Графични страници
PDF файл

successive epochs, it gradually wasted away, broke up shale into a limestone. In each case the land lies in the into islands, and finally disappeared. The ocean re- direction of the former of the two. If a conglomerate elaimed its ancient sovereignty, and its shores gradually pass to the west into a sandstone, the land lay to the assumed their present outline.

east. If a shale graduate to the north into a limestone, Two familiar geological principles must be taken as the land lay to the south. our starting-point. The first is that denudation is equal The thickness of strata must also be taken into account to deposition. If a million tons of mud were in a certain in searching for the direction of the land. In a delta, for time deposited by the Nile on its banks and at its delta, example, the beds of sand or clay thin ont toward the it is evident that a million tons of rock must have been deep sea. The washings from a coast also follow the washed down from the regions of the Upper Nile. Or if same principle. The thick end, therefore, of a series of the sea eat away a million tons of rock from the coast of rock beds points in the direction of the land from which Norfolk, it is clear that the same weight of sand and mud the material was derived. must be deposited in the adjacent seas. The existence, In our present argument we are chiefly concerned with therefore, of sedimentary strata of a certain bulk proves the Palæozoic groups-or the most ancient rocks in the former existence of a neighboring land of equal which any fossils are found—especially those of the dimensions as certainly as a bottle of wine on your table United States, which are very favorable for our purpose, proves that there is one bottle less in your cellar. A con-being of great horizontal extent, and comparatively un. tinent deposited means a continent denuded. But we disturbed. In Western Europe the older groups of rocks have not only to ascertain the quantity of the material cover more limited areas, and are generally much altered, deposited; we have to find out the direction from which twisted, broken, and dislocated, so as to render their it came. This leads us to a second geological axiom- study less satisfactory. that the proximity of land is known by the character of the The area in North America to which our study is derived sediment. A conglomerate, or “pudding-stone," chiefly directed, is in extent about 1,000,000 square miles, is simply a consolidated pebble-beach; so that, if we find l being the great mass of land which lies between the beds of conglomerate, we know that the land from which they were derived must have been close at hand. Sandstones and shales (laminated

ONE 6 WEST-SIDE or bedded clays) have also their dis

OR THE tinctive teaching.

STONES OLD ATLANTIS A river brings down to the sea large quantities of mud


(1) Hudson River Group ; (2) Oneida Conglomerato ; (3) Medina Sandstone ; (4) Niagara and Clinton Groups ; from the wearing (5) Oriskany Sandstone ; (6) Obemung and Hamilton Group ; (7) Catskill Group ; 18) Carboniferous Group. down of the higher land. The particles of sand being heavier than the Atlantic and the Mississippi, east and west ; and between particles of mud, will sink first, and will form sandbanks Canada and Georgia, north and south. In the east the in the estuary of the river, or at no greater distance from strata are crumpled up into a series of folds, with a its mouth. The finer portions of the clay will remain northeast and southwest strike parallel to the Atlantic suspended for a much longer time ; and, if they are coastline, and forming the highland of the Appalachian drawn within the influence of powerful currents, they mountain system. Toward the west those great waves of may be swept out for hundreds of miles, and deposited rock gradually flatten out, so that on the Missiseippi the in the ocean far from land. Conglomerates, sandstones, strata lie horizontal. The rocks which cover this area are and clays (or shales), are thus indices of the distance of chiefly Palæozoic, including the formations from the the lands from which they are respectively derived. Lower Cambrian to the Carboniferous. We shall study

It would be beyond the scope of this article to indicate these groups in ascending order. the limitations to this statement; it is sufficient for our Commencing with the Lower Silurian, we pass over the purpose that it is roughly true. The evidence derived formation below the Hudson River group, as their testifrom limestones is rather more complicated. Some lime mony does not bear upon our topic. The Hudson River stones are deep-sea deposits ; or, at any rate, are formed formation in eastern New York is 700 feet in thickness ; in waters free from the washings from the land. Such is on Lake Huron it has thinned out to 180 feet; still the chalk of the southeastern counties of England, which further west, in Michigan, it is attenuated to eighteen has its modern representative in the calcareous mud feet. The evidence from the thinning of the beds is con. which covers the middle depths of the Atlantic. Other firmed by the change in the character of the sediment. limestones are produced by the building up and wearing In New York the group consists of sandstones and shales ; down of coral reefs; and, though they do not necessarily in Ohio it has become highly calcareous. prove that the land was far distant, are evidences that the The Oneida Conglomerate is an Appalachian deposit. sea was free from mud and sand, for the coral zoophytes In Pennsylvania it is 700 feet thick. It does not extend will not grow in turbid water.

