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J>aratively little cold absorbing atmosphere above it, and there-
ore great difficulty in forming a spot If this were the case we
might expect a less atmospheric effect or gradation of luminosity
from the center to the circumference at the epoch of minimum
than that of maximum spot-frequency. Perhaps on some future
occasion we may be able to produce evidence of this, and even
of the unequal atmospheric effect of the two limbs of the sun
at the same time ; but in the meantime we shall content our-
iielves with suggesting this to the observers of our luminary as
• simple inquiry that may possibly prove productive.

83. We are especially desirous of bringing under the early
notice of the scientific world the accumulation of observations
we are making, in order that others may put forth their own
conjectures in elucidation of solar physica In venturing the
opinions we have stated, we do so witn some reserve, and with
the conviction that possibly they may hereafter require modi'*

Digitized by


O. A. ShufeUU an the Subterranean Saurce$j etc. 198

Art. XX. — On the Subterranean Sources of the Waters of the Great
Lakes; by George A. Shufeldt.

If we* take down the map of North America, and follow
Around the borders of our chain of Great Lakes, we find that
the tributaries for supplying the mighty torrent of water which
pours in immense volumes over the Falls at Niagara, and thence
through the St. Lawrence to the sea, are few m number and
insignificant in effect Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh
water in the world, has an area of 82,000 square miles and a
mean depth .of one thousand feet. There are a few small
streams, none worthv of the name of rivers, which find their
oiitlet in this lake — the St Louis and Ontonagon are the largest
.of these; but there is probably not water enough discharged
into the lake to make up for the atmospheric absorption and
evaporation. The entire State of Wisconsin, even from the
very borders of Lake Superior, is drained by rivers, which flow
into, and are tributaries of the Mississippi. These are, in chief,
the Wisconsin Eiver, the Black, Chippewa, Fox and Eock
Eivers, the waters of which all flow southward, to the Gulf of
^ Mexico. The whole State of Minnesota with its thousands of
* lakes and streams may be called the mother of the Father of
Waters — for all of her waters which do not gather into the great
Eed Biver of the North are discharged into the Mississippi, and
do not contribute to keep up the supply of Lake Superior; and
on the northern shore of the lake, m the British possessions,
there are no rivers which flow in this direction. Here the cur*
rent is the other way and the streame find their way to Hud-
son's Baj[ and other more northerly seas. The outlet of Lake
Superior is the Eiver St. Mary's — a stream of considerable mag-
nitude — which discharges the surplus waters of the Lake in the
direction of Lake Huron. Lake Superior is 627 feet above the
sea level

If we examine the surroundings of Lake Michigan we shall
find the evidences of this theory still more striking. This lake
has an area of 22,400 square miles, and a mean depth of 900
feet It is above the sea level 578 feet or forty-nine feet below
Lake Superior. It is also an immense body of water, whose
Bole apparent sources of supply are found in a few small streams
which now into it from the otate of Michigan.

The largest of these are the Grand and Manistee rivers; from
Wisconsin there is only one small stream, the Milwaukee river
at Milwaukee. From Illinois there is only the Chicago river,
a slug^sh stream without a current; and indeed there is, at only
ten miles distance fix>m the banks of the lake south and west,

Digitized by


IM O. A, SkufeUU on the Subierranean Sources %

the water-shed called the Summit, which separates the waters
which flow into the St Lawrence from those which flow into the
Gulf of Mexico, and from the southern slope of this Summit,
flowing southward, is the Aux Plaines river, a tributary of the
lUindis. So that Lake Michigan gets no water from Illinois,
but a trifle from Wisconsin, and very little from Michigan. And
yet the straits of Mackinaw carry off a large quantity of water
from this lake, and Lake Michigan furnishes its due proportion
of the great current which passes over the Falls of Niagara. Now
the question arises, whence comes this great volume and mass of
running water?

Geologists are tolerably fiimiliar with the subject of under-
ground streams and water coursea They know that the crust
of the earth is full of these streams, and although from the fact
that they are generally concealed from sight, there must be con-
siderable speculation concerning them, yet there are cases, such
as in the Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, the Adelsberg mountains in
Switzerland, and numerous artesian wells scattered all over the
world, the lost rivers on our western prairies, &c., from which a
positive knowledge may be derived concerning the nature and
history of these rock-bound rivers.

