The Glaciers of the Alps

The Glaciers of the Alps : Being a Narrative of Excursions and Ascents, an Account of the Origin and Phenomena of Glaciers and an Exposition of the Physical Principles to Which They Are Related

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John Tyndall (1820-93) was an influential Irish geologist who became fascinated by mountaineering after a scientific expedition to Switzerland in 1856. He joined the Alpine Club in 1858 and achieved the summit of the Matterhorn in 1868 - a feat which led to a peak on the Italian side of the massif being named after him. He also climbed Mont Blanc three times. A writer of scientific texts who was widely praised for the quality of his prose, Tyndall made clear that in this work, published in 1860, he had 'not attempted to mix Narrative and Science'. He divides his account into two parts: his Alpine adventures and observations, and the scientific explanations about the origins and structural aspects of glaciers. Both sections include explanatory illustrations. This book, a classic text of Alpine exploration, offers a unique account of Tyndall's mountaineering expeditions and the science that inspired them.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 62 b/w illus. 5 colour illus.
  • 1139097040
  • 9781139097048

Table of contents

Preface; Part I: 1. Introductory; 2. Expedition of 1856: the Oberland; 3. The Tyrol; 4. Expedition of 1857: the Lake of Geneva; 5. Chamouni and the Montanvert; 6. The Mer de Glace; 7. Measurements commenced; 8. Alone upon the glacier; 9. The Jardin; 10. Lightning and rain; 11. First ascent of Mont Blanc, 1857; 12. Life at the Montanvert; 13. Expedition of 1858; 14. Passage of the Strahleck; 15. Ancient glaciers in the valley of Hasli; 16. Ascent of the Finsteraarhorn; 17. Subsequent days at the Aeggischhorn; 18. First ascent of Monte Rosa; 19. The Rothe Kumm; 20. The Goerner Grat and the Riffelhorn; 21. Fog on the Riffelberg; 22. Second ascent of Monte Rosa, 1858; 23. The Furgge glacier; 24. Need of observations on Alpine temperature; 25. Second ascent of Mont Blanc, 1858; 26. Hostility of chief guide; 27. Winter expedition to the Mer de Glace, 1859; Part II: 1. Light and heat; 2. Radiant heat; 3. Qualities of heat; 4. Origin of glaciers; 5. Whiteness of snow; 6. Colour of water and ice; 7. Colours of the sky; 8. The moraines; 9. Glacier motion; 10. Motion of the Mer de Glace; 11. Ice wall at the Tacui; 12. Winter motion of the Mer de Glace; 13. Cause of glacier motion - De Saussure's theory; 14. Rendu's theory; 15. Anticipations of Rendu confirmed by Agassiz and Forbes; 16. Forbes's theory; 17. The crevasses; 18. Further considerations on viscosity; 19. Heat and work; 20. Papers presented to the Royal Society by Professor Forbes in 1846; 21. Thomson's theory; 22. Pressure theory; 23. Regelation; 24. Crystallization and internal liquefaction; 25. The moulins; 26. Dirt-bands of the Mer de Glace; 27. Veined structure of glaciers; 28. The veined structure and differential motion; 29. The ripple theory of the veined structure; 30. The veined structure and pressure; 31. The veined structure and the liquefaction of ice by pressure; 32. White ice-seams of the Glacier Du Geant; 33. Glacier Du Geant in a state of longitudinal compression; Summary; Appendix; Index.
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