to the west. If strata are traced for any distance in their horizontal The Medina Sandstone is 1,500 feet thick in Virginia and extension, they are frequently found to pass gradually Pennsylvania. Consisting of finer material than the un. into sediment of a different character. A conglomerate derlying conglomerate, it reaches further to the west, but may graduate into a sandstone, a sandstone into a shale, a I thins out in that direction.




Coming next to the Upper Silurian, we take first the Clinton group. In the eastern part of our area, it consists of shales with some thin beds of limestone; but to the west it is represented by limestones. It stretches further west than the Medina sandstone. The Niagara formation is represented in the Appalachians by shales, which pass toward the west into limestones.

Next in order is the Devonian system, the base of which is the Oriskany Sandstone. This deposit is a thick series of sandstones in the Appalachians, but in the State of Missouri it has become a limestone.

The Hamilton group in Eastern New York is a sandy deposit with land plants, but westward it gradually passes into a calcareous shale, with limestones. The Chemung formation is similar to the Hamilton. In New York it is sandy, in Iowa it is calcareous. • The Catskill group is confined to the Appalachian area. In that mountain-chain it is from 5,000 to 6,000 feet in

[ocr errors]

thickness of the above group is at least four or five miles in the east, but in the west it has diminished to less than one mile ; forming a great wedge, a thousand miles square, the thick side of which is directed eastward. Second: when the strata grow more caicerous, that transition always takes place westward. Both of these facts lead to the same conclusion, that the land from which this great mass of rock was derived lay to the east —that is, in what is now the North Atlantic Ocean. Our next inquiry has reference to the size of this Old Atlantis. We have some rough data for determining this question. We must first ascertain the size of the mass of material deposited. We have seen that it is about 1,000,000 square miles. We shall not exaggerate if we take the average thickness at one mile. This would represent a continent of 1,000,000 square miles in extent, and one mile in vertical elevation above the level of the

sea. But the average height of existing continents is less


thickness; in the State of New York from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. It consists of conglomerates, sandstones and shales. Ascending to the Carboniferous system, we come first to the Lower Carboniferous group. In the Appalachian range it is made up of a series of shales and sandstones, 3,000 feet thick. On the Mississippi it is represented by limestones. The Millstone Grit consists of grits and conglomerates. It is absent on the Mississippi. The Coal Measures are 3,000 feet thick in the Appalachian range, and consist of shales and sandstones. West of the Mississippi they are represented by a limestone. Figure 1 illustrates the thinning out of the Appalachian deposits, with their passage into limestones. From these details we gather two important facts— First : the strata thin out toward the west. Some of the formations are almost confined to the Appalachian range, others stretch some distance to the west, while others reach the Mississippi in an attenuated form. The total

than one-quarter of a mile, so that if we assume that measure for the height of our ancient land, we must give it an area of 4,000,000 square miles—that is, 2,000 miles each way. But in building up our Old Atlantis, we have as yet taken into account only the strata deposited on the west. We are not without evidence that some of our European formations were derived from the same source, though the testimony is not so complete, for the reasqn above stated. The Silurian and Cambrian rocks of Western Europe are of great thickness. The Lower Cambrian of Shropshire alone is about six miles thick, as may be seen in the Longmynd Hills, near Church Stretton. The Upper Cambrian rocks of North Wales are estimated at 8,000 feet. The Silurian series of Britain can scarcely be less than 20,000 feet. The Cambrian and Silurian united will not be over-estimated at a thickness of ten miles. In Scandinavia these systems have become greatly attenuated. Murchison calculated that 30,000 feet of Lower Silurian strata (his Lower Silurian includes the Upper Cambrian of most living geologists) in Britain, were represented by only 1,200 feet in Sweden and Norway. The same author estimated that the Silurian rocks in Russia were probably not a fortieth part of the vertical magnitude of the magnificent British deposits. The Devonian strata of Britain also thin out considerably toward the Ural Mountains. In Ireland and Britain, they are largely composed of sandstones and conglomerates; in continental Europe they are for the most part calcareous. During the Upper Carboniferous period, land conditions prevailed in Britain ; toward Eastern Europe, marine deposits predominated. The thin end of the Palaeozoic wedge in Europe is thus seen to be directed toward the east, and the land from which the strata were derived must consequently have been situated to the west. Thus


