National Geographic : 1902 Nov
SUBMERGED VALLEYS rain fell as in the fourteen months be ginning January, 1901. Examination of Weather Bureau records since the establishment of stations at upper lake ports shows that unusually high water in Lake Erie has been preceded by pe riods of unusually heavy rains. If, however, considerable periods of time are considered, there is abundant evidence to show that the lake is deep ening instead of getting shallower, as limited observation has seemed to indi cate; nor is the process too slow to be noticed in a lifetime. Old men who were living only a few years ago at Put-in-Bay, Port Clinton, and San dusky could remember that when they were boys there was little or no water IN SANDUSKY BAY 399 formed only in the air, may be seen several feet below the present lake level, where they are being slowly dissolved. If we look for a cause of this deep ening of the lake, it is to be found in a slow tilting of the earth's crust in the Great Lake region. The old beaches so much utilized for roads in northern Ohio and farther east are roughly parallel with the south shore of Lake Erie, but several miles away from it. They were formed at the margins of glacial lakes whose waters, being confined by the ice on the north and northeast, found an out let to the Mississippi, first at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and later at different places across Michigan, the different Figure i.-East and West Section-One Mile Long where it has since been several feet deep. Testimony of many witnesses in a lawsuit at Sandusky in 1844 showed that east of the city the water had been deepening since about 1823. Gauge readings at Erie and elsewhere show that at several times in the first half of the nineteenth century the water was lower than it has ever been since, and in the first quarter of the century con siderably lower than in the second quarter. The high water of 1858-'60 killed many trees that stood on the border of marshes connected with the lake. Hickory, walnut, elm, and syca more of large size and probably more than 200 years old were killed at this time by high water keeping the ground too wet around their roots. Stumps are still standing with roots in place, their tops now below the level of the lake. In the caves of Put-in-Bay sta lagmites and stalactites, which can be beaches corresponding to the different levels of the outlets. Each beach at the time of its formation was approxi mately level, being formed at the margin of a lake. Now, however, they show a rise as they are traced eastward. The Forest beach, upon which Euclid Ave nue, Cleveland, is laid out, is the lowest and most recent of these beaches. "At Crittenden, N. Y., it is 168 feet higher than at Cleveland."* This shows a rise of the whole region to the east as compared with that to the west, involv ing a rise of the outlet of Lake Erie as compared with the rest of the lake and causing a deepening of the water, espe cially at its western end. Examination of the lake beaches does not show whether the tilting of the earth's crust is still going on or ceased centuries ago. By comparing * Leverett.