RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: Good Success Bay. (12.1832) CUL-DAR34.16 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections by John van Wyhe 12.2010, corrections by Gordon Chancellor 5.2011. RN3

NOTE: This document, part of the largest scientific document composed by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, is written mostly in ink.

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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.


Good Success Bay — December 20th [1832]

General features of the country are low rounded mountains, covered with almost impervious forest of Fagus Betuloids? Antarcticus —

These hills are exclusively slate & with accompanying beds of more siliceous rocks often with Iron (878) & others of breccia, — where angular fragments of slate are imbedded in a similar matrix so completely that the junction is barely visible perceptible — On the mountain south of the bay the slate is fine (876 grained compact & very fissile, the seams being of slippy as if Talcose veins crystals of quartz. — the cleavage dips to the SSE at an angle 43°. — This

If the modern strata which narrows to a point at St. Polycarpe be taken out of consideration the general shape of this tongue land agrees with the range of strata. — Further within the country the country some of the hills slate on summits contain layers which contain much specular Iron (877). — At the furthest point to which I penetrated

16 verso

was the largest mountain in the immediately surrounding country. — here the beds dipped to the South & ranged E & W. — The water at this point divides some flowing into Good Success bay, others into the flat country behind Valentyns bay off Polycarp. — This was determined by a lofty ridge, which ran N by W & S by E, that is to say nearly at rt ∠s to the range of elevation. — this shows how great the force has been which has excavated the vallies, having removed far greater portions than now remain. — All the hills were evidently slate & in the neighbourhead. — so that the horizontal strata I should think must rest on the basset edge of the slate. —

Bell Mountain I should think not slate: probably the same rock as one in Valentyns Bay: —

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 15 January, 2016