National Geographic : 1896 Jul
THE SEINE, THE MEUSE, AND THE MOSELLE By WILLIAM M. DAVIS Professor of Physical Geography in Harvard University II Diversion of the upper Mosellefrom the Meuse.-After this long digression let us now return to the case of the Meuse and see whether indications can be found that any of its branches have been diverted to the basins of the Seine or of the Moselle. The first example to be mentioned is found in the neighborhood of Toul, and for simplicity of description I shall take the liberty of changing the names of the streams in this region in accord ance with the adjoining diagram, the actual names being given in thin-lined letters, the assumed names in heavy-lined letters. The case may then be briefly stated as follows: The Toul (upper Moselle) once flowed through a meandering valley and joined the Meuse at the little village of Pagny-sur-Meuse. The mean dering valley trenches an upland of middle oilite strata, but in the course of time the Pompey, a branch of the Moselle, pushed away the divide at its head, tapped the Toul where the city of that name now stands, and diverted it from the Meuse to the Moselle. * The first fact to note is that the abandoned valley between Toul and Pagny swings on large curved meanders, after the * My attention was first called to this example by my kind friend, M. Emm. de Mar gerie, who was so good as to refer me to the writings of several French authors by whom it had been described more or less fully and to whose essays I thereupon re ferred either in the original or in some citation. The earliest writer to make mention of this change in the course of the Toul seems to have been Boblaye, (1) who in 1829 reported that he found pebbles in the valley of the Meuse unlike the rocks of its upper basin, but like those of the upper valley of the Toul in the Vosges mountains. Buvig nier (2) gave a fuller account of the same facts in 1852 and came to the same conclu sion. Housson (3) wrote on the same subject in 1864, but I have not seen his article. The latest account of the case is by Godron (4) in 1876. All these authors recognize what may be called the geological evidence of the change, that is, the occurrence of pebbles from the Toul in the valley of the Meuse; but as far as I have read, they did not give particular care to the geographical features of the case. It is to these, there fore, that special attention is here called. (1) Mem. sur la formation jurassique dans le nord de la France. Ann. Sci. Nat., 1829. (2) Statistique g6ol. et min. du department de la Meuse, Paris, 1852. (3) Origine de I'espece humaine dans les environs de Toul. Pont-a Mousson, 1864. (4) Ann. Club \lpin frangais, xiii, 1876, 442-457.