INTERVIEW WITH MR. E. P.
SOLAR AND SEISMIC DISTURBANCES.
A representative of this journal interviewed Mr D r. Pittnian, Unaer-Secretary for Mines and Government Geologist, in reference to the earthquakes reported from South australia and olsewhere
Mr Pittman said " Tho seismic activity reported does not necessarily indicato volcanic eruptions in South Australia or horald such Some submarino eruptions might have accounted for tho earthquakes I would like to hear Professor David's opinion about tho matter This bas evidently been au unusually ¡overo shock for Australia Earthquakes of a slight character have been common enough in al! porte of Australia from timo to tuno, and seeing that there have been great volcanic and seismio phenomena in the world lately, it is not surprising to hoar that Aus- tralia lins bad its cxpenenco I would direct atten- tion to a paper by Mr li I Jensen, a student at the Sydnoy University, read before tho Rojul bocioty ui May last, which may afford somo oxplunation of tho phenomena Mr Jonsen pointed out tho wonderful correspondence that tlicro ib between the periods of minimum sunspota and tho ma-mum volcanic and soismio phenomena The periods of drought also corresponded inn remarkable nay with thu periods of minimum suiispots During tho past three montlis Mr Jonsen had pointed out that tho n orb] hnd boen startled by au almost uuparnllcltd scries of earth
disturbances A disturbance at Cheviot had been
synchronous with one at tho Konnadoo Islands, and this had been quickly followed hy violent uirtli Înakes in Transcaucasia Thou followed tho West
ndian earthquakes and tho eruptions of Mounts Pelee, Soufrière, and Tacoma faynchronoUBiy 10 cities in Guatemala had been devastated by earth revolutions, and in the volcanic region of Auvergne, in Franco, rumblings woro hoard mid tremore felt
A Benous shock occurred nt Corfu, and another near Paris, while at tho s uno tiinn Mouut Redoubt in alaska broke into violont eruption and noisonous gases escaped from Mount irabocliclto be
tweeu Genoa and Nico Mr Jonsen expressed the theory that the causo of connection bet« con tho solar and seismic disturbances was that in year» of aun spot miinmatliernwaro loss heat and other cnorgy ro coi\ed from tho sun, consequently thoro wits moro rupid radiatu n from the earth causing quicker cool- ing and moro oraekiug I hero had also been tho suggestion that tho earth's ntmosphoro oxorta a greutnr squeeze on tho earth's crust at such periods, thus forcing lava out of fissures 1 his is rattler re
murkablo,' continued Mr Pittman, " for a scientist ni Duropo dropped on tho samo hypothesis about tho
eatno time as Mr Jonsen "
" Is there any connection between the earthquake and the tidal wave experienced along the coast ? " asked the reporter.
" It is quite possible, although a tidal wave points to the probability of the centre of the disturbance being beneath the sea. There is sure to be further verification of this from those on the sea now. Per-
haps some island may have disappeared or one arisen.
If there has been a submarine eruption shipping will have noticed it, and forms of marine life from great depths will appear at the surface "
"Is there any geological formation across the country from St Vincent's Gulf to the Gulf of Car- pentaria to indicate volcanic activity at any time "
" No, as far as our information goes at present.
The original geological formation is hidden by post tertiary plains. From Adelaide right up to Peters- burgh the oldest rocks (Cambrian) are found, and north of that are rocks of the artesian basin, triassic and cretaceous rocks. There is an almost complete absence of volcanic intrusion. Ages ago a great sea extended from the Gulf of Carpentaria through the continent over a great part of the Northern terri- tory, Queensland and New South Wales, but that was before the tertiary period. Most of the volcanic tertiary flows are on tho eastern side of the con- tinent. We have plenty in New South Wales, and many extinct volcanoes. Mounts Gambier and Schank are extinct volcanoes. There does not ap- pear to be any reason to think that the continent will shake in two across from the two gulfs "
"There has been some sickness caused by the earthquakes in South Australia. "
" Yes, that is curious. A kind of sea-sickness is caused at such times. I experienced it once in Vic- toria, and it is unaccountable. Looking at this dis- turbance broadly it appears like a balancing of mat- ters. The earth has been torn and rent in some parts, islands have disappeared, and the balance must be restored by nature in various portions of the earth's