The artesian wells in London furnish now about 12,000,000 of
gallons of water daily. This is the seepage of the valley in
which the great city is located. The water from the whole coun-
try surrounding finds its way along the tilts and inclinations of
the broken strata, below the chalk beds, in among the sands and
gravel, whence it is taken by boring into the ground to the depth
of about 600 feet. It does not appear probable that there are
any considerable streams in this vicinity, for the entire of the
underlying gravel beds seem, as it were, saturated with water,
which is reached at any point of perforation.

These remarks apply to the wells of Grenelle and of Passy, in
the basin of Paris, with the exception in the case of the latter
that they struck an amazing stream of water eighteen hundred
feet below the surface which discharges nearly six millions of
gallons per day, rushing to the surface with great power and ve-
locity. This is strong evidence, certainly, of a great underground
Btream at this point. The great wells of Kissingen in Bavaria,
at Munden in Hanover, at Louisville in Kentucky, Charleston,
S. 0., and hundreds of others, many of which are two thousand
feet deep, discharging great volunies of water — all tend to de-
monstrate the fact that the crust of the earth is penetrated in all
directions and at all depths with these streams and water courses.

Adopting this as a conceded fact, let us once more turn to the
map of North America and note particularly the point where
the thirty-second degree of west longitude crosses the fortv -fourth
parallel of north latitude. Within a radius of five hundred

Digitized by


of the Waien of the Great Lakes. 109

miles, of which this is the center, will be found the ereat water
producing region of the West. In this elevated and compare*
tively uneven surface of the country, nearly all of the great
rivers of the West have thdir sources and fountain-heads. First
the Missouri, with its innumerable branches and tributaries,
among which are the Yellowstone and the North Fork df the
Platte, the Arkansas, the Bed River, the Bio Grande, all flowing
from the eastern and southern slopes of the Bocky Mountains
and finding their way through thousands of miles of country to
the Gulf of Mexico. On the western slope is the Bio Colorado,
which empties into the Gulf of California, and which is formed
by the union of the Grand and Green rivers, the sources of
which are also within the-territory above mentioned. The same
statement is true of the Columoia river flowing through the
State of Oregon into the Pacific, and of the other great streams
and rivers which flow northward and westward into the Pacific
and the Northern oceans. Thus the knowledge we already pos-
sess of the surface streams of this great extent of territory all
tends to demonstrate the truth of the theory in relation to the
water producing region, its location, extent and capacity, and also
that on the surface there is but comparatively a small amount of
this water which finds its way into our Great Lakes.

It is a well-known fact to travellers on our western plains,
that large streams, often rivers in size, suddenly disappear, fall-
ing away into great fissures and chasms, sometimes reappearing,
but more frequently lost forever; where and in what manner
does this water find an outlet? What becomes of the mass of
water which falls upon the earth and is absorbed by the soil and
the rocks belov^the beds of rivers and streams? The crust of
the earth abounds in water to unknown depths, and from the
nature of the element, it must create for itseli ways and courses
of travel, as plainly beneath as upon the surface. And now, if
the Great Lakes are not supplied by means which are upon the
the surface and apparent to the eye, it follows as a natural con-
sequence that their sources of supply must be underneath the
ground. The outlet of these lakes discharges an enormous quan-
tity of water, the visible inlets are mere trifles in comparison—
and thus there seems to be no other conclusion on the subject but
that the water supply comes from below the surface of the ground.
This water probably finds inlets at different points on the bottoms
of the lakes, and maintains the supply with as much certainty and
regularity as if the streams were running on the surface of the
ground. This theory is further, and I think more particularly
demonstrated by the great mass and volume of water which i3
now being discharged by the Chicago artesian wells. These are
over seven hundred feet deep — nearly penetrating the earth to a
line parallel with the bottom of Lake Michigan — ^are located in

