Page images

liveries of black and scarlet and greenish-yellow, and also the university and the observatory may be somewhat the cock bird in process of reverting for the winter to the crippled by the huge losses incurred in property, & comparatively dull plumage of his mate.

is evident from the report that the neighbourhood sufleord In an article entitled “ The Negro Brain," published in severely. The motion was chiefly of the horizontal she arthe September issue of the Century Illustrated Monthly ing type, and we read of a public road which croscri the Jagazine, Dr. R. B. Bean rejects the doctrine that the fault-line at right angles having its contiguous ends pernegro is the brother of the white man. After demon-manently displaced some 17 feet. A large tree standing strating that the male Caucasian brain is not only larger on the edge of the fissure is 24 feet from the small mots than that of the negro, but also differs in shape and by it left behind it. A barn which stood exactly over the the smaller proportionate amount of grey matter and of fissure, with some four-fifths of the structure on the west connecting fibres, the author sums up as follows :-" The side, was badly wrecked, but the part of the foundations white and the black races are antipodal in cardinal points. and superstructure situated on the west side remain, whilst The one has a large frontal region of the brain, the other the foundation lying east of the fissure has moved southa larger region behind; the one is a great reasoner, the ward, under the barn, through 18 feet. Many similar other preeminently emotional; the one domineering, but | instances of movement are recorded. About twenty miles having great self-control, the other meek and submissive, westward of Mount Hamilton, on the fault-line, the maxibut violent and lacking self-control when the passions are mum shift is about 8} feet. As all the displacements rearoused; the one a very advanced race, the other a very ferred to are in thick, loamy soil, which would tend tu backward one. The Caucasian and the negro are funda- lag, it is probable that the shear in the underlying rik mentally opposite extremes in evolution.” These premises stratum is still greater. Some interesting questions as to being admitted, it is clear (despite the fact that a negro farm boundaries, latitudes, and azimuths may be expected may occasionally display exceptional mental powers) that to arise. A commission, including Profs. Campbell and to attempt to educate the two races on the same lines is Leuschner, has been appointed by the Governor to study neither more nor less than folly. Incidentally, the author the scientific aspects of the phenomenon. shows that the American negro, in place of being entirely In a letter from Glasgow, Mr. A. Mclance suggests of the Guinea type, includes representatives of the Bush- that lead should be found in radio-active minerals conman and of the Bantu (Kafir) types.

taining radium. In a paper by Mr. Boltwood in the Philo. In Canary and Cage-bird Life for August 31 Dr. A. R. sophical Magazine for April, 1905 (p. 613), evidence is Galloway records a case of cross-breeding in poultry which given of the existence of lead in all radio-active minerals well exemplifies the Mendelian law. The two breeds crossed Mr. Mclance points out that if the atomic weight of radium were the silkie bantam and the Pekin bantam, the former

is taken as 258, as found from spectroscopic observations characterised by the pure white hair-like plumage, bluish- by Runge and Precht, and the combined atomic weights or black skin, and small rose comb and crest, while the latter the five helium atoms into which the radium atom has the plumage cinnamon-buff, the skin pinkish, and the believed to dissociate are subtracted from it, the atomic comb simple. Four years ago, when a silkie cock was weight of uranium is obtained. mated with a Pekin hen, the hybrid chicks—between twenty A SUMPTUOUS catalogue of telescopes and accessories has and thirty in number--were all buff, although with a been published by the firm of Carl Zeiss, of Jena under tendency to small dark markings. Nevertheless, the buff the specific designation “ Astro : 8." Especially compiled may be regarded as the dominant colour in the cross, but for scientific amateur astronomers, the catalogue only deala in the hens, at any rate, the black skin and small rose

with telescopes of less aperture than 8 inches. Several comb and crest of the silkie were apparent. During the new constructions are now catalogued and illustrated for present summer a first-cross buff cock paired with a buff the first time. In addition to the numerous azimuthal hen of the same cross, and, of the eight chicks thus pro- and equatorial telescopes, the catalogue contains illustra. duced, one was a pure white silkie, two were pure buff tions and prices of a large variety of eye-pieces, sun Pekins, and five showed intermediate characters with re- oculars, prominence and other spectroscopes, position gard to type, colour of skin, and colour and character of

micrometers, the stereo-comparator, &c., and should be feather. This is a close approximation, considering the consulted by all astronomers in need of telescopes or limited nature of the trial, to Mendel's law, which should accessories. give two pure silkies, four intermediates, and two buff

