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М.А.

Васильева

ENGLISH FOR
THE STUDENTS
OF GEOGRAPHY
Пособие по английскому языку
для студентов
^графических факультетов

III

Москва
Издательство «Менеджер»
ББК 81.2Англ
В19

Рецензент: доктор филологических наук,


профессор М.В. Дьячков

Васильева М.А.
В19 Английский язык для студентов географиче­
I ских факультетов: Учеб. пособие. Ч. III. — М.: Из­
дательство «Менеджер», 2001. — 160 с.
18ВК 5-8346-0140-5

Практическое пособие направлено на расширение


и углубление словарного запаса студентов-географов
и геологов, изучающих английский язык. Книга спо­
собствует закреплению грамматического материала и
развитию навыков как устной речи, так и перевода
текстов по специальности.
IББК 81.2Англ
/

ISBN 5-8346-0140-5 © Издательство «Менеджер», 2001


ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ
Настоящее пособие предназначено для студентов
старших курсов и аспирантов географического и гео­
логического факультетов, изучающих английский
язык.
Книга состоит из восьми уроков и приложения и
рассчитана на 60 часов. Все тексты являются ориги­
нальными и неадаптированными. При отборе мате­
риала учитывалась как его познавательная ценность,
так и языковые достоинства.
Цель пособия — освоение новой лексики, повто­
рение сложных грамматических конструкций, раз­
витие и совершенствование приобретенных на пер­
вом и втором курсах навыков как лексико-грамма­
тического анализа сложного текста, так и устной
речи по специальности.
Учитывая, что на старших курсах процесс обуче­
ния в основном связан с чтением литературы по спе­
циальности — а это предполагает обязательное уме­
ние пользоваться словарем — автор счел возможным
отказаться от так называемого vocabulary. Слова и
выражения, подлежащие репродуктивному усвое­
нию, выделены в основных текстах и охватывают тот
лексический материал, активное знание которого
является необходимым для работы над данным уро­
ком.
В книге дается приложение, которое может быть
использовано в качестве домашнего чтения и для
работы в аудитории.

3
U N IT 1

THE DEVELOPMENT
OF WEATHER SERVICES
Although man has been exposed throughout the
ages to the vagaries of the w eather and has been forced
to adapt his life and habits to them, it’ is strange to re­
call that only in relatively modern times has it been
realized th at w eather systems move. They may change
their form as they move: thus a particular storm as it
moves may become more intense or less intense — and
the problem of forecasting the w eather is essentially
one of predicting the movement of w eather systems
and the way in which they will change as they move. It
is for this reason th at w eather forecasting is only pos­
sible if up-to-date w eather information is available
over a large area surrounding the place for which the
forecast is required. It is for th e same reason th at
w eather can only be effectively studied on an interna­
tional basis and by collaboration between all nations.
Man is an inquisitive creature and from the earliest
days of civilization his dependence on the w eather has
made him curious as to how it is created, where it comes
from and where it goes. With the steady growth of gen­
eral scientific knowledge over the centuries our under­
standing of w eather processes developed. The recog­
nition of the inter-relationship of such things as tem ­
perature, wind, pressure, cloud and rain was a gradu­
al but significant achievement. Nowadays much more
is known about the behaviour of the atmosphere and,
within the limits of such knowledge, efficient meteo­
rological services now exist in most countries of the
world.

4
We are however still far from a complete under­
standing of the complex processes involved in the
change and movement of w eather systems and much
knowledge still remains to be gained. But the stiage has
been reached where some of the major problems, as
yet unsolved — such as long-range forecasting and
w eather modification — can at least now be studied
with a hope of success which only a few years ago could
not have been conceived.
International collaboration will be even more essen­
tial in the future than it has been in the past, for mod­
ern techniques require th at information be obtained
from greater and greater areas of the E arth’s surface
and the World W eather Watch* is now conceived as a
global system. One of the main problems to be solved is
how to observe the w eather on a global scale. There is
also the problem of establishing a global telecommu­
nications system to ensure the collection of these data
at appointed centres and their subsequent dissemina­
tion in one form or another to all countries of the world.
Another im portant factor is that, unlike many other
sciences, meteorology does not lend itself to experi­
ments under a set of predeterm ined conditions.
While m an’s interest in the w eather is as old as his
ability to think, it was only about a century ago that
the science of meteorology and the practical applica­
tion of the science on a significant scale may be said to
have begun. The reason for this is th at the meteorolo­
gist, unlike some scientists, cannot obtain the observa­
tions he requires by the touch of a button or by simply
reading a set of instruments; he clearly cannot himself
observe the whole of his laboratory — the atmosphe­
re — at one time. The observations made elsewhere
* A name given to a new world weather system by the
World Meteorological Organization.
5
must come to him, and they must come quickly if they
are to be used for forecasting. The invention of the tele­
graph system in the first half of the nineteenth centu­
ry made this possible. From that time onwards, weather
reports from different places could be rapidly collect­
ed and up-to-date w eather maps could be plotted.
Much of the early progress in the development of
organized w eather services was due to sailors, for in
the days of sailing ships a good sailor had perforce to
be a good meteorologist. It was in fact a violent storm
in 1854 which sank British and French warships in the
Black Sea and the subsequent awareness th at the di­
saster could have been averted, had news of approach­
ing storm been transm itted by telegraph to the port of
Balaklava, which provided the stimulus which led to
the creation of national meteorological services in Eu­
rope.
It was also by the initiative of mariners that an in­
ternational meeting on w eather reporting was held in
Brussels in 1853; it was the first international confer­
ence on meteorology to be held and may be said to mark
the beginning of international meteorology as we know
it.
With the establishment of w eather services many
improvements followed. Improved methods of observ­
ing the atmosphere were developed. Networks of me­
teorological stations on land appeared; the use of m er­
chant ships to obtain regular information from the
ocean areas was introduced and later, in some regions
special ocean w eather ships came into operation. The
upper atmosphere was explored in a routine manner
by balloons, kites and later by aeroplanes, radiosondes
and rockets; most recently, Earth-orbiting satellites,
for observing the E arth’s atm osphere on a global scale
appeared.
Nowadays, there is no country in the world which
does not have a national meteorological service &hd few
in which investigational research work in some form
or other is not being conducted. They all serve their
respective countries; they all contribute to and bene­
fit from the world w eather system.

I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and


translate them into Russian:

to create, to solve, to know, to modify, to determine,


to apply, to improve, to investigate, to achieve, to in­
vent

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


recognition, subsequently, unlikely, requirements,
curiosity, significance, solvable, disastrous, particular­
ly, user, continuously, quantitative, solution, introduc­
tion, infrequently, beneficial, pre-established, investi­
gator

III. Find in the text the terms and phrases close in


meaning to the following word-combinations:
for many centuries; comparatively recently; mod­
ern data; modern charts; w ith respect to; predicting
w eather for long periods ahead; the co-operation of
nations; not similar to; simultaneously; to lend aid; by
necessity; to conduct a meeting; to begin to operate;
satellites orbiting the Earth; to profit (to gain) from;
the world-wide system of observations

7
TV. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-
binations.
1. The problem of predicting the m ovem ent of
weather systems and the manner in which they change
while they move is very complicated and much knowl­
edge still remains to be acquired.
2. Man is an inquisitive creature.
3. A global communication system will have to guar­
antee the collection of information at appointed cen­
tres and to distribute it to all countries of the world.
4. Now, w eather reports from different places can
be easily collected and modern w eather maps charted.
5. Quite lately the upper atmosphere was explored
by Earth-orbiting satellites.
6. The disaster in the Black Sea provided the stim u­
lus which resulted in the establishment of national me­
teorological services in Europe.

V. Pick out fro m the te x t sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) why the practical application of meteorology has
begun only recently; 2) why international collaboration
is essential; 3) what improvements have been achieved
with the establishment of w eather services.

VI. Retell the tex t using the plan given below.


1. W eather systems and the problem of w eather
forecasting.
2. The developments in our understanding of w eath­
er processes.
3. International collaboration.
4. The development of meteorological services.

8
VII. Translate the following passages into Russian.
Pay attention to the infinitives.

I
During the past few centuries glaciers in mountain
regions throughout the world are believed to have ad­
vanced markedly and to have attained their maximum
neoglacial position. The time of this interval has been
rather accurately fixed by the historical records as well
as by carbon-14 and botanical data. Although some gla­
ciers appear to have advanced as early as the 12th or
13th century, in most areas recent glacier maxima were
reached at various times from the middle of the 14th
century to the middle of the 19th. No consistent world­
wide pattern is discernible among the many moraines
deposited during these centuries, owing either to in­
sufficient data or to the varied behaviour of the dif­
ferent glaciers. In some regions, such as the Alps, con­
sistent regional behaviour seems to be recorded. In oth­
er areas this is not so.
II
The benefits of World W eather Watch referred to
above will enable improved meteorological advice to
be given for many practical purposes related to eco­
nomic development. It is to be expected that World
W eather Watch will have a significant impact with re­
gard to agriculture. Im proved forecasts, especially
long-range forecasts, are sure to be of great benefit to
those who plan the whole cycle of agricultural opera­
tions.
In the field of w ater resource development meteo­
rological information is no less essential. For the plan­
ning of all major projects involving the large-scale

9
utilization of water, adequate data of rainfall and ru n ­
off and', in some cases, evaporatibn is essential.
In the field of transportation, the im portance of
meteorology to aviation and shipping is too evident to
need stressing and improved forecasts will enable im­
proved services to be rendered in both cases. It may be
mentioned that new developments in aviation, such as
the introduction of supersonic aircraft, make it essen­
tial for improved meteorological services to be provided.

HI
On one of the Arctic ice islands, called Fletcher’s Is­
land an observation base was established early in 1952,
in a latitude of nearly 88° to record w eather data and
to examine the nature of the island. Fletcher’s Island
was discovered to be about 31 miles in circumference
and approximately 160 feet thick and to stand at an
average height of 20 or more feet above the surround­
ing ice. Because of the presence of rock material and
the skeletal remains of certain animals the ice islands
are thought to have, broken away from Arctic shores
and to have drifted for years on the currents of north­
ern seas, Their life expectancy is thought to be around
75 to 100 years. As they stand well above the main pack,
they have been easily identified by means of radar.

VIII. Translate into Russian.


1. W henever the w ater level rose, the sea buried ex­
tensive forests under the sediments it carried.
2. Once a wave breaks, it loses its power to carry sed­
iments; at th at point it drops most of the load it has
been carrying.
3. Sands differ from place to place according to the
nature of rock they were derived from.

10
4. Geologists often describe rivers as young, m ature
or in their old age referring not to their actual years of
existence but to the stage of development they have
reached.
5. When magma appears at the surface of the Earth,
it is known as lava. The kind of rock it becomes when it
solidifies is governed by two things: how fast it cools
and the amount of gas it contains.

IX. Translate the passage into Russian orally fo r your


class-mates to translate it back into English.
Most of the Sun’s heat is stored in the tropical oceans
between the latitudes 30 degrees on either side of the
equator. But the Earth loses heat by radiation almost
uniformly at all latitudes.
So the heat has to be transferred from equatorial
regions to more northerly latitudes and the poles. This
transport of heat occurs mainly in the atmosphere by
processes about which very little is known. But it acts
as the engine th at moves the world’s weather.
From w hat they have observed w eather scientists
conclude th at heat transport occurs in three stages.
First, the energy in the ocean transfers to the atmo­
sphere in a turbulent boundary layer about 6,000 feet
thick, a giant version of the roiling steam visible above
the surface of a slowly boiling pan of water. This ener­
gy moves from oceans to air as latent heat in the form
of w ater vapor. It then finds its way from the tu rb u ­
lent boundary layer to the upper layers of the tropo­
sphere. Finally it is transported to higher latitudes by
fast-moving air currents.
At all times the atm osphere contains some 3,100
cubic miles of water, recycling from the top layers of
the oceans and other large bodies of w ater to the a t­

11
mosphere every 10 days. Its movement is so little known
that w eather cannot be predicted accurately by more
than two days for most land areas.

X. Translate in writing. Be sure and check


the time.
SATELLITES
The artificial Earth-orbiting satellite is a new means
of observing weather; it presents two important advan­
tages over all other known techniques: 1) it provides a
means of observing w eather from outside the atmo­
sphere; 2) it provides a means of providing w eather
information promptly and on a truly global scale.
Meteorological satellites which have so far been used
have carried ingenious devices for observing atmo­
spheric conditions. They include such items as televi­
sion cameras which take photographs of the E arth’s
surface and which hence reveal the cloud formation
such as snow cover over land masses and floating ice
over sea areas. They may also be equipped with instru­
ments for making various kinds of radiation m easure­
ments in the infra-red band which reveal the tem per­
ature of the land or cloud layer immediately below the
satellite and thus enable cloud areas to be detected;
moreover this system may be used at night for detect­
ing cloud systems during darkness when normal pho­
tographic methods cannot be used.
A meteorological satellite may also be equipped with
sensitive photometric devices which measure by opti­
cal means the brightness of the E arth’s surface, en­
abling cloud areas to be detected.
Initially all the observations had to be stored in the
satellite until transm itted on command to a major read­
out station w ith its vast array of telecommunications
12
equipment but a later development made it possible
for photographs to be transm itted on a continuous ba­
sis and to be received in any country over which the
satellite is passing, by means of a relatively simple and
inexpensive ground equipment.
While accurate forecasts of utilizing satellites in the
future are impossible to make, it is quite clear that the
advent of meteorological satellites m arks a turning
point in the science of meteorology.

(1600 печатных знаков)

WEATHER SATELLITES
It did not take long after the launching of the first
Tiros in April I960, to become plain th at the kind of
information th at could be gathered by satellites hun­
dreds of miles above the Earth would be highly useful
in daily observations of the weather. Several agencies
of the US Administration worked out plans for a sys­
tem of satellites th at would provide worldwide w eath­
er data for all interested users. The system is called the
National Operational Meteorological Satellite System.
Three agencies that devised the system also drew
up a list of objectives to be achieved during the first
decade or so of operation. One objective was round-the-
clock observation th at by the end of each 24-hour pe­
riod would have covered entire surface of the Earth;
this objective incorporated the development of an au­
tomatic picture — transmission system that would en­
able photographs made by the w eather satellites to be
received at a num ber of stations on the ground, A sec­
ond objective was continuous viewing of the atmo­
sphere from satellites in synchronous orbit, that is, or­
biting the Earth at an altitude calculated to keep the

ГЗ
satellite constantly above the same geographic area. A
third objective was the making of quantitative mea­
surem ents of such w eather factors as tem perature,
pressure, humidity, wind direction and wind speed; the
measurements would be used in com puter-generated
mathematical models of the atmosphere for highly so­
phisticated w eather forecasting. The first of the three
broad objectives has been largely attained, and much
progress has been made toward the second one. A great
deal must be done to realize the third.

(1500 печатных знаков)

XI. Render the passage in English.

МЕТЕОРОЛОГИЧЕСКИЕ СТАНЦИИ В РОССИИ


Метеорология изучает физические явления и про­
цессы, протекающие в земной атмосфере. Основным
методом исследования, применяемым в метеороло­
гии, является наблюдение.
Имея дело с атмосферными явлениями большого
масштаба, нельзя ограничиться случайными наблю­
дениями в единичных пунктах. Нужна такая орга­
низация наблюдений, которая позволила бы непре­
рывно следить за состоянием атмосферы на всем
земном шаре у поверхности земли и на высотах. Дос­
тичь этого можно лишь путем создания большого
числа пунктов для регулярных наблюдений по еди­
ной программе с помощью однотипных приборов.
Поэтому во всех странах существуют сети метеоро­
логических станций, число которых в целом состав­
ляет много тысяч.

14
Дредметом наблюдений метеорологических стан­
ций являются разные характеристики физического
состояния атмосферы, а также отдельные атмосфер­
ные явления, называемые метеорологическими эле­
ментами. Основным^ метеорологическими элемента­
ми являются: атмосферное давление, температура
воздуха, облачность, атмосферные осадки, снежный
покров, направление и скорость ветра, видимость.
Отмечаются также такие явления погоды, как ме­
тель, грозы, туманы и т. д. Наблюдения над указан­
ными метеорологическими элементами и атмосфер­
ными явлениями производятся на всех метеороло­
гических станциях.
Метеорологическая сеть строится таким образом,
чтобы для любой точки территории страны можно
было с достаточной степенью точности получить дан­
ные о текущих условиях погоды и о климате местно­
сти.
Метеорологическая станция располагается так,
чтобы ее наблюдения освещали метеорологические
условия прилегающего к станции района, чтобы они
были показательны (репрезентативны) для данного
района. Наблюдения на станции производятся в ос­
новном на открытой наземной площадке. Поэтому
выбор места для площадки играет первостепенную
роль. Она должна располагаться на открытом и ров­
ном месте. Вблизи от метеорологической площадки
не должно быть каких-либо предметов, присутствие
которых могло бы оказать влияние на показания при­
боров.
Работа станции заключается в производстве ре­
гулярных наблюдений по установленной программе,
а также в первичной обработке результатов наблю­
дений.

15
To be a good meteorologist one must always keep
mind that
W hether the w eather be cold
Or w hether the w eather be not.
W hether the w eather be fine
Or w hether the w eather be not.
We must w eather the w eather
W hatever the w eather,
W hether we like it or not.
UNI T 2

THE GLOBAL OBSERVATION


SYSTEM
The largest single obstacle to a full scientific under­
standing of our atm osphere is the lack of adequate
weather observations from the entire globe. Little real
progress in improving the accuracy of w eather fore­
casts, or in extending their period of validity, is likely
until this shortcoming is remedied.
At present less than one quarter of the surface of
the globe has sufficient meteorological stations. Even
over those land areas w here the density of surface
w eather reports is adequate the num ber of stations
making soundings of the upper atmosphere is frequent­
ly too small or their observations fail to reach the de­
sired heights. As regards the oceans, valuable reports
are received from ships plying the world’s trade routes,
but for the most part the oceans yield little or no m ete­
orological information. This means th at over most of
our planet we do not know the structure of the atmo­
sphere in sufficient detail to understand the physical
processes taking place at any given moment. Since cur­
rent methods of w eather forecasting start from the
knowledge of actual w eather conditions the implica­
tions of this ignorance are evident.
The development of a truly global observation sys­
tem presents one of the most exciting challenges of the
World W eather Watch and at the same time a problem
of enormous dimensions. It is a problem th at calls for
a bold and adventurous approach. The gap in the con­
tinental networks of stations reporting surface condi­
tions m ust be filled by new stations and, more urgent -

17
ly, the num ber of radiosonde stations must be greatly
increased, notab,ly in developing countries. In a few
parts of the world the, problems ,cannot be overcome
by conventional methods and the completion of the
surface network may only be achieved when suitable
automatic equipment can be installed.
Over the ocean different solutions must be found
and it is here th at the full resources of scientific inge­
nuity and skill must be employed. Conventional obser­
vations taken at the sea level aboard m erchant ships
m ust evidently be increased; and in addition if the
large-scale introduction of radiospnde observations on
these vessels could be arranged, a considerable im­
provem ent in the present upper-air network would
result. But these methods alone will by no means solve
the problem of sampling the atm osphere over the vast
em pty reaches of ocean where no ship sails.
Several new methods are fortunately available or
are being studied to fill these gaps on land and sea. In
the first place the meteorological satellite has already
demonstrated beyond any doubt its unique and unprec­
edented capacity for obtaining certain types of w eath­
er information on a truly global scale. By means of tele­
vision cameras and infra-red sensors cloud patterns
covering the Earth can be detected and from this in­
formation much can be learned about w eather systems
and their movement and development. These valuable
functions, which have given us the first global view of
the world’s w eather will certainly be extended in the
future. Spectrometers and other new devices, perhaps
including lasers, will enable satellites to be used for
vertical sampling of tem perature and other elements.
It is clear th at within a few years space techniques will
have to play a leading role in a new observational sys­
tem.

18
O ther methods used to complete the system will in­
clude special aircraft reconnaissance flights as well as
reports from commercial aircraft. The use of drop-
sondes — radiosondes which transm it observations as
they descend on a parachute after release from an air­
craft — is likely to become more widespread. Meteoro­
logical rockets and ocean w eather ships will also play
their part.
Many of these projects are still experimental and the
final m ixture of observing techniques will evidently
depend on many factors, not least the cost and efficien­
cy of each type in different parts of the world. W hat­
ever the choice, meteorology stands on the threshold
of a new era as the result of the rapid development in
space technology and advances in electronics, with the
promise of considerable benefits to be reaped from the
money and effort expended upon the global observing
system.
But effort and money devoted to this end will be of
little avail unless it is effectively supported by a speedy
and reliable system for the collection and distribution
of the resulting data. For this reason a telecommunica­
tion system capable of handling a greatly increased
quantity of material is being developed whose task is
to collect w eather observations from all parts of the
world, taking into account various methods used to
obtain measurements, and then to ensure th at they are
rapidly transm itted to the national, regional and world
meteorological centres which are waiting to use them.
It also has a second function, hardly less important, to
provide a means by which the analyses and forecasts
based on the observations can be given the required
distribution. Not infrequently as a part of the forecast­
ing system the telecommunication channels must car­
ry warnings of the approach of bad w eather for which

19
early advice is vital to the safety of human life. The
essence of the system is therefore speed and reliabi­
lity.

= I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and


~~ h translate them into Russian:
to complete, to detect, to vary, to choose, to arrange,
to imply, to move, to observe, to add, to frequent

II. Translate the following into Russian:


failure, unreliable, skillful, reliability, evidence,
undoubtedly, inadequate, adventure, insufficient,
valuable, arrangem ent, incomplete, considerably, in­
stallation, capability, safety, inability, to blacken, un­
fortunately

III. Translate the following wotd-combinations:


insignificant tem perature inversion; available up­
per air observations; inadequate observational net­
work; sharp tem perature subtropical high-pressure
belt, three dimensional synoptic analysis; high w ater
vapour concentration

IV. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-combi-


nations.
1. As present methods of w eather predicting begin
with a knowledge of actual w eather conditions on the
entire globe, the significance of our ignorance of the
global structure of the atmosphere is obvious (clear).
2. As to the oceans, useful reports are received from
ships plying the world’s trade routes, but for the most
part the ocean gives little information.

20
3. The effort and money spent on the global observ­
ing system will undoubtedly be of no use i f it is not ef­
fectively supported by a reliable system for collection
and dissemination of the resulting data.
4. The function of a telecommunication system is to
collect weather observations and to make sure that they
are quickly transm itted to meteorological centres.
5. Various instruments will allow satellites to be used
for vertical sampling of tem perature.
6. The problem of the development of a truly global
observation system requires a bold approach.
7. The up-to-date methods of radiosonde observa­
tions will by all means result in considerable improve­
ment in the present upper-air network.

V. Fill in the blanks w ith appropriate words from


the text.
1. Significant improvements in telecommunications
made possible much higher transm ission speeds at
greatly reduced__________.
2. Modern automatic equipment __________ at all
meteorological stations.
3. D ropsondes tra n sm it o b serv atio n s as th e y
__________on a parachute.
4. The oceans __________ little meteorological in­
formation.
5. Satellites have dem onstrated their _____ ____
for obtaining w eather information on a truly global
scale.
6. Cloud __________ can be detected by means of
television cameras.
7. Sometimes telecommunication channels carry
__________of the approach of bad weather.
8. The use of meteorological rockets is likely to be­
come m o re __________ .
21
9. A telecommunication system is capable o f______
a great quantity of material.
10. The new meteorological centres are equipped
w ith modern devices _________ for the reception and
distribution of w eather data on a global scale.

VI. Explain the meaning o f the following terms and


phrases:
surface w eather reports; world’s trade routes; glo­
bal observation system; World W eather Watch; radio­
sonde station; merchant ships; upper-air network; sam­
pling the atmosphere; meteorological satellites; laser;
dropsonde

VII. Pick out fro m the text sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) shortcomings of the w eather observation system;
2) w hat new methods are available for obtaining in­
formation on a truly global scale;
3) the functions of a telecommunication system.

VIII. Retell the text using the plan given below.


1. The shortcomings of the weather observation sys­
tem.
2. The problem of the development of a truly global
observation system.
3. New methods of obtaining weather information.
4. Collection and distribution of w eather observa­
tions.

22
IX. Translate the fdllowing passages into Russian.
Pay attention to the ing- forms:

I
The gradually cooling Earth was enveloped in heavy
layers, of clouds containing much of the w ater of the
new planet. For a long time its surface was so hot that
no moisture could fall without immediately being re­
converted to steam. This dense perpetually renewed
cloud covering was so thick th at no rays of sunlight
could penetrate it. And so the rough outlines of the con­
tinents and the empty ocean basins were sculptured
out of the Earth in darkness.
The E arth ’s crust having cooled enough, the rains
began to fall. Never have, there been such rains since
that time. They fell continuously, day and night, days
passing into months, into years, into centuries. They
poured into the waiting ocean basins or falling upon
the continental masses drained away to become sea.
That primeval ocean, growing in bulk as the rains
slowly filled its basins, must have been faintly salt. But
the falling rains were the symbol of the dissolution of
the continents. From the moment the rains began ,to
fall, the land began to be worn away and carried to the
sea.
II
Experimentation clearly indicates that man can di­
rectly control glacier melting and glacier growth on a
limited scale by increasing or decreasing the albedo, or
light-reflecting power, of glacial surfaces. Of even
greater potential importance however, is m an’s pro­
gressive alteration of the atmosphere. The injection of
increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmo­

23
sphere by burning industrial fuels can lead to global
warming and glacier retreat. On the other hand, the
accumulation of solid pollutants in the upper atmo­
sphere could have the opposite effect, decreasing the
world tem perature by reducing the amount of incom­
ing radiant energy. This might well lead to glacier ex­
pansion and perhaps even generate a new ice age. It is
becoming increasingly obvious th at the balance be­
tween glaciers and climate is extremely delicate and
that this balance m ight easily be disturbed.

