National Geographic : 1891 May 29
198 I .CRussell-Expedition to Mount St. Elias. Feldspar is sparingly present, and includes both monoclinic and triclinic forms, whose crystallographic boundaries are invariably lacking. Treatment of the sand with dilute acid produces effervescence, which is not due to incrustations of sodium carbonate. By persistent search among particles separated in a heavy solution, a few grains were discovered which, from their complete solubility with effervescence in very dilute acid, as well as their optical properties, left no doubt as to their being calcite. The mica group has only one representative, biotite, and this occurs most sparingly. Though much of the sand was examined, but few frag ments were found. Its foliated character renders it easily transported by water and explains its absence from among the heavy minerals. Shaly, slaty and schistose material forms the major part of the coarser grains. Thin sections from the largest pieces plainly indicated horn blende schist. A region of glaciers would seem to be favorable not only to the collec tion of meteoric material, but also to the destruction of the country rocks, the setting free of their mineralogic constituents in a comparatively fresh state, and their transportation to the sea. It was hoped that this sand would yield some of the rarer varieties of minerals, but tests for native iron, platinum, chronlite, gneiss, and the titaniferous minerals proved in effectual. Titanium is present, but in such small quantities that it could only be detected by means of hydrogen peroxide. The use of acid super sulphate and the borotungstate of calcium test of Lasaulx failed to reveal the presence of native iron. It will be seen from the foregoing enumeration that the sand is made up of grains of gold, magnetite, garnet, hornblende, pyroxene, zircon, quartz, feldspar, calcite and mica, associated with fragments of a shaly, slaty and schistose character. While the information at hand is hardly sufficient to warrant much speculation concerning the rock masses of the interior, still there is no doubt that the sand is derived from the destruc tion of metamorphic rocks.
1892 Feb 19