RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: Chili. [3 1834] CUL-DAR36.419 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 6.2011. 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. This document is the continuation of the previous one in the catalogue. See the Beagle Diary p. 553.

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.



Chili 47

North it reaches to the vicinity of the R. Maypo, where it is succeeded by a level granitic district. — To the East, it reaches to the foot of the mountains, which separate it, from the basins at base of the Cordilleras. — To the West is bordered by the Pacific ocean. —

Every one has heard of the recent elevations of the coast of Chili: near Valparaiso, I carefully with this view examined the neighbourhead;

On a small platform, about 100 ft elevation, there were great numbers of (recent) Concholepas, & a few Fissurellae & Trochus partially retaining their colors packed together in a bed (2145, 2146) close to the surface in the vegetable mould; The concholepas abounds over other shells in a large proportion. there were others on a hill 648 ft; several at 1000 ft fragment of Echinus & great Balanus of coast (2149), & a few at 1300 ft. — These were the most elevated; above 1000 ft they become rarer; & the shells appeared rather more weathered but yet partially retained their colors; here they were generally found protected in the vegetable earth. — In other localities, they were scattered absolutely on the surface lying on the rare rock or in the little depressions, partly buried in the mould, with the roots of the grass actually adhaering to them. — The most common lower situation is the top of the hills, or their close vicinity. V. B. — But, Below the 1000 ft the whole country is sprinkled with occasional remains marine remains. The shells were generally much broken, with the vegetation of the strong Concholepas: they were encrusted with Balanidae, perforated by Cliona, & edges rounded; All the species bury are littoral & such as are now found on the beach

419 verso

(a) at the 1300 ft there was the Concholepas, Trochus with its color quite perfect. Fissurella & Patella. —

(B) It seems wonderful, how shells, thus exposed, could last for a century, yet fragments Mytilus retained their color; as did the Trochi & a Corallina, encrusting at a Fissurella. —

Consult Miers on shells of Quillota

This document has been accessed 2836 times

Return to homepage

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

File last updated 2 July, 2012