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aid ol «»!»fly trained and qualified assistants, who, either from a desire to see the geology of countries they could not otherwise hope to he able to visit, or from other causes, will venture to face the difficulties, hardships, and perils of a geologist's life in this country. Such a description may appear to some highly coloured, and that geologists have no more reason than others to be anxious on the score of health. I have, however, often had occasion to point out some of the causes of this—that geologists are compelled not only to visit for an hour or two, but often to remain camped for days in the very wildest, most inaccessible, and most inhospitable parts of the country. These are precisely the places most likely to afford them sections, and thus to give a clue to the structure of the district; but they are also the most dangerous. The serious losses which the survey has experienced since its commencement amply prove the truth of this. But perhaps the most convincing proof, that we are not alone in this view, will be to quote the deliberate opinion of Assurance Offices, who have had the whole facts carefully enquired into by their medical officers, and who acknowledging that there is no objection on any other, ground to accept insurances on the lives of officers of the survey offered to them, yet decline to do so, stating that "no premium whatever would cover the risk."
And, further, when new assistants have been obtained, a considerable time elapses before they acquire a knowledge of the languages of the country and an acquaintance with the peculiar arrangements necessary for tent-life and marching in this country, so that they must necessarily be for some time placed along with others, and cannot work independently.
Mr. H. B. Medlicott, Deputy Superintendent, devoted the early part of last year to the careful and detailed examination of the country near Mopani, the site of the Narbadds Coal and Iron Company's collieries. When this area was originally visited and mapped out (in 1856-57) there were no maps whatever on which to record the observations of the survey. A general compass-sketch was very successfully carried out by Mr. J. G. Medlicott, then engaged there, and on this, on the scale of four miles equal one inch, the structure of the country geologically was represented and published (Mem., Geol. Surv., India, Vol. II). No one could be more fully aware of the imperfections of this sketch than those who constructed it; and we, therefore, looked forward anxiously to the completion of the detailed and careful maps of the regular survey. The operations of the revenue survey under Colonel J. E. Gastrell had been extended to that part of the country, and at the close of 1869 we were enabled, by his kindness, to obtain maps of part of the district, even in anticipation of their publication. These were just sufficient to enable us to take up the reexamination of the field, which the progress of railway communication, the opening out of the line in theNarbadda valley, and the general increase in the demand for fuel, rendered so immediately important. This re-examination Mr. Medlicott personally commenced, and the results, so far as the Mopani field is concerned, have already been published (Records, GeoL Surv of India, Vol. Ill, August 1870). It is intended to carry on the careful examination of all the country which affords the least prospect of yielding coal or ot^ier valuable minerals in that neighbourhood as the detailed topographical maps become available.
At the commencement of the present working season, Mr. Medlicott took up the re?ision of the geological maps of the Jhansi, Lullutpur, and Saugor districts, prepared by Mr. Willson and others, with a view to their publication. Completing this, Mr. Medlicott will return to the Narbadda valley.
Mr. W. L. Willson has been engaged during the whole of the year, and still is engaged in completing the examination of the country just referred to, and extending northwards to the Jumna, by Calpi.
Mr. Hacket has beeu examining the Jabalpur country, with the advantage of the recently completed detailed maps to record his observations, and I hope the present season will see this district completed.
Mr. Ball, as stated in last year's report, was deputed to revise the maps of the Rajmahal hills, which are now ready for publication, so scon as the copper plates of the sheets of the Indian Atlas can be obtained from England and the maps transferred to stone for the geological lines. In the present season Mr. Ball has proceeded to the south of the Chota Nagptir country and Sirgujah, with a view to determine, at least approximately, the boundaries of the extensive spread of coal-bearing rocks which there occur. For a large portion of this country maps are now for the first season available. But there are still important gaps, for the plans of which we shall have to wait for some time. Still it is hoped that we will be able to fix the boundaries with, at least, approximate accuracy over a very considerable area. Progress in these districts is unavoidably slower than elsewhere. Much of the country is without a road at all, and much of it is accessible only with elephants.
In the early portion of the year, Mr. Ormsby had completed the revision of a large portion of the Bhaugulpore country. But his illness, and lamented death, prevented the final completion of the maps of that area.
