« 이전계속 »
3. It will be understood that this refers merely to the recent geological question of a rising or lowering of the coast, and not to distant geological, still less to political, questions.
(Signed) J. King,
The Commissioner in Sind,
The Collector of Ahmedabad,
The Collector of Kaira,
The Revenue Commissioner, N. D-,
The Political Department of the Secretariat,
The Public Works Department of the Secretariat,
The Secretary, Geographical Society (by letter).
Extract from an article in the "Bombay Saturday Review" of the \%th of August 1866, on the Geological Action on the South Coast of Kattiawar and in the Rutin.
On the south coast of Kattiawar and in the Runn of Cutch we have some remarkable illustrations of the encroachment of land on sea, and sea on land, and of the alternate rising and sinking of land—simple operations, but to which the Geographical evolution of the five continents of the globe is due. For a long time past observers have supposed that the Gulf of Cambay has been gradually filling up. Several large continental rivers—the Taptee, Nerbudda, Mhye, and Saburmuttee—discharge the drainage of the Sautpoora, Vindhya, and Aravulli mountains into it; and, as a large portion of Guzerat has been deposited by them, it is not improbable that in time they may fill up the Gulf of Cambay. The gulf is full of shifting sandbanks, which make its navigation extremely difficult. But, notwithstanding all these indications of its being silted up, there are some who insist that the gulf is yearly increasing in extent, and steadily encroaching on the southern coast of Kattiawar. Whether the gulf is silting up or increasing in size cannot, of course, be determined except by observations, such as mapping soundings made at a fixed season yearly for a series of years. But there can be no doubt of the encroachments of the sea on the southern coast of Kattiawar, and it is not at all improbable that, simultaneously with the silting up of the Gulf of Cambay in continuation of Guzerat; all the south-east coast of Kattiawar is being swept into the ocean by the scour of the great rivers seeking their level in it. The creeks of Bhownuggur, Dhollera, and Mhowa are yearly enlarging, and large quantities of soil are detached from their banks by the high tides of June and November. During the high tides of last June a considerable portion of the Mussulman burying-ground at Gogo was washed away by the sea, which at the same time found its way under the stone embankment of the pier, and formed a pool of salt water, still standing, between the town and its sea wall. The earth embankment that once stood between the sea wall of Gogo and the sea has been gradually entirely removed by the sea, which now everywhere licks the very walls of the town. This wall is now being undermined, and in a few years the south-east portion of Gogo will exist no more. The masonry abutment which protects a small Mussulman shrine in the wall close to the travellers' bungalow has already been completely broken up by the sea, and its fragments will be washed away into the ocean by the high tides of next November. Kattiawar may indeed become an island at last. At present in the monsoon it is almost an island, the Dhollera creek being connected by a chain of swamps with the Null; and were the Null once connected with the Runn, by any alteration in the level of the latter, such as indeed seems, as we shall presently see, to be going on at this time, Kattiawar would become an island. There can be little doubt that it was an island once. The whole character of the tract called the Bhal, extending from Gogo to Purnalla and Vayjee, some 90 miles north, bears evident signs of having been at some remote period covered with salt water. After the Bhal commences the Null Kanta, extending as far north as Sbahpoor. This tract presents the same general geological and botanical features as the Bhal, and actually becomes submerged every monsoon. From Shahpoor to the Runn is only from 18 to 22 miles, and there can be little doubt that at one time the water of the Runn and the Gulf of Cambay were united through the Null Kanta and Bhal. Were, indeed, any subsidence to take place in the Runn, the sea water which would overflow it would seek its level through the Null Kanta and Bhal, and place a narrow strait between Wurdwan and Ahmedabad, and with the outfall of the Saburmuttee, Mhye, Nerbudda, and Taptee, separate Kattiawar from the mainland.
