RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: Cape Virgins. (5.1834) CUL-DAR34.192 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 4.2011. 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.

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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.


Cape Virgins. May 17th. [1834] — East side

Cliff supposed to be between 200 & 300 feet. no proof slate ended split more than the sandstone. surface tolerably level; no shingle: rather more vegetation. general substance yellow, soft, fine grained laminated sandstone: (like East coast & head of S. C. River)

interstratified with it are beds 10 to 20. & some only few less of hard. blackish muddy clay (or indurated mud) containing very many fragments 1/4 of inch of slate rock, there were larger masses (2 fists to 1/2 head) of syenite & greenstone. —

Clearly belongs to East coast formations

no organic remains. — Mr Stokes.

The interstratified beds of hardened

192 verso

mud, are generally horizontal, some times waving. & thinning out at each end at no great distance apart; it occurs in no regular order in the sandstone generally 3 or 4 beds in the cliffs. —

About 2 feet of vegetable soil. — Cliffs extend 18 miles up the coast where I imagine valley with outlyers separate Pat. from T. del Fuego. —

V. Specimen of sandstone & sand

Rocks off. C. Francisco de Paulo & C. Virgins.

The Friars outlying hills in gr. oyster bed:

Stony ridges. off C. Virgins: cause of line of coast: probable from sounding nature & depth & productions & direction:

Cliffs. from C. Virgins to Possession: latter higher undulatory. — originate or effects of currents during elevations. —

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