Mr. Mallet, who rejoined the survey towards the end of the year, has resumed the area on which he was last engaged, viz., the southern parts of Mirzapur and the adjoining parts of Rewah, Ac, in the same valley. These are said to be rich in mineral wealth; and we are now for the first time able to take advantage of the recently completed maps of Rewah, Sue., and to use them as records for the geological observations. Mr. -Mallet had, on his return from Europe, been ordered to stop at Aden, and examine Aden and the country lying to the north of it between the peninsula and the hills with a special view to determine whether the principle of Artesian wells could be applied there with any prospect of success, in order to increase the supply of good water to the cantonments. Mr. Mallet's report on the geological structure of this country will shortly appear in the Memoirs of the Survey.
In Madras, by the absence of Mr. King and the death of Mr. Oldham, the party of the surrey was reduced to only one, Mr. Foote. He completed the geological mapping of a considerable area of country, stretching along the valle}' of the Upper Kistna and adjoining area. Here the chief object has at present been to determine, on the one side, the outline of the great Deccan trap rocks, which have overflowed all the earlier formations, and cover them with a thick and nearly continuous spread of old volcanic lavas and muds, and, on the other hand, to fix also the general boundary of the immense area of fundamental gneissic rocks which constitute the basement roeks of everything else. Between these two, various other series crop out irregularly, and it is important to determine what these may be. This is the position which the coal-bearing rocks of India, among others, occupy, and there seem no sufficient reasons, a priori, why detached portions of these should not occur along the boundary in its south-western corner, as well as on the north-eastern. Hitherto no trace of them has been found, but, of course, we can only speak with any certainty regarding that portion which has Wen examined. Mr. King, who has recently returned from leave, has now rejoined the .Madras party, and has taken up the continuation of the same boundary lines to the north by east, and will, I trust, during the present season, be able to carry his geological examination at least as far as Koolburga, while Mr. Foote will more especially extend his enquiries by the south and west to the Belgaum area, so as to join his lines with those already mapped some years since W Mr. Wilkinson in the Kokan and southwards to Goa.
At the commencement of the year, Mr. W. T. B Ian ford was actively engaged in the detailed 'lamination of the Berars and of Chanda district, and had nearly completed the portions of the Berars lying north of the Pern or Pein river. He was then specially diverted from this to visit and obtain a general idea of the extent and value of the coal-fields which had been for more than thirty years known to exist in Bilaspur, near Korba, Sec. Xo topographical maps of this country, excepting in small detached areas, had been published up to date, and a detailed examination wan, therefore, impracticable. I believe it was the late Colonel Ouseley
who first announced the existence of coal near this place, (as 'discovered March 14th, 1840,") and the fact had been noticed in all maps issued subsequently. The place had also been visited by several Forest Department Officers and others, and it was well known that coal was visible in detached localities extending over a considerable area. And although not having survey maps to work with, the Geological Department could not, in obedience to the instructions they had received, take up the examination in detail, it was highly desirable to obtain a general idea, with some accuracy, of the extent and probable richness of these coal-fields. The vast importance of these fields, whenever a direct lino of railway to connect Bombay and Calcutta might be brought into operation, had more than once been insisted on by myself and been most strongly urged. Mr. Blanford, therefore, proceeded there, and the results of his general examination have already been published. It is needless to enter here on the details, which will be found in the May number of the Records of Geological Survey of India, 1870. It will suffice to say that Mr. Blanford satisfied himself of the existence of very thick and extensive beds of coal, yielding fuel of fair quality in abundance, and covering a large area. He also traced out the continuance of the same rocks with coal far to the eastward, and in the country lying between Korba and Ranchi, in Oodeypore (Udipur), Jushpur, &c.
Mr. Blanford was also requested to take advantage of his being in that vicinity to examine the lead vein, reported, by Mr. Smart of the Revenue Survey, as occurring at Chicholi near Raipur. This would appear to hold out promise of being valuable. At least there is nothing in the appearances inconsistent with the occurrence of a good vein of lead and copper ore below the surface. But as the place has not been opened out, and no works have as yet been undertaken on the lode, it is impossible to determine accurately its value from surface examination (Records, Geol. Surv., India, 1870, pt. 2, p. 44). Tbe yield of silver in the lead ore proved equal to 9 oz. 19 dwts. to tbe ton of lead. All this country is, however, at present so difficult of access and so entirely without the means of free inter-communication with adjoining districts that no extensive works for the economizing of these valuable mineral products could be undertaken with any prospect of success. There is an immense area here of country very rich both agriculturally and mineralogically which must remain unimproved until its communications be extended, and it be brought into contact with the ports of shipment and the more populous territories lying both east and west of it.
