Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. Edinburgh and Cadell and Davies, London, 1815. First Edition. Wrappers. Two original articles disbound from Volume VII of Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (not a reprint, facsimile reproduction, or photocopy). Roman numerals preceding titles refer to order of sequence as published in the Transactions. Demy 4to (273 x 210mm): 79-108,139-211,pp, complete with nine copper-plate engravings. Recently bound by Fitterer in stiff marbled wrappers. An excellent wide-margined example, tightly bound and clean throughout. Geology Emerging 994. Fine. Item #BB2624
Hall founded the field of experimental geology and was a supporter of Hutton's Theory of the Earth. In the first paper, "On the Vertical Position and Convolutions of Certain Strata" (see DSB, vol. 6, p. 55), he conjectured that series of closely packed folds in Lower Paleozoic rocks in southern Scotland had been formed by lateral pressure. To test the theory, he constructed a machine in which layers of clay, when subjected to lateral pressure from opposing directions, reproduced folds closely comparable to those found in the rocks. Hall concluded that the intrusion of large masses of granite had produced the folding, providing strong support for Hutton’s idea that granite was an intrusive igneous rock and marking a stage in the advancement of geological thought. The second paper, “On the Revolutions of the Earth’s Surface,” records a further attempt to reproduce a geological process experimentally. In it, Hall discussed certain surface features (later shown to have been caused by the ice sheets that covered Europe in the glacial period), and concluded that they were caused by the passage of enormous tidal waves (tsunamis). (Based upon the ideas of Horace Benedicte de Saussure and Peter Pallas, Hall came to believe that the earth's surface is reshaped and recycled, not by the ordinary processes of erosion, as Hutton had suggested, but by immense tidal waves.) Hall had examined numerous manifestations of glacial action in the region of Edinburgh, including deposits of boulder clay and fluvioglacial gravel, leading him to believe that a tidal wave, caused by some deep-seated and powerful submarine manifestation of igneous activity, had crossed mid- Scotland. He attempted to reproduce a tidal wave by exploding gunpowder under water, but the experiment appears to have done no more than produce a violent upheaval of the water above the explosion. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).