Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/581

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HOW THE EARTH WAS EXPLORED IN 1876.

mercial importance to the United States of direct and regular communication from this country by steam with the mouth of the Amazon, in view of the importance of the regions of the Upper Amazon and its tributaries, which are now made accessible by steamers."

In Europe initiatory steps have been taken for the measurement of an arc of the meridian parallel with Algeria. The surveys in Austria have been actively prosecuted; 2,066 square miles have been surveyed in Galicia and Hungary, and 200,000 altitudes determined. The whole of the Tyrol, the greater part of Transylvania, and parts of Lower Austria and Bukowina, have been mapped. Surveys in Turkey and Greece promise at an early day a good map of the Balkan Peninsula. Deep-sea soundings have been made between Norway, the Shetlands, the Faroes, Iceland, and East Greenland.

The Russians and others have been active during the year in Asia, in the regions around the White Sea, in the country of the Caspian, the Altai and trans-Altai Mountains, the northern part of Pamir, in the lower part of the river Obi, upon the Irkoort River, from Wjernga to Kashgar, in the valley of Fergani, of the Shueli, and in the western part of the Chinese province of Yunnan; also in East and Northwest Mongolia, between the Himalayas and the Tian-shan, China, and Turkistan, in Japan and Siam, and the river Mekong in Cochin-China. The Siberian coast has been surveyed between parallels 45° and 52° north latitude; the soil is good, vegetation luxurious; lead, copper, gold, silver, and coal, were found.

The German Arctic Society, in pursuance of a plan for polar research, "dispatched an expedition which last July reached Obdorsk, the most northern settlement on the river Obi, where they met the Russian expedition, organized for the survey of the rivers Bar and Chuca, that flow into the sea of Kara, and the course of the river Obi, to determine the possibility of connecting these rivers with a canal. Thence the party made their way to the Kara Sea, a very difficult route; and, upon their return last autumn, they passed through the Kara Sea and the strait without any impediment from the ice, and have transmitted a very interesting account of their journey in Siberia. Prof. Nordenskiöld has again passed safely into the Kara Sea and to the mouth of the Yenisei, and has already returned. He found the Kara Sea free from ice in September, and declares that the navigability of the Yenisei is now ascertained, and is confident that a trade-route may be established to that river through the Kara Sea."

In Thibet, in Japan, in Siam, and in Persia, extensive explorations have been made. The great survey of India is going on at the rate of 40,000 square miles per annum. The American Palestine Exploration Society has suspended work, in accordance with the advice of the advisory committee in Beyrout, partly because of the disturbed condition of Turkey, and the continued commercial depression at