X. Translate the passage into Russian orally fo r your


classmates to translate it back into English.

TO-DAY’S WORLD EXCHANGE OF WEATHER


INFORMATION
In any period of about 24 hours about 100,000 ob­
servations of the w eather conditions at the surface of
the Earth and about 11,000 observations of the upper
atmosphere are recorded. These observations are made
at some land stations distributed among all countries
of the world, on transport and reconnaissance aircraft
and merchant ships.
These observations are made by day and by night
at fixed times which are standardized throughout the
world. In addition the element reported atmospheric
pressure, tem p eratu re, hum idity, visibility, cloud
amounts, etc., the methods used and even the order in
which the readings of the different elements are made,
all conform to internationally agreed practices. To this
vast volume of data must be added the information now
becoming available from meteorological satellites and
rockets.

24
The observations are collected by a network of na­
tional, regional and continental centres and are then
retransm itted to all countries. It is this information
which constitutes the basic inform ation plotted on
w eather maps throughout the world. Such maps are
generally prepared at six-hourly intervals (and some­
times more frequently) and they are the means of ana­
lyzing existing w eather situations and of preparing
w eather forecasts for all purposes — agriculture, avi­
ation, shipping, etc. A meteorological telecommunica­
tions system covering the whole world has therefore
been developed to ensure the prompt collection and dis­
semination of this basic w eather data.

XI. Translate into English.

МЕТЕОРОЛОГИЧЕСКИЕ СТАНЦИИ
Государственные сети метеорологических стан­
ций возникли в XIX веке; до этого наблюдения про­
водились в отдельных немногочисленных пунктах.
В XX веке густота метеорологических станций
сильно выросла, причем наблюдениями были охва­
чены и большие области в тропиках, в глубине Азии
и Африки, в Арктике и Антарктике. Сейчас на зем­
ном шаре имеется много тысяч метеорологических
станций. Наблюдения проводятся и на тысячах тор­
говых судов.
Для регулярных наблюдений в океанах применя­
ются специальные корабли погоды (метеорологиче­
ские суда), длительно находящиеся в определенных
районах океана.
Но все же густота метеорологической сети еще
недостаточна в Арктике, Антарктике, на океанах и в
ряде областей всех материков, кроме Европы.

25
Поскольку метеорологические наблюдения нуж­
ны длЯ' ежедневного прогноза погоды, большое зна­
чение для развития метеорологической сети в наше
время имеет радиосвязь, позволяющая срочно пере­
давать результаты наблюдений из отдельных рай­
онов.
На наземных метеорологических станциях во всем
мире производятся одновременные (синхронные)
наблюдения через каждые три часа по единому —
гринвичскому — времени (времени нулевого пояса).
Результаты наблюдений немедленно передаются по
телефону, телеграфу или по радио в органы службы
погоды. Там по ним составляются синоптические кар­
ты и другие материалы, служащие для предсказа­
ния погоды.
На метеорологических станциях регистрируются
следующие элементы погоды: температура воздуха
на высоте 2 м над земной поверхностью, атмосфер­
ное давление, влажность воздуха, ветер — горизон­
тальное движение воздуха на высоте 10-12 м над
земной поверхностью. Измеряется его скорость и оп­
ределяется направление.
Также измеряется облачность, скорость и направ­
ление движения облаков, количество осадков, про­
должительность солнечного сияния и т. д.

XII. Translate in writing w ithout using a


dictionary, retell the passage.'
Each nation of the world, w hether large or small,
developed or developing, w hatever its national char­
acteristics and activities, w hatever its geographical lo­
cation on the E arth’s surface, shares with all other na­
tions a common interest in the weather.
This interest in w eather can however only be trans­
lated into useful knowledge by international collabo­

26
ration, for the w eather moves across the E arth ’s sur­
face without regard to national boundaries and barri­
ers. Thus, over the last century or so, a world system
for studying the w eather has been developed for the
common good. But modern scientific and technological
developments, notably Earth-orbiting meteorological
satellites and high speed computers, now make possi­
ble a bold new approach to world meteorology.
The nations of the world have not been slow to rec­
ognize this new opportunity. In 1960 the General As­
sembly of the United Nations adopted unanimously a
resolution calling upon the World Meteorological Or­
ganization to develop a plan which will ensure that
these new devices are fully used in m an’s constant en­
deavour to improve his basic knowledge of the atmo­
sphere, and that this knowledge will be applied in prac­
tical and peaceful ways for the benefit of all peoples of
the world.

XIII. Translate into Russian in writing. Be sure and


check the time.
Useful as the early Tiros vehicles were, they left
much to be desired from operational standpoint. The
reason was th a t satellite technology at the time fell
short of the requirem ents of the weather-satellite sys­
tem.
For example, the first Tiros vehicles had their sens­
ing equipment in the base and were so oriented in space
that they occupied a fixed position with respect to the
plane of their orbit. As a result the satellite could ob­
tain only about 20 percent of the Earth’s surface on any
given day. Even when the sensors could acquire useful
information, they were seldom pointing straight down
to the Earth, so th at m uch painstaking geographic

27
orientation and rectification of data were necessary to
make the photographs and telemetric material from
the satellite useful. F urther difficulties arose from the
fact that the orbits of the first Tiros vehicles were sim­
ilar to the orbits of the man-in - space programme: they
were inclined at 48 degrees to the Equator, so that the
amount of the surface they could observe was limited
in terms of latitude. Later the inclination was increased
to 58 degrees, allowing observations as far north and
south of the Equator as about 65 degrees of latitude,
but the observations were still made from an inconver
nient angle and included considerable distortion. To­
ward the end of the Tiros series, the satellite was rede­
signed to put the sensing equipment on the side of the
vehicle. Thereafter, as the satellite rolled along its or­
bit in an orientation to the Earth like th at of a wheel to
a road, the data were acquired only when the sensors
pointed directly at the Earth. Advances in technology
also made it possible to launch satellites into orbits that
were nearly polar and nearly synchronous with the
apparent m ovement of the Sun hence observations
were made over a given area at the same time each
day. The optical system was designed so th at observa­
tions overlapped from orbit to orbit, making it possible
to attain the objective of daily global cover.

(1700 печатных знаков)

XIV. Render the passage in English.


НАУКА РАЗДВИГАЕТ ГОРИЗОНТЫ
Погода и климат определяются сложнейшими
процессами, протекающими во всей толще нашей
атмосферы. Чтобы предвидеть атмосферные изме­
нения и их последствия, необходимо знать все, что

28
происходит на различных высотах, в различных рай­
онах и в различные моменты времени.
Огромная армия метеорологов мира по несколько
раз в сутки проводит десятки тысяч измерений мно­
гих метеорологических элементов — давления тем­
пературы, скорости и направления ветра, влажно­
сти воздуха. Оказалось, однако, что даже огромной
массы метеорологической информации еще недоста­
точно. Дело в том, что подавляющее большинство
измерений проводятся на суше, а она занимает мень­
ше трети поверхности планеты. Кроме того, измеря­
ются далеко не все характеристики, и то лишь в ниж­
них слоях атмосферы.
Чтобы восполнить недостаточность сведений и
глубже проникнуть в «кухню погоды», уже давно
применяются различные технические средства. Но
и они не могут полностью удовлетворить потребно­
сти метеорологов. При радиозондировании, напри­
мер, приборы, передают информацию с высот до 30
км. Но полетом такой аппаратуры управляет не че­
ловек, а ветер. Он вовсе не озабочен сбором инфор­
мации в тех точках, которые особенно важны. На по­
мощь призваны метеорологические ракеты. Им дос­
тупны высоты искусственных спутников Земли. Но
и ракеты не решают всей проблемы: они пока слиш­
ком дороги для частых запусков.
Огромные возможности для совершенствования
прогнозов погоды открывают метеорологические
спутники. Уже сейчас, передавая со своих орбит те­
левизионные изображения облачного покрова пла­
неты, они позволяют обозревать погоду в глобальном
масштабе, надежно предсказывать тайфуны, урага­
ны и другие стихийные явления, следить за движе­
нием циклонов и антициклонов.

29
Разрабатываются и другие новые методы наблю­
дений за процессами, формирующими погоду. Наи­
более перспективными окажутся, видимо, способы
зондирования атмосферы с помощью лазера.

XV. Using the inform ation fro m Units 1


and 2 enlarge on the following:
T h e P r e s e n t S y stem o f W e a t h e r
O b s e r v a t io n N e e d s I m p r o v in g

1. W eather information is of vital importance in the


modern world.
2. The present w eather information is incomplete
and deficient.
a) w eather observations from the entire globe are
inadequate.
b) information regarding the upper layers of the a t­
mosphere is insufficient.
c) transm ission of w ea th e r observations is not
prompt enough.
3. New tools for obtaining w eather information are
being developed.
UNIT3

SEA — OR SEWER?
Forecasts of w hat the sea will do are becoming all
the fnore necessary depending on of w hat we are do­
ing to the sea; it has become m ankind’s great stewer.
Lakes, rivers and th e very air itself have become
clogged w ith our Wastes. The sea, in its immensity,
would appear to have an indefinite capacity to hide
anything that might be throw n ir^o it.
On the face of it, there does not seem to be much of
a problem. The North Sea, for example, contains 54,000
cubic kilometers of water. Consequently, if 54,000 tons
of any substance were dumped into this sea and per­
fectly dispersed, it would show up in a concentration
of only one part per billion. This kind of reasoning has
encouraged the use of the North Sea as a receptacle
for everything from the raw sewage of the cities to the
wastes of industry along the Rhine, one of the world’s
busiest areas of economic activity.
Such reasoning does not stand up because the sea is
not a tub of w ater mixed every day by wind and tide.
Currents not only disperse waste, they also concentrate
it. That was w hat happened in spring 1965 when the
beach near The Hague was suddenly covered with rows
of dead fish. Analysis of the w ater just off the beach
showed th at its copper content was no less than 500
times higher than normal.
It has been estimated th at one or two truckloads —
twenty tons in all — of copper were enough to do the
trick. Dumped, stealthily on some beach at low tide, they
were not diluted by the sea. Instead tides and currents
concentrated the waste into a narrow lethal river about
200 yards wide and flowing north ever so slowly.

31
Another case where the inability to predict the be­
haviour of the atmosphere and the sea had a disastrous
effect was the wreck of the Torrey Canyon in March
1967. She piled up on the Seven Stones off Cornwall,
dumping 117,000 tons of crude oil into the sea from her
rent hull. Fourteen thousand tons landed on the Cor­
nish coast where it was fought with 10,000 tons of de­
tergents that destroyed the oil but at the same time
killed most marine life on the shore as well. The French
followed the event from w hat they thought a safe dis­
tance. They had every right to expect th at the beaches
of northern Brittany would be spared thanks to the
south-west winds that usually prevail at th at time of
the year. Meteorologists and oceanographers could not
forecast what wind and sea would do. It was ten to one
that the wind would not back around to the north-east
But it did — and 15,000 tons of oil came ashore in a
black tide th at had to be fought w ith only shovels,
buckets and bulldozers.
The problem of oil pollution grows more complex
every day with new technological developments. The
opening of the Northwest Passage from Alaska to the
east coast of North America has drastic implications
for the Arctic environment. If a giant tanker were to
be wrecked in those waters, the effect would be even
more lasting than in the tem perate zone. In a cold cli­
mate, the volatile components of oil are no longer vol­
atile and the breakdown of petroleum by bacteria in
the sea occurs at much slower pace.
Another danger in the Arctic is th at off-shore oil­
fields are vulnerable to icebergs. They are not only a
formidable threat to a drilling platform but some bergs,
drawing more than 600 feet of water can wipe out pipe­
lines laid along the bottom to link well-heads to the
shore.

32
J^lore and more, we realize th at we live on w hat has
been called Spaceship Earth. We cannot just throw out
garbage away into the environment; sooner or later,
we will have to go on living w ith it — unless we blast it
off into outer space.
The most frightening case in point is the pesticides.
These the scientists see as the most immediate danger
to the ocean, not the thick, sticky oil th at blackens feet
on beaches every time a tanker is stranded or an oil
well runs wild. The threat of the pesticides is much
more insidious and invisible.
Chlorinated hydrocarbons, of which DDT is the old­
est and the best known, have been accumulating in the
environment since they were first used some thirty
years ago. At first they were considered a blessing, the
all-time world champion insect killer. They have be­
come part of our life on land.
Unfortunately, they have also become part of life in
the sea. Pesticides are present in sea w ater in only
m inute quantities but, as in the case of heavy metals,
they are not evenly diluted. They are taken up by
plants, then by shellfish and fish. Traces of DDT have
been found even in the penguins of Antarctica; heavy
doses have been observed in seals caught off the coast
of Scotland. It has been blamed, too, for the mysteri­
ous disappearance of colonies of sea birds.
W hat worries some scientists is the possibility that
a comparatively small amount of pesticides can lead to
a wide-scale change in the characteristics of the sea.
Researchers have already found that DDT in very small
concentrations can cut photosynthesis — that is, the
production of oxygen by certain species of plant plank­
ton, the diatoms, by as much as 25 percent. And the
diatoms produce 70 per cent of our oxygen.

2 - 556 33
The sea is threatened on all sides. The worst of it is
th at often we do not know we are polluting the envi­
ronment until it is too late. AU too often, we wake up to
pollution too late and when there is too much of it al­
ready on our hands. To avert such a fate for the world
ocean, the nations th at have joined the Intergovern­
mental Oceanographic Commission have recommend­
ed the establishment of a world-wide system to m oni­
to r m arine pollution. U nder th e recom m endation
adopted at the IOC’s sixth session in Septem ber 1969,
samples would be collected from selected sources at
regular intervals, then submitted for analysis and the
results of these analyses published widely.
Finally we m ust learn more about the ocean itself
and the life it contains so that we will be able to recog­
nize changes, w heather harm ful or beneficial, when
and if they occur.

=S 1 I. Translate the, following words into Rus-


==h start:

immensity, immensely, perfectly, inability, disas­


trous, disappearance, impossibility, harmless, repro­
duction, immediately, wreckage, visibility, unevenly,
dispersive, dispersion, unquestionably

II. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and trans­


late them into Russian:
to research, to appear, to be able, to benefit, to
wreck, to pollute, to harm, to develop, to establish

34
III. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-
binations.
1. Now th at rivers and lakes have become clogged
w ith our garbage, we begin to use the sea as a recepta­
cle for everything from the raw sewage of cities to the
wastes of industry.
2. If 54,000 tons of any substance were thrown into
the North Sea and thoroughly disseminated; it would
show up in a concentration of only one part per billion.
3. Icebergs are not only a formidable danger to a drill­
ing platform but they can also destroy pipelines laid
along the bottom to connect well-heads to the shore.
4. Coastal oilfields are exposed to icebergs.
5. Investigators have found th at the most immedi­
ate danger to the ocean are pesticides which are present
in sea w ater in very small quantities and are unevenly
diluted.
6. To prevent the danger of w ater pollution we must
learn more about the ocean and the life it contains to
enable us to discover changes both disastrous and use­
ful.

TV. Fill in the blanks w ith appropriate words from


the text.
1. Recently oceans have become mankind’s great­
e s t__________ .
2. The sea does not have an infinite__________ to
hide everything we might dump into it.
3. Currents b o th _________ a n d ___________ waste.
4. Pesticides are present in sea w ater in __________
quantities.
5. The effect of w ater pollution in the Arctic envi­
ronm ent is m o re __________ than in the tem perate
zone.

3S
6. Arctic off-shore oilfields a r e __________ to ice­
bergs.
7. __________ of DDT have been found in penguins.
8. Pesticides are not evenly__________.

V. Explain the meaning o f the following terms and


phrases:
raw sewage; truckload; crude oil; detergents: vola­
tile compounds; off-shore oil fields; well-head; pesti­
cides; all-tim e world champion insect-killer; heavy
metals; shellfish; wide-scale change; photosynthesis;
diatoms

VI. Pick out from the text sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) why the sea has a limited capacity to hide any­
thing we might throw into it; 2) why w ater pollution is
especially dangerous for the A rctic environm ent;
3) why scientists consider pesticides to be the most im­
mediate danger to the ocean; 4) w hat measures have
been undertaken to avert marine pollution.

VII. Retell the text using the plan given below.


1. The sea is not a sewer.
2. Oil pollution of the sea.
3. Pesticides.
4. Monitoring marine pollution.

VII. Translate into English.


В нашей стране большое внимание уделяется во­
просам охраны вод. В 15 крупных городах, располо­
женных в бассейнах рек Волги и Камы, вводятся в

36
эксплуатацию городские сооружения по очистке
воды (treatm ent plants). Предусмотрено, что сброс
сточных вод во всех городах, расположенных в бас­
сейнах рек Волги и Урала, будет полностью прекра­
щен.
Проводятся крупные мероприятия по охране вод­
ных ресурсов и животного мира в Каспийском море,
озере Байкал и др.
, Самое крупное из имеющихся в нашей стране
озер — Байкал. В нем содержится 20% всей пресной
воды планеты. В прибрежных районах сосредоточе­
ны большие массивы леса, минеральные ископаемые.
На предприятиях, сбрасывающих промышленные
воды в реки, впадающие в озеро, были построены
очистительные сооружения.
Наши ученые за последние годы создали эффек­
тивные сооружения для очистки промышленных
водных c t q k o b . Через них сбрасываются цреки и озе>-
ра воды, пригодные для нормального развития при­
родных процессов в водоемах.
•. I ’ • • ■■.
IX. Translate the follow ing passages into Russian.
Pay attention to should, would.
»tч -Ï

I
Were the E a rth ’s axis not inclined, there would be
no seasons and the world would be markedly different
from the one we inhabit. The warm belt would be a
narrow band of excessive heat gradually merging into
cooler areas to the north and south. There would be no
regions with alternating summers and winters. The fro­
zen wastes about the poles would extend farther equa-
torw ard than they do now. Days and nights would be
of equal length everywhere. At any given place the

éV
daily insolation would remain unchanged throughout
the year. It is difficult to visualize such a world, one of
unending climatic monotony in contrast to the stim u­
lating diversity which is our present condition.
n
When the building of the Panama Canal was first
suggested the project was criticized in Europe. The
French especially complained that such a canal would
allow the waters of the Equatorial Current to escape
into the Pacific, that there would be no Gulf Stream
and that the winter climate of Europe would become
unbearably frigid.
I ll
If the natural environment were uniform through­
out the world; if there were no differences in relief,
rocks, soils/ climate, natural vegetation and crops; if
power, metal and other resources were equally distrib­
uted — then the production* of material goods would
be infinitely simpler. Although physically such a “world
without geography” would be of deadly monotony, eco­
nomics and other sciences would have the advantage
of being able to concern themselves only with the prob­
lems resulting from the non-homogeneity of human
material and the general problems of efficiency of pro­
duction. The sciences of society would be simpler; the
problems of society might be easier of solution.

X. Translate in writing. Be sure and check the time.


HOW W EEDS CLEAN WATER

Fanciers of tropical fish use marine vegetation to


help keep the water in their aquariums clean, and the
same or similar plants are used in many reservoirs to
38
aid the process of w ater purification. Now engineers
are using the same approach to help purify sewage and
industrial w ater wastes.
The “living filters”, which include a num ber of reeds,
rushes and irises cleanse w ater in a variety of interre­
lated ways. They absorb inorganic pollutants such as
nitrates, phosphates and metals and toxic organic com­
pounds such as phenol. Their roots trap small particles
of insoluble pollutants. The plants reduce the number
of pathogenic bacteria in water, possibly by producing
chemicals that destroy the bugs. They add oxygen to
dirty w ater and act as hosts for various bacteria, in­
sects and small fish that also clean up pollutants.
Sudanese tribesmen have long used green plants to
make the m urky w aters of the Blue Nile potable and
palatable, but the large-scale use of this natural tre at­
ment is a recent innovation. The most advanced pro­
cess of this kind is a system used to purify w ater from
the befouled Rhine River for th e G erm an town of
Krefeld. The Rhine water, containing huge amounts
of municipal and industrial sewage, is first subjected
to chemical treatm ent which removes the bulk of the
pollutants, and then sprayed into a lagoon planted with
bulrushes. The spraying increases the amount of oxy­
gen in the water, and the rushes remove almost all of
the remaining pollutants, including toxic organic chem­
icals and coliform bacteria. This w ater infiltrates the
soil below the lagoon — which purifies it fu rther —
and is then pumped off, through wells dug close to the
lagoon, into Krefeld’s w ater system.
Other schemes using green plants are on a some­
what smaller scale. In Holland’s Zuider Zee region, long
waterfilled trenches planted with reeds have success­
fully cleaned up sewage from summer camp sites, at
about a quarter of the cost of conventional plants. Re­

39
searchers are testing the use of natural and artificial
marches to treat municipal effluents and experim ent­
ing with lagoons full of w ater hyacinths for the same
purpose.
Experts recognize th at the method is not a panacea
for w ater-treatm ent problems. The plants require a lot
of space, are vulnerable to pollutants that kill plants
and cannot work year-round in areas w here ponds
freeze. Nevertheless green plants could provide clean
w ater for small communities that cannot afford full-
scale purification systems. And in combination with
conventional techniques, biological treatm ent offers a
relatively cheap way to remove the last traces of the
pollutants that now end up in the drinking w ater of
most large cities.
(2200 печатных знаков)

XI. Render the passage in English.

ЗА ГРЯ ЗН ЕН И Е ГИДРОСФЕРЫ

Атмосферные осадки, стекающие дождевые воды,


бытовые и промышленные стоки — таковы источни­
ки загрязнения гидросферы. Сточные воды ухудша­
ют свойства природной воды, поглощают растворен­
ный в ней кислород, отлагают на дне водоемов осад­
ки, содержащие ядовитые соединения. Особенно
вредны синтетические моющие вещества, так как они
не разлагаются бактериями, не оседают, не уничто­
жаются при разбавлении чистой водой. Постоянный
приток сточных вод меняет экологическую обстанов­
ку водоема, нарушает процессы его самоочищения,
ведет к гибели флоры и фауны, создает угрозу здо­
ровью человека. Своеобразным загрязнителем ока­
зывается вода, сброшенная тепловыми станциями,

40
так как в ней из-за повышенной температуры много
кислорода.
Один кубометр неочищенных сточных вод делает
непригодным для использования 50~60 куб. м речной
воды.
Порче подвергаются также и морские воды, при­
чем особенно интенсивно в прибрежных районах, то
есть в местах наибольшей биологической продуктив­
ности. Самый главный загрязнитель здесь — нефть
(добыча нефти на шельфе, перевозка нефтепродук­
тов, очистка танкеров и т. д.). Один литр нефти спо­
собен испортить миллион литров воды, а одна тонна
нефти покрывает тонкой пленкой 12 кв. км аквато­
рии.
Иногда загрязнение принимает локально-катаст­
рофический характер. В марте 1967 года большой
танкер «Торри Кэньон» сел на камни близ п-ва Кор­
нуэлл. Хлынувшая из него нефть покрыла сотни
квадратных километров в Ла-Манше, испортила
лучшие песчаные пляжи Западной Англии (на про­
тяжении 160 км) и Бретании. Погибли десятки ты­
сяч морских птиц, огромный ущерб нанесен курор­
там и рыболовству.
Очевидно, что специальные сооружения для очи­
стки сточных вод необходимы, хотя они и не в состоя­
нии обезвредить воду полностью. Принимая во вни­
мание дороговизну таких сооружений, самым кар­
динальным решением вопроса было бы прекращение
сброса сточных вод в реки и озера и отвод их в спе­
циальные хранилища, где они могли бы выпаривать­
ся. Целесообразен перевод промышленных предпри­
ятий на замкнутое оборотное водоснабжение (т. е. на
повторное использование воды после очистки).

41
UNI T 4

METEOROLOGICAL ASPECTS OF

m AIR POLLUTION
The atm osphere has always been polluted to some
degree. During certain epochs natural pollution from
volcanic eruptions has had global implications in that
it changed the earth ’s climate. On a smaller but still
area-w ide scale, natural pollution from grass fires and
odors from foul-sm elling swamps and marshes must
have caused at least local nuisances.
M an-made pollution has existed as a local problem
since man invented fire for cooking and for warming
his ill-ventilated caves. Historians report crude oil com­
bustion in Persian shrines as early as 500 BC In medi­
eval times m an-made pollution became such a menace
that British kings decreed th at fouling of the London
air by smoke was an offence which was punishable by
the death penalty through hanging.
Man-made air pollution produced at relatively small
urban arid industrial agglomerations has within the
past century developed into a real threat to life. Al­
though in most cases we have the technological ability
to control air pollution, we still lack the legal authority
to carry it through. Therefore, viewed realistically, our
atmosphere will be used as a giant sewer for some time
to come. The layer into which the contam inants are
emitted, on the average only about 12 kilometers deep,
seems to be at first glance a gigantic air reservoir of
about 5xl018m3. However, most of the pollution is emit­
ted into relatively small airsheds over urban and in­
dustrial areas. Episodic air pollution disasters have
shown th at at certain periods of stagnating air masses
the limit of the dispersive and cleansing power of the

42
atmosphere has already been reached. Logically there­
fore, a self-preserving exploitation of this natural re­
source air can only be m ade if one understands thie
meteorological processes of dispersion and removal of
pollutants and incorporates them into an air resources
managem ent and control system.
All decisive w eather processes which influence pol­
lution dispersal take place in a very thin air layer, the
troposphere. Of this shallow air layer, into which mil­
lions of tons of pollutants are emitted each year, only
the lowest few thousand m eters are suitable at all to
sustain life. If it were not for the natural dispersing,
diluting, scavenging, and air removal processes in the
troposphere, the air on earth would perhaps no longer
be breathable. The energy for all these life-sustaining
processes is supplied by the Sun.
Energy is transm itted from the Sun to the Earth in
the form of electromagnetic: waves called: solar radia­
tion. Depending on the pollution loading of the atmo­
sphere, a good deal of the solar beam does not reach
the ea rth ’s surface, but is rath er attenuated or scat­
tered back to space. On its 150 million kilometer jour­
ney, the solar beam loses hardly any energy (only about
20 percent) until it reaches the lowest few thousand
meters of city air. The remaining part of the shortwave
solar radiation, which is not scattered, is absorbed by
the ea rth ’s surface and reem itted as longwave or heat
radiation. The air layers closest to the radiating sur­
face are heated and start to rise as conventional air
streams. The air motion produced in this manner will
disperse and dilute air pollutants. It is ultim ately the
energy from the sun th at determines the two major
meteorological processes responsible for high or low
pollution levels, namely atmospheric stability and air
flow.

43
Solar radiation by heating the ground surface and
the air adjacent to it produces changes in tem perature
with height, term ed lapse raie. In well-mixed dry air,
the dry adiabatic lapse rate is 1°C per 100 m eters which
means th at for each 100 meters increase in âltitude air
tem perature decreases by 1° C. When tem perature de­
creases with height, as it normally does, the lapse rate
is said to be positive, and a good dispersion and verti­
cal transport of pollutants can be expected under un­
stable w eather conditions. Air is said to be stable when
tem perature increases with height i.e. wheft the lapse
rate is negative or an inversion. Such conditions pre­
vent any vertical dispersion and trap the pollutants
within the inversion layer.
One type of stability condition is the surface-based
shallow radiation inversion, which may be produced
nightly under clear skies and light winds through out­
going longwave radiation. High pollution concentra­
tions accumulate beneath the inversion lid. The follow­
ing morning, when solar heating breaks up the inver­
sion, large amounts of pollutants are brought down to
breathing level in process term ed fumigation. If the
inversion lay er is deep, how ever, and the usually
formed fog is dense enough to effectively prevent so-
làf heating of the ground, ttiëri the polluted ihversion
layer may persist continuously for several days. Only a
change in w eather, such as thè passage of a frontal sys­
tem, can bring relief.
Differential solar heating of the ea rth ’s surface pro­
duces pressure and tem perature differences and hence
air motion. Basically, wind transports air pollutants
from one placé to another, whereas turbulence dilutes
them. Wind speed and turbulence are proportional to
the transport and dispersion of pollutants in the sense
that the higher the wind speed and turbulence the low­
er will be the concentration of pollutants. Wind direc­
tion only influences the direction of transport and the
area of spread of the pollutants.
There are two types of turbulence or eddy diffusion.
Mechanical turbulence is produced by air passing over
a rough surface, and therm al turbulence is induced by
therm al heating and convectional (vertical) air flow.
Both types of turbulence help to disperse pollutants.
The most im portant difference between vertical and
horizontal air motion and hence pollutant dispersion is
that of magnitude. In the vertical, dispersion is restrict­
ed to about 12 kilometers. But in the horizontal, the
entire globe is actually available.
We still do not know at which rate pollutants are
removed from the atmosphere. We also do not know
w hether the present rate of pollution emission on a glo­
bal basis exceeds the rate at which they are being re­
moved from the atmosphere. One fact is clear: without
the cleansing processes the earth would be uninhabit-
able.
Parities of a size greater than 10 pim are quickly re­
moved from the atmosphere by gravitational settling.
Particles in the size range from 0.1 to 10 |im act as con­
densation nuclei. By coagulation and attachm ent .of
w ater vapour the particles grow in size and then settle
out. But precipitation in the form or rain, drizzle or snow
is the most effective cleanser of the atmosphere. P arti­
cles are either intercepted by falling raindrop (wash­
out) or by raindrop formation within clouds and sub­
sequent falling as rainfall (rainout).
Photochemical reactions and oxidation also help to
remove pollutants by chemical conversion. Meteorolog­
ical factors such as solar radiation and humidity are
essential in either removal processes.

45
= I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and
— translate them into Russian:
to contaminate, to exploit, to move, to manage, to
induce, to intercept, to restrict, to settle, to disperse, to
emit

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


breathable, readable, eatable, inhabitable, respon­
sible, unavailable, unrestricted, dispersion, invention,
agglomeration, ultim ately subsequently, discontinu-
ously, persistently, reem itted, resettled, readjusted,
well-balanced, ill-treated, contamination, assumption,
world-wide

III. Translate the following word-combinations:


low pollution concentration; polluted inversion lay­
er; rough surface pressure differences; surface-based
shallow radiation inversion; widespread current air
pollution crises

IV. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-


binations.
1. The layer of the atmosphere into which the wastes
are thrown, on the average about 12 km deep, appears
to be at first glance an immense air reservoir.
2. Atmospheric stability and air flow determine high
or low pollution levels.
3. Depending on the pollution concentration of the
atmosphere much o f the solar ray does not reach the
E arth’s surface but is reflected back to space.
4. Thermal turbulence is caused by therm al heating
and conventional air flow. In the vertical air motion
dissemination is limited to about 12 km.
4&
5. We do not know i f the present rate of pollution
emission on a global basis exceeds the rate at which they
are being displaced from' the atmosphere.
6. M an-made air pollution has within the past cen­
tury, developed into a real threat to life.
7. Without the scavenging processes the Earth would
not be inhabitable.
8. Tfre air M said to be stable when, the tem perature
increases w ith height i.e. when the lapse rate is nega-
tive.
9. The polluted inversion layer may stay indefinite­
ly if the inversion layer is deep.

V. Find in the text terms which f i t the following


definitions:
changes in tem perature with height; pollution in­
duced by man; processes necessary to sustain life; en­
ergy transm itted from the sun to the Earth in the form
of electromagnetic waves; concentration of pollutants
in the atmosphere; turbulence produced by air pass­
ing over a rough surface; the negative lapse lapse rate;
hygroscopic particles which because of their affinity
for w ater vapour initiate condensation at subsatura­
tion humidities

VI. Fill in the blanks w ith appropriate words from


the text
1. A good deal of the solar beam i s __________ back
to space.
2. The two m ajor m eteorological processes are
___________the pollution loading of the atmosphere.
3. __________are em itted into the layer of about 12
km deep.

47
4. Solar radiation by heating the ground surface and
the air __________ to it produces changes in tem pera­
ture with height.
5. Natural air pollution may cause local __________.
6. Only the lowest few thousand m eters of atmo­
sphere are suitable ___________life.

VII. Explain the meaning o f the following terms and


phrases:
natural pollution; m an-m ade pollution; ill-ventilat­
ed caves; stagnating air masses; self-preserving exploi­
tation; life-sustaining processes; pollution loading of the
atmosphere; conventional air stream; atmospheric sta­
bility; lapse rate; unstable w eather conditions; conden­
sation nuclei; photochemical reaction; chemical conver­
sion; gravitational settling; cleansing processes; me­
chanical thermal turbulence; eddy diffusion; differen­
tial solar heating; surface-based shallow radiation in­
version; inversion lid

VIII. Pick out from the text sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) why a gigantic air reservoir cannot be used as a
sewer; 2) w hat happens w ith the solar radiation trans­
m itted to the Earth; 3) how solar radiation affects the
ground surface and the adjacent air; 4) how wind in­
fluences air pollutants; 5) how pollutants are removed
from the atmosphere.

IX. Retell the text using the plan given below.


1. N atural and m an-m ade air pollution.
2. Life-sustaining meteorological processes.
3. Solar energy.
4. Stability conditions.

4&
5. Air flow and turbulence.
6. Scavenging processes.

X. Write fu ll answers to the following questions. Your


answers m ust follow each other so that all your
sentences will fo rm a complete paragraph. To give
the required continuous connection o f the idea use
the link-words such as: thus; but; therefore; how­
ever; though etc. Your paragraph will be a precis
o f the text.
1. Why man-made pollution over industrial areas has
developed into a real th reat to life?
2. Why can’t a gigantic air reservoir be used as a sew­
er?
3. By w hat is the energy for life-sustaining process­
es supplied?
4. Why only part of the incoming solar energy reach­
es the E arth ’s surface?

XI. Translate the following passages into Russian.


Pay attention to should, would.

I
The British geophysicist Sir George Simpson has
dissented from the assumption that the tem perature
has to drop to start the glaciers growing. Instead he has
argued th at the tem perature would have to rise. He
pointed out over tw enty years ago that the chief result
of a general cooling might be a drop in the moisture
content of the air and a damping down of the atmo­
spheric circulation. This could cut snow and rainfall so
much th at ice would be unable to accumulate in spite
of the cooler summers. Moreover, the Arctic seas would

49
freeze, cutting down even fu rth er th e amount of mois­
tu re and snowfall in n o rth ern latitudes. A general
w arm ing would have an opposite effect. Increased
evaporation frpm the oceans would toad the air with
moisture. W inter snowfall would be heavy— too heavy
for summ er melting to keep up w ith —r and glaciers
w;ould sta rt to grow. There would be more cloudiness,
helping to increase, the am ount of incoming sunshine
reflected back into space. If the w arm -up continued
strongly, summer melting would, of course, predomi­
nate and the ice sheets would again melt. But a slight
warming according to this theory, could conceivably
start an ice age. No expert today understands the cli­
mate mechanism well enough to confirm of refute this
theory. Thus it has remained a possibility that has to
be considered in evaluating world climate trends.
II
Soundings made from ships crossing the Bering Sea
reveal th at beneath the w ater is a level plain covered
by less than 200 feet of water. If the sea were lowered
by this depth, there would emerge a land connection
broader than the entire present length of western Alas­
ka from north to south.
The level of the sea has been lowered repeatedly in
the recent history of the continent. Each successive
advance of the ice sheet has locked up vast amounts of
w ater th at otherwise would have returned to the sea.
It has been estimated that during the height of the gla­
cial advance the level of the oceans dropped between
four and five hundred feet, more than twice as would
have been necessary for the Bering Strait Bridge to
emerge.

50
Ill
Sea level changes may also result from variations in
the capacity of the ocean basins, the volume of ocean
w ater remaining constant. If the capacity of an ocean
basin (m easured below present sea level) w ere in­
creased, sea level would fall; if it were reduced sea lev­
el would rise. It should be noted that we are now no
longer dealing purely w ith movements of sea level, for
changes in the configuration and capacity of the ocean
basins involve tectonic movements in the e arth ’s crust
beneath the oceans or on bordering coasts. Epeiroge-
nis, sinking of an ocean basin, would increase its ca­
pacity and cause a world-wide lowering of sea level,
while orogenic or isostastic movements in and around
the ocean basins would lead to world-wide lowering or
rising of sea level, according to w hether they increase
or diminish the capacity of the ocean basin.

XII. Translate into English:


1. Наши ученые за последние годы создали эффек­
тивные сооружения для очистки промышленных
водных стоков. Через них сбрасывается в реки и озе­
ра вода, пригодная для бытовых целей и нормально­
го развития природных процессов в водоемах. Так,
комплексные очистительные сооружения Рязанского
нефтеперерабатывающего завода возвращают в Оку
практически чистую воду.
Ученые также выработали новый способ очистки
воды — электрокоагуляционный. В результате вода
освобождается от грязи и вредных веществ.
2. Разработан способ полной утилизации отходя­
щих вредных газов предприятий. Токсические газо­
вые выбросы после смешивания с природным газом
можно сжигать в топках энергетических котлов, не
нанося ущерба окружающей среде и людям.
51
3. Приняты крупные меры по сохранению и улуч­
шению плодородия почв. Важное место среди них
занимает предохранение почв от эрозии. Как извест­
но, эрозия почв наносит большой вред народному
хозяйству.

XIII. Translate the passage into Russian fo r your


classmates to translate it back into English.
ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION
Probably the most widespread problem confront­
ing industrial meteorologist is that of atmospheric pol­
lution around cities and factories but it is not the prob­
lem of meteorologist alone. W eather and climate are
not the cause of air pollution, but atmospheric condi­
tions do greatly affect the rate of diffusion of contam­
inating agents, both horizontally and vertically. Since
air pollution is far more cornmon around cities than
elsewhere and has increased with their growth it is
evident th at it is a man-caused problem. Reduced vis­
ibility due to pollution is related to the greater urban
activity on weekdays. One can locate a distant city by
its cap of smoke and haze. There are also some foreign
materials in the a ir— in liquid, solid and gaseous forms.
The increase in pollution has come from a m ultitude
(many) sources. Smoke, dust, gases and vapours from
industrial operations account for a large share (part);
heating systems, motor vehicle exhaust and evapora­
tion of volatile liquids such as gasoline are other sources.
The meteorological effects of pollution are largely
concerned w ith visibility and sunshine. Since many
contaminants are hygroscopic they act as nuclei of con­
densation and create a haze or fog, fu rth er reducing
visibility. Moreover, it appears that the w ater droplets

5?
thus formed are more stable than normal cloud drop­
lets and do not evaporate so readily upon being heat­
ed. Oily substances especially tend to form a protec­
tive coating around a droplet, making it difficult to dis­
perse. The combination of fog and pollutant has been
term ed smog. Solar radiation is appreciably reduced
by polluted air in the day-time, and outgoing radiation
is reduced at night. The net effect is a lowered diurnal
range of tem perature. Parts of the solar spectrum are
transm itted selectively by different gaseous constitu­
ents in the air so that the quality as well as the quanti­
ty of insolation is impaired (reduced). Chemical reac­
tions among various types of contaminants in the air
produce new compounds th at in some cases are more
damaging than the original wastes. Certain of these
reactions are photo-chemical i.e. they take place under
the effects of sunlight.
While.it is comparatively easy to observe and de­
scribe the effects of atmospheric pollution, it is some­
w hat more difficult to explain meteorological condi­
tions ,\vhich favour the stagnation of pollution-ridden
(loaded) air at certain times and places more than oth­
er?. In .general, stable air and light winds or calms are
conductive to the concentration pf pollutants at or near
the source of contamination. Industrial areas where
stable air resides (persists) for extended periods are
likely locations for a pollution problem. For numerous
reasons, industries are commonly concentrated in val­
leys and depressions for which stable air has an affini­
ty (is more often found in) and w here tem perature in­
versions are common. Temperature inversions are par­
ticularly suited to the formation of palls (layers) of
smoke and industrial haze. As the warm fumes, gases,
or airborn solids rise, they are cooled adiabatically and
by mixing; and, since the air is w arm er overhead in an

£3
inversion they are soon at a tem perature equal to that
of the surrounding air. Therefpre, they do not rise fu r­
ther. Cooling by radiation atinight from the top of a
smoke layer only intensifies the inversion, and the con­
centration of pollutants increases at and below the top
of the inversion. Stable air, especially with an inverted
lapse rate, often is accompanied by radiation fog which
combines with the pollutants to form smog. As already
indicated, hygroscopic particles may hasten the con­
densation process. If the inversion layer is well above
the surface, a pall will form with less drastic effects,
but it will nevertheless inhibit (prevent) the passage of
radiation and may eventually “build down” to the sur­
face. The most intense smog usually develops when the
inversion is within 1,500 feet of the ground. Unstable
air and strong winds are inimical (unfavourable) to for­
mation of dense smogs. Rising air currents carry the
wastes upw ard and wind disperses them through a
large volume of air. Prevailing winds carry pollutants
away frorh single-sources and'produce a strip of terri­
tory to the leeward th at is subjected to a progressive
decrease in intensity of pollution. Local winds, such as
mountain and Valley breezes, may have a decidedly
favourable effect in clearing away polluted air.
The effect of precipitation on local atmospheric pol­
lution is not as great as might be expected. Although
some materials are unquestionably washed out by rain,
wind and unstable air are more effective in cleansing
the air during a storm. On a larger scale, however, much
of the material dispensed (dissiminated) into the air
must eventually be returned to the Earth by precipi­
tation.

54
XIV. Translate in writing. Be sure and
check the time.
The earth ’s atm osphere has served man in two fun­
damental ways throughout his existence: it has pro­
vided him w ith life-sustaining air to breath and it has
acted as a medium for disposing of his refuse. The at­
mosphere is equipped to efficiently dispose of reason­
able quantities of the waste associated w ith hum an
activity. Man’s indiscriminate use of the atmosphere
as a gigantic sewer, however, has led to isolated severe
air pollution episodes and ultimately to a global deteri­
oration of the quality of the ambient air. Technological
advancement, industrial expansion, population explo­
sion, urbanization, and m an’s constant striving for
higher standard of living have all contributed to the
creation of the current air pollution crises.
Man’s environmental awareness has been increas­
ing within recent years. He is slowly beginning to real­
ize th at a truly high standard of living can be achieved
only if he can find some way to improve the quality of
both his own life and his surrounding as well. We must
now begin to consider the ecological consequences of
all our actions. As a society of careless individuals, we
have recklessly degraded the quality of our air. As a
society of environmentally aware individuals, we are
now faced w ith the consequences of our carelessness,
and it remains to be seen w hether we shall be equal to
the monumental task of preserving our air.

(1300 печатных знаков)

55
XV. Render the text in English.

ОХРАНА ПРИРОДНОЙ СРЕДЫ И


ВОСПРОИЗВОДСТВО ПРИРОДНЫХ РЕСУРСОВ
В РОССИИ
Проблема взаимодействия общества и природы с
каждым годом приобретает все более важное значе­
ние. Новые успехи в науке и технике открывают по-
истине гигантские возможности активного влияния
на природу. Мощными взрывами прокладываются
русла рек и каналов, при помощи экскаваторов пе­
ремещаются огромные массы земли, машины и з­
влекают из недр земли различные полезные иско­
паемые. И все это во имя получения и видоизмене­
ния веществ, необходимых людям в их повседневной
жизни.
Человечество потребляет ныне вещество приро­
ды в самом разнообразном виде и состоянии. Оно из­
влекается из литосферы, гидросферы и атмосферы.
При этом потребление природных ресурсов возрас­
тает высокими темпами.
Например, для выработки тепловой энергии тре­
буется не только топливо, но и кислород. По прибли­
зительным подсчетам почти четвертая часть кисло­
рода, ежедневно вырабатываемая всей растительно­
стью Земли, потребляется ныне промышленностью
и энергетикой.
Итак, развивая науку, технику, производство, че­
ловечество берет от природы все больше необходи­
мых ему веществ.
Такое потребление природных ресурсов может
привести к тяжелым последствиям, если оно не кон­
тролируется.
Перед человечеством встала сейчас серьезная
проблема — охрана (conservation) окружающей при­

56
родной среды. Она приобрела в современных усло­
виях глобальное значение. Например, загрязнение
Дуная промышленными стоками в центре Европы
ведет к тому, что отрицательные последствия этого
испытывают и страны Юго-Восточной Европы. Ги­
бель животного и растительного мира в Мировом
океане от химических и нефтяных выбросов наносит
ущерб всем государствам мира. Такие же последст­
вия испытывает человечество от загрязнения возду­
ха в ряде промышленно развитых стран, от интен­
сивного поглощения кислорода в некоторых районах
земного шара, от хищнического уничтожения живот­
ных, птиц и т. В России большое внимание уделяет­
ся вопросам охраны природы. В нашей стране при­
няты законодательные меры (legislation), которые
охватывают все аспекты охраны окружающей сре­
ды: бережное использование земель, лесов, вод, под­
держание чистоты воздушного бассейна, очистку
сточных вод и т. д. В России впервые в мире были
установлены, например, предельно допустимые нор­
мы содержания вредных веществ в атмосфере, за­
прещено введение в строй предприятий до заверше­
ния строительства очистительных сооружений.
На повестку дня поставлен вопрос об объедине­
нии усилий всех стран по охране природы. Подписа­
но соглашение по комплексной проблеме «Разработ­
ка мероприятий по охране природы». Оно преду­
сматривает создание эффективных методов очист­
ки промышленных вод, утилизацию промышленных
и бытовых отходов, защиту атмосферы от загрязне­
ния вредными веществами и т. д.
Представителями Германии, Польши, России и
ряда других стран была подписана конвенция о ры­
боловстве и сохранении животных ресурсов Балтий­
ского моря и датских проливов. Это первое между­

s57
народное соглашение в области комплексного иссле­
дования проблемы охраны животных ресурсов моря.
Достигнута договоренность совместно изучать
методы борьбы с загрязнением воды с помощью ав­
томатизированных систем. В этом соглашении отве­
дено важное место исследованию Мирового океана.

XVI. Using the inform ation from Units 3


and 4 enlarge on the following:
Environmental Pollution
1. Our environment’s threatened on all sides.
2. The atm osphere cannot be used as a gigantic-
sewer.
3. The sea does not have an infinite capacity to hide
anything we might throw into it.
4. Environmental protection is one of the major prob­
lems of the modem world.

58
UNIT 5

IRRIGATION AND SALT PROBLEMS

Ш IN RENMARK, SOUTH AUSTRALIA


The deserts of this planet, which cover about 19 per­
cent of the continental surfaces, support only about 5
percent of the world’s population. These arid lands have
acted as formidable barriers between settled areas and
have prevented a more even distribution of people over
the face of the earth. Within these dry lands settlement
patterns tend to be ones of clusters and even ribbons,
reflecting the availability of usable water. Renmark,
South Australia, is such a cluster and is one of the many
“oasis” towns along the M urray River.
The Renmark oasis has been selected for study be­
cause it is located in a country where the results of sci­
entific research are readily available;; Still, the Ren­
mark irrigated lands, like most of the oases along the
M urray River, are endangered by the encroachment
of salt. This deterioration of agricultural land is truly
disturbing when one considers that less than a quarter
of Australia has a growing season of five months or
more, during which evaporation is not more than three
times precipitation, and th at a third of the entire con­
tinent is unsuited to commercial agriculture of any kind.
At the same time the M urray River system supports
about nine-tenths of all irrigated land in Australia. Thus
the hauting sight of salt-burnt vines, browning pas­
tures and wilting citrus groves in the heart of A ustra­
lia’s irrigated garden district cautions against compla­
cency in the efforts to close the gap between available
scientific knowledge and its practical applications in the
management of irrigated lands.

59
Renmark lies on the north bank of the Murray. The
M urray River, meandering in its broadly incised val­
ley through a semi-arid region is the life-giving source
for the horticultural centres, whose success or failure
to a large extent depends on the availability and qual­
ity of irrigation water. Through the construction of
storage ponds between large weirs, w ater has been
made available at all times. However, the w ater quali­
ty varies with a num ber of factors, such as river flow,
seepage of saline drainage Water into the river, wind
conditions, thermal overturn, and the rate of pump­
ing.
Of all the South Australia river oases, Renmark is
at the greatest distance upstream . Thus all centers
downstream are affected by w hat happens to the re­
turn flow and seepage of salinized drainage w ater de­
riving from the Renmark area. With a yearly use of
more than 50,000 acre-feet of w ater on the Renmark
area’s 12,400 irrigated acres, the problems of salt ac­
cumulation and the subsequent disposal of saline drain­
age w ater Wave become critical not only for Renmark'
but particularly for the downstream towns.
Few places reflect more clearly m an’s ability to
speed up, or to retard, the deterioration of land resourc­
es'than the intensively used bases along the world’s
exotic rivers. The ultim ate fate of such oases will de­
pend almost entirely on m anf£ ability to recognize and
to deal w ith the causes of soil salinization. W hether or
not irrigated land becomes salinized depends on a va­
riety of physical factors, among them the quantity and
quality of the irrigation water, the amount of precipi­
tation and evaporation and the drainage capability of
the soils under irrigation. Obviously the quantity and
kinds of salts already present in the soils, as well as the
salt content of materials deposited by wind action, play
a significant part.
All w ater used for irrigation at Renmark comes from
the M urray which has incised its broad valley into a
wide peneplain underlain by relatively young deposits
of clay, by gypsum beds, by both unconsolidated and
cemented layers of sand and gravel, and by thin beds
of limestone. All of these sediments are the rem nants
of shallow m arine encroachm ents during the early
Pleistocene, and they attain an aggregate thickness of
about 1,500 feet. In the late Pliocene a general uplift
gave rise to the present coastline and also rejuvenated
the drainage system of the M urray and its tributaries.
Consequently, the river cuts through various calcare­
ous strata and unconsolidated materials, which in part
explains the relatively high mineral content of its wa­
ter.
Another major factor in salinization, the climate,
does not require elaboration. Precipitation is both de­
ficient and erratic, and the evaporation is generally six
to seven times greater than the average precipitation.
The severe excess of evaporation over precipitation
clearly indicates the conditions th at favour soil salin­
ization.
A third factor, the drainage capability of soils over
a large area, is. by far the most difficult to evaluate.
From the often sandy surface material of a great num ­
ber of soil types in the Renmark area, one could easily,
if correctly, conclude th at the soils have a high drain­
age capability. Since quite a num ber of these soils have
buried profiles and also have clay layers at various
depths, the drainage potentials vary greatly within
short distances. Moreover, in many places the Blanch-
town Clay accounts for perched w ater tables at shal­
low depths. Soluble salts contained in the irrigation
w ater and in the parent materials of the soil tend to
move upw ard by capillary action into the root zone or
even to the surface. Only in places w here the clay sur­
face is inclined toward natural or artificial drainage
ways is it possible to conduct the excess w ater out and
away from the irrigation sites.
The w ater table, except in the deep accumulations
of the sandy ridges at the outer margins of the irriga­
tion district, lies anywhere from 20 to 60 inches below
the surface. This means th at in almost all areas the
groundw ater is at a level which easily permits salin-
ized w ater to rise to the surface by capillary action.
Eight to twelve feet can be viewed as the maximum
distance th at capillary w ater will rise from the w ater
table, though this general assumption does not hold
tru e for all soils, since capillary rise is strongly influ­
enced by soil texture.

== I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and


~~ h translate them into Russian :

to settle, to vary, to accumulate, to assume, to suit,


to dispose, to apply, to exceed

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


breathable, breathless, unavailable, dangerous, su it'
able, exception, excessive, deficiency, applicable, con­
clusion, favourable, selection, useful, useless, unused,
misuse, unfavourable, permission, semicircle, inability

III. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-


binations.
1. The dry lands have acted as formidable barriers
between settled areas and have prevented a more uni­
form distribution of people o^er the face of the Earth.

62:
2. Clearly th e am ount and kind of salt already
present in the soils and also the salt content of m ateri­
als deposited by wind action» play an important part in
soil salinization.
3. By the construction of storage ponds betw een
large dams w ater has been made available at all times.
4. A t the end of Pliocene a general uplift resulted in
the present coastline.
5. As precipitation is insufficient and unstable, soil
salinization is drastic.
6. Eight to twelve feet can be regarded as the maxi­
mum distance th at capillary w ater will rise from the
w ater table, though this general assumption does not
apply to all soils because capillary rise is severely a f­
fected by soil texture.
7. The M urray River winding in its broadly cut val­
ley through a semiarid region is the life-giving source
for the horticultural centres.
8. The severe excess of evaporation over precipita­
tion shows the conditions th at favour soil salinization.

TV. Explain the meaning o f the follouHiig terms and


phrases:
settlem ent pattern; readily available results; com­
mercial agriculture; semiarid region; storage ponds;
th erm al overturn; drainage capability of the soil;
perched w ater table

V. Fill in the blanks w ith appropriate words from


the text.
1. The M urray River system __________ about
nine-tenths of all irrigated land in Australia.
2. The severe excess of evaporation over precipita­
tion indicates the conditions th a t__________ soil salin-
- ization.
63
3. In arid lands precipitation is both and

4. T he irrig a te d lands are en d an g ered by the


__________ of salt.
5. Through the construction o f __________ w ater is
available at all times.
6. Arid lands prevent even __________ of people
over the face of the Earth.

VI. Pick out fro m the text sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) how arid lands affect settlem ent pattern; 2) why
deterioration of agricultural land in Australia is espe­
cially disturbing; 3) w hat factors are responsible for soil
salinization; 4) why the mineral content of the Murray
w ater is high; 5) what climatic factors favour soil salin­
ization.

VII. Write fu ll answers to the following questions.


Your answers m ust follow each other so that all
your sentences will form a complete paragraph.
To give the required continuous connection of
the idea use the link-words such as: thus; there­
fore; but; however; though etc. Your paragraph
will be a precis o f the text.
1. Why is the reclamation of deserts so important?
2. What are irrigated oases of deserts endangered by?
3. W hat physical factors favour soil salinization?
4. Why are the irrigated lands of the Renmark oasis
especially endangered by the salt encroachment?

VIII. Divide the text into several logical units. Sug­


gest a suitable title fo r each. Retell the text us­
ing your titles as the plan.
64
IX. Translate into Russian. Pay attention to the ing-
fo rm s.
I
Long Island, New York, resembles a giant fish with
a sweeping forked tail, its head pointed toward New
York City. This fantastic shape had its origin in the gla­
cial moraine th at stretches along the hilly northern
portion of Long Island forming the fish backbone. All
the land south of the moraine is a flat, sloping outwash
plain. Toward the eastern end the moraine divides, one
spur forming the upper fin of the tail, Orient Point, the
other lower fin term inating with Montank Point. The
two peninsulas are the result of a minor retreat by the
glacier. Having advanced as far south as Montank it
remained stationary for several thousand years, cre­
ating the southern spur of the moraine. Then the ice
began to melt, only to become stabilized again a few
miles to the north, producing the upper fin.
II
Making its w ay down the valley, the river cuts
through rocks of varying resistance. Soft rocks being
eroded much more rapidly than resistant ones, form
waterfalls. But w aterfalls are only tem porary features
of the landscape. As a river plunges over a fall, its
youthful energy is renewed. The falling w ater strikes
at the base of the resistant rocks, undercutting them
until a lip results. Eventually the lip collapses and the
undercutting of a new lip begins again farther up­
stream. The lip steadily retreats upstream until the falls
have disappeared and are replaced by a deep gorge.
Almost all waterfalls including Niagara have been cre­
ated in this way.

) 556 65
X. Give the essence o f the passage in English.
wi.t * . ,
WARM WATER FOR AGRICULTURE
Instead of dumping waste hot w ater from industri­
al processes into lakes and streams, where it stimulates
the grow th of algae, the Environm ental Protection
Agency suggests factories work out arrangem ents with
local farmers to use hot water to help grow crops. Agen­
cy scientists have just completed a five-year project in
Oregon aimed at demonstrating feasibility of the idea,
and they are encouraged by the Results.
Waste w ater could be used in. two different ways,
either to stimulate root growth through underground
irrigation during cold w eather, or to spray prchard
tr^es to help prevent frost damage. (Water would still
freeze on the trees, but in doing so it uses up enough
heat to prevent damage and to protect buds.)
Soil heating significantly increased the num ber and
weight of early spring vegetables. Spraying peach or­
chards allowed production of,full crops during peri­
ods when unprotected, or chards suffered significant
losses. .
EPA officials foresee the time when w aste warm
water could become a sought-after commodity, with
the main source being the nation's electric power gen­
erating plants.

a XI. Translate in writing. Be sure and check


the time.
THE NATURE OF SOILS
The most valuable part of the earth is the surface
film of soil, only ^ few inches to a few feet thick. If this
thin veneer should disappear, food plants could not
66
grow, land animals would starve to death, and the few
remaining hum an beings would have to cling to the
coasts competing for the insufficient seafood. Yet, un­
wise land use of man has ruined enough of this pre­
cious veneer to render millions of acres of cropland unfit
for cultivation. In large parts of the world no adequate
steps have been taken to preserve the topsoil. The first
step toward wise soil-use policies is an understanding
of soil itself.
Not all loose, unconsolidated earth materials are soil,
but only the highly w eathered earth material near the
surface which has been influenced by climate, plant
growth, and microorganisms can be called so.
Thus, soil is the upper part of the mantle rock, which
as a result of physical and chemical changes — owing
to weathering, the leaching and depositional activities
of soil water, the presence of soil bacteria and of de­
caying vegetable and animal m atter, and other fac­
tors — has developed certain characteristics of its own.
This development makes the soil into something quite
different physically and chemically from the underly­
ing material from which it was derived. The soil may
be looked upon as a living entity, because without bac­
teria and other organisms it ceases to be soil, and be­
comes fossilized.
(1400 печатных знаков)

XII. Render the p assage in English.


ЦЕЛЬ ОРОШЕНИЯ И ДРЕНАЖА
В настоящее время научно обоснованные работы
по орошению и дренажу направлены на регулирова­
ние влажности почвы. Цель орошения и дренажа —
дополняя друг друга, улучшать природные условия

67
и способствовать созданию такого режима увлажне­
ния почвы, который необходим для оптимального
развития сельскохозяйственных культур.
Орошение в засушливых и полузасушливых рай­
онах мира применяют очень давно.
Эта наука в настоящее время охватывает не толь­
ко вопросы подачи воды в почву с целью ее увлаж­
нения до уровня, необходимого для роста растений,
но и вопросы исследований, строительства, эксплуа­
тации гидротехнических сооружений и каналов и все
связанные с ними проблемы. Конечная цель ороше­
ния — получить максимально возможное количест­
во с /х продукции в зависимости от природных усло­
вий и обеспечить постоянное и эффективное возде­
лывание наиболее полезных культур в новых рай­
онах.
Цель дренажных работ — удалить избыток воды
на с /х землях. Дренаж устраивается в следующих
случаях: на болотах, на землях с переувлажненны­
ми почвами, где избыток влаги — следствие при­
родных условий, чтобы путем мелиоративных меро­
приятий сделать их пригодными для выращивания
с /х культур; на землях, где избыток воды образовы­
вается в результате обильных осадков, с целью пре­
дотвратить ущерб, наносимый с/х культурам; в мес­
тах, где избыточные воды образуются в результате
глубокого (за пределы распространения корневой
системы) просачивания оросительных вод, с тем что­
бы обеспечить нормальное развитие с /х культур.
Необходимость орошения и установка дренажа в
различных странах мира обусловлена геологически­
ми, географическими, геоморфологическими и ме­
теорологическими условиями.
Во влажных районах основное требование— уда­
ление избытка воды. Орошение в этих местах необ­

68
ходимо для защиты культур от заморозков или для
восполнения временного недостатка влаги. г<'
В зоне тропиков, где количество осадков обычно
достаточно, но выпадают они в течение трех-четы-
рех месяцев в году, орошение необходимо для обес­
печения роста большинства культур в сухое время
года, а также при дефиците осадков в критический
период вегетации с /х культур.
На низко расположенных прибрежных землях и
на некоторых внутриматериковых низменностях ис­
пользование земли без дренажа невозможно.
В дельтовых участках дренаж позволяет бороть­
ся с вторжением соленых приливных вод моря.
Дренаж необходим для восстановления плодоро­
дия заболоченных, засоленных и щелочных земель,
для быстрого отвода избыточных вод в районах с
большим количеством осадков, а также для удале­
ния избыточной влаги из корневой зоны растений в
период дождей. Дренаж часто необходим для удале­
ния избыточной воды при поливах, а также для под­
держания нормального солевого баланса в почве.
UN IT 6

SALINIZATION CONTROL

Man has attem pted to utilize the potential resourc­


es of lands in many ways, either through irrigation or
through mineral extraction in response to industrial­
ization and mechanization. The success of arid lands
development through irrigation reflects one of the most
dramatic struggles in m an’s efforts to modify his envi­
ronment. A narrow margin separates success from fail­
ure in this particular endeavor; for life-giving w aters
of many rivers also carry seeds of destruction of agri­
cultural lands. The “salt of the E arth” th at furnishes
the essential nutrients for plants, man, and beasts also
destroys the land whenever a fine balance between
overwatering and underw atering is upset. Thus the
management of irrigated land in arid environments
must be viewed as a critical test of m an’s willingness
and ability to use the knowledge gained from centu­
ries of bitter experience. Nowhere else has there been
a more blatant demonstration of land misuse and re­
source deterioration than in the irrigation districts of
arid lands.
Various measures can be applied either to prevent
or to reduce soil salinization. At least three aspects must
be taken into account: the amount of w ater applied,
irrigation techniques used, and the way in which sa­
line subsoil w ater is removed.
Both overwatering and underw atering can lead to
salinization. Too much w ater permits the w ater table
to reach into the root zone of the crops. Since the w ater
in the saturated subsoil tends to be saline, the salts are
transported upw ard by capillary action and depend­

70
ing on the depth of the w ater table frequently rsach
the surface of the fields. Clearly, the amount of w^ter
used in irrigation m ust be geared to the amount that is
able to percolate through the soil arid to be conducted
away, either through natural drainage or through a r­
tificial systems. In sandy soils overwatering is not so
serious as in clayey soils with low permeability. It is
not only the textural difference th at is im portant but
also the fact that some clays, particularly those of a
montmorillonite type have a tendency to expand upon
wafer absorption and hence to obstruct the narrow per­
colation channels or even: larger soil spaces.
Irrigation techniques strongly affect both plants and
soils. Overhead systems are relatively easy to install,
and they remain more or less stationary within irrigat­
ed fields or groves, but their disadvantages seem to be
greater than anticipated. W ater is unevenly distribut­
ed as a result of greater spray distances and wind in­
terference, leaf burn occurs particularly on days with
strong sunshine, and in-air evaporation tends to in­
crease salt concentration of the irrigation water. Un­
der-tree sprinklers are much less damaging than the
overheard type. However, they require more labor,
since they must be moved more frequently, and soil
erosion can be severe on land with a slope greater than
3 percent. Furrow irrigation used in many vineyards
also has some severe drawbacks. The w ater tends to
run downslope and to form standing pools, which re­
sult in uneven moisture distribution and cause varia­
tions in the depth of the w ater table. Experiments have
shown that salts are displaced unevenly. Concentra­
tions seem to be highest in the soil mounds under the
plants and lowest under the furrow bottoms.
The third aspect affecting salinization is the remove
al of saline subsoil water. This is not necessarily th e ’

71
same as lowering the w ater table but refers to the per­
manent removal of heavy saline w ater from the sub­
soil strata. The seepage from excess irrigation w ater
mentioned earlier has ruined much pasture and crop­
land in the low-lying districts that are now occupied
by salt-tolerant bluebush and saltbush. The problem,
then is how to prevent this saline w ater from contam­
inating lower parts of the valuable irrigated land and
from reaching the streams. Effective removal of ex­
cess w ater from irrigated soils is also essential. A new
technique to solve these problems has been initiated,
though the scheme is somewhat controversal.
Since low floodplains of rivers are for the most part
useless for agricultural development, diked-in evapo­
ration basins have been constructed on them. The ba­
sic principle consists of collecting highly saline drain­
age w ater from the upper irrigation districts in large
concrete tanks, from which w ater flows through con­
crete pipes into three large evaporation basins situat­
ed in the lowest parts of the flood-plain or on river is­
lands. Advocates of the scheme assured skeptics that
artificial dikes along the river banks, combined with
a low permeability rate of the clayey floodplain soils,
would prevent the seepage of saline w ater into the riv­
ers. The brackish water, thus contained, would evapo­
rate and leave behind the salts. In years of abundant
w ater flow in the rivers the evaporation basins could
be subjected to flooding and leaching, and thus the
excess salts could be safely removed at certain inter­
vals.
Critics of the system point out that some saline leak­
age m ay ap p aren tly occur beneath th e dikes and
through the salt-saturated subsoils. Moreover, if the
expected floods do not materialize, the accumulation
of salts may reach threatening proportions. It is feared

72
th at the accumulation of salt may be so excessive that
it cannot be removed without seriously affecting the
downstream irrigation sites. These evaporation basins
seem to pose a long-range th reat that may increase as
time goes on.

= I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and


-= -r translate them into Russian:
to destroy, to apply, to vary, to seep, to exceed, to
modify

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


destructive, unwillingness, modification, miscalcu­
lation, overheating, undernourishment, advantageous,
infrequently, expansion, displacement, damaged, ref­
erence, reduction, unfavourable, acceptable, permis­
sible

III. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-


binations.
1. Obviously the quantity of w ater used in irrigation
m ust be, geared to the q u an tity th a t can percolate
through the soil and be conducted away.
2. Consequently the m anagement of irrigated land
in arid areas must be regarded as a critical test of m an’s
willingness and capability to use the knowledge at­
tained from centuries of bitter practice.
3. Overwatering as well as underwatering can re­
sult in salinization.
4. Irrigation techniques strongly influence both
plants and soils.

73
5. Overhead systems are comparatively easy to put
m'feut their drawbacks appear to be greater than ex­
pected.
6. The seepage from excess irrigation w ater has ru­
ined much cropland.
7. Experiments have shown that salts are removed
unevenly.
8. Furrow irrigation has some severe disadvantages.

IV. Explain the meaning o f the following terms and


phrases:
arid lands development; “salt of the E arth ”; soils
with low permeability; overhead system; spray dis­
tance; in-air evaporation; under-.tree sprinklers; fu r­
row irrigation; w ater table; subsoil water; salt-toler­
ant bluebush; diked-in evaporation basins; long-range
threat

V. Fill in the blanks w ith appropriate words from


the text.
1. Low floodplains of the rivers are m o stly ____
__________for agricultural development.
2. Effective removal o f_________ w ater from the
irrigated soils is essential.
3. T he seepage from excess irrig a tio n w a te r
_______ much pasture and cropland in the low-ly­
ing districts.
4. Some clays have a tendency to expand upon w a­
ter absorption a n d __________ the narrow persolation
channels. ' -r
5. The fine balance betwfeen overwatering and un­
derw atering must not :

74
6. Man has attem pted to utilize the potential resourc­
es of arid lands in many w ay s__________ industrial­
ization.

VI. Pick out from the text sentences or parts o f the


sentences showing:
1) why the fine balance betw een overwatering and
underw atering is important; 2) why overwatering is
especially serious in clayey soils; 3) w hat the diked-in
evaporation basins are designed for; 4) what the draw ­
backs of diked-in evaporation basins are.

VII. Write full answers to the following questions.


Your answers m ust follow each other so that all
your sentences will form a complete paragraph.
To give the required continuous connection of
the idea use the link-words such as: but; thus;
therefore; however etc. Your paragraph will be
a precis o f the text.
1. Why does the m anagement of arid lands through
irrigation require much experience?
2. W hat amount of w ater should be used in irriga­
tion?
3. Wh&t are the advantages and disadvantages of
different irrigation systems?
4. How is it possible to prevent saline w ater from
contaminating irrigated land and from reaching the
streams?

VIII. Divide the text into several logical units. Sug­


gest a suitable tittle fo r each. Retell the text us­
ing your titles as the plan.

75
IX. Translate the following passages into Russian.
Pay attention to the ing- form s.
I
Snow differs from other forms of precipitation in
that it may accumulate on the earth ’s surface for some
time before melting and running off to streams or re-
evaporating to the atmosphere. In addition to measur­
ing snow as it falls, the hydrologist is faced with the
problem of measuring the accumulated amount on the
ground and of determining those physical characteris­
tics which control the rate of melting or evaporation.
Snow is a deposit of ice crystals, in many ways analo­
gous to soil, except th a t snow m ay undergo rapid
changes in its crystal structure. Like soil it has the ca­
pacity of retarding the runoff from rainfall and stor­
ing a portion of such rainfall.
II
Moisture is often present in the voids and cracks of
rocks. Upon freezing it expands about one-eleventh of
its volume, and in gaining this additional volume it ex­
erts tremendous pressure. W ater in the cracks freezes
first near the surface, effectively closing the cracks. As
tem perature drops, the further expansion of w ater that
is in the process of being turned into ice is directed in­
ward, into the rock, and transm itted hydrostatically.
Thus cracks are enlarged and penetrate deeper and
deeper into the rock, paving the way for complete dis­
integration. This type of weathering prevails where
m oisture is abundant, w here tem p eratu re changes
above and below freezing point are freq u ent, and
w here there is little or no vegetation cover to protect
the rock.

76
X. a) Translate the passages into Russian fo r your
classmates to translate them back into English;
b) give a brief sum mary o f each passage in En­
glish.
I

IRRIGATION BY OVERHEAD SPRINKLERS


Irrigation by overhead sprinklers is not without its
problems. Under ideal conditions, i.e. in the absence or
near absence of wind, the quantity of w ater applied
and its distribution can be accurately controlled. But
such ideal conditions are rare and w ater distribution
can be far from even. Also, if such irrigation is carried
out in hot dry weather, as is frequently the case, con­
siderable quantities of w ater are lost by evaporation.
The situation is fu rth er complicated if the irrigation
w ater tends to be saline, as is sometimes the case with
th a t of th e River M urray. The use of saline w ater
through sprinklers during the day time can result in
leaf burn and the direct uptake of harmful salts (in
particular, sodium chloride) by the leaves. It was be­
cause of this that, for example, in the summer of 1965
when the salinity of the River M urray reached near­
toxic levels, irrigation was carried out only at night in
an effort to limit the salt damage. However, such ac­
tion could only be a tem porary measure, and any sig­
nificant increase in the salinity of the irrigation w ater
could present growers w ith the choice of losing their
planting (or at least having production reduced to an
uneconomic level) or changing their irrigation system
(at considerable capital cost) to one of under-tree sprin­
klers.

77
II

IRRIGATION PROJECT
IN THE WAIKERIE DISTRICT
In the Waikerie district of South Australia’s M ur­
ray Valley over 3,000 acres of land have been irrigated
since 1960. This development was stimulated by the
highest-recorded flood which in 1956 inundated thou­
sands of acres of irrigated land along the whole of the
M urray Valley. In particular, hundreds of fruit-grow -
ing properties were severely damaged. It was to aid
these fru it grow ers th a t a special com m ittee was
formed. Its aim was to develop land that was well above
the river level, in no danger of being flooded. Known
as “high land”, it consisted mainly of relatively unpro­
ductive grazing land, but when supplied w ith water,
these areas of deep sandy soil could produce large quan­
tity of horticultural products. As these light sandy soils
were by no means suited to the more traditional m eth­
od of furrow irrigation, such development was largely
made possible by the use of permanent overhead sprin­
kler system.

XI. Translate the passage in writing. Be sure


and. check the time.

THE OUTLOOK
In Australia, w here about one-third of the land area
is totally unsuited to commercial agriculture of any type
and where much of the rest is not endowed w ith ade­
quate or reliable precipitation, irrigation assumes an
increasingly important role. It is therefore necessary
to prevent irrigated land from deteriorating, either as
a result of faulty practices or through natural process­
78
es. The oasis centers along the lower M urray are par­
ticularly endangered and a t least two m ajor tasks
should be undertaken. First, through careful land man­
agement and sound irrigation practices soil salinization
must be reduced, or at least retarded. Second, the re­
turn flow of saline drainage w ater m ust be halted to
prevent fu rth er deterioration of the w ater quality.
In the light of field studies carried out in the lower
Piura Valley of northern Peru, w here in recent years
massive salinization has spelled disaster for irrigated
land, several effective measures for the reduction of
salinization should be recommended for the centres
along the lower Murray: 1) the construction of an in­
tensive network of observation wells designed to indi­
cate the level, pressure and directional flow of the
groundw ater (through a careful balance between irri­
gation and drainage, the w ater table can be kept at the
recommended depth of about 60 to 72 inches below the
surface); 2) the development of w ater-table and sOil-
salinity maps to identify the gravity points of saliniza­
tion; 3) the systematic mapping of the drainage capa­
bility of the soil types to eliminate from the irrigation
system-soils that have unfavourable characteristics;
4) the systematic reduction of the sodium level through
caifori‘exchange w ith calcium sulfate and effective
leaching. Other measures such as large-scale applica­
tion of green manure and possibly sulfer, would help
to prevent excessive? concentrations of carbonates and
salts in the soil and would lower the pH to more ac­
ceptable levels.
The removal of saline drainage w ater presents a
more difficult, and also a more costly, problem. How­
ever, the cost must be weighed against the long-range
dam age and deterioration in th e irrigation centres
along the Murray. Although the evaporation basins

79
m ay tem p o ra ry stem th e saline seepage into th e
streams, the massive accumulations of salts can only
lead to eventual disaster. It is therefore necessary to
prevent the return of any salinized w ater to the river
or its floodplain. The construction of a concrete pipe
conduit could be suggested, roughly paralleling the riv­
er, which would collect the drainage w ater from the
irrigation centres and would carry it to the lower reach­
es of the river or even to the salt flats near the coast,
w here the w ater is no longer used. Such a system would
have a duel effect; it would increase w ater quality at
all the dow nstream locations, and it would perm it
leaching w ith a larger quantity of w ater than has been
permissible in the past.
By following these suggestions, and by searching for
additional safeguards, the future of the downstream
communities as prosperous horticultural centres could
be protected. Moreover, enlightened handling of the
complex problems of irrigation would set an example
for other oases of the world’s arid lands in their strug­
gle against the ever-present danger of soil salinization.

(3200 печатных знаков)

XII. Render the passage in English.


ПРОИСХОЖДЕНИЕ, ДВИЖЕНИЕ
И НАКОПЛЕНИЕ СОЛЕЙ
Исключительно большое значение в солевом ре­
жиме — почв имеют поливные воды, которые обыч­
но содержат то или иное количество растворенных
солей.
Значение оросительных вод как источника солей
для поливных почв возрастает еще и потому, что
многие оазисы насчитывают сотни и тысячи лет сво­
80
его существования, за время которых суммировал­
ся ежегодный приток растворенных в поливных во­
дах солей. Поэтому поливные воды как источник со­
лей должны учитываться даже в случаях пресных
оросительных вод. Но орошаемое земледелие зачас­
тую принуждено пользоваться водой повышенной
минерализации, вследствие чего скорость процессов
соленакопления начинает неизмеримо возрастать.
Пределом допустимого содержания солей в полив­
ных водах является величина около одного грамм/
литра. Оросительные воды наиболее крупных ирри­
гационных систем Средней Азии обычно имеют кон­
центрацию соли меньшую или близкую к этой вели­
чине. Случаи высокой минерализации поливных вод
известны в Заволжье и на Северном Кавказе. Рас­
пространенные здесь водохранилища на небольших
степных реках собирают воду поверхностного мест­
ного стока и питаются, кроме того, выходами мине­
рализованных грунтовых вод. Ежегодное испарение
и пополнение запасов вод в водохранилище со вре­
менем ведет к увеличению содержания в них солей.
Поэтому многие водохранилища часто содержат к
концу лета до 4 -5 г солей на один литр воды. Не имея
других водных источников, население, пользуясь
столь высоко минерализованной водой, вынуждено
через два — четыре года забрасывать (to abandon)
поливные участки вследствие их засоления.
II
Известно, что орошение при современной техни­
ке обычно сопровождается избыточным расходом
воды. Значительная часть оросительных вод фильт­
руется через ирригационную сеть и уходит в грун­
товые воды, пополняя их запасы, повышая их уро­
вень и принося в них новые порции легкораствори­

81
мых солей. Приближение грунтовых вод к дневной
поверхности (day surface), вследствие систематиче­
ского питания их избыточными поливными водами,
влечет за собой усиление процесса расходования их
на испарение с накоплением солей в почвенных го­
ризонтах, грунте и самой грунтовой воде.
Наконец, значительная масса ирригационных вод,
недоиспользованных в пределах орошаемых масси­
вов, сбрасывается в различного рода местные депрес­
сии, с образованием заболоченных массивов с подъ­
емом уровня грунтовых вод в прилегающей местно­
сти. С открытой водной поверхности этих про­
странств сбросные воды испаряются особенно быстро.
Все это свидетельствует о большом значении по­
ливных вод в притоке солей в ирригационный оазис.
Так как влага с поверхности почвы испаряется не­
равномерно, больше на оголенных местах и на повы­
шениях и меньше во впадинах, то и процесс распре­
деления солей, приносимых оросительными водами
в профиль и на поверхность орошаемых почв, про­
текает неравномерно. Обычно наибольшее количест­
во легко растворимых солей аккумулируется на по­
вышениях микрорельефа и на затемненных оголен­
ных пространствах.

XIII. Using the inform ation fro m Units 5


and 6 enlarge on the following:

T h e M a n a g e m e n t o f I r r ig a t e d L a n d
in A r id E n v ir o n m e n t

1. Arid lands of our planet cover over 19 per cent of


the continental surface.
2. Management of irrigated land in arid environment
is a difficult task.

82
3. The ultim ate fate of these lands depends on m an’s
ability to deal with the causes of soil salinization.
4. Three aspects must be taken into account in or­
der to prevent or to reduce soil salinization.
5. Several effective measures for the reduction of
salinization may be recommended.
U N IT 7

LUNAR LANDSCAPE
Speculations about the landscape features of the
Moon began 300 years ago when Galileo Galilei first
turned his newly invented telescope upon it and made
drawings of w hat he saw. Within half a century other
scientists had followed and made maps and bestowed
names. They were impressed by the extensive dark-
toned areas th at appeared smooth and unbroken, and
believing them to be seas indeed called them maria. The
maps of 1651 already carried the names by which all
the principal maria are known today. The bright, rough
areas surrounding maria are called terrae and this term
also survives though only in a generic sense.
Three centuries of telescopic viewing convinced
everyone th at lunar landscapes are in every sense of
the word “unearthly” — waterless, lifeless, rockbound
and desolate. Their most abundant and most rem ark­
able features were seen to be circulars of all sizes. Their
strangeness and abundance stunned reason and set free
the imagination. Galilei compared them with the eyes
in the tail features of peacock; the great Johannes Ke­
pler assumed the crater walls to be artificial structures
erected by a race of selenites. Inevitably there were
many who assimilated them to the most striking class
of circular objects on Earth, the volcanoes.
The science fiction illustrators of a decade or so ago
p resented lu n ar landscape in term s of flat plains
flanked by precipitous slopes, and tow ering ridges
topped by rock pinnacles. Nor did the scientists dissent
from the popular picture. Telescopic views of the Moon
have always impressed by the long, dramatic shadows
cast by the lunar mountains, as well as by the way in
84
which lofty peaks rise out of the darkness to catch the
first light of sunrise or the last rays of the setting.sun.
Galilei himself attem pted to estim ate their height and
those who followed showed clearly that many were of
more than Alpine proportions. Moreover, in the nine­
teenth century physicists made clear the extrem e na­
ture of the tem perature variations to which the Moon’s
surface is subjected in the course of every diurnal (or
from our point of view monthly) rotation of the Moon
about its own axis. It was this extreme tem perature
variation (currently stated to be from +101° to -168°C)
th at led Dr. Alice Coleman in 1952 to believe that the
rocks of the lunar surface must be subject to progres­
sive sh atterin g and disintegration as the result of
stresses set up by thermal expansion and contraction
unequalled on the Earth. The lofty ridges and splin­
tered crests were to some extent a part of the scientific
as well as of the popular image of the lunar landscape.
However, when relatively low-level oblique photo­
graphs of the moon’s surface were transm itted back to
the Earth by Orbiter space vehicles from 1966 onward
and especially when the astronauts of Apollo 8 brought
back coloured obliques in December 1968, scientists and
lay public alike found themselves confronted by a land­
scape w ith little resemblance to the imaginings of the
science fiction illustrators, and indeed by their stan­
dards frankly disappointing. From the far horizon
against the jet black sky to the near foreground photo­
graph after photograph showed hundreds of thousands
of square miles of confused and cratered terrain, of
generally gentle and subdued or even ill-defined cra­
ter rims and crests. Some allowances, of course, have
to be made for the conditions of photography. Many of
the photographs were made under conditions of full
sun and the shadows th at reveal or accentuate relief
were short or absent. And from altitudes comparable
85
to those from which the Orbiter photographs were tak­
en such terrestrial features as Mount Sinai of Egypt or
the Andes of Peru also flatten out and become undra-
matic as published Gemini Photographs have taught
us. Nevertheless even when such allowances are made
the first impression still has validity. The lunar surface
appears to be tam er and more subdued than was ex­
pected. One could say it appears more worn down but,
if one does, the question is at once raised — worn down
by what? — and how? It is to consideration of these
questions th at we must therefore turn.

I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs and


translate them into Russian:
to expand, to resemble, to impress, to imagine, to
compare

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


assumption, impression, incomparable, impressive,
discontinuous, disappointment, inequality, unbeliev­
able, convincing, conviction, comparatively, senseless,
boundless, extremely, featureless, similarity

III. Translate the following word-combinations:


unbroken extensive bright-toned areas; currently
available experimental work; unequalled therm al ex­
pansion; relatively low-level photographs; ill-defined
morphological, characteristics

IV. Paraphrase the italicized words and word com­


binations.
1. The scientists believed the crater walls to be arti­
ficial structures built by a race o f selenites.

86
2. A decade or so ago the science fiction illustrators
as well as scientists pictured lunar landscape as smooth
plains confined by steep slopes and towering ridges with
broken crests.
3. The Moon’s surface undergoes extreme tem pera­
ture changes during every diurnal rotation of the Moon
about its own axis.
4. When photographs made at a relatively low level
were transm itted back to the Earth, the scientists were
faced by a landscape unlike their imaginings.
5. The photographs showed thousands of square
miles of cratered terrain, of generally gentle or even
difficult to distinguish crater rims.

V. Explain the meaning o f the following terms and


phrases:
ill-defined craters; to stun reason and set free the
imagination; therm al expansion unequalled on the
Earth; popular image; diurnal rotation; low-level pho­
tographs; science-fiction illustrators; progressive shat­
tering; selenites

VI. Pick out from the text sentences or parts o f sen­


tences showing:
1) what the first telescopic viewing of the Moon re­
vealed; 2) how scientists and science fiction illustrators
presented lunar landscape a few decades ago; 3) what
the photographs of the. Moon’s surface revealed.

VII. Write full answers to the following questions.


Your answers m ust follow each other so that all
your'sentences will form a complete paragraph.
Your paragraph will be a precis of the text.
1. What did the first telescopic viewing of the Moon
reveal?
87
2. To w hat conclusion did scientists arrive after three
centuries of telescopic viewing of the Moon?
3. W hat did physicists of the nineteenth century
make clear?
4. W hat did photographs of th e Moon’s surface
show?

VIII. Divide the text into several logical units. Sug­


gest a suitable title fo r each. Retell the text u s­
ing your titles as the plan.

IX. Translate the following extracts into Russian.


Pay attention to the infinitives.
LUNA-16
The success of L una-16 in collecting Moon samples1
and returning to the Earth is considered to be a new
stage in the exploration of the universe. This is an
achievement which is sure to leave a profound impact2
on m an’s thinking and planning. Scientists are expect­
ed to be occupied for weeks or even months analyzing
and interpreting the information brought by Luna-16.
Photographs taken under particular lighting conditions
are expected to permit calculations of the height, shape
and size of craters and other Moon landm arks with
great accuracy. Luna-16 proved to be sufficiently reli­
able and much less costly than manned flights to the
Moon.

CONTINENTAL FOUNDERING
Many geologists believe a large land area to have
connected South America with Africa and to have ex­
tended on east to India and Australia. Another land area
is supposed to have connected north-eastern North
America and northern Europe. These lands are sup­
88
posed to have foundered3 so th at they now constitute
im portant parts of the floor of the North and South
Atlantic and Indian oceans. There are certain geologic
data which support this hypothesis, but so far no one
has satisfactorily explained the forces w hich could
cause such large masses to founder.

1sample ['sa:mpl] — specimen


2impact ['impaekt] —influence
3 to founder — to sink

X. W ith the help o f topical sentences and key


words write a precis o f the passage.
MORE ABOUT LIFE ON VENUS
The possibility of life on the surface of Venus has
been given another airing, this tim e by the distin­
guished American scientist Dr. Libby, Professor of
Physics at University of California, at Los Angeles. The
essence of Dr. Libby’s argum ent is that, in spite of the
high tem peratures thought, to be characteristic of the
surface of Venus, it should nevertheless be possible for
ice-caps to exist there.
The conclusion is based on data obtained by the Rus­
sian spacecraft Venera-4. Measurements by Venera-4
show that the atmosphere of Venus consists largely of
carbon dioxide. There seems to be as much carbon di­
oxide in the atmosphere of Venus as there is in the form
of limestone in the earth ’s crust.
This suggests that the planets may be similar in com­
position and history. The carbon dioxide on the Earth
is believed to have been liberated by volcanic action,
together with large amounts of water, presumably in
the form of steam. This poses the question: w hat has
happened to Venus’ water?
89
The Venera-4 measurements, /show th at the w ater
csginot be in the atmosphere, and there are good rea­
sons for believing that there are no oceans or* Venus.
Professor Libby therefore suggests that w ater may be
trapped in ice-caps at the poles.
At first sight this seems to contradict much to what
is known about Venus. Evidence based on the emission
of short wavelength radiowaves, called microwaves,
shows th at the tem perature at the surface of the plan­
et might be as high as 400° C in equatorial regions and
200° C at the poles.
Venera 4, however, found the tem peratures in the
equatorial regions to be lower than this, about 200°. This
suggests to Professor Libby that a tem perature below
the freezing point of w ater may be possible at the poles.
The polar tem perature based on the microwave data
could be in error, Dr. Libby suggests, because of the
great thickness of the atmosphere through which emis­
sion from the polar regions has to travel.
For similar reasons, he suspects the surface temper-,
atures measured by the US space probe Mariner-2.
In his article in the Science, Professor Libby says that
our knowledge of Venus supports the idea that the
Earth and Venus were made of similar material and
contained about the same amount of carbon in the form
of carbides, carbonates and so on. These carbon com­
pounds were converted to carbon dioxide and released
to the atmosphere in association with w ater by volca­
nic action. In the case of Venus, most of the w ater con­
densed to form icecaps at the polar regions.
Professor Libby cites evidence that the thick clouds
obscuring the surface of Yenus.consist of w ater vapour.
He visualized streams running from the edge of the ice­
caps into a hot equatorial desert and evaporating. In
this way the clouds are continually replenished, and
the w ater returns to the polar regions as snow.
90
Given these conditions, Dr. Libby thinks th a t forms
of life able to exist in high concentrations of carbon di­
oxide, may live on Venus in mild conditions at the
boundary of the ice sheets.

XI. Render the passage in English.


ПЛАНЕТЫ СТАЛИ БЛИЖЕ
Венера — наиболее трудно изучаемая планета
нашей Солнечной системы. Все попытки рассмотреть
что-либо на ее поверхности и составить представле­
ние о свойствах ее атмосферы до последнего време­
ни наталкивались на большие трудности.
Венера постоянно окружена густым слоем обла­
ков, и поэтому даже самые мощные телескопы не
могут помочь нам в изучении ее поверхности. Мы
видим только облачный слой и слой атмосферы, рас­
положенный над облаками. Правда, радиотелескопы
позволили проникнуть к поверхности Венеры, сде­
лать некоторые заключения относительно ее враще­
ния вокруг оси, а также измерить температуру ее
поверхности.
Почему такое пристальное внимание обращается
именно на Венеру? Дело в том, что Венера среди всех
небесных тел Солнечной системы больше всего по­
хожа на Землю по своим размерам и массе, а также
по количеству тепла, получаемого от Солнца. Сред­
ние плотности обеих планет почти одинаковы, и они,
вероятно, близки по составу и внутреннему строе­
нию. Венера, как и Земля, движется по приблизи­
тельно круговой орбите, но находится в среднем в
1,4 раза ближе к Солнцу, чем наша планета. Однако
мощный облачный слой Венеры значительно лучше
отражает солнечное излучение. В результате на на­
гревание поверхности и атмосферы обеих планет
идет примерно одинаковое количество тепла.
91
Все эти данные известны очень давно, и долгое
время предполагалось, что физические условия на
поверхности и в атмосфере Венеры должны быть
почти такими же, как на Земле. Однако, когда два­
дцать лет назад удалось «заглянуть» под облачный
слой планеты, оказалось, что температура поверх­
ности Венеры превышает 300° С, а давление около
90 атмосфер. При помощи космических станций бо­
лее подробно был выяснен химический состав атмо­
сферы. Содержание углекислого газа в ней доходит
до 97%, а азот не был найден. Интересно, что водя­
ной пар был обнаружен на Венере в небольшом ко­
личестве. Кое-что стало известно о поверхности и
грунте планеты, например, радиолокация Венеры
показывает, что в обследованных с ее помощью об­
ластях нет больших перепадов высот — крупных
горных районов или впадин. Однако обнаружены ос­
татки кольцевых кратеров, аналогичных лунным.
В наших знаниях о Венере многое еще остается
неясным. Много споров вызывает вопрос о структу­
ре и составе венерианских облаков, относительно
которых выдвинуты разнообразные гипотезы, хотя,
по нашему мнению, наиболее вероятной основной
составляющей облаков являются ледяные кристал­
лики микронного размера. Недостаточно данных о
процессах, протекающих в верхней атмосфере Ве­
неры. Можно пока лишь строить предположения о
том, что представляет собой поверхность Венеры, из
чего состоят слагающие ее породы.
Как видно из сказанного, комплекс проблем, свя­
занных с изучением Венеры, очень широк. Их реше­
ние будет иметь исключительно важный практиче­
ский вывод: если мы поймем детально, как форми­
руются атмосфера и климат других планет, то на­
учимся лучше понимать и прогнозировать эволю­
цию земного климата, а может быть, и управлять им.

92
U N IT 8

CHANGING THE LUNAR IMAGE


A fter painstakingly analyzing the 75.6 lbs. of rock
and debris hauled back from the edge of the Ocean of
Storms by Apollo-12 astronauts, 714 scientists gathered
for NASA’s* second major moonrock conference. The
Moon, they agreed, is not a cold, unchanging conglom­
erate of material, as originally suspected by some the­
orists. It is apparently still warm inside, has been geo­
logically active and may even be undergoing small sur­
face changes.
Perhaps, the most direct evidence for this modern
image of the ancient Moon was the discovery of tiny,
glassy bits of material in the Apollo-12 soil. Until a few
weeks ago, lunar scientists had identified only frag­
ments of lunar surface material, scraps of the Moon’s
churned-up “topsoil”. But Paul Gast, chief lunar sci­
entist of the Manned Spacecraft Center, and other in­
vestigators seemed convinced th at in the Apollo-12
samples they have now found chips from the Moon’s
original underlying crust, w hich w ere app arently
tossed up by the impact of a large meteorite.
Gast dubbed the suspected crust material “kreep”,
an acronym based on its unusually rich concentration
of potassium, rare earths and phosphorus. A high con­
centration of these elements, in addition to large per­
centages of uranium, helped convince scientists that
kreep originated during a melting process that would
have produced a lunar crust. Kreep also has rem ark­
able chemical and physical similarities to a 3-oz. lem­

* National Aeronautic and Space Administration

93
on-size Apollo rock th at had previously been calculat­
ed to be 4,4 billion years old, or about a billion years
older than most of the other Apollo-11 and 12 rocks.
If there is indeed a lunar crust, the Moon like the
Earth, m ust have gone through a process of geological
evolution known as differentiation. This would mean
th at the Moon was once hot and fluid enough to have
separated into layers of different density and chemi­
cal composition, the heavier metals sinking toward the
lunar centre, the lighter ones forming the crust.
A nother indication th at the Moon is differentiated
came from data radioed back to the Earth by the mag­
netom eter left behind by the Apollo-12 astronauts. The
magnetom eter measures changes in the magnetic field
induced in the Moon by the solar wind, the charged
particles th at stream outward from the Sun. Because
the m agnetom eter’s readings also offer clues to the
moon’s internal electrical conductivity and tem pera­
ture, they enabled investigators to make an educated
guess about the structure of the lunar interior.
As investigators see it, the Moon has a core about
1,740 miles in diameter. Unlike the earth ’s core, it is
probably, not molten and never has been seen. It is be­
lieved to consist of rocks similar to earthly olivine,
which is rich in iron and is also found in meteorites.
Around the core is a 60-mile-thick transition zone, or
lower mantle, composed of a m ixture of olivine and
basalt-like rock th at was apparently formed out of
molten material. Next comes the 150-mile-thick upper
mantle, an entirely basaltic layer in which, some lunar
scientists suspect, there may have been slow-moving
convection currents.
The crust itself is probably relatively thin. But dur­
ing differentiation, the tug of terrestrial gravity would
probably have pulled more dense material to the side
of the Moon facing the Earth. As a result the crust there
94
would have been slightly squeezed and become thin­
ner than that on the far side. Indeed, such an uneven
distribution of crust was offered to explain the paucity
of maria on the far side. These great lunar seas are be­
lieved to be vast upwellings of lava, perhaps from vol­
canic eruptions set off by the Moon’s collision with
large asteroids. On the far side, where the crust is thick­
er, such impact would have been less likely to pene­
trate the Moon’s hard crust and release underlying
lava.
The Moon’s “topsoil” also produced some surprises.
Examining a 16-in-long lunar core obtained by the as­
tronauts when they sank a tube into the surface of the
Moon, lunar scientists found ten distinctly different
layers of material. This indicates that the churning and
pulverizing effect — the so-called gardening of the
lunar surface attributed to bombardment by smaller
meteorites — is occurring in at least some places at a
much slower rate th^n had been supposed, thereby al­
lowing the various layers to accumulate undisturbed
for long periods of time.
As expected, the lunar rock showed no indication of
any life or concentrations, of organic compounds. Nor
did' anyone find any trace of water — past or present.

= I. Give derivatives o f the following verbs


——h and translate them into Russian:
to indicate, to produce, to add, to conduct, to collidè,
to mix, to allow

II. Translate the following words into Russian:


similarly, unsuspectedly, disturbance, differently,
supposition, accumulation, composition, distinction,
indicator, penetration, additional, unproductive, oc­
curence, indication
95
III. Paraphrase the italicized words and word-com-
binations.
1. The lunar seas are believed to be vast upwellings
of lava probably from volcanic eruptions induced by the
Moon’s collision with large asteroids.
2. The Moon is evidently still warm inside, has been
geologically active and may even be subject to small
surface changes.
3. Until a few weeks ago, lunar scientists had distin­
guished only fragm ents of lunar surface material.
4. Kreep has remarkable chemical and physical sim ­
ilarities to Apollo rocks that had previously been cal­
culated to be 4.4 billion years old.
5. Some scientists seem convinced that in the Apollo-12
specimens they have found chips from the Moon’s orig­
inal underlying crust.
6. The m agnetometer measures changes in the mag­
netic field caused in the Moon by the solar wind.
7. The m agnetom eter’s readings made it possible for
the investigators to make an educated guess about the
composition of the lunar interior.
8. The impact of asteroids could hardly penetrate the
Moon’s solid crust.
9. The lower mantle of the Moon was apparently
formed out of molten material.
10. The lower mantle is followed by the upper man­
tle, an entirely basaltic layer in which, some lunar sci­
entists are sure, there have been slow-moving convec­
tion currents.

IV. Explain the meaning of the following terms and


phrases:
educated guess, 3-oz. lemon-size Apollo rock, solar
wind, kreep, differentiation, lunar scientists, moonrock
conference, to sink a tube into the surface of the Moon,
lunar core, gardening of the lunar surface
96
V. Write fu ll answers to the following questions. Your
answers m ust follow each other so that all your
sentences will form a complete paragraph. Your
paragraph will be a precis o f the text.
1. To what conclusion did scientists arrive after anal­
ysing the rocks hauled by Apollo-12 astronauts?
2. W hat is the most direct evidence for the modern
image of the moon?
3. W hat does the existence of kreep suggest?
4. W hat is the presumed composition of the Moon?

VI. Divide the text into several logical units. Suggest


a suitable title fo r each. Retell the text using your
titles as the plan.

VII. Translate the following passages into Russian.


Pay attention to the modal verbs w ith perfect
infinitives.
I
In 1964, a group of scientists on a United States re­
search ship noticed a 14,130-foot mountain rising to
3,800 feet below the surface of the Pacific between the
islands of Hawaii and Guam. This is probably an island
formed by volcanic action. It must have gone down into
the sea about 50,000,000 years ago. Most of the great
undersea mountains are also thought to have been cre­
ated through volcanic action.
Some sea mountains seem to have had their tops cut
off. Perhaps this is due to the waves beating against
them. Or perhaps these mountain tops are part of a
mountain chain that may have slipped in ancient times.
The large broken places th at lie along the ocean floor
also prove that there must have been huge undersea
movements of the Earth.
1 .556 97
II
The.alternation of aggradation and erosion in the
cataract section of the Nile may have been related in
some way to the lakes which have been shown to have
existed in the White Nile valley. An older lake is marked
by a terrace at about 386 m and a later one by a terrace
at about 382 m, these heights being related to old K har­
toum datum , 360 m above sea level at Alexandria. Rel­
ative to the new datum of 368 m they would be in­
creased 8 m. The lakes were 400-600 km long and up
to 50 km wide and may have formed as a result of the
White Nile having been dammed back in the neigh­
bourhood of its present-day confluence with the Blue
Nile. The 382 m terrace is bounded on its w estern side
by a very distinct shore feature backed by parallel
shore dunes.

VIII. Translate the passage into Russian orally fo r


your classmates to translate it back into En­
glish.
LUNA-16 OPENS NEW FRONTIERS
The success of Luna-16 in collecting moon samples
and lifting off to return to the Earth has been hailed as
a new stage in the exploration of the universe.
It was the first time a big unmanned station had been
soft-landed on the dark side of the Moon. On the Moon,
being devoid of atmosphere, tem peratures quickly fall
to minus 100 deg C when the sun sets and up to now,
automatic Luna probes have been mainly of the day
type and stopped operating during the lunar n ig h t.
The Sea of Fertility was selected because it was in
the eastern part of the Moon’s equatorial zone, which
had been least studied. The study of the Moon has pro­
gressed from West to East.
98
It was revealed th at Luna-16 approached its land­
ing area from the south-west and flew over continen­
tal moon mountains and then made a vertical descent
to soft-land.
Its remote control “scooper” was designed to be ca­
pable of drilling holes and of collecting both loose soil
and rock as hard as basalt.
In its design, allowance had been made for it to be
able to collect samples over a fairly wide area.
The Russian Luna programme has been carefully
and systematically worked out stage by stage, begin­
ning with Luna-1, in January 1959, which passed close
to the moon to become a satellite of the Sun.
The Russian view is th at unmanned probes have, a
decisive role today at the present stage of space explo­
ration. They are sufficiently reliable and safe and are
much less costly than manned flights to the Moon. Fur­
ther development and “training” of automatic systems
is acquiring an ever growing importance.

IX. Translate into Russian in writing. Be su


li— and check the time.
Astronomers making very exact checks on the po­
sition of the Moon against the stars, discovered long
ago that the Moon is taking longer and longer to make
its circuit. It is, in fact, steadily pulling farther and far­
ther away from us.
To-day, by timing radio signals from the Earth re­
layed back by Lunar orbiters, the Moon’s distance has
been measured with an error of less than 1,000 feet. It
varies throughout the month by about 31,247 miles but
the mean distance, centre to centre, is 238,856 miles.
How close might it have been in earlier times? Sci­
entists naturally have pondered this intriguing ques­
tion, and have made intricate calculations. They find

99
that the Moon might have been only 11,000 miles from
the Earth less than two billion years ago. It could not
have been much closer w ithout shattering into frag­
ments. Tides on the Earth w ith the Moon at such a dis­
tance, would have been a thousand times higher than
they are now (assuming there were oceans then).
All this raises wonderful and fascinating questions
about the Moon’s origin. Did it come into being at the
same time as the Earth, as a sort of sister planet? Did
the Earth at some early stage divide like amoeba and
give birth to the Moon? Or were there once a num ber
of small moons th at swept up and coalesced into one?
Answers to such questions are not easy, but it is pre­
cisely such questions th at astronauts and cosmonauts
have in mind as they approach the Moon. And it is clear
that they will find th at buffeted celestial wreck a far
more complicated and interesting place than most peo­
ple have supposed.
(1400 печатных знаков)

X. Render the passage in English.


ГОВОРИТ СЕЛЕНА
Странный мир окружил астронавтов, спустив­
шихся на Луну. Ни воздуха, ни воды, ни жизни. В
восемьдесят раз меньшая по сравнению с Землей
масса не позволяет Селене удержать атмосферу.
Незащищенная, но и не измененная атмосферой
поверхность Луны имеет облик, определяемы й
внешними космическими факторами: ударами ме­
теоритов, солнечным «ветром» и космическими лу­
чами. За дневное время несколько верхних сантимет­
ров лунной поверхности прогреваются выше темпе­
ратуры кипения воды (+120° С), а за время ночи ос­

100
тывают до -170° С. Такие термические перегрузки
вызывают растрескивание пород; еще больше взрых^
ляют поверхность удары метеоритов. В результате
Луна оказалась покрытой слоем так называемого ре­
голита толщиной в несколько метров. Но слой соб­
ственно пыли невелик: от одного до пяти сантимет­
ров.
При помощи сейсмографов ученым удалось опре­
делить, что Луна расслоена на кору, мантию и ядро.
Толщина коры довольно внушительна — 60 км, та­
кая толстая кора на Земле имеется лишь в горах, в
океане она не превышает 10 км. Мантия Луны состав­
лена в основном из базальта, а ядро Луны, по-види­
мому, расплавлено и состоит из сернистого железа.
Основная особенность ландшафта видимой сторо­
ны Луны — равнины темного цвета, которые астро­
номы, начиная от Галилея, называли «морями», так
как они выглядят с высоты как вода. Пока Луну не
облетела первая космическая ракета, резонно было
думать, что обратная сторона похожа на видимую.
Но, к большому удивленйю астрономов, с той сторо­
ны практически не оказалось равнин,-сплошные
горы. Почему это так — до конца не ясно. Может
быть, потому, что образование морей — событие уни­
кальное, связанное с редкими катастрофическими
столкновениями.
Поверхность Луны сохранилась в том виде, в ка­
ком она образовалась миллиарды лет назад. Ее не
изменили ни ветры, ни течения, ни растения.
Люди не напрасно стремились на Луну. Селена
дождалась прилета человека и умных автоматов и
немного рассказала о своей истории. Загадок еще
много. Изучение Селены продолжается.

