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Bj ' 10 THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, -SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 13, 1912. f
European and American
Geographers Study Forma
tions of Towering Moun
tain Peaks in Colorado.
DIVIDED IN THEORY.
ABOUT METEOR CRATER
Interesting Phenomenon in
North Central Arizona Sub
ject of Much Discussion;
Pleased With Salt Lake.
I Ira Special Correspondence of New York
0 Times and Salt Lako Tribune.
M TpvENVEK, Colo., Oct. 12 In Col-
HFj I orado, I ho members of ihe
III I J American Geographical socio-
Ha ty's tranaoon tinontal excursion
M reached their highest altitudes. They
H walked over Hagerman pass, which is
H nparly 12,000 foot abovo sea level, aud
H which is the dividing line between tho
K waters flowing west. ward into the Pa-
W cific ocean, by way of (ho Colorado
H river, and tho.se flowing into the Gulf
m of. Mexico through ihc Arkansas and
M Mississippi rivers. Their train then
flfj passod within a few miles of Mount
gg Massive- and Mount Elbert, which are
m the culminating points of the Rocky
H mountains in tho United States, and
M by a remarkable coincidence, are of tho
same elevation, .U,40i feet, as nearly
E as can bo determined by the most care-
m Ail measurement. Tho noxL day they
started from Denver on the Moffat vail-
road and ascended to .its highest point,
II '.'orona, 1 .1,0(50 feet above the sea. from
jl which they climbed to a neighboring
U peak on tho continental divide, at :iu
elevation of more, than 12,000 .feet.-
I At High Altitudes.
As tho party included iu its ranks
men who had climbed and studied
H mountain:, in all quarters of the globe,
I ihe da3's spent in the high country
I of Colorado were full of interest and
B cnjo3'mcnt. and there were many com-
m parisons made between these inoun-
W tains and the elevated regions in other
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if you have dandruff. This destructive
scurf robs the hair of its lustre, its
atrcngth and its very life, and if not
overcome it produces a fevcriahncss
nnd itching of tho scalp; tho hair roots
parts of tho world. Professor 'Emilc
Chaix, of tho University of Geneva,
who was formerly presidont of the
Swiss Alpine clubhand who is one of
the strongest, pedestrians in the party,
found the climbing easy as compared
with many of tho ascents ho had made
in his native- land. He said that the
Colorado mountains ho had seen havo
gentle slopes and- rounded forms com
pared with tho Swiss Alps, which have
steeper slopes and sharp and serrated
tops. Tn Switzerland wo could not
have climbed to tho heights wc reached
hero, without using our hands as well
as our feci, and being aided by a ropo
The Colorado highlands have largo
plateaus, whereas the level places in
the Swiss mountains are small in cx
tcut anil are often used as pastures
for cattle and goats. These mountain
fields and meadows aro called "alps"
by the Swiss peasants, who have little
interest, in the rocky and snow- sum
mits, and this word hns been trans
ferred to the mountains thomsclvos un
til now it is applied to mountainous re
gions in general.
High Timber Line.
Tn Colorado Professor Chaix was
atrnclc by the elevated tree line. The
trees grew almost as high as wo climbed,
whereas in Switzerland they reached
hardly half that elovation. He be
lieved, however, that the Swiss tree
line had been artificially lowered, for
the borders on tho elevated pastuxoa,
or ''Alps" had cut down the trees as
they needed wood for fuel, and natur
ally took those that wero ncarost at
hand, or which were above them and
could bo easily rolled down, and eo in
tho course of centuries, tho upper for
ests had been gradually cut away.
Stumps were still found on the bare
famish, looson and die; then tho hair
falls out fast.
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mountain sides, showing whero treoa
had formerly grown.
Another aspect of tho Colorado moun
tains appealed to ITorr Gohoimrath
Joseph .Partseh, tho eminent professor
of geography at tho University of Leip
zig! He. was astonished at Ihe enter
prise and engineering skill of tho mon
who had built tho railroads in, through
and over t.ho Jiocky mountains. The
heights t.hero railroads reached were1
amazing to :t foreigner, and far sur
passed anything attained by tho stand
ard steam railroads 'of Europe.
Railroads Amaze Scientists.
Comparing them with roads in about
tho same latitude abroad, ho said that
in tho Pyrenees, between Franco and
Spain, tlio only railroads woro built,
close to the seacoast on tho oast and
tho west, whore thn elevutiona wero
very low, and .that there were no rail
roads at, all iu tho e.ont.ral highor Pyre
nees. Even in tho Alps, the groat fail
ways pierced tho mountains by tunnels,
at elevations of only a few thousand
feet, while in Colorado sevoral of tho
main lines reached heights of from
10,000 to 12,000 feet, and tho Ttockies
woro crossed aud recrossod many tinios
by the e-teol rails.
"Professor Partseh thought that the
elevated situation of somo of the big
mining towns, such as Leadvillo and
Cripple Creok, had promoted the con
struction of t no mountain railways of
Colorado, but oven without this incen
tive, Boveral of the railroads attained
extraordinary altitudes, lie had doubts,
however, about some of the economic
aspects of the Colorado rnilway sit
uation. Ho wondered if so many rail
roads in a new and thinly populated
country could paj, and "ho thought
that the high mountain roads, with
their heavy grades and sharp curvoB,
must, be very expensive to operato. In
stead of Bpcctacular "loops" and
"horseshoo" curves, winding tip and
around tho mountain, sides, ho believed
that commercial considerations demand
the construction of tunnols at lower
In Europe, he said, they mako a
point of securing low grades by the
use of tunnols, and after building a
road up to both onds of tho projected
tunnel, they keop traffic moving over
tho mountains by meaus of a. cablo
railway, or some other temporary ex
pedient, while tho tunnel is Doing con
structed. Tn. America, thoy soem moro
apt to run tho main lino right over
tho mountain, but even hero there is
a growing tendency now to build tun
nods, and he had noticed that at Hag
ormau pass, an old tunnel near the
head of tho pass had boen abandoned
in favor of one considerably lower
down, thus saving a long length of
track and a very hovovo climb for tho
ongino. Ho was informed that there
Is a project beforo tho legislature- to
have tho state of Colorado build a tun
nol through tho main range of the
Hookies nenr Jamos' Peak. Theoretical
ly this tunnel would be open to any
railway in tho state, but practically, as
it is directly on tho lino of tho Moffat
road, the latter is tho only one which
could uso it.
Impressed With Zion.
Salt Lako City and Dcuvor wore vis
ited just bofore and just nftor paus
ing over tho Rockies, and both made an
oxcellent impression. At tho former a
stop of t ovor two days was made and
the visitors had a chance to see tho
city and tho surrounding country. Tho
foreigners woro especially pleased with
the very clean, wide streots and, with
tho pure, dry air, and as many of them
aro music lovors, thoy took great do
light in an organ recital which was
given in tho Mormon tabernacle.
At. Denver only a few hours could be
spent, and the weather was not favor
able, which is unusual for that city of
sunshine, but, novertholoss tho brilliant
illumination of the streets and build
ings and the evidencos of prosperity
and healthy growth and metropolitan
life which wero apparent on all sides
conviucod the visitors that Denver was
very much "on tho map."
Meteor Crater Interesting.
One of the most interesting objects
in tho Southwest, and one which has
giyen. occasion for n great amount of
scientific discussion, is the so-called
Meteor crater, in northern central Ari
zona. This natural phenomenon is a
great pit nearly circular in shape and
about 4000 feet in diamoter. Its bot
tom, which is moro or less lovol, is at
an average depth below tho rim of 570
feot, and tho top of the rim is about
100 feet above tho surrounding coun
try, which is a rather luvcl rocky plain
with a very thin covering of soil. The
uppor stratum of rock in the immedi
ate vicinity of the "crater" is red
sandstono, horizontally bedded, and un
derneath this are stratus of limestone
and sandstone. "When tho crater was
formed, by whatever moans it may have
been, those level rock beds wero dis
lodged from their position and thrown
up in the great mass which now forms
the ridge around the pit, and whose
woight has beon estimated at more than
800.000,000 tons. Thousands of pieces
of iron, supposedly meteoric in charac
ter, and of all sires up to nearly a ton
in weight, have been found within a
radius of five miles of the crater, the
larger number of them within a mile
or two of the rim. but so far only
small fragments of iron have been
found by drilling within the crater it
self. Thero appears to bo no volcanic
material within a distance of nino
miles from tho pit.
Hole Made by Meteor.
All these facts have led to the theory
that the great hole in the ground was
made by tho impact of a meteor, per
haps solid, but moro probably com
posed of a cluster of thousands of mo
tooritcs, the greater part of which are
now imbedded hundreds of feet deep
iu the southorn part of the pit, or un-
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der tho southern wall, which is more
displaced and which bus a larger
amount of dislodgod material than any
other part of the rim. This viow is
held by D. M 3arrinjror, who has de
years of study to the Meteor crater,
and who was the host and guide of the
Amoriean Geographical society's party
on its visit t this interesting spot.
