National Geographic : 1952 Dec
804 U. S. Navy. Official A Newly Active Volcano Off Mexico Spreads Ash and Vapor over the Pacific This one rumbled up last summer from San Benedicto Island, 340 miles west of the Mexican coast. Two others burst forth from Didicas Rocks, 320 miles north of Manila, and from the sea about 260 miles south of Tokyo. All are associated with seismic activity around the Pacific's rim. piano wire, was dropped over the side. It took one and one-half hours to reach bottom at 35,640 feet, nearly seven miles. Only a few months earlier, the Danish ship Galathea had found a hole nearly as deep, 34,578 feet, northeast of Mindanao in the Philippines. These depths appear on the new map. In the random sprinkling of former Japa nese-ruled islands that make up most of Micro nesia, dotted red lines show clearly the new postwar political boundaries. Today the United States holds administra tive responsibility and military control over some 5,000,000 square miles of the Pacific, from just west of the International Date Line almost to the shores of China. Micronesia is administered under United Nations Trustee ship. Easternmost of the Trust islands are the Marshalls, which spread over some 200,000 square miles of water but have a total land area of only 70. Since the war, the United States has poured millions of dollars into repairing war damage in the islands, improving the lot of the island ers, and reviving the copra trade. Schools have been set up, though in some cases this in volved creating a written language where none existed. Cattle have been placed on islands large enough to support them. The main Pacific map and all of the insets are drawn on Mercator's 384-year-old projec tion, still considered the most useful for navi gation. When World War II broke out, the United States Navy ordered 600 copies of a National Geographic Pacific map which had been drawn on the same projection and sent them to its ships sailing against the enemy.