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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

committee to draft and present to the several governments within a year a series of propositions for expediting the adoption of cremation. A third furnace for cremation has been built at Woking, England, but has not been used. The society having charge of it, although it is assured by the Government that the execution of its purposes will not be interfered with by the law, is seeking to obtain an express sanction of them from the Government, with the expectation that a measure recognizing cremations properly performed with an efficient apparatus will impose restrictions against the irregularities of indiscriminate cremations, and against the use of defective apparatus.

 

Glacial Action in the Yellowstone Valley.—Mr. William H. Holmes has furnished the "American Naturalist," from the unpublished report of the Government survey, an account of the glacial phenomena in the Yellowstone Park, which are manifested in a variety of forms, chiefly in erratic rocks scattered everywhere, and in the glaciation of rocks in situ in the narrow gorges. It is not always safe to assume that the presence of a bowlder in a particular spot indicates the former existence of a glacier there, for the rock may have been carried to a considerable distance by a force torrent or by a gradual, creeping movement caused by the undermining of the soil underneath; nevertheless, we have every reason to believe that glaciers formerly existed in the park on a very extensive scale. Glacial moraines are curiously absent from the region; and the tens of thousands of bowlders that dot both sides of the Yellowstone Valley generally lie on the smooth surface of the flood-planes of the river, or on low ridges of alluvial drift. "The significance of this fact may be that the transporting glaciers existed in the earlier stages of the erosion of the valley, and that the morainal ridges have been destroyed by the river, as it oscillated from side to side in the succeeding stages of its descent from the plateau-level to its present bed. These great bowlders would, in such a case, be the more durable masses of the moraines stranded on the various flood-planes for want of waterpower to transport them." In seeking for the source of the granite bowlders, it is observed that they occur to a great extent on the south side of the valley, and at all elevations, while the only bodies of similar rock within the valley are found either on the north side or on the bottom at no considerable elevation above the level of the river. Either, then, the bowlders must have been transported to their present positions before the valley existed, or the ice-streams must have been so deep as to fill the valley to the brim and thus carry and strand them. In the latter case, if the glacier followed the course of the valley, the bowlders must have crossed the whole width of it after the manner of a ferry. "This could really occur only in case there should be such an increase in the masses of ice descending from the highlands to the north as to completely fill the valley, sweep across its course and overspread the broad table-land to the south." This table-land, the park plateau, is wholly volcanic, extends for a hundred miles to the south, and is separated from the base of the granite highlands on the north by the valley of the Yellowstone proper and by the East Fork. A great bowlder more than two thousand cubic feet in size which was noticed near the brink of the cañon, and a mile and a half below the great falls, must have come either from the granite highland north of the valley, in which case it must have crossed the valley of the East Fork and the third cañon, and ascended the river for twenty miles, avoiding Amethyst Mountain and the Washburn I range by a circuitous route, or, less probably, from the Gallatin Mountains, also twenty miles away, when it must have had to cross the valley of the Upper Gardiner River and the spurs of the Washburn Mountain. If it be admitted, as all the evidence seems to indicate, that the ice-rivers bringing down the erratic blocks of granite came from the north, "it becomes at once clear that the erosion of the grand cañon has been accomplished since the close of the glacial period, or at least that a second erosion has taken place if a cañon existed prior to the glacial epoch."

 

Refrigeration and Animal Heat.—Dr. Paul Delmas, of Bordeaux, has published the results of some experiments in refrigerating a healthy person by exposing him, dur-