Physical Geography Of The Sea 1855

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Physical Geography Of The Sea (1855)  (1855) 
Matthew Fontaine Maury, Lieutenant, U.S.N.
transcription by William Maury Morris II
THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA


1855


Matthew Fontaine Maury
Lieutenant, United States Navy.


BY MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY, LL.D,
LIEUTENANT, UNITED STATES NAVY


THIRD EDITION, ENLARGED AND IMPROVED.
NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
329 & 331 PEARL STREET,
FRANKLIN SQUARE.
1855.


Entered according to act of Congress in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty five by
HARPER & BROTHERS
in the clerk’s office of the District Court of the Southern District of
New York

AS
A TOKEN OF FRIENDSHIP, AND A TRIBUTE TO WORTH,
This Volume Is Dedicated To
GEORGE MANNING,
OF NEW YORK.
WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY, December, 1854.


INTRODUCTION


CHAPTER I. — THE GULF STREAM.


The Gulf Stream, § 1. — Its Color, 2. — Its Cause, 3-7. — Franklin’s Theory, 8. The Sargasso Sea, 13. — The Trade wind Agency refuted, 14. — Galvanic Properties of Gulf Stream Waters, 26. — Initial Velocity, 30. — Agents that make Water in one part of the Sea heavier than in another, 31. — Temperature of the Gulf Stream, 37. — It is Roof-shaped, 39. — Why the Drift Matter of the Gulf Stream is sloughed off to the right of its Course, 42. — Course of the Gulf Stream, 47. — Currents run along arcs of Great Circles, 49. — The Course of Currents counter to the Gulf Stream, 52. — The Force derived from Changes of Temperature, 53. — Limits of the Gulf Stream for March and September, 54. — Streaks of Warm and Cool Water in it, 55. — A Cushion of Cold Water between the Bottom of the Sea and the Waters of the Gulf Stream, 56. — It runs up hill, 57.


CHAPTER II. — INFLUENCE OF THE GULF STREAM UPON CLIMATES.


An Illustration, § 60. — Best Fish in cold Water, 65. — The Sea a Part of a grand Machine, 67. — Influence of the Gulf Stream upon the Meteorology of the Sea: It is a “Weather Breeder,” 69. — Dampness of Climate of England due to it, 70. — The Pole of Maximum Cold, 71. — Gales of the Gulf Stream, 72. — The Wreck of the San Francisco, 73. — Influence of the Gulf Stream upon Commerce and Navigation: Used as a Landmark, 77. — The first Description of it, 78. — Thermal Navigation, 81.


CHAPTER III. — THE ATMOSPHERE.


The Relation of the Winds to the Physical Geography of the Sea, § 88. — No Expression of Nature without Meaning, 93. — The Circulation of the Atmosphere, Plate I., 95. — Southeast Trade-wind Region the larger, 109. — How the Winds approach the Poles, 112. — The Offices of the Atmosphere, 114. — It is a powerful Machine, 118. Whence come the Rains that feed the great Rivers? 120. — How Vapor passes from one Hemisphere to the other, 123. — Evaporation greatest about Latitude 17 degrees 20 minutes, 127. — Explanation, 128. — The Rainy Seasons: how caused, 129. — Why there is one Rainy Season in California, 130 — One at Panama, 131 — Two at Bogotá, 132. — Rainless Regions explained, 135. — Why Australia is a Dry Country, 136. Why Mountains have a dry and a rainy Side, 137. — The immense Fall of Rain upon the Western Ghauts in India: how caused, 139. — Vapor for the Patagonia Rains comes from the North Pacific, 141. — The mean annual Fall of Rain, 144. Evaporation from the Indian Ocean, 146. — Evidences of Design, 148.


CHAPTER IV. — RED FOGS AND SEA DUST.


Where found, § 157. — Tallies on the Wind, 158. — Where taken up, 160. — Humboldt’s Description, 163.—Information derived from Sea Dust, 165. — Its Bearings upon the Theory of Atmospherical Circulation, 167. — Suggests Magnetic Agency, 170.


