Letter | Published:

The Dry River-beds of the Riviera

Nature volume 13, page 406 | Download Citation



THOSE who have visited the Riviera of Piedmont will remember as one of its most remarkable features the broad stony river-beds, sometimes with a meagre rill trickling down a narrow channel in the middle, sometimes entirely dry, but never with any body of water sufficient to account for the immense bed; the Paglione at Nice, with its bed spanned by a bridge of three broad arches, and with a stream never more than four or five feet wide and a few inches deep, is a specimen of what I mean. Can any of your scientific readers tell me what and when was the change of climate which caused what must once have been large rivers to shrink into mere rivulets? To all appearance it must have been within historical times, as the river-beds are distinct and still bare, without any encroachment of vegetation. Probably the simplest way of accounting for the phenomenon would be, by showing that there has been a great diminution in the snow lying on the Alpes Maritimes, which are drained by these rivers. It is remarkable, too, that in many of the narrow valleys running up into the hills, now quite dry, there are evident traces of torrents and waterfalls apparently in recent times.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information


  1. Nice, March 7

    • R. E. BARTLETT


  1. Search for R. E. BARTLETT in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.