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    Naturevolume 35pages451452 (1887) | Download Citation



    American yournal of Science, February.—Kilauea after the eruption of March 1886. Under this general heading are grouped three separate papers, disposed in chronological order, describing the appearance of the volcano at different times since the great outburst of last March. The first is a communication to Prof. W. D. Alexander, Surveyor-General of the Hawaiian Islands, by J. S. Emerson, assistant in the Survey, dated August 27, and embodying a series of observations ranging from March 24 to April 14. This paper isjllustrated by a plate showing the crater and new lake drawn to a scale of 1: 20,000. The second, by L. L. Van Slyke, Professor of Chemistry, Honolulu, describes the general appearance of the volcanic district during the month of July, when considerable changes had already occurred, including a general upheaval in the centre of Halema umau, and the reappearance of liquid lava in three different places. The third comprises a report to Prof. Alexander by Mr. Frank S. Dodge, on the survey of Kilauea in the last week of September and the first of October, with a plate of the crater on a scale of 1: 6000. This observer expects that perhaps in a few months the great central pit will again fill up and overflow, as it did prior to the last eruption.—Volcanic action, by James D. Dana. The general question of igneous disturbances is discussed in connection with the recent eruptions of Kilauea, Vesuvius, and Taravvera. The author's conclusions on the causes of these phenomena, as summed up in his “Manual of Geology”(1863), are mainly confirmed, being attributed to the hydrostatic pressure of the column of lava; the pressure of vapours escaping in underground regions from the lavas, or produced by contact with them, acting either quietly or catastro-phically; and the pressure of the subsiding crush of the crust forcing up the lavas in the conduit.—On the Coahuila meteorites, by Oliver Whipple Huntington. It is shown that the assumed new meteorite discovered near Fort Duncan, Maverick County, Texas, and recently described by Mr. W. E. Hidden, is really one of the “Coahuila irons,” described by J. Lawrence Smith, and supposed to belong to one fall, although found on the opposite side of the Rio Grande from Maverick County.A new rhizostomatous Medusa from New England, by J. Walter Fewkes. This is a large acraspedote jelly fish, not only new to New England, but also unlike any yet captured on the Atlantic coast of North America. It was captured in September 1886 in New Haven harbour, and is allied to a common species found on the west European seaboard, Pihma (Rhizostoma, auth.) octopus, Haeck., and to P. pulmo of the Mediterranean.—A short study of the atmosphere of β Lyræ, by Orray T. Sherman. The author's observations lead to the conclusion that in stars known to possess a spectrum comprising bright lines, these lines, while persistent in place, are not persistent in intensity. Comparing Lockyer's result in the study of the atmosphere with his own, he draws a general conclusion regarding the condition of the stellar atmosphere, describing it as consisting of an outer layer of hydrogen positively electrified, an inner layer of oxygen negatively electrified, and between them a layer of carbon mingling on its edge with the hydrogen. The electric spark passing through the mixture forms the hydrocarbon compound, whose molecular weight carries it into the oxygen region where combustion ensues with the formation of carbonic acid and aqueous vapour, both of which descending under the influences of their molecular weight ar again dissociated by internal heat, and return again to their original positions.—Phenacile from Colorado, by Samuel L. Penfield, with notes on the locality of Topaz Butte, by Walter B. Smith. Some interesting facts are communicated with regard to the crystallisation of this remarkable mineral, the occurrence of which in the United States (Pike's Peak, El Paso County, Colorado), was determined by Messrs. Cross and Hillebrand Topaz Butte, five miles north of Florissant, marks the southern limit of the “crystal beds” whence have come most of the specimens labelled Pike's Peak. The largest phenacite ever found in this locality is a rough lenticular crystal about 15 mm. in diameter.—The norites of the Cortlandt series on the Hudson River, near Peekskill, New York, by George H. Williams. In continuation of his memoir on the peridotites of the Cortlandt series (American Journal of Science, 1886, p. 26) the author here begins a petrographic description of the massive rocks of this system. The present paper deals with the non-chrysolitic rocks, norite proper and hornblende norite. He designates all rocks in which one-half or more of the non-feldspathic constituents are hypersthene as norite, and names varieties of this after the prevailing accessory component.—A method for subjecting living protoplasm to the action of different liquids, by George L. Goodale. An apparatus is described by means of which the necessity is obviated of transferring specimens from the litre-flask to the stage of the microscope, all handling being thus avoided, while the object can be placed under the action of as large a quantity of liquid as may be desirable.—On the topaz from the Thomas Range, Utah, by A. N. Alling. The topaz crystals here under examination are from the cabinet of Prof. Brush, vary in length from 3 mm. to 10 mm., and are perfectly clear and colourless.—On a simple and convenient form of water battery, by Henry A. Rowland. A simple, convenient, and cheap form of water battery is described, which the author has had in use for many years.

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