
(b) _Animals._--These exert a destructive influence in the following
ways: (1) By seriously affecting the composition and arrangement of
the vegetable soil. Worms bring up the lower portions of the soil to
the surface, and while thus promoting its fertility increase its
liability to be washed away by rain. Burrowing animals, by throwing up
the soil and subsoil, expose these to be dried and blown away by the
wind. At the same time their subterranean passages serve to drain off
the superficial water and to injure the stability of the surface of
the ground above them. In Britain the mole and rabbit are familiar
examples. (2) By interfering with or even diverting the flow of
streams. Thus beaver-dams check the current of water-courses,
intercept floating materials, and sometimes turn streams into new
channels. The embankments of the Mississippi are sometimes weakened to
such an extent by the burrowings of the cray-fish as to give way and
allow the river to inundate the surrounding country. Similar results
have happened in Europe from subterranean operations of rats. (3) Some
mollusca bore into stone or wood and by the number of contiguous
perforations greatly weaken the material. (4) Many animals exercise a
ruinously destructive influence upon vegetation. Of the numerous
plagues of this kind the locust, phylloxera and Colorado beetle may be
cited.
The most important geological function performed by animals is the
formation of new deposits out of their remains. It is chiefly by the
lower grades of the animal kingdom that this work is accomplished,
especially by molluscs, corals and foraminifera. Shell-banks are
formed abundantly in such comparatively shallow and enclosed basins as
that of the North Sea, and on a much more extensive scale on the floor
of the West Indian seas. By the coral polyps thick masses of
limestones have been built up in the warmer seas of the globe (see
CORAL REEFS). The floor of the Atlantic and other oceans is covered
with a fine calcareous ooze derived mainly from the remains of
foraminifera, while in other regions the bottom shows a siliceous ooze
formed almost entirely of radiolaria. Vertebrate animals give rise to
phosphatic deposits formed sometimes of their excrement, as in guano
and coprolites, sometimes of an accumulation of their bones.
(c) _Man._--No survey of the geological workings of plant and animal
life upon the surface of the globe can be complete which does not take
account of the influence of man--an influence of enormous and
increasing consequence in physical geography, for man has introduced,
as it were, an element of antagonism to nature. His interference shows
itself in his relations to climate, where he has affected the
meteorological conditions of different countries: (1) By removing
forests, and laying bare to the sun and winds areas which were
previously kept cool and damp under trees, or which, lying on the lee
side, were protected from tempests. It is supposed that the wholesale
destruction of the woodlands formerly existing in countries bordering
the Mediterranean has been in part the cause of the present
desiccation of these districts. (2) By drainage, whereby the
discharged rainfall is rapidly removed, and the evaporation is
lessened, with a consequent diminution of rainfall and some increase
in the general temperature of a country. (3) By the other processes of
agriculture, such as the transformation of moor and bog into
cultivated land, and the clothing of bare hillsides with green crops
or plantations of coniferous and hardwood trees.
Still more obvious are the results of human interference with the flow
of water: (1) By increasing or diminishing the rainfall man directly
affects the volume of rivers. (2) By his drainage operations he makes
the rain to run off more rapidly than before, and thereby increases
the magnitude of floods and of the destruction caused by them. (3) By
wells, bores, mines, or other subterranean works he interferes with
the underground waters, and consequently with the discharge of
springs. (4) By embanking rivers he confines them to narrow channels,
sometimes increasing their scour, and enabling them to carry their
sediment further seaward, sometimes causing them to deposit it over
the plains and raise their level. (5) By his engineering operations
for water-supply he abstracts water from its natural basins and
depletes the streams.
In many ways man alters the aspect of a country: (1) By changing
forest into bare mountain, or clothing bare mountains with forest. (2)
By promoting the growth or causing the removal of peat-mosses. (3) By
heedlessly uncovering sand-dunes, and thereby setting in motion a
process of destruction which may convert hundreds of acres of fertile
land into waste sand, or by prudently planting the dunes with
sand-loving vegetation and thus arresting their landward progress. (4)
By so guiding the course of rivers as to make them aid him in
reclaiming waste land, and bringing it under cultivation. (5) By piers
and bulwarks, whereby the ravages of the sea are stayed, or by the
thoughtless removal from the beach of stones which the waves had
themselves thrown up, and which would have served for a time to
protect the land. (6) By forming new deposits either designedly or
incidentally. The roads, bridges, canals, railways, tunnels, villages
and towns with which man has covered the surface of the land will in
many cases form a permanent record of his presence. Under his hand the
whole surface of civilized countries is very slowly covered with a
stratum, either formed wholly by him or due in great measure to his
operations and containing many relics of his presence. The soil of
ancient towns has been increased to a depth of many feet by their
successive destructions and renovations.
Perhaps the most subtle of human influences are to be seen in the
distribution of plant and animal life upon the globe. Some of man's
doings in this domain are indeed plain enough, such as the extirpation
of wild animals, the diminution or destruction of some forms of
vegetation, the introduction of plants and animals useful to himself,
and especially the enormous predominance given by him to the cereals
and to the spread of sheep and cattle. But no such extensive
disturbance of the normal conditions of the distribution of life can
take place without carrying with it many secondary effects, and
setting in motion a wide cycle of change and of reaction in the animal
and vegetable kingdoms. For example, the incessant warfare waged by
man against birds and beasts of prey in districts given up to the
chase leads sometimes to unforeseen results. The weak game is allowed
to live, which would otherwise be killed off and give more room for
the healthy remainder. Other animals which feed perhaps on the same
materials as the game are by the same cause permitted to live
unchecked, and thereby to act as a further hindrance to the spread of
the protected species. But the indirect results of man's interference
with the régime of plants and animals still require much prolonged
observation.
PART V.--GEOTECTONIC OR STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY
From a study of the nature and composition of minerals and rocks, and an
investigation of the different agencies by which they are formed and
modified, the geologist proceeds to inquire how these materials have
been put together so as to build up the visible part of the earth's
crust. He soon ascertains that they have not been thrown together wholly
at random, but that they show a recognizable order of arrangement. Some
of them, especially those of most recent growth, remain in their
original condition and position, but, in proportion to their antiquity,
they generally present increasing alteration, until it may no longer be
possible to tell what was their pristine state. As by far the largest
accessible portion of the terrestrial crust consists of stratified
rocks, and as these furnish clear evidence of most of the modifications
to which they have been subjected in the long course of geological
history, it is convenient to take them into consideration first. They
possess a number of structures which belong to the original conditions
in which they were accumulated. They present in addition other
structures which have been superinduced upon them, and which they share
with the unstratified or igneous rocks.
1. ORIGINAL STRUCTURES
(a) _Stratified Rocks._--This extensive and important series is above
all distinguished by possessing a prevailing stratified arrangement.
Their materials have been laid down in laminae, layers and strata, or
beds, pointing generally to the intermittent deposition of the sediments
of which they consist. As this stratification was, as a rule, originally
nearly or quite horizontal, it serves as a base from which to measure
any subsequent disturbance which the rocks have undergone. The
occurrence of false-bedding, i.e. bands of inclined layers between the
normal planes of stratification, does not form any real exception; but
indicates the action of shifting currents whereby the sediment was
transported and thrown down. Other important records of the original
conditions of deposit are supplied by ripple-marks, sun-cracks,
rain-prints and concretions.
From the nature of the material further light is cast on the
geographical conditions in which the strata were accumulated. Thus,
conglomerates indicate the proximity of old shore-lines, sandstones
mark deposits in comparatively shallow water, clays and shales point
to the tranquil accumulation of fine silt at a greater depth and
further from land, while fossiliferous limestones bear witness to
clearer water in which organisms flourished at some distance from
deposits of sand and mud. Again, the alternation of different kinds of
sediment suggests a variability in the conditions of deposition, such
as a shifting of the sediment-bearing currents and of the areas of
muddy and clear water. A thick group of conformable strata, that is, a
series of deposits which show no discordance in their stratification,
may usually be regarded as having been laid down on a sea-floor that
was gently sinking. Here and there evidence is obtainable of the
limits or of the progress of the subsidence by what is called
"overlap." Of the absolute length of time represented by any strata or
groups of strata no satisfactory estimates can yet be formed. Certain
general conclusions may indeed be drawn, and comparisons may be made
between different series of rocks. Sandstones full of false-bedding
were probably accumulated more rapidly than finely-laminated shales or
clays. It is not uncommon in certain Carboniferous formations to find
coniferous and other trunks embedded in sandstone. Some of these trees
seem to have been carried along and to have sunk, their heavier or
root end touching the bottom and their upper end slanting upward in
the direction of the current, exactly as in the case of the snags of
the Mississippi. In other cases the trees have been submerged while
still in their positions of growth. The continuous deposit of sand at
last rose above the level of the trunks and buried them. It is clear
then that the rate of deposit must have been sometimes sufficiently
rapid to allow sand to accumulate to a depth of 30 ft. or more before
the decay of the wood. Modern instances are known where, under certain
circumstances, submerged trees may last for some centuries, but even
the most durable must decay in what, after all, is a brief space of
geological time. Since continuous layers of the same kind of deposit
suggest a persistence of geological conditions, while numerous
alternations of different kinds of sedimentary matter point to
vicissitudes or alternations of conditions, it may be supposed that
the time represented by a given thickness of similar strata was less
than that shown by the same thickness of dissimilar strata, because
the changes needed to bring new varieties of sediment into the area of
deposit would usually require the lapse of some time for their
completion. But this conclusion may often be erroneous. It will be
best supported when, from the very nature of the rocks, wide
variations in the character of the water-bottom can be established.
Thus a group of shales followed by a fossiliferous limestone would
almost always mark the lapse of a much longer period than an equal
depth of sandy strata. A thick mass of limestone, made up of organic
remains which lived and died upon the spot, and whose remains are
crowded together generation above generation, must have demanded many
years or centuries for its formation.
But in all speculations of this kind we must bear in mind that the
length of time represented by a given depth of strata is not to be
estimated merely from their thickness or lithological character. The
interval between the deposit of two successive laminae of shale may
have been as long as, or even longer than, that required for the
formation of one of the laminae. In like manner the interval needed
for the transition from one stratum or kind of strata to another may
often have been more than equal to the time required for the formation
of the strata on either side. But the relative chronological
importance of the bars or lines in the geological record can seldom be
satisfactorily discussed merely on lithological grounds. This must
mainly be decided on the evidence of organic remains, as shown in
Part VI., where the grouping of the stratified rocks into formations
and systems is described.
(b) _Igneous Rocks._--As part of the earth's crust these rocks present
characters by which they are strongly differentiated from the stratified
series. While the broad petrographical distinctions of their several
varieties remain persistent, they present sufficient local variations of
type to point to the existence of what have been called petrographic
provinces, in each of which the eruptive masses are connected by a
general family relationship, differing more or less from that of a
neighbouring province. In each region presenting a long chronological
series of eruptive rocks a petrographical sequence can be traced, which
is observed to be not absolutely the same everywhere, though its general
features may be persistent. The earliest manifestations of eruptive
material in any district appear to have been most frequently of an
intermediate type between acid and basic, passing thence into a
thoroughly acid series and concluding with an effusion of basic
material.
Considered as part of the architecture of the crust of the earth,
igneous rocks are conveniently divisible into two great series: (1)
those bodies of material which have been injected into the crust and
have solidified there, and (2) those which have reached the surface and
have been ejected there, either in a molten state as lava or in a
fragmental form as dust, ashes and scoriae. The first of these divisions
represents the plutonic, intrusive or subsequent phase of eruptivity;
the second marks the volcanic, interstratified or contemporaneous phase.
1. The plutonic or intrusive rocks, which have been forced into the
crust and have consolidated there, present a wide range of texture
from the most coarse-grained granites to the most perfect natural
glass. Seeing that they have usually cooled with extreme slowness
underground, they are as a general rule more largely crystalline than
the volcanic series. The form assumed by each individual body of
intrusive material has depended upon the shape of the space into which
it has been injected, and where it has cooled and become solid. This
shape has been determined by the local structure of the earth's crust
on the one hand and by the energy of the eruptive force on the other.
It offers a convenient basis for the classification of the intrusive
rocks, which, as part of the framework of the crust, may thus be
grouped according to the shape of the cavity which received them, as
bosses, sills, dikes and necks.
Bosses, or stocks, are the largest and most shapeless extravasations
of erupted material. They include the great bodies of granite which,
in most countries of the world, have risen for many miles through the
stratified formations and have altered the rocks around them by
contact-metamorphism. Sills, or intrusive sheets, are bed-like masses
which have been thrust between the planes of sedimentary or even of
igneous rocks. The term laccolite has been applied to sills which are
connected with bosses. Intrusive sheets are distinguishable from true
contemporaneously intercalated lavas by not keeping always to the same
platform, but breaking across and altering the contiguous strata, and
by the closeness of their texture where they come in contact with the
contiguous rocks, which, being cold, chilled the molten material and
caused it to consolidate on its outer margins more rapidly than in its
interior. Dikes or veins are vertical walls or ramifying branches of
intrusive material which has consolidated in fissures or irregular
clefts of the crust. Necks are volcanic chimneys which have been
filled up with erupted material, and have now been exposed at the
surface after prolonged denudation has removed not only the
superficial volcanic masses originally associated with them, but also
more or less of the upper part of the vents. Plutonic rocks do not
present evidence of their precise geological age. All that can be
certainly affirmed from them is that they must be younger than the
rocks into which they have been intruded. From their internal
structure, however, and from the evidence of the rocks associated with
them, some more or less definite conjectures may be made as to the
limits of time within which they were probably injected.
2. The interstratified or volcanic series is of special importance in
geology, inasmuch as it contains the records of volcanic action during
the past history of the globe. It was pointed out in Part I. that
while towards the end of the 18th and in the beginning of the 19th
century much attention was paid by Hutton and his followers to the
proofs of intrusion afforded by what they called the "unerupted lavas"
within the earth's crust, these observers lost sight of the
possibility that some of these rocks might have been erupted at the
surface, and might thus be chronicles of volcanic action in former
geological periods. It is not always possible to satisfactorily
discriminate between the two types of contemporaneously intercalated
and subsequently injected material. But rocks of the former type have
not broken into or involved the overlying strata, and they are usually
marked by the characteristic structures of superficial lavas and by
their association with volcanic tuffs. By means of the evidence which
they supply, it has been ascertained that volcanic action has been
manifested in the globe since the earliest geological periods. In the
British Isles, for example, the volcanic record is remarkably full for
the long series of ages from Cambrian to Permian time, and again for
the older Tertiary period.
2. SUBSEQUENTLY INDUCED STRUCTURES
After their accumulation, whether as stratified or eruptive masses, all
kinds of rocks have been subject to various changes, and have acquired
in consequence a variety of superinduced structures. It has been pointed
out in the part of this article dealing with dynamical geology that one
of the most important forms of energy in the evolution of geological
processes is to be found in the movements that take place within the
crust of the earth. Some of these movements are so slight as to be only
recognizable by means of delicate instruments; but from this inferior
limit they range up to gigantic convulsions by which mountain-chains are
upheaved. The crust must be regarded as in a perpetual state of strain,
and its component materials are therefore subject to all the effects
which flow from that condition. It is the one great object of the
geotectonic division of geology to study the structures which have been
developed in consequence of earth-movements, and to discover from this
investigation the nature of the processes whereby the rocks of the crust
have been brought into the condition and the positions in which we now
find them. The details of this subject will be found in separate
articles descriptive of each of the technical terms applied to the
several kinds of superinduced structures. All that need be offered here
is a general outline connecting the several portions of the subject
together.
One of the most universal of these later structures is to be seen in
the divisional planes, usually vertical or highly inclined, by which
rocks are split into quadrangular or irregularly shaped blocks. To
these planes the name of joints has been given. They are of prime
importance from an industrial point of view, seeing that the art of
quarrying consists mainly in detecting and making proper use of them.
Their abundance in all kinds of rocks, from those of recent date up to
those of the highest antiquity, affords a remarkable testimony to the
strains which the terrestrial crust has suffered. They have arisen
sometimes from tension, such as that caused by contraction from the
drying and consolidation of an aqueous sediment or from the cooling of
a molten mass; sometimes from torsion during movements of the crust.
Although the stratified rocks were originally deposited in a more or
less nearly horizontal position on the floor of the sea, where now
visible on the dry land they are seldom found to have retained their
flatness. On the contrary, they are seen to have been generally tilted
up at various angles, sometimes even placed on end (crop, dip,
strike). When a sufficiently large area of ground is examined, the
inclination into which the strata have been thrown may be observed not
to continue far in the same direction, but to turn over to the
opposite or another quarter. It can then be seen that in reality the
rocks have been thrown into undulations. From the lowest and flattest
arches where the departure from horizontality may be only trifling,
every step may be followed up to intense curvature, where the strata
have been compressed and plicated as if they had been piles of soft
carpets (anticline, syncline, monocline, geo-anticline, geo-syncline,
isoclinal, plication, curvature, quaquaversal). It has further
happened abundantly all over the surface of the globe that relief from
internal strain in the crust has been obtained by fracture, and the
consequent subsidence or elevation of one or both sides of the
fissure. The differential movement between the two sides may be
scarcely perceptible in the feeblest dislocation, but in the extreme
cases it may amount to many thousand feet (fault, fissure,
dislocation, hade, slickensides). The great faults in a country are
among its most important structural features, and as they not
infrequently continue to be lines of weakness in the crust along which
sudden slipping may from time to time take place, they become the
lines of origin of earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906,
already cited, affords a memorable illustration of this connexion.
It is in a great mountain-chain that the extraordinary complication of
plicated and faulted structures in the crust of the earth can be most
impressively beheld. The combination of overturned folds with rupture
has been already referred to as a characteristic feature in the Alps
(Part IV.). The gigantic folds have in many places been pushed over
each other so as to lie almost flat, while the upper limb has not
infrequently been driven for many miles beyond the lower by a rupture
along the axis. In this way successive slices of a thick series of
formations have been carried northwards on the northern slope of the
Alps, and have been piled so abnormally above each other that some of
their oldest members recur several times on different thrust-planes,
the whole being underlain by Tertiary strata (see ALPS). Further
proof of the colossal compression to which the rocks have been
subjected is afforded by their intense crumpling and corrugation, and
by the abundantly faulted and crushed condition to which they have
been reduced. Similar evidence as to stresses in the terrestrial crust
and the important changes which they produce among the rocks may also
be obtained on a smaller scale in many non-mountainous countries.
Another marked result of the compression of the terrestrial crust has
been induced in some rocks by the production of the fissile structure
which is typically shown in roofing-slate (cleavage). Closely
connected with this internal rearrangement has been the development of
microscopic microlites or crystals (rutile, mica, &c.) in argillaceous
slates which were undoubtedly originally fine marine mud and silt.
From this incipient form of metamorphism successive stages may be
traced through the various kinds of argillite and phyllite into
mica-schist, and thence into more crystalline gneissoid varieties
(foliation, slate, mica-schist, gneiss). The Alps afford excellent
illustrations of these transformations.
The fissures produced in the crust are sometimes clean, sharply
defined divisional planes, like cracks across a pane of glass. Much
more usually, however, the rocks on either side have been broken up by
the friction of movement, and the fault is marked by a variable
breadth of this broken material. Sometimes the walls have separated
and molten rock has risen from below and solidified between them as a
dike. Occasionally the fissures have opened to the surface, and have
been filled in from above with detritus, as in the sandstone-dikes of
Colorado and California. In mineral districts the fissures have been
filled with various spars and ores, forming what are known as mineral
veins.
Where one series of rocks is covered by another without any break or
discordance in the stratification they are said to be conformable. But
where the older series has been tilted up or visibly denuded before
being overlain by the younger, the latter is termed unconformable.
This relation is one of the greatest value in structural geology, for
it marks a gap in the geological record, which may represent a vast
lapse of time not there recorded by strata.
PART VI.--PALEONTOLOGICAL GEOLOGY
This division of the science deals with fossils, or the traces of plants
and animals preserved in the rocks of the earth's crust, and endeavours
to gather from them information as to the history of the globe and its
inhabitants. The term "fossil" (Lat. _fossilis_, from _fodere_, to dig
up), meaning literally anything "dug up," was formerly applied
indiscriminately to any mineral substance taken out of the earth's
crust, whether organized or not. Since the time of Lamarck, however, the
meaning of the word has been restricted, so as to include only the
remains or traces of plants and animals preserved in any natural
formation whether hard rock or superficial deposit. It includes not
merely the petrified structures of organisms, but whatever was directly
connected with or produced by these organisms. Thus the resin which was
exuded from trees of long-perished forests is as much a fossil as any
portion of the stem, leaves, flowers or fruit, and in some respects is
even more valuable to the geologist than more determinable remains of
its parent trees, because it has often preserved in admirable perfection
the insects which flitted about in the woodlands. The burrows and trails
of a worm preserved in sandstone and shale claim recognition as fossils,
and indeed are commonly the only indications to be met with of the
existence of annelid life among old geological formations. The droppings
of fishes and reptiles, called coprolites, are excellent fossils, and
tell their tale as to the presence and food of vertebrate life in
ancient waters. The little agglutinated cases of the caddis-worm remain
as fossils in formations from which, perchance, most other traces of
life may have passed away. Nay, the very handiwork of man, when
preserved in any natural manner, is entitled to rank among fossils; as
where his flint-implements have been dropped into the pre-historic
gravels of river-valleys or where his canoes have been buried in the
silt of lake-bottoms.
A study of the land-surfaces and sea-floors of the present time shows
that there are so many chances against the conservation of the remains
of either terrestrial or marine animals and plants that if, as is
probable, the same conditions existed in former geological periods, we
should regard the occurrence of organic remains among the stratified
formations of the earth's crust as generally the result of various
fortunate accidents.
Let us consider, in the first place, the chances for the preservation
of remains of the present fauna and flora of a country. The surface of
the land may be densely clothed with forest and abundantly peopled
with animal life. But the trees die and moulder into soil. The
animals, too, disappear, generation after generation, and leave few or
no perceptible traces of their existence. If we were not aware from
authentic records that central and northern Europe were covered with
vast forests at the beginning of our era, how could we know this fact?
What has become of the herds of wild oxen, the bears, wolves and other
denizens of primeval Europe? How could we prove from the examination
of the surface soil of any country that those creatures had once
abounded there? The conditions for the preservation of any relics of
the plant and animal life of a terrestrial surface must obviously be
always exceptional. They are supplied only where the organic remains
can be protected from the air and superficial decay. Hence they may be
observed in (1) the deposits on the floors of lakes; (2) in
peat-mosses; (3) in deltas at river-mouths; and (4) under the
stalagmite of caverns in limestone districts. But in these and other
favourable places a mere infinitesimal fraction of the fauna or flora
of a land-surface is likely to be entombed or preserved.
In the second place, although in the sea the conditions for the
preservation of organic remains are in many respects more favourable
than on land, they are apt to be frustrated by many adverse
circumstances. While the level of the land remains stationary, there
can be but little effective entombment of marine organisms in littoral
deposits; for only a limited accumulation of sediment will be formed
until subsidence of the sea-floor takes place. In the trifling beds of
sand or gravel thrown up on a stationary shore, only the harder and
more durable forms of life, such as gastropods and lamellibranchs,
which can withstand the triturating effects of the beach waves, are
likely to remain uneffaced.
Below tide-marks, along the margin of the land where sediment is
gradually deposited, the conditions are more favourable for the
preservation of marine organisms. In the sheets of sand and mud there
laid down the harder parts of many forms of life may be entombed and
protected from decay. But only a small proportion of the total marine
fauna may be expected to appear in such deposits. At the best, merely
littoral and shallow-water forms will occur, and, even under the most
favourable conditions, they will represent but a fraction of the whole
assemblage of life in these juxta-terrestrial parts of the ocean. As
we recede from the land the rate of deposition of sediment on the
sea-floor must become feebler, until, in the remote central abysses,
it reaches a hardly appreciable minimum. Except, therefore, where some
kind of ooze or other deposit is accumulating in these more pelagic
regions, the conditions must be on the whole unfavourable for the
preservation of any adequate representation of the deep-sea fauna.
Hard durable objects, such as teeth and bones, may slowly accumulate,
and be protected by a coating of peroxide of manganese, or of some of
the silicates now forming here and there over the deep-sea bottom; or
the rate of growth of the abysmal deposit may be so tardy that most of
the remains of at least the larger animals will disappear, owing to
decay, before they can be covered up and preserved. Any such deep-sea
formation, if raised into land, would supply but a meagre picture of
the whole life of the sea.
It would thus appear that the portion of the sea-floor best suited for
receiving and preserving the most varied assemblage of marine organic
remains is the area in front of the land, to which rivers and currents
bring continual supplies of sediment. The most favourable conditions
for the accumulation of a thick mass of marine fossiliferous strata
will arise when the area of deposit is undergoing a gradual
subsidence. If the rate of depression and that of deposit were equal,
or nearly so, the movement might proceed for a vast period without
producing any great apparent change in marine geography, and even
without seriously affecting the distribution of life over the
sea-floor within the area of subsidence. Hundreds or thousands of feet
of sedimentary strata might in this way be heaped up round the
continents, containing a fragmentary series of organic remains
belonging to those forms of comparatively shallow-water life which had
hard parts capable of preservation. There can be little doubt that
such has, in fact, been the history of the main mass of stratified
formations in the earth's crust. By far the largest proportion of
these piles of marine strata has unquestionably been laid down in
water of no great depth within the area of deposit of terrestrial
sediment. The enormous thickness to which they attain seems only
explicable by prolonged and repeated movements of subsidence,
interrupted, however, as we know, by other movements of a contrary
kind.
Since the conditions for the preservation of organic remains exist
more favourably under the sea than on land, marine organisms must be
far more abundantly conserved than those of the land. This is true
to-day, and has, as far as known, been true in all past geological
time. Hence for the purposes of the geologist the fossil remains of
marine forms of life far surpass all others in value. Among them there
will necessarily be a gradation of importance, regulated chiefly by
their relative abundance. Now, of all the marine tribes which live
within the juxta-terrestrial belt of sedimentation, unquestionably the
Mollusca stand in the place of pre-eminence as regards their aptitude
for becoming fossils. They almost all possess a hard, durable shell,
capable of resisting considerable abrasion and readily passing into a
mineralized condition. They are extremely abundant both as to
individuals and genera. They occur on the shore within tide mark, and
range thence down into the abysses. Moreover, they appear to have
possessed these qualifications from early geological times. In the
marine Mollusca, therefore, we have a common ground of comparison
between the stratified formations of different periods. They have been
styled the alphabet of palaeontological inquiry.
There are two main purposes to which fossils may be put in geological
research: (1) to throw light upon former conditions of physical
geography, such as the presence of land, rivers, lakes and seas, in
places where they do not now exist, changes of climate, and the former
distribution of plants and animals; and (2) to furnish a guide in
geological chronology whereby rocks may be classified according to
relative date, and the facts of geological history may be arranged and
interpreted as a connected record of the earth's progress.
1. As examples of the first of these two directions of inquiry
reference may be made to (a) former land-surfaces revealed by the
occurrence of layers of soil with tree-stumps and roots still in the
position of growth (see PURBECKIAN); (b) ancient lakes proved by beds
of marl or limestone full of lacustrine shells; (c) old sea-bottoms
marked by the occurrence of marine organisms; (d) variations in the
quality of the water, such as freshness or saltness, indicated by
changes in the size and shape of the fossils; (e) proximity to former
land, suggested by the occurrence of abundant drift-wood in the
strata; (f) former conditions of climate, different from the present,
as evidenced by such organisms as tropical types of plants and animals
intercalated among the strata of temperate or northern countries.
2. In applying fossils to the determination of geological chronology
it is first necessary to ascertain the order of superposition of the
rocks. Obviously, in a continuous series of undisturbed sedimentary
deposits the lowest must necessarily be the oldest, and the plants or
animals which they contain must have lived and died before any of the
organisms that occur in the overlying strata. This order of
superposition having been settled in a series of formations, it is
found that the fossils at the bottom are not quite the same as those
at the top of the series. Tracing the beds upward, we discover that
species after species of the lowest platforms disappears, until
perhaps not one of them is found. With the cessation of these older
species others make their entrance. These, in turn, are found to die
out, and to be replaced by newer forms. After patient examination of
the rocks, it has been ascertained that every well-marked "formation,"
or group of strata, is characterized by its own species or genera, or
by a general assemblage, or _facies_, of organic forms. Such a
generalization can only, of course, be determined by actual practical
experience over an area of some size. When the typical fossils of a
formation are known, they serve to identify that formation in its
progress across a country. Thus, in tracts where the true order of
superposition cannot be determined, owing to the want of sections or
to the disturbed condition of the rocks, fossils serve as a means of
identification and furnish a guide to the succession of the rocks.
They even demonstrate that in some mountainous ground the beds have
been turned completely upside down, where it can be shown that the
fossils in what are now the uppermost strata ought properly to lie
underneath those in the beds below them.
It is by their characteristic fossils that the stratified rocks of the
earth's crust can be most satisfactorily subdivided into convenient
groups of strata and classed in chronological order. Each "formation"
is distinguished by its own peculiar assemblage of organic remains, by
means of which it can be followed and recognized, even amid the
crumplings and dislocations of a disturbed region. The same general
succession of organic types can be observed over a large part of the
world, though, of course, with important modifications in different
countries. This similarity of succession has been termed _homotaxis_,
a term which expresses the fact that the order in which the leading
types of organized existence have appeared upon the earth has been
similar even in widely separated regions. It is evident that, in this
way, a reliable method of comparison is furnished, whereby the
stratified formations of different parts of the earth's crust can be
brought into relation with each other. Had the geologist continued to
remain, as in the days of Werner, hampered by the limitations imposed
by a reliance on mere lithological characters, he would have made
little or no progress in deciphering the record of the successive
phases of the history of the globe chronicled in the crust. Just as,
at the present time, sheets of gravel in one place are contemporaneous
with sheets of mud at another, so in the past all kinds of
sedimentation have been in progress simultaneously, and those of one
period may not be distinguishable in themselves from those of another.
Little or no reliance can be placed upon lithological resemblances or
differences in comparing the sedimentary formations of different
countries.
In making use of fossil evidence for the purpose of subdividing the
stratified rocks of the earth's crust, it is found to be applicable to
the smaller details of stratigraphy as well as to the definition of
large groups of strata. Thus a particular stratum may be marked by the
occurrence in it of various fossils, one or more of which may be
distinctive, either from occurring in no other bed above and below or
from special abundance in that stratum. One or more of these species
is therefore used as a guide to the occurrence of the bed in
question, which is called by the name of the most abundant species. In
this way what is called a "geological horizon," or "zone," is marked
off, and its exact position in the series of formations is fixed.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature in the progress of
palaeontological geology during the last half century has been the
recognition and wide application of this method of zonal stratigraphy,
which, in itself, was only a further development of William Smith's
famous idea, "Strata identified by Organized Fossils." It was first
carried out in detail by various palaeontologists in reference to the
Jurassic formations, notably by F.A. von Quenstedt and C.A. Oppel in
Germany and A.D. d'Orbigny in France. The publication of Oppel's
classic work _Die Juraformation Englands, Frankreichs und des
südwestlichen Deutschlands_ (1856-1858) marked an epoch in the
development of stratigraphical geology. Combining what had been done
by various observers with his own laborious researches in France,
England, Württemberg and Bavaria, he drew up a classification of the
Jurassic system, grouping its several formations into zones, each
characterized by some distinctly predominant fossil after which it was
named (see LIAS). The same method of classification was afterwards
extended to the Cretaceous series by A.D. d'Orbigny, E. Hébert and
others, until the whole Mesozoic rocks from the Trias to the top of
the Chalk has now been partitioned into zones, each named after some
characteristic species or genus of fossils. More recently the
principle has been extended to the Palaeozoic formations, though as
yet less fully than to the younger parts of the geological record. It
has been successfully applied by Professor C. Lapworth to the
investigation of the Silurian series (see SILURIAN; ORDOVICIAN
SYSTEM). He found that the species of graptolites have each a
comparatively narrow vertical range, and they may consequently be used
for stratigraphical purposes. Applying the method, in the first
instance, to the highly plicated Silurian rocks of the south of
Scotland, he found that by means of graptolites he was able to work
out the structure of the ground. Each great group of strata was seen
to possess its own graptolitic zones, and by their means could be
identified not only in the original complex Scottish area, but in
England and Wales and in Ireland. It was eventually ascertained that
the succession of zones in Great Britain could be recognized on the
Continent, in North America and even in Australia. The brachiopods and
trilobites have likewise been made use of for zonal purposes among the
oldest sedimentary formations. The most ancient of the Palaeozoic
systems has as its fitting base the _Olenellus_ zone.
Within undefined and no doubt variable geographical limits
palaeontological zones have been found to be remarkably persistent.
They follow each other in the same general order, but not always with
equal definiteness. The type fossil may appear in some districts on a
higher or a lower platform than it does in others. Only to a limited
degree is there any coincidence between lithological variations in the
strata and the sequence of the zones. In the Jurassic formations,
indeed, where frequent alternations of different sedimentary materials
are to be met with, it is in some cases possible to trace a definite
upward or downward limit for a zone by some abrupt change in the
sedimentation, such as from limestone to shale. But such a precise
demarcation is impossible where no distinct bands of different
sediments are to be seen. The zones can then only be vaguely
determined by finding their characteristic fossils, and noting where
these begin to appear in the strata and where they cease. It would
seem, therefore, that the sequence of palaeontological zones, or
life-horizons, has not depended merely upon changes in the nature of
the conditions under which the organisms lived. We should naturally
expect that these changes would have had a marked influence; that, for
instance, a difference should be perceptible between the character of
the fossils in a limestone and that of those in a shale or a
sandstone. The environment, when a limestone was in course of
deposition, would generally be one of clear water, favourable for a
more vigorous and more varied fauna than where a shale series was
accumulating, when the water would be discoloured, and only such
animals would continue to live in it, or on the bottom, as could
maintain themselves in the midst of mud. But no such lithological
reason, betokening geographical changes that would affect living
creatures, can be adduced as a universally applicable explanation of
the occurrence and limitation of palaeontological zones. One of these
zones may be only a few inches, or feet or yards in vertical extent,
and no obvious lithological or other cause can be seen why its
specially characteristic fossils should not be found just as
frequently in the similar strata above and below. There is often
little or no evidence of any serious change in the conditions of
sedimentation, still less of any widespread physical disturbance, such
as the catastrophes by which the older geologists explained the
extinction of successive types of life.
It has been suggested that, where the life-zones are well defined,
sedimentation has been extremely slow, and that though these zones
follow each other with no break in the sedimentation, they were really
separated by prolonged intervals of time during which organic
evolution could come effectively into play. But it is not easy to
explain how, for example in the Lower Lias, there could have been a
succession of prodigious intervals, when practically no sediment was
laid down, and yet that the strata should show no sign of
contemporaneous disturbance or denudation, but succeed each other as
if they had been accumulated by one continuous process of deposit. It
must be admitted that the problem of life-zones in stratigraphical
geology has not yet been solved.
As Darwin first cogently showed, the history of life has been very
imperfectly registered in the stratified parts of the earth's crust.
Apart from the fact that, even under the most favourable conditions,
only a small proportion of the total flora and fauna of any period
would be preserved in the fossil state, enormous gaps occur where no
record has survived at all. It is as if whole chapters and books were
missing from a historical work. Some of these lacunae are sufficiently
obvious. Thus, in some cases, powerful dislocations have thrown
considerable portions of the rocks out of sight. Sometimes extensive
metamorphism has so affected them that their original characters,
including their organic contents, have been destroyed. Oftenest of
all, denudation has come into play, and vast masses of fossiliferous
rock have been entirely worn away, as is demonstrated by the abundant
unconformabilities in the structure of the earth's crust.
While the mere fact that one series of rocks lies unconformably on
another proves the lapse of a considerable interval between their
respective dates, the relative length of this interval may sometimes
be proved by means of fossil evidence, and by this alone. Let us
suppose, for example, that a certain group of formations has been
disturbed, upraised, denuded and covered unconformably by a second
group. In lithological characters the two may closely resemble each
other, and there may be nothing to show that the gap represented by
their unconformability is of an important character. In many cases,
indeed, it would be quite impossible to pronounce any well-grounded
judgment as to the amount of interval, even measured by the vague
relative standards of geological chronology. But if each group
contains a well-preserved suite of organic remains, it may not only be
possible, but easy, to say exactly how much of the geological record
has been left out between the two sets of formations. By comparing the
fossils with those obtained from regions where the geological record
is more complete, it may be ascertained, perhaps, that the lower rocks
belong to a certain platform or stage in geological history which for
our present purpose we may call D, and that the upper rocks can in
like manner be paralleled with stage H. It would be then apparent that
at this locality the chronicles of three great geological periods E,
F, and G were wanting, which are elsewhere found to be intercalated
between D and H. The lapse of time represented by this
unconformability would thus be equivalent to that required for the
accumulation of the three missing formations in those regions where
sedimentation was more continuous.
Fossil evidence may be made to prove the existence of gaps which are
not otherwise apparent. As has been already remarked, changes in
organic forms must, on the whole, have been extremely slow in the
geological past. The whole species of a sea-floor could not pass
entirely away, and be replaced by other forms, without the lapse of
long periods of time. If then among the conformable stratified
formations of former ages we encounter sudden and abrupt changes in
the _facies_ of the fossils, we may be certain that these must mark
omissions in the record, which we may hope to fill in from a more
perfect series elsewhere. The complete biological contrasts between
the fossil contents of unconformable strata are sufficiently
explicable. It is not so easy to give a satisfactory account of those
which occur where the beds are strictly conformable, and where no
evidence can be observed of any considerable change of physical
conditions at the time of deposit. A group of strata having the same
general lithological characters throughout may be marked by a great
discrepance between the fossils above and below a certain line. A few
species may pass from the one into the other, or perhaps every species
may be different. In cases of this kind, when proved to be not merely
local but persistent over wide areas, we must admit, notwithstanding
the apparently undisturbed and continuous character of the original
deposition of the strata, that the abrupt transition from the one
_facies_ of fossils to the other represents a long interval of time
which has not been recorded by the deposit of strata. A.C. Ramsay, who
called attention to these gaps, termed them "breaks in the succession
of organic remains." He showed that they occur abundantly among the
Palaeozoic and Secondary rocks of England. It is obvious, of course,
that such breaks, even though traceable over wide regions, were not
general over the whole globe. There have never been any universal
interruptions in the continuity of the chain of being, so far as
geological evidence can show. But the physical changes which caused
the breaks may have been general over a zoological district or minor
region. They no doubt often caused the complete extinction of genera
and species which had a small geographical range.
From all these facts it is clear that the geological record, as it now
exists, is at the best but an imperfect chronicle of geological
history. In no country is it complete. The lacunae of one region must
be supplied from another. Yet in proportion to the geographical
distance between the localities where the gaps occur and those whence
the missing intervals are supplied, the element of uncertainty in our
reading of the record is increased. The most desirable method of
research is to exhaust the evidence for each area or province, and to
compare the general order of its succession as a whole with that which
can be established for other provinces.
PART VII.--STRATIGRAPHICAL GEOLOGY
This branch of the science arranges the rocks of the earth's crust in
the order of their appearance, and interprets the sequence of events of
which they form the records. Its province is to cull from the other
departments of geology the facts which may be needed to show what has
been the progress of our planet, and of each continent and country, from
the earliest times of which the rocks have preserved any memorial. Thus
from mineralogy and petrography it contains information regarding the
origin and subsequent mutations of minerals and rocks. From dynamical
geology it learns by what agencies the materials of the earth's crust
have been formed, altered, broken, upheaved and melted. From geotectonic
geology it understands the various processes whereby these materials
were put together so as to build up the complicated crust of the earth.
From palaeontological geology it receives in well-determined fossil
remains a clue by which to discriminate the different stratified
formations, and to trace the grand onward march of organized existence
upon this planet. Stratigraphical geology thus gathers up the sum of all
that is made known by the other departments of the science, and makes it
subservient to the interpretation of the geological history of the
earth.
The leading principles of stratigraphy may be summed up as follows:
1. In every stratigraphical research the fundamental requisite is to
establish the order of superposition of the strata. Until this is
accomplished it is impossible to arrange the dates, and make out the
sequence of geological history.
2. The stratified portion of the earth's crust, or what has been called
the "geological record," can be subdivided into natural groups, or
series of strata, characterized by distinctive organic remains and
recognizable by these remains, in spite of great changes in lithological
character from place to place. A bed, or a number of beds, linked
together by containing one or more distinctive species or genera of
fossils is termed a _zone_ or _horizon_, and usually bears the name of
one of its more characteristic fossils, as the _Planorbis_-zone of the
Lower Lias, which is so called from the prevalence in it of the ammonite
_Psiloceras planorbis_. Two or more such zones related to each other by
the possession of a number of the same characteristic species or genera
have been designated _beds_ or an _assise_. Two or more sets of beds or
assises similarly related form a _group_ or _stage_; a number of groups
or stages make a _series_, _formation_ or _section_, and a succession of
formations may be united into a _system_.