In No. 72 of the Chemiker Zeitung Dr. P. N. Raikuw Pekins. The five intermediates were as follows :-one a

of the University of Sophia, describes a simple method of buff Pekin with blackish face and silkie-type of feather ; boring any number of small holes through glass tubing one buff Pekin with blackish face and two or three quills both thin and thick, watch glasses, Aasks, &c. The part white in each wing; one variegated buff Pekin showing which it is desired to pierce is carefully warmed up in a about one-third of plumage white, with Pekin-type of face

Bunsen flame, and then a red-hot needle worked bradawl. and silkie-feathers; two dark speckled grey, with blackish

wise against the particular spot, which naturally must not faces and a good deal of black markings on the feathers.

be so hot that any slight pressure causes the walls of the Some curious results of the Californian earthquake are vessel or tube to be forced out of shape. The broken stim recorded by Prof. Campbell, director of the Lick Observ- of a thermometer is said to provide an especially good atory, in No. 108 of the Publications of the Astronomical | handle for the eye end of the needle to be inserted into. Society of the Pacific. Fortunately, as recorded in these columns on May 10, the observatory itself was not injured.

OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. Subsequent work has shown that the meridian circle and the polar axis of the 36-inch refractor show no sign of

JUPITER's Sixth SATELLITE.-A telegram from Pro having shifted. The period of the earth vibrations was so

Campbell, published in No. 4119 of the Astronomische

Nachrichten, states that Jupiter's sixth satellite was por long that the buildings and the instrument foundations

observed by its discoverer, Prof. Perrine, on August 16-065, had time to follow the movement without undue strain. (G.M.T.). Its position angle at that time was 2090-92, and There is some fear, ho rer, that the financial affairs of its ance from Jupiter 1734".

[ocr errors]

Holmes's COMET (1906f).-In No. 4121 of the Astro- and spectroheliograms of the solar disc and limb are taken nomische Nachrichten Prof. Max Wolf states that he has on every day on which the atmospheric conditions are measured the position of Holmes's comet on the plate suitable. Magnetical and seismological records are also secured on August 28. He gives the exact position, for taken. 1900.0, at the time of discovery, and this shows that corrections of +6.795. and +28".2 are necessary to Dr. Zwiers's ephemeris. As the comet is extremely faint, mag. = 15:5, a continuation of the ephemeris is not given here, but will

CHEMISTRY AT THE BRITISH be found in No. 4085 of the Astronomische Nachrichten.

ASSOCIATION. OBSERVATIONS OF SOLAR PHENOMENA, 1906.-The results of the observations of sun-spots, faculæ, and prominences

IT was somewhat noticeable that the trend of the promade during the first semester of the present year at the

ceedings in Section B this year was in the direction

of applied chemistry; general problems on the theoretical Catania Observatory are published by Prof. Mascari in side of the science came under discussion in Section A; No. 8, vol. xxxv., of the Memorie della Società degli | if this indicate either that this section is becoming alive Spettroscopisti Italiani.

to the importance of chemistry to physics or a rapprocheThe mean daily frequency of spots was higher during the ment of the two sections, it is a good sign, but it is not second than during the first quarter, the respective numbers satisfactory if it mean the neglect of broad considerations being 5.68 and 4:50 ; the faculæ behaved similarly. For by the chemist. prominences the reverse was the case, there being a mean Reports were presented by Mr. S. S. Pickles, on the daily frequency of 4.38 prominences during the first quarter chemistry of rubber; on that of gums, by Mr. H. H. and 3:47 during the second. Discussing the results in relation to the time of the solar maximum, Prof. Mascari Caldwell.' These gave rise to more or less interesting dis

