There are medicinal springs in the town, and deposits of liquid bitumen in the neighbouring hills.
ELATERITE, also termed Elastic Bitumen and Mineral Caoutchouc, a mineral hydrocarbon, which occurs at Castleton in Derbyshire, in the lead mines of Odin and elsewhere.
It is the vacOa of Dioscorides, and the naphtha, or bitumen liquidum candidum of Pliny.
The rate of flow is largely dependent upon the proportion of bitumen it contains, and is of course retarded by mixing it with sand and stone to form what is commonly called asphalt concrete.
That nothing analogous to bitumen exists in coals is proved by the fact that the ordinary solvents for bituminous substances, such as bisulphide of carbon and benzol, have no effect upon them, as would be the case if they contained bitumen soluble in these re-agents.
The bitumen which floats to shore is also collected.
Near Hasbeya are bitumen pits let by the government; and to the north, at the source of the Hasbani, the ground is volcanic. Some travellers have attempted to identify Hasbeya with the biblical Baal-Gad or Baal-Hermon.
It is, however, now more generally believed that it exists in the breccia of some of the valleys on the west side of the lake, which is washed into the sea and submerged, till the small stones by which it is sunk are loosened and fall out, when the bitumen rises to the surface.
The origin of this bitumen is disputed: it was supposed to be derived from subaqueous strata of bituminous marl and rose to the surface when loosened by earthquakes.
But given time, all such compounds, if they contain enough bitumen to render them water-tight, appear to settle down even at ordinary temperatures as heavy viscous fluids, retaining their fluidity permanently if not exposed to the air.