Letter | Published:

“Elevation and Subsidence”

Abstract

THE above remarks require but little comment, and chiefly tend to show that Mr. S. V. Wood attaches increased importance to the idea that weight produces subsidence. He speaks of elevation commencing before the retreat of the glaciers, but that they would be enormously lightened before retreating is a fact that I can hardly suppose he has overlooked. In ascending the Jungfrau many years ago, when the Swiss glaciers were diminishing, I crossed from the Grindelwald on to the Aletsch, and had to descend a cliff of nearly vertical ice, which my recollection tells me was some sixty feet high, in order to pass from one to the other. The difference in level was caused by the extra rapid melting of the Aletsch, owing to its more southern aspect and exposure to the Föhn wind. This was at the head of the glacier, and the melting was much more rapid lower down, though the superficial area had not contracted to any appreciable extent. This loss of weight would lead to elevation long before the disappearance of the ice.

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