FIG. 3.—cALAMITE RESTORED. (30 to 40 feet high.)



the Old Atlantis, by means of its rivers and the waste of its coastline, probably helped to build up lands on both the west and the east. We cannot, however, suppose that deposition took place only on two sides of the Old Atlantis. During the Palaeozoic epochs, marine limestones were deposited in several parts of the Arctic regions, so that an open sea must have spread in that direction, and some of the waste of the old land must have been carried into that sea. The same wearing down of the land must also have taken place to the south, unless, indeed, the Atlantis was part of a great continent which stretched out into what is now the South Atlantic Ocean. Assuming the Old Atlantis to have been an island, we shall scarcely be exaggerating if we conclude that it was at least as large as Australia, which is about 2,400 miles from east to west, and 1,700 from north to south. The denudation of the western side, as we have seen, produced


a mass of land as large as Australia; and denudation on
east, north, and perhaps south, should at least double"
our estimate. I am desirous, however to err on the side
of moderation, and shall be content to make my Old At-
lantis the same size as the southern continent.
We come next to the climate of the Old Atlantis. We
can infer this only from what we know of the climate of
North America and Western Europe in Palaeozoic times.
During the Silurian epoch, the same marine animals
which flourished in middle latitudes prevailed to within
400 miles of the North Pole, a fact revealed to us by the
fossils collected during the Arctic expedition of Sir
George Nares. In Carboniferous times, the same assem-
blage of land-plants extended, with slight modifications,
from the Southern States of America to high polar lati-
tudes. Such facts as these teach us that the climate of
our northern hemisphere was very uniform, since the dis-
tribution of animals and plants is largely dependent upon
temperature and other climatical conditions. This equa-
bility of climate in ancient times receives strong confirma-
tion from the distribution of plants in the Miocene
period, when even such northern lands as Greenland and
Spitzenburg supported a luxuriant vegetation of beeches,
oaks, maples, planes, walnuts, ferns, magnolias, and
other plants of temperate climes. If the climate of the
earth was so free from extremes in times comparatively so
recent, we can the more readily believe that such was the
case in a more remote epoch. During the Carboniferous
period the predominant forms of vegetable life were tree-
ferns, gigantic horse-tails, lycopodiaceous plants and con-
ifers; the balance of probability arising from this flora
being in favor of a warm, moist climate. If, as some em-
inent authorities are of opinion, our sun is cooling down,
it must have had greater heating power in such ancient
times as those we are considering.
Professor P. Martin Duncan is of opinion that our
earth is gradually losing its atmosphere as the moon has
already lost hers. If this be so, our atmosphere in Pal-
aeozoic ages must have been denser than at present.
This augmented density would tend to produce a higher
temperature, our Alpine experiences proving to us that
the cold increases with the rarity of the air. All the evi-
dence we can gather tends to the same conclusion—that
the climate of the Old Atlantis was warmer than that of
our present globe in the same latitudes.
The life of our Atlantis next engages our attention. On
this subject we can speak only so far as discovery has
led us, and new revelations of fossil life may modify our
conclusions. Great changes, of course, took place in the
long succession of epochs during which the Old Atlantis
supported animals and plants; and I prefer to speak only
of the later periods of its existence, because it was then
that its forms of life reached their richest development.
We know something of the fauna and flora of neighboring
lands during the Carboniferous period, and it is fair to
infer that the life which flourished in the Old Atlantis
was not very different from that of Western Europe and
Eastern North America. The king of our ancient conti-
nent was not of very distinguished family. He is named
Hylonomus (Fig. 5). He belonged to the reptiles, and
bore some resemblance to a lizard. There is, indeed,
some doubt whether he could claim reptilian rank, as he
had close affinity with the amphibians, who are fish
during the earlier part of their life, and reptiles only in
their riper years. This creature, so far as is at present
known, was the highest organization of these early
epochs. No bird made the luxuriant forests of tree-ferns
and club-mosses vocal with its music, or left the trifid

