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for structural purposes, under direction of this society, at the Watertown arsenal. The most important action, however, was the passage of a resolution providing for the appointment of a committee of seven, to consider what changes in the organization of this society might be advisable in connection with local engineering societies, and with sections or chapters of this society.
WORK OF THE CHALLENGER EXPEDITION.-I. GENERAL AND PHYSICAL.
Two immense quarto volumes luxuriously printed, and crowded with maps, plates, and woodcuts, form vol. i. of the series of Challenger reports, and the official introduction to that series when it shall be complete. This publication, unlike the monographs of which the series is composed, is the work of many hands, and has been editorially supervised by Staff-commander Tizard, R.N., Prof. H. N. Moseley, Mr. J. Y. Buchanan, and Mr. John Murray.
Owing to the recall of Capt. Nares for duty with the last British arctic expedition, the death of Sir Wyville Thomson, and other unforeseen occurrences, modifications of the original plan became necessary. The result is not altogether satisfactory to the editors, as they explain in the preface. It may be surmised that official red tape had something to do with the retention of a system, or rather want of system, which certainly might have been much improved; though, for that, the gentlemen named would appear not to be responsible. Thus, instead of finding the contributions of the expedition to any one branch of science summarized, or systematically and continuously indicated, the text abruptly changes, without apparent reason, from (let us say) hydrography to narrative, or to some abstract of new organic forms in a particular group, which seldom seems connected in any intimate way with the locality being described or with the subsequent text. Occasionally we get a section of transcendental theorizing on abstruse questions, of a sort which, however proper in its place, seems to us out of place in a volume intended for the general reader. The editors were also hampered by the fact that many of the special reports were incomplete, or not in a state to be briefly summarized. The inconveniences of the construction of the book will be sufficiently obvious to every reader; but, having said this, little more remains in the way of adverse comment.
Report on the scientific results of the voyage of H. M. S. Challenger [etc.]. Narrative. 1 vol. in two parts. London, Government, 1885. 4°.
the work is a mine of wealth for the hydrographer, the biologist, and the geographer, goes without saying. Even the ethnologist will find himself well rewarded for his study of its pages. The illustrations, though of unequal merit, are, for the most part, of a high degree of excellence; and some of the woodcuts, especially of corals, are extremely beautiful. Much of the success in this direction is doubtless due to the efforts of the artist of the expedition, Dr. J. J. Wild. There is a notable absence of the cheap process cuts so conspicuous in most of our own government publications.
It is of course impossible, within the limits of Science, to adequately review a work of twelve hundred quarto pages, which in itself is a summary and a synopsis. We shall endeavor to touch upon a few of its more prominent features, premising that our references must necessarily be mere samples of the harvest gathered in its pages.
The voyage of the Challenger began, for deep-sea work, off the coast of Spain; thence, via the Canaries, across the Atlantic to the West Indies at St. Thomas; northward in a nearly direct line to Halifax, via Bermuda; southward along the coast to a point off the capes of Delaware to Bermuda, and again across the ocean to Madeira; southward again along the African coast nearly to the equator; westward to St. Paul Rocks and Cape Roque; south and south-east to latitude 40° south; eastward to Tristran da Cunha, the Cape of Good Hope, Marion, the Crozets, Kerguelen, and Heard Island; south to the antarctic ice; north-east to Melbourne and New Zealand; northward to
Tongatabu; and westward through the Coral Sea and through the Philippine archipelago, and to Hong Kong. Thence they retraced their way, and, passing north from Papua to Anchorite Island, made a straight wake for Japan; and then eastward across the Pacific to the meridian of 156° west; southward to the Hawaiian Islands, Tahiti, and south latitude 40°; thence eastward to Juan Fernandez and Valparaiso; south, and through Magellan Straits, to the Falklands; and across the Atlantic to the 13th westerly meridian, near which they struck northward to the Cape Verdes, and so home. This course, it will be observed, gave, in the Atlantic, practically four transverse and two axial sections, a complete though rather irregular belt about the southern hemisphere, and an immense rectangle in the Pacific. The opportunities of such a navigation may be better imagined than described; and that they were not neglected, the magnifi
cent work before us, with its companion volumes, is satisfactory testimony.
As is natural, the introductory chapters have something of an historical nature, apart from the narrative of the voyage itself; and the progress of deep-sea research is summarized, though without pretensions to monographic completeness. The remarkable results obtained by Sir John Ross, and his foreshadowing of many modern methods, are deservedly praised; and there is no doubt he was half a century beyond his contemporaries and many of his successors. The vessel, her fittings, and the methods of observation adopted, the instrumental devices provided for the regular work, and those suggested by experience, are described and figured in detail. It is known that the work of the Challenger was done with hempen lines, - the method in common use at the time she went to sea, though wire was adopted shortly afterward. Bearing this in mind, it is easy to note a touch of official conservatism in the statement (p. 71), that "for purposes of deep-sea investigation, however, which includes actual sounding as only one of its items, good hemp sounding-line is still indispensable." The errors inevitable to the use of hemp, in all water not absolutely motionless from top to bottom, are sufficient to decide in favor of its rejection. These errors in the case of the Challenger sounding-work off the coast of the United States, where tested by the U. S. navy, are believed in some instances to reach more than two hundred fathoms, and are always liable to be as great when hemp is used. This is no reflection upon their work, which was unquestionably as good as their outfit permitted; but it forms an irrefragable argument against the use of rope, when a more accurate method is available.
Without attempting to go into detail for particular localities, it is worth while to trace the general physical features of the sea-bed, as developed by the Challenger work, and enlarged and confirmed by other expeditions, as represented by the charts accompanying this volume. These would have been still better, had the localities of supplementary information been indicated; for the hypothetical part, necessarily large, would thus have been much diminished for the casual inspector. It is pretty well determined, however, that the Atlantic is divided by submarine ridges into three different basins. These ridges, and the deeps they separate, are of singular conformation. From the southern part of Africa a ridge extends southwesterly to mid-ocean. From this a ridge extends a short distance westward, and another
nearly due north to the equator. Sheering off from the African coast, with which it nevertheless preserves a curious parallelism, it extends north-westward, throwing off a spur toward French Guiana, which closes the northern rim of the south-western Atlantic basin. The central deep of this basin is supposed to lie about seven hundred miles off the mountainous coast-region of Brazil, from Cape Roque to the Rio Doce. From the last-mentioned portion of the ridge, it extends northward and eastward, widening as it goes, rising above the sea at the Azores, and finally joining the great arctic plateau, nearly in mid-ocean, at about the latitude of Paris. The northwestern basin has its greatest deep north from, but close to, the Windward Islands. Here the coast-survey has since found the deepest water known in the North Atlantic. The eastern basin, of irregular and elongated form, has two deeps, one westward from the Cape Verde Islands, the other north-eastward from St. Helena. There is a smaller depression just south from Cape Palmas.
In the southern ocean the antarctic plateau extends nearly to Africa, in latitude 40° south, and reaches New Zealand and Patagonia by narrow isthmuses. The vast area of the Pacific is less known and less markedly divided. Its greatest deep lies along the Kurile Islands, is very narrow, and is doubtless the deepest depression existing in any ocean. Apart from the Polynesian area, its most conspicuous elevation extends sickle-shaped from the coast of South America in latitude 40° south, to the meridian of 120° west. Otherwise the eastern portion of the Pacific presents an astonishing uniformity.
JAGNAUX'S TRAITÉ DE MINÉRALOGIE.
IT would not seem to be an unreasonable demand, that a volume of nine hundred pages, and bearing the date of 1885, should contain enough fresh and valuable matter to make its study thoroughly profitable to those specially interested in the subject of which it treats; but this will hardly be found to be true with this new Mineralogy of Jagnaux. The reader who expects to find the value of this large volume in proportion to its size will be much disappointed. The task which the author has set for himself- that is, the preparation of a work which shall give scientific descriptions of all important mineral species, and at the same time develop all the applications of
Traité de minéralogie appliquée aux arts, à l'industrie, an commerce et à l'agriculture, etc. Par RAOUL JAGNAUX. Paris, Doin, 1885. 883 p., 468 figs. 89.
mineralogy to the various arts is not an easy one. The two branches of the subject are too distinct to be easily fused together. The methods of crystallography and the process of making bricks are not very closely related. About one-half of the volume is devoted to the preliminary discussion of the general characters of minerals, physical and chemical, and to the description of species. This portion of the work is not only in no sense an original contribution, but it is not even a satisfactorily competent presentation of the present condition of the science. The author is evidently a faithful student of Haüy and Dufrénoy, but hardly seems to be aware of any thing that has been done, even in his own country, in the last twenty-five or thirty years. The chapters on crystallography and the optical characters of minerals, the classification and description of species, are all consistent in being what Dufrénoy would have given us in 1856. Even in minor points, modern innovations have been resisted: silica still appears in all the formulas as SiO3, water as HO; and so on.
The portion of the work which is devoted to the practical side of the subject contains, however, much that is interesting and valuable, if not always original. In the preparation of it the author states that he has visited personally many manufactories and technical works, as well as consulted numerous standard books upon the subject. Some of the topics discussed in greatest detail are the coal industry, the manufacture of glass, of powder, of bricks, of porcelain, the treatment of various ores, and so on. The descriptions here are minute rather than profound, many trivial points receiving more attention than they deserve. The frequent long quotations from other authors, too, give the whole treatment rather a patchwork character. The reader looks in vain in this part of the work, as in the other, for evidence that the author is thoroughly acquainted with the progress that recent years have brought, especially outside of his own country. However, it must be allowed that a large amount of interesting matter has been brought together, particularly in regard to some of the leading
French industries; and for this the book should have all the credit that it deserves. That the author had only a French audience in mind, is shown by the fact that the bibliography at the close of the volume contains (with the exception of two translations) only titles of French works; but while no fault need necessarily be found with this, we can but regret that he has not made more use of such admirable works
as those of Des Cloizeaux and Mallard, which are mentioned in his list.
GEOLOGY OF THE VIRGINIAS.
IN publishing this compilation of Professor Rogers's contributions to the geology of the Virginias, Mrs. Rogers has conferred a substantial benefit upon the science; for Professor Rogers's investigations still remain the most important and the only systematic or comprehensive attempt to elucidate the geology of these great states, which are not excelled in structural complexity, or the interest of the problems which they present, by any district in eastern North America. But his re
ports were printed from forty to fifty years ago; and copies of them are now so extremely rare, that many geologists of the present generation have probably not seen them, and are not aware of the vast amount of careful and enduring work which they represent. Hence this reprint is in many respects as fresh and timely as the original publications, with the great advantage of combining in one convenient volume all of the annual reports and the widely scattered separate papers, and thus forming a handbook of Virginian geology which will be indispensable to the student of the Appalachian system, and constitute a necessary starting-point for all future investigations in the Old Dominion.
The geological survey of Virginia was instituted in 1835, and Professor Rogers's annual reports to the legislature for the first seven years make up the principal part of this volume. These reports were very properly designed for popular instruction, and are models of clearness and simplicity of style, without evident sacrifice of scientific accuracy and detail; while the general absence, in both terminology and theory, of indications that they were written nearly half a century ago, is a matter of constant surprise.
The difficulties attending geological explorations in Virginia were much greater at that time than now; but Professor Rogers's energy and industry had brought the survey of the largest area ever at that time subjected to systematic geological examination within one year of completion, according to his original plan, when it was abruptly terminated by the failure of the legislature to continue the appropriation. No provision was made for the final report, which was to embody in a digest
A reprint of geological reports and other papers on the geology of the Virginias. By the late WILLIAM B. ROGERS, LL.D., etc. New York, Appleton, 1884.
ed form every important result attained in the progress of the survey, including the illustrative maps and sections. It is more pleasant than properly characterizing this short-sighted policy of the state, to call attention at this late day to the fact that this reprint of the annual reports is accompanied by a very satisfactory geological map of the Virginias, colored by Professor Rogers; by a generalized section from Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River; and by ninety-six more local and detailed sections, traversing nearly every part of the two states, but especially the great valley and the neighboring mountain ranges. The sections are colored, and are exact reproductions of the originals drawn by the author. They are indicated on the map by lines numbered to correspond with the plates.
The arrangement of the book is chronological; and the annual reports are followed by several papers, published between 1840 and 1842, on the thermal springs of Virginia, illustrated by a plate of sections.
The often quoted paper on the physical structure of the Appalachian chain, by Profs. William B. and Henry D. Rogers, with three plates, dates from the same period, and must be regarded not only as an admirable summary of the characteristics of the Appalachian system, but also as an important chapter in the history of geological theories. This is followed by the evidence supporting Professor Rogers's view that the coal-bearing rocks of eastern Virginia are Jurassic, with a plate of coal-plants; and a discussion of the divisions of the tertiary, with five plates of eocene and miocene shells.
The volume concludes with an account of the infusorial deposit of Virginia, as exposed in the Fort Monroe artesian well, five hundred and fifty-eight feet below the surface. This was published in 1882, and, in the language of the editor, has a special interest, not only as the last published investigation made by Professor Rogers, but as being in the same field in which he began his labors half a century before.
The volume is provided with a good general index, and a full index of persons and places; and it is so conveniently compact, that the magnitude of the work is not realized until one attempts to read it.
NOTES AND NEWS.
THE statue in marble erected to the memory of Charles Darwin, executed by Mr. Boehm for the subscribers to the Darwin memorial, has been placed in
the great hall of the new building at South Kensington containing the natural-history collections of the British museum. It is conspicuously placed at the head of the first flight of the great staircase, "as though," says the Times, "to welcome all coming generations of students as they enter the door of the building in which so many of the materials of their work are gathered together. So far as was possible, Mr. Boehm has rendered the very features and character of his subject; and all Mr. Darwin's friends agree, that a likeness more characteristic, whether in face or attitude, could hardly have been produced, even by a sculptor who had been intimately acquainted with him in his lifetime. The head is full of dignity: the great brow, the flowing beard, the expression, full at once of intense thought and of human feeling, have been caught and fixed in the marble." We have given elsewhere the address of Professor Huxley on the occasion.
We learn from Nature, that on the receipt of communications concerning the proposed change in the time for beginning the astronomical day, as recommended by the recent International meridian conference at Washington, the lords of the committee of council on education requested the following committee to advise them as to what steps should be taken in the matter: Prof. J. C. Adams, the astronomer royal; Capt. Sir F. Evans, the hydrographer of the navy; Gen. Strachey; Dr. Hind; and Col. Donnelly. In accordance with their recommendations, copies of the report of the delegates to the conference at Washington, together with the resolutions adopted by that body, have been sent to various departments of the state, and to the following societies, etc. Society of telegraphic engineers, Royal astronomical society, Royal society, Submarine telegraph company, Eastern telegraph company, Eastern and South-African telegraph company, Eastern extension, Australasia and China telegraph company, and the Railway clearing-house. They have been informed that these resolutions of the conference appear to my lords of the committee of council to be such as commend themselves for adoption; but, before informing the American government to that effect, their lordships would be glad to receive the opinion of the various societies on the subject.
-The last annual report of the Russian geographical society contains extracts from letters addressed by Prjevalski to the Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovitch, which contains some further interesting details about his Hoang-ho journey. About the end of May he reached, as known, the foot of the Burkhan-budda Mountains, which enclose the high Thibet plateau separating it from Tsaidam.
Leaving there his baggage, he went with only thirteen men to the sources of the Yellow River. The climbing on the 15,700-feet-high passage of the Burkhan-budda ridge took three days. The descent, on the contrary, was very short, the plateau of Thibet being there 14,000 to 15,000 feet high. Further, 60 miles across the desert plateau brought the traveller to the sources of the Yellow River. They are 13,600 feet above the sea-level, and consist of two rivers coming from the south and west, and rising in the hills scattered on the plateau. A wide marshy valley, Odon-tala, 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, feeds numerous springs. The Hoang-ho itself is only a rivulet, dividing into two or three branches, each of them but 80 to 100 feet wide, and only 2 feet deep at low water. Some 13 miles below this place the Hoang-ho enters a broad lake, coloring its southern part with its muddy water; and, after leaving it on the east, it enters again another lake, whence it flows out as a large river; farther down it makes a great curve to avoid the snow-covered Amis-matchin range, and breaks through, in a wild course, the parallel ridges of the Xuen-lun. On the Thibet plateau the expedition experienced dreadful cold. In the second half of May, snow-storms were as strong as in winter, and the night frosts reached -23° C. Still the thin grass covering did not perish, and a few flowers re-appeared every day under the sun's rays. Even in June and July the thermometer fell, during bright nights, as low as -5°. As to rain, it poured every day, sometimes several days without interruption. The amount of vapor brought by the southwest monsoon, and deposited there, is so great, that during the summer northern Thibet becomes an immense marsh; needless to say, that the advance was difficult for camels. Though uninhabited by man, these deserts were full of herds of yakes, khoulans, antelopes, and mountain sheep. Even bears were seen in groups, sometimes of more than ten at once. Some thirty pairs were shot down. They are altogether very cowardly, and fly even when wounded. After having spent a few days at the source of the Hoang-ho, Prjevalski went south to the Blue River, called there Dy-tchou by the Tangoutes.