CHAPTER V. — ON THE PROBABLE RELATION BETWEEN MAGNETISM AND THE CIRCULATION OF THE ATMOSPHERE.


Reasons for supposing that the Air of the Northeast and of the Southeast Trades cross at the calm Belts, § 174. — What Observations have shown, 184. — Physical Agencies not left to Chance, 188. — Conjectures, 192. — Reasons for supposing that there is a crossing of Trade-wind Air at the Equator, 194. — Why the extra-tropical Regions of the Northern Hemisphere are likened to the Condenser of a Steam boiler in the South, 199. — Illustration, 200. — A Coincidence, 202. — Proof, 203. Nature affords nothing in contradiction to the supposed System of Circulation, 204. Objections answered, 205. — Why the Air brought to the Equator by the Northeast Trades will not readily mix with that brought by the Southeast, 207. — Additional Evidence, 209. — Rains for the Mississippi River are not supplied from the Atlantic, 210. — Traced to the South Pacific, 213. — Anticipation of Light from the Polar Regions, 216. — Received from the Microscope of Ehrenberg, 217, and the Experiments of Faraday, 219. — More Light, 221. — Why there should be a calm Place near each Pole, 222. — Why the Whirlwinds of the North should revolve against the Sun, 223. — Why certain Countries should have scanty Rains, 228. — Magnetism the Agent that causes the Atmospherical Crossings at the calm Places, 231.


CHAPTER VI. — CURRENTS OF THE SEA


Governed by Laws, § 232. — The Inhabitants of the Sea the Creatures of Climate, 233. — The Currents of the Sea an Index to its Climates, 235. — First Principles, 236. — Some Currents run up hill, 237. — Currents of the Red Sea, 238. — Top of that Sea an inclined Plane, 240. — How an under Current from it is generated, 245. — Specific Gravity of Sea Waters, 248. — Why the Red Sea is not salting up, 251. — Mediterranean Currents: How we know there is an under Current from this Sea, 252. — The sunken Wreck which drifted out, 253. — Both Currents caused by the Salts of the Sea, 254. — Currents Of The Indian Ocean: Why immense Volumes of warm Water flow from it, 255. — A Gulf Stream along the Coast of China, 256. — Points of Resemblance between it and the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic, 257. — A Current into Bering’s Strait, 258. — Geographical Features unfavorable to large Icebergs in the North Pacific, 260. — Necessity for cold to restore the Waste by the warm Currents, and Evaporation, 261. — Arguments in favor of return Currents, because Sea Water is salt, 262. — Currents Of The Pacific: Its Sargasso Sea, 264. — The Drift on the Aleutian Islands, 265. The cold China Current, 266. — Humboldt’s Current, 267. — Discovery of an immense Body of warm Water drifting South, 268. — Currents about the Equator, 270. — Under Currents: Experiments of Lieutenants Walsh and Lee, 271. — Proof of under Currents afforded by Deep Sea Soundings, 272. — Currents caused by Changes in Specific Gravity of Sea Water, 273. — Constituents of Sea Water every where the same; affords Evidence of a system of Oceanic Circulation, 274. — Currents Of The Atlantic: The great Equatorial Current: its Fountain-head, 275. — The Cape St. Roque Current proved to be not a constant Current, 276. — Difficulties of understanding all the Currents of the Seashore of the Atlantic can not be accounted for without the aid of under Currents, 277.


CHAPTER VII. — THE OPEN SEA IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN.


How Whales struck on the east Side of the Continent have been taken on the west Side, § 278. — Right Whales can not cross the Equator, 279. — How the Existence of a northwest Passage was proved by the Whales, 280. — Other Evidence in Favor of it, 281. — An under Current sets into the Arctic Ocean, 282. — Evidences of a milder Climate near the Pole, 284. — The Water Sky of Lieutenant De Haven, 285. — This open Sea not permanently in one Place, 286.


