The Regional Review

Volume III - No. 6

December, 1939



Descriptions of the chief features of the vast new subterranean section of Mammoth Cave National Park (discovered October 10, 1938), and comments concerning the means for making it accessible and for preserving its geological beauty, are contained in Assistant Inspector Donald C. Hazlett's outstanding Preliminary Geologic Report on the "New Discovery" in Mammoth Cave (38 typed pages, photographs and map. Nov. 10, 1939).

After tracing carefully the route which he followed in gaining access to the newly found area, Mr. Hazlett describes in detail the principal phenomena encountered there. "Perhaps the most unusual feature," he writes, "is the large travertine dam, already erroneously called the 'Onyx Wall'. . . This dam extends completely across the avenue, measuring 42 feet, 3 inches long and a little more than 4 feet high. . . Deposition of calcium carbonate at the dam site probably began because of an irregularity in the floor of the avenue which caused a rippling of the water which, in turn, caused a liberation of carbon dioxide. With this loss of carbon dioxide from the water, calcium carbonate was precipitated. In this manner the deposit of travertine was gradually built up and formed the dam." He cites the possible former presence of air currents, favoring temperature changes, as potential factors in inducing deposition.

"The abundance of the various forms of gypsum," the report continues, "is the outstanding mineral feature in the newly-discovered section. . . These deposits are certainly far superior to any previously found in this or any other cave in this area, and I believe they will prove to be the best display in the entire United States."

Mr. Hazlett points out also that, although his survey of the new area was subject to time limitations, he observed several interesting forms of animal life. Blind fish, blind crawfish, tiny pleonia clantoni, the blind cave beetle (Neaphaenops tellkampfi), bats, and the so-called "cave cricket," which is in reality a type of cave grasshopper or katydid, all were recorded. "The presence of bats," says the writer, leads me to believe that there is an opening, near at hand, to the surface. "


An Introduction to the Study of Landscapes is the subtitle given to Armin K. Lobeck's profusely illustrated volume, Geomorphology (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1939). The book will prove invaluable to students and teachers of geography and geology, and it likewise will appeal to any serious reader who has a real interest in natural scenery. Although containing more than 700 pages, the book devotes only one-third of them to printed text, the remainder being filled with photographs, sketches and diagrams. At the head of each chapter there is a concentration of photographs which is followed by a brief synopsis. Next come the text and explanatory illustrations; these are placed on the same page or opposite each other. Then come maps illustrating the subject under discussion, and a series of questions. The questions are intended to suggest additional ideas and, as the author predicts, ". . . will probably be found exasperating and occasionally unanswerable." Lists of topics for investigation and references complete each chapter.

The reader will be amazed at the variety of subjects shown in the photographs. In addition to the usual types of physiographic features (mountains, valleys, glaciers, caves, etc.), there are photographs showing all sorts of erosion gullies, pasture furrows, dust storms and their results, advancing sand dunes, sand fences, close-ups of breaking waves, prairie dogs, flamingo nests and termite nests, shell craters, meteor craters and craters on the moon. A large number of the most impressive scenes relate to the national parks, but all types of areas and all parts of the world are represented.---H. S. Ladd.


A second edition of the Guide to the Appalachian Trail in New England (Appalachian Trail Conference, 901 Union Trust Building, Washington, 1939, 260 pp., six maps, $1.25) has just been published to complete the series of five guides relating to the 2,049-mile footway from Maine to Georgia.

The original edition, comprising 85 pages, was issued in 1933 but has been out of print for two years. The new edition constitutes a greatly amplified description of the New England section of the Trail (reflecting conditions as of November, 1939), and includes also a more general chapter which traces the development of the entire Mount Katahdin-Mount Oglethorpe route.

Some 30 publications concerning the Trail are embraced in a bibliographical chapter, and there is a convenient index to the volume. The Regional Review has been informed by the Conference that subscribers who received early copies containing a minor typographical error on the cover will be sent a revised copy if an exchange is requested.


How the submerged historical treasures dating from the Revolutionary War were raised from York River, Virginia, through cooperation of Colonial National Historical Park and the Mariners' Museum, is recited in Salvaging Revolutionary Relics from the York River, extracted from an article by Homer L. Ferguson in William and Mary College Historical Magazine (Series 2, Vol. 19, No. 3, July 1939), and reprinted for the Museum (Clyde W. Saunders & Sons, Richmond, September, 1939).

The article, Mr. Ferguson explains, "attempts to present a résumé of the activities jointly effected. by the Mariners' Museum and the Colonial National Historical Park in the reclamation of objects from British warships sunk off Yorktown in 1781. In addition to describing the actual operations used to recover the relics which are now displayed by these two organizations, mention was made of the naval side of the historical background of the siege." There are a careful inventory of the objects salvaged, photographs of the recoveries, an original plan of the frigate Charon, and a selective bibliography.


Aubrey Neasham, Regional (III) Supervisor of Historic Sites, will compile a history of the National Park Service, covering the 22-year period since it was established in the World War days of 1917. The task will be carried forward as time permits aside from routine duties of office work at the Santa Fe headquarters.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002