With regard to the Runn itself, there is proof positive that it was formerly, and within the historic period, entirely under the sea, and that Wowannia, Teekur, aud Kherwera were considerable local ports. McMurdo tells us that a vessel of considerable size was dug up out of the Runn, and that within the memory of man small boats had sailed over it. In fact, it is universally admitted that the Runn is upheaved sea bottom, upheaved by volcanic action; and there is little doubt that it is again, by the same action, being depressed. McMurdo, in his report to Government of October 2nd, 1815, soys— "The boundaries of the Runn are as distinctly defined as those of the sea. They consist of alow rising bank, covered with vegetation distinct from the barren sand of the Runn. The banks are nowhere higher than sand hillocks. Many inlets or small branches of the Runn penetrate into the country, all bearing the characteristic appearance of the Runn, which is that of a sandy desert, a perfect plain in appearance, with the "Bheers" or elevated ridges above mentioned, extending longitudinally like islands. There is not a blade of vegetation on the Runn itself. It has every appearance of the sea having shortly withdrawn from it. This is supported by the semblance and production of the neighbouring country; and large stones are found on this shore, several miles from the present Runn, of a description similar to those used as anchors—they have holes bored through for the cable- On the shore at different places are shown small ancient buildings called danderees, or houses where the dan, or customs, were collected ; and in short it is a tradition in the country that Khor, a village two miles east of Teekur, was a seaport town about fifty years since. The wreck of a vessel of a size far beyond that of any of the craft now in use in the Gulf of Cutch was discovered at Wowannia, sunk in the mud about fifteen feet. The sea is gradually encroaching there, and has assumed the shape of a deep and narrow creek, which at low water is left dry. As the bank was carried away the wreck became exposed, and the timber was used in the village of Wowannia for fuel. Tbere was no iron in the vessel; she was bound by cordage of coir. These circumstances would induce a belief that at some former period the Gulf of Cutch penetrated very high up to the eastward, although it is a wellknown fact that it has been increasing for these last hundred years, during which period it has been much enlarged." This paragraph was written fifty-one years ago, and thirty years ago Grant gave additional evidence of oscillations in the level of the Runn. It is now certain that the Runn is gradually sinking, and that the sea is year by year overspreading a wider and wider surface of it. This advance of the sea in the Runn is very marked. Lieutenant Colonel Rigby, late Commissioner in the boundary disputes between the Gaekwar and the Nawab of Joonaghur, two or three years ago laid down the frontier of the small village of Bheemkatta, situated on the borders of the Runn. Since then several acres belonging to the village have been overflowed by the sea.
The complete subsidence of the Runn would exercise a marked effect on the climate and prosperity of the adjacent countries. The temperature of Kattiawar, Cutch, and Pahlunpoor, would be lowered by several degrees; the rainfall over those countries increased; Wowannia and Jhinjoora would become great ports; and the strait formed between Wurdwan and Ahmedabad, through the neck of Kattiawar, would convert it into an island, and possibly become the course of the trade between Sind and Bombay, in place of the present ocean course. Unless also Ahmedabad find Agra are soon connected by rail, the formation of a strait through the neck of Kattiawar would open up all the trade of Rajpootana and the North-West Provinces to Bombay.
The rate at which the water is advancing both in the Runn and on the south coast of Kattiawar is obviously a matter of the very highest importance on scientific and economical and political grounds, and were annual observations of its advances made for a series of years at least, much scientific information, possibly throwing light on the general geographical evolution of land on the globe, would be gained. These observations might be made, at comparatively trifling expense, by Government authorising their Political Agents in Kattiawar, Cutch, and Pahlunpoor, to place mehtas at certain fixed points on their respective shores of the Runn to record yearly the date and the extent of the influx of the sea. In Kattiawar the best spots for stations would be Balumba, Mallia, Capurnee, Bujjana, and some stations on the boundary between the Rhadunpoor and Jhinjoowarrah talookas. The chiefs would voluntarily place mehtas at the stations named were Government to express a wish that they should do so. Mehtas should also be placed along the south coast of Kattiawar, at Gogo, Bhownuggur, and Dhollera, and it would be as well also to have a survey of the sandbanks in the Gulf of Cambay made yearly at a fixed season over the next ten or twenty years.
The flooding of the Runn by the sea is undoubtedly caused by volcanic action, now depressing as it once raised it, and not by the eroding action of the tides, to which the encroachments of the sea on the south coast of Kattiawar are due. In the 16th volume of the Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society, General LeGrand Jacob records several volcanic shocks in the Runn, which but for him would never have been heard of; and Government should instruct the mehtas we have proposed that they should place at different stations to note the date of volcanic shocks also amongst their observations.
The reader will have remarked that Kattiawar, Cutch, and the Runn have been evolved exactly where great changes in their contour and oscillations in level might be expected- They lie in the angle, almost a right angle, between the west coast of India and the coast of the Mekran and Sind. Into that void the deposits of the Nerbudda, Taptee, Saburmuttee, and Indus are shot; and while the ocean currents would accumulate them just where Cutch and Kattiawar appear, the scour of the great Indian rivers flowing into the Gulf of Cambay would determine the contour of the southern border of Kattiawar, which might be expected to be more and more encroached on as increasing deposits in the Gulf of Cambay more and more deflected the scour of the Nerbudda, Mhye, and Taptee northward- The evolution of Kattiawar and Cutch is due also to volcanic action, and this connects the phenomena we are now reviewing with the geological history of the plains of Sind and Bengal. Where we now have the sandy plain of Sind and the rich plain of Bengal, was once a broad strait between continental Asia and the island which the Deccan then was. The Indus and Ganges are all that now remain of this strait, which was gradually filled up by the deposits of the tributaries of the Indus and Ganges, and their upheaval by volcanic force. That action is still in operation, and of course its effects are most marked in such a district as the Runn, lying almost level with the sea. The Venerable Archdeacon Pratt has made a calculation that the attraction of the Himalayas raises the ocean several hundred feet above its general level all along the western coast of India —the height to which the ocean is thus raised increasing gradually from Cape Comorin to the Coast of Sind, where, if we remember correctly, it stands nearly 1,000 feet above its general level. Well, if the Himalayas were to sink into the earth, as mountains often have sunk,