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Abstract of Proceedings
LIVERPOOL GEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION.
2nd October, 1882.
The Annual Meeting was held this date, at the Free Library, MR. HENRY BRAMALL, M. INST., C.E., President, in the Chair.
The following were elected as Benjamin Biram, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E.; H. C. Beasley; B. Conlon; Frederick P. Marrat; W. A. Jones; W. Joinson Jones; J. M. Kissack; Luke Currie; J. M. Barber; Chas. Rowett.
Proposed as Members :- Messrs. Alexander Ross, M.Inst. C.E., L. & N. W. Railway, Edge Hill; James Morgan, City Engineer's Office Liverpool; R. E. Jones, Arnold Street; and Frederick Padley, 15, Church Street, Liverpool.
Proceedings," Liverpool Naturalist's Field Club, Session 1881-82,from the Club; "On Meteorites," (Guide to the Collection, British Museum) by L. Fletcher, Pamphlets by William Whitaker, B.A., F.G.S.:"On the Red Crag," “On Subaerial Denudation, &c.," "Lists of Works on the Geology of Cornwall, of Cambridgeshire, of Wales, of Hertfordshire, of Hampshire;" "Report of Excursion of Geologist's Assoc., (London) to the North Downs ;-presented by the Author; Reports of Committees on Erratic Blocks," and on "Circulation of Underground Waters," and Address by Prof. Etheridge to Geol. Sec., read at the Brit. Assoc., Southampton Meeting, 1882,-presented by W. Whitaker, B.A. F.G.S.
The Annual Report and Treasurer's Statement of Accounts were presented to the Meeting, and the Officers for the Session 1882-83, were elected.
Vol. iii. Session 1882-83. No. 1.
The following is an Abstract of the
In the pursuit of knowledge it is useful at convenient times to pause and look back upon the progress already made, to consider what has been done by fellow-workers in one's own special branch of study, and to lay down lines on which we may proceed ever onward with renewed diligence to that success, which is the assured reward of patience and perseverance. Such a convenient opportunity is presented to us by this the Annual Meeting of this Association, and in looking back to the work accomplished in the past session, it will be useful, first to consider Geology in its broader bearing, and to see what study has been devoted to the forces now at work in modifying the form of the Earth's crust.
Mr. Reade, in an eloquent paper on Rivers, pointed out the effects of subærial denuding forces, coupled with the transporting power of Rivers, in scooping out valleys, giving as a notable instance, the peninsula of India, where valleys 4600 feet deep have been scooped out of a flat table-land. The difficulty of grasping the immensity of time required has given rise to the idea of a "Pluvial Period," brought forward by Mr. Tyler, who assumes that the rainfall during that period was 720 times greater than now, but this seems to be only avoiding the difficulty, for whereas we see before us the stream capable in time of doing the work, we have no proof that atmospheric conditions ever differed very greatly from those now prevailing. The plutonic forces were brought under our notice by Mr. Clague in his able paper on Volcanoes, which was chiefly descriptive, and by Mr. Brennan, who dealt in a very masterly succinct style with all the theories which have been at various times brought forward as explanatory of Volcanic Energy, including the latest one started by Professor Prestwich.
Chemical Geology has received a considerable share of attention. Dr. George Tate, early in the session, in a paper on the formation of Minerals, shewed by the evidence of pseudomorphs that aqueous agencies have been the principal and most active in the production of mineral crystalline forms. His paper was illustrated by a very remarkable collection of pseudomorphous forms of various minerals; and in the discussion which followed some interesting facts were mentioned relating to the modern formation of minerals, and the effects of great pressures in modifying the forms of various substances and even producing chemical change. Mr. A. Norman Tate in his paper on Chemical Action in Relation to Geological Change pointed out the great power of carbonic acid when dissolved in water to produce changes in rocks and especially in limestone rocks, and this our members subsequently had an excellent opportunity of seeing on the occasion of our visit to Poole's Cavern, at Buxton. In a subsequent communication Mr. Tate described how the Ferruginous Bands, which are so common in the rocks of this neighbourhood, owed their existence to the same agency, an instance of which he gave near Storeton. As throwing light upon the absence of animal remains, in rocks largely impregnated with Iron, Mr. Clague drew attention to the effects now being produced by the iron brought down in solution by the River Neb at Peel. Mr. Semmons, in a note on a Cornish Beach, described the recent formation of copper carbonates, by the reaction of the carbonate of lime in the comminuted shells of which the beach is composed, upon the sulphate of copper brought down in solution by a small rivulet flowing from some disused mine workings, a fact which may help to explain the presence of the copper carbonates in the Triassic sandstones at Alderley Edge.
