THE island of Anticosti proved to be mightily interesting to us, and as we spent the summer along its shores it merits a brief general description. It is about one hundred and twenty miles long, with a maximum width of about forty miles; it has nearly the land area of Connecticut. The whole of the field is composed of strata of the Ordovician and Silurian age, practically altogether of rather thin-bedded limestones or limy shales, which lie in less disturbed altitudes than any equally extensive deposits of that age. They have not indeed yielded perceptibly to compressive strains or been otherwise disturbed by organic action since they were laid down. So far as I have been able to find, there are no dykes on this area, and the trifling local discolorations or departures from horizontality can be explained by slight dips in the sea-bed on which they were formed, or by the solution of the strata by the action of underground waters, in some instances perhaps when the sea was lower than it is at present. The surface of this field is singularly regular in contour; along the south coast it is prevailingly low, none of the cliffs rising above a few feet in height and much of the front being marked by recent ice installations. From this face, the land rises rather gradually at the rate of five to ten feet to the mile to the northward, so that on the north shore the island is continuously bordered by cliffs which have a height of from two to three hundred feet.
The greater part of this surface of Anticosti is covered with a dense, rather low forest of spruces and firs; we saw no trees over sixty feet in height, though we did not succeed in penetrating more than three miles from the shore. Along the south coast there is frequently a broad belt of swamps composed
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Publication information: Book title: The Autobiography of Nathaniel Southgate Shaler. Contributors: Nathaniel S. Shaler - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1909. Page number: 150.
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