aries. No mammal, even so lowly as a kangaroo, or a duck-billed Platypus, still less, so exalted as a lion, or horse, or a monkey, hunted over the plains or sported in the tropical sun. The real monarchs of creation were the Labyrinthodonts, so named from the complex and beautiful structure of their teeth, in which the enamel was arranged in folds resembling the convolutions of the human brain. These belonged to the Amphibia, and some of them still retained in their later reptilian life the traces of their fish origin, such as the arches which contained the gills, and the cartilaginous backbone. Some of them were of gigantic size, such as Baphetes and Anthracosaurus, and must have been mayors of the palace to the more dignified but feebler Hylonomus. Hylonomus, however, was not one of the last scions of a decaying race; he was probably one of the founders and forefathers of the great saurian dynasty, which ruled tha world in Mesozoic times, when the Old Atlantis had sunk beneath the waves. Snails made their first appearance in the later ages of our ancient continent, being represented by forms resembling the modern Heliac and Pupa. Insects appear to have been tolerably abundant, and were represented in most of the present orders; but some of the earlier types were “synthetic"—that is, combining peculiarities of structure now found only in different groups. We have insects resembling May-flies, beetles, cockroaches, crickets and locusts. The myriapods are very peculiar, with segments divided by cross sutures, Amongst the spiders is a curious scorpion, with its twelve eyes disposed in a circle. The plant-life of the later Palaeozoic periods—which has been already noticed—is their most conspicuous feature. Ferns are very abundant, some of gigantic size. Calamites resembling enormous horse-tails (Equisetum) grew in dense brakes on low, moist flats. The fruit was a long cone or spike. Some were more than twenty feet in length (Fig. 3). Lepidodendron was probably a lycopod, but of giant dimensions, reaching in some cases a length of fifty feet or more. The bark was covered with diamond-shaped scars, the leaves were slender and pointed, and spore-cases were formed in spikes at the ends of the branches (Fig. 4). Sigillaria had its bark covered with seal-like scars, and attained equal dimensions with any of the preceding. Numerous other genera abounded, but it is doubtful if, amidst this prolific vegetable life, any flowering plants existed. Many of the types seem to have combined peculiarities now found only in widely-separated groups. Fish were abundant in the rivers and seas of the Old Atlantis. They were all of them “heterocercal"—that is, with the backbone prolonged into the upper lobe of the tail—a peculiarity possessed by comparatively few modern fishes. Most of them were ganoids, the body being covered by large, strong, shining plates. In Fig. 2 we have a representation of the marine life of this ancient period. Such were, then the denizens of this ancient continent. They lived and died, and their sepulchres are with us to this day in the form of the hollow trunks of fossil trees, or of beds of iron-stone, clay or sandstone. The very types to which some of them belong are gone, and since their time new types have come into being, in their turn to give place to still higher forms. Of the mode of life of these antique creatures we can form a rough idea. The glory of their existence was, doubtless, to conquer and devour. Suffering and death was the common lot. The great alternative of life was to kill or to be killed. But this seemingly wretched state was not all evil. The perfection of the animal kingdom was to be attained through suffering and conflict. Had these ancient beings

imprint of its feet upon the sands of the shallow estu

been provided with the means of idleness and easily ob

[ocr errors]

tained supplies of food, higher types might never have |

ENTERTAINING COLUMN, been produced. Through the immeasurable epochs, amidst the upheaval and decay of continents, with types

WITH AN EYE TO BUSINESS.-A musical young lady says that a

composer may very properly make overtures. of life coming slowly into being and as slowly departing,

A MAN having written to another in a rage, and called him an the races of the world were being elaborated into higher

ass, the maligned man wrote back and signed his note, “ Yours, form, till man appeared as the crown of the organic fraternally!" world.

