Nearer the coast, where the melting on the surface is more considerable, the wet snow freezes hard during the winter and is more or less transformed into ice, on the surface of which rivers and lakes are formed, the water of which, however, soon finds its way through crevasses and holes in the ice down to its under surface, and reaches the sea as a sub-glacial river.
Near its margin the surface of the inland ice is broken up by numerous large crevasses, formed by the outward motion of the glacier covering the underlying land.
No sooner is the object of alarm scented or seen than each one seeks safety in the most inaccessible situations, which are often reached by a series of astounding leaps over crevasses, up the faces of seemingly perpendicular rocks, or down the sides of equally precipitous chasms. The chamois will not hesitate, it is said, thus to leap down 20 or even 30 ft., and this it effects with apparent ease by throwing itself forward diagonally and striking its feet several times in its descent against the face of the rock.
When two pieces of flat glass are pressed together under mercury with moderate force they cohere, the mercury leaving the narrow crevasses, even although the alternative is a vacuum.
A peculiar feature of the stream is the uniformity of its volume throughout the year; the great crevasses in the lava bed through which it flows form natural spillways andcheck any tendency of the stream to rise within its banks.