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9utili0]^ely toitt fit flyyrotal of t|e lotiM €iimm(00ioitcn of 

Ker ^ate0t9'0 Crea0urfi. 




London : 

Printed by Sucwart and Murray, 

Old Bailey, 




The present volume completes the Geology of the Voyage 
of the Beagle : the first part was on the Structure and Dis- 
tribution of Coral Reefs ; the second part contained descrip- 
tions of the Volcanic Islands visited during the expedition, 
together with a brief notice on the Geology of the Cape of 
Good Hope and of pai*ts of Australia; this third and last 
part treats exclusively of South America, and contains all the 
geological observations, worth publishing, which I was en- 
abled to make, with the exception of three papers, — one on 
Erratic Boulders, in the sixth volume of the Geological 
Transactions; the second on the Connection of Volcanic 
Phenomena, in the fifth volume of the same work ; and the 
third on the Geology of the Falkland Islands, in the third 
volume of the Journal of the Geological Society; in the 
latter volume there is a separate notice by Messrs. Morris 
and Sharpe on the palaeozoic fossils of the Falkland Islands. 
As the sum of one thousand pounds, most liberallv 
granted by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty s 
Treasury, together with a further sum advanced by Messrs. 
Smith, Elder & Co. and mvself, has been expended in the 
united publication of the 2roology and Geology of the Voy- 
age of the Beagle, no other systematic volumes will appear. 
Hence it may be convenient here to eive a brief list of the 
works already published. The Zoology consists of five 
volumes, on Fossil Mammalia, on Living Mammalia, Birds, 
Reptiles, and Fish, — respectively the works ^f Professor 
Owen, Mr. Waterhouse, Mr. Gould, Mr. Bell, and the 
Rev. L. Jenyns. The Plants collected in South America 
have been described by Dr. J. D. Hooker, in his ^reat and 
admirable Flora Antarctica, and those from the Galapagos 
Archipelago in a separate memoir in the Linnean Trans* 
actions : some other parts of the collection have been treated 
of by the Rev. Professor Henslow, and Rev. J. Berkeley, in 
separate papers. Mr. Bell has undertaken the Crustacea, 
and Mr. White, of the British Museum, the Arachnidee : 
several papers by Messrs. Waterhouse, Walker, and New- 
man, on Insects, have already appeared, and others, I hope. 

• ■ / 

• 4 

will follow, I have myself published a few notices on some 

of the invertebrate animals observed during the voyage; and 
I intend that more shall soon follow. Iiastly, in my Journal 
I have endeavoured to give a sketch of the natural history 
of the various countries visited ; and Captain FitzRoy has 
given a full and excellent account of the whole voyage. 

I cannot allow this last opportunity to pass, without again 
acknowledging ray great obligations to Captain FitzRoy ; — 
it was to his wish alone that a naturalist was taken on 
board, and that I was permitted (throngh the kindness of 
Captain Beaufort, the Hydrographer) to volunteer my ser- 
vices. To Captain FitzRoy, and to all the Officers of the 
Beagle, I must ever feel most grateful for the undeviating 
kindness with which I was treated during our long voyage 
of five years. For aid in my geological collections, I must 
more particularly return my sincere thanks to Mr. (now 
Captain) Stokea, to Lieutenant (now Captain) Sulivan, to 
Mr. Kent, and to Mr. King. 

In the preparation of the present volume I have received 
assistance from several naturalists. Professor Miller of 
Cambridge has aided me in the determination of many 
minerals : through the kindness of Sir H. De la Beche, Mr. 
Trenham Reeks, of the Museum of Economic Geology, baa, 
in the most obliging manner, analysed for me some ealts and 
other substances. Mr. G. B, Sowerby has kindly undertaken 
the description of my collection of fossil-shells. M. Alcide 
d'Orbigny, in his great work on South America, having pub- 
lished descriptions of many fossil mollusca, I took the liberty 
of writing to him to request that he would be so good as to 
look through my collection, and to this request he acceded 
in the most obliging manner : hence every species, with M. 
d'Orbigny 's name attached to it, has been identified by him. 
Not only did M. d'Orbigny render me this important ser- 
vice, but, as will be apparent in the course of this work, he 
has favoured me with his opinion on the age of the several 
groups of fossils, and on the distinctness and atfinities of 
many of the species: considering that I had no claim on 
M. d'Orbigny'a time, I cannot express too strongly my sense 
of his extreme kindness. Lastly, 1 must return my cordial 
thanks to Professor E, Forbes, who, in the midst of hia 
numerous avocations, has found time carefully to examine 
and describe the Secondary Fossil Mollusca from the Cor- 
dillera of Chile. 

SsFrEMBEB, Ibis. 




Upraised Shells of La Plata — Bahia Blanca, Sand-dunes and Pumice-pebbles— 
Step-formed Plains of Patagonia, witb upraised Shells — Terrace-bounded 
Valley of Santa Cruz, formerly a Sea-strait — Upraised Shells of Tierra del 
Fuego — Len{>[th and breadth of the elevated area — E(]uabilitj of the move- 
ments, as shown bj the similar heights of the plains — Slowness of the eleva- 
tor^ process — Mode of formation of the step-formed plains — Summary — Great 
Shingle Formation of Patagonia; its extent, origin, and distribution — For- 
mation of sea-cliffs page 1 to 26 



Chonos Archipelago — Chiloe, recent and gradual elevation of, traditions of the 
inhabitants on this subject — Concepcion, earthquake and elevation of — Val- 
paraiso, great elevation of, upraised shells, earth of marine origin, gradual 
rise of the land within the historical period— -Cog uim bo, elevation of in recent 
times, terraces of marine origin, their inclination, their escarpments not hori- 
zontal — Guasco, gravel terraces of — Copiapo— Peru — Upraised shells of Co- 
bija, Iquique, and Arica — Lima, shell-beds and sea-beach on San Lorenzo, 
Human remains, fossil earthenware, earthquake debaclci recent subsidence — 
On the decay of upraised shells — General summary • . page 27 to 57 



£asin-like plains of Chile ; their drainage, their marine origin — Marks of sea- 
action on the eastern flanks of the Cordillera — Sloping terrace-like fringes of 
stratified shingle within the valleys of the Cordillera ; their marine origin-— 
Boulders in the valley of the Cacnapual — Horizontal elevation of the Cordil- 
lera — Formation of valleys — Boulders moved by earthquake-waves — Saline 
superficial deposits — Bed of nitrate of soda at Iquique — Saline incrustations-— 
Salt-lakes of La Plata and Patagonia ; purity of the salt ; its origin. 

page 68 to 75 




Miaeralogical coDsdtatioD — Microscopical structure — Buenos Ayres, shells em- 
bedded in tosca-rock — B. Ayres to tbe Colorado — S. Ventaua — Bahia Blanca ; 
M. Hertnoso, bones and infusoria of; P. Alta» shells, bones, and infusoria of; 
co-existence of the recent shells and extinct mammifers — B. Ayres to St. F^— 
Skeletons of Mastodon^Infusoria — Inferior marine tertiary strata, their age 
— Horse's tooth — Banda Oriental — Superficial Pampeao formation — Inferior 
tertiary strata, variation of, connected with volcanic action ; Macrauchenia 
Patachonica at S. Julian in Patagonia, age of, subsequent to living mollusca 
and to the erratic block period — Summary — Area of Pampean formation- 
Theories of origin — Source of sediment — Estuary origin — Coutemporaneous 
with existing mollusca — Relations to underlying tertiarjr strata — ^Ancient de- 
posit of estuary origin — Elevation and successive deposition of the Pampean 
formation — Number and state of the remains of mammifers ; their habitation, 
food, extinction and range — Conclusion — Localities in Pampas at which mam- 
miferous remains have been found page 76 to 107 



Rio Negro — S. Josef — Port Desire, white pumiceous mudstone with infusoria — 
Port S. Julian — Santa Cruz, basaltic lava of — P. Oallegos — Eastern Tierra 
del Fuego; leaves of extinct beech trees — Summary on the Patagonian 
tertiary formations — ^Tertiary formations of the Western Coast — Chonos 
and Chiloe 'groups, volcanic rocks of— Concepcion — Navidad — Coquimbo — 
Summary — Age of the tertiary formations — Lines of elevation — Silicified 
wood — Comparative ranges of Uie extinct and living mollusca on the West 
Coast of S. America — Climate of the tertiary period — On the causes of the 
absence of recent conchiferous deposits on the coasts of S. America — On the 
<^ntemporaneous deposition and preservation of sedimentary formations. 

page 108 to 139 



Brazil, Bahia, gneiss with disjointed metamorphosed dikes — Strike of foliation — 
Rio de Janeiro, gneiss-granite, embedded fragment in, decomposition of— 
La Plata, m^tamorphic and old volcanic rocks of — S. Ventana — Claystone 
porphyry formation of Patagonia ; singular metamorphic rocks ; pseudo- 
dikes — Falkland Islands, palaeozoic fossils of — Tierra del Fuego, clayslate 
formation, cretaceous fossils of ; cleavage and foliation ; form of land — 
Chonos Archipelago, mica-schists, foliation disturbed by granitic axis ; dikes — 
Chiloe — Concepcion, dikes successive formation of — Central and Northern 
Chile — Concluding remarks on cleavage and foliation — ^Their close analogy 
and similar origin — Stratification of metamorphic schists — Foliation of 
intrusive rocks — Relation of cleavage and foliation to the lines of tension 
during metamorphosis page 140 to 168 


Central Chile — Basal formations of the Cordillera — Origin of the porphyritic 


claystone conglomerate-— Andesite — Volcanic rocks— Section of tbe Cordillera 
by the Peuquenes or Portillo Pass — Great gypseous formation — Peuquenes 
line ; thickness of strata, fossils of — Portillo line, conglomerate, orthitic 
eranite, mica-schist, and volcanic rocks of — Concluding remarks on tbe denu> 
aation and elevation of the Portillo line — Section by the Cumbre or Uspallata 
Pass — Porphyries — Gypseous strata — Section near the Puente del Inca ; fossils 
of — Great subsidence — Intrusive porphyries — Plain of Uspallata — Section of 
the Uspallata chain — structure and nature of the strata — Silicified vertical trees 
— Great subsidence — Granitic rocks of axis — Concluding remarks on the 
Uspallata range ; origin subsequent to that of the main Cordillera ; two 
periods of subsidence ; comparison with the Portillo chain . page 169 to 207 



Section from Illapel to Combarbala ; Gypseous formation with silicified wood — 
Panuncillo — Coquimbo ; mines of Arqueros ; section up valley ; fossils— 
Guasco, fossils of — Copiapo section up valley ; Las Amolanas, silicified wood, 
conglomerates, nature of former land, fossils, thickness of strata, great subsi- 
dence — Valley of Despoblado, fossils, tufaceous deposit, complicated disloca- 
tions of— Relations between ancient orifices of eruption and subsequent axes of 
injection — Iquique, Peru, fossils of, salt-deposits — Metalliferous veins — Sum- 
mary on the Porphyritic conglomerate and Gypseous formations — Great sub- 
sidence with partial elevations during tbe Cretaceo-oolitic period — On the 
elevation and structure of the Cordillera^Recapitulation on the Tertiary 
series — Relations between movements of subsidence and volcanic action — Pam- 
pean formation— Recent elevatory movements — Long-continued volcanic action 
in the Cordillera^ConcIusion page 208 to 248 


Descriptions of fossil tertiary shells, by G. B. Sowerby, Esq., F. L. S., &c. 

page 249 to 264 

Descriptions of fossil secondary shells, by Professor £. Forbes, F. R. S., &c. 

page 265 to 268 

Inobx page 269 



Place the Map at the begiDning of the Volume. 
,f Plate I. to V. at the end of dicto. 



Page 121, 16 lines from top,/or Solenilla, read Soleoella. 
1 50, ybr speudo-dikes, read pseudo-dikes. 
152 (note), ybr Magdalan channel, read Magdalen. 






Upraited Shells qfLa Plata — Bahia Blanca, Sand-dunes and Pumice-pebbles — 
Step-formed Plains of Patagonia, with upraised Shells-^Terrace-bounded 
Valley qf Santa Cruz, formerly a Sea-strait — Upraised Shells qf Tierra 
del Fuego — Length and breadth qf the elevated area — Equability qf the 
movements^ as shown by the similar heights qf the plains — Slowness qf the 
elevatory process — Mode qf formation of the step-formed plains — Summary—' 
Great Shingle Formation qf Patagonia ; its extent , origin, and distribution 
^^Formatian qf sea- cliff's. 

In the following volume which treats of the geology of South 
America, and almost exclusively of the parts southward of the Tropic 
of Capricorn, I have arranged the chapters according to the age of the 
deposits, occasionally departing from this order, for the sake of geo- 
graphical simplicity. 

The elevation of the land within the recent period, and the modi- 
fications of its surface through the action of the sea (to which subjects 
I paid particular attention) will be first discussed ; I will then pass on 
to the tertiary deposits, and afterwards to the older rocks. Only 
those districts and sections will be described in detail, which appear to 
me to deserve some particular attention ; and I will, at the end of each 
chapter, give a summary of the results. We will commence with the 
proofs of the upheaval of the eastern coast of the continent, from the 
Rio Plata southward ; and in tlie second chapter, follow up the same 
subject along the shores of Chile and Peru. 

On the northern bank of the great estuary of the Rio Plata, near 
Maldonado, I found at the head of a lake, sometimes brackish but 
generally containing fresh water, a bed of muddy clay, six feet in 
thickness, vdth numerous shells of species still existing in the Plata, 
namely, the Azara lahiata^ d'Orbig., fragments oiMytilus edidi/ormisj 
d'Orbig., Paludetlrina Isahellei^ d'Orbig., and the Solen CarihcBuu^ 
Lam., which last was embedded vertically in the position in which 
it had lived. These shells lie at the lieight of only two feet above 
the lake, nor would they have been worth mentioning, except in con- 
nexion with analogous facts. 

At Monte Video, I noticed near the town, and along the base of 
the mount, beds of a living Mytilus, raised some feet above the 



surface of the Plata : in a similar bed, at a height from thirteen to 
sixteen feet, M. Isabelle collected eight species, which, according to 
M. d'Orbigny,* now live at the mouth of the estuary. At Colonia 
del Sacramiento, further westward, I observed at the height of about 
fifteen feet above the river, there of quite fresh water, a small bed of 
the same Mytilus, which lives in brackish water at Monte Video. 
Near the mouth of Uruguay, and for at least thirty-five miles north- 
ward, there are at intervals large sandy tracts, extending several miles 
from the banks of the river, but not raised much above its level, 
abounding with small bivalves, which occur in such numbers, that at 
the Agraciado, they are sifted and burnt for lime. Those which I 
examined near the A. S. Juan were much worn : they consisted of 
Mactra Isahelleiy d'Orbig., mingled with few of Ventis sinuosa^ Lam., 
both inhabiting, as I am informed by M, d'Orbigny, brackish water 
at the mouth of the Plata, nearly or quite as salt as the open sea. 
The loose sand, in which these shells are packed, is heaped into low, 
straight, long lines of dunes, like those left by the sea at the head of 
many bays. M. d'Orbigny has described t an analogous phenomenon 
on a greater scale, near San Pedro on the river Parana, where he 
found widely extended beds and hillocks of sand, with vast numbers 
of the Azara lahiata^ at the height of nearly 100 feet (English) 
above the surface of that river. The Azara inhabits brackish water, 
and is not known to be found nearer to San Pedro than Buenos 
Ayres, distant above 100 miles in a straight line. Nearer Buenos 
Ayres, on the road from that place to San Isidro, there are extensive 
beds, as I am informed by Sir Woodbine Parish, J of the Azara lahiata^ 
lying at about forty feet above the level of the river, and distant 
between two and three miles from it. These shells are always found 
on the highest banks in the district : they are embedded in a stra- 
tified earthy mass, precisely like that of the great Pampean deposit 
hereafter to be described. In one collection of these shells, there 
were some valves of the Venus aimiosa^ Lam., the same species found 
with the Mactra on the banks of the Uruguay. South of Buenos 
A3rres, near Ensenada, there are other beds of the Azara, some of 
which seem to have been embedded in yellowish, calcareous, semi- 
crystalline matter ; and Sir W. Parish has given me from the banks 
of the Arroyo del Tristan, situated in this same neighbourhood, at the 
distance of above a league from the Plata, a specimen of a pale- 
reddish, calcareo-argillaceous stone (precisely like parts of the Pam- 
pean deposit, the importance of which fact will be referred to in a 
succeeding chapter), abounding with shells of an Azara, much worn, 
but which in general form and appearance closely resemble, and are 
probably identical with, the A, lahiata. Besides these shells, cellular, 
highly crystalline rock, formed of the casts of small bivalves is found 
near Ensenada; and likewise beds of sea-shells, which from their 
appearance appear to have lain on the surface. Sir W. Parish has 

* Voyage dans 1* Am^rique M^rid. Part. G^olog. p. 21. 

t Idem, p. 43. 

X Buenos Ayres, &c., by Sir Woodbine Parish, p. 168. 


given me some of these shells, and M. d'Orbigny pronounces them 
to be, 

1. Buccinanops globulosum, d'Orbig. 

2. Olivancillaria auricularia, do. 

3. Venus flexuosa, Lam. 

4. Cythersea (imperfect). 

5. Mactra Isabellei, d'Orbigr 

6. Odtrea puelcbana, do. 

Besides these, Sir W. Parish procured* (as named by Mr. G. B. 
Sowerby) the following shells ! — 

7. Voluta colocyntbis. 9. fiuccinum (not spec ?). 

8. V. angulata. 

All these species (with, perhaps, the exception of the last) are 
recent, and live on the South American coast. These shell -beds 
extend from one league to six leagues from the Plata, and must lie 
many feet above its level. I heard, also, of beds of shells on the 
Somborombon, and on the Rio Salado, at which latter place, as M. 
d'Orbigny informs me, the Mactra Isabellei and Venus sinuosa are 

During tlie elevation of the Provinces of La Plata, the waters of 
the ancient estuary have but little affected (with the exception of thd 
sand-hills on the banks of the Parana and Uruguay) the outline of 
the land. M. Parchappe,t however, has described groups of sand- 
dunes scattered over the wide extent of the Paupas southward of 
Buenos Ayres, which M. d'Orbigny attributes with much probability 
to the action of the sea, before the plains were raised above its level. ^ 

Southward of the Plata: — ^the coast as far as Bahia Blanca (in 
lat. 39° S.) is formed either of a horizontal range of cliffs, or of 
immense accumulations of sand-dunes. Within Bahia Blanca, a 
small piece of table-land, about twenty feet above high-water mark, 
called Punta Alta, is formed of strata of cemented gravel and of red 
earthy mud, abounding with sheUs (with others lying loose on the 

* Buenos Ayres, &o., bj Sir W. Parish, p. 168. 

t D*Orbigny's Voyage, G^olog. p. 44. 

X Before proceeding to the districts southward of La Plata, it may be worth 
while just to state, that there is some evidence, that the coast of Brasil has 
participated in a small amount of elevation. Mr. Burchell informs me, that he 
collected at Santos (lat. 24° S.) oyster-shells, apparently recent, some miles from 
the shore, and quite above the tidal action. Westward of Rio de Janeiro, Capt. 
Elliot is asserted (see Harlan, Med. and Phys. Res., p. 35, and Dr. Meigs, 
in Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc.) to have found human bones, encrusted with sea- 
shells, between fifteen and twenty feet above the level of the sea. Between 
Rio de Janeiro and Cape Frio, 1 crossed sandy tracts abounding with sea-shells^ 
at the distance of a league from the coast ; but whether these tracts have been 
formed by upheaval, or through the mere accumulation of drift sand, I am not 
prepared to assert. At Bahia (lat. 13° S.), in some parts near the coast, there 
are traces of sea-action at the height of about twenty feet above its present level ; 
there are also, in many parts, remnants of beds of sandstone and conglomerats 
with numerous recent shells, raised a little above the sea-level.' I may add, that 
at the head of Bahia bay there is a formation, about forty feet in thickness, contain- 
ing tertiary shells apparently of fresh-water origin, now washed by the sea and 
encrusted with Balini : this appears to indicate a small amount of subsidencs 
subsequent to its deposition. At Pernambuco (lat. 8° S.), in the alluvial or 
tertiary cliffs, surrounding the low land on which the city stands, I looked in 
vain for organic remains, or other evidence of changes in level. 

B 2 



surface), and the bones of extinct mannnifera. These aheUs, twenty 
in number, together with a Balanua and tvro corals, arc M recent 
species, still inhabiting the aeighbonring seas. They will be enume- 
rated in the Fourth Cliapter, when describing the Fampean formation ; 
five of them arc identical with the upraised ones from near Buenos 
Ayres. The northern shore of Bahia Blanca is, in main part, formed of 
immense sand-dunes, resting on gravel with recent shelb, and ranging 
in lines parallel to the shore. These ranges are separated from each 
other by flat spaces, composed of stiff impure red clay, in which, at 
the distance of about two miles from the coast, 1 found by digging, a 
few minute fragments of sea-sliells. The sand-dunes extend several 
miles inland, and stand on a plain, which slopes up to a height of 
between one and two hundred feet. Numerous, email, well rounded 
pebbles of pumice lie scattered both on the plain and sand- hillocks : 
at Monte Kennoso, on the flat summit of a cliff, I found many 
of theiii at a height of 120 feet (angular measurement) above the 
level of the sea. These pumice pebbles, no doubt, were originally 
brought down from the Cordillera by the rivers which cross the 
continent, in the same way as the River Negro anciently brought 
down, and still brings down, pumice, and as the River Chupat brings 
downacoriffi: when once delivered at the mouth of a river, they would 
naturally have travelled along the coasts, and been cast up, during the 
elevation of the land, at different heights. The origin of the argil- 
laceous flats, which separate the parallel ranges of sand-dunes, seems 
due to the tides here having a tendency (as I believe they have on 
most shoal, protected coasts) to throw up a bar parallel to the shore, 
and at some distance from it : this bar gradually becomes larger, 
affording a base for the accumulation of sand-dunes, and the shallow 
space within, then becomes silted up with mud. The repetition of this 
jirocess, without any elevation of the land, would form a level plain 
traversed by parallel lines of sand-hillocks ; during a slow elevation 
of the land, the hillocks would rest on a gently incUned surface, like 
that on the northern shore of Bahia Blauca. I did not observe any 
shells in this neighbourhood at a greater height than twenty feet ; 
and therefore the age of the sea-drifted pebbles of pumice, now 
standing at the height of 120 feet, must remain uncertain. 

The main plain surrounding Bahia Blanca, I estimated at from 
200 to 300 feet ; it insensibly rises towards the distant Sierra Yentana. 
There are in this neighbourhood some other and lower plains, but 
they do not abut one at the foot of the other, in the manner hereafter 
to be described, so characteristic of Patagonia. The plain on which 
the settlement stands, is crossed by many low sand-dunes, abounding 
with the minute shells of the Palitdestrina auntralh, d'Orbig., 
which now lives in the bay. This low plain is bounded to the south, 
at the Cabeza del Buey, by the cliff-formed margin of a wide plain 
of the Pampean formation, which I estimated at sixty feet in height. 
On the summit of this cliff, there is a range of high sand-dunes 
extending several miles in an east and west line. 

Southward of Bahia Blanca, the River Colorado Sows between 



two plains, apparently from thirty to forty feet in height. Of these 
plains, the southern one slopes up to the foot of the great sandstone 
plateau of the Rio Negro ; and the northern one against an escarp- 
ment of the Pampean deposit ; so that the Colorado Sows in a valley 
fifty miles in width, between the upper escarpments. I state this, 
because on the low plain at the foot of the northern escarpment, 
I crossed an immense accumulation of high sand-dunes, estimated by 
the Gauchos at no less than eight miles in breadth. These dunes 
range westward from the coast, which is twenty miles distant, to far 
inland, in lines parallel to the valley ; they are separated from each 
other by argillaceous flats, precisely like those on the northern shore 
of Bahia Blanca. At present there is no source whence this immense 
accumulation of sand could proceed ; but if, as I believe, the upper 
escarpments once formed the shores of an estuary, in that case the 
sandstone formation of the River Negro would have afforded an 
inexhaustible supply of sand, which would naturally have accumu- 
lated on the northern shore, as on every part of the coast open to the 
south winds between Bahia Blanca and Buenos Ayres. 

At San Bias (40'' 40' S.), a little south of the mouth of the 
Colorado, M. d*Orbigny* foimd fourteen species of existing shells 
(six of them identical with those from Bahia Blanca) emb^ded in 
their natural positions. From the zone of depth which these shells 
are known to inhabit, they must have been uplifted thirty-two feet. 
He also found, at from fifteen to twenty feet above this bed, the 
remains of an ancient beach. 

Ten miles southward, but 1 20 miles to the west, at Port S. Anto^ 
nio, the Officers employed on the survey assured me, that they saw 
many old sea-shells strewed on the surface of the ground, similar to 
those found on other parts of the coast of Pataeonia. At San Josef, 
ninety miles south in nearly the same longitude, I found above the 
eravel, which caps an old tertiary formation, an irregular bed and 
nillocks of sand, several feet in thickness, abounding with shells of 
Patella deaurita Mytilus Magellanicus^ yet retaining much of its 
colour; Fusus Magdlanicus^ (and a variety of the same) and a large 
Balanus (probably B. Tulipa)y all now found on this coast : I esti- 
mated this bed at from eighty to one hundred feet above the level of 
the sea. To the westward of this bay, there is a plain estimated at 
between 200 and 300 feet in height : this plain seems, from many 
measurements, to be a continuation of the sandstone platform of the 
River Negro. The next place southward, where I landed, was at Port 
Desire, 840 miles distant ; but from the intermediate districts I 
received, through the kindness of the officers of the survey, especially 
from Lieut. Stokes and Mr. King, many specimens and sketches, quite 
sufficient to show the general uniformity of the whole line of coast. 
I may here state, that the whole of Patagonia consists of a tertiary for- 
mation, resting on and sometimes surrounding hills of porphyry and 
quartz : the surface is worn into many wide valleys and into level 
step-formed plains, rising one above another, all capped by irregular 

♦ Vojage, &c. p. 64. 


beds of gravel, chiefly composed of porphyritic rocks. This gravel 
formation will be separately described at the end of the chapter. 

My object in giving the following measurements of the plains, as 
taken by the officers of the survey, is, as will hereafter be seen, to 
show the remarkable equability of the recent elevatory movements. 
Itound the southern parts of Nuevo Gulf, as far as the River Chupat, 
(seventy miles southward of San Josef) there appear to be several 
plains, of which the best defined are here represented. 


850 ft An. M. 200-220 An. M. 80 Est. 
S !__ 


\^ I 

^ East. 

Level of sea. Scale ^ of inch to 100 feet vertical. 

N.B. — An. M. always stands for ang^ular or trigonometrical measurement. 
Ba. M. ,, barometrical measurement. 

Est. „ estimation by the Officers of the survey. 

The upper plain is here well defined (called Table Hills) ; its edge 
forms a cliff or line of escarpment many miles in length, projecting 
over a lower plain. The lowest plain corresponds with that at San 
Josef with the recent shells on its surface. Between this lowest and 
the uppermost plain, there is probably more than one step-formed 
terrace : several measurements show the existence of the intermediate 
one of the height given in the diagram. 

Near the north headland of the great Bay of St. George (100 miles 
south of the Chupat), two well marked plains of 250 and 330 feet 
were measured : these are said to sweep round a great part of the 
Bay. At its south headland, 120 miles distant from the north head- 
land, the 250 feet plain was again measured. In the middle of the 
Bay, a higher plain was found at two neighbouring places (Tilli 
Beads and G. Marques) to be 580 feet in height. Above this 
plain, towards the interior, Mr. Stokes informs me that there were 
several other step-formed plains, the highest of which was estimated 
at 1200 feet, and was seen ranging at apparently the same height for 
150 miles northward. All these plains have been worn into great 
valleys and much denuded. The followiug section is illustrative of 
the general structure of the great Bay of St. George. At the south 

1200 feet Est. Not measured. 


»- ». 

V . 680 An. M. 


V ^ 580 An. M. 830 An. M. 860 An. M. 

Level of sea. Scale A of inch to 100 feet rertlcal. 


headland of the Bay of St. George (near C. Three Points) the 250 
plain is very extensive. At Port Desire (forty miles southward) I 
made several measurements with the barometer of a plain, which ex- 
tends along the north side of the port and aloug the open coast, and 
which varies from 245 to 255 feet in height : this plain abuts against 
the foot of a higher plain of 330 feet, which extends also, far north- 
ward along the coast, and likewise into the interior. In the distance 
a higher inland platform was seen, of which I do not know the height. 
In three separate places, I observed the cliff of the 245-255 feet 
plain, fringed by a terrace or narrow plain estimated at about 100 feet 
in height. These plains are represented in the following section :— > 

Not measured. <:*^ S ^ • 


ii ill '*=« 

^^ 100 ft. E»L 

Lerel of tea. Scale ^ of inch to 100 feet yertical. 

In many places, even at the distance of three and four miles from 
the coast, I found on the gravel-capped surface of the 245-255 feet, 
and of the 330 feet plain, shells of Mytilus MagellaniciUy M. edulU^ 
Patella deaurita^ and another Patella, too much worn to be identiBed, 
but apparently similar to one found abundantly adhering to the 
leaves of the kelp. These species are the commonest now living 
on this coast. The shells all appeared very old: the blue of the 
mussels was much faded ; and only traces of colour could be perceived 
in the Patellas, of which the outer surfaces were scaling off. They 
lay scattered on the smooth surface of the gravel, but abounded most 
in certain patches, especially at the heads of the smaller valleys : they 
generally contained sand in their insides ; and I presume that they 
have been washed by alluvial action out of thin sandy layers, traces 
of which may sometimes be seen covering the gravel. The several 
plains have very level surfaces ; but all are scooped out by numerous, 
broad, winding, flat-bottomed valleys, in which, judging from the 
bushes, streams never flow. These remarks on the state of the shells, 
and on the nature of the plains, apply to the following cases, so need 
not be repeated. 

Southward of Port Desire, the plains have been greatly denuded, 
with only small pieces of table-land marking their former extension. 
But opposite Bird Island, two considerable step-formed plains were 
measured, and found respectively to be 350 and 590 feet in height. 
This latter plain extends along the coast close to Port St. Julian (110 
m iles south of Port Desire) ; where we have the following section : — 


050 ft. An. M. 

o • 

660 An. M. U :S J 

480 An. M. ^ S ^ 


Level of Sea. Scale ^ of inch to 100 feet vertical. 

^ w 



Tbe lowest plain was estimated at ninety feet ; it is remarltable 
from the usual gravel-bed being deeply worn into hollows, which are 
filled up with, as well as the general surface covered by, sandy and 
reddish earthy matter; in one of the hollows thus filled up, the 
skeleton of the Macranchenia Pataclionica, as will hereafter be de- 
scribed, was embedded. On the surface and in the upper parts of 
this earthy mass, there were numerous shells of Mytilua Magellanietu 
and M. edulis. Patella deaurita, and fragments of other species. This 
plain is tolerably level, but not extensive; it forms a promontory 
seven or eight miles long, and three or four wide. The upper plains 
in theabovediagram.weremeasured by tbe officers of the survey; they 
were all capped by thick beds of gravel, and were all more of less de- 
nuded : the D50 plain consists merely of separate, truncated, gravel- 
capped hills, two of which, by measurement, were found to differ only 
three feet. The 430 feet plain extends, apparently with hardly a break, 
to near the northern entrance of the Rio Sta. Cruz (fifty miles to the 
south); but it was there found to be only 330 feet in height. 

On the southern side of the mouth of the Sta. Cruz we have the 
following section, which I am able to give with more detail than in 
the foregoing cases. 


Level or lea. Scolo ^ of Inch lo 100 (tel xrUcU. 

The plain marked 355 feet (as ascertained by the barometer and 
by angular measurement) is a continuation of the above mentioned 
S30 feet plain : it extends in a N. W. direction along the southern 
shores of the estuary. It is copped by gravel, which in most parts 
is covered by a thin bed of sandy darth, and ia scooped out by many 
flat-bottomed valleys. It appears to the eye quite level, but in pro- 
ceeding in a S. S. W. course, towards an escarpment distant abont 
six miles, and likewise ranging across tbe country in a N. W. line, it 
was found to rise at first insensibly, and then for the last half mile, 
sensibly, close iip to the base of the escarpment : at this point it 
was 46*3 feet in hoigbt, showing a rise of 108 feet in the sis miles. 
On this 355 to 463 feet plain, 1 found several shells of Myiilus Ma- 
gellanieua and of a Mytilus, which Mr. Sowerhy informs me is yet 
unnamed, though well known as recent on this coast ; Patella deau- 
rita; Fusus, 1 believe, Magellanicm, but tbe specimen has been 
lost ; and at the distance of four miles from the coast, at tbe height 
of about 400 feet, there were fragments of the same Patella and of a 
Voliita (apparently V. ancilla) partially embedded in the superficial 
sandy earth. All these shells had the same ancient appearance with 
those from the foregoing localities. As tlie tides along this part of 


the coast rise at the Syzygal period forty feet, and therefore form a 
well-marked beach-line, I particularly looked out for ridges in cross- 
ing this plain, which, as we have seen, rises 108 feet in about 
six miles, but I could not see any traces of such. The next highest 
plain is 710 feet above the sea; it is very narrow, but level, and is 
capped with gravel ; it abuts to the foot of the 840 feet plain. This 
summit-plain extends as far as the eye can range, both inland along 
the southern side of the valley of the S. Cruz, and southward along 
the Atlantic. 

The vcdley of the B, Santa Cruz, — This valley runs in an east 
and west direction to the Cordillera^ a distance of about 160 miles. 
It cuts through the great Patagonian tertiary formation, including, in 
the upper half of the valley, immense streams of basaltic lava, which 
as well as the softer beds, are capped by gravel ; and this gravel, high 
up the river, is associated with a vast boulder formation.* In as-^ 
cending the valley, the plain which at the mouth on the southern 
side is 355 feet high, is seen to trend towards the corresponding plain 
on the northern side, so that their escarpments appear like the shores 
of a former estuary, larger than the existing one : the escarpments^ 
also, of the 840 feet summit-plain (with a corresponding northern 
one, which is met with some way up the valley), appear like the 
shores of a still larger estuary. Further up the valley, the sides are 
bounded throughout its entire length by level, gravel-capped terraces, 
rising above each other in steps. The width between the upper 
escarpments is on an average between seven and ten miles ; in one 
spot, however, where cutting through the basaltic lava, it was only one 
mile and a half. Between the escarpments of the second highest 
terrace, the average width is about four or 6ve miles. The bottom 
of the valley, at the distance of 110 miles from its mouth, begins 
sensibly to expand, and soon forms a considerable plain, 440 feet 
above the level of the sea, through which the river flows in a gut 
from twenty to forty feet in depth. I here found, at a point 140 
miles from the Atlantic, and seventy miles from the nearest creek of 
the Pacific, at the height of 410 feet, a very old and worn shell of 
Patella deaurita. Lower down the valley, 105 miles from the At- 
lantic (Long. 71^ W.), and at an elevation of about 300 feet, I also 
found, in the bed of the river, two much worn and broken shells of 
the Voluta ancillay still retaining traces of their colours ; and one of 
the Patella deaurita. It appeared that these shells had been washed 
from the banks into the river : considering the distance from the sea, 
the desert and absolutely unfrequented character of the country, and 
the very ancient appearance of the shells (exactly like those found 
on the plains nearer the coast), there is, I think, no cause to suspect 
that they could have been brought here by Indians. 

The plain at the head of the valley is tolerably level, but water- 

* I have described this formation in a paper in the Geological Transactions, 
vol. vi. p. 415. 



worn, and with many sand-dunes on it like those on a sea-coadt. At 
the highest point to which we ascended, it was sixteen miles wide in 
a north and south line; and forty-five miles in length in an east and west 
line. It is bordered by the escarpments, one above the other, of two 
plains, which diverge as they approach the Cordillera, and consequently 
resemble, at two levels, the shores of great bays facing the mountains ; 
and these mountains are breached in front of the lower plain by a 
remarkable gap. The valley, therefore, of the Santa Cruz consists of 
a straight broad cut, about ninety miles in length, bordered by 
gravel -capped terraces and plains, the escarpments of which at both 
ends diverge or expand, one over the other, aft;er the manner of the 
shores of great bays. Bearing in mind this peculiar form of the 
land, — the sand-dunes on the plain at the head of the valley — the 
gap in the Cordillera in front of it — ^the presence in two places of 
very ancient shells of existing species — and lastly, the circumstance 
of the 355 to 453 feet plain, with the numerous marine remains on 
its surface, sweeping from the Atlantic coast, far up the valley, I think 
we must admit, that within the recent period, the course of the Santa 
Cruz formed a sea-strait intersecting the continent. At this period, 
the southern part of South America consisted of an archipelago of 
islands 360 miles in a N. and S. line. We shall presently see, that 
two other Straits also, since closed, then cut through Tierra del Fuego ; 
I may add that one of them must at that time have expanded at the 
foot of the Cordillera into a great bay (now Otway Water) like that 
which formerly covered the 440 feet plain at the head of the Santa Cruz. 
I have said that the valley in its whole course is bordered by 
gravel-capped plains. The following section, supposed to be drawn 
in a N. and S. line across the valley, can scarcely be considered as 
more than illustrative; for during our hurried ascent it was im- 
possible to measure all the plains at any one place. At a point 


A south. A north 
Bs. Bn. y : 

1182 ft. 860 ft. 089 ft. Bed of 680 ft. 860 ft. 1182 ft. 


The height of each terrace above the level of the river, is shown bj the namber 
under it. Vertical scale 5^ of inch to a 100 feet; but terrace E being onlj 
twenty feet abov^e the river, has necessarily been raised. The horizontal dis- 
tances much contracted ; the distance from the edge of An. to A s. being on an 
average from seven to ten miles. 

nearly midway between the Cordillera and the Atlantic, I found the 
plain (A. north) 1122 feet above the river; all the lower plains on 


this side were here united into one great broken cliff: at a point 
sixteen miles lower down the stream, I foand by measarement and 
estimation that B (n) was 869 above the river : very near to where 
A (n) was measured, C (n) was 639 above the same level : the 
terrace D (n) was nowhere measured: the lowest £ (n) was in 
many places about twenty feet above the river. These plains or 
terraces were best developed, where the valley was widest ; the whole 
five, like gigantic steps, occurred together only at a few points. 
The lower terraces are less continuous than the higher ones, and 
appear to be entirely lost in the upper third of the valley. Terrace 
C (s% however, was traced continuously for a great distance. The 
terrace B (n) at a point fifty-five miles from the mouth of the river, 
was four miles in vndth ; higher up the valley this terrace (or at 
least the second highest one, for I could not always trace it con- 
tinuously) was about eight miles wide. This second plain was 
generally vrider than the lower ones, — as indeed follows from the 
valley from A {n) to A («), being generally nearly double the 
vridth of from B (n) to B («). Low down the valley, the summit- 
plain A (s) is continuous with the 840 feet plain on the coast, but it 
is soon lost or unites with the escarpment of B («). The corres- 
ponding plain A (n), on the north side of the valley, appears to range 
continuously from the Cordillera to the head of the present estuary 
of the S. Cruz, where it trends northward towards Port S. Juhan. 
Near the Cordillera the summit-plain on both sides of the valley is 
between 3200 and 3300 feet in height; at 100 miles from the 
Atlantic, it is 1416 feet, and on the coast 840 feet, all above the sea- 
beach ; so that in a distance of 100 miles the plain rises 576 feet, and 
much more rapidly near to the Cordillera. The lower terraces B and C 
also appear to rise as they run up the valley ; thus D (n), measured 
at two points twenty- four miles apart, was found to have risen 185 
feet. From several reasons I suspect, that this gradual inclination of 
the plains up the valley, has been chiefly caused by the elevation 
of the continent in mass, having been the greater the nearer to the 

All the terraces are capped with well-rounded gravel, which 
rests either on the denuded and sometimes furrowed surface of the 
soft tertiary deposits, or on the basaltic lava. The difference in 
height between some of the lower steps or terraces; seems to bo 
entirely owing to a difference in the thickness of the capping gravel. 
Furrows and inequalities in the gravel, where such occur, are filled 
up and smoothed over with sandy earth. The pebbles, especially on 
the higher plains, are often white-washed, and even cemented 
together by a white aluminous substance ; and I occasionally found 
this to be the case with the gravel on the terrace D. I could not 
perceive any trace of a similar deposition on the pebbles now thrown 
up by the river, and therefore I do not think that terrace D was 
river-formed. As the terrace E generally stands about twenty feet 
above the bed of the river, my trst impression was to doubt whether 
even this lowest one could have been so formed ; but it should always 



be borne in mind, that the horizontal upheaval of a district, by itH 
creasing the total descent of the streams, will always tend to iocrease, 
first near the sea-coast and then further and furtlier up the valley, 
their corroding and deepening powers : so that an alluvial plain, formed 
almost on a level with a stream, will, after an elevation of this kind, 
in time be cut througli, and left standing at a height never again 
to be reached by the water. With respect to the three upper terraces 
of tlie 8. Cruz, I tliink there can he no doubt, that they were modelled 
by the sea, when the valley was occupied by a Strait, in the same 
manner, (hereafter to be discussed) as tlie greater, step-formed, shell- 
atrewed plains along the coast of Patagonia. 

To return to the shores of the Atlantic: the 8-1-0 feet plain, aftlie 
mouth of tlio Santa Cruz, is seen extending liori Hon tally far to tlia 
south ; and I am informed by the officers of the survey, that bending 
round the head of Coy Inlet, (sixty-five miles southward) it treniia 
inland. Outliers of apparently the same height are seen forty miles 
Further south, inland of the river Gallegoa ; and a plain comes dovvn 
to Capo Gregory (thirty-five miles southward), in the Strait of Ma- 
gellan, which was estimated at between 800 and 1000 feet in height, 
and which, rising towards the interior, is capped by the bould^ 
formation. South of the Strait of Magellan, there are large outlying 
masses of apparently the same great table-land, extending at intervals 
along the eastern coast of Tierra del Fuego : at two places here, 110 
miles apart, this plain was found to be 950 and 970 feet in height. 

From Coy Inlet, where the high summit-plain trends inland, a 
plain estimated at 350 feet in lieight, extends for forty miles to the 
river Gallegoa. From this point to the Strait of Magellan, and on 
each side of that Strait, the country has been much denuded and ia 
less level. It consists chiefly of the boulder formation, which rises to 
a height of between 150 and 250 feet, and is often capped by beds 
of gravel. At N, S. Oracia on the north side of the Inner Nar- 
rows of the Strait of Magellan, I found on the summit of a cli£F, 
160 feet in height, shells of existing Patetls and Mytih, scattered oa 
the surface and partially embedded inearth. On tlie eastern coast, 
also, of Tierra del Pnego, in latitude 53" 20* S., I found many 
Mytili on some level land, estimated at 200 feet in height. An- 
terior to the elevation attested by these shells, it is evident by the 
present form of the land, and by the distribution of the great erratic 
boulders'* on the surfiice, that two sea-channels connected the Strait 
of Magellan both with Sebastian Bay and with Otway Water. 

Concluding remarks on the recent eleBalion of the south-easUra 
eoa»U of Afnerica, and on tlie action of the sea on the land. — Up- 
raised shells of species, still existing as the commonest kinds in tlie 
adjoining sea, occur, as we have seen, at heights of between a few feet 
and 410 feet, at intervals from latitude 33° 40' to 53" 20' South. 
* Geolog. Transution], vol. vi. p, 419. 


This is a distance of 1180 geographical miles, — about equal fium 
London to tho North Cape of Sweden. Aa the boulder formation, 
extends with nearly the same height 150 miles south of 53° 20', 
the moat southern point where I landed and found upraised shells ; 
and aa the level Pampas ranges many hundred miles northward 
of the point, where M. d'Orbigny found at the height of 100 feet 
beds of the Azara, the space in a north and south hne, which haa 
been uplifted within the recent period, must have been much above 
tlie IISO miles. By the term recent, I refer only to that period 
-within which the now living moUusca were called into esistence ; 
for it will be seen in the Fourth Chapter, tliat both at B. Blanca and 
P, S. Julian, the mainmiferous quadrupeds which co-existed with 
these shells belong to extinct species. I have said that the upraised 
shells were found only at intervals on this line of coast, but this in 
all probability may be attributed to my cot having lauded at tho 
intermediate points ; for wherever I did land, with the exception of 
the river Negro, shells were found : moreover, the shells are strewed 
on plains or terraces, which, as we shall immediately see, extend for 
great distances vvith a uniform height. I ascended the higher plains 
only in a few places, owing to the distance at which their escarp- 
ments generally r.inge from the coast, so that I am far from knowing 
that 410 feet is the maximum of elevation of these upraised remains. 
The sliells are those now most abundant in a living state in the 
adjoining sea,* All of them have an ancient appearance ; but some, 
especially the mussels, although lying fully exposed to the weather, 
retain to a considerable extent their colours : this circumstance 
appears at first surprising, but it is now known that the colourin); 
principle of tiie Mytilns is so enduring, that it is preserved when the 
shell itself is completely disintegrated. t Most of the sheila are 
broken; I nowhere found two valves united; the fragments are not 
rounded, at least in none of the specimens which 1 brought home. 

With respect to the breadth of the upraised area in an east and 
west line, we know from the shells found at the inner Narrows of 
the Strait of Magellan, that the entire widtli of the plain, although 
there very narrow, haa been elevated. It is probable that in this 
southernmost part of the continent, the movement has extended 
under the sea far eastward ; for at the Falkland Islands, though I 
could not find any shells, tlie bones of whales have been noticed by 
several competent observers, lying on the land at a considerahle 
distance from the sea, and at the height of some hundred feet above 
it.J Moreover, we know that in T. del Fuego the boulder formation 
has been uplifted within the recent period, and a similar formation 

'e and Beagle, vol. i. p. 6 sud 133. 
oofs of a GraduBl Riaing in Sweden," in the Philoaoph, 
., p. 1. See also Mr. Smitfa, of Jordui Hill, in the Edio. Nen- 
Pbil. JouniBl, vol. iiv, p. 393. 

t \oytgff of tfae Adventure and Beigle, vol. ii. p. 227. And BougaintiUe'i 
VojBge, lome i. p. 112. 


occurs* on the north-western shores (Byron Sound) of these islands. 
The distance from this point to the Cordillera of Tierra del Fuego, 
is 360 miles, which we may take as the probable width of the 
recently upraised area. In the latitude of the R. S. Cruz, wo know 
from the shells found at the mouth and head, and in the middle 
of the valley, that the entire width (about 160 miles) of the surface 
eastward of the Cordillera has been upraised. From the slope of 
the plains, as shown by the course of the rivers, for several degrees 
northward of the S. Cruz, it is probable that the elevation attested 
by the shells on the coast has likewise extended to the Cordillera. 
When, however, we look as far northward as the provinces of La 
Plata, this conclusion would be very hazardous; not only is the 
distance from Maldonado (where I found upraise^ shells) to the 
Cordillera great, namely, 760 miles, but at the head of the estuary 
of the Plata, a N.N.E. and S.S.W. range of tertiary volcanic rocks 
baa been observed,t which may well indicate an axis of elevation 
quite distinct from that of the Andes. Moreover, in the centre of 
the Pampas in the chain of Cordova, severe earthquakes have been 
felt ;X whereas at Mendoza, at the eastern foot of the Cordillera, only 
gentle oscillations, transmitted from the shores of the Pacific,' have 
ever been experienced. Hence the elevation of the Pampas may be 
due to several distinct axes of movement ; and we cannot judge, 
from the upraised shells round the estuary of the Plata, of the 
breadth of the area uplifted within the recent period. 

Not only has the above specified long range of coast been elevated 
within the recent period, but I think it may be safely inferred from 
the similarity in height of the gravel-capped plains at distant points, 
that there has been a remarkable degree of equability in the elevatory 
process. I may premise, that when I measured the plains, it was 
simply to ascertain the heights at which shells occurred ; afterwards 
comparing these measurements with some of those made during the 
survey, I was struck with their uniformity, and accordingly tabu- 
lated all those which represented the summit-edges of plains. The 
extension of the 330 to 355 feet plain is very striking, being found 
over a space of 500 geographical miles in a north and south line. 

* I owe this fact to tbe kindness of Capt. Sulivan, R. N., a highly competent 
observer. I mention it more especially, as in my Paper (p. 427) on tbe Boulder 
Formation, I have, after having examined the northern and middle parts of the 
eastern island, said that the formation was here wholly absent. 

f This volcanic formation will be described in Chapter IV. It is not 
improbable that the height of the upraised shells at the head of the estuary of 
the Plata, being greater than at Bahia Blanca or at San Bias, may be owing to 
the upheaval of these latter places haviag been connected with the distant line 
of the Cordillera, whilst that of the provinces of La Plata was in connection with 
the adjoining tertiary volcanic axis. 

t See Sir W. Parish's work on La Plata, p. 242. For a notice of an earthquake 
which drained a lake near Cordova, see also Temple's Travels in Peru. Sir W. 
Parish informs me, that a town between Salta and Tucuman (north of Cordova) 
was formerly utterly overthrown by an earthquake. 


A table of the measurements is here given. The angular measure- 
ments and all the estimations are by the Officers of the survey ; the 
barometrical ones by myself. 


Gallegos Rirer to Coy Inlet (partly angular meas. and partly estim.) . . 350 

South Side of Santa Cruz (ang. and barom. meas.) 355 

North side of do. (ang. m.) 330 

Bird Island, plain opposite to (ang. m.) 350 

Port Desire, plain extending far along coast (barom. m.) 330 

St. George's Bay, north promontory (ang. m.) 330 

Table Land, south of New Bay (ang. m.) 350 

A plain, varying from 245 to 255 feet, seems to extend with much 

uniformity from Port Desire to the north of St. George's Bay, a 

distance of 170 miles ; and some approximate measurements, also 

given in the following table, indicate the much greater extension of 

780 miles. 


Coy Inlet, south of (partly ang. m. and partly estim.) 200 to 300 

Port Desire (barom. m.) 245 to 255 

C. Blanco (ang. m.) 250 

North Promontory of St. George's Bay (ang. m.) 250 

South of New Bay (ang. m.) 200 to 220 

North of S. Josef (estim.) 200 to 300 

Plain of Rio Negro (ang. m.) 200 to 220 

Babia Blanca (estim.) 200 to 300 

The extension, moreover, of the 560 to 580, and of the 80 to 100 
feet, plains is remarkable, though somewhat less obvious than in the 
former cases. Bearing in mind that I have not picked these measure- 
ments out of a series, but have used all those which represented the 
edges of plains, I think it scarcely possible that these coincidences in 
height should be accidental. We must therefore conclude that the 
action, whatever it may have been, by which these plains have been 
modelled into their present forms, has been singularly uniform. 

These plains or great terraces, of which three and four often rise 
like steps one behind the other, are formed by the denudation of the 
old Patagonian tertiary beds, and by the deposition on their surfaces 
of a mass of well-rounded gravel, varying, near the coast, from ten 
to thirty-five feet in thickness, but increasing in thickness towards 
the interior. The gravel is often capped by a thin irregular bed of 
sandy earth. The plains slope up, though seldom sensibly to the 
eye, from the summit-edge of one escarpment to the foot of the next 
highest one. Within a distance of 1 50 miles, between Santa Cruz 
to Port Desire, where the plains are particularly well developed, 
there are at least seven stages or steps, one above the other. On 
the three lower ones, namely, those of 100 feet, 250 feet, and 350 
feet in height, existing littoral shells are abundantly strewed, either 
on the surface, or partially embedded in the superficial sandy earth. 
By whatever action these three lower plains have been modelled, so 
undoubtedly have all the higher ones, up to a height of 950 feet at 
S. Julian, and of 1200 feet (by estimation) along St. George's Bay. 
I think it will not be disputed, considering the presence of the 



[[chap. I. 

upraised marine shells, that the sea has been the active power during 
stages of some kind in the elevatory process. 

We will now briefly consider this subject : if we look at the exist- 
ing coast-line, the evidence of the great denuding power of the sea is 
very distinct ; for, from Cape St. Diego, in lat. 54° d(K to the mouth 
of the Rio N^o, in lat. 31^ (a length of more than 800 miles), the 
shore is formed, with singularly few exceptions, of bold and naked 
clifi^ : in many places the cliffs are high ; thus. South of the Santa 
Cruz, they are between 800 and 900 feet in height, with their hori- 
zontal strata abruptly cut off, showing the immense mass of matter 
which has been removed. Nearly this whole line of coast consists of 
a series of greater or lesser curves, the horns of which, and likewise 
certain straight projecting portions, are formed of hard rocks ; hence 
the concave parts are evidently the effect and the measure of the de- 
nuding action on the softer strata. At the foot of all the cliffs, the 
sea shoals very gradually far outwards ; and the bottom, for a space 
of some miles, everywhere consists of gravel. I carefully examined 
the bed of the sea off the Santa Cruz, and found that its inclination 
was exactly the same, both in amount and in its peculiar curvature, 
with that of the 355 feet plain at this same place. If, therefore, the 
coast, with the bed of the adjoining sea, were now suddenly elevated 
100 or 200 feet, an inland line of cliffs, that is an escarpment, would 
be formed, with a gravel-capped plain at its foot gently sloping to the 
sea, and having an inclination like that of the existing 355 feet plain. 
From the denuding tendency of the sea, this newly formed plain would 
in time be eaten back into a cliff: and repetitions of this elevatory 
and denuding process would produce a series of gravel-capped, sloping 
terraces, rising one above another, like those fronting the shores of 

The chief difficulty (for there are other inconsiderable ones) on this 
view, is the fact, — as far as I can trust two continuous lines of sound- 
ings carefully taken between Santa Cruz and the Falkland Islands, 
and several scattered observations on this and other coasts, — that the 
pebbles at the bottom of the sea quickly and regularly decrease in 
size with the increasing depth and distance from the shore, whereas 
in the gravel on the sloping plains, no such decrease in size was percep- 
tible. The following table gives the average result of many soundings 
off the Santa Cruz : — 

Under two miles from the shore, many of the pebbles were of large size 
mingled with some small ones. 



3 to 4 miles from the shore. 

11 to 12 fathoms. 

6 to 7 miles 


17 to 19 do. 

10 to 11 miles 


23 to 25 do. 

12 miles 


30 to 40 do. 

22 to 150 miles 


46 to 65 do. 

Size of Pebbles. 

As large as walnuts ; mingled 

in every case with some 

smaller ones. 
As large as hazel nuts. 
From three to four tenths of an 

inch in diameter. 
Two-tenths of an inch. 
One -tenth of an inch, to the 

finest 8and» 


I particularly attoniled to the sJm of tlic pebbles on tlic 3.1S feet 
Santa Cruz plain, aod I noticed that on the eummit-cdgo of tlio 
present sea-cliSa many were as larg|e aa lialf of a nifui's bead ; and in 
crossing from these cliffs to the foot of the next highest osoarpnient, 
a distance of six miles, I could not oljBerve any increase in their si»!. 
We shall presently see that tlie theory of a alow and almost ingen- 
sihle rise of tbo land, will explain all the facta connected with the 
gravel-capped terraces, better than the theory of sudden elevations 
of from one to two hundred feet, 

M. d'Orbigny has argued, from the upraised fihclla at San Bias being 
embedded in the positions in which they lived, and from the valves of 
tho Asara labiata high on the baitks of the Parana being united and 
unrolled, that the elevation of Northern Patagonia and of La Plata 
must have been sudden ; for he thinks, if it bad been gradual, tlicso 
shells woald all have been rolled on successive bcaub-lincs. But in 
protected bays, such as in that of Itahia Blauca, wherever the sea is 
accumulating extensive mud-lianks, or where tho winds quietly heap 
up sand-dunes, beds of sheEU miglit assuredly be preserved buried in 
the positions in which they had lived, even whilst the land retained 
the same level ; any, the smallest, amount of elevation would directly 
aid in their preservation. I saw n multitude of spots in Baliia Blauca, 
where this might have been effected ; and at Maldonado it almost 
~ certainly has been effected. In speaking of the elevation of tbo land 
having been stow, I do not wish to oxclnde the small starts which 
accompany earthquakes, as on the coast of Chile ; and by such move- 
ments beds of shells miglit easily bo uplifted, even in positions exposed 
to a heavy surf, without undorgotug any attrition : for instance, in 
1835, a rocky flat off the island of Santa Maria was at one blow up- 
heaved above high-water mark, and was left covered with gaping and 
putrefying musscl-ahells, still attached to the bed on which they had 
lived. If M. d'Orbigny had been aware of the many long parallel 
lines of sand-hillocks, with infinitely numerous shells uf tlio Mactra 
and Venus, at a low level near the Uruguay ; if ho had seen at Bahia 
Blanca the immense sand-dunes, with water-worn pebbles of pumice, 
ranging, in parallel lines, one behind the other up a height of at least 
120 feet; if he had seen the sand-dunes, with tho countless Palude- 
strinas, on the low plain near the Fort at this place, and that long 
lino on the edge of the cUff, sixty feet bieber up ; if he had crossed 
that long and great belt of paraUol sand-uuuea, eight miles in width, 
standing at the height of &om forty to fifty feet above tho Colorado, 
where sand could not now collect, — I cannot believe be would have 
thought that tho elevation of this great district )jad been sudden. 
Ccrtaialy the sand-dunes (especially when abounding with shells), 
which stand in ranges at so many different levels, must all have 
required long time foi their accumulation ; and hence I do not doubt 
that the lost 100 feet of elevation of La Plata and Northern Patagonia 
has been exceedingly slow. 

If we extend this conclusion to Central and Sontliom Patagonia, 
the inclination of the succesaivdy rising gravol- capped plains can be 






explfuned quite aa well, aa by tlie more ubvious view already given 
of a few compiuatively great and audden elevations ; in either ease we 
must admit long periods of rest, during which tlic sea ate deeply into 
tbe land. Iiet ua suppose the present coast to rise at a neaily 
equable, slow rate, yet sufficiently quick to prevent the waves quite 
removing each part as soon as brought up ; in this case every portion 
of the present bed of the sea will snceessively form a beach-line, 
and from being exposed to a like action will be similarly affected. 
It cannot matter to what height the tides rise, oven if to forty feet as 
at Santa Cruz, for tliey will act with equal force and in like manner, 
on each successive line. Heuce there is no difficulty in the fact of the 
355 feet plain at Santa Cruz, eloping up 108 feet to the foot of 
the Dext highest escarpment, and yet having no marks of any one 
particular beacii-lioe on it ; for the whole surface on this view has 
been a beach. I cannot pretend to follow out the precise action of 
the tidal waves during a rise of the land, slow, yet sufficiently quick 
to prevent or check denudation ; but if it be analogous to what takes 
place on protected parts of the present coast, where gravel is now 
accumulating in large quantities,' an inclined surface, thickly capped 
by well-rounded pebbles of about the same size would be ultimately 
loft. On the gravel now accumulating, the waves, aided by the 
wind, sometimes throw up a tliin covering of sand, together with tbe 
common coast-shells. Slictla thus cast up by gales, would, during an 
elevatory period, never again be touched by the sea. Hence, on this 
view of a slow and gradual rising of the land, interrupted by periods 
of rest and denudation, vve can understand the pebbles being of about 
the same size over the entire width of the step-like plains, — the occa- 
sional thin covering of sandy earth, — and the presence of broken, unrol- 
led fragments of those shells, which now live exclusively near tlie coast. 

Summary of Result*. — It may be concluded that the coast on this 
nde the continent, for a spaco of at least I, ISO miles, has been 
elevated to a height of 100 feet in La Plata, and of 400 feet in 
Southern Patagonia, within the period of existing shells, but not of 
existing niammifers. That in La Plata, the elevation has been very 
slowly effected : that in Patagonia the movement may have been by 
considerable starts, but much more probably slow and quiet. In 
either case, there have been long intervening periods of comparative 
rest,t during which the sea corroded deeply, as it is still corroding, 
intA the land. That the periods of denudation and elevation were 
contemporaneous and equable over great spaces of coast, as shown by 
the equable heights of the plains ; that there have been at least eight 
periods of denudation, and that the land, up to a height of from 950 

* On the eastern side of Cbiloe, ichicti ialand «-e shutl see in the next cbsptsr 
ii now riling, I obeervfld that all the b«iDhei and BXteaaive ridnl flats were fomiBd 

f I Baj camparalitt snd not aitolule rest, becauae tlie sea acta, as we have 
■reo, witb great denudiug paver on this whole line of coast; and therefore, 
during an elSTation of the land, if excessively alow, (and of course during a 
•Bbsidpnce of the land), it ii quite possible (hat lines of clilT might be fonned. 




to 1,200 feet, hits been e!cuilarly modelled and affected : tliat the area 
elevateJ, in the southernmost part of the continent, extended in breadth 
to the Cordillera, and probably eea-ward to the Falkland lelAnds ; 
that northward, in La Plata, the bceadtli is unknown, there having 
been probably more than one axis of elevation ; and finally, tjiat, 
anterior to the elevation attested by these upraised sheila, the land 
was divided by a Strait where the river Santa Uruz now fluwa;, and 
that further soutliward tliere were other sea-straits, since closed. I 
may add, that at Bauta Cruz, in lat. 30° S., the plains have been 
uplifted at least 1,400 feet, since the period when gigantic boulders 
were transported between sixty and seventy miles from their parent 
rock, ou floating icebergs. 

lastly, considering the great upward movements which this hmg 
tme of coast bos undergone, and the proximity of its southern lialf to 
the volcanic axis of the Cordillera, it is liighly remarkable tliat in the 
many fine sections exposed in the Pampean, Patagonian tertiary, and 
Boulder formations, I nowhere observed the smallest fault or abrupt 
curvature in the strata. 

Gratel fomtation of Pataffotlia, 
I will here describe in more detail tbau bos been as yet incidentally 
done, the nature, origin, ^nd extent of the great shingle covering of 
Patagonia: but I do not mean to affirm that all of this sliingle, 
especially that on the higher pluoe, belongs to the recent period. A 
thin bed of sandy earth, with small pebbles of various porphyries and 
of quartz, covering a low plain on the north side of the Rio Colorado, 
is the extreme northern limit of this formation. These little pebbles 
have probably been derived from the denudation of a more regular bed 
of gravel, capping the old tertiary sandstone plateau of the Rio 
Negro. Tlie gravel-bed near the Rio Negro is, on an average, about 
ten or twelve feet in thickness ; and the pebbles are larger than on the 
northern aide of the Colorado, being from one to two inches in 
diameter, and composed chiefly of rather dark-tinted porphyries. 
Amongst them I here first noticed a variety often to be referred to, 
namely, a peculiar gallstone-yellow siliceous porphyry, frequently, but 
not invariably, containing grains of quartz. The pebbles are em- 
bedded in a white gritty calcareous matrix very like mortar, some- 
times merely ooating with a whitewash the separate stones, and 
sometimes forming the greater part of the mass. In one place I saw 
in the gravel concretionary nodules (not rounded) of crystallized 
gypsum, some as largo as a man's bead. I traced this bed for forty- 
five miles inhtnd, and was assured that it extended far into the 
interior. As the surface of the calcareo-argillaceous plain of Pam- 
pean formation, on the northern side of the wide valley of the 
Colorado, stands at about the same height with the mortur-like 
cemented gravel capping the sandstone en the sonthem side, it is 
probable, considering the apparent equability of the subterranean 
movements along this side of America, that this gravel of the Rio 
N^^ and the upper beds of the Pampean formation northward of tiie 
2 ■■" 



QcnAP. t. 

md that the cal- 

Colorado, are of nearly en 
carcoaa matter lias been dcr 

Soutliward of tlie Rio Negro, tlic clifia along the great bay of 
S. Antonio aro capped with gravel: at San Josef, I found that tba 
pebbles closely resembled those on the plain of the Rio N^o, but 
that they were not cemented by calcareous matter. Between San 
Josef and Port Desire, I was assured by the officers of the survey that 
the whole fiice of the country ie coated with gravel. At Port Desire 
r a space of twenty-five miles inland, on the three step-formed 
plains and in the valleys, I everywhere passed over gravel which, 
where thickest, was between thirty and forty feet. Hero, as in other 
parts of Patagonia, the gravel, or its sandy covering, was, as wo have 
seen, often strewed with recent marine shells. The sandy covering some- 
tiines fills up furrows in the gravel, as does the gravel in the under- 
lying tertiary formations. The pebbles are frequently whitewashed 
lented together by a peculiar, white, friable, aluminona, 
fusible, substance, which I believe is decomposed feldspar. At Port 
Desire, the gravel rested sometiniea on the baaal formation of por- 
phyry, and Homotinnes on the upper or the lower denuded tertiary 
strata. It is rcmatkable that most of .the porphyritic pebbles diSer 
from those varieties of porpliyry which occur here abundantly in situ. 
The peculiar gaUstone-yellow variety was common, but less numerous 
than at Port S. Julian, where it formed nearly one-third of the mass 
of gravel ; the remaining part there consisting of pale gray and greenish 
porphyries with many crystals of feldspar. At Port 8. Julian, I 
ascended one of the flat-topped hills, the denuded remnant of the 
highest plain, and found it, at the height of 050 feet, capped with 
the usual bed of gravel. 

Near the mouth of the Santa Cruz, the bod of gravel on the 335 
feet plain, is from twenty to about thirty-five feet in thickness. The 
pebbles vary from minute ones to the size of a hen's egg, and even to 
that of half a man's head ; they consist of paler varieties of porphyry 
than those found further northward, and there are fewer of the gall- 
stone-yellow kind J pebbles of compact black clay-slate were here first 
observed. The gravel, as we have seen, covers the step-formed plains 
at the mouth, bead, and on the sidoa of the great valley of the Santa 
Cruz. At a distance of 110 miles from the coast, the plain has risen 
to the height of 1416 feet above tho aca; and the gravel, with the 
associated groat boulder formation, has attained a thickness of 212 
feet. The plain, apparently with its usual gravel covering, slopes up 
to the foot of the Cordillera to the height of between 3200 and 3300 
ftet. In ascending the valley, tho gravel gradually becomes entirely 
altered in character : high up, we have pebbles of crystallino feldapatbic 
rocks, compact clay-slate, quartzose schists and pale~colonred porphy- 
ries ; these rocks, judging botii from the gigantic boulders in the 
surface and from some small pebbles embedded beneath 700 feet in 
thickness of the old tertiary strata, are the prevailing kinds in this 
part of the Cordillera ; pebbles of basalt from tlie neighbouring 
Btnama of basaltic lava are also numerous; there are few or none of 

CBAP. I.] 






the reddish or of the gallstone-yellow porphyries ao common near the 
coast. Hence the pebbles on the 350 feet plain at the mouth of tlie 
Santa Cruz, cannot have been derived (with the exception of those of 
compact clay-sbtfi, which, however, may equally well have come 
from the south) from the Cordillera in this latitude; but probably, in 
chief part, from further north. 

Southward of the Santa Cruz, the gravel may be seen continuonsly 
capping the great 8*0 feet plain : at the Rio Gallegos, where this 
plain is succeeded by a lower one, there is, aa I am informed by Cap- 
tain Sulivao, an irregular covering of gravel from ten to twelve feet 
in thicknesa over the whole country. The diBtiict on each side of the 
Strait of Magellan ia covered up either with gravel or the boulder 
formation : it was interesting to observe the marked difference be- 
tween the perfectly rounded state of the pebbles in the great shingle 
formation of Patagonia, and the more or less angular fragments in the 
boulder formation. The pebbles and fragments near tlie Strait of 
Magellan, nearly all belong to rocts known to occur iu Fuegia. I 
was therefore much surprised iu dredging south of the Strait to find, 
iu lat, 51° 10' south, many pebbles of the gallstoue-yeUow siticeoos 
porphyry; I procured others from a great depth off Staten Island, 
and others were brought me from the western extremity of the Falk- 
land Islands.* The distribution of the pebbles of this peculiar por- 
lihyiy, which I venture to affirm is not found in situ either in Fuogia, 
the Falkland Islands, or on the coast of Patagonia, is very remarkable, 
for they are found over a space of 840 miles in a north and south line, 
and at the Falklauds, 300 miles eastward of the coast of Patagonia. 
Their occurrence in Fuegia-and the Falklands may, however, perhaps 
be duo to the same ice-agency by which the boulders have been there 

We have seen that porphyritic pebbles of a small size are first met 
with on the northern side of the Rio Colorado, the bed becoming well 
developed near the Rio Negro : from this latter point I have every 
reason to believe that the gravel extends uninterruptedly over the 
plains and valleys of Patagonia for at least G30 nautical miles south- 
ward to the Rio Qallegos, From the slope of the plains, from the 
nature of the pebbles, from their extension at the Rio Negro far into 
the interior, and at the Santa Cruz close up to the Cordillera, I think 
it highly probable that the whole breadth of Patagonia is thus 
covered. If so, the average width of the bed must be about SOO 
Near the coast the gravel is generally from ten to thirty feet 
knesa ; and as in the valley of Santa Cruz it attains, at some 
distance from the Cordillera, a thickness of 214 feet, we may, I think, 

* At my reqapBt, Mr. Kent collscted for me a bsg of pebblei from Ibo beach 
of While Rock harbour, in the norlbera part of the aouDd, belKeen tbe tiro 
Falkland Islunda. Out of these well.roDnded pebbles. Taijing in size from a 
wahiul to a hen's egg, with some larger, thirlj-eigbt evideally beloaged to die 
rocks of tliesa islands : lireatj-dx irere similar to ihe pebbles of porphyry 
roaod on the Patagonina plains, nhich rocks do not exial in situ in the Falkiaiias : 
one pebhlo belonged lo (he peculiar irellow silicwiiu porphiry : thirty were of 
doubtful origin. 


[^CHAP. 1 

eafely aasuiiie its average thickness over tlie whule arta of 630 by 200 
inileB, at fifty feet ! I 

Tlie transportal and origin of this vnst bed of pebbles is an in- ' 
teresting problem. From t\\e manner in nbicli they cap the step- 
formed plains, worn by the sea within the period of existing shelb, 
tlieir deposition, at least on tlie plains up to a height of 400 feet, 
must have been a rewnt geological event. From the form of the 
continent, we may feel sure tiiat they have come from the westward, 
probably, in chief part from the Gordiilera, but, perhaps, partly from 
unknown rocky ridges in tVie central districts of Patagonia, That the 
pebbles have not been transported by rivers, from the interior towarda 
the coast, we may conclude from the fewness and aninltuess of the 
streams of Patagonia : moreover, in the case of the one great and 
rapid river of Santa Cruz, we have good evidence that its transporting 
power is very trifling. This river is from 200 to 800 yards in 
width, about seventeun feet deep in its middle, and runs with a sin- 
gular degree of nnifurmity iive knots an liour, with no lakes and 
Bcartely any still reaches : nevertheless, to give one instance of ita 
Binall transporting power, upon careful examination, pebbles of com- 
pact basalt could not be foimd in the bed of the river at a greater 
distance than ten miles below the point where the stream rushes over 
the debris of the great basaltic cliffs fonning its sliore :. fragments of 
the cellular varieties have been washed down twice or thrice as far. 
That the pebbles in Central and Northern Patagonia have not be«n 
transported by !oe-^ency, as seems to have been the ease to a con- 
siderable extent farther south, and likewise in the northern hemi- 
sphere, we may conclude, from the absence of all angular fragments 
in the gravel, and from tlie complete contrast in many other respects 
between tlie shingle and neighbouring boulder formation. 

Looking to the gravel on any one of the step-formed plains, I 
cannot doubt, from the several reasons assigned in this chapter, tliat 
it has been spread out and levelled by the long-continued action of 
the sea, probably during the slow rise of the land. The smooth 
and perfectly rounded condition of tlie innumerable pebbles alono 
would prove long- con tinned action. But how the whole mass of 
shingle on the coast-plains, has been transported from tlie mountains 
of tlic interior, is another and more difficult question. The following 
considerations, however, show that the aea by its ordinary action has 
considerable power in distributing pebbles. A table has already been 
given, showing how very uniformly and gradually • the pebbles 

* I may meDlian, that at the distance of 150 miles from the PatagDniaa ahoie 
J caiefullj exatnined the mi cu(e -rounded particUH in the sand, and found them 
to he fuaible like the porphyries of the {[reat shingle hed. 1 could even dis- 
tinguish pattictea of the gallstone-Tel loir porphyry. It was inlereating to notice 
bow gisdusllf the particleB of wliite quarts iDcceaaed, as we approached the 
Falkland Islands, whiclj are thus conatituted. In the wiiole line of soundinga , 
betnesD these Jalao^B and the coast of Patagonia, dead or living organic remains 
were most rare. On (he relations between the depth nf water and the nature 
of the bottom, see Martin White on Soundings in the CLaanel, p. 4, 6, 175 i 
also Capt. Beechej'fl Voyage lo the Pacific, chap, xviii. 



decreaae in size with the gradually seawaid increaetng depth and 
distance. A series of tim kind irresiBtilily leada to the conclusion, 
that the sea has the power of siftitig and distributing the loose matter 
on its bottom. According to Martin White,* the bud of the British 
Channel is disturbed during gales at depths of sixty-three and sixty- 
seven fathoms, and at thirty fathoms, shingle and fragments of shells 
are often deposited, afterwards to be earned away again. Ground- 
swells, which are believed to be caosed by distant gales, seem espe- 
cially to affect the bottom : at such times, according to Sir R. 
Scliomburgk,t the sea to a great distance round the West Indian 
Islands, at depths from five to fifteen fathoms, becomes discoloured, 
and even the anchors of vcsseb have been moved. Tliere are, how- 
ever, some difficulties in understanding how the sea can transport 
pebbles lying at tlie bottom, for, from experiments instituted on the 
power of running water, it would appear tliat the currents of the sea 
have not sufficient velocity to move stones of even moderate size : 
tnoieover, 1 have repeatedly found in the most exposed situations tbat 
the pebbles which lie at the bottom are cncnisted with full-grown 
liviug corallines, furnished with the most delicate, yet unbroken 
spines : for instance, in ten fathoms water off the mouth of the Santa 
Cruz, many pebbles, under half an inch in diameter, were thus coated 
with Fiustracean zoophytes.^ Uence we must conclude that these 
pebbles are not often violently disturbed: it should, however, be 
bome in mind that the growth of coraUines is rapid. The view, pro- 
pounded by Prof. Playfair, will, I believe, explain tbis apparent diffi- 
culty, — namely, that from the undulations of tJie sea tenJini; to lift 
up and down pebbles or other loose bodies at the bottom, such are 
liable, when thus quite or partially raised, to be moved oven by a 
very small force, a little onwards. We caa thus understand how 
oceanic or tidal currents of no great strength, or that recoil move* 
ment of the bottom-water near the land, called by sailors the 
" undertow" (which I presume must extend out seaward as far as the 
breaking waves impel tbe surface-water towards the beach), may gain 
the power during storms of sifting and distributing pebbles even of 

* SoaudingB in the Cbaimel, pp, 4. 166. M. Siau stntea (Edin. Hen Pbil. 
Jour. vol. mi. p. 246), that La found Ihe ■edimenl at a depth of 18S metres, 
Hrnnged in ripples of difTerent degieea of fineneis. There are Home excellent 
discuuionB on this and allied subjecU, in Sii H. De La BMhe's Theoretical 

t Journal of Royal Geograph, Soc. vol, v. p. 25, It sppeors from Mr. Soolt 
Ruaaell'a inreBtigations (see Mr. Murohisona Annirer. Addresa Geolog, Soc, 
1B43. p. 40). thai in waves of Iranslaiion the motion of the parlioles of »»let is 
oearlj aa great at the bottom na at the top. 

X A pebble, one and a half iocb square and half ao inch thick, was girea me, 
dredged up from twenly-Boven faiboniB depth oil' ihe webtern cud of the Falkland 
lalaudB, where the sea is remaikahlj stormy, and auhjetl to violent tides. This 
pebble was encrusled on all (ides hy a delicate liiing coralline. I have seen 
many pebblee from dentha belneen forly and leventy lalhoiDa IhuB eocrasted ; 
one from the latter depth off Cape Horn. 

DiaTRTBimoIf OF f 

[chap. I. 

cuneiderable si^ and yet without so TioleDtlj disturbing ttiem as to 
injure tlie cucruatiug uoTaUincs.* 

The sea ocls in another and distinct ninnner in tho di^tribntion of 
pebbles, namely by tbe waves on the beach. Mr. Pabiier,+ in hia 
excellent memoir on this subject, has shown tbnt vast masses of 
shingle travel with surprising quickness along lines of const, accord- 
ing to the direction with which the waves break on the beach, and that 
this is determined by the prevailing direction of the winds. This 
agency must be powerfal in mingling together and diesemiuating 
pebbles derived from diiFerent sources : we may, perlmps, thus nnder- 
Btand the wide distributinn of the gallstone-yellow porphyry; and 
likewise, perbaps, the great diSerence in the nature of the pebbles at 
tlie mouth of the Santa Cruz from tbose in the same latitude at the 
head of the valley. 

I vrill not pretend to assign to these several and complicated 
agencies their shares in the distribution of tbe Fatagonian shingle ; 
but from tbe several considorations given in this chapter, and I may 
a*ld, from tho frequency of a capping of gravel on tertiary deposits IB 
all parts of the world, as I have myself observed and seen stated in the 
works of various authors, I cannot doubt that the power of widely 
dispersing gravel is an ordinary contingent on the action of the aea ; 
and that even in the case of tbe great Fatagonian sbingle-bed we have 
no occasion to call in tbe aid of debacles. I at one time imagined 
that perhaps an immense accumulation of shingle had originally been 
collected at the foot of the Cordillera ; and this accumulation, 
when upraised above the level of the sea, had been eateu into and 
partially spread out (as off the present line of coast); and that the 
newly-spread out bed had in its turn been upraised, eaten into, and 
re-spread out ; and so onwards, until the shingle, whicb was first 
accumulated in great thickness at the foot of tho Cordillera, had 
reached in thinner beds its present extension. By whatever means 
the gravel formation of Patagonia may have been distributed, tba 
vastness of its area, its thickness, its sapeificial position, its recent 
origin, and the great degree of similarity in the nature of its pebbles, 

ing OD B 


iDvaoably much 

1 the oDeo sea at Ibeir mouths, (hno inland. Thus, Cook, in 

g Sound, fiist bed Houndings in thirty-seven fatlioms, Iheo in 

', and a lilile further in no hollom, with 170 fathoms, Tha 

10 ramiliar ivith this fact, that they atnays look out for anchorage nest 

c -, .1=- _.,.,__. ., . .voj^ge of e-- 

, in tiie cieeks which 
wealetn shotea of Tierradel Fuego ; namelj, that Ihej are al 
shallower closo ' ' - -. ■ ... 

entering Cliristc 
fifty, Ihi * 

the enlrftnces of the creeks. See, also, on Ibis suhject, thi 
AdvoDCure and Beagle,' vol. i. p. 376, and Appendix, p. 313. ThVehoalaesa 
of [he sea-chaonels near their entrances, probably results from iLo quantity 
sediment formed by the wear and tear of the outer rocks exposed to the full form 
of the open sua. I have no doubt tint manv lakes, fat Inalauce in Scotlt 
which are very deep within, and are separatee! from the sea apparonll; only bj 
a tract of deu-itua, ware originailj sea-cFiannela ---''■ - ■ ■ 
their mouths, which have sluce been uplieaved. 
t Pliilosophital Tiansactions, 1634, p. 576. 

nly by ^^^ 


all appear to me well dcsarring the attention of geologists, in relation 
to the origin of tlie widely-spread beds of conglomerate belonging to 
past epochs. 

Formation of Cliffi. — When viewing the Bea-wom cliffs of Pata- 
gonia, in some parts between 800 and 900 feet in height, and formed 
of horizontal tertiary strata, which must once have extended far sea- 
ward, — or again, when Tiewing the lofty cliffs round many Tolcanio 
islands, in which the gentle inclination of the lava-streams indicates 
the former extension of the land, a difficulty often occurred to mc, 
namely, how the strata could possibly have been removed by the 
action of the sea at a considerable depth beneath its surface. Tlie 
following section, which represents tlie general form of the land on the 
northern and leeward side of St. Helena (taken from Mr. Seal's largo 
model and various meoeuronicnts), and of the bottom of tlie adjoining 
sea (taken chiefly from C.-kptain Austin's survey and somo old charts), 
will show the nature of this difficulty. 

Vertical and boriaonlil wale, two inobes to a niulicnl mile. 
1600 feet ii ■( lbs fool of High Knull ; point mnrked 510 feat 
Ladder Hill. Tbe stnu GooaiBl of bsSBllic Hiruima. 

1 ihe edge of 

If, as seems probable, the basaltic streams were originally prolonged 
with nearly their present inclination, they must, aa shown by the dotted 
line in the section, once have extended at least to a point, now coveted by 
tbe sea to a depth of nearly thirty fathoms : but I have every reason 
to beheve they extended considerably further, for the inclination of the 
streams is less near the coast than further inland, it should also bo 
observed, tliat other sections on the coast of this island would have 
given far more striking results, but I had not the exact measurements; 
thus, on the windwai^ side, the clifis are about 2000 feet in height 
and the cnt-off lava streams very gently inclined, and the bottom of 
the sea baa nearly a similar slope all round tbe island. How, then, 
has all the hard basaltic rock, which once extended beneath the sur- 
face of the sea, been worn away ? According to Captain Austin, the 
bottom is uneven and rocky only to that very small distance from the 
beach, within which the depth is from five to six fathoms; outside 
this lino to a depth of nbout 100 fathonis, the bottom is smooth, 
gently inclined, and formed of mud and sand; outside the 100 


fathoms, it plunges suddenly into nufatbomable depths, as is ao Tery 
flommonlir the caae on all coasts where sediment is accuinulatiag. At 
greater depths than the five or six fathoms, it seems impossible, under 
existing ci ream stances, that the sea can both have worn away hard 
rock, in parts to a thioknesa of at least 150 feet, and have deposited a 
smooth bed of fine sediment. Now, if we had any reason to sup- 
pose that St. Helena had, during a long period, gone on slowly 
subsiding, every difficulty would be removed: for, looking at the 
diagram, and imagining a fresh amount of subsidence, we can see that 
the waves would then act on the ooast-clifis with fresh and unimpaired 
vigour, whilst the rocky ledge Dear the beach would be carried down 
to that depth, at which sand and mud would be deposited on its bare 
and uneven surface : after the formation near tlie shore of a new locky 
shoal, fresh subsidence would carry it down and allow it to be 
smoothly covered up. But in tho cose of tlie many cliff-bounded 
islands, for instance in Bomo of the Canary Islands and of Madeira, 
round which the inclination of the strata shows that the land once ex- 
tended far into the depths of the sea, where there is no apparent 
means of hard rock being worn away, — are we to suppose that all these 
islands have slowly subsided ? Madeira, I may remark, has, accord- 
ing to Mr. Smith of Jordan-hill, subsided. Are we to extend this 
conclusion to the high, cliff-bonnd, horizontally-stratified shores of 
Patagonia, off which, though the water is not deep even at the dis> 
tance of several miles, yet the smooth bottom of pebbles gradually 
decreasing in aze vrith the increasing depth, and derived from a 
foreign source, seem to declare that the sea is now a depositing and ' 
not a corroding agent? I am much inclined to suspect, that we 
shall hereafter find in all such cases, that the land with the adjoin- 
ing bed of the sea has in truth subsided ; the time will, I believe, 
!, when geologists will consider it as improbable, that the land 
should have retained the same level during a whole geological period, 
as tliat the atmosphere should have lemained absolutely calm during 
an entire si 

dionoi Archiptleje — CAilor, rtcml and gradual einttim ^f, traditian* nf tht 
inhahiiaikU m (Ait luijtcl — Concrpfion, larlhqvalii and tlnallon tf—Vn.- 
TAKiiio, great tlmalion qf, aproittd ikrtli, rarlli iff mttrine origin, gradual 
me ofihe land leilhii lAe hiilerical prriod—Conuiuao, tinelion iff in mtut 
timet, lerraca qf i»ariii« origin, their inelinalirm. tAeir eiearpmenti not kori- 
xonlaJ—Gaatco, gratei lerracti tif-^Cojiiapo — l't»v — Upraiied ihelU ijf Co- 
bija, Ijuigue, and Arica — Linia, litll-brdi and ita-beacA on San Lorenio, 
Hnmm rtniain;/ouil earlMtiiifare. earthquake dtiacle, rttrnl niiidmce — Cta 
thidKOji qf upraieed thetU — Grntral mvnnarg . 