But many of tho geographers could
not agree with this theory, and had
opinions of their own concoring the
origin of the pit. Professor Eugene do
Cholnokv, of Kolozsvar, Hungary, who
has individual ideas 011 iuot subjects,'
started off on an indeppndoitt investi
gation as soon aH ho arrived on tho
ground, and fouud beds of travertine
on the western side of the rim, and
other material which is aasociated with
deposits made by hot springs.
Takes Different View.
Judging by this, and' also by tho po
sitions of tho beds of rock, both those
which had been uplifted and those
which comprised tho top of tho plain
outside, he came to the conclusion that
tho pit had boen made b' a steam ex
plosion, or a goyser on a gigantic scale.
After the explosion tho siliceous do
posits from tho geyser had covered the
dislodged rocks to a great oxtent an
protected them from being worn away,
while tho surrounding plain had been
eroded down some distanco below the
ancient level. After returning to the
train, ho was greatly pleased to dis
cover that W. 1). Johnson, of the LTnit
'il States geological survey, had also
found travertine on tho eastern sMe
of the ridge betweon one-quarter ami
ono-half mile from tho edno of the rim
and hnd very much (lie samo general
opinion as to the cause of the formation
of the pit. believing that water iji tlu
interstices of the underlying rock had
beon heated to the boiling point by
volcanic artion still farther down, un
til tlic acijuimilated steam burst out in
the grand " explosion which made tho
crater. The lava or other volcanic ma
tcrijil itself was so far down in the
depths of the earth, however, that no
truces of it had been found.
Parallel in Wurtemberg.
In support of this hypothesis, Pro
fessor Edward Brueckner, of the Uni
versity of Vienna, told of nn enormous
pit or caldor.i at Rics, in Wurtemberg,
iu the Swabian Jura, which is about
twelve, and a half miles iu diameter,
and between 100U and lo00 feet deop.
Thcro is no volcanic materia there,
cither, but the dislodged blocks of gran
ite, gneiss, and so on, which form the
surrounding rocks, indicate pretty
clearly that the force causing their
displacement must have come from be
low and was probably duo-to a geyser
like steam explosion.
Professor Chai.v, on the ether hand
believed that if there had been big.
enough teinporatur"S lo boil the watei
in the tniidsone rocks, the rocks them
selves' would liuvo been affected, and
would show some s'uros nf thoir hem
treatment. ;uul ho .-lso thought f'al
I' the internal (ires of tlio earth h." '
be on the ulliumte canst; of the exjdo
si 011 . soup r''p: of volcanic action
would bo visible at, 1 r wovr. the sur
face. On .the whole therefore, he was
inclined to (he meteoric theory.
Professor J. V. Niennnvor. of Utredii .
wiped J'h" point that if tho hole had
been made Iv a elus'-M- of meteorites
il would nol be (ircular. bit . would be
elongated, as the meteorites wonM
strike, the earth iu a 1on- until, owing
lo their own and (hp earth's motion,
lie also called attention to a paper bv
Professor M K. Mulder, of ITolbmd.
which had been published about a year
ago, and which I reals of the explosion
' of meteors in general, and of tho ori
gin of Meteor crater in particular. His
theory ia founded 011 observtioua inado
by Albert IaptC3rn on aeroplanes and
projectiles, whero it has boon found
that there is a maximum pressure on
tho forward end and a minimum pres
sure sometimes amounting to a negative
pressure, or outward pull, at certain
parts of the sides. Professor Muldcn
believes that meteors which are in a
plastic condition owing to their great
velocity in tho earth's atmosphere, aro
hollowod and often exploded by theso
differences in pressure.
Holds Meteor Theory.
With regard to tho Meteor crater
phenomenon, ho thinks it was duo to a
great meteor which has hollow, but
whoso walls were strong enough to re
sist explosion until it struck tho earth.
It penetrated the upper standstone and
limestone strata, but in doing so its in
ternal pressure was increased so that
it exploded with terrific force, causing
the uplifting of ihc rocks, and scatter
ing its own fragments iu a wide ring
about the pit.
No definite conclusion regarding this
most interesting phenomenon c.ouid bo
arrived at, and it seems that tho only
way to settle the question is to havo
a large number of deop borings caroful
ly made in the crater, through tho rim.
and iu tho surrounding country. Tt
is to be hoped that, this will soon bo
done in the iutercsts of scicuco.
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