Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/16

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4
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ago Prof. James Hall laid the foundation of all future calculations when he made the first instrumental survey of the crest of the falls. The changes in the crest have been measured three times since, and from these surveys the mean recession for nearly half a century is now known and has been found to be much more rapid than was formerly supposed. If the whole history of the falls of Niagara were thus told, then it would appear that their age is

PSM V49 D016 Falls of montmorency.jpg

Fig. 3.—Falls of Montmorency. (About 275 feet high.)

about nine thousand or ten thousand years. Indeed, some writers, among others Mr. Gilbert, took this reduced estimate and minimized it to seven thousand years, not knowing or overlooking the history of the river which tells of the changing conditions; but these views he now abandons. The chronometer needed correction. During a term of several years of actual work, but extended through a decade and a half, for the investigations were often blocked with difficulties, the writer has been able to decipher