101
XI. Using the information from Units 7 and 8 en­
large on the following:

E x p l o r a t io n o f t h e U n iv e r s e

1. Speculations about the lunar landscape began 300


years ago.
2. W hen low-level photographs and coloured ob­
liques w ere brought back from the Moon the scientists
were confronted by a landscape w ith little resemblance
to their imaginings.
3. After analyzing the rocks and debris brought back
by astronauts the scientists agreed that the Moon is not
a cold, unchanging conglomerate of m aterial but is
differentiated.
4. New frontiers are open in the exploration of the
Universe.
S U P P L E M E N T A R Y TEXTS

For Comprehension Readine

H I CONTINENTAL DRIFT
AND PRESENT LANDSCAPE
When we study a globe, or look at an atlas map of
the world, we see the continents in their familiar posi­
tions. The Americas lie across the wide Atlantic from
Europe and Africa; Australia hangs off the southeast­
ern end of Asia. It is difficult to believe that the conti­
nents have not always been where we see them today,
and that they will not stay in their places in the future.
So difficult is the concept (idea) of continental drift to
accept1that it was not until quite recently th at geolo­
gists finally began to believe it. Now there is no doubt
left; the very ground on which we live our daily lives,
the city we know well, the landscape that constitutes
our surroundings — all of these lie on a mobile, mov­
ing landmass. Like huge rafts2, the continents are con­
stantly in motion, imperceptibly (inconspicuously) but
inexorably (persistently). And at times the continental
movement is not so imperceptible. Where North and
South America are pushing into the Pacific Ocean, in­
credible (immence) forces are at work, rock masses are
crushed, bent, folded up. It happens slowly, but not
smoothly. We can feel the shocks, for they throw the
surface into turmoil (confusion, disorder) and distroy
buildings and sometimes lives. We call them earth ­
quakes.
It would naturally be impossible to interpret land­
scapes without recognizing the effects of the mobility
of continents. While it is true that weathering and ero­
sion affect rocks on the continents w hether they are
103
stationary or moving, the process of drift itself causes
major deformations of the surface. As continents drift,
mountains are pushed up or rejuvenated (rebuilt), pla­
teaus are tilted, plains are w arped3, river courses are
altered, basins are formed where once there were up­
lands. In one way or another, directly or indirectly,
practically every landscape and landform on the Earth
is related to continental drift.

‘to accept [ak'sept] — принимать, признать пра­


вильным
2raft [raft] — плот
3to warp[wo:p] — коробиться

Answer the following questions:


1. When did geologists begin to believe in continen­
tal drift?
2. Is the continental movement slow and impercep­
tible?
3. How does the process of continental drift affect
the landscape?

H I History of the Drift Concept


The story of the development of the idea of conti­
nental drift is so interesting that it is worth relating1,
for there are several important lessons in it. One of these
lessons is that landscape can teach us a great deal about
the Earth history, without the necessity of the stratig­
raphy below. Another is that scientists are sometimes
reluctant (unwilling) to accept the obvious, even with
the evidence staring them in the face. Still another is

104
that we occasionally forget those researchers who were
the first to formulate important ideas, when those ideas
finally become popularly accented. Some earliest pro­
tagonists of the concept of continental drift have been
all but forgotten. We ought to remind ourselves of their
contributions. Some of them were physical geogra­
phers.
It was as long ago as 1619 when Francis Bacon, the
great naturalist, rem arked th at the opposite coasts of
the South Atlantic Ocean w ere so similar and well-
matched (corresponded) th at they might at one time
have been joined. No one paid much attention then, nor
in the 19th century when some scholars began to take
further note of the jigsaw2like character of the Atlan­
tic and the growing list of similarities in the Ocean’s
two sides. Then in 1915 a German scientist named Al­
fred Wegener published an amazing book for its time,
the first systematic statem ent of the concept th at the
E arth’s continents were once united in a single, vast
landmass that broke apart to form the oceans and con­
tinents as we know them today. His book, entitled The
Origin o f Continents and Oceans, for the first time
brought together virtually everything that was known
to support the idea of continental drift.
It took a decade before W egener’s work was trans­
lated into English. In many quarters W egener’s views
w ere not m erely criticized — they w ere ridiculed
(laughed at). True, Wegener had assembled an enor­
mous mass of data suggesting th at the continents were
at one time united. He correlated rock types on oppo­
site sides of the South Atlantic, traced zones of crustal
deformation across the Atlantic, recorded the distri­
bution of fossil life that had required connections across
the ocean, interpreted climatic changes common to dis­
tant continents. He argued th a t the jigsaw-like fit of

105
Africa and South America could not be a m atter of
chance3. But there was one problem: Wegener could
not come up with a plausible explanation for the mech­
anism of continental drift. How could it happen? What
were the forces th at propelled the landmasses across
the face of the Earth, powerful enough to carry the two
Americas several thousand miles away from Europe
and Africa within, geologically speaking, a compara­
tively short time? W egener himself proposed some­
thing called'“Polflucht” — “flight from the poles”. He
argued that the E arth ’s gravitational force, somewhat
greater at the equator because of the planet’s slight
equatorial bulge, would pull the continental landmasses
away from the poles. This force m ight be small at any
given moment, but over the time span of million of
years its aggregate might be enough, Wegener thought,
to cause continental motion. He also suggested that the
E arth’s rotation had the effect of pushing continents
to the west. Thus w estern North and South America
are crumpled up as these landmasses push westward
into the Pacific Basin; M adagascar is left behind as
Africa moves slowly westward into the Atlantic. Where
the surface evidence seemed to contradict4the concept
of westward motion; W egener proposed th at currents
in the underlying sima5could produce alternate direc­
tions of movement.
In 1928, the American Association of Petroleum
Geologists organized a special symposium to consider
the Wegener hypothesis. Specialists from all over the
world were invited to participate (take part).
One of the contributors to the 1928 Symposium was
an American, F. B. Taylor, who had proposed a form of
the continental drift independent of Wegener. Like all
others seeking to substantiate the hypothesis of drift,
Taylor wanted to explain the mechanism, and for his

106
solution he is chiefly remembered. Taylor, viewing the
globe and its maldistributed6continents, suggested that
the answer might lie in the relationship between the
Earth and its satellite, the Moon. He theorized that the
Moon was captured7by the Earth, quite suddenly dur­
ing the Cretaceous, and th at a segment of crust was
dislodged in w hat is now the vast Pacific Basin. Since
then, he thought, the continental landmasses have been
moving in directions dictated by the E arth’s “refilling”
the Pacific gap thus created.
W egener had given the name Pangaea to the super­
continent that existed prior to the breakup. Actually,
the hard evidence for a reassembly came from the
southern hemisphere, and especially from Africa and
South America. An Austrian scientist, E. Suess, gave
the name Gondwanaland to the southern group of con­
nected landmasses (Africa, South America, Australia,
Antarctica, and, for reasons we shall discuss later, In­
dia as well). The northern group, that is, Eurasia and
North America, came to be known as Laurasia. It was
from th e southern continents, from Gondwana (the
abbreviated form of Gondwanaland often used), that
the major evidence for continental drift soon emerged.
A South African geologist, A. L. du Toit, even be­
fore 1920 had begun to gather and organize drift-re-
lated data, initially from Africa and South America. His
famous book Our Wandering8 Continents published in
1937 is much less speculative and much more strongly
supported by hard evidence than W egener’s was. It
summarizes facts that apparently can be explained only
in term s of continental drift and the former existence
of Gondwana. Similar rock sequences on opposite sides
of oceans are cited, and fossil discoveries, linear moun­
tain chains, past climates, even ancient landscapes are
reconstructed. Largely through Du Toit’s researches,

107
an amazing reality came to light: th e continents of
Gondwana had been glaciated during ancient times.
The ice age which existed mainly during the Permian,
covered Africa from the Equator southward, southern
India, southern Australia, and south-eastern South
America. Periods of glaciation leave tell-tale evidence:
the rocks over which the ice slides are scoured and
gouged9; boulders are picked up by the ice and ground
up into fine material in the course of transportation;
rock debris is piled up as the ice pushes along, to be left
behind when the glaciers melt. Even after other rocks
are deposited over all this evidence (or after lava flows
bury it), erosion will exhume (expose) it again and we
have proof th at the ice was there. Consider the magni­
tude of the ice sheet that must have covered the south­
ern hemisphere if the continents, were in their present
position. On the other hand, if Gondwana did exist at
that time, the ice sheet was not so large, and more like
the Pleistocene glaciation of which we have such a de­
tailed record here in the northern hemisphere.
Du Toit’s work stim ulated num erous others into
studying particular aspects of the proposed Gondwa­
na landmass. A geographer Wellington noticed the pe­
culiar relationship between the island Madagascar and
the African mainland. It so happens th at the only real­
ly large river th at flows off the African land-mass in
an easterly direction, the Zambezi River, reaches the
coast opposite Madagascar. Madagascar, also, has a
great escarpm ent rather like Africa’s coastal scarps.
And the rocks found in Madagascar are similar in na­
ture and sequence of deposition to those th at cover
much of southern Africa. All this, and much more evi­
dence, led Wellington to conclude that Madagascar had
once been connected to Africa and had “drifted” away.

108
A geomorphologist, L. C. King, took the search for
evidence in a different direction, one th at should in­
terest us greatly. King believed th at it was possible to
find evidence for continental drift on the surface of the
landmasses — th at is, in the landscapes of today. If the
continents had at one tim e been connected, argued
King, then they had landscapes, just as the continents
have landscapes today. True, erosion has removed a
good deal of those ancient landscapes, but parts of the
old surface still exist, just as the top of mesa 10 contin­
ues to exist until the very end. The highest parts of
Africa and South America, said King, have landscapes
th at were there when the continents were still part of
Gondwana. All over the world, King studied landscapes
and compared them. In his book South African Scen­
ery he gave some of his interpretations of what land­
scapes can teach us about continental drift.

4o be worth relating — стоит того, чтобы расска­


зать
2jigsaw ['d3 igso:] — зазубренный
3a m atter of chance — дело случая, случайность
4to contradict [.kontre'dikt] —противоречить
Ssima —земная кора, сложенная породами из си­
лиция и магния
6maldistributed — неправильно распределенный
7to capture [’kaeptja] —захватывать
8to wander [Vonda] — блуждать
9to gouge [gaud3 ] — выдалбливать
10mesa — столовая гора

109
Answer the following questions:
1. Why is it important to know the story of the de­
velopment of the idea of continental drift?
2. W hat is the book The Origin o f Continents and
Oceans devoted to?
3. W hat data did Wegener assemble in his book?
4. How did Wegener explain the mechanism of con­
tinental drift?
5. W hat hypothesis of drift did Taylor propose?
6. To w hat landmasses were the names Gondwana
and Laurasia given?
7. Why is du Toit’s book less speculative than th at of
Wegener?
8. What amazing reality came to light and by what
evidence did du Toit support it?
9. W hat evidence led Wellington to conclude that
Madagascar had drifted away from Africa?
10. W hat was King’s contribution to the continental
drift theory?

Continental D rift and the Landscape


In one way or another, as noted earlier, every fea­
ture of the landscape is affected by the process of con­
tinental drift. Coastal escarpments, ancient mountains,
exhumed glacial debris, desert dunes — they all have
some relationship to the drift process. It is up to us to
observe the world’s landscapes and to interpret what
we see, and no single circumstance (fact) is more im­
portant than the mobility of continents. Coastal escarp­
ments were created when the huge, ancient landmass
broke up. Ancient mountains, once continuous, now lie
110
in fragm ents on opposite sides of the oceans. With the
continents in different positions relative to the poles,
glaciation covered regions now nearly tropical in loca­
tion. Desert sands first formed on the bottom of inland
seas — seas th at existed because there were no exteri­
or drainage routes on so vast a landmass as Gondwana
was. Sometimes the evidence is direct and tangible (ob­
vious); in other cases it is less obvious. But it will al­
ways be there.
When A. L. du Toit published Our Wandering Con­
tinents, he wrote on the title page: “Africa Forms the
K ey'”. From A frica’s landscapes, Du Toit said, we
should be able to draw vital conclusions about conti­
nental drift. After all, Africa was the one and only land-
mass that was centrally positioned to Gondwana, sur­
rounded on all sides by the other landmasses that have
since drifted far away. If th a t was the case, Africa
should show the evidence of its former centrality and
encirclement.
The first observation we make from a map relates
to Africa’s general elevation. Much of Africa lies at a
comparatively high altitude, at least several thousand
feet above sea level. In the east, from Ethiopia to South
Africa, elevations reach their maximum, exceeding
10,000 feet in a num ber of areas and averaging more
than 5,000 feet. A substantial part of Africa’s surface
lies more than a mile above the sea level. And these
heights are not reached by gradual upw ard sloping
from the coasts: on the contrary, elevations rise sharp­
ly along coastal escarpments. The steepness of these es­
carpments is reflected by the names on the map: in
West Africa, Sierra Leone, in East Africa, old Abyssin­
ia, in South Africa, Drabkensberg. All along the m ar­
gins of Africa south of Sahara you hear reference to
the Great Escarpment, a prominent fact of daily life in

111
its effect on transportation, communications, even the
weather. There is a name for a surface th at lies at high
elevation and is dem arcated by an escarpment: we call
this a plateau. Thus it is highly appropriate to call Af­
rica “the plateau continent.”
We also search in vain on our African map for some­
thing we do find in other continents. South America
has its Andes Mountains, an elongated chain of folded,
crumpled rocks that extends from Southern Chile to
Colombia and extends into the Caribbean. North Amer­
ica’s Rocky Mountains appear as a backbone to this
landmass. Think of mountains in Europe, and you come
up with the Alps; in Asia, it is the Himalayas. Even
Australia has a persistent, lengthy m ountain chain
along its eastern edge. But w here is Africa’s equiva­
lent for this? Consider the map again. In the north the
Atlas Mountains are an extension of the Alpine system.
In the far south, the Cape Ranges have structures sim­
ilar to those of the Andes and Alps, but in scale they
are nothing like those great systems. W here Africa has
mountainous landscapes, they are created mainly by
erosion and dissection of the plateau (as along the es­
carpment) or by volcanism (the great Kilimanjaro for
example). Africa lacks the kind of linear, folded, full-
length folded, mountain chains we find in all the other
landmasses. Certainly this confirms2Africa’s plateau­
like character.
Another aspect of Africa has the same effect. As a
world map quickly confirms, continents tend to have
coastal plains, extensive low-lying areas that slope gen­
tly seaward. Much of the south-eastern United States
is such a coastal plain, and you can identify similar, of­
ten densely populated areas in other parts of the world.
Again, Africa is markedly deficient in such low-lying
surfaces. True, there are the deltas of the Nile and Ni-

112
ger Rivers (in Egypt and Nigeria respectively), and
there are lowlands in Somalia and Mozambique. But
compared to Africa’s bulk, coastal plains of the Gulf-
Atlantic type hardly exist. Most of Africa’s coastal low­
lands lie squashed3 between the foot of the Great Es­
carpment and the beaches. Nor are these lowlands flat
and gently sloping. Mostly they are hilly and steeply-
sloped.
Let us examine the surface of the African continent
more closely. In addition to the prevalence of great
height in the east, the plateau surface reveals another
remarkable characteristic: it seems to have subsided
into several huge basins. Some of these basins have
been well known for a long time: in equatorial Africa, ^
for instance, we know the Congo Basin. In the north­
east, the basin of the Nile River has for a century been
known as the Sudan Basin. In Southern Africa, the
Kalahari Desert occupies a basin of the same name. And
when we study the color gradation of our map careful­
ly, we can identify two more such major basins: the
Chad Basin, west of the Sudan Basin, and, in western
West Africa, the Djouf Basin, Five enormous depres­
sions that cover well over half the African plateau sur­
face lie separated by somewhat higher divides. Surely
this is a situation we should try to explain.
Basins are formed when something causes the crust
to sag4. Often the great weight of accumulated sedi­
ments has this effect — sediments brought to the ba­
sins by inflowing rivers. Perhaps Africa’s river systems
will reveal something about these depressions. When
we study rivers, we should focus principally on two of
their properties: their courses (that is their directions
of flow) and their gradients (their downward curves
or rates of descent).

113
Africa has five major river systems: the Nile, Niger,
Congo (Zaire), Zambezi and Orange. Each major river
is joined by at least one chief tributary. The Blue Nile
comes from Lake Tana in Ethiopia to join the White
Nile at Khartoum. The Benue River joins the Niger in
Nigeria. The Uhangi River enters the Congo. The Zam­
bezi is joined by the Kafue River. The Orange River’s
leading tributary is the Vaal.
Each of these five river systems, with the possible
exception of the Orange, display course characteris­
tics that seem to be related and demand (require) an
explanation. The Niger, for example, begins its course
not far from the Atlantic coast in the “bulge” of West
Africa, and proceeds straight into the Sahara Desert.
About one-third down its course, the Niger’s channel
divides into several passages, as if it had reached its
coastal delta. But here the river is thousands of miles
from its mouth. Then the distributaries, as these sepa­
rate channels are called, reunite and the river proceeds
to flow on until it plunges over several waterfalls. The
Benue tributary joins it, and the Niger Delta forms.
Note the N iger’s course change: it started flowing
northeast, then elbows (flows) southeast and finally
ends up flowing slightly west of south.
The Nile River, too, displays notew orthy course
characteristics. A fter leaving Lake Victoria, the Nile,
also, divides into numerous channels in the Sudan. Af­
ter it once again enters a single valley, the river is joined
by its Blue Nile tributary and flows over a series of falls,
in the process reversing its course and actually flow­
ing southw ard for a stretch.
Thus two of A frica’s major river systems display
some similar qualities: 1) interior deltas, 2) unusual
course reversals, and 3) a series of falls. The Niger and
The Benue, moreover, drain the Djouf and Chad Ba­

114
sins, and the Nile drains the Sudan Basin; the locations,
indicate th at the great rivers are somehow related to
the large basins we described earlier. Looking at a riv­
er in quite a different part of the continent, the Zam­
bezi, we get a similar picture: the river commences to
flow toward the Kalahari Basin (the Okovango Delta,
remains on the map to prove the earlier relationship),
and then elbows eastward, toward the coast — but not
before plunging over the famed Victoria Falls. We can
add a fourth property5to the three just listed; w ater­
falls occur below the interior deltas, and normally be­
low the crux6of a major course change.
How are these properties of African rivers interre­
lated? The answer may lie in the history of those huge
basins, and thus in the history of the whole continent
itself. But w hat the map alone tells us, permits us to
postulate some items. Since deltas tend to form on
coasts, it is perhaps not unreasonable to suggest that
the Niger, Nile, Zambezi (and the other rivers) did in­
deed reach coastlines long ago — not the oceans’ coasts
but the shores of internal seas that filled the basins. To
those basins the rivers brought sediments, sediments
that now lie exposed as desert sand in the Sahara and
the Kalahari, or buried beneath tropical vegetation in
the Zaire Basin. Then the interior seas were opened to
the ocean and drained. The waters rushed out, carving
waterfalls and widening valleys. The old river courses
th at filled the basins were connected to the new ones
that drained the pent-up7 w ater to the coast, and the
present pattern was established. Tributaries such as the
Kafue River which had been oriented toward the in­
terior basin, now were redirected or even reversed and
abandoned (left) their old courses. Note how the Kaf­
ue elbows from a southwestward to an eastward course.

115
W hat freed the w ater th at originally filled the Afri­
can basins? If just one African river system displayed
the characteristics just described, we would seek a sin­
gle explanation for th at case. But since this is a conti­
nent-w ide phenomenon we theorize th a t it was an
event of broader proportions. It is easy to understand
that if Africa lay surrounded by other Gondwana land-
masses, African rivers could not reach distant coast­
lines and internal drainage formed. When Gondwana
separated coastlines came nearer, the basins w ere
drained. Thus these African basins and their river sys­
tems might be the key to the drift hypothesis.
The African map draws our attention to still anoth­
er prominent feature: Africa’s lakes. The lakes of Af­
rica lie clustered in the east, and their distribution and
dimensions raise immediate questions. On a map we can
see in detail only the largest lakes, but it is clear that
Africa’s lakes are not only clustered in the east, but
also 1) elongated in shape, 2) positioned in a row, and
3) roughly parallel in orientation. The only major ex­
ception is lake Victoria, which also happens to be Afri­
ca’s largest lake (the surface, area is 24,300 square
miles, larger than m any countries). O ther East African
lakes such as Lake Tanganyika, Lake Nyasa, Lake Ru­
dolf, and others are distinctly atten u ated (became
smaller) and lie within steepwalled troughs8. Their spa­
tial9and morphological characteristics, like those of the
rivers, demand explanation.
If you were to fly over the East African plateau, at
least two kinds of landscapes would strike you strong­
ly. The first of these would be large volcanic mountains
that rise above the surface. The second, undoubtedly,
would be lengthy, steep-walled, deep, and persistent
valleys that cut across the region. It would be difficult
to miss (not to see) these great trenches, for they are

116
thousands of feet deep, dozens of miles wide, and in
places filled with w ater — the w ater of East Africa’s
lakes. Here in East Africa, the land has sunk down, or
has been pushed down, in strips (band) between par­
allel faults.
The trough or trench thus created is referred to as a
“rift valley”. Africa’s rift valley system extends for
some 6,000 miles from the northern end of the Red Sea
(itself a rift valley in its entirety), through Ethiopia and
East Africa to Natal in South Africa, in certain areas
the rifts have filled with water, forming the great elon­
gated lakes, and there is evidence th at the lakes’ wa­
ter level has risen and fallen over times. Nor are the
rift valley’s themselves static or stable. Note, on a map
of earthquake incidence10, how East Africa stands out
as an active zone amid the comparative stability of the
shield-dominated land-mass.
Exactly how rift valleys are formed has long been a
m atter for research and analysis, and it was only re­
cently th at it became clear that those rifts on Africa’s
landsurface form a part of a world-wide system of such
trenches, most of whose length exists beneath the
ocean. Even so, some unanswered questions remain.
The geologist J. W. Gregory, who was the first modern
scientist to see East Africa’s rifts more than a half cen­
tury ago, assumed that the strips between the parallel
faults had simply dropped down as a result of tension-
al forces in the crust. Later, studies of the forces of grav­
ity active in the rift areas indicated th at at least some
of the strips did not simply drop down, but were in fact
being held down by the adjacent plateau mass, so that
the forces operating appeared to be compressional as
well. But no m atter what the technical issues involved11,
the map tells us a powerful story: the rifts are quite
obviously lines of weakness, along which the African

117
landmass is breaking up. Probably Madagascar once lay
along the eastern edge of a rift, which several million
years ago, looked a great deal like the rift in which Lake
Rudolf lies today. The Mozambique Channel, the Red
Sea, and the Ethiopian Rift Valley may represent three
stages of rift valley formation and the fragm entation
of a landmass. The Africa of a few million years hence
will look as depicted on Fig. 1, w ith a fragm ent larger
than Madagascar lying off the new East African coast.
Thus the evidence from our map points not only to
the reality of continental drift, but also, through the
interrelationship between the various landscape fea­
tures on the African surface, to the unique position of
Africa’s landmass at the heart of the ancient Gondwa-
na. The plateau of Africa was the centre of Gondwana,
and its escarpments already driven back by erosion,
mark the fractures of the fragmenting supercontinent.
D uring its encirclem ent, A frica’s plateau buckled
(sagged) under the w eight of accumulating sediments
and under the waters of internal seas. Then the rup­
ture (breakaway) of Gondwana produced outlets, the
rift valley zone became active, the rivers that drained
the internal seas formed deep valleys and enormous
falls and cataracts. Basalt lava poured out of fissures
and covered much of the heart of Gondwana just as
the land-mass fragments began to spread apart. It was
not just the beginning of the continents as we know
them: here also began the making of the Atlantic and
Indian Oceans, the Red Sea, the Himalayas. The earth
as we know it now began to be shaped. But remember
that our evidence, so far, came principally from a map,
and hence from the landscape.

118
Fig. 1. A possible future map of Africa.

1key [ki:] — ключ к разгадке


2to confirm [кэпТэ:т] — подтверждать
3to squash ['skwoj]— подтверждать
4 to sag [saeg]— прогибаться
5property ['propati] — свойство
6 crux ['кглкв] — пересечение
7pent-up — заключенный, запертый
8trough [trofj — жолоб, мульда, синклиналь
9spatial fspei/al] — пространственный
10incidence ['insidans] — сфера действия
11 no m atter w hat the technical issues involved —
какие бы силы их ни породили

V y Answer the following questions:


1. How did the process of continental drift affect the
landscape?
2. W hat did du Toit mean when he wrote “Africa
Forms the Key”?
3. W hat is the evidence of Africa’s former centrality?
4. What two aspects make Africa different from oth­
er continents?

119
5. W hat are the two rem arkable characteristics of
the plateau surface?
6. What are the four properties of Africa’s major riv­
er systems?
7. How are these properties interrelated?
8. W hat freed the w ater th at filled African basins?
9. What are the lakes of Africa noted for?
10. W hat is the landscape of the East African pla­
teau?
11. How were rift valleys formed?
12. How has the earth, as we know it now, been
shaped judging by the landscape evidence?

