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Ch. 2: Gems in Ceylon

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300                                          GOLD AND GEMS.
I hare discovered a set of perfectly stratified sandstone rocks, from 80 feet to 100 feet in thickness, and about 200 hundred feet beneath the surface of the adjoining hills, imbedding large round water-worn boulders 1 cwt. to over a ton in weight. They appear to be a red sandstone formation, but in the absence of a single fossil it is impossible for me to say to what series they may belong.
It has been asserted by some writers on the geology of Ceylon that none of the stratified formations, posterior to gneiss, had ever been found, and that pro­bably they never would. If this were the case, we should be obliged to suppose that during the periods of the accumulation of those formations in other parts of the globe, this island must either have been dry land or that it was not in existence, or existing only beneath the waves. From the very fact, however, of the existence of plumbago alone, such could not have been the case, and we are thus led to assume that Ceylon, as an island or part of a continent, must have been more than once submerged and upheaved, and, if plumbago had at. one time existed as coal, as Sir Charles Lyell imagines, the last general upheaval must have taken place subsequent to the carboniferous period.
It is also a remarkable coincidence that whatever may be the circumstances under which plumbago is met with in other parts of the island, in Uva it is found amongst the detritus of decomposed trap rock. It was also in the neighbourhood of these igneous rocks, where I met with the marble and clay iron-stone.
With the exception of gold, all these minerals are, in England, associated with a coal field, and I am of opinion that if coal be found to exist in Ceylon, it will, most likely, be met with in the hollows and basins of the trap hills of Uva.—R.—Local "Times."
From an article in the Madras Mail reviewing a paper by Mr. Foote of the Geological Department, we take a very interesting extract referring to the formation of Adam's or Rama's Bridge between Ceylon and India, and the curious banks of red sand so conspicuous in parts of the Madras Presidency and also in Travancore :—
The chief geological interest, of course, lies outside of the gneissic area on the strip of country, reaching from the coast line for a varying distance inland, which is occupied by the more recent rocks. This area is chiefly covered with gritty sandstones belonging to the Cuddalore beds, lateritic conglomerates and alluvium, but it also contains several small sub-recent marine beds of limestones and grits, which are given in the table as "upraised coal reefs," but this, we fancy, must be a misprint for " coral reefs." Perhaps the most interesting of these upraised coral reefs is one which forms a striking feature of the north coast of the island of Rameswaram and apparently extends from Pamban to Ariangundu as a narrow strip, and then widens out to the north-eastward to form the northern lobe of the island. This northern lobe seems to owe its existence entirely to the upraising of the coral, which is here covered by only a thin coating of alluvium. At present the reef rises above the water-level for at least ten feet, thus showing a considerable upheaval of this part of the coast in comparatively recent times. This is a circumstance which ought not to be lost sight of by the promoters of the scheme for cutting a ship canal across Rameswaram, a scheme which Mr. Foote unceremoniously speaks of as " wild." There is no means of determining exactly when the upheaval took place, but as Mr. Foote suggests, it senms probable that it was this upheaval which gave rise to the formation of " Adam's Bridge," which according to local tradition, once joined the island of Rameswaram to terra firma on both sides, and was breached about A.D. 1480 by a tremendous storm. When we consider that plutonic agencies do not seem to be quite quiescent even yet on
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