Commencing at the soutli and proceeding northward, tho tint place 
at which I landed, was at Cape Tres Montes, in lat. 46° 35'. llere, 
on the shoieB of Christmaa cove, I observed in several placid a hcach 
of pebbles with recent aliells, about twenty feet above hit;li-watei 
mark. Southward of Tres Monica (between lat. +7° and 4B°), By- 
ron* remarks, " we thought it very strange, that upon the summite 
of the highest hills were found beds of slielU, a foot or two thick." 
lu the ChoDos Archipelago, the island of Lemus (lat. 44° 30') was, 
according to M. Coste,t suddenly elevated eight feet, during the 
earthqnake of 1830, he adds "des roches jadis tonjoure couvertos 
par la nier, rcMtant aujourd'hui constamnient d^ouvertes." In 
other parts of this archipelago, I observed two terraces of gravel, 
abutting to tho foot of each other: at Lowe's Harbour (43° 4S'), 
under a great mass of the boulder formation, about 300 feet in thick- 
ness, I found a layer of sand, with numerous comminuted fragments 
of sca-sbellB, having a fresh aspect, but too small to bo identified. 

The Itland of Chiloe. — Tlio evidence of recent elevation is here 
more satisfactory. The bay of San Carlos is in most porta bounded 
by precipitous cliffs from about ten to forty feet in height, their 
bases being separated from tho present line of tidal action by a 
talus, a few feet in height, covered with vegetation. In one shel- 
tered creek (west of P. Arena) instead of a loose talus, there was 
a bare sloping bank of tertiary mudstono, perforated, above the line 



of the highest tides, by Dumerous shells of a Pholas now common 
in the harbour. The upper extremities of these shells, standing 
upright in their holes with grass growing out of them, were abraded 
about a quarter of an inch, to the same level with the surrounding 
worn strata. In other parts, 1 observed (as at Fudeto) a great 
beach, fonned of comminuted sbells, twenty feet above the present 
shore. In other parts, again, there were small caves vvorn into the 
foot of the low cliffs, and protected from the waves by the talna 
with its vegetation : one such cave which I examined, had its mouth 
about twenty feet, and its bottom, which was filled with sand con- 
taining fragments of shells and legs of crabs, from eight to ten feet 
above high water-mark. From thcso several facts, atid from the ap- 
pearance of the upraised shells, I inferred that the elevation bad been 
quite recent ; and on inquiring from Mr. Williams, the Port-master, 
lie told me he was convinced that tho land had risen, or the sea 
faDen, four feet within the last four years. During this period, 
there bad been one severe earthquake, bat no particular change of 
level was then observed ; from the habits of the people who all keep 
boats in the protected creeks, it is absolutely impossible that a rise 
of four feet could have taken place suddenly and bee» unperceived. 
Mr. Williams believes that the change has been quite gradaal. Without 
the elovatory movement continues at a quick rate, there can be no 
doubt, that the aca will soon destroy the talus of earth at the foot of 
the cliffs round tlie bay, and will then reach its former lateral exten- 
sion, but not of course its former level : some of the inhabitants 
assured me, that one such talus, with a footpath on it, was even 
already sensibly decreasing in width. 

r received several accounts of beds of shells, existing at consider- 
able heights in the ioland parts of Ciiiloe; and to one of these, near 
Catiman, I was guided by a countryman. Here, on the south side 
of the peninsula of Lacuy, there was an immense bed of the Venut 
coatellata and of an oyster, lying on the summit-edge of a piece of 
table-land, 350 feet (by the barometer) above the level of the sea. 
The shells wero closely packed together, embedded in and covered 
by, a very black, damp, peaty mould, two or three feet in thickness, 
out of which a forest of great trees was growing. Considering the 
nature and dampness of this peaty soil, it is surprising, tliat the fine 
ridges on the outside of the Vemtt, are perfectly preserved, though all 
the shells have a blackened appearance, I did not doubt that the 
black soil, which, when dry, cakes hard, was entirely of terrestrial 
origin, but on examining it under the microscope, I found many very 
minute rounded fragments of shells, amongst which I could distin- 
guish bits of setpulai and mussels. The Venus cmtellata, and the 
ostrea (0. edulis, according to Captain King) are now the commonest 
shells in the adjoining bays. In ;a bed of shells, a few feet below 
tlie 330 feet bed, I found a horn of the little Cervm JiumilU, which 
now inhabits Cbiloe. 

The eastern or inland aide of Cliiloe, with its many adjacent islets, 
consists of tertiary and boulder deposits, worn into irregular plains 


capped by graTel. Near Castro, and for ten miles Bontbward, and 
on the lEilel of Lemny, I found the surface of tlie ground to a height 
of between twenty and thirty feet above high-water mark, and in 
several places apparently up to fifty feet, thickly coali-d by much 
comminuted shclte, chiefly of the Vemu coiUUata and Mytilut Vhi- 
loentit; the species now moat abundant on this line of coast. As the 
inhabitants carry immense mimbera of these sheila inbind, the conti- 
nuity of the bed at the same height was often the only means of 
recognising its natural origin. Near Castro, on each side of the 
creek and rivulet of the Gamboa, three distinct terraces arc seen : 
the lowest was estimated at about 120 feet in height, and the highest 
at about 500 feet, with the country irregularly rising behind it; 
obscure traces, also, of these same terraces could be seen along other 
parts of the coast. There can be no doubt that their three escarp- 
ments record pauses iu the elevation of the island. I may remark that 
several promontories have the word Huapi, which eignifics in the 
Indian tongue, island, appended to them, such as Uuapilinao, Uuapi- 
lacuy, Caucahuapi, &c. ; and these according to Indian traditions once 
existed as islands. In the same manner the term Pulo in Sumatra ia 
appended* to the names of proraontories, traditionally said to have 
been islands ; in Sumatra, as in Chitoe, there are upraised recent 
shells. The Bay of Carelmapu on the mainland north of Chiloc, 
according to j\giierros,t was in l643agood harbour; it is now quite 
useless, except for boats. 

Valdiiyia : I did not observe here any distinct proofs of recent ele- 
vation; but in a bed of very soft sandstone, forming a fringe-like 
plain about sixty feet in height round the hills of mica-slate, there arc 
shells of Mjtilus, Crepidula, Solen, Novaculina and CythcrBea, too 
imperfect to be specifically recognised. At Imperial, seventy miles 
north of Valdivia, Agiterrosl states that there are large beds of shells, 
at a considerable disbuice from the coast, which are burnt for lime. 
The island of Slocha, lying a little north of Imperial, was uplifted 
two feet,j during the earthquake of 1835. 

Conecficion : — I cannot add anything to the excellent account by 
Captain Fitzroy|| of the elevation of the land at this pl.iee, which 
accompanied the earthquake of 1835, I will only recall to the ro- 

• M«i»den'a Sumnlra, p. 31. 

1 Deicripcion lliat. lis la ProviDcit de Chilof, p. 7S. From (he sccoaot giren 
by the old Spanish Knlora, it Koutd appear thsL seven) olher hHibours, hetireen 
thia poinl and Concepcion, vsre foiinerly much deeper Ibao they now ace. 

t Deacripo. ITiai. p. 25. 

4 Voyages of Adtentare and Beagle, vol. li. p. 416. 

jl Voyages o( AdrretUure and Beagle, »ol. ii. p. 412 et eeq. 
In Tnl. V. (p. 6U1) a{ the Geological TnnisnotioDi, 1 have given an accou&t or Ibe 
remaikable mlcaDic phsnoniena, nhicL accompanied this oaitljijualit. I'liese 
pbenamena appear lo me to prove, ihot the action, by Hhich targe tracts of lanil 
are nplifterf, and hy which volcaoic erupljona ate produced, ia in every respect 




collection, of geologisits, tliat the southern end of the iahmd of St. 
Mary was uplifted eiglit feet, the central port nine, and the nurthem 
end ten feet; and the whole island more than the aiirroundiug diB- 
triota. Great beds of mussels, patellee, and chitons still adhering to 
the locks were upraised above high-watec mark ; and some acres of & 
rocky Sat, which was formerly always covered by the sea, was left 
standing dry, and exijaled an offensive smell, from the many attached 
and putrefying shells. It appears from tlio reecacclics of Capt. 
FitzBoy that both the island of St. Mary and Concepoion (wliioh 
was uplifted only four oi five feet) in the course of some weeks sub- 
sided, and lost part of their first elevation. I will only add as a 
lesson of caution, that round the sandy shores of the great Bay of 
ConcopuoD, it was most difficult, owing to the obliterating efiecte of 
the great accompanying wave, to recognise any distinct evidence of 
this considerable uplieaval ; one spot must be excepted, where tliere 
was a detached rock whicti before tlic earthquak-e hod always been 
covered by the sea, but afterwards was left uncovered. 

On tiie island of Quinquina (iu the Bay of Concepcion), I found, at 
an estimnted heiglit of 400 feet, extensive layers of shells, mostly com* 
minuted, bat some perfectly preserved and closely packed in black vege- 
table mould ; they consisted of Concliolepas, Fissurella, Mytilua, 
Trudms, and Balanvs. Some of tliese layers of shells rested on a 
thick bed of bright-red, dry, friable earth, capping the surface of the 
tertiary sandstone, and extending, as I observed whilst sailing along 
the coast, for 150 miles southward ; at Valparaiso, we shall presently 
see that a similar red earthy mass, though quite like terrestrial 
mould, is really in chief part of recent marine origin. On the flanka 
of this island of Quiriquina, at a less height than the 400 feet, there 
were spaces several feet square, thickly strewed with fragments of 
similar shells. During a subsequent visit of the Beagle to Concepcion, 
Mr. Kent, the assistant-surgeon, was so kind as to moke for me some 
measurements with tlie barometer : he found many marine remains 
along the shores of the whole hay, at a height of about twenty feet: 
and from the hill of Sentinella behind Talcahuano, at the height of 
160 feet, he collected numerous shells, packed together close beneath 
the surface in black earth, consisting of two species of JMytilus, two of 
Crepidula, one of Concholepas, of Fisaurelia, Venus, Mactra, Turbo, 
Monoceros, and the Salaniu piittaewi. These shells were bleached, 
and within some of the Balani other Balani were growing, showing 
that they must have long Iain dead in the sea. The above species I 
compared with living ones from the bay, and found them identiciil; 
but having since lost the specimens, I cannot give their names : this 
is of little importance, as Mr. Broderip has examined a similar collec 
tion, made during Capt. Beechey's expedition, and ascertained that 
they consisted of ten recent species, associated with fragments of 
echini, ctaha, and fliistrte ; some of these remains were estimated by 
Lieut. Belcher, to lie at the height of nearly a 1000 feet above the 
level of the sea.* In some places round the bay, Mr. Kent observed 

* Zoology of Capt. Beechey's Voyage, p. 162. 


that there were beda formed excludvely of the Aftftiitu CiilotnrU s 
this species now lives id parta nevcT uncovered by the tides. At 
considerable heights, Mr. Kent found only a few shells ; but frum the 
BOmmit of one hill, 62S feet high, he brought me specimens of the 
Concholepoa, Mt/tibu Chiioengis, and a Turbo. These shells were 
softer and more brittle than those from the height of I6ifcet; and 
these latter had ohTioMsly a much more ancient appearance than the 
ame species from the height of only twenty feet. 

Co<ul north of Concfpcion : — The firet point examined was at tbe 
mouth of the Rapel (160 miles N. of Coucepcion and sixty miles S. 
of Valparaiso), where I observed a few shells at the height of 100 
feet, and some barnacles adhering to the rocks three or four feet 
above the highest tides: M. Gay* found here recent sitelle at the 
distance of two leagues from tho shore. Inland tliere ore some 
wide, gravel-capped plcune, intersected by many broad, flat-bothnned 
valleys (now carrying insignificant streamlets) with their sides cut 
into succesuve wall-like escarpments, rising one above another, 
ftnd in many places, according to M. Gay, worn into caves. 
The one cave (C. del Obispo) which I examined, resembled those 
farmed on many sea-coasts, with its bottom &lled with shingle. 
"" e inland plains, instead of sloping towards the coast, ore inclined 
) opposite direction towards the Cordillera, like the successively 
rising terraces on the inland or eastern side of C'liilne : some points 
of granite, which project through the plains near the coast, no douht 
once formed a chain of ontlying inlands;, on the inland sl)ores of which 
the plains were accumulated. At Bucalcmu, a few miles northward 
of the RapeL, I observed at tlie foot and on the summit-edge of a 
plain, ten miles from tlie coast, many recent shells, mostly commi- 
nnted, but some perfect. There were, also, many at the bottom of 
the great valley of the Maypu. At San Antonio, shells are said to be 
collected and burnt for lime. At the bottom of a great ravine (Queb- 
lada Onda, on tho road to Cosa Blanca), at the distance of several 
miles &om the coast, I noticed a corieiderable bed, composed ezeln- 
sively of Mewdetma donaci/'trmg, Desh. lying on a bed of muddy 
sand : this shell now lives associated together in great numbers, on 
tidal floti on the coast of Ohile. 

During two successive years I carefully examined, part of tho 
time in company with Mr. Alison, into all the facts connected with 
the recent elevation of this neighbourhood. lu very many parts a 
beach of broken shells, about fourteen or fifteen feet above high-water 
mark, may be observed; and at this level the coast-rooks, where 
precipitous, are corroded in a b»nd. At one spot, Mr. Alison, by 
removing some birds' dung, found at this same level barnacles ad- 
hering to the rocks. For seveial miles soutbword of the bay, almost 

• AnOBles des Scienc. Not. Anil, 1B33. 



evciy Bat little headland, between the heighta of GO and 230 feet 
(measured by the barometer), ta emootbly coated by a thick moss of 
coDiminuted sheila, of the aanie apcciea, and apparently in the same 
proportional numbers with those existing in the adjoining sea. The 
Concholepaa is much the most abundant, and the best preserved shell ; 
but I extracted perfectly preserred apeciraena of the Fhsurella 
liiradiala, a Troolius and Balanus (both well known, but according to 
Mr. Sowerby yet unnamed) and parts of the Mytilus Chiloengi*. 
Most of these shells, as well as an encrusting nullipora, partially 
retain tbeir colour ; but they axe brittle, and often stained red from 
the underlying brecciated mass of primary rocks ; some are packed 
together, either in black or reddish mould ; some lie loose on the 
bare rocky surfaces. The total number of these shells is immense ; 
they are less numerous, though still far &om rare, up a height of 
1 000 feet above the sea. On the summit of a hill, measured 557 feet, 
there was a small horizontal band of comminuted shells, of which 
tnant/ consisted (and likewise from lesser heights) of very young and 
small specimens of the still living Conoholepas, Tiochus, Patellae, 
Crepidulee, and of Mytilus Magellanicug (f ) :* several of these sheila 
were under a quarter of an inch in their greatest diameter. My atten- 
tion was called to this circumstance by a native fisherman, whom I 
took to look at these shell-heds ; and he ridiculed the notion of such 
small shells having been brought up for food ; nor could some of 
the species have adhered when alive to other larger shells. On 
another hill, some miles distant, and 648 feet high, I found shells of 
the Concholepas and Trochus, perfect, though vory old, with frag- 
ments of Mf/tilus Chiloenms, all embedded in reddish-brown mould ; I 
also found these same species, with fragments of an Echinus and of 
BalanuB psittacus on a hill 1000 feet high. Above this lioight, 
shells became very rare, though on a hill 1300 feet higli,t I collected 
the Concholepas, Trociius, Fissurella, and a PateOa. At these 
greater heights the shells are almost invariably embedded in mould, 
and sometimes are exposed only by tearing np bushes. These shells 
obTiously had a very much more ancient appearance than those from 
the lesser heights ; the apices of the Troclii were often worn down ; 
the little holes made by burrowing animals were greatly enlarged ; 
and the Concholepas was often perforated quite through, owing to the 
inner plates of shell having scaled off. 

Many of these shells, as I have said, were packed in, and were quite 
filled with, blackish or reddlsh-brovfn earth, resting on the granitic 
detritus. I did not doubt until lately that this mould was of purely 
terrestrial origin, when with a microscope examining some of it from 
the inside of a Concholepas from the height of about 1 00 feet, I found 
that it was in considerable part composed of minute fragments of the 

• Mr. Cuming informs me that be does not think tbis species identical with, 
tliflugh clDsoly reBembliug, the true M. Maffellanicui of the southom and emtern 
coast of South America : it lives abuadanti; on the coaat of Chile. 

t Measured by the baromeler: the highest point in the range behind Vil- 
psraiso, I found to be 162ti feet above the lerel of (be sea. 


spines, mouth-bones and shells of Ekshini, and of minute fragments, 
of chiefly very young patellae, mytili, and other species. I found 
similar microscopical fragments in earth filling up the central orifices 
of some large Fissurellee. This earth when crushed emits a sickly 
smell, precisely like that from garden-mould mixed with guano. 
Tlie earth accidentally preserved within the shells, from the greater 
heights, has the same general appearance, but it is a little redder ; it 
emits the same smell when rubbed, but I was unable to detect with 
certainty any marine remains in it. This earth resembles in general 
appearance, as before remarked, that capping the rocks of Quinquina 
in the Bay of Concepcion, on which beds of sea-shells lay. I have, 
also, shown that the black, peaty soil, in which the shells at the 
height of 350 feet at Chiloe were packed, contained many minute 
fragments of marine animals. These facts appear to me interesting, 
as they show that soils, which would naturally be considered of 
purely terrestrial nature, may owe their origin in chief part to 
the sea. 

Being well aware from what I have seen at Chiloe and in Tierra 
del Fuego, that vast quantities of shells arc carried during successive 
ages, £ur inland, where the inhabitants chiefly subsist on these pro- 
ductions, I am bound to state that at greater heights than 557 feet, 
where the number of very young and small shells proved that they 
had not been carried up for food, the only evidence of the shells 
having been naturally left by the sea, consists in their invariable and 
uniform appearance of extreme antiquity — in the distance of some of 
the places from the coast, in others being inaccessible from the 
nearest part of the beach, and in the absence of fresh water for men 
to drink — ^in the shells not lying in Jieaps^ — and, lastly, in the close 
similarity of the soil in which they are imbedded, to that which 
lower down can be unequivocally shown to be in great part formed 
from the debris of the sea animals.* 

With respect to the position in which the shells lie, I was re- 
peatedly struck here, at Concepcion, and at other places, with the 
frequency of their occurrence on the summits and edges either of 
separate hills, or of little flat headlands often terminating precipi- 
tously over the sea. The several above enumerated species of mol- 
lusca, which are found strewed on the surface of the land from a few 
feet above the level of the sea up to the height of 1300 feet, all now 
live either on the beach, or at only a few fathoms' depth : Mr. 

* In the Proceedings of the Geolog. Soc. vol. ii. p. 446, I have given a hrief 
account of the upraised shells on the coast of Chile, and have there stated that the 
proofs of elevation are not satisfactory above the height of 230 feet. I had at that 
time unfortunately overlooked a separate page written during my second visit to 
Valparaiso, describing the shells now in my poMession from the 557 feet hill ; I 
had not then unpacked my collections, and had not reconsidered the obvious ap- 
pearance of greater antiquity of the shells from the greater heights, nor had I 
at that time discovered the marine origin of the earth in which many of the shells 
are packed. Considering these facts, 1 do not now feel a shadow of doubt th«t 
the shells, at the height of 1300 feet, have been upraised by natural causes into 
their present position. 



Edmonston, in a letter to Prof. E. Foibea, states tliat iu dreilging in 
the Bay of Valparaiso, lie found the common speciee of Concliolepae, 
FiBSurella, Trochns, MonoceroB, Chitons, &c. living in abundance 
from the beach to a depth of aeven fathoms; and dead shells occurred 
only a few fathoms deeper. The common Turritella eingulata was 
dredged np living at even from ten to fifteen fathoms ; but this is a. 
'Species which 1 did not find bere amongst the upraised sheila. Con- 
Eidering this fact of the species being all littoral or sub-littoral, consider- 
ing their occurrence at various heights, tlieir vast numbers, and their 
generally comminuted slate, there can be little Joubt that they were 
bft on Butroessive beach-lines during a gradual elevation of the land. 
The presence, however, of so many whole and perfectly preserved shells 
appears at first a difficulty on this view, considering that the coast 
is exposed to the full force of an open ocean : but we may suppose, 
either that these shells were thrown during gales on Hat ledges of 
Tock just above the level of high water-mark, and that during tiie ele- 
vation of the land they were never again touched by the waves, or, 
that during earthquakes, such as those of 1822, 1835, and 1837, rocky 
reefs covered with marine-animals were at one blow uplifted above 
the future reach of the sea. This latter explanation is, perhaps, the 
most probable one with respect to the beds at Concepcion entirely 
composed of the Mytihtt CkiloetisU, a species wliicli lives below the 
lowest tides; and likewise with respect to the great beds, occurring 
both north and south of Valparaiso, of the Metodegma donaciforme, — 
ft shell which, as I am informed by Mr. Cuming, inlmbits sand- 
banks at the level of the lowest tides. But even in the case of shells 
having the habits of this Mytilus and Mesodesma, beds of them, 
wherever the sea gently throws up sand or mud, and thus protects 
its own accumulations, might be upraised by the slowest move- 
ment, and yet remain undisturbed by the waves of each new 
beach -line. 

It is worthy of remark, that nowhere near Valparaiso above the 
height of twenty feet, or rarely of fifty feet, I saw any lines of erosion 
on the solid rocks, or any beds of pebbles ; this, I believe, may be 
accounted for by the disintegrating tendency of most of the rocks in 
this neighbourhood. Kor is the land hero modelled into terraces : 
Mr. Alison, however, informs me, that on both aides of one narrow 
tavine, at the height of 300 feet above the sea, he found a succession 
of rather indistinct step-formed beaches, composed of broken shells, 
which together covered a space of about eighty feet vertical. 

I can add nothing to the accounts already puhlisiied of the eleva- 
tion of the land at Valparaiso,* which accompanied the earthquake 
of 1822 : but I heard it confidently asserted, that a sentinel on duty, 
immediately after the shock, saw a part of a fort, which previously 
was not within the line of liia vision, and this would indicate that the 
uplifting was not horizontal : it would even appear from some facts 

* Dr. Meyeu (Reiae urn Etde Th. I, a, 221) found in 1831 aea-weed and other 
bodiBS, still adhering to some rocks, whicli during the ahoclt of 1822 were lifted 
■bora ibe aea. 


collected by Mr. Alison, that only the eastern half of the bay was 
then elevated. Through the kindness of this same gentleman, I am 
able to give an interesting account of the changes of level, which have 
supervened here within historical periods: about the year 1680 a 
long sea-wall (or Prefil) was built, of which only a few fragments 
now remain ; up to the year 1817, the sea often broke over it, and 
washed the houses on the opposite side of the road (where the prison 
now stands); and even in 1819, Mr. J. Martin remembers walking 
at the foot of this wall, and being often obliged to climb over it to 
escape the waves. There now stands ( 1 834) on the sea- ward side of 
this wall, and between it and the beach, in one part a single row of 
houses, and in another part two rows with a street between them. 
This great extension of the beach in so short a time cannot be attri- 
buted simply to the accumulation of detritus ; for a resident engineer 
measured for me the height between the lowest part of the wall 
visible, and the present beach-line at spring-tides, and tlie difference 
was eleven feet six inches. Tlie church of S. Augustin is believed 
to have been built in 1614, and there is a tradition that the sea 
formerly flowed very near it : by levelling, its foundations were 
found to stand nineteen feet six inches above the highest beach- 
line; so that we see in a period of 220 years, the elevation cannot 
have been as much as nineteen feet six inches. From the facts given 
with respect to the sea-wall, and from the testimony of the elder inhabi- 
tants, it appears certain that the change in level began to be mani- 
fest about the year 1817. The only sudden elevation of which 
there is any record occurred in 1822, and this seems to have been 
less than three feet. Since that year, I was assured by several com- 
petent observers, that part of an old wreck, which is firmly embedded 
near the beach, has sensibly emerged ; hence here, as at Chiloe, a 
slow rise of the land appears to be now in progress. It seems highly 
probable that the rocks which are corroded m a band at the height 
of fourteen feet above the sea were acted on during the period, 
when by tradition the base of S. Augustin church, now nineteen 
feet six inches above the highest water-mark, was occasionally 
washed by the waves. 

Valparaw) to Coquimbo, — For the first seventy- five miles north of 
Valparaiso I followed th coast-road, and throughout this space I 
observed innumerable masses of upraised shells. About Quintero 
there are immense accumulations (worked for lime) of the Mesodesma 
donaeifonne, packed in sandy earth, they abound chiefly about 
fifteen feet above high-water, but shells are here found, according to 
Mr. Miers,* to a height of 500 feet, and at a distance of three 
leagues from the coast : I here noticed barnacles adhering to the 
rocks three or four feet above the highest tides. In the neighbour- 
hood of Plazilla and Catapilco, at heights of between 200 and 300 feet, 

* Travels in Chile, yol. i. pp. 458, 395. 1 received several similar accounts 
from the inhabitants, and was assured that there are many shells on the plain of 
Casm Blanca, between Valparaiso and Sutiago, at the height of 800 feet. 

D 2 


the number of comminuted shells, with some perfect ones, especially of 
the Mesodesma, packed in layers, was truly immense : the land at 
Plazilla had evidently existed as a bay, with abrupt rocky masses 
nsing out of it, precisely like the islets in the broken bays now in- 
denting this coast. On both sides of the rivers Ligua, Longotomo, 
Guachen, and Quilimari, there are plains of gravel about 200 feet 
in height, in many parts absolutely covered with shells. Close to 
Conchalee, a gravel-plain is fronted by a lower and similar plain 
about sixty feet in height, and this again is separated from the beach 
by a wide tract of low land : the surfaces of all three plains or ter- 
races were strewed with vast numbers of the Concholepas, Meso- 
desma, an existing Yenus, and other still existing littoral shells. 
The two upper terraces closely resemble in miniature the plains of 
Patagonia; and like them are furrowed by dry, flat-bottomed, 
winding valleys. Northward of this place I turned inland ; and 
therefore found no more shells : but the valleys of Chuapa, Illapel, and 
Limari, are bounded by gravel-capped plains, often including a lower 
terrace within. These plains send bay-like arms between and into 
the surrounding hills ; and they are continuously united with other 
extensive gravel-capped plains, separating the coast mountain-ranges 
from the Cordillera. 


A narrow fringe-like plain, gently inclined towards the sea, here 
extends for eleven miles along the coast, with arms stretching up 
between the coast-mountains, and likewise up the valley of Co- 
quimbo : at its southern extremity it is directly connected with the 
plain of Limari, out of which hills abruptly rise like islets, and other 
hills project like headlands on a coast. The surface of the fringe-like 
plain appears level, but differs insensibly in height, and greatly in 
composition, in different parts. 

At the mouth of the valley of Coquimho, the surface consists 
wholly of gravel, and stands from 300 to 350 feet above the level of 
the sea, being about 100 feet higher than in other parts. In these other 
and lower parts, the superficial beds consist of calcareous matter, and 
rest on ancient tertiary deposits hereafter to be described. The upper- 
most calcareous layer is cream-coloured, compact, smooth-fractured, 
sub-stalactiform, and contains some sand, earthy matter, and recent 
shells. It lies on, and sends wedge-like veins into,* a much more 
friable, calcareous, tuff-like variety ; and both rest on a mass about 
twenty feet in thickness, formed of fragments of recent shells, with a 
few whole ones, and with small pebbles firmly cemented together. 
This latter rock is called by the inhabitants losa^ and is used for build- 

♦ In mauy respects this upper hard, and the underlying more friahle varieties, 
resemble the great superficial beds at King George's Sound in Australia, which 
I have described in mv Geological Obseryations on Volcanic Islands, p. 144. 
There could be little doubt that the upper lajers there have been hardened by the 
action of rain on the friable calcareous matter, and that the whole masa has ori* 
ginated in the decay of minutely comminuted sea-shells and corals. 


ing : in many parts it is divided into strata, which dip at an angle of ten 
degrees seaward, and appear as if they had originally been heaped in 
successive layers (as may be seen on coral-reefs) on a steep beach. 
This stone is remarkable from being in parts entirely formed of empty, 
pellucid capsules or cells of calcareous matter, of the size of small seeds : 
a series of specimens unequivocally showed that all these capsules once 
contained minute rounded fragments of shells which have since been 
gradually dissolved by water percolating through the mass.* 

The shells embedded in the calcareous beds forming the surface of 
this fringe-like plain, at the height of from 200 to 250 feet above the 
sea, consist of. 

1. Venus opaca. 

2. Molinia Byronensis. 

3. Pecten purpuratus. 

4. Mesodesma donaciforme. 

5. Turritella cingulata. 

6. Monoceros costatum. 

7. Concbolepas Peruviana. 

8. Trochus (common Valparaisa spe- 

9. Calyptrsa Byronensis. 

Although these species are all recent, and are all found in the 
neighbouring sea, yet I was particularly struck with the difference in 
the proportional numbers of the several species, and of those now cast 
up on the present beach. I found only one specimen of the Con- 
cbolepas, and the Pecten was very rare, though both these shells are 
now the commonest kinds, with the exception, perhaps, of the 
Calyptrcea radians, of which I did not find one in the calcareous 
beds. I will not pretend to determine how far this difference in the 
proportional numbers depends on the age of the deposit, and how far 
on the difference in nature between the present sandy beaches and 
the calcareous bottom, on which the embedded shells must have 

On the bare surface of the calcareous plain, or in a thin covering 
of sand, there were lying at a height from 200 to 252 feet, many 
recent shells, which had a much fresher appearance than the em- 
bedded ones: fragments of the Concbolepas, and of the common 
Mytilus, still retaining a tinge of its colour, were numerous, and 
altogether there was manifestly a closer approach in proportional 
numbers to those now lying on the beach. In a mass of stratified, 
slightly agglutinated sand, which in some places covers up the lower 
half of the sea-ward escarpment of the plain, the included shells ap- 
peared to be in exactly the same proportional numbers with those on 
the beach. On one side of a steep-sided ravine, cutting through the 
plain behind Herradura Bay, I observed a narrow strip of stratified 
sand, containing similar shells in similar proportional numbers : a 
section of the ravine is represented in the following diagram, which 
serves also to show the general composition of the plain. I mention 
this case of the ravine chiefly because without the evidence of the 
marine shells in the sand, any one would have supposed that it had 
been hollowed out by simple alluvial action. 


* 1 have incidentally described this rock in a note, p. 145, of the above work 
on Volcanic Islands. 



[chap. II. 

Surface of plain, 252 feet above sea. 


Level of sea. 

A— Stratified sand, with recent shells in same proportions as on the beach, half filling up a 

B— Surface of plain with scattered shells in nearly same proportions as on the beach. 
C— Upper calcareous bed, ) with recent shells, but not in same proportions as on 

D— Lower calcareous sandy bed (Losa), ) the beach. 

E-Upper ferrugino-sandy old tertiary stratum, ) ^j^^ ^^j ^, ^^^j ^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^^ 
F— Lower old tertiary stratum, j ' ' 

The escarpment of the fringe-like plain, which stretches for eleven 
miles along the coast, is in some parts fronted by two or three 
narrow, step-formed terraces, one of which at Herradura Bay expands 
into a small plain. Its surface was there formed of gravel, cemented 
together by calcareous matter ; and out of it I extracted the following 
recent shells, which are in a more perfect condition than those from 
the upper plain : — 

1. Calyptraea radians. 9. Amphidesma rugulosum. The small 

2. Turritella cingulata. irregular wriukles of the posterior 

3. Oliva Peruviana. part of this shell are rather stronger 

4. Mures labiosus, var. than in the recent specimens of 

5. Nassa (identical with a living species). this species from Coquimho. (G. 

6. Solen Dombeiana. B. Sowerby.) 

7. Pecten purpuratus. 10. Balanus (identical with living spe- 

8. Venus Chilensis. cies). 

On the syenitic ridge, which forms the southern boundary of 
Herradura Bay and Plain, I found the Concholepas and Turritella 
cingulata (mostly in fragments) at the height of 242 feet above the 
sea. I could not have told that these shells had not formerly been 
brought up by man, if I had not found one very small mass of them 
cemented together in a friable calcareous tufF. I mention this fact 
more particularly, because I carefully looked, in many apparently 
favourable spots, at lesser heights on the side of this ridge, and could 
not find even the smallest fragment of a shell. This is only one 
instance out of many, proving that the absence of sea-shells on the 
surface, though in many respects inexplicable, is an argument of very 
little weight in opposition to other evidence on the recent elevation of 
the land. The highest point in this neighbourhood at which I found 
upraised shells of existing species, was on an inland calcareous plain, 
at the height of 252 feet above the sea. 

It would appear from Mr. Caldcleugh's researches,* that a rise has 
taken place here within the last century and a half ; and as. no sud- 
den change of level has been observed during the not very severe 
earthquakes, which have occasionally occurred here, the rising has 
probably been slow, like that now, or quite lately, in progress at 
Chiloe and at Valparaiso : there are three well-known rocks, called 

• Proceedings of the Geological Society, vol. ii. p. 446. 


the Pelicans, which in 1710, according to FeuilJee, were dfleurd^eau^ 
but now are said to stand twelve feet above low water-mark : the 
spring- tides rise here only five feet. There is another rock, now nine 
feet above high water- mark, which in the time of Frezier and of 
Fenillee rose only five or six feet out of water. Mr. Caldcleugh, 
I may add, also shows (and I received similar accounts) that there 
has been a considerable decrease in the soundings during the last 
twelve years in the Bays of Coquimbo, Concepcion, Valparaiso, and 
Guasco ; but as in th§se cases it is nearly impossible to distinguish 
between the accumulation of sediment and the upheavement of the 
bottom, I have not entered into any details. 

Valley of Coquimbo, — The narrow coast-plain sends, as before 
stated, an arm, or more correctly a fringe on both sides, but chiefly 
on the southern side, several miles up the valley. The^e fringes are 
worn into steps or terraces, which present a most remarkable ap- 
pearance, and have been compared (though not very correctly) by 
Capt. Basil Hall, to the parallel roads of Glen Roy in Scotland : 
their origin has been ably discussed by Mr. Lyell.* The first sec- 
tion which I will give, is not drawn across the valley, but in an east 
and west line at its mouth, where the step- formed terraces debouch 
and present their very gently inclined surfaces towards the Pacific. 


864 feet. (E.) 


■xi!^ D. (c.) 


. 180 feet. . (B.) (J. ) 

Level of Sea, Town of Coquiinbu. 

Vertical scale -^th of inch to 100 feet: horixontal scale much contracted. 


The bottom plain (A) is about a mile in width, and rises quite 
insensibly from the beach to a height of twenty-five feet at the foot 
of the next plain : it is sandy and abundantly strewed with shells. 

Plain or terrace (B) is of small extent, and is almost concealed by 
the houses of the town, as is likewise the escarpment of terrace (C). 
On both sides of a ravine, two miles south of the town, there are two 
little terraces, one above the other, evidently corresponding with B 
and C ; and on them marine remains of the species already enumerated 
were plentiful. Terrace (E) is very narrow, but quite distinct and 
level ; a little southward of the town there were traces of a terrace 
(D) intermediate between (E) and (C). Terrace (F) is part of the 
fringe- like plain, which stretches for the eleven miles along the coast; 
it is here composed of shingle and is 100 feet higher than where 
composed of calcareous matter. This greater height is obviously due 
to the quantity of shingle, which at some former period has been 
brought down the great valley of Coquimbo. 

* Principles of Geologj (Ist edit.), vol. iii. p. 131. 


ConsideriDg the many shells strewed over the terraces (A) (B) and 
(C), and a few miles southward on the calcareous plain, which is 
continuously united with the upper step-like plain (F), there cannot, 
I apprehend, be any doubt, that these six terraces have been formed 
by the action of the sea ; and that their five escarpments mark so 
many periods oP comparative rest in the elevatory movement, during 
which the sea wore into the land. The elevation between these 
periods may have been sudden and on an average not more than 
seventy-two feet each time, or it may have been gradual aud insen- 
sibly slow. From the shells on the three lower terraces, and on the 
upper one, and I may add on the three gravel-capped terraces at 
Conchalee, being all littoral and sub-littoral species, and from the 
analogical facts given at Valparaiso, and lastly from the evidence of a 
slow rising late^ or still in progress here, it appears to me far more 
probable, that the movement has been slow. The existence of these 
successive escarpments, or old cliff-lines, is in another respect highly 
instructive, for they show periods of comparative rest in the elevatory 
movement, and of denudation, which would never even have been 
suspected from a close examination of many miles of coast southward 
of Coquirabo. 

We come now to the terraces on the opposite sides of the east and 
west valley of Coquimbo : the following section is taken in a north 
and south line across the valley at a point about three miles from the 
sea. The valley measured from the edges of the escarpments of the 
upper plain (F) (F) is about a mile in width ; but from the bases 
of the bounding mountains it is from three to four miles wide. The 
terraces markea with an interrogative do not exist on that side of 
the valley, but are introduced merely to render the diagram more 






V i 









E F 



Level of Sea. 

Vertical scale ^th of inch to 100 feet : horizontal scale much contracted : terraces marked with 
(?) do not occur on that side of the valley, and are introduced only to make the diagram more 
intelligible. A river and bottom-plain of valley ; C £ and F, on the south side of valley, are 
respectively, 197, 377, and 420 feet above the level of the sea. 

A A The bottom oi the valley, believed to be 100 feet above the sea : it is con- 
tinuously united with the lowest plain (A) of the former section. 

(B) This terrace higher up the valley expands considerably; seaward it is soon 
lost, its escarpment being united with that of (C) : it is not developed at all 
on Uie south side of the valley. 

(C) This terrace like the last, is considerably expanded higher up the valley. 
These two terraces apparently correspond with B and C of the former section. 

(D) is not well developed in the line of this section ; but seaward it expands 
into a plain : it is not present on the south side of the valley ; but it is met 
with, as stated under the former section, a little south of the town. 


(£) is well developed on the sooth side, but sbsent on the north side of the vsllej : 
though not continuonslj united with (E) of the former section, it apparenUj 
corresponds with it. 

(F) This is the surface-plain, and is continuously united with that which stretches 
like a fringe along the coast. In ascending the valley it gradually becomes 
narrower, and is at last, at the distance of about ten miles from the sea, re- 
duced to a row of flat-topped patches on the sides of the mountains. None 
of the lower terraces eitend so far up the valley. 

These five terraces are formed of sliingle and sand ; three of thcm^ 
as remarked by Capt. B. Hall (namely, B, C, and F), are much 
more conspicnous than the others. From the marine remains co- 
piously strewed at the mouth of the valley on the lower terraces, 
and southward of the town on the upper one, they are, as before 
remarked, undoubtedly of marine origin ; but within the valley, and 
this fact well deserves notice, at a distance of from only a mile and a 
half to three or four miles from the sea, I could not find even a 
fragment of a shell. 

On the inclination of the terraces of Coquimho^ and on the upper 
and basal edges of their escarpments not being horizontal* — The sur- 
faces of these terraces slope in a slight degree, as shown by the two 
last sections taken conjointly, both towards the centre of the valley, 
and seawards towards its mouth. This double or diagonal inclina- 
tion, which is not the same in the several terraces, is, as we shall 
immediately see, of simple explanation. There are, however, some 
other points which at first appear by no means obvious^ — namely, 
first, that each terrace, taken in its whole breadth from the summit- 
edge of one escarpment to the base of that above it, and followed up 
the valley, is not horizontal ; nor have the several terraces, when fol- 
lowed up the valley, all the same inclination ; thus I found the 
terraces C, £, and F, measured at a point about two miles from the 
mouth of the valley, stood severally between fifty-six to seventy-seven 
feet higher than at the mouth. Again, if we look to any one lino of cliff 
or escarpment, neither its summit-edge nor its base is horizontal. On 
the theory of the terraces having been formed during a slow and 
equable rise of the land, with as many intervals of rest as there are 
escarpments, it appears at first very surprising that horizontal lines 
of some kind should not have been left on the land. 

The direction of the diagonal inclination in the different terraces 
being different, — in some being directed more towards the middle of 
the valley, ia others more towards its mouth, — naturally foUows on 
the view of each terrace, being an accumulation of successive beach- 
lines round bays, which must have been of different forms and sizes 
when the land stood at different levels : for if we look to the actual 
beach of a narrow creek, its slope is directly towards the middle ; 
whereas, in an open bay, or slight concavity on a coast, the slope is 
towards the mouth, that is, almost directly seaward ; hence as a 
bay alters in form and size, so will the direction of the inclination of 
its successive beaches become changed. 

If it were possible to trace any one of the many beach-lines, com- 


posing each sloping terrace, it would of course be horizontal ; but the 
only lines of demarcation are the summit and basal edges of the 
escarpments. Now the summit-edge of one of these escarpments 
marks the furthest line or point to which the sea has cut into a mass 
of gravel sloping seaward ; and as the sea will generally have greater 
power at the mouth than at the protected head of a bay, so will the 
escarpment at the mouth be cut deeper into the land, and its summit- 
edge be higher ; consequently it will not be horizontal. With respect 
to the basal or lower edges of the escarpments, from picturing in 
one's mind ancient bays entirely surrounded at successive periods by 
cliff-formed shores, one's first impression is that they at least neces- 
sarily must be horizontal, if the elevation has been horizontal. But 
here is a fallacy : for after the sea has, during a cessation of the 
elevation, worn cliffs all round the shores of a bay, when the move- 
ment recommences, and especially if it recommences slowly, it might 
well happen that, at the exposed mouth of the bay, the waves might 
continue for some time wearing into the land, whilst in the protected 
and upper parts, successive beach-lines might be accumulating in a 
sloping surface or terrace at the foot of the cliffs which had been 
lately reached: hence, supposing the whole line of escarpment to be 
finally uplifted above the reach of the sea, its basal line or foot near 
the mouth will run at a lower level than in the upper and protected 
parts of the bay ; consequently this basal line will not be horizontal. 
And it has already been shown that the summit-edges of each escarp- 
ment will generally be higher near the mouth (from the seaward 
sloping land being there most exposed and cut into) than near the 
head of the bay ; therefore the total height of the escarpments will 
be greatest near the mouth ; and further up the old bay or valley 
they will on both sides generally thin out and die away : I have ob- 
served this thinning out of the successive escarpment at other places 
besides Coquimbo ; and for a long time I was quite unable to under- 
stand its meaning. The following rude diagram will perhaps render 
what I mean more intelligible ; it represents a bay in a district which 
has begun slowly rising. Before the movement commenced, it is 
supposed that the waves had been enabled to eat into the land and 
form cliffs, as far up, but with gradually diminishing power, as the 
points A A : after the movement had commenced and gone on for 
a little time, the sea is supposed still to have retained the power, at 
the exposed mouth of the bay, of cutting down and into the land as it 
slowly emerged ; but in the upper parts of the bay it is supposed soon 
to have lost this power, owing to the more protected situation and to 
the quantity of detritus brought down by the river ; consequently low 
land was there accumulated. As this low land was formed during 
a slow elevatory movement, its surface will gently slope upwards from 
the beach on all sides. Now, let us imagine the bay, not to make the 
diagram more complicated, suddenly converted into a valley : the 
basal line of the cliffs will of course be horizontal, as far as the beach is 
now seen extending in the diagram ; but in the upper part of the valley, 
this line will be higher, the level of the district having been raised 

whilst the low land vaa accumulating at tlic foot of the inland cMSa. 
It, instead of the ba^ in the diagram being suddenly converted into a 
valley, we Buppoae with much more probability it to be upraised alowly, 
then the waves in the upper parti of tlio bay, will continue very gra- 
dually to fail to reach the cliffa, which are now in the diagram repre- 
ssDted as washed by the sea, and which, consequently, will be left 
standing higher and higlier above its level ; whilst at the still exposed 
month, it might well happen that the waves might be enabled to cut 
de^er and deeper, both down and into the clifi's, as the land slowly rose. 

The greater or lesser destroying power of the waves at the mouths 
of successive bays, comparatively witli this same power in their upper 
and protected parts, will vary as the bays become changed in form 
and size, and therefore at different level)', at their mouths and heads, 
mors or less of tho surfaces between the escarpments (that is, the 
accumulated beach-lines or terraces) will be left undestroyed : from 
what has gone before we can seo that, according as the elevatory 
moTemenls after each cessation recommence more or leas slowly, 
according to the amount of detritus delivered by the river at the 
heads of the successive bays, and according to the degree of protection 
afforded by their altered forms, so will a greater or less extent of ter- 
race be accumulated in the upper part, to which there will be no sur- 
face at a conesponding level at the mouth : hence we can perceive 
why no one terrace, taKen in its whole breadth and followed up the 
valley, is horizontal, though each separate beach-line must have been 
so; and why the inclination of the several terraces, both transversely, 
and longitudinally up the valley, is not alike. 

I have entered into this case in some detail, for I was long per- 

Elexed (and others have felt the same difficulty) in understanding 
ow, on the idea of an equable elevation with the sea at intervals 
eating into the land, it came, that neither the tenaces nor the upper 


nor lower edges of the escarpments were horizontal. Along lines of 
coast, even of great lengths, such as that of Patagonia, if they are 
nearly uniformly exposed, the corroding power of the waves will be 
checked and conquered by the elevatory movement, as often as it 
recommences, at about the same period ; and hence the terraces, or 
accumulated beach-lines, will commence being formed at nearly the 
same levels : at each succeeding period of rest, they will, also, be 
eaten into at nearly the same rate, and consequently there will be a 
much closer coincidence in their levels and inclinations, than in the 
terraces and escarpments formed round bays with their different parts 
very differently exposed to the action of the sea. It is only where 
the waves are enabled, after a long lapse of time, slowly to corrode 
hard rocks, or to throw up, owing to the supply of sediment being 
small and to the surface being steeply inclined, a narrow beach or 
mound, that we can expect, as at Glen Roy in Scotland,* a distinct 
line marking an old sea-level, and which will be strictly horizontal, if 
the subsequent elevatory movements have been so : for in these cases 
no discernible effects will be produced, except during the long inter- 
vening periods of rest ; whereas in the case of step-formed coasts, 
such as those described in this and the preceding chapter, the ter- 
races themselves are accumulated during the slow elevatory process, 
the accumulation commencing sooner m protected than in exposed 
situations, and sooner where there is copious supply of detritus than 
where there is little ; on the other hand, the steps or escarpments are 
formed during the stationary periods, and are more deeply cut dovni 
and into the coast-land, in exposed than in protected situations ; — ^the 
cutting action, moreover, being prolonged in the most exposed parts, 
both during the beginning and ending, if slow, of the upward 

Although in the foregoing discussion I have assumed the elevation 
to have been horizontal, it may be suspected, from the considerable 
sea- ward slope of the terraces, both up the valley of S, Cruz and up 
that of Coquimbo, that the rising has been greater inland than nearer 
the coast. There is reason to believe,t from the effects produced on 
the water-course of a mill during the earthquake of 1822 in Chile, 
that the upheaval one mile inland was nearly double, namely, be- 
tween five and seven feet, to what it was on the Pacific. We know, 
also, from the admirable researches of M. Bravais,J that in Scandinavia 
the ancient sea-beaches gently slope from the interior mountain-ranges 
towards the coast, and that they are not parallel one to the other, 
showing that the proportional difference in the amount of elevation on 
the coast and in the interior, varied at different periods. 

Coquimbo to Guasco, — In this distance of ninety miles, I found in 
almost every part marine shells up to a height of apparently from 200 
to 300 feet. The desert plain near Chores is thus covered ; it is 

* Philosophical Traasaclions, 1839, p. 39. 

t Mr. Place in the Quarterly Journal of Science, 1824, vol. xvii, p. 42. 

X Voyages de la Comm. du Nord, &c.: also, Comptes Rendus, Oct. 1842. 


bonnded by the escarpment of a higher plain, consisting of pale- 
oolonied, earthy, calcareous stone, like that of Coquinibo, with Uie 
same recent sheJls embedded in it. In the valley of Chaneral, a 
similar bed occurs in which, difTercntly from in that of Coquinibo, 
I observed many shells of the Concholepas : near Guasco the saiue 
calcareous bed is likewise met with. 

In the Talley of Qnasco, the step-furmrd terraces of gravel are dis- 
played in a more striking manner than at any other point. I followed 
the valley for thirty-seven miles (as reckoned by tlie inhabitants) 
from the coast to Ballenar : in nearly the whole of this distance, five 
grand terraces, running at corresponding licights on both Hides of the 
broad valley, are more conspicuous than the three iM'ftt dovrloped 
ones at Coqnimbo. They give to the landKcape the niont hinf^ular and 
formal aspect; and when the clouds hung low, hiding the neigh- 
bouring mountains, the valley reHcnihlcd in the most striking manner 
that of Santa Cruz. Tlie whole thickness of these terraces or plains 
seems composed of gravel, rather firmly aprgregated together, >\itli 
occasional parting seams of clay : the pebhliM on the upper plain are 
often white-washed with an aluminous nubstancc, as in Patagonia. 
Near the coast I observed many sea-Hliells on the lower plains. At 
Fre3rrina (twelve miles up the valley), there are six terraces beside 
the bottom-surface of the valley : the two lower ones are here only 
from 200 to 800 yards in wi<ith, but higher up the valley they 
expand into plains : the third terrace is generally narrow : the fourth 
I saw only in one place, but there it was distinct for the length of a 
mile: the fifth is very broad : the sixth is the sunnnit-plain, which 
expands inland into a great basin. Not having a barometer with me, 
I did not ascertain the height of these plains, but they a])]>earcd con- 
siderably higher than those at Coquinibo. Their width varies much, 
sometimes being very broad, and bometime? contracting into mere 
fringes of separate, fiat-topped projections, and then quite disappearing : 
at the one spot, where the fourth terrace was visible, the whole six 
terraces were cut off for a short space by one single, bold, escar])ment. 
Near Ballenar (thirty-seven miles from the mouth of the river), the 
valley between the summit-edges of the highest escarpments is several 
miles in width, and the five terraces on both sides are broadly deve- 
loped : the highest cannot be less than GOO feet above the bed of the 
river, which itself must, I conceive, be some hundred feet above the 
sea. A north and south section across the valley in this part is here 


North. South. 


Town of Ballenar. 

On the northern side of the valley the summit-plain of gravel (A) 


has two escarpments, one facing the valley, and the other a great 
basin-like plain (B), which stretches for several leagues northward. 
This narrow plain (A) with the double escarpment, evidently once 
formed a spit or promontory of gravel, projecting into and dividing two 
great bays, and subsequently was worn on both sides into steep cli£fs. 
Whether the several escarpments in this valley, were formed during 
the same stationary periods, with those of Coquimbo, I will not pre* 
tend to conjecture ; but if so, the intervening and subsequent eleva- 
tory movements must have been here much more energetic, for these 
plains certainly stand at a much higher level, than do those of Co- 

Copiapo, — From Guasco to Copiapo, I followed the road near the 
foot of the Cordillera, and therefore saw no upraised remains. At the 
mouth, however, of the valley of Copiapo there is a plain, estimated 
by Meyen* between fifty and seventy feet in height, of which the 
upper part consists chiefly of gravel, abounding with recent shells, 
chiefly of the Concholepas, Venus Dombeyi and Calpptrcsa trochi- 
formis. A little inland, on a plain estimated by myself at nearly 
300 feet, tlie upper stratum was formed of broken shells and sand 
cemented by white calcareous matter, and abounding with embedded 
recent shells, of which the Mulinia Byronensis and Pecten purpuratu$ 
were the most numerous. The lower plain stretches for some miles 
southward, and for an unknown distance northward, but not far up 
the valley; its seaward face, according to Meyen, is worn into caves 
above the level of the present beach. The valley of Copiapo is much 
less steeply inclined and less direct in its course, than any other valley 
which I saw in Chile ; and its bottom does not generally consist of 
gravel: there are no step-formed terraces in it, except at one spot 
near the mouth of the great lateral valley of the Despoblado where 
there are only two, one above the other : lower down the valley, in 
one place I observed that the solid rock had been cut into the shape 
of a beach, and was smoothed over with shingle. 

Northward of Copiapo, in lat. 26° S., the old voyager Wafer f 
found immense numbers of sea-shells some miles from the coast. At 
Cobija (lat. 22° 34'), M. d'Orbigny observed beds of gravel and 
broken shells, containing ten species of recent shells ; he also found 
on projecting points of porphyry, at a height of 300 feet, shells of 
Concholepas, Chiton, Calyptrsea, Fissurella, and Patella, still at- 
tached to the spots on which they had lived. M. d'Orbigny argues 
from this fact, that the elevation must have been great and sudden : j: 

* Reise nm die Erde. Tb. I. s. 372, et seq. 

t Burnett's Collection of Voyages, vol. iv. p. 193. 

X Voyage. Part. G6olog. p. 94. M. d*Orbigny (p. 98) in summing up, says, 
" S'il est certain (as be believes) que tons les terrains en pente, compris entre la 
mer et les montagnes sont I'ancien rivage de la mer, on doit supposer, pour Ten- 
semble, un exbaussement qui ne serait pas moindre de deux cent metres ; 11 fau- 

drait supposer encore que ce soulevement n'a point kik graduel ; mais qull 

r^ulterait d*une seule et m^me cause fortuite," &c. Now, on tbis vievr, wben 
tbe sea was forming tbe beacb at tbe foot of tbe mountains, many gbells of Con- 


to me it appears far more probable that the movement was gradual, 
with small starts as during the earthquakes of 1822 and 1835, by 
which whole beds of shells attached to the rocks were lifted above 
the subsequent reach of the waves. M. d'Orbigny also found rolled 
pebblea, extending up the mountain to a height of at least 600 
feet. At Iquique (lat. 20^ 1 2' S.), in a great accumulation of sand, 
at a height estimated between 150 and 200 feet, I observed many 
large sea- shells which I thought could not have been blown up by 
the wind to that height. 3Ir. J. H. Blake has lately* described these 
shells: he states that *Mnland toward the mountains they forma 
compact uniform bed, scarcely a trace of the original sliells being dis- 
cernible ; but as we approach the shore, the forms become gradually 
more distinct till we meet with the living shells on the coast." 
This interesting observation, showing by the gradual decay of the 
shells how slowly and gradually the const must have been uplifted, we 
shall presently see fully confirmed at Lima. At Arica (lat. 18° 28'), 
M. d'Orbigny t found a great range of sand-dunes, fourteen leagues in 
length, stretching towards Tacna, including recent shells and bones of 
Cetacea, and reaching up to a height of 300 feet above the sea. 
Lieut. Freyer has given some more precise facts : he states J that the 
Morro of Arica is about 400 feet high ; it is worn into obscure ter- 
races, on the bare rock of which he found Balini and Millepora; ad- 
hering. At the height of between twenty and thirty feet the shells 
and corals were in a quite fre>h state, but at fifty feet they were 
much abraded ; there were, however, traces of organic remains at 

greater heights. On the road from Tacna to Arcquipa, between 
oquimbo and Moquegua, Mr. M. Hamilton § found numerous recent 
sea-shells in sand, at a considerable distance from the sea. 

Northward of Arica, I know nothing of the coast for about a 
space of five degrees of latitude ; but near Callao, the port of 
Lima, there is abundant and very curious evidence of the elevation of 
the land. The island of San Lorenzo is upwards of 1000 feet high; 
the basset edges of the strata composing the lower part are worn into 
three obscure, narrow, sloping steps or ledges, which can be seen 
only when standing on them : they probably resemble those described 
by Lieut. Freyer at Arica. The surface of the lower ledge, which 
extends from a low clifif overhanging the sea to the foot of the next 
upper escarpment, is covered by an enormous accumulation, of recent 

cholepas, Chiton, Calyptrspa, Fissurella, and Patella (wbich are known to live close 
to the beach), were attached to rocks at a depth of 300 feet, and at a depth of 600 
feet several of these same shells were accumulating in great numbers in horizontal 
beds. From what I have myself seen in dredging, I believe this to be improbable 
in the highest degree, if not impossible; and I think every one who has read 
Prof. E. Forbes's excellent researches on the subject, will without hesitation agree 
in this conclusion. 

* Silliman's Amer. Jour, of Science, vol. xliv. p. 2, 

t Voyage, &c. p. 101. 

t In a Letter to Mr. Lyell, Geolog. Proc. vol. ii, p. 179. 

§ Edin. New Phil. Jour. vol. zxx. p. 155. 


shells.* The bed is level, and in some parts more than two feet in 
thickness ; I traced it over a space of one mile in length, and heard of 
it in other places: the uppermost part is eighty-five feet by the 
barometer above high-water mark. The shells are packed together, 
but not stratified ; they are mingled with earth and stones, and are 
generally covered by a few inches of detritus ; they rest on a mass of 
nearly angular fragments of the underlying sandstone, sometimes 
cemented together by common salt. I collected eighteen species of shells 
of all ages and sizes. Several of the univalves had evidently long lain 
dead at the bottom of the sea, for their insides were incrusted with 
Balani and Serpulee. All, according to Mr. G. B. Sowerby, are recent 
species : they consist of — 

9. Purpura chocolatta, Duclos. 

10. Peruviana, Gray. 

11. labiata Gray. 

12. buzea (Murex, Brod.) 

13. Concholepas Peruviana. 

14. Nassa, related to reticulata. 

15. Triton rudis, Brod. 

16. Trochus, not yet described, but well 

known and very common. 
17 and 18. Balanus, two species, both 
common on the coast. 

1. Mytilus Magellanicus : same as that 

round at Valparaiso, and there stated 
to be probably distinct from the 
true M, Magellanicus of the east 

2. Venus costellata, Sowb. Zool. Proc. 

3. Pecten purpura tus, Lam. 

4. Chama, probably ecbinulata, Brod, 

5. Calyptrsea Byronensis, Gray. 

6. radians (Trochus, Lam,) 

7. Fissurella affinis. Gray. 

8. biradiata. Trembly. 

These upraised shells appear to be nearly in the same proportional 
numbers, with the exception of the Crepidulse being more numerous, 
with those on the existing beach. The state of preservation of the 
diflferent species diflFered much ; but most of them were much cor- 
roded, brittle, and bleached : the upper and lower surfaces of the 
Concholepas had generally quite scaled off: some of the Trochi and 
Fissurellee still partially retained their colours. It is remarkable that 
these shells, taken all together, have fully as ancient an appearance, 
although the extremely arid climate appears highly favourable for 
their preservation, as those from 1,300 feet at Valparaiso, and Cer- 
tainly a more ancient appearance than those from 500 or 600 feet 
from Valparaiso and Concepcion ; at which places I have seen grass 
and other vegetables actually growing out of the shells. Many of 
the univalves here at San Lorenzo were filled with and united to- 
gether by pure salt, probably left by the evaporation of the sea- 
spray, as the land slowly emerged.f On the highest parts of the 

* M. Chevalier, in the Voyage of the Bonite, observed these shells ; but his 
specimens were lost. — L'Institut, 1838, p. 151. 

f The underlying sandstone contains true layers of salt ; so that the salt may 
possibly hare come from the beds in the higher parts of the island ; but I think 
more probably from the sea-spray. It is generally asserted that rain never falls 
on the coast of Peru ; but this is not quite accurate ; for, on several days, during 
our visit, the so-called Peruvian dew fell in sufficient quautity to make the streets 
muddy, and it would certainly have washed so deliquescent a substance as salt 
into the soil. I state this because M. d'Orbigny, in discussing an analogous sub- 
ject, supposes that I had forgotten that it never rains on this whole line of coast. 
See Ulloa*s Voyage (vol. ii. Eng. Trans, p. 67) for an account of the muddy 
streets of Lima, and on the continuance of the mists during the whole winter. 


ledge, small fragments of the shells were mingled with, and evidently 
in process of reduction into, a yellowish- white, soft, calcareous powder, 
tasting strongly of salt, and in some places as fine as prepared 
medicmal chalk. 

Foml remains of Human Art. ^^In the midst of these shells on San 
Lorenzo, I found light corallines, the homy ovule-cases of mollusca, 
roots of sea- weed,* bones of birds, the heads of Indian com and other 
vegetable matter, a piece of woven rushes, and another of nearly 
decayed cotton string. I extracted these remains by digging . a 
hole, on a level spot ; and they had all indisputably been embedded 
with the shells. I compared the plaited rush, the cotton string, and 
Indian com, at the house of an antiquarian, with similar objects, 
taken from the Huaoas or burial-grounds of the ancient Peruvians, 
and they were undistinguishable ; it should be observed that the 
Peravians used string only of cotton. The small quantity of sand 
or gravel with the shells, the absence of large stones, the width and 
thickness of the bed, and the time requisite for a ledge to be cut into 
the sandstone, all show that these remains were not thrown high up by 
an earthquake- wave : on the other hand these facts, together with 
the number of dead shells, and of floating objects, both marine and 
terrestrial, both natural and human, render it almost certain that 
they were accumulated on a true beach, since upraised eighty- five 
feet, and upraised this much since Indian man inhabited Peru, The 
elevation may have been, either by several small sudden starts, or 
quite gradual; in this latter case the unrolled shells having been 
thrown up during gales beyond the reach of the waves which after- 
wards broke on the slowly emerging land. I have made these re- 
marks, chiefly because I was at first surprised at the complete 
difference in nature, between this broad, smooth, upraised bed of 
shells, and the present shingle-beach at the foot of the low sandstone- 
cliffs; but a beach formed, when the sea is cutting into the land, 
as is shown now to be the case by the low bare sandstone-clifis, 
ought not to be compared with a beach accumulated on a gently 
inclined rocky surface, at a period when the sea (probably owing to 
the elevatory movement in process) was not able to eat into the 
land. With respect to the mass of nearly angular, salt- cemented 
fragments of sandstone, which lie under the shells, and which are 
so unlike the materials of an ordinary sea-beach ; I think it pro- 
bable, after having seen the remarkable efiectsf of the earthquake of 
1835, in absolutely shattering as if by gunpowder the surface of the 
primary rocks near Concepcion, that a smooth bare surface of stone 

Rain, also, falls at rare intervals even in the driest districts, as, for instance, dur- 
ing forty days, in 1726, at Cbocope (7° 46'); this rain entirely ruined (UUoa, &c. 
p« 18) the mud-bouses of the inhabitants. 

* Mr. Smith of Jordanbill found pieces of sea-weed in an upraised pleisto- 
cene deposit in Scotland. See his aamirable Paper in the Edin. New Phil. Jour- 
nal, vol. xxv. p. 384. 

1 1 have described this in my Journal of Researches, p. 303, 2Qd edit* 




was left by the sea covered by the sliollj nins<i, and that after- f 
I -wards wlien upraised, it was superfinally shattered by the as 
|.-dioct{s so often esperionced here. 

The very low laad BUROunding the towu of Callao, is to thai 
south joined by an obsciiie escarpment to a higher plain, (south of Bella.! 
-Tieta) which stretches along the coast for a length of about eight J 
miles. This plain appears to the eye quite level; but the seM»4 
difis show that its height varies (as far as 1 could estimate) hma, I 
70 to 120 feet. It is composed of thin, sometimes waving, beds I 
of clay, often of bright-red and yellow colours, of layers of imputa I 
sand, and in one part with a great stratified mass of granitic pebblea. I 
These beds are capped by a remarkable mass, varying from two to I 
six feet in thickness, of reddieli loam or mud, containing manjr J 
scattered and broken fragments of recent marine shells, sometimes I 
though rarely single large round pebble, mote frequently short irre- I 
gular layers of fine gravel, and very many pieces of red coarse earth- 1 
enware, which from their curvatures must onco liave formed parte I 
of large vessels. The earthenware is of Indian manufacture : and 1 
I found exactly similar pieces accidentally included within the I 
bricks, of which tlic noiglibouring ancient Peruvian burial-mound* 4 
are built. These fragments abounded in such numbers in certain I 
spots, that it appeared as if waggon-loads of earthenware bad been j 
smashed to pieces. The broken sea-shells and pottery are strewed I 
both on the surface, and throughout the whole thickness of this t 
upper loamy mass. I found them wherever I examined the cliffs, for I 
a spaoc of between two and three miles, and for half a mile inland; 
and there can be littlo doubt that this same bed extends with a 
smooth surface several miles farther over the entire plain. Besides 
the little included irregular layers of small pebbles, there are occa- 
sionally very obscure traces of strati fl cation. 

At one of the highest parts of the cliff, estimated 120 feet abova 
the sea, where a little ravine came down, there were two sections, a| f 
right angles to each other, of the floor of a shed or building. la ■ j 
both sections or faces, two rows, one over the other, of large round 
stones conld be distinctly seen ; they were packed close together on an 
artificial layer of sand two inches thick, which had been placed on 
the natural clay-beds ; the round stones were covered by three 
feet in thickness of the loam with broken sea-shells and pottery. 
Hence, before this widely spread-out bed of loom was deposited, it is 
certain that the plain was inhabited ; and it is probable, from the 
broken vessels being so much more abundant in certain spots than 
in others, and from the underlying elay being fitted for their manu- 
facture, that the kilns stood here. 

The smoothness and wide extent of the plain, the bulk of matter 
deposited, and the obscure traces of stratification seem to indicate 
that the loam was deposited under water ; on the other hand the 
presence of sea-shells, their broken state, the pebbles of various sizes, 
and the artificial floor of round stones, almost prove that it must 
have originated in a rush of water from the sea over the land. The 


height of the phun, namely, 120 feet, renders it improbable that an 
earthqaake-wave, Tast as some have here been, could have broken 
over the surface at its present level ; but when the land stood eighty- 
five feet lower, at the period when the shells were thrown up on the 
ledge at S. Lorenzo, and when as we know man inhabited this dis- 
trict, such an event might well have occurred ; and if we may fur- 
ther suppose, that the plain was at that time converted into a 
temporary lake, as actually occurred, during the earthquakes of 1713 
and 1746^ in the case of the low land round Callao owing to its being 
encircled by a high shingle-beach, all the appearances above described 
will be perfectly explained. I must add, that at a lower level near 
the point where the present low land round Callao joins the higher 
plain, there are appearances of two distinct deposits both apparently 
formed by debacles : in the upper one, a horse's tooth and a dog's jaw 
were embedded ; so that both must have been formed after the settle- 
ment of the Spaniards : according to Acosta, the earthquake- wave of 
1586 rose eighty- four feet. 

The inhabitants of Callao do not believe, as far as I could ascer- 
tain, that any change in level is now in progress. The great frag- 
ments of brickwork, which it is asserted can be seen at the bottom 
of the sea, and which have been adduced as a proof of a late subsi- 
dence, are, as I am informed by Mr. Gill, a resident engineer, loose 
fragments ; this is probable, for I found on the beach, and not near 
the remains of any building, masses of brick-work, three and four 
feet square, which had been washed into their present places, and 
smoothed over with shingle, during the earthquake of 1746. The 
spit of land, on which the ruins of Old Callao stand, is so extremely 
low and narrow, that it is improbable in the highest degree that a 
town should have been founded on it in its present state; and I 
have lately heard* that M. Tschudi has come to the conclusion, 
from a comparison of old with modem charts, that the coast both 
south and north of Callao has subsided. I have shown that tlie 
island of San Lorenzo has been upraised eighty-five feet since the 
Peruvians inhabited this country ; and whatever may have been the 
amount of recent subsidence, by so much more must the elevation 
have exceeded the eighty- five feet. In several placesf in this neigh- 
bourhood, marks of sea- action have been observed : UUoa gives a 
detailed account of such appearances at a point five leagues northward 
of Callao : Mr. Cniikshank found near Lima, successive lines of sea- 
difPs, with rounded blocks at their bases, at a height of 700 feet above 
the present level of the sea. 

* I am indebted for this fact to Dr. £. Dieffenbacb. I may add tbat there is a 
tradition, that the islands of San Lorenzo and Fronton were once joined, and that 
the channel between S. Lorenzo and the mainland, now above two miles in width, 
was so narrow that cattle used to swim over. 

t Observaciones sobre el Clima del Lima par Dr. H. Unanue, p. 4. — Ulloa's 
Vojage, vol. ii. £ng. Trans, p. 97. — For Mr. Cruicksbank's observations, see 
Mr. LjelPs Principles of Geology (1st edit), vol. iii. p. 130. 

E 2 




On tht Decay nf upraited fiea-t^elU. — I have stated that many 
of the sliclle on the lower inclined ledge or terrace of San Lorenzo 
are corroded in a pecaliar manner, and that they have a much 
more ancient appearance than tlie same species at coo^derablj 
greater heights on the coast of Chile. I have, also, stated th^ . 
these shells in the npper part of the ledge, at the height of eighty-fiT« I 
feci above the sea, are falling, and in some parts arc qaite changed ' 
into, a fine, soft, saline, calcareous powder. The Hnest part of tiiis 
powder lias been analysed for me, nt the request of Sir H. Debbeche, 
by the kindness of Sir, Trenham Becks of the Mnsenm of Econo- 
mic Geology; it consista of carbonate of lime in abundance, of snl- 
phate and muriate of lime, and of muriate and sulphate of soda, 
Tlio carbonate of lime is obviouiily derived from the shells ; and I 
coramon salt is so abnndant in parts of the bed, that, as before re- \ 
marked, the univalves are often filled with it. The sulphate of lime 
may have been derived, as has probably the common salt, from the 
evaporation of the sea-spray, during the emergence of the land ; for 
sulphate of lime is now copiously deposited from the spray on the 
shores of Ascension.* The other saline bodies may perhaps have been 
partially llnis derived, but chiefly, as I conclude from the following 
facts, through a different means. 

On most parts of the second ledge or old sea-beach, at a height of 
1 70 feet, there ia a layer of white powder of variable thickness, as much 
in some parts as two inches, lying on the angular, salt-cemented frag- 
ments of sandstone and uniler about four inches of earth, which powder, 
from its close resemblance in nature to the uppter and most decayed 
jiarts of the shelly mass, I can hardly doubt originally existed as a bed 
of shells, now much collapsed and quite disintegrated. 1 could not 
discover with the microscope a trace of organic structure in it ; but 
its chemical constituents, according to Mr. Reeks, are the some as 
in the powder extracted from amongst the decaying shells on the 
lower ledge, with the marked exception that the carbonate of lime 
is present in only very small quantity. On the third and highest 
ledge, I observed some of this powder in a similar position, and like- 
wise occasionally in small patches at considerably greater heights near 
the summit of the island. At Iquique, where the whole face of the 
country is covered by a highly ealiferous alluvium, and where the 
climate is extremely dry, we have seen that, according to Mr. Blake, 
the shells which are perfect near the beach become, in ascending, 
gradually less and less perfect, until scarcely a trace of their original 
structure can be discovered. It is known that carbonate of lioie and 
common salt left in a mass together,t and slightly moistened, por- 

* Volcanic Islnnda, &e. by tbo Author, p. 52. 

t I BDi inrormed by Dr. Kane, tLrougb Mr. Reeks, tbaC a mBiiuraclorir was 
eitabluheil on tbis pnnciple in Franca, but railed from Ihs small quantilj of car- 
IwuBle or (oda produced. Sprengel (Gardener's Cliron. 184-^, p. 15T) atalea, thi 
Bslt lud carbonate of lime are liable to mutual decompasitioo in the soil. Sir E 
Dalabecbe hiforma me, tbat calcareouB rocks, washed by the ipny of iha sea, at 
arieu corroded in a peculiar manner: see alao en ihia latter subject Gardeaer' 
Chron.p, 675, 1844. 


tiallj decompose each other : now we have at San Lorenzo and at 
Iquique, in the shells and salt packed together, and occasionally 
moistened hj the so-called Peruvian dew, the proper elements for 
this action. We can thns understand the peculiar corroded appear- 
ance of the shells on San Lorenzo, and the great decrease of quantity 
in the carbonate of lime in the powder on the upper ledge. There 
is, however, a great difficulty on this view, for the resultant salts 
should be carbonate of soda and muriate of lime ; the latter is present, 
bat not the carbonate of soda. Hence I am led to the perhaps unau- 
thorized conjecture (which I shall hereafter have to refer to) that the 
carbonate of soda, by some unexplained means, becomes converted 
into a sulphate. 

If the above remarks be just, we are led to the very unexpected 
conclusion, that a dry climate, by leaving the salt from the sea-spray 
undissolved, is much less favourable to the preservation of upraised 
shdls, than a humid climate. However this may be, it is interesting 
to know the manner in which masses of shells, gradually upraised 
above the sea-level, decay and finally disappear. 

Summary an the recent ElewUxon of the West Coast of South 
America, ''^We have seen that upraised marine remains occur at 
intervals, and in some parts almost continuously, from lat. 45^ 35' 
to 12^ S., along the shores of the Pacific. This is a distance, in 
a north and south line, of 2075 geographical miles. From Byron's 
observations, the elevation has no doubt extended sixty miles fdrther 
south; and from the similarity in the form of the country near 
Lima, it has probably extended many leagues further north.* 
Along this great line of coast, besides the organic remains, there are 
in very many parts, marks of erosion, caves, ancient beaches, sand- 
dunes, and successive terraces of gravel, all above the present level 
of the sea. From the steepness of the land on this side of the con- 
tinent, shells have rarely been found at greater distances inland than 
from two to three leagues ; but the ma^s of sea-action are evident 
farther from the coast ; for instance, in the valley of Guasco, at a 
distance of between thirty and forty miles. Judging from the up- 
raised shells alone, the elevation in Chiloe has been 350 feet, at Oon- 
oepcion certainly 625 feet, and by estimation 1000 feet; at*yalpa- 
raiso 1300 feet; at Coquimbo 252 feet; northward of this place, 
sea-shdls have not, I be&eve, been found above 300 feet ; and at 
Lima they were falling into decay (hastened probably by the salt) at 
eighty -five feet. Not only has this amount of elevation taken place 
within the period of existing mollusca and cirripedes; but their 
propc^ional numbers in the neighbouring sea have in most cases 
remained the same. Near Lima, however, a small change in this 
respect between the living and the upraised was observed : at Co- 

* 1 may take this opportunity of stating that in a MS. in the Geological Soc. 
by Mr. Weaver, it is stated that beds of oysters and other recent shells are found 
thirty feet above the level of the sea, in many parts of Tampico, in the Gulf of 


quinibo lliia waa more evident, all tlie shells being existing Bpeciea, 
but with liiose embedded in the uppennost calcareons plain Dot ap- 
proximating so closely in proportional nnmbers, as do those that lie 
loose on its surface at the height of 252 feet, and still less closely 
than those which are strewed on the lower plains, which latter are 
identical in proportional numbers, with those now cast up on the 
beach. From this circumstance, and from not finding, npon carefal 
examination, near Cuquimho any shells at a greater height than 252 
feet, I believe that the recent elevation there has been much less than i 
at Yolparaiso, where it has been 1300 feet, and I may add, than at I 
Concepcion. Tliis considerable inequality in the amount of elevation ^ 
at Coquimbo and Valparaiso, places only 200 miles apart, is not im- ' 
probable, considering, first, the difference in the force and number of 
the ebucks now yearly affecting different parts of this coast ; and, 
secondly, tJie fact of single areas, such as that of the province of 
Concepcion, having been uplifted very unequally during the same 
earthquake. It would, in most cases, be very hazardous to infer 
an inequality of elevation, from sliells being found on the surface 
or in superficial beds at different heights; for we do not know on 
what their rate of decay depends ; and at Coquimbo one instance out 
of many has been given, of a promontory, whicli, from the occur- 
rence of one very small collection of lime-cemented shells, has indis- 
putably been elevated 242 feet, and yet on which, not even a fragment 
of shell could be found on careful examination between this height 
and the beach, although many sites appeared very favourable for the 
preservation of organic remains : the absence, also, of shells on the 
gravel -terraces a short distance up the valley of Coquimbo, thoagh 
abundant on the corresponding terraces at its mouth, should be ■ 

There are other epochs, besides that of the existence of recent 
raollusca, by which to judge of the changes of level on this coast. 
At Lima, as we have just seen, the elevation has been at least eighty- 
five feet, within the Indo-liunian period ; and since the arrival of tlie 
Spaniards in 1530, there has apparently been a sinking of the sur- 
face. At Valparaiso, in the course of 220 years, the rise must have 
been less than nineteen feet ; but it has been as much aa from ten to 
eleven feet in the seventeen years subsequently to IS17, and of tbis 
rise only a part can be attributed to the earthquake of 1822, the 
remainder having been insensible and apparently still, in 183i, ia 
progress. At Chiloe the elevation has been gradual, and about four 
feet during four years. At Coquimbo, also, it has been gradual, and 
in the course of 150 pears has amounted to several feet. The sudden 
small upheavals, accompanied by onrthquakos, as in 1822 at Valpa- 
raiso, in 1835 at Concepcion, and in 183T in the Chonos Archi- 
pelago, are familiar to most geologists, but the gradual rising of the 
coast of Chile has been hardly noticed ; it is, however, very important, 
as connocting together these two orders of events. ' 

The rise of Lima having been eighty-five feet within the period I 
of man, is the more surprising if we refer to the eastern coast of t]Mt I 


continent, for at Port S. Julian, in Patagonia, there is good evidence 
(as we shall hereafter see) that when the land stood ninety feet lower, 
the Macrauchenia, a manimiferoas beast, was alive; and at Bahia 
Blanca, when it stood only a few feet lower than it now does, many 
gigantic quadrupeds ranged over the adjoining country. But the coast 
of Patagonia is some way distant from the Cordillera, and the move- 
ment atBahia Blanca is perhaps no ways connected with this great 
range, but rather with the tertiary volcanic rocks of Banda Oriental, 
and therefore the elevation at these places may have been infinitely 
slower than on the coast of Peru. All such speculations, however, 
must be vague, for as we know with certainty that the cdevation of 
the whole coast of Patagonia has been interrupted by many and long 
pauses, who will pretend to say that, in such cases, many and long 
periods of subsidence may not also have been intercalated ? 

In many parts of the coast of Chile and Peru, there are marks of 
the action of the sea at successive heights on the land, showing that 
the elevation has been interrupted by periods of comparative rest in 
the upward movement, and of denudation in the action of the sea. 
These are plainest at Chiloe, where, in a height of about 500 feet, 
there are three escarpments, — at Coquimbo where, in a height of 
364 feet, there are five, — at Guasco where there are six, of which 
five may perhaps correspond with those at Coquimbo, but if so, the 
subsequent and intervening elevatory movements have been here 
much more energetic, — ^at Lima where, in a height of about 250^ 
feet, there are three terraces, and others, as it is asserted, at con- 
siderably greater lieights. The almost entire absence of ancient 
marks of sea-action at defined levels along considerable spaces of eoast^ 
as near Valparaiso and Concepcion, is highly instructive, for as it is 
improbable that the elevation at these places alone should have been 
continuous, we must attribute the absence of such marks to the nature 
and form of the coast-rocks. Seeing over how many hundred miles 
of the coast of Patagonia, and on how many places on the shores of 
the Pacific, the elevatory process has been interrupted by periods of 
comparative rest, we may conclude, conjointly with the evidence 
drawn from other quarters of the world, that the elevation of the 
land is generally an intermittent action. From the quantity of 
matter removed in the formation of the escarpments, especially of 
those of Patagonia, it appears that the periods of rest in the move- 
ment, and of denudation of the land, have generally been yerj long. In 
Patagonia, we have seen that the elevation has been equable, and the 
periods of denudation synchronous over very wide spaces of coast; on the 
shores of the Pacific, owing to the terraces chiefly occurring in the 
valleys, we have not equal means of judging on this point ; and the 
very difierent heights of the upraised shells at Coquimbo, Valpa- 
raiso, and Concepcion, seem directly opposed to such a conclusion. 

Whether on this side of the continent the elevation, between the 
periods of comparative rest when the escarpments were formed, has 
been by small sudden starts, such as those accompanying recent 
earthquakes, or, as is most probable, by such starts conjointly with a 


,, [n 

gmdual njiwariJ movement, or hj great and sudden iipheavals, I 
)iavB no direct eyidence. But aa on the eastern coast, I waa led to 
think, from the analogy of the last hundred feet of elevation in La 
Plata, and from the nearly equal sizi: of the pebbles over the entire 
width of the tenacea, and from the upraised shells being all littoral 
species, that the elevation had been gradual ; so do I on this western 
coast, &oni the analogy of the tnovementa now in progress, and &om 
tlie vast numbers of shells now living exclusively on or close to the i 
beach, which are strewed over the whole surface of the land np to very ■ 
considerable heights, conclude, that the movement here also has been 1 
slow and gradual, aided probably by small occasional starts. We 1 
know at least that at Co»juimho, where five escarpments occur in a 
height of 364 feet, that the succesalve elevations, if they have been 
sudden, cannot have been very great. It has, I think, been shovm 
that the occasional preservation of shells, unrolled and unbroken, ia 
uut improbable even during a quite gradual rising of the land; and J 
their preservation, if the movement has been aided by small starts, iafl 
quite conformable with what actually takes place during recent earth- I 
quakes. 1 

Judging from the present action of the sea, along the shores of 
the Paoihc, on the deposits of its own accumulation, the present time 
seems in most places to he one of comparative rest in the elevatoiT 
movement, and of denudation of the land. Undoubtedly this is 
the case along the whole great length of Patagonia. At Chiloe, 
however, we have seen that a narrow sloping fringe, covered with 
vegetation, separates the present sea-beach from a line of low cliffs^ 
which tfae waves lately reached ; here, then, the land is gaining ia 
breadth and height, and the present period is not one of rest in the 
elevation and of contingent denudation; hut If the rising be not pro- 
longed at a quick rate, there ia every probability that the sea will 
soon regain its former horizontal limits. I observed similar low 
sloping fringes on several parts of the coast, both northward of Val- 
paraiso and near Coquimbo ; but at this latter place, from the change 
in form which the coast has undergone since the old escarpments were 
worn, it may be doubted whether the sea, acting for any length of 
time at its present level, would eat into tlie land ; for it now rathet I 
tends to throw up great masses of sand. It ia from facts such as I 
these tliat I have generally used the term cotnparative retl, as api 
plied to the elevation of the land ; the rest or cessation in the move- 
ment being comparative both with what has preceded it and followed it, 
and with the sea's power of corrosion at each spot and at each level. 
Near Lima, the clilV-formed shores of San Lorenzo, and on the main- 
land south of Callao, show that the sea is gaining on the land ; and 
aa we have here some evidence that its surface has lately subsided or 
is still sinking, the periods of comparative rest in the elevation and 
of contingent denudation, may probably iu many cases include periods 
of subsidence. It is only, as was shown in detail when discussing 
the terraces of Coquimbo, when the sea with difficulty and after a 
loog lapse of time has either conoded a narrow ledge into solid rock. 


or has heaped up on a steep sorface a narrow mound of detritus, 
that we can confidently assert that the knd at that level and at that 
poriod long remained absolutely stationary. In the case of terraces 
formed of gravel or sand, although the elevation may have been 
strictly horizontal, it may well happen that no one level beach-line 
may be traceable, and that neither the terraces themselves nor the 
summit nor basal edges of their escarpments may be horizontal. 

Finally, comparing the extent of the elevated area, as deduced 
from the upraised recent organic remains, on the two sides of the 
continent, we have seen that on the Atlantic, shells have been found at 
intervals from eastern Tierra del Fuego for 1180 miles northward, 
and (m the Pacific for a space of 2075 miles. For a length of 775 
miles, they occur in the same latitudes on both sides of the continent. 
Without taking this circumstance into consideration, it is probable 
from the reasons assigned in the last chapter, that the entire breadth of 
the continent in central Patagonia has been uplifted in mass ; but 
from other reasons there given, it would be hazardous to extend this 
conclusion to La Plata. From the continent being narrow in the 
southernmost parts of Patagonia, and from tlie shells found at the 
Inner Narrows of the Strait of Magellan, and likeMose far up the 
Talley of the S. Cruz, it is probable that the southern part of the 
western coast, which was not visited by me, has been elevated within 
the period of recent moUusca : if so, the shores of the Pacific haTe 
been continuously, recently, and in a geological sense synchronously 
upraised, from Lima for a length of 2480 nautical miles southward, — 
a distance equal to that from the Red Sea to the North Cape of 
Scandinavia ! 



Basin-like plains qf Chile; their drainage, their marine origin — Marks qf sea-' 
action on the eastern flanks qf the Cordillera — Sloping terrace-like Jringes qf 
stratified shingle within the valleys qf the Cordillera ; tlieir marine origin — 
Boulders in the valley qf the Cachapual — Horizontal elevation qf the Cordil' 
lera — Formation qf valleys — Boulders moved by earthquake-waves — Saline 
superficial deposits — Bed qf nitrate qfsoda at Iquique — Saline incrustations — 
Salt-lakes qfLa Plata and Patagonia; purity of the salt; its origin. 