3. Some living species of plants and animals can be traced downwards
through the more recent geological formations; but the number which can
be so followed grows smaller as the examination is pursued into more
ancient deposits. With their disappearance other species or genera
present themselves which are no longer living. These in turn may be
traced backward into earlier formations, till they too cease and their
places are taken by yet older forms. It is thus shown that the
stratified rocks contain the records of a gradual progression of organic
forms. A species which has once died out does not seem ever to have
reappeared.
4. When the order of succession of organic remains among the stratified
rocks has been determined, they become an invaluable guide in the
investigation of the relative age of rocks and the structure of the
land. Each zone and formation, being characterized by its own species or
genera, may be recognized by their means, and the true succession of
strata may thus be confidently established even in a country wherein the
rocks have been shattered by dislocation, folded, inverted or
metamorphosed.
5. Though local differences exist in regard to the precise zone in which
a given species of organism may make its first appearance, the general
order of succession of the organic forms found in the rocks is never
inverted. The record is nowhere complete in any region, but the portions
represented, even though extremely imperfect, always follow each other
in their proper chronological order, unless where disturbance of the
crust has intervened to destroy the original sequence.
6. The relative chronological value of the divisions of the geological
record is not to be measured by mere depth of strata. While it may be
reasonably assumed that, in general, a great thickness of stratified
rock must mark the passage of a long period of time, it cannot safely be
affirmed that a much less thickness elsewhere must represent a
correspondingly diminished period. The need for this caution may
sometimes be made evident by an unconformability between two sets of
rocks, as has already been explained. The total depth of both groups
together may be, say 1000 ft. Elsewhere we may find a single unbroken
formation reaching a depth of 10,000 ft.; but it would be unwarrantable
to assume that the latter represents ten times the length of time
indicated by the former two. So far from this being the case, it might
not be difficult to show that the minor thickness of rock really denotes
by far the longer geological interval. If, for instance, it could be
proved that the upper part of both the sections lies on one and the same
geological platform, but that the lower unconformable series in the one
locality belongs to a far lower and older system of rocks than the base
of the thick conformable series in the other, then it would be clear
that the gap marked by the unconformability really indicates a longer
period than the massive succession of deposits.
7. Fossil evidence furnishes the chief means of comparing the relative
value of formations and groups of rock. A "break in the succession of
organic remains," as already explained, marks an interval of time often
unrepresented by strata at the place where the break is found. The
relative importance of these breaks, and therefore, probably, the
comparative intervals of time which they mark, may be estimated by the
difference of the _facies_ or general character of the fossils on each
side. If, for example, in one case we find every species to be
dissimilar above and below a certain horizon, while in another locality
only half of the species on each side are peculiar, we naturally infer,
if the total number of species seems large enough to warrant the
inference, that the interval marked by the former break was much longer
than that marked by the second. But we may go further and compare by
means of fossil evidence the relation between breaks in the succession
of organic remains and the depth of strata between them.
Three formations of fossiliferous strata, A, C, and H, may occur
conformably above each other. By a comparison of the fossil contents
of all parts of A, it may be ascertained that, while some species are
peculiar to its lower, others to its higher portions, yet the majority
extend throughout the formation. If now it is found that of the total
number of species in the upper portion of A only one-third passes up
into C, it may be inferred with some plausibility that the time
represented by the break between A and C was really longer than that
required for the accumulation of the whole of the formation A. It
might even be possible to discover elsewhere a thick intermediate
formation B filling up the gap between A and C. In like manner were it
to be discovered that, while the whole of the formation C is
characterized by a common suite of fossils, not one of the species and
only one half of the genera pass up into H, the inference could hardly
be resisted that the gap between the two formations marks the passage
of a far longer interval than was needed for the deposition of the
whole of C. And thus we reach the remarkable conclusion that, thick
though the stratified formations of a country may be, in some cases
they may not represent so long a total period of time as do the gaps
in their succession,--in other words, that non-deposition was more
frequent and prolonged than deposition, or that the intervals of time
which have been recorded by strata have not been so long as those
which have not been so recorded.
In all speculations of this nature, however, it is necessary to reason
from as wide a basis of observation as possible, seeing that so much of
the evidence is negative. Especially needful is it to bear in mind that
the cessation of one or more species at a certain line among the rocks
of a particular district may mean nothing more than that, onward from
the time marked by that line, these species, owing to some change in the
conditions of life, were compelled to migrate or became locally extinct
or, from some alteration in the conditions of fossilization, were no
longer imbedded and preserved as fossils. They may have continued to
flourish abundantly in neighbouring districts for a long period
afterward. Many examples of this obvious truth might be cited. Thus in a
great succession of mingled marine, brackish-water and terrestrial
strata, like that of the Carboniferous Limestone series of Scotland,
corals, crinoids and brachiopods abound in the limestones and
accompanying shales, but disappear as the sandstones, ironstones, clays,
coals and bituminous shales supervene. An observer meeting for the first
time with an instance of this disappearance, and remembering what he had
read about breaks in succession, might be tempted to speculate about the
extinction of these organisms, and their replacement by other and later
forms of life, such as the ferns, lycopods, estuarine or fresh-water
shells, ganoid fishes and other fossils so abundant in the overlying
strata. But further research would show him that high above the
plant-bearing sandstones and coals other limestones and shales might be
observed, once more charged with the same marine fossils as before, and
still farther overlying groups of sandstones, coals and carbonaceous
beds followed by yet higher marine limestones. He would thus learn that
the same organisms, after being locally exterminated, returned again and
again to the same area. After such a lesson he would probably pause
before too confidently asserting that the highest bed in which we can
detect certain fossils marks their final appearance in the history of
life. Some breaks in the succession may thus be extremely local, one set
of organisms having been driven to a different part of the same region,
while another set occupied their place until the first was enabled to
return.
8. The geological record is at the best but an imperfect chronicle of
the geological history of the earth. It abounds in gaps, some of which
have been caused by the destruction of strata owing to metamorphism,
denudation or otherwise, others by original non-deposition, as above
explained. Nevertheless from this record alone can the progress of the
earth be traced. It contains the registers of the appearance and
disappearance of tribes of plants and animals which have from time to
time flourished on the earth. Only a small proportion of the total
number of species which have lived in past time have been thus
chronicled, yet by collecting the broken fragments of the record an
outline at least of the history of life upon the earth can be
deciphered.
It cannot be too frequently stated, nor too prominently kept in view,
that, although gaps occur in the succession of organic remains as
recorded in the rocks, they do not warrant the conclusion that any such
blank intervals ever interrupted the progress of plant and animal life
upon the globe. There is every reason to believe that the march of life
has been unbroken, onward and upward. Geological history, therefore, if
its records in the stratified formations were perfect, ought to show a
blending and gradation of epoch with epoch. But the progress has been
constantly interrupted, now by upheaval, now by volcanic outbursts, now
by depression. These interruptions serve as natural divisions in the
chronicle, and enable the geologist to arrange his history into periods.
As the order of succession among stratified rocks was first made out in
Europe, and as many of the gaps in that succession were found to be
widespread over the European area, the divisions which experience
established for that portion of the globe came to be regarded as
typical, and the names adopted for them were applied to the rocks of
other and far distant regions. This application has brought out the fact
that some of the most marked breaks in the European series do not exist
elsewhere, and, on the other hand, that some portions of that series are
much more complete than the corresponding sections in other regions.
Hence, while the general similarity of succession may remain, different
subdivisions and nomenclature are required as we pass from continent to
continent.
The nomenclature adopted for the subdivisions of the geological record
bears witness to the rapid growth of geology. It is a patch-work in
which no system nor language has been adhered to, but where the
influences by which the progress of the science has been moulded may be
distinctly traced. Some of the earliest names are lithological, and
remind us of the fact that mineralogy and petrography preceded geology
in the order of birth--Chalk, Oolite, Greensand, Millstone Grit. Others
are topographical, and often recall the labours of the early geologists
of England--London Clay, Oxford Clay, Purbeck, Portland, Kimmeridge
beds. Others are taken from local English provincial names, and remind
us of the debt we owe to William Smith, by whom so many of them were
first used--Lias, Gault, Crag, Cornbrash. Others of later date recognize
an order of superposition as already established among formations--Old
Red Sandstone, New Red Sandstone. By common consent it is admitted that
names taken from the region where a formation or group of rocks is
typically developed are best adapted for general use. Cambrian,
Silurian, Devonian, Permian, Jurassic are of this class, and have been
adopted all over the globe.
But whatever be the name chosen to designate a particular group of
strata, it soon comes to be used as a chronological or homotaxial term,
apart altogether from the stratigraphical character of the strata to
which it is applied. Thus we speak of the Chalk or Cretaceous system,
and embrace under that term formations which may contain no chalk; and
we may describe as Silurian a series of strata utterly unlike in
lithological characters to the formations in the typical Silurian
country. In using these terms we unconsciously allow the idea of
relative date to arise prominently before us. Hence such a word as
"chalk" or "cretaceous" does not suggest so much to us the group of
strata so called as the interval of geological history which these
strata represent. We speak of the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Cambrian
periods, and of the Cretaceous fauna, the Jurassic flora, the Cambrian
trilobites, as if these adjectives denoted simply epochs of geological
time.
The stratified formations of the earth's crust, or geological record,
are classified into five main divisions, which in their order of
antiquity are as follows: (1) Archean or Pre-Cambrian, called also
sometimes Azoic (lifeless) or Eozoic (dawn of life); (2) Palaeozoic
(ancient life) or Primary; (3) Mesozoic (middle life) or Secondary; (4)
Cainozoic (recent life) or Tertiary; (5) Quaternary or Post-Tertiary.
These divisions are further ranged into systems, formations, groups or
stages, assises and zones. Accounts of the various subdivisions named
are given in separate articles under their own headings. In order,
however, that the sequence of the formations and their parallelism in
Europe and North America may be presented together a stratigraphical
table is given on next page.
PART VIII.--PHYSIOGRAPHICAL GEOLOGY
This department of geological inquiry investigates the origin and
history of the present topographical features of the land. As these
features must obviously be related to those of earlier time which are
recorded in the rocks of the earth's crust, they cannot be
satisfactorily studied until at least the main outlines of the history
of these rocks have been traced. Hence physiographical research comes
appropriately after the other branches of the science have been
considered.
From the stratigraphy of the terrestrial crust we learn that by far the
largest part of the area of dry land is built up of marine formations;
and therefore that the present land is not an aboriginal portion of the
earth's surface, but has been overspread by the sea in which its rocks
were mainly accumulated. We further discover that this submergence of
the land did not happen once only, but again and again in past ages and
in all parts of the world. Yet although the terrestrial areas varied
much from age to age in their extent and in their distribution, being at
one time more continental, at another more insular, there is reason to
believe that these successive diminutions and expansions have on the
whole been effected within, or not far outside, the limits of the
existing continents. There is no evidence that any portion of the
present land ever lay under the deeper parts of the ocean. The abysmal
deposits of the ocean-floor have no true representatives among the
sedimentary formations anywhere visible on the land. Nor, on the other
hand, can it be shown that any part of the existing ocean abysses ever
rose above sea-level into dry land. Hence geologists have drawn the
inference that the ocean basins have probably been always where they now
are; and that although the continental areas have often been narrowed by
submergence and by denudation, there has probably seldom or never been a
complete disappearance of land. The fact that the sedimentary formations
of each successive geological period consist to so large an extent of
mechanically formed terrigenous detritus, affords good evidence of the
coexistence of tracts of land as well as of extensive denudation.
_The Geological Record or Order of Succession of the Stratified
Formations of the Earth's Crust._
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | | Europe. | North America. |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| Q | \ Historic, up to the present time. | Similar to the European |
| u | \ Prehistoric, comprising deposits of | development, but with scantier |
| a | \ the Iron, Bronze, and later | traces of the presence of man. |
| t | \ Stone Ages. | |
| e | \ Neolithic--alluvium, peat, lake- | |
| r | Recent, \ dwellings, loess, &c. | |
| n | Post- | Palaeolithic--river-gravels, cave- | |
| a | glacial | deposits, &c. | |
| r | or | | |
| y | Human. | | |
| | | | |
| o | | | |
| r +---------+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | Pleist- | Older Loess and valley-gravels; | As in Europe, it is hardly |
| P | ocene | cave-deposits. | possible to assign a definite |
| o | or | Strand-lines or raised beaches; | chronological place to each of |
| s | Glacial.| youngest moraines. | the various deposits of this |
| t | | Upper Boulder-clays; eskers; marine | period, terrestrial and marine.|
| | | | sands and clays. | They generally resemble the |
| T | | Interglacial deposits. | European series. The |
| e | | Lower boulder-clay or Till, with | characteristic marine, |
| r | | striated rock-surfaces below. | fluviatile and lacustrine |
| t | | | terraces, which overlie the |
| i | / | older drifts, have been |
| a | / | classed as the Champlain Group.|
| r | / | |
| y | / | |
| . | / | |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | P | Newer:--English Forest-Bed Group; Red and | On the Atlantic border |
| | l | Norwich Crag; Amstelian and Scaldesian | represented by the marine |
| | i | groups of Belgium and Holland; Sicilian | Floridian series; in the |
| | o | and Astian of France and Italy. | interior by a subaerial and |
| | c | Older:--English Coralline Crag; Diestian | lacustrine series; and on the |
| | e | of Belgium; Plaisancian of southern | Pacific border by the thick |
| | n | France and Italy. | marine series of San Francisco.|
| | e | | |
| | . | | |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | M | Wanting in Britain; well developed in | Represented in the Eastern States|
| | i | France, S. E. Europe and Italy; | by a marine series (Yorktown or|
| C | o | divisible into the following groups in | Chesapeake, Chipola and |
| a | c | descending order: (1) Pontian; (2) | Chattahoochee groups), and in |
| i | e | Sarmatian; (3) Tortonian; (4) Helvetian;| the interior by the lacustrine |
| n | n | (5) Langhian (Burdigalian). | Loup Fork (Nebraska), Deep |
| o | e | | River, and John Day groups. |
| z | . | | |
| o +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| i | | In Britain the "fluvio-marine series" of | On the Atlantic border no |
| c | O | the Isle of Wight; also the volcanic | equivalents have been |
| | l | plateaux of Antrim and Inner Hebrides | satisfactorily recognised, but |
| o | i | and those of the Faeroe Isles and | on the Pacific side there are |
| r | g | Iceland. In continental Europe the | marine deposits in N. W. |
| | o | following subdivisions have been | Oregon, which may represent |
| T | c | established in descending order: (1) | this division. In the interior |
| e | e | Aquitanian, (2) Stampian (Rupelian), | the equivalent is believed to |
| r | n | (3) Tongrain (Sannoisian). | be the fresh-water White River |
| t | e | | series, including (1) |
| i | . | | _Protoceras_ beds, (2) |
| a | | | _Oreodon_ beds, and (3) |
| r | | | _Titanothervum_ beds. |
| y +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| . | | Barton sands and clays; Ludian series of | Woodstock and Aquia Creek groups |
| | | France. | of Potomac River; Vicksburg, |
| | | Bracklesham Beds; Lutetian (Calcaire | Jackson, Claiborne, Buhrstone, |
| | E | grossier and Caillasses) of Paris | and Lignitic groups of |
| | o | basin. | Mississippi. |
| | c | London clay, Woolwich and Reading Beds; | In the interior a thick series of|
| | e | Thanet sands; Ypresian or Londinian of | fresh-water formations, |
| | n | N. France and Belgium; Sparnacian and | comprising, in descending |
| | e | Thanetian groups. | order, the Uinta, Bridger, |
| | . | | Wind River, Wasatch, Torrejon, |
| | | | and Puerco groups. |
| | | | On the Pacific side the marine |
| | | | Tejon series of Oregon and |
| | | | California. |
|---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------|
| | | Upper | On the Atlantic border both |
| | | ===== | marine strata and others |
| | | Danian--wanting in Britain; uppermost | containing a terrestrial flora |
| | | limestone of Denmark. | represent the Cretaceous series|
| | | Senonian--Upper Chalk with Flints of | of formations. |
| | | England; Aturian and Emscherian stages | In the interior there is also a |
| | | on the European continent. | commingling of marine with |
| | | Turonian--Middle Chalk with few flints, | lacustrine deposits. At the top|
| | | and comprising the Angoumian and stages.| lies the Laramie or Lignitic |
| | C | Cenomanian--Lower Chalk and Chalk Marl. | series with an abundant |
| | r | | terrestrial flora, passing down|
| | e | Lower | into the lacustrine and |
| | t | ===== | brackish-water Montana series. |
| | a | Albian--Upper Greensand and Gault. | Of older date, the Colorado |
| | c | Aptian--Lower Greensand; Marls and | series contains an abundant |
| | e | limestones of Provence, &c. | marine fauna, yet includes also|
| | o | Urgonian (Barremian)--Atherfield clay; | some Niobrara marls and |
| | u | massive Hippurite limestones of | limestones are likewise of |
| | s | southern France. | marine origin, but the lower |
| | . | Neocomian--Weald clay and Hastings sand; | members of the series (Benton |
| | | Hauterivian and Valanginian sub-stages | and Dakota) show another great |
| | | of Switzerland and France. | representation of fresh-water |
| M | | | sedimentation with lignites and|
| e | | | coals. |
| s | | | In California a vast succession |
| o | | | of marine deposits (Shasta- |
| z | | | Chico) represents the |
| o | | | Cretaceous system; and in |
| i | | | western British N. America |
| c | | | coal-seams also occur. |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| o | | Purbeckian--Purbeck beds; Münder Mergel; | Representatives of the Middle and|
| r | | largely present in Westphalia. | lower Jurassic formations have |
| | | Portlandian--Portland group of England, | been found in California and |
| S | | represented in S. France by the thick | Oregon, and farther north among|
| e | | Tithonian limestones. | the Arctic islands. |
| c | | Kimmeridgian--Kimmeridge Clay of England; | Strata containing Lower Jurassic |
| o | | Virgulian and Pterocerian groups of N. | marine fossils appear in |
| n | J | France; represented by thick limestones | Wyoming and Dakota; and above |
| d | u | in the Mediterranean basin. | them come the _Atlantosaurus_ |
| a | r | Corallian--Coral Rag, Coralline Oolite; | and _Baptanodon_ beds, which |
| r | a | Sequanian stages of the Continent, | have yielded so large a |
| y | s | comprising the sub-stages of Astartian | variety of deinosaurs and other|
| . | s | and Rauracian. | vertebrates, and especially the|
| | i | Oxfordian--Oxford Clay; Axgovian and | remains of a number of genera |
| | c | Neuvizyan stages. | of small mammals. |
| | . | Callovian--Kellaways Rock, Divesian | |
| | | sub-stage of N. France. | |
| | | Bathonian--series of English strata from | |
| | | Cornbrash down to Fuller's Earth. | |
| | | Bajocian--Inferior Oolite of England. | |
| | | Lassic--divisible into (1) Upper Lias | |
| | | or Toarcian, (2) Middle Lias, Marlstone | |
| | | or Charmouthian, (3) Lower Lias of | |
| | | Sinemurian and Hettangian. | |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | | In Germany and western Europe this | In New York, Connecticut, New |
| | T | division represents the deposits of | Brunswick, and Nova Scotia |
| | r | inland seas or lagoons, and is divisible| a series of red sandstone |
| | i | into the following stages in descending | (Newark series) contains land- |
| | a | order: (1) Rhaetic, (2) Keuper, (3) | plants and labyrinthodonts |
| | s | Muschelkalk, (4) Bunter. In the | like the lagoon type of central|
| | s | eastern Alps and the Mediterranean | and western Europe. On the |
| | i | basin the contemporaneous sedimentary | Pacific slope, however, marine |
| | c | formations are those of open clear | equivalents occur, representing|
| | . | sea, in which a thickness of many | the pelagic type of south- |
| | | thousand feet of strata was accumulated.| eastern Europe. |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | P | Thuringian--Zechstein, Magnesian | To this division of the geologi- |
| | e | Limestone; named from its development | cal record the Upper Barren |
| | r | in Thuringia; well represented | Measures of the coal-fields of |
| | m | also in Saxony, Bavaria and Bohemia. | Pennsylvania, Prince Edward |
| | i | Saxonian--Rothliegendes Group; Red | Island, Nova Scotia and |
| | a | Sandstones, &c. | New Brunswick have been |
| | n | Autunian--where the strata present the | assigned. |
| | . | lagoon facies, well displayed at Autun | Farther south in Kansas, Texas, |
| | | in France; where the marine type is | and Nebraska the representa- |
| | | predominant, as in Russia, the group | tives of the division have an |
| | | has been termed Artinskian. | abundant marine fauna. |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | C | Stephanian or Uralian--represented in | Upper productive Coal-measures. |
| | a | Russia by marine formations, and in | Lower Barren measures. |
| | r | central and western Europe by numerous | Lower productive Coal-measures. |
| | b | small basins containing a peculiar | Pottsville conglomerate. |
| | o | flora and in some places a great variety| Mauch Chunk shales; limestones |
| | n | of insects. | of Chester, St Louis, &c. |
| | i | Westphalian or Moscovian--Coal-measures, | Pocono series; Kinderhook |
| | f | Millstone Grit. | limestone. |
| | e | Culm or Dinantian--Carboniferous Limestone| |
| | r | and Calciferous Sandstone series. | |
| | o | | |
| | u | | |
| | s | | |
| | . | | |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | Devonian and Old Red Sandstone. |
| P +----------------------+------------------------+----------------------------------+
| a | Devonian type. | Old Red Sandstone | |
| l | | type. | |
| a +----------------------+------------------------+ / Catskill red sandstone; Old |
| e | / Famennian. | Yellow and red | | Red Sandstone type: the |
| o | Upper < | sandstone with |< strata below show the |
| z | \ Frasnian. | _Holoptychius_, | | Devonian type. |
| o | | _Bothriolepis_,&c. | | Chemung Group. |
| i | | | \ Genesee " |
| c | | | |
| | / Givetian. | Caithness Flagstones | |
| o | Middle < | with _Osteolepus_, | / Hamilton Group. |
| r | \ Eifelian. | _Dipterus_, | \ Marcellus " |
| | | _Homosteus_, &c. | |
| P | | | |
| r | | Red and purple | / Corniferous Limestone. / Upper |
| i | /Coblentizian.| sandstones and | | | Held- |
| m | Lower < | conglomerates with |< Onondaga Limestone. < erberg|
| a | \Gedinnian. | _Cephalaspis_, | | \ Group.|
| r | | _Pteraspis_, &c. | \ Oriskany Sandstone. |
| y +---+------------------+------------------------+----------------------------------+
| . | | | / Lower Helderberg Group. |
| | S | / Ludlow Group. | | Water-Lime. |
| | i | Upper < Wenlock " | < Niagara Shale and Limestone. |
| | l | \ Llandovery" | | Clinton Group. |
| | u | | \ Medina " |
| | r | | |
| | i | | / Cincinnati Group. |
| | a | Lower / Caradoc or Bala Group. | | Utica " |
| | n | (Ordovician) < Llandeilo " | < Trenton " |
| | . | \ Arenig " | | Chazy " |
| | | | \ Calciferous " |
| +---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | C | Upper or _Olenus_ series--Tremadoc | Upper or Potsdam series with |
| | a | slates and _Lingula_ Flags. | _Olenus_ and _Dicelocephalus_ |
| | m | Middle or _Pardoxides_ series--Menevian | fauna. |
| | b | Group. | Middle or Acadian series with |
| | r | Lower or _Olenellus_ series--Llanberis | _Paradoxides_ fauna. |
| | i | and Harlech Group, and _Olenellus_- | Lower or Georgian series with |
| | a | zone. | _Olenellus_ fauna. |
| | n | | |
| | . | | |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | | Archean, Pre-Cambrian, Eozoic. |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| | | In Scotland, underneath the Cambrian | In Canada and the Lake Superior |
| | | Olenellus group, lies unconformably | region of the United States |
| | | a mass of red sandstone and con- | a vast succession of rocks of |
| | | glomerate (Torridonian) 8000 or 10,000 | Pre-Cambrian age has been |
| | | ft. thick, which rests with a strong | grouped into the following |
| | | gneisses and schists (Lewisian). A | subdivisions in descending |
| | | thick series of slates and phyllites | order: (1) Keweenwan, lying |
| | | lies below the oldest Palaeozoic rocks | unconformably on (2) Animikie, |
| | | in central Europe, with coarse | separated by a strong |
| | | gneisses below. | unconformability from (3) Upper|
| | | | Huronian, (4) Lower Huronian |
| | | | with an unconformable base, (5)|
| | | | Goutchiching, (6) Laurentian. |
| | | | In the eastern part of Canada, |
| | | | Newfoundland, &c., and also in |
| | | | Montana, sedimentary formations|
| | | | of great thickness below the |
| | | | lowest Cambrian zone have been |
| | | | found to contain some obscure |
| | | | organisms. |
+---+---+-------------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
From these general considerations we proceed to inquire how the existing
topographical features of the land arose. Obviously the co-operation of
the two great geological agencies of hypogene and epigene energy, which
have been at work from the beginning of our globe's decipherable
history, must have been the cause to which these features are to be
assigned; and the task of the geologist is to ascertain, if possible,
the part that has been taken by each. There is a natural tendency to see
in a stupendous piece of scenery, such as a deep ravine, a range of
hills, a line of precipice or a chain of mountains, evidence only of
subterranean convulsion; and before the subject was taken up as a matter
of strict scientific induction, an appeal to former cataclysms was
considered a sufficient solution of the problems presented by such
features of landscape. The rise of the modern Huttonian school, however,
led to a more careful examination of these problems. The important share
taken by erosion in the determination of the present features of
landscape was then recognized, while a fuller appreciation of the
relative parts played by the hypogene and epigene causes has gradually
been reached.
1. The study of the progress of denudation at the present time has led
to the conclusion that even if the rate of waste were not more rapid
than it is to-day, it would yet suffice in a comparatively brief
geological period to reduce the dry land to below the sea-level. But not
only would the area of the land be diminished by denudation, it could
hardly fail to be more or less involved in those widespread movements of
subsidence, during which the thick sedimentary formations of the crust
appear to have been accumulated. It is thus manifest that there must
have been from time to time during the history of our globe upward
movements of the crust, whereby the balance between land and sea was
redressed. Proofs of such movements have been abundantly preserved among
the stratified formations. We there learn that the uplifts have usually
followed each other at long intervals between which subsidence
prevailed, and thus that there has been a prolonged oscillation of the
crust over the great continental areas of the earth's surface.
An examination of that surface leads to the recognition of two great
types of upheaval. In the one, the sea-floor, with all its thick
accumulations of sediment, has been carried upwards, sometimes for
several thousand feet, so equably that the strata retain their original
flatness with hardly any sensible disturbance for hundreds of square
miles. In the other type the solid crust has been plicated, corrugated
and dislocated, especially along particular lines, and has attained its
most stupendous disruption in lofty chains of mountains. Between these
two phases of uplift many intermediate stages have been developed,
according to the direction and intensity of the subterranean force and
the varying nature and disposition of the rocks Of the crust.
(a) Where the uplift has extended over wide spaces, without appreciable
deformation of the crust, the flat strata have given rise to low plains,
or if the amount of uprise has been great enough, to high plains,
plateaux or tablelands. The plains of Russia, for example, lie for the
most part on such tracts of equably uplifted strata. The great plains of
the western interior of the United States form a great plateau or
tableland, 5000 or 6000 ft. above the sea, and many thousands of square
miles in extent, on which the Rocky Mountains have been ridged up.
(b) It is in a great mountain-chain that the complicated structures
developed during disturbances of the earth's crust can best be studied
(see Parts IV. and V. of this article), and where the influence of these
structures on the topography of the surface is most effectively
displayed. Such a chain may be the result of one colossal disturbance;
but those of high geological antiquity usually furnish proofs of
successive uplifts with more or less intervening denudation. Formed
along lines of continental displacement in the crust, they have again
and again given relief from the strain of compression by fresh
crumpling, fracture and uprise. The chief guide in tracing these
successive stages of growth is supplied by unconformability. If, for
example, a mountain-range consists of upraised Silurian rocks, upon the
upturned and denuded edges of which the Carboniferous Limestone lies
transgressively, it is clear that its original upheaval must have taken
place in the period of geological time represented by the interval
between the Silurian and the Carboniferous Limestone formations. If, as
the range is followed along its course, the Carboniferous Limestone is
found to be also highly inclined and covered unconformably by the Upper
Coal-measures, a second uplift of that portion of the ground can be
proved to have taken place between the time of the Limestone and that of
the Upper Coal-measures. By this simple and obvious kind of evidence the
relative ages of different mountain-chains may be compared. In most
great chains, however, the rocks have been so intensely crumpled, and
even inverted, that much labour may be required before their true
relations can be determined.
The Alps furnish an instructive example of the long series of
revolutions through which a great mountain-system may have passed before
reaching its present development. The first beginnings of the chain may
have been upraised before the oldest Palaeozoic formations were laid
down. There are at least traces of land and shore-lines in the
Carboniferous period. Subsequent submergences and uplifts appear to have
occurred during the Mesozoic periods. There is evidence that thereafter
the whole region sank deep under the sea, in which the older Tertiary
sediments were accumulated, and which seems to have spread right across
the heart of the Old World. But after the deposition of the Eocene
formations came the gigantic disruptions whereby all the rocks of the
Alpine region were folded over each other, crushed, corrugated,
fractured and displaced, some of their older portions, including the
fundamental gneisses and schists, being squeezed up, torn off, and
pushed horizontally for many miles over the younger rocks. But this
upheaval, though the most momentous, was not the last which the chain
has undergone, for at a later epoch in Tertiary time renewed disturbance
gave rise to a further series of ruptures and plications. The chain thus
successively upheaved has been continuously exposed to denudation and
has consequently lost much of its original height. That it has been left
in a state of instability is indicated by the frequent earthquakes of
the Alpine region, which doubtless arise from the sudden snapping of
rocks under intense strain.
A distinct type of mountain due to direct hypogene action is to be seen
in a volcano. It has been already pointed out (Part IV. sect. 1) that at
the vents which maintain a communication between the molten magma of the
earth's interior and the surface, eruptions take place whereby
quantities of lava and fragmentary materials are heaped round each
orifice of discharge. A typical volcanic mountain takes the form of a
perfect cone, but as it grows in size and its main vent is choked, while
the sides of the cone are unable to withstand the force of the
explosions or the pressure of the ascending column of lava, eruptions
take place laterally, and numerous parasitic cones arise on the flanks
of the parent mountain. Where lava flows out from long fissures, it may
pile up vast sheets of rock, and bury the surrounding country under
several thousand feet of solid stone, covering many hundreds of square
miles. In this way volcanic tablelands have been formed which, attacked
by the denuding forces, are gradually trenched by valleys and ravines,
until the original level surface of the lava-field may be almost or
wholly lost. As striking examples of this physiographical type reference
may be made to the plateau of Abyssinia, the Ghats of India, the
plateaux of Antrim, the Inner Hebrides and Iceland, and the great
lava-plains of the western territories of the United States.
2. But while the subterranean movements have upraised portions of the
surface of the lithosphere above the level of the ocean, and have thus
been instrumental in producing the existing tracts of land, the detailed
topographical features of a landscape are not solely, nor in general
even chiefly, attributable to these movements. From the time that any
portion of the sea-floor appears above sea-level, it undergoes erosion
by the various epigene agents. Each climate and geological region has
its own development of these agents, which include air, aridity, rapid
and frequent alternations of wetness and dryness or of heat and cold,
rain, springs, frosts, rivers, glaciers, the sea, plant and animal life.
In a dry climate subject to great extremes of temperature the character
and rate of decay will differ from those of a moist or an arctic
climate. But it must be remembered that, however much they may vary in
activity and in the results which they effect, the epigene forces work
without intermission, while the hypogene forces bring about the upheaval
of land only after long intervals. Hence, trifling as the results during
a human life may appear, if we realize the multiplying influence of time
we are led to perceive that the apparently feeble superficial agents
can, in the course of ages, achieve stupendous transformations in the
aspect of the land. If this efficacy may be deduced from what can be
seen to be in progress now, it may not less convincingly be shown, from
the nature of the sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust, to have been
in progress from the early beginnings of geological history. Side by
side with the various upheavals and subsidences, there has been a
continuous removal of materials from the land, and an equally persistent
deposit of these materials under water, with the consequent growth of
new rocks. Denudation has been aptly compared to a process of
sculpturing wherein, while each of the implements employed by nature,
like a special kind of graving tool, produces its own characteristic
impress on the land, they all combine harmoniously towards the
achievement of their one common task. Hence the present contours of the
land depend partly on the original configuration of the ground, and the
influence it may have had in guiding the operations of the erosive
agents, partly on the vigour with which these agents perform their work,
and partly on the varying structure and powers of resistance possessed
by the rocks on which the erosion is carried on.
Where a new tract of land has been raised out of the sea by such an
energetic movement as broke up the crust and produced the complicated
structure and tumultuous external forms of a great mountain chain, the
influence of the hypogene forces on the topography attains its highest
development. But even the youngest existing chain has suffered so
greatly from denudation that the aspect which it presented at the time
of its uplift can only be dimly perceived. No more striking illustration
of this feature can be found than that supplied by the Alps, nor one
where the geotectonic structures have been so fully studied in detail.
On the outer flanks of these mountains the longitudinal ridges and
valleys of the Jura correspond with lines of anticline and syncline. Yet
though the dominant topographical elements of the region have obviously
been produced by the plication of the stratified formations, each ridge
has suffered so large an amount of erosion that the younger rocks have
been removed from its crest where the older members of the series are
now exposed to view, while on every slope proofs may be seen of
extensive denudation. If from these long wave-like undulations of the
ground, where the relations between the disposition of the rocks below
and the forms of the surface are so clearly traceable, the observer
proceeds inwards to the main chain, he finds that the plications and
displacements of the various formations assume an increasingly
complicated character; and that although proofs of great denudation
continue to abound, it becomes increasingly difficult to form any
satisfactory conjecture as to the shape of the ground when the upheaval
ended or any reliable estimate of the amount of material which has since
then been removed. Along the central heights the mountains lift
themselves towards the sky like the storm-swept crests of vast
earth-billows. The whole aspect of the ground suggests intense
commotion, and the impression thus given is often much intensified by
the twisted and crumpled strata, visible from a long distance, on the
crags and crests. On this broken-up surface the various agents of
denudation have been ceaselessly engaged since it emerged from the sea.
They have excavated valleys, sometimes along depressions provided for
them by the subterranean disturbances, sometimes down the slopes of the
disrupted blocks of ground. So powerful has been this erosion that
valleys cut out along lines of anticline, which were natural ridges,
have sometimes become more important than those in lines of syncline,
which were structurally depressions. The same subaerial forces have
eroded lake-basins, dug out corries or cirques, notched the ridges,
splintered the crests and furrowed the slopes, leaving no part of the
original surface of the uplifted chain unmodified.
It has often been noted with surprise that features of underground
structure which, it might have been confidently anticipated, should have
exercised a marked influence on the topography of the surface have not
been able to resist the levelling action of the denuding agents, and do
not now affect the surface at all. This result is conspicuously seen in
coal-fields where the strata are abundantly traversed by faults. These
dislocations, having sometimes a displacement of several hundred feet,
might have been expected to break up the surface into a network of
cliffs and plains; yet in general they do not modify the level character
of the ground above. One of the most remarkable faults in Europe is the
great thrust which bounds the southern edge of the Belgian coal-field
and brings the Devonian rocks above the Coal-measures. It can be traced
across Belgium into the Boulonnais, and may not improbably run beneath
the Secondary and Tertiary rocks of the south of England. It is crossed
by the valleys of the Meuse and other northerly-flowing streams. Yet so
indistinctly is it marked in the Meuse valley that no one would suspect
its existence from any peculiarity in the general form of the ground,
and even an experienced geologist, until he had learned the structure of
the district, would scarcely detect any fault at all.
Where faults have influenced the superficial topography, it is usually
by giving rise to a hollow along which the subaerial agents and
especially running water can act effectively. Such a hollow may be
eventually widened and deepened into a valley. On bare crags and crests,
lines of fault are apt to be marked by notches or clefts, and they thus
help to produce the pinnacles and serrated outlines of these exposed
uplands.
It was cogently enforced by Hutton and Playfair, and independently by
Lamarck, that no co-operation of underground agency is needed to produce
such topography as may be seen in a great part of the world, but that if
a tract of sea-floor were upraised into a wide plain, the fall of rain
and the circulation of water over its surface would in the end carve out
such a system of hills and valleys as may be seen on the dry land now.
No such plain would be a dead-level. It would have inequalities on its
surface which would serve as channels to guide the drainage from the
first showers of rain. And these channels would be slowly widened and
deepened until they would become ravines and valleys, while the ground
between them would be left projecting as ridges and hills. Nor would the
erosion of such a system of water-courses require a long series of
geological periods for its accomplishment. From measurements and
estimates of the amount of erosion now taking place in the basin of the
Mississippi river it has been computed that valleys 800 ft. deep might
be carved out in less than a million years. In the vast tablelands of
Colorado and other western regions of the United States an impressive
picture is presented of the results of mere subaerial erosion on
undisturbed and nearly level strata. Systems of stream-courses and
valleys, river gorges unexampled elsewhere in the world for depth and
length, vast winding lines of escarpment, like ranges of sea-cliffs,
terraced slopes rising from plateau to plateau, huge buttresses and
solitary stacks standing like islands out of the plains, great
mountain-masses towering into picturesque peaks and pinnacles cleft by
innumerable gullies, yet everywhere marked by the parallel bars of the
horizontal strata out of which they have been carved--these are the
orderly symmetrical characteristics of a country where the scenery is
due entirely to the action of subaerial agents on the one hand and the
varying resistance of perfectly regular stratified rocks on the other.
The details of the sculpture of the land have mainly depended on the
nature of the materials on which nature's erosive tools have been
employed. The joints by which all rocks are traversed have been
especially serviceable as dominant lines down which the rain has
filtered, up which the springs have risen and into which the frost
wedges have been driven. On the high bare scarps of a lofty mountain the
inner structure of the mass is laid open, and there the system of joints
even more than faults is seen to have determined the lines of crest, the
vertical walls of cliff and precipice, the forms of buttress and recess,
the position of cleft and chasm, the outline of spire and pinnacle. On
the lower slopes, even under the tapestry of verdure which nature
delights to hang where she can over her naked rocks, we may detect the
same pervading influence of the joints upon the forms assumed by ravines
and crags. Each kind of stone, too, gives rise to its own characteristic
form of scenery. Massive crystalline rocks, such as granite, break up
along their joints and often decay into sand or earth along their
exposed surfaces, giving rise to rugged crags with long talus slopes at
their base. The stratified rocks besides splitting at their joints are
especially distinguished by parallel ledges, cornices and recesses,
produced by the irregular decay of their component strata, so that they
often assume curiously architectural types of scenery. But besides this
family feature they display many minor varieties of aspect according to
their lithological composition. A range of sandstone hills, for example,
presents a marked contrast to one of limestone, and a line of chalk
downs to the escarpments formed by alternating bands of harder and
softer clays and shales.
It may suffice here merely to allude to a few of the more important
parts of the topography of the land in their relation to physiographical
geology. A true mountain-chain, viewed from the geological side, is a
mass of high ground which owes its prominence to a ridging-up of the
earth's crust, and the intense plication and rupture of the rocks of
which it is composed. But ranges of hills almost mountainous in their
bulk may be formed by the gradual erosion of valleys out of a mass of
original high ground, such as a high plateau or tableland. Eminences
which have been isolated by denudation from the main mass of the
formations of which they originally formed part are known as "outliers"
or "hills of circumdenudation."
Tablelands, as already pointed out, may be produced either by the
upheaval of tracts of horizontal strata from the sea-floor into land; or
by the uprise of plains of denudation, where rocks of various
composition, structure and age have been levelled down to near or below
the level of the sea by the co-operation of the various erosive agents.
Most of the great tablelands of the globe are platforms of
little-disturbed strata which have been upraised bodily to a
considerable elevation. No sooner, however, are they placed in that
position than they are attacked by running water, and begin to be
hollowed out into systems of valleys. As the valleys sink, the platforms
between them grow into narrower and more definite ridges, until
eventually the level tableland is converted into a complicated network
of hills and valleys, wherein, nevertheless, the key to the whole
arrangement is furnished by a knowledge of the disposition and effects
of the flow of water. The examples of this process brought to light in
Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and the other western regions by Newberry,
King, Hayden, Powell and other explorers, are among the most striking
monuments of geological operations in the world.
Examples of ancient and much decayed tablelands formed by the denudation
of much disturbed rocks are furnished by the Highlands of Scotland and
of Norway. Each of these tracts of high ground consists of some of the
oldest and most dislocated formations of Europe, which at a remote
period were worn down into a plain, and in that condition may have lain
long submerged under the sea and may possibly have been overspread there
with younger formations. Having at a much later time been raised several
thousand feet above sea-level the ancient platforms of Britain and
Scandinavia have been since exposed to denudation, whereby each of them
has been so deeply channeled into glens and fjords that it presents
to-day a surface of rugged hills, either isolated or connected along the
flanks, while only fragments of the general surface of the tableland can
here and there be recognized amidst the general destruction.
