The regional geology

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Hutton’s perseverance, though, was more than equal to the irksome vegetation. Near Jedburgh, in the border country, he found his first very good example of an angular unconformity. He was roaming about the region on a visit to a friend when he came upon a stream cutbank where high water had laid bare the flat-lying sandstone and, below it, beds of schistus that were standing zakelijke energie straight on end. His friend John Clerk later went out and sketched for Hutton this clear conjunction of three worlds-the oldest at the bottom, its remains tilted upward, the intermediate one a flat collection of indurated sand, and the youngest a landscape full of fences and trees with a phaeton-and-two on a road above the rivercut, driver whipping the steeds, rushing through a moment in the there and then. “I was soon satisfied with regard to this phenomenon,” Hutton wrote later, “and rejoiced at my good fortune in stumbling upon an object so interesting to the natural history of the earth, and which I had been long looking for in vain.” What was of interest to the natural history of the earth was that,  for all the time they represented, these two unconforming formations, these two levels of history, were neighboring steps on a ladder of uncountable rungs. Alive in a world that thought of itself as six thousand years old, a society which had placed in that number the outer limits of its grasp of time, Hutton had no way of lmowing that there were seventy million years just in the line that separated the two kinds of rock, and many millions more in the story of each formation-but he sensed something like it, sensed the awesome truth, and as he stood there staring at the riverbank he was seeing it for all humankind. To confirm what he had observed and to involve further witnesses, he got into a boat the following spring and went along the coast of Berwickshire with John Playfair and young James Hall, of Dunglass. Hutton had surmised from the regional geology that they would come to a place among the terminal cliffs of the Lammermuir Hills where the zakelijke energie vergelijken same formations would touch. They touched, as it turned out, in a headland called Siccar Point, where the strata of the lower formation had been upturned to become vertical columns, on which rested the Old Red Sandstone, like the top of a weatherbeaten table. Hutton, when he eventually described the scene, was both gratified and succinct-“a beautiful picture …w ashed bare by the sea.” Playfair was lyrical:

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