Robinson; and on the hydrolysis of sugars, by Mr. R. J. places the epoch of maximum spots at 1905.2, and that cussions and were a valuable feature of the meeting. of faculæ and prominences in the last quarter of 1905 or Discussion also centred round a paper by Dr. T. A. Henry, the first quarter of 1906.

on the production of hydrogen cyanide in plants. The OBSERVATIONS OF JUPITER.-The observations Jupiter joint discussion with the physiologists on diet was of made by Mr. Denning during the last opposition showed

great interest, although it was mainly developed in physiothat the rotation period of the Great Red Spot and its logical and sociological directions. Hollow, in the south equatorial belt, between March 24 The proceedings opened on the Thursday, August 2, with and May 4, was 9h. 55m. 40.6s., a period practically con

an important paper by Messrs. S. Leetham and Wm. formable with that of system ii. of the ephemerides. On Cramp, who have been engaged in perfecting an apparatus observing the phenomena on August 9, however, he found

for the production of an active mixture of gases which that they were far in advance of their predicted places, an

may be used for bleaching and sterilising purposes, parobservation confirmed by the Rev. T. E. R. Phillips. ticularly in bleaching flour. The apparatus consists of an From this it appears that the rotation period between alternator, transformer, ozoniser and spark box, the two May 4 and August 8 was only 9h. 55m. 33.8s. Mr. latter being in series on the high-tension side of the transDenning supposes that the conjunction of the dark former ; on passing a current of air through the ozoniser material, forming the south tropical disturbance, with the and then through the spark box a gaseous mixture is proRed Spot, in June last, may have caused the marked duced, containing minute amounts of ozone and oxides of acceleration of the latter, as it has done on several former nitrogen, which has a very remarkable bleaching and occasions. The present increase of velocity is, however, sterilising action on four; the process is already one of much greater than any previously observed, and these

considerable commercial value. The bleaching action features appear to have been observable for seventy-five appears to be an oxidation effect. years (the Observatory, No. 374).

The authors have studied in great detail the behaviour In the September number of the Bulletin de la Société of the different types of electric discharge and the influence astronomique de France M. Flammarion directs attention

of such factors as the number and distance apart of the to a remarkably sudden change in the visibility of the discharge points, shape of the points, the air velocity and north equatorial band on Jupiter. This band has been the frequency. The conclusion arrived at is that ozonisadiminishing since the end of 1903, and an observation tion is not a mere induction effect. In commenting on the made by M. Benoit, at Juvisy, on April 10, 1906, showed paper, Prof. Armstrong dwelt on the importance of manuthat it was almost completely invisible. After its con- facturers taking interest in science, and referred to the junction with the sun, Jupiter was observed again on

work as an illustration of the advantages of such coJuly 17 by M. Quenisset, who was astonished to find that operation. the north equatorial band was completely reformed, being Following a short paper by Prof. van Romburgh, of even broader, and at some points darker, than the south Utrecht, on the 1:3: 5-hexatrien, reports were read of rquatorial band. A drawing, made by M. Quenisset on

the committees on dynamic isomerism, on hydro-aromatic July 23, is reproduced with the article.

substances and on aromatic nitro-amines. The rest of the

morning was devoted to inorganic chemistry, papers being The KODAIKANAL OBSERVATORY.--An interesting popular contributed by Mr. A. Vernon Harcourt, on the effect upon account of India's solar physics observatory, situated at the concentration of a solution of the presence of an excess Kodaikanal, on the Palani Hills, appears in the July of undissolved salt; by Mr. G. Beilby, on the crystallisanumber of the Madras Christian College Magazine. Mr.

tion of gold in the solid state; and by Prof. H. A. Miers Monteith Macphail, the writer of the account, lately visited

and Miss F. Isaac, on the temperature at which water the observatory, and was evidently impressed with its freezes in sealed tubes ; this is found to be very considersituation and its work. The altitude of the observatory ably below that at which solidification takes place in open is about 7700 feet, in an atmosphere of exceptional trans- vessels. parency, and amid beautiful surroundings.