The space between the Cordillera and the coast of Chile is on a rude 
average from eighty to above one hundred miles in width; it \» 
formed, either of an almost continuous mass of mountains, or more 
commonly of several nearly parallel ranges separated by plains : in 
the more southern parts of this province, the mountains are quite 
subordinate to the plains ; in the northern part the mountains pre- 

The basin-like plains at the foot of the Cordillera are in several 
respects remarkable; that on which the capital of Chile stands is 
fifteen miles in width, in an east and west line, and of much greater 
length in a north and south line ; it stands 1750 feet above the sea ; 
its surface appears smooth, but really falls and rises in wide gentle 
undulations, the hollows corresponding with the main valleys of the 
Cordillera : the striking manner in which it abruptly comes up to the 
foot of this great range has been remarked by every author* since 
the time of Molina. Near the Cordillera it is composed of a stratified 
mass of pebbles of all sizes, occasionally including rounded boulders : 
near its western boundary, it consists of reddish sandy clay, contain- 
ing some pebbles and numerous fragments of pumice, and sometimes 
passes into pure sand or into volcanic ashes. At Podaguel, on this 
western side of the plain, beds of sand are capped by a calcareous 
tuff, the uppermost layers being generally hard and substalagmitic, 
and the lower ones white and friable, both together precisely resem- 
bling the beds at Coquimbo, which contain recent marine shells. 

* This plain is partially separated into two basins by a range of hills ; the 
southern half, according to Mejen (Reise um Erde,Th.i. s. 274), falls in height, 
by an abrupt step, of between fifteen and twenty feet. 


Abrupt, but rounded, hummocks of rock rise out of this plain: 
those of Sta. Lucia and S. Cristoval are formed of greenstone- por- 
phyry almost entirely denuded of its original covering of porphy- 
ritic claystone breccia ; on their summits, many fragments of rock 
(some of them, kinds not found in situ) are coated and united to- 
gether by a white, friable, calcareous tuff, like that found at Po- 
daguel. When this matter was deposited on the summit of S. 
Cristoval, the water must have stood 946 feet* above the surface of 
the surrounding plain. 

To the south this basin-like plain contracts, and rising scarcely 
perceptibly with a smooth surface, passes through a remarkable level 
gap in the mountains, forming a true land-strait, and called the An- 
gostura. It then immediately expands into a second basin-formed 
plain : this again, to the south, contracts into another land-strait, and 
expands into a third basin, which, however, falls suddenly in level 
about forty feet. This third basin, to the south, likewise contracts 
into 9 strait, and then again opens into the great plain of S. Fer- 
nando, stretching so far south that the snowy peaks of the distant 
Cordillera are seen rising above its horizon as above the sea. These 
plains, near the Cordillera, are generally formed of a thick stratified 
mass of shingle ;t in other parts, of a red sandy clay, often with 
an admixture of pumiceous matter. Although these basins are con- 
nected together like a necklace, in a north and south line, by smooth 
land-straits, the streams which drain them do not all flow north and 
south, but mostly westward, through breaches worn in the bounding 
mountains; and in the case of the second basin, or that of Ran- 
cagua, there are two distinct breaches. Each basin, moreover, is 
not drained singly : thus, to give the most striking instance, but not 
the only one, in proceeding southward over the plain of Rancagua, we 
first find the water flowing northward to and through the northern 
land strait ; then, without crossing any marked ridge or water-shed, 
we see it flowing south-westward towards the northern one of the two 
breaches in the western mountainous boundary; and lastly, again 
without any ridge, it flows towards the southern breach in these same 
mountains. Hence the surface of this one basin-like plain, appearing 
to the eye so level, has been modelled with great nicety, so that the 
drainage, without any conspicuous watersheds, is directed towards 

* Or 2690 feet above the sea, as measured barometricalhr by Mr. £c1r. Thia 
tuff appears to the eye nearly pure ; but when placed in acid it leaves a consider- 
able residue of sand and broken crystals, apparently of feldspar. Dr. Meyen 
(Reise, Th. 1. s. 269) says, be found a similar substance on the neighbouring hill 
of Dominico (and I found it also on the Cerro Blanco), and he attributes it to the 
weathering of the stone. In some places which I examined, its bulk put this 
view of its origin quite out of question ; and I should mucb doubt whether the 
decomposition of a porphyry would, in any case, leave a crust chiefly composed of 
carbonate of lime. Tbe white crust, which is commonly seen on weathered feld- 
spathic rocks, does not appear to contain any free carbonate of lime. 

t The plain of S. Fernando has, according to MM. Meyen and Gay (Reise, &c. 
Tb. 1. s. 295 and 298), near the Cordillera, an upper step-formed plain of clay, on 
tbe surface of which they found numerous blocks of rocks, from two to three feet 
long, either lying single or piled in heaps, but all arranged in nearly straight linea* 



tiiree openings in tlie encircling mountains.* The streams flowiag 
from tliu three southern basin-like pl^ns, after passing through the 
breaclies to the west, unite and form the river Rapel, which enters 
the Pacific near Navidad. I followed the southernmost branch of 
this river, and found that the baein or plain of S. Fernando is con- 
tinaously and smoothly united with those plains, which were de- 
scribed in the second chapter, as being worn near tbe coast into succes- 
sive cave-eaten escarpments, and still nearer to the coast, 
Btrewed with upraised recent mai 

I might have given descriptio 
same general form, some at the foot of the Cordillera, si 
coast, and some half-way between these points. I will allude only' j 
to one other, namely, the plain of TJspallata, lying on the eastern o 
opposite side of the Cordillera, between that great range and the pa- ; 
rallel lower range of UspaUata. According to Mters, its surface is j 
6000 feet above the level of the sea : it is from ten to fifteen n 
nidti), and is said to extend with an unbroken surface for ISO miles I 
northwards : it is drained by two rivers passing through breaches in. 1 
the mountains to the east. On the hanks of the R. Mondoza it i 
seen to be composed of a great accumulation of stratified shingle, 
estimated at '100 feet in thickness. In general appearance, and 
numerous points of structure, this plain closely resembles tliose 

The origin and manner of formation of the thick beds of gravel, 
sandy clay, volcanic detritus, and calcareous tuff, composing these 
basin-like plains, is very important; because, as we shall presently 
show, they send arms or fringes far up the main valleys of the Cor- I 
dillera. Many of the inhabitants believe that these plains 
occupied by lakes, suddenly drained ; but I conceive thatibenumber of \ 
the separate breaches at nearly the same level in the mountains s 
rounding them, quite precludes this idea. Had not such distinguished 
naturalists as MM. Meyen and Gay stated their belief that these I 
deposits were left by great debacles rushing down from the Cordillent, ' 
I should not have noticeil a view, which appears to me from many 
reasons improbable in the higlieat degree, — namely, from the vast 
accumulation of teell-rounded pehhUi, — their frequent stratification 
with layers of sand, — the overlying beds of calcareous tuflj— this 
same substance coating and uniting the fr^ments of rock on the 
hummocks in the plain of Santiago, — and lastly even, from the worn, 
rounded, and much denuded state of these hummocks, and of the 
headlands which project from the surrounding mountains. On the 
other hand, these several circumstances, as well as the continuous 
union of the basins at the foot of the Cordillera, with the great pLun 
of the Rio Rapel which still retains the marks of sea-action at vaiiooa 
levels, and their general similarity in form and composition with the 
many plains near the coast, which are either similarly marked or are 

• It appears from Capt. Uetberl'» aocounl of Ihe Dilutium of the HiiLalaya 
(Gleaninga of Science, CaloulW, vol. ii, p. 164), Ibat preciaely similat remiirU 
apply to IhB drUDBge of the pUius or vsUayB baCween IhOM ( """ 


strewed with apraised marine remains, fdlly convince me that the 
mountains bonnding these basin-phtins were breached, their islet-like 
projecting rocks worn, and the loose stratified detritus forming their 
now level surfaces deposited, by the sea, as the land slowly emerged. 
It is hardly possible to state too strongly the perfect resemblance in 
outline between tliese basin-like, long, and narrow plains of Chile, 
(especially when in the early morning the mists hanging low repre* 
sented water,) and the creeks and fiords now intersecting the southern 
and western shores of the continent. We can on this view of the 
sea, when the land stood lower, having long and tranquilly occupied 
the spaces between the mountain-ranges, understand, how the boun- 
daries of the se])arate basins were breached in more than one place ; for 
we see that this is the general character of the inland bays and chan- 
nels of Tierra del Fuego ; we there, also, see in the sawing action of 
the tides, which flow with great force in the cross channels, a power 
sufficient to keep the breaches open as the land emerged. We can 
further see that the waves would naturally leave the smooth bottom 
•of each great bay or channel as it became slowly converted into land, 
gently inclined to as many points as there were mouths, through 
which the sea finally retreated, thus forming so many water-sheds, 
without any marked ridges, on a nearly level surface. The absence 
of marine remains in these liigh inland plains cannot be properly 
adduced as an objection to their marine origin ; for we may conclude, 
£rom shells not being found in the great shingle beds of Patagonia, 
though copiously strewed on their surfaces, and from many other 
analogous facts, that such deposits are eminently unfavourable for the 
embeament of such remains; and with respect to shells not being 
found strewed on the surface of these basin-plains, it was shown in 
the last chapter that remains thus exposed in time decay and dis- 

I observed some appearances on the plains at the eastern and oppo- 
site foot of the Cordillera which are worth notice, as showing that the 
sea there long acted at nearly the same level as on the basin-plains of 
Chile. The mountains on this eastern side are exceedingly abrupt ; 
they rise out of a smooth, talus-like, very gentle, slope, from five to 
ten miles in width, (as represented in the following diagram), entirely 



Cordillera. Tidos-plain. Level surface, Orayel 

8700 feet above sea. terraces. 

composed of perfectly rounded pebbles, often white-washed with an 
aluminous substance like decomposed feldspar. This sloping plain or 
talus blends into a perfectly flat space a few miles in width, composed 
of reddish impure clay with small calcareous concretions as in the 


Fampean deposit, — of fine white sand with small pebbles in lityers, — 
and of tlie above mentiuned white aluminous earth, all interstratified 
together. Tiiia Qai space rune as for as Mendoza, tliirty miles north- 
ward, and Btauda probably at about the same height, namely, 2700 
feet (Pcntland and itiiers) abovo the sea. To the east it is bounded 
by au eacarpment, eighty feet in height, mnning for many miles north 
and south, and composed of perfectly round pebbles, and loose, whiter 
washed, or embedded in the aluminous earth : behind this escarpment 
there is a second and similar one of gravel. Nortliward of Mendoza, 
these escarpments become broken andquite obliterated; and it does not 
appear tliat they ever enclosed a lake-liiie area : I conclude, therefore, 
that they were formed by the sea, when it reached the foot of the 
Cordillera, like the similar escarpments occurring at so many points 
on the coasts of Chile and Patagonia. 

Tlie talus-like plain slopes up witli a smooth surface into the great 
dry valleys of the Cordillera. On each hand of the Portillo Talley, 
the mountains are formed of red granite, mica -slate, and basalt, which 
all have suflered a truly astonishing amount of denudation ; the gravel 
in the valley, as wi^U as on the talus-like plain in front of it, is com- 
posed of these rocks; bnt at the mouth of the valley, in the middle, 
(height probably about 3500 feet above the sea,) a few small isolated 
hillocks of several varieties of poqihyry project, round which, on all 
sides, smooth and often white-washed pebbles of these same porphy- 
ries, to the exclusion of all others, extend to a circumscribed distance. 
Now, it is difficult to conceive any other agency, except the quiet and 
long- continued action of the sea on these hillocks, which couLi have 
rounded and white-washed the fragments of porphyry, and caused 
them to radiate from such small and quite insignificant centres, in the 
midst of that vast stream of stones which has descended from the 
main Cordillera. 

Sloping terracii of Gra^elin the Valley* of the Cordillera. — All the 
main valleys on both flanks of the Chilian Cordillera have formerly 
bad, or still have, their bottoms filled up to a considerable thickness 
by a mass of rudely stratified shingle. In central Chile, the greater 
part of this mass has been removed by the torrents; clifF-bounded 
fringes, more or less continuous, being left at corresponding heights on 
botli sides of the valleys. These fringes, or as they may be called 
terraces, have a smooth surface, and as the valleys rise, they gently 
rise with them : hence they are easily irrigated, and afford great faci- 
lities for the construction of the roads. From their uniformity, they 
give a remarkable cliaracterto the scenery of these grand, wild, broken 
valleys. In width, the fringes vary much, sometimes being only 
broad enough for the roads, and sometimes expanding into narrow 
plains. Their surfaces, besides gently rising up tlie valley, are sliglitly 
inclined towards its centre in such a manner, as to eliow that the 
whole bottom must once have been filled up with a smooth and 
slightly concave mass, as still are the dry unfurrowed valleys of 
noitbem Chile, Where two valleys unite into one, these terraces are 



pu-ticnlarly well exhibited, as is rcpTcsented in the following di&^m. 

The thicknesB of the gravel rorming these fnngea, on a rnde avorage, 
may be said to vary from tliirty to sixty oi eighty feet ; bnt near the 
mouths of the valleys it was in several places from 200 to 300 feet. 
The amount of matter letnoved by the torrents has been immense; 
yet in the lower parts of the valleys the terraces have seldom been 
entirely worn away on either side, nor has the solid underlying rock 
been reached ; higher up the valleys, the terraces have frequently 
been removed on one or the other side, and sometimes on both sides ; but 
in this latter case they re-appear ^ter a short interval on the line, 
which they would have held had they been unbroken. Where the 
solid rock has been reached, it has been cut into deep and narrow 
gorges. Still higher up the valleys, the terraces gradually become 
more and more broken, narrower, and less thick, until, at a height of 
from TOGO to 9000 feet, they become lost, and blended with the piles of 
fallen detritus. 

I carefully examined in many places the state of the gravel, and 
almost everywhere found the pebbles equally and perfectly rounded, 
occasionally with great blocks of rock, and generally distinctly strati- 
fied, often with parting seams of sand. The pebbles were sometimes 
coated with a white aluminous, and less frequently with a calcareous 
crust. At great heights up the valleys, the pebbles become less 
rounded ; and as the terraces become obliterated, the whole mass 
passes into the nature of ordinary detritus. I was repeatedly struck 
with the great difference between this detritus high up the valleys 
and the gravel of the terraces low down, namely, in the greater num- 
ber of the quite angular fragments in the detritus, — in the unequal 
degree to which the other fragments have been rounded, — in the 
quantity of associated earth, — in the absence of stratification,— and in 


the irregularity of the upper surfaces. This difference was likewise 
well shown at points low down the valleys, where precipitous ravines, 
cutting through mountains of highly coloured rock, have thrown 
down wide, fan-shaped accumulations of detritus on the terraces : in 
such cases, the line of separation between the detritus and the terrace, 
could be pointed out to within an inch or two ; the detritus consisting 
entirely of angular and only partially rounded fragments of the adjoin- 
ing coloured rocks ; the stratified shingle (as I ascertained by close 
inspection, especially in one case, in the valley of the R. Mendoza) 
containing only a smaU proportion of these fragments, and those few 
well rounded. 

I particularly attended to the appearance of the terraces where 
the valleys made abrupt and considerable bends, but I could per- 
ceive no difference in their structure : they followed the bends with 
their usual nearly equable inclination. I observed, also, in several 
valleys, that wherever large blocks of any rock became numerous, 
either on the surface of the terrace or embedded in it, this rock soon 
appeared higher up in situ : thus I have noticed blocks of porphyry, 
of andesitic syenite, of porphyry and of syenite, alternately becoming 
numerous, and in each case succeeded by mountains thus constituted. 
There is, however, one remarkable exception to this rule ; for along 
the valley of the Cachapual, M. Gay found numerous large blocks of 
white granite, which does not occur in the neighbourhood: I ob- 
served these blocks, as well as others of andesitic syenite, (not occur- 
ring here in situ), near the baths of Cauquenes at a height of between 
200 and 300 feet above the river, and therefore quite above the ter- 
race or fringe which borders that river ; some miles higher up the 
valley there were other blocks at about the same height : I also no- 
ticed, at a less height, just above the terrace, blocks of porphyries 
(apparently not found in the immediately impending mountains), 
arranged in rude lines, as on a sea-beach. All these blocks were 
rounded, and though large, not gigantic, like the true erratic boulders 
of Patagonia and Fuegia. M. Gay* states that granite does not 
occur in situ within a distance of twenty leagues; I suspect, for 
several reasons, that it will ultimately be found. at a much less dis- 
tance, though certainly not in the immediate neighbourhood. The 
boulders found by MM. Meyen and Gay on the upper plain of S. 
Fernando (mentioned in a previous note) probably belong to this same 
class of phenomena. 

These fringes of stratified gravel occur along all the great valleys 
of the Cordillera, as well as along their main branches; they are 
strikingly developed in the valleys of the Maypu, Mendoza, Aconcagua^ 
Cachapual, and, according to Meyen, t in the Tinguirica. In the 
valleys, however, of northern Chile, and in some on the eastern flank 
of the Cordillera, as in the Portillo Valley, where streams have never 

* Annales des Scienc. Nat. (I. series, torn. 28). M. Gay, as I was informed, 
penetrated the Cordillera by the great oblique valley of Los Cupressos, and not 
by the most direct line. 

t Reise, &c. Th. I. s. 302. 


flowed, or are quite insignificant in volume, the presence of a mass of 
stratified gravel can be inferred only from the smooth, slightly concave 
form of the bottom. One naturally seeks for some explanation of so 
general and striking a phenomenon; that the matter forming the 
fringes along the valleys, or still filling up their entire beds, has not 
fallen from the adjoining mountains like common detritus, is evident 
from the complete contrast in every respect between the gravel and 
the piles of detritus, whether seen high up the valleys on their sides, 
or low down in front of the more precipitous ravines ; that the matter 
has not been deposited by debacles, even if we could believe in de- 
bacles having rushed down every valley, and all their branches, east- 
ward and westward from the central pinnacles of the Cordillera, we 
must admit from the following reasons, — from the distinct stratifica- 
tion of the mass, — its smooth upper surface, — the well-rounded and 
sometimes encrusted state of the pebbles, so different from the loose 
debris on the mountains, — and especially from the terraces preserving 
their uniform inclination round the most abrupt bends. To suppose 
that as the land now stands, the rivers deposited the shingle along the 
course of every valley, and all their main branches^ appears to me 
preposterous, seeing that these same rivers not ouly are now removing 
and have removed much of this deposit, but are everywhere tending 
to cut deep and narrow gorges in the hard underlying rocks. 

I have stated that these fringes of gravel, the origin of which are 
inexplicable on the notion of debacles or of ordinary alluvial action, 
are directly continuous with the similarly-composed basin -like plains 
at the foot of the Cordillera, wliich, from the several reasons before 
assigned, I cannot doubt were modelled by the agency of the sea. 
Now if we suppose that the sea formerly occupied the valleys of the 
Chilian Cordillera, in precisely the same manner as it now does in the 
more southern parts of the continent, where deep winding creeks 
penetrate into the very heart of, and in the case of Obstruction Sound 
quite through, this great range ; and if we suppose that the mountains 
were upraised in the same slow manner as the eastern and western 
coasts have been upraised within the recent period, then the origin 
and formation of these sloping, terrace-like friuges of gravel can be 
simply explained. For every part of the bottom of each valley will, 
on this view, have long stood at the head of a sea-creek, into which 
the then existing torrents will have delivered fragments of rocks, 
where, by the action of the tides, they will have been rolled, sometimes 
encrusted, rudely stratified, and the whole surface levelled by the 
blending together of the successive beach-lines.* As the land rose, 
the torrents in every valley will have tended to have removed the 

* Sloping terraces of precisely similar structure have been described bj me 
(Philosoph. Transactions, 1839, p. 58) in the valleys of Locbaber in Scotland, 
where, at higher levels, the parallel roads of Glen Roy show the marks of the long 
and quiet residence of the sea. I hare no doubt that these sloping terraces would 
have been present in the valleys of most of the European ranges, had not every 
. trace of them, and all wrecks of sea-action, been swept away by the glaciers 
which hare since occupied them. 1 have shown that tbis is the case with the 
mountains (f.ondon and Edin. Phil. Journal, vol. zzi. p. 187) of North Wales. 



matter wliicli just before Iiad been ftirosted on, or near, tlie bencli^'l 
lines ; tlie torreots, also, liaviDg contioued to gain in force by tlie coa* 9 
tinned elevation incceasing their total descent from tlieir BOiircea ti 
sea. This slow rising of the Cordillera, which explains so welt tlie 
otherwise inexplicable origin and structure of the terraces, judging 
f[om all known analogies, will probably hare been interrupted by 
many periods of rest ; but we ougbt not to expect to find any evidence 
of these periods, in the strnctnrc of the gravcl-terraoes : for, as the 
waves at the heads of deep creeks have Tittlo erosive power, so the 
only effect of the sea having long remained at the same level, will be 
that tlie upper parts of the creeks will have become filled up at snch 
periods to the level of the water with gravel and sand ; and tliat afteF- 
warda the rivers will have thrown down on the filled np parts a talos J 
of simitar matter, of which the inclination (as at the tiead of a par^ | 
tially GUed np lake) witl have been detennined by the supply of detri- 
tus, and the force of the stream." Hence, after tlio final conversion 
of tlie creeks into valleys, almost the only difference in the terraces at 
those points at which the sea stood long, will be a somewhat more 
gentle inclination, with river- worn instead of sea-worn detritus on the 

I know of only one difficnlty on the foregoing view, namely, the 
far- transported blocks of rock liigh on the sides of the valley of the 
Cachapual : I will not attempt any explanation of this phenomenon, 
but I may stato my belief that a mountain-ridge near the Baths of 
Canquenea has been upraised long subsequently to all the other 
ranges in the neighbourhood, and that when this was effected the 
whole face of the country must have been greatly altered. In 
the course of ages, moreover, in this and other valleys, events may 
have occurred like, but even on a grander scale than, that described 
by Molina,-)- when a slip during the earthquake of 1762, banked up 

io do la HiBl. &o. &o. t. I, p. 30. M. Brogmait. 

WockB whicli I saw are ,. 

unwilling to class theoi 
hemispliera (Geolog. Trn 

Chile are publia'l 

i aea ocieneei, looJj considers mat tue nouidera in Iho 
lame class with the erratic boulders of Europe. Ai tbo 
It gig;Bntic, and especiMy as tbey are not angular, and 
isported fairly acroas low apaeea or wide valleys, I hid 
rich those, nhich, both in the nortfaera and southera 
igac. vol. vi, n. 415), have been transported by ice. It 
I admirable taboura in 
I this subject. However, the 

vallej oflbeCai 
hish ridge of Ci 
Cordillera. Thi 

le been primarily transported ; 
baTB been described lis arranged at 
ot doubt, has been due to Ibe action i 
lapual, in the part nhere the bouldei 
iquenes, tcbich runs parallel to, but 
ridge baa been subjec---' — — -- 

', burala through tfae 

amount of dei 
lailej where 

springs yet 

of solid ri . . 

it entera the Cordillera, and seeing to what extent 'ibe ridge of 
iw prMecta the great range, I could not help believing (as alluded 


for ten days the great river Lontue, which then bursting its barrier 
*' inundated the whole country," and doubtless transported many great 
fragments of rock. Finally, notwitlistanding this one case of diffi- 
culty, I cannot entertain any doubt, that these terrace-like fringes, 
which are continuously united with the basin-shaped plains at the foot 
of the Cordillera, have been formed by the arrestment of river-borne 
detritus at successive levels, in the same manner as we see now taking 
place at the heads of all those many, deep, winding fiords intersecting 
the southern coasts. To my mind, this has been one of the most 
important conclusions to which my observations on the geology of 
South America have led me ; for we thus learn that one of the grandest 
and most symmetrical mountain-chains in the world, with its several 
parallel lines,** have been together uplifted in mass between 7,000 
and 9,000 feet, in the same gradual manner as have the eastern and 
western coasts within the recent period. 

Fonnation of Valleys. 

The bulk of solid rock which has been removed in the lower parts 
of the valleys of the Cordillera has been enormous : it is only by re- 
flecting on such cases as that of the gravel beds of Patagonia, cover- 
ing so many thousand square leagues of surface, and which if heaped 
into a ridge, would form a mountain-range, almost equal to the 
Cordillera, that the amount of denudation becomes credible. The 
valleys within this range, often follow anticlinal but rarely synclinal 
lines ; that is, the strata on the two sides more often dip from the line 
of valley than towards it. On the flanks of the range, the valleys 
most frequently run neither along anticlinal nor synclinal axes, but 
along lines of flexure or faults ; that is, the strata on both sides dip 
in the same direction, but with diflerent, though often only slightly 
difierent, inclinations. As most of the nearly parallel ridges which 
together form the Cordillera run approximately north and south, the 

to in the text) that this ridge with its trachjtic eruptions had been thrown up at 
a much later period than the Cordillera. If this has been the case^ the boulders, 
after having been transported to a low lerel by the torrents (which exhibit in 
every yalley proofs of their power of moving great fragments), maj have been 
raised up to their present height, with the land on which thej rested. 

* I do not wish to affirm that all the lines have been uplifted quite equally ; 
slight difierences in the elevation would leave no perceptible effect on the terraces. 
It may, however, be inferred, perhaps with one exception, that since the period 
when the sea occupied these valleys, the several ranges have not been dislocated 
bj great and abrupt faults or upheavals ; for if such had occurred, the terraces of 
gravel at these points would not have beeu continuous. The one exception is at 
the lower end of a plain in the Valle del Yeso (a branch of the Maypu), where, at 
a great height, the terraces and valley appear to have been broken through by a 
line of upheaval, of which the evidence is plain in the adjoining mountains ; this 
dislocation, perhaps, occurred (rfler the elevation of this part of the vallej above 
the level of the sea. The valley here is almost blocked up by a pile about 1000 
feet in thickness, formed, as far as I could judge from three sides, entirely, or at 
least in chief part, of g^vel and detritus. On the south side, the river has cut 
quite through this mass ; on the northern side, and on the very summit, deep 
ravines, parallel to the Hue of the valley, are worn, as if the drainage from the 
valley above had passed by these two lines before following its present course. 

F 2 


east and west valleys cross tbem in zig-zag lines, bursting thiongh 
the points where the strata have been least inclined. No doubt the 
greater part of the denudation was affected at the periods when tidal 
creeks occupied the valleys, and when the outer flanks of the moun- 
tains were exposed to the full force of an open ocean. I have already 
allnded to the power of the tidal action in the channels connecting 
great bay? ; and I may here mention that one of the surve3riiig ves- 
sels in a channel of this kind, though under sail, was whirled round 
and round by the force of the current. We shall hereafter see, that 
of the two main ridges forming the Chilian Cordillera, the eastern 
and loftiest one, owes the greater part of its angtUar upheaval to a 
period subsequent to the devation of the western ridge ; and it is 
likewise probable that many of the other parallel ridges have been 
angularly upheaved at different periods ; consequently many parts of 
the surfaces of these mountains must formerly have been exposed to 
the full force of the waves, which, if the Cordillera were now sunk 
into the sea, would be protected by parallel chains of islands. The 
torrents in the valleys certainly have great power in wearing the 
rocks; as could be told by the dull rattling sound of the many firag- 
ments night and day hurrying downwards ; and as was attested by 
the vast uze of certain fragments, which I was assured had been 
carried onwards during floods ; yet we have seen in the lower parts of 
the valleys, that the tonents have seldom removed all the sea- 
checked shingle forming the terraces, and have had time since the last 
elevation in mass only to cut in the underlying rocks, gorges, deep 
and narrow, but quite insignificant in dimensions compared with the 
entire width and depth of the valleys. 

Along the shores of the Pacific, I never ceased during my many 
and long excursions to feel astonished at seeing every valley, ravine, 
and even little inequality of surface, both in the hard granitic and 
soft tertiary districts, retaining the exact outline, which they had 
when the sea left their surfaces coated with organic remains. When 
these remains shall have decayed, there will be scarcely any differenee 
in appearance between this line of coast-land and most other conn- 
tries, which we are accustomed to believe liave assumed their pre- 
sent features chiefly through the agency of the weather and fresh- 
water streams. In the old granitic districts, no doubt it would be 
rash to attribute all the mc)difications of outline exclusivdy to the 
sea-action ; for who can say how often this lately submerged coast 
may not previously have existed as land, worn by miming streams 
and washed by rain : this source of doubt, however, does not apply 
to the districts superficially formed of the modern tertiary deposits. 
The valleys worn by the sea, through the softer formations, both on 
the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the continent, are generally broad, 
winding, and flat-bottomed : the only district of this nature now 
penetrated by arms of the sea, is the island of Chiloe. 

FhiaUy, the conclusion at which I have arrived, with respect to the 
relative powers of rain and sea water on the land, is, that the latter 
18 fiur the most efficient agent, and that its chief tendency is to widen 


the valleys ; whilst torrents and rivers tend to deepen them, and to 
remove the wreck of the sea's destropng action. As the waves have 
more power, the more open and exposed the space may be, so 
will they always tend to widen more and more the mouths of valleys 
compared with their npper parts : hence, doubtless, it is, that most 
valleys expand at their mouths, — that part, at which the rivers 
flowing in them, generally have the least wearing power. 

When reflecting on the action of the sea on the land at former, 
levels, the effect of the great waves, which generally accompany' 
earthquakes, must not be overlooked: few years pass without a 
severe earthquake occurring on some part of the west coast of South 
America ; and the waves thus caused have great power. • At Con- 
cepcion, after the shock of 1835, I saw larce slabs of sandstone, one 
of which was six feet long, three in breadth and two in thickness, 
thrown high up on the beach ; and from the nature of the marine 
animals still adhering to it, it must have been torn up from a consi- 
derable depth. On the other hand, at Callao, the recoil-wave of the 
earthquake of 1746 carried great masses of brickwork, between 
three and four feet square, some way out seaward. During the 
course of ages, the effect thus produced at each successive level, 
cannot have been small ; and in some of the tertiary deposits on this 
line of coast, I observed great boulders of granite and other neigh- 
bouring rocks, embedded in fine sedimentary layers, the transportal of 
which, except by the means of earthquake- waves, always appeiured to 
me inexplicable. 

B'i^perfidal ScUine Deponts, 

This subject may be here conveniently treated of: I will begin 
with the most interesting case, namely, the superficial saline beds near 
Iquique in Peru. The porphyritio mountains on the coast rise abruptly 
to a height of between 1,900 and 8,000 feet : between their summits 
and an inland plain, on which the celebrated deposit of nitrate of soda 
lies, there is a high undulatory district, covered by a remarkable 
superficial saliferous crust, chiefly composed of common salt, either in 
white, hard, opaque nodules, or mingled with sand, in this latter case 
forming a compact sandstone. This saliferous superficial crust ex- 
tends from the edge of the coast-escarpment, over the whole face of 
the country ; but never attains, as I am assured by Mr. Bollaert, 
(long resident here) any great thickness. Although a very slight 
shower falls only at intervids of many years, yet small funnel-shaped 
cavities show that the salt has been in some parts dissolved.* In 
several -places I saw large patches of sand, quite moist, owing to the 
quantity of muriate of lime (as ascertained by ]Ar. T. Reeks) con- 
tained in them. From the compact salt-cemented sand being either 

* It is singular how slowly, according to the observations of M. Cordier on the 
salt-mountain of Cardona in Spain (Ann. des Mines, Transl. of Geolog. Mem. by 
Delabecbe, p. 60), salt is dissolved, where the amount of rain is supposed to be as 
much as 31*4 of an inch in the year. It is calculated that only five feet in thick- 
ness is dissolved in the course of a century. 



[^CHAP. III. ' 

3w, according to the colour of the rocky strata on 
lagined tliot this' substance had probably been 
derived thiough common alluvial action fiora the layers of salt which 
occnr interstratificd in the surrouodiag mountains : but from tho in- 
teresting details given by IiT. d'Orbigny, aud from finding on a fresh 
examination of this agglomerated Band, that it is not irregularly 
cemented, but consists of thin layers of sand of different tints of colour, 
alternating with excessively fine parallel layers of salt, I conclude that 
it is not of alluvial origin. M, d'Orbigny f observed analogous saline 
beds extending from Cobija for five degrees of latitude northward, and 
at heights varying from fiOO to 000 feet : from finding recent sea-siiells 
Btrewed on these saliferous beds, and under them, great, welUrounded 
blocks, exactly like those on the existing beach, he believes that the 
salt, which is invariably superficial, has been left by the evaporation of 
the sea-water. This same conclusion must, I now believe, be extended 
to the superficial saliferons beds of Iquique, though tliey stand about 
3,000 feet above the level of the sea. 

Associated with the salt in the superficial beds, there are numerous, 
thin, horizontal layers of impure, dirty-white, friable, gypseous and 
calcareous tuffs. The gypseous beds are very remarkable, from 
abounding with, so as sometimes to be almost composed of, irregular 
concretions, from the size of an egg to that of a man's head, of very 
hard, compact, heavy gypsum, in the form of auliydrite. This gyp- 
sum contains some forngn particles of stone; it is stained, judging 
from its action with borax, with iron, and it esbales a strong alumi- 
nous odour. The surfaces of the concretions are marked by sharp, 
ladiating, or bifurcat'ng ridg 'f they had been (but not really) 

ooTToded : internally th y p tratcd by branching veins (like 

those of calcareous p n tl ptaria of the London clay) of pure 
■white anhydrite. Tl ra ght naturally have been thonght to 

have been farmed Vy b q nt nfiltration, had not each little eiia- ■ 
bedded fragment of k bee 1 k vise edged in a very remarkably 1 
manner by a narrow b d f th me white anhydrite : this shows I 
that the veins must have been formed by a process of segregation, an j i 
I not of infiltration. Some of the little included and croc^^fragmenta 1 
I of foreign rock are penetrated by the anhydrite, and portions hava J 
I evidently been thus mechanically displaced ; at St. Helena, I observed j 
I (liat calcareous matter, deposited by rain-water, also had the powet 'J 
to separate small fragments of rock from the larger masses.! 1 believe | 
I the supcrBcial gypseous deposit is widely extended : I received spe<H» ' 
* Joiuoal of Keaearcbes, p. 444, (itsK edi(. 
■\ Vojage. fee. p. 102. M, d'Orbignj ibund tLU deposit iutersected, io mat 

hiBloricnUj unknown, hHvB Sowed in tbem; and M. d'Orbigny arguea ^om U 
piBSBnce nf nndiaaoIvBdaalt orer Ihs whole Suirounding country, that the alreBi 
mtut have ariaen Troni rain or snow liaving fallen, cot in the adjoining country, '< 
bat QD the DDw arid Cordilleia. I ma^ reniait, tbat rrom having observed niiiu a 
of Indian buildings in absolute!; st^rilu parts of the Chilian Cordilleis (JoumiKi 
3ad Kdit. p. 357), I am led lo believB that the climalB, at a time xheo InditibS 
man inhabited tijis part of the continenl, was io BOmB slight degree more bunlW|^ 
Ihan it ia W present. J Volcanic lalaiids, &c. p. 9'< 


mens of it from Pisagua, forty miles north of Iqniqne, and likewise 
from Arica, where it coats a layer of pure salt. M. d'Orbigny* found 
at Cobija a bed of clay, lying above a mass of upraised recent shells, 
which was saturated wiUi sulphate of soda, and included thin layers 
of fibrous gypsum. These widely extended, superficial, beds of salt 
and gypsum, appear to me an interesting geological phenomenon, 
which could be presented only under a very dry climate. 

The plain or basin, on the borders of which the famous bed of 
nitrate of soda lies, is situated at the distance of about thirty miles 
firom the sea, beins separated from it by the saliferous district just 
described. It stands at a height of 3,300 feet ; its surface is level, and 
some leagues in width ; it extends forty miles northward, and has a 
total length (as I was informed by Mr. Belford Wilson, the Consul- 
GeneraLat Lima) of 420 miles. In a well near the works, thirty-six 
yards in depth, sand, earthy and a litUe gravel were found : in another 
well, near Almonte, fifty yards deep, the whole consisted, according 
to Mr. Blake,t of clay, including a layer of sand two feet thick, 
which rested on fine gravel, and this on coarse gravel, with large rounded 
tegments of rock. In many parts of this now utterly desert plain, 
rushes and large prostrate trees in a hardened state, apparently Mimo- 
sas, are found buried, at a depth firom three to six feet; according to 
Mr. Blake, they have all fallen to the south west. The bed of nitrate 
of soda is said to extend for forty or fifty leagues along the western 
margin of the plain, but is not found in its central parts : it is from 
two to three feet in thickness, and is so hard that it is generally 
blasted with gunpowder; it slopes gently upwards from the edge of 
the plain to between ten and thirty feet above its level. It rests on 
sand in which, it is said, vegetable remains and broken shells have 
been found; shells have also oeen found, according to Mr. Blake, both 
on and in the nitrate of soda. It is covered by a superficial mass of 
sand, containing nodules of common salt, and, as I was assured by 
a miner, much soft gypseous matter, precisely like that in the super- 
ficial crust already obscribed : certainly this crust, with its character- 
istic concretions of anhydrite comes close down to the edge of the 

The nitrate of soda varies in purity in different parts, and often 
contains nodules of common salt. According to Mr. Blake, the pro- 
portion of nitrate of soda varies firom twenty to seventy-five per cent. 
An analysis by Mr. A. Hayes, of an average specimen, gave — 

Nitrate of Soda . . 64*98 

Sulphate of Soda 
Chloride of Soda 
Iodic Salts 
Shells and Marl 






* Vojage G^olog. &c. p. 95. 

t See an admirable paper, ** Geolog. and Miscell. Notices of Tarapaca," in 
Silliroan's American Journal, vol. zliv. p. 1. 


The *' mother water'* at some of the refineries is very rich in iodic 
salts, and is supposed* to contain much muriate of lime. In an un- 
refined specimen, brought home by myself, Mr. T. Reeks has ascer- 
tained that the muriate of lime 19 very abundant. With respect to 
the origin of this saline mass, from the manner in which the gently 
inclined, compact bed follows for so many miles the sinuous margin of 
the plain, there can be no doubt that it was deposited from a sheet of 
water : from the fragments of embedded shoUs, from the abundant 
iodic salts, from the superficial saliferous crust occurring at a hi&cher 
leTel and being probably of marine origin, and from the'plain leLi- 
bling in form those of Chile and that of Uspallata, there can be little 
doubt that this sheet of water was, at least originally, connected with 
the sea.t 

Thin^ superficial J saline incrustations: — ^These saline incrustations 
are common in many parts of America : Humboldt met with them 
on the table-land of Mexico, and the Jesuit Falkner and other authors ;( 
state that they occur at intervals over the vast plains extending from 
the mouth of the Plata to Rioja and Catamarca. Hence it is that 
during droughts, most of the streams in the Pampas are saline. I 
nowhere met with these incrustations so abundantly as near Bahia 
Blanca : square miles of the mud-flats, which near that place are 
raised only a few feet above the sea, just enough to protect them from 
being overflowed, appear, after dry weather, whiter than the ground 
after the thickest hoar-frost. After rain the salts disappear, and every 
puddle of water becomes highly saline ; as the surface dries, the 
capillary action draws the moisture up pieces of broken earth, dead 
sticks, and tufts of grass, where the salt effloresces. The incrustation, 
where thickest, does not exceed a quarter of an inch. M. Par- 
chappe^ has analysed it ; and finds that the specimens collected at the 
extreme head of the low plain, near the R« Manuelo, consist of 
ninety-three per cent, of sulphate of soda, and seven of common 
salt ; whilst the specimens taken close to the coast contain only 
sixty- three per cent, of the sulphate, and thirty-seven of the muriate 
of soda. This remarkable fact, together with our knowledge that 
the whole of this low muddy plain has been covered by the sea 

* Literary Gazette, 1841, p. 475. 
* t From an official document, shown me by Mr. Belford Wilson, it appears that 
the first export of nitrate of soda to Europe was in July, 1830, on French account, 
io a British ship : — 

In 1830, the entire export was . . 17,300 

1831, „ „ . . 40,885 

1832, „ „ . . 51,400 

1833, „ „ . . 91,335 

1834, ., „ . . 149,538 
The Spanish quintal nearly equals 100 English pounds. 

t Azara (Travels, vol. i. p. 55) considers that the Parana is the eastern 
boundary of the saliferous region ; but I heard of " salitrales" in the Province 
of Entre Rios. 

$ M. d'Orbigny's Voyage, &c. Part. Hist. torn. i. p. 664. 


within the recent period, must lead to the suspicion that the common 
salt, by some unknown process, becomes in time changed into the 
sulphate. Friable calcareous matter is here abundant, and the case 
of the apparent double decomposition of the sheUs and salt on S. 
Lorenzo, should not be forgotten. 

The saline incrustations, near Bahia Blanca, are not confined to, 
though most abundant on, the low muddy flats ; for I noticed some 
on a calcareous plain between thirty and forty feet above the sea, and 
even a little occurs in still higher valleys. Low alluvial tracts in the 
valleys of the rivers Negro and Colorado are also encrusted, and in 
the latter valley such spaces appeared to be occasionally overflowed 
by the river. I observed saline incrustations in some of the valleys 
of southern Patagonia. At Port Desire a low, flat, muddy valley 
was thickly incrusted by salts, which on analysis by Mr. T. Reeks, 
are found to consist of a mixture of sulphate and muriate of soda, 
with carbonate of lime and earthy matter. On the western side of 
the continent, the southern coasts are much too humid fur this phe- 
nomenon ; but in northern Chile I again met with similar incrusta- 
tions. On the hardened mud, in parts of the broad, flat-bottomed 
valley of Copiapo, the saline matter incrusts the ground to the thick- 
ness of some inches : specimens, sent by Mr. Bingley to Apothecaries' 
Hall for analysis, were said to consist of carbonate and sulphate of 
soda. Much sulphate of soda is found in the desert of Atacama. In 
all parts of S. America, the saline incrustations occur most frequently 
on low damp surfaces of mud, where the climate is rather dry ; and 
these low surfaces have, in almost every case, been upraised above the 
level of the sea, within the recent period. 

Salt'lakes of Patagonia and La Plata, — Salinas, or natural salt- lakes, 
occur in various formations on the eastern side of the continent, — in 
the argillaceo-calcareous deposit of the Pampas, in the sandstone of 
the Rio Negro, where they are very numerous, in the pumiceous and 
other beds of the Patagonian tertiary formation, and in small primary 
districts in the midst of this latter formation. Port S. Julian is the 
most southerly point (lat. 49^ to 50°), at which Salinas are known 
to occur.* The depressions, in which these salt-lakes lie, are from a 
few feet to sixty metres, as asserted by M. d'Orbigny,t below the 
surface of the surrounding plains ; and, according to this same author, 
near the Rio Negro they all trend, either in N.E. and S.W. or in 
£. and W. lines, coincident with the general slope of the plain. 
These depressions in the plain generally have one side lower than the 
others, but there are no outlets for drainage. Under a less dry cli- 
mate, an outlet would soon have been formed, and the salt washed 
away. The salinas occur at difierent elevations above the sea ; they 

* According to Azara (Travels, vol. i. p. 56) there are salt lakes as far north as 
Cbaco (lat. 25^), on the banks of the Vennejo. The salt lakes of Siberia appear 
(Pallas's Travels, English Trans, vol. i. p. 284) to occur in very similar depressions 
to those of Patagonia. 

t Vojage G^olog. p. 63. 

74 BALT-LAKES ^CHiP, 111. 

are often several leagues in diameter ; they aie generally very ehallow, 
but there is a deep one in a quartz-rock formation near C. Blanco. 
In the wet season, the whole, or n part, of the salt is dissolved, being 
redepoaited during the succeeding dry seasou. At this period, the 
appearance of the snow-white expanse of salt crystallized in great 
cubes, is very striking. In a large salina, northward of the Rio 
Negro, the salt at the bottom, during the whole year, is between two 
and three feet in thickness. 

The salt rests almost always on a thick bed of bhick muddy sand, 
which is fetid, probably from the decay of the burrowing worms in- 
habiting it.* In a salina, situated about fifteen miles above tlie 
tuwn of El Carmen on the E. Negro, and three or four miles from 
the banks of that river, I observed that this black mud rested on 
gravel with a calcareous matrix, similar to that spread over the whole 
surrounding plains ; at Port S. Julian the mud, also, rested on the 
gravel : hence the depressions must have been formed anteriorly to, oi 
contemporaneously with, the spreading out of the gravel. I was in- 
formed that one small salina occurs m an aUuvial plain within the 
volley of the Bio Negro, and therefore its origin muet be subsequent 
to the excavation of that valley. When I visited the saliua, fifteen 
miles above the town, the salt was beginning to crystallize, and on 
the muddy bottom there were lying many crystals, generally placed 
cross-ways of sulphate of soda (as ascertained by Mr. Reeks), and 
embedded in the mud, numerous crystals of sulphate of lime, from 
one to three inches in length: M. d'Orbignyf states that some of 
these crystals are acicular and more than even nine inches in length ; 
others aro macled and of great purity : those I found all contained 
some sand in their centres. As the black and fetid sand overlies the 
gravel, and that overlies the regular tertiary strata, I think there can 
be no doubt that these remarkable crystals of sulphate of lime have 
been deposited from the waters of the lake. The inhabitants call the 
crystals of selenite, the padre del gal, and those of the sulphate of 
soda, the madre del tal; they assured me that both are found under 
the same circumstances iu several of the neighbouring salinas; and 
that the sulphate of soda is annually dissolved, and is always crys- 
tallized before the common salt on the muddy bottom.^ The asso- 
ciation of gypsum and salt in this case, as well as in the superficial 
deposits of Iquique, appears to me interesting, considering how 
generally these substances are associated in the older stratified for- 

Mr. Reeks has anoly^ for me some of the salt from the salina 
near the R. Negro, he finds it composed entirely of chloride of sodium 
with the exception of 0.26 of sulphate of Umc, and of 0.22 of earthy 
mutter ; there aro no traces of iodic salts. Some salt from the salina 

* Prof. Ebrenberg eiBmiiied some ef this muddj sbqcI, but waa DDabte to find 
ID it Bn; iafuwria. 

f V«TB|t* O^olog, p. 64. 

i TliitiawlMt migbl b»a bsea expected | fur M. Ballard asierts (Acad, del 
Hcitacei, Oct. 7, ll)44J Ibiil sii!|ibate of aoJa is predpilat?d fiom solulioa mora 
muddy I'runi wuWr rontaiiiing murUie of soda ill excess, than Troni pura walsr. 


Chiquitos in the Pampean formation, is equally pure. It is a singular 
fact, that the salt from these salinas does not serve so well for preserv- 
ing meat, as sea-salt from the Cape de Yerd islands ; and a mer- 
chant at Buenos Ayres told me that he considered it as fifty per 
cent, less valuahle. The purity of the Patagonian salt, or absence 
from it of those other saline bodies found in all sea-water, is the only 
assignable cause for this inferiority ; a conclusion which is supported 
by the fact lately ascertained,* that those salts answer best for pre- 
serving cheese which contain most of the deUquescent chlorides. t 

With respect to the origin of the salt in the salinas, the foregoing 
analysis seems opposed to the view entertained by M. d'Orbigny 
and others, and which seems so probable considering the recent ele- 
vation of this line of coast, namely, that it is due to the evaporation 
of sea- water and to the drainage from the surrounding strata im- 
pregnated with sea-salt. I was informed (I know not whether accu- 
ratdy) that on the northern side of the salina on the Rio Negro, 
there is a small brine spring which flows at all times of the year : 
if this be so, the salt in this case at least, probably is of subterranean 
origin. It at first appears very singular that fresh-water can often 
be procured in wells, | and is sometimes found in small lakes, quite 
eloee to these salinas. I am not aware that this fact bears parti- 
cularly on the origin of the salt ; but perhaps it is rather -opposed to 
the view of the salt having been washed out of the surrounding 
superficial strata, but not to its having been the residue of sea- water, 
left in depresfflons as the land was slowly elevated. 

* Hort. and Agricult. Gazette, 1845, p. 93. 

f It would probably well answer for the merchants of Buenos Ayres (consider- 
ing the gre«t consumption there of salt for preserving meat) to import the deliques- 
cent chlorides to mix with the salt from the salinas : I may call attention to the 
fact, that at Iquique, a large quantity of muriate of lime, left in the mother-water 
during the re6nement of the nitrate of soda, is annually thrown away. 

t Sir W. Parish states (Buenos Ayres, &c. p. 122 and 170) that this is the 
case near the great salinas westward of the S. Ventana. I have seen similar 
statements in an ancient MS. journey lately published by S. Angelis. At 
Iquique, where the surface is so thickly encrusted with saline matter, I tasted 
water only slightly brackish, procured in a well thirty-six yards deep*, but 
here one feels less surprise at its presence, as pure water might percolate under 
ground from the not very distant Cordillera. 



hiineralogical constitution — Microscopical structure — Buenos Ayres, shells em- 
bedded in tosca-rocfe — B, Ayres to the Colorado— S. Ventana — Bahia Blancat 
M. Hermoso, bones and infusoria qf; P, Alta, shells, bones and it^fusoria of; 
co-existence of the recent shells and extinct fnamm\fers — B. Ayres to St, Fe- — 
Skeletons qf Mastodon — Infusoria— It^ferior marine tertiary strata ^ their age 
— Horse^s tooth — Banda Oriental — Superficial Pampean formation — Inferior 
tertiary strata, variation qf, connected with volcanic action; Macrauchenia 
Patachonica at S, Julian in Patagonia, age qf, subsequent to living mollusca 
and to the erratic block period — Summary — Area qf Pampean formation — 
Theories of origin — Source qf sediment — Estuary origin — Contemporaneous 
with existing mollusca — Relations to underlying tertiary strata — Ancient de^ 
posit qf estuary origin — Elevation and successive deposition of the Pampean 
formation — Number and state of the remains of mammifers; their habitation, 
food, extinction, and range — Conclusion — Localities inPampas at which mammi- 
ferous remains Jiave been found. 

The Pampean formation is highly interesting from its vast extent, 
its disputed origin, and from the number of extinct gigantic mam- 
mifers embedded in it. It has upon the whole a very uniform cha- 
racter ; consisting of a more or less dull reddish, slightly indurated, 
argillaceous earth or mud, often, but not always, including in 
horizontal lines concretions of marl, and frequently passing into a 
compact marly rock. The mud, wherever I examined it, even close 
to the concretions, did not contain any carbonate of lime. The con- 
cretions are generally nodular, sometimes rough externally, some- 
times stalactiformed ; they are of a compact structure, but often 
penetrated (as well as the mud) by hair-like serpentine cavities, and 
occasionally with irregular fissures in their centres, lined with minute 
crystals of carbonate of lime ; they are of white, brown, or pale 
pinkish tints, often marked by black dendritic manganese or 
iron; .they are either darker or lighter tinted than the surrounding 
mass; they contain much carbonate of lime, but exhale a strong 
aluminous odour, and leave, when dissolved in acids, a large but 
varying residue, of which the greater part consists of sand. These 
concretions often unite into irregular strata; and over very large 
tracts of country, the entire mass consists of a hard, but generally 
cavernous marly rock : some of the varieties might be called calca- 
reous tuffs. 


Dr. Carpenter lias kindly examined under the microscope, sliced 
and polished specimens of these concretions, and of the solid marl- 
rock, collected in yarious places between the Colorado and St. Fe 
Bajada. In the greater number. Dr. Carpenter finds that the whole 
substance presents a tolerably uniform amorphous character, but with 
traces of incipient crystalline metamorphosis ; in other specimens he 
finds microscopically minute rounded concretions of an' amorphous 
substance (resembling in size those in oolitic rocks, but not having 
a concentric structure), united by a cement which is often crystalline. 
In some. Dr. Carpenter can perceive distinct traces of shells, corals, 
Polythalamia, and rarely of spongoid bodies. For the sake of com- 
parison, I sent Dr. Carpenter specimens of the calcareous rock, 
formed chiefly of fragments of recent shells, from Coquimbo in Chile : 
in one of these specimens, Dr. Carpenter finds, besides the larger frag- 
ments, microscopical particles of shells, and a varying quantity of 
opaque amorphous matter ; in another specimen from the same bed, 
he finds the whole composed of the amorphous matter, with layers 
showing indications of an incipient crystalline metamorphosis : hence 
these latter specimens, both in external appearance and in microsco- 
pical structure, closely resemble those of the Pampas. Dr. Carpenter 
informs me that it is well known that chemical precipitation throws 
down carbonate of lime in the opaque amorphous state ; and he is 
inclined to believe that the long- continued attrition of a calcareous 
body in a state of crystalline or semi-crystalline aggregation (as, for 
instance, in the ordinary shells of moUusca, which, when sliced, are 
transparent) may yield the same result. From the intimate relation 
between all the Coquimbo specimens, I can Iiardly doubt that the 
amorphous carbonate of lime in them has resulted from the attrition 
and decay of the larger fragments of shell : whether the amorphous 
matter in the marly rocks of the Pampas, has likewise thus originated, 
it would be hazardous to conjecture. 

For convenience sake, I vnll call the marly rock by the name 
given to it by the inhabitants, namely, Tosca-rock ; and the reddish 
argillaceous earth, Pampean mud. This latter substance, I may men- 
tion, has been examined for me by Professor Ehrenberg, and the 
result of his examination will be given under the proper localities. 

I will commence my descriptions at a central spot, namely, at 
Buenos Ayres, and thence proceed first southward to the extreme 
limit of the deposit, and afterwards northward. The plain on which 
Buenos Ayres stands is from thirty to forty feet in height. The 
Pampean mud is here of a rather pale colour, and includes small 
nearly white nodules, and other irregular strata of an unusually 
arenaceous variety of tosca-rock. In a well at the depth of seventy 
feet, according to Ignatio Nunez, much tosca-rock was met with, and 
at several points, at 100 feet deep, beds of sand have been found. I 
have already given a list of the recent marine and estuary shells 
found in many parts on the surface near Buenos Ayres, as far as 
three and four leagues from the PLata. Specimens from near Ense- 
nada, given me by Sir W. Parish, where the rock is quarried just 


beneath the surface of the plain, consist of broken bivalves, cemented 
by and converted into, white crystalline carbonate of lime. I have 
abready alluded, in the first chapter, to a specimen (also given me by 
Sir W. Parish) from the A, del Tristan, in which shells, resembling 
in every respect the Azara lahiata^ d*Orbig., as far as their worn con- 
dition permits of comparison, are embedded in a reddish, softish, 
somewhat arenaceous marly rock : after careful comparison, with the 
aid of a microscope and acids, I can perceive no difference between 
the basis of this rock and the specimens collected by me in many 
mrts of the Pampas. I have also stated, on the authority of Sir W. 
Jrarish, that northward of Buenos Ayres, on the highest parts of tfie 
plain, about forty feet above the Plata, and two or three miles from 
it, numerous shells of the Azara labiata (and I believe of Venus 
iinuosa) occur embedded in a stratified earthy mass, including small 
marly concretions and said to be precisely like the great Pampean 
depont. Hence we may conclude that the mud of the Pampas con- 
tinued to be deposited to within the period of this existing estuary 
■hdl. Although this formation is of such immense extent, I know 
of no other instance of the presence of sheUs in it. 

Bu4na$ Ayre* to tAs Bio Colorado. — With the exception of a few 
metamorphio ridges, the country between these two points, a dis- 
tance of 400 geographical miles, belongs to the Pampean formation, 
and in the southern part is generally formed of the harder and more 
calcareous varieties. I will briefly describe my route : about twenty- 
five miloi SsS-W, of the capital, in a well forty yards in depth, the 
upper part, and, as I was assured, the entire thickness, was formed of 
dark red Pampean mud without concretions. North of the R. 
Balttdo, there are many lakes; and on the banks of one (near the 
Ouanlia) there was a little cliff similarly composed, but including 
many nodular and stalaotiform concretions: I found here a large 
pJeM of toifialated armour, like that of the Glyptodon, and many 
m|{in(intN of bones. The cli£& on the Salado consist of pale-coloured 
i^ainpcian mud, inoluding and passing into great masses of tosca-rock : 
ht^rt* tt Mkoloton of the Megatherium and the bones of other extinct 
ntl(Mlrtip()(l> (moo tlio list at the end of this chapter) were found. 
Aarjiw <nmntltles of crystallized gypsum (of which specimens were 
tflvdll uw) ouour in the clifls of this river; and likewise (as I was 
NiNiliriid hy Mr. Lumb) in the Pampean mud on the R. Chuelo, seven 
llHIKHt^ fc^^tit H. Ayroi : I mention this because M. d'Orbigny lays 
MHIMK Nl>ri)Mii on the Hupposed absence of this mineral in the Pampean 


NMiiihward of the Salado the country is low and swampy, with 
dMHCH I'Hpk apjit^nring at long intervals at tlie surfause. On the banks, 
llMWMVMf, nf tliu Tapalguon (sixty miles south of the Salado) there is 
fl If^rUM MViMliti of toHOA-rook, souic highly compact and even semi- 
HFyMfinlliitMi MVMflylng palu Pani]>ean mud with the usual concretions. 
Tlilfly IMllt'M furihtir Mtuith, the snmll quartz-ridge of Tapalguen is 
(^IflgMft MM iU Morihorii and iouthern flank, by little, narrow, flat- 


topped hills of tosca-rock, which stand higher than the surronnding 
plain. Between this ridge and the sierra of Guitru-gueya, a distance 
of sixty miles, the country is swarapy, with the tosca-rock appearing 
only in four or fiye spots : this Sierra, precisely like that of Tapalguen, 
is bordered by horizontal, often cliff-bounded, little hills of tosca-rock, 
higher than the surrounding plain. Here, also, a new appearance 
was presented in some extensive and level banks of alluvium or 
detritus of the neighbouring metamorphic rocks ; but I neglected to 
observe whether it was stratified or not. Between Guitm-gueyu and 
the Sierra Yentana, I crossed a dry plain of tosca-rock higher than 
the country hitherto passed over, and with small pieces of denuded 
table land of the same formation, standing still higher. 

The marly or calcareous beds not only come up nearly horizontally 
to the northern and southern foot of the great quartzose mountains of 
the Sierra Yentana, but interfold between the parallel ranges. The 
superficial beds (for I nowhere obtained sections more than twenty 
feet deep) retain, even close to the mountains, their usual character : 
the uppermost layer, however, in one place included pebbles of quartz, 
and rested on a mass of detritus of the same rock. At the very foot 
of the mountains, there were some few piles of quartz and tosca-rock 
detritus, including land-shells ; but at the distance of only half a mile 
from these lofty, jagged, and battered mountains, I could not, to my 
great surprise, find on the boundless surface of the calcareous plain 
even a single pebble. Quartz-pebbles, however, of considerable size 
have at some period been transported to a distance of between forty 
and fifty miles to the shores of Bahia Blanca.* 

The highest peak of the S. Ventana is, by Captain FitzRoy's 
measurement, 3340 feet, and the calcareous plain at its foot (from 
observations taken by some Spanish officers t) 840 feet above the sea- 
level. On the flanks of the mountains, at a height of 300 or 400 
feet above the plain, there were a few small patches of conglomerate 
and breccia, firmly cemented by ferruginous matter to the abrupt and 
battered face of the quartz, — traces being thus exhibited of ancient 
sea-action. The high plain round this range sinks quite insensibly to 
the eye on all sides, except to the north, where its surface is broken 
into low cliffs. Round the Sierras Tapalguen, Guitru-gueyu, and 
between the latter and the Yentana we have seen (and shall hereafter 
see round some hills in Banda Oriental), that the tosca-rock forms 
low, flat-topped, cliff-bounded hills, higher than the surrounding 
plains of similar composition. From the horizontal stratification 
and from the appearance of the broken cliffs, the greater height of 
the Pampean formation round these primary hills, ought not to be 
altogether or in chief part attributed to these several points having 
been uplifted more energetically than the surrounding country, but to 

* Schmidtmeyer (Travels in Chile, p. 150) states that he first noticed on the 
Pampas, very small bits of red granite, when fifty miles distant from the southern 
extremity ot the mountains of Cordova, which project on the plain, like a reef into 
the sea. 

t La Plata, &c. by Sir W. Parish, p. 146. 


the argillaopo-calcareous mnd having collected round them, when 
they existed as islets or suhmarine rocks, at a greater height, than 
at the bottom of the adjoining open sea ; — the clifiB having been sub- 
sequently worn during the elevation of the whole country in mass. 

Southward of the Yentana, the plain extends farther than the eye 
can range; its surface is not very level, having slight depressions 
with no drainage exits; it is generally covered by a few feet in thick- 
ness of sandy earth ; and in some places, according to M. Parchappe,* 
by beds of clay two 3rards thick. On the banks of the Sauce, four 
leagues S.E. of the Yentana, there is an imperfect section about 200 
feet in height, displa3ring in the upper part tosca-rock and in the 
lower part red Pampean mud. At the settlement of Bahia Blanca, 
the uppermost plain is composed of very compact, stratified tosca- 
rock, containing rounded grains of quartz distinguishable by the naked 
eye : the lower plain, on which the Fortress stands, is described by M. 
Parchappe* as composed of solid tosca-rock ; but the sections which 
I examined appeared more like a redeposited mass of this rock, with 
small pebbles and fragments of quartz. I shall immediately return to 
the important sections on the shores of Bahia Blanca. Twenty miles 
southward of this place, there is a remarkable ridge, extending W. by 
N. and E, by S., formed of small, separate, flat-topped, steep-sided 
hills, rising between 1 00 and 200 feet above the Pampean plain at its 
Boutitern base, which plain is a little lower than that to the north. 
The uppermost stratum in this ridge consists of pale, highly calcareous, 
compact tosca-rock, resting (as seen in one place) on reddish Pam- 
pean mud, and this again on a paler kind : at the foot of the 
ridge, there is a well in reddish clay or mud. I have seen no other 
instance of a chain of hills belonging to the Pampean formation ; and 
as the strata show no signs of disturbance, and as the direction of the 
ridge is the same with that common to all the metamorphic lines in 
this whole area, I suspect that the Pampean sediment has in this 
instance been accumulated on and over a ridge of hard rocks, instead 
of, as in the case of the above mentioned Sierras, round their subma- 
rine flanks. South of this little chain of tosca-rock, a plain of Pam- 
pean mud declines towards the banks of the Colarado : in the middle 
a well has been dug in red Pampean mud, covered by two feet of 
white, softish, highly calcareous tosca-rock, over which lies sand with 
small pebbles three feet in thickness, — the first appearance of that 
vast shingle formation described in the first chapter. In the first 
section after crossing the Colorado, an older tertiary formation, namely, 
the Rio Negro sandstone (to be described in the next chapter), is met 
with : but from the accounts given me by the Gauchos, I believe that 
at the mouth of the Colarado the Pampean formation extends a little 
further southwards. 

Bahia Blanca, — To return to the shores of this bay. At Monte 
Hermoso there is a good section, about 1 00 feet in height, of four 
distinct strata, appearing to the eye horizontal, but thickening a little 

• M. d'Orbigny, Voyage, Part. G6olog. pp. 47, 48. 


towards the N. W. The uppermost bed, about twenty feet in thick- 
ness, consists of obliquely laminated, soft sandstone, including many 
pebbles of quartz, and falling at the surface into loose sand. The 
second bed, only six inches thick, is a hard, dark-coloured sandstone. 
The third bed is pale-coloured Pampean mud ; and the fourth is of 
the same nature, but darker coloured, including in its lower part 
horizontal layers and lines of concretions of not very compact pinkish 
tosea-rock. The bottom of the sea, I may remark, to a distance of 
several miles from the shore, and to a depth of between sixty and 
one hundred feet, was found by the anchors to be composed of tosca- 
rock and reddish Pampean mud. Prof. Ehrenberg has examined for 
me specimens of the two lower beds, and finds in them three Poly- 
gastrica and six Phytolitharia.* Of these, only one {Spongolithii 
Ftutis f ) is a marine form ; five of them are identical with micro- 
scopical structures, of brackish-water origin, hereafter to be men- 
tioned, form a central point in the Pampean formation. In these 
two beds, especially in the lower one, bones of extinct mammifers, 
some embedded in their proper relative positions and others single, 
are very numerous in a small extent of the clifis. These remams 
consists of, first, the head of Ctenomyn antiqutu^ allied to the living 
C, Braziliensis; secondly, a fragment of the remains of a rodent; 
thirdly, molar teeth and other bones of a large rodent, closely allied to, 
but distinct ft'om, the existing species of Hydrochcerus, and therefore 
probably an inhabitant of fresh water ; fourth and fifthly, portions of 
vertebree, limbs, ribs, and other bones of two rodents ; sixthly, bones 
of the extremities of some great megatheroid quadruped.t The 
number of the remains of rodents gives to this collection a peculiar 
character, compared with those found in any other locality. All 
these bones are compact and heavy ; many of them are stained red, 
with their surfaces polished ; some of the smaller ones are as black 
as jet. 

Monte Hermoso is between fifty and sixty miles distant in a S. E. 
line from the Yentana, with the intermediate country gently rising 
towards it*, and all consisting of the Pampean formation. What re- 
lation, then, do these beds, at the level of the sea and under it, bear 
to those on the flanks of the Ventana, at the height of 840 feet, and 
on the flanks of the other neighbouring sierras, which, from the 

* The following list is given in the " Monatsberichten der Konig. Akad. zu 
Berlin, April 1845." 


Fragilaria rhabdoeoma. | Pinnularia ? 

Gallionella distaus. I 


Lithodontium Bursa. 
— — fiircatum. 
Lithostylidium exesum. 

Lithostjlidium rude. 


Spongolithis Fustis ? 

t See Fossil Mammalia (p. 109), by Professor Owen, in the Zoology of the 
Voyage of the Beagle ; and Catalogue (p. 36) of Fossil Remains in Museum of 
Royal College of Surgeons. 





[chap. it. 

reasons already assigned, do not appear to owe their greater heiglit to 
unequal eleTation ? When the tosca-rock was accumulating round 
the Ventana, and when, with the exception of a few small rugged 
primary islands, the whole wide surrounding plains must have been 
under water, were the strata at Monte Hermoso depositing at the 
bottom of a great open sea, between 800 and 1000 feet in depth ? I 
mnch duubt this; for if so, the almost perfect carcasses of the several 
small rodents, the reniaiDS of which are so very numerous in so 
limited a space, must have been drifted to this spot from tlie distanod 
of many hundred miles. It appears to me far more probable, that 
during the Pampean period this wliole area had commenced slowly 
rising (and in the cliffs, at several different lieights, we have proofs of 
the laud having been exposed to sea-action at several levels), and that 
tracts of land had thus been formed of Pampean sediment round the 
Ventana and the other primary ranges, on which the several rodents 
uid otiier quadrupeds lived, and that a stream (in which perhaps the 
extinct aquatic Hydrochcerus lived) drifted their bodies into the ad- 
joining sea, into which the Pampean mud continued to be poured 
from tiie north. Aa the land continued to rise, it appears that this 
source of sediment was cut off; and in its place sand and pebbles 
were borne down by stronger currents, aud conformably deposited 
over the Pampean strata. 

Funta Alta is situated about thirty miles higher up on the northern 
aide of this same bay : it consists of a small plain, between twenty 
and thirty feet in height, cut off on the shore by a line of low cliffs 
about a mile in length, represented in the diagram with its vortical 
scale necessarily exaggerated. The lower bed (A) ia more extensive 

Mo. 15. — SECTION 

than the upper ones ; it consists of stradfied giBvel or ooi^omsnte^ 
cemented by calcareo-arenaceous matter, and is divided by curvilinear 
layers of pinkisli mari, of which some are precisely like tosca-rock, 
and some more sandy. The beds are curvilinear, owing to the action 
of currents, and dip in different directions ; they include an extra- 
ordinary number of bones of gigantic mammifors and many shells. 
The pebbles are of considerable size, and are of hard sandstone, and 
ofqnartz, like that of the Ventana : there are also a few well-rounded 
masses of tosca-rock. 

The second bed (B) is about fifteen feet in thickness, but towards 
both extremities of tlie cliff (not included in the diagram) it either 
thins out and dies away, or passes insensibly into an overlying bed of 
gravel It consists of red, tough clayey mud, with minute linear 




cavities ; it is marked with faint horizontal shades of colour ; it in- 
cludes a few pebbles, and rarely a minute particle of shell : in one 
spot, the dermal armour and a few bones of a Dasypoid quadruped 
were embedded in it : it fills up furrows in the underl3ring gravel. 
With the exception of the few pebbles and particles of sheUs, this 
bed resembles the true Pampean mud ; but it still more closely re- 
sembles the clayey flats (mentioned in the first chapter) separating 
the successively rising parallel ranges of sand-dunes. 

The bed (C) is of stratified gravel, like the lowest one ; it fills up 
furrows in the underlying red mud, and is sometimes intcrstratified 
with it, and sometimes insensibly passes into it ; as the red mud thins 
out, this upper gravel thickens. Shells are more numerous in it than 
in the lower gravel ; but the bones, though some are still present, are 
less numerous. In one part, however, where this gravel and the red 
mud passed into each other, I found several bones and a tolerably 
perfect head of the Megatherium. Some of the large Yolutas, though 
embedded in the gravel-bed (C), were filled with the red mud, includ- 
ing great numbers of the little recent Paludestrina australis. These 
three lower beds are covered by an unconformable mantle (D) of stra- 
tified sandy earth, including many pebbles of quartz, pumice and 
phonolite, land and sea-shells. 

M. d*Orbigny has been so obliging as to name for me the twenty 
species of moUusca embedded in the two gravel beds : they consist of, 

1. Volutella angolata, d'Orbig. Voyage 

MoUusq. and Pal. 

2. Volata Brasiliaua, Sol. 

3. Olicancillaria Brasiliensis, d'Orbig. 





12. Crepidula muricata, Lam. 

13. Venus puxpurata, do. 

14. rostrata, Phillippi. 

15. My til us Darwinanus, a'Orbig. 

16. Nucula semioroata, 

17. Cardita patagouica 

18. Corbula ( ? ) 


19. Pecten tetbuelchus, 

20. Ostrea puelcbana, 

21. A living species of Balanus. 

22. and 23. An Astraea and encrusting 

Flustra, apparently identical witb 
species now living in the Bay. 

5. Olivina puelcbana, 

6. Buccinanops cocblidium, 
7. globulosum, 

8. Colombella sertulariarum, 

9. Trocbus patagonicus, and 

ditto, d'Orbig. 

10. Paludestrina australis, d'Orbig. 

11. Fissurella patagonica, do. 

All these shells now live on this coast, and most of them in this 
same bay : I was also struck with the fact, that the proportional 
numbers of the dificrent kinds appeared to be the same with those 
now cast up on the beach : in both cases specimens of Yoluta, Cre- 
pidula, Venus, and Trochus are the most abundant. Four or five 
of the species are the same with the upraised shells on the Pampas 
near Buenos Ayres. All the specimens have a very ancient and 
bleached appearance,* and do not emit, when heated, an animal 
odour: some of them are changed throughout into a white, soft, 
fibrous substance ; others have the space between the external walls, 
either hollow, or filled up with crystalline carbonate of lime. 

* A Bnlinus, mentioned in tbe Introduction to tbe Fossil Mammalia in the 
Zoology of tbe Voyage of tbe Beagle, bas so mucb fresber an appearance, tban the 
marine species, tbat I suspect it must bave fallen amongst tbe otbers, and been 
collected by mistake. 

G 2 

v I i-AwrEA.^ rcAXAnsff- Ijoeael dt. 

'f'rn- rfiiiiiii' 'f Oi' * stifict nainiBifcfftw^ ■■■■iiifa fixKC tfiiftiwa 
<'r;Aw ! t«i«l' III • !»<i-ii <l<w;nix'«i by Proienar O vum. nmfiK siaifigjr af 
t)i<' \<<ya;." «'f tipr jV-n;:!':; ther ooowt of 1^ 4itf XBanEw- jptgafiA 
li< :i/l ur. J tiif* frj;'rri< ni" ••( li«'ad« *.4 tbe JfmCknrwn Owwi'ii^ 3i^ 
a lo«;i-r jiw '/f M'^t'iffut/J" J^ff^rmmu; dd. kw^w of J^tfiiifiw 
iJ'trtrinii ; Uli, f;»/iij(-rit- of a head of iMDe g^giKir FiftmiarL cpnaflnfi- 
|K-<1 ; :nli, an alnio-.t iutirc ekektOD <if tM £iBtt Snr&AflbopiMi 
hptji-*ph'il*nn, v.iili iri'fist of the lyjD», indoJair Aeheafc. iHwatiiraft^ 
rihif. »'/iii<: 'if ilii: tx trim lilies to the daw-UcHie, asl cwol aft iwiiiMiibfd 
hy IVif. Owifi, t!i<: knf.f'-caii, all ncArlj in tibcir |Hi^|p«Bi i^ifem 
\>*niii*tu^ ; ^;tli, f r:i;.'rf It'll tH of the jaw and a 
<l«;ii, \H:\t»n*(i%vj!^ 'rithf-r t^j 7*. plaUrtuiSf or to 
ilii»<:ovi.'ri.'«l ii<.-ar JSiKriioit Ayrr.*H; 7th, a tooih of Eqmmf i ■ iM— ' j SlAi,. 
t«i«;th of a l'su:hy<]f rill, ci'rM;ly allicfl to Palff^^4l^fri^D^ of 
of th<: h( a^l ha\<: l^-«'fi Kiti'ly bc-nt from BueiiOB Arres id 
MiiM.'Uiii ; ill all iirohahility thin iiachydenn is idftiiial mdk Ihi 
Marratirhtitiln jmlnrhmirti from Pi^rt S. Julian, henaftv to bs "Wt^ 
firrad \At, l^aistly, aii'l lithly, in a cliff of the red dbjcjr bed fBX 
th(;rv wa4 a doiihio ifii.'Cf;, a)>«iut throe feet long and two 
Lf/iiy armour of a iar;^c I>aHy|>oid qoadniped, with the 
prc-bDc-^i nearly clowj t>i;^r'ther : a^ the cliff is now E^ndlr 
away, thi>4 fouil iirohably was lately mncfa more pedei 
Udwceii itH (louhlc<l ufi sides, I extracted tlie middle and 
lihalaii^fM, uiiiU^tl Ui({(;ther, of ooo of the foet, and likewise a 
rate jihalaii^ : h<.'fic<; oik; or more of Uic limbs most have 
attached Ui the dermal caw;, when it was embedded. 
Mfveral remaiiiH in a dihtin^inhablc condition, there 
sin^h; lionets: the greater number were embedded in a space 200 
yardH s'liiare. The (irefKinflerancc of the Edental qnadmpiBds is i»- 
inarkahle ; as in, in contrant with the beds of Monte Hennoao^ the 
al>Henco of K^j<lentH. Most of the bones are now in a soft and 
friable cf>ndition, and, like the shells, do not emit when bamt an 
animal o^lour. Tlie decayed state of the bones may be parUy owinfj^ 
t^i tlieir kite cxi)osuro to the air and tidal waves. Bamacks, seipafap 
and cfirallincs are attached to many of the bones, but I negleeted to 
oliMcrvo* whetlior those might not have grown on them since being 
exjKiMed Ui the present tidal action ; but I believe that some of the 
barnaclfw muHt have ^rown on the Scelidotherinm, soon after being 
detfONili^l, aiul l^jfore l>ein^ whAly covered up by the gravel. Be- 
siffeM the remains in the condition hero described, I found one single 
frA^^meiit of hone v(;ry much rolled, and as black as jet, so as per- 
fectly \Ai n;H<;mblo some of the rcniaius from Monte Henuoso. 

Very many of tiie hones had been broken, abraded, and rolled, 
Ix^ore Imiiig embedded. Olliern, even some of those included in the 
coarsest jiarts of the now hard conglomerate, still retain all their 

* AAur Imvhifc psclcad up my specimens at Bahia Blanca, this point oecarredto 
hm. Miil I iMiu«a it • but forgot it on mv return, until the remains had been cleaned 
Mid mImI I u\y ttttuntion lias been lately called to the subject by some remarks by 
M d'OrWgny. ^ J / / 


minutest prominences perfectly preserved ; so that I conclude that 
they probably were protected by skin, flesh, or ligaments, whilst 
being covered up. In the case of the Scelidotherium, it is quite cer- 
tain that the whole skeleton was held together by its ligaments, when 
deposited in the gravel in which I found it. Some cervical vertebree 
and a humerus of corresponding size, lay so close together, as did 
some ribs and the bones of a leg, that I thought that they must 
originally have belonged to two skeletons, and not have been washed 
in single ; but as remains were here very numerous, I will not lay 
much stress on these two cases. We have just seen that the armour 
of the Dasypoid quadruped was certainly embedded together with 
some of the bones of the feet. 

Professor Ehrenberg* has examined for me specimens of the finer 
matter from in contact with these mammiferous remains ; he finds 
in them two Polygastrica, decidedly marine forms; and six Phy- 
tolitharia, of which one is probably marine, and the others either of 
fresh water or terrestrial origin. Only one of these eight microscopical 
bodies, is common to the nme from Monte Hermoso : but five of them 
are in common with those from the Pampean mud on the banks of the 
Parana. The presence of any fresh- water infusoria, considering the 
aridity of the surrounding country, is here remarkable : the most 
probable explanation appears to be, that these microscopical organisms 
were washed out of the adjoining great Pampean formation during 
its denudation, and afterwards redeposited. 

We will now see what conclusions may be drawn from the facts 
above detailed. It is certain that the gravel-beds and intermediate 
red mud were deposited within the period, when existing species of 
moUusca held to each other nearly the same relative proportions as 
they do on the present coast. These beds, from the number of littoral 
species, must have been accumulated in shallow water; but not, 
judging from the stratification of the gravel and the layers of marl, on 
a b^ch. From the manner in which the red clay fills up furrows in 
the underl3ring gravel, and is in some parts itself furrowed by the 
overlying gravel, whilst in other parts it either insensibly passes into, 
or alternates with, this upper gravel, we may infer several local 
changes in the currents, perhaps caused by slight changes, up or down, 
in the level of the land. By the elevation of these beds, to which 
. period the alluvial mantle with pumice-pebbles, land and sea sheUs 
belongs, the plain of Punta Alta, from twenty to thirty feet in height,. 

* Monatsberichten der Akad. zu Berlin, April, 1845, The list consists of,— ^ 

Gallionella sulcata. | Stauroptera aspera 1 fragm. 


Lithasteriscus tuberculatus. | Spongolithis acicularis. 

Litbostylidium Clepsammidium 

quadrat um. 




was formed. In this neighbourhood there are other and higher sea- 
formed plains and lines of cliffs in the Pampean formation worn hj 
the denuding action of the waves at different levels. Hence we can 
easily understand the presence of rounded masses of tosca-rock in this 
lowest plain ; and likewise, as the cliffs at Monte Hermoso with their 
mammiferous remains stand at a higher level, the presence of the one 
much roUed fragment of bone which was as black as jet : possibly 
some few of the other much rolled bones may have been similarly 
derived, though I saw only the one fragment, in the same condition 
with those from Monte Hermoso. M. d'Orbigny has suggested* that 
all these mammiferous remains may have been washed out of the 
Pampean formation, and afterwards redeposited together with the 
recent shells. Undoubtedly it is a marvellous fact that these nume- 
rous gigantic quadrupeds, belonging, with the exception of the JSquu$ 
eurmdens^ to seven extinct genera, and one, namely, the Toxodon, 
not falling into any existing family, should have co-existed with 
mollusca, all of which are still living species ; but analogous facts have 
been observed in N. America and in Europe. In the first place it 
should not be overlooked, that most of the co-embedded shells have a 
more ancient and altered appearance than the bones. In the second 
place, is it probable that numerous bones, not hardened by silex or 
any other mineral, could have retained their delicate prominences and 
surfaces perfect, if they had been washed out of one deposit, and re- 
embedded in another ; — this later deposit being formed of large, hard 
pebbles, arranged by the action of currents or breakers in shallow water 
into variously curved and inclined layers? The bones which are 
now in so perfect a state of preservation, must, I conceive, have been 
fresh and sound when embedded, and probably were protected by skin, 
flesh, or ligaments. The skeleton of the Scelidotherium indisputably 
was deposited entire : shall we say that when held together by its 
matrix it was washed out of an old gravel-bed (totally unlike in cha- 
racter to the Pampean formation), and re- embedded in another gravel- 
bed, composed (I speak after careful comparison) of exactly the same 
kind of pebbles, in the same kind of cement ? I will lay no stress on 
the two cases of several ribs and bones of the extremities having appch- 
rently been embedded in their pfoper relative position : but will any 
one be so bold as to affirm that it is possible, that a piece of the thin 
tessellated armour of a Dasypoid quadruped, at least three feet long 
and two in width, and now so tender that I was unable with the ut- 
most care to extract a fragment more than two or three inches square, 
could have been washed out of one bed, and re- embedded in another, 
together with some of the small bones of the feet, without having been 
dashed into atoms ? We must then wholly reject M. d'Orbigny^ sup- 
position, and admit as certain, that the Scelidotherium and the large 
Dasypoid quadruped, and as highly probable, that the Toxodon, Mega- 
therium, &c., some of the bones of which are perfectly preserved, were 
embedded for the first time, and in a fresh condition, in the strata in 
which they were found entombed. These gigantic quadrupeds, there- 

* Vojage Part. G^olog. p. 49. 


fore, though belonging to extinct genera and families, co-existed with 
the twenty above enumerated mollusca, tlie barnacle and two corals, 
still living on this coast. From the rolled fragment of black bone, and 
from the plain of Punta Alta being lower than that of Monte Her- 
moso, I conclude that the coarse sub-littoral deposits of Punta Alta 
are of subsequent origin to the Pampean mud of Monte Hermoso ; 
and the beds at this latter place, as wo have seen, are probably of 
subsequent origin to the high tosca-plain round the Sierra Yentana : 
we shall, however, return at the end of this chapter, to the considera- 
tion of these several stages in the great Pampean formation. 

Buenos Ayret io St. Fi Bajada^ in Entre Rios. — For some dis- 
tance northward of Buenos Ayres, the escarpment of the Pampean 
formation does not approach very near to the Plata, and it is con- 
cealed by vegetation : but in sections on the banks of the Rios Luxan, 
Areco, and Arrecifes, I observed both pale and dark reddish Pampean 
mud, with small, whitish concretions of tosca: at all these places 
mammiferous remains have been found. In the cliffs on the Parana, 
at San Nicolas, the Pampean mud contains but little tosca : here M. 
d'Orbigny found the remains of two rodents (Ctenomys Bonartenns 
and lUfidan antiquus) and the jaw of a Canis : when on the river 
I could clearly distinguish in this fine line of cliffs, *' horizontal lines 
of variation both in tint and compactness." * The plain northward of 
this point is very level, but with some depressions and lakes ; I esti- 
mated its height at from forty to sixty feet above the Parana. At 
the A. Medio the bright red Pampean mud contains scarcely any 
tosca-rock ; whilst at a short distance the stream of the Pabon forms 
a cascade, about twenty feet in height, over a cavernous mass of two 
varieties of tosca-rock ; of which one is very compact and semi-crys- 
talline, with seams of crystallized carbonate of lime : similar compact 
varieties are met with on the Salidillo and Seco. The absolute 
identity (I speak after a comparison of my specimens) between some 
of these varieties, and those from Tapalguen, and from the ridge south 
of B. Blanca, a distance of 400 miles of latitude, is very striking. 

At Rosario there is but little tosca-rock : near this place I first 
noticed at the edge of the river traces of an underlying formation, 
which, twenty- five miles higher up in the estancia of Gorodona, con- 
sists of a pale yellowish clay, abounding with concretionary cylinders 
of a ferruginous sandstone. This bed, which is probably the equi- 
valent of the older tertiary marine strata, immediately to be described 
in Entre Rios, only just rises above the level of the Parana when low. 
The rest of the cliff at Gorodona, is formed of red Pampean mud, with, 
in the lower part, many concretions of tosca, some stalactiformed, and 
with only a few in the upper part : at the height of six feet above the 
river, two gigantic skeletons of the Mastodon Andium were here 

* I quote these words from my note-book, as written down on the spot, on ac- 
count of the general absence of stratification in the Pampean formation having 
been insisted on by M. d'Orbigny as a proof of the diluvial origin of this great 


embedded ; their bones were scattered a few feet apart, but many of 
them still held their proper relative positions ; they were much de- 
cayed and as soft as cheese, so that even one of the great molar teeth 
fell into pieces in my hand. We here see that the Fampean deposit 
contains mammiferous remains close to its base. On the banks of the 
Carcarana, a few miles distant, the lowest bed visible was pale Pam- 
pean mud, with masses of tosca-rock, in one of which I found a much 
decayed tooth of the Mastodon : above this bed, there was a thin 
layer almost composed of small concretions of white tosca, out of 
which 1 extracted a well preserved, but slightly broken tooth of 
Toxodon Platensis: above this there was an unusual bed of very 
soft impure sandstone. In this neighbourhood I noticed many single 
embedded bones, and I heard of others having been found in so per- 
fect a state that they were long used as gate-posts : the Jesuit Falkner, 
found here the dermal armour of some gigantic edental quadruped. 

In some of the red mud scraped from a tooth of one of the mastodons 
at Gorodona, Professor Ehrenberg finds seven Polygastrica and 
thirteen Phytolitharia,* all of them, I believe, with two exceptions, 
already known species. Of these twenty, the preponderating num- 
ber are of fresh- water origin ; only two species of Coscinodiscus and 
a Spongolithis show the direct influence of the sea ; therefore Pro- 
fessor Ehrenberg arrives at the important conclusion that the deposit 
must have been of brackish- water origin. Of the thirteen Phytoli- 
tharia, nine are met with in the two deposits in Bahia Blanca, where 
there is evidence from two other species of Polygastrica that the beds 
were accumulated in brackish water. The traces of corals, sponges, 
and polytbalamia, found by Dr. Carpenter in the tosca-rock, (of 
which I must observe the greater number of specimens were from 
the upper beds in the southern parts of the formation), apparently 
show a more purely marine origin. 

At Su Fi Bajaday in Entre Rios, the cliffs, estimated at between 
sixty and seventy feet in height, expose an interesting section : the 
lower half consists of tertiary strata with marine shells, and/ the 
upper half of the Pampean formation. The lowest bed is an 
obliquely laminated, blackish, indurated mud, with distinct traces of 

* Monatsberichten der Konig. Akad. zu Berlin, April, 1845. The list consists 


Campylodiscus cljpeus. 
Coscinodiscus subtilis. 
— al. sp. 

Gallionella granulata. 
Himantidium gracile. 
Pinnularia borealis. 



Lithasteriscus tuberculatus 
Lithodontium bursa. 


Lithostylidium Ampbiodon. 


Lithost jlidinm Hamus. 





Spongolitiiis fustis. 




vegetable remains.* Above this there is a thick bed of yellowish 
sandy clay, with much crystallized gypsum and many shells of Ostrese, 
Pectens, and Arcee : above this there generally comes an arenaceous 
crystalline limestone, but there is sometimes interposed, a bed, about 
twdve feet thick, of dark green, soapy clay, weathering into small 
angular fragments. The limestone, where purest, is white, nighly crys- 
talline, and full of cavities : it includes small j»ebbles of quartz, broken 
i^ells, teeth of sharks, and sometimes, as I was informed, large 
bones : it often contains so much sand as to pass into a calcareous 
sandstone, and in such parts the great Ostrea Pata^onica-f chiefly 
abounds. In the upper part, the limestone alternates with layers of 
fine white sand. The shells included in these beds have been named 
for me by M. d'Orbigny ; they consist of. 

1. OBtm patagonica, d'Orbig. Voyage, 

Part. Pd. 

2. Alvarezii, do. 

3. Pecten Paranenais, do. (and PI. IV. 

of this work, fig. 30.) 

4. — Darwinianua, do. and PI. IV. 

of this work, figs. 28, 29. 

5. Venus Monsterii, d'Orbig. Voyage, 


6. Area Bonplandiana, do. 

7. Cardium rlatense, do. 

8. Tellina, probably nor. spec., but too 

imperfect for description. 

These species are all extinct : the six first were found by M. 
d'Orbigny and myself in the formations of the Rio Negro, S. Josef, 
and other parts of Patagonia ; and therefore, as first observed by M. 
d'Orbigny, these beds certainly belong to the great Patagonian forma- 
tion^ which will be described in the ensuing chapter, and which we 
shall see must be considered as a very ancient tertiary one. North 
of the Bajada, M. d'Orbigny found, in beds which he considers as 
lying beneath the strata here described, remains of a Toxodon, which 
he has named as a distinct species from the T. Platerms of the Pam- 
pean formation. Much silicified wood is found on the banks of the 
Parana (and likewise on the Uruguay), and I was informed that they 
come out of these lower beds : four specimens collected by myself are 

The upper half of the cliff, to a thickness of about thirty feet, 
consists of Pampean mud, of which the lower part is pale coloured, 
and the upper part of a brighter red, with some irregular layers of 
an arenaceous variety of tosca, and a few small concretions of the 
ordinary kind. Close above the marine limestone, there is a thin 
stratum with a concretionary outline of white hard tosca-rock or 
marl, which may be considered either as the uppermost bed of 
the inferior deposits, or the lowest of the Pampean formation ; at 
one time I considered this bed as marking a passage between the two 

• M, d'Orbigny has given (Voyage Part. G^olog. p. 37) a detailed description 
of this section, but as he does not mention this lowest bed, it may have been con- 
cealed when he was there by the river. There is a considerable discrepancy be« 
tween his description and mine, which I can only account for by the beds them- 
selves varying considerably in siiort distances. 

t Capt. Sulivan, R.N., has given me a specimen of this shell, which he found 
in the cliffs at Point Cerrito, between twenty and thirty miles above the Bajada. 

£cHAP. IT. 


formatioDB ; but I have aince become convinced tliat I v 
on thia point. In the section on the Parana, I did not find any 
mammiferoua remains ; but at two miles distance ou the A. Tapaa 
(a tributary of the Conchitas), they were extremely numerous in a 
low cUfT of red Pampean mud with small concretions, precisely like 
the upper bed oq the Parana. Most of the bones were solitary 
and much decayed ; but I saw the dermal armour of a gigantia 
Edental quadruped, forming a cauldron-like hollow, four or five feet 
in diameter, out of which, as I was informed, the almost entire 
skeleton had been lately removed. I found single teeth of the 
Mastodon Andium, Toxodon Ptatenis, and Equua cumidens, near to 
each other. As Oiia latter tooth approaches closely to that of the 
common horse, I paid particular attention to its true embedment, for 
I did not at that time know that there was a similar tooth hidden in 
the matrix with the other mammiferous remains from Punla Alta. 
It is an interesting circumstance, that Prof. Owen finds that the 
teeth of this horse approach more clo^ly in their peculiar curvature 
to a fossil specimen brought by Mr. Lyell * &om N. America, than to 
those of any other species of Equus. 

The underlying marine tertiary strata extend over a wide area : I 
was assured that they can be traced in ravines in an east and west 
line across Entre Rios to the Uruguay, a distance of about 135 
miles. In a S.E. direction I heard of their existence at the head of 
the U. Nankay ; and at P. Gorda in Banda Oriental, a distance of 
170 miles, I found the same limestone, containing the same fossil 
shells, lying at about the same level above the river as at St. Fe. In 
a southerly direction, these beds sink in height, for at another P. 
Gorda in Entre Rios, the limestone is seen at a much less height ; 
and there can be little doubt that the yellowish sandy clay, on a level 
with the river, between tho Caicarana and S. Nicolas, belongs to this 
same formation ; as perhaps do the beds of sand at Buenos Ayres, 
which lie at the bottom of the Pampean formation, about sixty feet 
beneath the surface of the Plata. The southerly declination of these 
beds may perhaps be due, not to unequal elevation, but to the ori- 
ginal form of the bottom of the sea, sloping from land situated to 
the north ; for that land existed at no great distance, we have evi- 
dence in the vegetable remains in the lowest bed at St. Fe ; and in 
the aiUcified wood and in the bones of Toxoden Paranenm, found 
(according to M. d'Orbigny) in atill lower strata. 

Banda Oriental. — Tliis province lies on the northern side of the 
Plata, and eastward of the Uruguay : it has a gently undulatory sur- 
face, with a basis of primary rocks; and is in most parts covered up with 
an unstratified mass, of no great thickness, of reddish Pampean mud. 
In the eastern hal^ near Maldonado, this deposit is more arenaceous 
than in the Pampas ; it contains many though small concretions of 
mail or tosca-rock, and others of highly fcrrnginous sandstone ; in one 
* Lyell's TniT«lB ia N. Ameiios, vol. i. p. 164, and Pioc. of Geolog. Soa. 
vol. iv. |>. 39. 


section, only a few yards in depth, it rested on stratified sand. Near 
Monte Video this deposit in some spots appears to be of greater thick- 
ness ; and the remains of the Glyptodon and other extinct raammifers 
have been found in it. In the long line of cliffs, between fifty and 
sixty feet in height, caUed the Barrancas de S. Gregorio, which ex- 
tend westward of the Rio S. Lucia, the lower half is formed of coarse 
sand of quartz and feldspar without mica, like that now cast up on 
the beach near Maldonado ; and the upper half of Pampean mud, 
var3ring in colour and containing honey-combed veins of soft calca- 
reous matter and small concretions of tosca-rock arranged in lines, and 
likewise a few pebbles of quartz. This deposit fills up hollows and 
furrows in the underlying sand ; appearing as if water charged with 
mud had iuTaded a sandy beach. These cliffs extend far westward, 
and at a distance of sixty miles, near Colonia del Sacramiento, I found 
^e Pampean deposit resting in some places on this sand, and in others 
on the primary rocks: between the sand and the reddish mud, 
there appeared to be interposed, but the section was not a very good 
one, a thin bed of sheUs of an existing Mytilus, still partially retain- 
ing tiieir colour. The Pampean formation in Banda Oriental might 
readily be mistaken for an alluvial deposit : compared with that of 
the Pampas, it is often more sandy, and contains small fragments of 
quartz; the concretions are much smaller, and there are no extensive 
masses of tosca-rock. 

In the extreme western parts of this province, between the Uruguay 
and a line drawn from Colonia to the R. Perdido (a tributary of the 
R. Negro), the formations are far more complicated. Besides pri- 
mary rocks, we meet with extensive tracts and many flat- topped, 
horizontally stratified, cliff-bounded, isolated hills of tertiary strata, 
varying extraordinarily in mineralogical nature, some identical with 
the old marine beds of St. Fe Bajada, and some with those of the 
much more recent Pampean formation. There are, also, extensive low 
tracts of country covered with a deposit containing mammiferous re- 
mains, precisely like that just described in the more eastern parts of 
the province. Although from the smooth and unbroken state of the 
country, I never obtained a section of this latter deposit close to the 
foot of the higher tertiary hills, yet I have not the least doubt that it is 
of quite subsequent origin ; having been deposited after the sea had 
worn the tertiary strata into the cliff-boimded hills. This later for- 
mation, which is certainly the equivalent of that of the Pampas, is 
well seen in the valleys in the estancia of Berquelo, near Mercedes ; 
it here consists of reddish earth, full of rounded grains of quartz, and 
with some small concretions of tosca-rock arranged in horizontal lines, 
so as perfectly to resemble, except in containing a little calcareous 
matter, the formation in the eastern parts of Banoa Oriental, in Entre 
Rios, and at other places : in this estancia the skeleton of a great Edental 
quadruped was found. In the valley of the Sarandis, at the distance 
of only a few miles, this deposit has a somewhat different character, 
being whiter, softer, finer-grained, and full of little cavities, and conse- 
quently of little specific gravity ; nor does it contain any concretions 



[[CDAP. IV. 

or calcareous matter : 1 hete procured a bend, winch when first dia- 
covered must liavc been quito perfect, of the Toxodon Platemi*, 
another of a Mylodon,* perhaps M. Darwinii. and a largo piece of 
dermal armour, differing from that of tlie Glyptodon daeipet. These ' 
bonea are remarkable from their extraordiuarilj' fresh appearance ; 
when held over a lamp of spirits of wine, they give out a strone i 
odour and bum with a small flame; Mr. T. Reeks has been so kina 
as to analyse some of the fragments, and he finds that they contain 
about seven per cent, of animal matter, and eight per cent of water.f 
The older tertiary strata, forming the higher isolated hills and ox- 
tensive tracts of country, vary, aa I have said, estiaordinarily in com- 
position : within the distance of a few miles, I sometimes passed over 
crystalline limestone with agate, calcareous tuffs, and marly rocks, all 
passing into each other, — red and pale mud with concretions of tosca- 
rock, quite like the Pampean formation, — calcareous conglomerates and 
sandstones, — bright red sandstones passing either into red conglomer- 
ate, or into white sandstone, — hard siliceous sandstones, jaspery and 
ohalcedonic rocks, and numerous other subordinate varieties. I was 
unable to make out the relations of all these strata, and will desoribe 
oply a few distinct sections: — in the cliffs between P, Gorda on 
the Uruguay and the A, de Vivoras, the upper bed is crystalline 
cellular limestone often passing into calcareous sandstone, vrith im- 
pressions of some of the same shells as at St, Fe Bajada ; at P. 
Gorda,^ this limestone is interstratified with, and rests on, white 
sand, which covers a bed about thirty feet thick of pale-coloured 
clay, with many shells of the great Ottrea Patagonica : beneath this, 
in the vertical olifF, nearly on a level with the river, there is a bed of red 
mud absolutely like the Pampean deposit, with numerous often large 
concretions of perfectly characterized white, compact tosca-rock. At 
the mouth of the Vivoras, tlie river flows over a pale cavernous tosca- 
rock, quite like that in the Pampas, and this appeared to underlie the 
crystalline limestone ; but the section was not unequivocal like that 
at P. Gorda. These beds now form only a narrow and much de- 
nuded strip of land ; but they must once have extended much fur- 
ther; for on the next stream, south of the S. Juan, Capt. Sulivan, 
K.N., found a little cliff, only just above the surface of the river, 
with numerous shells of the Venut Mtintterii, d'Orbig., — one of the 
species occurring at St. Fe, and of which there are casts at P. GForda: 
the line of cliffs of the subsequently deposited true Pampean mud, ex- 
tend from Colonia to within half a mile of this spot, and no doubt 
once covered up this denuded marine stratum. Again at Colonia, a 

■ Thia head »aB at firsl couaidered by Piofesaor Owen (in the Zooli^ of 
Beagle's Voyage) 09 belonging to a distinct genus, naniely, Glosaotheriam. 

t Liebig (Cbemisli^ of Agricuilure, p. 194) slates Ibat freab dry bones contain 
ffom Ihirty-lwo to tbiTtj-tbree per cent, of diy gelatine. See also Dr. Daubeoy 
iu Edin. New Pbil. Joum. vol. uivii. p. 393. 

t In my Journal (u. 171, lat edit.), I bave baslily nod inaccurately staled Ibat 
tlie Puin|>eun mud, wbicl --■■-■ -' - ' ..-..-.■...■ 


Frenchman found, in digging the foundations of a house, a great niass 
of the Ostrea Pata^onica (of which I saw many fragments), packed 
together just beneath the surface, and directly supenmposed on the 
gneiss. These sections are important : M. d'Orbigny is unwilling to 
believe that beds of the same nature with the Pampean formation, ever 
underlie the ancient marine tertiary strata ; and I was as much sur« 
prised at it, as he could have been ; but the vertical cliff at P. Gorda, 
allowed of, no mistake, and I must be permitted to affinn, that after 
having examined the country from the Colorado to St. Fe Bajada, I 
could not be deceived in the mineralogical character of the Pampean 

Moreover, in a precipitous part of the ravine of Las Bocas, a red 
sandstone is distinctly seen to overlie a thick bed of pale mud, also quite 
like the Pampean formation, abounding with concretions of true tosca- 
rock. This sandstone extends over many miles of country : it is as red 
as the brightest volcanic scorisQ ; it sometimes passes into a coarse red 
conglomerate composed of the underlying primary rocks; and often 
passes into a soft white sandstone with red streaks. At the Calera de 
los Huerfanos, only a quarter of a mile south of where I first met with 
the red sandstone, the crystalline white limestone is quarried : as this 
bed is the uppermost, and as it often passes into calcareous sandstone, 
interstratified with pure sand ; and as the red sandstone likewise 
passes into soft white sandstone, and is also the uppermost bed, I 
believe that these tyiro beds, though so different, are equivalents. A 
few leagues southward of these two places, on each side of the low 
primary range of S. Juan, there are some flat-topped, cliff-bounded; 
separate little hills, very similar to those fringing the primary ranges 
in the great plain south of Buenos Ayres; they are composed, — 1st, of 
calcareous tuff with many particles of quartz, sometimes passing into 
a coarse conglomerate ; 2nd, of a stone undistinguishable on the closest 
inspection from the compacter varieties of tosca-rock; and 3rd, of 
semi-crystalline limestone, including nodules of agate : these three 
varieties pass insensibly into each other, and as they form the upper- 
most stratum in this district, I believe that they, also, are the equiva- 
lents of the pure crystalline limestone, and of the red and white sand- 
stones and conglomerates. 

Between these points and Mercedes on the Rio Negro, there are 
scarcely any good sections, the road passing over limestone, tosca-rock, 
calcareous and bright red sandstones, and near the source of the S. 
Salvador over a wide extent of jaspery rocks, with much milky agate, 
like that in the limestone near S. Juan. In the estancia of Berquelo, 
the separate, flat-topped, cliff-bounded hills are rather higher than in 
other parts of the country; they range in a N.E. and S.W. direction ; 
their uppermost beds consist of tlie same bright red sandstone, passing 
sometimes into a conglomerate, and in the lower part into soft white 
sandstone and even into loose sand : beneath this sandstone, I saw in 
two places layers of calcareous and marly rocks, and in one place red 
Pampean-like earth ; at the base of these sections there was a hard, 
stratified, white sandstone, with chalcedonic layers. Near Mercedes, 



[on A P. IT, 

beds of the same nature and apparently of the same age, are associated 
Tvith compact, wliito, crystalline limestone, including much botryoidal 
agate, and singular masses, like porcelain, but really composed of a 
calcaico-siliceoua paste. In sinking wells in this district the chntce- 
donic strata seem to be the lonest. Beds, such as here described, 
occur OTet the whole of this neighbourhood ; but twenty miles further 
up the R. Negro, in the cliffs of Feiika, which are about fifty feet in 
height, the upper bed is a prettily variegated chalcedony, mingled with 
a pure white tallowy limestone ; beneath this there is a conglomerate 
of quartz and granite ; beneath this many sandstones, some highly cal- 
careous ; and the whole lower two- thirds of the cliff consists of earthy 
calcareous beds of various degrees of purity, with one layer of reddish 
Pampean-like mud. 

When examining the agates, tbe chalcedanic and jaspcry rocks, soma 
of the limestones, and even the bright red sandstones, I was forcibly 
struck with their resemblance to deposits formed in tbe neighbourhood 
of volcanic action. I now find that M. Isabelle in his " Voyage k 
Buenos Ayrea," has described closely similar beds on the Itaquy and 
Ibiouy (which enter the Uruguay some way north of the R. Negro) 
and these beds include fragments of red docomposod true acorite har- 
dened by zeobte, and of black retinite : we have then here good evi- 
dence of volcanic action during our tertiary period. Still farther 
north, near S. Anna,* where the Parana makes a rcmarkablo bend, 
M. Bonpknd found some singular amygdaloidat rocks, vrhich perhaps 
may belong to this eame epoch. I may remark that, judging from 
the size and well-rounded condition of the blocks of rock in the above- 
described conglomerates, masses of primary formation probably existed 
at this tertiary period above water : there is, also, according to M. 
Isabelle, much conglomerate further north, at Salto. 

From whatever source and through whatever means tlio great 
Pampean formation originated, we here have, I must repeat, unequi- 
vocal evidence of a similar action at a period before that of the depo- 
sition of the marine tertiary strata with extinct shells, at St. Fe and 
P. Gorda. During, also, the deposition of these Strata, we have in 
the intercalated layers of red Pampean-like mud and tosca-rock, and 
the passage near 8. Juan of the semi-crystalline limestones with agate j 
into tosca undistinguishablo from that of tbe Pampas, evidence of tbe 1 
same action, though continued only at intervals and in a feeble mt 
ner. We have further seen that in this district, at a period not only 
subsequent to the deposition of the tertiary strata, hut to their up- 
beavement and moat extensive denudation, true Pampean mud with its 
usual characters and including mammiferous remains, was deposited 
round and between the hills or islets formed of these tertiary strata, 
and over the whole eadtem and low primary districts of Banda Ori- 

Earthy mate, 
riiie gravel at i 

nth extinct mammi/erous retnaim, over the porpJiff- 
, Julian, lat. 4!)° 14' »S. in Patagonia. — This cas^ 
d, d'Ortiigny, Vojsge Piut, Gfeolog. p. 29. 


though not coming strictly under the Pampean formation, may be 
conveniently given here. On the south side of the harbour, there is 
a nearly level plain (mentioned in the first chapter) about seven miles 
long, and three or four miles wide, estimated at ninety feet in height, 
and bordered by perpendicular cliffs, of which a section is here repre- 

▲ A ▲ 



yfe^^ClJl C. ^ -*^<* ^" "•^••lj^» ■•• '-»\ -•,-.>'-*t.r-^v.;l/3'^ CCS"!'''** •»• ^—.^.^^ 

A A. Superficial bed of reddish eartb, with the remaini of the Macrauchenia, and with 

recent lea-shdli on the surfitce. 
B. Orarel of porphjritic rocka. 

C and D. Pomioeons mudatone. \ *_«•-_* ♦^-♦i,-- a..»..*i^« 

B and P. Sandatone and arglUaceoui beds. J ^«*~* ^^^ formation. 

The lower old tertiary strata (to be described in the next chapter) 
are covered by the usual gravel bed; and this by an irregular earthy, 
sometimes sandy mass, seldom more than two or three feet in thick- 
ness, except where it fills up furrows or gullies worn not only through 
the underlying gravel, but even through the upper tertiary becb. 
This earthy mass is of a pale reddish colour, like the less pure varie- 
ties of Pampean mud in Banda Oriental ; it includes small calcareous 
concretions, like those of tosca-rock but more arenaceous, and other 
concretions of a greenish, indurated argillaceous substance : a few 
pebbles, also, from the underlying gravel-bed are also included in it, 
and these, being occasionally arranged in horizontal lines, show that 
the mass is of sub-aqueous origin. On the surface and embedded in 
the superficial parts, there are numerous shells, partially retaining their 
colours, of three or four of the now commonest littoral species. Near 
the bottom of one deep furrow (represented in the diagram), filled up 
vnth this earthy deposit, I found a large part of the skeleton of the 
Macrauehenia Patachonicay — a gigantic and most extraordinary 
pachyderm, allied, according to Professor Owen, to the Paleeotherium, 
but vnth affinities to the Ruminants, especially to the American 
division of the Camelid». Several of the vertebrse in a chain, and 
nearly all the bones of one of the limbs, even to the smallest bones of 
the foot, were embedded in their proper relative positions : hence the 
skeleton was certainly united by its flesh or ligaments, when enveloped 
in the mud. This earthy mass, with its concretions and mammife- 
rous remains, filling up furrows in the underlying gravel, certainly 
presents a very striking resemblance to some of the sections (for in- 
stance, at P. Alta in B. Blanca, or at the Barrancas de S. Gregorio) 
in the Pampean formation ; but I must believe that this resemblance 
is only accidental. I suspect that the mud which at the present 
day is accumulating in deep and narrow gullies at the head of the 
harbour, would, after elevation, present a very similar appearance. 

WB ibill haMfta- wee, tmr bow geai ■ lo^tti tlw pintiwif locka of 

, qeetiMig, «• alnoM idcatioTm iitaK. 

ike mi^ «f tba Anpcaa fiiiMliw hsTe hem 
thst of a gieat ddwde ^ H. fOiUgay; dus 

• ti UuvuhI qaadrapeds. Altlia^fa 
(Eke w Miay MpHiwow dcpMits} is not 

llM.^atpeaB ftm 

■amaB teniat . „ 

dmded nto diriiiMt and aepante atnta, jet we hiTe seen thai 
one good teetion it waa atiiped wiOi horiioiital sones of eoloor, and 
I that m aevenl cpectfied plaoes the appa and lowo' puts diSeted, not 
obIj' conrndetablj in ndoor, bnt gieatlj in con^tntion. In the 
aontheni part of the Pampaa the upper ma^ (to a certain extent 
Sbatified) genoally craiHsts of haid tosca-rock, and tbe lower part 
of red Pampan mnd, oftoi itadf divided into two or more masses, 
vatying in cMonr and in the qnanlitj of included calcaieous matter. 
In western Banda Oriental, beds of a similar nature, bnt of a greater 
age, conformably nndeilie and are intercalated with tfac regularly 
atra^ficd tertiary formation. As a genera] mle, the marly coa- 
cretions are arranged in horizontal lines, sometimes united into 
irregular strata : EoiEly, if the mad had been tumultnoualy deposited 
in mase, the included calcareous matter would have s^regated itself 
irreguUu'ly, and not into nodnlea arranged in horizontal lines, one 
above the other and often far apart: this artaogement appears to me 
to prove tliat mud, differing slightly in composition, was succes^vely 
and i]uietly deposited. On the theory of a debacki, a prodigioas 
Mnonnt of mud, without a single pebble, is supposed to have been 
borne over the vride surface of tlie Pampas, when under water : on 
the other hand, over the whole of Patagonia, the same or another 
debacle is supposed to hare borne nothing but gravel, — the gravel 
and the fine mud in the neighbourhood of the Rios Negro and Colo- 
rado having been borne to an equal distance from the Cordillera, or 
imagined line of disturbance : assnredly directly opposite effects 
ought not to be attributed to the same agency. Where, again, could 
a mass of fine sediment, charged with calcareous matter in a fit state 
for chemical segregation, and in quantity snffident to cover an area 
at least 750 miles long and 400 miles broad, to a depth of from 
twenty or thirty feet to a hundred feet, have been accumulated, ready 
to be transported by the supposed debacle ? To ray mind it is little 
short of demonstration, that a great lapse of time was necessary fbi 
the production and deposition of the enormous amount of mud-Uln _ 
matter forming the Pampas; nor should I have noticed the theoiy] 
of a debacle, had it not been adduced by a naturalist su eminent n 
M M. d'Otbigny. ' 

A second tiieory, first suggested, I believe, by Sir W. Parish, is 
that tlio Pampean formation was thrown down on low and marshy 
plains by the rivets of this country before they assumed their pre- 



Bent courses. The appearance and composition of the deposit, 
the mannei in which it slopes up and round the primary ranges, 
the nature of the underlying marine beds, the estuary and sea- 
shells on tlie Eurfa.ce, the overlying sandstone beds at M. Her< 
moso, are all quite opposed to this Tiew, Nor do I believe that 
there is a. single instance of a skeleton of one of the extinct mam- 
niifers having been found in an upright position, as if it had been 

The third theory, of the truth of which I cannot entertain the 
smallest doubt, is that the Pampean formation was slowly accumu- 
lated at the mouth of the former estuary of the Plata and in the sea 
adjoining it. I have come to this conclusion from the reasons 
assigned against the two foregoing theories, and fruu simple geogni' 
phical considerations. From tlie numerous shells of the A^iara 
lahiata lying loose on the surface of the plains, and near Buenos 
Ayres embedded in tlie tosca-rock, we know that this formation not 
only was formerly covered by, but that the uppennost parts were de- 
posited in, the brackish water of tlie ancient La Plata. Southward 
and seaward of Buenos Ayres, the plains were upheaved from under 
water inhabited by true marine shells. We furtiior know from Prof. 
Ehrenberg's examination of the twenty microscopical orgnnisuia in 
the mud round the tooth of the Mastodon high up the course of the 
Parana, that the bottom-most part of this formation was of brsckish- 
water origin. A similar conclusion must be extended to the beds of 
like composition, at the level of the sea and under it, at M. Hermoso 
in Bahia Blanca. Dr. Carpenter finds that the harder varietieaof tosca- 
rock, collected chiefly to the south, contain marine spongoid bodies, 
minute fragments of shells, corals, and polytlialamia ; these perhaps 
may have been drifted inwards by the tides, from the more open parts 
of the sea. The absence of shells, throughout this deposit, with the 
exception of the uppennost hiyers near Buenoa Ayres, is a remark- 
able fact : can it be explained by the brackish condition of the water, 
or by the deep mud at the bottom 1 I have stated that both the 
reddish mud and the concretions of tosca-rock are often penetrated by 
minute, linear cavities, such as frequently may be observed in fresh- 
water calcareous deposits: — were they produced by the burrowing of 
small worms ? Only on this view of the Pampean formation having 
been of estuary origin, can the extraordinary numbers (presently to 
be allnded to) of the embedded mammiferous remains be explained.* 

With respect to the first origin of the reddish mud, I will only 
temark, that the enormous area of Brazil consists in chief part of 
gneissic aad other granitic rocks, which have suffered decomposition, 
and been converted into a red, gritty, argillaceous mass, to a greater 
* It IB almoat superfluous (0 give tbe DumeTaus cases (for intitnnce in SumatrBi 
Lj«irs FrJDcipleB, rol. iii. p. 326, axtii edit.), of (be catcasaea of aiiimils haiiag 
been iVBsbed out to aea b; swalleu livers ; but I may refar to a recent iccount bf 
Mr. BelliDgtoa (Asiatic Soc. IB45, June Zlst), of oxen, deer, and besra being 
carriBd into fbe Gult of Cambray i bbe, also, the account in my Journal (3nd Bciit. 
p. 133), of the numbers of animala drowned in tba Plata during tbe grBBt, often 
tccnrrsDt, drougblB. 

whiefa I have a 

Hie DiiztaK 

of roimded grains, utd erea of flnwD (ugaieutB and pebUes of qnaite, 
in tbe Paoipean mnd of Bandk Oriaital,i8 endcntijdne totlie neigli- 
bonring *nd onAeAjiag pnntMrj rocks. Tbe eMouv mad was drifted 
daring the Pampesn pmod in a nindi mate amitliQrlr comae, owing 
prohablyta the ea«t and west primaiy lidges aontfa of tbe Plata n*^ 
BBTing been then derated, tban tbe mnd of the Plata at pre^mt is ; 
tot it was fotmetiy deponted as &t Booth aa tbe Colorado. Tbe 
qnaotitj of colcareons matter in this fonnation, especiallT in tfaoae 
[ Bige districts where the whole maaa faaaea into toscSTOck, is xery 
i ipeat : I ba«e already remarked on the dose lea^nhlance in external 
aad microscopical appearance, between this tosca-rock and the stiata 
at Coqoimbo, which have certainly resulted from the decay sod 
attrition of lecent shells:* I due not, however, extend this concln- 
nun to the calcareous rocks of the Pampas, more especially aa the 
nnderlying tertiary strata in Western Banda Oriental, show that 
at that period there was a copious emission of carbonate of Ume, in 
connection with volcanic action. 

Tbe Pompean foniiation, judging from its similar composition, and 
from the apparent absolnte specific identity of some of its mammi- 
ferous remains, and from the generic resemblance of others, belongs 
over its vast area — tliroughout Banda Oriental, Entre Rios, and the 
wide extent of the Pampas as far soath as the Colorado, — to the same 
geological epoch. The maiiimiferous renuuns occur at all depths from 
the top to the bottom of the deposit ; and I may add that nowhere 
in the Pampas is there any appearance of much superficial denuda- 
tion : some bones which I found near the Guardia del Monte were 
embedded close to the surface ; and this appears to have been the 
case with niauy of those discovered in Banda Oriental: ou the Ma- 
tanzas, twenty miles south of B. Ayrcs, a Glyptodon was embedded 
five feet buneath the surface; numerous remains were found by S, 
Muniz, near Lman, at an average depth of eighteen feet ; in Buenos 
Ayres a skeleton was disinterred at sixty feet depth, and on the Pa- 
lana I have described two skeletons of the Mastodon only five or six 
feet above the very base of tbe deposit. With respect to tbe age 
of this formation, as judged of hy the ordinary standard of the ex- 
istence of mullusca, the only evidence within the limits of the true 
Pampas, wliich is at all trustworthy, is afforded by the still living 
Azara labiata being embedded in tosca-rock near Buenos Ayres. 

* I TDiiT add, thai (h«rH are nsBrly ■imilar tuperligia) calcareous beds at King 9 
George'* Sound in Anatralia ; and these undoubtedly baie been found by the diivl 
JuIegrMioD of marino cemaias (aee Volcanic Ulaoda, &c. p. 144). There ia, , 
however, aomething very remarkable in the Trequency of superlicial, ibin beds of 
earthy aalcareoua malter, in dialricla where the aurromiding rockd are not calcs- 
reoui. Major Cbarlera, in a Paper read before the Geographical Society (April 
13tb, 1840, and aUtractadiu the Atheaieum, y. 317), ataiea that this ia the case in 
* of Mexico, and that be haa obasrvod similar a 



:Dlnr, ir) whatever i 

LP. i».: 


At P. Alta, however, we have seen that several of the extinct 
mifers, moat characteriatic of the Pampean formation, co-existecl with 
twenty species of molluaca, a barnacle and two corola, all still living 
on tliis BBmo coast ; — for wlien we remember that the sheila have a 
more ancient appearance than the bones ; that many of the bones, 
though embedded in a coarse conglomerate are perfectly preserved ; 
that almost all the parta of the skeleton of the Scelidothorium, even to 
the knee-cap, were lying in their proper relative positions; and that 
a large piece of the fragile dermal armour of a Dasypoid quadruped, 
connected with some of the bones of the foot, had been entombed in a 
condition allowing the two sides to be doubled together, it must 
assuredly be admitted that these mammiferona remains were em- 
bedded in a fresh state, and therefore that the living animals co- 
existed with the co-embedded shells. Moreover, tho Macrauehenia 
Patachonica (ot which, according to Prof, Owen, remains also occur 
in the Pampas of B. Ayres, and at P. Alta) has been shown by 
satisfactory evidence of another kind, to have lived on the plains of 
Patagonia long after the period when the adjoining sea was first 
tenanted by its present commonest molluscous animals. We must, 
therefore, conclude that the Pampean formation belongs, in the ordi- 
nary geologicol sense of the word, to the Recent Period.' 

At St. Fe Bajada, the Pampean estuary formation with its mam- 
miferous remains conformably overlies the marine tertiary strata, 
which (as first shown by M. d'Orbigny) axe contemporaneous with 
those of Patagonia, and which, as we shall hereafter see, belong to a 
very ancient tertiary stage. When examining tho junction between 
these two formations, I thought that tlio concretionary layer of marl 
marked a passage between the marine and estuary stages. M. 
d'Orbigny disputes this view (as given in my Journal), and I admit 
that it is erroneous, though in some degree excusable, from their con- 
formability and from both abounding with calcareous mattpr. It 
would, indeed, have been a great anomaly if there had been a tnie 
passage between a deposit cnntempomneous with existing species of 
molluscs, and one in which all the mollusca appear to be extinct. 
Northward of St. ¥i, M. d'Orbigny met with ferruginous sandstonea, 
marly rocks, and other beds, which he considers as a distinct and 
lower formation, but the evidence that they are not parts of the same 
with an altered mioeralogical character, does not appear to me quite 

In Western Bonda Oriental, whilst the marine tertiary strata were 
accumulating, there were volcanic eruptions, much ailex and lime 
were precipitated from solution, coarse conglomerates were formed, 
being derived probably from adjoining land, and layers of red mud 
and marly rocks, like those of the Pampean formation, were occasion- 
ally deposited. The true Pampean deposit with mammiferous re- 
mains, instead of as at St. Fh overlying conformably the tertiary 

tbat tliis fonnation. 
p snterioniB i nfllre 






strata, ia here seen at a lower level folding ronnd and between the 
flat-topped, cliff-bounded bills, formed hy the upheaval and denuda- 
tion of these same tertiary strata. The upheaval, liaving occurred 
liere earlier than at St. Fe, may be naturally accounted for by the 
eontemporaneous volcanic action. At the Barrancas de S. Gregorio, 
the Pampean deposit, as we have seen, overlies and fills up furrows 
} in coarse sand, precisely like that now accuinulntiug on the shores near 
' the mouth of the Plata. I can hardly believe that this loose and 
I eoarse sand is contemporaneous with tlie old tertiary and often crys- 
talhne strata of the more western parts of the province ; and am 
I uduced to suspect that it is of subsequent origin. If tjiat section 
near Colonia could be implicitly trusted, in which, at a height of 
only fifteen feet above the Plato, a bed of fresh-looking mussels, of an 
I existing littoral species, appeared to lie between the sand and the 
Pampean mud, I should conclude that Banda Oriental must have stood, 
when the coarse sand was accuniiilating, at only a little below its 
present level, and had then subsided, allowing the estuary Pampean 
inud to cover far and wide its surface up to a height of some hundred 
feet ; and that after this subsidence the province hod been up- 
lifted to its present level. 

In Western Banda Oriental, we know, from two unequivocal sec- 
tions, tliat there is a mass, absolutely undistinguishable irom the true 
Pampean deposit, beneath the old tertiary strata. This inferior 
f nass must be very much more ancient than the upper deposit with 
I its mammiferous remains, for it lies beneath the tertiary strata in 
I ftrhich all the shells ate extinct. Nevertheless, the lower and upper 
I toiasses, as well as some intermediate layers, are so similar in minero- 
I Jogical character, that I cannot doubt that they are all of estuary 
I ongin, and have been derived from the same great source. At first 
it appeared to me extremely improbable, that mud of the same nature 
should have been deposited on nearly the same spot, during an im- 
mense lapse of time, namely, from a period equivalent perhaps to the 
Eocene of Europe to that of the Pampean formation. But as, at tbo 
very commencement of the Pampean period, if not at a still earlier 
period, the Sierra Ventana formed a boundary to the south, — the Cor- 
dillera or the plains in front of them to the west, — the whole province of 
Oorrientes probably to the north, for, according to M, d'Orbigny, it ia 
not covered by the Pampean deposit, — and Brazil, as known by the 
remains in the caves, to the north-east; and as f^aio, during the 
older tertiary period, land already existed in Western Banda Oriental 
and near St. Fe Bajada, as may be inferred from the vegetable debris, 
from the quantities of silicified wood, and from the remains of a 
Tosodon found, according to M. d'Orbigny, ia still lower strata, we 
may conclude, that at this ancient period a great expanse of water 
was surrounded by the same rocky framework which now bounds 
the plains of Pampean formation. This having been the ca 
circ II m stance of sediment of the same nature having been deposited in 
the same area during an immense lapse of time, though highly re- . 
markable, dues not appear incredible. 


Tl)e elevation of tbe Pampas, at least of the sontliern parts, lias 
beea slow and intemipted by several periods of rest, as may be 
infetted from the plains, clifTs, and lines of sand-dunes (with sheila 
and pumice-pebbles) standing at different heights. I believe, also, 
that tlie Pampean mud continued to be deposited, after parts of this 
fonnatioQ had already been elevated, in the same manner as mud 
would continue to be deposited in the estnary of tho Plata, if the 
miid-banks on its shores were now uplifted and changed into plains : 
I believe in this from the improbability of 60 many skeletons and 
bones having been accumulated at one spot, where M. Hermoso now 
stands, at a depth of between 800 and 1000 feet, and at a vast 
distance from any land except small rocky islets,— as must have been 
the case, if the high tosca-plain round the Yentana and adjoining 
Sierras, had not been already uplifted and converted into land, sup- 
porting mammiferous animus. At Pnnta Alta we have good evi- 
dence that the gravel'Strata, which certainly belong to the true 
Fampeau period, were accumulated after tbe elevation in that 
neighbourhood of the main part of the Pampean deposit, whence 
the rounded massea of tosca-rook were derived, and that rolled frag- 
ment of black bone in the same peculiar condition with the remains 
at Monte Ueimoso. 

The number of the mammiferous remains embedded in the Pampas 
is, as I have remarked, wonderful : it should be borne in mind that 
they have almost exclusively been found in tbe clifis and steep banks 
of rivers, and that, until lately, they excited no attention amongst the 
ioliabitants : I am lirmly convinced thnt a deep trench could not be cut 
in any line across the Pampas, without intersecting the remains 
of some quadruped. It is difScult to fomi an opinion in what part of 
tbe Pampas tliey are most numerous ; in a limited spot, they could not 
well have been more numerous than they were at P. Alta; the number, 
however, lately found by SeRor F. Muniis, near Luxan, in a central 
spot in the Pampas, is extraordinarily great : at the end of this 
chapter I will give a list of all the localities at which I have heard of 
rerawns having been discovered. Very frequently the remains con- 
sist of almost perfect skeletons; but there are, also, numerous single 
bones, OS for instance at St, Fe. Their state of preservation varies 
much, even when embedded near eaoh other : I saw none others so 
perfeetly preserved as the heads of the Toxodon and Mylodon trom 
the white soft earthy bed on the Sarandis in B. Oriental. It is re- 
markable that in two limited sections I found no less than five teeth 
separately embedded and I heard of teeth having been similarly 
found in other parts : may we suppose that the skeletons or heatu 
were for a long time gently drifted by currents over the soft muddy 
bottom, and that the teeth occasionally, here and there, dropped out f 

It may be naturally asked, where did these numerous animals 
live? From the remarkable discoveries of MM. Lund aud Clan- 
sen, it appears that some of the species found in the Pampas in- 
habited the high-landa of Brazil : the Matiodon Andium is embedded 



at great heights in the Conltllcm fiuin Dortli of the eqtiatt 
Bt least ad far south aa Tarija; and as there ia no higher land, there 
can be little doubt that this Mastodon must have lived on the plains 
and valleys of that great range. These countries, hovvever, appear 
too far distant for the habitation of the individuals entombed in the 
Pampas ; we must probably look to nearer points, for instance to the 
province of Corrientea, which, as already remarked, is said not to be 
covered by the Pampean formation, and may therefore, at the period 
of its deposition, have existed as dry land. I have already given my 
reasons for believing that the animals embedded at M. Hermoso and 
at F. Alta in Bahia Blanca, lived on adjoining land, formed of 
parts of the already elevated Pampean deposit. With respect to the 
food of these many great extinct quadrupeds, I will not repeat the 
facta given in my Journal (second edit. p. 85), showing that there 
is no correlation between the luxuriance of the vegetation of a country 
and the size of its mammiferons inhabitants. I do not doubt that 
large animals could now exist, as far as the amount, not kind, of 
vegetation is concerned, on the sterile plains of Bahia Blanca and 
of the R. Negro, as well as on the equally, if not more sterile plains 
of Southern Africa. The climate, however, may perhaps have some- 
what deteriorated since the mammifcrs embedded at Bahia Blanca 
lived there ; for we must not infer, from tlie continued existence of the 
same shells on the present coasts, that there has been no change in 
climate ; for several of these shells now range northward along the 
shores of Brazil, where the most luxuriant vegetation flourishes under 
a tropical temperature. With respect to the extincticfn, which at 
first fills the mind with astonishment, of the many great and small 
mammifers of this period, I may also refer to the work above cited 
(second edit. p. 173), in which I have endeavoured to show, that 
however unable we may ha to explain the precise cause, we ought 
not properly to feel more surprised at a species becoming extinct, 
than at one being rare ; and yet we arc accustomed to view the 
rarity of any particular species as an ordinary event, not requiring 
any extraordinary agency. 

The several mammifers embedded in the Pampean formation, 
which mostly belong to extinct genera, and some even to extinct 
families or orders, and which differ nearly, if not quite, as much 
as do the Eocene mammifers of Europe from living quadrupeds 
having existed contemporaneously with mollnsca, all still inhabiting 
the adjoining sea, is certainly a most striking fact. It is, how- 
ever, far from being an isolated one ; for, durmg the late tertiary 
deposits of Britain, an elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus 
co-existed with many recent land and fresh-water shells ; and in 
North America, we have the best evidence that a mastodon, 
elephant, megatherium, megalonyx, mylodon, an extinct horse and 

* Humboldt su<es tbat tbe Maslodan has been discovered in NeK GrBDBdn : it 
baa been found in Quiio. When at Lima, I saw a loolh of n Maslodon in Ihe poa- 
aesaion of Don M. Rivera, found at Playa Cbica on Ibe JMarBnon, near lbs 
GaallaEa. Evsrj one haa beard of tbe numeroua remaini of Mastodon in Bolivia. 


OX, likewise co-existed with numerous land, fresh- water, and marine 
recent shells.* The enumeration of these extinct North American 
animals naturally leads me to refer to the former closer relation of the 
mammiferous inhabitants of the two Americas, which I have dis- 
cussed in my Journal, and likewise to the vast extent of country over 
which some of them ranged : thus the same species of the Mega- 
therium^ Megalonyx^ EquuB (as far as the state of their remains per- 
mits of identification), extended from the Southern United States of 
North America to Bahia Blanca, in lat. 39^ S., on the coast of 
Patagonia. The fact of these animals having inhabited tropical and 
temperate regions, does not appear to me' any great difficulty, seeing 
that at the Cape of Good Hope several quadrupeds, such as the 
elephant and hippopotamus, range from the equator to lat. 35^ south. 
The case of the Mcutodon Andium is one of more difficulty, for it is 
found from lat. 36^ S., over, as I have reason to believe, nearly the' 
whole of Brazil, and up the Cordillera, to regions which, according 
to M. d'Orbigny, border on perpetual snow, and which are almost 
destitute of vegetation : undoubtedly the climate of the Cordillera 
must have been different when the mastodon inhabited it; but we 
should not forget the case of the Siberian mammoth and rhinoceros, 
as showing how severe a climate the larger pachydermata can endure; 
nor overlook the fact of the guanaco ranging at the present day 
over the hot low deserts of Peru, the lofty pinnacles of the Cor- 
dillera, and the damp forest- clad land of Southern Tierra del Fuego ; 
the puma, also, is found from the equator to the Strait of Magellan, 
and I have seen its footsteps only a little below the limits of perpe- 
tual snow in the Cordillera of Chile. 

At the period, so recent in a geological sense, when these extinct 
mammifers existed, the two Americas must have swarmed with 
quadrupeds, many of them of gigantic size ; for, besides those more 
particularly referred to in this chapter, we must include in this same 
period those wonderfully numerous remains, some few of them 
specifically, and others generically related to those of the Pampas, 
discovered by MM. Lund and Clausen in the caves of Brazil. Finally, 
the facts here given show how cautious we ought to be in judging of 
the antiquity of a formation from even a great amount of difference 
between the extinct and living species in any one class of animals; — 
we ought even to be cautious in accepting the general proposition, 
that change in organic forms and lapse of time are at all, necessarily^ 

* Many original observations, and a summary on this subject, are given in 
Mr. Lyell's paper in the Geolog. Proc. vol. iv. p. 3, and in his Travels in North 
America, vol. i. p. 164, and vol. ii. p. 60. For the European analogous cases, see 
Mr. LyelVs Principles of Geology (6th edit.) vol. i. p. 137. 


UmBIIm miiiJM the rtfjm tflit Pmmft, w^mfrtml Umm twt >—>»£, 

•flhc J^gTWT of <'"«i' f 

Mtfrl to ■ caslapBl unM^ati^ tkn fc| 

isMttad. BnuiiC ** '^ ""^ :— n line Ik tma aaaam i^Bdis 
dMcribed ID liw eh^pMr, wWra. at P. Aha, IW HcpABa^ iU^Oaoji, 
dolheriaB. Mjlodos, HdlophnMat (or u aUied gsaa), Traodiw, " 

momt Mhtrnitala aad the boMaof a ptt ■ i.fc a am a j quadnipid. Ckaaaarth- 
CMt of lbs S. Ttfuiptai. wc hare the Rki ■• Haona- (i. e taMi), wUdi pio* 
biblT uke* ila name liom targa foKil booca. Nc« Villa Natmi, aad ai Laa 
ATcfiu, Dot Itt (niB Uw Safado, Ihnie aearij petfcct afcelMoo*, ooa oft&a Htf^ 
tlmiuiii, one <rf tlia Gfypiodim dmpa, aai aam at aoaae |raat Dnjrptad qna- 
dniped, "Bre fonad by tbe apent of Sir W. Pariifc (aee hia awk Bocooa Ajtm, 
&c. p. ITI). I bBTeieea tbe lootli oFa Manndoo frDoi ibe Salado ; atillle B>rtb- 
rrui of IliU nrer, on the borders of i lake near ihe G. del Monte, I bit nunj 
bono, and one \aige piece of dermal armoor; bighn op ibe Salado, there ia a 
place called Dlonie " Huesot." Oo Ibe ^titanzas, aboat tirentj milei sontb of 
Bnenoa Ajm, the ikeleloa (ride p. ITS, of Buenos Ajres, ice. bj Sir W. Parub) 
of a Gl/piodon wai found abonl fire feet beneatfa tbe inrface; herealao (aee Cat. 
of Rojal College of Surgeona) reniaiiia of Gljfptodon elaviprt, G. oru^ut, and 
6. reliculatiu were found, fsignot Angetls, in a letter vbich I hare seen, tefera 
to lome great remaioi found in Ituenoa Ayres, at a deptb of twentj tbiu from tbe 
surface. Seren le^uea north of ihia citi [he aame aulbor found tbe deletoos of 
JUl/lodon rebiulta and Gtyplodon oraatta. From tbis nngbbonthood be baa 
latel]' aent 10 the Brilish Aliueum the folloiriiig; fb«ail9: — Remaiiu of three 
or four indiriduali of Megatherium ; of tbrea apeciea of Gljptodon ; of three in- 
diiidusla of Ihe Mailodon asdiumi of Macrauchenia ; of a second species of 
Toiodon, different from T.plaleiuia; and Insllr. of the Machairodus, a wonder- 
ful targe camiroroas animal. M. d'Oibignj hts lately reeeired from the Reco- ' 
late (Voyage, Pal. p. HI), oear B. Ayres, a tootb of TnradoK platnuU. 

Proceeiling DartbKU-d, along tbe *est bank of the Parana, we come to the Rio 
Luian, where tiro ikeletona of the Megalherium baie been found ; and lately, 
within eight leagues of the town of Luian, Dr. F. X. Mnniz has collected (British 
Packet, Bueoos Ayiss, September 25tb, IS4I), from an aremge depth of eigbleen 
feel, very numeraua remains, of no leas tbao, as he believeB, nine disiinct species of 
mammiien. At Areco, large bonaa have been found, which are believed, by iba 
inhabitants, to bave been changed from amal] bnnea, by the water of tbe riror ! 
Al Artedfea, the Glyplodon, sent to the College of Sorgeons, was found ; and I 
have seen two teetli of n Maalodoo from tbii quartar. At S. Nicolas, M. d'Or. 
higny found remaina of a Cania, Ctenomys, and Kerodon ; and M. Isabelle (p. 332, 
Voyage) refera to a gigantic Armadillo found there. At S. Carlos, I beard of 

Jreat booea. A little below the month of the Carcarans, the two sketeloiw of 
Isstodon were found ; on the banks of this river, near S. Miguel, I found teeth of 
the Maalodon and Toiodon ; ond Falkner (p. 55) describes the osseous Bimonr of 
tome great animal ; I beard of many other bunes in this neighbourhood. I have 
17 add, in tlie poaseesion of Mr. Caldcleugb, the tooth of a Afruloffon 

n Paraguay ; 
a (vol. i. p. 4B). 01 a. great 
in Brazil, on tbe R. de las 1 
t whicb 1 have heard of foaa 

aatfium, lafd to have been 
mem in thii f^enilemaD' 
found in the province of 
point woitward in the Pa 
oil ilifl bank! of (he K. Quioto. 

In Kntre Rioa, beaidea Ihe remains of the Mastodon, Toiodon, Eqaua, and 

Sreat Duypaid ([Uidrnjied near St. F£ liajada, 1 received an account of bom 
iving beon fuund a little S,E. of P. Gonia (011 the Parana), and of an eiiti 
■kaleton at Matanaos, on the Arroyo del Animyl. 


In Banda Oriental, besides the remains of tbe Toxodoo, Mjlodon, and two 
skeletons of great animals with osseous armour (distinct from that of tbe Gljrpto- 
dbn), found on tbe Arroyos Sarandis and Berquelo, M. Isabelle (Vojrage, p. 322) 
says, many bones bays been found near tbe R. Negro, and on the R. Arapej, an 
affluent of the Paraguaj, in lat. 30° 40^ loutb. I heard of bones near the source 
of tbe A. Viyoras. I saw tbe remains of a Dasypoid quadruped from the Arrojo 
Secoy close to M. Video ; and M. d*Orbignj refers (Vojage, G^log. p. 24) to 
another found on tbe Pedemal, an affluent of tbe St. Lucia ; and SigpM>r Angelis, 
in a letter, states that a third skeleton of this familj has been found near Cane- 
lones. I saw a tooth of tbe Mastodon from Talas, another affluent of the St. Lucia. 
Tbe most eastern point at which I beard of great bones baying been found, was 
at Solis Grande, between M. Video and Maldonado. 





Rio Negro — 8. Josef— Port Desire, white pumieeous mudstone with infusoria — 
Port 8, Julian — 8anta Cfruz, basaltic lava of— P. Gallegos — Eastern lierra 
del Fuego ; leaves of extinct beech trees — Summary on the Patagonian 
tertiary formations — Tertiary formations qf the Western Coast — Chonos 
and Chiloe groups, volcanic rocks qf — Concepcion — Navidad — Coquimbo — 
Summary — Age qf the tefHary formations — Lines qf elevation — Silicified 
wood — Comparative ranges qf the extinct and living mollusca on the West 
Coast of 8. America— Climate qf the tertiary period — On the causes of the 
absence of recent conchjferous deposits on the coasts qf S. America — On the 
contemporaneous deposition and preservation of sedimentary formatiotu. 

Bio Negro. — I can add little to the details given by M. d'Orbigny* 
on the sandstone formation of this district. The cliffs to the south 
of the river are about 200 feet in height, and are composed of sand- 
stone of various tints and degrees of hardness. One layer, which 
thinned out at both ends, consisted of earthy matter, of a pale red- 
dish colour, with some gypsum, and very like (I speak after compa- 
rison of the specimens brought home) Pampean mud : above this 
there was a layer of compact marly rock with dendritic manganese. 
Many blocks of a conglomerate of pumice-pebbles embedded in hard 
sandstone were strewed at the foot of the cliff, and had evidently 
fallen from above. A few miles N.E. of the town, I found, 
low down in the sandstone, a bed, a few inches in thickness, of a 
white, friable, harsh-feeling sediment, which adheres to the tongue, 
is of easy fusibility, and of little speciBc gravity ; examined under 
the microscope, it is seen to be pumieeous tuff, formed of broken 
transparent crystals. In the cliffs south of the river, there is, also» 
a thin layer of nearly similar nature, but finer grained, and not so 
white; it might easily have been mistaken for a calcareous tuff, but 
it contains no lime : this substance precisely resembles a most widely 
extended and thick formation in southern Patagonia, hereafter to be 
described, and which is remarkable for being partially formed of infii- 
soria. These beds, conjointly with the conglomerate of pumice, are 
interesting, as showing the nature of the volcanic action in the Cor- 
dillera during this old tertiary period. 

* Voyage (Part. G6olog.) p. 57 to 66. 

CHAP, v.] 



In a bed at the base of the southern cliffs, M. d'Orbigny found 
two extinct fresh-water shells, namely, a Unio and Chilina. Thb 
bed rested on one with bones of an extinct rodent, namely, the 
Megamys Patagoniensis ; and this again on another with extinct 
marine shells. The species found by M. d'Orbigny in different parts 
of this formation consist of, 

1. OstreaPatagonica, d'Orbig., Voyage 

Pal. (also at St. F^, and whole coast 
of Patagonia). 

2. Ostrea Ferrarisi, do. 

3. Ostrea Alvarezii, d'Orbie. Voyage 
Pal. (also St. Yk and S. Josef). 

4. Pecten Patagoniensis, do. 

5. Venus Munsterii, do. (also St. F6). 

6. Area Bonplandiana, do. (do.) 

According to M. d'Orbigny, the sandstone extends westward along 
the coast as far as Port S. Antonio, and up the R. Negro far into 
the interior : northward I traced it to the southern side of the Rio 
Colorado, where it forms a low denuded plain. This formation, 
though contemporaneous with that of the rest of Patagonia, is quite 
different in mineralogical composition, being connected with it only 
by the one thin white layer : this difference may be reasonably attri- 
buted to the sediment brought down in ancient times by the Rio 
Negro ; by which agency, also, we can understand the presence of 
the fresh- water shells, and of the bones of land animals. Judging 
from the identity of four of the above shells, this formation is con- 
temporaneous (as remarked by M. d'Orbigny) with that under the 
Pampean deposit in Entre Rios and in Banda Oriental. The gravel 
capping the sandstone plain, with its calcareous cement and no- 
dules of gypsum, is probably, from the reasons given in the first 
chapter, contemporaneous with the uppermost beds of the Pampean 
formation on the upper plain north of the Colorado. 

San Josef. — My examination here was very short : tlie cliffs are 
about 100 feet high; the lower third consists of yellowish-brown, 
soft, slightly calcareous, muddy sandstone, parts of which when 
struck emit a fetid smell. In this bed the great Ostrea Patagonica^ 
often marked with dendritic manganese and small corallines, were 
extraordinarily numerous. I found here the following shells : — 

1. Ostrea Patagonica, d'Orbig. Vovage Pal. (also at St. F6 and whole coast of 


2. Ostrea Alvarezii, d'Orbig. V. Pal. (also St. F6 and R. Negro.) 

3. Pecten Paranensis, d'Orbig. V. Pal., and PI. III. f. 30 of this work (also 

St. F6. S. Julian, and Port Desire). 

4. Pecten Darwinianus, d'Orbig. V. Pal., and PI. III. f. 28 and 29 (also St. F^). 

5. Pecten actinodes, G. B. Sow., PI. 111. f. 33. 

6. Terebratula Patagonica, G. B. Sow., PI. II. f. 26 and 27 (also S. Julian). 

7. Castsof a Turritella. 

The four first of these spepies occur at St. Fe in Entre Rios, and 
the two first in the sandstone of the R. Negro. Above this fossili- 
ferous mass, there is a stratum of very fine-grained, pale brown 
mudstone, including numerous laminss of selenite. All the strata 
aj)pear horizontal, but, when followed by the eye for a long distance. 

they are aeen to have a sniall easterly dip. On the surikce we Live 
the porphyritic gravel, and on it sand with recent shells. 

Nu6w Gulf. — From specimens and notes given me by Lieut. 
Stokes, it appears that the lower bed consists of soft muddy sand- 
stone, like that of S. Josef, with many imperfect shells, including 
the Pecten Paranenni, d'Orbig., casts of a Turritclta and Scutella. 
On this there are two strata of the pale browii rotidstone, also like 
that of S. Jotefy separated by a darker colonred, more argillaceous 
variety, including the OUrea Patar/onica. Prof. Ehrenberg has 
examined this mudstone for me : be finds in it three already known 
microscopic organisms, enveloped in a fine-grained pumiceons tuff, 
which I shall have immediately to describe in detail. Specimens 
brought to me from the uppermost bed, north of the Rio Clmpat, 
consist of this same substance, but of a whiter colour. 

Tertiary strata, such as are here described, appear to extend along 
the whole coast between the Rio Chupat and Port Desire, except 
where interrupted by the underlying claystone porphyry, and by 
some metamorphic rocks ; these hard rocks, I may add, are found at 
intervals over a space of about five degrees of latitude, from Point 
Union to a point between Port S. Julian and S. Cruz, and will be 
described in the ensuing chapter. Many gigantic specimens of the 
Ourea Patagonica were collected in the Gulf of St. George. 

Port Desire. — A good aectioo of the lowest fossiliferous mass, 
about forty feet in thickness, resting on claystone porphyry, is ex- 
hibited a few miles south of the harbour. The shells sufficiently 
perfect to be recognised consist of, 

1. Oatras FaUgODica, d'Orbig;. (also at St. V€ and nhole cosEt of Palagonia). 

2. Pcaten Paranensia, d'Orbig. Voy. Pal., aod PI. HI. f. 30 of tbia work (alao 

a.l&t. F£, S. Josef, S. Julian). 

3. PectcD ceQlralis, G. B. Sower., PI. III. f. 31 (also 3. Julian and S. Cruz). 

4. Cncullffia alta, do., PI. II. f. 22, 23 (also S. CruO. 

5. Nucula omatB, do., PI. 11. f. 19. 

6. Tuirilella Patagooica, do., Fl. 111. f. 48. 

The fossiliferoHs strata, where not denuded, are conformably 
covered by a considerable thickness of the fino-graiiiicd pumiceons 
mudstone, divided into two masses: the lower half is very fine- 
grained, slightly unctuous, and so compact as to break with a semi- 
conchoidal fracture, though yielding to the nail ; it includes laminte 
of selenite ; the upper half precisely resembles the one layer at the 
Rio Negro, and, with the exception of being whiter, the upper beds 
at San Josef and Nuevo Gulf. In neither mass is there any trace to 
the naked eye of organic forms. Taking the entire deposit, it is 
generally quite white, or yellowish, or feebly tinted with green ; it is 
either almost friable under the finger, or as hard as chalk ; it is of 
easy fusibility, of little specific gravity, is not harsh to the touch, 
adheres to the tongue, and when breathed on exhales a strong alumi- 
nous odour; it sometimes contains a very little calcareous matter, and 


traces (besides the iDcluded lamlDaa) of gypsum. Under the mi-* 
croscope, according to Prof. Ehrenberg,* it consists of minute, tritu- 
rated, cellular, glassy fragments of pumice, with some broken crys- 
tals. In the minute glassy fragments, Prof. Ehrenberg recognises 
organic structures, which have been affected by volcanic heat : in the 
specimens from this place, and from Port S. Julian, he finds sixteen 
Polygastrica and twelve Phytolitharia. Of these organisms, seven 
are new forms, the others being previously known : all are of marine, 
and chiefly of oceanic, origin. This deposit to the naked eye re- 
sembles the crust, which often appears on weathered surfaces of feld- 
spathic rocks ; it likewise resembles those beds of earthy feldspathio 
matter, sometimes interstratified with porphyritic rocks, as is the 
case in this very district with the underlying purple claystone por- 
phyry. From examining specimens under a common microscope, 
and comparing them with other specimens undoubtedly of volcanic 
origin, I had come to the same conclusion with Prof. Ehrenberg, 
namely, that this great deposit, in its first origin, is of volcamo 

Port S. Julian. — On the south side of the harbour, the following 
section, which I here repeat, gives the nature of the beds seen in the 
clifTs of the ninety feet plam. Beginning at the top, — 1st, the 




earthy mass (A A), including the remains of the Macrauchenia, with 
recent shells on the surface ; 2nd, the porphyritic shingle (B), which 
in its lower part is interstratified (owing, I believe, to redeposition 
during denudation) with the white pumiceous mudstone ; Srd, this 
white mudstone, about twenty feet in thickness, and divided into two 
varieties (C and D), both closely resembling the lower, fine-grained, 
more unctuous and compact kind at Port Desire ; and, as at that 
place, including much selenite; 4th, a fossiliferous mass, divided 
mto three main beds, of which the uppermost is thin, and consists of 
ferruginous sandstone, with many shells of the great oyster and 
Pecten Paranensis ; the middle bed (E) is a yellowish earthy sand- 
stone abounding with soutellee ; and the lowest bed (F) is an indu- 
rated, greenish, sandy clay, including large concretions of calcareous 
sandstone, many shells of the great oyster, and in parts almost made 
up of fragments of Balanidee. Out of these three beds, I procured 
the following twelve species, of which the two first were exceedingly 

* Monatsberichten der Konig. Akad. zu Berlin, vom April, 1845. 


munerofu in indiTidiiak, as were the TereteUnke and TimiteUs in 
eotain lajeis : — 

1. Oitrcft Patagonka, d*Orb. Vojage Pal. (also at St. Fe and wliofe coast of 


2. Pectcn Paraoeoaia, d'Oibig. do., and PL HI. f. 30 of diia work (St. Fe, 

S. Joaef, Port Desire). 

3. Pecten ccntnOis, G. B. Sofrer., Fl. III. f. 31 (abo P. Deaixe and S. Craz). 

4. Pecten gewinatns, do., PL II. C 24. 

6. Tetebratnla Patagooica, do., PL II. £. 26 and 27 (also S. Joacf). 

6. Stmtbiolaria oiiiata, do., PL IV. f. 62 (ako S. Croa). 

7. Fosoa Patagonicos, do., PL IV. f. 60. 

8. Fuaoa Xoacbinoa, do^ PL IV. f. 58 and 59. 

9. Scalaria ragulosa, do., PL IIL f. 42 and 43. 

10. Tomtdla anbulacnin, do., PL III. f. 49 (also S. Croa). 

11. Pjnila, east of, like P. ▼eotiicosa of Sower., Tank Cat. 

12. Balanos variaaa, G. B. Sower., PL IL £. 4, 5, 6. 

13. Scateila, differing from tbe speeiea from Nuero Golf. 

At the head of the inner harbour of P. S. Julian, the fossiliferous 
masB is not disphiyed, and the sea-cliffs from the water s edge to a 
height of between 100 and 200 feet are formed of the white pu- 
mioeous mudstone, which here includes innumerable, far-extended, 
sometimes horizontal, sometimes inclined or vertical laminae of trans- 
parent gypsum, often about an inch in thickness. Further inland, 
with the exception of the superficial gravd, the whole thickness of 
the truncated hills, which represent a formerly continuous plain 950 
feet in height, appears to be formed of this white mudstone : here 
and there, however, at various heights, thin earthy layers, containing 
the great oyster, Pecten Paranenns and TurrtteUa amhulacrufn^ 
are interstratified ; thus showing that the whole mass belongs to the 
same epoch. I nowhere found even a fragment of a shell actually 
in the white deposit, and only a single cast of a Turritella. Out of 
the eighteen microscopic organisms discovered by Ehrenberg in the 
specimens from this place, ten are common to the same deposit at 
Port Desire. I may add that specimens of this white mudstone, 
with the same identical characters were brought me from two points, 
—one twenty miles north of S. Julian, where a wide gravel-capped 
plain, 850 feet in height, is thus composed ; and the other forty 
miles south of S. Julian, where, on the old charts, the clifis are 
marked as " CMk BUls." 

Santa Cruz. — ^Tlie gravel-capped cliffs at the mouth of the river 
are 355 feet in height : the lower part, to a thickness of fifty or 
sixty feet, consists of a more or less hardened, darkish, muddy or 
argillaceous sandstone (like the lowest bed of Port Desire), con- 
taining very many shells, some silicified and some converted into 
yellow calcareous spar. The great oyster is here numerous in layers ; 
the Trigonocelia and Turritella are also very numerous : it is remark- 
able that the Pecten Paranensis^ so common in all other parts of the 
coast, is here absent : the shells consist of, 

1. Ostrea Patagooica, d'Orbig. Voyage Pal. (also at St. F^ and whole coast of 

CHAP, v.] aANTA CRUZ. 113 

2. Pecten ceutralis, G. B. Sowerbj, PI. III. f. 31 (also P. Desire and S. 


3. Venus meridionalis of G. B. Sowerbj, Pi. II. f. 13. 

4. Crassatella Ljellii, do. PI. II. f. 10. 

5. Cardium puelchum, do. PI. II. f. 15. 

6. Cardita Patagonica, do. PI. II. f. 17. 

7. Mactra rugata, do. PI. II. f. 8. 

8. Mactra Darwinii, do. PI. II. f. 9. 

9. Cucullaea alta, do. PL II. f. 22, 23 (also P. Desire). 

10. Trigonocelia insolita, do. PI. II. f. 20, 21. 

11. Nucula (?) glabra, do. PI. U. f. 18. 

12. Crepidula g^egaria, do. PI. in. f. 34. 

13. Voluta alta, do. PI. IV. f. 75. 

14. Trocbus collaris. do. PI. III. f. 44, 45. 

15. Nadca solida (1), do. PI. III. f. 40, 41. 

16. Struthiolaria ornata, do. PI. IV. f. 62 (also P. Desire). 

17. Turritella ambulacrum, do. PI. III. f. 49 (idso P. S. Julian). 
Imperfect fragments of tbe genera Byssoarca, Artemis, and Fusus. 

The upper part of the cliff is generally divided into three great 
strata, differing slightly in composition, but essentially resembling the 
pumiceous mudstone of the places farther north ; the deposit, how- 
ever, here is more arenaceous, of greater specific gravity, and not so 
white : it is interlaced with numerous thin veins, partially or quite 
filled with transverse fibres of gypsum ; these fibres where too short 
to reach across the vein, have their extremities curved or bent : in 
the same veins with the gypsum, and likewise in separate veins as 
well as in little nests, there is much powdery sulphate of magnesia 
(as ascertained by Mr. Reeks) in an uncompressed form : I believe 
that this salt has not heretofore been found in veins. Of the three 
beds, the central one is the most compact, and more like ordinary 
sandstone : it includes numerous Rattened spherical concretions, often 
united like a necklace, composed of hard calcareous sandstone, contain- 
ing a few shells : some of these concretions were four feet in diameter, • 
and in a horizontal line nine feet apart, showing that the calcareous 
matter must have been drawn to the centres of attraction, from a distance 
of four feet and a half on both sides. In the upper and lower finer- 
grained strata, there were other concretions of a grey colour, con- 
taining calcareous matter, and so fine-grained and compact, as almost 
to resemble porcelain-rock : I have seen exactly similar concretions in 
a volcanic tufaceous bed in Chiloe. Although in this upper fine- 
grained strata, organic remains were very rare, yet I noticed a few 
of the great oyster ; and in one included soft ferruginous layer, there 
were some specimens of the Cucullcea alta (found at Port Desire in 
the lower fossiliferous mass) and of the Mactra rugata^ which latter 
shell has been partially converted into gypsum. 

In ascending the valley of the S. Cruz, the upper strata of the 
coast-cliffs are prolonged, with nearly the same characters, for fifty 
miles : at about this point, they begin in the most gradual and 
scarcely perceptible manner, to be banded with white lines ; and after 
ascending ten miles further, we meet with distinct tliin layers of 
whitish, greenish, and yellowish fine-grained, fusible sediments. At 


eighty miles irom the coast,' !n a oliET thua composed, there were 
a few layers of ferruginous sandstone, and of an argillaceous Band- 
stone with concretions of marl like those in the PamjiaB. At 100 
miles from the coast, that is at a central point between the Atlantic 
and the Cordillera, we have the following section. 

Tlie npper half of the sedimentary mass, ander the basaltio lava, conr 

NSts of innumerable zones of perfectly white, blight green, yellowish 
and brownish, fine-grained, sometinieB incoherent, sedimentary matter. 
The white, pumiceous, trachytic tuff-tike Tarieties are of rather greatet 
specific gravity than the pumiceous mudstone on the coast to the north : 
some of the layers, especially the brOMwer ones, are coarser, so that the 
broken crystals are distinguishable with a weak lens. The layers 
vary in character in short distances. With the exception of a few 
of the Ogtrea Patagonka, which appeared to have rolled down from 
the cliff above, no organic remains were found. The chief dif- 
ference between these layers taken as a whole, and the upper beds 
both at the mouth of the river and on the coast northward, seems to 
lie in the occasional presence of more colouring matter, and in the 
supply liaving been intermittent; these characters, as we have seen, 
very gradually disappear in descending the valley, and this fiict may 
perhaps be accounted for, by the currents of a more open sea having 
blended together the sediment from a distant and intermittent source. 
The coloured layers in the foregoing section rest on a mass, appa- 
rently of great thickness (but much hidden by the talus), of soft 

* At this spot, for B apace of three qunttere of a mila aloDg tbs north aide of 
the river, and for a width of half a mile, there has been a great alip. irhieh hu 
formed hilli hetneen 60 ud 70 feet in height, and has tilted the atrats into 
highly inclined and ereu rertical poeitious. The ilrala generally dipped at Hn 
angle of 45° lowards Ibe cliff from trhlch they had glided. I have obBerved is 
slips, both on a small and large acale, that this inward dip Is Tery general. la it 
due to the hydrosulic presiure a! naler percolating irilh diScizlC^ through the 
alraCa, acting iriih greatet force HI the baie of the masa than against the nppen 

CHAP, v.] SANTA CRUZ. 115 

sandstone, almost composed of minute pebbles, from one-tenth to 
two-tenths of an inch in diameter, of the rocks (with the entire excep- 
tion of the basaltic lava) composing the great boulders on the sur- 
face of the plain, and probably composing the neighbouring Cor- 
dillera. Five miles higher up the valley, and agam thirty miles 
higher up,* (that is twenty miles from the nearest range of the 
Cordillera) the lower plain included within the upper escarpments, 
is formed, as seen on the banks of the river, of a nearly similar but 
finer-grained, more earthy, laminated sandstone, alternating with 
argillaceous beds, and containing numerous moderately sized pebbles of 
the same rocks, and some shells of the great Ostrea Patctgonica, As 
most of these shells had been rolled before being here embedded, their 
presence does not prove that the sandstone belongs to the great Pata- 
gonian tertiary formation, for they might have been redeposited in it, 
when the valley existed as a sea-strait ; but as amongst the pebbles 
there were none of basalt, although the cliffs on both sides of the valley 
are composed of this rock, I believe that the sandstone does belong to 
this formation. At the highest point to which we ascended, twenty 
miles distant from the nearest slope of the Cordillera, I could see the 
horizontally zoned white beds, stretching under the black basaltic lava, 
close up to the mountains ; so that the valley of the S. Cruz gives a 
fair idea of the constitution of the whole width of Patagonia. 

Bcualtic lava of the S, Cruz, — ^This formation is first met with 
sixty-seven miles from the mouth of the river ; thence it extends un- 
interruptedly, generally but not exclusively on the northern side of 
the valley, close up to the Cordillera. The basalt is generally black and 
fine-grained, but sometimes grey and laminated; it contains some 
olivine, and high up the valley much glassy feldspar, where, also, it 
is often amygdaloidal ; it is never highly vesicular, except on the 
sides of rents and on the upper and lower, spherically laminated sur- 
faces. It is often columnar; and in one place I saw magnificent 
columns, each face twelve feet in width, with their interstices filled 
up with calcareous tuff. The streams rest conformably on the white 
sedimentary beds, but I nowhere saw the actual junction ; nor did 
I anywhere see the white beds actually superimposed on the lava ; 
but some way up the valley at the foot of the uppermost escarp- 
ments, they must be thus superimposed. Moreover, at the lowest point 
down the valley, where the streams thin out and terminate in irre- 
gular projections, the spaces or intervals between these projections, 
are filled up to the level of the now denuded and gravel-capped sur- 
faces of the plains, with the white-zoned sedimentary beds ; proving 
that this matter continued to be deposited after the streams had 
flowed. Hence we may conclude that the basalt is contemporaneous 
with the upper parts of the great tertiary formation. 

The lava where first met with is 130 feet in thickness : it there 

* I found at both places, but not in situ, quantities of couiferous and ordinary 
dicotyledonous silicified wood, which was examined for me by Mr. R. Brown. 

I 2 


tions of calcareous sandstone, and layers of gravel. In these beds 
there are fragments of wood, legs of crabs, barnacles encrusted with 
corallines still partially retaining their colour, imperfect fragments of 
a Pholas distinct from any known species, and of a Yenus, approaching 
very closely to, but slightly diflferent in form from, the V, lentieularis^ 
a species living on the coast of Chile. Leaves of trees are numerous 
between the laminse of the muddy sandstone ; they belong, as I am 
informed by Dr. J. D. Hooker,* to three species of deciduous beech, 
different from the two species which compose the great proportion of 
trees in this forest-clad land. From these facts it is difficult to con- 
jecture, whether we here see the basal part of the great Patagonian 
formation, or some later deposit. 

Sum/mary on the Patagonian Tertiary Formation, — Four out of 
the seven fossil shelfs, from St. Fe in Entre Rios, were found by M. 
d'Orbigny in the sandstone of the Rio Negro, and by me at San 
Josef. Three out of the six from San Josef are identical with those 
from Port Desire and S. Julian, which two places have together fif- 
teen species, out of which three are common to both. Santa Cruz 
has seventeen species, out of which five are common to Port Desire 
and S. Julian. Considering the difference in latitude between these 
several places, and the small number of species altogether collected, 
namely thirty-six, I conceive the above proportional number of 
species in common, is sufficient to show that the lower fossiliferous 
mass belongs nearly, I do not say absolutely, to the same epoch. 
What this epoch may be, compared with the European tertiary 
stages, M. d'Orbigny will not pretend to determine. The thirty-six 
species (including those collected by myself and by M. d'Orbigny) 
are all extinct, or at least unknown ; but it should be borne in mind, 
that the present coast consists of shingle, and that no one, I be- 
lieve, has dredged here for shells ; hence it is not improbable that 
some of the species may hereafter be found living. Some few of 
the species are closely related with existing ones ; this is especially 
the case, according to M. d'Orbigny and Mr. Sowerby, with the 
Fu%uB Pata>gonicu8 ; and, according to Mr. Sowerby, with the 
Pyrula^ the Venits meridionalis, the Crepidula gregaria^ and the 
Turritella ambulacrum^ and T. Patagonica, At least three of the 
genera, namely, Cucullsea, Crassatella, and (as determined by Mr. 
Sowerby), Struthiolaria, are not found in this quarter of the world ; 
and Trigonocelia is extinct. The evidence taken altogether indicates 
that this great tertiary formation is of considerable antiquity ; but 
when treating of the Chilian beds, I shall have to refer again to 
this subject. 

The white pumiceous mudstone, with its abundant g3^sum, belongs 
to the same general epoch with the underlying fossiliferous mass, 
as may be inferred from the shells included in the intercalated layers 
at Neuvo Gulf, S. Julian, and S. Cruz. Out of the twenty-seven 
marine microscopic structures found by Prof. Ehrenberg in the speci- 

♦ Botany of the Antarctic Voyage, p. 212. 


mens from S. Julian and Port Desire, ten are common to these two 
places: the three found at Neuvo Gulf are distinct. I have mi- 
nutely described this deposit, from its remarkable characters and its 
wide extension. From Coy Inlet to Port Desire, a distance of 230 
miles, it is certainly continuous ; and I have reason to believe that it 
likewise extends to the Rio Chupat, Neuvo Gulf and San Josef, 
a distance of 570 miles : we have, also, seen that a single layer 
occurs at the Rio Negro. At Port S. Julian it is from 800 to 900 
feet in thickness ; and at S. Cruz it extends, with a slightly altered 
character, up to the Cordillera. From its microscopic structure, and 
from its analogy with other formations in volcanic districts, it must 
be considered as originally of volcanic origin : it may have been 
formed by the long-continued attrition of vast quantities of pumice, 
or judging from the manner in which the mass becomes, in ascending 
the valley of S. Cruz, divided into variously coloured layers, from 
the long-continued eruption of clouds of 6ne ashes. In either case, 
we must conclude, that the southern volcanic orifices of the Cordil- 
lera, now in a dormant state, were at about this period over a wide 
space, and for a great length of time, in action. We have evidence 
of this fact, in the latitude of the Rio Negro in the sandstone-con- 
glomerate with pumice, and demonstrative proof of it, at S. Cruz, in 
the vast deluges of basaltic lava : at this same tertiary period, also, 
there is distinct evidence of volcanic action in Western Banda Oriental. 
The Patagonian tertiary formation extends continuously, judging 
from fossils alone, from S. Cruz to near the Rio Colorado, a distance 
of above 600 miles, and reappears over a wide area in Entre Rios and 
Banda Oriental, making a total distance of 1100 miles; but this 
formation undoubtedly extends (though no fossils were collected) faf 
south of the S. Cruz, and, according to M. d'Orbigny, 1 20 miles 
north of St. F6. At S. Cruz we have seen that it extends across 
the continent ; being on the coast about 800 feet in thickness (and 
rather more at S. Julian), and rising with the contemporaneous lava- 
streams to a height of about 3000 feet at the base of the Coidillera. 
It rests, wherever any underlpng formation can be seen, on plutonic 
and metamorphic rocks. Including the newer Pampean deposit, and 
those strata in eastern Tierra del Fuego of doubtful age, as well as 
the boulder formation, we have a line of more than twenty-seven 
degrees of latitude, equal to that from the St. of Gibraltar to the 
south of Iceland, continuously composed of tertiary formations* 
Throughout this great space the land has been upraised, without the 
strata having been in a single instance, as far as my means of observa- 
tion went, unequally tilted or dislocated by a fault. 

Tertiary Formations on the West Coast, 

Chonos Archipelago, — The numerous islands of this group, with 
the exception of Lemus and Ypun, consist of metamorphic schists ; 
these two islands are formed of softish grey imd brown, fusible, often 
laminated sandstones, containing a few pebbles, fragments of black 


fcHAP. ' 

lignite, and numerous maiumillated concretions of hard calcareous 
sandstone. Oat of these concretions at Ypun (lat. 40° 30' S-)) I 
extracted the four following extinct species of shells : — 

1. Turricella suturElis, G. B. Sow. PI. III. f. 50 (also Nnvidsd). 
S. Sigsrams subglnboaua, do. PI, III. f. 36, 37. (do.) 

3. Cftheriea 0) sulculosa (1), do. PI. II. f. U (also Chiloe and Huafol). 

4. Volala, fragmeDts of. 

In the northern parts of tliis group there are some cliffs of gravel 
and of the boulder formation. In the southern part (at P. Andrea 
in Tres Montea), there is a volcanic formation, prohably of tertiary 
origin. The lavas attain a thickness of from 200 to 300 feet ; they 
are extremely variable in colour and nature, being compact, or brec- 
ciated, or cellular, or amygdaloidal with zeolite, agate and hole, or 
porphyritic with glassy albitic feldspar. There is also much imper- 
fect nihbly pitolistime, with the interatices charged with powdery 
carbonate of lime apparently of contemporaneous origin. These 
lavas are conformably associated with strata of breccia and of brown 
tuff containing lignite. The whole maaa has been broken up and 
tilted at an angle of 45°, by a seriea of great volcanic dikes, one of 
which was thirty yards in breadth. Tliis volcanic formation resem- 
bles one, presently to bo described, in Cliiloe. 

Huafo. — This island lies between the Chonos and Chiloe gronpa : 
it is about 800 feet high, and perhaps has a nucleus of metamorphic 
locks. The strata which I examined consisted of fine-grained muddy 
sandstones, with fragments of lignite and concretions of calcareous 
sandstone. I collected the following extinct sheila, of which the 
Turiitella was in great numbers. 

, PI. lU. f. 35. 

Bulla cosmophila, G. B. Sowerby, PI. lU 
FlBurotoma aubiequslis, do. PI, IV. f. 52. 

Tumtella Cbilensis, do. PI. IV. f. 51 (alao Mocha). 
VsEUS, probably a diatincl species, but very jmparfecl. 
Cytherffia(?) sulculosaf?) do. PI. 11. f. 14. 
UenUliom roajui, G. B. Sowerbj, PI. II. f. 3. 

Chiloe. — This fine island is about 100 milea in length. The entire 
southern part, and the whole western coast, consists of mica-schist, 
which likewise is seen in the ravines of the interior. The central 
mountains rise to a height of 3000 feet, and are said to be partly 
formed of granite and greenstone : there are two small volcanic dis- 
tricts. Tlie eastern coast, and large parts of the northern extremity 
of the island are composed of gravel, the - boulder formation, and 
underlying horizontal strata. The latter are well displayed for twenty 
milea north and south of Castro; they vary in character from common 
sandstone to fine-grained, laminated mudstones : all the specimens 
which I examined are easily fiisible, and some of the beds might be 
called volcanic grit-stones. These latter strata are perhaps related to a 

CHAP. T.^ CHILOB. 121 

mass of columnar trachyte "which occurs behind Castro. The sand* 
stone occasionally includes pebbles, and many fragments and layers of 
lignite; of the latter, some are apparently formed of wood and others of 
leaves : one layer on the N. W. side of Lemuy is nearly two feet in 
thickness. There is also much silicified wood, both common dicotyle- 
donous and coniferous : a section of one specimen in the direction of 
the medullary rays has, as I am informed by Mr. B. Brown, the discs 
in a double row placed alternately, and not opposite as in the true 
Araucaria. I found marine remains only in one spot, in some concre- 
tions of hard calcareous sandstone: in several other districts I have ob- 
served, that organic remains were exclusively confined to such con- 
cretions ; are we to account for this fact, by the supposition that the 
shells lived only at these points, or is it not more probable, that their 
remains were preserved only where concretions were formed? The 
shells here are in a bad state, they consist of, 

1. Tellinides (?) oblonga, G. B. Sowerby, PI. II. f. 12 (a Solenilla in M. 

d'Orbiguy's opiDion). 

2. Natica striolata, G. B. Sow. PI. III. f. 39. 

3. Natica (?) pumila, do. PI. III. f. 38. 

4. Cjthersea (?) Bulculosa, do. PI. II. f. 14 (alao Ypun and Hoafo?) 

At the northern extremity of the island, near S. Carlos, there is a 
large volcanic formation, between 500 and 700 feet in thickness. 
The commonest lava is blackish-grey or brown, either vesicular, or 
amygdaloidal with calcareous spar and bole : most even of the darkest 
varieties fuse into a pale-coloured glass. The next commonest 
variety is a rubbly, rarely well characterized pitchstone (fusing into a 
white glass) which passes in the most irregular manner into stony 
grey lavas. This pitchstone, as well as some purple claystone 
porphyry, certainly flowed in the form of streams. These various 
lavas often pass, at a considerable depth from the surface, in the most 
abrupt and singular manner into wacke. Great masses of the solid 
rock are brecciated, and it was generally impossible to discover 
whether the recementing process had been an igneous or aqueous 
action.* The beds are obscurely separated from each other ; they are 
sometimes parted by seams of tuff and layers of pebbles. In one 
place they rested on, and in another place Y^ere capped by, tuffs and 
gritstones, apparently of submarine origin. 

