RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: of Patagonia - St Josephs Bay to Port Desire. (1833) CUL-DAR33.227-228 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed from the microfilm by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and editing against the manuscript by John van Wyhe 7.2010. RN2

NOTE: This document, part of the largest scientific document composed by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, is written mostly in ink. Marginal notes are here integrated into the text.

Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
[some text] 'some text' is an editorial insertion
[some text] 'some text' is the conjectured reading of an ambiguous word or passage
[some text] 'some text' is a description of a word or passage that cannot be transcribed
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Text in small red font is a hyperlink or notes added by the editors.

Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

See the introduction to the Geological Diary by Gordon Chancellor.


1833 Coast of Patagonia. St Josephs Bay to Port Desire.

These notes were collected by Mr Stokes1 & by the officers employed in this part of the survey.

The cliffs described at St. Josephs recommence at P. Cantor. forming one side of entrance to P. Valdens:

At new Bay: we have the following section. Bed (1528) 1528 appears to resemble those at port Desire & St. Julian, as that of (1529) 1529 does that of St. Fe

White sandy clay (1528) 1
darker clay with oysters 2
same as (1) 3
small shells in soft earthy clay. (1529) 4

I have also some other shells from same place (. 1369. 1370. 1399. 1516. 1369. 1370 Amongst which a Santella like those at St Julian?.

The R. Chupat. Lat 43°. 20' was discovered in this cruise. (a) on the banks were a profusion of volcanic substances 1371. 1515 washed down by the floods. its source must be near some active volcano in the Andes.

In the Barrancas South of the river there is the soft white sandy clay like (1528). At P. Castro the dark line of the gravel is evident in the sketches made by the officers.



At P. Tombo Lat. [blank] there is the first appearance of hard rock, which is also seen at Points. Union & Atlas. To the north of them, at P. Lobos some way in the interior there are great cliffs & table lands estimated at 12 to 1500 feet high. (b) tel

At Port St Elene. Lat: 44° 31' we have said porphyry. with earthy crystals of do & some quartz (1519 1520) 1519. 1520

This appears same rock, as the common one of Port Desire & several places to the South of it.

At Canerones the rock is nearly the same (1525) 1525. at Melaspina, the islands in front of it, Port Redondo, down to the pass of Pimeda, there are various Porphyries & quartzose rocks. 1522 ... 1524. 1526 1527 1522 ... 1524 1526. 1527

1 John Lort Stokes (1812-85), Mate and Assistant Surveyor on the Beagle, 1831-1836.

G] pencil in margin.

Stet] pencil in margin.

places] pencil insertion.

227 verso

(a) In about same Lat. abreast of Chiloe there are now active Volcanoes. This river. is so small that at low water it only has 2 or 3 feet at the entrance yet must reach across the continent.

Above the influence of the tides, it is of the above depth & varying from 50 to 100 yards wide stream rapid about 2 to 3 knots per hour.

It is curious these small streams having such long course. V. Journal concerning the R. Sauce.1

(b) Mr Stokes does not think this land. higher than that behind. St Tilly Roads; & that are its height may be 1200 feet.

[sketch map]
[the sketch, in black ink, is on a small rectangle of tracing paper glued on the page] South Latitude [The place names along the coast of the sketch have not been transcribed.]

1 A reference to the Beagle diary, pp. 182-3.


[sketch in black ink]
Bay of St. George. Pt. of Salamanca. N 1/2 W. Port Cordova

[sketch in black ink]
Land in the bottom of the Bay of St. George. Latitude about 46.00 S

[sketch 228A (2nd sketch) has writing in pencil on the verso not microfilmed: 'Illustration of Alluvial Coast of Patagonia' in Darwin's handwriting.]


1833. Coast of Patagonia

To the westward, or in the interior, of the paps of Pineda there is table-land. About 30 miles to the South in the gulf of St George, the downs are high. estimated at 1200 feet. They have been subject to excessive alluvial action & have not been elevated in so regular a manner as further to the northward. And generally the increased alluvial action. observable in the southern part of the oyster formation may be said to commence in the north part of Bay of St George.

V. drawings by Mr. King:1 I judge of these latter parts from the outline sketches of the coast. At Tilly roads Lat: 45° 55' is the Bay of St. George. the cliffs by angular measurement are 560 feet. I have some oyster shells from that place (1517. 1518) 1517. 1518. There is also a large Salina, elevated about 30 feet above the sea. The table land. extends all round St Georges. bay behind Cape Blanco to Port Desire. The very point of Cape Blanco is quartz rock; some specimens had interstices with white powder, resembling the rock of the Falkland Islands. 72. 1373. 1521

At Cape Blanco there are two large Salinas. One of them only a few yards from the sea, separated by narrow ridge. water apparently deep of dark green color. quite brine, resting on solid bed of salt. 3 or 4 feet deep.

I conclude that the modern formation is the same from St. Joseph to Port Desire, as also perhaps is the hard rock, which being uncovered is seen at the points on the coast.

1 Philip Gidley King (1817-1904), Midshipman on the Beagle, 1831-1836.

sketches] added pencil.

228 verso

4) Hornblende 2) compacted 3) into 1) fragments A p. 15

Mem. Henslow Anglesea1

1 Henslow 1822.

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