CHAPTER VIII. — THE SALTS OF THE SEA.


What the Salt in Sea Water has to do with the Currents in the Ocean, § 289. — Reasons for supposing the Sea to have its system of Circulation, 290. — Arguments furnished by Coral Islands, 293. — What would be the Effect of no system of Circulation for Sea Water? 295. — Its Components, 297. — The principal Agents from which Dynamical Force in the Sea is derived, 300. — Illustration, 302. — Sea and Fresh Water have different Laws of Expansion, 308. — The Gulf Stream could not exist in a Sea of fresh Water, 309. — The effect of Evaporation in producing Currents, 310. — How the Polar Sea is supplied with Salt, 323. — The Influence of this under Current upon open Water in the Frozen Ocean, 326. — Sea Shells: The Influence exerted by them upon Currents, 330. — Order among them, 335. — They assist in regulating Climates, 336. — How Sea Shells and Salts act as Compensations in the Machinery by which Oceanic Circulation is conducted, 339. — Whence come the Salts of the Sea? 344.


CHAPTER IX. — THE EQUATORIAL CLOUD-RING.


Description of the Equatorial Doldrums, § 346. — Oppressive Weather, 348. — The Offices performed by Clouds in the terrestrial Economy, 349. — The Barometer and Thermometer under the Cloud-ring, 350. — Its Offices, 353. — How its Vapors are brought by the Trade-winds, 361. — Breadth of the Cloud-ring, 363. — How it would appear if seen from one of the Planets, 364. — Observations at Sea interesting, 368.


CHAPTER X. — ON THE GEOLOGICAL AGENCY OF THE WINDS.


To appreciate the Offices of the Winds and Waves, Nature must be regarded as a Whole, § 369. — Level of the Dead Sea, 370. — Evidences that at former Geological Periods more Rain fell than now falls upon the Dead Sea and other inland Basins, 371. — Where Vapor for the Rains in the Basin of the American Lakes comes from, 375. — The Effect produced by the Upheaval of Mountains across the course of vapor-bearing Winds, 376. — The Agencies by which the Drainage of Hydrographic Basins may be cut off from the Sea, 380. — Utah an Example, 382. — Effect of the Andes upon vapor-bearing Winds, 383. — Geological Age of the Andes and Dead Sea compared, 391. — Ranges of dry Countries and little Rain, 393. — Rain and Evaporation in the Mediterranean, 399. —Evaporation and Precipitation in the Caspian Sea equal, 404. — The Quantity of Moisture the Atmosphere keeps in Circulation, 407. — Where Vapor for the Rains that feed the Nile come from, 409. — Lake Titicaca, 420.


CHAPTER XI. — THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN.


The Depth of blue Water unknown, § 421. — Results of former Methods of Deep-sea Soundings not entitled to Confidence, 422. — Attempts by Sound and Pressure, 423. — The Myths of the Sea, 424. — Common Opinion as to its Depths, 425. — Interesting Subject, 427. — The deepest Soundings reported, 428. — Plan adopted in the American Navy, 429. — Soundings to be made from a Boat, 431. — Why the Sounding twine will not stop running out when the Plummet reaches Bottom, 432. — Indications of under Currents, 433. — Rate of Descent, 434. — Lieutenant John Mercer Brooke’s Deep-sea Sounding Apparatus, 437. — The greatest Depths at which Bottom has been found, 438.


CHAPTER XII. — THE BASIN OF THE ATLANTIC.


Plate XI., § 439. — Height of Chimborazo above the Bottom of the Sea, 440. — Orography of Oceanic Basins, 441. — The deepest Place in the Atlantic, 442. — THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC: The Utility of Deep-sea Soundings, 445. — A Telegraphic Plateau across the Atlantic, 446. — Specimens from it, 447. — A microscopic Examination of them, 448. — Brooke’s Deep-sea Lead presents the Sea in a new Light, 453. — The Agents at work upon the Bottom of the Sea, 454. — How the Ocean is prevented from growing salter, 458. — Knowledge of our Planet to be derived from the Bottom of the Sea, 460.