The neighbouring peninsula of Lacuy is almost wholly formed of 
tufaceous deposits, connected probably in their origin with the vol- 
canic hiUsjust described. The tuffs are pale-coloured, alternating 
with laminated mudstones and sandstones (all easily frisible) and 
passing, sometimes into fine-grained white beds strikingly resembling 

* In a cliff of the hardest fragmentary mass, I found several tortuoas, vertical 
veins, varying in tbiclcness from a few tenths of an inch to one inch and a half, 
of a substance which I have not seen described. It is glossy, and of a brown 
colour ; it is thinly laminated, with the laminae transparent and elastic ; it is a 
little harder than calcareous spar ; it is infusible under the blowpipe, sometimes 
decrepetates, gives out water^ curls up, blackens and becomes magnetic. Borax 
easily dissolves a considerable quantity of it, and gives a glass tinged with green. 
I have no idea what its true nature is. On first seeing it, I mistook it for lignite ! 



the great upper infusorial deposit of Patagonia, and sometimes into 
brecciolaa with pieces of pumice in the last stage of decay ; these 
again pass into ordinary coarse breccias and conglomerates of hard 
rocks. Witliin very short distances, some of the finer tuffs often 
passed into each other in a peculiar manner, namely, by irregulu ] 
polygonal concretions of one variety increasing ao much and so j 
suddenly in size, that the second variety, instead of any longw I 
forming the entire mass, was left merely in thin veins between thi j 
concretions. In a straight line of cliffs, at Point Tenuy, I examined ] 
the following remarkable section :~ 

On the left hand, the lower part (A A) consists of regular, alternating A 
strata of brown tuffs and greenish laminated mudstone, gently in- 
clined to the right, and conformably covered by a mass (B left) of a 
white, tufaceous and biecciolated deposit. On the right hand, the 
whole cliff (B B riffkt) consists of the same white tufaceous matter, 
which on this side presents scarcely a trace of stratification, but to 
the left becomes very gradually and rather indistinctly divided into 
strata quite eonformahle with the underlying beds A A : moreover, a 
few hundred yards further to the left, where the surface has been less 
denuded, the tufaceous strata (B left) are conformably covered by 
another set of strata, like the underlying ones A A of this section. In 
the middle of the diagram, the beds A A are seen to be abruptly cut 
off, and to abut against the tufaceous non-stratified mass ; but the 
line of junction has been accidentally not represented steep enough, 
for I particularly noticed that before the beds had been tilted to the 1 
right, this line must have been nearly vertical. It appears that a J 
current of water cut for itself a deep and steep submarine channel, J 

CHAP, v.] CHILOE. 123 

and at the same time or afterwards filled it up with the tufaceous and 
brecciolated matter, atid spread the same over the surrounding sub- 
marine beds ; the matter becoming stratified in these more distant and 
less troubled parts, and being moreover subsequently covered up by 
other strata (like A A) not shown in tlie diagram. It is singular 
that three of the beds (of A A) are prolonged in their proper direc- 
tion, as represented, beyond the line of junction into the white tu- 
faceous matter : the prolonged portions of two of the beds are 
rounded ; in the third, the terminal fragment has been pushed up- 
wards : how these beds could have been left thus prolonged, I will 
not pretend to explain. In another section on the opposite side of 
a promontory, there was at the foot of this same line of junction, 
that is at the bottom of the old submarine channel, a pile of frag- 
ments of the strata A A, with their interstices filled up with the 
white tufaceous matter : this is exactly what might have been anti- 
cipated under such circumstances. 

The various tufaceous and other beds at this northern end of Chiloe 
probably belong to about the same age with those near Castro, and 
they contain, as there, many fragments of black lignite and of silici- 
fied and pyritous wood, often embedded close together. They also 
contain many and singular concretions : some are of hard calcareous 
sandstone, in which it would appear that broken volcanic crystals and 
scales of mica have been better preserved (as in the case of the organic 
remains near Castro) than in the surrounding mass. Other concre- 
tions in the white brecciola, are of a hard ferruginous, yet fusible, 
nature; they are as round as cannon-balls, and vary from two OX 
three inches to two feet in diameter ; their insides generally consist 
either of fine, scarcely coherent volcanic sand,'*' or of an argillaceous 
tuff; in this latter case, the external crust was quite thin and hard. 
Some of these spherical balls were encircled in the line of their equa- 
tors, by a necklace-like row of smaller concretions. Again there 
were other concretions, irregularly formed, and composed of a hard, 
compact, ash- coloured stone, with an almost porcelainous fracture, 
adhesive to the tongue, and without any calcareous matter. These 
beds are, also, interlaced by many veins, containing g3rp6uro, ferru- 
ginous matter, calcareous spar, and agate. It was here seen with 
remarkable distinctness, how intimately concretionary action and 
the production of fissures and veins are related together. The follow- 
ing diagram is an accurate representation of a horizontal space of tu£^ 
about four feet long by two and a half in width : the double lines 
represent the fissures partially filled with oxide of iron and agate : 
the curvilinear lines show the course of the innumerable, concentric, 
concretionary zones of different shades of colour and of coarseness in 
the particles of tuff. The symmetry and complexity of the arrange- 
ment gave the surface an elegant appearance. It may be seen how 
obviously the fissures determine (or have been determined by) the 

* The frequent tendency in iron to form hollow concretions or shells containing* 
incoherent matter is singular : D'Auhuisson (Trait^ de G^gn. torn. i. p. 818} 
remarks on this circumstance. 



shape, aometimea of the whole concretion, and sometimeB only of its 
central parts. The fiaaures also determine the curTaturea of the long 
undulating zones of concretionary action. From tbe varying compo- 
sition of the veina and concretions, tlie amount of chenii<al action 
wbich the mass has nndergone, is surpriaingly great ; and it would 
likewise appear from the difference in size in the particles of the cou' 
cretionary zones, that the mass, also, has been subjected to internal 
mechanical movementa. 

In tbe peninsula of Lacuy, tlie strata over a widtli of four miles 
have been upheaved by three distinct, and soma other indistinct, lines 
of elevation, ranging within a point of north and south. One line, 
about 200 feet in height, is regularly anticlinal, with the strata dip- 
ping away on both sides, at an angle of 15°, from a central " valley of 
elevation," about 300 yards in width, A second narrow steep ridge, 
only sixty feet high, is uniclinal, the strata throughout dipping w^t- 
ward ; those on both flanks being inclined at an angle of &om ten to 
fifteen degrees ; whilst those on the ridge dip in the same direction, 
at an angle of between thirty and forty degrees. This ridge, traced 
northwards, dies away ; and the beds at its terminal point, instead of 
dipping westward, are inclioed 12° to the north. This case interested 
Toc, as being the first in wbich I found in S. America, formations 
perhaps of tertiary origin, broken by lines of elevation. 

Valdhia : Island of Mocha, — Tbe formations of Chiloe seem to 
extend wdth nearly the same character to Valdivia, and for some 
leagues northward of it : the underlying rocks are micaceous schists, 
and are covered up with sandstone and other sedimentary beds, in- 
cluding, as I was assured, in many places layers of lignite, I did not 
land on Mocba (lat. 38° 20'), but Mr. Stokes brought me specimens 


of the grey, fine-gndned, slightly calcareous sandstone, precisely like 
that of Hiiafo, containing lignite and numerous turritelles. The 
island is flat-topped, 1,240 feet in height, and appears like an outlier 
of the sedimentary beds on the mainland. The few shells collected 
consist of — 

1. Turritella Chilensis, G. B. Sow. PI. IV. f. 51 (also at Huafo). 

2. Fusus, very imperfect, somewhat resembling F. tubrefiexua of Navidad 

(PI. IV. f. 57), but probably different. 

3. Venus, fragments of. 

Conc^cion. — Sailing northward from Valdivia, the coast-clifTs are 
seen, first to assume near the R. Tolten, and thence for 150 miles 
northward, to be continued with the same mineralogical characters, 
immediately to be described at Concepcion. I heard in many places 
of beds of lignite, some of it fine and glossy, and likewise of silici- 
fied wood ; near the Tolten the cliffs are low, but they soon rise in 
height ; and the horizontal strata are prolonged, with a nearly level 
surface, until coming to a more lofty tract between points Rumena 
and Lavapie. Here the beds have been broken up by at least eight 
or nine parallel lines of elevation, ranging east or E.N.E., and west 
or W.S.W. These lines can be followed with the eye many miles 
into the interior ; they are all uniclinal, the strata in each dipping to 
a point between south and S.S.E, with an inclination in the central 
lines of about, forty degrees, and in the outer ones of under twenty 
degrees. This band of symmetrically troubled country is about eight 
mUes in width. 

The island of Quinquina, in the Bay of Concepcion, is formed of 
various soft and often ferruginoud sandstones, with bands of pebbles, 
and with the lower strata sometimes passing into a conglomerate 
resting on the underlying metamorphic schists. These beds include 
subordinate layers of greenish impure clay, soft micaceous and calca- 
reous sandstones, and reddish friable earthy matter with white specks 
like decomposed crystals of feldspar: they include, also, hard concretions, 
fragments of shells, lignite, and silicified wood. In the upper part 
they pass into white, soft sediments and brecciolas, very like those 
described at Chiloe ; as indeed is the whole formation. At Lirguen 
and other places on the eastern side of the bay, there are good sec- 
tions of the lower sandstones, which are generally ferruginous, but 
which vary in character, and even pass into an argillaceous nature ; 
they contain hard concretions, fragments of lignite, silicified wood, 
and pebbles (of the same rocks with the pebbles in the sandstones of 
Quinquina), and they alternate with numerous, often very thin 
layers of imperfect coal, generally of little specific gravity. The 
main bed here is three feet thick ; and only the coal of this one bed 
has a glossy fracture. Another irregular, curvilinear bed of brown, 
compact lignite, is remarkable for being included in a mass of coarse 
gravel. These imperfect coals, when placed in a heap, ignite spon- 
taneously. The cUfiTs on this side of the bay, as well as on the island 
of Quiriqui1U^ are capped with red friable earth, which, as stated 



in the second chapter, is of recent formation. The stratification in 
this neighbourhood is generally horizontal ; but near Lirguen the beds 
dip N.W. at an angle of 28°; near Concepcion they are also in- 
elmed ; at the northern end of Quinquina they have been tilted at an 
angle of 30° and at the southern end at angles varying from 15° to 
40° : these dislocations must have taken place under the sea. 

A collection of aheUs, from the island of Quiriquina, has been 
described by M. d'Orbigny: they are all extinct, and from their 
generic character, M. d'Orbigny inferred that they were of tertiary 
origin : they consist of. 

1. Scalaria Cbilensis, d'Orbig. Voyage 

Part. Pal. 

2. Natica Araucana, do. 

3. Natica australis, do. 

4. Fusus difficilis, do. 

5. Pyrula lougirostra, do. 

6. Pleurotoma Araucana, do. 

7. Cardium auca, do. 

0. Cardium acuticostatum, 

Voyage Pal. 
9. Venus auca, do. 

10. Mactra cecileana, do. 

11. Mactra Araucana, do. 

12. Area Araucana, do. 

13. Nucula Largillierti, do. 

14. Trigonia Hanetiana, do. 


During a second visit of the Beagle to Concepcion, Mr. Kent 
collected for me some silicified wood and shells out of the concretions 
in the sandstone from Tome, situated a short distance north of Lir- 
guen ; they consist of, 

1. Natica australis, d'Orbig. Voyage 


2. Mactra Araucana, do. 

3. Trigonia Hanetiana, do. 

4. Pecten, fragments of, probably two spe- 
cies, but too imperfect for description. 
6. Baculites vagina, £. Forbes. Pl.V.f.3, 
6. Nautilus d'Orbignyanus, E. Forbes, 
PI. V. f. 1. (a) and 1. (b). 

Besides these shells, Capt, Belcher* found here an Ammonite, 
nearly three feet in diameter, and so heavy that he could not bring 
it away; fragments are deposited at llaslar Hospital: he also 
found the silicified vertebrae of some very large animal. From the 
identity in mineralogical nature of the rocks, and from Captain 
Belcher's minute description of the coast between Lirguen and Tome, 
|he fossiliferous concretions at this latter place certainly belong to the 
same formation with the beds examined by myself at Lirguen ; and 
these again are undoubtedly the same with the strata of Quinquina : 
moreover, the three first of the shells from Tome, though associated in 
the same concretions with the Baculite, are identical with the species 
from Quinquina. Hence all the sandstone and lignitiferous beds in 
this neighbourhood certainly belong to the same formation. Although 
the generic character of the Quiriquina fossils naturally led M. 
d'Orbigny to conceive that they were of tertiary origin, yet as we now 
find them associated with the Baculites vagina and with an Ammonite, 
we must, in the opinion of M. d'Orbigny, and if we are guided by 
the analogy of the northern hemisphere, rank them in the Cretaceous 
system. Moreover, the Baculites vagina, which is in a tolerable 
state of preservation, appears to Prof. £. Forbes certainly to be 
identical with a species, so named by him, from Pondichery m India ; 

* Zoology of Capt. Beechey*s Voyage, p. 163. 


where it is associated with nnmeroiia decidedly cietaoeoas species, 
which approach most neaily to lower Greensand or Neooomian forms : 
this hcty consideriDg the Tast distance between Chile and India, is 
truly surprising. Again, the yauiilus ^ Orhiffnyantu^ as &r as its 
imperfect state allows of comparison, resembles, as I am informed by 
Prof. Forbes, both in its genial form and in that of its ohambets, two 
spedes from the Upper Greensand. It may be added that eyory one 
of the above-named genera from Quinquina, which have an apparently 
tertiary character, are found in the Pondichery strata. There are, 
however, some difficulties on this view of the formations at Con- 
oepcion being cretaceous, which I shall afterwards allude to ; and I 
wUl here only state that the CoiY/tum atuM is found also at Co- 
quimbo, the beds at which place, there can be no doubt, are tertiary. 

Navidad,* — The Concepcion formation extends some distance north- 
ward, but how hi I know not ; for the next point at which I landed 
was at Navidad, 160 miles north of Concepcion, and 60 miles south 
of Valparaiso. The cliffs here are about 800 feet in height: they 
consist, wherever I could examine them, of fine-grained, yellowish, 
earthy sandstones, with ferruginous veins, and with concretions of 
hard calcareous sandstone. In one part, there were many pebbles of 
the common metamorphic porphyries of the Cordillera : and near the 
base of the diff, I observed a single rounded boulder of greenstone, 
nearly a yard in diameter. I traced this sandstone formation beneath 
the supe^cial covering of gravel, for some distance inland : the strata 
are slightly inclined from the sea towards the Cordillera, which 
apparently has been caused by their having been accumulated against 
or round, outlying masses of granite, of which some points project 
near the coast. The sandstone contains fragments of wood, either 
in the state of lignite or partially silicified, shark's teeth, and 
shells in great abundance, both high up and low down the sea-cliffs. 
Pectunculus and Oliva were most numerous in individuals, and next 
to them Turritella and Fusus. I collected in a short time, though 
suffering from illness, the following thirty-one species, all of which 
are extinct, and several of the genera do not now range (as we shall 
hereafter show) nearly so far south : — 

1. Gastridiom cepa, G. B. Sowerby, PI. IV. f. 68, 69. 

2. Monoceros, fragmeDts of, considered bj M. d'Orbignj as a new species. 

3. VoloU alU, G. B. Sowerbj, PI. IV. f. 75 (considered by M. d*Orbigny as 

distinct from the V, alta of S. Cruz). 

4. Voluta triplicata, G. B. Sowerby, PI. IV. f. 74. 
6. Oliva dimidiata, do. PI. IV. f. 76, 77. 

6. Pleurotoma discors, do. PI. IV. f. 54. 

7. Pleurotoma turbinelloides, do. PL IV. f. 53. 

8. Fusus subreflezus, do. PI. IV. f. 57. 

9. Fusus pyruUformis, do. PI. IV. f. 56. 

10. Fusus, allied to F. regularis, PI. IV. f. 55 (considered by M. d'Orbigny 
as a distinct species). 

* I was guided to this locality by the Report on M. Gay's geological researches, 
in the Annsues des Scienc. Nat. (1st series) torn. 28. 



[]CHAP. V. 

11. Tunitella suturalis, G. B. Sowerbj, PI. III. f. 50. 

12. Turritella Patagonica, (do.), PL III. f. 48 (fragments of). 

13. Trochus Isevis^ G. B. Sowerby, PI. III. f. 46, 47. 

14. Trochus coUans, do., PI. III. f. 44, 45 (considered by M. d'Orbigny as 

the young of the T.Isvis). 

15. Cassis moniUfer, G. B. Sowerby, PI. IV. f. 65. 

16. Pynila distans, do., PI. IV. f. 61. 

17. Triton vemiculosos, do., PI. IV. f. 63. 

18. Sigaretus subglobosos, G. B. Sowerb^r, PI. III. f. 36, 37. 

19. Natica solida, do., PI. III. f. 40, 41 (it is doubtful whether the N. solida of 

S. Cruz is the same species with this). 

20. Terebra undulifera, G. B. Sowerby, PI. IV. f. 72, 73.^ 

21. Terebra costellata, do., PI. IV. f. 70, 71. 

22. Bulla (fragments of ). 

23. Dentalium giganteum, do., PI. II. f. 1. 

24. Dentalium sulcosum, do., PI. II. f. 2. 

25. Corbis (?) laevigata, do., PI. II. f. 11. 

26. Cardium multiradiatum, do., PI. II. f. 16. 

27. Venus meridionalis, do., PL II. f. 13. 

28. Pectunculus dispar. (?) Desh. (considered by M. d'Orbigny as a distinct 


29. 30. CythersBa and Mactia, fragments of, (considered by M. d'Orbigny as 

new species). 
31. Pecten, fragments of. 

Coquimho. — For more than 200 miles northward of Navidad, the 
coast consists of plutonic and nietamorphic rocks, with the exception 
of some quite insignificant superficial beds of recent origin. At Ton- 

fy, twenty-five miles south of Coquimbo, tertiary beds recommence, 
have already minutely described in the second chapter, the step- 
formed plains of Coquimbo, and the upper calcareous beds (from 
twenty to thirty feet in thickness) containing shells of recent species, 
but in different proportions from those on the beach. There remains 
to be described only the underlying ancient tertiary beds, represented 
in the following diagram (here given again) by the letters F and £. 


Surface of plain, 252 feet aboye sea. 

C .-T-T 


Level of sea. 

F— Lower sandstone, with concretions and silicifled bones, ) with fossil shells, all, or nearly 
E— Upper ferruginous sandstone, with numerous Balani, j all, extinct. 
C and D — Calcareous beds with recent shells. A— Stratifled sand in a rayine, also with 
recent shells. 

I obtained good sections of bed (F) only in Herradura Bay : it con- 
sists of soft whitish sandstone, with ferruginous veins, some pebbles 
of granite, and concretionary layers of hard calcareous sandstone. 
These concretions are remarkable from the great number of large 
suicined bones, apparently of cetaceous animals, which they contain ; 
and likewise of a shark's teeth, closely resembling those of the Car^ 

CfiAP. v.]] coauiMBo. 129 

ckaricu me^alodon* Shells of the following species, qf which the 
gigantic Oyster and Perna are the most conspicuous, are numerously 
embedded in the concretions. 

1. Bulla ambigua, d*Orbig. Voyage Pal. 

2. Monoceros Blainyillii, do. 

3. Cardium auca, do. 

4. Panopaea Coquimbensia, do. 

5. Perna Gaudichaudi do. 

6. Artemis ponderosa ; Mr. Sowerby can find no distinguishing character be- 

tween this fossil and the recent A. ponderosa ; it is certainly an Artemis, 
as shown by the pallial impression. 

7. Ostrea Patagonica (?; Mr. Sowerby can point out no distinguishing character 

between this species and that so eminently characteristic of the great 
Patagonian formation 3 but he will not pretend to affirm that they are 

8. Fragments of a Venus and Natica. 

The cliffs on one side of Herradura Bay are capped by a mass of 
stratified shingle, containing a little calcareous matter, and I did not 
doubt that it belonged to the same recent formation with the gravel 
on the surrounding plains, also cemented by calcareous matter, until 
to my surprise, I found in the midst of it, a single thin layer almost 
entirely composed of the above gigantic oyster. 

At a little distance inland, I obtained several sections of the bed 
(E), which, though different in appearance from the lower bed (F), 
belongs to the same formation : it consists of a highly fermginous 
sandy mass, almost composed, like the lowest bed at Port S. Julian, 
of fragments of Balanidse ; it includes some pebbles, and layers of yel* 
lowish-brown mudstone. The embedded shells consist of, 

1. Monoceros Blain?illii, d*Orbig. Voyage Pal. 

2. ambiguQS. G. B. Sowerby, PI. IV. f. 66, 67. 

3. Anomia altemans, do., PI. II. f. 25. 

4. Pecten rudis, do., PI. III. f. 32. 

5. Perna Gaudichaudi, d'Orbig. Voyage Pal. 

6. Ostrea Patagonica (1) do. 

7. Ostrea, smaU species, in imperfect state ; it appeared to me like a small 

kind now living in, but very rare in the bay. 

8. Mytilus Chiloensis ; Mr. Sowerby can find no distinguishing character be- 

tween this fossil, as far as its not very perfect condition allows of com- 
parison, and the recent species. 

9. Balanus Coquimbensis, G. B. Sowerby, PI . II. f. 7. 

10. Balanus psittacusi King. This appears to Mr Sowerby and myself iden- 
tical with a very large and common species now living on the coast. 

The uppermost layers of this ferrugino-sandy mass are conformably 
covered by, and impregnated to the depth of several inches with, the 
calcareous matter of the bed (D) called losa : hence I at one time 
imagined that there was a gradual passage between them ; but as aU 
the species are recent in the bed (D), whilst the most characteristic 
shells of the uppermost layers of (E) are the extinct Perna, Pecten, 
and Monoceros, I agree with M. d'Orbigny, that this view is erro- 
neous, and that there is only a mineralogical passage between them, 
and no gradual transition in the nature of their organic remains. 
Besides the fourteen species enumerated from these two lower beds, 


M. d'Oibigny has described ten other species given to him from this 
locality ; namely, 

6. Venus pelitJBBi, d'Orbig. VoTsga 

7. Cbilensia, do. 

B. SaUctulua hanetiaauB, do. 
9. Maotra ■ucn, do. 

10. Olivasaraas, do. 

Of these twenty-four shells, all are extinct, except, according to 
Mr, Sowerby, the Artemi* ponderma, MytiluM Ckiloentit, and pro- 
bably the great Balanus. 


—A few miles nortli of Caquimbo, I met 
with the ferruginous, balaniferous mass (E) with many silicified 
bones ; I was informed that these silicified bones occur, rIso, at Tonguy, 
south of Coquimbo : their number is certainly remarkable, and they 
seem to take the place of the silicified wood, so common on the coast- 
furraations of southern Cliile. In the valley of C'hanoral, I again saw 
this same formatioD, capped with the recent calcareous beds. I here 
left the coast, and did not see any more of the tertiary formations, 
until descending to the sea at Copiapo : here in one place I found 
variously coloured layers of sand aud soft sandstone, with seams of 
gypsum, and in another, a conmiinuted shelly mass, with layers 
of rotten-stone and seams of gypsum, including many of the ex- 
tinct gigantic oyster : beds with these oysters are said to occur at 
English Harbor, a few miles north of Copiapo. 

Cofut of Peru, — With the exception of deposits containing recent 
shells and of quite insignificant dimensions, no tertiary formations 
have been observed on this coast, for a space of twenty-two degrees of 
latitude north of Copiapo, until coming to Payta, where there is 
said to be a considerable calcareous deposit : a few fossils have 
been described by M. d'Orbigny from this place, namely, — 

1. Hoslollaria Gaudicbsudi, d'Orbig, Voyage Pal. 

2. PecluQculus Paylenaia, do. 

4. Oatrea PBtiigoDical Tbia grent oyster (of whirh Bpecimens ha»e been giren 
me) cannot be disliaguished by Mr. Sonerby fcoin aome of tbe vsnetiei 
from Patagonin ; tbougb it would be hazarilaua to nsaert it a tbe uma 
v'Mt tbat species, or witb tbal from Coyuimbo. 

Concluding itemarii. — The formations described in this cliBpter,have, 
in the case of Chiloe and probably in that of Conuepeion and Kavidad, 
apparently been accumulated in troughs formed by submarine ridges 
extimding parallel to the ancient shores of tlie contment; in tlio case 
of the islands of Mocha and lluafo it is highly probable, and in that 
of Ypun and Lemus inmost certain, that they were accumulated 
round isolated locky centres oc nuclei, in the samO manner as mud 
and sand is ngw coUectiug round the outlying islets and reefs in the 



West Indian archipelago. Hence, I may remark, it does not follow 
that the outlying tertiary masses of Mocha and Huafo were ever con- 
tinuously united at the same level with the formations ou the main- 
land, though they may have heen of contemporaneous origin, and heen 
subsequently upraised to the same height. lu the more northern 
parts of Chile, the tertiary strata seem to have been separately accu- 
mulated in bays, now forming the mouths of valleys. 

Tlie relation between these several deposits on the shores of the 
Pacific, is not nearly so clear as in the case of the tertiary formations 
on the Atlantic. Judging from the form and height of the land 
(evidence which I feel sure is here much more trust-worthy than 
it can ever be in such broken continents as that of Europe), from 
the identity of mineralogical composition, from the presence of frag- 
ments of lignite and of silicified wood, and from the intercalated 
layers of imperfect coal, I must believe that the coast-formations 
from central Chiloe to Concepcion, a distance of 400 miles, are of 
the same age : from nearly similar reasons, I suspect that the beds 
at Mocha, Huafo, and Ypun^ belong also to the same period. The 
commonest shell in Mocha and Huafo, is the same species of Turri- 
tella ; and I believe the same CythersBa is found on the islands of 
Huafo, Chiloe, and Ypun; but with these trifling exceptions, the 
few organic remains found at these places are distinct. The nu- 
merous shells from Navidad, with the exception of two, namely the 
Sigaretus and Turritella found at Ypun, are likewise distinct from 
those found in any other part of this coast* Coquimbo has Oardium 
auca in common with Concepcion, and Funu Cleryanus with 
Huafo; I may add, that Coquimbo has Ventu Petitiana^ and a 
gigantic oyster (said by M. d'Orbigny also to be found a little soutli 
of Concepcion) in common with rayta, though this latter place is 
situated twenty-two degrees northward of lat. 27°, to which point 
the Coquimbo f(»rmation extends. 

From these facts, and from the generic resemblance of the fossils 
from the different localities, I cannot avoid the suspicion that they all 
belong to nearly the same epoch, which epoch, as we shall imme- 
diately see, must be a very ancient tertiary one. But as the Baculite, 
especially considering its apparent identity with the Cretaceous Pon- 
dichery species, and the presence of an Ammonite, and the resem- 
blance of the Nautilus to two upper greensand species, together 
afford very strong evidence that the formation at Concepcion b a 
Secondary one ; 1 will, in my remarks on the fossils from the oihex 
localities, put on one side those from Concepcion and from Eastern Chi- 
loe, which, whatever their age may be, appear to me to belong to one 
group. I must, however, again call attention to the fact that the Car* 
dium auea is found both at Concepcion and in the undoubtedly tertiary 
strata of Coquimbo : nor should the possibility be overlooked, that as 
Trigonia, though known in the northern hemisphere only as a Secondary 
genus, has living representatives in the Australian seas, so a Baculite, 
Ammonite, and Trigonia may have survived in this remote part of the 
southern ocean to a somewhat ^ter period than to the north of the equator, 

K 2 



[chap. 1 

Before passing in review tlie foasila from the otiier localitiee, 
there are two pointa, with respect to the formations between Concep- 
cion and Chiloe, wliich deserve some notice. Firet, that though the 
strata are generally horizontal, tliey have been upheaved ia Chiloe ia 
■ set of parallel anticlinal and uniclinal lines ranging north and south, 
— in the district near P. Rumena by eiglit or tiine far-estended, most 
syranietrical, uniclinal lines ranging nearly east and west, — and in the 
neighbourhood of Concepcion by less regular single lines, directed 
both N. E. and S. W., and N. W. and 8. E. This fact ia of some 
interest, as showing that within a period which cannot be considered 
US very ancient in relation to the liistory of tlie Continent, the strata 
between the Cordillera and the Pacific have been broken up in the 
same variously -directed manner as liave the old phitonic and meta- 
morphic rocks in this same district. The second point is, that the 
sandstone between Concepcion and southern Chiloe is everywhere 
lignitiferous, and includes much eilicified wood ; whereas the forma- 
tiona in northern Chile do not include beds of lignite or coal, and in 
place of the fragments of silicified wood, there are silicified bones. 
Now, at the present day, from Cape Horn to near Concepcion, the 
land id entirely concealed by forests, whioh thin out at Cuncepcion, 
and in central and northern Chile entirely disappear. This coincidence 
in the diatrihution of the fossil wood and the living forests may be 
Cfiilte accidental; but I incline to take a different view of it; fur, as 
the diflerence in diuiate, on which the presence of forests depends, ia 
here obviously in chief part due to the form of tho land, and as the 
Cordillera undoubtedly existed when the lignitiferous beds were accu- 
mulating, I conceive it is not improbable that the climate, during the 
lignitiferous period, varied on different parts of the coast in a some* 
what similar manner as it now does. Looking to an earlier epoch, 
when the strata of the Cordillera were depositing, there were islands 
which even in the latitude of northern Chile, where now all is irre- 
claimably desert, supported large coniferous forests. 

Seventy-nine species of fossil shells, in a tolerably recognisable 
oonditioo, from the coast of Chile and Peru, are described in this 
volume, and in the Palseontological part of M. d'Orbigny's voyage ; 
if we put on one side the twenty species exclusively found at Concep- 
cion aud Chiloe, fifty-nine species from Navidad and the other speci- 
fied localities remain. Of these fifty-nine species, only an Artemis, a 
Mytilus, and Balanus, all from Coquimbn, are (in the opinion of Mr, 
Sowerby, but not in that of M, d'Orhigny) identical with living 
ahells; and it would certainly require a better series of specimens lo 
render this conclusion certain. Only the Turritella Chilentit from 
Huafo and Mocha, the T. Patagoniea and Vettu» meridionalii from 
Navidad, come very near to recent S. American shells, namely, the 
two Tnrritellas to T. einyulata, and the Venus to V. exalbida : 
aonie few other species come rather less near; and some few resemble 
forms in the older European tertiary deposits : none of the species 
teaemble secondary forms. Hence I conceive there can be no iloubt 
that these formations are tertiary, —a point necessary to consider, 

CHAP, v.] 



after the case of Concepcion. The fifty-nine species belong to thiity- 
two genera ; of these, Gastridium is extinct, and three or four of the 
genera (viz. Panopeea, Bostellaria, Corbis?, and I believe Solecurtus) 
are not now found on the west coast of S. America. Fifteen of the 
genera have on this coast living representatives in about the same 
latitudes with the fossil species ; but twelve genera now range very 
differently to what they formerly did. The idea of the foUowing 
table, in which the difference between the extension in latitude of the 
fossil and existing species is shown, is taken from M. d'Orbigny's 
work, but the range of the living shells is given on the authority of 
Mr. Cuming, whose long-continued researches on the conchology of S. 
America are well known. 

Genera, with living and 

Latitudes, in which found 

Southernmost latitude, in which 

tertiary species on the west 

fossil on the coasts of Cliile 

Iband living on the west coast 

coast of 8. America.* 

and Peru. 

of S. America. 


30° to 43° SO' 

12° near Tima 





34° (and 36° SO' at Con- 

5° Payta 

Fusiia ..... 

30° to 43° 30' 

23° Mexillones ; re-appears 
at the St. of Magellan 

Fleurotoma • . . 

34° to 43° 30' 

2° 18' St. Elena 

Terebra. .... 


6° Payte 
12° Lima 

Sigaretus .... 

34° to 44° 30' 

Anomia .... 


7° 48' 

Pema . . • ; . 


1° 23' Xixappa 

Cardium .... 


5° Payte 

Artemis .... 


6° Payte 

Mr. Cuming does not know 

Volute . . » . . 

34° to 44° 30' 

of any species liWng on 

the west coast, between 

the equator and lat. 43° 

south ; from this latitude 

a species is found as 

far south as Tierra del 


When we consider that very few, if any, of the fifty-nine fossil 
shells are identical with, or make any close approach to, living spe- 
cies ; when we consider that some of the genera do not now exist on 
the west coast of S. America, and that no less than twelve genera 
out of the thirty-two, formerly ranged very differently from the 
existing species of the same genera, we must admit that these de- 
posits are of considerable antiquity, and that they probably verge on 
the commencement of the tertiary era. May we not venture to be- 
lieve, that they are of nearly contemporaneous origin with the Eocene 
formations of the northern hemisphere ? 

* M. d'Orbig^v steles that the genus Natica js not found on the coast of Chile ; 
but Mr. Cuming foufid it at Valparaiso. Scalaria was found at Valparaiso ; Area, 
at Iquique, in lat. 20°, by Mr. Cuming ; Area, also, was found by Capt. King, at 
Juan Fernandez, in lat. 83° SO'. 

3M tehtiart foruations, Qchap. t. 

Comparing the fo^il remains from the coast of Chile (leayine; out, 
BS befuie, CoQcepaion and Chiloe) with those from Pat^^onia, we 
may conclude, from their generic reBemblance, and from the small 
number of the species which from either ooast approach closely to 
living forms, that the formations of both belong to nearly the same 
epoch ; and this ia the opinion of M, d'Orbigny, Had not a single 
fossil shell been common to the two coaste, it could not have been 
argued that the formations belonged to different ages ; for Messrs. 
Cuming and Hinds have found, on the comparison of nearly 2000 
living species from tiie opposite sides of South America, only one in 
eommon, namely, the fui-pura lapUlits from both sides of the 
isthmus of Panama ; even the slielU collected by myself amongst the 
I Chonoa islands and on the coast of Patagonia, are dissimilar, and we 
I must descend to the apex of the continent, to Tierra del Fuego, to 
find these two great concholt^ieal provinces united into one. Henca 
it ia remarkable that four or five of the fossil shells from Navidad, 
namely. Valuta alta, Turritella Patoffonica, Trochua eollarU, Venn* 
meridionalit, perhaps Natica golida, and perhaps the large oyster 
from Goquimbo, are considered by Mr. Sowerby as identical witb 
species from S. Cruz and P. Desire, M, d'Orbigny, however, at' 
the perfect identity only of the Trocbus. 

On the Temperature of the Tertiary Period. — As the nnraber of 
the fossil species and genera from the western and eastern coasta is 
considerable, it will be interesting to consider the probable nature of 
the climate under which tbey lived. We will first take the case of 
Navidad, in lat. 34°, where thirty-one species were collected, and 
whicli, as we shall presently see, must have inhabited shallow water, 
and therefore will necessarily well exhibit the effects of temperature. 
Referring to the table given in the previous page, we find that tho 
existing species of the genera Cassis, PyruJa, Plourotoma, Terebra, 
and SigatetUB, which are generally (though by no means invariably) 
characteristio of warmer latitudes, do not at the present day range 
nearly so far south on this line of coast, as the fossil apeciea formerly 
did. Including Coqnimbo, we liave Pema in the same predicament. 
The first impresaion from this fact is, that the climate must fortnerly 
have been warmer than it now ia ; but we must be very cautious iu ad- 
mitting this, for Cardium, Bulla, and Fusus (and if we include Coquim- 
bo, Anomia and Artemis) likewise formerly ranged further south than 
they now do; and as these genera are far from being characteristio of hot 
climates, their former greater southern range may well have been owing 
to causes quite distinct from climate : Voluta, again, though generally 
80 tropical a genua, ia at present confined on the west coast to colder 
or more southern latitudes, than it was during the tertiary period. 
The TroeAut collarii, moreover, and, as we have just seen according 
to Mr. Sowerby, two or three other species, formerly ranged from 
Navidad as far south as Santa Cruz in lat. 50". If, instead of 
eomparing the fossils of Navidad, as we have hitherto done, with the 
ahelk now living on the west coast of S. America, wa compare them 

ber oi^^ 



CBAP. v.] CLIMATE OF. 135 

with those found in other parts of the world, under nearly similar 
latitudes; for instance, in the southern parts of the Mediterranean or 
of Austrahn, there ia no evidence that the sea off Navidad was for- 
merly hotter than what might have been expected from its latitude, 
even if it was somewhat warmer than it now ia when cooled hy the 
great sonthem polar current. Several of the most tropical genera 
have no representative fossils at Navidad ; and there are only single 
species of Cassis, Pyrula, and Sigaretua, two of Pleurotonia and two 
of Terehra, but none of these species are of conspicuous size. In 
Patagonia, there is even still less evidence in the character at the 
fossils, of the climate having been formerly wanner." As from the 
various reasons already assigned, there can he little doubt that the 
formations of Patagonia and at least of Navidad and Coquimbo in 
Chile, are the equivalents of an ancient stage in the tertiary fonnationa 
of the northern hemisphere, the conclusion that the climate of the 
southern seas at this period was not hotter than what might have been 
expected from the latitude of each place, appears to me highly im- 
portant ; for we must believe, in accordance with the views of Mr. 
Lyell, that the causes which gave to the older tertiary productions of 
the quite temperate zones of Europe a tropical character, teere of a local 
character and diil not affect the entire globe. On the other hand, I 
have endeavoured to show, in the Geological Transactions, that, at a 
much later period, Europe and North and South America were nearly 
contemporaneously subjected to ice-nction, and consequently to a 
colder or at least more equable climate than that now characteristic 
of the same latitudes. 

On the Abeence of extensive modem Conchifgrow DepotiU in Sowlk 
America; and on the Contemporaneoutneu of the older Tertiary 
Depotiu at distant points being due to contemporaneous movements of 
suLsidence. — Knowing from the researches of Prof. E. Forbes, that 
molluscous animals cliiefly abound within a depth of 1 00 ftttlioms 
and under, and bearing in mind how many thousand miles of both 
coaats of 8. America have been upraised within the recent period 
by a slow, long- continued, intermittent movement, — serfng the di- 
versity in nature of the shores and the number of shells now living 
on tliem, — seeing also that the sea off Patagonia and off many parts 
of Chile, was during the tertiary period highly favourable to the 
accumulation of sediment, — the absence of extensive deposits including 
recent shells over these vast spaces of coast is highly remarkable. 
The conchiferous calcareous beds at Coquimbo, and at a few isolated 
points northward, offer the most marked exception to this statement ; 
for these beds are from twenty to thirty feet in thickness, and they 
stretch for some miles along shore, attaining, however, only a very 
trifling breadth. At Valdivia there is some sandstone with imper- 

* It maj be vortb n-hile 

mention, thet the BbelU liTing at (he preisnt day 
erica, in Int. 40°, have perhaps a tooie tropical 
sndiDg latitudes ou the shores of Euro|iD : for at 
are two fiaa epecies of Voluta, and foui of Oliva, 

136 ON THE ABSEiNCE OF [chap. y. 

t&A casts of shells, wliicb possibly may belong to the Tecent period : 
parts of the boulder formation and the sliingje-beds on the lower 
plains of Patagonia probably belong to this same period, but neither 
are fossiliferoue : it also bo happens tliat the great Pampenn fomiR- 
tion does not include, with the exception of the Azara, any niol- 
Insca. There cannot be the smallest Joubt that the upraised shells 
along the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific, whether lying on the 
bare surface, or embedded in mould or in eand-hillocks, will in the 
course of ages be destroyed by alluvial action : this probably will b«> 
the ease even with tlie calcareous beds of Coquimbo, so liable ta 
dissolution by rain-water. ]f we take into consideration the pro- 
bability of oscillations of level and the consequent action of the tidal 
waves at different heiglits, their destruction will appear almost cer- 
tain. Looking to an epoch as far distant in futurity as we now ore 
from the past miocene period, there seems to me scarcely a chance, 
under existing conditions, of the numerous shells now living in those 
zones of depths most fertile in life, and found exclusively on the 
western and south-eastern coasts of S. America, being preserved to 
this imaginary distant epoch. A whole conchologicaT series will in 
time be swept away, with no memorials of their existence preserved 
in the earth's crust. 

Can any light be thrown on this remarltahlo absence of recent con- 
chiferous deposits on these coasts, on which, at an ancient tertiary 
epoch, strata abounding with organic remains were extensively bccu- 
mulated ? I think there can, namely, hy considering the conditions 
necessary for the preservation of a formation to a distant age. 
Looking to the enormous amount of denudation which on all sides of 
us has been effected, — as evidenced by the lofty cliffs cutting off on 
so many coasts horizontal and once far extended strata of no great 
antiquity (as in the case of Patagonia), — as evidenced by the level 
surface of the ground on both sides of great faults and disloca- 
tions, — by inland lines of escarpments, by outliers, and numberleaa 
other facts, and by that argument of high generality advanced by 
Mr. Lyell, namely, that every sedimentary formation, whatever its 
thickness may be, and over however many hundred square miles it 
may extend, is the result and the measure of an equal amount of 
wear and tear of pre-existing formations ; considering these facts, wa 
must conclude that, as an ordinary rule, a fomiatiun to resist such 
vast destroying powers, and to last to a distant epoch, must be of 
wido extent, and either in itself, or together with superincumbent strata, 
be of great thickness. In this discussion, we are considering only 
formations containing the remains of marine animals, which, as before 
mentioned, lire, with some exceptions, within (most of them much 
within) depths of a hundred fathoms. How, then, can a thick and 
widely extended formation be accumulated, which shall include such 
organic remains ? First, let us take the case of the bed of the sea 
long remaining at a stationary level : under these circumstances, it is 
evident that conck^eroin strata can accumnlate only to the same 
thickness with the depth at which the shells can live ; on gently in- 






dined coasts alone can they accumulate to any considerable width; 
and from the want of superincumbent pressure, it is probable that the 
sedimentary matter will seldom be much consolidated : such forma- 
tions have no very good chance, when in the course of time they are 
upraised, of long resisting the powers of denudation. Tlie chance 
will be less if the submarine surface, instead of having remained 
stationary, shall have gone on slowly rising during the deposition of 
the strata, for in this case their total thickness must be less, and each 
part, before being consolidated or thickly covered up by superin- 
cumbent matter, will have had successively to pass through the ordeal 
of the beach ; and on most coasts, the waves on the beach tend to 
wear down and disperse every object exposed to their action. Now, 
both on the south-eastern and western shores of S. America, we have 
had clear proofs that the land has been slowly rising, and in the long 
lines of lofty difis, we have seen that the tendency of the sea is almost 
everywhere to eat into the land. Considering these facts, it ceases, I 
think, to be surprising, that extensive recent conchiferous deposits are 
entirely absent on the southern and western shores of America. 

Let us take the one remaining case, of the bed of the sea slowly 
subsiding during a length of time, whilst sediment has gone on being 
deposited. It is evident that strata might thus accumulate to 
any thickness, each stratum being deposited in shallow water, and 
consequently abounding with those shells which cannot live at great 
depths : the pressure, also, I may observe, of each fresh bed would 
aid in consolidating all the lower ones. Even on a rather steep coast, 
though such must ever be unfavourable to widely extended deposits, 
the formations would always tend to increase in breadth from the 
water encroaching on the land. Hence we may admit that periods 
of slow subsidence will commonly be most favourable to the accumu- 
lation of conchiferouB deposits, of sufficient thickness, extension, and 
hardness, to resist the average powers of denudation. 

We have seen that at an ancient tertiary epoch, fossiliferous deposits 
were extensively deposited on the coasts of S. America ; and it is a 
very interesting fact, that there is evidence that these ancient tertiary 
beds were deposited during a period of subsidence. Thus, at Navidad, 
the strata are about 800 feet in thickness, and the fossil shells are 
abundant both at the level of the sea and some way up the cliffs ; 
having sent a list of these fossils to Professor E. Forbes, he thinks 
they must have lived in water between one and ten fathoms in depth : 
hence the bottom of the sea on which these shells once lived must 
have subsided at least 700 feet to allow of the superincumbent matter 
being deposited. I must here remark, that^ as all these and the 
following fossil shells are extinct spedes, Professor Forbes necessarily 
judges of the depths at which they lived only from their generic cha- 
racter, and from the analogical distribution of shells in the northern 
hemisphere; but there is no just cause from this to doubt the general 
results. At Huafo the strata are about the same thickness, namely, 
800 feet, and Professor Forbes thinks the fossils found there cannot 
have lived at a greater depth than fifty fathoms, or 800 feet. These 


two points, namely Navidad and Huaro, are 370 miles apart, bnt 
nearly half-way between tbem lies Mocha, an island 1200 feet in 
height, apparently formed of tertiary strata up to its level summit, and 
with many shells, inclnditig the same Turritella witli that fonnd at 
Huafo, embedded close to the level of tho sea. In Patagonia, shells 
are numerous at 8. Cruz, at the foot of the 350 feet plain, which has 
certainly been formed by the denudation of the 840 feet plain, and there- 
fore was originally covered by strata that number of feet in thickness, 
and these shells, according to Professor Forbes, probably lived at a depth I 
of between seven and fifteen fathoms : at Port S. Julian, sixty miles | 
to the north, shells are numerous at the foot of the ninety feet plain 
(formed by the denudation of the 930 feet plain), and likevrise occa- 
sionally at the height of several hundred feet in the upper strata ; 
these shells must have lived in water somewhere between five and 
fifty fathoms in depth, Aitliough in other parts of Patagonia I have 
no direct evidence of shoal-watei sheila having been buried under a 
great thickness of superincumbent submarine strata, yet it should be 
borne in mind that the lower fossilifetous strata with several of the 
same species of moUusca, the upper tnfaeeous beds, and the high 
summit-plain, stretch for a considerable distance southward, and for 
hundreds of miles northward ; seeing this uniformity of structure, I 
conceive it may be fairly concluded that the subsidence by which the 
shells at S. Cruz and 8. Julian were carried down and covered up, 
was not confined to these two points, but was co-ext^nsivc with a con- 
siderable portion of the Patagonian tertiary formation. In a sncceeding 
chapter it will be seen, that we are led to a similar conclusion with 
respect to the secondary fossiliferous strata of the Cordillera, namely, 
that they aiso were deposited during a long- continued and great 
period of subsidence. 

From the foregoing reasoning, and from the facts jnst given, I think 
we must admit the probability of the following proposition; namely, 
that when the bed of the sea is either stationary or rising, circum- 
stances are far less favourable, than when the level is sinking, to the 
accumulation of conc/ii/eroiu deposits of sufficient thickness and 
extension to resist, when upheaved, the average vast amount of denn- 
dation. This result appears to me, in several respects, very interest- 
ing : every one is at first inclined to believe that at innumerable 
pomts, wherever there is a supply of sediment, fossiliferous strata are 
now forming, which at some future distant epoch will be upheaved 
and preserved ; but on the views above given, we must conclude that 
this is far from being the case ; on the contrary, we require {1st) a 
long-continued supply of sediment, (2nd) an extensive shallow area, 
and (Srd) that this area shall slowly subside to a great depth, so as to 
admit the accumulation of a widely-extended thick mass of superin- 
cumbent strata. In how few parts of the world, probably, do these 
conditions at the present day concur I We can thus, also, understand 
the general want of that close sequence in fossiliferous formations 
which we mipbt theoretically have anticipated ; for, without we sup- 
pose a subsidmg movement to go on at the same spot during an enoi- 


moQS period, from one geological era to another, and daring the whole 
of this period sediment to accumulate at the proper rate, so that the 
depth should not become too great for the continued existence of 
molluscous animak, it is scarcely possible that there should be a per- 
fect sequence at the same spot in the fossil shells of the two geological 
formations.* So far from a very long-continued subsidence being 
probable, many facts lead to the beUef that the earth's surface osciUates 
up and down ; and we have seen that during the elevatory movements 
there is but a small chance of durable fossiliferous deposits accu- 

LMly, UieM ilUne coniddeAitioils hppeBki to thrbw some light on 
the fact that certain periods appettr to have been favourable to the 
deposition, or at least to the preservation, of contemporaneous forma- 
tioiM At very disttmt points* We have seen that in 8. Atnerica an 
eiioirmotts ttiea has been rising within the recent period ; and in other 
quarters of the globe immense spaces appear to have risen con- 
tempoittieeiuly. From my «zamination of the coral-ieefb of the 
great oceans^ I have been led to oonolude that the bed of the sea has 
gone on doWly sinking ivithiti the present era, over truly vast areas : 
inis, indeed, is in itself probable, from the simple tact of the rising 
areas haviaff bem so large* In St America we have distinct evidence 
tiuit at tieariy the sMne tertiary period, the bed of the sea off parts of 
the coast of Chile and off Patagonia was sinking, though these tegioiis 
are very remote from each other. If, then, it holds goody as a general 
mle^ that in the same quarter of the globe the earth's crust tends to 
sink aod rise contemporaneously over vast spaces, we can at once see^ 
that we have at distant points, at the same period, those veiy condi-' 
tions which appear to be requisite for the aocilmulation of fossiliferous 
masses of sufficient extension, thickness^ and hardness, to remst denu- 
datikm, and consequmtly to last unto an epoch distant in foturity.f 

'*' ^tofessoT H. D. Rogers, in his excellent address to the Association of 
Aitilsiican Geologists ^illiman's Journal, voL 47, p. 277), makes the foHowiog 
xemaifk : " I question if we are at all aware bow ewnpletely the whole history of 
all departed time lie* indelibly recorded with the amplest minuteness of detail in 
the successive sediments of the globe, how efiectnally, in other words, every 
period of time ha» written iti oum hittory, carefully preserving every created 
fonn and every trace of action." I think the correctness of such remarks is more 
diAh doubtful, even if we except Tas I suppose he would) all those numerous 
organic forms which contain no bard parts. 

t Professoi^ Forbes has some tdmirable remarks on this subject, in his Report 
on the Shells of the £gean Sea. In a letter to Mr. Maclaren (Edinburgh New 
Phil. Journal, January 1843), I partially entered into this discussion, and en- 
deavoured to show that it was highly improbable, that upraised atolls or barrier- 
leeiii, thoogb of great thickness, should, owing to Aeir small extension or breadth, 
be preserved t<> a distant future period. 


Brazil, Bahia, gneiii toith ditjoinled metamorphoted dikes — Strike nf foliation— , 
Rio de Janeiro, gnasf-granite, embedded fragment in, decomposition qf- — 
La Plata, tnelamorphic and old voleanie roeka lif—S, Ventana — Ctayslont 

porphyry formation qf Patagonia ; tingvlar metamorphie roeki i ipeudo- 
dika — Falkland Islands, palitoioie fossils qf — Tierra del Fuego, elay-slafe 

formation, cretaceous fossils qfi cleavage and foliation i form t(f land — 
C/ionos Archipelago, mica schists, foliation diaiurbed bg granitic axis: dike» — 
Chilot — Concepcion, dikes succeaiiee formation qf — Central and Korthem 
Chile^Conclnding remarks on cleavage and foliation — Their close analogy 
and similar origin — Stratification qf metamorphie eehists — Fblialion qf 
intrusine rocks — Relation qf eleaeage and foliation to the lines qf ieneion 
during melamorphotis. 

The metamorphie and plntonic formations of the several diatricts I 
vieited by the Beagle, will be here chiefly treated o^ but only eucb ' 
cases as appear to me new, or of some special interest, will be described 
in detail ; at the end of the chapter I will sum up all the facts on 
cleavage and foliation, — to which I particularly attended. 

Bahia, Brazil: lat. 13° south. — The prevailing rock is gneiss, oflen 
passing, by the disappearance of the quartz and mica, and by the 
feldspar losing its red colour, into a brilliantly grey primitive green- 
stone. Not unfrequently quartz and hornblende are arranged in 
layers in almost aniorphous feldspar. There is some fine-grained 
syenitic granite, orbicularly marked by ferruginous lines, and weather- 
ing into vertical, cylindrical holes, almost touching each other. In 
the gneiss, concretions of granular feldspar and othora of garnets with 
mica occur. The gneiss is traversed by numerous dikes composed of 
black, finely crystallized, bomblendic rock, containing a little glassy 
feld.^par and sometimes mica, and varying in thickness from mere 
threads to ten feet : these threads, which are often cnrvilinear, could 
sometimes be traced running into the larger dikes. One of these dikes 
was remarkable from having been in two or three places laterally dis< 
jointed, with unbroken gneiss interposed between the broken ends, and 
in one part with a portion of the gneiss driven, apparently whilst in a 
softened state, into its aide or wall. In several neighbouring places, 
the gneiss included angular, well-defined, sometimes bent, masses of 
hornblende rock, quite like, except in being more perfectly crystallized, 
that forming the dikes, and, at least in one tnstanoe, containing (u 


detennined by Professor Miller) augite as well as hornblende. In one 
or two cases these angular masses, though now quite separated from 
each other by the solid gneiss, had, from their exact correspondence in 
size and shape, evidently once been united ; hence I cannot doubt that 
most or all of the fragments have been derived from the breaking up 
of the dikes, of which we see the first stage in the above mentioned 
laterally disjointed one. The gneiss close to the fragments generally 
contained many large crystals of hornblende, which are entir^ absent 
or rare in other parts : its folia or laminsB were gently bent round the 
fragments, in the same manner as they sometimes are round concre- 
tions. Hence the gneiss has certainly been softened, its composition 
modified, and its folia arranged, subsequently to the breaking up of the 
dikesy* these latter also having been at the same time bent and softened. 

I must here take the opportunity of premising, that by the term 
deavage^ I imply those planes of division which render a rock, appear- 
ing to the eye quite or nearly homogeneous, fissile. By the term 
fmationy I refer to the layers or phtes of different minendogical 
nature of which most metamorphic schists are composed ; there are, 
also, often included in such masses, alternating, homogeneous, fissile 
layers or folia, and in this case the rock is both foliated and has a 
cleavage. By Hratification^ as applied to these formations, I mean 
those lutemate, parallel, large masses of difierent composition, which are 
themselves frequently either foliated or fissile, — such as the alternating 
4S0-cal]ed strata of mica-slate, gneiss, glossy clay-slate, and marble. 

The folia of the gneiss within a few miles round Bahia generally 
strike irregularly, and are often curvihnear, dipping in all directions at 
various angles: but where best defined, they extended most frequently 
tn a N. E. by N. (or east 50° N.) and S. W. by S. line, correspond- 
ing nearly with the coast-line northwards of the bay. I may add 
•that Mr. Qardnert found in several parts of the province of Ceara, 
which lies between 400 and 500 miles north of Bahia, gneiss with the 
folia extending E. 45^ N. ; and in Quyana, according to Sir R. 
Schomburgk, the same rock strikes E. bV N. Again, Humboldt 
describes the gneiss-granite over an immense area in Venezuela and 
ev^i in Colomoia, as striking E. 50^ N., and dipping to the N. W. 
at an angle of fifty degrees. Hence all the observations hitherto 
made, tend to show that the gneissic rocks over the whole of this part 
of the continent, have their folia extending generally within almost a 
point of the compass of the same direction, j: 

* Professor Hitchcock (Geology, of Massachusetts, vol. ii. p. 673) §^ves a 
doselv similar case of a greenstone dike in syenite. 

t Geological Section of the Brit. Assoc. 1840. For Sir R. Schomhurgk*8 
observations, see Geograph. Journal, 1842, p. 190. See also Humboldt's discus- 
sion on Loxodrism in the Personal Narrative. 

X I landed at only one place north of Bahia, namely, at Pernambuco. I found 
there only soft, horizontally stratified matter, formed from disintegrated granitic 
rocks, and some yellowish impure limestone, probably of a tertiary epoch. I 
have described a . most singular natural bar of hard sandstone, which protects 
the harbour, in the I9th vol. (1841), p. 258, of the London and Edin. Phil. 
Magazine. — Abrolhos Tslets, lat, 18° 8, off the coast of BraziL Although 


1 DE JANBlltO, 

[CHAP. rr. 

jffiio de i/imetrt).— -Tills whole district is almost exclusively formed 

of gneiss, abounding with garnets, and par])Iiyritic with large crystals, 
even tliree and four inches in length, of orthoclase feldspar : in these 
crystals, mica and garnets are often enclosed. At the western base 
of the Corcovado, there is some ferrnginous carious quartz-rock ; 
and in the Tijeuka range, much fine-grained granite. I observed 
boulders of greenstone in several places ; and on the islet of ViUe- 
gnguon, and likewise on the coast some miles northward, two large 
tragipean dikes. Tbo porphyritic gneiss, or gneiss- granite as it lias 
been called by Humbtddt, is only so tar foliated tliat the coustitueat 
minerals are arranged with a certain degree of regularity, and may be 
said to have a '■grain,' but they are not separated into distinct foli» 
or laniiuee. There are, however, several other varieties of gneisa 
regularly foliated, and alternating with each other in so-called strata. 
The stratification and foliation of the ordinary gneisses, and the folia> 
tion or " grain " of the gueigs-granite, are parullel to each other, an4 
generally strike within a point of N.E. and S.W. dipping at a high 
angle (between 50° and 60°) generally to S.E. ; so that here agam 
we meet with tlio strike so prevalent over the more northern parte 
uf this continent. The mountains of gneiss- granite are to a re- 
markable degree abruptly conical, which seems caused by the rock 
tending to exfoliate in thick, conically concentric layers : these peaks 
teaemble in shape those of phonolite and other injected rocks on 
volcanic islands ; nor is the grain or foliation (as we shall afterwordt 
see) any difficulty on the idea of the gneiss- granite having been an 
intrusive rather than a metamorphic formation. The hnes of mouiii- 
tains, but not always each separate hill, range nearly in the same 
direction with the foliation and so-called stratification, bnt rathec 
more easterly. 

On a bare gently inclined surface of tlie porphyritic gneiss in Boto- 
fogo Bay, I observed the appearance here represented. 

A fragment seven yards long and two in width, with angular and 
distinctly defined edges, composed of a peculiar variety of gneisB 
with dark layers of mica and garnets, is surrounded on all sides by 
the ordinary gneiss-granite ; both having been dislocated by a graaitio 
vein. The folia in the fragment and in the surrounding rock strike in 
the same N.N.E. and S.iS.W. line; but in tlio fragment they are 
vertical, whereas in tlie gnoiss-granite tisoy dip at a small angle, as 
shown by the arrows, to S.S.E. This fragment, considering its great 
size, its solitary position, and its fuUated structure parallel to that 


Dveniently deKri 
sfona Kitl. ferr. 

:-cotouTed argil lucuoiia ahale ; above tbU a coarser aaoaaTODe — majcmf 
ikaeaa of aboul sixty feet; and laatlj, above these sedimentary be^ 

All Ihe atrala, aa veil aa the Burface of the Iftod, dip ut an angle 
' to N. by W. Some of the ialela are compoaed entiraly of the ae. 
olhera of the trappean rocka, generally, however, witli the aindstoi 

^. TI.] , 


of the Bonoimding took, is, aa to as I know, a unique case : and I 
will not attempt any explanation of its origin. 



The numerons tnT«Uen* in this oountiy, have all been greatly rar- 
priaed at the depth to which the gneiss and other granitic rocks, aa 
wdl aa the talcose slates of the interior, have been deootnposed. 
Near Rio, every mineral except the quartz has been completely 
Boftened, in some placee to a depth little leas than one hundred feet.t 
The minerals retain their poaitioos in folia ranging in the usual direo* 
tion; and fractured quartz veins may be traoed from the solid rock, 
running for some distance into the softened, mottled, highly coloured, 
auiUaMouB mass. It is said that these decomposed rocks abound 
with genu of various kinds, often in a fmotured etate, owing, as soma 
have auppoaed, to the collapse of geodes, and that they contain gold 
and diamcwds. At Bio, it appec^ed to me that the gniees bad been 
softened before the excavation (no doubt by tbe sea) of the existing, 
broad, flat-bottomed vaUeys ; for the depth of decomposition did not 
appear at all conformable with the present nndulations of tho surGtce. 
Tbe purphyritio ^«bb, where now exposed to the Mr, seems to with- 
stand decomposition remarkably well; and I could see no signs of 
any tendency to the production of argillaceous masses like those here 
described. I was also struck with the fact, that where a bare surface 
of this rock sloped into one of the quiet bays, there were no marks 
of erorion at the level of tbe water, and the parts both beneath and 
above it preserved a uniform curve. At Bahia, the gneiss rocks are 

* Spii sad MiTtins have colleoted, in an Appoudii to Iheir TnveU, the Wgeit 
bndj af facti on tlus lubjecu See, alao, Mune lemBilis bj M. Lund, ia bia 
CDmiDuaiMtioDi to tbe Academy >l Copeiihigen ; uid otbeis bj M. Gaudiohiud, 
[n FrerciiiHt'B Voyage. 

t Dr. BeaiB deuribes granitic lock (MsdruB Journal of Lit. tie. Oct. 1836, 
p. 246), in the NeelghMrHa, dtfcOOipMed to » depth of forty feel. 


[^CHAP. TI. . 

similarly decomposed, with the upper parta inaenaibly losing tiieir 
foliation, and passing, without any diatinct line of separation, into n 
bright red argillaceous earth, including partially roundud fragments 
of quartz and granite. From this circumstance, and from the rocks 
appearing to have suffered decompoaitioa before the excavation of the 
Talleys, I suspect that here, as at Rio, the decomposition took place 
under the sea, Tlie subject appeared to me a curious one, and would 
probably well repay careful examination by an able mineralogist. 

T/te Northern Provinces of La Plata. — According to some obser- 
vations communicated to me by Mr. Fox, tjie coast from Rio do Jaueiro 
to the mouth of the Plata seems everywhere to be granitic, with a 
few trappeaTi dikes. At Port Alegre, near the boundary of Brazil, 
thero are porphyries and diorites.* At the mouth of the Plata, I 
examined the country for twenty-five miles west, and for about 
seventy miles north of Maldonado : near this town, there is some com- 
mon gneiss, and much, in all parts of the country, of a coarse-grained 
mixture of quartz and reddish feldspar, often, however, assuming a 
little dark-green imperfect liomblende, and then immediately be- 
coming foliated. The abrupt billocka thus composed, as well as the 
highly inclined folia of the common varieties of gneiss, strike N.N.E. 
or a little more easterly, and S.S.W. Clay-slate is occasionally met 
with, and near the L. del Potrero, tliere is white marble, rendered 
fissile from the presence of hornblende, mica, and asbestus ; the 
cleavage of these rocks and their strati tication, that is the alternating 
masses thus composed, strike N.N.E. and S.S.W. like the foliated 
gneisses, and have an almost vertical dip. The Sierra Larga, a low 
range five miles west of Maldonado, consists of quartzito, often ferru- 
ginous, having an arenaceous feel, and divided into excessively thin, 
almost vertical lamince or foUa by microscopically minute scales, 
apparently of mica, and striking in tlie usual N.N.E. and S.S.W. 
direction. The range itself is formed of one ]>rineipal line with some 
subordinate ones ; and it extends with remarkable uniformity far 
northward (it is said even to the confines of Brazil), in the same line 
with the vertically ribboned quartz rock of which it is composed. 
Tlie S. de las Animas is the highest range in the country ; I estimated 
it at 1000 feet ; it runs north and south, and is formed of feldspathic 
porphyry; near its base there is a N.N.W. and S.S.E. ridge of a 
conglomerate in a higlily porpliyritic basis. 

Nortliward of M^donado and south of Las Minas, there is an E. 
and W. hilly band of country, some miles in width, formed of sili- 
ceous olay-slate, with some quartz rock and limestone, having a tottuous 
irregular cleavage, generally ranging east and west. East and S. E. 
of Las Minas there is a confused district of imperfect gneias and 
laminated quartz, with the hills ranging in various directions, but with 
each separate hill generally running in the same line with the folia 
of the rocks of wliicli it is composed : this confusion ajipeara to have 
been caused by the intersection of the ^E. and W.] and ^N.N.E, aud 

• M. Is«baUe, Vojaga a B. Aj-tes, p. 479. 


S.S.W.^ strikes. Northward of Las Minas, the more regular north- 
erly ranges predominate : from this place to near Polanco, we meet 
with the coarse-grained mixture of quartz and feldspar, often with 
the imperfect hornblende, and then becoming foliated in a N. and S. 
line, — with imperfect clay- slate, including laminee of red crystallized 
feldspar, — with white or black marble, sometimes containing asbetus 
andcrystalsof gjrpsum, — with quartz -rock, — with syenite, — and lastly, 
with much granite. The marble and granite alternate repeatedly in 
apparently yertical masses : some miles northward of the Polanco, a 
wide district is said to be entirely composed of marble. It is remark* 
able, how rare mica is in the whole range of country north and west- 
ward of Maldonado. Throughout this district, the cleavage of the 
clay-slate and marble, — ^the foliation of the gneiss and the quartz — the 
stratification or alternating masses of these several rocks, — and the 
range of the hills, aU coincide in direction ; and although the country 
is only hilly, the planes of division are almost everywhere very highly 
inclined or vertical. 

Some ancient submarine volcanic rocks are worth mentioning, from 
their rarity on this eastern side of the continent. In the valley of the 
Tapas (fifty or sixty miles N. of Maldonado) there is a tract three or 
four mUes in length, composed of various trappean rocks with glassy 
feldspar, — of apparently metamorphosed grit-stones, — of purplish 
amygdaloids with large kernels of carbonate of lime,* — ^and much of a 
harshish rock with glassy feldspar intermediate in character between 
claystone porphyry and trachyte. This latter rock was in one 
spot remarkable from being frill of drusy cavities, lined with quartz 
crystals, and arranged in planes, dipping at an angle of 50° to the 
east, and striking parallel to the foliation of an adjoining hill com- 
posed of the common mixture of quartz, feldspar, and imperfect horn- 
blende : this fiict perhaps indicates that these volcanic rocks have been 
metamorphosed, and their constituent parts re-arranged, at the same 
time and according to the same laws, with the granitic and metamor- 
phic formations of this whole region. In the valley of the Marmaraya, 
a few miles south of the Tapas, a band of trappean and amygdaloidal 
rock is interposed between a hiU of granite and an extensive surround- 
ing formation of red conglomerate, which (like that at the foot of the 
S. Animas) has its basis porphyritic with crystals of feldspar, and 
wliich hence has certainly suffered metamorphosis. 

Monte Video, — The rocks here consist of several varieties of gneiss, 
with the feldspar often yellowish, granular and imperfectly crystallized, 
alternating with, and passing insensibly into, beds, from a few yards 
to nearly a mile in thickness, of fine or coarse grained, dark-green 
homblendic slate ; this again often passing into chloritic schist. These 
passages seem chiefly due to changes in the mica, and its replacement 
by other minerals. At Rat Island I examined a mass of chloritic 
schist, only a few yards square, irregularly surrounded on all sides by 
the gneiss, and intricately penetrated by many curvilinear veins of 

* Near the Pan de Azucar there is some greenish porphyry, Id one place 
amygdaloidal with agate. 


146 LA PLATA, [crap. VI. 

quartz, which gradually blend into the gneiss : the cleavage of the 
chloritic schist and the foliation of the gueisa were exactly parallel. 
Eastward of the city there is much fine-grained dark-coloured gneiss, 
almost assuming the character of hornblende- state, which altematea 
in thin laminee with laminte of quartz, the whole mass being trans- 
versely intersected by nnnierouB large veins of quartz : I particularly 
observed that these veins were absolutely continuous witli the alter- 
nating laminae of quartz. In this case and at Rat Island, the passage 
of the gneiss into imperfect liomblendic or into chloritic elate, seemeiil 
to he connected with the Begrcgotion of the veins of quartz.* 

The Mount, a hill believed to be 450 feet in height, from whicb 
the place takes its name, is much the highest land in this neighbonr- 
hood : it consists of liomblendic slate, which {except on the eastern 
and disturbed base) has an east and west nearly vertical cleavage ; 
the longer axis of the hill also ranges in this same line. Near the 
summit the hornblende- slate gradually becomes more and more 
coarsely crystallized, and less plainly laminated, until it passes into a 
heavy, sonorous greenstone, with a slaty conchoidal fracture ; the 
laniinte on the north and south sides near the summit dip inwards, as 
if this upper part hnd expanded or bulged outwards. This greenstone 
must, I conceive, be considered as metamorphosed horn blende -si ate. 
The Cerrito, the next highest, but much less elevated point, is 
almost similarly composed. In the more western parts of the pro- 
vince, besides gneiss, there is quartz-ruck, syenite, and granite ; and at 
Colla, I heard of marble. 

Neat M. Video, the space which I mote accurately examined was 
about fifteen miles in an east and west line, and here I found the 
foliation of the gneiss and the cleavage of the slates generally well 
developed, and e:(teuding parallel to the alternating strata composed 
of the gneiss, liomblendic and cliloritic schists. These planes of 
division all range within one point of east and west, frequently east 
by south, and west by north ; their dip is generally almost vertical, 
and scarcely anywhere under 45° : this fact, considering how slightly 
undulatory the surface of the country is, deserves attention. West- 
ward of M. Video, towards the Uruguay, wherever the gneiss is ex- 
posed, the higlily inclined folia are seen striking in the same direc- 
tion ; 1 must escept one spot where the strike was N.W, by W. 
The little Sierra de S. Juan, formed of gneiss and laminated quartz, 
must also be excepted, for it ranges between [^N, to N.E.J and £8. to 
S.W.3 and seems to helong to the same system with the hills in the 
Maldouado district. Finally, we have seen that, fur many miles 
northward of Maldonado and for twenty-tivo miles westward of it, aa 
far as the S. de las Animas, the foliation, cleavage, so-called stratifica- 
tion and lines of hills, all range N.N.E. and S.S.W., which is nearly 
coincident with the adjoining coaat of the Atlantic. Westward of 

* Mr. Greanough (p. 78, Crilical Examination, &o.) ohserses that quartz in 
mica-alate sometimes appaars in beds anij aometiiues in Tains. Von Buch also, 
in fail Travels in Norwnj (p. 236), remarks on alternating lamiDie of qua 
Iioinlrlende-ilate replacing mica-acbiat. 



the S. de las Animas, as far as even the Urugnay, the foliation, 
cleayage, and stratification (but not lines of hills, for there are no 
defined ones) all range about E. hy S. and W. by N., which is 
nearly coincident with the direction of the northern shore of the 
Plata: in the confiised country near Las Minas, where these two 
great systems appear to intersect each other, the cleavage, foliation, 
and stratification run in various directions, but generally coincide with 
the line of each separate hill. 

Southern La Plata. — The first ridge, south of the Plata, which 
projects through the Pampean formation, is the Sierra Tapalguen and 
Vulcan, situated 200 miles southward of the district just described. 
This ridge is only a few hundred feet in height, and runs from C. 
Corrientes in a W.N.W. line for at least 150 miles into the interior : 
at Tapalguen, it is composed of unstratified granular quartz, remark- 
able from forming tabular masses and smaU plains, surrounded by 
precipitous cliffs: other parts of the range are said to consist of 
granite ; and marble is found at the S. Tiuta. It appears from M. 
Farchappe's* observations, that at Tandil there is a range of quartzose 
gneiss, yeiy like the rocks of the S. Larga near Maldonado, running 
m the same N.N.E. and S.S. W. direction ; so that the frame* work 
of the country here is very similar to that on the northern sliore of 
the Plata. 

The Sierra Guitru-gueyu it situated sixty miles south of the S* 
Tapalguen: it consists of numerous, parsdlel, sometimes blended 
together ridges, aboi^t twenty- three miles in width and 500 fCet in 
height above the plain, and extending in a N.W. and S.E. direction. 
Skirting round tne extreme S.E. termination, I ascended only a few 
points, which were composed of a fine-grained gneiss, almost com* 
posed of feldspar with a little mica, and passing in the upper parts of 
the hills into a rather compact purplish clay-state. The cleavage was 
nearly vertical, striking m a N.W. by W. and S.E. by E. line, 
nearly, though not quite, coincident with the direction of the parallel 

The Sierra Yentana lies close south of that of Guitru-gueyu ; it is 
remarkable from attaining a height, yery unusual on this side of the 
continent, of 3,840 feet. It consists, up to its summit, of quartz, 
generally pure and white, but sometimes reddish, and divided into 
thick laminse or strata : in one part there is a little glossy clay-slate 
with a tortuous cleavage. The thick layers of quartz strike in a 
W. 30® N. line, dipping southerly at an angle of 45° and upwards* 
The principal line of mountains, with some quite subordinate parallel 
ridges, range about W. 45^ N. ; but at their S.E. termination, only 
W. 25° N. This Sierra is said to extend between twenty and thirty 
leagues into the interior. 

♦ M. d'Orbigny's Voyage, Part. G6olog. p. 46. I have given a short account 
of the peculiar forms of Uie quartz hills of Tapalguen, so unusual in a meta- 
morphic formation, ini my Journal of Researches (2nd edit.) p. 1 16. 

L 2 



[chap. VI. 

Patagonia. — Witli the exception perhaps of the hill of 8. Antonio 
(600 feet liigli) in the Gnlf of S. Matias, wliich has never been visited 
by a geologist, crystalline rocks are not met with on the coast of Pata- 
gonia for a space of 380 miles south of the S. Ventana. At this 
point (lat. 43° 50'), at Points Union and Tuinbo, plutonic rocks aro , 
said to appear, and are found, nt rather wide intervals, beneath the i 
Patagonian tertiary formation for a space of about 300 miles south- 
ward, to near Bird Island, in lat. 48° 5G'. Judging from specimens 
kindly collected for nie by Mr. Stokes, the prevaiUng rock at Porta 
St. Elena, Camerones, Malaspina, and as tar south as the Paps of 
Pineda, is a pnrpriah-pink or Lrownisb claystone porphyry, some- 
times laminated, sometimes slightly vesicular, with crystals of opaque 
feldspar and with a few graius of quartz ; hence these porphyries 
resemble those immediately to be described at Port Desire, and likewise 
a series which I have seen from P. Alcgre on the southern confines of 
Brazil. This porphyritic formation further rescmblcti in a singularly 
close manner the lowest stratified formation of the Cordillera of Chile, 
which, as we shall hereafter see, has a vast range, and attains a great 
thickness. At the bottom of the Gnlf of St. George, only tertiary 
deposits appear to be present. At Cape Blanco, there is quarta rock, 
very like that of the Falkland Islands, and some haid, blue, siliceous 
clay-slate. ' 

At Port Desire there is an extensive formation of the claystone 
porphyry, stretching at least twenty-five miles into the interior : it 
has been denuded and deeply worn into gullies before being covered 
up by the tertiary deposits, through which it here and there projects 
in hilla ; those north of the hay losing 440 feet in height. Tiie strata 
have in several places been tiltod at small angles, generally either to 
N.N.W. or S.S.E. By gradual passages and alternations, the 
porphyries change incessantly in nature. I will describe only some 
of the principal mineralogical changes, which are highly instructive, 
and which I carefully examined. The prevailing rock lias a compact 
purplish base, with crystals of earthy or opaque feldspar, and of^n 
with grains of quartz. There are other varieties, with an almost truly 
trachytic base, full of little angular vesicles and crystals of glassy 
feldspar ; and there are beds of black perfect pitchstone, as well as 
of a concretionary imperfect variety. On a casual inspection, the 
whole series would be thought to be of the same plutonic or vnlcanio 
nature with the trachytic varieties and pitchstone; but this is fai 
from being the case, as much of the porphyry is certainly of meta- 
morphic origin. Besides the true porphyries, there are many beds of 
earthy, quite white or yellowish, friable, easily fusible matter, resem- 
bling chalk, which under the niicruscope is seen to consist of minute 
broken crystals, and wiiich, as remarked in a former chapter, singularly 
resembles the upper tufaceous beds of the Patagonian tertiary forma- 
tion. This earthy substance often becomes coarser, and contains 
minute rounded fragments of porphyries and rounded grains of quartz, 
and in one ca^e so many of the latter as to resemble a common sand- 
stone. These beds are sometimes marked vyi^ true lines of aqueoui 


deposition, separating particles of different degrees of coarseness ; in 
other cases there are parallel ferruginous lines not of true deposition, 
as shown by the arrangement of the particles, though singularly re- 
sembling them. The more indurated varieties often include many 
small and some larger angular cavities, which appear due to the 
removal of earthy matter : some varieties contain mica. All these 
earthy and generally white stones insensibly pass into more indu- 
rated sonorous varieties, breaking with a conchoidal fracture, yet 
of small specific gravity ; many of these latter varieties assume a 
pale purple tint, being singularly banded and veined with different 
shades, and often become plainly porphyritic with crystals of feldspar. 
The formation of these crystals could be most clearly traced by minute 
angular and often partially hollow patches of earthy matter, first 
assuming a Jihrotu structure, then passing into opaque imperfectly 
shaped crystals, and lastly, into perfect glassy crystals. When these 
crystals have appeared, and wh^i the basis has become compact, the 
rock in many places could not be distinguished from a true claystone 
porphyry without a trace of mechanical structure. 

In some parts, these earthy or tufaceous beds pass into jaspery and 
into beautifully mottled and banded porcelain rocks, which break into 
splinters, translucent at their edges, hard enough to scratch glass, and 
fusible into white transparent b^lds : grains of quartz included in the 
porcelainous varieties can be seen melting into the surrounding paste. 
In other parts, the earthy or tufaceous beds either insensibly pass 
into, or alternate with, breccias composed of large and small fragments 
of various purplish porphyries, with the matrix generaUy porphyritie : 
these breccias, though their subaqueous origin is m many places shown 
both by the arrangement of their smaller particles and by an oblique 
or current lamination, also pass into porphyries, in which every trace 
of mechanical origin and stratification has been obliterated. 

Some highly porphjrritic though coarse-grained masses, evidently 
of sedimentary origin, and divided into thin layers, differing from 
each other chiefly in the number of embedded grains of quartz, inter- 
ested me much from the peculiar manner in which here and there 
some of the layers terminated in abrupt points, quit^ unlike those 
produced by a layer of sediment naturally thinning out, and apparently 
the result of a subsequent process of metamorphic aggregation. In 
another common variety of a finer texture, the aggregating process 
had gone further, for the whole mass consisted of quite short, parallel, 
often slightly curved layers or patches, of whitish or reddish finely 
granulo-crystalline feldspathic matter, generally terminating at both 
ends in blunt points ; these layers or patches further tended to pass 
into wedge or almond shaped little masses, and these finaUy into 
true crystals of feldspar, with their centres often slightly drusy. 
The series was so perfect that I could not doubt that these large 
crystals, which had their longer axes placed parallel to each other, had 
primarily originated in the metamorphosis and aggregation of alterna- 
ting layers of tuff; and hence their parallel position must be attri- 
buted (unexpected though the conclusion may be), not to laws of 



[caAP, VI. 

chemical action, but to the original planes of deposition. I am 
tempted briefly to describe three other singular allied varieties of 
rock ; the first without examination mould have passed fur a stratified 
porphyritic breccia, hut all the included angular fragments consisted 
of a border of pinkish crystalline feidspathio matter, surrounding a 
dark translucent siliceous centre, in which gnuns of quartz not quite 
blended into the paste could he distinguished : this uniformity in the 
nature of the bagmenta shows that they are not of mechanical, but of 
concretionary origin, having resulted perhaps from the self-breaking up 
and aggregation of layers of indurated tuff containing numerous grains 
of quartz, — into which, indeed, the whole mass in one part passed. 
Tlie second variety is a reddish non-porphyritic clnystone, quite full 
of spherical cavities, about half an inch in diameter, each lined with a 
collapsed crust formed of crystals of quartz. The third variety also 
consists of a pale purple non-porpbyritic olaystone, almost wholly 
formed of concretionary balls, obscurely arranged in layers, of a less 
compact and paler coloured claystono ; each ball being on one side 
partly hollow and lined with crystals of quartz. 

Spmdo-dikes. — Some miles up the harbour, in a line of clifia 
formed of slightly metamorphosed tufaceous and poiphyritic clayatone 
beds, I observed three vertical dikes, so closely resembling in general 
appearance ordinary volcanic dikes, that I did not doubt, until closely 
examining their composition, that they had been injected from below. 
The first is straight, with parallel sides, and about four feet wide; it 
consists of whitish, indurated tufaceous matter, precisely like some of 
the beds intersected by it. The second dike is more remarkable ; it 
is slightly tortuous, about eighteen inches thick, and can be traced for 
a considerable distance along the beach ; it is of a purplish-red or 
brown colour, and is formed chiefly of rounded grains of quartz, with 
broken crystals of earthy feldspar, scales of black mica, and minute 
fragments of cloystone porphyry, all firmly united together in a hard 
sparing base. The structure of this dike shows obviously that it is 
of mechanical and sedimentary origin ; yet it thinned out upwards, 
and did not cut tlirough the uppermost strata in the cliffs. This 
fact at first appears to mdicate that the matter could not liavc been 
washed in from above;' but if we reflect on the suction which 
would result from a deep-seated fissure being formed, we may admit 
that if the fissure were in any part open to the surface, mud and 
water might well be drawn into it along its whole course. The 
tliird dike consisted of a hard, rough, white rock, almost composed of 
broken crystals of glassy feldspar, with numerous scales of black 
mica, cemented in a scanty base; there was little in the appearance of 
this roek, to preclude the idea of its having been a true injected feld- 
spathic dike. The matter composing these three speudo-dikes, espe- 
cially the necond one, appears to have suffered, like the surrounding 
strata, a certain degree of metamorphic action ; and this has much 


* Upfilled Gssur 
edimenlnry fonnali 
I. 100), there are ■( 

ore known lo occur bolh in volcanit nnd in ordinary 

At Ibe GoJapagos Arcbipelago (Volcanic lelands, &c. 

' Mriliing examplea of Bpeudo-dfkes composed of bard tuff. 


aided the deceptive appearance. At Bahia, in Brazil, we have seen 
that a true injected hornblendic dike, not only has suffered metamor- 
phosis, but has been dislocated and even diffused in the surrounding 
gneiss, under the form of separate crystals and of fragments. 

Falkland Islandi. — I have described these islands in a paper pub- 
lished in the third volume of the Geological Journal. The mountain- 
ridges consist of quartz, and the lower country of clay-slate and sand- 
stone, the latter containing pulseozoic fossils. These fossils have been 
separately described by Messrs. Morris and Sharpe : some of them re- 
semble Silurian, and others Devonian forms. In the eastern part of 
the group the several parallel ridges of quartz extend in a west and 
east line; but further westward the line becomes W.N.W. and 
E.S.E., and even still more northerly. The cleavage-planes of the 
clay-slate are highly inclined, generally at an angle of above 50% 
and often vertical; they strike almost invariably in the same direc- 
tion with the quartz ranges. The outline of the indented shores of 
the two main islands, and the relative positions of the smaller islets, 
accord with the strike both of the main axes of elevation and of the 
cleavage of the clay-slate. 

Tierra del Fuego. — My notes on the geology of this country, are 
copious, but as they are unimportant, and as fossib were found only 
in one district, a brief sketch will be here sufficient. The east coast 
from the St. of Magellan (where the boulder formation is largely 
developed) to St. Polycarp's Bay is formed of horizontal tertiary 
strata^ bounded some way towards the interior by a broad moun- 
tainous band of olay-slate. This great clay-slate formation extends 
from St. Le Maire westward for 140 miles, along both sides of the 
Beagle channel to near its bifurcation. South of this cliannel, it 
fcmns all Navarin Island, and the eastern half of Hoste IslaAd and of 
Hardy Peninsula ; north of the Beagle Channel it extends in a north- 
west line on both sides of Admiralty Sound to Brunswick Peninsula 
in the St. of Magellan, and I have reason to believe, stretches &r up 
the eastern side of the Cordillera. The western and broken side of 
Tierra del Fuego towards the Pacific, is formed of metamorphio 
schists, granite and various trappean rocks: the line of separation 
between the crystalline and day-slate formations, can generally be 
distinguished, as remarked by Capt. King,' by the parallelism in the 
clay-slate districts of the shores and channels, ranging in a line between 
tW. 20° to 40° N.] and [E. 20° to 40° S.]. 