Digitized by


196 O. A. ShufeUU on the Subterranean Sources of Lakes,

no mat valley or depreflBion, such as the basins of Paris or
London. The water nas a head of nearly one hundred and
twenty-five feet above the level of the lake ; is mneh colder than
the mean temperature of the location of the wells, being now
67 degrees Fahrenheit; these facts tending to show that it must
come firom a more elevated region of country, and also irom a
higher latitude. There are two other facts corroborative of
this point. When the water was first struck the temperature
was 69 degrees Fahrenheit; it has fallen now two degrees, or to
67. Then, the first analysis of the water exhibited 72 grains to
the wine gallon of mineral matter held in solution ; the second
analysis, made only one year afterwards, showed only 66 grains
of the same matter. These facts, taken in connection with the
great head of the water, seem to establish exclusively that it
comes from some remote region of the north or northwest

It is also probable that the great under-ground stream, pene-
trated by these wells, once discharged its waters into the bottom
of Lake Michigan ; but this outlet was closed by the upheaval
of the earth's crust, which is visible at the point of the location
of these wells, and at the present time there is no outlet except
the artificial one made by the drill. This supposition is proved
by the head and the great force and power of the water, for if
it had a lower outlet, anything like the size of the stream, it
would not show a head much, if any, above the surface of tho
ground, and it is also sustained by the facts mentioned above-^
the decrease of the temperature of the water from fifty-nine de-
grees to fifty-seven degrees, and the diminution in (quantity of
mineral matter held in solution — the latter fact seeming clearly
to prove that prior to the time when the (mils penetrated
the stream, the water bad dissolved and absorbed a large quan-
tity of the soluble matter of the rocks with which it came in
contact in its state of rest. As soon as an opening or outlet was
made, and a quantity of water was discharged, this mineral mat-
ter decreased in proportion, and tbe probability now is that the
water will become softer and purer as the amount discharged be-
comes greater, and that eventually, and probably at no distant
day, the water will come from its fountain-head, simply filtered
and purified by its passage through the sandstone and gravel

That the outlet of this stream into Lake Michigan was closed
by the upheaval of tbe earth's crust, is a probable conclu-
sion, whicn can be verified by an inspection of the grounds
on which these wells are located. The surface here is only some
seven or eight feet above the level of tbe surrounding prairie ;
but geologically or stratigraphically, it is nearly one hundred
and fifty feet above the common level of Chicago, that is, at
about one mile distant eastward and into the city. We bore

Digitized by


31. C. Lea on Influence of Organic and Inorganic Bodies, etc. 107

into the soil nearly one hundred and fifty feet before reaching
the same rock, which is here exposed upon the surface, and at the
well bored at the Chicago Distillery Company's premises on the
North Branch, they penetrated the Joliet marble at a depth, I
believe, of one hundred and eighty>six feet, which, at the other
point is only twenty-nine feet from the surface; this and various
other facts show the nature and extent of this convulsion, and
that it was no difficult feat of nature to dam up this compara-
tively trifling underground stream, and leave its waters pent up
in the rocks and caverns for the future use and benefit of man.

I do not know that these speculations will be of sufficient inter*
est to be made public, but they may have the effect of direct-
ing some abler pen to the solution of the problem as to the
sources whence the Great Lakes derive their supply of water.

Chicago, KoTember, 1866.

Art. XXI. — Experiments on the Influence of various Organic and
Inorganic Bodies upon Germination and Vegetation; by M.
Caret Lea, Philadelphia.

The following experiments were made to determine how far
the germination of seeds, and subsequent vegetation of the
plants, would be controlled or influenced by the action of acid,
alkaline and neutral bodies in solution in the water with which
the seeds were moistened. It will be seen that the action of the
strongest of our acids is insufficient to prevent germination when
sufficiently dilute. And that the same may be said with respect
to some of our most powerful oxydizing and reducing agents.

The experiments were made by tying pieces of very thin mus-
lin over dass vessels filled so full that the muslin clipped into
the liquid. Grains of wheat were placed on this muslin, an

Sual number (20 perfect grains) on each. The capacity of the
^ isses was in every case 12^ ounces, and the water was replaced
as fast as it evaporated. There was added respectively to each
as follows :

No. 1. 1 drop sulphuric acid.

2. 2 drops nitric acid.

8. 3 " hydrochloric acid. •

4. 5 grs. bicarbonate of potash.

5. 5 '* dry carbonate of soda.

6. 10 drone of rather weak liquid ammonia.

7. 5 grs. bromid of ammonium.

