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under the ruins of the habitations: but above all it is to be lamented that this misfortune should take place just at the season of hay-making. The want of horses, too, is a circumstance very distressing to the country in general, and to the places destroyed by the earthquakes in particular, since, as observed above, without the assistance of these animals, the inhabitants can neither procure the timber necessary for building, nor any supply of provisions from the sea coast. It is therefore much to be feared that several of the farm-houses that are damaged must, for the present, remain uninhabited; especially as the hay has been almost entirely destroyed by this sudden misfortune, and by the long continuance of rainy weather following almost immediately upon it.
A consequence of these severe earthquakes has been, that the face of the country appears to be heaved up in the form of billows, and during the continuance of the shock it looked as if covered with a dark cloud of dust. All waters, as well the flowing as the stagnant ones, were sensibly disturbed and became white as milk; but the rivers themselves resembled the most furious millstreams. Many Hverar, or boiling-springs, and other brooks and pools were dried up, though some of these after a while again made their appearance in fresh places. The hot-springs about the Geyser, and above all the Geyser itself spouted out its torrents with a fury never before witnessed, and the same was also the case with the springs of-this kind about Skalholt. It is very remarkable that, in the very place where I bored into the ground between these spots last year, there has sprung up, according to Bishop Finsen's account, dated the 14th of August following, a fresh fountain of boiling water.
We are also informed that the pastures in the district of Aarnes had, by these shocks in the ground, suffered such convulsions, that all the moss growing in damp places was forced out of the soil, and lay so thick upon the grass that scarcely any more hay could be cut; whilst in hard and dry places great cracks and apertures, nay, in some spots, even deep holes were formed in the earth.
VOL. II. s
A new Mandating J« Conclusion I have to from the sea. ^ ^ for R whole month
previous to the volcanic eruption in the district of West Skaptefield, in 1783, a great fire was seen arising from the sea off the south-west coast of Iceland, and this was rendered visible to mariners, at the distance of six or eight Danish miles, by the vast body of smoke that proceeded from it. The sea around for twenty or thirty Danish miles was filled with pumice-stones to such a degree that they were no small obstruction to the progress of shipping. Of these pumicestones, which were driven upon the southern coast in great quantity and in different places, I myself have found several here and there at Akranes, in the district of Borgefiord, and principally at Inderholme. But this is not all; for, by the force of the subterraneous fire, a new island has arisen from the sea, which was seen throwing out a vast quantity of fire by some mariners on their passing this coast early in the month of May, 1783. By the nearest estimate they could make, this island lay in about 630 -20" of north latitude, and in about 354° 20" of longitude, at the distance of seven or eight Danish miles south-west by the true compass from the outermost of the Fugle-skiers off Reikanes. Masters of vessels, who have sailed very close to this island, do not agree in their reports concerning its extent, some of them having calculated it at one mile in circumference, whereas others have described it as being only one-third of a mile or very little more. The island * is stated to consist of high rocks, in the rifts of which in two or three different places was burning a strong fire, which at intervals, as it burst forth, threw up a considerable quantity of pumice-stones.
At about one and one-third Danish miles by the compass from this place a sunken rock -f- was also discovered, over which the
* By later accounts we learn that this island was in the course of a twelvemonth reduced to a sunken rock, extremely dangerous to navigators. It is mentioned at p. 8 of this Journal. H.
f As I have not in any other work met with information respecting this sunken rock, it seems to me not sea broke very heavily. By soundings taken when near the island it was ascertained that, at the depth of forty-two fathoms, the ground consisted of a kind of calcined stonedust, which shone like pit-coal. At one place they had more than one hundred fathom of water, when only at the distance of half-a-mile e. N. E. from the island.
This island, to which His Royal Majesty has been graciously pleased to bestow the name of Nyoe (New Island) has not been seen this year by mariners: and though the ships in which Mr. Levetzen, Mr. Bulow, and myself went to the country and returned to Copenhagen, had express orders to search for it, we were still unable to discover it; notwithstanding that during our outward bound passage we continued cruising backwards and forwards for a long time in the latitude where we might expect to fall in with it. So that, if I may be permitted to draw any conclusion from this circumstance, it would be this: that Nyoe has sunk
unlikely that it is only the remains of the island just before described, which, as will hereafter be mentioned, is now scarcely to be seen at high watej*. H.