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The Elements of Geology

William Harmon Norton

Book Overview: 

Geology is a science of such rapid growth that no apology is expected when from time to time a new text-book is added to those already in the field. The present work, however, is the outcome of the need of a text-book of very simple outline, in which causes and their consequences should be knit together as closely as possible,—a need long felt by the author in his teaching, and perhaps by other teachers also. The author has ventured, therefore, to depart from the common usage which subdivides geology into a number of departments,—dynamical, structural, physiographic, and historical,—and to treat in immediate connection with each geological process the land forms and the rock structures which it has produced. (from book preface)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The profile of the bed of the Niagara along the gorge (Fig. 39) shows alternating deeps and shallows which cannot be accounted for, except in a single instance, by the relative hardness of the rocks of the river bed. The deeps do not exceed that at the foot of the Horseshoe Falls at the present time. When the gorge was being cut along the shallows, how did the Falls compare in excavating power, in force, and volume with the Niagara of to-day? How did the rate of recession at those times compare with the present rate? Is the assumption made above that the rate of recession has been uniform correct?

The first stretch of shallows below the Falls causes a tumultuous rapid impossible to sound. Its depth has been estimated at thirty- five feet. From what data could such an estimate be made?

Suggest a reason why the Horseshoe Falls are convex upstream.

At the present rate of recession which will reach the head of Goat Island the sooner, the American . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Very good introduction to the field