Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/134

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106 2/'& Block Sea. of Azof, it ?ertainly appears, from the statement of Captaint Jones of the Royal Navy, who was at Taganrog in 18?3, that in the neighbourhood of that place--that is, near the mouth of the l)on --the water is exceedingly shallow, varying from ten to three feet, according to the direction of the wind; and that although in south- west winds, when the water is highest, it becomes brackish, yet at

  • other times, it is drinkable, though of a sweet? and by no means

refreshing, flavour.* But upon casting our eyes upon our modern charts, especially upon that complete and excellent one constructed at Paris in 182?, and corrected by observations made in 1820 by M. Gaultier, captain in the French naval service, M. Benoist, of the hydrographical department, and others (for the use of which, as well as of the remarks of Mr. James Turton, the master of the Blonde, I am indebted to the liberal kindness of the /?*dmiralty), we are immediately struck with the fact, that all over the rest of the Sea of Azof, the soundings vary from forty French feet in the centre, to an average, perhaps, of seventeen or eighteen c]ose in with the shore; so that in the space of nearly two thousand years, no approximation whatever has been made to that entire choking even of the Pal,s M?eotis which Polybius so confidendy and so speedily anticipated, while Captain Jones expressly assures us, that, upon strict enquiry, he ascertained there was not the slightest foundation for the favourite theory of the diminution of the waters of the sea of Azof.'?' In the Cimmerian Bosphorus indeed, the strait leading from the sea of /?zof into the Black Sea, the water is shallow, as it was in the days of Polybius, and as it may always be expected to remain, from the cro6kedness and extreme intricacy of the passage, which prevents the fair rush of the stream from the northward, and thereby favours the accumulation of deposit. The soundings, in the shallowest part of this, are as low as thirteen French feet; but as soon as we get into the part of the passage which opens into the Euxine, we find the soundings deepening from four fathoms French gradually to twenty or more, when we reach the open water; and although on the eastern side of the channel, the soundings are on mud, yet they change in the course of five miles to sand and mud, and afterwards rapidly to shells; while down the middle of the passage they are continually upon shells, or sand

  • and she!is,--in either case affording a pretty convincing proof that

no accumulation is going on in the passage, but that even there, with all its disadvantages, the rnsh of water .from the less sea to the greater is sufficient to keep its own channel clear, and to obviate the inconvenience Polybius apprehended. But if we look to the southern portion of the Euxine, and the entrance into the Thracian Bosphorus or canal of Constantinople,

  • Jonez's Travels, vol ii. p. 143. ?' Ibid. vol U. p. 145.

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