Valleys have in general been hollowed out by the greater erosive action
of running water along the channels of drainage. Their direction has
been probably determined in the great majority of cases by
irregularities of the surface along which the drainage flowed on the
first emergence of the land. Sometimes these irregularities have been
produced by folds of the terrestrial crust, sometimes by faults,
sometimes by the irregularities on the surface of an uplifted platform
of deposition or of denudation. Two dominant trends may be observed
among them. Some are longitudinal and run along the line of flexures in
the upraised tract of land, others are transverse where the drainage has
flowed down the slopes of the ridges into the longitudinal valleys or
into the sea. The forms of valleys have been governed partly by the
structure and composition of the rocks, and partly by the relative
potency of the different denuding agents. Where the influence of rain
and frost has been slight, and the streams, supplied from distant
sources, have had sufficient declivity, deep, narrow, precipitous
ravines or gorges have been excavated. The canyons of the arid region of
the Colorado are a magnificent example of this result. Where, on the
other hand, ordinary atmospheric action has been more rapid, the sides
of the river channels have been attacked, and open sloping glens and
valleys have been hollowed out. A gorge or defile is usually due to the
action of a waterfall, which, beginning with some abrupt declivity or
precipice in the course of the river when it first commenced to flow, or
caused by some hard rock crossing the channel, has eaten its way
backward.
Lakes have been already referred to, and their modes of origin have been
mentioned. As they are continually being filled up with the detritus
washed into them from the surrounding regions they cannot be of any
great geological antiquity, unless where by some unknown process their
basins are from time to time widened and deepened.
In the general subaerial denudation of a country, innumerable minor
features are worked out as the structure of the rocks controls the
operations of the eroding agents. Thus, among comparatively undisturbed
strata, a hard bed resting upon others of a softer kind is apt to form
along its outcrop a line of cliff or escarpment. Though a long range of
such cliffs resembles a coast that has been worn by the sea, it may be
entirely due to mere atmospheric waste. Again, the more resisting
portions of a rock may be seen projecting as crags or knolls. An igneous
mass will stand out as a bold hill from amidst the more decomposable
strata through which it has risen. These features, often so marked on
the lower grounds, attain their most conspicuous development among the
higher and barer parts of the mountains, where subaerial disintegration
is most rapid. The torrents tear out deep gullies from the sides of the
declivities. Corries or cirques are scooped out on the one hand and
naked precipices are left on the other. The harder bands of rock project
as massive ribs down the slopes, shoot up into prominent _aiguilles_, or
help to give to the summits the notched saw-like outlines they so often
present.
The materials worn from the surface of the higher are spread out over
the lower grounds. The streams as they descend begin to drop their
freight of sediment when, by the lessening of their declivity, their
carrying power is diminished. The great plains of the earth's surface
are due to this deposit of gravel, sand and loam. They are thus
monuments at once of the destructive and reproductive processes which
have been in progress unceasingly since the first land rose above the
sea and the first shower of rain fell. Every pebble and particle of
their soil, once part of the distant mountains, has travelled slowly and
fitfully to lower levels. Again and again have these materials been
shifted, ever moving downward and sea-ward. For centuries, perhaps, they
have taken their share in the fertility of the plains and have
ministered to the nurture of flower and tree, of the bird of the air,
the beast of the field and of man himself. But their destiny is still
the great ocean. In that bourne alone can they find undisturbed repose,
and there, slowly accumulating in massive beds, they will remain until,
in the course of ages, renewed upheaval shall raise them into future
land, there once more to pass through the same cycle of change. (A. Ge.)
LITERATURE.--_Historical_: The standard work is Karl A. von Zittel's
_Geschichte der Geologie und Paläontologie_ (1899), of which there is
an abbreviated, but still valuable, English translation; D'Archiac,
_Histoire des progrès de la géologie_, deals especially with the
period 1834-1850; Keferstein, _Geschichte und Literatur der
Geognosie_, gives a summary up to 1840; while Sir A. Geikie's
_Founders of Geology_ (1897; 2nd ed., 1906) deals more particularly
with the period 1750-1820. General treatises: Sir Charles Lyell's
_Principles of Geology_ is a classic. Of modern English works, Sir A.
Geikie's _Text Book of Geology_ (4th ed., 1903) occupies the first
place; the work of T.C. Chamberlin and R.D. Salisbury, _Geology; Earth
History_ (3 vols., 1905-1906), is especially valuable for American
geology. A. de Lapparent's _Traité de géologie_ (5th ed., 1906), is
the standard French work. H. Credner's _Elemente der Geologie_ has
gone through several editions in Germany. Dynamical and
physiographical geology are elaborately treated by E. Suess, _Das
Antlitz der Erde_, translated into English, with the title _The Face
of the Earth_. The practical study of the science is treated of by F.
von Richthofen, _Führer für Forschungsreisende_ (1886); G.A. Cole,
_Aids in Practical Geology_ (5th ed., 1906); A. Geikie, _Outlines of
Field Geology_ (5th ed., 1900). The practical applications of Geology
are discussed by J.V. Elsden, _Applied Geology_ (1898-1899). The
relations of Geology to scenery are dealt with by Sir A. Geikie,
_Scenery of Scotland_ (3rd ed., 1901); J.E. Marr, _The Scientific
Study of Scenery_ (1900); Lord Avebury, _The Scenery of Switzerland_
(1896); _The Scenery of England_ (1902); and J. Geikie, _Earth
Sculpture_ (1898). A detailed bibliography is given in Sir A. Geikie's
_Text Book of Geology_. See also the separate articles on geological
subjects for special references to authorities.
FOOTNOTES:
[1] In De Luc's _Lettres physiques et morales sur les montagnes_
(1778), the word "cosmology" is used for our science, the author
stating that "geology" is more appropriate, but it "was not a word in
use." In a completed edition, published in 1779, the same statement
is made, but "geology" occurs in the text; in the same year De
Saussure used the word without any explanation, as if it were well
known.
[2] The subject of the age of the earth has also been discussed by
Professor J. Joly and Professor W.J. Sollas. The former geologist,
approaching the question from a novel point of view, has estimated
the total quantity of sodium in the water of the ocean and the
quantity of that element received annually by the ocean from the
denudation of the land. Dividing the one sum by the other, he arrives
at the result that the probable age of the earth is between 90 and
100 millions of years (_Trans. Roy. Dublin Soc._ ser. ii. vol. vii.,
1899, p. 23: _Geol. Mag._, 1900, p. 220). Professor Sollas believes
that this limit exceeds what is required for the evolution of
geological history, that the lower limit assigned by Lord Kelvin
falls short of what the facts demand, and that geological time will
probably be found to have been comprised within some indeterminate
period between these limits. (Address to Section C, _Brit. Assoc.
Report_, 1900; _Age of the Earth_, London, 1905.)
GEOMETRICAL CONTINUITY. In a report of the Institute prefixed to Jean
Victor Poncelet's _Traité des propriétés projectives des figures_
(Paris, 1822), it is said that he employed "ce qu'il appelle le principe
de continuité." The law or principle thus named by him had, he tells us,
been tacitly assumed as axiomatic by "les plus savans géomètres." It had
in fact been enunciated as "lex continuationis," and "la loi de la
continuité," by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (Oxf. N.E.D.), and previously
under another name by Johann Kepler in cap. iv. 4 of his _Ad Vitellionem
paralipomena quibus astronomiae pars optica traditur_ (Francofurti,
1604). Of sections of the cone, he says, there are five species from the
"recta linea" or line-pair to the circle. From the line-pair we pass
through an infinity of hyperbolas to the parabola, and thence through an
infinity of ellipses to the circle. Related to the sections are certain
remarkable points which have no name. Kepler calls them foci. The circle
has one focus at the centre, an ellipse or hyperbola two foci
equidistant from the centre. The parabola has one focus within it, and
another, the "caecus focus," which may be imagined to be _at infinity_
on the axis _within or without the curve_. The line from it to any point
of the section is parallel to the axis. To carry out the analogy we must
speak paradoxically, and say that the line-pair likewise has foci, which
in this case coalesce as in the circle and fall upon the lines
themselves; for our geometrical terms should be subject to analogy.
Kepler dearly loves analogies, his most trusty teachers, acquainted with
all the secrets of nature, "_omnium naturae arcanorum conscios_." And
they are to be especially regarded in geometry as, by the use of
"however absurd expressions," classing extreme limiting forms with an
infinity of intermediate cases, and placing the whole essence of a thing
clearly before the eyes.
Here, then, we find formulated by Kepler the doctrine of the concurrence
of parallels at a single point at infinity and the principle of
continuity (under the name analogy) in relation to the infinitely great.
Such conceptions so strikingly propounded in a famous work could not
escape the notice of contemporary mathematicians. Henry Briggs, in a
letter to Kepler from Merton College, Oxford, dated "10 Cal. Martiis
1625," suggests improvements in the _Ad Vitellionem paralipomena_, and
gives the following construction: Draw a line CBADC, and let an ellipse,
a parabola, and a hyperbola have B and A for focus and vertex. Let CC
be the other foci of the ellipse and the hyperbola. Make AD equal to AB,
and with centres CC and radius in each case equal to CD describe
circles. Then any point of the ellipse is equidistant from the focus B
and one circle, and any point of the hyperbola from the focus B and the
other circle. Any point P of the parabola, in which the second focus is
missing or infinitely distant, is equidistant from the focus B and the
line through D which we call the directrix, this taking the place of
either circle when its centre C is at infinity, and every line CP being
then parallel to the axis. Thus Briggs, and we know not how many "savans
géomètres" who have left no record, had already taken up the new
doctrine in geometry in its author's lifetime. Six years after Kepler's
death in 1630 Girard Desargues, "the Monge of his age," brought out the
first of his remarkable works founded on the same principles, a short
tract entitled _Méthode universelle de mettre en perspective les objets
donnés réellement ou en devis_ (Paris, 1636); but "Le privilége étoit de
1630." (Poudra, _[OE]uvres de Des._, i. 55). Kepler as a modern geometer
is best known by his _New Stereometry of Wine Casks_ (Lincii, 1615), in
which he replaces the circuitous Archimedean method of exhaustion by a
direct "royal road" of infinitesimals, treating a vanishing arc as a
straight line and regarding a curve as made up of a succession of short
chords. Some 2000 years previously one Antipho, probably the well-known
opponent of Socrates, has regarded a circle in like manner as the
limiting form of a many-sided inscribed rectilinear figure. Antipho's
notion was rejected by the men of his day as unsound, and when
reproduced by Kepler it was again stoutly opposed as incapable of any
sort of geometrical demonstration--not altogether without reason, for it
rested on an assumed law of continuity rather than on palpable proof.
To complete the theory of continuity, the one thing needful was the idea
of imaginary points implied in the algebraical geometry of René
Descartes, in which equations between variables representing
co-ordinates were found often to have imaginary roots. Newton, in his
two sections on "Inventio orbium" (_Principia_ i. 4, 5), shows in his
brief way that he is familiar with the principles of modern geometry. In
two propositions he uses an auxiliary line which is supposed to cut the
conic in X and Y, but, as he remarks at the end of the second (prop.
24), it may not cut it at all. For the sake of brevity he passes on at
once with the observation that the required constructions are evident
from the case in which the line cuts the trajectory. In the scholium
appended to prop. 27, after saying that an asymptote is a tangent at
infinity, he gives an unexplained general construction for the axes of a
conic, which seems to imply that it has asymptotes. In all such cases,
having equations to his loci in the background, he may have thought of
elements of the figure as passing into the imaginary state in such
manner as not to vitiate conclusions arrived at on the hypothesis of
their reality.
Roger Joseph Boscovich, a careful student of Newton's works, has a full
and thorough discussion of geometrical continuity in the third and last
volume of his _Elementa universae matheseos_ (ed. prim. Venet, 1757),
which contains _Sectionum conicarum elementa nova quadam methodo
concinnata et dissertationem de transformatione locorum geometricorum,
ubi de continuitatis lege, et de quibusdam infiniti mysteriis_. His
first principle is that all varieties of a defined locus have the same
properties, so that what is demonstrable of one should be demonstrable
in like manner of all, although some artifice may be required to bring
out the underlying analogy between them. The opposite extremities of an
infinite straight line, he says, are to be regarded as joined, as if the
line were a circle having its centre at the infinity on either side of
it. This leads up to the idea of a _veluti plus quam infinita extensio_,
a line-circle containing, as we say, the line infinity. Change from the
real to the imaginary state is contingent upon the passage of some
element of a figure through zero or infinity and never takes place _per
saltum_. Lines being some positive and some negative, there must be
negative rectangles and negative squares, such as those of the exterior
diameters of a hyperbola. Boscovich's first principle was that of
Kepler, by whose _quantumvis absurdis locutionibus_ the boldest
applications of it are covered, as when we say with Poncelet that all
concentric circles in a plane touch one another in two imaginary fixed
points at infinity. In G.K. Ch. von Staudt's _Geometrie der Lage and
Beiträge zur G. der L._ (Nürnberg, 1847, 1856-1860) the geometry of
position, including the extension of the field of pure geometry to the
infinite and the imaginary, is presented as an independent science,
"welche des Messens nicht bedarf." (See GEOMETRY: _Projective_.)
Ocular illusions due to distance, such as Roger Bacon notices in the
_Opus majus_ (i. 126, ii. 108, 497; Oxford, 1897), lead up to or
illustrate the mathematical uses of the infinite and its reciprocal the
infinitesimal. Specious objections can, of course, be made to the
anomalies of the law of continuity, but they are inherent in the higher
geometry, which has taught us so much of the "secrets of nature."
Kepler's excursus on the "analogy" between the conic sections
hereinbefore referred to is given at length in an article on "The
Geometry of Kepler and Newton" in vol. xviii. of the _Transactions of
the Cambridge Philosophical Society_ (1900). It had been generally
overlooked, until attention was called to it by the present writer in a
note read in 1880 (_Proc. C.P.S._ iv. 14-17), and shortly afterwards in
_The Ancient and Modern Geometry of Conics, with Historical Notes and
Prolegomena_ (Cambridge 1881). (C. T.*)
GEOMETRY, the general term for the branch of mathematics which has for
its province the study of the properties of space. From experience, or
possibly intuitively, we characterize existent space by certain
fundamental qualities, termed axioms, which are insusceptible of proof;
and these axioms, in conjunction with the mathematical entities of the
point, straight line, curve, surface and solid, appropriately defined,
are the premises from which the geometer draws conclusions. The
geometrical axioms are merely conventions; on the one hand, the system
may be based upon inductions from experience, in which case the deduced
geometry may be regarded as a branch of physical science; or, on the
other hand, the system may be formed by purely logical methods, in which
case the geometry is a phase of pure mathematics. Obviously the geometry
with which we are most familiar is that of existent space--the
three-dimensional space of experience; this geometry may be termed
Euclidean, after its most famous expositor. But other geometries exist,
for it is possible to frame systems of axioms which definitely
characterize some other kind of space, and from these axioms to deduce a
series of non-contradictory propositions; such geometries are called
non-Euclidean.
It is convenient to discuss the subject-matter of geometry under the
following headings:
I. _Euclidean Geometry_: a discussion of the axioms of existent space
and of the geometrical entities, followed by a synoptical account of
Euclid's Elements.
II. _Projective Geometry_: primarily Euclidean, but differing from I. in
employing the notion of geometrical continuity (q.v.)--points and lines
at infinity.
III. _Descriptive Geometry_: the methods for representing upon planes
figures placed in space of three dimensions.
IV. _Analytical Geometry_: the representation of geometrical figures and
their relations by algebraic equations.
V. _Line Geometry_: an analytical treatment of the line regarded as the
space element.
VI. _Non-Euclidean Geometry_: a discussion of geometries other than that
of the space of experience.
VII. _Axioms of Geometry_: a critical analysis of the foundations of
geometry.
Special subjects are treated under their own headings: e.g.
PROJECTION, PERSPECTIVE; CURVE, SURFACE; CIRCLE, CONIC SECTION;
TRIANGLE, POLYGON, POLYHEDRON; there are also articles on special
curves and figures, e.g. ELLIPSE, PARABOLA, HYPERBOLA; TETRAHEDRON,
CUBE, OCTAHEDRON, DODECAHEDRON, ICOSAHEDRON; CARDIOID, CATENARY,
CISSOID, CONCHOID, CYCLOID, EPICYCLOID, LIMAÇON, OVAL, QUADRATRIX,
SPIRAL, &c.
_History._--The origin of geometry (Gr. [Greek: gê], earth, [Greek:
metron], a measure) is, according to Herodotus, to be found in the
etymology of the word. Its birthplace was Egypt, and it arose from the
need of surveying the lands inundated by the Nile floods. In its
infancy it therefore consisted of a few rules, very rough and
approximate, for computing the areas of triangles and quadrilaterals;
and, with the Egyptians, it proceeded no further, the geometrical
entities--the point, line, surface and solid--being only discussed in so
far as they were involved in practical affairs. The point was realized
as a mark or position, a straight line as a stretched string or the
tracing of a pole, a surface as an area; but these units were not
abstracted; and for the Egyptians geometry was only an art--an auxiliary
to surveying.[1] The first step towards its elevation to the rank of a
science was made by Thales (q.v.) of Miletus, who transplanted the
elementary Egyptian mensuration to Greece. Thales clearly abstracted the
notions of points and lines, founding the geometry of the latter unit,
and discovering _per saltum_ many propositions concerning areas, the
circle, &c. The empirical rules of the Egyptians were corrected and
developed by the Ionic School which he founded, especially by
Anaximander and Anaxagoras, and in the 6th century B.C. passed into the
care of the Pythagoreans. From this time geometry exercised a powerful
influence on Greek thought. Pythagoras (q.v.), seeking the key of the
universe in arithmetic and geometry, investigated logically the
principles underlying the known propositions; and this resulted in the
formulation of definitions, axioms and postulates which, in addition to
founding a _science_ of geometry, permitted a crystallization,
fractional, it is true, of the amorphous collection of material at hand.
Pythagorean geometry was essentially a geometry of areas and solids; its
goal was the regular solids--the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron,
dodecahedron and icosahedron--which symbolized the five elements of
Greek cosmology. The geometry of the circle, previously studied in Egypt
and much more seriously by Thales, was somewhat neglected, although this
curve was regarded as the most perfect of all plane figures and the
sphere the most perfect of all solids. The circle, however, was taken up
by the Sophists, who made most of their discoveries in attempts to solve
the classical problems of squaring the circle, doubling the cube and
trisecting an angle. These problems, besides stimulating pure geometry,
i.e. the geometry of constructions made by the ruler and compasses,
exercised considerable influence in other directions. The first problem
led to the discovery of the method of _exhaustion_ for determining
areas. Antiphon inscribed a square in a circle, and on each side an
isosceles triangle having its vertex on the circle; on the sides of the
octagon so obtained, isosceles triangles were again constructed, the
process leading to inscribed polygons of 8, 16 and 32 sides; and the
areas of these polygons, which are easily determined, are successive
approximations to the area of the circle. Bryson of Heraclea took an
important step when he circumscribed, in addition to inscribing,
polygons to a circle, but he committed an error in treating the circle
as the mean of the two polygons. The method of Antiphon, in assuming
that by continued division a polygon can be constructed coincident with
the circle, demanded that magnitudes are not infinitely divisible. Much
controversy ranged about this point; Aristotle supported the doctrine of
infinite divisibility; Zeno attempted to show its absurdity. The
mechanical tracing of loci, a principle initiated by Archytas of
Tarentum to solve the last two problems, was a frequent subject for
study, and several mechanical curves were thus discovered at subsequent
dates (cissoid, conchoid, quadratrix). Mention may be made of
Hippocrates, who, besides developing the known methods, made a study of
similar figures, and, as a consequence, of proportion. This step is
important as bringing into line discontinuous number and continuous
magnitude.
A fresh stimulus was given by the succeeding Platonists, who, accepting
in part the Pythagorean cosmology, made the study of geometry
preliminary to that of philosophy. The many discoveries made by this
school were facilitated in no small measure by the clarification of the
axioms and definitions, the logical sequence of propositions which was
adopted, and, more especially, by the formulation of the analytic
method, i.e. of assuming the truth of a proposition and then reasoning
to a known truth. The main strength of the Platonist geometers lies in
stereometry or the geometry of solids. The Pythagoreans had dealt with
the sphere and regular solids, but the pyramid, prism, cone and cylinder
were but little known until the Platonists took them in hand. Eudoxus
established their mensuration, proving the pyramid and cone to have
one-third the content of a prism and cylinder on the same base and of
the same height, and was probably the discoverer of a proof that the
volumes of spheres are as the cubes of their radii. The discussion of
sections of the cone and cylinder led to the discovery of the three
curves named the parabola, ellipse and hyperbola (see CONIC SECTION); it
is difficult to over-estimate the importance of this discovery; its
investigation marks the crowning achievement of Greek geometry, and led
in later years to the fundamental theorems and methods of modern
geometry.
The presentation of the subject-matter of geometry as a connected and
logical series of propositions, prefaced by [Greek: Horoi] or
foundations, had been attempted by many; but it is to Euclid that we owe
a complete exposition. Little indeed in the _Elements_ is probably
original except the arrangement; but in this Euclid surpassed such
predecessors as Hippocrates, Leon, pupil of Neocleides, and Theudius of
Magnesia, devising an apt logical model, although when scrutinized in
the light of modern mathematical conceptions the proofs are riddled with
fallacies. According to the commentator Proclus, the _Elements_ were
written with a twofold object, first, to introduce the novice to
geometry, and secondly, to lead him to the regular solids; conic
sections found no place therein. What Euclid did for the line and
circle, Apollonius did for the conic sections, but there we have a
discoverer as well as editor. These two works, which contain the
greatest contributions to ancient geometry, are treated in detail in
Section I. _Euclidean Geometry_ and the articles EUCLID; CONIC SECTION;
APPOLONIUS. Between Euclid and Apollonius there flourished the
illustrious Archimedes, whose geometrical discoveries are mainly
concerned with the mensuration of the circle and conic sections, and of
the sphere, cone and cylinder, and whose greatest contribution to
geometrical method is the elevation of the method of exhaustion to the
dignity of an instrument of research. Apollonius was followed by
Nicomedes, the inventor of the conchoid; Diocles, the inventor of the
cissoid; Zenodorus, the founder of the study of isoperimetrical figures;
Hipparchus, the founder of trigonometry; and Heron the elder, who wrote
after the manner of the Egyptians, and primarily directed attention to
problems of practical surveying.
Of the many isolated discoveries made by the later Alexandrian
mathematicians, those of Menelaus are of importance. He showed how to
treat spherical triangles, establishing their properties and determining
their congruence; his theorem on the products of the segments in which
the sides of a triangle are cut by a line was the foundation on which
Carnot erected his theory of transversals. These propositions, and also
those of Hipparchus, were utilized and developed by Ptolemy (q.v.), the
expositor of trigonometry and discoverer of many isolated propositions.
Mention may be made of the commentator Pappus, whose _Mathematical
Collections_ is valuable for its wealth of historical matter; of Theon,
an editor of Euclid's _Elements_ and commentator of Ptolemy's
_Almagest_; of Proclus, a commentator of Euclid; and of Eutocius, a
commentator of Apollonius and Archimedes.
The Romans, essentially practical and having no inclination to study
science _qua_ science, only had a geometry which sufficed for surveying;
and even here there were abundant inaccuracies, the empirical rules
employed being akin to those of the Egyptians and Heron. The Hindus,
likewise, gave more attention to computation, and their geometry was
either of Greek origin or in the form presented in trigonometry, more
particularly connected with arithmetic. It had no logical foundations;
each proposition stood alone; and the results were empirical. The Arabs
more closely followed the Greeks, a plan adopted as a sequel to the
translation of the works of Euclid, Apollonius, Archimedes and many
others into Arabic. Their chief contribution to geometry is exhibited in
their solution of algebraic equations by intersecting conics, a step
already taken by the Greeks in isolated cases, but only elevated into a
_method_ by Omar al Hayyami, who flourished in the 11th century. During
the middle ages little was added to Greek and Arabic geometry. Leonardo
of Pisa wrote a _Practica geometriae_ (1220), wherein Euclidean methods
are employed; but it was not until the 14th century that geometry,
generally Euclid's _Elements_, became an essential item in university
curricula. There was, however, no sign of original development, other
branches of mathematics, mainly algebra and trigonometry, exercising a
greater fascination until the 16th century, when the subject again came
into favour.
The extraordinary mathematical talent which came into being in the 16th
and 17th centuries reacted on geometry and gave rise to all those
characters which distinguish modern from ancient geometry. The first
innovation of moment was the formulation of the principle of geometrical
continuity by Kepler. The notion of infinity which it involved permitted
generalizations and systematizations hitherto unthought of (see
GEOMETRICAL CONTINUITY); and the method of indefinite division applied
to rectification, and quadrature and cubature problems avoided the
cumbrous method of exhaustion and provided more accurate results.
Further progress was made by Bonaventura Cavalieri, who, in his
_Geometria indivisibilibus continuorum_ (1620), devised a method
intermediate between that of exhaustion and the infinitesimal calculus
of Leibnitz and Newton. The logical basis of his system was corrected by
Roberval and Pascal; and their discoveries, taken in conjunction with
those of Leibnitz, Newton, and many others in the fluxional calculus,
culminated in the branch of our subject known as differential geometry
(see INFINITESIMAL CALCULUS; CURVE; SURFACE).
A second important advance followed the recognition that conics could be
regarded as projections of a circle, a conception which led at the hands
of Desargues and Pascal to modern _projective geometry_ and
_perspective_. A third, and perhaps the most important, advance attended
the application of algebra to geometry by Descartes, who thereby founded
_analytical geometry_. The new fields thus opened up were diligently
explored, but the calculus exercised the greatest attraction and
relatively little progress was made in geometry until the beginning of
the 19th century, when a new era opened.
Gaspard Monge was the first important contributor, stimulating
analytical and differential geometry and founding _descriptive geometry_
in a series of papers and especially in his lectures at the École
polytechnique. Projective geometry, founded by Desargues, Pascal, Monge
and L.N.M. Carnot, was crystallized by J.V. Poncelet, the creator of the
modern methods. In his _Traité des propriétés des figures_ (1822) the
line and circular points at infinity, imaginaries, polar reciprocation,
homology, cross-ratio and projection are systematically employed. In
Germany, A.F. Möbius, J. Plücker and J. Steiner were making far-reaching
contributions. Möbius, in his _Barycentrische Calcul_ (1827), introduced
homogeneous co-ordinates, and also the powerful notion of geometrical
transformation, including the special cases of collineation and duality;
Plücker, in his _Analytisch-geometrische Entwickelungen_ (1828-1831),
and his _System der analytischen Geometrie_ (1835), introduced the
abridged notation, line and plane co-ordinates, and the conception of
generalized space elements; while Steiner, besides enriching geometry in
numerous directions, was the first to systematically generate figures by
projective pencils. We may also notice M. Chasles, whose _Aperçu
historique_ (1837) is a classic. Synthetic geometry, characterized by
its fruitfulness and beauty, attracted most attention, and it so
happened that its originally weak logical foundations became replaced by
a more substantial set of axioms. These were found in the anharmonic
ratio, a device leading to the liberation of synthetic geometry from
metrical relations, and in involution, which yielded rigorous
definitions of imaginaries. These innovations were made by K.J.C. von
Staudt. Analytical geometry was stimulated by the algebra of invariants,
a subject much developed by A. Cayley, G. Salmon, S.H. Aronhold, L.O.
Hesse, and more particularly by R.F.A. Clebsch.
The introduction of the line as a space element, initiated by H.
Grassmann (1844) and Cayley (1859), yielded at the hands of Plücker a
new geometry, termed _line geometry_, a subject developed more notably
by F. Klein, Clebsch, C.T. Reye and F.O.R. Sturm (see Section V., _Line
Geometry_).
_Non-euclidean geometries_, having primarily their origin in the
discussion of Euclidean parallels, and treated by Wallis, Saccheri and
Lambert, have been especially developed during the 19th century. Four
lines of investigation may be distinguished:--the naïve-synthetic,
associated with Lobatschewski, Bolyai, Gauss; the metric differential,
studied by Riemann, Helmholtz, Beltrami; the projective, developed by
Cayley, Klein, Clifford; and the critical-synthetic, promoted chiefly by
the Italian mathematicians Peano, Veronese, Burali-Forte, Levi Civittà,
and the Germans Pasch and Hilbert. (C. E.*)
I. EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY
This branch of the science of geometry is so named since its methods and
arrangement are those laid down in Euclid's _Elements_.
§ 1. _Axioms._--The object of geometry is to investigate the properties
of space. The first step must consist in establishing those fundamental
properties from which all others follow by processes of deductive
reasoning. They are laid down in the Axioms, and these ought to form
such a system that nothing need be added to them in order fully to
characterize space, and that nothing may be omitted without making the
system incomplete. They must, in fact, completely "define" space.
§ 2. _Definitions._--The axioms of Euclidean Geometry are obtained from
inspection of existent space and of solids in existent space,--hence
from experience. The same source gives us the notions of the geometrical
entities to which the axioms relate, viz. solids, surfaces, lines or
curves, and points. A solid is directly given by experience; we have
only to abstract all material from it in order to gain the notion of a
geometrical solid. This has shape, size, position, and may be moved. Its
boundary or boundaries are called surfaces. They separate one part of
space from another, and are said to have no thickness. Their boundaries
are curves or lines, and these have length only. Their boundaries,
again, are points, which have no magnitude but only position. We thus
come in three steps from solids to points which have no magnitude; in
each step we lose one extension. Hence we say a solid has three
dimensions, a surface two, a line one, and a point none. Space itself,
of which a solid forms only a part, is also said to be of three
dimensions. The same thing is intended to be expressed by saying that a
solid has length, breadth and thickness, a surface length and breadth, a
line length only, and a point no extension whatsoever.
Euclid gives the essence of these statements as definitions:--
Def. 1, I. _A point is that which has no parts, or which has no
magnitude._
Def. 2, I. _A line is length without breadth._
Def. 5, I. _A superficies is that which has only length and breadth._
Def. 1, XI. _A solid is that which has length, breadth and thickness._
It is to be noted that the synthetic method is adopted by Euclid; the
analytical derivation of the successive ideas of "surface," "line," and
"point" from the experimental realization of a "solid" does not find a
place in his system, although possessing more advantages.
If we allow motion in geometry, we may generate these entities by moving
a point, a line, or a surface, thus:--
The path of a moving point is a line.
The path of a moving line is, in general, a surface.
The path of a moving surface is, in general, a solid.
And we may then assume that the lines, surfaces and solids, as defined
before, can all be generated in this manner. From this generation of the
entities it follows again that the boundaries--the first and last
position of the moving element--of a line are points, and so on; and
thus we come back to the considerations with which we started.
Euclid points this out in his definitions,--Def. 3, I., Def. 6, I., and
Def. 2, XI. He does not, however, show the connexion which these
definitions have with those mentioned before. When points and lines have
been defined, a statement like Def. 3, I., "The extremities of a line
are points," is a proposition which either has to be proved, and then it
is a theorem, or which has to be taken for granted, in which case it is
an axiom. And so with Def. 6, I., and Def. 2, XI.
§ 3. Euclid's definitions mentioned above are attempts to describe, in a
few words, notions which we have obtained by inspection of and
abstraction from solids. A few more notions have to be added to these,
principally those of the simplest line--the straight line, and of the
simplest surface--the flat surface or plane. These notions we possess,
but to define them accurately is difficult. Euclid's Definition 4, I.,
"A straight line is that which lies evenly between its extreme points,"
must be meaningless to any one who has not the notion of straightness in
his mind. Neither does it state a property of the straight line which
can be used in any further investigation. Such a property is given in
Axiom 10, I. It is really this axiom, together with Postulates 2 and 3,
which characterizes the straight line.
Whilst for the straight line the verbal definition and axiom are kept
apart, Euclid mixes them up in the case of the plane. Here the
Definition 7, I., includes an axiom. It defines a plane as a surface
which has the property that every straight line which joins any two
points in it lies altogether in the surface. But if we take a straight
line and a point in such a surface, and draw all straight lines which
join the latter to all points in the first line, the surface will be
fully determined. This construction is therefore sufficient as a
definition. That every other straight line which joins any two points in
this surface lies altogether in it is a further property, and to assume
it gives another axiom.
Thus a number of Euclid's axioms are hidden among his first definitions.
A still greater confusion exists in the present editions of Euclid
between the postulates and axioms so called, but this is due to later
editors and not to Euclid himself. The latter had the last three axioms
put together with the postulates [Greek: (aitêmata)], so that these were
meant to include all assumptions relating to space. The remaining
assumptions, which relate to magnitudes in general, viz. the first eight
"axioms" in modern editions, were called "common notions" [Greek:
(koivai ennoiai)]. Of the latter a few may be said to be definitions.
Thus the eighth might be taken as a definition of "equal," and the
seventh of "halves." If we wish to collect the axioms used in Euclid's
_Elements_, we have therefore to take the three postulates, the last
three axioms as generally given, a few axioms hidden in the definitions,
and an axiom used by Euclid in the proof of Prop. 4, I, and on a few
other occasions, viz. that figures may be moved in space without change
of shape or size.
§ 4. _Postulates._--The assumptions actually made by Euclid may be
stated as follows:--
(1) Straight lines exist which have the property that any one of them
may be produced both ways without limit, that through any two points
in space such a line may be drawn, and that any two of them coincide
throughout their indefinite extensions as soon as two points in the
one coincide with two points in the other. (This gives the contents of
Def. 4, part of Def. 35, the first two Postulates, and Axiom 10.)
(2) Plane surfaces or planes exist having the property laid down in
Def. 7, that every straight line joining any two points in such a
surface lies altogether in it.
(3) Right angles, as defined in Def. 10, are possible, and all right
angles are equal; that is to say, wherever in space we take a plane,
and wherever in that plane we construct a right angle, all angles thus
constructed will be equal, so that any one of them may be made to
coincide with any other. (Axiom 11.)
(4) The 12th Axiom of Euclid. This we shall not state now, but only
introduce it when we cannot proceed any further without it.
(5) Figures maybe freely moved in space without change of shape or
size. This is assumed by Euclid, but not stated as an axiom.
(6) In any plane a circle may be described, having any point in that
plane as centre, and its distance from any other point in that plane
as radius. (Postulate 3.)
The definitions which have not been mentioned are all "nominal
definitions," that is to say, they fix a name for a thing described.
Many of them overdetermine a figure.
§ 5. Euclid's _Elements_ (see EUCLID) are contained in thirteen books.
Of these the first four and the sixth are devoted to "plane geometry,"
as the investigation of figures in a plane is generally called. The 5th
book contains the theory of proportion which is used in Book VI. The
7th, 8th and 9th books are purely arithmetical, whilst the 10th contains
a most ingenious treatment of geometrical irrational quantities. These
four books will be excluded from our survey. The remaining three books
relate to figures in space, or, as it is generally called, to "solid
geometry." The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th and part of the 11th and 12th
books are now generally omitted from the school editions of the
_Elements_. In the first four and in the 6th book it is to be understood
that all figures are drawn in a plane.
BOOK I. OF EUCLID'S "ELEMENTS."
§ 6. According to the third postulate it is possible to draw in any
plane a circle which has its centre at any given point, and its radius
equal to the distance of this point from any other point given in the
plane. This makes it possible (Prop. 1) to construct on a given line
AB an equilateral triangle, by drawing first a circle with A as centre
and AB as radius, and then a circle with B as centre and BA as radius.
The point where these circles intersect--that they intersect Euclid
quietly assumes--is the vertex of the required triangle. Euclid does
not suppose, however, that a circle may be drawn which has its radius
equal to the distance between any two points unless one of the points
be the centre. This implies also that we are not supposed to be able
to make any straight line equal to any other straight line, or to
carry a distance about in space. Euclid therefore next solves the
problem: It is required along a given straight line from a point in it
to set off a distance equal to the length of another straight line
given anywhere in the plane. This is done in two steps. It is shown in
Prop. 2 how a straight line may be drawn from a given point equal in
length to another given straight line not drawn from that point. And
then the problem itself is solved in Prop. 3, by drawing first through
the given point some straight line of the required length, and then
about the same point as centre a circle having this length as radius.
This circle will cut off from the given straight line a length equal
to the required one. Nowadays, instead of going through this long
process, we take a pair of compasses and set off the given length by
its aid. This assumes that we may move a length about without changing
it. But Euclid has not assumed it, and this proceeding would be fully
justified by his desire not to take for granted more than was
necessary, if he were not obliged at his very next step actually to
make this assumption, though without stating it.
§ 7. We now come (in Prop. 4) to the first theorem. It is the
fundamental theorem of Euclid's whole system, there being only a very
few propositions (like Props. 13, 14, 15, I.), except those in the 5th
book and the first half of the 11th, which do not depend upon it. It
is stated very accurately, though somewhat clumsily, as follows:--
_If two triangles have two sides of the one equal to two sides of the
other, each to each, and have also the angles contained by those sides
equal to one another, they shall also have their bases or third sides
equal; and the two triangles shall be equal; and their other angles
shall be equal, each to each, namely, those to which the equal sides
are opposite._
That is to say, the triangles are "identically" equal, and one may be
considered as a copy of the other. The proof is very simple. The first
triangle is taken up and placed on the second, so that the parts of
the triangles which are known to be equal fall upon each other. It is
then easily seen that also the remaining parts of one coincide with
those of the other, and that they are therefore equal. This process of
applying one figure to another Euclid scarcely uses again, though many
proofs would be simplified by doing so. The process introduces motion
into geometry, and includes, as already stated, the axiom that figures
may be moved without change of shape or size.
If the last proposition be applied to an isosceles triangle, which has
two sides equal, we obtain the theorem (Prop. 5), _if two sides of a
triangle are equal, then the angles opposite these sides are equal_.
Euclid's proof is somewhat complicated, and a stumbling-block to many
schoolboys. The proof becomes much simpler if we consider the
isosceles triangle ABC (AB = AC) twice over, once as a triangle BAC,
and once as a triangle CAB; and now remember that AB, AC in the first
are equal respectively to AC, AB in the second, and the angles
included by these sides are equal. Hence the triangles are equal, and
the angles in the one are equal to those in the other, viz. those
which are opposite equal sides, i.e. angle ABC in the first equals
angle ACB in the second, as they are opposite the equal sides AC and
AB in the two triangles.
There follows the converse theorem (Prop. 6). _If two angles in a
triangle are equal, then the sides opposite them are equal_,--i.e. the
triangle is isosceles. The proof given consists in what is called a
_reductio ad absurdum_, a kind of proof often used by Euclid, and
principally in proving the converse of a previous theorem. It assumes
that the theorem to be proved is wrong, and then shows that this
assumption leads to an absurdity, i.e. to a conclusion which is in
contradiction to a proposition proved before--that therefore the
assumption made cannot be true, and hence that the theorem is true. It
is often stated that Euclid invented this kind of proof, but the
method is most likely much older.
§ 8. It is next proved that _two triangles which have the three sides
of the one equal respectively to those of the other are identically
equal, hence that the angles of the one are equal respectively to
those of the other, those being equal which are opposite equal sides_.
This is Prop. 8, Prop. 7 containing only a first step towards its
proof.
These theorems allow now of the solution of a number of problems,
viz.:--
_To bisect a given angle_ (Prop. 9).
_To bisect a given finite straight line_ (Prop. 10).
_To draw a straight line perpendicularly to a given straight line
through a given point in it_ (Prop. 11), _and also through a given
point not in it_ (Prop. 12).
The solutions all depend upon properties of isosceles triangles.
§ 9. The next three theorems relate to angles only, and might have
been proved before Prop. 4, or even at the very beginning. The first
(Prop. 13) says, _The angles which one straight line makes with
another straight line on one side of it either are two right angles or
are together equal to two right angles_. This theorem would have been
unnecessary if Euclid had admitted the notion of an angle such that
its two limits are in the same straight line, and had besides defined
the sum of two angles.
Its converse (Prop. 14) is of great use, inasmuch as it enables us in
many cases to prove that two straight lines drawn from the same point
are one the continuation of the other. So also is
Prop. 15. _If two straight lines cut one another, the vertical or
opposite angles shall be equal._
§ 10. Euclid returns now to properties of triangles. Of great
importance for the next steps (though afterwards superseded by a more
complete theorem) is
Prop. 16. _If one side of a triangle be produced, the exterior angle
shall be greater than either of the interior opposite angles._
Prop. 17. _Any two angles of a triangle are together less than two
right angles, is an immediate consequence of it._ By the aid of these
two, the following fundamental properties of triangles are easily
proved:--
Prop. 18. _The greater side of every triangle has the greater angle
opposite to it_;
Its converse, Prop. 19. _The greater angle of every triangle is
subtended by the greater side, or has the greater side opposite to
it_;
Prop. 20. _Any two sides of a triangle are together greater than the
third side_;
And also Prop. 21. _If from the ends of the side of a triangle there
be drawn two straight lines to a point within the triangle, these
shall be less than the other two sides of the triangle, but shall
contain a greater angle._
§ 11. Having solved two problems (Props. 22, 23), he returns to two
triangles which have two sides of the one equal respectively to two
sides of the other. It is known (Prop. 4) that if the included angles
are equal then the third sides are equal; and conversely (Prop. 8), if
the third sides are equal, then the angles included by the first sides
are equal. From this it follows that if the included angles are not
equal, the third sides are not equal; and conversely, that if the
third sides are not equal, the included angles are not equal. Euclid
now completes this knowledge by proving, that "_if the included angles
are not equal, then the third side in that triangle is the greater
which contains the greater angle_"; and conversely, that "_if the
third sides are unequal, that triangle contains the greater angle
which contains the greater side_." These are Prop. 24 and Prop. 25.
