The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire eBook

Charles W. Morris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 368 pages of information about The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire.

There were additions to the cone up to the year 1823, when it became so quiescent as to be the favorite haunt of seals and sea-fowls, and, when the weather was favorable, was visited by native egg-hunters from Unalaska.  During the summer of 1883 Bogosloff was again seen in eruption, as it was thought.  However, on closely examining the neighborhood, it was found that the old island was undisturbed, but that there had been a fresh eruption, which had resulted in the extension of Bogosloff by the appearance of a cone and crater (Hague Volcano), 357 feet high, connected with the parent island by a low sand-spit, and situated in a spot where, the year before, the lead showed 800 fathoms of water.  At the same time Augustin and two other previously quiet islands on the peninsula of Alaska began simultaneously to emit smoke, dust and ashes, while a reef running westward and formerly submerged became elevated to the sea surface.  Other islands, of origin exactly similar to Bogosloff and those mentioned, are to be found in this region, notably Koniugi and Kasatochi, in the western Aleutians, and Pinnacle Island, near St. Matthew Island.  Indeed, the volcano of Kliutchevsk, which rises to a height of over 15,000 feet, is really a volcanic island.

A permanent addition was made to the Aleutian group of Islands by the action of a submarine volcano in 1806.  This new island has the form of a volcanic peak, with several subsidiary cones.  It is four geographical miles in circumference.  In 1814 another arose out of the sea in the same archipelago, the cone of which attained a height of 3,000 feet; but at the end of a year it lost a portion of this elevation.

In 1856, in the sea in the same neighborhood, Captain Newell, of the whaling bark Alice Fraser, witnessed a submarine eruption, which was also seen by the crews of several other vessels.  There was no island formed on this occasion, but large jets of water were thrown up, and the sea was greatly agitated all around.  Then followed volcanic smoke, and quantities of stones, ashes, and pumice; the two latter being scattered over the surface of the sea to a great distance.  Loud thundering reports accompanied this eruption, and all the ships in the neighborhood felt concussions like those produced by an earthquake.  These phenomena seem to have ended in the formation of some great submarine chasm, into which the waters rushed with extreme violence and a terrific roar.

Occurrences similar to this last have been several times observed in a tract of open sea in the Atlantic, about half a degree south of the equator, and between 20 and 22 degrees of west longitude.  Although quantities of volcanic dross have been from time to time thrown up to the surface in this region, no island has yet made its appearance above water.

The events here described repeat on a far smaller scale similar ones which have occurred in remote ages in many parts of the ocean and left great island masses as the permanent effects of their work.  We may instance the Hawaiian group, which is wholly of volcanic origin, with the exception of its minor coral additions, and represents a stupendous activity of underground agencies beneath the domain of Father Neptune.

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The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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