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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/300

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

latitude south, 30° 28'; longitude west, 176° 39', 5,155 fathoms (30,930 feet). The usual abysmal red clay was brought up by the sounding tube on the two latter occasions. Mr. V. Thorpe, surgeon of the Penguin, reports a microscopic examination of the specimen from 5,147 fathoms, which shows that the remains of siliceous organisms are almost if not entirely absent. The mineral particles are in a minute state of disintegration, and consist of exceedingly fine flocculent matter, mixed with pumice and other glassy volcanic products, green crystals of augite, and reddish crystals of pelagonite. The deepest trustworthy sounding previously made was 4,655 fathoms, obtained by U. S. S. Tuscarora near Japan in 1874.

 

Scientific Acquisitions from the Peary Expedition.—While adverse circumstances made it impossible for Lieutenant Peary to carry out, in full, his plans with reference to the northwest coast of Greenland, he, nevertheless, as Mr. Rollin D. Salisbury has shown in Science, accomplished much during his arctic residence. He twice crossed the ice cap from Inglefield Gulf to Independence Bay, and gathered information of singular value concerning the inland ice and the ice-free territory beyond. He mapped a considerable stretch of the coast from Cape Alexander to Cape York, or from latitude 78° 10' to 75° 55', covering eight degrees of longitude, and with indentations, prominences, and islands one thousand miles in length. This map includes so many features not given in the other maps that it is hard, at first sight, to recognize the identity of the regions. Eleven before unknown islands were accurately located, and the position, shape, and size of those heretofore represented were corrected. Possibly a hundred glaciers were located with approximate accuracy within a region where only ten were represented—not always correctly—on the published chart. Astrup's map of Melville Bay was prepared while its author was a member of Lieutenant Peary's company. A series of accurate and elaborate meteorological records was kept up, in which, besides the formal entries, observations were noted of the behavior of the winds about the ice sheet, presenting facts which may be of use in the study of the problems of glacierology. Measurements were made of the rate of motion of one of the most active glaciers of the region, and continued so long as to render them of special value. Two large meteorites were brought back for study. Lieutenant Peary enjoyed rare opportunities of personal contact and association, by living with them, for studying the Eskimos of north Greenland, and intends to publish the results of his studies. Much has been gained, further, through the expeditions which Lieutenant Peary caused to be sent into northern waters. Prof. L. L. Dyche, who joined the party in Greenland, secured valuable zoölogical collections of birds, walruses, reindeer, seals, and narwhals. Mr. Salisbury made observations and studies of the geographical and geological features of the west coast of Greenland, between latitudes 69° and 78° 45', at close range from the vessel, and at numerous stopping places. Many glaciers were studied in detail, determinations respecting glacier motion were made, evidence was gathered touching the former extension of the ice cap of Greenland, and determinations were made concerning recent changes of level in the land.

 

Micronesia.—The following description is taken from a paper on the Marshall Islands, read before the Berlin Geographical Society on June 8, 1895: "The Marshall group consists of two nearly parallel series of islands, running from north-northwest to south-southeast, which are named by the natives Ratak (Islands toward the Dawn) and Relik (Islands toward the Sunset). The group covers about one hundred and seventy-six square miles. All are coral islands and most of them atolls. Of the Relik group the most important are Yaluit (the seat of government). Ebon, and Namvik. Of the Ratak group, Mejem has a population of about twelve hundred. The climate is, for a tropical region, comparatively favorable to Europeans. There are no swamps, but the continued high temperature and the moisture of the air render them dangerous for Europeans with heart or lung disease. Besides affections of the heart and kidneys, dysentery and rheumatism (both of the muscles and joints) are not uncommon. Observations extending over three years gave the mean temperature as 80·6° F., the extremes being 93° and 71°. The rainfall is