Africa on the Globe


Before we end our view of the African map, let us
consider Africa on the world map today. A thoughtful
look at a globe produces several observations th at
should lead to some questions. First, there is the well-
known jigsaw-like association betw een Africa and
South America, on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
That this would be an unlikely case of chance was sug­
gested by many scientists, long before the hypothesis
of continental drift was even formulated. Second, Af­
rica’s position is almost exactly antipodal to the center
of the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean. The con­
tinent lies at the heart of w hat we call the Land Hemi­
sphere. This may well mean th at the forces of frag­
mentation, which have carried other land-masses rap­
idly away from Africa may now begin to pull Africa
apart — and the rift valleys and other lines of weak­
ness may be evidence for this. Third, any globe reminds
us of a peculiar relationship between Africa and the
world’s major linear mountain chains. We already saw

120
that Africa itself does not have such a mountain back­
bone, but the world distribution of major mountains
also seem to be related to Africa in some way. South
and North America’s major mountains lie in the west,
on the away side from Africa; in Australia, the moun­
tains lie along the eastern coast, again on the away side
from Africa. Perhaps this spatial peculiarity1is a m at­
ter of accident2, but on the other hand it may be im­
portant. In any case, we should note such a situation
w henever we look for geographical data.

1peculiarity [pi'kju:li'aeriti] — особенность


2a m atter of accident — случайность

Answer the following question:


W hat does a thoughtful look at a globe reveal?

Tests and F urther Evidence


How should we go about testing the hypothesis that
is generated by our consideration of African landscapes
and continental morphology? Several areas of oppor­
tunity1present themselves, and although some of them
are beyond the limits of w hat we define as physical
geography, they are relevant2to us nevertheless. They
include 1) stratigraphy and structure, 2) paleontology,
3) paleoclimatology, and 4) paleomagnetism.

Stratigraphy and Structure


Stratigraphy, in the present context, involves the
sequential (successive) layering of rocks. Vertical suc­
cessions of strata can reveal much about the conditions

121
under which deposition took place The structure of
rocks relates to their position and attitude, w hether
they are folded, tilted, warped, faulted. Naturally,
when rocks possessing a certain persistent sequence
and well-developed structure abut against (border) a
coastline, we should search for (look for) a continua­
tion of both on the opposite side of the dividing ocean.
This is w hat Du Toit did when he researched his Our
Wandering Continents, and eventually he could argue
that he would predict (foretell) from w hat he saw in
Africa, where certain rocks and structures would be in
South America.
Take, for example, the Cape Ranges, the east-west
trending mountain range th at lies at the southern end
of the African continent. The Cape Ranges consist of a
parallel series of ridges underlain by a complex suc­
cession of sedimetatary rocks. The lowest series of rocks
contains five layers: a reddish shale at the bottom, then
a thick sandstone, then a tillite reflecting cold condi­
tions, followed by another shale layer and then, at the
top, a second sandstone layer. Above this series lie sev­
eral thousand feet of additional shales, sandstones and
a quartzite. After all these strata were laid down, prob­
ably under conditions like those prevailing in a large
delta which experienced periodic subsidence, a period
of folding occurred which threw the layers into struc­
tures we see today.
When Africa and South America are placed adja­
cent to each other on a map, the question arises whether
these Cape Ranges extend into South America. It is,
however, not enough merely to discover a range of
mountains on a comparable topographic scale. The rock
successions must be similar or at least related to those
of the Cape Ranges, and the degree of folding ought to
be similar. This was the sort of evidence Du Toit sought

122
(searched for), when he studied the South Atlantic’s
opposite coasts, and in the case of the Cape Ranges he
found, in Argentina at the southern margin of the Pam-
pa region, a range called Sierra de la Ventana. Geolog­
ic investigation proved th at the rock sequences there
were comparable to those in South Africa to an extent
that went beyond chance. The Sierra de la Ventana was
the western flank of the Cape Ranges.
It would be possible to chronicle hundreds, indeed
thousands of cases of this sort. Fault lines, rock types,
and numerous other geologic phenomena can indeed
be traced across oceans of water. Before the mecha­
nism for continental drift was understood it was nec­
essary to add to the mass of field evidence, and the lit­
erature is full of examples of the trans-oceanic persis­
tence of geologic occurrences.

'opportunity — B 03M 0JK H 0C T b


2relevant ['relevant] — yMecTHwii

Answer the following questions:


1. W hat does stratigraphy involve?
2. W hat can vertical succession of strata and the
structure of rocks reveal?
3. How do stratigraphy and the structure of rocks
help in the reconstruction of Gondwana?

Paleontology
Fossils also provide im portant evidence relating to
the former reassembly of continental landmasses, al­
though the evidence is sometimes subject to different
interpretations. If two regions were at one time unit­
123
ed, it does not necessarily follow th at their plants and
animals (flora and fauna) were the same. Today, for
example, the animals and vegetation of East Africa are
considerably different from those of the equatorial for­
ests of the Congo Basin. Some species do occur in both
areas, but major contrasts do exist. If the breakaway
of East Africa as depicted in Fig. 1 actually occurs, these
differences will be reflected by the fossil record. Thus
dissimilar fossil assemblages do not rule out1the possi­
bility of a former union. On the other hand, strong sim­
ilarities constitute important positive evidence. Numer­
ous fossils of related species have been found on oppo­
site sides of oceans, and the growing record has all but
demanded the reconstruction of Gondwana as the only
reasonable explanation. Still there were always those
who preferred to assume parallel evolution in differ­
ent parts of the world as the more acceptable explana­
tion, and others postulated land bridges to account for
faunal distribution of the past.

’to rule [ru:l] out — исключать

Answer the following questions:


1. Do similar fossil assemblages provide evidence of
the former reassembly of continental landmasses? Ex­
plain.
2. Do dissimilar fossil assemblages rule out the pos­
sibility of former reassembly of continental landmass­
es? Explain.
3. What explanations of the existence of fossils of
related species on opposite sides of oceans have been
given?

124
Paleoclimatology
Climate, as we know too well, is a subject to change.
Ju st a few thousand years ago glaciers spread over
North America and Eurasia as far sourth as the lati­
tude of the Ohio River, and it may happen again, fairly
soon. Thriving1cities once lay w here desert winds now
blow. Lately the human occupants of this Earth have
helped the process along by damaging the balance of
the environment, but climatic changes have always
taken place.
Thus, we may examine the climatic history of Gond-
w ana’s landmasses. Today Africa, South America, In­
dia and Australia lie close enough to the equatorial zone
to be relatively warm and mild; only Antarctica lies in
polar regions. But there is evidence in the rocks that
there was a time when those continents were glaciat­
ed. This glaciation, the Dwyka glacial period, was pre­
ceded and followed by times of cooler climates. Forests
stood in Gondwana, more than 200 million years ago —
and those forests now yield coal from southern Brazil
to western Australia and from India to South Africa.
From all sorts of evidence, from fossil vegetation,
fossil faunas, the character of the m atrix in sedimen­
tary rocks, even from the colour of rock strata it is pos­
sible to reconstruct the prevailing climatic environ­
ment. Often the record is incomplete, of course, but
there are always bits of evidence to store2for eventual
use even when the total picture is clouded. During the
last hundred million years of the life of Gondwana, a
great period of deposition occurred, beginning with the
Dwyka glaciation and ending, just as Gondwana broke
apart, with a massive outpouring through numerous

125
fissures of basaltic and other lava. This period of accu­
mulation, which amassed rock thickness as great as
25,000 feet, saw the environment of central Gondwa-
na change drastically. The Dwyka ice sheets scoured
the surface and deposited hundreds of feet of tillite (the
compacted glacial till). As the ice sheets receded, semi-
desert conditions took over in w hat is now w estern
South Africa and Argentina, while to the east there
were low-lying, flood-prone (subject to floods) flatlands
with much swampy vegetation. Gradually the desert
spread, and sandstones accumulated th at appear to­
day as unbedded, thick, light-coloured strata with
sem i-rounded grains of q u artz and some feldspar.
Eventually the weight of the sediments on the crust
became too great, and it fractured, aided perhaps by
the forces that were to pull Gondwana apart. In any
case the concluding (final) phase of the Karroo se­
quence of accumulation witnessed (observed) the erup­
tion of thousands of feet of mostly basaltifc lavas. South
Africa’s G reat Escarpment is sustained (supported) by
this lava, as is India’s Deccan Plateau, and much of
Antarctica may consist of it too. Now the Gondwana
landscape was one of smoking volcanoes and gaping
fissures, vast lava plains and constant scenic (pictur­
esque) change, earthquakes and instability — the end
of millions of years of quiet deposition and passive, slow
modification.

1to thrive [Graiv] — процветать


2to store [sto:] — откладывать, хранить

126
Answer the following questions:
1. From w hat evidence is it possible to reconstruct
the prevailing climatic environment in Gondwana’s
landmasses?
2. How did the environment of central Gondwana
change during the last hundred million years?
3. W hat caused the fracturing of the crust?

Paleomagnetism
One very interesting question raised by Fig. 2 has to
do with the location of the South Pole. If indeed Gond­
wana was glaciated, it appears that the pole must have
been positioned rath er central to the ice sheets, th at is,
off the coast of South-eastern Africa (relatively speak­
ing, naturally, since there was no such coast at the time).
Can such a question be supported by other evidence,
and can a changing locational relationship between
landmasses and poles be proved? The field of paleo­
magnetism provides an affirmative (positive) answer.
The movement of material in the earth ’s outer core
produces a m agnetic field th a t encompasses (sur­
rounds) the earth. This magnetic field has probably
existed as long as the earth has been differentiated in­
ternally as it is today, certainly longer than Gondwana
(and other, extinct supercontinents before Gondwana).
Since there is always a proximity1between the earth ’s
magnetic and rotational poles, we can deduce the ap­
proximate location of the rotational poles by establish­
ing where the magnetic poles were during past geo­
logic periods.
Molten lava, liquid igneous rocks, and w ater-accu­
mulating sedimentary rocks all contain small, elongat­
ed grains of iron (and other substances th at respond to
magnetism). In the process of their solidification or lith-
ification, a significant num ber of these grains orient
themselves parallel to the direction of the magnetic
field — directly toward the magnetic pole. On Fig. 2
these directions are indicated by the dashes marked
A; note that, when we continue these dashes (repre­
senting elongated iron grains in rocks of the same age),
they intersect at the South Pole. If we determ ine the
“frozen” magnetism of younger rocks, we find th at
these directions change. P art of this change is due to
the movement of the poles themselves, or polar wan­
dering which apparently has gone on throughout Earth
history. But when this polar wandering is accounted
for in the complicated paleomagnetic calculations, we
find that a major part of the change is due to the move­
ment of the continents themselves relative to the poles.
Note the direction of the arrowed dash in South Amer­
ica. Today the direction is quite different, indicating
that South America has not only moved away from
Africa, but has also twisted somewhat in the process.

1proxim ity [prek'simiti] — 6jim30ctb

Fig. 2. The Gondwana landmasses reassembled.

128
Answer the following questions:
1. Where must the South Pole have been positioned?
2. How can we prove it?

Global Tectonics
Now we should return to the question of continen­
tal mobility, for behind it lies the whole problem of the
structure and behaviour of the crust and upper m an­
tle of the Earth. Current research indicates that the
E arth ’s outer shell, the crust, and the upper portion of
the underlying mantle (together called the lithosphere)
consist of a set of six large plates.1Several smaller plates
also exist, but their exact num ber and location are still
not precisely identified. These plates are quite rigid and
hard, and they rest on the w eaker asthensphere. They
average some 60 miles (100 km) in thickness, and the
six larger plates have diameters of thousands of miles.
The African continent, for example, is only a part of
the larger African Plate.
W hat has it all to do2w ith continental drift? In the
first place, in has been discovered that these plates,
which incorporate both continental and oceanic areas,
move with respect to one another. It is not that they
simply move relative to each other: they are born along
a world-wide system of oceanic ridges amid a giant
upwelling of basaltic magma, then spread apart, and
inevitably collide and crumple up into mountain rang­
es or slide under. Not until the characteristics of the
globe-encircling system of mid-oceanic ridges became
understood was it possible to recognize sea-floor
spreading as a critical element in crustal mobitity. The

5 556 129
Mid-Atlantic Ridge, for example, had been known for
many decades as a submarine, linear mountain range
extending the length of the Atlantic about midway
between Europe and Africa to the east and the Am er­
icas to the west. Seismographs the world over had iden­
tified that this was a zone of crustal instability. But only
recently research revealed th at here the American
Plate is generated, its forces pushing to the west, di­
verging (separating) from the Eurasian and African
plates, whose development is eastward. Thus the Mid-
Atlantic Ridge, in common with the rem ainder of the
E arth’s 40,000 miles (60,000 km) of oceanic ridges, is in
effect a tensional rift valley. As the tensional forces pull
the plates apart, space is made for new liquid magma
to flow through the fissures to create new ocean floor,
material, replacing th at which has moved away. The
movement is slow, perhaps one inch (just under 2,5
centimeters) per year, but it is measurable. The whole
system resembles two giant conveyor belts positioned
adjacent to each other, slowly carrying their loads (the
landmasses) away from the middle, the Mid-Atlantic
Ridge.
One of the discoveries th at led to this interpretation
relates to the age of rocks in the oceanfloors. When it
became possible to drill bore holes and recover sam­
ples from the ocean floor, no rocks were found whose
age was as great as those of the older rocks on the con­
tinents. The ocean basins are floored by comparatively
young rocks, nothing other than, say, 125 million years.
The scientists also found, as they studied samples along
cross-sections of the. ocean, th a t the rocks became
younger as they approached the mid-oceanic ridges.
This fits the theory, th at .the ocean basins w ere creat-
ed-along magma-producing rifts that became progres­
sively wider, as described above.

130
So far we have discussed the divergent contact be­
tween the earth ’s major plates, th at is, the lines along
which they are created and move apart, carrying the
continental landmasses with them. W hat about the col­
lision zones? Two kinds of convergent3 contact occur:
either one plate plunges below the other, a process that
produces major mountain ranges of the linear, folded
variety (such as the Andes) and, often, associated deep-
sea trenches (such as the Peru Trench), or the plates
slide past each other along great vertical faults. The
San Andreas fault is an example of the latter contact
m arking the contact plane betw een the Pacific and
American plates. Much of the rest of the Pacific “Ring
of Fire” consists of the former type of contact with a
high incidence of earthquakes and frequent volcanism
attesting4to the crust’s instability.
Let us look at the map of Africa once again, with
our knowledge of sea-floor spreading. Ju st as the
breakup of Gondwana began, the initial rift probably
looked like those East African rift valleys we described
earlier. The Red Sea is likely to represent a later stage,
the beginning of a new ocean that may some day be as
wide as the A tlantic is now. The fragm entation of
Gondwana may, therefore, not be complete at all, and
we may not know w here the next “spreading” will be­
gin. Certainly the map (Fig. 1) presents a probable case.

1plate [pleit] — плита


2w hat has it all to do — какое это все имеет отно­
шение
3convergent [kan'vax^ant] — сходящийся (в одной
точке)
4 to attest [d'test] — свидетельствовать

131
0 %
v ' Answer the following questions:
1. W hat does current research of the lithosphere in­
dicate?
2. W hat has it to do with continental drift?
3. W hat is a critical element in crustal mobility?
4. W hat has research recently revealed?
5. W hat has the age of rocks in the ocean floor re­
vealed?
6. W hat are the two kinds of convergent contacts
between the E arth’s plates?

The Mechanism Solved?


The recognition of sea-f loor spreading and the iden­
tification of the E arth’s plates has been heralded as the
solution to the problem of the mechanism for continen­
tal drift. And indeed, it appears that the continental
landmasses are carried along in the sea-floor spread­
ing process th at begins w ith the creation of magmatic
sea bottom along the mid-oceanic ridges. But w hat
moves the sea floor, the conveyor belts? We are one
step closer but we are not yet a t the solution. One hy­
pothesis proposes that convection within the astheno-
§phere creates circulation cells th at carry the lithos­
phere along, a hypothesis much like one proposed de­
cades ago by Holmes and others. Another theory holds
that the lithosphere of the sea floor, being highest along
th e m id-ocean ridges and low est in th e m arginal
trenches, moves by the dow nw ard pull of gravity.
These are very generalized, hypotheses, not unlike
those th at were in vogue1before it was realized that
the sea floor is a vital ingredient in the drift process.

132
The ultim ate2 machinery of continental drift — and
sea-f loor spreading — still eludes3us.

1in vogue [voug] — в моде


2 ultimate [41timit] — первичный
3to elude [i'lu:d] — ускользать от

Answer the following questions:


1. Has the question about the ultimate machinery of
sea-f loor spreading been solved?
2. W hat hypotheses about the sea-floor movement
have been proposed?

The Latest Phase


The fragm entation of Pangea leads us to raise an
important question: if the Earth is as old as we believe
it to be, why did the continents hold together until, as
recently as the Mesozoic, they finally drifted away?
W hat crucial (drastic) change came over the earth to
generate continental drift so late in its history?
The answer is hypothetical, but the hypothesis is a
likely one: the fragm entation of Pangea probably was
only the most recent phase of continental drift, and
continental landmasses have always been mobile, to
converge, fragm ent apart, unite again, and diverge
once more. A record of only the latest of these cycles
remains, and time has obliterated (destroyed) virtual­
ly all the evidence th at could remain of previous ones.
But it is likely th at the drift process always prevailed,
and that it is a cyclic process. And it is not a slow pro­
cess at all, by the standards of geologic change: calcu­
late w hat an inch per year means over the hundreds of

133
millions of years th at are etched1in the geologic record.
So mountain ranges are thrown up and ocean trenches
fold down into the crust as the E arth’s plates move and
meet, stretch and crumble, slide and fracture. Not an
inch of our landscape is left unaffected by this, the
greatest of Earth processes.

1to etch [etj] — гравировать, вытравливать

© Answer the following question:


Why didn’t the continents drift away until Meso­
zoic?
For Home-Beading

HIDDEN LANDS
The first European ever to sail across the wide Pa­
cific was curious about the hidden worlds beneath his
ship. Between the two coral islands of St. Paul and Los
Tiburones in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Magellan or­
dered his sounding line to be lowered. It was the con­
ventional line used by explorers o f the day, no more than
200 fathoms* long. It did not touch bottom and Magel­
lan declared th at he was over the deepest part of the
ocean. O f course, he was completely mistaken, but the
occasion was none the less historic. It was the first time
in the history of the world that a navigator had attempt­
ed to sound the depths of the open ocean.
Three centuries later in the year 1839, Sir James
Clark Ross is known to set out from England in com­
mand of two ships bound for the “utmost navigable lim­
its of the Atlantic ocean”. As he proceeded on his course
he tried repeatedly to obtain soundings but failed for
lack of proper line. Finally he had one constructed on
board of more than four miles in length. On the 3d of
January, in latitude 27° 26 S, longitude 17° 29 W he suc­
ceeded in obtaining soundings. This was the first suc­
cessful abyssal sounding.
To take soundings in the deep ocean was, and long
remained, a laborious and time-consuming task, and
knowledge of undersea topography lagged consider­
ably behind our acquaintance w ith the landscape of the
near side of the Moon. Over the years methods were
improved. Now hundreds of vessels are equipped with

'one fathom eguals six feet

135
sonic sounding instruments to trace a continuous pro­
file of the bottom beneath the moving ship. Soundings
are accumulating much faster than they can be plotted
on the charts. Little by little the hidden contours of the
ocean are emerging. But even with the recent progress,
to construct an accurate and detailed map of the ocean
basin will take years.
The general bottom, topography is, however, well
established. Once we have passed the tide lines the three
great geographic provinces are the continental shelves,
the continental slopes, and the floor of the deep sea.
Each of these regions is as different from the others as
an arctic tundra from a range of the Rocky Mountains.
* The continental shelf is of the sea, yet of all re­
gions of the ocean it is most like the land. Sunlight pen­
etrates to all but its deepest parts. Plants drift in the
waters, above them seaweeds cling to its rocks and
sway to the passage of the waves. Familiar fishes —
unlike the weird monsters of the abyss — move over
its plains like herds of cattle. Much of its substance ap­
pears to be derived from the land — the sand and the
rock fragm ents and the rich topsoil carried by running
w ater to the sea and gently deposited on the shelf.
* Its subm erged valleys and hills, in appropriate
parts of the world, have been carved by glaciers into a
topography much like the northern landscape we know
and the terrain is strew n with rocks and gravel depos­
ited by moving ice sheets. Indeed, m any parts (or per­
haps all) of the shelf prove to have been dry land in the
geologic past, for a comparatively slight fall of sea lev­
el has sufficed, time and again, to expose it to wind and
sun and rain. The Great Banks of Newfoundland rose
above the ancient seas and were submerged again. The
Dogger Bank of the North Sea was once a forested land
inhabited by prehistoric beasts; now its “forests” are
seaweeds and Its beasts are fishes.
136
Of all parts of the sea, the continental shelves are
perhaps most directly im portant to man as a source of
material things. The great fisheries of the world, with
only a few exceptions are confined to the relatively
shallow waters over the continental shelves. Seaweeds
are gathered from their subm erged plains to make
scores of substances used in foods, drugs and articles
of commerce. As the petroleum reserves left on conti­
nental areas by ancient seas become depleted, petro­
leum geologists look more and more to the oil that may
lie, as yet unmapped and unexploited, under these bor­
dering lands of the sea.
The shelves begin at the tidelines and extend sea­
ward as gently sloping plains. A 100-fathom contour
used to be taken as the boundary between the conti­
nental shelf and the slope; now it is customary to place
the division w herever the gentle declivity of the shelf
changes abruptly to a steeper descent toward abyssal
depths. The world over, the average depth at which
this change occurs is about 72 fathoms; the greatest
depth of any shelf is probably 200 to 300 fathoms.
Nowhere off the Pacific coast of the United States
is th e continental shelf m uch more th an 20 miles
wide — a narrowness characteristic of coasts bordered
by young mountains perhaps still in the process of for­
mation. On the American east coast, however, north of
Cape Hatteras and off southern Florida, it is merely the
narrowest of thresholds to the sea. Here its scant de­
velopment seems to be related to the press of that great
and rapidly flowing river-in-the sea, the Gulf Stream,
which at these places swings close inshore.
The widest shelves in all the world are those bor­
dering the Arctic. The Barents Sea shelf is 750 miles
across. It is also relatively deep, lying for the most part
100 to 200 fathoms below the surface, as though its floor

137
has sagged and been downwarped under the load of
glacial ice. It is scored by deep troughs between which
banks and islands rise — further evidence of the work
of the ice. The deepest shelves surround the Antarctic
continent w here soundings in many areas show depths
of several hundred fathoms near the coast and continu­
ing out across the shelf.
(to be continued)

I. Translate in writing the paragraphs marked


with *.

II. Paraphrase the italicized words and


word-combinations.

III. Answer the following questions:


1. Who was the first to sound the depths of the open
ocean?
2. .Why did Magellan’ fail in obtaining soundings?
3. When was the first successful abyssal sounding
made?
4. Why is taking soundings in the deep Sea a labori­
ous task?
5. W hat are the three great geographical provinces
bf the ocean bottom?
6. How can you prove th at continental shelves are
most like land?
7. Why are continental shelves most im portant to
man?
8. Where is the division line between a continental
shelf and a continental slope placed?
9. Why are the continental shelves off the coast of
America rather narrow?

*138
10. W hat is the character of the continental shelf
bordering the Arctic?
11. W here are the deepest and the widest continen­
tal shelves found?

IV. Translate the follow ing passages into R ussian


w ith o u t using a dictionary:

OCEANOLOGY
Modern oceanology can be said to have begun about
a hundred years ago. However, men have been inter­
ested in the sea for millennia (thousands of years) and
there was a scattering of scientific ocean studies be­
fore the m id-nineteenth century.
With the advent of open sailing voyages, navigators
began to take an interest in the physical side of ocean­
ology, at least as far as major ocean currents were con­
cerned, although the old sailing records produced lit­
tle th at could be called scientific studies of currents.
Benjamin Franklin, however, was able to draw a tol­
erable chart of the Gulf Stream, based partly on re­
ports of Yankee sailing captains. He also made his own
observations of w ater tem perature on several Atlantic
crossings by picking up buckets1of surface w ater and
measuring their contents. The British explorer Captain
Jam es Cook also gathered oceanographic information
during his th ree celebrated voyages of exploration
which occupied the latter part of his life and included
circumnavigation of the Pacific.
In spite of such early interest, oceanography as an
organized research effort is a young science. It grew in
the latter part of the nineteenth century partly because
of the rapid spread of science in general and partly be­
cause the basic sciences that lie behind it — physics,

139
chemistry, geology, biology — and the technology of
research had reached a point w here scientific explora­
tion of the deep oceans became possible.
One of the pioneers who helped tu rn m en’s curiosi­
ty about the sea into a science was M atthew Fontaine
M aury (1806-73). M aury’s interests were those of a
practical sailor. But his intensive study of currents
helped lay the foundation for the modern science of
physical oceanography. Before Maury, men sailed
w ithout accurate knowledge of currents, winds, or
storm patterns. When his lifework was finished, charts
of major currents, prevailing winds and storm tracks
were part of every navigator’s equipment.
M aury’s work led directly to one of the first inter­
national scientific conferences. It met at Brussels in
1853 to consider setting up a uniform marine w eather
observing system. Maury is credited with inspiring the
establishment of the official meteorological office in
both Great Britain and Germany. Because of the dem­
onstrated value of M aury’s charts and partly as a re­
sult of this conference, other maritime nations began
establishing hydrological services, which often co-op-
erated with one another and with Maury in charting
the seas.

‘bucket [Ълкй] — ведро

CONTINENTAL SHELVES
The transition from continent to ocean is rarely sud­
den. Almost everyw here the land is bordered by shal­
low continental shelves where land and sea merge into
one another. They are the threshold over which one
m ust pass to enter the deep ocean.