The greater part of Friday, August 3, was devoted to a Although located in Madras, the institution was founded, discussion on the production of hydrogen cyanide in plants, and is supported, by the Government of India, thus having introduced by Prof. Dunstan, who pointed out that in a national and not merely a provincial status. Its chief

the case of both Lotus arabicus and Sorghum vulgare the raison d'être is the continuous study of the sun, with the cyanide was formed only during the carly stages of growth, ultimate idea of elucidating still further the indicated

and that it was missing in the mature plant. The fullyrelationships between solar and terrestrial atmospheric grown Lotus vetch is much used as a fodder plant in the phenomena. To a country like India, the value of possess- Vile valley, but many fatal cases of poisoning have been ing the fullest possible knowledge of these relationships caused through its use in the immature state. Hydrogen cannot be overestimated, and that is the reason why the cyanide has also been detected in Java beans, of which Government of India has seen fit to found and to sup- there are several varieties; the maximum amount is found port this observatory and its equipment in the most favour.

in the dark beans, and it is only safe to use the light able situation at its command. Sun-spots, their spectra, bean. In the fax plant, which also affords hydrogen and prominences on the solar limb, are observed visually, I cyanide, the maximum amount is produced at an inter




mediate stage when the plant is from 4 inches to 5 inches

Energy value in high.


calories per dien Protein per dira Dr. Henry followed with an account of the glucosides


3500 containing the hydrogen cyanide, which have been grouped

Voit ...


108 together as cyanogenetic glucosides. They are allied to



55 amygdalin, the active principle in bitter almonds, which is therefore the oldest known representative of the group.

The methods and results of these workers were The list at present comprises, besides amygdalin, sam

sidered and criticised in detail, While Atwater's standard bunigrin, prulaurasin and a glucoside, prepared artificially was thought to be too high, it was generally agreed that from amygdalin by Fischer, known as mandelnitrilegluco- Chittenden's values were too low. Voit's standard as side, all of which are resolved by acids into glucose, accepted as the most probable. benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide; further, dhurrin,

Mr. Seebohm Rowntree's well-known experiments urried phaseolunatin, lotusin and gynocardin.

out in York were referred to, and it was pointed out that The plants containing these glucosides also contain

in studying actual dietaries of poor families averages wit enzymes, which resolve them—when the plant is macerated used in compiling statistics, a method which is open to with water-into hydrogen cyanide, glucose and a third criticism, as the bread-winner-owing to the self-denial at constituent. The question was raised as to the role of the the woman-as a rule, gets far more than his share, so hydrogen cyanide, whether it acted protectively or whether that the diet of the average working man is actuallt in it played a part in the production of proteid from nitrates. most cases far richer in protein and has a greater energy Dr. Greshoff, of Harlem, dealt with the question from

value than is imagined. the botanical side, and put forward a list of all the species

Attention was directed by Dr. Hopkins--and this palat of plants known to yield hydrogen cyanide, which will be was particularly emphasised by Prof. Armstrong-that it of great value to future workers.

was not justifiable to consider merely the gross amount of A paper on the utilisation of atmospheric nitrogen by protein, but that the nature of the protein had also to he plants, read by Mr. Thomas Jamieson, described what taken into account. Thus, for example, wheat is probably the author regarded as special organs in plants adapted for not the best form of protein, its main constituedi, the direct absorption and assimilation of nitrogen from the glutaminic acid, being, so far as our present knowledge air. His conclusions were most severely criticised by Prof. goes, of relatively little value as a tissue former compani Potter from the botanical side, and by Mr. A. D. Hall and with other amino-acids. Maize protein is perhaps of erro others.

