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.

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
< > word(s) destroyed
<some text> 'some text' is a description of a destroyed word or passage
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.


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. —

This document has been accessed 3014 times

Return to homepage

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

File last updated 2 July, 2012