8. A pair of zinc and copper plates connected above the surface

by a wire, and plunged in plain water.
Ax. Jou& Sol~Sboohi> Sbriss, Vol. XLIU, No. Isa^MiRca, 1S67.

Digitized by


108 M. C. Lea on the Influence of Organic and Inorganic

No. 9. Same, acidulated 3 drops hydrochloric acid.

10. Plain water for compariaon.

11. 5 grains sulphite of soda.

12. " " chlorate of potassa.

The results were as follows. At the end of

48 hours — Gerniiuation evident in all. Most advanced, 4, 10, 11; me-
dium, 2 ; least, 1, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12.

3 days — Most advanced, 4, 10, 11 ; medium, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12; least, 1, 2,


4 days — Most advanced, 4, 10, 11; medium, 5, 7, 12; less, 2, 6, 8, 9;

least, 1, 3.

5 days — Most advanced, 4, 10, U ; medium, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 ; less, 1, 9;

least, 2, 3.

6 days — Most advanced, 4, 10, 11 ; a little less, 5, 6, 7, 8 ; much behind,

1, 2, 3, 9.

Some curious deductions are to be drawn from these results.

Nitric acid did not at first very strongly affect the growth, less
than seven other substances, then eventually its influence be-
came much more felt.

Bicarbonate of potash was the least injurious of all the sub-
stances tried, next came sulphite of soda, and next carbonate of

No saline or other substance included acted in any way as a
stimulant, the product of the plain water as an average was
fully up to any of the rest, though as will hereafter be seen, the
largest plant was formed in another vessel.

In the observations just made I have endeavored to show the
daily course of action ; in the following table I have summed
up the total effects at the end of seven days, when experiment
was discontinued.

Total results at the end of seven days.


Proportion of vuhiitaDca in
100 of wmr.

No. of aedds
that fermin-

' lieifbiof'

1 Total
amoant of vef-

amount of vafa-
lation, ukiof

attfd out of 20. young plaou.


that ia piaia wa^
tor aa lOiX


WOa. U016,






NO,. 033,






HCl, 060.

• 8





KG 200,, 0-0S8»






NaOCOa, 0088,












NH^ Br, 0088.






Zii and Cu plntefl,



20 8



Same with 8 drops HCI.






Plain water,






NnOSOa, 0088.











Digitized by


Bodies on GtermincUion and Vegetaiion.


This table shows :

That an oxydizing agent, chlorate of potash (12), is not more
injarious than a reducing one, sulphite of soda (11), to germina-
tion, but after germination it kept down vegetation to one-fourth.

That free acids are much more injurious than alkalies, espe-
cially hydrochloric acid (3).

That the presence of an electric pair did not check germina-
tion, but reduced vegetation by one-third.

That the presence of free sulphuric acid had no injurious in-
fluence upon germination, actually a larger proportion of seeds
started than with pure water, whereas with hydrochloric acid
only three seeds germinated out of twenty. But sulphuric acid
reduced vegetation to one-sixth, hydrochloric to 28 per cent.

With bicarbonate of potash, precisely the same number ger-
minated as with plain water, and attained precisely the same

In (9) the HCl acted less energetically than in (3), doubtless
because it was rapidly taken up by the zinc.

Plants in the sulphite of soda attained the same height as those
in plain water. But the number germinating was one-fourth less.

A second set of trials was made, in which a number of other
substances were experimented upon, and at the same time sul-
phuric acid was added in much smaller quantity, and sulphite of
soda in much larger. Capacity of the vessel as before, 12^ oz.

No. 1, Plain water.

2, Cane sugar, 30 grains.

3, Gum, 30 grains.

4, Glycerine, 1 fluid drachm.

5, Sulphuric acid, ^ drop.

No. 6, Citric acid, 6 grains.

7, Sulphite of so^a, 20 grains.

8, Permanganate of potash, 2

0, Nitrate of ammonia, 20 grs.

The object of this series was to include in the experiments
certain organic substances such as the three first on the list, a
vegetable acid, and some salts whose influence might be active
and characteristic.

At the end of thirteen days, during which the weather was
very cold (Dec. 10 to Dec. 23), the following was the condition
of affairs.

Nos. 2 and 4 (cane sugar and glycerine) were as far advanced
as the plain water (No. 1), but no fi\rther. These substances
therefore had not stimulated either germination or early vege-
tation in the wheat seeds.