§ 12. The next theorem (Prop. 26) says that _if two triangles have one
side and two angles of the one equal respectively to one side and two
angles of the other, viz. in both triangles either the angles adjacent
to the equal side, or one angle adjacent and one angle opposite it,
then the two triangles are identically equal_.
This theorem belongs to a group with Prop. 4 and Prop. 8. Its first
case might have been given immediately after Prop. 4, but the second
case requires Prop. 16 for its proof.
§ 13. We come now to the investigation of parallel straight lines,
i.e. of straight lines which lie in the same plane, and cannot be made
to meet however far they be produced either way. The investigation
which starts from Prop. 16, will become clearer if a few names be
explained which are not all used by Euclid. If two straight lines be
cut by a third, the latter is now generally called a "transversal" of
the figure. It forms at the two points where it cuts the given lines
four angles with each. Those of the angles which lie between the given
lines are called interior angles, and of these, again, any two which
lie on opposite sides of the transversal but one at each of the two
points are called "alternate angles."
We may now state Prop. 16 thus:--_If two straight lines which meet are
cut by a transversal, their alternate angles are unequal_. For the
lines will form a triangle, and one of the alternate angles will be an
exterior angle to the triangle, the other interior and opposite to it.
From this follows at once the theorem contained in Prop. 27. _If two
straight lines which are cut by a transversal make alternate angles
equal, the lines cannot meet, however far they be produced, hence they
are parallel._ This proves the existence of parallel lines.
Prop. 28 states the same fact in different forms. _If a straight line,
falling on two other straight lines, make the exterior angle equal to
the interior and opposite angle on the same side of the line, or make_
_the interior angles on the same side together equal to two right
angles, the two straight lines shall be parallel to one another_.
Hence we know that, "if two straight lines which are cut by a
transversal meet, their alternate angles are not equal"; and hence
that, "if alternate angles are equal, then the lines are parallel."
The question now arises, Are the propositions converse to these true
or not? That is to say, "If alternate angles are unequal, do the lines
meet?" And "if the lines are parallel, are alternate angles
necessarily equal?"
The answer to either of these two questions implies the answer to the
other. But it has been found impossible to prove that the negation or
the affirmation of either is true.
The difficulty which thus arises is overcome by Euclid assuming that
the first question has to be answered in the affirmative. This gives
his last axiom (12), which we quote in his own words.
Axiom 12.--_If a straight line meet two straight lines, so as to make
the two interior angles on the same side of it taken together less
than two right angles, these straight lines, being continually
produced, shall at length meet on that side on which are the angles
which are less than two right angles._
The answer to the second of the above questions follows from this, and
gives the theorem Prop. 29:--_If a straight line fall on two parallel
straight lines, it makes the alternate angles equal to one another,
and the exterior angle equal to the interior and opposite angle on the
same side, and also the two interior angles on the same side together
equal to two right angles_.
§ 14. With this a new part of elementary geometry begins. The earlier
propositions are independent of this axiom, and would be true even if
a wrong assumption had been made in it. They all relate to figures in
a plane. But a plane is only one among an infinite number of
conceivable surfaces. We may draw figures on any one of them and study
their properties. We may, for instance, take a sphere instead of the
plane, and obtain "spherical" in the place of "plane" geometry. If on
one of these surfaces lines and figures could be drawn, answering to
all the definitions of our plane figures, and if the axioms with the
exception of the last all hold, then all propositions up to the 28th
will be true for these figures. This is the case in spherical geometry
if we substitute "shortest line" or "great circle" for "straight
line," "small circle" for "circle," and if, besides, we limit all
figures to a part of the sphere which is less than a hemisphere, so
that two points on it cannot be opposite ends of a diameter, and
therefore determine always one and only one great circle.
For spherical triangles, therefore, all the important propositions 4,
8, 26; 5 and 6; and 18, 19 and 20 will hold good.
This remark will be sufficient to show the impossibility of proving
Euclid's last axiom, which would mean proving that this axiom is a
consequence of the others, and hence that the theory of parallels
would hold on a spherical surface, where the other axioms do hold,
whilst parallels do not even exist.
It follows that the axiom in question states an inherent difference
between the plane and other surfaces, and that the plane is only fully
characterized when this axiom is added to the other assumptions.
§ 15. The introduction of the new axiom and of parallel lines leads to
a new class of propositions.
After proving (Prop. 30) that "_two lines which are each parallel to a
third are parallel to each other_," we obtain the new properties of
triangles contained in Prop. 32. Of these the second part is the most
important, viz. the theorem, _The three interior angles of every
triangle are together equal to two right angles_.
As easy deductions not given by Euclid but added by Simson follow the
propositions about the angles in polygons, they are given in English
editions as corollaries to Prop. 32.
These theorems do not hold for spherical figures. The sum of the
interior angles of a spherical triangle is always greater than two
right angles, and increases with the area.
§ 16. The theory of parallels as such may be said to be finished with
Props. 33 and 34, which state properties of the parallelogram, i.e. of
a quadrilateral formed by two pairs of parallels. They are--
Prop. 33. _The straight lines which join the extremities of two equal
and parallel straight lines towards the same parts are themselves
equal and parallel_; and
Prop. 34. _The opposite sides and angles of a parallelogram are equal
to one another, and the diameter (diagonal) bisects the parallelogram,
that is, divides it into two equal parts._
§ 17. The rest of the first book relates to areas of figures.
The theory is made to depend upon the theorems--
Prop. 35. _Parallelograms on the same base and between the same
parallels are equal to one another_; and
Prop. 36. _Parallelograms on equal bases and between the same
parallels are equal to one another_.
As each parallelogram is bisected by a diagonal, the last theorems
hold also if the word parallelogram be replaced by "triangle," as is
done in Props. 37 and 38.
It is to be remarked that Euclid proves these propositions only in the
case when the parallelograms or triangles have their bases in the same
straight line.
The theorems converse to the last form the contents of the next three
propositions, viz.: Props, 40 and 41.--_Equal triangles, on the same
or on equal bases, in the same straight line, and on the same side of
it, are between the same parallels_.
That the two cases here stated are given by Euclid in two separate
propositions proved separately is characteristic of his method.
§ 18. To compare areas of other figures, Euclid shows first, in Prop.
42, how _to draw a parallelogram which is equal in area to a given
triangle, and has one of its angles equal to a given angle_. If the
given angle is right, then the problem is solved _to draw a
"rectangle" equal in area to a given triangle_.
Next this parallelogram is transformed into another parallelogram,
_which has one of its sides equal to a given straight line_, whilst
its angles remain unaltered. This may be done by aid of the theorem in
Prop. 43. _The complements of the parallelograms which are about the
diameter of any parallelogram are equal to one another._
Thus the problem (Prop. 44) is solved to _construct a parallelogram on
a given line, which is equal in area to a given triangle, and which
has one angle equal to a given angle_ (generally a right angle).
As every polygon can be divided into a number of triangles, we can now
construct a parallelogram having a given angle, say a right angle, and
being equal in area to a given polygon. For each of the triangles into
which the polygon has been divided, a parallelogram may be
constructed, having one side equal to a given straight line and one
angle equal to a given angle. If these parallelograms be placed side
by side, they may be added together to form a single parallelogram,
having still one side of the given length. This is done in Prop. 45.
Herewith a means is found to compare areas of different polygons. We
need only construct two rectangles equal in area to the given
polygons, and having each one side of given length. By comparing the
unequal sides we are enabled to judge whether the areas are equal, or
which is the greater. Euclid does not state this consequence, but the
problem is taken up again at the end of the second book, where it is
shown how to construct a square equal in area to a given polygon.
Prop. 46 is: _To describe a square on a given straight line_.
§ 19. The first book concludes with one of the most important theorems
in the whole of geometry, and one which has been celebrated since the
earliest times. It is stated, but on doubtful authority, that
Pythagoras discovered it, and it has been called by his name. If we
call that side in a right-angled triangle which is opposite the right
angle the hypotenuse, we may state it as follows:--
Theorem of Pythagoras (Prop. 47).--_In every right-angled triangle the
square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the
other sides._
And conversely--
Prop. 48. _If the square described on one of the sides of a triangle
be equal to the squares described on the other sides, then the angle
contained by these two sides is a right angle._
On this theorem (Prop. 47) almost all geometrical measurement depends,
which cannot be directly obtained.
BOOK II.
§ 20. The propositions in the second book are very different in
character from those in the first; they all relate to areas of
rectangles and squares. Their true significance is best seen by
stating them in an algebraic form. This is often done by expressing
the lengths of lines by aid of numbers, which tell how many times a
chosen unit is contained in the lines. If there is a unit to be found
which is contained an exact number of times in each side of a
rectangle, it is easily seen, and generally shown in the teaching of
arithmetic, that the rectangle contains a number of unit squares equal
to the product of the numbers which measure the sides, a unit square
being the square on the unit line. If, however, no such unit can be
found, this process requires that connexion between lines and numbers
which is only established by aid of ratios of lines, and which is
therefore at this stage altogether inadmissible. But there exists
another way of connecting these propositions with algebra, based on
modern notions which seem destined greatly to change and to simplify
mathematics. We shall introduce here as much of it as is required for
our present purpose.
At the beginning of the second book we find a definition according to
which "a rectangle is said to be 'contained' by the two sides which
contain one of its right angles"; in the text this phraseology is
extended by speaking of rectangles contained by any two straight
lines, meaning the rectangle which has two adjacent sides equal to the
two straight lines.
We shall denote a finite straight line by a single small letter, a, b,
c, ... x, and the area of the rectangle contained by two lines a and b
by ab, and this we shall call the product of the two lines a and b. It
will be understood that this definition has nothing to do with the
definition of a product of numbers.
We define as follows:--
The _sum_ of two straight lines a and b means a straight line c which
may be divided in two parts equal respectively to a and b. This sum is
denoted by a + b.
The _difference_ of two lines a and b (in symbols, a-b) means a line c
which when added to b gives a; that is,
a - b = c if b + c = a.
The _product_ of two lines a and b (in symbols, ab) means the area of
the rectangle contained by the lines a and b. For aa, which means the
square on the line a, we write a².
§ 21. The first ten of the fourteen propositions of the second book
may then be written in the form of formulae as follows:--
Prop. 1. a(b + c + d + ... ) = ab + ac + ad + ...
" 2. ab + ac = a² if b + c = a.
" 3. a(a + b) = a² + ab.
" 4. (a + b)² = a² + 2ab + b².
" 5. (a + b)(a - b) + b² = a².
" 6. (a + b)(a - b) + b² = a².
" 7. a² + (a - b)² = 2a(a - b) + b².
" 8. 4(a + b)a + b² = (2a + b)².
" 9. (a + b)² + (a - b)² = 2a² + 2b².
" 10. (a + b)² + (a - b)² = 2a² + 2b².
It will be seen that 5 and 6, and also 9 and 10, are identical. In
Euclid's statement they do not look the same, the figures being
arranged differently.
If the letters a, b, c, ... denoted numbers, it follows from algebra
that each of these formulae is true. But this does not prove them in
our case, where the letters denote lines, and their products areas
without any reference to numbers. To prove them we have to discover
the laws which rule the operations introduced, viz. addition and
multiplication of segments. This we shall do now; and we shall find
that these laws are the same with those which hold in algebraical
addition and multiplication.
§ 22. In a sum of numbers we may change the order in which the numbers
are added, and we may also add the numbers together in groups and then
add these groups. But this also holds for the sum of segments and for
the sum of rectangles, as a little consideration shows. That the sum
of rectangles has always a meaning follows from the Props. 43-45 in
the first book. These laws about addition are reducible to the two--
a + b = b + a (1),
a + (b + c) = a + b + c (2);
or, when expressed for rectangles,
ab + ed = ed + ab (3),
ab + (cd + ef) = ab + cd + ef (4).
The brackets mean that the terms in the bracket have been added
together before they are added to another term. The more general cases
for more terms may be deduced from the above.
For the product of two numbers we have the law that it remains
unaltered if the factors be interchanged. This also holds for our
geometrical product. For if ab denotes the area of the rectangle which
has a as base and b as altitude, then ba will denote the area of the
rectangle which has b as base and a as altitude. But in a rectangle we
may take either of the two lines which contain it as base, and then
the other will be the altitude. This gives
ab = ba (5).
In order further to multiply a sum by a number, we have in algebra the
rule:--Multiply each term of the sum, and add the products thus
obtained. That this holds for our geometrical products is shown by
Euclid in his first proposition of the second book, where he proves
that the area of a rectangle whose base is the sum of a number of
segments is equal to the sum of rectangles which have these segments
separately as bases. In symbols this gives, in the simplest case,
a(b + c) = ab + ac \
> (6).
and (b + c)a = ba + ca /
To these laws, which have been investigated by Sir William Hamilton
and by Hermann Grassmann, the former has given special names. He calls
the laws expressed in
(1) and (3) the commutative law for addition;
(5) " " " multiplication;
(2) and (4) the associative laws for addition;
(6) the distributive law.
§ 23. Having proved that these six laws hold, we can at once prove
every one of the above propositions in their algebraical form.
The first is proved geometrically, it being one of the fundamental
laws. The next two propositions are only special cases of the first.
Of the others we shall prove one, viz. the fourth:--
(a + b)² = (a + b)(a + b) = (a + b)a + (a + b)b by (6).
But (a + b)a = aa + ba by (6),
= aa + ab by (5);
and (a + b)b = ab + bb by (6).
Therefore (a + b)² = aa + ab + (ab + bb) \
= aa + (ab + ab) + bb > by (4).
= aa + 2ab + bb /
This gives the theorem in question.
In the same manner every one of the first ten propositions is proved.
It will be seen that the operations performed are exactly the same as
if the letters denoted numbers.
Props. 5 and 6 may also be written thus--
(a + b)(a - b) = a² - b².
Prop. 7, which is an easy consequence of Prop. 4, may be transformed.
If we denote by c the line a + b, so that
c = a + b, a = c - b,
we get
c² + (c - b)² = 2c(c - b) + b²
= 2c² - 2bc + b².
Subtracting c² from both sides, and writing a for c, we get
(a - b)² = a² - 2ab + b².
In Euclid's _Elements_ this form of the theorem does not appear, all
propositions being so stated that the notion of subtraction does not
enter into them.
§ 24. The remaining two theorems (Props. 12 and 13) connect the square
on one side of a triangle with the sum of the squares on the other
sides, in case that the angle between the latter is acute or obtuse.
They are important theorems in trigonometry, where it is possible to
include them in a single theorem.
§ 25. There are in the second book two problems, Props. 11 and 14.
If written in the above symbolic language, the former requires to find
a line x such that a(a - x) = x². Prop. 11 contains, therefore, the
solution of a quadratic equation, which we may write x² + ax = a². The
solution is required later on in the construction of a regular
decagon.
More important is the problem in the last proposition (Prop. 14). It
requires the construction of a square equal in area to a given
rectangle, hence a solution of the equation
x² = ab.
In Book I., 42-45, it has been shown how a rectangle may be
constructed equal in area to a given figure bounded by straight lines.
By aid of the new proposition we may therefore now determine a line
such that the square on that line is equal in area to any given
rectilinear figure, or we can _square_ any such figure.
As of two squares that is the greater which has the greater side, it
follows that now the comparison of two areas has been reduced to the
comparison of two lines.
The problem of reducing other areas to squares is frequently met with
among Greek mathematicians. We need only mention the problem of
squaring the circle (see CIRCLE).
In the present day the comparison of areas is performed in a simpler
way by reducing all areas to rectangles having a common base. Their
altitudes give then a measure of their areas.
The construction of a rectangle having the base u, and being equal in
area to a given rectangle, depends upon Prop. 43, I. This therefore
gives a solution of the equation
ab = ux,
where x denotes the unknown altitude.
BOOK III.
§ 26. The third book of the _Elements_ relates exclusively to
properties of the circle. A circle and its circumference have been
defined in Book I., Def. 15. We restate it here in slightly different
words:--
_Definition_.--The circumference of a circle is a plane curve such
that all points in it have the same distance from a fixed point in the
plane. This point is called the "centre" of the circle.
Of the new definitions, of which eleven are given at the beginning of
the third book, a few only require special mention. The first, which
says that circles with equal radii are equal, is in part a theorem,
but easily proved by applying the one circle to the other. Or it may
be considered proved by aid of Prop. 24, equal circles not being used
till after this theorem.
In the second definition is explained what is meant by a line which
"touches" a circle. Such a line is now generally called a tangent to
the circle. The introduction of this name allows us to state many of
Euclid's propositions in a much shorter form.
For the same reason we shall call a straight line joining two points
on the circumference of a circle a "chord."
Definitions 4 and 5 may be replaced with a slight generalization by
the following:--
_Definition_.--By the distance of a point from a line is meant the
length of the perpendicular drawn from the point to the line.
§ 27. From the definition of a circle it follows that every circle has
a centre. Prop. 1 requires to find it when the circle is given, i.e.
when its circumference is drawn.
To solve this problem a chord is drawn (that is, any two points in the
circumference are joined), and through the point where this is
bisected a perpendicular to it is erected. Euclid then proves, first,
that no point off this perpendicular can be the centre, hence that the
centre must lie in this line; and, secondly, that of the points on the
perpendicular one only can be the centre, viz. the one which bisects
the parts of the perpendicular bounded by the circle. In the second
part Euclid silently assumes that the perpendicular there used does
cut the circumference in two, and only in two points. The proof
therefore is incomplete. The proof of the first part, however, is
exact. By drawing two non-parallel chords, and the perpendiculars
which bisect them, the centre will be found as the point where these
perpendiculars intersect.
§ 28. In Prop. 2 it is proved that a chord of a circle lies altogether
within the circle.
What we have called the first part of Euclid's solution of Prop. 1 may
be stated as a theorem:--
_Every straight line which bisects a chord, and is at right angles to
it, passes through the centre of the circle._
The converse to this gives Prop. 3, which may be stated thus:--
_If a straight line through the centre of a circle bisect a chord,
then it is perpendicular to the chord, and if it be perpendicular to
the chord it bisects it._
An easy consequence of this is the following theorem, which is
essentially the same as Prop. 4:--
_Two chords of a circle, of which neither passes through the centre,
cannot bisect each other._
These last three theorems are fundamental for the theory of the
circle. It is to be remarked that Euclid never proves that a straight
line cannot have more than two points in common with a circumference.
§ 29. The next two propositions (5 and 6) might be replaced by a
single and a simpler theorem, viz:--
_Two circles which have a common centre, and whose circumferences have
one point in common, coincide._
Or, more in agreement with Euclid's form:--
_Two different circles, whose circumferences have a point in common,
cannot have the same centre._
That Euclid treats of two cases is characteristic of Greek
mathematics.
The next two propositions (7 and 8) again belong together. They may be
combined thus:--
_If from a point in a plane of a circle, which is not the centre,
straight lines be drawn to the different points of the circumference,
then of all these lines one is the shortest, and one the longest, and
these lie both in that straight line which joins the given point to
the centre. Of all the remaining lines each is equal to one and only
one other, and these equal lines lie on opposite sides of the shortest
or longest, and make equal angles with them._
Euclid distinguishes the two cases where the given point lies within
or without the circle, omitting the case where it lies in the
circumference.
From the last proposition it follows that if from a point more than
two equal straight lines can be drawn to the circumference, this point
must be the centre. This is Prop. 9.
As a consequence of this we get
_If the circumferences of the two circles have three points in common
they coincide._
For in this case the two circles have a common centre, because from
the centre of the one three equal lines can be drawn to points on the
circumference of the other. But two circles which have a common
centre, and whose circumferences have a point in common, coincide.
(Compare above statement of Props. 5 and 6.)
This theorem may also be stated thus:--
_Through three points only one circumference may be drawn; or, Three
points determine a circle._
Euclid does not give the theorem in this form. He proves, however,
_that the two circles cannot cut another in more than two points_
(Prop. 10), and _that two circles cannot touch one another in more
points than one_ (Prop. 13).
§ 30. Propositions 11 and 12 assert that _if two circles touch, then
the point of contact lies on the line joining their centres_. This
gives two propositions, because the circles may touch either
internally or externally.
§ 31. Propositions 14 and 15 relate to the length of chords. The first
says _that equal chords are equidistant from the centre, and that
chords which are equidistant from the centre are equal_;
Whilst Prop. 15 compares unequal chords, viz. _Of all chords the
diameter is the greatest, and of other chords that is the greater
which is nearer to the centre_; and conversely, _the greater chord is
nearer to the centre_.
§ 32. In Prop. 16 the tangent to a circle is for the first time
introduced. The proposition is meant to show that the straight line at
the end point of the diameter and at right angles to it is a tangent.
The proposition itself does not state this. It runs thus:--
Prop. 16. _The straight line drawn at right angles to the diameter of
a circle, from the extremity of it, falls without the circle; and no
straight line can be drawn from the extremity, between that straight
line and the circumference, so as not to cut the circle._
_Corollary_.--The straight line at right angles to a diameter drawn
through the end point of it touches the circle.
The statement of the proposition and its whole treatment show the
difficulties which the tangents presented to Euclid.
Prop. 17 solves the problem _through a given point, either in the
circumference or without it, to draw a tangent to a given circle_.
Closely connected with Prop. 16 are Props. 18 and 19, which state
(Prop. 18), _that the line joining the centre of a circle to the point
of contact of a tangent is perpendicular to the tangent_; and
conversely (Prop. 19), _that the straight line through the point of
contact of, and perpendicular to, a tangent to a circle passes through
the centre of the circle_.
§ 33. The rest of the book relates to angles connected with a circle,
viz. angles which have the vertex either at the centre or on the
circumference, and which are called respectively angles at the centre
and angles at the circumference. Between these two kinds of angles
exists the important relation expressed as follows:--
Prop. 20. _The angle at the centre of a circle is double of the angle
at the circumference on the same base, that is, on the same arc._
This is of great importance for its consequences, of which the two
following are the principal:--
Prop. 21. _The angles in the same segment of a circle are equal to one
another_;
Prop. 22. _The opposite angles of any quadrilateral figure inscribed
in a circle are together equal to two right angles._
Further consequences are:--
Prop. 23. _On the same straight line, and on the same side of it,
there cannot be two similar segments of circles, not coinciding with
one another_;
Prop. 24. _Similar segments of circles on equal straight lines are
equal to one another._
The problem Prop. 25. _A segment of a circle being given to describe
the circle of which it is a segment_, may be solved much more easily
by aid of the construction described in relation to Prop. 1, III., in
§ 27.
§ 34. There follow four theorems connecting the angles at the centre,
the arcs into which they divide the circumference, and the chords
subtending these arcs. They are expressed for angles, arcs and chords
in equal circles, but they hold also for angles, arcs and chords in
the same circle.
The theorems are:--
Prop. 26. _In equal circles equal angles stand on equal arcs, whether
they be at the centres or circumferences_;
Prop. 27. (converse to Prop. 26). _In equal circles the angles which
stand on equal arcs are equal to one another, whether they be at the
centres or the circumferences_;
Prop. 28. _In equal circles equal straight lines_ (equal chords) _cut
off equal arcs, the greater equal to the greater, and the less equal
to the less_;
Prop. 29 (converse to Prop. 28). _In equal circles equal arcs are
subtended by equal straight lines._
§ 35. Other important consequences of Props. 20-22 are:--
Prop. 31. _In a circle the angle in a semicircle is a right angle; but
the angle in a segment greater than a semicircle is less than a right
angle; and the angle in a segment less than a semicircle is greater
than a right angle_;
Prop. 32. _If a straight line touch a circle, and from the point of
contact a straight line be drawn cutting the circle, the angles which
this line makes with the line touching the circle shall be equal to
the angles which are in the alternate segments of the circle._
§ 36. Propositions 30, 33, 34, contain problems which are solved by
aid of the propositions preceding them:--
Prop. 30. _To bisect a given arc, that is, to divide it into two equal
parts_;
Prop. 33. _On a given straight line to describe a segment of a circle
containing an angle equal to a given rectilineal angle_;
Prop. 34. _From a given circle to cut off a segment containing an
angle equal to a given rectilineal angle_.
§ 37. If we draw chords through a point A within a circle, they will
each be divided by A into two segments. Between these segments the law
holds that the rectangle contained by them has the same area on
whatever chord through A the segments are taken. The value of this
rectangle changes, of course, with the position of A.
A similar theorem holds if the point A be taken without the circle. On
every straight line through A, which cuts the circle in two points B
and C, we have two segments AB and AC, and the rectangles contained by
them are again equal to one another, and equal to the square on a
tangent drawn from A to the circle.
The first of these theorems gives Prop. 35, and the second Prop. 36,
with its corollary, whilst Prop. 37, the last of Book III., gives the
converse to Prop. 36. The first two theorems may be combined in one:--
_If through a point A in the plane of a circle a straight line be
drawn cutting the circle in B and C, then the rectangle AB·AC has a
constant value so long as the point A be fixed; and if from A a
tangent AD can be drawn to the circle, touching at D, then the above
rectangle equals the square on AD._
Prop. 37 may be stated thus:--
_If from a point A without a circle a line be drawn cutting the circle
in B and C, and another line to a point D on the circle, and AB·AC =
AD², then the line AD touches the circle at D._
It is not difficult to prove also the converse to the general
proposition as above stated. This proposition and its converse may be
expressed as follows:--
_If four points ABCD be taken on the circumference of a circle, and if
the lines AB, CD, produced if necessary, meet at E, then_
EA·EB = EC·ED;
_and conversely, if this relation holds then the four points lie on a
circle, that is, the circle drawn through three of them passes through
the fourth._
That a circle may always be drawn through three points, provided that
they do not lie in a straight line, is proved only later on in Book
IV.
BOOK IV.
§ 38. The fourth book contains only problems, all relating to the
construction of triangles and polygons inscribed in and circumscribed
about circles, and of circles inscribed in or circumscribed about
triangles and polygons. They are nearly all given for their own sake,
and not for future use in the construction of figures, as are most of
those in the former books. In seven definitions at the beginning of
the book it is explained what is understood by figures inscribed in or
described about other figures, with special reference to the case
where one figure is a circle. Instead, however, of saying that one
figure is described about another, it is now generally said that the
one figure is circumscribed about the other. We may then state the
definitions 3 or 4 thus:--
_Definition._--A polygon is said to be inscribed in a circle, and the
circle is said to be circumscribed about the polygon, if the vertices
of the polygon lie in the circumference of the circle.
And definitions 5 and 6 thus:--
_Definition._--A polygon is said to be circumscribed about a circle,
and a circle is said to be inscribed in a polygon, if the sides of the
polygon are tangents to the circle.
§ 39. The first problem is merely constructive. It requires to draw in
a given circle a chord equal to a given straight line, which is not
greater than the diameter of the circle. The problem is not a
determinate one, inasmuch as the chord may be drawn from any point in
the circumference. This may be said of almost all problems in this
book, especially of the next two. They are:--
Prop. 2. _In a given circle to inscribe a triangle equiangular to a
given triangle;_
Prop. 3. _About a given circle to circumscribe a triangle equiangular
to a given triangle._
§ 40. Of somewhat greater interest are the next problems, where the
triangles are given and the circles to be found.
Prop. 4. _To inscribe a circle in a given triangle._
The result is that the problem has always a solution, viz. the centre
of the circle is the point where the bisectors of two of the interior
angles of the triangle meet. The solution shows, though Euclid does
not state this, that the problem has but one solution; and also,
_The three bisectors of the interior angles of any triangle meet in a
point, and this is the centre of the circle inscribed in the
triangle._
The solutions of most of the other problems contain also theorems. Of
these we shall state those which are of special interest; Euclid does
not state any one of them.
§ 41. Prop. 5. _To circumscribe a circle about a given triangle._
The one solution which always exists contains the following:--
_The three straight lines which bisect the sides of a triangle at
right angles meet in a point, and this point is the centre of the
circle circumscribed about the triangle._
Euclid adds in a corollary the following property:--
The centre of the circle circumscribed about a triangle lies within,
on a side of, or without the triangle, according as the triangle is
acute-angled, right-angled or obtuse-angled.
§ 42. Whilst it is always possible to draw a circle which is inscribed
in or circumscribed about a given triangle, this is not the case with
quadrilaterals or polygons of more sides. Of those for which this is
possible the regular polygons, i.e. polygons which have all their
sides and angles equal, are the most interesting. In each of them a
circle may be inscribed, and another may be circumscribed about it.
Euclid does not use the word regular, but he describes the polygons in
question as _equiangular_ and _equilateral_. We shall use the name
regular polygon. The regular triangle is equilateral, the regular
quadrilateral is the square.
Euclid considers the regular polygons of 4, 5, 6 and 15 sides. For
each of the first three he solves the problems--(1) to inscribe such a
polygon in a given circle; (2) to circumscribe it about a given
circle; (3) to inscribe a circle in, and (4) to circumscribe a circle
about, such a polygon.
For the regular triangle the problems are not repeated, because more
general problems have been solved.
Props. 6, 7, 8 and 9 solve these problems for the square.
The general problem of inscribing in a given circle a regular polygon
of n sides depends upon the problem of dividing the circumference of a
circle into n equal parts, or what comes to the same thing, of drawing
from the centre of the circle n radii such that the angles between
consecutive radii are equal, that is, to divide the space about the
centre into n equal angles. Thus, if it is required to inscribe a
square in a circle, we have to draw four lines from the centre, making
the four angles equal. This is done by drawing two diameters at right
angles to one another. The ends of these diameters are the vertices of
the required square. If, on the other hand, tangents be drawn at these
ends, we obtain a square circumscribed about the circle.
§ 43. To construct a _regular pentagon_, we find it convenient first
to construct a _regular decagon_. This requires to divide the space
about the centre into ten equal angles. Each will be 1/10th of a right
angle, or 1/5th of two right angles. If we suppose the decagon
constructed, and if we join the centre to the end of one side, we get
an isosceles triangle, where the angle at the centre equals 1/5th of
two right angles; hence each of the angles at the base will be 2/5ths
of two right angles, as all three angles together equal two right
angles. Thus we have to construct an isosceles triangle, having the
angle at the vertex equal to half an angle at the base. This is solved
in Prop. 10, by aid of the problem in Prop. 11 of the second book. If
we make the sides of this triangle equal to the radius of the given
circle, then the base will be the side of the regular decagon
inscribed in the circle. This side being known the decagon can be
constructed, and if the vertices are joined alternately, leaving out
half their number, we obtain the regular pentagon. (Prop. 11.)
Euclid does not proceed thus. He wants the pentagon before the
decagon. This, however, does not change the real nature of his
solution, nor does his solution become simpler by not mentioning the
decagon.
Once the regular pentagon is inscribed, it is easy to circumscribe
another by drawing tangents at the vertices of the inscribed pentagon.
This is shown in Prop. 12.
Props. 13 and 14 teach how a circle may be inscribed in or
circumscribed about any given regular pentagon.
§ 44. The _regular hexagon_ is more easily constructed, as shown in
Prop. 15. The result is that the side of the regular hexagon inscribed
in a circle is equal to the radius of the circle.
For this polygon the other three problems mentioned are not solved.
§ 45. The book closes with Prop. 16. To inscribe a regular quindecagon
in a given circle. If we inscribe a regular pentagon and a regular
hexagon in the circle, having one vertex in common, then the arc from
the common vertex to the next vertex of the pentagon is 1/5th of the
circumference, and to the next vertex of the hexagon is 1/6th of the
circumference. The difference between these arcs is, therefore, 1/5 -
1/6 = 1/30th of the circumference. The latter may, therefore, be
divided into thirty, and hence also in fifteen equal parts, and the
regular quindecagon be described.
§ 46. We conclude with a few theorems about regular polygons which are
not given by Euclid.
_The straight lines perpendicular to and bisecting the sides of any
regular polygon meet in a point. The straight lines bisecting the
angles in the regular polygon meet in the same point. This point is
the centre of the circles circumscribed about and inscribed in the
regular polygon._
We can bisect any given arc (Prop. 30, III.). Hence we can divide a
circumference into 2n equal parts as soon as it has been divided into
n equal parts, or as soon as a regular polygon of n sides has been
constructed. Hence--
_If a regular polygon of n sides has been constructed, then a regular
polygon of 2n sides, of 4n, of 8n sides, &c., may also be
constructed._ Euclid shows how to construct regular polygons of 3, 4,
5 and 15 sides. It follows that we can construct regular polygons of
3, 6, 12, 24 sides
4, 8, 16, 32 "
5, 10, 20, 40 "
15, 30, 60, 120 "
The construction of any new regular polygon not included in one of
these series will give rise to a new series. Till the beginning of the
19th century nothing was added to the knowledge of regular polygons as
given by Euclid. Then Gauss, in his celebrated _Arithmetic_, proved
that every regular polygon of 2^n + 1 sides may be constructed if this
number 2^n + 1 be prime, and that no others except those with 2^m(2^n
+ 1) sides can be constructed by elementary methods. This shows that
regular polygons of 7, 9, 13 sides cannot thus be constructed, but
that a regular polygon of 17 sides is possible; for 17 = 2^4 + 1. The
next polygon is one of 257 sides. The construction becomes already
rather complicated for 17 sides.
BOOK V.
§ 47. The fifth book of the _Elements_ is not exclusively geometrical.
It contains the theory of ratios and proportion of quantities in
general. The treatment, as here given, is admirable, and in every
respect superior to the algebraical method by which Euclid's theory is
now generally replaced. We shall treat the subject in order to show
why the usual algebraical treatment of proportion is not really sound.
We begin by quoting those definitions at the beginning of Book V.
which are most important. These definitions have given rise to much
discussion.
The only definitions which are essential for the fifth book are Defs.
1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Of the remainder 3, 8 and 9 are more than
useless, and probably not Euclid's, but additions of later editors, of
whom Theon of Alexandria was the most prominent. Defs. 10 and 11
belong rather to the sixth book, whilst all the others are merely
nominal. The really important ones are 4, 5, 6 and 7.
§ 48. To define a magnitude is not attempted by Euclid. The first two
definitions state what is meant by a "part," that is, a submultiple or
measure, and by a "multiple" of a given magnitude. The meaning of Def.
4 is that two given quantities can have a ratio to one another only in
case that they are comparable as to their magnitude, that is, if they
are of the same kind.
Def. 3, which is probably due to Theon, professes to define a ratio,
but is as meaningless as it is uncalled for, for all that is wanted is
given in Defs. 5 and 7.
In Def. 5 it is explained what is meant by saying that two magnitudes
have the same ratio to one another as two other magnitudes, and in
Def. 7 what we have to understand by a greater or a less ratio. The
6th definition is only nominal, explaining the meaning of the word
_proportional_.
Euclid represents magnitudes by lines, and often denotes them either
by single letters or, like lines, by two letters. We shall use only
single letters for the purpose. If a and b denote two magnitudes of
the same kind, their ratio will be denoted by a : b; if c and d are
two other magnitudes of the same kind, but possibly of a different
kind from a and b, then if c and d have the same ratio to one another
as a and b, this will be expressed by writing--
a : b :: c : d.
Further, if m is a (whole) number, ma shall denote the multiple of a
which is obtained by taking it m times.
§ 49. The whole theory of ratios is based on Def. 5.
Def. 5. _The first of four magnitudes is said to have the same ratio
to the second that the third has to the fourth when, any equimultiples
whatever of the first and the third being taken, and any equimultiples
whatever of the second and the fourth, if the multiple of the first be
less than that of the second, the multiple of the third is also less
than that of the fourth; and if the multiple of the first is equal to
that of the second, the multiple of the third is also equal to that of
the fourth; and if the multiple of the first is greater than that of
the second, the multiple of the third is also greater than that of the
fourth._
It will be well to show at once in an example how this definition can
be used, by proving the first part of the first proposition in the
sixth book. _Triangles of the same altitude are to one another as
their bases_, or if a and b are the bases, and [alpha] and ß the
areas, of two triangles which have the same altitude, then a : b ::
[alpha] : ß.
To prove this, we have, according to Definition 5, to show--
if ma > nb, then m[alpha] > nß,
if ma = nb, then m[alpha] = nß,
if ma < nb, then m[alpha] < nß.
That this is true is in our case easily seen. We may suppose that the
triangles have a common vertex, and their bases in the same line. We
set off the base a along the line containing the bases m times; we
then join the different parts of division to the vertex, and get m
triangles all equal to [alpha]. The triangle on ma as base equals,
therefore, m[alpha]. If we proceed in the same manner with the base b,
setting it off n times, we find that the area of the triangle on the
base nb equals nß, the vertex of all triangles being the same. But if
two triangles have the same altitude, then their areas are equal if
the bases are equal; hence m[alpha] = nß if ma = nb, and if their
bases are unequal, then that has the greater area which is on the
greater base; in other words, m[alpha] is greater than, equal to, or
less than nß, according as ma is greater than, equal to, or less than
nb, which was to be proved.
§ 50. It will be seen that even in this example it does not become
evident what a ratio really is. It is still an open question whether
ratios are magnitudes which we can compare. We do not know whether the
ratio of two lines is a magnitude of the same kind as the ratio of two
areas. Though we might say that Def. 5 defines _equal _ratios, still
we do not know whether they are equal in the sense of the axiom, that
two things which are equal to a third are equal to one another. That
this is the case requires a proof, and until this proof is given we
shall use the :: instead of the sign = , which, however, we shall
afterwards introduce.
As soon as it has been established that all ratios are like
magnitudes, it becomes easy to show that, in some cases at least, they
are numbers. This step was never made by Greek mathematicians. They
distinguished always most carefully between continuous magnitudes and
the discrete series of numbers. In modern times it has become the
custom to ignore this difference.
If, in determining the ratio of two lines, a common measure can be
found, which is contained m times in the first, and n times in the
second, then the ratio of the two lines equals the ratio of the two
numbers m : n. This is shown by Euclid in Prop. 5, X. But the ratio of
two numbers is, as a rule, a fraction, and the Greeks did not, as we
do, consider fractions as numbers. Far less had they any notion of
introducing irrational numbers, which are neither whole nor
fractional, as we are obliged to do if we wish to say that all ratios
are numbers. The incommensurable numbers which are thus introduced as
ratios of incommensurable quantities are nowadays as familiar to us as
fractions; but a proof is generally omitted that we may apply to them
the rules which have been established for rational numbers only.
Euclid's treatment of ratios avoids this difficulty. His definitions
hold for commensurable as well as for incommensurable quantities. Even
the notion of incommensurable quantities is avoided in Book V. But he
proves that the more elementary rules of algebra hold for ratios. We
shall state all his propositions in that algebraical form to which we
are now accustomed. This may, of course, be done without changing the
character of Euclid's method.
§. 51. Using the notation explained above we express the first
propositions as follows:--
Prop. 1. If a = ma', b = mb', c = mc',
then a + b + c = m(a' + b' + c').
Prop. 2. If a = mb, and c = md,
e = nb, and f = nd,
then a + e is the same multiple of b as c + f is of d, viz.:--
a + e = (m + n)b, and c + f = (m + n)d.
Prop. 3. If a = mb, c = md, then is na the same multiple of b that nc
is of d, viz. na = nmb, nc = nmd.
Prop. 4. If a : b :: c : d,
then ma : nb :: mc : nd.
Prop. 5. If a = mb, and c = md,
then a - c = m(b - d).
Prop. 6. If a = mb, c = md,
then are a - nb and c - nd either equal to, or equimultiples of, b and
d, viz. a - nb = (m - n)b and c - nd = (m - n)d, where m - n may be
unity.
All these propositions relate to _equimultiples_. Now follow
propositions about ratios which are compared as to their magnitude.
§ 52. Prop. 7. If a = b, then a : c :: b : c and c : a :: c : b.
The proof is simply this. As a = b we know that ma = mb; therefore
if ma > nc, then mb > nc,
if ma = nc, then mb = nc,
if ma < nc, then mb < nc,
therefore the first proportion holds by Definition 5.
Prop. 8. If a > b, then a : c > b : c,
and c : a < c : b.
The proof depends on Definition 7.
Prop. 9 (converse to Prop. 7). If
a : c :: b : c,
or if c : a :: c : b, then a = b.
Prop. 10 (converse to Prop. 8). If
a : c > b : c, then a > b,
and if c : a < c : b, then a < b.
Prop. 11. If a : b :: c : d,
and a : b :: e : f,
then c : d :: e : f.
In words, _if too ratios are equal to a third, they are equal to one
another_. After these propositions have been proved, we have a right
to consider a ratio as a _magnitude_, for only now can we consider a
ratio as something for which the axiom about magnitudes holds: things
which are equal to a third are equal to one another.
We shall indicate this by writing in future the sign = instead of ::.
The remaining propositions, which explain themselves, may then be
stated as follows:
§ 53. Prop. 12. If a : b = c : d = e : f,
then a + c + e : b + d + f = a : b.
Prop. 13. If a : b = c : d and c : d > e : f,
then a : b > e : f.
Prop. 14. If a : b = c : d, and a > c, then b > d.
Prop. 15. Magnitudes have the same ratio to one another that their
equimultiples have--
ma : mb = a : b.
Prop. 16. If a, b, c, d are magnitudes of the same kind, and if
a : b = c : d,
then a : c = b : d.
Prop. 17. If a + b : b = c + d : d,
then a : b = c : d.
Prop. 18 (converse to 17). If
a : b = c : d
then a + b : b = c + d : d.
Prop. 19. If a, b, c, d are quantities of the same kind, and if
a : b = c : d,
then a - c : b - d = a : b.
§ 54. Prop. 20. _If there be three magnitudes, and another three,
which have the same ratio, taken two and two, then if the first be
greater than the third, the fourth shall be greater than the sixth:
and if equal, equal; and if less, less._
If we understand by
a : b : c : d : e : ... = a' : b' : c' : d' : e' : ...
that the ratio of any two consecutive magnitudes on the first side
equals that of the corresponding magnitudes on the second side, we may
write this theorem in symbols, thus:--
If a, b, c be quantities of one, and d, e, f magnitudes of the same or
any other kind, such that
a : b : c = d : e : f,
and if a > c, then d > f,
but if a = c, then d = f,
and if a < c, then d < f.
Prop. 21. If a : b = e : f and b : c = d : e,
or if a : b : c = 1/f : 1/e : 1/d,
and if a > c, then d > f,
but if a = c, then d = f,
and if a < c, then d < f.
By aid of these two propositions the following two are proved.
§ 55. Prop. 22. _If there be any number of magnitudes, and as many
others, which have the same ratio, taken two and two in order, the
first shall have to the last of the first magnitudes the same ratio
which the first of the others has to the last._
We may state it more generally, thus:
If a : b : c : d : e: ... = a' : b' : c' : d' : e' : ... ,
then not only have two consecutive, but any two magnitudes on the
first side, the same ratio as the corresponding magnitudes on the
other. For instance--
a : c = a' : c'; b : e = b' : e', &c.
Prop. 23 we state only in symbols, viz.:--
If a : b : c : d : e : ... = 1/a' : 1/b' : 1/c' : 1/d' : 1/e' ...,
then a : c = c' : a',
b : e = e' : b',
and so on.
Prop. 24 comes to this: If a : b = c : d and e : b = f : d, then
a + e : b = c + f : d.
Some of the proportions which are considered in the above propositions
have special names. These we have omitted, as being of no use, since
algebra has enabled us to bring the different operations contained in
the propositions under a common point of view.
§ 56. The last proposition in the fifth book is of a different
character.
Prop. 25. _If four magnitudes of the same kind be proportional, the
greatest and least of them together shall be greater than the other
two together._ In symbols--
If a, b, c, d be magnitudes of the same kind, and if a : b = c : d,
and if a is the greatest, hence d the least, then a + d > b + c.
§ 57. We return once again to the question. What is a ratio? We have
seen that we may treat ratios as magnitudes, and that all ratios are
magnitudes of the same kind, for we may compare any two as to their
magnitude. It will presently be shown that ratios of lines may be
considered as _quotients_ of lines, so that a ratio appears as answer
to the question, How often is one line contained in another? But the
answer to this question is given by a number, at least in some cases,
and in all cases if we admit incommensurable numbers. Considered from
this point of view, we may say the fifth book of the _Elements_ shows
that some of the simpler algebraical operations hold for
incommensurable numbers. In the ordinary algebraical treatment of
numbers this proof is altogether omitted, or given by a process of
limits which does not seem to be natural to the subject.
BOOK VI.
§ 58. The sixth book contains the theory of similar figures. After a
few definitions explaining terms, the first proposition gives the
first application of the theory of proportion.
Prop. 1. _Triangles and parallelograms of the same altitude are to one
another as their bases._
The proof has already been considered in § 49.
From this follows easily the important theorem
Prop. 2. _If a straight line be drawn parallel to one of the sides of
a triangle it shall cut the other sides, or those sides produced,
proportionally; and if the sides or the sides produced be cut
proportionally, the straight line which joins the points of section
shall be parallel to the remaining side of the triangle._
§ 59. The next proposition, together with one added by Simson as Prop.
A, may be expressed more conveniently if we introduce a modern
phraseology, viz. if in a line AB we assume a point C between A and B,
we shall say that C divides AB internally in the ratio AC : CB; but if
C be taken in the line AB produced, we shall say that AB is divided
externally in the ratio AC : CB.
The two propositions then come to this:
Prop. 3. _The bisector of an angle in a triangle divides the opposite
side internally in a ratio equal to the ratio of the two sides
including that angle;_ and conversely, _if a line through the vertex
of a triangle divide the base internally in the ratio of the two other
sides, then that line bisects the angle at the vertex_.
Simson's Prop. A. _The line which bisects an exterior angle of a
triangle divides the opposite side externally in the ratio of the
other sides;_ and conversely, _if a line through the vertex of a
triangle divide the base externally in the ratio of the sides, then it
bisects an exterior angle at the vertex of the triangle_.
If we combine both we have--
_The two lines which bisect the interior and exterior angles at one
vertex of a triangle divide the opposite side internally and
externally in the same ratio, viz. in the ratio of the other two
sides._
§ 60. The next four propositions contain the theory of similar
triangles, of which four cases are considered. They may be stated
together.
_Two triangles are similar_,--
1. (Prop. 4). _If the triangles are equiangular:_
2. (Prop. 5). _If the sides of the one are proportional to those of
the other_;
3. (Prop. 6). _If two sides in one are proportional to two sides in
the other, and if the angles contained by these sides are equal_;
4. (Prop. 7). _If two sides in one are proportional to two sides in
the other, if the angles opposite homologous sides are equal, and if
the angles opposite the other homologous sides are both acute, both
right or both obtuse; homologous sides being in each case those which
are opposite equal angles_.
An important application of these theorems is at once made to a
right-angled triangle, viz.:--
Prop. 8. _In a right-angled triangle, if a perpendicular be drawn from
the right angle to the base, the triangles on each side of it are
similar to the whole triangle, and to one another_.
_Corollary._--From this it is manifest that the perpendicular drawn
from the right angle of a right-angled triangle to the base is a mean
proportional between the segments of the base, and also that each of
the sides is a mean proportional between the base and the segment of
the base adjacent to that side.
§ 61. There follow four propositions containing problems, in language
slightly different from Euclid's, viz.:--
Prop. 9. _To divide a straight line into a given number of equal
parts_.
Prop. 10. _To divide a straight line in a given ratio_.
Prop. 11. _To find a third proportional to two given straight lines_.
Prop. 12. _To find a fourth proportional to three given straight
lines_.
Prop. 13. _To find a mean proportional between two given straight
lines_.
The last three may be written as equations with one unknown
quantity--viz. if we call the given straight lines a, b, c, and the
required line x, we have to find a line x so that
Prop. 11. a : b = b : x;
Prop. 12. a : b = c : x;
Prop. 13. a : x = x : b.
We shall see presently how these may be written without the signs of
ratios.
§ 62. Euclid considers next proportions connected with parallelograms
and triangles which are equal in area.
Prop. 14. _Equal parallelograms which have one angle of the one equal
to one angle of the other have their sides about the equal angles
reciprocally proportional; and parallelograms which have one angle of
the one equal to one angle of the other, and their sides about the
equal angles reciprocally proportional, are equal to one another_.
Prop. 15. _Equal triangles which have one angle of the one equal to
one angle of the other, have their sides about the equal angles
reciprocally proportional; and triangles which have one angle of the
one equal to one angle of the other, and their sides about the equal
angles reciprocally proportional, are equal to one another_.
[Illustration]
The latter proposition is really the same as the former, for if, as in
the accompanying diagram, in the figure belonging to the former the
two equal parallelograms AB and BC be bisected by the lines DF and EG,
and if EF be drawn, we get the figure belonging to the latter.
It is worth noticing that the lines FE and DG are parallel. We may
state therefore the theorem--
_If two triangles are equal in area, and have one angle in the one
vertically opposite to one angle in the other, then the two straight
lines which join the remaining two vertices of the one to those of the
other triangle are parallel_.
§ 63. A most important theorem is
_Prop. 16. If four straight lines be proportionals, the rectangle
contained by the extremes is equal to the rectangle contained by the
means; and if the rectangle contained by the extremes be equal to the
rectangle contained by the means, the four straight lines are
proportionals_.
In symbols, if a, b, c, d are the four lines, and
if a : b = c : d,
then ad = bc;
and conversely, if ad = bc,
then a : b = c : d,
where ad and bc denote (as in § 20), the areas of the rectangles
contained by a and d and by b and c respectively.
This allows us to transform every proportion between four lines into
an equation between two products.
It shows further that the operation of forming a product of two lines,
and the operation of forming their ratio are each the inverse of the
other.
If we now define a quotient a/b of two lines as the _number_ which
multiplied into b gives a, so that
a
-- b = a,
b
we see that from the equality of two quotients
a c
-- = --
b d
follows, if we multiply both sides by bd,
a c
-- b·d = -- d·b,
b d
ad = cb.
But from this it follows, according to the last theorem, that
a : b = c : d.
Hence we conclude that the quotient a/b and the ratio a : b are
different forms of the same magnitude, only with this important
difference that the quotient a/b would have a meaning only if a and b
have a common measure, until we introduce incommensurable numbers,
while the ratio a : b has always a meaning, and thus gives rise to the
introduction of incommensurable numbers.
Thus it is really the theory of ratios in the fifth book which enables
us to extend the geometrical calculus given before in connexion with
Book II. It will also be seen that if we write the ratios in Book V.
as quotients, or rather as fractions, then most of the theorems state
properties of quotients or of fractions.
§ 64. Prop. 17. _If three straight lines are proportional the
rectangle contained by the extremes is equal to the square on the
mean;_ and conversely, is only a special case of 16. After the
problem, Prop. 18, _On a given straight line to describe a rectilineal
figure similar and similarly situated to a given rectilineal figure_,
there follows another fundamental theorem:
Prop. 19. _Similar triangles are to one another in the duplicate ratio
of their homologous sides._ In other words, the areas of similar
triangles are to one another as the squares on homologous sides. This
is generalized in:
Prop. 20. _Similar polygons may be divided into the same number of
similar triangles, having the same ratio to one another that the
polygons have; and the polygons are to one another in the duplicate
ratio of their homologous sides._
§ 65. Prop. 21. _Rectilineal figures which are similar to the same
rectilineal figure are also similar to each other_, is an immediate
consequence of the definition of similar figures. As similar figures
may be said to be equal in "shape" but not in "size," we may state it
also thus:
"Figures which are equal in shape to a third are equal in shape to
each other."
Prop. 22. _If four straight lines be proportionals, the similar
rectilineal figures similarly described on them shall also be
proportionals; and if the similar rectilineal figures similarly
described on four straight lines be proportionals, those straight
lines shall be proportionals._
This is essentially the same as the following:--
_If_ a : b = c : d,
_then_ a² : b² = c² : d².
§ 66. Now follows a proposition which has been much discussed with
regard to Euclid's exact meaning in saying that a ratio is
_compounded_ of two other ratios, viz.:
Prop. 23. _Parallelograms which are equiangular to one another, have
to one another the ratio which is compounded of the ratios of their
sides._
The proof of the proposition makes its meaning clear. In symbols the
ratio a : c is compounded of the two ratios a : b and b : c, and if a
: b = a' : b', b : c = b" : c", then a : c is compounded of a' : b'
and b" : c".
If we consider the ratios as numbers, we may say that the one ratio is
the product of those of which it is compounded, or in symbols,
a a b a' b" a a' b b"
-- = -- · -- = -- · --, if -- = -- and -- = --.
c b c b' c" b b' c c"
The theorem in Prop. 23 is the foundation of all mensuration of areas.
From it we see at once that two rectangles have the ratio of their
areas compounded of the ratios of their sides.
If A is the area of a rectangle contained by a and b, and B that of a
rectangle contained by c and d, so that A = ab, B = cd, then A : B =
ab : cd, and this is, the theorem says, compounded of the ratios a : c
and b : d. In forms of quotients,
a b ab
-- · -- = --.
c d cd
This shows how to multiply quotients in our geometrical calculus.
Further, _Two triangles have the ratios of their areas compounded of
the ratios of their bases and their altitude._ For a triangle is equal
in area to half a parallelogram which has the same base and the same
altitude.
§ 67. To bring these theorems to the form in which they are usually
given, we assume a straight line u as our unit of length (generally an
inch, a foot, a mile, &c.), and determine the number [alpha] which
expresses how often u is contained in a line a, so that [alpha]
denotes the ratio a : u whether commensurable or not, and that a =
[alpha]u. We call this number [alpha] the numerical value of a. If in
the same manner ß be the numerical value of a line b we have
a : b = [alpha] : ß;
in words: _The ratio of two lines (and of two like quantities in
general) is equal to that of their numerical values._
This is easily proved by observing that a = [alpha]u, b = ßu,
therefore a : b = [alpha]u : ßu, and this may without difficulty be
shown to equal [alpha] : ß.
If now a, b be base and altitude of one, a', b' those of another
parallelogram, [alpha], ß and [alpha]', ß' their numerical values
respectively, and A, A' their areas, then
A a b [alpha] ß [alpha]ß
-- = -- · -- = -------- · -- = ----------.
A' a' b' [alpha]' ß' [alpha]'ß'
In words: _The areas of two parallelograms are to each other as the
products of the numerical values of their bases and altitudes._
If especially the second parallelogram is the unit square, i.e. a
square on the unit of length, then [alpha]' = ß' = 1, A' = u², and we
have
A
-- = [alpha]ß or A = [alpha]ß · u².
A'
This gives the theorem: The number of unit squares contained in a
parallelogram equals the product of the numerical values of base and
altitude, and similarly the number of unit squares contained in a
triangle equals half the product of the numerical values of base and
altitude.
This is often stated by saying that the area of a parallelogram is
equal to the product of the base and the altitude, meaning by this
product the product of the numerical values, and not the product as
defined above in § 20.
§ 68. Propositions 24 and 26 relate to parallelograms about diagonals,
such as are considered in Book I., 43. They are--
Prop. 24. _Parallelograms about the diameter of any parallelogram are
similar to the whole parallelogram and to one another_; and its
converse (Prop. 26), _If two similar parallelograms have a common
angle, and be similarly situated, they are about the same diameter._
Between these is inserted a problem.
Prop. 25. _To describe a rectilineal figure which shall be similar to
one given rectilinear figure, and equal to another given rectilineal
figure_.
§ 69. Prop. 27 contains a theorem relating to the theory of maxima and
minima. We may state it thus:
Prop. 27. _If a parallelogram be divided into two by a straight line
cutting the base, and if on half the base another parallelogram be
constructed similar to one of those parts, then this third
parallelogram is greater than the other part._
Of far greater interest than this general theorem is a special case of
it, where the parallelograms are changed into rectangles, and where
one of the parts into which the parallelogram is divided is made a
square; for then the theorem changes into one which is easily
recognized to be identical with the following:--
_Of all rectangles which have the same perimeter the square has the
greatest area._
This may also be stated thus:--
_Of all rectangles which have the same area the square has the least
perimeter._
§ 70. The next three propositions contain problems which may be said
to be solutions of quadratic equations. The first two are, like the
last, involved in somewhat obscure language. We transcribe them as
follows:
_Problem_.--To describe on a given base a parallelogram, and to divide
it either internally (Prop. 28) or externally (Prop. 29) from a point
on the base into two parallelograms, of which the one has a given size
(is equal in area to a given figure), whilst the other has a given
shape (is similar to a given parallelogram).
If we express this again in symbols, calling the given base a, the one
part x, and the altitude y, we have to determine x and y in the first
case from the equations
(a - x)y = k²,
x p
-- = --,
y q
k² being the given size of the first, and p and q the base and
altitude of the parallelogram which determine the shape of the second
of the required parallelograms.
If we substitute the value of y, we get
pk²
(a - x)x = ---,
q
or,
ax - x² = b²,
where a and b are known quantities, taking b² = pk²/q.
The second case (Prop. 29) gives rise, in the same manner, to the
quadratic
ax + x² = b².
The next problem--
Prop. 30. _To cut a given straight line in extreme and mean ratio_,
leads to the equation
ax + x² = a².
This is, therefore, only a special case of the last, and is, besides,
an old acquaintance, being essentially the same problem as that
proposed in II. 11.
Prop. 30 may therefore be solved in two ways, either by aid of Prop.
29 or by aid of II. 11. Euclid gives both solutions.
§ 71. Prop. 31 (Theorem). _In any right-angled triangle, any
rectilineal figure described on the side subtending the right angle is
equal to the similar and similarly-described figures on the sides
containing the right angle_,--is a pretty generalization of the
theorem of Pythagoras (I. 47).
Leaving out the next proposition, which is of little interest, we come
to the last in this book.
Prop. 33. _In equal circles angles, whether at the centres or the
circumferences, have the same ratio which the arcs on which they stand
have to one another; so also have the sectors_.
Of this, the part relating to angles at the centre is of special
importance; it enables us to measure angles by arcs.
With this closes that part of the _Elements_ which is devoted to the
study of figures in a plane.
BOOK XI.
§ 72. In this book figures are considered which are not confined to a
plane, viz. first relations between lines and planes in space, and
afterwards properties of solids.
Of new definitions we mention those which relate to the
perpendicularity and the inclination of lines and planes.
Def. 3. _A straight line is perpendicular, or at right angles, to a
plane when it makes right angles with every straight line meeting it
in that plane_.
The definition of perpendicular planes (Def. 4) offers no difficulty.
Euclid defines the inclination of lines to planes and of planes to
planes (Defs. 5 and 6) by aid of plane angles, included by straight
lines, with which we have been made familiar in the first books.
The other important definitions are those of parallel planes, which
never meet (Def. 8), and of solid angles formed by three or more
planes meeting in a point (Def. 9).
To these we add the definition of a line parallel to a plane as a line
which does not meet the plane.
§ 73. Before we investigate the contents of Book XI., it will be well
to recapitulate shortly what we know of planes and lines from the
definitions and axioms of the first book. There a plane has been
defined as a surface which has the property that every straight line
which joins two points in it lies altogether in it. This is equivalent
to saying that a straight line which has two points in a plane has all
points in the plane. Hence, a straight line which does not lie in the
plane cannot have more than one point in common with the plane. This
is virtually the same as Euclid's Prop. 1, viz.:--
Prop. 1. _One part of a straight line cannot be in a plane and another
part without it_.
It also follows, as was pointed out in § 3, in discussing the
definitions of Book I., that a plane is determined already by one
straight line and a point without it, viz. if all lines be drawn
through the point, and cutting the line, they will form a plane.
This may be stated thus:--
_A plane is determined_--
1st, _By a straight line and a point which does not lie on it;_
2nd, _By three points which do not lie in a straight line_; for if two
of these points be joined by a straight line we have case 1;
3rd, _By two intersecting straight lines_; for the point of
intersection and two other points, one in each line, give case 2;
4th, _By two parallel lines_ (Def. 35, I.).
The third case of this theorem is Euclid's
Prop. 2. _Two straight lines which cut one another are in one plane,
and three straight lines which meet one another are in one plane_.
And the fourth is Euclid's
Prop. 7. _If two straight lines be parallel, the straight line drawn
from any point in one to any point in the other is in the same plane
with the parallels_. From the definition of a plane further follows
Prop. 3. _If two planes cut one another, their common section is a
straight line_.
§ 74. Whilst these propositions are virtually contained in the
definition of a plane, the next gives us a new and fundamental
property of space, showing at the same time that it is possible to
have a straight line perpendicular to a plane, according to Def. 3. It
states--
Prop. 4. _If a straight line is perpendicular to two straight lines in
a plane which it meets, then it is perpendicular to all lines in the
plane which it meets, and hence it is perpendicular to the plane_.
Def. 3 may be stated thus: If a straight line is perpendicular to a
plane, then it is perpendicular to every line in the plane which it
meets. The converse to this would be
_All straight lines which meet a given straight line in the same
point, and are perpendicular to it, lie in a plane which is
perpendicular to that line_.
This Euclid states thus:
Prop. 5. _If three straight lines meet all at one point, and a
straight line stands at right angles to each of them at that point,
the three straight lines shall be in one and the same plane_.
§ 75. There follow theorems relating to the theory of parallel lines
in space, viz.:--
Prop. 6. _Any two lines which are perpendicular to the same plane are
parallel to each other;_ and conversely
Prop. 8. _If of two parallel straight lines one is perpendicular to a
plane, the other is so also._
Prop. 7. _If two straight lines are parallel, the straight line which
joins any point in one to any point in the other is in the same plane
as the parallels._ (See above, § 73.)
Prop. 9. _Two straight lines which are each of them parallel to the
same straight line, and not in the same plane with it, are parallel to
one another;_ where the words, "and not in the same plane with it,"
may be omitted, for they exclude the case of three parallels in a
plane, which has been proved before; and
Prop. 10. _If two angles in different planes have the two limits of
the one parallel to those of the other, then the angles are equal._
That their planes are parallel is shown later on in Prop. 15.
This theorem is not necessarily true, for the angles in question may
be supplementary; but then the one angle will be equal to that which
is adjacent and supplementary to the other, and this latter angle will
also have its limits parallel to those of the first.
From this theorem it follows that if we take any two straight lines in
space which do not meet, and if we draw through any point P in space
two lines parallel to them, then the angle included by these lines
will always be the same, whatever the position of the point P may be.
This angle has in modern times been called the angle between the given
lines:--
_By the angles between two not intersecting lines we understand the
angles which two intersecting lines include that are parallel
respectively to the two given lines._
§ 76. It is now possible to solve the following two problems:--
_To draw a straight line perpendicular to a given plane from a given
point which lies_
1. _Not in the plane_ (Prop. 11).
2. _In the plane_ (Prop. 12).
The second case is easily reduced to the first--viz. if by aid of the
first we have drawn any perpendicular to the plane from some point
without it, we need only draw through the given point in the plane a
line parallel to it, in order to have the required perpendicular
given. The solution of the first part is of interest in itself. It
depends upon a construction which may be expressed as a theorem.
_If from a point A without a plane a perpendicular AB be drawn to the
plane, and if from the foot B of this perpendicular another
perpendicular BC be drawn to any straight line in the plane, then the
straight line joining A to the foot C of this second perpendicular
will also be perpendicular to the line in the plane._
The theory of perpendiculars to a plane is concluded by the theorem--
Prop. 13. _Through any point in space, whether in or without a plane,
only one straight line can be drawn perpendicular to the plane._
§ 77. The next four propositions treat of parallel planes. It is shown
_that planes which have a common perpendicular are parallel_ (Prop.
14); _that two planes are parallel if two intersecting straight lines
in the one are parallel respectively to two straight lines in the
other plane_ (Prop. 15); _that parallel planes are cut by any plane in
parallel straight lines_ (Prop. 16); and lastly, _that any two
straight lines are cut proportionally by a series of parallel planes_
(Prop. 17).
This theory is made more complete by adding the following theorems,
which are easy deductions from the last: _Two parallel planes have
common perpendiculars_ (converse to 14); and _Two planes which are
parallel to a third plane are parallel to each other._
It will be noted that Prop. 15 at once allows of the solution of the
problem: "Through a given point to draw a plane parallel to a given
plane." And it is also easily proved that this problem allows always
of one, and only of one, solution.
§ 78. We come now to planes which are perpendicular to one another.
Two theorems relate to them.
Prop. 18. _If a straight line be at right angles to a plane, every
plane which passes through it shall be at right angles to that plane._
Prop. 19. _If two planes which cut one another be each of them
perpendicular to a third plane, their common section shall be
perpendicular to the same plane._
§ 79. If three planes pass through a common point, and if they bound
each other, a solid angle of three faces, or a _trihedral_ angle, is
formed, and similarly by more planes a solid angle of more faces, or a
_polyhedral_ angle. These have many properties which are quite
analogous to those of triangles and polygons in a plane. Euclid states
some, viz.:--
Prop. 20. _If a solid angle be contained by three plane angles, any
two of them are together greater than the third._
But the next--
Prop. 21. _Every solid angle is contained by plane angles, which are
together less than four right angles_--has no analogous theorem in the
plane.
We may mention, however, that the theorems about triangles contained
in the propositions of Book I., which do not depend upon the theory of
parallels (that is all up to Prop. 27), have their corresponding
theorems about trihedral angles. The latter are formed, if for "side
of a triangle" we write "plane angle" or "face" of trihedral angle,
and for "angle of triangle" we substitute "angle between two faces"
where the planes containing the solid angle are called its _faces_. We
get, for instance, from I. 4, the theorem, _If two trihedral angles
have the angles of two faces in the one equal to the angles of two
faces in the other, and have likewise the angles included by these
faces equal, then the angles in the remaining faces are equal, and the
angles between the other faces are equal each to each, viz. those
which are opposite equal faces._ The solid angles themselves are not
necessarily equal, for they may be only symmetrical like the right
hand and the left.
The connexion indicated between triangles and trihedral angles will
also be recognized in
Prop. 22. _If every two of three plane angles be greater than the
third, and if the straight lines which contain them be all equal, a
triangle may be made of the straight lines that join the extremities
of those equal straight lines._
And Prop. 23 solves the problem, _To construct a trihedral angle
having the angles of its faces equal to three given plane angles, any
two of them being greater than the third._ It is, of course, analogous
to the problem of constructing a triangle having its sides of given
length.
Two other theorems of this kind are added by Simson in his edition of
Euclid's _Elements_.
§ 80. These are the principal properties of lines and planes in space,
but before we go on to their applications it will be well to define
the word _distance_. In geometry distance means always "shortest
distance"; viz. the distance of a point from a straight line, or from
a plane, is the length of the perpendicular from the point to the line
or plane. The distance between two non-intersecting lines is the
length of their common perpendicular, there being but one. The
distance between two parallel lines or between two parallel planes is
the length of the common perpendicular between the lines or the
planes.
§ 81. _Parallelepipeds_.--The rest of the book is devoted to the study
of the parallelepiped. In Prop. 24 the possibility of such a solid is
proved, viz.:--
Prop. 24. _If a solid be contained by six planes two and two of which
are parallel, the opposite planes are similar and equal
parallelograms._
Euclid calls this solid henceforth a parallelepiped, though he never
defines the word. Either face of it may be taken as _base_, and its
distance from the opposite face as _altitude_.
Prop. 25. _If a solid parallelepiped be cut by a plane parallel to two
of its opposite planes, it divides the whole into two solids, the base
of one of which shall be to the base of the other as the one solid is
to the other_.
This theorem corresponds to the theorem (VI. 1) that parallelograms
between the same parallels are to one another as their bases. A
similar analogy is to be observed among a number of the remaining
propositions.
§ 82. After solving a few problems we come to
Prop. 28. _If a solid parallelepiped be cut by a plane passing through
the diagonals of two of the opposite planes, it shall be cut in two
equal parts._
In the proof of this, as of several other propositions, Euclid
neglects the difference between solids which are symmetrical like the
right hand and the left.
Prop. 31. _Solid parallelepipeds, which are upon equal bases, and of
the same altitude, are equal to one another._
Props. 29 and 30 contain special cases of this theorem leading up to
the proof of the general theorem.
As consequences of this fundamental theorem we get
Prop. 32. _Solid parallelepipeds, which have the same altitude, are to
one another as their bases;_ and
Prop. 33. _Similar solid parallelepipeds are to one another in the
triplicate ratio of their homologous sides._
If we consider, as in § 67, the ratios of lines as numbers, we may
also say--
_The ratio of the volumes of similar parallelepipeds is equal to the
ratio of the third powers of homologous sides._
Parallelepipeds which are not similar but equal are compared by aid of
the theorem
Prop. 34. _The bases and altitudes of equal solid parallelepipeds are
reciprocally proportional; and if the bases and altitudes be
reciprocally proportional, the solid parallelepipeds are equal._
§ 83. Of the following propositions the 37th and 40th are of special
interest.
Prop. 37. _If four straight lines be proportionals, the similar solid
parallelepipeds, similarly described from them, shall also be
proportionals; and if the similar parallelepipeds similarly described
from four straight lines be proportionals, the straight lines shall be
proportionals._
In symbols it says--
If a : b = c : d, then a³ : b³ = c³ : d³.
Prop. 40 teaches how to compare the volumes of triangular prisms with
those of parallelepipeds, by proving _that a triangular prism is equal
in volume to a parallelepiped, which has its altitude and its base
equal to the altitude and the base of the triangular prism._
§ 84. From these propositions follow all results relating to the
mensuration of volumes. We shall state these as we did in the case of
areas. The starting-point is the "rectangular" parallelepiped, which
has every edge perpendicular to the planes it meets, and which takes
the place of the rectangle in the plane. If this has all its edges
equal we obtain the "cube."
If we take a certain line u as unit length, then the square on u is
the unit of area, and the cube on u the unit of volume, that is to
say, if we wish to measure a volume we have to determine how many unit
cubes it contains.
A rectangular parallelepiped has, as a rule, the three edges unequal,
which meet at a point. Every other edge is equal to one of them. If a,
b, c be the three edges meeting at a point, then we may take the
rectangle contained by two of them, say by b and c, as base and the
third as altitude. Let V be its volume, V' that of another rectangular
parallelepiped which has the edges a', b, c, hence the same base as
the first. It follows then easily, from Prop. 25 or 32, that V : V' =
a : a'; or in words,
_Rectangular parallelepipeds on equal bases are proportional to their
altitudes._
If we have two rectangular parallelepipeds, of which the first has the
volume V and the edges a, b, c, and the second, the volume V' and the
edges a', b', c', we may compare them by aid of two new ones which
have respectively the edges a', b, c and a', b', c, and the volumes V1
and V2. We then have
V : V1 = a : a'; V1 : V2 = b : b', V2 : V' = c : c'.
Compounding these, we have
V : V' = (a : a')(b : b')(c : c'),
or
V a b c
-- = -- · -- · --.
V' a' b' c'
Hence, as a special case, making V' equal to the unit cube U on u we
get
V a b c
-- = -- · -- · -- = [alpha]·ß·[gamma],
U u u u
where [alpha], ß, [gamma] are the numerical values of a, b, c; that
is, _The number of unit cubes in a rectangular parallelepiped_ is
equal to the product of the numerical values of its three edges. This
is generally expressed by saying the volume of a rectangular
parallelepiped is measured by the product of its sides, or by the
product of its base into its altitude, which in this case is the same.
Prop. 31 allows us to extend this to any parallelepipeds, and Props.
28 or 40, to triangular prisms.
_The volume of any parallelepiped, or of any triangular prism, is
measured by the product of base and altitude._
The consideration that any polygonal prism may be divided into a
number of triangular prisms, which have the same altitude and the sum
of their bases equal to the base of the polygonal prism, shows further
that the same holds for any prism whatever.
BOOK XII.
§ 85. In the last part of Book XI. we have learnt how to compare the
volumes of parallelepipeds and of prisms. In order to determine the
volume of any solid bounded by plane faces we must determine the
volume of pyramids, for every such solid may be decomposed into a
number of pyramids.
As every pyramid may again be decomposed into triangular pyramids, it
becomes only necessary to determine their volume. This is done by the
_Theorem._--Every triangular pyramid is equal in volume to one third
of a triangular prism having the same base and the same altitude as
the pyramid.
This is an immediate consequence of Euclid's
Prop. 7. _Every prism having a triangular base may be divided into
three pyramids that have triangular bases, and are equal to one
another._
The proof of this theorem is difficult, because the three triangular
pyramids into which the prism is divided are by no means equal in
shape, and cannot be made to coincide. It has first to be proved that
two triangular pyramids have equal volumes, if they have equal bases
and equal altitudes. This Euclid does in the following manner. He
first shows (Prop. 3) that a triangular pyramid may be divided into
four parts, of which two are equal triangular pyramids similar to the
whole pyramid, whilst the other two are equal triangular prisms, and
further, that these two prisms together are greater than the two
pyramids, hence more than half the given pyramid. He next shows (Prop.
4) that if two triangular pyramids are given, having equal bases and
equal altitudes, and if each be divided as above, then the two
triangular prisms in the one are equal to those in the other, and each
of the remaining pyramids in the one has its base and altitude equal
to the base and altitude of the remaining pyramids in the other. Hence
to these pyramids the same process is again applicable. We are thus
enabled to cut out of the two given pyramids equal parts, each greater
than half the original pyramid. Of the remainder we can again cut out
equal parts greater than half these remainders, and so on as far as we
like. This process may be continued till the last remainder is smaller
than any assignable quantity, however small. It follows, so we should
conclude at present, that the two volumes must be equal, for they
cannot differ by any assignable quantity.
To Greek mathematicians this conclusion offers far greater
difficulties. They prove elaborately, by a _reductio ad absurdum_,
that the volumes cannot be unequal. This proof must be read in the
_Elements._ We must, however, state that we have in the above not
proved Euclid's Prop. 5, but only a special case of it. Euclid does
not suppose that the bases of the two pyramids to be compared are
equal, and hence he proves that the volumes are as the bases. The
reasoning of the proof becomes clearer in the special case, from which
the general one may be easily deduced.
§ 86. Prop. 6 extends the result to pyramids with polygonal bases.
From these results follow again the rules at present given for the
mensuration of solids, viz. a pyramid is the third part of a
triangular prism having the same base and the same altitude. But a
triangular prism is equal in volume to a parallelepiped which has the
same base and altitude. Hence if B is the base and h the altitude, we
have
Volume of prism = Bh,
Volume of pyramid = 1/3Bh,
statements which have to be taken in the sense that B means the number
of square units in the base, h the number of units of length in the
altitude, or that B and h denote the numerical values of base and
altitude.
§ 87. A method similar to that used in proving Prop. 5 leads to the
following results relating to solids bounded by simple curved
surfaces:--
Prop. 10. _Every cone is the third part of a cylinder which has the
same base, and is of an equal altitude with it._
Prop. 11. _Cones or cylinders of the same altitude are to one another
as their bases._
Prop. 12. _Similar cones or cylinders have to one another the
triplicate ratio of that which the diameters of their bases have._
Prop. 13. _If a cylinder be cut by a plane parallel to its opposite
planes or bases, it divides the cylinder into two cylinders, one of
which is to the other as the axis of the first to the axis of the
other;_ which may also be stated thus:--
_Cylinders on the same base are proportional to their altitudes._
Prop. 14. _Cones or cylinders upon equal bases are to one another as
their altitudes._
Prop. 15. _The bases and altitudes of equal cones or cylinders are
reciprocally proportional, and if the bases and altitudes be
reciprocally proportional, the cones or cylinders are equal to one
another._
These theorems again lead to formulae in mensuration, if we compare a
cylinder with a prism having its base and altitude equal to the base
and altitude of the cylinder. This may be done by the method of
exhaustion. We get, then, the result that their bases are equal, and
have, if B denotes the numerical value of the base, and h that of the
altitude,
Volume of cylinder = Bh,
Volume of cone = 1/3Bh.
§ 88. The remaining propositions relate to circles and spheres. Of the
sphere only one property is proved, viz.:--
Prop. 18. _Spheres have to one another the triplicate ratio of that
which their diameters have._ The mensuration of the sphere, like that
of the circle, the cylinder and the cone, had not been settled in the
time of Euclid. It was done by Archimedes.
BOOK XIII.
§ 89. The 13th and last book of Euclid's _Elements_ is devoted to the
regular solids (see POLYHEDRON). It is shown that there are five of
them, viz.:--
1. The regular _tetrahedron_, with 4 triangular faces and 4 vertices;
2. The _cube_, with 8 vertices and 6 square faces;
3. The _octahedron_, with 6 vertices and 8 triangular faces;
4. The _dodecahedron_, with 12 pentagonal faces, 3 at each of the
20 vertices;
5. The _icosahedron_, with 20 triangular faces, 5 at each of the
12 vertices.
It is shown how to inscribe these solids in a given sphere, and how to
determine the lengths of their edges.
§ 90. The 13th book, and therefore the _Elements_, conclude with the
scholium, "that no other regular solid exists besides the five ones
enumerated."
The proof is very simple. Each face is a regular polygon, hence the
angles of the faces at any vertex must be angles in equal regular
polygons, must be together less than four right angles (XI. 21), and
must be three or more in number. Each angle in a regular triangle
equals two-thirds of one right angle. Hence it is possible to form a
solid angle with three, four or five regular triangles or faces. These
give the solid angles of the tetrahedron, the octahedron and the
icosahedron. The angle in a square (the regular quadrilateral) equals
one right angle. Hence three will form a solid angle, that of the
cube, and four will not. The angle in the regular pentagon equals 6/5
of a right angle. Hence three of them equal 18/5 (i.e. less than 4)
right angles, and form the solid angle of the dodecahedron. Three
regular polygons of six or more sides cannot form a solid angle.
Therefore no other regular solids are possible. (O. H.)
II. PROJECTIVE GEOMETRY
It is difficult, at the outset, to characterize projective geometry as
compared with Euclidean. But a few examples will at least indicate the
practical differences between the two.
In Euclid's _Elements_ almost all propositions refer to the _magnitude_
of lines, angles, areas or volumes, and therefore to measurement. The
statement that an angle is right, or that two straight lines are
parallel, refers to measurement. On the other hand, the fact that a
straight line does or does not cut a circle is independent of
measurement, it being dependent only upon the mutual "position" of the
line and the circle. This difference becomes clearer if we project any
figure from one plane to another (see PROJECTION). By this the length of
lines, the magnitude of angles and areas, is altered, so that the
projection, or shadow, of a square on a plane will not be a square; it
will, however, be some quadrilateral. Again, the projection of a circle
will not be a circle, but some other curve more or less resembling a
circle. But one property may be stated at once--no straight line can cut
the projection of a circle in more than two points, because no straight
line can cut a circle in more than two points. There are, then, some
properties of figures which do not alter by projection, whilst others
do. To the latter belong nearly all properties relating to measurement,
at least in the form in which they are generally given. The others are
said to be projective properties, and their investigation forms the
subject of projective geometry.
Different as are the kinds of properties investigated in the old and the
new sciences, the methods followed differ in a still greater degree. In
Euclid each proposition stands by itself; its connexion with others is
never indicated; the leading ideas contained in its proof are not
stated; general principles do not exist. In the modern methods, on the
other hand, the greatest importance is attached to the leading thoughts
which pervade the whole; and general principles, which bring whole
groups of theorems under one aspect, are given rather than separate
propositions. The whole tendency is towards generalization. A straight
line is considered as given in its entirety, extending both ways to
infinity, while Euclid never admits anything but finite quantities. The
treatment of the infinite is in fact another fundamental difference
between the two methods: Euclid avoids it; in modern geometry it is
systematically introduced.
Of the different modern methods of geometry, we shall treat principally
of the methods of projection and correspondence which have proved to be
the most powerful. These have become independent of Euclidean Geometry,
especially through the _Geometrie der Lage_ of V. Staudt and the
_Ausdehnungslehre_ of Grassmann.
For the sake of brevity we shall presuppose a knowledge of Euclid's
_Elements_, although we shall use only a few of his propositions.
§ 1. _Geometrical Elements._ We consider space as filled with points,
lines and planes, and these we call the elements out of which our
figures are to be formed, calling any combination of these elements a
"figure."
By a line we mean a straight line in its entirety, extending both ways
to infinity; and by a plane, a plane surface, extending in all
directions to infinity.
We accept the three-dimensional space of experience--the space assumed
by Euclid--which has for its properties (among others):--
Through any two points in space one and only one line may be drawn;
Through any three points which are not in a line, one and only one
plane may be placed;
The intersection of two planes is a line;
A line which has two points in common with a plane lies in the plane,
hence the intersection of a line and a plane is a single point; and
Three planes which do not meet in a line have one single point in
common.
These results may be stated differently in the following form:--
I. A plane is determined-- A point is determined--
1. By three points which do 1. By three planes which do
not lie in a line; not pass through a line;
2. By two intersecting lines; 2. By two intersecting lines;
3. By a line and a point 3. By a plane and a line
which does not lie in it. which does not lie in it.
II. A line is determined--
1. By two points; 2. By two planes.
It will be observed that not only are planes determined by points, but
also points by planes; that therefore the planes may be considered as
elements, like points; and also that in any one of the above
statements we may interchange the words point and plane, and we obtain
again a correct statement, provided that these statements themselves
are true. As they stand, we ought, in several cases, to add "if they
are not parallel," or some such words, parallel lines and planes being
evidently left altogether out of consideration. To correct this we
have to reconsider the theory of parallels.
[Illustration: FIG. 1.]
§ 2. _Parallels. Point at Infinity._--Let us take in a plane a line p
(fig. 1), a point S not in this line, and a line q drawn through S.
