Ice-caves of France and Switzerland

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Page 247 - Many of them were upwards of four feet high, generally sharpened at the extremity, and about two feet in thickness. A more brilliant scene perhaps never presented itself to the human eye, nor was it easy for us to divest ourselves of the idea that we actually beheld one of the fairy scenes depicted in eastern fable. The light of the torches rendered it peculiarly enchanting/ — vol.
Page 242 - Litho. the centre of a large cave stood an enormous mass of clear ice, smooth and polished as a mirror, and in the form of a gigantic beehive, with its dome-shaped top just touching the long icicles which depended from the jagged surface of the rock. A small aperture led to the interior of this wonderful congelation, the walls of which were nearly two feet...
Page 246 - The roof and sides of the cave were decorated with the most superb icicles, crystallized in every possible form, many of which rivalled in minuteness the finest zeolites; while from the icy floor, rose pillars of the same substance, assuming all the curious and fantastic shapes imaginable, mocking the proudest specimens of art, and counterfeiting many well-known objects of animated nature.
Page 297 - ... of heat does reach the ice, the latter melts but slowly, for ice absorbs 60° C. of heat in melting ; and thus, when ice is once formed, it becomes a material guarantee for the permanence of cold in the cave. For this explanation to hold good it is necessary that the level at which the ice is formed should be below the level of the entrance to the cave; otherwise the mere weight of the cold air would cause it to leave its prison as soon as the spring warmth arrived. In every single case that...
Page 296 - The heavy cold air of winter sinks down into the glacieres, and the lighter warm air of summer cannot on ordinary principles of gravitation dislodge it, so that heat is very slowly spread in the caves ; and even when some amount of heat does reach the ice, the latter melts but slowly, for ice absorbs 60° C. of heat in melting ; and thus, when ice is once formed, it becomes a material guarantee for the permanence of cold in the cave.
Page 297 - It will be understood from my description of such glacieres as that of the Grand Anu, of Monthezy, and the lower glaciere of the Pre de S. Livres, how completely sheltered from all winds the entrances to those caves are. There can be no doubt, too, that the large surfaces which are available for evaporation have much to do with maintaining a somewhat lower temperature than the mean temperature of the place where the cave occurs.
Page 242 - Around, above, beneath, every thing was of solid ice, and being unable to stand on account of its slippery nature, we slid or rather glided mysteriously along the glassy surface of this hall of spells. In one of the largest compartments the icicles had reached the floor, and gave the idea of H pillars supporting the roof.
Page 272 - Having procured a large body of workmen, he quarried into this ice, and proved the superposition of the lava for several hundred yards, so as completely to satisfy himself that nothing but the subsequent flowing of the lava over...
Page 62 - n'en recognoistray jamais en d'autres , fussent-ils « mes propres enfans , que je ne m'y oppose formel « lement et ne vous en donne advis aussi-tost. — « Or sus, mon cousin, repartit le Roy, je le croy; « et afin que vous me puissiez aimer et servir lon« guement , allez vous en reposer , rafraischir et « boire un coup au chasteau , car vous en avez bon « besoin ; j'ay du vin d'Arbois en mes offices , dont « je vous en envoyeray deux bouteilles, car je sçay « bien que vous ne le hayés...
Page 298 - ... occurs. Another great advantage which some glacieres possess must be borne in mind — namely, the collection of snow at the bottom of the pit in which the entrance lies. This snow absorbs in the course of melting all...

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