Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/173

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Mr. Webster on the Strata lying over the Chalk.

Such are the leading features of these remarkable strata.

It is the object of the present paper to describe a similar series of formations; from which it will appear that the circumstances which gave rise to the alteration of marine and freshwater strata were subject at distant places to the same general laws, and were therefore extensive in operation: conclusions in themselves not uninteresting, and tending to throw some light on the later revolutions which our planet has undergone.

Sir Henry Englefield was the first who observed a range of chalk hills running from east to west across the middle of the Isle of Wight, and inclined at an angle of from 60° to 80°. An account of these strata appeared in the Transactions of the Linnean Society, 1802;[1] but circumstances having prevented him from prosecuting these geological researches in person, at his request in the summer of 1811 I examined the connexion of the vertical strata of the Isle of Wight with those on each side which are horizontal, and also the continuation of this range to the west on the opposite shore of Dorsetshire.

The general result of this enquiry will be best understood from the following section across the Isle of Wight from north to south; see plate 11[errata 1], fig. 1.

Plate 11, Fig. 1.

The inclined strata A, B, C, D, E, compose a range of hills that divides the island into two parts, extending from the Needles at the west end of the island to the Culver cliff at the east: at which places may be seen vertical sections at right angles to the direction of the range.

  1. A detailed description of the Isle of Wight is now preparing for the press by Sir Henry Englefield, who has permitted me to communicate to the Society many of the observations which I made at his request with the view of completing his work.


  1. Original: 9 was amended to 11: detail