- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
68

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - IV. Open sea, eastward to the Yenisei

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THROUGH SIBERIA
for the reindeer ; but from time to time the fog came
drifting over the flat land, and soon night came on and
it was too dark. Of birds there were a few flocks of
geese and also some long-tailed ducks to be seen.
This island is of much the same nature as the low,
undulating tundra. It is mostly clay and gravel, and
clay mixed with sand, covered over with thin grass and
moss, which is fairly good pasture for the reindeer,
though it could not be called very rich.
Here and there hard rocky knolls stick up over the
plain. Most of the rock seems to be crystalline schists ;
but pieces of argillaceous shale are also to be found in
the débris. These knolls are much worn and split, and
big stones lic scattered ali round them.
These islands, and a great part of the adjacent
mainland, which also has a rocky substratum, seem to me
as if they must be a typical Coastal Platform. By this
I mean the low, level land with low islands outside along
the coasts, which was formed in the first place by the
rock in course of time being split into fragments and
worn and scoured down to the sea-level by rain, and
snow, and ice, and frost, and sun, and running water.
Then the action of the sea and surf was added, planing
out islands, islets and land into what geologists would
call a plane of marine denudation.
We see this coastal platform clearly enough when we
sail past the long coast of Norway, with the belt of
skerries outside. It consists of the low skerries and islets
that only rise a little above the water and often extend
far out to sea, with an infinity of banks and sunken
rocks and shallows outside them.
It was a beautiful calm night as we rowed back to
the ship. Smooth water between skerries and islets,
which emerged from the mist lying over the sea ; high
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