lower value, whereas rice and oats, among the rerrals, The report on caoutchouc, presented by Mr. S. S.

appear to be the especially valuable sources of protein. Prof. Pickles, contained a general survey of the chemistry of this Armstrong particularly referred to the need of making remarkable product.

detailed study of foodstuffs, our present method of referring Prof. Karl Harries, of Kiel, in a communication read to the nitrogen content generally multiplied by a factor is by Dr. Crossley, dealt with the products obtained by sub- protein giving no true guide as to the relative value of mitting caoutchouc to the action of ozone, and then dis. | foods, inasmuch as protein is a highly complex mai-tis). tilling the ozonide with steam, viz. lævulinic aldehyde,

made of ever-varying units, the nutritive value of which lavulinic acid and

hydrogen peroxide. Harries taken singly varies within wide limits. cludes that caoutchouc is a polymer of a 1: 5-dimethyl

The rest of the morning was devoted to agricultural cyclo-octadien. Prof. W. A. Tilden described his observ

chemistry, Messrs. A. D. Hall and C. T. Giningham conations on the behaviour of isoprene, prepared from oil of tributing a paper on the action of ammonium salts upon turpentine ; when kept it gradually polymerises, being con

clay and kindred substances, following which Dr. E ). verted into a substance having many of the properties of

Russell read a communication by Dr. F. V. Darbishır? caoutchouc. He also contributed

a paper on

the con

and himself on oxidation in soils and its relation to prostituents of Dyera Costulata.

ductiveness. These authors have devised an apparatus Mr. H. H. Robinson followed with a brief account of for measuring the rate of absorption of oxygen ; the poper the chemistry of gums, dwelling especially on gums from of absorbing this gas possessed by all soils appears to lup India and the colonies which afford acetic acid when ex- due mainly, though not entirely, to the activity of microposed to the action of moist air. He suggested that by organisms. The rate of oxidation does not entirely depend partially hydrolysing the inferior Indian gums they might

on the amount of organic matter present in the soil : be made of greater industrial value. In the subsequent moisture is essential, and as it increases so also does the discussion, Mr. S. H. Davies stated that constitution had rate of oxidation. The rate is also increased by the addiso far been found to have little bearing on the technical

tion of calcium carbonate or of sugar. For å series of value of gums, viscosity being the quality chiefly required. similar soils, of which the cropping power is known, it is

In his report, Mr. R. J. Caldwell collected and critically found that the most productive has the highest raie of discussed the literature bearing on the hydrolysis of sugars,

oxidation, and that the others follow in the same order a subject of considerable interest at the present moment on

for both properties. The parallelism holds also for souls account of its bearing on the theory of ionic dissociation which have been artificially treated; it is essential how and the nature of solution. Nearly 150 papers have been

ever, that the soil conditions should be aerobic. The published on the subject, so that it is very difficult for a authors suggest that the rate of oxidation afiords * new worker in the field to acquaint himself with the litera- measure of the bacterial activity, which is closely connected

Mr. Caldwell has made a brief abstract of the with productiveness. essential points in each paper, and classified them in The last paper read was by Mr. W. Popplewell Blusam historical order under a number of appropriate subheadings.

on a new method of determining indigotin. After pointHe sums up the evidence as to the nature of the change, ing out the need of a method of controlling the still wir and points out the unsatisfactory character of the argu- crude processes in vogue for extracting indigo, and the based on

the dissociation hypothesis that it is importance of determining the daily yield of indigerin brought about by the hydrogen ions of the acid. He is obtained in an ordinary factory from known weights of inclined to believe that the facts are to be explained by an green plant, the existing methods of analysis were disassociation hypothesis.

cussed and the uncertainty of the results they afford A large part of the morning of Tuesday, August 7, was

alluded to. In the author's method, the indigotin is devoted to a joint discussion with Section 1 (physiology) sulphonated by treatment with fuming sulphuric and on the factors which determine minimal diet values. This (containing 20 per cent. sulphur trioxide); the solution is was opened by Dr. F. G. Hopkins, F.R.S. ; Prof. Dunstan then diluted, and the potassium salt of indigotin tetraand Prof. Armstrong spoke on the chemical side. It was sulphonate precipitated by means of potassium acetate, generally agreed that the subject was of supreme import- Finally, the amount of indigotin in the salt is estimated ance, and one that should be attacked conjointly by by titration with potassium permanganate or titanium chemists and physiologists. Dr. Hopkins dealt chiefly

chloride. The author concludes that the present process of with the standards of minimal diets put forward by manufacture is a wasteful one, the highest efficiency Itwater. Voit and Chittenden respectively. These are attained not reaching 50 per cent., whilst on the average incorporated in the following table :

only 25 per cent of the indigotin in the leaves is extracted.






portions Atrio del Cavallo and Valle d'Inferno, while VOLCANOES.

Vesuvius, the present active cone, occupies the southern

part of the great crater which was formed by the destruction IN my discourse this evening I shall confine myself to of that side of the Somma crater ring, probably in

that branch of vulcanology to which I have paid the Plinian eruption which destroyed Pompeii and Hercuparticular attention, viz. the naked-eye study of volcanoes laneum in A.D. 79, or possibly in some earlier unrecorded

eruption. The observatory is situated on a projecting spur forming part of the old Somma ring, but separated from that mountain by a deep valley, the Fossa Vetrana, at the upper part of which took place the prolonged eruption which lasted from 1895 to 1898, and which built up a considerable hill, the Colle Umberto 1°. Photographs of this place, taken in 1888, showed the scoriaceous cindery lava of 1872, coulées of slaggy or ropy lava in 1898, a moving mass of scoriaceous lava and the growing cone in the same year, while a photograph of the latter, taken at night by the light of the incandescent lava streams themselves, excited much interest, and it followed by another showing the same

cone in 1906 covered, and its surface obscured, by a thick coating of ash from the last eruption.

In the Strombolian type of eruption the explosion takes place from more or less liquid lava, of which portions are hurled into the air, and by their rotation often assume pointed or even globular forms, which are permanently

preserved by the solidification of the FIG. 1.-Vesuvius from Cook's Eremo Hotel near the Observatory, April 26, 1906. Shows the

mass while in the air. In the rounded top of the cone and the ash slides on it. Colle Umberto l' in the foreground.

Vulcanian type, the materials, which

are affected by the explosion, being and their various constituent parts, their relations to one already solidified, the ejecta are chiefly fragmentary, varyanother and to adjacent rocks and to other objects; how ing from dust of microscopic fineness to “ bread crust they got to their present position and what effects they bombs " weighing several tons. The latter owe their name produce; in other words, the physiography or physical geography of volcanoes. As this subject is itself too large, I propose to take up the late eruption of Vesuvius, alluding to other volcanoes and their eruptions only by way of illustration, comparison, er contrast.

The south-east side of the Bay of Naples, which consists of the Sorrento Peninsula and the island of Capri, is a branch of the Apennine Chain; it consists largely of Apennine limestone of Cretaceous age, and is not volcanic. The north-west side of the Bay, on the contrary, is almost entirely volcanic. Thus the island of Ischia is subject to severe earthquakes, and contains Monte Epomeo, which has been twice in active eruption in historic times; the islands of Procida and Nisida contain craters; the Phlegræan Fields consist of numerous cones and craters, one of which, Monte Nuovo, was formed as recently as the sixteenth century. Moreover, Naples itself is built on volcanic strata. The whole district is subject to changes of level.

Coming now to Vesuvius, it is a matter of common knowledge that it consists of twin mountains, of which

FIG. 2.-Vesuvius. Asb slide carrying away Cook's Railway. April, 1906. one, Somma, is part of old crater ring of gigantic size which no longer forms part of to the characteristic crackings on the surface caused by the working cone, which it partly surrounds, and from the contraction of the crust when suddenly projected into which it is separated by a great valley, called in different the cold air, perhaps aided in some cases by the expansion Substance of a discourse delivered before the British Association at

of gases set free in the interior owing to the sudden reYork on Friday evening, August 3, by Dr. Tempest Anderson.

duction of pressure.





The Pelean type goes a stage further. In it a large streams and dark coloured ash; in April, 1900, it was proportion of the eruptive magma is blown to fine powder thickly covered with whitish ash. This, when it attaines by the expansion of the gases it contains, and thus a a certain thickness, peeled off in veritable avalanches and mixture is produced of volcanic gases and incandescent dust slid down the mountain. The tracks present a radial in which each particle is surrounded and cushioned by an appearance, and did so before any rain had fallen. extremely thin layer of gas at a very high temperature, and seems likely that the well-known umbrella-like markings therefore excessively mobile. The whole mass is therefore on volcanic cones of tuff (consolidated ash), which hair endowed with the mobility of a liquid, and under the usually been attributed solely to erosion by rain. may is influence of gravity rolls down slopes on which ordinary some cases, at any rate, be due to this cause.

Thr solids would lodge. This explanation of the hot blast avalanches were of sufficient power to carry away the Cook which destroyed St. Pierre was first advanced by Dr. Railway. In one part below the funicular station the Flett and the lecturer in 1902, after witnessing an eruption rails were bent like wire, and remained for a hundred of Mont Pelée, and it has since been generally adopted.' yards or more along the sides of the avalanche track at

In that year the Wallibu Valley at the foot of the right angles to their former position. They were kopy Soufrière, in St. Vincent, was filled by such an incan- together by their fish-plates, but had been entirely stripps descent avalanche to a depth of 80 feet, and the Rabaka of the sleepers. No stratification or particular structure Valley to a still greater depth. The torrential tropical ) in the materials brought down was noticed. A look out rains, descending these valleys after the eruption, came in was kept for Lava del Fango (mud lava), which has oftru contact with this hot ash and caused various secondary caused much damage after Vesuvian eruptions, but the si phenomena, such as steam explosions, falls of ash, and had been no rain to form it before the lecturer's arrival, gushes of boiling mud, which the lecturer compared with and comparatively little fell during his visit, so that only analogous, though somewhat different, phenomena during very small flows were seen. Prof. Lacroix, however, was the late eruption of Vesuvius.

fortunate enough to observe a large stream of mud above This eruption, as is usual with those of Vesuvius, pre-Ottajano, and he remarked that the resulting breccia was sented features both of the explosive and efflusive types, a little harder than the result of the dry avalanches, but i.e. explosions took place from the central crater, while presented no particular stratification or other structure by a great fissure traversed the cone from north to south, and which it could be distinguished from the products of a lava was discharged both to the north into the Atrio del dry avalanche of the same materials. Consequently r10 Cavallo and also from, chiefly, three or four more bocce, light is thereby thrown on the question whether man or mouths, along the fissure to the south, which descended tuffs, such, for instance, as those which entomb l'ompeii, in the direction of Bosco Reale, Bosco Trecase, and Torre were deposited, dry or wet, Annunziata.