Mineralogy has been treated of by Messrs. Mannington, Roberts and Miles. The former read an excellent paper on Iron Pyrites, since reprinted in the Mining Journal. Mr. Robert's paper on Salt was full of valuable information, which the Members supplemented by their visit to the Witton Hall
Rock Salt Mine at Northwich, and Mr. Miles conveyed to us a large amount of instruction of the most interesting character, relating to Diamonds.
Paleontology was brought under our notice by Mr. SHILSTON, Who, in his paper on Fossil Footprints, shewed how animals long passed away, and of whose bodies no trace is found, have yet left "footprints on the sands of time," by which we are enabled to learn how rich must have been the fauna even in Triassic times. In connection with this subject may be mentioned the researches of the Swedish Naturalist, Herr Nathorst,* who, by direct experiment, has shewn that the so called Algæ of the Cambrians, are really tracks, "footprints," of Crustaceans, Annelids, and Molluscs; and that the so-called Eophyton of the Lower Silurians, is probably the "track" of a jelly-fish. Mr. Auden, in a Paper on Fossil Horses, drew attention to the more recent discoveries in America as bearing upon the now popular theory of Evolution.
The Field work of the Association during the past session has afforded to our members opportunity of acquiring a practical acquaintance with all the Formations occurring in this vicinity. Mr. George early drew our attention to an excellent section of the Drift Deposits, to be seen at Garston; and, subsequently, a visit was paid to the Linacre Gas Works, where a section was inspected extending through the whole drift and into the underlying Red Rock. Nothing was seen to support the so called tripartite division of the Boulder Clay, and, on a subsequent occasion, the Boulder Cliffs at Dawpool were examined, under the guidance of Mr. D. Mackintosh, F.G.S., with a like result. The Upper Red Marl or Saliferous series was studied on the occasion of our visit to Northwich, and, later in the season, a section in the lower Keuper, at Wallasey, was visited, where curious phenomena of cross and false bedding, and possibly contortion, are to be seen. Also Flaybrick Hill, where, on the surface of the Rock, was an exposure of ice action such as is very rarely visible; while at Bidston the basement beds of the Lower Keuper were studied, At Beeston the junction of these basement beds with the *Geol. Mag., 1882, p. 22.
Upper Bunter was clearly noted; at Hilbre Point the Pebble Beds were well seen, and, Mr. George pointed out some glacial striæ bearing N. and S., which had not previously been discovered in this part; and at Burton Point, the superposition of the Pebble Beds upon the Lower Bunter was very distinctly observable.
Passing over the Permians, which the Speaker has long been of opinion are absent in this neighbourhood, an opportunity was afforded for the study of the Coal formation in the visit paid by the Association to the Sankey Brook Collieries. The Yoredale Shales and Grits and the Carboniferous Limestone was seen to great advantage at Buxton, where also the effects of intrusive igneous rocks were very apparent.
Further practical work was accomplished when the Association visited Owen's College Museum, and Prof. Boyd Dawkins most courteously received our members, took great pains to explain the arrangements, and afterwards conducted the party over the College, and shewed the splendid appliances there available for teaching Science. The Museum of the Chester Society of Natural History was also visited, and our Members were received with the utmost kindness by Mr. G. R. Griffith and Dr. Stolterfoth.
Looking now beyond the limits of our own Association, to see what, during our past session has transpired in connection with Geological Science, our attention is first arrested by the great loss sustained in April, of this year, in the death of the late Charles Darwin. Perhaps no writer has left a greater impress on Modern Science, and from the publication of his "Origin of Species" in 1859, may be dated a new era of thought on all paleontological questions. Probably no book published in this century, has caused a more profound sensation, or given rise to more controversy, much of the bitterness of which would no doubt have been avoided, had all, who chose to call themselves his followers, imitated Mr. Darwin's patient, painstaking research, and close observation of facts,