Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/679

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY

 

DECEMBER, 1905.




FRESH-WATER SPRINGS IN THE OCEAN.
By Professor C. H. HITCHCOCK,

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE.

THE ancient Creeks tell of a river of the Peloponnesus called Alpheus, rising in Mt. Stymphalus, flowing through Arcadia and Elis, and then making its way beneath the Mediterranean as far as Sicily, where it united with the fountain Arethusa near Syracuse. It was the love of a swain for a nymph which led to this movement, and this emotion seems to have been able to prevent the commingling of the two kinds of water where ordinarily a mixture would result. What has been narrated in fable seems to be true to-day in the existence of boiling fresh-water springs rising up persistently in the briny deep off certain shores in the Hawaiian and West India islands and elsewhere. So little is known about them that I venture to present a few facts that have fallen under my observation, in the hope that this slight contribution to hydrology may interest others and lead to important results.

The suggestion of this conclusion came from the combination of facts ascertained in different parts of the world. First of all was a study of artesian wells upon the island of Oahu.[1] This island has an area of about 600 square miles, an irregular four-sided figure with an extreme diametral line of 46 miles. Figure 1 represents Oahu and a few of its more general topographical features. The land rises to two mountainous ranges about 13 miles apart, parallel to each other. The Kaala or Waianae Mountains, 21 miles long, lie on the southwest side, with a culmination of 4,030 feet. The Koolau Mountains on the northeast side culminate in Konahuinui, 3,105 feet high, and a length of 37 miles; and the two parts are known as Koolauloa and Koolaupoko.


  1. 'Geology of Oahu,' Bulletin Geol. Soc. America. Vol. XI., p. 25.