The lava of this eruption also deserves mention, Flow The chief interest of the eruption of Vesuvius, however, I occurred from the north and south ends of the fissurr undoubtedly centred round the explosions, the ejecta, and through the cone above mentioned. That to the forth the secondary phenomena in connection with them. The flowed into the Atrio del Cavallo in the early part of ire volcano was in unusual activity in April and May, 1905, and eruption. It was soon covered up with fragmentary ejeria. had never been absolutely quiet since that time. From and at the time of the visit only a few fumaroles remained April 4 to April 8, 1906, and to a less degree later, a series to mark the course of the fissure. On the south side of of explosions took place which enlarged the great central the cone three or four bocce, or mouths, opened along ibt crater to an average diameter of more than a quarter of fissure, the streams coalesced, and the lava flowed thus a mile (as measured by Prof. Loczy), removed the highest

for more than half a mile. It then divided into branches central part of the cone, and thus reduced the height of

which to a large extent destroyed the villages of Bosco the volcano by about 350 feet, as measured barometrically Trecase and Bosco Reale, and nearly reached Torte by the lecturer's party. The resulting débris was dis. Annunziata. It crossed and filled up a cutting on the tributed in part over the flanks of the cone, while a larger Circumvesuvian Railway. . amount of smaller material was carried to the other side The discourse concluded with a number of photographs of Somma as far as Ottajano and San Giuseppe. In these

of explosions from the crater taken by the lecturer during villages it attained a depth of 3 feet to 4 feet, and broke

his stay of five nights at Cook's Eremo Hotel, near tbe down the roofs of many houses, and more than one

observatory. church. In that of Giuseppe, about 250 persons, who had taken refuge, were buried by the débris and met their death. The crater as seen by the lecturer's party on two ascents was oval or heart-shaped, the longer diameter

THE ASCENT OF RUWENZORI. being north and south, the walls sloping somewhat at the MR. DOUGLAS W. FRESHFIELD gives in the Times

of September 13 some authentic details of the success towards the south side. At the north side the slopes were of the Duke of the Abruzzi's expedition to Ruwenzori, somewhat more gentle and the crater wider, while the from a letter received by him from Signor Vittorio Sella, lip was much lower, and broken down into a sort of plain who accompanied the expedition. Signor Sella wrote to some yards wide. This section of the crater corresponds

Mr. Freshfield under date July 22, from Fort Portal :exactly with a diagram in a report by the Academy of Sciences of Naples on the eruption of 1737. This erup-guides, climbed all the five highest snowy peaks of

“ His Royal Highness, accompanied by two Courmayeur tion seems to have been very similar to that of the present Ruwenzori and took from them observations with a year, and, as in this case, several persons lost their lives mercurial barometer besides a great many bearings with at Ottajano. There can be little doubt that the projection

a prismatic compass. Captain Cagni carefully measured a of fragmentary material in the direction of Ottajano was

base-line near Bujongolo in order to ascertain the exact in both cases principally due to the shape of the crater

distance between the highest peak of Kiyanja (which he when thus, so to speak, re-excavated. A contributing effect

climbed) and the rockshelter Kichuchu. His Royal Highwas the south-west wind, which blew so strongly as to

ness will therefore be able to publish a really good and carry some of the finer material as far as Nola. The

complete sketch map of the snowy portion of the chain wind's effect was to be clearly seen in Naples, where several inches of dust were deposited.

Following in his Royal Highness's footsteps ascended

several high peaks and took many photographs and pano: The larger ejected blocks fell chiefly during the earlier

I also secured many pictures in the forests and part of the eruption on the slopes of the cone and round

valleys of Mubuku and Bugiogo (the largest tributar of its foot, where they were mingled, and to a large extent

the Mubuku), and some telephotographs of the chain from covered up, with much ashes and scoriæ. Here were to

near Butiti. The weather, however, was very trying to our be seen the most interesting phenomena of the eruption,

patience. From June 12 to July 7 we had not a viz. the great ash slides. The cone was previously almost

really fine day. smooth and very regular in outline. It consisted of lava

His Royal Highness from his barometric observations 1 See Anderson and Flett, Phil. Trans., series A, vol. c., p. 353 et seg.

will soon be able to calculate and give the correct height: (1903); also Anderson, Geographical Journal, March, 1903.

of the crowning peaks of Ruwenzori, which are servral



« PreviousContinue »