Mr. Hughes was, during the whole of the early part of the year, engaged in the careful examination of the coal-bearing rocks of East Berar and Chanda. and is still carrying out the same. After I had myself left these fields at the beginning of March. I entrusted the sole determination of the proper localities for boring operations in the Berars to Mr. Hughes, and with the aid of Mr. Bateman Smythe, who had the actual work under his control, most successful progress was made in tracing out the continuous extension of the thick bedR of coal up close to the northern extremity of the East Berar district. The monsoon having put a stop to these borings for a time, as there was nowhere in the district where good shelter could be procured, the tools, &c, were all removed to Yeotmahal, all repaired and rendered useful again. And on the opening of the season, Mr. Smythe at once commenced other borings, and found the coal at or near the village of Pepra or Pipar in the north-west of the field, and subsequently near to the river Wurdha, close by the village of Suini, or Sewnee, which lies west by north of the town of Wurrora, about seven miles. This is the most northerly point at which the coal has been as yet proved in these fields. It is in a right line not more than 35 or 36 miles from the station of Wurdha, on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. Under Mr. Hughes' direction, Mr. Smythe, having thus carried up the coal to the extreme north limit of the Berars at this part of the boundary, has since commenced testing the extension of the coal more to the west, and with a view to prove whether it continues under the overlying trap rocks, has commenced boring to the west and north of the former sinkings.
The continuance in almost unbroken extension and in thick beds, at no point more than fO yards from the surface, of coal, easily accessible, and abundant throughout almost the entire length of the Wun district in East Berar along the valley of the Wurdha, has been thoroughly established by the Geological Survey in a portion of one season's work. Not a single boring has failed under Mr. Smythe's charge, or Mr. Heppel's, while so engaged. And sufficient is now known to justify the actual commencement of sinkings and establishment of collieries with a certainty that they can be conveniently placed for working. Mr. Hughes has shown much judgment and skill in fixing the localities for these borings since I left, and has been Tery successful in working out the geology of the district.
Mr. Fedden, during the same time, was mapping in the area covered by the trap rocks to the north, north-west, and west of the coal-field, so as to fix accurately their boundaries in the vicinity of the coal-measures. There is a very large area to the north which has not been yet visited. And this work is being continued in the present season.
More recently the recurrence of the coal-bearing rocks to the north of the area covered bv the outlying portion of these great trappean flows near to Wurrora has been pointed out by Mr. Fedden and at once communicated to the Central Provinces Government, so that trial borings may be carried out in that locality. It is near Khandalla, a village about 5| miles nearly due north of Wurrora. This area had escaped the notice of the party who have been boring all the season close to Wurrora town.
In the number of these Records for May 1870, I gave a brief sketch of the knowledge which had then been obtained of the structure of the coal-fields in that part of the country. Since then there has only been little more than a month's work, so that there has not been much addition to this knowledge. At the close of last April also, I am happy to say the charge of the actual trials and borings within the area of the Chanda district was transferred to the Government of the Central Provinces, and for any explorations made in that area since then the Geological Survey is not responsible. Before leaving the field for the monsoon recess, Mr. Hughes pointed out a proper locality for boring near the town of Warrant, south of the trap rocks already spoken of, and coal has been found near there. I had also stated in the report alluded to, (Records, Geological Survey, India, 1870, No. II, p. 43,) that a boring would probably be required in the vicinity of that town. I am informed that some fourteen or sixteen borings have been undertaken there, and that coal has been proved in three or four. It proves to be, exactly as was anticipated, irregular and less abundant than in the adjoining territories.