Then this line q will meet the line p in a point A. If we turn the
line q about S towards q', its point of intersection with p will move
along p towards B, passing, on continued turning, to a greater and
greater distance, until it is moved out of our reach. If we turn q
still farther, its continuation will meet p, but now at the other side
of A. The point of intersection has disappeared to the right and
reappeared to the left. There is one intermediate position where q is
parallel to p--that is where it does not cut p. In every other
position it cuts p in some finite point. If, on the other hand, we
move the point A to an infinite distance in p, then the line q which
passes through A will be a line which does not cut p at any finite
point. Thus we are led to say: _Every_ line through S which joins it
to any point at an infinite distance in p is parallel to p. But by
Euclid's 12th axiom there is but one line parallel to p through S. The
difficulty in which we are thus involved is due to the fact that we
try to reason about infinity as if we, with our finite capabilities,
could comprehend the infinite. To overcome this difficulty, we may say
that all points at infinity in a line _appear_ to us as one, and may
be replaced by a single "ideal" point.
We may therefore now give the following definitions and axiom:--
_Definition._--Lines which meet at infinity are called parallel.
_Axiom._--All points at an infinite distance in a line may be
considered as one single point.
_Definition._--This ideal point is called the _point at infinity_ in
the line.
The axiom is equivalent to Euclid's Axiom 12, for it follows from
either that through any point only one line may be drawn parallel to a
given line.
This point at infinity in a line is reached whether we move a point in
the one or in the opposite direction of a line to infinity. A line
thus appears closed by this point, and we speak as if we could move a
point along the line from one position A to another B in two ways,
either through the point at infinity or through finite points only.
It must never be forgotten that this point at infinity is ideal; in
fact, the whole notion of "infinity" is only a mathematical
conception, and owes its introduction (as a method of research) to the
working generalizations which it permits.
§ 3. _Line and Plane at Infinity._--Having arrived at the notion of
replacing all points at infinity in a line by one ideal point, there
is no difficulty in replacing all points at infinity in a plane by one
ideal line.
To make this clear, let us suppose that a line p, which cuts two fixed
lines a and b in the points A and B, moves parallel to itself to a
greater and greater distance. It will at last cut both a and b at
their points at infinity, so that a line which joins the two points at
infinity in two intersecting lines lies altogether at infinity. Every
other line in the plane will meet it therefore at infinity, and thus
it contains all points at infinity in the plane.
_All points at infinity in a plane lie in a line, which is called the_
line at infinity _in the plane._
It follows that parallel planes must be considered as planes having a
common line at infinity, for any other plane cuts them in parallel
lines which have a point at infinity in common.
If we next take two intersecting planes, then the point at infinity in
their line of intersection lies in both planes, so that their lines at
infinity meet. Hence every line at infinity meets every other line at
infinity, and they are therefore all in one plane.
_All points at infinity in space may be considered as lying in one
ideal plane, which is called the_ plane at infinity.
§ 4. _Parallelism._--We have now the following definitions:--
Parallel lines are lines which meet at infinity;
Parallel planes are planes which meet at infinity;
A line is parallel to a plane if it meets it at infinity.
Theorems like this--Lines (or planes) which are parallel to a third
are parallel to each other--follow at once.
This view of parallels leads therefore to no contradiction of Euclid's
_Elements._
As immediate consequences we get the propositions:--
Every line meets a plane in one point, or it lies in it;
Every plane meets every other plane in a line;
Any two lines in the same plane meet.
§ 5. _Aggregates of Geometrical Elements._--We have called points,
lines and planes the elements of geometrical figures. We also say that
an element of one kind contains one of the other if it lies in it or
passes through it.
All the elements of one kind which are contained in one or two
elements of a different kind form aggregates which have to be
enumerated. They are the following:--
I. Of one dimension.
1. The _row_, or range, _of points_ formed by all points in a line,
which is called its base.
2. The _flat pencil_ formed by all the lines through a point in a
plane. Its base is the point in the plane.
3. The _axial pencil_ formed by all planes through a line which is
called its base or axis.
II. Of two dimensions.
1. The field of points and lines--that is, a plane with all its
points and all its lines.
2. The pencil of lines and planes--that is, a point in space with
all lines and all planes through it.
III. Of three dimensions.
The space of points--that is, all points in space.
The space of planes--that is, all planes in space.
IV. Of four dimensions.
The space of lines, or all lines in space.
§ 6. _Meaning of "Dimensions."_--The word dimension in the above needs
explanation. If in a plane we take a row p and a pencil with centre Q,
then through every point in p one line in the pencil will pass, and
every ray in Q will cut p in one point, so that we are entitled to say
a row contains as many points as a flat pencil lines, and, we may add,
as an axial pencil planes, because an axial pencil is cut by a plane
in a flat pencil.
The number of elements in the row, in the flat pencil, and in the
axial pencil is, of course, infinite and indefinite too, but the same
in all. This number may be denoted by [infinity]. Then a plane
contains [infinity]² points and as many lines. To see this, take a
flat pencil in a plane. It contains [infinity] lines, and each line
contains [infinity] points, whilst each point in the plane lies on one
of these lines. Similarly, in a plane each line cuts a fixed line in a
point. But this line is cut at each point by [infinity] lines and
contains [infinity] points; hence there are [infinity]² lines in a
plane.
A pencil in space contains as many lines as a plane contains points
and as many planes as a plane contains lines, for any plane cuts the
pencil in a field of points and lines. Hence a pencil contains
[infinity]² lines and [infinity]² planes. _The field and the pencil
are of two dimensions._
To count the number of points in space we observe that each point lies
on some line in a pencil. But the pencil contains [infinity]² lines,
and each line [infinity] points; hence space contains [infinity]³
points. Each plane cuts any fixed plane in a line. But a plane
contains [infinity]² lines, and through each pass [infinity] planes;
therefore space contains [infinity]³ planes.
Hence space contains as many planes as points, but it contains an
infinite number of times more lines than points or planes. To count
them, notice that every line cuts a fixed plane in one point. But
[infinity]² lines pass through each point, and there are [infinity]²
points in the plane. Hence there are [infinity]^4 lines in space. _The
space of points and planes is of three dimensions, but the space of
lines is of four dimensions._
A field of points or lines contains an infinite number of rows and
flat pencils; a pencil contains an infinite number of flat pencils and
of axial pencils; space contains a triple infinite number of pencils
and of fields, [infinity]^4 rows and axial pencils and [infinity]^5
flat pencils--or, in other words, each point is a centre of
[infinity]² flat pencils.
§ 7. The above enumeration allows a classification of figures. Figures
in a row consist of groups of points only, and figures in the flat or
axial pencil consist of groups of lines or planes. In the plane we may
draw polygons; and in the pencil or in the point, solid angles, and so
on.
We may also distinguish the different measurements We have--
In the row, length of segment;
In the flat pencil, angles;
In the axial pencil, dihedral angles between two planes;
In the plane, areas;
In the pencil, solid angles;
In the space of points or planes, volumes.
SEGMENTS OF A LINE
§ 8. Any two points A and B in space determine on the line through
them a finite part, which may be considered as being described by a
point moving from A to B. This we shall denote by AB, and distinguish
it from BA, which is supposed as being described by a point moving
from B to A, and hence in a direction or in a "sense" opposite to AB.
Such a finite line, which has a definite sense, we shall call a
"segment," so that AB and BA denote different segments, which are said
to be equal in length but of opposite sense. The one sense is often
called positive and the other negative.
In introducing the word "sense" for direction in a line, we have the
word direction reserved for direction of the line itself, so that
different lines have different directions, unless they be parallel,
whilst in each line we have a positive and negative sense.
We may also say, with Clifford, that AB denotes the "step" of going
from A to B.
[Illustration: FIG. 2.]
§ 9. If we have three points A, B, C in a line (fig. 2), the step AB
will bring us from A to B, and the step BC from B to C. Hence both
steps are equivalent to the one step AC. This is expressed by saying
that AC is the "sum" of AB and BC; in symbols--
AB + BC = AC,
where account is to be taken of the sense.
This equation is true whatever be the position of the three points on
the line. As a special case we have
AB + BA = 0, (1)
and similarly
AB + BC + CA = 0, (2)
which again is true for any three points in a line.
We further write
AB = -BA.
where - denotes negative sense.
We can then, just as in algebra, change subtraction of segments into
addition by changing the sense, so that AB - CB is the same as AB +
(-CB) or AB + BC. A figure will at once show the truth of this. The
sense is, in fact, in every respect equivalent to the "sign" of a
number in algebra.
§ 10. Of the many formulae which exist between points in a line we
shall have to use only one more, which connects the segments between
any four points A, B, C, D in a line. We have
BC = BD + DC, CA = CD + DA, AB = AD + DB;
or multiplying these by AD, BD, CD respectively, we get
BC·AD = BD·AD + DC·AD = BD·AD - CD·AD
CA·BD = CD·BD + DA·BD = CD·BD - AD·BD
AB·CD = AD·CD + DB·CD = AD·CD - BD·CD.
It will be seen that the sum of the right-hand sides vanishes, hence
that
BC·AD + CA·BD + AB·CD = 0 (3)
for any four points on a line.
[Illustration: FIG. 3.]
§ 11. If C is any point in the line AB, then we say that C divides the
segment AB in the ratio AC/CB, account being taken of the sense of the
two segments AC and CB. If C lies between A and B the ratio is
positive, as AC and CB have the same sense. But if C lies without the
segment AB, i.e. if C divides AB externally, then the ratio is
negative. To see how the value of this ratio changes with C, we will
move C along the whole line (fig. 3), whilst A and B remain fixed. If
C lies at the point A, then AC = 0, hence the ratio AC : CB vanishes.
As C moves towards B, AC increases and CB decreases, so that our ratio
increases. At the middle point M of AB it assumes the value +1, and
then increases till it reaches an infinitely large value, when C
arrives at B. On passing beyond B the ratio becomes negative. If C is
at P we have AC = AP = AB + BP, hence
AC AB BP AB
-- = -- + -- = - -- - 1.
CB PB PB BP
In the last expression the ratio AB : BP is positive, has its greatest
value [infinity] when C coincides with B, and vanishes when BC becomes
infinite. Hence, as C moves from B to the right to the point at
infinity, the ratio AC : CB varies from -[infinity] to -1.
If, on the other hand, C is to the left of A, say at Q, we have AC =
AQ = AB + BQ = AB - QB, hence AC/CB = AB/QB - 1.
Here AB < QB, hence the ratio AB : QB is positive and always less than
one, so that the whole is negative and < 1. If C is at the point at
infinity it is -1, and then increases as C moves to the right, till
for C at A we get the ratio = 0. Hence--
"As C moves along the line from an infinite distance to the left to an
infinite distance at the right, the ratio always increases; it starts
with the value -1, reaches 0 at A, +1 at M, [infinity] at B, now
changes sign to -[infinity], and increases till at an infinite
distance it reaches again the value -1. _It assumes therefore all
possible values from -[infinity] to +[infinity], and each value only
once, so that not only does every position of C determine a definite
value of the ratio AC : CB, but also, conversely, to every positive or
negative value of this ratio belongs one single point in the line AB._
[Relations between segments of lines are interesting as showing an
application of algebra to geometry. The genesis of such relations
from algebraic identities is very simple. For example, if a, b, c, x
be any four quantities, then
a b
--------------------- + --------------------- +
(a - b)(a - c)(x - a) (b - c)(b - a)(x - b)
c x
--------------------- = ---------------------;
(c - a)(c - b)(x - c) (x - a)(x - b)(x - c)
this may be proved, cumbrously, by multiplying up, or, simply, by
decomposing the right-hand member of the identity into partial
fractions. Now take a line ABCDX, and let AB = a, AC = b, AD = c, AX =
x. Then obviously (a - b) = AB - AC = -BC, paying regard to signs; (a
- c) = AB - AD = DB, and so on. Substituting these values in the
identity we obtain the following relation connecting the segments
formed by five points on a line:--
AB AC AD AX
-------- + -------- + -------- = --------.
BC·BD·BX CD·CB·CX DB·DC·DX BX·CX·DX
Conversely, if a metrical relation be given, its validity may be
tested by reducing to an algebraic equation, which is an identity if
the relation be true. For example, if ABCDX be five collinear points,
prove
AD·AX BD·BX CD·CX
----- + ----- + ----- = 1.
AB·AC BC·BA CA·CB
Clearing of fractions by multiplying throughout by AB·BC·CA, we have
to prove
-AD·AX·BC - BD·BX·CA - CD·CX·AB = AB·BC·CA.
Take A as origin and let AB = a, AC = b, AD = c, AX = x. Substituting
for the segments in terms of a, b, c, x, we obtain on simplification
a²b - ab² = -ab² + a²b, an obvious identity.
An alternative method of testing a relation is illustrated in the
following example:-- If A, B, C, D, E, F be six collinear points, then
AE·AF BE·BF CE·CF DE·DF
-------- + -------- + -------- + -------- = 0.
AB·AC·AD BC·BD·BA CD·CA·CB DA·DB·DC
Clearing of fractions by multiplying throughout by AB·BC·CD·DA, and
reducing to a common origin O (calling OA = a, OB = b, &c.), an
equation containing the second and lower powers of OA (= a), &c., is
obtained. Calling OA = x, it is found that x = b, x = c, x = d are
solutions. Hence the quadratic has three roots; consequently it is an
identity.
The relations connecting five points which we have instanced above may
be readily deduced from the six-point relation; the first by taking D
at infinity, and the second by taking F at infinity, and then making
the obvious permutations of the points.]
PROJECTION AND CROSS-RATIOS
§ 12. If we join a point A to a point S, then the point where the line
SA cuts a fixed plane [pi] is called the projection of A on the plane
[pi] from S as centre of projection. If we have two planes [pi] and
[pi]' and a point S, we may project every point A in [pi] to the other
plane. If A' is the projection of A, then A is also the projection of
A', so that the relations are reciprocal. To every figure in [pi] we
get as its projection a corresponding figure in [pi]'.
We shall determine such properties of figures as remain true for the
projection, and which are called projective properties. For this
purpose it will be sufficient to consider at first only constructions
in one plane.
[Illustration: FIG. 4.]
[Illustration: FIG. 5.]
Let us suppose we have given in a plane two lines p and p' and a
centre S (fig. 4); we may then project the points in p from S to p'.
Let A', B' ... be the projections of A, B ..., the point at infinity
in p which we shall denote by I will be projected into a finite point
I' in p', viz. into the point where the parallel to p through S cuts
p'. Similarly one point J in p will be projected into the point J' at
infinity in p'. This point J is of course the point where the parallel
to p' through S cuts p. We thus see that every point in p is projected
into a single point in p'.
Fig. 5 shows that a segment AB will be projected into a segment A'B'
which is not equal to it, at least not as a rule; and also that the
ratio AC : CB is not equal to the ratio A'C' : C'B' formed by the
projections. These ratios will become equal only if p and p' are
parallel, for in this case the triangle SAB is similar to the triangle
SA'B'. Between three points in a line and their projections there
exists therefore in general no relation. But between four points a
relation does exist.
§ 13. Let A, B, C, D be four points in p, A', B', C, D' their
projections in p', then the ratio of the two ratios AC : CB and AD :
DB into which C and D divide the segment AB is equal to the
corresponding expression between A', B', C', D'. In symbols we have
AC AD A'C' A'D'
-- : -- = ---- : ----.
CB DB C'B' D'B'
This is easily proved by aid of similar triangles.
[Illustration: FIG. 6.]
Through the points A and B on p draw parallels to p', which cut the
projecting rays in C2, D2, B2 and A1, C1, D1, as indicated in fig. 6.
The two triangles ACC2 and BCC1 will be similar, as will also be the
triangles ADD2 and BDD1.
The proof is left to the reader.
This result is of fundamental importance.
The expression AC/CB : AD/DB has been called by Chasles the
"anharmonic ratio of the four points A, B, C, D." Professor Clifford
proposed the shorter name of "cross-ratio." We shall adopt the latter.
We have then the
FUNDAMENTAL THEOREM.--_The cross-ratio of four points in a line is
equal to the cross-ratio of their projections on any other line which
lies in the same plane with it._
§ 14. Before we draw conclusions from this result, we must investigate
the meaning of a cross-ratio somewhat more fully.
If four points A, B, C, D are given, and we wish to form their
cross-ratio, we have first to divide them into two groups of two, the
points in each group being taken in a definite order. Thus, let A, B
be the first, C, D the second pair, A and C being the first points in
each pair. The cross-ratio is then the ratio AC : CB divided by AD :
DB. This will be denoted by (AB, CD), so that
AC AD
(AB, CD) = -- : --.
CB DB
This is easily remembered. In order to write it out, make first the
two lines for the fractions, and put above and below these the letters
A and B in their places, thus, A*/B : A*/B; and then fill up,
crosswise, the first by C and the other by D.
§ 15. If we take the points in a different order, the value of the
cross-ratio will change. We can do this in twenty-four different ways
by forming all permutations of the letters. But of these twenty-four
cross-ratios groups of four are equal, so that there are really only
six different ones, and these six are reciprocals in pairs.
We have the following rules:--
I. If in a cross-ratio the two groups be interchanged, its value
remains unaltered, i.e.
(AB, CD) = (CD, AB) = (BA, DC) = (DC, BA).
II. If in a cross-ratio the two points belonging to one of the two
groups be interchanged, the cross-ratio changes into its reciprocal,
i.e.
(AB, CD) = 1/(AB, DC) = 1/(BA, CD) = 1/(CD, BA) = 1/(DC, AB).
From I. and II. we see that eight cross-ratios are associated with
(AB, CD).
III. If in a cross-ratio the two middle letters be interchanged, the
cross-ratio [alpha] changes into its complement 1 - [alpha], i.e. (AB,
CD) = 1 - (AC, BD).
[§ 16. If [lambda] = (AB, CD), µ = (AC, DB), [nu] = (AD, BC), then
[lambda], µ, [nu] and their reciprocals 1/[lambda], 1/µ, 1/[nu] are
the values of the total number of twenty-four cross-ratios. Moreover,
[lambda], µ, [nu] are connected by the relations
[lambda] + 1/µ = µ + 1/[nu] = [nu] + 1/[lambda] = -[lambda]µ[nu] = 1;
this proposition may be proved by substituting for [lambda], µ, [nu]
and reducing to a common origin. There are therefore four equations
between three unknowns; hence if one cross-ratio be given, the
remaining twenty-three are determinate. Moreover, two of the
quantities [lambda], µ, [nu] are positive, and the remaining one
negative.
The following scheme shows the twenty-four cross-ratios expressed in
terms of [lambda], µ, [nu].]
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AB, CD) | | | |
|(BA, DC) | [lambda] | 1 - µ | 1/(1 - [nu]) |
|(CD, AB) | | | |
|(DC, BA) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AC, DB) | | | |
|(BD, CA) | 1/(1 - [lambda]) | 1/µ |([nu] - 1)/[nu]|
|(CA, BD) | | | |
|(DB, AC) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AB, DC) | | | |
|(BA, CD) | 1/[lambda] | 1/(1 - µ) | 1 - [nu] |
|(CD, BA) | | | |
|(DC, AB) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AD, BC) | | | |
|(BC, AD) |([lambda] - 1)/[lambda]| µ/(µ - 1) | [nu] |
|(CB, DA) | | | |
|(DA, CB) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AC, BD) | | | |
|(BD, AC) | 1 - [lambda] | µ |[nu]/([nu] - 1)|
|(CA, DB) | | | |
|(DB, CA) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
|(AD, CB) | | | |
|(BC, DA) |[lambda]/([lambda] - 1)| (µ - 1)/µ | 1/[nu] |
|(CB, AD) | | | |
|(DA, BC) | | | |
+---------+-----------------------+---------------+---------------+
§ 17. If one of the points of which a cross-ratio is formed is the
point at infinity in the line, the cross-ratio changes into a simple
ratio. It is convenient to let the point at infinity occupy the last
place in the symbolic expression for the cross-ratio. Thus if I is a
point at infinity, we have (AB, CI) = -AC/CB, because AI : IB = -1.
Every common ratio of three points in a line may thus be expressed as
a cross-ratio, by adding the point at infinity to the group of points.
HARMONIC RANGES
§ 18. If the points have special positions, the cross-ratios may have
such a value that, of the six different ones, two and two become
equal. If the first two shall be equal, we get [lambda] = 1/[lambda],
or [lambda]² = 1, [lambda] = ±1.
If we take [lambda] = +1, we have (AB, CD) = 1, or AC/CB = AD/DB; that
is, the points C and D coincide, provided that A and B are different.
If we take [lambda] = -1, so that (AB, CD) = -1, we have AC/CB =
-AD/DB. _Hence C and D divide AB internally and externally in the same
ratio._
The four points are in this case said to be _harmonic points_, and _C
and D are said to be harmonic conjugates with regard to A and B._
But we have also (CD, AB) = -1, so that A and B are harmonic
conjugates with regard to C and D.
The principal property of harmonic points is that their cross-ratio
remains unaltered if we interchange the two points belonging to one
pair, viz.
(AB, CD) = (AB, DC) = (BA, CD).
For four harmonic points the six cross-ratios become equal two and
two:
[lambda]
[lambda] = -1, 1 - [lambda] = 2, ------------ = ½,
[lambda] - 1
1 1 [lambda] - 1
= -------- = -1, ------------ = ½, ------------ = 2.
[lambda] 1 - [lambda] [lambda]
Hence if we get four points whose cross-ratio is 2 or ½, then they are
harmonic, but not arranged so that conjugates are paired. If this is
the case the cross-ratio = -1.
§ 19. If we equate any two of the above six values of the
cross-ratios, we get either [lambda] = 1, 0, [infinity], or [lambda] =
-1, 2, ½, or else [lambda] becomes a root of the equation [lambda]² -
[lambda] + 1 = 0, that is, an imaginary cube root of -1. In this case
the six values become three and three equal, so that only two
different values remain. This case, though important in the theory of
cubic curves, is for our purposes of no interest, whilst harmonic
points are all-important.
§ 20. From the definition of harmonic points, and by aid of § 11, the
following properties are easily deduced.
If C and D are harmonic conjugates with regard to A and B, then one of
them lies in, the other without AB; it is impossible to move from A to
B without passing either through C or through D; the one blocks the
finite way, the other the way through infinity. This is expressed by
saying A and B are "separated" by C and D.
For every position of C there will be one and only one point D which
is its harmonic conjugate with regard to any point pair A, B.
If A and B are different points, and if C coincides with A or B, D
does. But if A and B coincide, one of the points C or D, lying between
them, coincides with them, and the other may be anywhere in the line.
It follows that, "_if of four harmonic conjugates two coincide, then a
third coincides with them, and the fourth may be any point in the
line_."
If C is the middle point between A and B, then D is the point at
infinity; for AC : CB = +1, hence AD : DB must be equal to -1. _The
harmonic conjugate of the point at infinity in a line with regard to
two points A, B is the middle point of AB._
This important property gives a first example how metric properties
are connected with projective ones.
[§ 21. _Harmonic properties of the complete quadrilateral and
quadrangle._
[Illustration: FIG. 7.]
[Illustration: FIG. 8.]
A figure formed by four lines in a plane is called a _complete
quadrilateral_, or, shorter, a _four-side_. The four sides meet in six
points, named the "vertices," which may be joined by three lines
(other than the sides), named the "diagonals" or "harmonic lines." The
diagonals enclose the "harmonic triangle of the quadrilateral." In
fig. 7, A'B'C', B'AC, C'AB, CBA' are the sides, A, A', B, B', C, C'
the vertices, AA', BB', CC' the harmonic lines, and [alpha]ß[gamma]
the harmonic triangle of the quadrilateral. A figure formed by four
coplanar points is named a _complete quadrangle_, or, shorter, a
_four-point_. The four points may be joined by six lines, named the
"sides," which intersect in three other points, termed the "diagonal
or harmonic points." The harmonic points are the vertices of the
"harmonic triangle of the complete quadrangle." In fig. 8, AA', BB'
are the points, AA', BB', A'B', B'A, AB, BA' are the sides, L, M, N
are the diagonal points, and LMN is the harmonic triangle of the
quadrangle.
The harmonic property of the complete quadrilateral is: Any diagonal
or harmonic line is harmonically divided by the other two; and of a
complete quadrangle: The angle at any harmonic point is divided
harmonically by the joins to the other harmonic points. To prove the
first theorem, we have to prove (AA', ß[gamma]), (BB',
[gamma][alpha]), (CC', ß[alpha]) are harmonic. Consider the
cross-ratio (CC', [alpha]ß). Then projecting from A on BB' we have
A(CC', [alpha]ß) = A(B'B, [alpha][gamma]). Projecting from A' on BB',
A'(CC', [alpha]ß) = A'(BB', [alpha][gamma]). Hence (B'B,
[alpha][gamma]) = (BB', [alpha][gamma]), i.e. the cross-ratio (BB',
[alpha][gamma]) equals that of its reciprocal; hence the range is
harmonic.
The second theorem states that the pencils L(BA, NM), M(B'A, LN),
N(BA, LM) are harmonic. Deferring the subject of harmonic pencils to
the next section, it will suffice to state here that any transversal
intersects an harmonic pencil in an harmonic range. Consider the
pencil L(BA, NM), then it is sufficient to prove (BA', NM') is
harmonic. This follows from the previous theorem by considering A'B as
a diagonal of the quadrilateral ALB'M.]
This property of the complete quadrilateral allows the solution of the
problem:
_To construct the harmonic conjugate D to a point C with regard to two
given points A and B._
Through A draw any two lines, and through C one cutting the former two
in G and H. Join these points to B, cutting the former two lines in E
and F. The point D where EF cuts AB will be the harmonic conjugate
required.
This remarkable construction requires nothing but the drawing of
lines, and is therefore independent of measurement. In a similar
manner the harmonic conjugate of the line VA for two lines VC, VD is
constructed with the aid of the property of the complete quadrangle.
§ 22. _Harmonic Pencils._--The theory of cross-ratios may be extended
from points in a row to lines in a flat pencil and to planes in an
axial pencil. We have seen (§ 13) that if the lines which join four
points A, B, C, D to any point S be cut by any other line in A', B',
C', D', then (AB, CD) = (A'B', C'D'). In other words, four lines in a
flat pencil are cut by every other line in four points whose
cross-ratio is constant.
_Definition._--By the cross-ratio of four rays in a flat pencil is
meant the cross-ratio of the four points in which the rays are cut by
any line. If a, b, c, d be the lines, then this cross-ratio is denoted
by (ab, cd).
_Definition._--By the cross-ratio of four planes in an axial pencil is
understood the cross-ratio of the four points in which any line cuts
the planes, or, what is the same thing, the cross-ratio of the four
rays in which any plane cuts the four planes.
In order that this definition may have a meaning, it has to be proved
that all lines cut the pencil in points which have the same
cross-ratio. This is seen at once for two intersecting lines, as their
plane cuts the axial pencil in a flat pencil, which is itself cut by
the two lines. The cross-ratio of the four points on one line is
therefore equal to that on the other, and equal to that of the four
rays in the flat pencil.
If two non-intersecting lines p and q cut the four planes in A, B, C,
D and A', B', C', D', draw a line r to meet both p and q, and let this
line cut the planes in A", B", C", D". Then (AB, CD) = (A'B', C'D'),
for each is equal to (A"B", C"D").
§ 23. We may now also extend the notion of harmonic elements, viz.
_Definition._--Four rays in a flat pencil and four planes in an axial
pencil are said to be harmonic if their cross-ratio equals -1, that
is, if they are cut by a line in four harmonic points.
If we understand by a "median line" of a triangle a line which joins a
vertex to the middle point of the opposite side, and by a "median
line" of a parallelogram a line joining middle points of opposite
sides, we get as special cases of the last theorem:
_The diagonals and median lines of a parallelogram form an harmonic
pencil_; and
_At a vertex of any triangle, the two sides, the median line, and the
line parallel to the base form an harmonic pencil._
Taking the parallelogram a rectangle, or the triangle isosceles, we
get:
_Any two lines and the bisections of their angles form an harmonic
pencil._ Or:
_In an harmonic pencil, if two conjugate rays are perpendicular, then
the other two are equally inclined to them_; and, conversely, _if one
ray bisects the angle between conjugate rays, it is perpendicular to
its conjugate_.
This connects perpendicularity and bisection of angles with projective
properties.
§ 24. We add a few theorems and problems which are easily proved or
solved by aid of harmonics.
An harmonic pencil is cut by a line parallel to one of its rays in
three equidistant points.
Through a given point to draw a line such that the segment determined
on it by a given angle is bisected at that point.
Having given two parallel lines, to bisect on either any given segment
without using a pair of compasses.
Having given in a line a segment and its middle point, to draw through
any given point in the plane a line parallel to the given line.
To draw a line which joins a given point to the intersection of two
given lines which meet off the drawing paper (by aid of § 21).
CORRESPONDENCE. HOMOGRAPHIC AND PERSPECTIVE RANGES
§ 25. Two rows, p and p', which are one the projection of the other
(as in fig. 5), stand in a definite relation to each other,
characterized by the following properties.
1. _To each point in either corresponds one point in the other_; that
is, those points are said to correspond which are projections of one
another.
2. _The cross-ratio of any four points in one equals that of the
corresponding points in the other._
3. _The lines joining corresponding points all pass through the same
point._
If we suppose corresponding points marked, and the rows brought into
any other position, then the lines joining corresponding points will
no longer meet in a common point, and hence the third of the above
properties will not hold any longer; but we have still a
correspondence between the points in the two rows possessing the first
two properties. Such a correspondence has been called a _one-one
correspondence_, whilst the two rows between which such correspondence
has been established are said to be _projective_ or _homographic_. Two
rows which are each the projection of the other are therefore
_projective_. We shall presently see, also, that any two projective
rows may always be placed in such a position that one appears as the
projection of the other. If they are in such a position the rows are
said to be in _perspective position_, or simply to be in
_perspective_.
§ 26. The notion of a one-one correspondence between rows may be
extended to flat and axial pencils, viz. a flat pencil will be said to
be projective to a flat pencil if to each ray in the first corresponds
one ray in the second, and if the cross-ratio of four rays in one
equals that of the corresponding rays in the second.
Similarly an axial pencil may be projective to an axial pencil. But a
flat pencil may also be projective to an axial pencil, or either
pencil may be projective to a row. The definition is the same in each
case: there is a one-one correspondence between the elements, and four
elements have the same cross-ratio as the corresponding ones.
§ 27. There is also in each case a special position which is called
_perspective_, viz.
1. Two projective rows are perspective if they lie in the same plane,
and if the one row is a projection of the other.
2. Two projective flat pencils are perspective--(1) if they lie in the
same plane, and have a row as a common section; (2) if they lie in the
same pencil (in space), and are both sections of the same axial
pencil; (3) if they are in space and have a row as common section, or
are both sections of the same axial pencil, one of the conditions
involving the other.
3. Two projective axial pencils, if their axes meet, and if they have
a flat pencil as a common section.
4. A row and a projective flat pencil, if the row is a section of the
pencil, each point lying in its corresponding line.
5. A row and a projective axial pencil, if the row is a section of the
pencil, each point lying in its corresponding line.
6. A flat and a projective axial pencil, if the former is a section of
the other, each ray lying in its corresponding plane.
That in each case the correspondence established by the position
indicated is such as has been called projective follows at once from
the definition. It is not so evident that the perspective position may
always be obtained. We shall show in § 30 this for the first three
cases. First, however, we shall give a few theorems which relate to
the general correspondence, not to the perspective position.
§ 28. _Two rows or pencils, flat or axial, which are projective to a
third are projective to each other_; this follows at once from the
definitions.
§ 29. _If two rows, or two pencils, either flat or axial, or a row and
a pencil, be projective, we may assume to any three elements in the
one the three corresponding elements in the other, and then the
correspondence is uniquely determined._
For if in two projective rows we assume that the points A, B, C in the
first correspond to the given points A', B', C' in the second, then to
any fourth point D in the first will correspond a point D' in the
second, so that
(AB, CD) = (A'B', C'D').
But there is only one point, D', which makes the cross-ratio (A'B',
C'D') equal to the given number (AB, CD).
The same reasoning holds in the other cases.
§ 30. If two rows are perspective, then the lines joining
corresponding points all meet in a point, the centre of projection;
and the point in which the two bases of the rows intersect as a point
in the first row coincides with its corresponding point in the second.
This follows from the definition. The converse also holds, viz.
_If two projective rows have such a position that one point in the one
coincides with its corresponding point in the other, then they are
perspective, that is, the lines joining corresponding points all pass
through a common point, and form a flat pencil._
For let A, B, C, D ... be points in the one, and A', B', C', D' ...
the corresponding points in the other row, and let A be made to
coincide with its corresponding point A'. Let S be the point where the
lines BB' and CC' meet, and let us join S to the point D in the first
row. This line will cut the second row in a point D", so that A, B, C,
D are projected from S into the points A, B', C', D". The cross-ratio
(AB, CD) is therefore equal to (AB', C'D"), and by hypothesis it is
equal to (A'B', C'D'). Hence (A'B', C'D") = (A'B', C'D'), that is, D"
is the same point as D'.
§ 31. If two projected flat pencils in the same plane are in
perspective, then the intersections of corresponding lines form a row,
and the line joining the two centres as a line in the first pencil
corresponds to the same line as a line in the second. And conversely,
_If two projective pencils in the same plane, but with different
centres, have one line in the one coincident with its corresponding
line in the other, then the two pencils are perspective, that is, the
intersection of corresponding lines lie in a line._
The proof is the same as in § 30.
§ 32. If two projective flat pencils in the same point (pencil in
space), but not in the same plane, are perspective, then the planes
joining corresponding rays all pass through a line (they form an axial
pencil), and the line common to the two pencils (in which their planes
intersect) corresponds to itself. And conversely:--
If two flat pencils which have a common centre, but do not lie in a
common plane, are placed so that one ray in the one coincides with its
corresponding ray in the other, then they are perspective, that is,
the planes joining corresponding lines all pass through a line.
§ 33. If two projective axial pencils are perspective, then the
intersection of corresponding planes lie in a plane, and the plane
common to the two pencils (in which the two axes lie) corresponds to
itself. And conversely:--
If two projective axial pencils are placed in such a position that a
plane in the one coincides with its corresponding plane, then the two
pencils are perspective, that is, corresponding planes meet in lines
which lie in a plane.
The proof again is the same as in § 30.
§ 34. These theorems relating to perspective position become illusory
if the projective rows of pencils have a common base. We then have:--
In two projective rows on the same line--and also in two projective
and concentric flat pencils in the same plane, or in two projective
axial pencils with a common axis--every element in the one coincides
with its corresponding element in the other as soon as three elements
in the one coincide with their corresponding elements in the other.
_Proof_ (in case of two rows).--Between four elements A, B, C, D and
their corresponding elements A', B', C', D' exists the relation (ABCD)
= (A'B'C'D'). If now A', B', C' coincide respectively with A, B, C, we
get (AB, CD) = (AB, CD'), hence D and D' coincide.
The last theorem may also be stated thus:--
In two projective rows or pencils, which have a common base but are
not identical, not more than two elements in the one can coincide with
their corresponding elements in the other.
Thus two projective rows on the same line cannot have more than two
pairs of coincident points unless every point coincides with its
corresponding point.
It is easy to construct two projective rows on the same line, which
have two pairs of corresponding points coincident. Let the points A,
B, C as points belonging to the one row correspond to A, B, and C' as
points in the second. Then A and B coincide with their corresponding
points, but C does not. It is, however, not necessary that two such
rows have twice a point coincident with its corresponding point; it is
possible that this happens only once or not at all. Of this we shall
see examples later.
[Illustration: FIG. 9.]
§ 35. If two projective rows or pencils are in perspective position,
we know at once which element in one corresponds to any given element
in the other. If p and q (fig. 9) are two projective rows, so that K
corresponds to itself, and if we know that to A and B in p correspond
A' and B' in q, then the point S, where AA' meets BB', is the centre
of projection, and hence, in order to find the point C' corresponding
to C, we have only to join C to S; the point C', where this line cuts
q, is the point required.
[Illustration: FIG. 10.]
If two flat pencils, S1 and S2, in a plane are perspective (fig. 10),
we need only to know two pairs, a, a' and b, b', of corresponding rays
in order to find the axis s of projection. This being known, a ray c'
in S2, corresponding to a given ray c in S1, is found by joining S2 to
the point where c cuts the axis s.
A similar construction holds in the other cases of perspective
figures.
On this depends the solution of the following general problem.
§ 36. Three pairs of corresponding elements in two projective rows or
pencils being given, to determine for any element in one the
corresponding element in the other.
We solve this in the two cases of two projective rows and of two
projective flat pencils in a plane.
_Problem_ I.--Let A, B, C be _Problem_ II.--Let a, b, c be
three points in a row s, A', B', three rays in a pencil S, a',
C' the corresponding points in a b', c' the corresponding rays in
projective row s', both being in a projective pencil S', both
a plane; it is required to find being in the same plane; it is
for any point D in s the required to find for any ray d
corresponding point D' in s'. in S the corresponding ray d' in
S'.
The solution is made to depend on the construction of an auxiliary row
or pencil which is perspective to both the given ones. This is found
as follows:--
[Illustration: FIG. 11.]
_Solution of Problem_ I.--On the line joining two corresponding
points, say AA' (fig. 11), take any two points, S and S', as centres
of auxiliary pencils. Join the intersection B1 of SB and S'B' to the
intersection C1 of SC and S'C' by the line s1. Then a row on s1 will
be perspective to s with S as centre of projection, and to s' with S'
as centre. To find now the point D' on s' corresponding to a point D
on s we have only to determine the point D1, where the line SD cuts
s1, and to draw S'D1; the point where this line cuts s' will be the
required point D'.
_Proof._--The rows s and s' are both perspective to the row s1, hence
they are projective to one another. To A, B, C, D on s correspond A1,
B1, C1, D1 on s1, and to these correspond A', B', C', D' on s'; so
that D and D' are corresponding points as required.
[Illustration: FIG. 12.]
_Solution of Problem_ II.--Through the intersection A of two
corresponding rays a and a' (fig. 12), take two lines, s and s', as
bases of auxiliary rows. Let S1 be the point where the line b1, which
joins B and B', cuts the line c1, which joins C and C'. Then a pencil
S1 will be perspective to S with s as axis of projection. To find the
ray d' in S' corresponding to a given ray d in S, cut d by s at D;
project this point from S1 to D' on s' and join D' to S'. This will be
the required ray.
_Proof._--That the pencil S1 is perspective to S and also to S'
follows from construction. To the lines a1, b1, c1, d1 in S1
correspond the lines a, b, c, d in S and the lines a', b', c', d' in
S', so that d and d' are corresponding rays.
In the first solution the two centres, S, S', are _any_ two points on
a line joining any two corresponding points, so that the solution of
the problem allows of a great many different constructions. _But
whatever construction be used, the point D', corresponding to D, must
be always the same_, according to the theorem in § 29. This gives rise
to a number of theorems, into which, however, we shall not enter. The
same remarks hold for the second problem.
§ 37. _Homological Triangles._--As a further application of the
theorems about perspective rows and pencils we shall prove the
following important theorem.
_Theorem._--If ABC and A'B'C' (fig. 13) be two triangles, such that
the lines AA', BB', CC' meet in a point S, then the intersections of
BC and B'C', of CA and C'A', and of AB and A'B' will lie in a line.
Such triangles are said to be homological, or in perspective. The
triangles are "co-axial" in virtue of the property that the meets of
corresponding sides are collinear and copolar, since the lines joining
corresponding vertices are concurrent.
_Proof._--Let a, b, c denote the lines AA', BB', CC', which meet at S.
Then these may be taken as bases of projective rows, so that A, A', S
on a correspond to B, B', S on b, and to C, C', S on c. As the point S
is common to all, any two of these rows will be perspective.
If S1 be the centre of projection of rows b and c,
S2 " " " c and a,
S3 " " " a and b,
and if the line S1S2 cuts a in A1, and b in B1, and c in C1, then A1,
B1 will be corresponding points in a and b, both corresponding to C1
in c. But a and b are perspective, therefore the line A1B1, that is
S1S2, joining corresponding points must pass through the centre of
projection S3 of a and b. In other words, S1, S2, S3 lie in a line.
This is Desargues' celebrated theorem if we state it thus:--
[Illustration: FIG. 13.]
_Theorem of Desargues._--If each of two triangles has one vertex on
each of three concurrent lines, then the intersections of
corresponding sides lie in a line, those sides being called
corresponding which are opposite to vertices on the same line.
The converse theorem holds also, viz.
_Theorem._--If the sides of one triangle meet those of another in
three points which lie in a line, then the vertices lie on three lines
which meet in a point.
The proof is almost the same as before.
§ 38. _Metrical Relations between Projective Rows._--Every row
contains one point which is distinguished from all others, viz. the
point at infinity. In two projective rows, to the point I at infinity
in one corresponds a point I' in the other, and to the point J' at
infinity in the second corresponds a point J in the first. The points
I' and J are in general finite. If now A and B are any two points in
the one, A', B' the corresponding points in the other row, then
(AB, JI) = (A'B', J'I'),
or
AJ/JB : AI/IB = A'J'/J'B' : A'I'/I'B'.
