The Giant's Causeway, Ireland
Geology, Mineralogy, Vulcanology, Mathematics
Describes the Giant's Causeway as 'one of the most singular and curious specimens of Nature's workmanship' (361). Discusses the occurrence of basalt in various parts of Europe. Describes the 'basaltic field' of the Giant's Causeway. Observes that the 'mathematician will be astonished at observing that nature is also a profound scholar, and that whatever variety of form may occur in the adjacent columns, she never fails to arrange the value of the concurring angles, so as to equal the required four right angles. The architect will receive instruction in the piling of his blocks into great independent columns, with an accuracy and permanence not seen in the works of art'. Describes the Causeway as 'part of a stratum' which probably extends to the Scottish coast; attributes some of the phenomena to 'volcanic or igneous' action, and others to an 'aqueous cause'. (362) A footnote refers those 'who are desirous of pursuing the curious inquiry into the origin of basaltes' to Aubuisson de Voisins 1814 and the works of Richard Kirwan and Robert Jameson.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]