1888: Remains of a Volcano

A Middletown, Conn., letter says: The recent discovery of the remains of a volcano near Mount Lamentation, the highest peak in the chain of Meriden hills, has excited the keenest interest in scientific circles. It has furnished a new key to the geological history of the Connecticut valley. The discovery was made by Prof. W. N. Davis, of Harvard university. He has been engaged in making an exhaustive study of the trap-rock of this state, and he made his happy discovery of volcanic ruins while searching for an entirely different class of geological phenomena.

Mount Lamentation has been visited by large numbers of people during the past few weeks. The various scientific associations of the state, and several geologists of national repute, have carefully examined the interesting curiosity. No volcanic cone or crater is still visible, but the phenomena of the place clearly indicates that in the triassic age violent explosive eruptions of a regular volcanic type were frequent. Geologists have long known that the trap-rock of the Connecticut valley came up in a molten condition and afterward solidified. This liquid mass sometimes solidified in fissures in the earth and sometimes overflowed the surface like lava streams, and was subsequently covered up by strata of sand stone.

Prof. Davis has discovered what is technically known as an ash-bed. It is a deposit formed when molten lava is thrown high into the air by violent explosions, and comes down in a confused mass, coarse and fine. In the triassic period when these eruptions occurred there must have been regular cones and craters of the usual type, but these have all been effaced. It is very probable that other ash-beds may exist in the range of Meriden hills. The geological history of this region has always afforded a rich field for scientific research, and the recent volcanic discovery has given a greater scientific boom to it.

From The Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Penn.), Feb. 16, 1888.

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