Mount Lebanon -- By: T. Laurie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 026:104 (Oct 1869)
Article: Mount Lebanon
Author: T. Laurie


Mount Lebanon

Rev. T. Laurie

(Continued from page 471).

The Geology Of Lebanon

This has never been thoroughly explored. Dr. Henry J. Anderson, who was with Lieut. Lynch in his expedition to the Dead Sea, is the only writer on this subject, and his examination of the mountain was only partial. He commences his “Geological reconnoisance of part of the Holy Land” as follows:

“To the geologist Syria appears as a much disturbed, mountainous mass of secondary and later limestones with basaltic and tertiary interruptions. The calcareous deposits form the basis and body of the work. The Plutonic rocks are subsequent intrusions. Still later embankments of looser texture have lodged themselves irregularly in the cavities of

the re-excavated surface, and these again have been swept away by denuding processes of the order of our time.” 1

On the same page he says: “There must have been a time when the summits of Libanus and Hermon, with all the vast calcarean block from which they have been cut, lay at least ten thousand feet below their present level, under the waters of the Great Jurassic ocean…..Since the epoch of the early Jurassic limestone the orographical relief of the whole land has been repeatedly obliterated and reformed…..

Long before the deposit of the chalk the land has been excavated or broken up by the prevailing agencies of the time into hills and valleys of the same order of dimensions as those which give its surface its present configuration. In this respect, as well as in the palaeontological character of its formations, the resemblance between the Syrian and the neo-Alpine geology is continually noticeable…..The mountains may now be a few feet higher or lower than they were; the valleys and ravines may be engraved a little deeper, or cut back a little farther; the rivers may have gained or lost a few inches of mean depth; but the main landmarks and the great lines of Aram and Canaan are still there, and the last deposit of the chalk, so immeasurably old at the birth of its successor, seems scarcely older now for all the centuries that have elapsed.”2

“The mass of the main Libanus is a limestone much older than the calcareous accumulations upon its flanks; and these must have preceded by a very long interval the sandstones which occupy the lateral excavations, and are seldom found interstratified with the contiguous rocks. A careful examination of the strikes of the sub-Libanine chalk makes it almost impossible to admit the usual hypothesis of an elevatory mov...

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