Excursions in and about Newfoundland: During the Years 1839 and 1840, Volume 2

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John Murray, 1842 - Geology
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Page 216 - barrens " of Newfoundland are those districts which occupy the summits of the hills and ridges, and other' elevated and exposed tracts. They are covered with a thin and scrubby vegetation, consisting of berry-bearing plants and dwarf bushes of various species, resembling the moorlands of the north of England, and differing only in the kind of vegetation and its scantier quantity. Bare patches of gravel and boulders and crumbling fragments of rock are frequently met with upon the barrens, and they...
Page 219 - ... and deepen the channels of the rivers, are quite impossible, from the almost infinite number of small streams falling singly into the sea. These streams have not the 'power, at any time, of breaking down or overcoming the barriers which separate them, and so uniting their waters. In dry weather, when the ponds begin to shrink, they are supplied by the slow and gradual drainage of the marshes, where the water has been kept as in a reservoir, to be given off when required. In this way, many ponds...
Page 214 - ... of the mountains. These tracts are covered to a depth sometimes of several feet with a green, soft, and spongy moss, bound together by straggling grass and various marsh plants. The surface abounds in hillocks and holes, the tops of the hillocks having often dry crisp moss, like that on the trees. A boulder or small crag of rock occasionally protrudes, covered with red or white lichens, and here and there is a bank on which the moss has become dry and yellow. The contrast of these colours with...
Page 215 - ... droughts or hard frosts, these marshes are so wet as to be unable to bear the weight of a person walking over them. A march of three miles, sinking at every step into the moss, sometimes knee-deep, and always as far as the ankle, is, it may well be supposed, toilsome and fatiguing, especially when, as must always be the case in attempting to penetrate the country, a heavy load is carried on the shoulders. This thick coating of moss is precisely like a great sponge spread over the country, and...
Page 211 - Hills and valleys continually succeed each other, the former never rising into mountains (the highest not exceeding 1,500 feet) and the latter rarely expanding into plains.
Page 218 - ... several hundreds, while those of smaller size are absolutely countless. . •. • • : . '. Taken in .connexion with this remarkable abundance of lakes, the total absence of anything which can be called a navigable river is at first sight quite anomalous. The broken and generally undulated character of the country is no doubt one cause of the absence of large rivers. ĢEach pond, or small set of ponds, communicates with a valley of its own, down which it sends an insignificant brook, that pursues...
Page 212 - ... elder, the aspen, and some others are found. The character of the timber varies greatly according to the nature of the subsoil and the situation. In some parts, more especially where the woods have been undisturbed by the axe, trees of fair height and girth may be found ; but most of the wood is of stunted growth, consisting chiefly of fir-trees about twenty or thirty feet high, and not more than three or four inches in diameter. These commonly grow so closely together that their twigs and branches...
Page 304 - ... considerable extent, some distance up the country. Their account of the distance, however, varied from ten to thirty miles ; and I could not induce any of them to guide me to the spot. I proceeded up the river about twelve miles from the sea, and some distance beyond the part navigable for a boat, without seeing anything but beds of brown sandstone and conglomerate, interstratified with red marls and sandstones, gradually becoming more horizontal and dipping towards the...
Page 214 - Embosomed in the woods, and covering the valleys and lower lands, are found open tracts, which are called " marshes." These marshes are not necessarily low, or even level land, but are frequently at a considerable height above the sea, and have often an undulated surface. They are open tracts, covered with moss to a depth sometimes of several feet. This moss is green, soft, and spongy, and is bound together by straggling grass, and various marsh plants.

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