The clay-slate is generally fissile, sometimes siliceous or ferruginous, 
with veins of quartz and calcareous spar; it often assumes, especially 
on the loftier mountains, an altered feldspathic character, passing into 
feldspathic porphyry : occasionally it is associated with breccia and 
grauwacke. At Good Success Bay, there is a little intercalated 
black crystalline limestone. At Port Famine much of the clay-slate 

* Geographical Journal, voL i. p. 155. 


is calcareous, aod passes either into a mudetonc or into granwacke, 
inclading odd-shaped concretions of dark argillaceous limestone. 
Here alone, on the shore a few miles north of Fort Famine, and on the 
Bumniit of M. Tarn (2600 feet high), I found organic remains ; they 
conaiat of, 

1. Ancjloceraa Bimplei, d'Orbig. Pal. Franc. {PI. V. f. 2) Mount Tarn. 
a, FuBuH (in imperfect state) do. 

3. Nslica do. do. 

4. FeDlsorimng do. do. 
B. Sowerby, (PI. V. 6g. 21,) Port Famiae. 

5. Lucina > 

6. Veuua (in ini|jerrecC elate) 

7. Turbinolial do. 

G. Hamites elalior, G. B. Soverby, 

M. d'Orbigny states* that MM. Homhron and Grange found m 
this neighbourhood an Ancyloceraa, perhaps A. titnplex, an Am- 
monite, a Plicatula and Modiola. M. d'Orbigny believes from the 
general character of these fossils, and from tlie Aocyloceras being 
identical (as far as its imperfect condition allows of comparison) wit£ 
the A . simplex of Europe, that the formation belongs to an early stage 
of the Cretaceous system. Prof. E. Forbes, judging only from my 
specimens, concurs iti the probability of this conclusion. The 
Hamilet elatior of the above list, of which a description is given by 
Mr. Sowerby in the Appendix, and which is remarkable from its 
large size, has not been seen either by M. d'Orbigny or Prof. E, 
Forbes, as, since my return to England, the specimens have been lost. 
The great clay-slate formation of Tierra del Fuego being cretaceous, 
is certainly a very tuteresting fiict, — whether we consider the ap- 
pearance of the country, which, without the evidence afforded by the 
fossils, would form the analogy of most known districts, probably 
have been considered as belonging to the Palceozoic series, — or whether 
we view it as showing that the age of this terminal portion of the 
great axis of S. America, is the same (as will hereafter be seen) with i 
the Cordillera of Chile and Peru, 

The clay-slate in many parts of T, del Fuego, is broken by dikeat 
and by great masses of greenstone, often highly hornblendic : almost 
all the small islets within the clay-slate districts are thus composed. 
The slate near the dikes generally becomes paler- coloured, harder, less 
fissile, of a feldspathic nature, and passes into a porphyry or green- 
stone: in one case, however, it became more fissile, of a red colour, and 
contained minute scales of mica, which were absent in the unaltered 
rock. On the east side of Ponsonby Sound, some dikes composed of 
a pale sonorous feldspathic rock, porphyritic with a little feldspar, 
were remarkable, from their number, — there being within the space of 
B mile at least one hundred, — from their nearly equalling in bulk the 
intermediate slate, — and more especially from the excessive fineness 
(like the finest inlaid carpentry) and perfect parallelism of their junc- 

* Voyage, Part, G^olog. p. 243. 

t Id a i^reenstaae-dike ia (be M^ctalan Ctioiinel, (be feldspar cleaved witb 
lbs HDgte of albile. Iliia dike was cro&sed, as nell aa tbe surtoundiag slate, by 
8 large lein of quartz, a ciroumslgjice of unusual occurience. 


tions with the almost verticaf laminsd of clay-slate. I was unable to 
persuade myself that these great parallel masses had been injected, 
until I found one dike which abruptly thinned out to half its thick- 
ness, and had one of its walls jagged, with fragments of the slate em- 
bedded in it. 

In southern T. del Fuego, the clay- slate towards its S.W. bound- 
ary, becomes much altered and feldspathic. Thus on Wollaston 
Island slate and grauwacke can be distinctly traced passing into 
feldspathic rocks and greenstones, including iron pyrites and epidote, 
but still retaining traces of cleavage with the usual strike and dip* 
One such metamorphosed mass was traversed by large vein-like 
masses of a beautiful mixture (as ascertained by Professor Miller) of 
green epidote, garnets, and white calcareous spar. On the northern 
point of this same island, there were various ancient submarine vol- 
canic rocks, consisting of amygdaloids with dark bole and agate, — of 
basalt with decomposed olivine,^-of compact lava with glassy feld- 
spar, — and of a coarse conglomerate of red scorise, parts being amyg- 
daloidal with carbonate of lime. The southern part of Wollaston 
Island and the whole of Hermite and Horn Islands, seem formed of 
cones of greenstone : the outlying islets of II Defense and D. Ramizez 
are said * to consist of porphyritic lava. In crossing Hardy Penin- 
sula, the slate, still retaming traces of its usual cleavage, passes into 
columnar feldspathic rocks, which are succeeded by an irregular tract 
of trappean and basaltic rocks, containing glassy feldspar and much 
iron pyrites : there is, also, some harsh red claystone porphyry, and an 
almost true trachyte with needles of hornblende, and in one spot a 
curious slaty rock, divided into quadrangular columns, having a base 
almost like trachyte, with drusy cavities lined by crystals, too imperfect, 
according to Professor Miller, to be measured, but resembling Zeago- 
nite.t In the midst of these singular rocks, no doubt of ancient sub- 
marine volcanic origin, a high hiu of feldspathic clay-slate projected, 
retaining its usual cleavage. Near this point, there was a small hillock, 
having the aspect of granite, but formed of white albite, brilliant 
crystals of hornblende (both ascertained by the reflecting goniometer) 
and mica ; but with no quartz. No recent volcanic dbtrict has been 
observed in any part of Tierra del Fuego. 

Five miles west of the bifurcation of the Beagle Channel, the slate- 
formation, instead of becoming, as in the more southern parts of Tierra 
del Fuego, feldspathic, and associated with trappean or old volcanic 
rocks, passes by alternations into a great underlying mass of fine gneiss 
and glossy clay-slate, which at no great distance is succeeded by a 
grand formation of mica-slate containing garnets. The folia of these 
metamorphic schists strike parallel to the cleavage-planes of the clay- 
slate, which have a very uniform direction over the whole of this part 
of the country: the folia, however, are undulatory and tortuous, 
whilst the cleavage-laminee of the slate are straight. These schists 

* Determined by Professor Jameson. Weddell's Vojage, p. 169. 
t See Mr. Brooke's Paper in the London Phil. Mag. vol. z. This mineral 
occurs in an ancient volcanic rock near Rome. 



[chap. VI. 

compose tlie chief mountain- cliain of southern T, del Fuego, ranging 
along the north side of the northern arm of the Buagle Chanuel, in a 
shurt W.N.W. and E.S.E. line, with two points (Mounts Sarmi- 
ento and Darwin) rising to heights of 6,800 and 6,900 feet. On the 
south-western side of this northern arm of the Beagle Channel, the clay- 
slate is seen with its iirata dipping from the great chain, so that ths 
tnetamorphic aohists here form a ridge bordered on each aide by clay- 
slate. Further north, however, to the west of this great range there 
is no clay-slate, but only gneiss, mica, and homblendie slates, resting 
on great barren hills of true granite, and forming a tract almut sixty 
miles in width. Again, westward of these rocks, the outermoat 
islands arc of trappean formation, which, from information obtained 
during the voyages of the Adventure and Beagle,* seem, together vrith 
granite, chiefly to prevail along the western coast as far north as the 
entrance of the St. of Magellan : a little more inland, on the eastern 
side of Clarence Island and S. Desolation, granite, greenstone, mica- 
slate, and gneiss appears to predominate. I am tempted to believe, that 
where the clay-slate lias been metamorphosed at great depths beneath 
the surface, gneiss, mica-slate, and other allied rocks have been formed, 
but where the action has taken place nearer the surface, feldspathio 
porphyries, gTeenstonea, &c. have resulted, often accompanied by 
submarine v^cania erupt! on a. 

Only one otiior rock, met with in both anna of the Beagle Channel, 
deserves any notice, namely, a grannlo-ciyatalline mixture of white 
albite, black hornblende (ascertained by measurement of the crystals, 
and confirmed by Professor Miller), and more or less of brown mica, 
but without any quartz. Tliis rock occurs iii large masses, closely 
resembling in external form granite or syenite : in the southern arm 
of the Channel, one such mass underlies the mica-slate, on which 
clay-slate was superimposed : this peculiar plutonic rock which, as 
we have seen occurs also in Haidy Peninsula, is interesting, from its 
perfect similarity with that (hereafter often to be referred to unda 
the name of nndesite) forming the great injected axes of the CordiUen 
of Chile. 

The stratification of the clay-slate is generally very obscure, 
whereas the cleavage ia remarkably well defined : to begin vvith the 
extreme eaatem parts of T, del Fuego ; the cleavage-planes near the 
St. of Le Maire, strike either W. and E. or W.S.W. and E.N.E., 
and are highly inclined: the form of the land, including Staten 
Island, indicates that the axes of elevation have run in this same line, 
ihongh I was unable to distinguish tlte planes of stratification. Pro- 
ceeding westward, I accurately examined the cleavage of the clay- 
slate on the northern, eastern, and western sides (thirty-five miles 
apart) of Navarin Island, and everywhere found the laminee ranging 
with extreme regularity, W.N.W. and E.S.E., seldom varying more 

■ See tLe Paper by Capl. King, in the Geograpb. JoumBi ; also a Letter to 
Dr. Fitton in Geolog. Proc., toI. i. p. 29; alw some obBorvationB by C»pt 
Fjtzray, VajugDB, >ol. i. ^. 375. I am indebted also to Mr Lyell, for B sene* 


Fitzroy, VojugDB, «ol, i. p. 375. I am it 
of Bpecimena collected by Lieut. Giavea. 


than one point of the compass from this direction.* Both on the 
east and west coasts, I crossed at right angles the cleavage-planes for 
a space of ahout eight miles, and found them dipping at an angle of be- 
tween 45° and 90% generally to S.S.W., sometimes to N.N.E., and 
often quite vertically. The S.S.W. dip was occasionally succeeded 
abruptly by a N.N. K dip, and this by a vertical cleavage, or again 
by the S.S.W. dip ; as in a lofty cli£F on the eastern end of the 
island, the laminse of slate were seen to be folded into very large 
steep curves, ranging in the usual W.N.W. line, I suspect that the 
varying and opposite dips may possibly be accounted for by the 
deavage-laminse, though to the eye appearing straight, being parts of 
large abrupt curves, with their summits cut off and worn down. 

In several places I was particularly struck vnth the fact, that the 
fine laminoB of the clay-slate, where cutting straight through the 
bands of stratification, and therefore indisputably true cleavage-planes, 
differed slightly in their greyish and greenish tints of colour, in com- 
pactness, and in some of the laminee having a rather more jaspery 
appearance than others. I have not seen this &ct recorded, and it 
appears to me important, for it shows that the same cause which 
has produced the higlily fissile structure, has altered in a slight degree 
the mineralogical character of the rock in the same planes. The 
bands of stratification, just alluded to, can be distinguished in many 
places, especially in Navarin Island, but only on the weathered sur- 
hces of the slate ; they consist of slightly undulatory zones of dif- 
fident shades of colour and of thicknesses, and resemble the marks 
(more closely than anything else to which I can compare them) lefb 
on the inside of d vessel by the draining away of some dirty slightly 
agitated liquid : no difference in composition, corresponding with 
these zones, could be seen in freshly fractured surfaces. In the more 
level parts of Navarin Island, these bands of stratification were nearly 
horizontal ; but on the flanks of the mountains they were inclined 
firom them, but in no instance that I saw at a very high angle. 
There can, I think, be no doubt that these zones, which appear only 
on the weathered surfiu^ are the last vestiges of the original planes 
of stratification, now almost obliterated by the highly fissile and 
altered structure which the mass has assumed. 

TJie clay-slate cleaves in the same W.N.W. and £.S.£. direction, 
as on Navarin Island, on both sides of the Beagle Channel, on the 
eastern side of Hoste Island, on the N.E. side of Hardy Peninsula, 
and on the northern point of Wollaston Island ; although in these two 
latter localities the cleavage has been much obscured by the meta- 
morphosed and feldspathic condition of the slate. Within the area 
of these several islands, including Navarin Island, the direction of the 
stratification and of the mountain-chains is very obscure ; though the 
mountains in several places appeared to range in the same W.N.W. 

* The clay-slate id this island was in many places crossed by parallel smooth 
joints. Out of five cases, tbe angle of intersection between the strike of these 
joints and that of the cleayage-laminaB^ was in two cases 45° and in two 
others 79°. 


Tres Montea, the foliation nnd cleavage extended in a line between 
[N. ll" to 22° W.] and [S. 11° to 22" E.] -. and the planes dipped 
generally westerlj', but often easterly, at angles varying from a 
gentle inclination to vortical. At A. Pink's Harbour, where the 
achists generally dipped easterly, wherever the angle became high, 
the strike changed from N. 1 1" W. to even aa much aa N. 45° W. : in 
an analogous manner at Vallenar Bay, where the dip was westerly 
(viz, on an average directed to W. 25° S.), as suon as the angle 
became very high, the planea struck in a line more than 25° west of ■ 
north. The average result from oil the ohservations on tiiis 200 j 
milea of coast, is a strike of N. ] 9° W. and S. 1 9° E. : considering ' 
that in each epecided place my osamination extended over an area of 
several miles, and that Lieut. Stoke's observations apply to a length 
of 100 miles, I think this remarkable uniformity is pretty well 
established. The prevalence, throughout the northern half of this 
line of coast, of a dip in one direction, that is to the west, instead of 
being sometimea west and sometimes east, is, judging from what I 
have elsewhere seen, an unusual circumstance. In Brazil, La Plata, 
the Falkland Islands, and Tierra del Fuego, there is generally an 
obvioua relation between tlie axes of elevation, the outline uf the 
coast, and the strike of the cleavage or foliation : in the Ciionos 
Archipelago, however, neither the minor details of the coast-line, i 

the chain of the Cordillera, n 


iibordinate transverse mountain- 

, accord with the atrike of the foliation and cleavage 
seaward face of the numerous islands composing this archipelago, and 
apparently the line of the Cordillera, range N. 11° E., whereas 
as we have just seen, the average strike of the foUation is N. 19° W, 
There ia one interesting exception to the uniformity in the strike of 
the foliation. At the northern point of Tres Montea (tat, 45° 53') 
a bold chain of granite, between 2,000 and S,000 feet in height, rune 
from the coast far into the aateriur,* in a E.S.E. line, or more strictly 
E. 28° S, and W. 28° N. In a bay, at the nortliern foot of this 
TTLngo, there are a few ieleta of mica-slate, with the folia in some parts 
horizontal, but mostly inclined at an average angle of 20° to the north. 
On the northern steep flank of the range, there are a few patcheft 
(some quite isolated, and not larger than half a crown ! ) of the mica- 
schist, foliated with the same northerly dip. On the broad aunimit, 
as far as the southern crest, there ia much mica-slate, in some places 
even 400 feet in thickness, with the fulia all dipping north, at angles 
varying from 5° to 20°, but sometimes mounting up to .30°, The 
Bouthern flank consists of hare granite. Tiie mica-alate is penetrated 
by small veinst of granite, branching from the main body. Leaving 
out of view the prevalent strike of the folia in other parts of this 

Bay there ia 
t Ti.e gr"z 

righl angles ( 
JJ.E. bjrK.'f 

seen apparently ranging N.N.E. 
f add, that Dot far from Vallemir 
,te, which has buret througb the 


a (baa elsenlieri 

ing for I very great leiiglb ia the line of tbe tnountuni ; 


archipelago, it might have been expected that here they would have 
dipped N. 28^ E., that is directly from the ridge, and, considering its 
abruptness, at a high inclination ; but the real dip, as we have just 
seen, both at the foot and on the northern flank, and over the entire 
summit, is at a small angle, and directed nearly due north. From 
these considerations it occurred to me, that perhaps we here had the 
novel and curious case of already inclined laminee obliquely tilted at 
a subsequent period by the granitic axis. Mr. Hopkins, so well 
known from his mathematical investigations, has most kindly calcu- 
lated the problem : the proposition sent was, — take a district com- 
posed of laminse, dipping at an angle of 40° to W. 19° S., and let an 
axis of elevation traverse it in an £. 28° S. line, what will the position 
of the laminse be on the northern flank after a tilt, we will first sup- 
pose, of 45°? Mr. Hopkins informs me, that the angle of the dip 
will be 28° 31', and its direction to north 30° 33' west.* By varying 
the supposed angle of the tilt, our previously inclined folia can be 
thrown into any angle between 26°, which is the least possible angle, 
and 90°; but if a small inclination be thus given to them, their point 
of dip will depart far from the north, and therefore not accord with 
the actual position of the folia of mica-schist on our granitic range. 
Hence it appears very diflicult, without varying considerably the de- 
ments of the problem, thus to explain the anomalous strike and dip of 
the foliated mica-schist, especially in those parts, namely, at the base 
of the range, where the folia are almost horizontal. Mr. Hopkins, 
however, adds, that great irregularities and lateral thrusts might be 
expected in every great line of elevation, and that these would account 
for considerable deviations from the calculated results : considering 
that the granitic axis, as shown by the veins, has indisputably been 
injected after the perfect formation of the mica-slate, and considering 
the uniformity of the strike of the folia throughout the rest of the 
archipelago, I cannot but still think that their anomalous position at 
this one point is someway directly and mechanically related to the 
intrusion of this W.N.W. and E.S.E. mountain-chain of granite. 

Dikes are frequent in the metamorphic schists of the Chonos Islands, 
and seem feebly to represent that great band of trappean and ancient 
volcanic rocks on the south-western coast of T. del Fuego. At S. 
Andres I observed in the space of half a mile, seven broad, parallel 
dikes, composed of three varieties of trap, running in a N.W. and 
S.E. line, parallel to the neighbouring mountain-ranges of altered clay- 
slate; but they must be of long subsequent origin to these mountains; 
for they intersected the volcanic formation described in the last 
chapter. North of Tres Montes, I noticed three dikes diflering from 
each other in composition, one of them having an euritic base includ- 
ing large octagons of quartz; these dikes, as well as several of por- 

tbey are composed of a somewhat laminated eurite, containing crystals of 
feldspar, hornblende, and octagons of qnartz. 

* On the south side of the axis (where, however, I did not see any mica-slate) 
the dip of the folia woald be at an angle of 77® 55', directed to west 35® 33' 
south. Hence the two points of dip on the opposite sides of the range, instead 
of being as in ordinary cases directly opposed to each other at an angle of 180®, 
would here be only 8^ SO' apart. 


phyritio greenstone at Vallenar Bay, extended N.E. and S.W., nearly 
at right angles to the foliation of the schists, but in the line of their 
joints. At Low's Harbour, however, a set of great parallel dikes, 
one ninety yards and another sixty yards i» width, have been guided 
by the foliation of the mica-schist, and hence are inclined westward 
at an angle of 45°: ilieae dikes are formed of various porphyritic traps, 
some of which are remarkable from containing numerous rounded 
grains of quarts A porphyritic trap of this latter kind, passed in 
one of the dikes into a inost cnrious hornstone, perfectly white, with 
a waxy fracture and pellucid edges, fusible, and containing many 
grains of quarts and specks of iron pyrites. In the ninety yard dike 
several large, apparently now quite isolated, fragments of mica-slate 
were embedded ; but as their foliation was exactly parallel to that of 
the surrounding solid rock, no doubt these now separate fragments 
ori^nally formed wedge-shaped depending portions of a continuous 
vault or crust, once extending over the dike, hut since worn down and 

Chiloe, Valdivia, [Coneepcion. — In Chiloc, a great formation ot \ 
luicB-scbist strikingly resembles that of the Clionos Islands. For ft 
space of eleven miles on the S.£. coast, the folia were very distinct, 
though slightly convoluted, and ranged within a point of N.N.W. 
and S.S.E,, dipping either E.N.E. or more commonly W.S.W., at an 
average angle of 22° (in one spot, however, at G0°), and therefore 
decidedly at a lesser inclination than amongst the Glionos Islands. 
On the west and north- wcstcni shores, the foliation was often 
obscure, though, where best defined, it ranged within a point of N. 
by W. and S, by E., dipping either easterly or westerly, at varying 
and generally very small angles. Hence, firom the soutliem part of 
Tres Montes to the northern end of Chiloe, a distance of 300 miles, 
we have closely allied rocks with tiieir folia striking on an average 
in the same direction, namely between N. 1 1° and 22° W. Again, at 
Valdivia, we meet with the same mica-schist, exiilbiting nearly the 
same mineralugical passages as in the Cbonos Archipelago, often, 
however, becoming more ferruginous, and containing so nmch feld- 
spar as to pass into gneiss. The folia were generally well defined ; 
bat nowhere else in S. America did I see them varying so much ia 
direction : this seemed chiefly caused by their forming parts, as I 
could sometimes distinctly trace, of large fiat curves : nevertheless, 
both near the settlement and towards tlie interior, a N.W. and S.E, 
strike seemed more frequent than any other direction ; the angle of 
the dip was generally small. At Cuncepcion, a highly glossy clay- 
slate had its cleavage often slightly curvilinear, and inclined, seldom 
at a high angle, towards various points of the compass ;* but here, as. 

* I oliBervBd in aome parts, that tbe topa of Vn nt 

the lamiiis of the dBy.6latB(4of the diagram) ' ' *''■ 

under the au|>erficial detritus and aoil (a) wvi: 
lieiil, BOmetimaa nithout beii ' ' 
Hetited ia tbe accompany in g 
copitid from ana giien bf Sir H, Dels fiecbe (p 
Geological Manual) of an eiactlj siniiUr pi 
munon in Deyonsbite. Mr. R. A. C. Auaten, 


at Yaldivia, a N.W. and S.E. strike seemed to be the most frequent 
one. In certain spots large quartz veins were numerous, and near 
them, the cleavage, as was the case with the foliation of the schists in 
the Chonos archipelago, became extremely tortuous. 

At the northern end of Quiriquina Island, in the Bay of Con- 
cepcion, at least eight rudely parallel dikes, which have been guided 
to a certain extent by the cleavage of the slate, occur within the 
space of a quarter of a mile. They vary much in composition, 
resembling in many respects the dikes at Low's Harbour : the 
greater number consist of feldspathio porphyries, sometimes con* 
taining grains of quartz ; one, however, was black and brilliant, like 
an augitic rock, but really formed of feldspar ; others of a feldspathic 
nature were perfectly white, with either an earthy or crystalline 
fracture, and including grains and regular octagons of quartz ; these 
white varieties passed into ordinary greenstones. Although, both 
here and at Low's Harbour, the nature of the rock varied con- 
siderably in the same dike, yet I cannot but think that at these two 
places and in other parts of the Chonos group, where the dikes, 
though close to each other and running parallel, are of different 
composition, that they must have been formed at different periods. 
In the case of Quiriquina this is a rather interesting conclusion, for 
these eight parallel dikes cut through the metamorphio schists in a 
N.W. and S.E. line, and since their injection the overlying cretaceous 
or tertiary strata have been tilted (whilst still under the sea) from a 
N.W. by N. and S.E. by S. line ; and again, during the great earth- 
quake of Feb. 1835, the ground in this neighbourhood was fissured in 
N.W. and S.E. lines ; and from the manner in which buildings were 
tlirown down, it was evident that the surface undulated in this same 

Central and Northern Chile, — Northward of Concepcion, as far as 
Copiapo, the shores of the Pacific consist, with the exception of some 
small tertiary basins, of gneiss, mica-scliist, altered clay-slate, granite, 
greenstone and syenite : hence the coast from Tres Montes to 
Copiapo, a distance of 1200 miles, and I have reason to believe for 
a much greater space, is almost similarly constituted. 

Near Valparaiso the prevailing rock is gneiss, generally including 

in his excellent paper on S.E. Devon (Geolog. Transact, vol. vi. p. 437), has 
described this phenomenon ; he attributes it to the action of frosts, but at the same 
time doubts whether the frosts of the present day penetrate to a sufficient depth. 
As it is known that earthquakes particularly affect the surface of the ground, it 
occurred to me that this appearance might perhaps be due, at least at Concepcion, 
to their frequent occurrence ; the superficial layers of detritus being either jerked 
in one direction, or, where the surface was inclined, pushed a little downwards 
during each strong vibration. In North Wales I have seen a somewhat analogous 
but less regular appearance, though on a greater scale (London Phil. Mag. 
Tol. xxi. p. 184), and produced by a quite different cause, namely, by the 
stranding of great icebergs; this latter appearance has also been observed in 
N. America. 

* Geolog. Trans, vol. vi. p. 602 and 617. Journal of Researches (2nd edit.) 
p. 307. 



much hornblende : concretionary balls formed of feldspar, hornblende 
and mica, from two to three feet in diameter, are in very many 
places conformably enfolded by the foliated gneiss : veins of quartz 
and feldspar, including black schorl and well-crystallized epidote, are 
numerous. Epidote likewise occurs in the gneiss in thin layers, 
parallel to the foliation of the mass. One large vein of a coarse 
granitic character, was remarkable from in one part quite changing 
its character, and insensibly passing into a blackish porphyry, in- 
cluding acicular crystals of glassy feldspar and of hornblende : I have 
never seen any other such case.* 

I shall in the few following remarks on the rooks of Chile, allude 
exclusively to their foliation and cleavage. In the gneiss round 
Valparaiso the strike of the foliation is very variable, but I think 
about N. by W. and S. by E. is the commonest direction ; this 
likewise holds good with the cleavage of the altered feldspathic day- 
slates, occasionally met with on the coast for ninety miles north of 
Valparaiso. Some feldspathic slate, alternating with strata of clay- 
stone porphyry in the Bell of Quillota and at Jajuel, and therefore, 
perhaps, belonging to a later period than the metamorphic schists on 
the coast, cleaved in this same direction. In the Eastern Cordillera, 
in the Portillo Pass, there is a grand mass of mica-slate, foliated in a 
north and south line, and with a high westerly dip : in the Uspallata 
range, clay-slate and grauwacke have a highly inclined, nearly north 
and south cleavage, though in some parts the strike is irregular : in 
the main or Cumbre range, the direction of the cleavage in the feld- 
spathic clay-elate is N.W. and S.E, 

Between Coquimbo and Guasco there are two considerable for- 
mations of mica-slate, in one of which the rock passed sometimes into 
common clay-slate, and sometimes into a glossy black variety, very 
like that in the Chonos archipelago. The folia and cleavage of these 
rocks ranged between [N. and N.W. by N.] and [^S. and S.W. by S.] 
Near the Port of Guasco several varieties of altered clay-slate have a 
quite irregular cleavage. Between Guasco and Copiapo, there are 
some siliceous and talcaceous slates cleaving in a north and south 
line, with an easterly dip of between 60** and 70° : high up, also, the 
main valley of Copiapo, there is mica-slate with a high easterly dip. 
In the whole space between Valparaiso and Copiapo an easterly dip 
is much more common than an opposite or westerly one. 

Concluding remarks on Cleavage and Foliation, 

In this southern part of the southern hemisphere, we have seen 
that the cleavage-laminee range over wide areas with remarkable 
uniformity, cutting straight through the planes of stratification,t but 

^ Humboldt (Personal Narrative, vol. iv. p. 60) has described with much 
surprise, concretionary balls, with concentric divisions, composed of partially 
vitreous feldspar^ hornblende, and garnets, included within great veins of gneiss, 
which cut across the mica-slate near Venezuela. 

t In my paper on the Falkland Islands, (vol, iii. p. 267 Geological Journal,) 


yet being parallel in strike to the main axes of elevation, and 
generally to the outlines of the coast. The dip, however, is as 
variable, both in angle and in direction (that is, sometimes being 
inclined to the one side and sometimes to the directly opposite side), 
as the strike is uniform. In all these respects there is a close agree-< 
ment with the facts given by Professor Sedgwick in his celebrated 
memoir in the Geological Transactions, and by Sir R. I. Murchison 
in his various excellent discussions on this subject* The Falkland 
Islands, and more especially Tierra del Fuego, offer striking instances 
of the lines of cleavage, the principal axes of elevation, and the out" 
lines of the coast, gradually changing together their courses. The 
direction which prevails throughout Tierra del Fuego and the Falk- 
land Islands, namely, from west with some northing to east with 
some southing, is also common to the several ridges in northern Pata- 
gonia and in the western parts of Banda Oriental : in this latter pro- 
vince, in the Sierra Tapalguen, and in the western Falkland Island, 
the W. by N., or W.N.W, and E.S.E., ridges, are crossed at right 
angles by others ranging N.N.E. and S.S.W. 

The fact of the cleavage- laminse in the clay-slate of Tierra del 
Fuego, where seen cutting straight through the planes of stratifica- 
tion, and where consequently there could be no doubt about their 
nature, differing slightly in colour, texture, and hardness, appears to 
me very interesting. In a thick mass of laminated, feldspathic and 
altered clay-slate, interposed between two great strata of porphyritio 
conglomerate in central Chile, and where there could be but little 
doubt about the bedding, I observed similar slight differences in com- 
position, and likewise some distinct thin layers of epidote, parallel to 
the highly inclined cleavage of the mass. Again, I incidentally no- 
ticed in North Wales,* where glaciers had passed over the truncated 
edges of the highly inclined laminse of clay-slate, that the surface^ 
though smooth, was worn into small parallel undulations, caused by 
the component laminse being of slightly different degrees of hardness. 
With reference to the slates of North Wales, Professor Sedgwick 
describes the planes of cleavage, as '^ coated over with chlorite and 
semi-crystalline matter, whicli not only merely define the planes in 
question, but strike in parallel flakes through the whole mass of the 
rock."t In some of those glossy and hard varieties of clay-slate, 
which may often be seen passing into mica-schist, it has appeared to 
me that the cleavage-planes were formed of excessively thin, gene- 
rally slightly convoluted, folia, composed of microscopically minute 
scales of mica. From these several facts, and more especially from 
the case of the clay-slate in Tierra del Fuego, it must, I think, be 
concluded, that the same power which has impressed on the slate its 

I have given a curious case on tbe authority of Capt. Sulivan, R.N., of much 
folded beds of clay-slate, in some of which the cleavage is perpendicular to the 
horizon, and in others it is perpendicular to each curvature or fold of the bed : 
this appears a new case. 

* London Phil. Mag. vol. xxi. p. 182. 

t Geological Trans, vol. iii. p. 471. 

M 2 


fissile structure or cleavage, has tended to modify its mineralogical 
character in parallel planes. 

Let us now turn to the Foliation of the metamorphic schists, a sub- 
ject which has been much less attended to. As in the case of 
cleavage-laminee, the folia preserve over very large areas a uniform 
strike : thus Humboldt* found for a distance of 300 miles in Vene- 
zuela, and indeed over a much larger space, gneiss, granite, mica and 
clay-slate, striking very uniformly N.E. and S.W., and dipping at an 
angle of between 60° and 70° to N.W. : it would even appear from 
the facts given in this chapter, that the metamorphic rocks through- 
out the north-eastern part of S. America are generally foliated within 
two points of N.E. and S.W. Over the eastern parts of Banda 
Oriental, the foliation strikes, w4th a high inclination, very uniformly 
N.N.E. to S.S.W., and over the western parts, in a W. by N. and 
E. by S. line. For a space of 300 miles on the shores of the Chonos 
and Chiloe islands, we have seen that the foliation seldom deviates more 
than a point of the compass from a N. 19° W. and S. 19° E. strike. 
As in the case of cleavage, the angle of the dip in foliated rocks is 
generally high, but variable, and alternates from one side of the line 
of strike to the other side, sometimes being vertical : in the northern 
Chonos islands, however, the folia are inclined almost always to the 
west ; in nearly the same manner, the cleavage-laminee in southern 
Tierra del Fuego certainly dip much more frequently to S.S. W. than to 
the opposite point. In eastern Banda Oriental, in parts of Brazil and in 
some other districts, the foliation runs in the same direction with the 
mountain-ranges and adjoining coast-lines: amongst the Chonos 
islands, however, this coincidence fails, and I have given my reasons 
for suspecting that one granitic axis has burst through and tilted the 
already inclined folia of mica-schist : in the case of cleavage, f the 
coincidence between its strike and that of the main stratification seems 
sometimes to fail. Foliation and cleavage resemble each other in the 
planes winding round concretions, and m becoming tortuous where 
veins of quartz abound. :]: On the flanks of the mountains both in Tierra 
del Fuego and in other countries, I have observed that the cleavage- 
planes frequently dip at a high angle inwards ; and this was long ago 
observed by Von Buch to be the case in Norway : this fact is per- 
haps analogous to the folded, fan-like or radiating structure in the 
metamorphic schists of the Alps,§ in which the folia in the central 
erests are vertical, and on the two flanks inclined inwards. Where 
masses of fissile and foliated rocks alternate together, the cleavage 

* Personal Narrative, vol. vi. p. 591, et seq. 

t Cases are given by Mr. Jukes, in his Geology of Newfoundland, p. 130. 

X 1 have seen in Brazil and Chile concretions thus enfolded bv foliated gneiss ; 
and MaccuUoch (Highlands, vol. i. p. 64) has described a similar case. For 
analagous cases in clay-slate, see Prof. Heuslow's Memoir in Cambridge Phil. 
Trans, vol. i. p. 379, and Macculloch's Class, of Rocks, p. 351. With respect to 
both foliation and cleavage becoming tortuous where quartz- veins abound, 1 have 
seen instances near Monte Video, at Concepcion, and in the Chonos Islai^ds. See 
also Mr. Greenoughs' Critical Examination, p. 78. 

§ Studer in Edin. New Phil. Journal, vol. xxiii. p. 144. 


and fuliation, in all cases which I have seen, are parallel. Where in 
one district the rocks are fissile, and in another adjoining district 
they are foliated, the planes of cleavage and foliation are likewise 
generally parallel : this is the case with the feldspathic homogeneous 
slates in the southern part of the Ghonos group, compared with the 
fine foliated mica-schists of the northern part ; so again the clay- 
slate of the whole eastern side of Tierra del Fuego cleaves in exactly 
the same line with the foliated gneiss and mica-slate of the western 
coast; other analogous instances might have been adduced.* 

With respect to the origin of the folia of quartz, mica, feldspar, and 
other minerals composing the metamorphic schists. Professor Sedg- 
wick, Mr. Lyell and most authors believe, that the constituent parts 
of each layer were separately deposited as sediment, and then mda- 
morphosed. This view, in the majority of cases, I believe to be quite 
untenable. In tliose not uncommon instances, where a mass of clay- 
slate, in approaching granite, gradually passes into gneiss,t we clearly 
see that folia of distinct minerals can originate through the meta- 
morphosis of a homogeneous fissile rock. Tlie deposition, it may be 
remarked, of numberless alternations of pure quartz, and of the 
elements of mica or feldspar, does not appear a probable event, t 
In those districts in which the metamorphic schists are foliated in 
planes, parallel to the cleavage of the rocks in an adjoining district, 
are we to believe that the folia are due to sedimentary layers, whikt 
the cleavage-laminse, though parallel, have no relation whatever to 
such planes of deposition ? On this view, how can we reconcile the 
vastness of the areas over which the strike of the foliation is uniform, 
with what we see in disturbed districts composed of true strata ; and 
especially, how can we understand the high and even vertical dip 
throughout many wide districts, which are not mountainous, and 
throughout some, as in western Banda Oriental, which are not even hilly? 
Are we to admit that in the northern part of the Chonos archipelago, 
mica-slate was first accumulated in parallel horizontal folia to a thick- 
ness of about four geographical miles, and then upturned at an angle 
of forty degrees ; whilst, in the southern part of this same archipelago, 
the cleavage-laminse of closely allied rocks, which none would imagme 
had ever been horizontal, dip at nearly the same angle, to nearly the 
same point ? 

Seeing, then, that foliated schists indisputably are sometimes pro- 
duced by the metamorphosis of homogeneous fissile rocks ; seeing that 
foliation and cleavage are so closely analogous in the several above 
enumerated respects ; seeing that some fissile and almost homogeneous 
rocks show incipient mineralogical changes along the planes of their 
cleavage, and that other rocks with a fissile structure alternate with, 

* I have given a case in Australia. See my volume on Volcanic Islands, p. 131. 

t I have described (Volcanic Islands, p. 149) a good instance of such a passage 
at the Cape of Good Hope. 

t See some excellent remarks on this subject, in D'Aubuisson's Trait^ de 
G6og. torn. i. p. 297. Also, some remarks by Mr. Dana in Silliman*s American 
Joum. vol. xlv. p. 108. 


and' pass into varieties with a foliated structure, I cannot doubt that 
in most cases foliation and cleavage are parts of the same process : in 
cleavage there being only an incipient separation of the constituent 
minerals ; in foliation a much more complete separation and crystal- 

The fact often referred to in this chapter, of the foliation and the 
so-called strata in the metamorphic series, — that is, the alternating 
masses of different varieties of gneiss, mica-schist, and hornblende- 
slate, &c. — ^being parallel to each other, at first appears quite opposed to 
the view, that the folia have no relation to the planes of original de- 
position. Where the so-called beds are not very thick and of widely 
different mineralogical composition from each other, I do not think that 
th«re is any diffiodlty in supposing that they have originated in an analo- 
gous manner with the separate folia : we should bear in mind what thick 
stoata, in ordinary sedimentary masses, have obviously been formed 
by a concretionary process. In a pile of volcanic rocks on the island 
of Ascension, there are strata, differing quite as much in appearance 
as the ordinary varieties of the metamorphic schists, which un- 
doubtedly have been produced, not by successive flowings of lava, but 
by internal molecular changes. Near Monte Video, where the strati- 
fication, as it would be called, of the metamorphic series is, in most 
parts, particularly well developed, being, as usual, parallel to the 
foliation, we have seen that a mass of chloritic schist, netted with 
quartz- veins, is entangled in gneiss, in such a manner as to show that 
it had certainly originated in some process of segregation : again, in 
another spot, the gneiss tended to pass into hornblendic schist by 
alternating with layers of quartz ; but these layers of quartz almost 
eertainly had never been separately deposited, for they were abso- 
lutely continuous with the numerous intersecting veins of quartz. I 
have never had an opportunity of tracing for any distance, along the 
line both of strike and of dip, the so-called beds in the metamorphic 
schists, but I strongly suspect that they would not be found to extend 
with the same character, very far in the line either of their dip or 
strike. Hence I am led to believe, that most of the so-called beds 
are of the nature of complex folia, and have not been separately de- 
posited. Of course, this view cannot be extended to thick masses 
included in the metamorphic series, which are of totally different com- 
position from the adjoining schists, and which are far-extended, as is 
sometimes the case with quartz and marble ; these must generally be 
of the nature of true strata.* Such strata, however, will almost 
always strike in the same direction with the folia, owing to the axes 
of elevation being in most countries parallel to the strike of the folia- 
tion ; but they will generally dip at a different angle from that of the 
foliation ; and the angle of the foliation in itself almost always varies 
much : hence, in crossing a metamorphosed schistose district, it would 
require especial attention to discriminate between true strata of depo- 

* Macculloch states (Classification of Rocks, p. 364) that primary limestones 
are often foand in irregular masses or great nodules, " which can scarcely be 
said to possess a stratified shape !" 


sition, and complex foliated masses. The mere presence of trae strata 
in the midst of a set of metamorphic schists, is no argument that the 
foliation is of sedimentary origin, without it be further shown in each 
case, that the folia not only strike, but dip throughout in parallel 
planes with those of the true stratification. 

As in some cases it appears that where a fissile rock has been ex- 
posed to partial metamorphic action, for instance from the irruption of 
granite, the foliation has supervened on tlie already existing cleavage- 
planes ; so, perhaps in some instances, the foliation of a rock may have 
been determined by the original planes of deposition or of oblique 
curreut-laminsB : I have, however, myself, never seen such a case, and 
I must maintain that in most extensive metamorphic areas, the folia- 
tion is the extreme result of that process, of which cleavage is the 
first effect. That foliation may arise without any previous structural 
arrangement in the mass, we may infer from injected, and therefore 
once liquefied, rocks, both of volcanic and plutonic origin, sometimes 
having a "grain" (as expressed by Professor Sedgwick), and some- 
times being composed of distinct folia or laminsB of different composi- 
tions. In my volume on Volcanic Islands, I have given several in- 
stances of this structure in volcanic rocks, and it is not uncommonly 
seen in plutonic masses, — thus, in the Cordillera of Chile, there are 
gigantic mountain-like masses of red granite, which have been injected 
whilst liquefied, and which, nevertheless, display in parts a decidedly 
laminar structure.* 

Finally, we have seen that the planes of cleavage and of foliation, 
that is, of the incipient process and of the final result, generally strike 
parallel to the principal axes of elevation, and to the outline of the 
land : the strike of the axes of elevation (that is, of the lines of 
fissures with the strata on their edges upturned), according to the 
reasoning of Mr. Hopkins, is determined by the form of tlie area 
undergoing changes of level, and the consequent direction of the lin& of 
tension and fissure. Now, in that remarkable pile of volcanic rocks at 
Ascension, which has several times been alluded to (and in some other 
cases), I have endeavoured to show,* that the lamination of the 
severed varieties, and their alternations, have been caused by the mov- 
ing mass, just before its final consolidation, having been subjected (as 
in a glacier) to planes of different tension; this difference in the 
tension affecting the crystalline and concretionary processes. One of 
the varieties of rock thus produced at Ascension, at first sight, singu- 
larly resembles a fine-grained gneiss ; it consists of quite straight and 
parallel zones, of excessive tenuity, of more and less coloured crystal- 
lized feldspar, of distinct crystals of quartz, diopside, and oxide of iron. 

* As remarked in a former part of this chapter, I suspect that the boldly 
conical mountains of gneiss-granite, near Rio de Janeiro, in which the con- 
stituent minerals are arranged in parallel planes, are of intrusive origin. We 
must not, however, forget the lesson of caution taught by the curious clay-stone 
porphyries of Port Desire, in which we have seen that the breaking up and aggre- 
gation of a thinly stratified tufaceous mass, has yielded a rock semi-porphyritic 
with crystals of feldspar, arranged in the planes of original deposition. 

t Volcanic Islands, p. 65. 


These considerations, notwithstanding the experiments made by Mr. 
Fox, showing the influence of electrical currents in producing a struc- 
ture like that of cleavage, and notwithstanding the apparently inex- 
plicable variation, both in the inclination of the cleavage-laminse and in 
their dipping first to one side and then to the other side of the line of 
strike, lead me to suspect that the planes of cleavage and foliation are 
intimately connected with the planes of different tension, to which the 
area was long subjected, after the main fissures or axes of upheavement 
had been formed, but before the final consolidation of the mass and 
the total cessation of all molecular movement. 



Central Chile — Basal formations qf the Cordillera — Origin qf the porphyritie 
clay -stone conglomerate — Andesite — Volcanic rocks — Section qfthe Cordillera 
by the Peuquenes or Portillo Pass — Oreat gypseous formation ^^ Peuquenes 
line; thickness qf strata^ fossils of — Portillo line^ conglomerate, orthitie 
granite f mica-schist » and volcanic rocks qf— Concluding remarks on the denu- 
dation and elevation qf the Portillo line— Section by the Cumbre or Uspallaia 
Pass — Porphyries — Gypseous strata — Section near Puente dellnca ; fossils qf-— 
Great subsidence — Intrusive porphyries — Plain of Uspallata — Section qf the 
Uspallata chain — Structure and nature qf the strata — Silidfied vertical trees 
^~ Great subsidence — Granitic rocks of axis — Concluding remarks on the 
Uspallata range ; origin subsequent to that of the main Cordillera ; two 
periods qf subsidence ; comparison with the Portillo chain. 

The district between the Cordillera and the Pacific, on a rude average, 
is from about eighty to one hundred miles in width. It is crossed by 
many chains of mountains, of which the principal ones, in the latitude 
of Valparaiso and southward of it, range nearly north and south; 
but in the more northern parts of the province, they run in almost 
every possible direction. Near the Pacific, the mountain- ranges are 
generally formed of syenite or granite, or of an allied euritic por- 
phyry ; in the low country, besides these granitic rocks and green- 
stone, and much gneiss, there are, especially northward of Valparaiso, 
some considerable districts of true clay-slate with quartz veins, passing 
into a feldspathic and porphyritie slate; there is also some grau- 
wacke and quartzose and jaspery rocks, the latter occasionally as- 
suming the character of the basis of clay-stone porphyry : trap -dikes 
are numerous. Nearer the Cordillera, the ranges (such as those of S. 
Fernando, the Prado,* and Aconcagua) are formed partly of granitic 
rocks, and partly of purple porphyritie conglomerates, clay-stone 
porphyry, greenstone -porphyry, and other rocks, such as, we shall 
immediately see, form the basal strata of the main Cordillera. In the 
more northern parts of Chile, this porphyritie series extends over 
large tracts of country far from the Cordillera ; and even in central 
Chile such occasionally occur in outlying positions. 

I will describe the Campana of Quillota, which stands only fifteen 
miles from the Pacific, as an instance of one of these outlying masses. 

* Meyen, Reise urn Erde, Th. 1. s. 235. 


This hill is conspicuous from rising to the height of G400 feet : its 
summit shows a nucleus, uncovered for a height of 800 feet, of fine 
greenstone, including epidote and octahedral magnetic iron ore; its 
flanks are formed of great strata of porphyritic clay-stone conglo- 
merate, associated with various true porphyries and amygdaloids, 
alternating with thick masses of a highly feldspathic, sometimes 
porphyritic, pale-coloured slaty rock, with its cleavage-laminse 
dipping inwards at a high angle. At the base of the hill there are 
syenites, a granular mixture of quartz and feldspar, and harsh 
quartzose rocks, all belonging to the basal metamorphic series. I 
may observe tliat at the foot of several hills of this class, where the 
porphyries are first seen (as near S. Fernando, the Prado, Las Vacas, 
&c.), similar harsh quartzose rocks and granular mixtures of quartz 
and feldspar occur, as if the more fusible constituent parts of the 
granitic series had been drawn off to form the overlying porphyries. 

In central Chile, the flanks of the main Cordillera, into which I 
penetrated by four different valleys, generally consist of distinctly 
stratified rocks. The strata are inclined at angles varying from 
sometimes even under ten, to twenty degrees, very rarely exceeding 
forty degrees : in some, however, of the quite small, exterior, spur- 
like ridges, the inclination was not unfrequently greater. The dip of 
the strata in the main outer lines was usually outwards or from the 
Cordillera, but in northern Chile frequently inwards, — that is, their 
basset-edges fronted the Pacific. Dikes occur in extraordinary num- 
bers. In the great, central, loftiest ridges, the strata, as we shall 
presently see, are almost always highly inclined and often vertical. 
Before giving a detailed account of my two sections across the Cor- 
dillera, it wiU, I think, be convenient to describe the basal strata as 
seen, often to a thickness of 4000 or 5000 feet, on the flanks of the 
outer lines. 

Basal strata of the Cordillera. — The prevailing rock is a purplish 
or greenish, porphyritic claystone conglomerate. The embedded frag- 
ments vary in size from mere particles to blocks as much as six or 
eight inches (rarely more) in diameter ; in many places, where the 
fragments were minute, the signs of aqueous deposition were unequi- 
vocally distinct ; where they were large, such evidence could rarely be 
detected. The basis is generally porphyritic with perfect crystals of 
feldspar, and resembles that of a true injected clay-stone porphyry : 
often, however, it has a mechanical or sedimentary aspect, and some- 
times (as at Jajuel) is jaspery. The included fragments are either 
angular, or partially or quite rounded ;* in some parts the rounded, 
in others, the angular fragments prevail, and usually both kinds are 

* Some of the rounded fragments in the porphyritic conglomerate near the 
Baths of Cauquenes, were marked with radii and concentric zones of different shades 
of colour : any one who did not know that pebbles, for instance fliut pebbles from 
the chalk, are sometimes zoned concentrically with their worn and rounded sur« 
faces, might have been led to infer, that these balls of porphyry were not true 
pebbles, but had oiiginated in concretionary action. 


mixed together : hence the word breccia ought strictly to be appended 
to the term porphyritic conglomerate. The fragments consist of 
many varieties of clay-stone porphyry, usually of nearly the same 
colour with the surrounding basis, namely, purplish-reddish, brownish, 
mottled or bright green ; occasionally fragments of a laminated, pale- 
coloured, feldspathic rock, like altered clay-slate, are included ; as are 
sometimes grains of quartz, but only in one iustance in central Chile, 
(namely, at the mines of Jajuel) a few pebbles of quartz. I no- 
where observed mica in this formation, and rarely hornblende ; where 
the latter mineral did occur, I was generally in doubt whether the 
mass really belonged to this formation, or was of intrusive ori- 
gin. Calcareous spar occasioually occurs in small cavities; and 
nests and layers of epidote are common. In some few places in the 
finer-grained varieties (for instance at Quillota), there were short, 
interrupted layers of earthy feldspar, which could be traced, exactly 
as at Port Desire, passing into large crystals of feldspar : I doubt, 
however, whether in this instance, the layers had ever been separately 
deposited as tufaceous sediment. 

All the varieties of porphyritic conglomerates and breccias pass into 
each other, and by innumerable gradations into porphyries no longer 
retaining the least trace of mechanical origin : the transition appears 
to have been effected much more easily in the finer-grained, than in 
the coarser-grained varieties. In one instance, near Cauquenes, I no- 
ticed that a porphyritic conglomerate assumed a spheroidal structure, 
and tended to become columnar. Besides the porphyritic conglo- 
merates and the perfectly characterized porphyries of metamorphic 
origin, there are other porphyries, which, though differing not at all or 
only slightly in composition, certainly have had a different origin : 
these consist of pink or purple claystoue porphyries, sometimes includ- 
ing grains of quartz,-*- of greenstone-porphyry, and of other dusky rocks, 
all generally porphyritic with fine, large, tabular, opaque crystals, 
often placed crosswise, of feldspar cleaving like albite, (judging from 
severad measurements), and often amygdaloidal with silex, agate, 
carbonate of lime, green and brown bole.* These several porphyritic 

* This bole is a very common mineral in the amygdaloidal rocks ; it is gene- 
rally of a greenish.brown colour, with a radiating structure ; externally it is black 
with an almost metallic lustre, but often coated by a bright green film. It is soft 
and can be scratched by a quill ; under the blowpipe, swells greatly and becomes 
scaly, then fuses easily into a black magnetic bead. This substance is evidently 
similar to that which often occurs in submarine volcanic rocks. An examination 
of some very curious specimens of a fine porphyry (from Jajuel), leads me to sus- 
pect that some of these amygdaloidal balls, instead of having been deposited iu 
pre-existing air-yesicles, are of concretionary origin ; for in these specimens, some 
of the pea-shaped little masses (often externally marked with minute pits) are formed 
of a mixture of g^een earth with stony matter, like the basis of the prophyry, in- 
cluding minute, imperfect crystals of feldspar ; and these pea-shaped little masses 
are themselves amygdaloidal with minute spheres of the green earth, each en- 
veloped by a film of white, apparently feldspathic, earthy matter : so that the 
porphyry is doubly amygdaloidal. It should not, however, be overlooked, that all the 
stratji here have undergone metamorphic action, which may have caused crystals of 
feldspar to appear, and other changes to be effected, in the originally simple amyg- 
daloidsd balls. Mr. J. D. Dana, in an excellent paper on Trap rocks (Edio. New 


and amygdaloidal varieties never show any signs of passing into 
masses of sedimentary origin : they occur both in great and small 
intrusive masses, and likewise in strata alternating with those of the 
porphyritic conglomerate, and with the planes of junction often 
quite distinct, yet not seldom blended together. In some of these 
intrusive masses, the porphyries exhibit, more or less plainly, a brec- 
ciated structure, like that often seen in volcanic masses. These brec- 
ciated porphyries could generally be distinguished at once from the 
metamorphosed, porphyritic breccia-conglomerates, by all the frag- 
ments being angular and being formed of the same variety, and by the 
absence of every trace of aqueous deposition. One of the porphyries 
above specified, namely, the greenstone-porphyry with large tabular 
crystals of albite, is particularly abundant, and in some parts of the 
Cordillera (as near St. Jago) seemed more common even than the 
purplish porphyritic conglomerate. Numerous dikes likewise consist 
of this greenstone porphyry; others are formed of various fine- 
grained trappean rocks ; but very few of clay-stone porphyry : I 
saw no true basaltic dikes. 

In several places in the lower part of the series, but not everywhere, 
thick masses of a highly feldspathic, often porphyritic, slaty rock 
occur interstratified with the porphyritic conglomerate : I believe in 
one or two cases blackish limestone has been found in a similar posi- 
tion. The feldspathic rock is of a pale grey or greenish colour ; it is 
easily fusible ; where porphyritic, tlie crystals of feldspar are generally 
small and vitreous ; it is distinctly laminated, and sometimes includes 
parallel layers of epidote ;* the lamination appears to be distinct from 
stratification. Occasionally this rock is somewhat carious; and at 
one spot, namely, at the C. of Quillota, it had a brecciated structure. 
Near the mines of Jajuel, in a thick stratum of this feldspathic, por- 
phyritic slate, there was a layer of hard, blackish, siliceous, infusible, 
compact clay-slate, such as I saw nowhere else : at the same place I 
was able to follow for a considerable distance the junction between 
the slate and the conformably underlying porphyritic conglomerate, 
and they certainly passed gradually into each other. Wherever these 
slaty feldspathic rocks abound, greenstone seems common ; at the C. 
of Quillota a bed of well -crystallized greenstone lay conformably in 
the midst of the feldspathic slate, with the upper and lower junc- 
tions passing insensibly into it. From this fact, and from the fre- 
quently porphyritic condition of the slate, I should perhaps have 

Phil. Journ. vol. xli. p. 198), has argued, with great force, that all amygdaloidal 
minerals have heen deposited by aqueous infiltration. I may take this opportunity 
of alluding to a curious case, described in my volume on Volcanic Islands (p. 26), 
of an amygdaloid, with many of its cells only half filled up with a mesotypic 

M. Rose has described an amygdaloid, brought bj Dr. Meyen (Reise um £rde, 
Th. 1. s. 316) from Chile, as consisting of crystallized quartz, with crystals of 
stilbite within, and lined externally by green earth. 

* This mineral is extremely common in all the formations of Chile ; in the 
gneiss near Valparaiso and in the granitic veins crossing it, in the injected green- 
stone crowning the C. of Quillota, in some granitic porphyries, in the porphyritic 
conglomerate, and in the feldspathic clay- slates. 


ooDsidraed this rock is in emj^ed one (like certain laminated feld* 
spathic hiYas in the tracfaytic series), had I not seen in T. del Fuego 
how readily troe day-date becomes feldspathic and porphyritic, and 
had I not seen at Jajnel the included layer of black, siliceous clay- 
slate, which no one oonld haTC thought of igneous origin. The gentle 
passage of the feldqiathic slate, at Jajuel, into the porphyritic conglo- 
merate, which is certainly of aqueous origin, should also be taken into 

The alternating strata of porphjrries and porphyritic conglomerate, 
and with the occasionally included beds of feldspathic slate, together 
make a grand formation ; in several places within the Cordillera, I esti- 
mated its thickness at from 6000 to 7000 feet. It extends for many 
hundred miles, forming the western flank of the Cliilian Cordillera ; and 
even at Iquique in Peru, 850 miles nortli of the southernmost point 
examined by me in Chile, the coast-escarpment, wliich rises to a height 
of between 2000 and 3000 feet, is thus composed. In several parts 
of northern Chile this formation extends mucli further towards the 
Pacific, over the granitic and metamorphic lower rocks, than it does 
in central Chile ; but the main Cordillera may be considered as its 
central line, and its breadth in an east and west direction is never 
great. At first the origin of this thick, massive, long but narrow 
formation, appeared to me very anomalous : whence wore derived, and 
how were dispersed the innumerable fragments, often of largo kIsso, 
sometimes angular and sometimes rounded, and almost invariably 
composed of porphyritic rocks ? Seeing that the interstratified por- 
phyries are never vesicular and often not even amygdaloidal, wo tnuNt 
conclude that the pile was formed in deep water ; now then canicf no 
many fragments to be well rounded and so many to remain atigitlnr, 
sometimes the two kinds being equally mingled, sotnetitiKm otio uiid 
sometimes the other preponderating? That the clav-Mtonu, gri***!!- 
stone, and other porphyries and amygdaloids, which lio Mn/ormablj/ 
between the beds of conglomerate, are ancient Mubtnarino lavan, 1 
think there can be no doubt ; and I believe wo tnuNt look to tli«i 
craters whence these streams were erupted, a» the mtwttm of th<i 
breccia-conglomerate : after a great explosion, wo may fairly ImuyiUm 
that the water in the heated and 8carc<;ly quioMcoiit orut^'f would 
remain for a considerable time* sufficiently agitated to tritiiratii uiul 
round the loose' fragments lying within it : tlicMo rounditd (m^misuiit^ 
few or many in number, would be shot forth at tUt$ uti%i tfrupiloM, 
associated with few or many angular fragrtiontN, fti;<;ording Ui ihu 
strength of the explosion. The porphyritic cituy^UnmuuUi huing 
purple or reddish, even when alternating with tUinkyiuihrnnui or 
bright green porphyries and amygdaloid^, m probahl v an Mnalo^oun 
circumstance to the scorisB of the bla<;kiHli buMultM Innng itfU'ti bright 
red. The ancient submarine orifices whtmco tho porphyriim and lliuir 
fragments were ejected, having been arrang<;d in u bund, likti mtmi 

* This certainly seems to have taken place in HomtirMtml yttU'MuUi HruU'\^m\»uimit, 
as at the Galapagos, where numerous craters ar« tixclu»iv#ly t'tnmtui uf tutf^sua 
fragments of laya. 


still active volcanos, accounts for the thickness, the narrowness, and 
linear extension of this formation. 

This whole great pile of rock has suffered much metamorphic 
action, as is very obvious in the gradual formation and appearance 
of the crystals of albitic feldspar and of epidote, — in the blending 
together of the fragments, — in the appearance of a laminated struc- 
ture in the feldspathic slate, — and, lastly, in the disappearance of the 
planes of stratification, which could sometimes be seen on the same 
mountain quite distinct in the upper part, less and less plain on the 
flanks, and quite obliterated at the base. Partly owing to tliis meta- 
morphic action, and partly to the close relationship in origin, I have 
seen fragments of porphyries, — taken from a metamorphosed conglo- 
merate, — ^from a neighbouring stream of lava, — from the nucleus or 
centre (as it appeared to me) of the old submarine volcano, — and 
lastly from an intrusive mass of quite subsequent origin, all of which 
were absolutely undistinguishable in external characters. 

One other rock, of plutonic origin, and highly important in the 
history of the Cordillera, from havmg been injected in most of the 
great axes of elevation and from having apparently been instrumental 
in metamorphosing the superincumbent strata, may be conveniently 
described in this preliminary discussion. It has been called by some 
tLViihoTS Andesite : it mainly consists of well-crystallised white albite,* 
(as determined with the goniometer in numerous specimens both by 
Professor Miller and myself), of less perfectly crystallised green horn- 
blende, often associated with much mica, with chlorite and epidote, 
and occasionally with a few grains of quartz: in one instance in 
northern Chile, I found crystals of orthitic or potash feldspar, 
mingled with those of albite. Where the mica and quartz are 
abundant, the rock cannot be distinguished from granite ; and it may 
be called andesitic granite. Where these two minerals are quite 
absent, and when, as often then happens, the crystals of albite are 
imperfect and blend together, the rock may be called andesitic por- 
phyry, which bears nearly the same relation to andesitic granite that 
euritic porphyry does to common granite. These andesitic rocks 
form mountain-masses of a white colour, which, in their general out- 
line and appearance, — in their joints, — ^in their occasionally including 
dark-coloured, angular fragments, apparently of some pre-existing 
rock, — and in the great dikes branching from them into the super- 
incumbent strata, manifest a close and striking resemblance to masses 
of common granite and syenite: I never, however, saw in these 
andesitic rocks, those granitic veins of segregation which are so com- 

* I here, and elsewhere, call by this name, those feldspathic minerals which 
cleave like albite : but it now appears (Edin. New Phil. Journ. vol. xxiv. p. 181) 
that Abich has analysed a mineral from the Cordillera, associated with hornblende 
and quartz, (probably the same rock with that here under discussion ); which 
cleaves like albite, but which is a new and distinct kind, called by him Andesine, 
It is allied to leucite, with the greater proportion of its potash replaced by lime 
and soda. This mineral seems scarcely distinguishable from albite, except by 


mon in true granites. We have seen thai andesite occurs in three 
places in Tierra del Fuego ; in Chile, from S. Fernando to Copiapo, 
a distance of 450 miles, I fonnd it under most of the axes of elevation ; 
in a collection of specimens from the Cordillera of Lima in Peru, I 
immediately recognised it ; and Erman * states that it occurs in 
Eastern Kamtschatka. From its wide range, and from the important 
part it has played in the history of the Cordillera, I think this rock 
has well deserved its distinct name of Andesite. 

llie few still active volcanos in Chile are confined to the central 
and loftiest ranges of the Cordillera ; and volcanic matter, such as 
appears to have heen of suhaerial eruption, is everywhere rare. Ac- 
cording to Meyen,t there is a hill of pumice high up the valley of 
the Maypu, and likewise a trachytic formation at Colina, a village 
situated north of St. Jago. Close to this latter city, there are two 
hills formed of a pale feldspathic porphyry, remarkable from being 
doubly columnar, great cylindrical columns being subdivided into 
smaller four or five sided ones; and a third hillock (Cerro J^anco) 
is formed of a fragmentary mass of rock, which I believe to be of 
volcanic origin, intermediate in character between the above felds- 
pathic porphyry and common trachyte, and containing needles of 
hornblende and granular oxide of iron. Near the Baths of Cauquenes, 
between two short parallel lines of elevation, where they are inter- 
sected by the valley, there is a small, though distinct volcanic district; 
the rock is a dark grey (andesitic) trachyte, which fuses into a 
greenish-gray bead, and is formed of long crystals of fractured glassy 
albite (judging from one measurement) mingled with well-formed 
crystals, often twin, of augite. The whole mass is vesicular, but the 
surface is darker coloured and much more vesicular than any other 
part. This trachyte forms a cliff-bounded, horizontal, narrow strip 
on the steep southern side of the valley, at the height of 400 or 500 
feet above the river-bed ; judging from an apparently corresponding 
line of cliff on the northern side, the valley must once have been 611ea 
up to this height by a field of lava. On the summit of a lofty moun- 
tain some leagues higher up this same valley of the Cachapual, I 
found columnar pitchstone porphyritio with feldspar ; I do not sup- 
pose this rock to be of volcanic origin; and only mention it here, 
from its being intersected by masses and dikes of a vesicular rock, 
approaching in character to trachyte ; in no other part of Chile did I 
observe vesicular or amygdaloidal dikes, though these are so common 
m ordmary volcanic districts. 

Passage of the Andes hy the Portillo or Peuguenes Pass, 

Although I crossed the Cordillera only once by this pass, and only 
once by that of the Cumbre or Uspallata (presently to be de- 
scribed), riding slowly and halting occasionally to ascend the moun- 
tains, there are many circumstances favourable to obtaining a more 

* Geograpb. Journal, vol. ix. p. 510. 
t Reise om Erde, Tb. 1. b. 338 und 362. 


Beyond the junction of the Yeso and Yolcan, the poq)hyritic strata 
appear to dip towards the hillocks of andesite at an an^e of 40^; bat at 
some distant points on the same ridge, they are bent up and verti- 
caL Following the yalley of the Yeso, trending N.E. (and therefore 
still nn&Yonrable for our transverse section)^ the same porphyiitic 
conglomerate formation is prolonged to near the Cuestadel Indio, 
situated at the western end of the basin (like a drained lake) of Yeso. 
Some way before arriving at this point, distant lofty pinnades capped 
by coloured strata belonging to the great Gypseous formation could first 
be seen. From the summit of the Cuesta, looking southward, there 
is a magnificent sectional view of a mountain-mass, at least 2000 
feet in thickness [£], of fine andesitic granite (containing much black 
mica, a little chlorite and quartz), which sends great white dikes fsa 
into the superincumbent, dark-coloured, porphyritic conglomerates. 
At the line of junction the two formations are wonderfully interlaced 
together : in the lower part of the porph3rritic conglomerate, the 
stratification has been quite obliterated, whilst in the upper psurt it 
is very distinct, tlie beds composing the crests of the surrounding 
mountains being inclined at angles of between 70° and 80°, and some 
being even vertical. On the northern side of the valley, there is a 
great corresponding mass of andesitic granite, which is encased by 
porphyritic conglomerate, dipping both on the western and eastern 
sides, at about 80° to west, but on the eastern side with the tips of 
tlie strata bent in such a manner, as to render it probable that the 
whole mass had been on that side thrown over and inverted. 

In the valley-basin of the Yeso, which I estimated at 7000 feet 
above the level of the sea, we first reach at QF] the gypseous forma- 
tion. Its thickness is very great. It consists in most parts of snow- 
white, hard, compact gypsum, which breaks with a saccharine frac- 
ture, having translucent edges ; under the blowpipe gives out much 
vapour; it frequently includes nests and exceedingly thin layers of 
crystallized, blackish carbonate of lime. Large, irregularly shaped 
concretions (externally still exhibiting lines of aqueous deposition) of 
blackish-grey, but sometimes white, coarsely and brilliantly crystal- 
lized hard anhydrite, abound within the common gypsum. Hillocks, 
formed of the hardest and purest varieties of the white gypsum, 
stand up above the surrounding parts, and have their surfaces cracked 
and marked, just like newly baked bread. There is much pale 
brown, soft, argillaceous gypsum ; and there were some intercalated 
green beds which I had not time to reach. I saw only one fragment 
of selenite or transparent gypsum, and that perhaps may have come 
from some subsequently formed vein. From the mineralogical cha- 
racters here given, it is probable that these gypseous &ds have 
undergone some metamorphic action. The strata are much hidden 
by detritus, but they appeared in most parts to be highly inclined ; 
and in an adjoining lofty pinnacle they could be distinctly seen bend- 
ing up, and becoming vertical, conformably with the underlying por- 
phyritic conglomerate. In very many parts of the great mountain- 


face [F], composed of thin gypseous beds, there were innumerable 
masses, irregularly shaped and not like dikes, yet with well-defined 
edges, of an imperfectly granular, pale greenish or yellowish-white 
rock, essentially composed of feldspar, with a little chlorite or horn- 
blende, epidote, iron-pyrites, and ferruginous powder : I believe that 
these curious trappean masses have been injected from the not far 
distant mountain-mass QEJ of andesite whilst still fluid, and that 
owing to the softness of the gypseous strata they have not acquired the 
ordinary forms of dikes* Subsequently to the injection of these 
feldspathic rocks, a great dislocation has taken place ; and the much 
shattered gypseous strata here overlie a hillock fG], composed of 
vertical strata of impure limestone and of black highly calcareous 
shale including threads of gypsum : these rooks, as we shall presently 
see, belong to the upper parts of the gypseous series, and hence must 
here have been thrown down by a vast fault. 

Proceeding up the valley-basin of the Yeso, and taking our sec- 
tion sometimes on one hand and sometimes on the other, we come to 
a great hill of stratified porphyritio conglomerate [H] dipping at 45^ 
to the west ; and a few hundred yards farther on, we have a bed be- 
tween 300 or 400 feet thick of gypsum [I] dipping eastward at a 
very high angle : here then we have a fault and anticlinal axis. On 
the opposite side of the valley, a vertical mass of red conglomerate, 
conformably imderlying the gypsum, appears gradually to lose its 
stratification and passes into a mountain of porphyry. The gypsum 
[I] is covered by a bed [K], at least 1000 feet in thickness, of a 
purplish-red, compact, heavy, fine-grained sandstone or mudstone, 
which fuses easily into a white enamel, and is seen under a lens to 
contain triturated crystals. This is succeeded by a bed [L], 1000 feet 
thick (I believe I understate the thickness) of gypsum, exactly like 
the beds before described ; and this again is capped by another great 
bed [M] of purplish-red sandstone. All these strata dip eastward ; 
but the inclination becomes less and less, as we leave the first and 
almost vertical bed [|I] of gypsum. 

Leaving the basin -plain of Yeso, the road rapidly ascends, passing 
by mountains composed of the gypseous and associated beds, with 
their stratification greatly disturbed and therefore not easily intelli- 
gible : hence this part of the section has been left uncoloured. Shortly 
before reaching the great Peuquenes ridge, the lowest stratum visible 
[N] is a red sandstone or mudstone, capped by a vast thickness of 
black, compact, calcareous, shaly rock QO^, which has been thrown 
into four lofty, though small ridges : looking northward the strata in 
these ridges are seen gradually to rise in inclination, becoming in 
some distant pinnacles absolutely vertical. 

The ridge of Peuquenes, which divides the waters flowing into the 
Pacific and Atlantic oceans, extends in a nearly N.N.W. and S.S.E. 
line ; its strata dip eastward at an angle of between 30° and 45°, 
but in the higher peaks bending up and becoming almost vertical. 
Where the road crosses this range, the height is 13,210 feet above the 

N 2 


sea-leyel, and I estimated the neighbouring pinnacles at from 14,000 
to 15,000 feet. The lowest stratum visible in this ridge is a red 
stratified sandstone [P] ; on it are superimposed two great masses 
[Q and S] of black, hard, compact, even having a conchoidal frac- 
ture, calcareous, more or less laminated shale, passing into limestone : 
this rock contains organic remains, presently to be enumerated. The 
compactor varieties fuse easily in a white glass ; and this I may 
add is a very general character with all the sedimentary beds in 
the Cordillera : sdthough this rock when broken is generally quite 
black, it everywhere weathers into an ash-gray tint. Between these 
two great masses [Q and S], a bed [R] of gypsum is interposed, 
about 300 feet in thickness, and having the same characters as here- 
tofore described. I estimated the total thickness of these three beds 
[Q, B, S] at nearly 3000 feet ; and to this must be added, as will 
be. immediately seen, a great overlying mass of red sandstone. 

In descending the eastern slope of this great central range, the strata, 
which in the upper part dip eastward at about an angle of 40®, be- 
come more and more curved, till they are nearly vertical ; and a little 
further onwards there is seen on the further side of a ravine, a thick 
mass of strata of bright red sandstone [|T], with their upper extremi- 
ties slightly curved, showing that they were once conformably pro- 
longed over the beds QS] : on the southern and opposite side of the 
road, this red sandstone and the underlying black shaly rocks stand 
vertical, and in actual juxtaposition. Continuing to descend, we 
come to a synclinal valley filled with rubbish, beyond which we have 
the red sandstone [|T JJ corresponding with QT], and now dipping, as 
is seen both north and south of the road, at 45° to the west ; and 
under it, the beds QS ^, R ^, Q ', and I believe P ^'] in correspond- 
ing order and of similar composition, with those on the western flank 
of the Peuquenes range, but dipping westward. Close to the synclinal 
valley the dip of these strata is 45°, but at the eastern or further end 
of the series it increases to 60°. Here the great gypseous formation 
abruptly terminates, and is succeeded eastward by a pile of more 
modem strata. Considering how violently these central ranges have 
been dislocated, and how very numerous dikes are in tlie exterior and 
lower parts of the Cordillera, it is remarkable that I did not here 
notice a single dike. The prevailing rock in this neighbourhood is 
the black, calcareous, compact shale, whilst in the valley- basin of the 
Yeso the purplish red sandstone or mudstone predominates, — ^both 
being associated with g3q)seous strata of exactly the same nature. It 
would be very difi&cult to ascertain the relative superposition of these 
several masses, for we shall afterwards see in the Cumbre Pass that 
the gypseous and intercalated beds are lens-shaped, and that they thin 
out, even where Yery thick, and disappear in short horizontal distances: 
it is quite possible that the black shales and red sandstones may be 
contemporaneous, but it is more probable that the former compose 
the uppermost parts of the series. 

The fossils above alluded to in the black calcareous shales are few 


in number, and are in an imperfect condition ; they consist, as named 
for me by M. d'Orbigny, of — 

1. Ammonite, indeterminable, near to A, rectico9tatus, D'Orbig. Pal« Franc. 

(Neocomian formation). 

2. Grjpbsa, near to G. Coulom, (Neoconian formations of France and Neuf- 


3. Natica, indeterminable. 

4. Cypriua roBtratra, D'Orbig. Pal. Franc. (Neocomian formation). 

5. Rostellaria angulosa (?) D Orbig. Pal. de TAmer. Mer. 

6. Terebratulal 

Some of the fragments of Ammonites were as thick as a man's 
arm : the Gryphsea is much the most abundant shell. These fossils 
M . d'Orbigny considers as belonging to the Neocomian stage of the 
cretaceous system. Dr. Meyen,* who ascended the yalley of the 
Rio Yolcan, a branch of the Yeso, found a nearly similar, but 
apparently more calcareous formation, with much gypsum, and no 
doubt the equivalent of that here described : the beds were vertical, 
and were prolonged up to the limits of perpetual snow : at the height 
of 9000 feet above the sea, they abounded with fossils, consisting, 
according to Von Buch,t of — 

1. Ezogjra (Grypbiea) Couloni, absolutely identical with specimena from the 

Jara and South of France. 

2. Trigonia costata, > identical with those found in the upper Jurassic beds at 

3. Pecten striatus, 5 Hildesheim. 

4. Cucullaea, corresponding in form to C. longirostris, so frequent in the upper 

Jurassic beds of Westphalia. 

5. Ammonites, resembling A» biplex. 

Von Buch concludes that this formation is intermediate between the 
limestone of the Jura and the chalk, and that it is analogous with 
the uppermost Jurassic beds forming the plains of Switzerland. 
Hence M. d'Orbigny and Von Buch, under different terms, compare 
these fossils to those, from the same late stage in the secondary for- 
mations of Europe. 

Some of the fossils which I collected were found a good w^ay down 
the western slope of the main ridge, and hence must originally have 
been covered up by a great thickness of the black shaly rock, inde- 
pendently of the now denuded, thick, overlying masses of red sand- 
stone. I neglected at the time to estimate how many hundred or 
rather thousand feet thick, the superincumbent strata must have been ; 
and I will not now attempt to do so. This, however, would have been 
a highly iuteresting point, as indicative of a great amount of subsidence, 
of which we shall hereafter find in other parts of the Cordillera analo- 
gous evidence during this same period. The altitude of the Peu- 
quenes Range, considering its not great antiquity, is very remarkable ; 
many of the fossils were embedded at the height of 13,210 feet, and 
the same beds are prolonged up to at least from 14,000 to 15,000 
above the level of the sea. 

* Reise urn, &c., Th. 1. s. 355. 

t Descript. Phys. des lies Canaries, p. 471. 


The Portillo or Edstem Chain. — The valley of Tenuyan, separa- 
ting the Peuquenes and Portillo lines, is, as estimated by Dr. Gillies 
and myself, about twenty miles in width ; the lowest part, where the 
road crosses the river, being 7,500 feet above the sea-level. The pass 
on the Portillo line is 14,365 feet high (1100 feet higher than that 
on the Peuquenes), and the neighbouring pinnacles must, I conceive, 
rise to nearly 16,000 feet above the sea. The river draining the inter- 
mediate valley of Tenuyan, passes through the Portillo line. To 
return to our section ; — shortly after leaving the lower beds [^P^ of 
the gypseous formation, we come to grand masses of a coarse, red 
conglomerate |IV], totally unlike any strata hitherto seen in the Cor- 
dillera. This conglomerate is distmctly stratified, some of the beds 
being well defined by the greater size of the pebbles : the cement is 
calcareous and sometimes crystalline, though the mass shows no signs 
of having been metamorphosed. The included pebbles are either per- 
fectly or only partially rounded ; they consist of purplish sandstones, 
of various porphyries, of brownish limestone, of black calcareous, 
compact shale precisely like that in situ in the Peuquenes range, and 
containing some of the same fossil shells ; also very many pebbles of 
quartz, some of micaceous schist, and numerous, broken, rounded 
crystals of a reddish orthitic or potash feldspar (as determined by 
Professor Miller), and these from their size must have been derived 
from a coarse-grained rock, probably granite. From this feldspar 
being orthitic, and even from its external appearance, I venture posi- 
tively to affirm that it has not been derived from the rocks of the 
western ranges ; but on the other hand it may well have come, to- 
gether with the quartz and metamorphic schists, from the eastern or 
Portillo line, for this line mainly consists of coarse orthitic granite. 
The pebbles of the fossiliferous slate and of the purple sandstone, cer- 
tainly have been derived from the Peuquenes or western ranges. 

The road crosses the valley of Tenuyan in a nearly east and west 
line, and for several miles we have on both hands the conglomerate, 
everywhere dipping west and forming separate great mountains. The 
strata where first met with, after leaving the gypseous formation, are 
inclined westward at an angle of only 20°, which further on increases 
to about 45°. The gypseous strata, as we have seen, are also inclined 
westward : hence, when looking from the eastern side of the valley 
towards the Peuquenes range, a most deceptive appearance is pre- 
sented, as if the newer beds of conglomerate dipped directly under the 
much older beds of the gjrpseous formation. In the middle of the 
valley, a bold mountain of unstratified lilac-coloured porphyry (with 
crystals of hornblende) projects ; and further on, a little south of the 
road, there is another mountain, with its strata inclined at a small 
angle eastwards, which in its general aspect and colour, resembles the 
porphyritic conglomerate formation, so rare on this side of the Peu- 
quenes line and so grandly developed throughout the western ranges. 
The conglomerate is of great thickness : I do not suppose that the 
strata forming the separate mountain-masses fV, V, V] have ever 
been prolonged over each other, but that one mass has been broken up 


byseveral, distinct, paiaJlel, uniclinal lines of eleyation. Judging, there- 
fore, of the thickness of the conglomerate, as seen in the separate 
mountain-masses, I estimated it at least from 1500 to 2000 feet. 
The lower beds rest conformably on some singularly coloured, soft 
strata [^W^, which I could not reach to examine; and these again 
rest conformably on a thick mass of micaceous, thinly laminated, 
siliceous sandstone |IX[], associated with a little black clay-slate. 
These lower beds are traversed by several dikes of decomposing por- 
phyry. The laminated sandstone is directly superimposed on the vast 
masses of granite |^Y Y]] which mainly compose the Portillo range. 
The line of junction between this latter rock, which is of a bright red 
colour, and the whitish sandstone was beautifully distinct ; the sand- 
stone being penetrated by numerous, great, tortuous dikes branching 
from the granite, and having been converted into a granular quartz 
rock (singularly like that of the Falkland Islands), containing specks 
of an ochery powder, and black cr3^stalline atoms, apparently of im- 
perfect mica. The quartzose strata in one spot were folded into a 
regular dome. 

The granite which composes the magnificent bare pinnacles and the 
steep western flank of the Portillo chain, is of a brick-red colour, 
coarsely crystallised, and composed of orthitic or potash feldspar, 
quartz, and imperfect mica in small quantity, sometimes passing 
into chlorite. These minerals occasionally assume a laminar or 
foliated arrangement. The fact of the feldspar being orthitic in this 
range, is very remarkable, considering how rare, or rather, as I believe, 
entirely absent, this mineral is throughout the western ranges, in 
which soda-feldspar, or at least a variety cleaving like albite, is so 
extremely abundant. In one spot on the western flank, and on the 
eastern flank near Los Manantiales and near the crest, I noticed some 
great masses of a whitish granite, parts of it fine-grained, and parts 
containing large crystals of feldspar ; I neglected to collect specimens, 
so I do not know whether this feldspar is also orthitic, though I am 
inclined to think so from its general appearance. I saw also some 
syenite and one mass which resembled andesite, but of which I hkewise 
neglected to collect specimens. From the manner in which the whitish 
granites formed separate mountain-masses in the midst of the brick - 
red variety, and from one such mass near the crest being traversed by 
numerous veins of flesh-coloured and greenish eurite (into which I 
occasionally observed the brick-red granite insensibly passing), I con- 
clude that the white granites probably belong to an older formation, 
almost overwhelmed and penetrated by the red granite. 

On the crest I saw also, at a short distance, some coloured stratified 
beds, apparently like those QW] at the western base, but was pre- 
vented examining them by a snow-storm : Mr. Caldcleugh,* however, 
collected here specimens of ribboned jasper, magnesian limestone, and 
other minerals. A little way down the eastern slope a few fragments 
of quartz and mica-slate are met with ; but the great formation of 
this latter rock []Z]], which covers up much of the eastern flank and 

* Travels, &c., vol. i. p. 308. 



base of the Portillo range, cannot be conveniently examined until much 
lower down at a place called Mai Paso. The mica-schist here con- 
sists of thick layers of quartz, with intervening folia of finely-scaly 
mica, often passing into a substance like black glossy clay-slate ' in 
one spot, the layers of quartz having disappeared, the whole mass be- 
came converted into glossy clay-slate. Where the folia were best 
defined, they were inclined at a high angle westward, that is, towards 
the range. The Hne of junction between the dark mica-slate and the 
coarse red granite, was most clearly distinguishable from a vast dis- 
tance: the granite sent many small veins into the mica-slate, and 
included some angular fragments of it. As the sandstone on the 
western base has been converted by the red granite into a granular 
quartz-rock, so this great formation of mica-schist may possibly have 
been metamorphosed at the same time and by the same means ; but 
I think it more probable, considering its more perfect metamorphic 
character and its well- pronounced foliation, that it belongs to an ante- 
rior epoch, connected with the white granites : I am the more inclined 
to this view, from having found at the foot of the range the mica- 
schist surrounding a hummock ^Y ^, exclusively composed of white 
granite. Near Los Arenales, the mountains on all sides are composed 
of the mica-slate ; and looking backwards from this point up to the 
bare gigantic peaks above, the view was eminently interesting. The 
colours of the red granite and the black mica- slate are so distinct, 
that with a bright light these rocks could be readily distinguished 
even from the Pampas, at a level of at least 9000 feet below. The 
red granite, from being divided by parallel joints, has weathered into 
sharp pinnacles, on some of which, even on some of the loftiest, little 
caps of mica-schist could be clearly seen : here and there isolated 
patches of this rock adhered to the mountain-flanks, and these often 
corresponded in height and position on the opposite sides of the im- 
mense valleys. Lower down the schist prevailed more and more, 
with only a few quite small points of granite projecting through. 
Looking at the entire eastern face of the Portillo range, the red colour 
far exceeds in area the black ; yet it was scarcely possible to doubt, 
that the granite had once been almost v^hoUy encased by the mica- 

At Los Arenales, low down on the eastern flank, the mica-slate is 
traversed by several closely adjoining, broad dikes, parallel to each 
other and to the foliation of the schist. The dikes are formed of 
three different varieties of rock, of which a pale brown feldspathic 
porphyry with grains of quartz was much the most abundant. These 
dikes with their granules of quartz, as well as the mica-schist itself, 
strikingly resemble the rocks of the Chonos Archipelago. At a 
height of about 1200 feet above the dikes, and perhaps connected 
with them, there is a range of clifi^s formed of successive lava-streams 
[[A A], between 300 and 400 feet in thickness, and in places finely 
columnar. The lava consists of dark-grayish, harsh rocks, interme- 
diate in character between trachyte and basalt, containing glassy feld- 
spar, olivine, and a little mica, and sometimes amygdaloidal with 


zeolite: the basts is either quite compact, or crennlated with air- 
yesides arranged in lamince. The streams are separated from cacli 
other by beds of fragmentary brown scoriae, firmly cemented together, 
and including a few well-ronnded pebbles of lava. From their general 
appearance, I suspect that these lava-streams flowed at an ancient 
period under the pressure of the sea, when the Atlantic covered tho 
Pampas and washed the eastern foot of the CordiUera*^ On tlie 
opposite and northern side of the valley there is another line of lava- 
cliffs at a corresponding height ; the valley between being of consider- 
able breadth, and as nearly as I could estimate 1500 feet in depth. 
This field of lava is confined on both sides by the mountains of mica- 
schist, and slopes down rapidly but irregularly to the edge of the 
Pampas, where, having a thickness of about 200 feet, it terminates 
against a little range of daystone porphyry. The valley in this lower 
part expands into a bay-like, gentle slope, bordered by the clifis of lava, 
which must certainly once have extended across this wide expanse. 
The inclination of the streams from Los Arenales to the mouth of the 
valley is so great, that at the time (though ignorant of M. EHie de 
Beaumont's researches on the extremely small slope over which lavm 
can flow, and yet retain a compact structure and considerable thick- 
ness) I concluded that they must subsequently to their flowing have 
been upheaved and tilted from the mountains : of this conclusion I 
can now entertain not the smallest doubt. 

At the mouth of the valley, within tho clifis of the above lava- 
field, there are remnants, in the form of separate small hillocks and of 
lines of low clifis, of a considerable deposit of compact white tuff 
(quarried for filtering- stones), composed of broken pumice, volcanic 
crystals, scales of mica, and fragments of lava. This mass has suf- 
fered much denudation, and the hard mica-schist has been deeply 
worn, ranee the period of its deposition ; and this period must have 
been subsequent to the denudation of the basaltic lava-streams, as 
attested by their encircling cliffs standing at a higher level. At the 
present day, under the existing arid climate, ages might roll past 
vnthout a square yard of rock of any kind being denuded, except 
perhaps in the rarely moistened drainage-cliannel of the valley. Must 
we then look back to that ancient period, when the waves of 
the sea beat against the eastern foot of the Cordillera, for a power 
sufficient to denude extensively, though superficially, this tufaceous 
deposit, soft althougfa it be ? 

