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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1861 Excerpt: ...exposed, where the present stream has cut across its former bed--flowing from a to d, and crossing c. The nature of the sediment deposited, whether clay or sand, depends upon the velocity of the water in which it was suspended. The bayous and deserted channels, in which the water has very little motion, are gradually filled up with argillaceous sediment, while the first deposit made by the current water, when its motion is but partially arrested, is sandy--as in the formation of sand bars. The alternations of strata of clay and sand which compose the alluvial banks are simply a record of the varying velocity of the current which deposited them. Not unfrequently I noticed in a section of the bank a thin stratum of clay which, when it formed the surface layer, had been exposed to the sun's rays, and had cracked and contracted till its fragments were widely separated from each other; sand had subsequently been deposited upon and around them, and now the cut edge of the stratum appeared only as a line of detached and imperfectly quadrangular masses of clay in a sand bank. a a Stratified sand. b Detached masses of clay, formerly united. The bottom lands of the river here, as below, are in many localities fertile; but are generally charged with alkalies, which frequently appear in the form of a snow-like efflorescence on the surface. Where there is little alkali, the Indians successfully cultivate corn, beans, pumpkins, wheat and melons. Little rain falls here, and the necessary moisture is supplied to the cultivated lands from the annual overflow of the river. If a larger amount of water could be secured at intervals throughout the season, by irrigation, a portion of the salts would be removed, and much of the alkaline soil be redeemed from its sterility. HALF-W...
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