As there would seem to have been some misapprehension as to our views, arising from a hasty reading of the expressions in the report referred to, it may be well here to refer again to the statements made. In calculating the area under which coal could fairly be estimated to extend, the portion of the district covered by the thick flows of the trappean or volcanic rocks was rejected from any present consideration, because it was said, "this "thickness of trappean rocks effectually conceals everything beneath them, and, looking to "the great irregularity with which the coal rocks arc overlapped, and the impossibility of draw"ing any sound conclusion either as to the place or depth below the surface at which coal might "be found, fully justifies our putting the entire of this area out of calculation in estimating "the extent or quantity of the coal in these Wurdha-rivcr fields. A boring will be put down "to the north of this large area of trappean rocks, where the lower beds are again visible "over a small area near Panjoorni, a village about six miles north-west of Wurrora, and pro"bably near Wurrora itself," (that is, to the south of the same area). "But with this exception, "there will be little use in testing the rocks further on that part of the field at present. It "is not at all intended to assert that the coal group does not extend under a considerable "part of this area, but if it does so extend, the chances of finding it are so uncertain, and 'the depth at which it probably occurs so doubtful, and in any case so much greater than in
■' adjoining areas, that for the present at least the coal, even if found, could not be worked "to the same advantage or economy as elsewhere." Nothing can be clearer than that it was anticipated that coal would be found near Wurrora to the south of this area of trappean rocks, and again possibly near Panjoorni to the north of the same area.
It is the more necessary to point these facts out, because geological maps of this part of the country have been published since then in public documents which entirely misrepresent the true state of the case, but for which the Geological Survey Department is in no wav responsible. This area of trappean rocks, which is most obviously an outlying or separated portion of the immense extent of overflowing volcanic rocks, which cover some thousands nf square miles of the Deccan, and close to the general boundary of which this area lies, is stated to be of " trap rocks coming up through the sandstone" in one case* and is represented as a "trap dyke" in another.f Any geologist will at once see the vastly important difference in the two views here alluded to. In the one there is not only a chance, but almost a certainty, that the coal will be found under a part at least of the area covered at the surface by these rocks, (though we still think this may better be put out of any calculation for the present,'. while, in the other, everything would be cut off, and there would be no prospects of proving the extension of the coal-bearing rocks at all. The same maps, which are issued in a wav that might lead to the supposition that they had been furnished by the Geological Survey of India, represent the structure of the country very erroneously more to the south. I am not aware of anything to justify the extension of the Talehir rocks in a broad belt across the entire field up to the crystalline boundary on the east, and I believe there is no foundation for this representation. Certainly no such idea is held by the Geological Department, which is in the same paper stated to have been working out the structure of the field, and which might, therefore, be supposed to hold the views represented on these maps.
It had been my intention to prove the detached areas of sandstones near to Nagpiir during the past season. This could have been done without interfering with the real progress of other enquiries. I am not aware that anything has been done in this direction.
In the report referred to on the 'Wurdha river coal-fields,' I pointed out that so far as information had been obtained up to that date, there appeared to be no question that any line of railway to these fields, if laid out with the object of commanding the widest area and largest amount of traffic for a given outlay, ought certainly to be carried into the Berar country. And there has been nothing since discovered tending in any way to modify this opinion. There is coal, and enough to supply the demand, in the Chanda district But it is neither so conveniently placed, nor so continuous, nor so economically workable, as in the Berar district. While the latter has the very great collateral advantage of opening out one of the richest cotton districts in India, whereas there is little or no cotton, comparatively, in Chanda, and the nature of the soil precludes any hope of much extension of its cultivation. It would certainly appear an almost necessary consequence of the geological structure of the country, that any line, intended to accommodate the largest amount of traffic in these two staples—coal and cotton—must be carried on the right bank of the Wurdha river, at least south of the junction of the river Wunna. Any tonnage of coal likely to he required from these fields would be common to either line, while the very large cotton trade of the rich districts of Berar, Edlabad, and all to the south, can only be accommodated to any useful extent by a line passing into, or through, East Berar.
In connection with the examination of these important fields, it is only a matter of justice to the officers of the Geological Survey to point out that, at the first, it was estimated that four years would be required to explore fairly and to determine properly the value of
* Report of Administraticm of Central Province*, 1869-70, p. 70, Map. The workings of the Geological Survey Department have never been, as here stated, nnder the direction of Mr. M. Fryar. t Mining Journal, Tx>ndon, October 8,1870.