Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/146

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
134
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

As if to crown Mr. Bonham's effort we find in his work an entire absence of sensational effect. No temporary expedients of argument are resorted to, and altogether its tone is genuinely altruistic.

 

In the series of Correlation Papers on the several formations of North America, now being issued by the Geological Survey, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth papers have been published as Bulletins 82 to 85. The third paper has the special title Cretaceous, being an examination of the formation of this name, by Charles A. White. The chief cretaceous area of the United States is an irregular belt extending from Texas northward through the region of the great plains and continuing into western Canada. There are also small areas in the middle and southern Atlantic coast States. The next paper is on the Eocene, by William B. Clark. The author finds that the marine faunas of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts permit a separation of the Eocene as a whole from formations belonging to earlier and later periods with a high degree of confidence, but that with present evidence the lines of separation are not sharply drawn among the marine and fresh-water formations of the Pacific coast and the interior region. The Neocene is discussed by William H. Dall and Gilbert D. Harris. Besides assembling the published material concerning its subject, the memoir makes original contributions based on investigations by Mr. Dall. In respect to Florida these contributions are so important that it has seemed best to expand the chapter on that State so as to include practically all that is known of its geologic history. The sixth in this series is by Israel C. Russell, on The Newark System. This system is confined to a chain of small areas extending from North Carolina to Massachusetts, with a continuation in Nova Scotia. Each of these monographs contains a bibliography and is illustrated, the last one being especially well embellished with colored maps, and its bibliography occupying over two hundred pages.

Three recent Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey embody physical researches by Dr. Carl Barus. No. 92 is on The Compressibility of Liquids, and embodies results which it is hoped will throw light upon the behavior of the liquid mass underlying the crust of the earth, and the phenomena of upheaval and subsidence of the crust. No. 94 deals with The Mechanism of Solid Viscosity, steel and glass being the substances taken for experiment. A paper on The Volume Thermodynamics of Liquids appears as No. 96. The results that it contains are confined to volume, pressure, and temperature; questions involving entropy and energy are under investigation. The researches upon which Dr. Barus is engaged were suggested by Mr. Clarence King, who has pointed out the importance of a deeper insight into the volume changes of liquids and solids.

Mr. Bashford Dean, of Columbia College, has supplemented his report on oyster culture in France with one describing the methods used in other countries of western Europe, under the title Report on the European Methods of Oyster Culture. The topics treated comprise the management of natural oyster grounds, production of seed, rearing young oysters, and the governmental regulation of oyster grounds. The monograph is illustrated with fourteen plates. It forms part of the Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission for 1891.

In Volume XII of the Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences are papers on Dionæa, by Bashford Dean; The North American Species of the Genus Lespedeza, by N. L. Britton; Fact and Fallacy in the Boomerang Problem, by C. H. Emerson; Phosphate Nodules from New Brunswick, by W. D. Matthew, Progress of Chemistry as depicted in Apparatus and Laboratories, by H. C. Bolton; The Sunapee Saibling, by J. D. Quackenbos; Memoir of Prof. J. S. Newberry, by H. L. Fairchild; Petrography of the Gneisses of the Town of Gouverneur, N. Y., by C. H. Smyth, Jr., and the Cretaceous Formation on Long Island and Eastward, by Arthur Hollick. There is a frontispiece portrait of Prof. Newberry.

An extended Report on the Brown Coal and Lignite of Texas, prepared by the State geologist, Edwin T. Dumble, has been issued. The origin, character, and modes of using brown coal in general are stated in considerable detail, after which the geology, occurrence, and composition of the deposits found in Texas are set forth. Comparisons of the Texas product with European and with bituminous coal follow, and a chapter