CHAPTER XIII. — THE WINDS.


Plate VIII., § 461. — Monsoons, 462. — Why the Belt of Southeast is broader than the Belt of Northeast Trade-winds, 463. — Effect of Deserts upon the Trade-winds, 466. — At Sea the Laws of Atmospherical Circulation are better developed, 470. — RAIN WINDS: Precipitation on Land greater than Evaporation, 472. — The Place of Supply for the Vapors that feed the Amazon with Rains, 473. — MONSOONS: How formed, 474. — Monsoons of the Indian Ocean, 475. — How caused, 476. — How the Monsoon Season may be known, 478. — The Distance to which the Influence of Deserts upon Winds may be felt at Sea, 479. — Why there are no Monsoons in the Southern Hemisphere, 482. — Why the Trade-wind Zones are not stationary, 483. THE CALM BELTS: Doldrums — a Zone of constant Precipitation, 486. — The Horse Latitudes, 488. — The Westerly Winds, 490.


CHAPTER XIV. — THE CLIMATES OF THE OCEAN.


Gulf Stream likened to the Milky Way, — 492. — March and September the hottest Months in the Sea, 496. — How the Isothermal Lines move up and down the Ocean, 498. — A Line of invariable Temperature, 508. — How the western Half of the Atlantic is heated up, 509. — The Relation between a Shore-line in one part of the World and Climates in another, 512. — The Climate of Patagonia, 516. — The Summer of the northern Hemisphere warmer than the Summer of the southern, indicated by the Sea, 521. — How the cold Waters from Davis’s Straits press upon the Gulf Stream, 522. — How the different Isotherms travel from North to South with the Seasons, 523. — The Polar and Equatorial Drift, 524.


CHAPTER XV. — THE DRIFT OF THE SEA.


Object of Plate IX., § 528. — The Eastern Edge of the Gulf Stream sometimes visible, 529. — The Polar Drift about Cape Horn, 533. — How the Polar Waters drift into the South Atlantic, and force the Equatorial aside, 535. — How this is accomplished, 537. — A Harbor in a Bend of the Gulf Stream for Icebergs, 539. — Why Icebergs are not found in the North Pacific, 540. — The Womb of the Sea, 541. — Drift of warm Waters out of the Indian Ocean, 543. — A Suggestion from Lieutenant Jansen, of the Dutch Navy, 544. — A Current of warm Water sixteen hundred Miles wide, 545. — The Pulse of the Sea, 546. — How the Gulf Stream beats Time, 547. — The Circulation of the Sea likened to that of the Blood, 548. — THE FISH: Number of Vessels engaged in the Fisheries of the Sea, 551. — The Sperm Whale delights in warm Water, 552. — The Torrid Zone impassable to the Right Whale, 553.


CHAPTER XVI. — STORMS.


Typhoons, § 559. — Cyclones, 561. — West India Hurricanes, 562. — Extra-tropical Gales, 563. — The San Francisco’s Gale, 564. — These Gales seldom occur at certain Seasons, 565. — Most prevalent Quarter for the Gales beyond the Calm Belt of Caprieorn, 566. — Storm and Rain Charts, 567.


CHAPTER XVII. — ROUTES.


How Passages have been shortened, § 568. — How closely Vessels follow each other’s Track, 570. — The Archer and the Flying Cloud, 571. — The great Race-course upon the Ocean, 573. — Description of a Race, 575. — Present Knowledge of Winds enables the Navigator to compute his Detour, 582.


CHAPTER XVIII. — A LAST WORD.


Brussels Conference, § 584. — How Navigators may obtain a Set of Lieutenant M. F. Maury’s “Wind and Current Charts”, 585. — The Abstract Log, 586.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).