Skip to main content

Full text of "Catalogue of Earthquakes 1"

See other formats

Feb. i2, 1885] 


The instruments, provisions, and tents for each officer are to be 
conveyed on a horse and four mules. They will commence their 
surveying work in the south of each of the three Algerian pro¬ 
vinces, and their position, scattered as they will be singly over 
the whole of Algeria, in the midst of semi-subjugated tribes, will 
be a delicate and perilous one. They will probably return to 
Paris about the end of May. 

At the last meeting of the Geographical Society of Paris it 
was stated that Col. Prejevals'd had discovered the sources of 
the Yang-tsze-kiang. 

The last number of the Boletin de la Sociedad Geogrdfica de 
Madrid contains a first instalment of Capt. Eduardo O’Connor’s 
official report on his recent exploration of the Upper Li may (Rio 
Negro) and Lake Nahuel-IIualpi. This report is of consider¬ 
able geographical interest, as it embodies a detailed account of 
the first successful attempt to navigate the Rio Negro, from its 
mouth in the Atlantic to its source in the romantic Lake Nahuel- 
Iiualpi in the heart of the Chilian Andes. As far as the Collun- 
cura (Catapuliche) confluence the expedition was able to proceed 
on board the Rio Negro steamer, but beyond that point it had 
to make its way in an open boat, which had in many places to 
be hauled over the numerous rapids obstructing the navigation 
of the Upper Limay, or furthest southern head-stream of the 
Rio Negro. Here the river flowed mainly in a narrow rocky 
bed, contracting at some points to 120 and even 100 feet, with a 
current varying from seven to nine, and even eleven miles an 
hour at the most difficult rapids. But beyond the confluence of 
the Treful, in 40° 42' S. lat, the reefs and other obstructions dis¬ 
appeared, the current fell to a mean velocity of five or six miles, 
and as the stream is very deep it would be accessible to steam 
launches in this section all the way to the lake. Approached 
from the Limay this alpine basin presented a charming prospect, 
winding away to the right in an endless series of rocky inlets or 
wooded creeks, opening out to the lefc in broad and slightly 
undulating grassy savannahs. The hills rise in some places to a 
height of 700 or 800 feet above the lower wooded slopes, break¬ 
ing into sharp peaks, crags of fantastic shape, or rocky walls, 
as..tuning here and there the appearance of cyclopean fortifica¬ 
tions. The horizon was bounded in the distance by an extensive 
range of lofty sierras covered with snow, and like the lower hills 
often assuming the most varied and capricious forms. The deep 
blue waters of the lake are broken only by a solitary island of 
large size covered with dense vegetation, and intersected by 
regular ranges of hills from 300 to 400 feet high. The surround¬ 
ing country appears to be uninhabited, and on calm days, rare in 
this breezy region, all nature is wrapped in the stillness of death, 
and the glassy surface of the lake unbroken by a single ripple. 

WEEK ,, 1885, FEBRUARY 15-21 

(For the reckoning of time the civil day, commencing at 
Greenwich mean midnight, counting the hours on to 24, is here 

At Greenwich on February 15 

Sunrises, 7I1, 16m. ; souths, I2h. 14m. 2C3S. ; sets, 17I1. 13m. ; 
deck on meridian, 12° 30' S. : Sidereal Time at Sunset, 
2I1. 56m. 

Moon (New 

at 2h.) 

rises, 7h. 6 m. 


I2h. 29m. ; sets. 

i8h. om 

; decl. 

on meridian, 8° 

9' s. 





Decl. on Meridian 

h. m. 

h. m. 

h. m. 

0 / 

Mercury .. 

6 44 

... II I 

15 17 

... 19 47 s. 


6 36 

- io 57 .. 

15 18 

... 19 5 s. 


7 20 

... 12 12 .. 

17 4 

... 13 49 s. 

Jupiter .. 

17 28 

... o 35 .. 

7 42 

... 12 8 N. 


u iS 

... 19 2r .. 

3 25’ 

... at 34 N. 

* Indicates that the rising is that of the preceding, and the setting that of 
the following nominal day. 

Occultation of Star by the Moon 






angles from ver¬ 
tex to right for 
inverted image 

h, m. 

h. m. 

0 0 

38 Arietis 

... 5 •• 

. 19 41 .. 

.20 I 

... 211 246 

35 1 

Phenomena of Jupiter's Satellites 







16 . 

. 6 


I. eel. disap. 


.. O 


I. tr. egr. 



III. eel. disap. 



I. occ. disap 



III. occ. reap. 



IV. eck reap. 

17 - 

■ 3 


I. tr. ing. 



I. occ. reap. 



I. tr. egr. 



II. tr. ing. 

18 . 

. 0 


I. eck disap. 

20 . 

. 2 


II. tr. egr. 



I. occ. reap. 



I. tr. egr. 



II. eck disap. 

21 . 

. 18 


II. occ. disap. 



I. tr. ing. 



11. eel. reap. 

The Occultations of Stars and Phenomena of Jupiter’s Satellites are such, 
as are visible at Greenwich. 

Feb. h. 

15 ... 4 Mars in conjunction with and 4 0 30' south 

of the Moon. 

17 1 ... Saturn stationary. 

19 ... 8 ... Jupiter in opposition to the Sun. 

"HE importance of earthquakes as factors in geology tends 
to be more and more appreciated, and the seemingly in¬ 
creased seismic activity so strongly manifested in different 
quarters of the globe during the last few years has greatly 
stimulated the interest in, and the study of, these wonderful 
phenomena. Amongst many contributions to this branch of 
geology, have appeared quite recently, this catalogue and 
map, of which we have given the title, and which have followed 
other papers by the same author relative to this series of 
phenomena, published in the Proceedings of the R iyal Irish 

The earthquake catalogue and map n>w given by Prof. 
O’Reilly is based upon a very interesting relation of jointing 
and fissuring to the physical geography of a country, but more 
particularly to the coast-line directions. This relarion he has 
shown to be very marked for the east coast of Ireland (see 
Proc. Roy. 1 . Acad. } 2nd series, vol. iii. ; Science , No. 8, May, 
1882, and vol. iv. ; Science , No. 2, 1884) ; and, considering 
that much of the fissuring of the earth-surface is mainly due to 
earthquake action, he looks upon the systems of jointing and 
fissuring of a country, and consequently their correlated coast¬ 
lines, as so many records of past earthquake action ; the only 
ones, in fact, left us in many cases, and (taking into considera¬ 
tion the poverty and meagreness of historical records in this 
respect) the most valuable records of these phenomena we have 
extant. On the other hand, the lists of Mallet, Perrey, Fuchs, 
&c., present earthquakes in a purely chronological order, are 
difficult to consult and but little accessible, and in them the 
events stand out independently, and to a very great extent with¬ 
out apparent connection one with the other, while we know 
that geological change is the result of a sum of actions taking 
place continuously in certain localities, and extending through 
immense durations of time. It has seemed to the author of the 
present “ Catalogue ” that it would be useful to present the 
earthquakes of the three kingdoms in a summarised and con¬ 
nected form, and for that purpose arranged alphabetically, so 
that it may be possible to ascertain for a given point or loc dity 
the sum of earthquake action having occurred therein during 
historical time. The “Catalogue” thus formed merely gives 
the years of occurrence for a given place or district, and in this 
manner indicates frequency of occurrence sufficiently, while 
serving at the same time as a sort of year and place index for 
the larger collections. From it he has been able fo represent 
graphically the distribution of earthquakes over the three king¬ 
doms by adopting conventional tints and marks to indicate ex¬ 
tent of action and frequency of occurrence, the only factors 
which it is possible at present to so represent. 

From this map it would appear that Great Britain has been 
much more subject to shocks than Ireland during the period 
embraced by the records. That as regards Ireland the points of 
more frequent action lie near the coast or on it; that in Great 
Britain the south coast presents a number of points of activity 
situated approximatively on a same line, in all probability con- 

1 “ Catalogue of Earthquakes having occurred in Great Britain and Ire¬ 
land during Historical Time ; arranged relatively to Localities and Fre¬ 
quency of Occurrence, to serve as a Basis for an Earthquake Map of the 
three Kingdoms.” With Map. By Jos. P. O’Reilly, C.E., Professor of 
Mining and Mineralogy, R>yal College of Science, Dublin. {Trans. Roy.. 
[. Acad., vol. xxviii. ; Science , part xvii., September, 1884.) 

© 1885 Nature Publishing Group 



\_Feb. 12, 1885 

nected with a system of jointing corresponding to the general 
direction of the coast ; that therefore the observed connection 
between volcanoes and coast-lines would hold good to a certain 
extent as regards these and earthquake action, so intimately 
related to volcanic action ; that, as has been lately remarked by 
Mr. Wm. White in Nature (December 25, p. 172), Lancashire 
is apparently a centre of frequent action, and that there may be 
a further relation to be found between coal-fields and earthquakes 
than that recognised up to the present. 

It is certainly interesting to note that many of the localities 
affected by the earthquake of 1884 in the south-east of England 
lie on or quite near a great circle, which Prof. O’Reilly desig¬ 
nates “ the west coast of Morocco great circle” (that is a great 
circle of which the starting-point or part is a portion of that 
coast lying between Cape Blanco and Cape Juby), traced a 
priori , and which was shown on the Earthquake Map of 
Europe submitted by him at the Swansea meeting of the 
British Association in 1881. It will be interesting to note to 
what extent the complete report on that earthquake, which may 
soon be looked for, will correspond with his theoretical lines. 

As a first attempt to graphically represent the earthquakes of a 
country relatively to their frequency, Prof. O’Reilly’s map has 
much to recommend it, and, more fully developed and more 
completely worked out, such maps may yet be considered (to 
use his own words) as “the necessary pendants of geological 


EN the Japanese Government decided to participate in 
the Health Exhibition last year, and to edevote special 
attention to the educational portion of their section, they issued 
a small pamphlet relating to modern Japanese education. This 
explained in full the national system organised and put in 
working order in the last ten years ; it dealt with the various 
classes of schools, from Kindergartens to the University, the 
technical schools, libraries, and educational museums, the 
history of ancient Japanese education, &c. The pamphlet 
showed that the Government of Japan was doing its duty so far 
as education is concerned ; but the reader was left to collect for 
himself how far the people were following in the wake of their 
rulers. Since the close of the Exhibition the Japanese Com¬ 
missioner has re-issued the report, with the addition of a 
statement of the various learned societies formed for purposes 
connected with science, literature, and education in that country 
in recent years. These are purely private associations; some 
of them are confined to localities removed from the large towns, 
and bespeak a wide and general interest in these subjects 
amongst the mass of the people themselves. The work of 
organising these, when the spirit once existed, cannot have been 
great, for the Japanese have had for ages their associations of 
men possessing common tastes, or a common love for a particu¬ 
lar subject, whether literature, education, fencing, chess, the 
study of medicine or of Chinese. These organisations are quite 
familiar to them, and the work of running the new metal into 
the old moulds was doubtless not a very difficult one. Accord¬ 
ingly, Mr. Tegima’s list is a full one, and here and there it might 
be suggested that two, or even three, of the separate societies 
could amalgamate with benefit. Amongst these noted we find the 
educational society of Japan, which has for its object the study, 
improvement, and advancement of education; various local 
societies also intended for the improvement of educational 
methods in their respective districts ; the Seismological Society, 
perhaps the best known of all in Europe. There are two 
branches of this, the foreign and the native, the former being 
the parent society. The “ Society of Specialities,” which has 
in view the study “of various special branches of science.” The 
Physical Society, devoted exclusively to the study of the higher 
physics ; there appears to be a second Society of Physics, “com¬ 
posed of professional scholars for the purpose of inquiring into 
the principles [of physics ?] and of interchanging knowledge 
among the members”; the Mathematical Society for the study 
of the higher mathematics, and also to translate and compile 
works on that subject. Among the associations for more general 
objects we find one of French scholars, foreign and native, for the 
study of that language, and the general interchange of knowledge, 
one for the study of the moral sciences, another devoted to Euro¬ 
pean and Asiatic philosophy. The French scholars are not allowed 
to have it all their own way, for a rival devotes its energies to 
the study of the German language and laws ; Hindoo philosophy 

