French Geographical Explorations

1883 Science  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. 596 S CIE full activity. Although of such great length, these Himalayan glaciers could never have reached the enormous thickness which the earlier alpine glaciers attained. Two periods of glacial extension are clearly defined, separated by a milder interval of climate. Diuring the earlier glacial period the Indus valley was filled with those extensive lacustrine and fluviatile deposits, mixed with large angular d6bris, such as we see at Scardo, which may be coeval with the extreme extension of the alpine erratics, so far as the miocene hills south of Turin. The second period followed after a long interval of denudation of the same beds, and would correspond with the last extension of the great moraines of Ivrea, Maggiore, Como, etc., followed by a final retreat to nearly present smaller dimensions. Nowhere on the south of the Himalaya do we find valleys presenting any features similar to those of the southern Alps, particularly on the Italian lakes, which are, I believe, the result, in the first place, of marine denudation, succeeded by that of depression, and finally powerful ice-action. This attempt to bring before you some of the great changes in the geography of Europe and Asia must now be brought to an end. I am oinly sorry it is not in more able hands than mine to treat it in the manner it deserves, and in better and more eloquent language; but it is a talent given to but few menl (sometimes to a Lyell or a Darwiin) to explain clearly and in an interesting form the great aind gradual chlanges the surface of the earth has passed through. The study of those changes must create in our minds Ihumble admiration of the great Creator's sublime work, and it is in such a spirit that I now submit for your consideration the subject of this address. FRENCH GEOGRAPHICAL EXPLORA-2'IONS.1 SINCE the last re-union of our societies, we have seen the complete success of the French expedition to observe the transit of Venus. This phenomenon, important for astronomy, which requires a unity of measurement of the celestial spaces, should also be of interest to geography, for the unity sought is the correct distance of the sun from the earth. We already know the distance of the moo1n from the earth, about ninety-six thousand leagues, of which I can easily form an idea, as it is the distance I have traversed by land and sea siince 1854, the time that I commenced my isthmus travels. " The French expedition sent to foreign parts to observe the transit of Venus has obtained a great and well-earnied success, of which they are justly entitled to be proud." So says one of the most eminent French savants, Mr. Dumas, who has largely contributed to that success. It now remains, aind it is not the least difficult part of the task, to compare the results obtained, in order to submit to a delicate analysis the infinitesimal differences, which correspond to errors of hundreds 1 Address by FERDINAND DE LESSEPS before the geographical congress at Douai. Translated from Cosmos-les-mo ndes, vi. 91, 121. 596 S CIE 1 Address by FERDINAND DE LESSEPS before the geographical congress at Douai. Translated from Cosmos-les-mo ndes, vi. 91, 121.
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