There remains only to mention some little water-worn hillocks 
QB B3, a few hvndied kei in height, and mere m«>le-liills compared 
with the gigantic mfrnntzms b^ind them, which rise out of the 
sloping, Atn^e-^tftend mzrfnn of the Pampas. Tlio fir»t little ranffe 
is composed <[)€a breeeiated pnrpU p<>Tphynttc clay*t/>n^, with obscnrcdy 
marked stiaU dipping at 70^ U* the S,W,; thfi otlfr rai>ges cf/osist 

raritj rf jcltaaue actuui^ «Mft^r a^vu* ilm *»y.t w .i»f jfA v^i*»4 ^4 wat^, Om/orin- 
ablj wit& tiii rufeyitc tho. ^v^is^xit isiv • :»«»»-.% tr» jw ^**^u *■> ,•''»! »*^ti'>%r» /^n thU ^mttftn 


of — a pale-coloured feldspatbic porph)rry, — a purple clay-stone por- 
phyry with grains of quartz, — and a rock almost exclusively composed 
of brick-red crystals of feldspar. These outermost small lines of 
elevation extend in a N.W. by W. and S.E. by S. direction. 

Concluding remarks on the Portillo range, — When on the Pampas 
and looking southward, and whilst travelling northward, I could see 
for very many leagues the red granite and dark mica-schist forming 
the crest and eastern flank of the Portillo line. This great range, 
^u^ording to Dr. Gillies, can be traced with little ioterruption for 140 
miles southward to the R. Diamante, where it unites with the west- 
em ranges : northward, according to this same author, it terminates 
where the R. Mendoza debouches from the mountains; but a little 
further north in the eastern part of the Cumbre section, there are, as 
we shall hereafter see, some mountain-masses of a brick-red porphyry, 
the last injected amidst many other porphyries, and having so close 
an analogy with the coarse red granite of the Portillo line, that I am 
tempted to believe that they belong to the same axis of injection : if 
so, the Portillo line is at least 200 miles in length. Its height, even 
in the lowest gap on the road, is 14,365 feet, and some of the pinna- 
cles apparently attain an elevation of about 16,000 feet above the sea. 
The geological history of this grand chain appears to me eminently 
interesting. We may safely conclude, that at a former period the 
valley of Tenuyan existed as an arm of the sea, about twenty miles 
in width, bordered on one hand by a ridge or chain of islets of the 
black calcareous shales and purple sandstones of the Gypseous forma- 
tion ; and on the other hand, by a ridge or chain of islets composed 
of mica-slate, white granite, and perhaps to a partial extent of red 
granite. These two chains, whilst thus bordering the old sea^channel, 
must have been exposed for a vast lapse of time to alluvial and litto- 
ral action, during which the rocks were shattered, the fragments 
rounded, and the strata of conglomerate accumulated to a thickness of 
at least 1500 or 2000 feet. The red orthitic granite now forms, as we 
have seen, the main part of the Portillo chain : it is injected in dikes 
not only into the mica-schist and white granites, but into the lamina- 
ted sandstone, which it has metamorphosed, and which it has thrown 
off, together with the conformably overlying coloured beds and strati- 
fied conglomerate, at an angle of forty-five aegrees. To have thrown 
off so vast a pile of strata at this angle, is a proof that the main part 
of the red granite (whether or not portions, as perhaps is probable, 
previously existed) was injected in a liquefied state after the accumu- 
lation both of the laminated sandstone and of the conglomerate ; this 
conglomerate, we know, was accumulated, not only after the deposi- 
tion of the fossiliferous strata of the Peuquenes line, but after their 
elevation and long continued denudation : and these fossiliferous 
strata belong to the early part of the cretaceous system. Late, 
therefore, in a geological sense, as must be the age of the main part of 
the red granite, I can conceive nothing more impressive than the 
eastern view of this great range, as forcing the mind to grapple with 


the idea of the thousands of thousands of years, requisite for the denu- 
dation of the strata which originally encased it, — for that the fluidified 
granite was once encased, its mineralogical composition and structure, 
and the hold conical shape of the mountain-masses, yield sufficient 
OTidence. Of the encasing strata we see the last vestiges in the 
coloured heds on the crest, in the little caps of mica- schist on some of 
the loftiest pinnacles, and in the isolated patches of this same rock at 
corresponding heights on the now hare and steep flanks. 

The lavaHstreams at the eastern foot of the Portillo are interesting, 
not so much from the great denudation which they have suffered at a 
comparatively late period, as from the evidence they afford by their 
inclination taken conjointly with their thickness and compactness, 
that after the great range had assumed its present general outline, it 
continued to nse as an axis of elevation. The plains extending from 
the base of the Cordillera to the Atlantic, show that the continent has 
been upraised in mass to a height of 3500 feet, and probably to a much 
greater height, for the smooth shingle-covered margin of the Pampas is 
prolonged in a gentle unbroken slope far up many of the great valleys. 
Nor let it be assumed that the Peuquenes and Portillo ranges 
have undergone only movements of elevation ; for we shall hereafter 
see, that the bottom of the sea subsided several thousand feet during 
the deposition of strata, occupying the same relative place in the 
Cordillera, with those of the Peuquenes ridge ; moreover, we shall see 
from the unequivocal evidence of buried upright trees, that at a 
somewhat later period, during the formation of the Uspallata chain, 
which corresponds geographically with that of the Portillo, there was 
another subsidence of many thousand feet : here, indeed, in the valley 
of Tenuyan, the accumulation of the coarse stratified conglomerate to 
a thickness of 1500 or 2000 feet, offers strong presumptive evidence 
of subsidence ; for all existing analogies lead to the belief that large 
pebbles can be transported only in shallow water, liable to be affected 
by currents and movements of undulation, — and if so, the shallow bed 
of the sea on which the pebbles were first deposited must necessarily 
have sunk to allow of the accumulation of the superincumbent strata. 
What a history of changes of level, and of wear and tear, all since the 
age of the later secondary formations of Europe, does the structure of 
this one great mountain-chain reveal ! 

Pa»9age of the Andes by the Cumhre or Uspallata Pass. 

This Pass crosses the Andes about sixty miles north of that just 
described : the section given in Plate I, £g. 2, is on the same scale as 
before, namely, at one-third of an inch to a mile in distance, and one 
inch to a mile (or 6000 feet) in height. Like the last section, it is a 
mere sketch, and cannot pretend to accuracy, though made under 
favourable circumstances. We will commence, as before, with the 
western half, of which the main range bears the name of the CJumbre 
(that is the Ridge), and corresponds to the Peuquenes line in the for- 
mer section ; as does the Uspallata range, though on a much smaller 


scale, to that of the Portillo. Near the point where the river Acon- 
cagua debouches on the basin-plain of the same name, at a height of 
about 2300 feet above tfieT sea^ we meet with the usual purple and. 
greenish porphyritic clay-stone conglomerate. Beds of this nature 
alternating vnth numerous compact and amygdaloidal porph3nries, 
which have flowed as submarine lavas, and associated with great 
mountain- masses of various, injected, non-stratified porph3rries, are 
prolonged the whole distance up to the Cumbre or centod ridge. One 
of the commonest stratified porphyries is of a green colour, highly 
amygdaloidal with the various minerab described in the preliminary 
discussion, and including fine tabular crystals of albite. The moun- 
tains range north (often with a little westing) and south. The strati- 
fication, wherever I could clearly distinguish it, was inclined westward 
or towards the Pacific, and, except near the Cumbre, seldom at angles 
above 25°. Only at one spot on this western side, on a lofty pinnacle 
not far from the Cumbre, I saw strata apparently belonging to the 
Gypseous formation, and conformably capping a pile of stratified 
porphyries. Hence, both in composition and in stratification, the 
structure of the mountains on this western side of the divortium 
aqitarum^ is far. more simple than in the corresponding part of the 
Peuquenes section. In the porphyritic clay-stone conglomerate, the 
mechanical structure and the planes of stratification have gene- 
rally been much obscured and even quite obliterated towards the 
base of the series, whilst in the upper parts, near the summits of the 
mountains, both are distinctly displayed. In these upper portions the 
porphyries are generally lighter coloured. In three places [X, Y, Z] 
masses of andesite are exposed: at [Y], this rock contained some 
quartz, but the greater part consisted of andesitic porphyry, with only 
a few well developed crystals of albite, and forming a great white mass, 
having the external aspect of granite, capped by much dark unstrati- 
fied porphyry. In many parts of the mountains, there are dikes of a 
green colour, and other white ones, which latter probably spring from 
underlying masses of andesite. 

The Cumbre, where the road crosses it, is, according to Mr. Pent- 
land, 12,454 feet above the sea; and the neighbouring peaks, com- 
posed of dark purple and whitish porphyries, some obscurely stratified 
with a westerly dip, and others without a trace of stratification, must 
exceed 13,000 feet in height. Descending the eastern slope of the 
Cumbre, the structure becomes very complicated, and generally differs 
on the two sides of the east and west line of road and section. First 
we come to a great mass [A] of nearly vertical, singularly contorted 
strata, composed of highly compact red sandstones, and of often 
calcareous conglomerates, and penetrated by green, yellow, and red- 
dish dikes ; — but I shall presently have an opportunity of describing in 
some detail an analogous pile of strata. These vertical beds are 
abruptly succeeded by others ^B], of apparently nearly the same 
nature but more metamorphosed, alternating with porphyries and 
limestones ; these dip for a short space westward, but there has been 
liere an extraordinary dislocation, which, on the north side of the 


road, appears to have determined the excavation of the north and 
south vailey of the R. de las Cuevas. On this northern side of the 
road, the strata [W\ are prolonged till they come in close contact with 
a jagged lofty mountain [|D] of dark-coloured, unstratified, intrusive 
porphyry, where the beds have been more highly inclined and still 
more metamorphosed. This mountain of porphyry seems to form a 
short axis of elevation, for south of the road in its line, there is a hill 
[]C] of porphyritic conglomerate with absolutely vertical strata. 

We now come to the Gypseous formation : I will first describe the 
structure of the several mountains, and then give in one section a 
detailed account of the nature of the rocks. On the north side of the 
road, which here runs in an east and west valley, the mountain of 
porphyry [|D] is succeeded by a hill QE] formed of the upper gyp- 
seous strata tilted, at an angle of between 70° and 80° to the west, by 
an uniclinal axis of elevation which does not run parallel to the other 
neighbouring ranges, and which is of short length ; for on the south 
side of the valley its prolongation is marked only by a small flexure 
in a pile of strata inclined by a quite separate axis. A little further 
on, the north and south valley of Horconcs enters at right angles our 
line of section; its western side is bounded by a hill of gypseous 
strata [F], dipping westward at about 4>5°, and its eastern side by a 
mountain of simiL&r strata [G] inclined westward at 70°, and super- 
imposed by an oblique fault on another mass of the same strata [H], 
also inclined westward, but at an angle of only about 30° : the com- 
plicated relation of these three masses QF, G, H] is explained by the 
structure of a great mountain-range lying some way to the north, in 
which a regular anticlinal axis (represented in the section by dotted 
lines) is seen, with the strata on its eastern side again bending up and 
forming a distinct uniclinal axis, of which the beds marked [|H] form 
the lower part. This great uniclinal line is intersected, near the 
Puente del Inca, by the valley along which the road runs, and the 
strata composing it will be immediately described. On the south 
side of the road, in the space corresponding with the mountains 
[E, F and G], the strata everywhere dip westward generally at an 
angle of 30°, occasionally mounting up to 45°, but not in an unbroken 
line, for there are several vertical faults, forming separate uniclinal 
masses, all dipping in the same direction, — a form of elevation com- 
mon in the Cordillera. We thus see that within a narrow space, the 
gypseous strata have been upheaved and crushed together by a 
great uniclinal, anticlinal, and one lesser uniclinal line [E] of eleva- 
tion ; and that between these three lines and the Cumbre, in the 
sandstones, conglomerates and porphyritic formation, there have been 
at least two or three other great elevatory axes. 

The uniclinal axis [I] intersected near the Puente del Inca* (of 

* At this place, there are some hot and cold springs, the warmest haying a 
temperature, according to Lieut. Brand (Travels, p. 240), of 91° ; they emit 
mucn gas. According to Mr. Brande, of the Royal Institution, ten cubical inches 
contain forty-five grains of solid matter, consisting chiefly of salt, gypsum, car- 
bonate of lime, and oxide of iron. The water is charged with carbonic acid 


which the strata at [H] form a part) ranges N. by W. and S. by E., 
forming a chain of mountains, apparently little inferior in height to 
the Cambre : the strata, as we have seen, dip at an average angle of 
30° to the west. The flanks of the mountains are here quite bare and 
steep, affording an excellent section ; so that I was able to inspect the 
strata to a thickness of about 4000 feet, and could clearly distinguish 
their general nature for 1000 feet higher, making a total thickness of 
5000 feet, to which must be added about 1000 feet of the inferior 
strata seen a little lower down the valley. I will describe this one 
section in detail, beginning at the bottom. 

1st, The lowest mass is the altered clay-slate described in the pre- 
liminary discussion, and which in this line of section was here first 
met with. Lower down the valley, at the R. de las Yacas, I had a 
better opportunity of examining it ; it is there in some parts well 
characterised, having a distinct, nearly vertical, tortuous cleavage, 
ranging N.W. and S.E., and intersected by quartz veins : in 
most parts, however, it is crystalline and feldspathic, and passes 
into a true greenstone often including grains of quartz. The clay- 
slate, in its upper half, is frequently brecciated, the embedded 
angular fragments being of nearly the same nature with the paste. 

2nd, Several strata of purplish porphyritic conglomerate, of no very 
great thickness, rest conformably upon the feldspathic slate. A thick 
bed of fine, purple, claystono porphyry, obscurely brecciated (but not 
of metamorphosed sedimentary origin), and capped by porphyritic 
conglomerate, was the lowest bed actually examined in this section at 
the Puente del Inca. 

3rd, A stratum, eighty feet thick, of hard and very compact im- 
pure whitish limestone, weathering bright red, with included layers 
brecciated and re-cemented. Obscure marks of shell are distinguish- 
able in it., A red, quartzose, fine-grained conglomerate, with grains of 
quartz, and with patches of white earthy feldspar, apparently due to 
some process of concretionary-crystalline action : this bed is more 
compact and metamorphosed than any of the overlying conglomerates. 

5th, A whitish cherty limestone, with nodules of blueish argilla- 
ceous limestone. 

6th, A white conglomerate, with many particles of quartz almost 
blending into the paste. 

7th, Highly siliceous, fine-grained white sandstone. 8th and 9th, 
Red and white beds not examined. 

lOtb, Yellow, fine-grained, thinly stratified, magnesian (judging 
from its slow dissolution in acids) limestone : it includes some white 
quartz pebbles, and little cavities, lined with calcareous spar, some 
retaining the form of shells. 

11th, A bed, between twenty and thirty feet thick, quite conform- 
able with the underlying ones, composed of a hard basis, tinged lilac- 

and sulphuretted hydrogen. These springs deposit much tufa in the form of 
spherical balls. Thej burst forth, as do those of Cauquenes, and probably those 
of Villa Vicencio, on a line of elevation. 


g^^y* porphyritic with numerous crystals of whitish feldspar, with 
black mica and little spots of soft ferruginous matter : evidently a 
submarine lava. 

1 2th, Yellow magnesian limestone, as before, part-stained purple. 

Idth, A most singular rock ; basis purplish gray, obscurely crys- 
talline, easily fusible into a dark green glass, not hard, thickly speckled 
with crystals more or less perfect of white carbonate of lime, of 
red hydrous oxide of iron, of a white and transparent mineral like 
analcime, and of a green opaque mineral like soap-stone ; the basis is 
moreover amygdaloidal ynth many spherical balls of white crystallised 
carbonate of hme, of which some are coated with the red oxide of 
iron. I have no doubt, from the examination of a superincumbent 
stratum (19), that this is a submarine lava; though in Northern 
Chile, some of the metamorphosed sedimentary beds are almost as 
crystalline, and of as varied composition. 

1 4th, Red sandstone, passing in the upper part into a coarse, liard, 
red conglomerate, 300 feet thick, having a calcareous cement, and in- 
cluding grains of quartz and broken crystals of feldspar ; basis infu- 
sible ; the pebbles consist of dull purplish porphyries, with some of 
quartz, from the size of a nut to a man s head. This is the coarsest 
conglomerate in this part of the Cordillera : in the middle there was a 
white layer not examined. 

15th, Grand thick bed, of a' very hard, yellowish- white rock, with a 
crystalline feldspathic base, including large crystals of white feldspar, 
many little cavities mostly full of soft ferruginous matter, and nume- 
rous hexagonal plates of black mica. The upper part of this great 
bed is slightly cellular ; the lower part compact : the thickness varied 
a little in different parts. Manifestly a submarine lava ; and is allied 
to bed 11. 

1 6tlf and J 7th, Dull purplish, calcareous, fine-grained, compact 
sandstones, which pass into coarse white conglomerates with numerous 
particles of quartz. 

18th, Several alternations of red conglomerate, purplish sandstone, 
and submarine lava, like that singular rock forming bed 13. 

19th, A very heavy, compact, greenish-black stone, with a fine- 
grained obviously crystalline basis, containing a few specks of white 
calcareous spar, many specks of the crystallised hydrous red oxide of 
iron, and some specks of a green mineral ; there are veins and nests 
filled with epidote : certainly a submarine lava. 

20th, Many thin strata of compact, fine-grained, pale purple sand- 

21st, Gypsum in a nearly pure state, about 300 feet in thickness : 
this bed, in its concretions of anhydrite and layers of small blackish 
crystals of carbonate of lime, exactly resembles the great gypseous 
beds in the Peuquenes range. 

22nd, Pale purple and reddish sandstone, as in bed 20 : about 300 
feet in thickness. 

23rd, A thick mass composed of layers, often as thin as paper and 


convoluted, of pure gypsum with others very impure, of a purplish 

24th, Pure gypsum, thick mass. 

25th, Red sandstones, of great thickness. 

26th, Pure gypsum, of great tliickness. 

27th, Alternating layers of pure and impure gypsum, of great 

I was not able to ascend to these few last great strata, which com- 
pose the neighbouring loftiest pinnacles. The thickness, from the 
lowest to the uppermost bed of gypsum, cannot be less than 2000 
feet : the beds beneath I estimated at 3000 feet, and this does not 
include either the lower parts of the porphyritic conglomerate, or the 
altered clay-slate ; I conceive the total thickness must be about 6000 
feet. I distinctly observed that not only the gypsum, but the alter- 
nating sandstones and conglomerates were lens-shaped, and repeatedly 
thinned out and replaced each other : thus in the distance of about a 
mile, a bed 300 feet thick of sandstone between two beds of gypsum, 
thinned out to nothing, and disappeared. The lower part of this 
section differs remarkably, — in the much greater diversity of its 
mineralogical composition, — in the abundance of calcareous matter, — 
in the greater coarseness of some of the conglomerates, — and in the 
numerous particles and well rounded pebbles, sometimes of large size, 
of quartz, — from any other section hitherto described in Chile. From 
these peculiarities, and from the lens-form of the strata, it is probable 
that this great pile of strata was accumulated on a shallow and very 
uneven bottom, near some pre-existing land formed of various por- 
phyries and quartz-rock. The formation of porphyritic claystone con- 
glomerate does not in this section attain nearly its ordinary thickness ; 
this may be partly attributed to the metamorphic action having been 
here much less energetic than usual, though the lower beds have been 
affected to a certain degree. If it had been as energetic as in most 
other parts of Chile, many of the beds of sandstone and con- 
glomerate, containing rounded masses of porphyry, would doubtless 
have been converted into porphyritic conglomerate ; and these would 
have alternated with, and even blended into, crystalline and porphy- 
ritic strata without a trace of mechanical structure, — namely, into 
those which, in the present state of the section, we see are unques- 
tionably submarine lavas. 

The beds of gypsum, together with the red alternating sandstones 
and conglomerates, present so perfect and curious a resemblance with 
those seen in our former section in the basin-valley of Yeso, that I 
cannot doubt the identity of the two formations : I may add that a 
little westward of the P. del Inca, a mass of gypsum passed into a 
fine-grained, hard, browm sandstone, which contained some layers of 
black, calcareous, compact, shaly rock, precisely like that seen in such 
vast masses on the Peuquenes range. 

Near the Puente del Inca, numerous fragments of limestone, con- 
taining some fossil remains, were scattered on the ground : these 


fragments so perfectly resemble the limestone of bed No. 3, in vrliich 
I saw impressions of shells, that I have no doubt they have fJEdlen 
from it. The yellow magnesian limestone of bed No. ] 0, which also 
includes traces of shells, has a different appearance. These fossils 
(as named by M. d'Orbigny) consist of — • 

Grjphsa, near to G. Couloni (Neocomian formation). 

Area, perhaps A. Gabrielis, d'Orbig. Pal. Franc. (Neocomian formation). 

Mr. Pentland made a collection of shells from this same spot, and 
Von Buch* considers them as consisting of-^ 

Trigonia, resembling in form T, costata. 

Pholadomya, like one foand bj M. Dufresnoy near Alen9on. 

Iflocardia ezcentrioa, Voltz., identical with that from the Jura. 

Two of these shells, namely, the Gryphsea and Trigonia, appear 
to be identical with species collected by Meyen and myself on the 
Peuquenes range ; and in the opinion of Von Buch and M. d'Orbigny, 
the two formations belong to the same age. I must here add, that 
Professor E. Forbes, who has examined my specimens from this place 
and from the Peuquenes range, has likewise a strong impression that 
they indicate the cretaceous period, and probably an early epoch in 
it : so that all the palaeontologists who have seen these fossils nearly 
coincide in opinion regarding their age. The limestone, however, 
with these fossils here lies at the very base of the formation, just 
above the porphyritic conglomerate, and certainly several thousand 
feet lower in the series, than the equivalent, fossiliferous, black, shaly 
rocks high up on the Peuquenes range. 

It is well worthy of remark that these shells, or at least those of 
which I saw impressions in the limestone (bed No. 3), must have 
been covered up, on the least computation, by 4,000 feet of strata : 
now we Ttnow from Professor E. Forbes's researches, that the sea at 

freater depths than 600 feet becomes exceedingly barren of organic 
eings, — a result quite in accordance with what little I have seen of 
deep-sea soundings. Hence, after this limestone with its shells was 
deposited, the bottom of the sea where the main line of the Cordillera 
now stands, must have subsided some thousand feet to allow of the 
deposition of the superincumbent submarine strata. Without sup- 
posing a movement of this kind, it would, moreover, be impossible to 
understand the accumulation of the severed lower strata of coarse^ well- 
rounded conglomerates, which it is scarcely possible to believe were 
spread out in profoundly deep water, and which, especially those 
containing pebbles of quartz, could hardly have been rounded in sub- 
marine craters and afterwards ejected from them, as I believe to have 
been the case with much of the porphyritic conglomerate formation. 
I may add that in Professor Forbes's opinion, the above enumerated 
species of moUusca probably did not live at a much greater depth 
than twenty fathoms, that is only 120 feet. 

* Descript. Phys. des lies Can. p. 472, 



To return to our section down the valley : standing on the great 
N. by W, and S. by E. uniclinal axis of the Puente del Inca, of 
which a section has just been given, and looking north-east, great 
tabular masses of the gvpseous formation [K K] could be seen in the 
distance, very slightly inclined towards the east. Lower down the 
valley, the mountains are almost exclusively composed of porphyries, 
many of them of intrusive origin and non-stratified, others stratified, 
but with the stratification seldom distinguishable except in the upper 
parts. Disregarding local disturbances, the beds are either horizontal 
or inclined at a small angle eastwards : hence, when standing on the 
plain of Uspallata and looking to the west or backwards, the Cor- 
dillera appear composed of huge, square, nearly horizontal, tabular 
masses : so wide a space, with such lofty mountains so equably ele- 
vated, is rarely met with within the Cordillera. In this line of sec- 
tion, the interval between the Puente del Inca and the neighbour- 
hood of the Cumbre, includes all the chief axes of dislocation. 

The altered clayslate formation, already described, is seen in several 
parts of the valley as far down as Las Vacas, underlying the por- 
phyritic conglomerate. At the Casa de Pujios QL], there is a hum- 
mock of (andesitic ?) granite ; and the stratification of the surround- 
ing mountains here changes from W. by S. to S.W. Ag^in^ i^ear the 
R. Yacas there is a larger formation of (andesitic ?) granite [M]], 
which sends a mesh-work of veins into the superincumbent clay- 
slate, and which locally throws off the strata, on one side to N.W. 
and on the other to S.E. but not at a high angle : at the junction, the 
clayslate is altered into fine-grained greenstone. This granitic axis 
is intersected by a green dike, which I mention, because I do not 
remember having elsewhere seen dikes in this lowest and latest 
intrusive rock. From the R. Yacas to the plain of Uspallata, the 
valley runs N.E., so that I have had to contract my section ; it runs 
exclusively through porphyritic rocks. As far as the Pass of Jaula, 
the claystone conglomerate formation, in most parts highly por- 
phyritic, and crossed by numerous dikes of greenstone-porphyry, 
attains a great thickness : there is also much intrusive porphyry. 
From the Jaula to the plain, the stratification has been in most 
places obliterated, except near the tops of some of the mountains ; 
and the metamorphic action has been extremely great. In this space, 
the number and bulk of the intrusive masses of differently coloured 
porphyries, injected one into another and intersected by dikes, is 
truly^ extraordinary. I saw one mountain of whitish porphyry, 
from which two huge dikes, thinning out, branched dotcntcarda into 
an adjoining blackish porphyry. Another hill of white porphyry, 
which had burst through dark coloured strata, was itself injected by 
a purple, brecciated, and recemented porphyry, both being crossed by 
a green dike, and both having been upheaved and injected by a 
granitic dome. One brick-red porphyry, which above the Jaula 
forms an isolated mass in the midst of the porphyritic conglomerate 
formation, and lower down the valley a magnificent group of peaked 
mountains, differs remarkably from all the other porphyries. It 


consists of a red feldspathic base, including some rather large crystals of 
red feldspar, numerous large angular grains of quartz, and little bits 
of a soffc green mineral answering in most of its characters to soap- 
stone. The crystals of red feldspar resemble in external appearance 
those of orthite, though, from being partially decomposed, I was 
unable to measure them; and they certainly are quite unlike the 
variety, so abundantly met with in almost all the other rocks of this 
line of section, and which, wherever I tried it, cleaved like albite. 
This brick-red porphyry appears to have burst through all the other 
porphyries, and numerous red dikes traversing the neighbouring 
mountains have proceeded from it : in some few places, however, it 
was intersected by white dikes. From this posteriority of intrusive 
origin, — from the close general resemblance between this red por- 
phyry and the red granite of the Portillo line, the only difference 
being that the feldspar here is less perfectly granular, and that 
soapstone replaces the mica, which is there imperfect and passes into 
chlorite, — and from the Portillo line a little southward of this point 
appearing to blend (according to Dr. Gillies) into the western ranges, 
— I am strongly urged to believe (as formerly remarked) that the 
grand mountam-masses composed of this brick-red porphyry belong 
to the same axis of injection with the granite of the PortUlo line : 
if so, the injection of this porphyry probably took place, as long sub- 
sequently to the several axes of elevation in the gypseous formation 
near the Cumbre, as the injection of the Portillo granite has been 
shown to have been subsequent to the elevation of the gypseous 
strata composing the Peuquenes range; and this interval, we have 
seen, must have been a very long one. 

The Plain of Uspallata has been briefly described in Chap. III. ; it 
resembles the basin-plains of Chile; it is ten or fifteen miles wide, 
and is said to extend for 180 miles northward ; its surface is nearly 
6000 feet above the sea ; it is composed, to a thickness of some hun- 
dred feet, of loosely aggregated, stratified shingle, which is prolonged 
with a gently sloping surface up the valleys in the mountains on 
both sides. One section in this plain QZ^ is interesting, from the 
unusual* circumstance of alternating layers of almost loose red and 
white sand with lines of pebbles (from tlie size of a nut to that of an 
apple), and beds of gravel, being inclined at an angle of 45^, and in 
some spots even at a higher angle. These beds are dislocated by 
small faults ; and are capped by a thick mass of horizontally stratified 
gravel, evidently of subaqueous origin. Having been accustomed to 
observe the irregularities of beds accumulated under currents, I feel 
sure that the inclination here has not been thus produced. The 
pebbles consist chiefly of the brick-red porphyry just described and 
of white granite, both probably derived from the ranges to the west, 
and of altered clayslate and of certain porphyries, apparently be- 

* I find that Mr. Smith, of Jordanhill, has described (Edinburgh New Phil. 
Journ. vol. xxr. p. 392) beds of sand and gravel, near Edinburgh, tilted at an 
angle of 6(f, and dislocated by miniature faults. 

o 2 


longiDg to the rocks of the Uspallata chain. This plain corresponds 
geographically ynih the valley of Tenuyan between the Portillo and 
Feuquenes ranges ; but in that valley the shingle, which likewise has 
been derived both from the eastern and western ranges, has been 
cemented into a hard conglomerate, and has been throughout tilted at 
a considerable inclination : the gravel there apparently attains a much 
greater thickness, and is probably of higher antiquity. 

The Uspallata Range, ---»ThQ road by the Villa Vicencio Pass 
does not strike directly across the range, but runs for some leagues 
northward along its western base ; and I must briefly describe the 
Tocks here seen, before continuing with the coloured east and west 
section. At the mouth of the valley of Ca5ota, and at several points 
northwards, there is an extensive formation of a glossy and harsh, 
and of a feldspathic clayslate, including strata of grauwacke, and 
having a tortuous, nearly vertical cleavage, traversed by numerous 
metalliferous veins and others of quartz. The clayslate is in many 
parts capped by a thick mass of fragments of the same rock, 
firmly recemented ; and both together have been injected and 
broken up by very numerous hillocks, ranging north and south, 
of lilac, white, dark and salmon-coloured porphyries : one steep, now 
denuded, hillock of porphyry had its face as distinctly impressed with 
the angles of a fragmentary mass of the slate, with some of the 
points still remaining embedded, as sealing-wax could be by a seal. 
At the mouth of this same valley of Cahota, in a fine escarpment 
having the strata dipping from 50° to 60° to the N.E.,* the clay- 
slate formation is seen to be covered by (Ist), a purple claystone 
porphyry resting unconformably in some parts on the solid slate, 
and in others on a thick fragmentary mass : (2d), a conformable 
stratum of compact blackish rock, having a spheroidal structure, full 
of minute acicular crystals of glassy feldspar, with red spots of oxide 
of iron : (3d), a great stratum of purplish-red claystone porphyry, 
abounding with crystals of opaque feldspar, and laminated with 
thin, parallel, often short, layers, and likewise with great irregular 
patches of white, earthy, semi-crystalline feldspar ; this rock (which 
I noticed in other neighbouring places) perfectly resembles a curious 
variety described at Port Desire, and occasionally occurs in the 
great porphyritic conglomerate formation of Chile: (4th), a thin 
stratum of greenish-white, indurated tufi^, fusible, and containing 
broken crystals and particles of porphyries: (5 th), a grands mass, 
imperfectly columnar and divided into three parallel and closely joined 
strata, of cream-coloured claystone porphyry: (6th), a thick 
stratum of lilac'coloured porphyry, which I could see was cappe^i 
by another bed of the cream-coloured variety : I was unable to ex- 

* Nearly opposite to this escarpment, there is another corresponding one, with 
the strata dipping not to the ezactlj opposite point, orS.W., but to S.S.W. : con- 
sequentlj the two escarpments trend towards each other, and some miles south- 
ward they become actually united: this is a form of elevation which I have not 
elsewhere seen. 


amine the still higher parts of the escarpment. These conformably 
stratified porphyries, though none are either vesicular or amygdaloidal^ 
have evidently flowed as submarine lavas : some of them are separated 
from each other by seams of indurated tuff, which, however, are 
quite insignificant in thickness compared with the porphyries. This 
whole pile resembles, but not very closely, some of the less brecciated 
parts of the great porphyritic conglomerate formation of Chile ; but 
it does not probably belong to the same age, as the porphyries here 
rest unconformably on the altered feldspathic clayslate, whereas the 
porphyritic conglomerate formation alternates with and rests con- 
formably on it. These porphyries, moreover, with the exception of 
the one blackish stratum, and of the one indurated, white tufaceous 
bed, differ from the beds composing the Uspallata range in the line 
of the Villa Vicencio Pass. 

I will now give, first, a sketch of the structure of the range, as 
represented in the coloured section, and will then describe its compo- 
sition and interesting history. At its western foot, a hillock QNJ is 
seen to rise out of the plain, with its strata dipping at 70° to the 
west, fronted by strata [OJ inclined at 45° to the east, thus forming 
a little north and south anticlinal axis. Some other little hillocks of 
similar composition, with their strata highly inclined, range N.E. 
and S.W., obliquely to the main Uspallata line. The cause of these 
dislocations, which, though on a small scale, have been violent and 
complicated, is seen to lie in hummocks of lilac, purple, and red por- 
phyries, which have been injected in a liquefied state through and 
into the underlying clayslate formation. Several dikes were exposed 
here, but in no other part, that I saw, of this range. As the 
strata consist of black, white, greenish, and brown coloured rocks, 
and as the intrusive porphyries are so brightly tinted, a most extra- 
ordinary view was presented, like a coloured geological drawing. On 
the gently inclined main western slope QPPj, above the little anti- 
clinal ridges just mentioned, the strata dip at an average angle of 25^ 
to the west; the inclination in some places being only 10°, in some 
few others as much as 45°. The masses having these different incli- 
nations, are separated from each other by parallel vertical faults [as 
represented at Pa], often giving rise to separate, parallel, uniclinal 
ridges* The summit of the main range is broad and undulatory, 
with the stratification undulatory and irregular: in a few places 
granitic and porphyritic masses [Q] protrude, which, from the small 
effect they have locally produced in deranging the strata, probably 
form the upper points of a regular, great, underlying dome. These 
denuded granitic points, I estimated at about 9000 feet in height 
above the sea. On the eastern slope, the strata in the upper part 
are regularly inclined at about 25° to the east, so that the summit of 
this chain, neglecting small irregularities, forms a broad anticlinal 
axis. Lower down, however, near Los Homillos [R], there is a well- 
marked synclinal axis, beyond which the strata are inclined at nearly 
the same angle, namely from 20° to dO<>, inwards or westward. Owing 


to the amount of denudation which this chain has suffered, the ont* 
line of the gently inclined eastern flank scarcely offers the slightest 
indication of this synclinal axis. The stratified heds, which we have 
hitherto followed across the range, a little further down are seen to 
lie, I helieve unconfonnahly, on a hroad mountainous hand of clay- 
slate and grauwacke. The strata and laminee of this latter formation, 
on the extreme eastern flank, are generally nearly vertical ; further in- 
wards they hecome inclined from 45** to 80° to the west : near Villa 
Vicencio [S] there is apparently an anticlinal axis, but the structure 
of this outer part of the clayslate formation is so obscure, that I 
have not marked the planes of stratification in the coloured section. 
On the margin of the Pampas, some low, much dislocated spurs of 
this same formation, project in a north-easterly line, in the same 
oblique manner as do the 4idges on the western foot, and as is so fre- 
quently the case with those at the base of the main Cordillera. 

I will now describe the nature of the beds, beginning at the base 
on the eastern side. First, for the clayslate formation : the slate is 
generally hard and bluish, with the laminee coated by minute mica- 
ceous scales ; it alternates many times with a coarse-grained, greenish 
grauwacke, containing rounded fragments of quartz and bits of slate 
m a slightly calcareous basis. The slate in the upper part generally 
becomes purplish, and the cleavage so irregular that the whole con- 
sists of mere splinters. Transverse veins of quartz are numerous* 
At the Calera, some leagues distant, there is a dark crystalline lime- 
stone, apparently included in this formation. With the exception of 
the grauwacke being here more abundant, and the clayslate less 
altered, this formation closely resembles that unconformably under- 
l3dng the porphyries at the western foot of this same range ; and 
likewise that alternating with the porphyritic conglomerate in the 
main Cordillera. This formation is a considerable one, and extends 
several leagues southward to near Mendoza : the mountains com- 
posed of it rise to a height of about 2000 feet above the edge of the 
Pampas, or about 7000 feet above the sea.* 

Secondly : the most usual bed on the clayslate is a coarse, white, 
slightly calcareous conglomerate, of no great thickness, including 
broken crystals of feldspar, grains of quartz, and numerous pebbles 
of brecciated claystone-porphyry, but without any pebbles of the 
underlying clayslate. I nowhere saw the actual junction between 
this bed and the clayslate, though I spent a whole day in endea- 
vouring to discover their relations. In some places I distinctly saw 
the white conglomerate and overlying beds inclined at from 25^ to 30^ 
to the west, and at the bottom of the same mountain, the clayslate 
and grauwacke inclined to the same point, but at an angle from 70° 
to 80° : in one instance, the clayslate dipped not only at a different 
angle, but to a different point from the overlying formation. In 
these cases the two formations certainly appeared quite iinconform- 
able : moreover, I found in the clayslate one great, vertical, dike* 

* I infer this from the height of V. Vicencio, which was ascertained by Mr* 
Miers to he 5328 feet above the sea. 


like fissure, filled np vfith an indurated whitish tuff, quite similar 
to some of the upper beds presently to be described ; and this shows 
that the clayslate must have been consolidated and dislocated before 
their deposition. On the other hand, the stratification of the slate 
and grauwacke,* in some cases gradually and entirely disappeared in 
approaching the overlying white conglomerate; in other cases the 
stratification of the two formations became strictly conformable ; 
and again in other cases, there was some tolerably well characterized 
clayslate lying above the conglomerate. The most probable conclu- 
sion appears to be, that after the clayslate formation had been dislo- 
cated and tilted, but whilst under the sea, a fresh and more recent 
deposition of clayslate took place, on which the white conglomerate 
was conformably deposited, with here and there a thin intercalated 
bed of clayslate. On this view the white conglomerates and the 
presently to be described tuffs and lavas are really unconformable to 
the main part of the clayslate ; and this, as we have seen, certainly 
is the case with the claystone lavas in the valley of CaSiota, at the 
Western and opposite base of the range. 

Thirdly : on the white conglomerate, strata several hundred feet in 
thickness are superimposed, varying much in nature in short dis- 
tances: the commonest variety is a white, much indurated tuff, 
sometimes slightly calcareous, with ferruginous spots and water-lines, 
often passing into whitish or purplish compact, fine-grained grit or 
sandstones; other varieties become semi-porcellanic, and tinted faint 
green or blue ; others pass into an indurated shale : most of these 
varieties are easily fusible. 

Fourthly: a bed, about 100 feet thick, of a compact, partially 
columnar, pale-grey, feldspathic lava, stained with iron, including 
very numerous crystals of opaque feldspar, and with some crystallized 
and disseminated calcareous matter. The tufaceous stratum on which 
this feldspathic lava rests is much hardened, stained purple, and 
has a spherico-concretionary structure ; it here contains a good many 
pebbles of claystone- porphyry. 

Fifthly : thin beds, 400 feet in thickness, varying much in nature, 
consisting of white and ferruginous tufi^, in some parts having a con- 
cretionary structure, in others containing rounded grains and a few 
pebbles of quartz ; also passing into hard gritstones and into greenish 
mudstones : there is, also, much of a bluish-grey and green semi- 
porcellanic stone. 

Sixthly : a volcanic stratum, 250 feet in thickness, of so varying a 
nature that I do not believe a score of specimens would show all the 
varieties; much is highly amygdaloidal, much compact; there are 

* The coarse, mechanical structure of many grauwackes has always appeared to 
me a difficulty; for the texture of the associated clayslate, and the nature of the 
embedded organic remains where present, indicate that the whole has been a deep- 
water deposit. Whence hare the sometimes included angular fragments of clay- 
slate, and the rounded masses of quartz and other rocks, been derived? Many 
deep-water limestones, it is well known, have been brecciated, and then firmly re- 


greenish y blackish, purplish, and grey varieties, rarely including crys" 
tals of green augite and minute acicular ones of feldspar, but often 
crystals and amygdaloidal masses of white, red, and black carbonate 
of lime. Some of the blackish varieties of this rock have a conchoidal 
fracture and resemble basalt ; others have an irregular fracture. Some 
of the grey and purplish varieties are thickly speckled with green 
earth and with white crystalline carbonate of lime ; others are largely 
amygdaloidal with green earth and calcareous spar. Again, other 
earthy varieties, of greenish, purplish and grey tints, contain much 
iron, and are almost half composed of amygdaloidal balls of dark 
brown bole, of a whitish indurated feldspathic matter, of bright green 
earth, of agate, and of black and white crystallized carbonate of lime. 
All these varieties are easily fusible. Viewed from a distance, the 
line of junction with the underlying semi-porcellanic strata was dis- 
tinct; but when examined closely, it was impossible to point out 
within a foot where the lava ended and where the sedimentary mass 
began : the rock at the time of junction was in most places hard, of a 
bright green colour, and abounded with irregular amygdaloidal masses 
of ferruginous and pure calcareous spar, and of agate. 

Seventhly: strata, eighty feet in thickness, of various indurated 
tuffs, as before; many of the varieties have a fine basis including 
rather coarse extraneous particles; some of them are compact and 
semi-porcellanic, and include vegetable impressions. 

Eighthly : a bed, about fifty feet thick, of greenish -grey, compact, 
feldspathic lava, with numerous small crystals of opaque feldspar, 
black augite, and oxide of iron. The junction with the bed on 
which it rested, was ill defined ; balls and masses of the feldspathic 
rock being enclosed in much altered tuff. 

Ninthly : indurated tuffs, as before. 

Tenthly : a conformable layer, less than two feet in thickness, of 
pitchstone, generally brecciated, and traversed by veins of agate and of 
carbonate of lime: parts are composed of apparently concretionary 
fragments of a more perfect variety, arranged in horizontal lines in a 
less perfectly characterized variety. I have much difficulty in believ- 
ing that this thin layer of pitchstone flowed as lava. 

Eleventhly : sedimentary and tufaceous beds as before, passing into 
sandstone, including some conglomerate : the pebbles in the latter are 
of claystone-porphyry, well rounded, and some as large as cricket- 

Twelfthly : a bed of compact, sonorous, feldspathic lava, like that 
of bed No. 8, divided by numerous joints into large angular blocks. 

Thirteenthly : sedimentary beds, as before. Fourteenthly : a thick 
bed of greenish or greyish black, compact basalt, (fusing into a black 
enamel) with small crystals, occasionally distinguishable, of feldspar 
and augite : the junction with the underlying sedimentary bed, diffe- 
rently from that in most of the foregoing streams, here was quite 
distinct; — the lava and tufaceous matter preserving their perfect 
characters within two inches of each other. This rock closely resem- 

CfiAF. vn.]] SUBMARINE LATAS. 201 

bles certain parts of tbat yaried and singular lava-stream No. 6 ; it 
likewise resembles, as we shall immediately see, many of the ^eat 
npper beds on the western flank and on the summit of this range. 

The pile of strata here described attains a great thickness; and 
above the last mentioned volcanic stratum, there were several other 
great tufaceous beds alternating with submarine lavas, which I had not 
time to examine ; but a corresponding series, several thousand feet in 
thickness, is well exhibited on the crest and western flank of the 
range. Most of the lava-streams on the western side are of a jet- 
black colour and basaltic nature ; they are either compact and fine- 
grained, including minute crystals of augite and feldspar, or they are 
coarse-grained and abound with rather large coppery-brown crystals 
of an augitic mineral** Another variety was of a dull red colour, 
having a claystone brecciated basis, including specks of oxide of iron 
and of calcareous spar, and amygdaloidal with green earth : there 
were apparently several other varieties. These submarine lavas often 
exhibit a spheroidal, and sometimes an imperfect columnar structure : 
their upper junctions are much more clearly defined than their lower 
junctions ; but the latter are not so much blended into the underlying 
sedimentary beds, as is the case in the eastern flank. On the crest 
and western flank of the range, the streams, viewed as a whole, are 
mostly basaltic ; whilst those on the eastern side, which stand lower 
in the series, are, as we have seen, mostly feldspathic. 

The sedimentary strata alternating with the lavas on the crest and 
western side, are of an almost infinitely varying nature ; but a large 
proportion of them closely resemble those already described on the 
eastern flank : there are white and brown, indurated, easily fusible 
tuffs, — some passing into pale blue and green semi-porcellanic rocks,—* 
others into brownish and purplish sandstones and gritstones, often 
including grains of quartz, — others into mudstone containing broken 
crystals and particles of rock, and occasionally single large pebbles. 
There was one stratum of a bright red, coarse, volcanic gritstone; 
another of conglomerate; another of a black, indurated, carbonaceous 
shale marked with imperfect vegetable impressions ; this latter bed, 
which was thin, rested on a submarine lava, and followed all the con- 
siderable inequalities of its upper surface. Mr. Miers states that coal 
has been found in this range. Lastly, there was a bed (like No. 10 
on the eastern flank), evidently of sedimentary origin, and remarkable 
from closely approaching in character to an imperfect pitchstone, and 
from including extremely thin layers of perfect pitchstone, as well as 
nodules and irregular fragments (but not resembling extraneous frag- 
ments) of this same rock arranged in horizontal lines : I conceive that 
this bed, which is only a few feet in thickness, must have assumed its 
present state through metamorphic and concretionary action. Most 
of these sedimentary strata are much indurated, and no doubt have 
been partially metamorphosed : many of them are extraordinarily 
heavy and compact ; others have agate and crystalline carbonate of 

* Very easily fusible into a jet black bead, attracted by the magnet : the crysu 
talt are too much tarnished to be measured by the goniometer. 


lime disseminated throughout them. Some of the beds exhibit a 
siDgular concretionary arrangement, ¥rith the curves determined by 
the lines of fissure. There are many veins of agate and calcareous 
spar, and innumerable ones of iron and other metals, ivhich have 
blackened and curiously affected the strata to considerable distances 
on both sides. 

Many of these tufaceous beds resemble, with the exception of being 
more indurated, the upper beds of the great Patagonian tertiary for- 
mation, especially those variously coloured layers high up the river 
Santa Cruz, and in a remarkable degree the tufaceous formation at 
the northern end of Chiloe. I was so much struck with this re- 
semblance, that I particularly looked out for silicified wood, and 
found it under the following extraordinary circumstances. High up 
on this western flank,* at a height estimated at 7,000 feet above the 
sea, in a broken escarpment of thin strata, composed of compact green 
gritstone passing into a fine mudstone, and idtemating with layers 
of coarser, brownish, very heavy mudstone including broken crystals 
and particles of rock almost blended together, I counted the stumps 
of fifty-two trees. They projected between two and five feet above 
the ground, and stood at exactly right angles to the strata, which 
were here inclined at an angle of about 25 to the west. Eleven of 
these trees were silicified and well preserved: Mr. R. Brown has been 
so kind as to examine the wood when sliced and polished ; he says 
it is coniferous, partaking of the characters of the Araucarian tribe, 
with some curious points of afiBnity with the Yew. The bark 
round the trunks must have been circularly furrowed with irregular 
lines, for the mudstone round them is thus plainly marked. One 
cast consisted of dark argillaceous limestone ; and forty of them 
of coarsely crystallized carbonate of lime, with cavities lined by 
quartz crystals : these latter white calcareous columns do not retain 
any internal structure, but their external form plainly shows their 
origin. All the stumps have nearly the same diameter, varying from 
one foot to eighteen inches ; some of them stand within a yard of 
each other ; they are grouped in a clump within a space of about 
sixty yards across, ¥rith a few scattered round at the distance of 150 
yards. They all stand at about the same leveL The longest stump 
stood seven feet out of the ground : the roots, if they are still pre- 
served, are buried and concealed. No one layer of the mudstone 
appeared much darker than the others, as if it had formerly existed 
as soil ; nor could this be expected, for the same agents which re- 
placed with silex and lime the wood of the trees, would naturally 
have removed all vegetable matter from the soil. Besides the fifty- 
two upright trees, there were a few fragments, like broken branches, 

* For the information of any future traveller, I will describe the spot in detail. 
Proceeding eastward from the Agua del Zorro, and afterwards leaving on the north 
side of the road a rancho attached to some old gold-mines, you pass through a 
gully with low but steep rocks on each hand : the road then bends, and the ascent 
becomes steeper. A few hundred yards further on, a stone's throw on the south 
side of the road, the white calcareous stumps may be seen. The spot is about 
half a mile east of the Agua del Zorro. 


llorizontally embedded. The snrrotmding strata are crossed by Tehis 
of carbonate of lime, agate, and oxide of iron ; and a poor gold vein 
has been worked not far from the trees. 

The green and brown raudstone beds including the trees, are con- 
formably covered by much indurated, compact, white or ferruginous 
tu£&, which pass upwards into a fine-grained, purplish sedimentary 
rock : these strata, which, together, are from 400 to 500 feet in 
thickness, rest on a thick bed of sub-marine lava, and are conform- 
ably covered by another great mass of fine-grained basalt,* whidi 
I estimated at 1,000 feet in thickness, and which probably has been 
formed by more than one stream. Above this mass I could clearly 
distinguish five conformable alternations, each several hundred feet 
in thickness, of stratified sedimentary rocks and lavas, such as have 
been previously described. Certainly the upright trees have been 
buried under several thousand feet in thickness of matter, accumu- 
lated under the sea. As the trees obviously must once have grown 
on dry land, what an enormous amount of subsidence is thus indi- 
cated ! Nevertheless, had it not been for the trees, there was no 
appearance which would have led any one even to have conjectured 
that these strata had subsided. As the land, moreover, on which 
the trees grew, is formed of subaqueous deposits, of nearly if not 
quite equal thickness with the superincumbent strata, and as these 
deposits are regularly stratified and fine-grained, not like the matter 
thrown np on a sea-beach, a previous upward movement, aided no 
doubt by the great accumulation of lavas and sediment, is also 

In nearly the middle of the range, there are some hills [^Q[], before 
alluded to, formed of a kind of granite, externally resembling andesite, 
and consisting of a white, imperfectly granular, feldspathic basis, 

* This rock is quite black, and fuses into a black bead, attracted strongly by 
the magnet ; it breaks with a conchoidal fracture ; the included crystals of augite 
are distinguishable by the naked eye, but are not perfect enough to be measured : 
there are many minute acicular crystals of glassy feldspar. 

f At first 1 imagined, that the strata with the trees might have been accumu- 
lated in a lake : but this seems highly improbable ; for, first, a very deep lake was 
necessary to receive the matter below the trees, then it must have been drained for 
their growth, and afterwards re-formed and made profoundly deep, so as to receive 
a subsequent accumulation of matter several thousand feet in thickness. And all 
this must have taken place necessarily before the formation of the Uspallata range, 
and therefore on the margin of the wide level expanse of the Pampas ! Hence I 
conclude, that it is infinitely more probable that the strata were accumulated under 
the sea : the vast amount of denudation, moreover, which this range has suffered, 
as shown by the wide valleys, by the exposure of the very trees and by other 
appearances, could have been effected, I conceive, only by the long-continued 
action of the sea ; and this shows that the range was either upheaved from under 
the sea, or subsequently let down into it. From the natural manner in which the 
stumps (fifty-two in number) are grouped in a clump, and from their all stand- 
ing vertically to the strata, it is super^uous to speculate on the chance of the 
trees having been drifted from adjoining land, and deposited upright : 1 may, 
however, mention that the late Dr. Malcolmson assured me, that he once met in 
the Indian ocean, fifty miles from land, several cocoa-nut trees floating upright, 
owing to their roots being loaded with earth. 

tO^ coNCLUDma remarks on the []ohap. yii. 

including some perfect crystals apparently of albite (but I was unable 
to measure them), much black mica, epidote in veins, and very little 
or no quartz. Numerous small veins branch from this rock into the 
surrounding strata ; and it is a singular fact that these veins, though 
composed of the same kind of feldspar and small scales of mica as in 
the solid rock, abound with innumerable minute rounded grains of 
quartz : in the veins or dikes, also, branching from the great granitic 
axis in the peninsula of Tres Montc^, I observed that quartz was more 
abundant in them than in the main rock : I have heard of other analo- 
gous cases : can we account for this fact, by the long-continued vis- 
cidity of quartz* when cooling, and by its having been thus more 
easily sucked into 6ssures than the other constituent minerab of 
granite. The strata encasing the flanks of these granitic or andesitic 
masses, and forming a thick cap on one of their summits, appear 
originally to have been of the same tufaceous nature with the beds 
already described, but they are now changed into porcellanic, jaspery, 
and crystalline rocks, and into others of a white colour with a harsh 
texture, and having a siliceous aspect, though really of a feldspathic 
nature and fusible. Both the granitic intrusive masses and the en- 
casing strata, are penetrated by innumerable metallic veins, mostly 
ferruginous and auriferous, but some containing copper-pyrites and a 
few silver : near the veins, the rocks are blackened as if blasted by 
gunpowder. The strata are only slightly dislocated close round 
these hills, and hence, perhaps, it may be inferred that the graniti 
masses form only the projecting points of a broad continuous axis- 
dome, which has given to the upper parts of this range its anticlinal 
t ucture. 

Concluding Remarks on the Uspallata Range. — I will not attempt 
to estimate the total thickness of the pile of strata forming this range, 
but it must amount to many thousand feet. The sedimentary and 
tufaceous beds have throughout a general similarity, though with 
infinite variations. The submarine lavas in the lower part of the 
series are mostly feldspathic, whilst in the upper part, on the summit 
and western flank, they are mostly basaltic. We are thus reminded 
of the relative position in most recent volcanic districts of the tra- 
chytic and basaltic lavas, — the latter from their greater weight having 
sunk to a lower level in the earth's crust, and having consequently 
been erupted at a later period over the lighter and upper lavas of the 
trachytic series, f Both the basaltic and feldspathic submarine 
streams are very compact; none being vesicular, and only a few 
amygdaloidal : the effects which some of them, especially those low in 
the series, have produced on the tufaceous beds over which they have 
flowed is highly curious. Independently of this local metamorphio 
action, all the strata undoubtedly display an indurated and altered 
character ; and all the rocks of this range — the lavas, the alternating 

* See a paper by M. £He de Beaumont. Soc. Philomath. May, 1839 (L'ln- 
Btitut. 1839, p. 161). 
f Volcanic Islands, &c. bj the Author, p. 117. 


sediments, the intrnsiye mnite and porphyries, and the underiying 
clayslate---are intersected hy metalliferous veins. The lava-strata 
can often be seen extending for great distances, conformably with the 
imder and over lying beds ; and it was obvious that they thickened 
towards the west. Hence the points of eruption must have been 
sitnated westward of the present range, in the direction of the main 
Cordillera : as, however, the flanks of the Cordillera are entirely com- 
posed of various porphyries, chiefly claystone and greenstone, some 
intrusive, and others belonging to the poiphyritic conglomerate for- 
mation, but all quite unlike these submarine lava-streams, we must 
in all probability look to the plain of Uspallata, for the now deeply 
buried points of eruption. 

Comparing our section of the Uspallata range with that of the 
Cumbre, we see, with the exception of the underlying clayslate, 
and perhaps of the intrusive rocks of the axes, a striking dissimilarity 
in the strata composing them. The great porphyritic conglomerate for- 
mation has not extended as far as this range ; nor have we here any 
of the gypseous strata, the magnesian and other limestones, the red 
sandstones, the siliceous beds with pebbles of quartz, and compa- 
ratively little of the conglomerates, all of which form such vast 
masses over the basal series in the main Cordillera. On the other 
hand, in the Cordillera, we do not find those endless varieties of in- 
durated tufis, with their numerous veins and concretionary arrange- 
ment, and those grit and mud stones, and singular semi-porcellanic 
rooks, so abundant in the Uspallata range. The submarine lavas, 
also, differ considerably; the feldspathic streams of the Cordillera 
contain much mica, which is absent in those of the Uspallata range : 
in this latter range we have seen on how grand a scale, basaltic lava 
has been poured forth, of which there is not a trace in the Cordillera. 
This dissimilarity is the more striking, considering that these two 
parallel chains are separated by a plain only between ten and fifteen 
miles in width ; and that the Uspallata lavas, as well as no doubt 
the alternating tufaceous beds, have proceeded from the west, from 
points apparently between the two ranges. To imagine that these 
two piles of strata were contemporaneously deposited in two closely 
adjoining, very deep, submarine areas, separated from each other by a 
lofty ridge, where a plain now extends, would be a gratuitous hypo- 
thesis. And had tliey been contemporaneously deposited, without 
any such dividing ridge, surely some of the gypseous and other sedi- 
mentary matter forming such immensely thick masses in the Cor- 
dillera, would have extended this short distance eastwards ; and 
surely some of the Uspallata tu£& and basalts also accumulated to so 
great a thickness, would have extended a little westward. Hence I 
conclude, that it is far more probable that these two series are not 
contemporaneous; but that the strata of one of the chains were de* 
posited, and even the chain itself uplifted, before the formation of the 
other : — which chain, then, is the oldest ? Considering that in the 
Uspallata range the lowest strata on the western flank lie unconform- 
ably on the clayslate, as probably is the case with those on the 


eastern flank, whereas in the Cordillera all the overlying strata lie 
conformably on this formation ;^-consider]ng that in the Uspallata 
range some of the beds, both low down and high up in the series, 
are marked with vegetable impressions, showing the continued 
existence of neighbouring land ;^-con8ideriDg the close general re- 
semblance between the deposits of this range and those of .tertiary 
origin in several parts of the continent ; — and lastly, even considering 
the lesser height and outlying position of the Uspallata range, — ^I 
conclude that the strata composing it are in all probability of sub- 
sequent origin, and that they were accumulated at a period when 
a deep sea studded with submarine volcanos washed the eastern base 
of the already partially elevated Cordillera. 

This conclusion is of much importance, for we have seen that in 
the Cordillera, during the deposition of the neocomian strata, the 
bed of the sea must have subsided many thousand feet : we now 
learn that at a later period an adjoining area first received a great 
aooumnlation of strata, and was upheaved into land on which coni- 
ferous trees grew, and that this area then subsided several thousand 
feet to receive the superincumbent submarine strata, afterwards being 
broken up, denuded, and elevated in mass to its present height. I 
am strengthened in this conclusion of there having been two distinct, 
great periods of subsidence, by reflecting on the thick mass of coarse 
stratified conglomerate in the valley of Tenuyan, between the Peu- 
quenes and Portillo lines ; for the accumulation of this mass seems to 
me, as previously remarked, almost necessarily to have required a pro- 
longed subsidence ; and this subsidence, from the pebbles in the con- 
glomerate having been to a great extent derived from the gypseous or 
neocomian strata of the Peuquenes line, we know must have been quite 
distinct from, and subsequent to, that sinking movement which pro- 
bably accompanied the deposition of the Peuquenes strata, and which 
certainly accompanied the deposition of the equivalent beds near the 
Puente del Inca, in this line of section. 

The Uspallata chain corresponds in geographical position, though 
on a small scale, with the Portillo line ; and its clayslate formation 
is probably the equivalent of the mica-schist of the Portillo, there 
metamorphosed by the old white granites and syenites. The coloured 
beds under the conglomerate in the valley of Tenuyan, of which 
traces are seen on the crest of the Portillo, and even the conglomerate 
itself, may perhaps be synchronous with the tufaceous beds and sub- 
marine lavas of the Uspallata range ; an open sea and volcanic action 
in the latter case, and a confined channel between two bordering 
chains of islets in the former case, having been sufficient to account for 
the mineralogical dissimilarity of the two series. From this correspon- 
dence between the Uspallata and Portilla ranges, perhaps in age and cer- 
tainly in geographical position, one is tempted to consider the one range 
as the prolongation of the other ; but their axes are formed of totally 
different intrusive rocks ; and we have traced the apparent continua- 
tion of the red granite of the Portillo in the red porphyries diverging 
into the main Cordillera. Whether the axis of the Uspallata range 


was injected before, or, as perhaps is more probable, after that of the 
Portillo line, I will not pretend to decide ; but it is well to remember 
that the highly inclined lava- streams on the eastern flank of the 
Portillo line, prove that its angular upheavement was not a single 
and sudden event ; and therefore that the anticlinal elevation of the Us- 
pallata range may have been contemporaneous with some of the later 
angular movements, by which the gigantic Portillo range gained its 
present height above the adjoining plain. 



Section Jrom Blapel to Combarbakt; Gypseous formation with silicified wood — 
Panuncillo T- Coquimbo ; mines qf Arqueros : section up valley; fossils^' 
Ouasco J fossils qf-^Copiapo section up valley ; Las Amolanas, silicified wood, 
conglomerates, nature qf former land, fossils, thickness qf strata, great subsi" 
dence — Valley qf Despoblado, fossils^ tttfaceous deposit, complicated disloeO' 
tions of-^Reiations between ancient orifices qf eruption and subsequent axes ^f 
injection — Iquique, Peru, fossils of, salt-deposits — Metalliferous veins — Sum^ 
mary on the Porphyritic conglomerate and Gypseous formations — Great sub^ 
sidence with partial elevations during the Cretaceo-oolitic period — On the 
elevation and structure qf the Cordillera — Recapitulation on the Tertiary 
series — Relation between movements qf untbsidence and volcanic action — Pam- 
pean formation — Recent elevatory movementS'^Long -continued volcanic action 
in the Cordillera — Conclusion, 

Valparaiso to Coquimbo. — I have already described the general 
nataro of the rocks in the low country north of Valparaiso, condst- 
ing of granites, syenites, greenstones, and altered feldspathic clay- 
slate. Nearer Coquimbo there is much homblendic rock and various 
dusky-coloured porphyries. I will describe only one section in this 
district, namely, from near Illapel in a N.E. line to the mines of Los 
Hornos, and thence in a north by east direction to Combarbala, at the 
foot of the main Cordillera., 

Near Illapel, after passing for some distance over granite, andesite, 
and andesitic porphyry, we come to a greenish stratified feldspathic 
rock, which I believe is altered clayslate, conformably capped by 
porphyries and porphyritic conglomerate of great thickness, dipping 
at an average angle of 20° to N.E. by N. The uppennost beds 
consist of. conglomerates and sandstone only a little metamorphosed, 
and conformably covered by a Gypseous formation of very great 
thickness, but much denuded. This gypseous formation, where first 
met with, lies in a broad valley or basin, a little southward of the 
mines of Los Hornos : the lower half alone contains gypsum, not in 
great masses as in the Cordillera, but in innumerable thin layers, 
seldom more than an inch or two in thickness. The gypsum is 
either opaque or transparent, and is associated with carbonate of 
lime. The layers alternate with numerous varying ones of a cal- 
careous clay-shale (with strong aluminous odour, adhering to the 


tODgae, easily fusible into a pale green glass), more or less in- 
durated, either earthy and cream-coloured, or greenish and hard. 
The more indurated varieties have a compact, homogeneous almost 
crystalline fracture, and contain granules of crystallized oxide of iron. 
Some of the varieties almost resemble hone stones. There is also a 
little black, hardly fusible, siliceo-calcareous clayslate, like some of 
the varieties alternating with gypsum on the Peuquenes range. 

The upper half of this gypseous formation is mainly formed of 
the same calcareous clay-shale rock, but without any gypsum, and 
varying extremely in nature : it passes from a soft, coarse, earthy, 
ferruginous state, including particles of quartz, into compact clay- 
stones with crystallized oxide of iron, — ^into porcellanic layers, alter- 
nating with seams of calcareous matter, — and into green porcelain- 
jasper excessively hard, but easily fusible. Strata of this nature 
alternate with much black and brown siliceo-calcareous slate, remark- 
able from the wonderful number of huge embedded logs of silicified 
wood. This wood, according to Mr. R. Brown, is (judging from 
several specimens) all coniferous. Some of the layers of the black 
siliceous slate contained irregular angular fragments of imperfect 
pitchstone, which I believe, as in the Uspallata range, has originated 
in a metamorphic process. There was one bed of a marly tufa-* 
ceous nature, and of little specific gravity. Yeins of agate and cal- 
careous spar are numerous. The whole of this gypseous formation, 
especially the upper half, has been injected, metamorphosed, and 
locally contorted by numerous hillocks of intrusive porphyries, 
crowded together in an extraordinary manner. These hillocks con- 
sist of purple claystone and of various other porphyries, and of 
much white feldspathic greenstone passing into andesite; this lat- 
ter variety included in one case crystals of orthitic and albitic feld- 
spar touching each other, and others of hornblende, chlorite, and epi- 
dote. The strata surrounding these intrusive hillocks at the mines of 
Los Homos, are intersected by many veins of copper-pyrites, asso- 
ciated with much micaceous iron -ore, and by some of gold : in the 
neighbourhood of these veins the rocks are blackened and much 
altered. The gypsum near the intrusive masses is always opaque. 
One of these hillocks of porphyry was capped by some stratified 
porphyritic conglomerate, which must have been brought up from 
below, through the whole immense thickness of the overlying gyp- 
seous formation. The lower beds of the gypseous formation resemble 
the corresponding and probably contemporaneous strata of the main 
Cordillera ; whilst the upper beds in several respects resemble those 
of the Uspallata chain, and possibly may be contemporaneous with 
them ; for I have endeavoured to show that the Uspallata beds were 
accumulated subsequently to the gypseous or neocomian formations of 
the Cordillera. 

This pile of strata dips at an angle of about 20® to N.E. by N,, 
close up to the very foot of the Ciiesta de Los Homos, a crooked 
range of mountains formed of intrusive rocks of the same nature 
with the above described hillocks. Only in one or two places, on 



tins south-eastern side of the range, I noticed a nai^w fringe of the 
upper gypseous strata brushed up and inclined south-eastward from 
it. On its north-eastern flank, and likewise on a few of the summits, 
the stratified porph3rritic conglomerate is inclined N.E, : so that, if 
we disregard the very narrow anticlinal fringe of gypseous skata at 
its S.E. foot, this range forms a second uniclinal axis of elevation. 
Proceeding in a north by east direction to the village of Combarbala, 
we come to a third escarpment of the porphyritic conglomerate, dip- 
ping eastwards, and forming the outer range of the main Cordillera. 
The lower beds were here more jaspery than usual, and they in- 
cluded some white oherty strata and red sandstones, alternating 
with purple claystone porphyry. Higher up in the Cordillera there 
appeared to be a line of andesitic rocks ; and beyond them, a fourth 
escarpment of the porphyritic conglomerate, again dipping eastwards 
or inwards. The overlying gypseous strata, if they ever existed here^ 
have been entirely removed. 

Copper Mines of Panundllo. — From Combarbala to Coquimbo, I 
traversed the country in a zig-zag direction, crossing and recrossing 
the porphyritic conglomerate, and finding in the granitic districts an 
unusual number of mountain-masses composed of various intrusive, 
porphyritic rocks, many of them andesitic. One common variety 
was greenish-black, with large crystals of blackish albite. At Panun-^ 
cillo a short N.N.W. and S.S.E. ridge, with a nucleus formed of 
greenstone and of a slate-coloured porphyry including cry stab of 
glassy feldspar, deserves notice, from the very singular nature of the 
almost vertical strata composing it. These consist chiefly of a finer 
or coarser granular mixture, not very compact, of white carbonate of 
lime, of protoxide of iron and of yellowish garnets (ascertained by 
Prof. Miller), each grain being an almost perfect crystal. Some of 
the varieties consist exclusively of granules of the calcareous spar ; 
and some contain grains of copper ore, and, I believe, of quartz* 
These strata alternate with a bluish, compact, fusible feldspathic 
rock. Much of the above granular mixture has, also, a pseudo- 
brecciated structure, in which fragments are obscurely arranged in 
planes parallel to those of the stratification, and are conspicuous on the 
weathered surfaces. The fragments are angular or rounded, small 
or large, and consist of bluish or reddish compact feldspathic 
matter, iu which a few acicular crystals of feldspar can sometunes 
be seen. The fragments often blend at their edges into the surround- 
ing granular mass, and seem due to a kind of concretionary action. 

These singular rocks are traversed by many copper veins, and ap- 
pear to rest conformably on a granular mixture (in parts as fine- 
grained as a sandstone) of quartz, mica, hornblende, and feldspar; 
and this on fine-grained common gneiss; and this on a laminated 
mass, composed of pinkish orthitic feldspar, including a few specks 
of hornblende ; and lastly, this on granite, which, together with ande- 
sitic rocks, form the surrounding district. 


Coquimbo; Mining District of Arqtteros, — At Coquimbo the por- 
phyritio conglomerate formation approaches nearer to the Pacific^ 
than in any other part of Chile visited by me, being separated from 
the coast by a tract only a few miles broad of the usual plutonic 
rocks, with the addition of a porphyry having a red euritic base. 
In proceeding to the mines of Arqueros, the strata of porphyritic 
conglomerate are at first nearly horizontal, an unusual circumstonce, 
and afterwards they dip gently to S.S.E. After having ascended to 
a considerable height, we come to an nndulatory district in which 
the famous silver mines are situated : my examination was chiefly 
confined to those of S. Rosa. Most of the rocks in this district are 
stratified, dipping in various directions, and many of them are of so 
sin^lar a nature, that at the risk of being tedious I must briefly de- 
aonbe them. The commonest variety is a dull-red, compact, finely- 
biecoiated stone, containing much iron and innumerable white crys- 
tallized particles of carbonate of lime and minute extraneous frag- 
ments. Another variety is almost equally common near S. Rosa ; 
it has a bright green, scanty basis, including distinct crystals and 
patches of white carbonate of lime, and grains of red, semi-micaceous 
oxide of iron : in parts the basis becomes dark green, and assumes an 
obscure crystalline arrangement, and occasionally in parts it becomes 
toft and slightly translucent like soapstone. These red and green rocks 
am often quite distinct, and often pass into each other ; the passage 
bdng sometimes affected by a fine brecciated structure, particles of 
the red and green matter being mingled together. Some of the 
varieties appear gradually to become porphyritic with feldspar ; and 
all of them are easily fusible into pale or dark-coloured beads, strongly 
attracted by the magnet. I should perhaps have mistaken several of 
these stratified rocks for submarine lavas, like some of those described 
mt the Puente del Inca, had I not examined a few leagues eastward of 
this point, a fine series of analogous but less metamorphosed, sedi- 
mentary beds belonging to the gypseous formation, and probably 
derived from a volcanic source. 

This formation is intersected by numerous metalliferous veins, 
nmning, though irregularly, N.W. and S.E., and generally at right 
angles to the many dikes. The veins consist of native silver, of 
muriate of silver, an amalgam of silver, cobalt, antimony, and arsenic,* 
generally embedded in sulphate of barytes. I was assured by 
Mr. Lambert, that native copper without a trace of silver has been 
found in the same vein with native silver without a trace of copper. 
At the mines of Aristeas, the silver veins are said to be unproductive as 
soon as they pass into the green strata, whereas at S. Rosa, only two 
or three miles distant, the reverse happens ; and at the time of my 
visit, the miners were working through a red stratum, in the hopes 
of the vein becoming productive in the underlying green sedi- 
mentary mass. I have a specimen of one of thoBC green rocks, 

* See the Report on M. Domeyko's account of these mines, in the Comptes 
Rendos,. t ziv. p. 560. 

P 2 

214 qOQUIMBO. [^CH'Af. VUI. 

have been discovered here. From the fuable nature and general 
appearance of the finer-grained strata, they probably owe their 
origin (like the allied beds of the Uspallata range, and of the upper 
Patagonian tertiary formations) to gentle volcanic eruptions, and to . 
the abrasion of volcanic rocks. Comparing these beds with those in 
the mining district of Arqueros, we see at both places, rocks easily 
fusible, of the same peculiar bright green and red colours, containing . 
calcareous matter, often having a finely brecciated structure, often 
passing into each other and often alternating together ; hence I cannot 
doubt that the only di£Ference between them, lies in the Arqueros 
beds having been more metamorphosed (in conformity with their 
more dislocated and injected condition), and consequently in the 
calcareous matter, oxide of iron and green colouring matter, having 
been segregated under a more crystalline form. 

The strata are inclined, as before stated from 20^ to 80^ eastward, 
towards an irregular north and south chain of andesitic porphyry 
and of porphyritic greenstone, where they are abruptly cut off* In 
the valley of Coquimbo, near to the H. of Gualliguaca, similar 
plutonic rocks are met with, apparently a southern prolongation of 
the above chain ; and eastward of it we have an escarpment oi the 
porphyritic conglomerate, with the strata inclined at a small angle 
eastward, which makes the third escarpment, including that nearest 
the coast. Proceeding up the valley we come to another north 
and south line of granite, andesite, and blackish porphyry, which 
seem . to He in an irregular trough of the porphyritic conglomerate. 
Again, on the south side of the R. Claro, there are some irregular 
granitic hills, which have thrown off the strata of porph3nitic conglo- 
merate to the N. W. by W. ; but the stratification here has been 
much disturbed. I did not proceed any further up the valley, and 
this point is about two- thirds of the distance betwe^a the Pacific 
and the main Cordillera. 

I will describe only one other section, namely, on the north side of 
the R. Claro, which is interesting from containing fossils : the strata 
are much dislocated by faults and dikes, and are inclined to the 
north, towards a mountain of andesite and porphyry, into which they 
appear to become almost blended. As the beds approach this 
mountain, their inclination increases up to an angle of 70^, and 
in the upper part, the rocks become highly metamorphosed. The 
lowest bed visible in this section, is a purplish hard sandstone. 
Secondly, a bed 200 or 300 feet thick, of a white siliceous sandstone, 
with a calcareous cement, containing seams of slaty sandstone, and 
of hard yellowish-brown (dolomitic ?) limestone ; numerous, well- 
rounded, little pebbles of quartz are included in the sandstone. 
Thirdly, a dark coloured limestone with some quartz pebbles, from 
fifty to sixty feet in thickness, containing numerous silicified sheUs, 
presently to be enumerated. Fourthly, very compact, calcareous, 
jaspery sandstone, passing into (fifthly) a great bed, several hundred 
feet thick, of conglomerate, composed of pebbles of white, red, and 
purple porphyries, of sandstone and quartz, cemented by calcareous 


matter. I observed that some of the finer parts of this conglo- 
merate were much indurated within a foot of a dike eight feet in 
width, and were rendered of a paler colour with the calcareous 
matter segregated into white crystallized particles ; some parts were 
stained green from the colouring matter of the dike. Sixthly, a 
thick mass, obscurely stratified, of a red sedimentary stone or sand- 
stone, full of ciystalline calcareous matter, imperfect crystals of 
oodde of iron, and I believe of feldspar, and therefore closely re- 
sembling some of the higlily metamorphosed beds at Arqueros : 
thb bed was capped by, and appeared to pass in its upper part 
into, rocks similarly coloured, containing calcareous matter, and 
abounding with minute crystals, mostly elongated and glassy, of 
reddish lubite. Seventhly, a conformable stratum of fine reddibh 
porphyry with large crystals of (albitic ?) feldspar ; probably a 
submarine lava. £ighthly, another conformable bed of green por- 
phyry, with specks of green earth and cream coloured crystals of 
(pidspar. I believe tliat there are other superincumbent crystalline 
atimta and submarine lavas, but I had not time to examine them. 

The upper beds in this section probably correspond with parts of 
the great gypseous formation ; and the lower beds of red sandstone 
conglomerate and fossilifcrous limestone no doubt are the equiva- 
lents of the Hippurite stratum, seen in descending from Arqueros 
to Pludaro, which there lies conformably upon the poq)liyritio con- 
glomerate formation. The fossils found in the third bed, consist of — 

Pecten Dufireynoyi, d'Orbig. Voyage, Part. Pal. 

This tpedes, which ocean here in fast numben, according to M. d'Orbigny, 
rawmbles certain cretaceous fonns. 

Ostrea hemispherica, d'Orbig. Voyage, &c« 
Alab resembles, according to the same author, cretaceous forms. 

Terebratula esnigma, d*Orbig. Voyage, &c. (PI. XX If. fig. 
10—12,) and PI. V. fig. 10, 11, 12 of this work. 

Is allied, according to M. d'Orbigny, to T. concinna from the Forest Marble. 
A series of this species, collected in several localities hereafter to be referred to, 
has been laid beiore Prof. £. Fotbes ; and he informs me that many of the 
specimens are almost undistinguishable from our oolitic T. tetraedro, and tbat tbo 
▼arieties amongst them are such as are found in that variuble species. Geoenilly 
speaking, the American specimens of T. enigma mny be distinguished from the 
British T. tetraedra, by the surface having the ribs sburp and well defined to the 
beak, whilst in the British species they become obsolete and smoothed down ; 
but this difference is not constant. Prof. Forbes adds, that, possibly, internal 
characters may exist, which would distinguish the American speciea from its 
European allies. 

Spirifer linguiferoides, E. Forbes, PI. V. fig. 17, 18. 

Professor Forbes states (see Appendix) that this species is very near to 8. 
linguifera of Phillips (a carboniferous limestone fossil), but probably distinct. 
M. d'Orhigny considers it as perhaps indicating the Jurassic period. 

Ammonites, imperfect impression of. 

M. Domeyko has sent to France a collection of fossils, which, I 

216 coQuiMBo. [chap, yiii 

presame, from the description given, must hare come from the ndgh- 
bonrhood of Arqueros ; they consist of — 

Pecten Dnfireynojri, d'Orbig. Vojrage, Part. Pal. 

Ostrea hemispherica, do. do. 

Tnrritella Andii, do. do. (Plenrotomaria Humboldtii of Von Bucii.) 

Hippurites Chilensis, do. do. 

The spedmens of this Hipparite, as well aa chose I collected in mj descent 
from Arqueros, are very impeifect ; bat la M. d'OrbigpQj's opinion tbej resemble, 
aa does Uie Tnrritella Andii, cretaceons (upper greensand^ forms. 

Nautilus Domeykns, d*Orbig. do. do. 
Terebiatula eenigma, do. do. 
Terebratula ignaciana, do. do. 

This latter species was found bj M. Dome^ko in the same block of limestiMie 
with the T. ssnigma. According to M. d'Orbignj, it comes near to T. omitho- 
cephala from the Lias. A series of tbis species collected at Gnasoo, has been 
examined hy Prof. £. Forbes, and he states that it is difficult to disting^oidi 
between some of the specimens and the T. hastata from the mountmn limestona ; 
and that it is equally difficult to draw a line between them and some Marlstone 
Terebratuls. Without a knowledge of the internal structure, it is impossible at 
present to decide on their identity with analogous European forms. 

The remarks given on the several foregoing shells, show that, in 
M. d'Orbigny's opinion, the Pecten, Ostrea, Turritella, and Hip- 
purite indicate the cretaceous period ; and the Grypheea appears to 
Prof. Forbes to be identical with a species, associated in southern 
India with unquestionably cretaceous forms. On the other hand, 
the two Terebratulee and the Spirifer point, in the opinion botli 
of M. d'Orbigny and Prof. Forbes, to the oolitic series. Hence 
M. d'Orbigny, not having himself examined this country, has con- 
cluded that there are here two distinct formations ; but the Spirifer 
and T. eenigma were certainly included in the same bed with the 
Pecten and Ostrea, whence I extracted them ; and the geologist M. 
Domeyko sent home the two Terebratulce with the other-named shells 
from the same locality, without specifying that they came from different 
beds. Again, as we shall presently see, in a collection of shells 
given me from Guasco, the same species, and others presenting 
analogous differences, are mingled together, and are in the same 
condition; and lastly, in three places in the valley of Copiapo, I 
found some of these same species similarly grouped. Hence there 
cannot be any doubt, highly curious though the fact be, that these 
several fossils, namely, the Hippurites, Grypheea, Ostrea, Pecten, 
Turritella, Nautilus, two Terebratulse, and Spirifer all belong to the 
same formation, which would appear to form a passage between 
the oolitic and cretaceous systems of Europe. Although aware how 
unusual the term must sound, I shall, for convenience sake, call this 
formation cretaceo-oolitic. Comparing the sections in this valley of 
Coquimbo with those in the Cordillera described in the last chapter, 
and bearing in mind the character of the beds in the intermediate 
district of Los Homos, there is certainly a close general mineralogical 

CHAP, vni.] ouAsco. 217 

resemblance between them, — both in the underlying porphjnritic 
conglomerate, and in the overlying gypseous formation. Considering 
this resemblance, and that the fossils from the Puente del Inca at the 
base of the gypseous formation ^ and throughout the greater part of 
its entire thickness on the Peuquenes range, indicate the neocomian 
period, — that is, the dawn of the cretaceous system, or, as some have 
believed, a passage between this latter and the oolitic series, — I con- 
clude that probably the gypseous and associated beds in all the 
sections hitherto described, belong to the same great formation, 
which I have denominated — cretaceo- oolitic. I may add, before 
kaving Coquimbo, that M. Gay found in the neighbouring Cordillera, 
at the height of 14,000 feet above the sea, a fossiliferous formation, 
including a Trigonia and Pholadomya ;* — both of which genera occur 
at the Puente del Inca. 

' Coquimho to Chiasco, — ^The rocks near the coast, and some way 
inland, do not differ from those described northwards of Valparaiso : 
we have much greenstone, syenite, feldspathic and jaspery slate, and 
ffrauwackes having a basis like that of claystone ; there are some 
large tracts of granite, in which the constituent minerals are some- 
times arranged in fulia, thus composing an imperfect gneiss. There 
are two large districts of mica-schist, passing into glossy clayslate, 
and resembling the great formation in the Chonos Archipelago. In 
the valley of Ouasco, an escarpment of porphyritic conglomerate is 
first seen high up the valley, about two leagues eastward of the town 
of Ballenar. I beard of a great gypseous formation in the Cordillera ; 
and a collection of shells made there was given me. These shells are 
all in the same condition, and appear to have come from the same bed : 
they consist of — 

Turritella Andii, d'Orbig. Voyage, Part. Pal. 

Pecten Dufreynoyi, do. 

Terebratula ignaciana, do. 

The relations of these species have been given under the head of Coquimbo. 

Terebratula senigma, d'Orbig. Voyage, Part. Pal. (var. E. Forbes, 
PI. V. 13, 14.) 

This shell M. d'Orbiguy does not consider identical with his T. snigma, 
but near to T. obsoleta. Professor Forbes thinks that it is certainly a variety of 
T. aenigma, and his observations on this species are given in the list of fossils from 
Coquimbo : we shall meet with this variety again at Copiapo. 

Spirifer Chilensis, E. Forbes, PL V. fig. 15, 16. 

Professor Forbes remarks that this fossil resembles several carboniferous lime- 
stone Spirifers ; and that it is also related to some liassic species, as S. Wolcotii. 

If these shells had been examined independently of the other col- 
lections, they would probably have been considered, from the charac- 
ters of the two Terebratulae and from the Spirifer, as oolitic; but 
considering that the three first species, and accordUbig to Professor 
Forbes, the four first, are identical with those from Coquimbo, the 

* D'Orbigny, Voyage, Part. G6olog. p. 242. 


two fonnations no doubt are the same, and may, as I have said, be 
proyisionaUy called cretaceo-oolitic. 

Valley of Ccpiapo, — ^The journey from Guasco to Copiapo, owing 
to the utterly desert nature of the country, was necessarily so hurried, 
that I do not consider my notes worth giving. In the valley of 
Copiapo, some of the sections are very interesting. From the sea to 
the town of Copiapo, a distance estimated at thirty miles, the moun- 
tains are composed of greenstone, granite, andesite, and blackish 
porphyry, together with some dusky-green feldspathic rocks, which I 
believe to be altered clayslate : these mountains are crossed by many 
brown-coloured dikes, running north and south. Above the town, 
the main valley runs in a south-east and even more southerly course 
towards the Cordillera ; where it is divided into three great ravines, by 
the northern one of which, called Jolquera, I penetrated for a short 
distance. The coloured section, fig. 3 in Plate I., gives an eye- 
sketch of the structure and composition of the mountains on both 
sides of this valley : a straight east and west line from the town 
to the Cordillera is perhaps not more than thirty miles, but along 
the valley the distance is much greater. Wherever the valley 
trended very southerly, I have endeavoured to contract the section into 
its true proportion. This valley, I may add, rises much more gently 
than any other valley which I saw in Chile. 

To commence with our section, for a short distance above the tovni 
we have hills of the granitic series, together with some of that rock, 
[|A^, which I suspect to be altered clayslate, but which Prof. G. 
Rose, judging from specimens collected by Meyen at P. Negro, states 
is serpentine passing into greenstone* We then come suddenly to the 
great Gypseous formation [B] without having passed over, dif* 
ferently from in all the sections hitherto described, any of the por- 
phyritic conglomerate. The strata are at first either horizontal or 
gently inclined westward ; then highly inclined in various directions, 
and contorted by underlying masses of intrusive rocks ; and lastly, 
they have a regular eastward dip, and form a tolerably well pro- 
nounced north and south line of hills. This formation consists of 
thin strata, with innumerable alternations, of black, calcareous slate- 
rock, of calcareo-aluminous stones like those at Coquimbo, which I 
have called pseudo-honestones, of green jaspery layers, and of pale- 
purplish, calcareous, soft rottenstone, including seams and veins of 
gypsum. These strata are conformably overlaid by a great thickness 
of thinly stratified, compact 4imestone, with included crystals of car- 
bonate of lime. At a place called Tierra Amarilla, at the foot of a 
mountain thus composed, there is a broad vein, or perhaps stratum, 
of a beautiful and curious crystallized mixture, composed, according to 
Prof. G. Rose,* of sulphate of iron under two forms, and of the sul- 
phates of copper and alumina : the section is so obscure that I could 
not make out whether this vein or stratum occurred in the gypseous 

* Meyen's Beise, &c. Th. 1. s. 394. 


fonnation, or more probably in some underljring maaBes [A], which I 
believe are altered clayslate. 