140
In some places the shelves are wide, as in the North
Sea area of Europe or along the Arctic coast of Asia. In
other areas they are narrow or virtually nonexistent,
as off the eastern tip of Florida. On the whole, to give a
few general statistics they have an average width of
about 42 miles, an average depth of 180 to 210 feet, an
average depth at the outer edge of 432 feet.
These valuable undersea margins are thought to be
a gift of the last ice age. At its peak, 18,000 years ago,
so much w ater was locked up in the ice th at the gener­
al sea level fell anywhere from 250 to 500 feet. This was
an ice-age phenomenon that affected all the seacoasts
of the world, even those far removed from the glaciers
themselves. Waves can quickly erode soft materials.
Thus, when extensive new coast areas were exposed
by the retreating seas, wave-cut terraces were formed.
Then with the rise of the seas as the ice melted, and
perhaps aided by the slow sinking that many coastal
areas are known to be experiencing, the continental
shelves were created by submersion.
The shelves especially in the glaciated areas, still
show the m arks of their ice-age origin. In many places
glacial rubble1 has been dredged up, while off north­
ern Europe and North America the topography of thé
shelf shows the same glacial scouring as the adjacent
land. The fiords, in particular, are believed to have been
carved by the ice.
Elsewhere the shelves have a varied topography. In
some places they are hilly. Occasionally they are very
smooth. There are many basins, banks, sand bars and
remains of drowned river valleys, while the material
covering the bottom is a veritable patchwork2of muds,
sediments, and rocks.

141
The most common sediment is sand. Some of this,
the “terrigenous” sand, is land-derived. Some of it is
organic, such as the “calcarcenite” sands m ade up of
coral fragments, the shells of microscopic animals and
the calcium carbonate rem ains of other organisms.
There are also the so-called “chemical” sands th at are
deposited by chemical processes in the sea. Besides the
various sands, there are muds, silts, and clays which
are respectively made up of finer materials, all finer
than the sand. Last, there are gravels, pebbles, cobbles
and boulders — stones ranked according to increasing
size — which cover the shelf in some places.
One of the most curious and occasionally valuable
features of the shelves are the salt domes3. These some­
times are associated w ith oil and have been used as a
cheap source of high-quality salt and sulphur. These
domes which look like rounded hills, are really oval
plugs4of salt, sometimes over a mile in diameter, that
rise up from deep underlying salt beds. They have been
pushed upw ard by subterranean forces until they rise
w ith vertical walls through thousands of feet of sedi­
ment Where they have risen, these mountains of salt
are surrounded by uplifted sediment beds. Oil is often
found in these beds. Being lighter than the w ater that
is also present in the sedimets, it floats up through the
tilted sediments until it is blocked by the wall of salt.

1rubble [глЫ] — обломочная россыпь


2patchwork ['pætjwaik] — небольшие участки
3dome [doum] — купол
4plug [р1л9] — пробка

142
HIDDEN LANDS
(continuation)
Once beyond the edge of the shelf, we begin to feel
the m ystery and the alien quality of the deep sea —
gathering darkness, growing pressure, starkness of a
seascape in which all plant life has been left behind arid;
there are only the unrelieved contours of rock and clay,
mud and sand.
Biologically the world of the continental slope, like
th at of the abyss, is a world of animals — a world of
carnivores where each creature preys upon another. For
no plants live here, and the only ones th at drift down
from above are the dead husks of the flora of the sunlit
waters. Most of the slopes are below the zone of sur­
face wave action yet the moving w ater masses of the
ocean currents press against them in their coastwise
passage; the, pulse of the tide beat against them; they
feel the surge of the deep, internal waves.
Geographically the slopes are considered to be the
most imposing features of all the surface of the earth.
They are the walls of the deep-sea basins. They are the
farthermost bounds of the continents, the true place of
beginning of the sea. The slopes are the longest and
highest escarpments found anyw here on the earth;
their average height is 12,000 feet, but in some places
they reach the immence height of 30,000 feet. No con­
tinental mountain range has so great a difference of
elevation between its foothills and its peaks.
* Nor is the grandeur of slope topography confined
to steepness and height, the slopes are the site of one of
the most mysterious features of the sea. These are the
submarine canyons with their steep cliffs and winding
valleys cutting back into walls of the continents. Some
of the canyons seem to have been formed well within

143
the most recent division of geologic time, a million years
ago or less. But how and by w hat they were carved, no
one can say. Their origin is one of the most hotly dis­
puted problems of the ocean.
Like river-cut canyons, sea canyons are deep and
winding valleys V-shaped in cross section, their walls
sloping down at a steep angle to a narrow floor. The
location of many of the largest ones suggests a past con­
nection with some of the great rivers of the earth of
our time.
Their shape and apparent relation to existing rivers
have led Professor Sheperd to suggest th at the sub­
marine canyons were cut by rivers at some time when
their gorges were above sea level. The relative youth
of the canyons seems to relate them to some happen­
ings in the world of the Ice Age.
* The floor of the deep ocean basins is believed to be
as old as the sea itself. In all the hundreds of millions of
years th at have intervened since the formation of the
abyss these deeper depressions have never, as far as
we can learn, been drained of their covering waters.
But this does not mean th at the contours of the abyss
have remained unchanged since the day of its creation.
The floor of the sea like the stuff of the continents is a
thin crust over the molten centre of the earth. It is here
thrust up into folds and wrinkles as the interior cools
by imperceptible degrees and shrinks away from its
covering layer; there is falls away into deep trenches
in answer to the stresses and strains of crustal adjust­
ment; and again it pushes up into the conelike shapes
of undersea mountains as volcanoes boil upw ard from
fissures in the crust.
Until very recent, to speak of the floor of the deep
sea as a vast and comparatively level plain has been
the fashion of geographers and oceanographers. The

144
existence of certain topographic features was recog­
nized, as for example the Atlantic Ridge and a num ber
of very deep depressions like the Mindanao Trench of
the Philippines. But these were considered to be ra th ­
er exceptional interruptions of the flat floor th a t oth­
erwise showed little relief.
* This legend of the flatness of the ocean floor was
thoroughly destroyed by the Swedish Deep-Sea Ex­
pedition which sailed from Gotenborg in the summer
of 1947. The sole aim of this expedition was to explore
the bed of the ocean. While the Swedish Albatross was
crossing the Atlantic in the direction of the Panama
Canal the scientists aboard were astonished by the ex­
treme ruggedness of the ocean floor. Rarely did their
fathometers reveal more than a few consecutive miles
of level plain. Instead the bottom profile rose and fell
in curious steps constructed on a Gargantuan scale, half
a mile to several miles wide. In the Pacific, the uneven
bottom contours made it difficult to use many of the
oceanographic instruments. The deepest depressions on
the floor of the sea occur not in the centres of the oce­
anic basins as might be expected, but near the conti­
nents. One of the deepest trenches of all, the Minda­
nao, lies east of the Philippines and is six and a half
miles deep.
The least-known region of the ocean floor lies un­
der the Arctic Sea. The most daring plan for sounding
the Arctic Sea was conceived by Wilkins, who actually
set out in the submarine Nautilus in 1931. His intention
was to travel beneath the ice across the entire basin
from Spitsbergen to the Bering Strait. Mechanical fail­
ure of the diving equipment a few days after the Nau­
tilus left Spitsbergen prevented the execution of the
plan. Soon after the close of the Second World War, the

145
United States Navy began tests of a new method of ob­
taining soundings through the ice, which may provide
the key to the Arctic riddle. One interesting specula­
tion to be tested by future soundings is that the moun­
tain chain th at besects the Atlantic and has been sup­
posed to reach its northern terminus at Iceland may
actually continue across the arctic basin to the coast of
Russia. The belt of earthquake epicenters that follows
the Atlantic Ridge seems to extend across the Arctic
Sea and w here there are submarine earthquakes it is
at least reasonable, to guess th a t there may be moun­
tainous topography.
A new feature on recent maps of undersea relief —
something never included before the 1940s — is a group
of about 160 curious, flat-topped sea mounts between
Hawaii and the Marianas. A Princeton University ge­
ologist H. H. Hess happened to be in command of the
US Cape Johhson during two years of the w artim e
cruising of this vessel in the Pacific. Hess was immedi­
ately struck by the num ber of these undersea moun­
tains that appeared on the fathogram s of the vessel.
Time after time as the moving pen of the fathometer
traced the depth contours it would abruptly begin to
rise in an outline of a steepsided sea mount, standing
solitarily on the bed of the sea. Unlike a typical volca­
nic cone, all of the mountains have broad flat tops, as
though the peaks had been cut off and planed down
by waves. But the summits of the sea mounts are any­
w here from half a mile to. a mile below the surface of
the sea. How they acquired their flat-topped contours
is a m ystery perhaps as great as th at of the submarine
canyons.
.. (torbe continued)

14«
I. Translate in w riting the paragraphs
marked w ith *.

0 II. Paraphrase the italicized words and


word-combinations.

III. Answer the following questions:


1. W hat is the wildlife of the continental slopes?
2. Why are continental slopes devoid of plants?
3. Why are the continental slopes considered to be
the most imposing features of the earth?
4. W hat are sea canyons like?
5. W hat is the origin of sea canyons?
6. W hat changes does the floor of the sea undergo?
7. How did geographers picture the sea floor until
very recent time?
8. W hat did scientists aboard the Albatross reveal?
9. W hat plan was conceived by Wilkins?
10. W hat is a new feature on recent maps of under­
sea relief?

IV. Translate the following passages into Russian


without using a dictionary.
CONTINENTAL SLOPES
Continental slopes are the greatest escarpments on
the earth. There is nothing on land to rival them. Off
the west coast of South America, for instance, the east
wall of the Peru-Chile Trench combines with the ad­
jacent slopes of the Andes to give an average vertical
rise of some 42,000 feet. That is practically twice the
rise of the southern Himalayan slope. Furthermore, and
unlike escarpments on land, the great undersea slopes
147
stretch for thousands of miles*, surrounding entire con­
tinents. Of course, they are not everywhere as steep as
those off w estern South America. In some places they
are much more gradual. In other places they are bro­
ken up into interm ediate plateaus and basins so that
they descend to the deep-sea floor in somewhat step­
wise fashion. In a few places they are virtually nonex­
istent because there is no perceptible change in the
slope of the shelf until it reaches the abyss. Neverthe­
less, as a general feature, the continental slopes would
afford some of the most impressive scenery on the plan­
et if they could be viewed from the deep ocean bottom.
In general, the slopes have not been as extensively
surveyed as the shelves. The 1,000-fathom line seems
to be the limit of most detailed exploration, at least as
far as published information is concerned. In the Unit­
ed States much of recent detailed data of undersea to­
pography has been kept secret because of its military
value as a navigational guide to submarine command­
ers. \

Like the shelves, the slopes are often covered with


a variety of sediments — about 60 per cent mud, 25
per cent sand, and a scattering of gravel, rocks and ooz­
es. But unlike the glacially influenced shelves, the
slopes are believed to be the product of large-scale ad­
justm ents in the crust. At one time it was thought the
slopes were simple piles of sediment and debris built
up off the end of the shelves. But the modern view is
that they are at least originally the product of faulting,
a process in which huge blocks of the crust are dropped
vertically or moved horizontally.
Once the slopes are formed, their relative steepness
and irregularity are thought to be preserved by land­
slide and turbidity currents in spite of the continual
fall of sedimets that would tend to bury their profile as

138
snow blankets 1 a w inter landscape. These loose sedi­
ments, perm eated w ith water, are easily set to sliding
by slight movements and even by their own weight on
steeper parts of the slope, so th at the slopes themselves
re ta in 2many of their original jagged features.
The so-called “turbidity currents” do a similar job
of preservation. If bottom sediments are stirred, as in
an earthquake, they fill the w ater w ith a cloud of fine
suspended material. This silt-laden w ater is a small
fraction of one per cent heavier than the surrounding
water. But the slight weight difference is enough to
make the turbid w ater settle. If there is any incline at
all to the bottom, it will run off as a “density” of “tu r­
bidity” current, which some experts think can become
quite powerful. Certainly these currents and landslides
seem able to keep the steeper parts of the continental
slopes relatively clean of sedimets and thus to preserve
their original form.
A third factor affecting both the slopes and the
shelves are the major ocean currents, which often dis­
tribute or carry away sediments. An example of this is
the action of the Gulf Stream in shaping shelf and slope,
as off the southeast coast of the United States. South
of Cape Cod, the edge of the shelf curves closer to the
land until, off the w estern tip of Florida, it virtually
disappears. But beyond the shelf edge there is a pla­
teau, the Blake Plateau, about 2,400 to 3,600 feet deep,
which runs more or less smoothly out to sea until it ter­
m inates in a steep escarpm ent w ith inclinations of
15 degrees and more. This is roughly an area off the
southeastern United States between the 1,000-fathom
contour line and the 100- fathom line marking the edge
of the shelf as shown on the endpapar map. It is one of
the geological curiosities of the continental slopes.

149
Dr. Henry Stetson has found th at the sea bottom on
the Blake Plateau is either rocky or covered by a hard
calcareous material with little or no soft sediment. F ur­
thermore, the geologists have dated rocks from the
edge of the plateau and from the adjacent slope as be­
ing quite old dating back to Cretaceous and Miocene
times. Northward, rocks this old are deeply buried un­
der more recent sediments, but on the Blake Plateau
they lie at the surface. The plateau itself is flat enough
to be considered part of the shelf if it did not lie so deep.
It looks as if the top of the shelf had been sliced off with
a great knife (like the frosted top layer off a cake). The
reason for this curious geological feature is thought to
be the flow of the Gulf Stream.
This massive current is believed to have started
flowing through the Florida Strait early in the Tertia­
ry period. Once started, the current stopped sedimen­
tation in the Blake Plateau area except quite close to
the coast. Meanwhile the sea floor slowly sank as part
of the general subsidence th at is known to have oc­
curred throughout all areas off the North American
coast. It once was thought th at the Blake Plateau was
due to downfalling of a large crustal block or to the ero­
sive action of the Gulf Stream. Although there may be
some erosive action, the plateau and the lack of a sig­
nificant shelf of southern Florida are now considered
to be the result of a slow general sinking of the sea floor,
which has continually been swept clean of upbuilding
sediments by the Gulf Stream.

1to blanket = to cover


2to retain = preserve

150
CANYONS IN THE DEEP

The great submarine canyons cut the continental


slopes at a num ber of places throughout the world.
Sometimes they are located off adjacent land valleys,
as in the case of the canyon off the mouth of the Hud­
son River in New York W here every bay on the west
coast has its continuation under the sea. But in many
places the submarine canyons bear no obvious relation
to the adjacent terrain.
The walls, of this canyon reach a maximum height
of 4,000 feet. Many short tributaries feed into the main-
valley, which runs to some 180 miles in length. This in­
cludes the inner canyon th at cuts the continental slope
and a shallow trench. A t its outer end the canyon sys­
tem is 14,000 feet deep.
Although this canyon is unusual in th at it is located
off a river valley, its dimensions typify the majesty of
these undersea formations. How were these magnifi­
cent gorges created and w hat keeps them from filling
up with sediments? There is no simple answer, but the
forces involved link the canyons with long riverlike
channels th at have in recent years been discovered on
the deep-ocean floor.
The longest of the deep-sea channel, the Mid-Ocean
Channel was discovered and partially surveyed by ex­
peditions from Lament in 1949 and 1952. It begins off
the tip of Greenland, w here it may be a twoprong sys­
tem w ith many branching tributaries, and runs for
nearly 2,000 miles to end in a deep basin of the west-
central North Atlantic, reaching as far south, as the
latitude of Washington, D. C. It ranges in width from
two to four miles and from 150 to 600 feet in depth.
The Bay of Bengal offers a striking example of a sea-
floor channel th at appears to be an extension of a sub-

151
m arine canyon. Analyses of echo-sounding records
made in 1948 across the entrance of this bay by the
Swedish research vessel Albatross indicate several
channels in the bottom. The largest is some four miles
wide and 240 feet deep. It is bordered by symmetrical
levees1six miles broad and rising 90 feet above the level
of the surrounding bottom. This channel which is eight
times as wide and five times as deep as the Missisippi
River at its southern end, is thought to run northw ard
for some 1,100 miles, where it ties into the huge sub­
marine canyon off the Ganges River.
The echo-sounding records of these channels look
very much like the profiles of big land rivers th at build
natural levees on their banks. On land, the levees are
built when sediment-laden rivers overflow. Running
fast at flood stage, the w ater of such rivers suddenly
slows down when it spills over the banks and spreads
over the countryside. Much of the heavier sediment it
carried when it flowed faster is deposited along the
banks, w here over the years it builds up into levees.
Man-made levees for flood control are often built on
top of the natural ones.
Similar “levees” show up on the echo-sounding pro­
files of most of the deep-sea channels. In fact, this is
the way these channels usually are spotted2. They are
only a few miles wide and a few hundred fathoms deep
at most and had been overlooked3in the general rough­
ness of the deep-ocean bottom until relatively precise
and continuously recording echo sounders became
available to oceanographers after World W ar II. Since
then the characteristic levees have become a kind of
indentification tag.
Marine geologists think density currents probably
play a major role in the formation of both these chan­
nels and submarine canyons. In the case of the canyons

152
these are primarily turbidity currents. In cutting the
deep-sea channels currents of w ater made dense by
cooling and by its relatively high salt content are also
thought to be a predominant factor.

1levee = dam
2to spot = to trace
3overlooked = not noticed, not spotted

HIDDEN LANDS
(continuation)
Unlike the scattered sea mounts, the long ranges of
undersea mountains have been marked on the charts
for a good many years. The Atlantic Ridge was discov­
ered about a century ago. Now we can trace the out­
lines of this great mountain range and dimly we begin
to see the details of its hidden peaks and valleys. The
Ridge rises in mid-Atlantic near Iceland. From this far-
northern latitude it runs south midway between the
continents, crosses the Equator into the South Atlan­
tic and continues to about 50° south latitude where it
turns sharply eastward under the tip of Africa and runs
toward the Indian Ocean. Its general course closely par­
allels the coastlines of the bordering continents, even
to the definite flexure at the Equator betw een the
hump of Brazil and the eastward-curving coast of Af­
rica. To some people this curvature has suggested that
the ridge was once part of the great continental mass
left behind in mid-ocean when according to one theo­
ry the continents of North and South America drifted
away from Europe and Africa. However recent work
shows th at on the floor of the Atlantic there are thick
masses of sediments which must have required hun­
dreds of millions of years for their accumulation.
153
Throughout much of its 10,000-mile length, the A t­
lantic Ridge is a place of disturbed and uneasy move­
ments of the ocean floor, and the whole ridge gives the
impression of something formed by the interplay of
great, opposing forces. From its western foothills across
to w here its slopes roll down into the eastern Atlantic
basin, the range is about twice as wide as the Andes
and several times the w idth of the Appalachians. Near
the Equator a deep gash cuts it from east to west —
the Romanche Trench. This is the only point of com­
munication between the deep basins of the eastern and
western Atlantic, although among its higher peaks are
other, lesser mountain passes.
The g reater p art of the Ridge is, o f course, sub­
merged. Its cen tral backbone rises some 5,000 to
10.000 feet above the sea floor, but another mile of w a­
te r lies above most of its summits. Yet here and there a
peak thrusts itself up out of the darkness of deep w a­
ter and pushes above the surface of the ocean. These
are the islands of the mid-Atlantic. The highest peak
of th e Ridge is Pico Island of th e Azores. It rises
27.000 feet above ocean floor, with only its upper 7,000
to 8,000 feet emergent. The sharpest peaks of the Ridge
are the cluster of islets known as the Rocks of St. Paul
near the equator. The entire cluster of half a dozen is­
lets is not more than a quarter of a mile across, and their
rocky slopes drop off at so sheer an angle th at w ater
more than half a mile lies only a few feet o ff shore. The
sultry volcanic bulk of Ascension is another peak of the
Atlantic Ridge.
* But most of the ridge lies forever hidden from hu­
m an eyes. Its contours have been made out only indi­
rectly by the marvelous probings of sound waves, bits
of its substance have been brought up to us by corers
and dredges; and some details of its landscape have

164
been photographed with deep-sea cameras. With these
aids our imaginations can picture the grandeur of the
undersea mountains, with their sheer cliffs and rocky
terraces, their deep valleys and towering peaks. If we
are to compare the ocean’s mountains with anything
on the continents, we must think of terrestrial moun­
tains far above the tim ber line, with their silent snow-
filled valleys and their naked rocks swept by the winds.
For the sea has an inverted “tim ber line” or plant line,
below which no vegetation can grow. The slopes of the
undersea mountains are far beyond the reach of the
sun’s rays, and there are only the bare rocks and, in
the valleys, the deep drifts of sediments that have been
silently piling up through the millions upon millions of
years.
Neither the Pacific Ocean nor the Indian Ocean has
any submerged mountains that compare in length with
the Atlantic Ridge, but they have their smaller ranges.
The Hawaiian Islands are the peaks of a mountain
range th at runs across the central Pacific basin for a
distance of nearly 2,000 miles. The Gilbert and Mar­
shall islands stand on the shoulders of another mid-
Pacific mountain chain.
One of the most fascinating fields for speculation is
the age of the submarine mountains compared with
that of past and present mountains of the continents.
Looking back over the past ages of geologic time, we
realize th at mountains have been thrust up on the con­
tinents to the accompaniment of volcanic outpourings
and violent tremblings of the Earth, only to crumble
and w ear under the attacks of rain and frost and flood.
What of the sea’s mountains? Were they formed the
same way and do they, too, begin to die as soon as they
are born?
There are indications th at the earth ’s crust is more
stable under sea than on land. Quite a fair proportion
155
of the world’s earthquakes are traced through seismo­
graphs to sources under the oceans, and, as we shall
see later, there are probably as m any active volcanoes
under w ater as on land. A pparently the Atlantic Ridge
arose along a line of crustal shifting and rearrangement;
although its volcanic fires seem to be largely quiecent,
it is at present the site of most of the earthquakes in
the Atlantic area. Almost the whole continental rim of
the Pacific basin is aquiver w ith earthquakes and fi­
ery with volcanoes, some frequently active, some ex­
tinct, some merely sleeping a century-long sleep be­
tween periods of explosive violence. From the high
m ountains th a t form an almost continuous border
around the shores of the Pacific, the contours of the
land slope abruptly down to very deep water. The deep
trenches th at lie off the coast of South America, from
Alaska along the Aleutian Islands and across to Japan
and southw ard off Japan and the Philippines give the
impression of a landscape in process of formation, of a
zone of the earth subject to great strains.
* No sooner is a continental mountain thru st up than
all forces of nature conspire to level it. A mountain of
the deep sea, in the years of its m aturity, is beyond the
reach of the ordinary erosive forces. It grows up on the
ocean floor and may th ru st volcanic peaks above the
surface of the sea. These islands are attacked by the
rains and in time the young mountain is brought down
within the reach of the waves; in the tum ult of the sea
attack it sinks again beneath the surface. Eventually
the peak is worn down below the push and pull and
drag even the heaviest of storm waves. Here, in the
twilight of the sea, in the calm of deep water, the moun­
tain is secure from fu rth er attack. Here it is likely to
remain almost unchanged, perhaps throughout the life
of the earth.

156
Because o/'this virtual immortality, the oldest oce­
anic mountains must be indefinitely older than any of
the ranges left on land. Prof. Hess, who discovered the
sea mounts of the central Pacific, suggested th at these
“drowned ancient islands” may have been form ed be­
fore the Cam brian period, or som ew here betw een
560 million and billion years ago. This would make them
perhaps o f an age with the continental mountains; of
the L aurential upheavel. But th e sea m ounts have
changed little, i f at all, comparing in elevation with
modern terrestrial peaks; while of the mountains of the
Laurentian period scarcely a trace remains. The Pacif­
ic sea mounts, according to this theory, m ust have been
of substantial age when the Appalachians were thrust
up, 200 million years ago; they stood almost unchanged
while the Appalachians wore down to m ere wrinkles
on the ea rth ’s face. The sea mounts were old 60 million
years ago, when the Alps and the Himalayas, the Rock­
ies and the Ands, rose to their majestic heights. Yet, it
is probable that they will be standing unchanged in the
deep sea when these, too, shall crumble away to dust.

o?v . Translate in w ritin g the paragraphs


marked w ith *.

0 II. Paraphrase the italicized words and


word-combinations.

III. Answer the following questions:


1. Where does the Atlantic Ridge run?
2. W hat does the curvature of the Atlantic Ridge
suggest?
3. W hat length, width and height does the Atlantic
Ridge attain?
151
4. What parts of the Atlantic Ridge are emergent?
5. How are the contours and substance of undersea
mounts made out?
6. What is the difference between terrestrial and sea
mounts?
7. What other sea mounts do you know?
8. W hat is the origin of sea mountains?
9. Why are oceanic mountains indefinitely older than
continental mountains?
10. W hat happens with a mountain peak as soon as
it is thrust above the sea surface?
CONTENTS

Предисловие :........................................._............ 3
Unit 1
The Development of W eather Services............. 4
Unit 2
The Global Observation System .......................17
Unit 3
Sea — or S ew er?................................................. 31
Unit 4
Meteorological Aspects of Air Pollution...........42
Unit 5
Irrigation and Salt Problems in Renmark,
South A ustralia..................... 59
Unit 6
Salinization Control............................................. 70
Unit 7
Lunar Landscape.................................................84
U nit8
Changing the Lunar Im age................................93
Supplem entary Texts
For Comprehension Reading
Continental Drift and Present Landscape.......... 103
For Home-Reading
Hidden Lands.......................................................... 135

159
М А Васильева
АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЯЗЫК
ДЛЯ СТУДЕНТОВ
ГЕОГРАФИЧЕСКИХ ФАКУЛЬТЕТОВ
Часть III
Издательство «Менеджер»
ЛР № 066270
Издатель А.Гутиев
Редактор Н. Самуэльян
Оригинал-макет JI. Петровой
Обложка В. Арбекова
Сдано в набор 20.02.2001. Подписано в печать 24.06.200
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