In 3 (gum solution) fewer seeds germinated than in either of
the foregoing, but the most advanced plants were /uUy one-half
higlier than any in 1, 2, or 4.

Nos. 7 and 9 (sulphite of soda and nitrate of ammonia) were
aomewhat in advance of those in plain water, but not very much.

In 6 (citric acid) a large number germinated, and appeared

Digitized by


900 Conitibutions from the Sheffield LabonUory.

healthy, but they did not obtain one*fourth the height of those
in No. 1, and what was yery remarkable, theyfotTned no roots
at aU.

In 5 (sulphuric acid) the plauts were more advanced than in
the citric acid, and had healthy roots extending down into the

In 8 (permanganate of potash) the condition of afiGeiirs most
resembled that in the citric acid. In both the seeds had germin-
ated and produced healthy looking plants an inch in height.
But no roots whatever had been formed in either case.

Some of the above sets of seeds were allowed to vegetate
for a month, and developed curious results.

Those plants which ^rew in the vessels containing solutions
of cane sugar, gum, and glycerine respectively, grew as fast and
flourished as well as those in plain water, but it could scarcely
be said that at the end of the month they presented any supe-

But whilst the roots of the plants in plain water, in gum, and
in glycerine, reached to the very bottom of the vessel, becom-
ing four to five inches long, those in the cane sugar did not ex-
ceed an inch in length, just dropping below the surface of the
water, which had become lowerea by spontaneous evaporation,
and this although the plants were as high as in the others just
mentioned, viz., six to eight inches, and as numerous and
healthy in every respect. This would seem to. indicate that
they received their nutriment in a more concentrated form, if it
were not that these plants, though equally large and healthy as
those in plain water, exhibited no superiority over them.

Abt. XXII. — Contributions from the Sheffield Laboratory of Tale
Qdlege.— XIII. On Native Crystallized Terpin; by S.W.JOHNSON.

In October, 1866, the writer received from Wm. M. Gabb, Esq.,
of the Geological Survey of California, a small quantity of crys-
tals found in " cavities near the core of a semi-decomposed pine
stump that was buried three or four feet below the surface
in Shasta Co., California." The crystals were discovered by Mr.
Voy of San Francisco.

At the request of Mr. Gabb I have examined these crystals,
which, in the sample received, were still partly adhering to a
fragment of pine, where they were associated with another crys-
talline substance of a yellowish color and resinous aspect.

The crystals were colorless and transparent, the largest indi-
vidual W2\s three-eighths of an inch long, one-eighth of an inch
wide and one-sixteenth of an inch thick. They were of brilliant
luster and well terminated at the free ends. From their occur-
ring in buried pine wood and from their general appearance, it

Digitized by ^OOQIC

S, W. Johnson on Native Crystallized Terpin. 201

was at once suspected they might be identical with crystallized
teipin. Their j&dnt resinous taste and odor, not to be distin-
guished from that of the artificial substance, confirmed this view.

To obtain full information regarding the crystallometrical
characters of the substance, I applied to my friend, Mr. John M.
Blake of New Haven, to make a comparison between the najtive
crystals and those of artificial preparation from the chemical cabi-
net of the Sheffield Scientific School. Some of the highly inter-
esting results of these investigations are communicated by Mr.
Blake in the paper that follows, and leave no doubt of the iden-
tity of the two substances, although their crystals are not devel-
oped in the same manner, and exhibit other physical differences
which, as he states, disappear when both are recrystallized from
the same solvent.*

After Mr. Blake had finished his examinations, a combustion
was made on nearly the whole available substance. The hydro-
gen determination was lost by the fracture of the CaOl tube, but
the estimation of carbon fully confirmed the conclusions previ-
ously arrived at. The combustion was effected in a tube partly
filled with oxvd. of copper and in a stream of oxygen, the
substance itselr being placed in a tray of platinum. On appli-
cation of heat it swelled and afterwards vaporized completely,
without blackening and without leaving a weighable residue.
On the cold parts of the tube silky crystals of anhydrous terpiu
condensed. This deportment is characteristic of terpin.

The amount of substance burned was but 00975 grm. The
increase in weight of the potash bulbs 'and tube was 0*226 grm.

Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 23 of 102)