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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/331

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A STUDY IN LOCOMOTION.

being required to remove a foot of surface—that solidification by cooling must keep pace with it; 2. Volcanoes are generally not situated in areas of erosion, but along coast-lines and on islands; and, 3. They are conspicuously associated with lines of fracture and elevation.

A simple explanation of the phenomena of vulcanism is suggested by the writer, and that is—the relief of pressure by slight arching of the crust of the earth along lines of elevation, while the pressure is maximum under the unbroken areas on either side. This unequal pressure would cause a flow of liquid or viscous matter toward and upward under the mountains that mark the lines of arch and fracture, and would permit heated matter held in solidity by pressure to assume the fluid state.

Mallett's theory, that the arching of plates of the earth's crust, and the arrest of their motion in falling, would generate heat sufficient to liquefy masses of rock, and produce volcanic eruptions, is rejected, for the reasons that the strain on arches of sufficient magnitude would be too great for the resistance of the materials composing them, and as Mr. Fisher argues, the heat generated by this method, even if great enough, would not be localized.

Mallett's theory wag framed to account for vulcanism in the crust of the earth, on the supposition that the crust was very thick, as claimed by Hopkins, Thompson, and Darwin, but Henessey and Delaunay have clearly shown that the investigations supposed to demonstrate the great thickness of the crust are valueless and irrelevant, as the premises assumed are not those of nature, and that we have as yet no evidence of such thickness of crust as would make it impossible for volcanoes to be fed from a general molten mass below the earth's solid crust.

In conclusion, we take pleasure in commending the numerous maps and plates which embellish these elegant volumes. No other scientific work known to us has so many, nor any more artistic or better adapted to supplement and illustrate the text.

 

A STUDY IN LOCOMOTION[1]
By Professor E. J. MAREY.

IF the interest of a scientific expositor ought to be measured by the importance of the subject, I shall be applauded for my choice. In fact, there are few questions which touch more closely the very existence of man than that of animated motors—those docile helps whose power or speed he uses at his pleasure, which enjoy to some extent his

  1. "Animated Motors: Experiments in Graphical Physiology." A lecture delivered at the Paris meeting of the French Association, August 29, 1878.