RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: Valley of S Cruz. (4.1834) CUL-DAR34.99 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 3.2011. RN1

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.


1834 April

Valley of S. Cruz (1)

All used

In first part of the ascent I noticed near the Embouchure I noticed several low plains. From the 20th to 25th April [1834] (Long. 69°.05' — 69°.59') three or four plains, rising like steps filled up the valleys.

This is a section.
[sketch] part of 99
E D C B A B n C.n D.n E.n

Valley is ordinarily bounded by D & Dn. being in their (a) parts from. 6 to 7 miles wide: Dn abutting against En are first well seen about 55 miles from the coast (25 to [illeg] cliffs). It here lies 3 or 4 miles into to the north (is 200 to 400? feet higher than Dn). It has It presents in every respect the appearance of the escarpment seen to the south of anchorage at S Cruz. — This plain En can be traced with ease for 24 miles to the westward. always holding its relative position with respect to Dn. again 16 miles to west, it approaches close to rivers, Dn & En having same cliff to the Eastward it may be seen for a long distance & apparently recedes from the river. with the [smell] of old beach. — the corresponding plain E on the South side is nearly hypothetical, excepting more towards the coast, in places it seems to have same same cliff or face with D. —

Between the common boundaries D & Dn & upon each on one side of river two or even three set of small plains were very distinct, chiefly however where the valley was widest.

There were visible at intervals till Long 70°/55' (30th), where they seem destroyed by alluvial action: one however (as c) (within the valley D — Dm) was almost always visible in every part of mica.

On the 25th above Dn was 558 above sea: c (by having measured an object near it. now

(— noon cliffs & from height S Cruz [dozen]?

All used] written over other entries on the page, encircled.

99 verso

(a) its length from neck of one basin to that of other, on embouchure is 85 miles (nothing in comparison with Beagle channel).

Its total length is of course that of the distance from the Andes to the sea 160 miles. —

There are generally often 5 sets of plains, (besides the bed of river).

use [utenacea] argument to prove slowness of erosion

often 5 sets of plains

Give distances instead of Longitudes

Cordilleras & sea, higher & low } instead of E & W

Height of plains above river & attached to section —

Dimensions of Loch Lomond Valley given by Playfair p. 4041

all valleys of Patagonia formed within recent period from shells. — no rivers. — therefore sea —

Humboldt Vol IV p 2912 describe valley connecting Llanos of Venezuela with coast. in parts steep & narrow like narrow of St of Magellan

1 Playfair 1802.

2 Humboldt 1819-1829, 4: 291.

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File last updated 12 July, 2012