22. At the commencement of the transition period the solid granite crust had thickened only a little, and offered but a feeble resistance to the effervescence of the burning substance which it covered and repressed. Numerous rents were made, by means of which the interior land was thrown out. The soil presented considerable inequalities of surface.
Waters not very deep covered nearly all the surface of the globe, with the exception of elevated lands formed of rocks frequently submerged at their base.
The air gradually became purged from the heavier gaseous substances, which, while condensing by the cooling process, were precipitated to the surface of the ground, then drawn into and dissolved by the waters.
At this epoch it is necessary to understand “cooling process” in a relative sense; that is to say, in connection with the primitive state; for the temperature must have still been burning.
The thick aqueous vapor which was raised on all sides from the immense liquid surface fell in abundant and warm rains, obscuring the air. Soon, however, the rays of the sun began to shine through this foggy atmosphere.
One of the last substances of which the air has been purged, because it is naturally in a gaseous state, is carbonic-acid gas, which then formed one of its constituent parts.