But, by § 17,
AI/IB = A'J'/J'B' = -1;
therefore the last equation changes into
AJ·A'I' = BJ·B'I',
that is to say--
_Theorem._--The product of the distances of any two corresponding
points in two projective rows from the points which correspond to the
points at infinity in the other is constant, viz. AJ·A'I' = k.
Steiner has called this number k the _Power of the correspondence_.
[The relation AJ . A'I' = k shows that if J, I' be given then the
point A' corresponding to a specified point A is readily found; hence
A, A' generate homographic ranges of which I and J' correspond to the
points at infinity on the ranges. If we take any two origins O, O', on
the ranges and reduce the expression AJ . A'I' = k to its algebraic
equivalent, we derive an equation of the form [alpha]xx' + ßx +
[gamma]x' + [delta] = 0. Conversely, if a relation of this nature
holds, then points corresponding to solutions in x, x' form
homographic ranges.]
§ 39. _Similar Rows._--If the points at infinity in two projective
rows correspond so that I' and J are at infinity, this result loses
its meaning. But if A, B, C be any three points in one, A', B', C' the
corresponding ones on the other row, we have
(AB, CI) = (A'B', C'I'),
which reduces to
AC/CB = A'C'/C'B' or AC/A'C' = BC/B'C',
that is, corresponding segments are proportional. Conversely, if
corresponding segments are proportional, then to the point at infinity
in one corresponds the point at infinity in the other. If we call such
rows _similar_, we may state the result thus--
_Theorem._--Two projective rows are similar if to the point at
infinity in one corresponds the point at infinity in the other, and
conversely, if two rows are similar then they are projective, and the
points at infinity are corresponding points.
From this the well-known propositions follow:--
Two lines are cut proportionally (in similar rows) by a series of
parallels. The rows are perspective, with centre of projection at
infinity.
If two similar rows are placed parallel, then the lines joining
homologous points pass through a common point.
§ 40. If two flat pencils be projective, then there exists in either,
one single pair of lines at right angles to one another, such that the
corresponding lines in the other pencil are again at right angles.
[Illustration: FIG. 14.]
To prove this, we place the pencils in perspective position (fig. 14)
by making one ray coincident with its corresponding ray. Corresponding
rays meet then on a line p. And now we draw the circle which has its
centre O on p, and which passes through the centres S and S' of the
two pencils. This circle cuts p in two points H and K. The two pairs
of rays, h, k, and h', k', joining these points to S and S' will be
pairs of corresponding rays at right angles. The construction gives in
general but one circle, but if the line p is the perpendicular
bisector of SS', there exists an infinite number, and _to every right
angle in the one pencil corresponds a right angle in the other_.
PRINCIPLE OF DUALITY
§ 41. It has been stated in § 1 that not only points, but also planes
and lines, are taken as elements out of which figures are built up. We
shall now see that the construction of one figure which possesses
certain properties gives rise in many cases to the construction of
another figure, by replacing, according to definite rules, elements of
one kind by those of another. The new figure thus obtained will then
possess properties which may be stated as soon as those of the
original figure are known.
We obtain thus a principle, known as the _principle of duality_ or of
_reciprocity_, which enables us to construct to any figure not
containing any measurement in its construction a _reciprocal_ figure,
as it is called, and to deduce from any theorem a _reciprocal_
theorem, for which no further proof is needed.
It is convenient to print reciprocal propositions on opposite sides of
a page broken into two columns, and this plan will occasionally be
adopted.
We begin by repeating in this form a few of our former statements:--
Two points determine a line. Two planes determine a line.
Three points which are not in a Three planes which do not pass
line determine a plane. through a line determine a point.
A line and a point without it A line and a plane not through
determine a plane. it determine a point.
Two lines in a plane determine Two lines through a point
a point. determine a plane.
These propositions show that it will be possible, when any figure is
given, to construct a second figure by taking planes instead of
points, and points instead of planes, but lines where we had lines.
For instance, if in the first figure we take a plane and three points
in it, we have to take in the second figure a point and three planes
through it. The three points in the first, together with the three
lines joining them two and two, form a triangle; the three planes in
the second and their three lines of intersection form a trihedral
angle. A triangle and a trihedral angle are therefore reciprocal
figures.
Similarly, to any figure in a plane consisting of points and lines
will correspond a figure consisting of planes and lines passing
through a point S, and hence belonging to the pencil which has S as
centre.
The figure reciprocal to four points in space which do not lie in a
plane will consist of four planes which do not meet in a point. In
this case each figure forms a tetrahedron.
§ 42. As other examples we have the following:--
To a row is reciprocal an axial pencil,
" a flat pencil " a flat pencil,
" a field of points and lines " a pencil of planes and lines,
" the space of points " the space of planes.
For the row consists of a line and all the points in it, reciprocal to
it therefore will be a line with all planes through it, that is, an
axial pencil; and so for the other cases.
This correspondence of reciprocity breaks down, however, if we take
figures which contain measurement in their construction. For instance,
there is no figure reciprocal to two planes at _right angles_, because
there is no segment in a row which has a magnitude as definite as a
right angle.
We add a few examples of reciprocal propositions which are easily
proved.
_Theorem._--If A, B, C, D are _Theorem._--If [alpha], ß,
any four points in space, and if [gamma], [delta] are four planes
the lines AB and CD meet, then in space, and if the lines
all four points lie in a plane, [alpha]ß and [gamma][delta] meet,
hence also AC and BD, as well then all four planes lie in a
as AD and BC, meet. point (pencil), hence also
[alpha][gamma] and ß[delta], as
well as [alpha][delta] and
ß[gamma], meet.
Theorem.--_If of any number of lines every one meets every other,
whilst all do not_
_lie in a point, then all lie in _lie in a plane, then all lie in
a plane._ a point (pencil)._
§ 43. Reciprocal figures as explained lie both in space of three
dimensions. If the one is confined to a plane (is formed of elements
which lie in a plane), then the reciprocal figure is confined to a
pencil (is formed of elements which pass through a point).
But there is also a more special principle of duality, according to
which figures are reciprocal which lie both in a plane or both in a
pencil. In the plane we take points and lines as reciprocal elements,
for they have this fundamental property in common, that two elements
of one kind determine one of the other. In the pencil, on the other
hand, lines and planes have to be taken as reciprocal, and here it
holds again that two lines or planes determine one plane or line.
Thus, to one plane figure we can construct one reciprocal figure in
the plane, and to each one reciprocal figure in a pencil. We mention a
few of these. At first we explain a few names:--
A figure consisting of n points A figure consisting of n lines
in a plane will be called an in a plane will be called an
n-point. n-side.
A figure consisting of n planes A figure consisting of n lines
in a pencil will be called an in a pencil will be called an
n-flat. n-edge.
It will be understood that an n-side is different from a polygon of n
sides. The latter has sides of finite length and n vertices, the
former has sides all of infinite extension, and every point where two
of the sides meet will be a vertex. A similar difference exists
between a solid angle and an n-edge or an n-flat. We notice
particularly--
A four-point has six sides, of A four-side has six vertices, of
which two and two are opposite, which two and two are opposite,
and three diagonal points, which and three diagonals, which join
are intersections of opposite opposite vertices.
sides.
A four-flat has six edges, of A four-edge has six faces, of
which two and two are opposite, which two and two are opposite,
and three diagonal planes, which and three diagonal edges, which
pass through opposite edges. are intersections of opposite
faces.
A four-side is usually called a complete quadrilateral, and a
four-point a complete quadrangle. The above notation, however, seems
better adapted for the statement of reciprocal propositions.
§ 44.
If a point moves in a plane it If a line moves in a plane it
describes a plane curve. envelopes a plane curve (fig. 15).
If a plane moves in a pencil it If a line moves in a pencil it
envelopes a cone. describes a cone.
A curve thus appears as generated either by points, and then we call
it a "locus," or by lines, and then we call it an "envelope." In the
same manner a cone, which means here a surface, appears either as the
locus of lines passing through a fixed point, the "vertex" of the
cone, or as the envelope of planes passing through the same point.
[Illustration: FIG. 15.]
To a surface as locus of points corresponds, in the same manner, a
surface as envelope of planes; and to a curve in space as locus of
points corresponds a developable surface as envelope of planes.
It will be seen from the above that we may, by aid of the principle of
duality, construct for every figure a reciprocal figure, and that to
any property of the one a reciprocal property of the other will exist,
as long as we consider only properties which depend upon nothing but
the positions and intersections of the different elements and not upon
measurement.
For such propositions it will therefore be unnecessary to prove more
than one of two reciprocal theorems.
GENERATION OF CURVES AND CONES OF SECOND ORDER OR SECOND CLASS
§ 45. _Conics._--If we have two projective pencils in a plane,
corresponding rays will meet, and their point of intersection will
constitute some locus which we have to investigate. Reciprocally, if
two projective rows in a plane are given, then the lines which join
corresponding points will envelope some curve. We prove first:--
_Theorem._--If two projective _Theorem._--If two projective
flat pencils lie in a plane, but rows lie in a plane, but are
are neither in perspective nor neither in perspective nor on a
concentric, then the locus of common base, then the envelope
intersections of corresponding of lines joining corresponding
rays is a curve of the second points is a curve of the second
order, that is, no line contains class, that is, through no point
more than two points of the pass more than two of the
locus. enveloping lines.
Proof.--We draw any line t. _Proof._--We take any point T
This cuts each of the pencils in and join it to all points in each
a row, so that we have on t two row. This gives two concentric
rows, and these are projective pencils, which are projective
because the pencils are because the rows are projective.
projective. If corresponding rays If a line joining corresponding
of the two pencils meet on the points in the two rows passes
line t, their intersection will through T, it will be a line in
be a point in the one row which the one pencil which coincides
coincides with its corresponding with its corresponding line in
point in the other. But two the other. But two projective
projective rows on the same base concentric flat pencils in the
cannot have more than two same plane cannot have more than
points of one coincident with two lines of one coincident with
their corresponding points in their corresponding line in the
the other (§ 34). other (§ 34).
It will be seen that the proofs are reciprocal, so that the one may be
copied from the other by simply interchanging the words point and
line, locus and envelope, row and pencil, and so on. We shall
therefore in future prove seldom more than one of two reciprocal
theorems, and often state one theorem only, the reader being
recommended to go through the reciprocal proof by himself, and to
supply the reciprocal theorems when not given.
§ 46. We state the theorems in the pencil reciprocal to the last,
without proving them:--
_Theorem._--If two projective _Theorem._--If two projective
flat pencils are concentric, but axial pencils lie in the same
are neither perspective nor pencil (their axes meet in a
coplanar, then the envelope of point), but are neither perspective
the planes joining corresponding nor co-axial, then the locus
rays is a cone of the second of lines joining corresponding
class; that is, no line through planes is a cone of the second
the common centre contains more order; that is, no plane in the
than two of the enveloping pencil contains more than two
planes.
§ 47. Of theorems about cones of second order and cones of second
class we shall state only very few. We point out, however, the
following connexion between the curves and cones under consideration:
The lines which join any point Every plane section of a cone
in space to the points on a curve of the second order is a curve of
of the second order form a cone the second order.
of the second order.
The planes which join any Every plane section of a cone
point in space to the lines of the second class is a curve of
enveloping a curve of the the second class.
second class envelope themselves
a cone of the second class.
By its aid, or by the principle of duality, it will be easy to obtain
theorems about them from the theorems about the curves.
We prove the first. A curve of the second order is generated by two
projective pencils. These pencils, when joined to the point in space,
give rise to two projective axial pencils, which generate the cone in
question as the locus of the lines where corresponding planes meet.
§48.
_Theorem._--The curve of second _Theorem._--The envelope of
order which is generated by two second class which is generated
projective flat pencils passes by two projective rows contains
through the centres of the two the bases of these rows as
pencils. enveloping lines or tangents.
_Proof._--If S and S' are the _Proof._--If s and s' are the
two pencils, then to the ray SS' two rows, then to the point ss'
or p' in the pencil S' or P' as a point in s'
corresponds in the pencil S a corresponds in s a point P,
ray p, which is different from which is not coincident with P',
p', for the pencils are not for the rows are not
perspective. But p and p' meet perspective. But P and P' are
at S, so that S is a point on joined by s, so that s is one of
the curve, and similarly S'. the enveloping lines, and
similarly s'.
It follows that every line in one of the two pencils cuts the curve in
two points, viz. once at the centre S of the pencil, and once where it
cuts its corresponding ray in the other pencil. These two points,
however, coincide, if the line is cut by its corresponding line at S
itself. The line p in S, which corresponds to the line SS' in S', is
therefore the only line through S which has but one point in common
with the curve, or which cuts the curve in two coincident points. Such
a line is called a _tangent_ to the curve, touching the latter at the
point S, which is called the "point of contact."
In the same manner we get in the reciprocal investigation the result
that through every point in one of the rows, say in s, two tangents
may be drawn to the curve, the one being s, the other the line joining
the point to its corresponding point in s'. There is, however, one
point P in s for which these two lines coincide. Such a point in one
of the tangents is called the "point of contact" of the tangent. We
thus get--
_Theorem._--To the line joining _Theorem._--To the point of
the centres of the projective intersection of the bases of two
pencils as a line in one pencil projective rows as a point in
corresponds in the other the one row corresponds in the other
tangent at its centre. the _point of contact_ of its
base.
§ 49. Two projective pencils are determined if three pairs of
corresponding lines are given. Hence if a1, b1, c1 are three lines in
a pencil S1, and a2, b2, c2 the corresponding lines in a projective
pencil S2, the correspondence and therefore the curve of the second
order generated by the points of intersection of corresponding rays is
determined. Of this curve we know the two centres S1 and S2, and the
three points a1a2, b1b2, c1c2, hence five points in all. This and the
reciprocal considerations enable us to solve the following two
problems:
_Problem._--To construct a curve _Problem._--To construct a curve
of the second order, of which of the second class, of which
five points S1, S2, A, B, C are five tangents u1, u2, a, b, c
given. are given.
In order to solve the left-hand problem, we take two of the given
points, say S1 and S2, as centres of pencils. These we make projective
by taking the rays a1, b1, c1, which join S1 to A, B, C respectively,
as corresponding to the rays a2, b2, c2, which join S2 to A, B, C
respectively, so that three rays meet their corresponding rays at the
given points A, B, C. This determines the correspondence of the
pencils which will generate a curve of the second order passing
through A, B, C and through the centres S1 and S2, hence through the
five given points. To find more points on the curve we have to
construct for any ray in S1 the corresponding ray in S2. This has been
done in § 36. But we repeat the construction in order to deduce
further properties from it. We also solve the right-hand problem. Here
we select two, viz. u1, u2 of the five given lines, u1, u2, a, b, c,
as bases of two rows, and the points A1, B1, C1 where a, b, c cut u1
as corresponding to the points A2, B2, C2 where a, b, c cut u2.
We get then the following solutions of the two problems:
_Solution._--Through the point A _Solution._--In the line a take
draw any two lines, u1 and u2 any two points S1 and S2 as
(fig. 16), the first u1 to cut centres of pencils (fig. 17),
the pencil S1 in a row AB1C1, the first S1 (A1B1C1) to project
the other u2 to cut the pencil the row u1, the other S2
S2 in a row AB2C2. These two (A2B2C2) to project the row u2.
rows will be perspective, as the These two pencils will be
point A corresponds to itself, perspective, the line S1A1 being
and the centre of projection the same as the corresponding
will be the point S, where the line S2A2, and the axis of
lines B1B2 and C1C2 meet. To projection will be the line u,
find now for any ray d1 in S1 which joins the intersection B
its corresponding ray d2 in S2, of S1B1 and S2B2 to the
we determine the point D1 where intersection C of S1C1 and S2C2.
d1 cuts u1, project this point To find now for any point D1 in
from S to D2 on u2 and join S2 u1 the corresponding point D2 in
to D2. This will be the required u2, we draw S1D1 and project the
ray d2 which cuts d1 at some point D where this line cuts u
point D on the curve. from S2 to u2. This will give
the required point D2, and the
line d joining D1 to D2 will be
a new tangent to the curve.
§ 50. These constructions prove, when rightly interpreted, very
important properties of the curves in question.
[Illustration: FIG. 16.]
If in fig. 16 we draw in the pencil S1 the ray k1 which passes through
the auxiliary centre S, it will be found that the corresponding ray k2
cuts it on u2. Hence--
_Theorem._--In the above _Theorem._--In the above
construction the bases of the construction (fig. 17) the
auxiliary rows u1 and u2 cut the tangents to the curve from the
curve where they cut the rays centres of the auxiliary pencils
S2S and S1S respectively. S1 and S2 are the lines which
pass through u2u and u1u
respectively.
As A is any given point on the curve, and u1 any line through it, we
have solved the problems:
_Problem._--To find the second _Problem._--To find the second
point in which any line through tangent which can be drawn from
a known point on the curve cuts any point in a given tangent to
the curve. the curve.
If we determine in S1 (fig. 16) the ray corresponding to the ray S2S1
in S2, we get the tangent at S1. Similarly, we can determine the point
of contact of the tangents u1 or u2 in fig. 17.
[Illustration: FIG. 17.]
§ 51. If five points are given, of which not three are in a line, then
we can, as has just been shown, always draw a curve of the second
order through them; we select two of the points as centres of
projective pencils, and then one such curve is determined. It will be
presently shown that we get always the same curve if two other points
are taken as centres of pencils, that therefore five points
_determine_ one curve of the second order, and reciprocally, that five
tangents determine one curve of the second class. Six points taken at
random will therefore not lie on a curve of the second order. In order
that this may be the case a certain condition has to be satisfied, and
this condition is easily obtained from the construction in § 49, fig.
16. If we consider the conic determined by the five points A, S1, S2,
K, L, then the point D will be on the curve if, and only if, the
points on D1, S, D2 be in a line.
[Illustration: FIG. 18.]
This may be stated differently if we take AKS1DS2L (figs. 16 and 18)
as a hexagon inscribed in the conic, then AK and DS2 will be opposite
sides, so will be KS1 and S2L, as well as S1D and LA. The first two
meet in D2, the others in S and D1 respectively. We may therefore
state the required condition, together with the reciprocal one, as
follows:--
_Pascal's Theorem._--If a hexagon _Brianchon's Theorem._--If a
be inscribed in a curve of the hexagon be circumscribed about
second order, then the a curve of the second class, then
intersectionsof opposite sides the lines joining opposite vertices
are three points in a line. are three lines meeting in a point.
These celebrated theorems, which are known by the names of their
discoverers, are perhaps the most fruitful in the whole theory of
conics. Before we go over to their applications we have to show that
we obtain the same curve if we take, instead of S1, S2, any two other
points on the curve as centres of projective pencils.
§ 52. We know that the curve depends only upon the correspondence
between the pencils S1 and S2, and not upon the special construction
used for finding new points on the curve. The point A (fig. 16 or 18),
through which the two auxiliary rows u1, u2 were drawn, may therefore
be changed to any other point on the curve. Let us now suppose the
curve drawn, and keep the points S1, S2, K, L and D, and hence also
the point S fixed, whilst we move A along the curve. Then the line AL
will describe a pencil about L as centre, and the point D1 a row on
S1D perspective to the pencil L. At the same time AK describes a
pencil about K and D2 a row perspective to it on S2D. But by Pascal's
theorem D1 and D2 will always lie in a line with S, so that the rows
described by D1 and D2 are perspective. It follows that the pencils K
and L will themselves be projective, corresponding rays meeting on the
curve. This proves that we get the same curve whatever pair of the
five given points we take as centres of projective pencils. Hence--
Only one curve of the second Only one curve of the second
order can be drawn which passes class can be drawn which touches
through five given points. five given lines.
We have seen that if on a curve of the second order two points
coincide at A, the line joining them becomes the tangent at A. If,
therefore, a point on the curve and its tangent are given, this will
be equivalent to having given two points on the curve. Similarly, if
on the curve of second class a tangent and its point of contact are
given, this will be equivalent to two given tangents.
We may therefore extend the last theorem:
Only one curve of the second Only one curve of the second
order can be drawn, of which class can be drawn, of which four
four points and the tangent at tangents and the point of contact
oneof them, or three points at one of them, or three tangents
and the tangents at two of and the points of contact at two
them, are given. of them, are given.
§ 53. At the same time it has been proved:
If all points on a curve of the All tangents to a curve of second
second order be joined to any class are cut by any two of
two of them, then the two them in projective rows, those
pencils thus formed are being corresponding points which
projective, those rays being lie on the same tangent. Hence--
corresponding which meet on the
curve. Hence--
The cross-ratio of four rays The cross-ratio of the four
joining a point S on a curve of points in which any tangent u is
second order to four fixed cut by four fixed tangents a, b, c,
points A, B, C, D in the curve d is independent of the position of
is independent of the position u, and is called the cross-ratio of
of S, and is called the cross- the four tangents a, b, c, d.
ratio of the four points A, B,
C, D.
If this cross-ratio equals -1 If this cross-ratio equals -1
the four points are said to be the four tangents are said to be
four harmonic points. four harmonic tangents.
We have seen that a curve of second order, as generated by projective
pencils, has at the centre of each pencil one tangent; and further,
that any point on the curve may be taken as centre of such pencil.
Hence--
A curve of second order has A curve of second class has on
at every point one tangent. every tangent a point of contact.
§ 54. We return to Pascal's and Brianchon's theorems and their
applications, and shall, as before, state the results both for curves
of the second order and curves of the second class, but prove them
only for the former.
Pascal's theorem may be used when five points are given to find more
points on the curve, viz. it enables us to find the point where any
line through one of the given points cuts the curve again. It is
convenient, in making use of Pascal's theorem, to number the points,
to indicate the order in which they are to be taken in forming a
hexagon, which, by the way, may be done in 60 different ways. It will
be seen that 1 2 (leaving out 3) 4 5 are opposite sides, so are 2 3
and (leaving out 4) 5 6, and also 3 4 and (leaving out 5) 6 1.
If the points 1 2 3 4 5 are given, and we want a 6th point on a line
drawn through 1, we know all the sides of the hexagon with the
exception of 5 6, and this is found by Pascal's theorem.
If this line should happen to pass through 1, then 6 and 1 coincide,
or the line 6 1 is the tangent at 1. And always if two consecutive
vertices of the hexagon approach nearer and nearer, then the side
joining them will ultimately become a tangent.
We may therefore consider a pentagon inscribed in a curve of second
order and the tangent at one of its vertices as a hexagon, and thus
get the theorem:
Every pentagon inscribed in a Every pentagon circumscribed
curve of second order has the about a curve of the second class
property that the intersections has the property that the lines
of two pairs of non-consecutive which join two pairs of non-
sides lie in a line with the consecutive vertices meet on that
point where the fifth side cuts line which joins the fifth vertex
the tangent at the opposite to the point of contact of the
vertex. opposite side.
This enables us also to solve the following problems.
Given five points on a curve of Given five tangents to a curve
second order to construct the of second class to construct the
tangent at any one of them. point of contact of any one of
them.
[Illustration: FIG. 19.]
If two pairs of adjacent vertices coincide, the hexagon becomes a
quadrilateral, with tangents at two vertices. These we take to be
opposite, and get the following theorems:
If a quadrilateral be inscribed If a quadrilateral be circumscribed
in a curve of second order, the about a curve of second
intersections of opposite sides, class, the lines joining opposite
and also the intersections of vertices, and also the lines joining
the tangents at opposite points of contact of opposite
vertices, lie in a line (fig. sides, meet in a point.
19).
[Illustration: FIG. 20.]
If we consider the hexagon made up of a triangle and the tangents at
its vertices, we get--
If a triangle is inscribed in a If a triangle be circumscribed
curve of the second order, the about a curve of second class,
points in which the sides are the lines which join the vertices
cut by the tangents at the to the points of contact of the
opposite vertices meet in a opposite sides meet in a point
point. (fig. 20).
§ 55. Of these theorems, those about the quadrilateral give rise to a
number of others. Four points A, B, C, D may in three different ways
be formed into a quadrilateral, for we may take them in the order
ABCD, or ACBD, or ACDB, so that either of the points B, C, D may be
taken as the vertex opposite to A. Accordingly we may apply the
theorem in three different ways.
Let A, B, C, D be four points on a curve of second order (fig. 21),
and let us take them as forming a quadrilateral by taking the points
in the order ABCD, so that A, C and also B, D are pairs of opposite
vertices. Then P, Q will be the points where opposite sides meet, and
E, F the intersections of tangents at opposite vertices. The four
points P, Q, E, F lie therefore in a line. The quadrilateral ACBD
gives us in the same way the four points Q, R, G, H in a line, and the
quadrilateral ABDC a line containing the four points R, P, I, K. These
three lines form a triangle PQR.
The relation between the points and lines in this figure may be
expressed more clearly if we consider ABCD as a four-point inscribed
in a conic, and the tangents at these points as a four-side
circumscribed about it,--viz. it will be seen that P, Q, R are the
diagonal points of the four-point ABCD, whilst the sides of the
triangle PQR are the diagonals of the circumscribing four-side. Hence
the theorem--
_Any four-point on a curve of the second order and the four-side
formed by the tangents at these points stand in this relation that the
diagonal points of the four-point lie in the diagonals of the
four-side._ And conversely,
_If a four-point and a circumscribed four-side stand in the above
relation, then a curve of the second order may be described which
passes through the four points and touches there the four sides of
these figures._
That the last part of the theorem is true follows from the fact that
the four points A, B, C, D and the line a, as tangent at A, determine
a curve of the second order, and the tangents to this curve at the
other points B, C, D are given by the construction which leads to fig.
21.
[Illustration: FIG. 21.]
The theorem reciprocal to the last is--
_Any four-side circumscribed about a curve of second class and the
four-point formed by the points of contact stand in this relation that
the diagonals of the four-side pass through the diagonal points of the
four-point._ And conversely,
_If a four-side and an inscribed four-point stand in the above
relation, then a curve of the second class may be described which
touches the sides of the four-side at the points of the four-point._
§ 56. The four-point and the four-side in the two reciprocal theorems
are alike. Hence if we have a four-point ABCD and a four-side abcd
related in the manner described, then not only may a curve of the
second order be drawn, but also a curve of the second class, which
both touch the lines a, b, c, d at the points A, B, C, D.
The curve of second order is already more than determined by the
points A, B, C and the tangents a, b, c at A, B and C. The point D may
therefore be _any_ point on this curve, and d any tangent to the
curve. On the other hand the curve of the second class is more than
determined by the three tangents a, b, c and their points of contact
A, B, C, so that d is any tangent to this curve. It follows that every
tangent to the curve of second order is a tangent of a curve of the
second class having the same point of contact. In other words, the
curve of second order is a curve of second class, and _vice versa_.
Hence the important theorems--
_Every curve of second order is _Every curve of second class is a
a curve of second class._ curve of second order._
The curves of second order and of second class, having thus been
proved to be identical, shall henceforth be called by the common name
of _Conics_.
For these curves hold, therefore, all properties which have been
proved for curves of second order or of second class. We may therefore
now state Pascal's and Brianchon's theorem thus--
_Pascal's Theorem._--If a hexagon be inscribed in a conic, then the
intersections of opposite sides lie in a line.
_Brianchon's Theorem._--If a hexagon be circumscribed about a conic,
then the diagonals forming opposite centres meet in a point.
§ 57. If we suppose in fig. 21 that the point D together with the
tangent d moves along the curve, whilst A, B, C and their tangents a,
b, c remain fixed, then the ray DA will describe a pencil about A, the
point Q a projective row on the fixed line BC, the point F the row b,
and the ray EF a pencil about E. But EF passes always through Q. Hence
the pencil described by AD is projective to the pencil described by
EF, and therefore to the row described by F on b. At the same time the
line BD describes a pencil about B projective to that described by AD
(§ 53). Therefore the pencil BD and the row F on b are projective.
Hence--
_If on a conic a point A be taken and the tangent a at this point,
then the cross-ratio of the four rays which join A to any four points
on the curve is equal to the cross-ratio of the points in which the
tangents at these points cut the tangent at A._
§ 58. There are theorems about cones of second order and second class
in a pencil which are reciprocal to the above, according to § 43. We
mention only a few of the more important ones.
The locus of intersections of corresponding planes in two projective
axial pencils whose axes meet is a cone of the second order.
The envelope of planes which join corresponding lines in two
projective flat pencils, not in the same plane, is a cone of the
second class.
Cones of second order and cones of second class are identical.
Every plane cuts a cone of the second order in a conic.
_A cone of second order is uniquely determined by five of its edges or
by five of its tangent planes, or by four edges and the tangent plane
at one of them, &c. &c._
_Pascal's Theorem._--If a solid angle of six faces be inscribed in a
cone of the second order, then the intersections of opposite faces are
three lines in a plane.
_Brianchon's Theorem._--If a solid angle of six edges be circumscribed
about a cone of the second order, then the planes through opposite
edges meet in a line.
Each of the other theorems about conics may be stated for cones of the
second order.
§ 59. _Projective Definitions of the Conics._--We now consider the
shape of the conics. We know that any line in the plane of the conic,
and hence that the line at infinity, either has no point in common
with the curve, or one (counting for two coincident points) or two
distinct points. If the line at infinity has no point on the curve the
latter is altogether finite, and is called an _Ellipse_ (fig. 21). If
the line at infinity has only one point in common with the conic, the
latter extends to infinity, and has the line at infinity a tangent. It
is called a _Parabola_ (fig. 22). If, lastly, the line at infinity
cuts the curve in two points, it consists of two separate parts which
each extend in two branches to the points at infinity where they meet.
The curve is in this case called an _Hyperbola_ (see fig. 20). The
tangents at the two points at infinity are finite because the line at
infinity is not a tangent. They are called _Asymptotes_. The branches
of the hyperbola approach these lines indefinitely as a point on the
curves moves to infinity.
[Illustration: FIG. 22.]
§ 60. That the circle belongs to the curves of the second order is
seen at once if we state in a slightly different form the theorem that
in a circle all angles at the circumference standing upon the same arc
are equal. If two points S1, S2 on a circle be joined to any other two
points A and B on the circle, then the angle included by the rays S1A
and S1B is equal to that between the rays S2A and S2B, so that as A
moves along the circumference the rays S1A and S2A describe equal and
therefore projective pencils. The circle can thus be generated by two
projective pencils, and is a curve of the second order.
If we join a point in space to all points on a circle, we get a
(circular) cone of the second order (§ 43). Every plane section of
this cone is a conic. This conic will be an ellipse, a parabola, or an
hyperbola, according as the line at infinity in the plane has no, one
or two points in common with the conic in which the plane at infinity
cuts the cone. It follows that our curves of second order may be
obtained as sections of a circular cone, and that they are identical
with the "Conic Sections" of the Greek mathematicians.
§ 61. Any two tangents to a parabola are cut by all others in
projective rows; but the line at infinity being one of the tangents,
the points at infinity on the rows are corresponding points, and the
rows therefore similar. Hence the theorem--
_The tangents to a parabola cut each other proportionally._
POLE AND POLAR
§ 62. We return once again to fig. 21, which we obtained in § 55.
If a four-side be circumscribed about and a four-point inscribed in a
conic, so that the vertices of the second are the points of contact of
the sides of the first, then the triangle formed by the diagonals of
the first is the same as that formed by the diagonal points of the
other.
Such a triangle will be called a _polar-triangle_ of the conic, so
that PQR in fig. 21 is a polar-triangle. It has the property that on
the side p opposite P meet the tangents at A and B, and also those at
C and D. From the harmonic properties of four-points and four-sides it
follows further that the points L, M, where it cuts the lines AB and
CD, are harmonic conjugates with regard to AB and CD respectively.
If the point P is given, and we draw a line through it, cutting the
conic in A and B, then the point Q harmonic conjugate to P with regard
to AB, and the point H where the tangents at A and B meet, are
determined. But they lie both on p, and therefore this line is
determined. If we now draw a second line through P, cutting the conic
in C and D, then the point M harmonic conjugate to P with regard to
CD, and the point G where the tangents at C and D meet, must also lie
on p. As the first line through P already determines p, the second may
be any line through P. Now every two lines through P determine a
four-point ABCD on the conic, and therefore a polar-triangle which has
one vertex at P and its opposite side at p. This result, together with
its reciprocal, gives the theorems--
_All polar-triangles which have one vertex in common have also the
opposite side in common._
_All polar-triangles which have one side in common have also the
opposite vertex in common._
§ 63. To any point P in the plane of, but not on, a conic corresponds
thus one line p as the side opposite to P in all polar-triangles which
have one vertex at P, and reciprocally to every line p corresponds one
point P as the vertex opposite to p in all triangles which have p as
one side.
We call the line p the _polar_ of P, and the point P the _pole_ of the
line p with regard to the conic.
If a point lies on the conic, we call the tangent at that point its
polar; and reciprocally we call the point of contact the pole of
tangent.
§ 64. From these definitions and former results follow--
The polar of any point P not The pole of any line p not a
on the conic is a line p, which tangent to the conic is a point
has the following properties:-- P, which has the following
properties:--
1. On every line through P 1. Of all lines through a point
which cuts the conic, the polar on p from which two tangents
of P contains the harmonic may be drawn to the conic, the
conjugate of P with regard to pole P contains the line which is
those points on the conic. harmonic conjugate to p, with
regard to the two tangents.
2. If tangents can be drawn 2. If p cuts the conic, the
from P, their points of contact tangents at the intersections
lie on p. meet at P.
3. Tangents drawn at the 3. The point of contact of
points where any line through P tangents drawn from any point
cuts the conic meet on p; and on p to the conic lie in a line
conversely, with P; and conversely,
4. If from any point on p, 4. Tangents drawn at points
tangents be drawn, their points where any line through P cuts the
of contact will lie in a line conic meet on p.
with P.
5. Any four-point on the conic 5. Any four-side circumscribed
which has one diagonal point at about a conic which has one
P has the other two lying on p. diagonal on p has the other two
meeting at P.
The truth of 2 follows from 1. If T be a point where p cuts the conic,
then one of the points where PT cuts the conic, and which are harmonic
conjugates with regard to PT, coincides with T; hence the other
does--that is, PT touches the curve at T.
That 4 is true follows thus: If we draw from a point H on the polar
one tangent a to the conic, join its point of contact A to the pole P,
determine the second point of intersection B of this line with the
conic, and draw the tangent at B, it will pass through H, and will
therefore be the second tangent which may be drawn from H to the
curve.
§ 65. The second property of the polar or pole gives rise to the
theorem--
From a point in the plane of a A line in the plane of a conic
conic, two, one or no tangents has two, one or no points in
may be drawn to the conic, common with the conic, according
as its polar has two, as two, one or no tangents
one, or no points in common can be drawn from its pole to the
with the curve. conic.
Of any point in the plane of a conic we say that it was _without_, on
or _within_ the curve according as two, one or no tangents to the
curve pass through it. The points on the conic separate those within
the conic from those without. That this is true for a circle is known
from elementary geometry. That it also holds for other conics follows
from the fact that every conic may be considered as the projection of
a circle, which will be proved later on.
The fifth property of pole and polar stated in § 64 shows how to find
the polar of any point and the pole of any line by aid of the
straight-edge only. Practically it is often convenient to draw three
secants through the pole, and to determine only one of the diagonal
points for two of the four-points formed by pairs of these lines and
the conic (fig. 22).
These constructions also solve the problem--
From a point without a conic, to draw the two tangents to the conic by
aid of the straight-edge only.
For we need only draw the polar of the point in order to find the
points of contact.
§ 66. The property of a polar-triangle may now be stated thus--
In a polar-triangle each side is the polar of the opposite vertex, and
each vertex is the pole of the opposite side.
[Illustration: FIG. 23.]
If P is one vertex of a polar-triangle, then the other vertices, Q and
R, lie on the polar p of P. One of these vertices we may choose
arbitrarily. For if from any point Q on the polar a secant be drawn
cutting the conic in A and D (fig. 23), and if the lines joining these
points to P cut the conic again at B and C, then the line BC will pass
through Q. Hence P and Q are two of the vertices on the polar-triangle
which is determined by the four-point ABCD. The third vertex R lies
also on the line p. It follows, therefore, also--
_If Q is a point on the polar of P, then P is a point on the polar of
Q_; and reciprocally,
_If q is a line through the pole of p, then p is a line through the
pole of q._
This is a very important theorem. It may also be stated thus--
_If a point moves along a line describing a row, its polar turns about
the pole of the line describing a pencil._
_This pencil is projective to the row, so that the cross-ratio of four
poles in a row equals the cross-ratio of its four polars, which pass
through the pole of the row._
To prove the last part, let us suppose that P, A and B in fig. 23
remain fixed, whilst Q moves along the polar p of P. This will make CD
turn about P and move R along p, whilst QD and RD describe projective
pencils about A and B. Hence Q and R describe projective rows, and
hence PR, which is the polar of Q, describes a pencil projective to
either.
§ 67. Two points, of which one, and therefore each, lies on the polar
of the other, are said to be _conjugate with regard to the conic_; and
two lines, of which one, and therefore each, passes through the pole
of the other, are said to be _conjugate with regard to the conic_.
Hence all points conjugate to a point P lie on the polar of P; all
lines conjugate to a line p pass through the pole of p.
If the line joining two conjugate poles cuts the conic, then the poles
are harmonic conjugates with regard to the points of intersection;
hence one lies within the other without the conic, and all points
conjugate to a point within a conic lie without it.
Of a polar-triangle any two vertices are conjugate poles, any two
sides conjugate lines. If, therefore, one side cuts a conic, then one
of the two vertices which lie on this side is within and the other
without the conic. The vertex opposite this side lies also without,
for it is the pole of a line which cuts the curve. In this case
therefore one vertex lies within, the other two without. If, on the
other hand, we begin with a side which does not cut the conic, then
its pole lies within and the other vertices without. Hence--
Every polar-triangle has one and only one vertex within the conic.
We add, without a proof, the theorem--
The four points in which a conic is cut by two conjugate polars are
four harmonic points in the conic.
§ 68. If two conics intersect in four points (they cannot have more
points in common, § 52), there exists one and only one four-point
which is inscribed in both, and therefore one polar-triangle common to
both.
_Theorem._--Two conics which intersect in four points have always one
and only one common polar-triangle; and reciprocally,
Two conics which have four common tangents have always one and only
one common polar-triangle.
DIAMETERS AND AXES OF CONICS
§ 69. _Diameters._--The theorems about the harmonic properties of
poles and polars contain, as special cases, a number of important
metrical properties of conics. These are obtained if either the pole
or the polar is moved to infinity,--it being remembered that the
harmonic conjugate to a point at infinity, with regard to two points
A, B, is the middle point of the segment AB. The most important
properties are stated in the following theorems:--
_The middle points of parallel chords of a conic lie in a line--viz.
on the polar to the point at infinity on the parallel chords._
This line is called a _diameter_.
_The polar of every point at infinity is a diameter._
_The tangents at the end points of a diameter are parallel, and are
parallel to the chords bisected by the diameter._
_All diameters pass through a common point, the pole of the line at
infinity._
_All diameters of a parabola are parallel_, the pole to the line at
infinity being the point where the curve touches the line at
infinity.
In case of the ellipse and hyperbola, the pole to the line at infinity
is a finite point called the _centre_ of the curve.
_A centre of a conic bisects every chord through it._
_The centre of an ellipse is within the curve_, for the line at
infinity does not cut the ellipse.
_The centre of an hyperbola is without the curve_, because the line at
infinity cuts the curve. Hence also--
_From the centre of an hyperbola two tangents can be drawn to the
curve which have their point of contact at infinity._ These are called
_Asymptotes_ (§ 59).
_To construct a diameter_ of a conic, draw two parallel chords and
join their middle points.
_To find the centre_ of a conic, draw two diameters; their
intersection will be the centre.
§ 70. _Conjugate Diameters._--A polar-triangle with one vertex at the
centre will have the opposite side at infinity. The other two sides
pass through the centre, and are called _conjugate diameters_, each
being the polar of the point at infinity on the other.
_Of two conjugate diameters each bisects the chords parallel to the
other, and if one cuts the curve, the tangents at its ends are
parallel to the other diameter._
Further--
_Every parallelogram inscribed in a conic has its sides parallel to
two conjugate diameters_; and
_Every parallelogram circumscribed about a conic has as diagonals two
conjugate diameters._
This will be seen by considering the parallelogram in the first case
as an inscribed four-point, in the other as a circumscribed four-side,
and determining in each case the corresponding polar-triangle. The
first may also be enunciated thus--
_The lines which join any point on an ellipse or an hyperbola to the
ends of a diameter are parallel to two conjugate diameters._
§ 71. _If every diameter is perpendicular to its conjugate the conic
is a circle._
For the lines which join the ends of a diameter to any point on the
curve include a right angle.
_A conic which has more than one pair of conjugate diameters at right
angles to each other is a circle._
[Illustration: FIG. 24.]
