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From Charles Lyell   30 November 1860

Summary

Satisfied that CD finds his conjectured rate of elevation and long periods of stasis reasonable, even if these periods cannot be estimated. Explaining upheaval by subterranean lava flow makes these pauses plausible. Suspects that mountainous areas move more than lowland and coastal areas. General upheavals or subsidence in Europe in glacial period are unlikely. Believes with Jamieson that there was glacial action in Scotland before its submergence and that it was equally mountainous then. Subterranean upheaval visits different countries by turn. Horizontal Silurian strata must have been submerged and upheaved. Rest has always been the general surface character. Believes, however, that the quantity of late Tertiary movement is against CD’s belief in the constancy of continents and oceans: perhaps since the Miocene period, but not since the Cretaceous.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 49–57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3001A
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