Malta, Under the Phenicians, Knights, and English

9780217014328: Malta, Under the Phenicians, Knights, and English
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1861. Excerpt: ... SECTION V. Natural Pbicrrg of USMfa. GEOLOGY, ICHTHYOLOGY, ORNITHOLOGY, BOTANY, CONCHOLOGY, ETC. SECTION V.----GEOLOGY OF MALTA. The group of islands formed by Malta, Gozo, and Cumino, belongs to the Tertiary formation, and to the Eocene subdivision of it. These three were evidently at one time a single island, or at least an unseparated mass of land, and composed of four distinct kinds of rock, forming four horizontal layers, one on top of the other. The uppermost of these was (and still is) a light-coloured coralline limestone. Underneath this lies a thick bed of tenacious marl. Next comes a sandstone formation, which is the principal rock of these islands. At the bottom of all is a deep bed of crystalline limestone. At one time there was evidently a continuous block of land formed by these four, and probably having the coral limestone spread very evenly over its whole surface. But in the course of ages a grand disturbance took place in that part of the earth's crust, and all the middle of this block sank abruptly down. The consequence was that two portions were depressed so low that the sea flowed completely over, and formed the central portion into the island of Cumino, whilst the two adjacent parts of Malta and Gozo became at the same time the depressed extremities of other two islands. The visitor to Malta, on reaching the midst of the island, and looking westward, finds himself standing on a spot where the Benjemma hills form a bold ridge about seven hundred feet high. From their western side he sees that all that end of Malta has sunk down bodily, leaving the Valletta or populous district on an elevated block eastward. The low island of Cumino still keeps itself above the surrounding waters. The end of Gozo nearest to it lies also similarly low; b...

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