DUST AND SAND STORMS IN THE WEST.
by Dr. Le Plongeon. Their meaning is "the extinguished," "the snuffed out"; a brief but unquestionable allusion to the deceased.
There is a fascination about antique pottery. In handling a funeral vase, for instance, one can not help indulging in a little imagination about the scenes which occurred when the object was placed in the tomb. Visions of queer figures and fantastic rites flit before our mind's eye till we shake off the waking dreams, breathing a vain wish that the clay might be endowed with the power to tell, not its own story, but of those events which transpired in connection with it.
|DUST AND SAND STORMS IN THE WEST.|
By J. A. UDDEN,
PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE, ROCK ISLAND, ILL.
FOR some years the writer has been gathering data on the transportation of sand and dust by the atmosphere, with a view of studying the geological significance of these phenomena. Among other sources of information the newspapers have been drawn upon, and it is to the facts gathered from these, and by personal correspondence that it is at present desired to direct attention. The newspaper man may not always state facts with such exactness and precision as would be desirable, but his ubiquity no less than the very conservatism of the scientist, who seeks the broadest possible foundation for all generalizations, combine to give him a function in the investigation of the laws of Nature. Of course, it can be only a humble function—that of an observer who is not always to be trusted. For the lack of training or by reason of other shortcomings his accounts of natural phenomena must sometimes be taken cum grano salis. Dust storms occur chiefly over arid lands, and they develop their greatest force mostly only in regions which are but sparsely inhabited, if at all. They are not often witnessed by geologists. As a consequence, they have been but little studied, and it is desirable to collect information from all sources with regard to their nature and occurrence.
While dust storms are sometimes to be seen east of the Mississippi River, they are much more frequent in the arid and semiarid regions of the western part of the United States, where the rainfall is small. Of the thirty-eight storms found recorded during 1894 and 1895, only one occurred east of the Mississippi. The distribution over the Western States and Territories was as follows: