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The Coal Question; Jevons, William Stanley
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Chapter 3

Another possible position of coal measures is beneath the cretaceous and Wealden beds of Wilts, Berks, Surrey, and Kent. In 1855, Mr. Godwin-Austen published a remarkable argument, showing that a range of rocks, an underground ridge of mountains, as it were, probably stretched from the Mendip Hills to the Ardennes in Belgium; and "we have strong à priori reasons for supposing that the course of a band of coal measures coincides with, and may some day be reached, along the line of the valley of the Thames, whilst some of the deeper-seated coal, as well as certain overlying and limited basins, may occur along and beneath some of the longitudinal folds of the Wealden denudation." His deductions were partially verified immediately after publication by the actual discovery of old rocks in the boring of wells at Kentish Town and Harwich. But Mr. Whitaker, to whose able memoir *35 and kind aid I am indebted, remarks on the uncertainty of such deductions concerning coal. "It must not be supposed that because there is almost a certainty of there being a ridge of old rocks at some depth below the surface along part of the valley of the Thames, and a likelihood of some of those old rocks belonging to the coal measures, therefore coal will be found at a workable depth in parts of the London District; for the alternations of sandstone, shale, &c., that so generally contain workable beds of coal, and are therefore known as the 'coal measures,' are sometimes almost without that mineral."