also has its own special votaries who have formed themselves into an 
association for the investigation of this misty subject. The 
Biological Society of the University of Tokio (founded by Prof. 
Morse) is among the most energetic of young Japanese socie¬ 
ties ; the Association for the Translation of the Technical Terms 
of Physics is a most necessary one, and has a difficult and re¬ 
sponsible duty under the present system of translating to fulfil. 
Sooner or later Japanese and Chinese students will have to 
adopt most of the technical terms of all departments of 
science employed in the West ; the present plan of seeking to 
translate them in a rough and fanciful way, and thus forcing the 
student to learn a new language before he can learn a science, 
is too clumsy and unsatisfactory to last. Why, for example, 
oxygen should not be called oxygen by the Japanese student, 
instead of by some Japanese compound term which is not in the 
least more explanatory to him, is not quite clear. Meantime a 
society which will exercise a supervision over the translation of 
technical terms, and thereby secure uniformity, cannot fail to be 
useful. The Chemical Society, besides devotion to the science of 
chemistry, has also for one of its objects the establishment of a 
regular terminology. The Engineering, Law, Agricultural, Fine 
Arts, Medical, and Pharmaceutical societies speak for them 
selves. A second medical society seeks to secure the propaga¬ 
tion of sound notions of elementary medicine amongst the com¬ 
mon people ; in this it is assisted by the members of the Society 
of Hygiene, who diffuse a general knowledge of sanitary mat¬ 
ters. It is pleasant to see that old Japan is not forgotten in 
this crowd of young associations. The members of a Society 
of Letters study all branches of Chinese and Japanese litera¬ 
ture, while the “ Society of Japanese Literature ” devotes itself 
wholly to the study of the etymology and syntax of the Japanese 
language and to the more general employment of the ancient 
syllabaries, in place of Chinese characters, in writing. A third 
literary society has for its object “the interpretation of the 
moral principles. It aims also to encourage good customs, to 
promote literature, to educate youth, to diffuse knowledge, and 
to cultivate moral nature ”—a tolerably comprehensive pro¬ 
gramme. Finally, the recent Fisheries Exhibition has given 
rise to a Japanese Marine Product Society. 

Mr. Tegima’s statement is an incomplete one. It deals 
mainly with associations existing in the capital, and makes 
little reference to any in other large towns in the Empire, such 
as Osaka, Nagoya, Niigata, Nagasaki, See. And-even as a list 
of the Tokio societies it is incomplete. No mention, for ex¬ 
ample, is made of the most numerous, wealthy, and influential 
of all—the Geographical Society of Japan ; nor is the Dendro- 
logical Association mentioned ; nor is reference made to the 
new and interesting society called the Romci-ji-Kwai, which has 
for its object the substitution of Roman letters in Japan for the 
Chinese characters and the native syllabaries. This Spelling 
Reform Association has set before itself a huge and radical 
reform, in comparison with which that of our own Spelling 
Reform Society is trifling and superficial. Its objects, however, 
appear hardly practicable, if one may venture to use that expres¬ 
sion, of any reform in Japan. But enough has been said to 
show thaL the seed sown with such care by the Government is 
producing a rich harvest among the people of Japan. 


A LA RGELY-ATTENDED and influential meeting of 1 tie 
Association for Promoting a Teaching University for 
London was held last Thursday at. the rooms of the Society of 
Arts, John Street, Adelphi, under the chairmanship of Lord 
Reay, the President of the Association, whose objects are— 
(x) the organisation of University teaching in and for London in 
the form of a Teaching University, with faculties of arts, 
sciences, medicine, and laws ; (2) the association of University 
examination with University teaching, and direction of both by 
the same authorities; (3) the conferring of a substantive voice 
in the government of the University upon those engaged in the 
work of University teaching and examination; (4) existing in¬ 
stitutions in London of University rank not to be abolished or 
ignored, but to be taken as the bases or component parts of 
the University, and either partially or completely incorporated, 
with the minimum of internal change; (5) an alliance to be 
established between the University and the professional cor¬ 
porations, the Council of Legal Education as representing the 

© 1885 Nature Publishing Group