“CAN any one tell what the wind wbistles for ?" asked & young man at a pienic. “It whistles for the leaves to dance by," do

murely replied a young lady. RECENT PROGRESS IN SCIENCE. "WALK slower, papa," cried the little girl whose short steps

were no match for the strides of her masculine progenitor; “ can't ANONG the interesting bird notes made by Mr. C. Nutting you go nice and slow, like a policeman ?" during his recent ornithological trip to Nicaragua, was one upon

A BOSTON housemaid, who, about to leave unexpectedly, was an oriole named Ostinops Montezumce, which is one of the nost urged to give a reason for it, simply said: "I can't stay; the young familiar and conspicuous birds around Lake Nicaragua, where it makes itself obnoxious to the farmers by feeding upon plantains,

ladies speak such bad grammar."

la Wananas, mangoes, and other cultivated fruits. It lives in colonies, ONE of the sufferers by a late railway accident was rushing

ated in cocoanut palms, and gets the native name. wildly about, when some one asked if he was hurt. "No," he **Ora pendola," from its style of nest-building. The nests are long said, “ but I can't find my umbrella.” and purse-like, and are generally composed of fine grasses, the entrance being near the top. There are often fifty or more of

" You don't look happy," said a man to a neighbor, who was

just coming down the steps of his house one cold morning. "No," these nests on one tree; in which particular, as well as in the shape of the nest, this bird closely resembles the “Caçique” oriole

st this bird closely resembles the " Caciane" oriole replied the neighbor, with a shiver ;“ it's cold without and scold of South America. Tho voice of this oriole, Mr. Nutting says, is

within !" almost indescribable, but in some of its phases recalls the noise

DUMAS fils is somewhat severe. The conversation had turned produced by an ungreased cartwheel. Mr. Nutting made large

upon Mrs. X., who had been very beautiful. “She has something and valuable collections, including several new species, which will

of the goddess," said a faithful admirer. “Yes,” said Dumas go to the National Museum at Washington.

"antiquity!" AFTER a study of the bandages of Egyptian mummies, a Belgian THE DEAREST SPOT.—“My dear,” said a sentimental wife, inventor has contrived a method of rendering linen impenetrable "home, you know, is the dearest spot on earth," "Well, yes," and very durable. In effect he tans it, using as the chief ingre- said the practical husband, “it does cost about twice as much as dient of his preservative the green tar of birch-bark, which fur- | any other spot.” nishes the

the perfume or Russia leather. Tho tar forms, with alcohol. a solution of great fluidity; but when once dried it becomes resin

“My case is just this,” said a man to a lawyer. “The plaintiff ous and resists the solvent power of alcohol, and the corrosion of

will swear that I hit him. I will swear that I did not. Now, what acids, while very elastic. This preservative thoroughly penetrates

can you lawyers make out of that if we go to trial ?” “Fifty dolthe capillary vessels of tissues, and shuts them against air and

lars easy," was the reply. dampness so that mold cannot take root, and the aromatic odor drives away insects. The invention can be applied to water-proof

A GARRULOUS fop, who had annoyed by his frivolous remarks ing any vegetable tissues, such as linen or cotton clothes, cordage,

his partner in the ballroom, among other empty things, asked

whether "she had ever had her ears pierced ?" "No," was the etc., etc. EXPERIMENTS have lately been conducted in Boston, England,

reply, “but I've often had them bored ! to determine differences of temperature and density of the air, at

A THEOLOGICAL student recently advertised : “A pious young and above the ground, observations having been made on the top

man wishes to obtain a home in a respectable private family, where of a church-tower, 260 high, on the belfry, 170 feet high, and at the

his moral deportment will be considered an equivalent for his ground. It was found that during the year just recorded the mean

board and lodging. References required.” temperature during the day-hours was considerably warmer in the hurchyard than at the top of the tower, the difference being

A FEW days ago two persons were heard disputing as to the especially marked at noon, and in bright days. In foggy weather

meaning of the word “lampoon." The one accused the other of the top of the tower was almost always warmest, since it rose

never having heard of the word before. “What ! Do you think I above the mist; but in cloudy or wet weather the case was re

have never heard of lampooning whales ?" was the reply. versed. There was no great difference in relative humidity, the top of the belfry showing a small excess of dampness in Summer. A SUNBEAM IN THE HOUSE.-Said he to industrious Margaret:

" You are indeed a sunbeam in the house.” Oh, pray don't call THE peculiar scroll-shaped incisions in the bridge of a violin

me that!" cried she. “Don't! Why not?" "Because a sunbeam were fina

v fixed upon as t
ed upon as the best, after a long series of trials by

in the house shows up all the dust, but does nothing to clear it Stradivarius. It has been suggested by a member of the Royal

away." Society of Great Britain, in a recent paper, that their use is found in the fact that they sift the vibrations communicated by the

THAT was a neat compliment paid by a French ambassador in

London to a peeress who had been talking to him for an hour. strings, allowing those only, or mainly, to pass would be efficient in bringing the best tones from the body of the

The lady said: “You must think I am very fond of the sound of instrument. Injurious vibrations, tending to give a rocking

my own voice." The Frenchman replied : “I knew you liked

music.” motion to the bridge, are, for the most part, absorbed by the greater elasticity given to the upper part of the bridge by the cut PATERFAMILIAS: “ What is included in your curriculum ?” ting. This view is sustained by scientific experiments.

Young Hopeful: “Our what, father ?" Paterfamilias : “The cur

riculum of your class." Young Hopeful : "Well, to speak the THE May number of the Journal of the Franklin Institute con- truth, I don't know. You see, being the stroke-oar, I have not tains an elaborate article by N. B. Clark, U.S.N., urging

S.N., urging the adop

much time for botany." tion of petroleum as fuel in warships for the purpose of attaining

FIRST HERE.-Not long since, a certain noble peer in Yorkshire, an extraordinary speed in emergencies--chasing or running away. The same boilers which would serve with anthracite coal would

England, who is fond of boasting of his Norman descent, thus ad

dressed one of his tenants, who, he thought, was not speaking to also serve with petroleum, and ward of the impending necessary change from anthracite to bituminous coal, which seems to be

him with proper respect : “Do you not know that my ancestors needful in order to secure a sufficiently great speed in new war

came over with William the Conqueror ?” “And, mayhap," reships. Its many other advantages are pointed out, and interest

torted the sturdy Saxon, nothing daunted, "they found mine here ing facts given, drawn from the experience of foreign navies.

when they comed.” The noble lord felt that he had the worst

of it. The drainage of the Great Meadows, in Warren County, N.J., which has been going on for some time under the care of the geological survey of the State, is proceeding favorably. Ordinary rains

CONSUMPTION CURED. are quickly carried off; the autumnal and miasmatic diseases, formerly so much dreaded in that neighborhood, have disap An old physician, retired from practice, having had placed in peared, and the waste swamp-land, wherever brought into culti his hands by an East India missionary the formula of a simple vation, shows a decided superiority over the surrounding uplands. vegetable remedy for the speedy and permanent cure of Consump

tion. Bronchitis, Catarrh. Asthma, and all Throat and Lung AflecIt has been discovered that wire colored according to the pro tions, also a positive and radical cure for Nervous Debility and all cesses of Nobile and Becqueral with alkaline plumbates and fer Nervous Complaints, having tested its wonderful curative powers rates not only resisted all galvanic action, but no longer con in thousands of cases, has felt it his duty to make it known to his ducted the electric current. As an insulator it seems quite as suffering fellows. Actuated by this motive and a desire to relieve effective as gutta percba or resin, is durable and cheap.

human suffering, I will send free of charge to all who desire it, this

recipe in German, French or English, with full directions for preJ. EMERSON REYNOLDS, F.R.S., concludes that the truth of the paring and using. Sent by mail by addressing with stamp, naming disputed atomic weight of beryllium is 9:2, and that the metal is a this paper, W. A. NOYES, 149 Power's Block, Rochester, N. Y. diad with the symbol for its oxide, BEO. This goes to show that beryllium is the first member of a diad series of elements, of which

SEND your address on a postal-card for 100-page Book on the calcium, strontium and barium are homologues.

| Liver. DR. SANFORD, 24 Duane Street, New York City.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »