liEOLOli X .
its passage through the above mentioned mountainous district,
and that during which the strata forming these highlands were
deposited at the bottom of what was then an ocean, a vast in¬
terval must have elapsed. The formation of the valley from Bingen
to the sea is more recent than the deposits of the middle section
of the Tertiary system, the Meiocene of Sir Charles Lyell, in
which the clays of Vallendar and the brown coals of the Wester-
wald, the Seven Mountains, and the neighbourhood of Brtihl are
found. Of equal age with these tertiary formations are the basalts
of the Rhine (p. 58), which occur in the most grotesque shapes
near Linz, Kaisersberg, and Ockenfels, on the Erpeler Lei, at the
scene of the landslip near Unkel (p. 56), at Rolandseck (where the
railway has laid bare some remarkably situated columns), on the
Petersberg, Nonnenstroinberg, and other peaks of the Seven Mts.
The Rhine Valley is then, geologically considered, of very
recent formation; and the extinct volcanoes, of which numerous
cones may be seen from Neuwied, such as the Camillenberg and
the peaks of the Hummerich at Plaidt and Kruft, are still more
recent. From the peak at Fornich a stream of lava, whose large
perpendicular columns may be seen from the river (p. 60), descends
into the valley. The latter had nearly attained its present
depth when the eruption which produced this stream of lava
took place. This is proved by the fact, that all the other lava-
streams near the Laacher See and in the Eifel have been poured
into valleys already formed. The pumice-stone, which extends
over the whole basin of Neuwied, the only place in Germany
where this volcanic product is found, must have been discharged
at a still more recent date than most of the lava-streams.
In the flat parts of the valley, through which the Rhine flows,
at first narrow, and then gradually widening, are found beds of
loam and rubble deposited by the stream. Similar masses are
also met with on the terraces parallel with the river, at a height
of 400—800 ft. above the water. The strata could only have been
deposited by the agency of flowing water, and must have been
deposited long before the valley attained its present depth. These
terraces are distinguishable by their long horizontal ridges from
the peaks formed by the uncovered slate: they prove that the
Rhine Valley has been gradually hollowed out by the action of
water, though its rugged aspect might give rise to the conjecture
that it had been the result of some mighty convulsion of nature.
IX. Wines of the Rhine and Moselle.
Wine is a subject to which those who visit the land of the grape
will naturally expect some allusion, and although it is far too
comprehensive to receive justice in a work like the present, the
following brief remarks may prove acceptable.
No error has been more prevalent than that the Rhenish and
B-edekeks Rhine. 5th Edit. b