Let AA' and BB' (fig. 24) be one pair of conjugate diameters at right
angles to each other, CC and DD' a second pair. If we draw through the
end point A of one diameter a chord AP parallel to DD', and join P to
A', then PA and PA' are, according to § 70, parallel to two conjugate
diameters. But PA is parallel to DD', hence PA' is parallel to CC, and
therefore PA and PA' are perpendicular. If we further draw the
tangents to the conic at A and A', these will be perpendicular to AA',
they being parallel to the conjugate diameter BB'. We know thus five
points on the conic, viz. the points A and A' with their tangents, and
the point P. Through these a circle may be drawn having AA' as
diameter; and as through five points one conic only can be drawn, this
circle must coincide with the given conic.
§ 72. _Axes._--Conjugate diameters perpendicular to each other are
called _axes_, and the points where they cut the curve _vertices_ of
the conic.
In a circle every diameter is an axis, every point on it is a vertex;
and any two lines at right angles to each other may be taken as a pair
of axes of any circle which has its centre at their intersection.
[Illustration: FIG. 25.]
If we describe on a diameter AB of an ellipse or hyperbola a circle
concentric to the conic, it will cut the latter in A and B (fig. 25).
Each of the semicircles in which it is divided by AB will be partly
within, partly without the curve, and must cut the latter therefore
again in a point. The circle and the conic have thus four points A, B,
C, D, and therefore one polar-triangle, in common (§ 68). Of this the
centre is one vertex, for the line at infinity is the polar to this
point, both with regard to the circle and the other conic. The other
two sides are conjugate diameters of both, hence perpendicular to each
other. This gives--
An ellipse as well as an hyperbola has one pair of axes.
This reasoning shows at the same time _how to construct the axis of an
ellipse or of an hyperbola_.
_A parabola has one axis_, if we define an axis as a diameter
perpendicular to the chords which it bisects. It is easily
constructed. The line which bisects any two parallel chords is a
diameter. Chords perpendicular to it will be bisected by a parallel
diameter, and this is the axis.
§ 73. The first part of the right-hand theorem in § 64 may be stated
thus: any two conjugate lines through a point P without a conic are
harmonic conjugates with regard to the two tangents that may be drawn
from P to the conic.
If we take instead of P the centre C of an hyperbola, then the
conjugate lines become conjugate diameters, and the tangents
asymptotes. Hence--
_Any two conjugate diameters of an hyperbola are harmonic conjugates
with regard to the asymptotes._
As the axes are conjugate diameters at right angles to one another, it
follows (§ 23)--
_The axes of an hyperbola bisect the angles between the asymptotes._
[Illustration: FIG. 26.]
Let O be the centre of the hyperbola (fig. 26), t any secant which
cuts the hyperbola in C, D and the asymptotes in E, F, then the line
OM which bisects the chord CD is a diameter conjugate to the diameter
OK which is parallel to the secant t, so that OK and OM are harmonic
with regard to the asymptotes. The point M therefore bisects EF. But
by construction M bisects CD. It follows that DF = EC, and ED = CF; or
_On any secant of an hyperbola the segments between the curve and the
asymptotes are equal._
If the chord is changed into a tangent, this gives--
_The segment between the asymptotes on any tangent to an hyperbola is
bisected by the point of contact._
The first part allows a simple solution of the problem to find any
number of points on an hyperbola, of which the asymptotes and one
point are given. This is equivalent to three points and the tangents
at two of them. This construction requires measurement.
§ 74. For the parabola, too, follow some metrical properties. A
diameter PM (fig. 27) bisects every chord conjugate to it, and the
pole P of such a chord BC lies on the diameter. But a diameter cuts
the parabola once at infinity. Hence--
_The segment PM which joins the middle point M of a chord of a
parabola to the pole P of the chord is bisected by the parabola at A._
§ 75. Two asymptotes and any two tangents to an hyperbola may be
considered as a quadrilateral circumscribed about the hyperbola. But
in such a quadrilateral the intersections of the diagonals and the
points of contact of opposite sides lie in a line (§ 54). If therefore
DEFG (fig. 28) is such a quadrilateral, then the diagonals DF and GE
will meet on the line which joins the points of contact of the
asymptotes, that is, on the line at infinity; hence they are parallel.
From this the following theorem is a simple deduction:
_All triangles formed by a tangent and the asymptotes of an hyperbola
are equal in area._
[Illustration: FIG. 27.]
[Illustration: FIG. 28.]
If we draw at a point P (fig. 28) on an hyperbola a tangent, the part
HK between the asymptotes is bisected at P. The parallelogram PQOQ'
formed by the asymptotes and lines parallel to them through P will be
half the triangle OHK, and will therefore be constant. If we now take
the asymptotes OX and OY as oblique axes of co-ordinates, the lines OQ
and QP will be the co-ordinates of P, and will satisfy the equation xy
= const. = a².
_For the asymptotes as axes of co-ordinates the equation of the
hyperbola is xy = const._
INVOLUTION
[Illustration: FIG. 29.]
§ 76. If we have two projective rows, ABC on u and A'B'C' on u', and
place their bases on the same line, then each point in this line
counts twice, once as a point in the row u and once as a point in the
row u'. In fig. 29 we denote the points as points in the one row by
letters above the line A, B, C ..., and as points in the second row by
A', B', C' ... below the line. Let now A and B' be the same point,
then to A will correspond a point A' in the second, and to B' a point
B in the first row. In general these points A' and B will be
different. It may, however, happen that they coincide. Then the
correspondence is a peculiar one, as the following theorem shows:
_If two projective rows lie on the same base, and if it happens that
to one point in the base the same point corresponds, whether we
consider the point as belonging to the first or to the second row,
then the same will happen for every point in the base--that is to say,
to every point in the line corresponds the same point in the first as
in the second row._
[Illustration: FIG. 30.]
In order to determine the correspondence, we may assume three pairs of
corresponding points in two projective rows. Let then A', B', C', in
fig. 30, correspond to A, B, C, so that A and B', and also B and A',
denote the same point. Let us further denote the point C' when
considered as a point in the first row by D; then it is to be proved
that the point D', which corresponds to D, is the same point as C. We
know that the cross-ratio of four points is equal to that of the
corresponding row. Hence
(AB, CD) = (A'B', C'D')
but replacing the dashed letters by those undashed ones which denote
the same points, the second cross-ratio equals (BA, DD'), which,
according to § 15, equals (AB, D'D); so that the equation becomes
(AB, CD) = (AB, D'D).
This requires that C and D' coincide.
§ 77. Two projective rows on the same base, which have the above
property, that to every point, whether it be considered as a point in
the one or in the other row, corresponds the same point, are said to
be in _involution_, or to form an _involution_ of points on the line.
We mention, but without proving it, that any two projective rows may
be placed so as to form an involution.
An involution may be said to consist of a row of pairs of points, to
every point A corresponding a point A', and to A' again the point A.
These points are said to be conjugate, or, better, one point is termed
the "mate" of the other.
From the definition, according to which an involution may be
considered as made up of two projective rows, follow at once the
following important properties:
1. The cross-ratio of four points equals that of the four conjugate
points.
2. If we call a point which coincides with its mate a "focus" or
"double point" of the involution, we may say: An involution has either
two foci, or one, or none, and is called respectively a hyperbolic,
parabolic or elliptic involution (§ 34).
3. In an hyperbolic involution any two conjugate points are harmonic
conjugates with regard to the two foci.
For if A, A' be two conjugate points, F1, F2 the two foci, then to the
points F1, F2, A, A' in the one row correspond the points F1, F2, A',
A in the other, each focus corresponding to itself. Hence (F1F2, AA')
= (F1F2, A'A)--that is, we may interchange the two points AA' without
altering the value of the cross-ratio, which is the characteristic
property of harmonic conjugates (§ 18).
4. The point conjugate to the point at infinity is called the "centre"
of the involution. Every involution has a centre, unless the point at
infinity be a focus, in which case we may say that the centre is at
infinity.
In an hyperbolic involution the centre is the middle point between the
foci.
5. The product of the distances of two conjugate points A, A' from the
centre O is constant: OA . OA' = c.
For let A, A' and B, B' be two pairs of conjugate points, the centre,
I the point at infinity, then
(AB, OI) = (A'B', IO),
or
OA . OA' = OB . OB'.
In order to determine the distances of the foci from the centre, we
write F for A and A' and get
OF² = c; OF = ±[root]c.
Hence if c is positive OF is real, and has two values, equal and
opposite. The involution is hyperbolic.
If c = 0, OF = 0, and the two foci both coincide with the centre. If c
is negative, [root]c becomes imaginary, and there are no foci. Hence
we may write--
In an hyperbolic involution, OA·OA' = k²,
In a parabolic involution, OA·OA' = 0,
In an elliptic involution, OA·OA' = -k².
From these expressions it follows that conjugate points A, A' in an
hyperbolic involution lie on the same side of the centre, and in an
elliptic involution on opposite sides of the centre, and that in a
parabolic involution one coincides with the centre.
In the first case, for instance, OA·OA' is positive; hence OA and OA'
have the same sign.
It also follows that two segments, AA' and BB', between pairs of
conjugate points have the following positions: in an hyperbolic
involution they lie either one altogether within or altogether without
each other; in a parabolic involution they have one point in common;
and in an elliptic involution they overlap, each being partly within
and partly without the other.
_Proof._--We have OA·OA' = OB·OB' = k² in case of an hyperbolic
involution. Let A and B be the points in each pair which are nearer to
the centre O. If now A, A' and B, B' lie on the same side of O, and if
B is nearer to O than A, so that OB < OA, then OB' > OA'; hence B' lies
farther away from O than A', or the segment AA' lies within BB'. And so
on for the other cases.
6. An involution is determined--
([alpha]) By two pairs of conjugate points. Hence also
(ß) By one pair of conjugate points and the centre;
([gamma]) By the two foci;
([delta]) By one focus and one pair of conjugate points;
([epsilon]) By one focus and the centre.
7. The condition that A, B, C and A', B', C' may form an involution
may be written in one of the forms--
(AB, CC') = (A'B', C'C),
or (AB, CA') = (A'B', C'A),
or (AB, C'A') = (A'B', CA),
for each expresses that in the two projective rows in which A, B, C
and A', B', C' are conjugate points two conjugate elements may be
interchanged.
8. Any three pairs. A, A', B, B', C, C', of conjugate points are
connected by the relations:
AB'·BC'·CA' AB'·BC·C'A' AB·B'C'·CA' AB·B'C·C'A'
----------- = ----------- = ----------- = ----------- = -1.
A'B·B'C·C'A A'B·B'C'·CA A'B'·BC·C'A A'B'·BC'·CA
These relations readily follow by working out the relations in (7)
(above).
§ 78. _Involution of a quadrangle.--The sides of any four-point are
cut by any line in six points in involution, opposite sides being cut
in conjugate points._
Let A1B1C1D1 (fig. 31) be the four-point. If its sides be cut by the
line p in the points A, A', B, B', C, C', if further, C1D1 cuts the
line A1B1 in C2, and if we project the row A1B1C2C to p once from D1
and once from C1, we get (A'B', C'C) = (BA, C'C).
Interchanging in the last cross-ratio the letters in each pair we get
(A'B', C'C) = (AB, CC'). Hence by § 77 (7) the points are in
involution.
The theorem may also be stated thus:
_The three points in which any line cuts the sides of a triangle and
the projections, from any point in the plane, of the vertices of the
triangle on to the same line are six points in involution._
[Illustration: FIG. 31.]
Or again--
The projections from any point on to any line of the six vertices of a
four-side are six points in involution, the projections of opposite
vertices being conjugate points.
This property gives a simple means to construct, by aid of the
straight edge only, in an involution of which two pairs of conjugate
points are given, to any point its conjugate.
§ 79. _Pencils in Involution._--The theory of involution may at once
be extended from the row to the flat and the axial pencil--viz. we say
that there is an involution in a flat or in an axial pencil if any
line cuts the pencil in an involution of points. An involution in a
pencil consists of pairs of conjugate rays or planes; it has two, one
or no _focal rays_ (double lines) or _planes_, but nothing
corresponding to a centre.
An involution in a flat pencil contains always one, and in general
only one, pair of conjugate rays which are perpendicular to one
another. For in two projective flat pencils exist always two
corresponding right angles (§ 40).
Each involution in an axial pencil contains in the same manner one
pair of conjugate planes at right angles to one another.
As a rule, there exists but one pair of conjugate lines or planes at
right angles to each other. But it is possible that there are more,
and then there is an infinite number of such pairs. An involution in a
flat pencil, in which every ray is perpendicular to its conjugate ray,
is said to be _circular_. That such involution is possible is easily
seen thus: if in two concentric flat pencils each ray on one is made
to correspond to that ray on the other which is perpendicular to it,
then the two pencils are projective, for if we turn the one pencil
through a right angle each ray in one coincides with its corresponding
ray in the other. But these two projective pencils are in involution.
A circular involution has no focal rays, because no ray in a pencil
coincides with the ray perpendicular to it.
§ 80. _Every elliptical involution in a row may be considered as a
section of a circular involution._
In an elliptical involution any two segments AA' and BB' lie partly
within and partly without each other (fig. 32). Hence two circles
described on AA' and BB' as diameters will intersect in two points E
and E'. The line EE' cuts the base of the involution at a point O,
which has the property that OA·OA' = OB . OB', for each is equal to
OE . OE'. The point O is therefore the centre of the involution. If we
wish to construct to any point C the conjugate point C', we may draw
the circle through CEE'. This will cut the base in the required point
C' for OC·OC' = OA·OA'. But EC and EC' are at right angles. Hence the
involution which is obtained by joining E or E' to the points in the
given involution is circular. This may also be expressed thus:
[Illustration: FIG. 32.]
_Every elliptical involution has the property that there are two
definite points in the plane from which any two conjugate points are
seen under a right angle._
At the same time the following problem has been solved:
To determine the centre and also the point corresponding to any given
point in an elliptical involution of which two pairs of conjugate
points are given.
§ 81. _Involution Range on a Conic._--By the aid of § 53, the points
on a conic may be made to correspond to those on a line, so that the
row of points on the conic is projective to a row of points on a line.
We may also have two projective rows on the same conic, and these will
be in involution as soon as one point on the conic has the same point
corresponding to it all the same to whatever row it belongs. An
involution of points on a conic will have the property (as follows
from its definition, and from § 53) that the lines which join
conjugate points of the involution to any point on the conic are
conjugate lines of an involution in a pencil, and that a fixed tangent
is cut by the tangents at conjugate points on the conic in points
which are again conjugate points of an involution on the fixed
tangent. For such involution on a conic the following theorem holds:
_The lines which join corresponding points in an involution on a conic
all pass through a fixed point; and reciprocally, the points of
intersection of conjugate lines in an involution among tangents to a
conic lie on a line._
[Illustration: FIG. 33]
We prove the first part only. The involution is determined by two
pairs of conjugate points, say by A, A' and B, B' (fig. 33). Let AA'
and BB' meet in P. If we join the points in involution to any point on
the conic, and the conjugate points to another point on the conic, we
obtain two projective pencils. We take A and A' as centres of these
pencils, so that the pencils A(A'BB') and A'(AB'B) are projective, and
in perspective position, because AA' corresponds to A'A. Hence
corresponding rays meet in a line, of which two points are found by
joining AB' to A'B and AB to A'B'. It follows that the _axis_ of
perspective is the polar of the point P, where AA' and BB' meet. If we
now wish to construct to any other point C on the conic the
corresponding point C', we join C to A' and the point where this line
cuts p to A. The latter line cuts the conic again in C'. But we know
from the theory of pole and polar that the line CC' passes through P.
The point of concurrence is called the "pole of the involution," and
the line of collinearity of the meets is called the "axis of the
involution."
INVOLUTION DETERMINED BY A CONIC ON A LINE.--FOCI
§ 82. The polars, with regard to a conic, of points in a row p form a
pencil P projective to the row (§ 66). This pencil cuts the base of
the row p in a projective row.
If A is a point in the given row, A' the point where the polar of A
cuts p, then A and A' will be corresponding points. If we take A' a
point in the first row, then the polar of A' will pass through A, so
that A corresponds to A'--in other words, the rows are in involution.
The conjugate points in this involution are conjugate points with
regard to the conic. Conjugate points coincide only if the polar of a
point A passes through A--that is, if A lies on the conic. Hence--
_A conic determines on every line in its plane an involution, in which
those points are conjugate which are also conjugate with regard to the
conic._
_If the line cuts the conic the involution is hyperbolic, the points
of intersection being the foci._
_If the line touches the conic the involution is parabolic, the two
foci coinciding at the point of contact._
_If the line does not cut the conic the involution is elliptic, having
no foci._
If, on the other hand, we take a point P in the plane of a conic, we
get to each line a through P one conjugate line which joins P to the
pole of a. These pairs of conjugate lines through P form an involution
in the pencil at P. The focal rays of this involution are the tangents
drawn from P to the conic. This gives the theorem reciprocal to the
last, viz:--
_A conic determines in every pencil in its plane an involution,
corresponding lines being conjugate lines with regard to the conic._
_If the point is without the conic the involution is hyperbolic, the
tangents from the points being the focal rays._
_If the point lies on the conic the involution is parabolic, the
tangent at the point counting for coincident focal rays._
_If the point is within the conic the involution is elliptic, having
no focal rays._
It will further be seen that the involution determined by a conic on
any line p is a section of the involution, which is determined by the
conic at the pole P of p.
§ 83. _Foci._--The centre of a pencil in which the conic determines a
circular involution is called a "focus" of the conic.
In other words, a focus is such a point that every line through it is
perpendicular to its conjugate line. The polar to a focus is called a
_directrix_ of the conic.
From the definition it follows that _every focus lies on an axis_, for
the line joining a focus to the centre of the conic is a diameter to
which the conjugate lines are perpendicular; and _every line joining
two foci is an axis_, for the perpendiculars to this line through the
foci are conjugate to it. These conjugate lines pass through the pole
of the line, the pole lies therefore at infinity, and the line is a
diameter, hence by the last property an axis.
It follows that all _foci lie on one axis_, for no line joining a
point in one axis to a point in the other can be an axis.
As the conic determines in the pencil which has its centre at a focus
a circular involution, no tangents can be drawn from the focus to the
conic. Hence _each focus lies within a conic_; and _a directrix does
not cut the conic_.
Further properties are found by the following considerations:
§ 84. Through a point P one line p can be drawn, which is with regard
to a given conic conjugate to a given line q, viz. that line which
joins the point P to the pole of the line q. If the line q is made to
describe a pencil about a point Q, then the line p will describe a
pencil about P. These two pencils will be projective, for the line p
passes through the pole of q, and whilst q describes the pencil Q, its
pole describes a projective row, and this row is perspective to the
pencil P.
We now take the point P on an axis of the conic, draw any line p
through it, and from the pole of p draw a perpendicular q to p. Let q
cut the axis in Q. Then, in the pencils of conjugate lines, which have
their centres at P and Q, the lines p and q are conjugate lines at
right angles to one another. Besides, to the axis as a ray in either
pencil will correspond in the other the perpendicular to the axis (§
72). The conic generated by the intersection of corresponding lines in
the two pencils is therefore the circle on PQ as diameter, _so that
every line in P is perpendicular to its corresponding line in Q_.
To every point P on an axis of a conic corresponds thus a point Q,
such that conjugate lines through P and Q are perpendicular.
We shall show that these _point-pairs_ P, Q _form an involution_. To
do this let us move P along the axis, and with it the line p, keeping
the latter parallel to itself. Then P describes a row, p a perspective
pencil (of parallels), and the pole of p a projective row. At the same
time the line q describes a pencil of parallels perpendicular to p,
and perspective to the row formed by the pole of p. The point Q,
therefore, where q cuts the axis, describes a row projective to the
row of points P. The two points P and Q describe thus two projective
rows on the axis; and not only does P as a point in the first row
correspond to Q, but also Q as a point in the first corresponds to P.
The two rows therefore form an involution. _The centre of this
involution, it is easily seen, is the centre of the conic._
_A focus of this involution has the property that any two conjugate
lines through it are perpendicular; hence, it is a focus to the
conic._
Such involution exists on each axis. But only one of these can have
foci, because all foci lie on the same axis. The involution on one of
the axes is elliptic, and appears (§ 80) therefore as the section of
two circular involutions in two pencils whose centres lie in the other
axis. These centres are foci, hence the one axis contains two foci,
the other axis none; _or every central conic has two foci which lie on
one axis equidistant from the centre_.
The axis which contains the foci is called the _principal axis_; in
case of an hyperbola it is the axis which cuts the curve, because the
foci lie within the conic.
In case of the parabola there is but one axis. The involution on this
axis has its centre at infinity. One focus is therefore at infinity,
the one focus only is finite. _A parabola has only one focus._
[Illustration: FIG. 34.]
§ 85. If through any point P (fig. 34) on a conic the tangent PT and
the normal PN (i.e. the perpendicular to the tangent through the point
of contact) be drawn, these will be conjugate lines with regard to the
conic, and at right angles to each other. They will therefore cut the
principal axis in two points, which are conjugate in the involution
considered in § 84; hence they are harmonic conjugates with regard to
the foci. If therefore the two foci F1 and F2 be joined to P, these
lines will be harmonic with regard to the tangent and normal. As the
latter are perpendicular, they will bisect the angles between the
other pair. Hence--
_The lines joining any point on a conic to the two foci are equally
inclined to the tangent and normal at that point._
In case of the parabola this becomes--
_The line joining any point on a parabola to the focus and the
diameter through the point, are equally inclined to the tangent and
normal at that point._
From the definition of a focus it follows that--
_The segment of a tangent between the directrix and the point of
contact is seen from the focus belonging to the directrix under a
right angle_, because the lines joining the focus to the ends of this
segment are conjugate with regard to the conic, and therefore
perpendicular.
With equal ease the following theorem is proved:
_The two lines which join the points of contact of two tangents each
to one focus, but not both to the same, are seen from the intersection
of the tangents under equal angles._
§ 86. Other focal properties of a conic are obtained by the following
considerations:
[Illustration: FIG. 35.]
Let F (fig. 35) be a focus to a conic, f the corresponding directrix,
A and B the points of contact of two tangents meeting at T, and P the
point where the line AB cuts the directrix. Then TF will be the polar
of P (because polars of F and T meet at P). Hence TF and PF are
conjugate lines through a focus, and therefore perpendicular. They are
further harmonic conjugates with regard to FA and FB (§§ 64 and 13),
so that they bisect the angles formed by these lines. This by the way
proves--
_The segments between the point of intersection of two tangents to a
conic and their points of contact are seen from a focus under equal
angles._
If we next draw through A and B lines parallel to TF, then the points
A1, B1 where these cut the directrix will be harmonic conjugates with
regard to P and the point where FT cuts the directrix. The lines FT
and FP bisect therefore also the angles between FA1 and FB1. From this
it follows easily that the triangles FAA1 and FBB1 are equiangular,
and therefore similar, so that FA : AA1 = FB : BB1.
The triangles AA1A2 and BB1B2 formed by drawing perpendiculars from A
and B to the directrix are also similar, so that AA1 : AA2 = = BB1 :
BB2. This, combined with the above proportion, gives FA : AA2 = FB :
BB2. Hence the theorem:
_The ratio of the distances of any point on a conic from a focus and
the corresponding directrix is constant._
To determine this ratio we consider its value for a vertex on the
principal axis. In an ellipse the focus lies between the two vertices
on this axis, hence the focus is nearer to a vertex than to the
corresponding directrix. Similarly, in an hyperbola a vertex is nearer
to the directrix than to the focus. In a parabola the vertex lies
halfway between directrix and focus.
It follows in an ellipse the ratio between the distance of a point
from the focus to that from the directrix is less than unity, in the
parabola it equals unity, and in the hyperbola it is greater than
unity.
It is here the same which focus we take, because the two foci lie
symmetrical to the axis of the conic. If now P is any point on the
conic having the distances r1 and r2 from the foci and the distances
d1 and d2 from the corresponding directrices, then r1/d1 = r2/d2 =
e, where e is constant. Hence also r1 ± r2 / d1 ± d2 = e.
In the ellipse, which lies between the directrices, d1 + d2 is
constant, therefore also r1 +r2. In the hyperbola on the other hand d1
- d2 is constant, equal to the distance between the directrices,
therefore in this case r1 - r2 is constant.
If we call the distances of a point on a conic from the focus its
focal distances we have the theorem:
_In an ellipse the sum of the focal distances is constant; and in an
hyperbola the difference of the focal distances is constant._
_This constant sum or difference equals in both cases the length of
the principal axis._
PENCIL OF CONICS
§ 87. Through four points A, B, C, D in a plane, of which no three lie
in a line, an infinite number of conics may be drawn, viz. through
these four points and any fifth one single conic. This system of
conics is called a pencil of conics. Similarly, all conics touching
four fixed lines form a system such that any fifth tangent determines
one and only one conic. We have here the theorems:
The pairs of points in which The pairs of tangents which
any line is cut by a system of can be drawn from a point to
conics through four fixed points a system of conics touching four
are in involution. fixed lines are in involution.
[Illustration: FIG. 36.]
We prove the first theorem only. Let ABCD (fig. 36) be the four-point,
then any line t will cut two opposite sides AC, BD in the points E,
E', the pair AD, BC in points F, F', and any conic of the system in M,
N, and we have A(CD, MN) = B(CD, MN).
If we cut these pencils by t we get
(EF, MN) = (F'E', MN)
or (EF, MN) = (E'F', NM).
But this is, according to § 77 (7), the condition that M, N are
corresponding points in the involution determined by the point pairs
E, E', F, F' in which the line t cuts pairs of opposite sides of the
four-point ABCD. This involution is independent of the particular
conic chosen.
§ 88. There follow several important theorems:
_Through four points two, one, or no conics may be drawn which touch
any given line, according as the involution determined by the given
four-point on the line has real, coincident or imaginary foci._
_Two, one, or no conics may be drawn which touch four given lines and
pass through a given point, according as the involution determined by
the given four-side at the point has real, coincident or imaginary
focal rays._
For the conic through four points which touches a given line has its
point of contact at a focus of the involution determined by the
four-point on the line.
As a special case we get, by taking the line at infinity:
_Through four points of which none is at infinity either two or no
parabolas may be drawn._
The problem of drawing a conic through four points and touching a
given line is solved by determining the points of contact on the line,
that is, by determining the foci of the involution in which the line
cuts the sides of the four-point. The corresponding remark holds for
the problem of drawing the conics which touch four lines and pass
through a given point.
RULED QUADRIC SURFACES
§ 89. We have considered hitherto projective rows which lie in the
same plane, in which case lines joining corresponding points envelop a
conic. We shall now consider projective rows whose bases do not meet.
In this case, corresponding points will be joined by lines which do
not lie in a plane, but on some surface, which like every surface
generated by lines is called a _ruled_ surface. This surface clearly
contains the bases of the two rows.
If the points in either row be joined to the base of the other, we
obtain two axial pencils which are also projective, those planes being
corresponding which pass through corresponding points in the given
rows. If A', A be two corresponding points, [alpha], [alpha]' the
planes in the axial pencils passing through them, then AA' will be the
line of intersection of the corresponding planes [alpha], [alpha]' and
also the line joining corresponding points in the rows.
If we cut the whole figure by a plane this will cut the axial pencils
in two projective flat pencils, and the curve of the second order
generated by these will be the curve in which the plane cuts the
surface. Hence
_The locus of lines joining corresponding points in two projective
rows which do not lie in the same plane is a surface which contains
the bases of the rows, and which can also be generated by the lines of
intersection of corresponding planes in two projective axial pencils.
This surface is cut by every plane in a curve of the second order,
hence either in a conic or in a line-pair. No line which does not lie
altogether on the surface can have more than two points in common with
the surface, which is therefore said to be of the second order or is
called a ruled quadric surface._
That no line which does not lie on the surface can cut the surface in
more than two points is seen at once if a plane be drawn through the
line, for this will cut the surface in a conic. It follows also that a
line which contains more than two points of the surface lies
altogether on the surface.
§ 90. Through any point in space one line can always be drawn cutting
two given lines which do not themselves meet.
If therefore three lines in space be given of which no two meet, then
through every point in either one line may be drawn cutting the other
two.
_If a line moves so that it always cuts three given lines of which no
two meet, then it generates a ruled quadric surface._
Let a, b, c be the given lines, and p, q, r ... lines cutting them in
the points A, A', A" ...; B, B', B" ...; C, C', C" ... respectively;
then the planes through a containing p, q, r, and the planes through b
containing the same lines, may be taken as corresponding planes in two
axial pencils which are projective, because both pencils cut the line
c in the same row, C, C', C" ...; the surface can therefore be
generated by projective axial pencils.
Of the lines p, q, r ... no two can meet, for otherwise the lines a,
b, c which cut them would also lie in their plane. There is a single
infinite number of them, for one passes through each point of a. These
lines are said to form a set of lines on the surface.
If now three of the lines p, q, r be taken, then every line d cutting
them will have three points in common with the surface, and will
therefore lie altogether on it. This gives rise to a second set of
lines on the surface. From what has been said the theorem follows:
_A ruled quadric surface contains two sets of straight lines. Every
line of one set cuts every line of the other, but no two lines of the
same set meet._
_Any two lines of the same set may be taken as bases of two projective
rows, or of two projective pencils which generate the surface. They
are cut by the lines of the other set in two projective rows._
The plane at infinity like every other plane cuts the surface either
in a conic proper or in a line-pair. In the first case the surface is
called an _Hyperboloid of one sheet_, in the second an _Hyperbolic
Paraboloid_.
The latter may be generated by a line cutting three lines of which one
lies at infinity, that is, cutting two lines and remaining parallel to
a given plane.
QUADRIC SURFACES
§ 91. The conics, the cones of the second order, and the ruled quadric
surfaces complete the figures which can be generated by projective
rows or flat and axial pencils, that is, by those aggregates of
elements which are of one dimension (§§ 5, 6). We shall now consider
the simpler figures which are generated by aggregates of two
dimensions. The space at our disposal will not, however, allow us to
do more than indicate a few of the results.
§ 92. We establish a correspondence between the lines and planes in
pencils in space, or reciprocally between the points and lines in two
or more planes, but consider principally pencils.
In two pencils we may either make planes correspond to planes and
lines to lines, or else planes to lines and lines to planes. If hereby
the condition be satisfied that to a flat, or axial, pencil
corresponds in the first case a projective flat, or axial, pencil, and
in the second a projective axial, or flat, pencil, the pencils are
said to be _projective_ in the first case and _reciprocal_ in the
second.
For instance, two pencils which join two points S1 and S2 to the
different points and lines in a given plane [pi] are projective (and
in perspective position), if those lines and planes be taken as
corresponding which meet the plane [pi] in the same point or in the
same line. In this case every plane through both centres S1 and S2 of
the two pencils will correspond to itself. If these pencils are
brought into any other position they will be projective (but not
perspective).
_The correspondence between two projective pencils is uniquely
determined, if to four rays (or planes) in the one the corresponding
rays (or planes) in the other are given, provided that no three rays
of either set lie in a plane._
Let a, b, c, d be four rays in the one, a', b', c', d' the
corresponding rays in the other pencil. We shall show that we can find
for every ray e in the first a single corresponding ray e' in the
second. To the axial pencil a (b, c, d ...) formed by the planes which
join a to b, c, d ..., respectively corresponds the axial pencil a'
(b', c', d' ... ), and this correspondence is determined. Hence, the
plane a'e' which corresponds to the plane ae is determined. Similarly
the plane b'e' may be found and both together determine the ray e'.
Similarly the correspondence between two reciprocal pencils is
determined if for four rays in the one the corresponding planes in the
other are given.
§ 93. We may now combine--
1. Two reciprocal pencils.
Each ray cuts its corresponding plane in a point, the locus of these
points is a quadric surface.
2. Two projective pencils.
Each plane cuts its corresponding plane in a line, but a ray as a
rule does not cut its corresponding ray. The locus of points where a
ray cuts its corresponding ray is a twisted cubic. The lines where a
plane cuts its corresponding plane are secants.
3. Three projective pencils.
The locus of intersection of corresponding planes is a cubic
surface.
Of these we consider only the first two cases.
§ 94. If two pencils are reciprocal, then to a plane in either
corresponds a line in the other, to a flat pencil an axial pencil, and
so on. Every line cuts its corresponding plane in a point. If S1 and
S2 be the centres of the two pencils, and P be a point where a line a1
in the first cuts its corresponding plane [alpha]2, _then the line b2
in the pencil S2 which passes through P will meet its corresponding
plane ß1 in P_. For b2 is a line in the plane [alpha]2. The
corresponding plane ß1 must therefore pass through the line a1, hence
through P.
The points in which the lines in S1 cut the planes corresponding to
them in S2 are therefore the same as the points in which the lines in
S2 cut the planes corresponding to them in S1.
_The locus of these points is a surface which is cut by a plane in a
conic or in a line-pair and by a line in not more than two points
unless it lies altogether on the surface. The surface itself is
therefore called a quadric surface, or a surface of the second order._
To prove this we consider any line p in space.
The flat pencil in S1 which lies in the plane drawn through p and the
corresponding axial pencil in S2 determine on p two projective rows,
and those points in these which coincide with their corresponding
points lie on the surface. But there exist only two, or one, or no
such points, unless every point coincides with its corresponding
point. In the latter case the line lies altogether on the surface.
This proves also that a plane cuts the surface in a curve of the
second order, as no line can have more than two points in common with
it. To show that this is a curve of the same kind as those considered
before, we have to show that it can be generated by projective flat
pencils. We prove first that this is true for any plane through the
centre of one of the pencils, and afterwards that every point on the
surface may be taken as the centre of such pencil. Let then [alpha]1
be a plane through S1. To the flat pencil in S1 which it contains
corresponds in S2 a projective axial pencil with axis a2 and this cuts
[alpha]1 in a second flat pencil. These two flat pencils in [alpha]1
are projective, and, in general, neither concentric nor perspective.
They generate therefore a conic. But if the line a2 passes through S1
the pencils will have S1 as common centre, and may therefore have two,
or one, or no lines united with their corresponding lines. The section
of the surface by the plane [alpha]1 will be accordingly a line-pair
or a single line, or else the plane [alpha]1 will have only the point
S1 in common with the surface.
Every line l1 through S1 cuts the surface in two points, viz. first in
S1 and then at the point where it cuts its corresponding plane. If now
the corresponding plane passes through S1, as in the case just
considered, then the two points where l1 cuts the surface coincide at
S1, and the line is called a tangent to the surface with S1 as point
of contact. Hence if l1 be a tangent, it lies in that plane [tau]1
which corresponds to the line S2S1 as a line in the pencil S2. The
section of this plane has just been considered. It follows that--
_All tangents to quadric surface at the centre of one of the
reciprocal pencils lie in a plane which is called the tangent plane to
the surface at that point as point of contact._
_To the line joining the centres of the two pencils as a line in one
corresponds in the other the tangent plane at its centre._
_The tangent plane to a quadric surface either cuts the surface in two
lines, or it has only a single line, or else only a single point in
common with the surface._
_In the first case the point of contact is said to be hyperbolic, in
the second parabolic, in the third elliptic._
§ 95. It remains to be proved that every point S on the surface may be
taken as centre of one of the pencils which generate the surface. Let
S be any point on the surface [Phi]' generated by the reciprocal
pencils S1 and S2. We have to establish a reciprocal correspondence
between the pencils S and S1, so that the surface generated by them is
identical with [Phi]. To do this we draw two planes [alpha]1 and ß1
through S1, cutting the surface [Phi] in two conics which we also
denote by [alpha]1 and ß1. These conics meet at S1, and at some other
point T where the line of intersection of [alpha]1 and ß1 cuts the
surface.
In the pencil S we draw some plane [sigma] which passes through T, but
not through S1 or S2. It will cut the two conics first at T, and
therefore each at some other point which we call A and B respectively.
These we join to S by lines a and b, and now establish the required
correspondence between the pencils S1 and S as follows:--To S1T shall
correspond the plane [sigma], to the plane [alpha]1 the line a, and to
ß1 the line b, hence to the flat pencil in [alpha]1 the axial pencil
a. These pencils are made projective by aid of the conic in [alpha]1.
In the same manner the flat pencil in ß1 is made projective to the
axial pencil b by aid of the conic in ß1, corresponding elements being
those which meet on the conic. This determines the correspondence, for
we know for more than four rays in S1 the corresponding planes in S.
The two pencils S and S1 thus made reciprocal generate a quadric
surface [Phi]', which passes through the point S and through the two
conics [alpha]1 and ß1.
The two surfaces [Phi] and [Phi]' have therefore the points S and S1
and the conics [alpha]1 and ß1 in common. To show that they are
identical, we draw a plane through S and S2, cutting each of the
conics [alpha]1 and ß1 in two points, which will always be possible.
This plane cuts [Phi] and [Phi]' in two conics which have the point S
and the points where it cuts [alpha]1 and ß1 in common, that is five
points in all. The conics therefore coincide.
This proves that all those points P on [Phi]' lie on [Phi] which have
the property that the plane SS2P cuts the conics [alpha]1, ß1 in two
points each. If the plane SS2P has not this property, then we draw a
plane SS1P. This cuts each surface in a conic, and these conics have
in common the points S, S1, one point on each of the conics [alpha]1,
ß1, and one point on one of the conics through S and S2 which lie on
both surfaces, hence five points. They are therefore coincident, and
our theorem is proved.
§ 96. The following propositions follow:--
_A quadric surface has at every point a tangent plane._
_Every plane section of a quadric surface is a conic or a line-pair._
_Every line which has three points in common with a quadric surface
lies on the surface._
_Every conic which has five points in common with a quadric surface
lies on the surface._
_Through two conics which lie in different planes, but have two points
in common, and through one external point always one quadric surface
may be drawn._
§ 97. _Every plane which cuts a quadric surface in a line-pair is a
tangent plane._ For every line in this plane through the centre of the
line-pair (the point of intersection of the two lines) cuts the
surface in two coincident points and is therefore a tangent to the
surface, _the centre of the line-pair being the point of contact_.
_If a quadric surface contains a line, then every plane through this
line cuts the surface in a line-pair (or in two coincident lines)._
For this plane cannot cut the surface in a conic. Hence:--
_If a quadric surface contains one line p then it contains an infinite
number of lines, and through every point Q on the surface, one line q
can be drawn which cuts p._ For the plane through the point Q and the
line p cuts the surface in a line-pair which must pass through Q and
of which p is one line.
_No two such lines q on the surface can meet_. For as both meet p
their plane would contain p and therefore cut the surface in a
triangle.
_Every line which cuts three lines q will be on the surface_; for it
has three points in common with it.
_Hence the quadric surfaces which contain lines are the same as the
ruled quadric surfaces considered in_ §§ 89-93, but with one important
exception. In the last investigation we have left out of consideration
the possibility of a plane having only one line (two coincident lines)
in common with a quadric surface.
§ 98. To investigate this case we suppose first that there is one
point A on the surface through which two different lines a, b can be
drawn, which lie altogether on the surface.
If P is any other point on the surface which lies neither on a nor b,
then the plane through P and a will cut the surface in a second line
a' which passes through P and which cuts a. Similarly there is a line
b' through P which cuts b. These two lines a' and b' _may_ coincide,
but then they must coincide with PA.
If this happens for one point P, it happens for every other point Q.
For if two different lines could be drawn through Q, then by the same
reasoning the line PQ would be altogether on the surface, hence two
lines would be drawn through P against the assumption. From this
follows:--
_If there is one point on a quadric surface through which one, but
only one, line can be drawn on the surface, then through every point
one line can be drawn, and all these lines meet in a point. The
surface is a cone of the second order_.
_If through one point on a quadric surface, two, and only two, lines
can be drawn on the surface, then through every point two lines may be
drawn, and the surface is ruled quadric surface._
_If through one point on a quadric surface no line on the surface can
be drawn, then the surface contains no lines._
Using the definitions at the end of § 95, we may also say:--
_On a quadric surface the points are all hyperbolic, or all parabolic,
or all elliptic._
As an example of a quadric surface with elliptical points, we mention
the sphere which may be generated by two reciprocal pencils, where to
each line in one corresponds the plane perpendicular to it in the
other.
§ 99. _Poles and Polar Planes._--The theory of poles and polars with
regard to a conic is easily extended to quadric surfaces.
Let P be a point in space not on the surface, which we suppose not to
be a cone. On every line through P which cuts the surface in two
points we determine the harmonic conjugate Q of P with regard to the
points of intersection. Through one of these lines we draw two planes
[alpha] and ß. The locus of the points Q in [alpha] is a line a, the
polar of P with regard to the conic in which [alpha] cuts the surface.
Similarly the locus of points Q in ß is a line b. This cuts a, because
the line of intersection of [alpha] and ß contains but one point Q.
The locus of all points Q therefore is a plane. _This plane is called
the polar plane of the point P, with regard to the quadric surface. If
P lies on the surface we take the tangent plane of P as its polar._
The following propositions hold:--
1. _Every point has a polar plane_, which is constructed by drawing
the polars of the point with regard to the conics in which two planes
through the point cut the surface.
2. _If Q is a point in the polar of P, then P is a point in the polar
of Q_, because this is true with regard to the conic in which a plane
through PQ cuts the surface.
3. _Every plane is