Personal Narrative Of Travels To The Equinoctial Regions Of America During The Years 1799-1804 - Volume 3 - By Alexander Von Humboldt And Aime Bonpland.



































































































































 -  The limestone of the
Penas is compact, bluish grey and almost destitute of petrifactions.
It appeared to me to be - Page 590
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The Limestone Of The Penas Is Compact, Bluish Grey And Almost Destitute Of Petrifactions. It Appeared To Me To Be Much More Ancient Than The Tertiary Conglomerate Of Barigon, And I Saw It Covering, In Concordant Position, A Slaty Clay, Somewhat Analogous To Muriatiferous Clay.

I was greatly interested in comparing this latter formation with the strata of carburetted marl contained in the Alpine limestone of Cumanacoa.

According to the opinions now most generally received, the rock of the Penas Negras may be considered as representing muschelkalk (limestone of Gottingen); and the saliferous and bituminous clay of Araya, as representing variegated sandstone; but these problems can only be solved when the mines of those countries are worked. Those geologists who are of opinion that the gem-salt of Italy penetrates into a stratum above the Jura limestone, and even the chalk, may be led to mistake the limestone of the Penas Negras for one of the strata of compact limestone without grains of quartz and petrifactions, which are frequently found amidst the tertiary conglomerate of Barigon and of the Castillo de Cumana; the saliferous clay of Araya would appear to them analogous to the plastic clay of Paris,* (* Tertiary sandstone with lignites, or molassus of Argovia.) or to the clayey shelves (dief et tourtia) of secondary sandstone with lignites, containing salt-springs, in Belgium and Westphalia. However difficult it may be to distinguish separately the strata of marl and clay belonging to variegated sandstone, muschelkalk, quadersandstein, Jura limestone, secondary sandstone with lignites (green and iron sand) and the tertiary strata lying above chalk, I believe that the bitumen which everywhere accompanies gem-salt, and most frequently salt-springs, characterizes the muriatiferous clay of the peninsula of Araya and the island of Marguerita, as linked with formations lying below the tertiary strata.

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