Sub-Wealden Exploration

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    SINCE the last quarterly report, troublesome accidents have delayed this undertaking. On the very day of the meeting in Jermyn Street in December last, the drilling tool broke off close to the edge, leaving a flat chisel (9 in. wide tapering up to 2 in.) at the bottom of the bore. A fortnight was lost in the endeavour to extract it. Mr. Bosworth's ingenuity and patience were sorely tried; but he at last succeeded in bringing it to the top from a depth of about 90ft. 34ft. consisting of narrow bands of calcareous shale, alternating with argillaceous limestone in layers of from 4 to 6 in. were passed through; but on January 28, at 131 ft. from the surface, a bed of pure solid white gypsum 4ft. in thickness, was reached and perforated, the new trifid drilling tool bringing up solid cores. This is the first time a bed of gypsum of this character has been found in Sussex, and it probably indicates the presence of the Purbeck beds. If so, strata hitherto unknown to exist in Sussex are now added to our geological information, and the scientific world will have its interest re-awakened to this, the first boring attempted in England for purely scientific purposes. Boring is a tedious and expensive process, and we hear that the preliminary cost of machinery has exhausted the treasury. Subscriptions are earnestly requested to complete the second sum of 1000l. promised on condition that 2000l. be raised. Mr. Henry Willett, Arnold House, Brighton, will be pleased to receive any sums for the purpose. It would be a great disaster indeed if the boring had to be stopped for want of funds; but we feel sure that when the state of matters is made known to the friends of science Mr. Willett will soon have to report a full treasury.

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    Sub-Wealden Exploration . Nature 7, 288 (1873) doi:10.1038/007288a0

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