- Dr. Stephen Bowers, who is well known to archeologists from his extensive collecting in California, has recently described in the Ventura Free press an interesting discovery made by him in a dry cave in the San Martin Mountains, Los Angeles county. The cave was about twelve feet by sixteen. In it were nine baskets from six to twenty inches in diameter, made from tule, one of which contained fourteen pieces of red wood about a foot ong, notched, and painted with red and blue in streaks. Some of these sticks had as many as one hundred notches, and each stick was perforated at the ends. Another basket contained thirty-three head-dresses from four to five feet in length, made of feathers; another, forty-five whistles made from the tibiae of deer, the 'stop' being formed by inserting a mass of asphaltum, and the larger end of the bone covered with asphaltum in which is embedded a piece of haliotis shell. The most important objects found were four perforated
stones mounted on handles of the hard wood of the bearberry, held fast in the holes by asphaltum. The discovery of these perforated stones, with short handles attached, is an important confirmation of F. W. Putnam's conclusions in relation to the probable use of the majority of similar stones, of which hundreds have been found in graves in southern California. The cave gave no evidence of having been used for any other purpose than as the place of deposit of these articles. Considerable basket-work was discovered in the débris, as also a haliotis shell-cup, a shell ornament, an implement made of deer's antler, and a smoothing-implement made of serpentine. No determination could be arrived at as to the length of time the articles had been in the cave; but, as it was perfectly dry, they may have been there for centuries.
Nature gives the results of some recent experiments by Fol et Sarasin on the depth to which the light of the sun will penetrate into the sea. It will be remembered that in November last they recounted the results of their experiments on the same subject in the Lake of Geneva. The present paper describes similar experiments made in the Mediterranean off the zoological station and harbor of Villefranche. By means of photographic plates they have proved, that in the month of March, in the middle of a sunny day, the rays of the sun do not penetrate beyond four hundred metres below the surface of the Mediterranean. This is established by seven separate experiments, at varying depths, and different hours of the morning. At 380 metres, shortly before 11 A.M., the impression on the plate was less than that which would have been left on exposure to the air on a clear night without a moon. Between 1.20 and 1.30 P.M., at a depth of from 405 to 420 metres, there was no trace of any impression whatever on the plate. Light clouds do not appear to cause any notable diminution in the depth to which the light penetrates. In the Lake of Geneva the writers also undertook a new series of investigations to determine the effect of the season on the penetration of light. They give 200 metres as the extreme limit for winter in the lake; but they found that there is as much light at 380 metres in the Mediterranean as at 192 metres in the Lake of Geneva; and, by a comparison of these with previous experiments, it appears, the light penetrates from twenty to thirty metres deeper in March than in September in the month of August, perhaps the difference is a little more. Compared with the series of plates exposed in the lake, those of the Mediterranean are characterized by a slower and more regular gradation. This gives rise to the idea, that while in the lake the light would be promptly intercepted by the deeper layers more or less disturbed or muddy, in the Mediterranean the absorption proper to pure water would be the principal, if not the sole, factor in arresting the luminous rays.
- One of the questions for discussion at the Sanitary congress at Rome was the measures to be adopted in regard to vessels from the east when they arrive in Mediterranean ports. Dr. Proust, the French