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This is the 10th installment of an abridged version of my book Reef Madness: Alexander Agassiz, Charles Darwin, and the Meaning of Coral.
Though several hundred people died in Concepcion, the quake would have killed many more had it struck at night. Now Darwin, privileged to be on hand at a major quake, was thrilled to find that much of the land had indeed risen. In the weeks after the earthquake, wandering the barren heights and canyons of the Andes, Darwin found yet more evidence of such gradual elevation. Consolidating bits from Lyell, Humboldt, and a few others, Darwin formed a theory of mountain building that saw volcanoes and earthquakes as part of a dynamic that could either slowly lift land, rend it, or suddenly lift it several feet.
Which invited the question: How did all these rising and subsiding forces operate in the huge bowl of water to his west? Ls Land Anya Dasha - Search by is great image for your collection and this design is free to use with high definitions resolution.
Ignoring the ocean almost completely and leaving most zoological collecting to his assistant, he paused in his travels only when he had to reboard the Beagle to travel up the coast or, twice, when gastrointestinal torments laid him out.
On February 20, 1835, he was camping in the dense forest of southern Chile when a massive earthquake struck.
The ground is traversed by rents, the solid rocks are shivered, [the cathedral’s] solid buttresses 6-10 feet thick are broken in to fragments like so much biscuit. Humboldt, in the six-volume work Darwin read so many times, had offered that quakes were caused by the same subterranean pressures that drove volcanoes and argued that they played a role in lifting the Andes. The bay around Concepcion jumped two to three feet, as shown by the rim of mollusks, barnacles, and other sea-edge life now a yard up out of the water.
Driving these movements was a layer of molten rock, varying in thickness and pressure, that lay beneath the earth’s crust. Amid the volcanically formed layers of the Andes he found layers of sedimentary rock — earth laid down through millennia of deposition and compression.
The relation any expanse of crust bore to sea level depended on timing, the pressures beneath it, and, no doubt, some factors that no one yet understood.
Though Darwin was some twenty miles from the epicenter, the quake rearranged his visceral sense of the earth as thoroughly as Lyell had rearranged his theoretical conception of it. The island of Santa Maria, thirty miles offshore, rumbled upwards eight feet out of the water. Lyell, Humboldt, and many others had written of cavities of such molten or gaseous material underlying volcanic regions, but Darwin was one of the earliest to propose that a concentric layer of such material wrapped the entire globe, and that it was either more active or closer to the surface in some areas than in others.
Like Lyell before him, Darwin stressed that, given the difficulty of knowing what happened underground, any theory regarding earthquakes, elevation, or subsidence entailed considerable speculation. Here you can find some new design about Ls Land Anya Dasha - Search by for your current screen resolution. He found seashells and coral at numerous heights — at shoreline, at elevations of a few dozen, a few score, and a few hundred feet, at 1300 and 3000 feet, and finally, at 12,000 feet. You can download this as nice desktop wallpaper by right click and save as into your computer.
It seemed clear, for instance, that some areas tended to move more up than down, or vice-versa, which is why the Andes’ up and down cycle left them ever higher. Don't miss to check all from this kind of lovely popular desktop background by viewing the similar high definition wallpapers design below.
By the time Darwin was done, he had found evidence of two or three cycles of uplift and subsidence that had carried South America several thousand feet above sea level and at least two thousand feet below. After the earth stopped moving, huge swells appeared on the Pacific horizon; a quarter hour later, waves 25 feet tall slammed ashore and smashed their several hundred feet inland, dumping schooners onto the middle of town and carrying away anything that floated.
He also talked to locals who told of harbor shores that over the previous two decades had risen four feet in unnoticeable increments (as evidenced by the rise of dock anchors and other things they knew were formerly at the surface); it seemed that along with moving in jumps of a few feet, the earth also rose steadily and less violently, en masse, at rates almost too slow to measure. Lyell had speculated that falling land or sea floors subsided when underlying cavities collapsed after their pressurized lava, steam, or gas escaped or condensed.
Afterwards, “the coast was strewed over with timber and furniture as if a thousand great ships had been wrecked. But Darwin, happily insomnious with his vision of South America rising on swelling magma, thought this notion of collapsed lakes small thinking.
And as Lyell had suggested, a rise in one place tended to be balanced by a drop somewhere else.
If the molten layer beneath the crust could lift whole continents, then perhaps the floors of entire oceans were also dropping en masse.
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