National Geographic : 1896 Jun
THE SEINE, THE MEUSE, AND THE MOSELLE 193 dred feet beneath it. It must therefore be concluded from the relation of the upland, the trough, and the trench that the uplift of the region to its present height was accomplished in two movements, and that a longer interval of comparative rest fol lowed the first movement than has yet elapsed since the second; but it must also be understood that the time that has elapsed from the first of these movements to the present day is very short compared to the long cycle of denudation during which the ancient mountains of the region were worn down to the gen eral surface of the peneplain. The meanders which the Moselle now follows in its serpentine trench are therefore to be regarded as the inheritance of a me andering habit that it acquired on the floor of the trough-; but here, as in the case of the Seine, the present width of the meander belt is somewhat greater than the width of the former belt, judg ing from the difference in the slopes of the interior spurs and the steep bluffs opposite them on the outer side of the river curves. The Moselle, like the Seine, swings around its curves with a robust, full-bodied action, nowhere hesitating to make the circuit with strong pressure on its outside bank. The two cut-offs above Berncastel.-At several points the spurs from the upland have very narrow necks through which the valley railway passes in " short-cut" tunnels. Although I have not found any example of the diversion of a side stream by the lateral growth of the river meanders, yet such a change is im minent just above Piinderich, where the ridge between the Moselle and the Alfbach is reduced to a very narrow measure. But it does appear that just above Berncastel the Moselle has played upon itself the same trick that the Seine has played upon the Ste. Austreberte. The Moselle at this point has an exception ally straight course, but to the right and left of it rise two isolated hills, inclosed by troughs of horseshoe shape whose outer slopes rise to the general uplands. From the study of the maps at home I had come to the opinion that these troughs represented former meanders of the river, now abandoned in favor of the more direct intermediate course, and an inspection of the district on the ground has confirmed this belief. I presume the fact is well known to students of river habits abroad.* (See Plate XXII.) Nothing can be more satisfactory than the agreement shown between the features of these abandoned meanders and of the *See, for example, H. Grebe, Ueber Thalbildung auf der linken Rheinseite, Jahrb. k. preuss. geol. Landesanst., 1885, 137.