Second AxU of Elevation. — After the gypseous masses [|B]], we 
come to a line of hills of unstratified porphyry [C], which on their 
eastern side blend into strata of great thickness of porphyritic con- 
glomerate, dipping eastward. This latter formation, however, here has 
not been nearly so much metamorphosed as in most parts of central 
Chile; it is composed of beds of true purple claystone porphyry, 
repeatedly alternating with thick beds of purplish- red conglomerate 
with the well-rounded, large pebbles of various porphyries, not 
blended together. 

Third Axie of Elevation. — Near the ravine of Los Ilomitos, there 
is a well marked line of elevation, extending for many miles in a 
N.N.E. and S.S.W. direction, with the strata dipping in most parts 
(as in the second axis) only in one direction, namely, eastward at an 
average angle of between 30° and 40°. Close to the mouth of the 
valley, however, there is, as represented in the section, a steep and 
high mountain t^l composed of various green and brown intrusive 
porphyries enveloped with strata, apparently belonging to the upper 
parts of the porphyritic conglomerate, and dippmg both eastward 
and westward. I will describe the section seen on the eastern side 
of this mountain [[D]], beginning at the base with the lowest bed 
visible in the porphyritic conglomerate, and proceeding upwards 
through the gypseous formation. Bod (1) consists of reddish and 
brownish porphyry varying in cliaracter, and in many parts highly 
amygdaloidal with carbonate of lime, and with bright green and brown 
bokb Its upper surface is throughout clearly defined, but the lower 
surfiMse is in most parts indistinct, and towards the summit of the 
mountain [|D]] quite blended into the intrusive porphyries. Bed (2), 
a pale lilac, hard but not heavy stone, slightly laminated, including 
small extraneous fragments, and imperfect as well as some perfect 
and glassy crystals of feldspar ; from 1 50 to 200 feet in thickness. 
When examining it in situ^ I thought it was certainly a true por- 
phyry, but my specimens now lead me to suspect that it possibly 
may be a metamorphosed tuif. From its colour it could be traced for a 
long distance, overlying in one part, quite conformably to the porphyry 
of bed 1, and in another not distant part, a very thick mass of con- 
fflomerate, composed of pebbles of a porphyry chiefly like that of 
bed 1 : this fact shows how the nature of the bottom formerly varied 
in short horizontal distances. Bed (3), white, much indurated tuff, 
containing minute pebbles, broken crystals, and scales of mica, varies 
much in thickness. This bed is remarkable from containing many 
globular and pear-shaped, externally rusty bolls, from the size of an 
apple to a man's head, of very tough, slate- coloured porphyry, with 
imperfect crystals of feldspar : in shape these balls do not resemble 
pebbles, and I believe that they are Muhaqueoue volcanic bombs ; they 
differ from suba'erial bombs only in not being vesicular. Bed (4) ; a 
dull purplish-red, hard conglomerate, with crystallized particles and 
veins of carbonate of lime, from 300 to 400 feet in thickness. The 


pebbles are of claTstone porphyries of many varieties; they are 
tolerably well rounded, and vary in size from a large apple to a man's 
head. This bed includes three layers of coarse, black, calcareous, 
somewhat slaty rock : the upper part passes into a compact red 

In a formation so highly variable in mineralogical nature, any 
division not founded on fossil remains, must be extremely arbitrary : 
nevertheless the beds below the last conglomerate, may, in accordance 
with all the sections hitherto described, be considered as belonging 
to the porphyritic conglomerate, and those above it to the gypseous 
formation, marked \lSr\ in the section. The part of the valley in 
which the following beds are seen is near Potrero Seco. Bed (5), 
compact, fine-grained, pale greenish-grey, non-calcareous, indurated 
mudstone, easily fusible into a pale green and white glass. Bed (6), 
purplish, coarse-grained, hard sandstone, with broken crystals of 
feldspar and crystallized particles of carbonate of lime ; it possesses a 
slightly nodular structure. Bed (7), blackish-grey, much indurated, 
calcareous mudstone, with extraneous particles of unequal size ; the 
whole being in parts finely brecciated. In this mass there is a 
stratum, twenty feet in thickness, of impure gypsum. Bed (8), a 
greenish mudstone with several layers of gypsum. Bed (9), a highly 
mdurated, easily fusible, white tufiT, thickly mottled with ferruginous 
matter, and including some white semi-porcellanic layers, which are 
interlaced with ferruginous veins. This stone closely resembles some ^ 
of the commonest varieties in the Uspallata chain. Bed (10), a 
thick bed of rather bright green, indurated mudstone or tufT, with a 
concretionary nodular structure so strongly developed that the whole 
mass consists of balls. I will not attempt to estimate the thick- 
ness of the strata in the gypseous formation hitherto described, but 
it must certainly be very many hundred feet. Bed (11) is at 
least 800 feet in thickness: it consists of thin layers of whitish, 
greenish, or more commonly brown, fine-grained indurated tufis, 
which crumble into angular fragments : some of the layers are semi- 
porcellanic, many of them highly ferruginous, and some are almost 
composed of carbonate of lime and iron with drusy cavities lined with 
quartz-crystals. Bed (12), dull purplish or greenish or dark-grey, 
very compact and much indurated mudstone: estimated at 1,500 
feet in thickness : in some parts this rock assumes the character of 
an imperfect coarse clayslate; but viewed under a lens, the basis 
always has a mottled appearance, with the edges of the minute com- 
ponent particles blending together. Parts are calcareous, and there 
are numerous veins of highly crystalline carbonate of lime charged 
with iron. The mass has a nodular structure, and is divided by only 
a few planes of stratification : there are, however, two layers, each 
about eighteen inches thick, of a dark-brown, finer-grained stone, 
having a conchoidal, semi-porcellanic fracture which can be followed 
with the eye for some miles across the country. 

I believe this last great bed is covered by other nearly similar alter- 
nations ; but the section is here obscured by a tilt from the next por- 

CHAP, yin.^ OYPsisons formation. '^ ,221 

phyiitio cham, presently to be described. I have given this section 
in detail, as being illustrative of the general character of the mountains 
in this neighbourhood ; but it must not be supposed that any one 
stratum long preserves the same character. At a distance of between 
only two and three miles, the green mudstones and white indurated 
tuffs are to a great extent repla^ by red sandstone and black calca- 
reous shaly rocks, alternating together. The white indurated tuff, 
bed (11), here contains little or no eypsum, whereas on the northern 
and opposite side of the valley, it is of much greater thickness and 
abounds with layers of gypsum, some of them alternating with thin 
seams of crystalline carbonate of lime. The uppermost, dark -coloured, 
hard mudstone (bed 12) is in this neighbourhood the most constant 
stratum. The whole series differs to a considerable extent, especially 
in its upper part, from that met with at QB B]], in the lower part of 
the valley ; nevertheless I do not doubt that they are equivalents. 

Fourth Axii of Elevation^ ( Valley of Copiapo,) — ^This axis is formed 
of a chain of mountains [[F]], of which the central masses (near 
La Pnnta) consist of andesite containing green hornblende and coppery 
mica, and the outer masses of greenish and black porphyries, together 
with some fine lilac-coloured claystono porphyry ; all these porphyries 
being injected and broken up by small hummocks of andesite. The 
central great mass of this latter rock, is covered on the eastern side 
by a black, fine-grained, highly micaceous slate, which, together with 
the succeeding mountains of porphyry, are traversed by numerous 
white dikes, branching from the andesite, and some of them extend- 
ing in straight lines, to a distance of at least two miles. The moun- 
tams of porphyry eastward of the micaceous schist soon, but 
gradually, assume (as observed in so many other cases) a stratified 
structure, and can then be recognised as a part of the porphyritic con- 
glomerate formation. These strata [G] are inclined at a high angle 
to the S.E., and form a mass from 1,500 to 2,000 feet in thickness. 
The gypseous masses to the west already described, dip directly to- 
wards this axis, with the strata only in a few places (one of which is 
represented in the section) thrown from it ; hence this fourth axis is 
mainly uniclinal towards the S.E., and just like our third axis, only 
locally anticlinal. 

The above strata of porphyritic conglomerate QG] with their 
south-eastward dip, come abruptly up against beds of the gypseous 
formation [^H] which are gently, but irregularly, inclined westward : 
so that there is here a synclinal axis and great fault. Further up 
the valley, here running nearly north and south, the gypseous forma- 
tion is prolonged for some distance ; but the stratification is unintelli- 
gible, the whole being broken up by faults, dikes, and metalliferous 
veins. The strata consist chiefly of red calcareous sandstones, with 
numerous veins, in the place of layers, of gypsum ; the sandstone is 
associated with some black calcareous slate-rock, and with green 
pseudo-honestones, passing into porcelain-jasper. Still further up 
the valley, near Las Amolanas, [T] the gypseous strata become more 


regular, dipping at an angle of between 30^ and 40° to W.S.W., and 
oonfonnably overl3nng, near the month of the ravine of Jolqnera, 
strata [|K]] of porphyritio conglomerate. The whole series has been 
tilted by a partially concealed axis [[L]] of granite, andesite, and a 
granitic mixture of white feldspar, quartz, and oxide of iron. 

Mfth Axis of Mwaiion ( Valley of Capictpo^ near La» Amolanai). 
—I will describe in some detail the beds £jr\ seen here, which as 
just stated, dip to W.S.W., at an angle of from 80" to 40*'. I 
had not time to examine the underlying porphyritic oonglomerate, 
of which the lowest beds, as seen at the mouth of the Jolquera, 
are highly compact, with crystals of red oxide of iron ; and I am 
not prepared to say whether they are chiefly of volcanic or metamor- 
phic origin. On these beds there rests a coarse pur{^ish conglome- 
rate, very little metamorphosed, composed of pebbles of porphyry, 
but remarkable from containing one pebble of granite ; — of which fact 
no instance has occurred in the sections hitherto described. Above 
this conglomerate, there is a black siliceous claystone, and above it 
numerous alterations of dark-purplish and green porphyries, which 
may be considered as the uppermost limit of the porphyritic con- 
glomerate formation. 

Above these porphyries comes a coarse, arenaceous conglomerate, 
the lower half white and the upper half of a pink colour, composed 
chiefly of pebbles of various porphyries, but with some of red sand- 
stone and jaspery rocks. In some of the more arenaceous parts of 
the conglomerate, there was an oblique or current lamination; a 
circumstance which I did not elsewhere observe. Above this con- 
glomerate, there is a vast thickness of thinly stratified, pale-yellowish, 
Siliceous sandstone, passing into a granular quartz-rock, used for 
grindstones (hence the name of the place Leu Amolanas)^ and cer- 
tainly belonging to the gypseous formation, as does probably the 
immediately underl3ring conglomerate. In this yellowish sandstone 
there are layers of white and pale-red siliceous conglomerate ; other 
layers with small, well-rounded pebbles of white quartz, like the bed 
at the R. Claro at Coquimbo ; others of a greenish, fine-grained, less 
siliceous stone, somewhat resembling the pseudo-honestones lower 
down the valley ; and lastly, others of a black calcareous shale-rock* 
In one of the layers of conglomerate, there was embedded a fragment of 
mica-slate, of which this is the first instance ; hence, perhaps, it is 
from a formation of mica-slate, that the numerous small pebbles of 
quartz, both here and at Coquimbo, have been derived. Not only 
does the siliceous sandstone include layers of the black, thinly strati- 
fied, not fissile, calcareous shale-rock, but in one place the whole 
mass, especially the upper part, was, in a marvellously short horizontal 
distance, after frequent alternations replaced by it. When this 
occurred, a mountain-mass, several thousand feet in thickness was 
*thus composed ; the black calcareous shale-rock, however, always 
included some layers of the pale-yellowish siliceous sandstone, of the 
red conglomerate, and of the greenish ja^ery and pseudo-honestone 


Tarieties. It likewise included three or four widely separated layers 
of a brown limestone, abounding with shells immediately to be 
described. This pile of strata was in parts traversed by many veins 
of gjrpsnm. The calcareous shale-rock, though when freslily broken 
quite black, weathers into an ash-colour ; in which respect and in 
general appearance, it perfectly resembles those great fossilifcrous beds 
of the Peuquenes range, alternating with gypsum and red sandstone, 
described in the last chapter. 

The shells out of the layers of brown limestone, included in the 
black calcareous shale-rock, which latter, as just stated, replaces the 
white siliceous sandstone, consist of — 

Pecten Dufreynoyi, d'Orbig. Voyage, Part. Pal. 
Tnrritella Andii, do. 

Relstioiiis given in the list from Coquimbo. 

Astarte Darwinii, £. Forbes, PI. V. fig. 22, 23. 
Ghryphssa Darwinii, do. PI. V. fig. 7. 

An intennediate fbrm between G. gigantea and G. incurva. 

Ghryphsea, nov. spec. ? do. PI. Y. fig. 8 and 9. 
Pema Americana, do. PI. Y. fig. 4, 5, G. 
Avicula, nov* spec. 

Conaidered by Mr. G. B. Sowerbj as the A. echinata, hy INI. d*Orbigny- as 
certainly a new and distinct species, having a Jurassic aspect. The specimen has 
been unfortunately lost. 

Terebratula eenigma, d'Orbig. (var. of do. E. Forbes, PI. Y. ^g. 
13, 14.) 

This is the same variety, with that from Guasco, considered by M. d'Orbigny 
to be a distinct species from his T. asoigma, and related to T. obsolcta. 

Flagiostoma and Ammonites, fragments of. 

The lower layers of the limestone contained thousands of the 
Grypheea ; and the upper ones as many of the Turritella, with the 
Grypheea (nov. spec.) and Scrpulee adhering to them ; in all the 
layers, the Terebratula and fragments of the Pecten were included. 
It was evident, from the manner in which the species were grouped 
together, that they had lived where now embedded. Before making 
any further remarks, I may state, that higher up this same valley we 
shall again meet with a similar association of shells ; and in the great 
Despoblado valley, which branches off near the town from tliat of Co- 
piapo«the Pecten Dufreynoyi, some Grypliites (I believe G. Darwinii), 
and the true Terebratula eenigma of d'Orbig. were found together in 
an equivalent formation as will be hereafter seen. A specimen also, 
I may add, of the true T. ssnigma, was given me from the neighbour- 
hood of the famous silver mines of Chanuncillo, a little south of the 
valley of Gopiapo, and these mines, from tlieir position, I have no 
doubt^ lie within the great gypseous formation : the rocks close to 
one of the silver- veins, judging from fragments shown me, resemble 




those singular metamorphosed deposits from the mining district of 
Arqueros, near Coquimbo. 

I will reiterate the evidence on the association of these several shells 
in the several localities. 

Pecten Dufreynoyi 
Ostrea hemispherica 
Terebratula soigma 
Spirifer lingaiferoides. 


>in the same bed, Rio Claro. 

Hippurites Chilensis ) ^„_ -, ■, . 

G^pb»a orientalig \ ''"°« ^'^' "«»' Arqaeros. 

Terebratula snigma ) in same block 

ignaciana ) of limestoDe. 

Pecten Dufreynoyi 
Ostrea hemispherica 
Hippurites Chilensis 
Turritella Andii 
Nautilus Domeykus 

Collected by M. Domeyko from 
• the same locality, apparently 
near Arqueros. 

Pecten Dufreynoyi 
Turritella Andii 
Terebratula ignaciana 

senigma, var. 

Spirifer Chilensis. 


In a collection from the Cordillera, given me : the 
specimens all in the same condition. 


Pecten Dufreynoyi 

Turritella Andii 

Terebratula snigma, var. asatGuasco 

Astarte Darwinii 

Gryphaea Darwinii 

nov. spec. 1 

Pema Americana 
Avicula, nov. spec. 

Mingled together in alternating beds in 
the main valley of Copiapo near Las 
Amolanas, and likewise higher up the 

Terebratula »nigu.a (true) } ^'IV^Kt^f IrianT""'"' "'"'' '•™'" 

Terebratula ffinigma (true 
Pecten Dufreynoyi 
Gryphaea Darwinii 1 


the same bed, high up the great lateral valley of 
the Despoblado, in the ravine of Maricongo. 

Considering this tahle, I think it is impossible to doubt that all 
these fossils belong to the same formation. If, however, the species 
from Las Amolanas, in the Valley of Copiapo, had, as in the case of 
those from Guasco, been separately examined, they would probably 
have been ranked as oolitic ; for, although no Spirifers were found 
here, all the other species, with the exception of the Pecten, Turritella, 
and Astarte, have a more ancient aspect than cretaceous forms. On 
the other hand, taking into account the evidence derived from the 
cretaceous character of these three shells, and of the Hippurites, 
Gryphaea orientalis, and Ostrea, from Coquimbo, we are driven back 

iHAP. nn.] 


to tlie proviaional name already Tiaed of cretaceo- oolitic. From 
geological eviilence, 1 believe this formation to be the equivalent of 
tlie neoconiian beds of the Cordiilera of central Chile. 

To return to our section near Laa Amolanag : — Above the yellow 
siliceous sandstone, or the equivalent calcareous slate-rock, with it* 
bands of fossil-Biiells, according as the one or the other prevails, there 
is a pile of Btratn, which cannot be less than from 2,000 to 3,000 feet 
in thickneaa, in main part composed of a coarse, bright, red conglo- 
merate, with many intercalated beds of red Bandstone, and some of 
green and other coloured porcelain -jaapery layers. The included 
pebbles are well rounded, varying from the size of an egg to that of a 
nricket-ball, with a few larger ; and they consist chiefly of porphyries. 
The basis of tlie conglomerate, as well as some of the alternating, thin 
' ' ir harsh, easily fusible sandstone, with 
This whole great pile is remarkable 
nibedded, silicitied trunks of trees, one 
aud another eighteen feet in circum- 
t every vessel in so thick a r 

e fcimied of a red, rather 
crystalline calcareous particles, 
from the thousands of huge, e 
of which was eight feet long, 
ference : how marvellous it it 




wood should have been converted into B\]ex '. 1 bronght home many 
specimens, and all of them, according to Mr. R. Brown, present a 
coniferous structure. 

Above this great congiomerato, we have from 200 to 300 feet in thick- 
ness of red sandstone ; and above this, a stratum of black, calcareous 
slate-Tock, like that which alternates with and replaces the underly- 
ing yellowish -white, siliceous sandstone. Close to the junction between 
this upper black slate-rock and the upper red sandstone, I found 
the Grj/pkwa Dartcinii, the Tarritella Andii, and vast numbers of 
a bivalve, too imperfect to be recognised. Hence we see that, as far 
as the evidence of these two shells serves — and the Turritella is an 
eminently characteristic species — the whole thickness of this vast pile 
of strata belongs to the same age. Again, above the last-mentioned 
upper red sandstone, there were several alternations of the black, cal- 
careous slate-rock ; but 1 was nnable to aacend to them. All these 
uppermost strata, like the lower ones, vary extremely in character in 
short horizontal distances. The gypseous formation, as here seen, has 
a coarser, more mechanical texture, and contains much more siliceous 
matter than the corresponding beds lower down the valley. Its total 
thickness, together with the upper beds of the porphyritic conglo- 
merate, I estimated at least at 8,000 feet ; and only a small portion of 
the porphyritic conglomerate, which on the eastern flank of the 
fourth axis of elevation appeared to be from 1,500 to 2,000 feet thick, 
is here included. As corroborative of the great thickness of the gyp- 
seous formation, I may mention that in the Deapoblado Valley (wliicli 
branches from the main valley a little above the town of Cnpiapo) I 
found a corresponding pile of red and white sandstones, and of dark, 
calcareous, semi-jaspery mudstones, rising from a nearly level sur- 
face, and thrown into an absolutely vertical position ; so that, by 
pacing, I ascertained their thickness to be newrly 2,700 feet ; taking 



this aa a standard of comparison, I estimated tlie tliickncss of tlie 
strata above tiie pnrpliyritic conglomeiatc at 7,000 feet. 

The fossils before enumerated, from the limestone-Iayera in the 
whitish siliceous sandstone, nrc now covered, on the least computation, 
by stratn, from 5,000 to G,000 feet in thickness. Professor E. Forlies 
thinks that these ehells probably lived at a depth of from about 
thirty to forty fathoms, that is from ISO to 240 feet; anyhow, it is 
impossible that they could have lived at the depth of from 5,000 to 
6,000 feet. Hence in this case, as in that of the Puente del Inca, we 
may safely conclude that tiie bottom of the sea on which the shelig 
lived, subsided, so as to receive the superincumbent submarine strata : 
and this subsidence must have taken place during the existence of 
these shells ; for, as I have shown, some of them occur high up as 
well as low down in the series. That the bottom of the sea sub- 
sided, is in harmony witli the presence of the layers of coarse well- 
rounilcd pebbles included throughout this whole pile of strata, as well 
as of tlie great upper mass of conglomerate from 2,000 to 8,000 
feet tliick ; for coarse gmvel could hardly have been formed or 
spread out at the profound depths indicated by the thickness of the 
strata. The subsidence, also, must have been slow to have allowed of 
this often -recurrent spreading out of the pebbles. Moreover, we shall 
presently see that the surfaces of some of the streams of porphyritio 
lava beneath the gj'pseous formation, are so highly aniyfjdaloidal 
that it is scarcely possible to believe tliat they flowed under the vast 
pressure of a deep ocean. Tlic conclusion of a great subsidence 
during the existence of tliese ere tnceo- oolitic fossils, may, I believe, 
be extended to the district of Oiiquimho, althongh, owing to the 
ftissiliferous beds there not being directly covered by the upper gyp- 
seous strata, wliicli in the section north of the valley are about G,000 
feat in thickness, I did not there insist on this conclusion. 

The pebbles in the above conglomerates, botb in the upper and 
lower beds, are all well rounded, and, though chiefly composed of 
various porphyries, there are some of red sandstone and of a jaspery 
stone, both like the rocks intercalated in layers in this same gypseous 
formation ; there was c)ne pebble of mica-slate and some of quartz, tO' 
gether withraany particles of quarts. In these respects there is a wide 
difference between tlie gypseous conglomerates and those of the por- 
pbyritic-conglomerate formation, in which latter, angular and rounded 
fragments, almost exclusively composed of porphyries, are mingled to- 
gether, and which, as already often remarked, probably were ejected 
from craters deep under the sea. From these facts I conclude, that dur- 
ing the formation of the conglomerates, land existed in the neighbour- 
hood, on the shores of which the innumerable pebbles were rounded and 
tlience dispersed, and on which the coniferous forests flourished — for 
it is improbable that so many thousand logs of wood should have been 
drifted from any great distance. This land, probably islands, must have 
been miutdy formed of porphyries, with some mica-slate, whence 
the quartz was derived, and with some red sandstone and jaspery 
rucks. This latter fact is important, as it shows that in this distrit ' 

even pra^Iously tu tlie deposition of tlie lower gypseous or cretooeo- 
oolitic beda, strata of an analogous nature had elsewliere, no doubt 
in the more central ranges of the Cordillera, been cloyatod ; — tlms 
lecalliog to our minds tlie relations of the Cumbre and Uapallata 
chains. IlaTing already referred to tlie great lateral valley of the Des- 
poblado, I may mention that above tiie 2,700 feet of red and white 
sandstone and dark mudstone, there is a vast mass of coarae, hard, 
red conglomemte, some thousand feet in thickness, which contains 
much silicified wood, and evidently corresponds with the great upper 
conglomerate at Las Amolanas : here, however, the conglomerate con- 
sists almost exclusively of pebbles of granite, and of disintegrated 
crystals of reddish feldspar and quartz, firmly recemented togetlier. 
In this case, we may conclude that the land whence the pebbles were 
derived, and on which the now siliciHed trees c 
formed of granite. 

The mountains near Las Amolanas, composed of tlie cretaceo- 
oolitic strata, are interlaced with dikes like a spider's web, to an 
extent which I have never seen equalled, except in the denuded 
interior of a. volcanic crater; north and south lines, however, pre- 
dominate. Tliose dikes are composed of green, white, and blackish 
rocks, all porphyritio with feldspar, and often with large crystals of 
bomblende. The white varieties approach closely in character to 
andesite, which composes, as we have seen, the injected a 
many of the lines of elevation. Some of the green varieties are finely 
laminated, parallel to the walls of the dikes. 

Sixth A lit of mievation {Valley of Copiapo). — This axis consists 
of a broad mountainous mass [U^ of andesite, composed of albite, 
brown mica, and chlorite, passing into andesitic granite, with quartz ; 
on its western side it has thrown off, at a considerable angle, a 
thick maea of stratified porphyries, including much epidote [|N N^, 
and remarkable only from being divided into very thin beds, as 
liighly amygdaloidal on their surfaces as sub-a§rial lava-streams 
This porphyritic formation is conformably 
ne way up the ravine of Jolquera, by a mere 
c pact of the cretaceo -oolitic formation ^M M], 
:ases, as repTesented in the colonred section, the 
s ^L], of the already described fifth Mne, and 
in another part entirely conceals it : in this latter case, the gypseous 
or cretaceo-oolitlc strata falsely appeared to dip under the porphyritic 
conglomerate of the fifth axis. The lowest bed of the gypseous 
formation, as seen here [^MJ, is of yellowish siliceous sandstone 
precisely like that of Amolanas, interlaced in parts with ■ 
gypsum, and including layers of the black, calcareous, non-fissile 

I^te-iDck: the Turriulla Andii, Pecten Dujrei/noyi, Terebratula 
fBttigma, var. aud some Gryphitcs were embedded in these layers. 
The sandstone varies in thickness from only twenty to eighty feet ; 
Mid this variation is caused by the inequalities in the upper surface of 
Kn underlying stream of purple clayrtoi.e porphvry. Hence the above 
« 2 

I often vesicular. 
covered, as seen si 
remnant of the Ion 
which in one part e 
foot of the nndegitio a 



fossils liero lie kt tlie very base of tlie gypseous or cretaceo-oolitic 
fijnnation, and hence they were probably once covered up by strata 
about 7,000 feet in tlnckness : it is, however, possible, though from 
the nnture of all the other sections iii this district not probable, that 
tlie porphyiitic claystone lava may in this case have invaded a hi^er 
level in the series. Above the sandstone there is a considerable mass 
of much indnmted, purplish- black, calcareous claystone, allied in nature 
to the often 'HI en tinned black calcareous slate-rock. 

Ea'.tward of the broad andesilic axis of this sixth line, and pene- 
trated by many dikes from it, there is a great formation ^PJ of 
mica-scliist, nith its usual variations, and passing in one part into 
& femi^Dons quarts-rock. The fulia arc curved and highly inclined, 
genemlly dipping easttvard. It is probable that this mica-sclnEt is 
an old formation, connected with the granitic rocks and metamorphic 
schists near the coast ; and that the one fragment of mica-slate, and 
the pebbles of quartz low down in the gypseous formation ut Las 
Amolanas, have been derived from it. The mica-schist is succeeded 
by stratitied porphyritic conglomerate f Q] of great thickness, dipping 
eastward with a high inclination : I have included this latter moun- 
tnin-mass in the same anticlinal axis with the porphyritic streams 
[N N] ; but I am far from sure that the two masses may not have 
been independently upheaved. 

Seventh Axil of Elevation. — Proceeding up the ravine, we come 
to another mass f R] of andesite ; and beyond this, we again have 
a very thick, stratified porphyritic formation ^SJ, dipping at a small 
adgle eastward, and forming tbe basal part of the main Cordillera. 
I did not ascend the ravine any higher ; but here, near CastaSo, I 
examined several sections, of which I will not give the details, onlv 
observing, that the porphyritic beds, or submarine lavas, preponderate 
greatly in bulk over the alternating sedimentary layers, which have 
been hut little metamorphosed: these latter consist of fine-grained 
red tufis and of whitish volcanic gritstones, together with much of a 
singular, compact rock, having an almost crystalline basis, finely brec- 
eiated with red and green fragments, and occasionally including a few 
large pebbles. The porphyritic lavas are highly amygdaloidal, both 
on their upper and lower surfaces ; they consist chiefly of clay-stone 
porphyry, but with one common variety, like some of the streams at 
the Puente del Inca, having a grey mottled baais, abounding Vfith 
crystals of red hydrons oxide of iron, green ones apparently of epidote, 
and a few glassy ones of feldspar. This pile of strata differs con- 
siderably from the basal strata of the Cordillera in central Chile, 
and may possibly belong to the upper and gypseous series : I saw, 
however, in the bed of tlio valley, one fragment of porphyritic 
breccia-conglomerate, exactly like those great masses met v ' ~ 
the more southern parts of Chile. 

Finally, I must observe, that though I have described between tht 
town of Copiapo and the western flank of the main Cordillera, sc 
or eight axes of elevation, extending nearly north and south, it n 




nut be supposed tliut tliey alt i 
Ab whs Btiited to be the cose in 
central Cliile, bo here must: of tbe lines of elevation, witji the exception 
of the fint, third, and Hftli, lire very short. The etratificntion ia every- 
-wheco disturbed and intricate; nowhere have I «een more numerous 
faults and dikes. The whole district, from the sea to the Cutdillera, 
is more or leas metalliferous ; and I heard of gold, silver, copper, lead, 
mercury, and iron veins. Tlie nietauiorphic action, even iu thelotvejr 
strata, has certainly beeu fat less here than in central Ciiile. 

Valley of the Despohlcido. — This great barren valley, whiuli lins 
already been alluded to, enters the main valley of Copiapo a liltlu 
above the town: it runs at first northerly, then N.E,, and moto 
easterly into the Cordillera ; I followed its dreary course to the foot 
of the first main ridge. 1 will not give a detailed section, because it 
would be essentially similar to that already given, and because the 
stratification is exceedingly complicated. After leaving the platonio 
hills near the town, I met first, as in the main valley, with the gyp- 
seous formation having the same diversified character as before, and 
soon afterwards with masses of porphyritic conglomerate, about 1 ,llOU 
feet in thiukness. In the lower part of this formation, tliere were 
very thick beds composed of fragments of claystone porphyries', both 
angular and rounded, with the smaller ones partially blended together 
and the basis rendered poqihyritio ; tliese beds separated distinct 
streams, from sixty to eighty feet in thickness, of clayatonu lavas. 
Near Paipotc, also, there was much true porphyritio breccia- 
conglomerate: nevertiicless, few of these masses were metamorphosed 
to the same degree with the corresponding formation in central Chile. 
I did not meet in this valley with any true andesite, but only with 
imperfect andesitic porphyry ineiuding large crystals of hornblende : 
numerous as have been the varieties of intrusive porphyries already 
mentioned, there were here mountains composed of a new kind, 
having a compact, smooth, cream-coloured basis, including only 
a few crystals of feldspar, and mottled with dendritic ^pots of oside 
of iron. There were also some mountains of a porphyry with a 
brick-red basis, containing irregular, often lens-shaped, patches of 
compact feldspar, and crj'stals of feldspar, which latter to my sur- 
prise I find to be orthite. 

At the foot of the first ridge of the main Cordillera, in the ravine 
of Maricongo, and at an elevation, which, from the extreme coldness 
and appearance of the vegetation, I estimated at about 10,000 feet; 
I found beds of white sandstone and of limestone including the Pecten 
Dit/reynoyi, Terehratula wnigtna, and some Oryphites. Tiiia ridge, 
throws the water on the one hand into the Pacific, and on the other, 
as r was informed, into a great gravel-covered, basin-like plain, in- 
-cluding a salt-lake, and without any drainage-exit. In crossing the 
Cordillera by this Pass, it is said tiiut three principal lidgos must be 
traversed, instead of two, or only one as in central Ciiile. 

The crest of this first main ridge and t!ie surrounding' mountains, 

SBO copiafo. [cuap. VIII. | 

with the exception of a few lofty pinnacles, are capped by a great 
thickness of a. hurizontally stratified, tufaueous deposit. The lowest 
bed is of a. pale purple colout, hard, fine-grained, and full of broken 
crystals of feldspar and scales of mica. The middle bed is coarser 
Mid less hard, and hence weathers into very sharp pinnacles : it in- 
cludes many email fragments of granite, and innumerable ones of all 
aiaes of grey vesicular trachyte, some of which were distinctly rounded. 
The uppermost bed is about 200 feet in thickueaa, of a darker colonx 
and apparently hard ; but I bad not time to ascend to it. These 
three liorizonCal beds may be seen for the distance of many leagues, 
especially westward or in the direction of the PaciJic, capping the 
summits of the mountains, and standing on the opposite sides of the 
immense valleys at exactly corresponding heights. If united they 
would form a plain, inclined very slightly towards the Pacific ; the 
beds become thinner in this direction, and the tuff (judging from one 
point to which I ascended, some way down the valley) finer-grained 
and of less specific gravity, though still compact and sonorous under 
the hammer. The gently inclined, almost horizontal stratification, 
the presence of some rounded pebbles, and the compactneHS of the 
lowest bed, though rendering it probable, would not have convinced 
me that tliis mass had been of subaqueous origin, for it is known 
that volcanic ashes falling on land and moistened by rain often 
become hard and stratified ; but beds thus originating, and owing 
their consolidation to atmospheric moisture, would have covered 
almost equally every neiglibouring summit, high and low, and would 
not liave left those above a certain exact level absolutely bare ; this 
oircumstance seems to me to prove that the vulcanic ejections were 
arrested at their present, widely extended, equable level, and there con- 
solidated by some other means than simple atmospheric moisture i 
and this no doubt mn^t have been a sheet of water. A lake at this 
great lieight, and without a barrier on any one side, is out of the 
question; consequently we must conclude that the tufaeeous matter 
was anciently deposited beneath the sea. It was certainly deposited 
before the excavation of the valleys, or at least before their final 
enlargement ;' and 1 may add, that Mr. Lambert, a gentleman well 
acquainted with this country, informs me, that in ascending the 
ravine of Santa&dres (whicl) branches off from the Despobkdo) he 
met with streams of lava and much erupted matter capping all the 
hills of granite and porphyry, with tlio exception of some projecting 
points ; he, also, remarked that the valleys had been excavated sub'- 
Bequently to these eruptions. 

This volcanic formation, which I am informed by Mr. Lambert 
extends far northward, is of interest, as typifying what has taken 
place on a grander scale on the corresponding western side of the Cor- 
dillera of Peru. Under another point of view, however, it possesses 
a far higher interest, as confirming that conclusion, drawn from the 

• I hB. 

illey wus left by tLe n 

.ling B 

struL-ture of tiie fiingeB tif stratified shingle which are pruloiiged from 
the plaina at the fout of tlie Cordillera tar up tlic valleys, — naniely, 
tiiat this great range has been elerated in mass to a height of 
between 8000 and 3000 feet i* and nuw, judging from this tufaceoua 
deposit, we may conclude that the liorizoatal tlevatiun has been in 
the district of Copiapo about 10,000 feet. 

In the valley of the Deapoblado, the strati fi ration, ns before re- 
marked, has been much disturbed, and in some points to u greater 
degree than I have anywhere else si;on. I will give two casts; a 
very thick mass of thioly stratified red saud^tune, incliidiug beds uf 
conglomerate, has been crushed together (as repreaented in tlie wood- 
cut) into a yoke or urn-furrned trough, so that the strata on both 


sides Lare been folded innards on tlio tight band the properly 
underlying porphyritic claystone conglomerate is seen overlying the 
sandstone, but it soon becomes vertical, and then is inclined towards 
the trough, so that the beds radiate like the spokes of a wheel : on 
the left liand, the inverted porpbyritic conglomerate also osEutnes 
a dip towards the trough, not gradually a9 on the right hand, but by 
means of a vertical fault and synclinal break ; and a little still fuithf r 
on towards the left, there is a second great oblique fault, (both sbovii 
hy tlie arrow-tines) with the strata dipping to a directly opposito 
'point : these mountains are intersected by infinitely numerous dikes, 
some of which can be seen to rise from hummocks uf greenstone, and 
can be traced for thousands of feet. In the second case, two low 
ridges trend together and unite at the head of a little wedge-shaped 
valley ; throughout tiie right-hand ridge, the strata dip at 45° to the 
east : in the left-hand ridge, we have the very same strata and at first 
■with exactly the same dip; but in following this ridge up the valley, 
tbe strata are seen very regularly to become more and more inclimd 
until they stand vertical, they then gradually fall over, (the basaet- 
edgoa forming symmetrical serpentine lines along tbe crest) till at the 
Tery head of the valley they are reversed at an angle of 45° : so 
that at this point the beds have been turned through an angle of 1 35° ; 

I * I may bere menlion that ciD ibe Boulb Bide of the mfiin valley of CopUpo, 
□esT Polcero Seco, tbe mouDtsias are capped by a tbick masa of boiizontally Elrati- 
fied shingle, at a height nbich I estimated at between 15D0 xiid 2000 feet above 
the bcdol the vsLley. This «hi»gle, 1 belieie, farms the tdge of a wide plain, 
■ujiioh BtretcliBs southn-arJa between two mnuuiain lanjjL-B. 

aad Iiere tlieru Is n kind uf anticlinal axis, witli the striita on botil 
sides (li[iping to opposite points at au angle of io", but with those o 
the left liaud upside-down. 

On the Eruptive Source* of the Porphgritk Clayntone and Green' 
ttone Lata* : — In central Chile, from the extieme metamorpliic aution, 
it ia in moat parts difiioult tci distinguiah between the Btreama of por- 
pliyritio lava and tlie porphyritie breoola-oonglomerate, but here, at 
Copiapo, they are generally perfectly distinct, and in the Despoblad<^, 
I saw for the first time, two great strata of purple clayatono por- 
phyry, after having been for a considerable apace closely united 
tc^ether, one above tlie other, become separated by a masa of frag* 
mentaiy matter, and thuu both tliin out ; — the lower one more rapidly 
than the upper and greater atream. Considering the number and 
thicknesa of the atreaina of porphyritie lava, and the great thickness 
of the beds of brecaia-conglonierate, there can be little doubt that the 
Hourcea of eruption must originally have been nunieroua : nevertheless, 
it ia now moat difficult eveu to conjecture the precise point of any 
one of tbo ancient submarine cratera. I have repeatedly observed 
mountaina of porphyries, more or leaa diatinctly atratihed towards 
their summits or on their flanks, without a trace of atratiRcation in 
their central and basal parts : in moat cuaes, I believe this ia aimply 
due, either to the obliterating effecta of metamorphic action, or to 
auch parts havltjg been mainly formed of intrusive porphyries, or to 
both causes conjoined ; in some instancea, however, it appeared to me 
very probable that the great central iinatratified mossea of porphyry 
■were the now partially denuded imclei of tlie old subniarine volcanoa, 
and that the stratified parts marked the points whence the streams 
flowed. In one case alone, and it was in this valley of the Des- 
poblado, I was able actually to trace a thick stratum of purplish 
porphyry, which for a space of some miles conformably overlay the 
usual alternating beds of breccia- conglomerates and clay atone la vaa, 
until it became united with, and blended into, a mountainous mass 
of various unstratified porphyries. 

The difficulty of tritcing the streams of porphyries to their ancient 
and douhtleas numerous eruptive sources, may be partly expliuned by 
the very general disturbance which the Cordilleiu in most parts has 
suffered ; but I strongly suspect that there is a more specific canse, 
namely, that the original points of eruj/tmi lend to become the point* 
of injection. This in itself does not seem improbable ; for where the 
eiirtli'a crust has once yielded, it would be liable to yield again, though 
the liquefied intrusive matter might not be any longer enabled to 
reach tiie suhuiarine surface and flow as lava, I have been led to this 
conclusion, from having so frequently observed that, where part of 
an unstratified mountain'mass resembled in niineralogical character 
the adjoining streams or strata, there were several other kinds of 
intrusive purphyriea and andesitic rocks injected into the same point. 
As these intrusive mountaiu'ra asses form most of the axea-lines in 
the Cordillera, whether anticlinal, unicliu^il, or ayncliual, and as t 

, and as tiW'^^H 



niuiii valleys liavauenirally been liollowed otil along these lines, tliein- 
truiiive mnssea have generally liutFured inucli denudiititm. Hence tliey 
are apt to stand in Buine dtgtee i^ioluted, and to be situated »t the puintd 
where tlie valleya abruptly bend, oi where the main tributaries enter. 
On this view uf there being a teodency in the old points of eruption 
to become the points of aubsequeui injeetion and disturbance, and 
consequently of denudation, it ceases to be Hurprising that the etreania 
of lava in the poiphyritie olayetone conglomerate formation, un<1 in 
other analogous cases, should most rarely be traceable to their octuni 

Iquiqtfs, Southern jP«ra.— DiiFerently from what wo have teen 
throughout Chile, the coast here is formed not by the granitic Mjries, 
but by an escarpment of the porphyritic congloiuerule fornintioii, 
between 2000 and 3000 feet in height.* I had time only for a very 
short examination ; the chief part of the escarpment appears to be cuni- 
posed of various reddi.sli and purple, sometimes laminated, porpliyrifs, 
resembling those of Chile ; and I saw some of the porphyritic breccia- 
conglomerate ; the stratification appeared but little inclined. Tlie 
uppermost part, judging from the rocks near the famous silver 
mine of Huantajaya,t consists of laminated, impure, argillaceous, 
purplish-grey limestone, associated, I believe, with some purple 
sandstone. In the limestone, shells are found: the three following; 
species were given me : — 

Lucina Americana, E. Forbes, PI. V. fi;.. 24. 

Teiebratula inca, do. PI. V. fig. 19, ao. 

senigma, D'Orbig. PI. V. fig. 10, 11, 12. 

This latter species we have seen associated with tho fossils uf which 
lists have been given in this chapter, in two places in the valley of 
Cuquimbo, and in the ravine of Maricongo at Copiapo. Considerinff 
this fact, and the siiperpositiun of these beds on the porphyritic con- 
glomerate formation ; and, as we shall inmiediately see, from theijr 
coutaining much gypsum, and from their otiierwisc close general 
resemblance in minerological nature with the strata described in tlie 
valley of Copiapo, I have little doubt that these fossiliferous beds of 
Iquique belong to the great cretaceo-oolitic formation of northern 
Cliile. Iqnique is situated seven degrees latitude north of Co - 
piapo ; and 1 may here mention, that an Ammonites, nuv. spec, and 
Astatte, nov. spec, were given me from the Cerro Pasco, about ten 
degrees of latitude north of Iquique, and M. d'Orbigny thinks that 
they probably indicate a neoeomian formation. Again, fifteen de- 
grees of latitude northward, in Columbia, there is a grand fo^iliferous 
deposit, now well known from the labours of Von Buch, Lea, d'Or- 

* The loncat paint, wberc the roud ciosseB the coast-escaipmeDl, i 
feat by the baroineler Hbove the level of the seu. 

t Mr. BollBert has (leBciibed (Geolog. Pioi^eeditigs, To[. ii. p. 598) a i 
masa of stiaiifinl detrilue, gravel, and saud, eighty-oae vards Jii IhickneB 
1;iag the limEStoce, niid abounding wiili loose masai^a dI bilver ore. 'Iht 
believe ihal they tan aiuibule iheae musBia lo their [unper veins. 


[chap. 1 

bigny, and Foibes, which belongs to the earlier i^tages of the ore- 
taceoua system. Hence, beuing in mind tliQ character of the few 
fosatlif from Tiena del Fuegu, there ta iome evidence that & g^reat 
portion of the stratified depuaita of the whule vast ntnge of tlie . 
South American Cordillera, helougs to about the same geulugioi' 

Proceeding &om tlie coost-escarpnieot inwards, I ci 
of about thirty miles, an elevated undulatory district, with the I 
dipping in varioua directions. Tbe rocks are of many kinds, — whit^ 
laminated, Bometimes siliceous, sandstone, — purple and red sandatOM 
sometimes so highly calcarenus aa to have a cryatalline fracture,—^ 
argillaceous limestone, — black calcareous slate-rock, like that so often 
deecrihed at Copiapo and other places, —thinly laminated, fine- 
grained, greenish, indurated, eedimentory, fusible rocks, approaching 
in character to the so-calltd pseud o-lioneatonc of Chile, including thin 
coDtemporaneous veins of gypsum, — and lastly, much calcareous, 
laminated porcelun jasper, of a green colour, with red spot», and of 
extremely easy fusibility : I noticed one confonnable stratum of a 
freckled- brown, feld^patliic lava. I may hero mention that I heard 
of great beds of gypsum in the Cordillera. Tlie only novel point in 
this formation, is the presence of innumerable thin layers of rock-salt, 
alternating with the laminated and hard, but sometimes earthy, yel- 
lowish, or bright red and ferruginous eandstones. The thickest layet 
of salt was only two inches, and it thinned out at both ends. On 
one of these saliferous niaaaes I noticed a atratum about twelve feet 
thick, of daik-brown, hard, brecciated, easily fusible rock, containing 
grains of quartz and of black oxide of iron, together with numerous 
imperfect fragments of tdiells. The problem of the origin of salt is 
flo obscure, that every fact, even geographical position, is worth 
recording." With the exception of these saliferous beds, most of the 
locks, as already remarked, present a striking general reseinblauM 
with the upper parts of the gypseous or cretaceo-oulitic formation ( 

Metalliferous Veing. 

I have only a few remarks to make on this subject : 

mining districts, some of them of considerable extent, which I visits 

in (Wn(»'ti/ Chile, I found the principal veins running from betwee 

• Jt 19 well known that strHlified bhU is fDund in seveml plan 
of Peru. Tiie island of San LoieazD, off Lima, is coinpoBed of a pile of (taili 
■(rata, about flOO feet in ihickoesa, coniposed of yallQwish and purpljab. Lard, al^ 
ceoua, or earlbj sandstones, alternating witb tl;io laytris of shale, nbich in plsCA 
pasaes into a grcenisb, gemi-porcellanic, Tuaible rock. Tbere ate acme Ibin beds 
of reddisb mudalone, and aoft feiruginoua mtten.stODes, wilh lajera of gypanB. 
In nearly all tbase varieties , eepeually in the sorter sandstones, there are no- 
meroua tbjn assms of rock-salt : 1 was infocnied that one layer bas been iinind 
tvra incbes in tbicbness. Tbe mannei in Khicb llie minutest Btsurea of the dislo- 
cated beds have been penetrated by the sail, apparently by sBbaequent iofillta- 
tion, IS lery corionB. On tbe soutb side o( the ialund, layers of coal and of 
impure Umc^Luuc biive been discovered. Itenca we here h.ive uilt, gypsun 
coal associated togeiLer. The strata include veins of iiuuni, — -'^ ' 

. VIII.] 


[N. and N.W.] to IS. and S.E.]:' in sorao other pi: 
tlieir course appeared quite irregular, us is said to be generally 
casa !n the wliole valley of Cupiapo : at Taiiibillus, auutli of Co- 
quinibo, I saw one large unpper vein extendiog east aod west. It iu 
'wonliy of notice, that the foliation of the gneiss and mica-«Iate, and the 
cleavage of the altered ckysUte, where such rocks occur, certainly 
tend to run like the metalliferous veins, though often irregularly, iu a 
direction a little westward of nurtii. At Yaquil, I observed that the 
principal auriferous veins ran nearly parallel to the grain or irupeifect 
cleavage of the surrounding granitic rocks. With respect to the dis- 
tribution of the different metals, cupper, f;old, and iron are generally 
associated together, and are most frequently found (but with many 
exceptions, as we shall presently see) in the rocks of the lower 
series, between the Cordillera and the Pacific, namely, in granite, 
syenite, altered feliispathic clayslate, gneiss, and as near Oua«co mica- 
schist. Tl>e copper-ores consist of sulphurets, oxides, and carbonates, 
sometimes with lamins of Dative metal : I was assured that in 
some cases (as at Fanuncillo S.E. of Coquimbo) the upper part of 
Bome vein contains oxides, and tlie lower part sulphurets of copper.f 
Gold occurs in its native form ; it is believed that, iu many cases, 
the upper part of the vein is the most productive part : this liict, 
probably, is connected with the abundance of this metal in the stra- 
tified detritus of Chile, which must have beeu chieHy derived from 
the degradation of the upper portions of the rocks. These superfi- 
cial beds of well-rounded gravel and tand, containing gold, ap- 
peared to me to have been formed under the sea close to the beach, 
during the slow elevation of the land : Scbmidtmeyer]; remarks that 
in Chile gold is sought for in shelving banks at the height of some 
feet on the sides of the streams, and not in their beds. 

235 ^H 

the ] 

heen the case had this metal been deposited by ( 
Kction. Very frequently the copper ores, including a 
Bsnociated with abundant micaceous specular iron. 

on ai In vial 
3 gold, are 


; tLsr hare 

I salt abundant do tfae ci 
the Coidil'lera snd ills Pacific, but, d> 
low bills on (he aasitia floDk of thi 
pDBed 10 tbe theory, [hal rock-BHlt i) 
■■It, in medileriBneon s puces of the ( 
of ibese counlriea would ralber 
nay connected triib volcanic bi 
Sir H. Murcbieon'a Asaiveisaij 

lead t< 

.. Tbe gen 

D limits of the disi 
lelms, it is found in 
These facta apjiec 

, Ibat 


of tbfl gtology 

It ibe botloiD of lb I 

-ess to Cieolog. Soc. 1843, p. b'S. 

■ iDeaa mimiig aiamcla ace I aqui] near Nancagua, where tbe direction of tbe 
cluefyeina,to wliich only iu all cases I refer, ia north and soulb; in tbe L'spuliala 
range, ihe prevailing line is N.N.W. and S.S.E. ; in the C. de Ptado, it is 
N.N.W. and 8.S.E, ; near illapet, it is N. by W. and S. by E. ; at Los Homos, 
the direction vaiies from between [H. and N.W.] to [S. aod S.E.] ; at tbe C. de 
lot HoTDoa [fuilber nortb»ard), it is M.iV.W. and SM.f..; at Fanuncillo, it ia 
H.N.W. and S.S.E. : and lastlj at Arqueroa, (ha direction is N.W. and S.E. 

t Tba aame fact baa beeii observed by Ur. Taylor in Cuba ; Loadon, PLil 
Jouni. vol. li. p. 21. 

t Travels in Cblle, p. 29. 


fonnd ill iron-pyrites : at two guld mines at Yaquil (near Naiicagiiii}i 
I was infurnied by the proprietor tliat in oue the gold was always 
associated with copper- pyrites, and in the other with iron- 
pyrites : in this lulter case, it u said that if the vein ceases to con- 
tain iron-pyrites, it is yet worth while to cuntiune tiie search, but 
if the iroQ-pyiites, when it reappears, is not auriferous, it is better at 
once to give up working the vein. Althougli I believe copper and 
gold are most frequently found in the lower granitic and metaiiiorpliic 
schistose series ; yet these metals occur botli in the porphyritic con- 
glomerate formation (as on the flanks of the Bell of Quiltota and at 
Jajuel), and in the superincumbent strata. At Jajiiel I was in- 
formed that the copper-ore, with some gold, is found only iu the 
greenstones and altered fcldspathic claysliite, which alternate with 
the purple porphyritic conglomerate. Several gold veins and some 
of copper-ore are worked in several parts of the Uspallata range, 
both in the metamorphosed strata, which have been shown to have 
been of probably subsequent origin to the neocomian or gypseous 
formation of the main Cordillera, and in the intrusive andesitic rockn 
of that range. At Los Hornos (N.E. of Ilhipel), likewise, there 
are numerous veins of cop per- pyrites and of gold, buth iu the strata of 
the gypseows fonnation and in the injected liiUs of andesite and 
various porpliyries. 

Silver, in tlie form of a chloride, sulphuret, or an amalgam, or in its 
native state, and associated with lead and other metals, and at Arque- 
IDS with pure native copper, occurs chiefly in the upper great 
gypseous or cretocoo-oolitiu formation, which forms piubably ihe rich- 
est mass in Chile. We may instance the mining districts of 
ArqueroH near Coquinibo, and of neatly the whole valley of Copispo, 
and of IquiquB (where the principal veins run N.E. by E, and S.W. 
by W.), in Peru. Hence conies Molina's remark, that silver is bom-^ 
in the cold and solitary deserts of the upper Cordillera. 
however, exceptions to this rule : at Fatal (S.E. of Coqnimbo) silvs, 
is found in the porphyritic conglomerate formation ; as I suspect il 
likewise the case at S, Pedro de Nulasko in the Peuquenes Pass'.' 
Rich argentiferous lead is found in tlie clayslate of the Uspallata 
range ; and I saw an old silver mine in a hill of syenite at the foot of 
the Bell of Q,uillota : I was also assured that silver has been found 
in the andesitic and porphyritic region between the town of Copiapu 
and the Pacific. I have stated iu a previous part of this chapter, that 
ia two neighbouring mines at Arqueros the veins in one were pro- 
ductive when they traversed the singular green sedimentary bed^ 
and unproductive when crossing the reddish beds; 
other mine exactly the reverse takes place : I have also described 1 
singular and rare case of numerous particles of native silve 
the chloride being disseminated in the green rock at the distance of a 
yard from the vein. Mercury occurs with silver both at AtquerOB 
and at Copiapo : at the base of C. de los Homos (S.E. of Coqnimbo, 
a different place from Los Hornos, before mentioned) I si 
syenitic rock numerous quartzose veins, containing 

t t^i^^H 

of »-^^^ 
uerOB ' 

J 1 saw in « j 

[e cinnabar io ^^^d 

.p. viri.] 

METAT.i.iFF.nors -i 


nests : tlierc were here otlii 
gino-aiiriferons oro. I beli 



parallel veins of copper and of a ferru- 
G tin lias never boen found in Chile. 
From information given me by Mr, Nixon of Yaquil,* and by others, 
it appears tliat in Chile thoso veins are generally most permanently 
productive, which consisting of various minerals (sometimes differing 
hnt slightly from the Burrounding rocks), include parallel strings rich in 
metals ; snch a vein is called a veta real. More commonly tlie mines 
are worked only where one, two, or more thin veins or strings running 
in n difFerent direction, intersect a. poor ' veta real:' it is unani- 
mously believed that at sucli points of intersection (crueero»), the 
quantity of metal is much greater than tlint contained in other 
parts of the intersecting veins. In some crueerog or points of interaec- 
tion, the metals extend even beyond the walls of the main, broad, 
stony vein. It is said that the greater the angle of intersection, the 
greater the prodnce ; and that nearly parallel strings attract each 
other ; in the Uspalinta rnnge, I observed that numerous tbin auri- 
ferniginous veins rqicaCedly ran into knots, and then branclied out 
again. I have already described the remarkable manner, in which 
rocks of the Uspallnta range are indurated and blackened (as if by 
a bla$t of gnnpuwder) to a considerable distance from the metallic 

Finally, I may obscrvp, tliat the presence of metallic veins seems 
obviously connected with the presence of intrusive rocks, and with 
UiB degree of mctamorpbio action which the different districts of 
Chile have Kndergonc.+ Such metamorpbosed areas are generally 
accompanied by nnmerons dikes and injected masses of andesite and 
various porphyries : I have in several places traced the metalliferous 
veina from the intrusive masses into the encasing strata. Knowing 
tiiat the porphyritic conglomerate formation consists of alternate 
streams of submarine lavas and of the debris of anciently erupted 
rocks, and that the strata of tlie upper jrypseous formation some- 
times include submarine lavas, and are composed of tuffs, mudstones, 
and mineral substances, probably due to volcanic exhalations, — the 
richness of these strata is bigljly remarkable when conipared with the 
erupted beds, often of submarine origin, but not metamoiy/toied, 
which compose the numerous islands in the Pacific, Indian, and 
Atlantic Oceans ; for in these inlands metals are entirely absent, and 
their nature even unknown to the aborigines. 

Summary on the Geological Hutorti of the Chilian Cordillera, and 

of the soiit/iern parts o/S. America. 

We have seen that the siiores of the Pacific, for a space of 1200 

miles from Tres Montes to Copiapo, and I believe for a very much 

* At the Duramo mine, tfae gald ia aisocialed wiib copper-)ivrites, snd the 
veinB contnin la^e prisma nf plumbago. CrvstHlliied carbonale of litne iaone of 
■ • ■ ■lemalriitorihoCbilianYeina. 

la fpllow travellers hare (riv*n sorne strikinf; facts on 
)f the Ural Mountnins. GBOlog. Proc. vol. iii. p. 748. 


that land cxUtod at tliia period in the neiglibourUood, Tliia land, or 
islands, in tlie nortlieni part of the diwtrict of Copiapo, must have 
been almost exclusively composed, judging from the nature of the 
pebbles, of granite ; in the southern parts of Copiapo, it must ha?o 
ireen mainlj formed of claystone porphyries, with some mica-schist, 
and with much sandstone and jaspery rooks exactly like the rocks in 
the gypseous formation, and no doubt belonging to its basal series. 
In several other places, also, during the accumulation of the gypseoua 
formation, its basal parts and the underlying porphyritic conglo- 
merate must likewise have been already partially upheaved and ex- 
posed to wear and tear ; near the Fuente del Inca and at Coquimbo, 
there must have existed masses of mica-schist or some such rock, 
whence were derived the many small pebbies of opaque quartz. It 
follows from these facts, that in some parts of the Cordillera the 
upper beds of the gypseous formation must lie unconformnbly on 
the lower beds; and the whole gypseous formation, in parts, uncon- 
formably on the porphyritic conglomerate ; although I sow no such 
cases, yet in many places the gypseous formation is entirely absent; 
and this, although no doubt generally caused by quite subsequent 
denudation, may in others be due to the underlying porphyritic con- 
glomerate having been locally upheaved liefore the deposition of tho 
gypseous strata, and thus having become the source of the pebbles 
of porphyry embedded in them. In the porphyritic conglomerate 
fonnation, in its lower and middle parts, there is very rarely any 
evidence, with the exception of the small quartz pebbles at Jajuel 
near Aconcagua, and of the single pebble of granite at Copiapo, of the 
existence of neighbouring land: in the upper partfl, however, and 
especially in the district of Copiapo, the number of thoroughly welt- 
rounded pebbles of compact porphyries make me believe, that, as 
during the prolonged accumulation of the gypseous formation the lower 
beds had already been locally upheaved and exposed to wear and tear, 
ao it was with the porphyritic conglomerate. Hence in following 
thus far the geological liiatory of the Cordillera, it may be inferred that 
the bed of a deep and open, or nearly open, ocean was filled up by por- 
phyritic eruptions, aided probably by some general and some local ele- 
vations, to that comparatively shallow level at whicii the CTetaeeo- 
oolitio shells first lived. At this period, the submarine craters yielded 
at intervals a prodigious supply of gypsum and other mineral exhala- 
tions, and occaaion^y, in certain places, poured forth lavas, chiefly of 
a feldspathic nature : at this period, islands clothed with fir-trees 
and composed of porphyries, primary rocks, asd the lower gypseoua 
strata had already been locally upheaved, and exposed to the action of 
the waves; — the general movement, however, at this time having 
been over a very wide area, one of slow subsidence, prolonged till the 
bed of the sea sank several thousand feet. 

In central Chile, after the deposition of a great thickness of the 
gypseous strata, and after their upheaval, by which the Cumbre and 
adjoining ranges were formed, a vast pile of tufacoous matl«r and 
submarine, lava was accumulated, where the Uspallata chain now 



CHAP. Vin.] OF THE C0RD1LI.EH4. Sl| 

stands ', also after the deposition and upheaval of the equivalent gyp- 
seous strata of the Peuquenes range, the great thick mass of conglo- 
merate in the valley of Tenuyan was accumulated : during the de- 
position of the Uspallata strata, we know absolutely, from the buried 
vertical trees, that there was a subsidence of some thousand feet; 
and we may infer from the nature of the conglomerate in the valley 
of Tenuyan, that a similar and perhaps contemporaneous more- 
ment there took place. We have, then, evidence of a second great 
period of subsidence; and, aa in the case of the subsidence which 
accompanied the accumulation of the cretaceo-oolitic strata, so this 
later subsidence appears to have been complicated by alternate or 
local elevatory movement — for the vertical trees, burial in the midst 
of the Uspallata strata, must have grown on dry land, formed by the 
upheaval of the lower submarine beds. Presently I shall have to 
recapitulate the facts, showing that at a still h»ter period, namely, at 
nearly the commencement of the old tertiary deposits of Patagonia and 
of Chile, the continent stood at nearly its present level, and then, for 
the third time, slowly subsided to the amount of several hundred 
feet, and was afteiwards slowly re-uplifted to its present level. 

The highest peaks of the Cordillera appear to consist of active or 
more commonly donnant volcanos, — such as Tupungato, Maypu, and 
Aconcagua, which latter stands 23,000 feet above the level of the 
sea, and many others. The next highest peaks are formed of the 
gypseous and porphyritic strata, thrown into vertical or highly in- 
clined positions. Besides the elevation thus gained by angular dis- 
placements, I infer, without any hesitation, — from t!ie stratified gravel- 
fringes which gently elope up the valleys of the Cordillera from the 
gravel-capped plains at their base, which latter are connected with the 
plains, still covered with recent shells on the coast, — tliat this great 
range has been upheaved in mass, by a slow movement, to an amount 
of at least 8000 feet. In the Despoblado valley, north of Copiapo, 
tho horinmtal elevation, judging &om the compact, stratified, tufo- 
ceous deposit, capping the distant mountains at corresponding heights, 
was about 10,000 feet. It is very possible, or rather probable, that 
this elevation in mass may not have been strictly horizontal, but 
more energetic under the Cordillera, than towards the coast on either 
side^ nevertheless, movements of this kind may be conveniently dis- 
tinguished from those by which strata have been abruptly broken 
and upturned. When viewing the Cordillera, before liaving read 
Mr, Hopkins's profound Researches on Physical Geology, the convic- 
tion was inrpressed on me, that the angular dislocations, however 
violent, were quite subordinate in importance to the great upward 
movement in mass, and that they had been caused by the edges of the 
wide fissures, which necessarily resulted from the tension of the 
elevated area, having yielded to the inward rush of fluidified rock, 
and having thus been upturned. 

The ridges formed by the angularly upheaved strata, are seJdom of 
great length ; in the central parts of the Cordillera, they are generally 



• vin. J 


or leas obliquely. The angular 
violeot ID the central than in the 
cewise been violent in some of the 
ike. The violence lias been yery j 
crust having apparently tendMl I 

])arallel to each other, and run 
the flauks, they often extend mo 
displacemeat has been much mon 
exterior main tines ; but it has li 
aidnor lines on the extreme fla 
unequal on the snioe short lineg ; 

to yield on certain points along the lineg of fissures, Tliese points, I ' 
Imve endeavoured to sliow, were probably first foci of eruption, and 
nfteTwards cif injected masses of porphyry and andeaite.* The close 
siiiiilarity of the andesitio granites and porphyries, throughout Chile, 
Ticrra del Fuego, and even in Peru, is very remarkable. The prevalence 
uf feldspar cleaving like alliite, is common not only to the andesites, 
hut (as I infer from the high authority of Prof. G. Rose, as well as 
from my own measurements) \a the various claystune and green- 
stone porphyries, and to the trachytio lavas of the Cordillera, The 
andesitic rocks have in niont cases been the lost injected ones, and 
they probably form a continuous dome under this great range : they 
aland in intimate relationship with the modem lavas ; and they seem 
to have been the immediate agent in metamorphosing tbe porphyritie 
conglomerate formation, and often likewise the gypseous strato, to 
the extraordinary extent to which ihey have suffered. 

With respect to the age at which the several parallel ridges com- 
posing the Cordillera were upthrown, I have little evidence. Many 
of them may have been contemporaneously elevated and injected, in 
the same mannerf as in volcanic archipelagoes lavas are coiitem- 
potaneoasly ejected on the parallel lines of fissure. But the jtebblea 
apparently derived from the wear and tear of tho porphyritie con- 
glomerate formation, which are occasionally present in tho upper I 
)>art8 of this same formation and are often present i 
forniation, together with the pebbles from the basal parts of the \ 
latter formation in its upper strata, render it almost certain that j 
])ortions, we niay infer ridges, of these two formations were sue- I 
cessively npheaved. In the case of the gigantic Portillo rang^J 
we may feel almost certain that a pre-existing granitic lin 
raised (not by a single blow, as shown by the highly inclined 1 
basaltic streams in the valley on its eastern flank) at a period long T 
subsequent to the upheavement of the parallel Peuquenes range.^ t 
-Again, subsequently to the upheavement uf the Cumbre chain, that I 
<tf Uspallata vvas formed and elevated ; and afterwards, I may add, 
in the plain of Uspallata, beds of sand and gravel were violently up* ] 

* Sir R. Murcliison, and lis companions elate (Geolog. Proc. vol. iii. p. 747), 
Itinl no true granilti appears in [ba liigber Ural Mountains ^ liul (hat Bjeujtic 
greenstone — a rock closdj analogoUB to our andesite — is far the moat atnindaiit j 

t Volcanic Islands, &c. b; tlie Author, p, 129. 

% I bnTS endeavoured la sb an- in m; Journal (3d edit. p. 321), ibgttbe i 
fact of the river, which dmina ifae valley between these tiro rsngea, 
IbrDugb the Portillo and higher line, ia eiplained hyiLa alowaod subseque 

New Phil. Journil »ul. <»viii. u. 33 and 44. 

ClIAl-. VI11.] OF THE ConDlLLER.t. £43 

tiimwn. Tlie manner iti wliich the various kinds of jiorphyriea and 
andesites have boeD injected one into tlic other, and in which the 
infinitely nameroiis dikes of varioua composition intersect each others 
plainly ahow that the stratified cniat lias been stretched and yielded 
many times over the same points. With respect to the age of the 
axes of elevation between the Pacific and the Cordillera, I know 
bttio : but there are some lines which must — namely, those running 
north and south in Chilue, those eight or nine east and west, parallel, 
far-extended, most symmetrical uniclinal lines at P. Rumeiio, and 
the short N.W.-S.E. and N.E.-S-W. lines at Con cepc ion— have 
been upheaved long after the formation of the Cordillera, Even 
during the earthquake of 1835, when the linear north and south islet 
of St. Mary was uplifted several feet above the surrounding area, we 
perhaps see one feeble step in the formation of a subordinate moun- 
tain-axis. In some cases, moreover, for instance, near the baths 
of Cauquenos, I was forcibly struck with the small size of the 
breaches cut through the exterior mountain -ranges, compared vrith 
the sixe of the same valleys higher up where entering the Cordillera ; 
and tiiis circumstance appeared to me scarcely esplicable, except on 
the idea of the exterior lines having been subsequently npthrown, 
and therefore having been exposed to a less amount of denudation. 
From the manner in which the fringes of gravel are prolonged in 
unbroken slopes up the valleys of the Cordillera, I infer that moat of 
the greater dislocations took place during the earlier parts of the great 
elevation in mass : I have, however, elsewhere given a case, and 
M, de Tschudi' has given another, of a ridge throv?n up in Peru 
across the bed of a river, and consequently after the final elevation of 
the country above the level of the sea. 

Ascending to the older tertiary formations, I will not a^ain re- 
capitulate the remarks already given at tlie end of the Fifth Chapter, 
— on their great extent, especially along the shores of the Atlantic, — 
On their antiquity, perhaps corresponding with that of the eocene 
deposits of Europe, — on the almost entire dissimilarity, though the 
formations are apparently contemporaneous, of the fossils from the 
eastern and western coasts, as is likewise the ease, even in a still more 
marked degree, with the shells now living in these opposite though 
approximate seas, — on the climate of this period not having been 
more tropical than what might have been expected from the latitudes 
nF the places under which the deposits occur ; a circumstance ren- 
dered well worthy of notice, from the contrast with what is known 
to have been the case during the older tertiary periods of Europe, and 
likewise ftom the fact of the southern hemisphere having suffered at 
a much later period, apparently at the same time with the northern 
hemisphere, a colder or more equable temperature, as shown by the 
zones formerly affected by ice-action. Nor will 1 recapitulate the 
proofs of the bottom of the sea, both on the eastern and western 
coast, having subsided 700 or 800 feet during this tertiary period ) 
* Rciaa in Peru, Band 2. a. 8 ; — Aullior's Journsl, id sdil. p. 359. 
R 2 


the movement having apparently been co-oxteneiTe, 
losita of th 
I which th 

extensive, with the deposits o 

IS age. 

Nor wUl I 

again gi^ 


facts and reasoning on which the proposition was founded, that 
when the bed of the sea is either stationary or rising, circumstances 
are far lesa favourable, than when its level is sinking, to the accumu- 
lation of conchiferous deposits of sufficient thickness, extension, and 
hardness to resist, when upheaved, the ordinary vast amount of de- 
nudation. We have seen that the liigiily remarkable fact of the 
absence of any exCetinve formations containing recent shells, either on 
the eastern or western coasts of the continent, — though these coasts 
now abound with living mollusca, — though they are, and apparently 
have always been, as favourable for the deposition of sediment as they 
were when the tertiary formations were copiously deposited, — and 
though tliey have been upheaved to an amount quite sufficient to 
bring up strata from the depths the most fertile for animal life, — can, 
be explained in accordance with the above proposition. As a deduc- 
tion, it was also attempted to be shown, first, that the want of cloaa 
sequence in the fossils of successive formations, and of successive 
stages in the same formation, would follow from the improbability 
of the same area continuing slowly to subside from one whole period 
to another, or even during a single entire period; and secondly, that 
certain epochs having been favourable at distant points in the same 
quarter of the world for the synchronous accnmulation of fossiliferous 
strata, would follow from movements of subsidence having apparently, 
like those of elevation, contemporaneously affected very large areas. 

There is another point wliich deserves some notice, namely, the 
anali^y between the upper parts of the Patagonian tertiary forma- 
tion, as well as of the upper possibly contemporaneous beds at Chiloe 
and Concepcion, with the great gypseous formation of Cordillera; 
for in both formations, the rocks, in their fusible nature, in their con- 
taining gypsum and in many other characters, show a connection,, 
either intimate or remote, with Tolcanic action ; and as the strata in 
both were accumulated during subsidence, it appears at first natural, 
to connect this sinking movomcnt with a state of high activity in the 
neighbouring volcanos. During the cretaceo- oolitic period this cer- 
tunly appears to have been the case at the Fuente del Inca, judging, 
from the number of intercalated lava-streams in the lower 3000 feet 
of strata; but generally, the volcanic orifices seem at tliia time to 
have existed as submarine solfataras, and were certainly quiescent 
compared with their state during the accumulation of the porphyritio 
conglomerate formation. During the deposition of the tertiary strata, 
we know that at S. Cruz, deluges of basaltic lava were poured forth} 
but as these he in the uppKr part of the series, it is possible that the 
subsidence may at that time have ceased : at Chiloe, I was unable to 
ascertain to what part of the series the pile of lavas belonged. Tha 
Uspallata tuSs and great streams of submarine lavas, were probably 
intermediate in age between the cretaceo-oolitic and older tertiary 
funnations, and we know from the buried trees that there was a, 
great subsidence during tiieir accumulation ; but even in th 

CHAP. VIII,] OF souTn AMisKiCA. as 

Bubsidence may not iiiive beeu strictly CDtiteuipnraneoas with the 
great volcanic eruptioiia, for we must believe in at leoal one int«i- 
calat«d period of olevatioD, during which, the ground was npralsed on 
which the now Iiuiicd trees grew. I have been led to make these 
remarks, and to throw some doubt on the strict contemporaneous- 
neas of iiigh volcanic activity and movements of subsidence, from the 
eoDvictiou impressed ou my mind by the study of coral formations,* 
that these two actions dg not generally go on aynchionously ; — on 
the contrary, that iu volcanic districts, subsidence ceases as soon as 
the orifices burst forth into renewed action, and only recoumieuces 
when they again have become dormant. 

At a later period, the Pampean mud, of estuary origin, was depo- 
sited over a wide area, — in one district conformably on the under- 
lying ghl tertiary strata, and in another district uucoufurmabty on 
tliem, after their upheaval and duiudation. During and before tbti 
accumulation, however, of these old tertiary strata, and, therefore, at 
a very remote period, sediment, atrikingly resembling that of the 
Pampas, was deposited ; showing during bow long a time in this 
caae the same agencies were at work in tlie same area. The deposi- 
tion of the Pampean estuary mud was accompanied, at least in the 
southern parts of the Pampas, by an elevatory movement, so that 
the M. Hermoso beds probably were accumulated after the upheaval 
of those round the S, Yentaua ; and those at P. Alta after the up- 
heaval of the Monte Plermoso strata; but there is some reason to 
suspect that one period of subsidence intervened, during which mud 
was deposited over the coarse sand of the Barrancas de S. Gregorio, 
and on the higher parts of Banda Oriental. Tlie mammiferous ani- 
mals eharacteristio of this formation, many of which differ as much 
from the present inhabitants of S. America, as do the eocene mam- 
mals of Europe from the present ones of that quarter of the globe, 
certainly co-existed at B, Blanca with twenty species of mollusca, 
one balanus, and two corals, all now living in the adjoining sea : 
this is likewise the coao in Patagonia with tlie Macrauchenia, which 
co-existed with eight shells, still the conmionest kinds on that coast. 
I will not repeat what I have elsewhere said, on the place of habita'- 
tion, food, wide range, and extiuctiou of tlie numerous gigantic 
mammifers, which at tliis late period inhabited the two Americas. 

Tlie nature and grouping of the shells embedded in the old ter- 
tiary formations of Patagonia and Chile, show us, that the ooulinent 
at that period must have stood only a few fathoms below its present 
level, and that afterwards it subsided over* a wide area, 700 or 800 
feet. The manner in which it has since been re-biought up to its 
actual level, was described in detail in the first and second chapters. 
It was there shown that recent shells are found on the shores of tlie 
Atlantic, from Tierra del Fuego northward for a space of at lewst 
1180 nautical miles, and at the height of about 100 I'eet iu La Plata, 

* The Struetuie, Lc. of Coral Reefs, p. 140. 


nnil of 400 feet in Patagonia. The clevatoTy movemmta on this eide 
of tlte continent Imve been slow ; and tlie const of Patagonia, tip Ut 
tliQ beiglit ID one part of 930 feet, and in anotlier uf 1200 feet, is 
modelled into eight, great, step-like, gravel-capped plains, eittending 
for hundreds of miles with the same lieighta ; tliis fact shows tliat 
tlie periods of denudation (which, judging from the amount of matter 
removed, must have been long-continued) and of elevation were 
synchronous over surprisingly great lengths of coasts. On the shore* 
of the Pacific, upraised shells of recent species, generally, though not 
always, in the same proportional numbers as in the adjoining sea, 
have actually been found over a north and south space of 2075 miles, 
and there is reason to believe that they occur over a space of 2480 
miles. The elevation on this western side of the continent has not 
been equable ; at Valpnraiso, within the period during which up- 
raised shells have remained nndecayed on the surface, it has been 
1300 feet, whilst at Coquimbo, 200 miles northward, it has been 
within this same period only 252 feet. At Lima, the land has been 
uplifted at least eighty-feet since Indian man inhabited that dis- 
trict ; but the level witliin historical times apparently has subsided. 
At Coquimbo, in a height of 364 feet, the eluvation has been inter- 
rupted by five periods of comparative rest. At several places the 
land has been lately, or still is, rising both insensibly and by 
sadden starts of a few feet during earthquake-shocks ; this shows 
that these two kinds of upward movement are intimately connected 
together. For a space of TT.") miles, upraised recent shells are found 
on the two opposite sides of the continent j and in the aoutbeni half 
of this space, it may be safely inferred from the slope of the land 
up to the Cordillera, and from the sliells found in the central part uf 
Tierra del Fuego, and liigh up the river Santa Cruz, that the entire 
breadth of the continent has been uplifted. From the general oc- 
currence on both coasts of successive lines of escarpments, of sand- 
dunes and marks uf erosion, v,e must conclude that the elevatory 
movement has been normally interrupted by periods, when the land' 
either was stationary, or when it rose at so slow a rate as not to 
resist the avftnge denuding power of the waves, or when it subsided. 
In the case uf the present high sea-cli£Fs of Patagonia and in other 
analogous instances, we have seen that the difficulty in understanding* 
how strata can be removed at those depths under the sea, at which 
the currents and oscillations of the water are depositing a smooth 
surface of mud, sand, and sifted pebbles, leads to the suspicion that 
the formation or denudation of such cliffs has been accompanied 
by a sinking movement. 

In South America, everything lias taken place on a grand scale, 
and all geological phenomena are still in active operation. We knovr- 
how violent at the present day the earthquakes are, wo have seen how- 
great an area is now rising, and the plains of tertiary origin are of 
vast dimensions; an almost straight line can be drawn from Tierra> 
del Fuego for 1600 milos northward, and probably for s 



^reater distance, which shall intersect no formtttion Dltlvi than t!io 
Patagonian deposits ; so equable has been the upheaval of the beds, 
tliat throughout tliis long line, not a fault in the stratification or 
abrupt dialocation was anywhere observable. Looking to the kisal, 
metamorphic and plutonic rocka of the continent, the areas formed of 
them are likewise vast ; and theii planes of cleavage and foliation 
strike over Btirprisingly great spaces in uniform directioiis. The 
Cordillera, with its pinnacles here and there rising upwards of 20,00() 
feet above the level of the sea, ranges in nu unbroken line from 
Tierra del Fuego, apparently to the Arctic circle. Tliia grauU range 
has suffered both the most violent dislocations, and elow, tliougli 
grand, upward and downward movements in mass : I know not 
whether the spectacle uf its immense valleys, with mountain-niaBseH 
of once-liqueRed and intrusive rocks now bared and intersected, or 
whether tlie view of those jilains, composed uf shingle and sediment 
hence derived, which stTetch to the borders of the Atlantic Ocean, 
is best adapted to excite out aatoniahmant at the amount of wear and 
tear which these mountains hove undergone. 

The Cordillera from Tietra del Fuego to Mexico, is penetrated by 
volcanic orifices, and those now in action aro connected in great 
trains. The intimate relation between their recent eruptions and the 
slow elevation of the continent in tnoas,* appears to mc highly 
important, for no explanation of the one phenomenon can be con- 
sidered as satisfactory which is not applicable to the other. The 
permanence of the volcanic action on tliiid chain of mountains ia, al^o, 
a striking fact ; Hrst, we have the deluges of subnkatine lavas alter- 
nating with the porphyritic conglomerate strata, then occasionally 
feldspatliic streams and abundant mineral exhalations during the 
gypseous or cretaceo-oolitic period ; then the eruptions of the Us]>al- 
lata range, and at an ancient but unknown period, when the sea 
came up to the eastern foot of the Cordillera, streams of basaltic lava 
at the foot of the Portillo range ; then the eld tertiary eruptions ; and 
lastly, there are here and there amongst the mountains much worn 
and apparently very ancient volcanic formations without any craters ; 
there are, also, craters quite extinct, and others in the condition of 
solfataras, and others occasionally or habitually in fierce action. 
Hence it would appear that the Cordillera, has been, probably with 
some quiescent periods, a source of volcanic matter from an epoch 
anterior to our cretaceo-oolitic formation to tlio present day ; and 
now the earthquakes, daily recurrent on some part of the western 
coast, give little hopes that tbe subterranean energy is expended. 

Recurring to tbe evidence by which it was shown that some at 
least of tlie parallel ridges, which together compose the Cordillera, 
were successively and slowly upthrown at widely different periods ; 
and that the whole range certainly once, and almost certainly twice, 
subsided some thousand feet, and being then brought up by a elow 
movement in mass, again, during the old tertiary formations, subsided 

• On dp Conneclion of cerl^iin Volcanic rhenomena in S. America. Geolog. 


ecveral liunclred feet, and again was brought up to its present level 
by a slow and often intermptcd movement ; we see liow opposed is 
this complicated history of changes slowly etTected, to the views of 
those geologists who believe that this great mountain- chain was 
formed in late times by a single blow. I have endeavoured elsewhere 
to show,* that the excessively disturbed condition of the strata in 
the Co^dille^^ so far froni indicating single periods of extreme violence, 
presents insuperable difficulties, eacepl on the admission that the 
masses of once liquefied rocks of the axes were repeatedly injected, 
with intervals sufficiently long for their successive cooling and conso- 
lidation. Finally, if wo look to the analogies dravm from the changes 
now in progress in the earth's ciust, whether to the manner in which 
volcanic matter is erupted, or to the manner in which the land ia 
historically known to have risen and sunk; oi again, if we look to the 
vast amount of denudation which every part of the Cordillera has 
obviously suffered, the changes througli which it has been brought 
into its present condition, will appear neither to have been too slowly 
effected, nor to have been too complicated. 

* Geoing, Transucl. vgl. t. p. 620. 

Note, — As, both id France uod Engliuid, tnnslations of a passags in Tiof. 
Ebreuberg'a memoii, often referred to is the fuurtb chapter of this volume, Lave 
appeared, implviDg that Frof. Ebrenberg believes, Iront the chnracter of the 
iDtuBoria, that the Puapean foimatiDQ hbs depoaited by a sea-debacle rusbingorer 
the land, I maj state, on the aulbority of a letter to me, that these traJialatJanB 
are incorraot, Tbe following ia the pasaago iu qnestioD : — ■' Durch Beacbtnng 
der mikroscDpiacbeu Fonuen hat aicb nun lestellen lasseu, daaa die Mastodonteo- 
Luger am La Plata uiid die Knoclien- Lager am Monte Hetmoeo, eo vcie die der 
Riesen'G'iirlelthiere in dea DiineDbugelo bei liahia Blanca, beides in Patagonien, 
unveiaDderte brakiscbe SusawasseibildungeD sind, die einst wobl sanmtlich mm 
ohersten Flulbgebietba dee Meetes im tieferen Festlaude gehbrlea." — Jl 
btricAlen der Siinigl. Aiad, tic, zu Berlin vom April 1S4S. 




By G. B. SOWERBY, Esci., F.L.S., &c. 

Magtba? rugata. — PI. II. fig. 8. 

Mactra ? testd ohlongd^ tenuis turgidd^ latere antico altiore^ rotun- 
dato^ postico longiore^ aeumincUo j lineis incrementi rugas cou" 
centricas effbrmantibtM, 

The shell itself is changed into Gypsum. 

Santa Cruz, Patagonia. 

Mactra Darwinii. — PI, II. fig. 9. 

Mactra testd ovali, subcBquilaterali, suOventricosd^ tenuiutculd, Iceviy 
concentric^ striatd^ antice rotundatd^ postic^ ohsohtiasime sub- 

It is impossible to get at the hinge, wherefore it cannot be ascer- 
tained positively to be a Mactra. 

Santa Cruz, Patagonia. 

Crassatella Lyellii. — PL II, fig. 10. 

Cras. testd obUmgd^ planiusculd^ tenuitisculd^ postici angulatd^ mar^ 
gine postico dorsali declivi^ superfide sulds obtusis^ remotis, 
longitudinalibtis omatd. 

This species most nearly resembles Crassatella lamellosa of Lam. ; 
it is however destitute of the erect lamellae which ornament the 
surface of that species. 

S. Cruz, Patagonia. 

"^f'lmi ti' ' 


COHBIB ! LfiVIGATX. — PI. II. fig. '. 

CorliU le»td ovato-roturidald, ventricoid, I 

Imei ; long. S% lat. 2-, alt. 2-7, poll. 
It is not witlioiit some hesitation that I havo placed tiiU in tlie 
genus CorhU, although it is of the same geniiral form na roost of tha 
known species of tliat genua. It is quite free from external rugosity 
or lajnellEC. There are two specimens, both of them so imperfect that 
it is impo8iiiible to ascertain with certainty tlie character of the 
hinge and muscular impressions. 

Navidad, Chile. 

Tellinides? oblonoa. — PI. II. fig. 12. 

Telliaides ? te»td olilonffS, eubwquilaterali, anteriua altioro, pos- 

teriiu acuminatiore, utrdque rohtndald ; disco glalrro, lineit 

incrmienti tolnmodo tiffnato ; long. 1'3, alt. G-7,poll. 

This BhelPia very thin, and being imbedded in a hard compact 

stone, all attempts to get at the hinge have proved abortive : it ia 

therefore placed in Tettinidei as the genus to whicii it approaches 

most neatly in oxternaJ characters. M. d'Orbigny considers it a 


Chiloe, eastern coast. 

VEXta MERIDIONALIS.— PI. II. fig. 13. 

V. tentd ovali, plano-convexd, concentriee alriatd, itriit aeutit, du- 
tantihu*, sub - elevatii, inleriitiliit radiatitn obtolete tlriaCis ; 
margine tninutmimi crenulato. 
This 80 closely resembles V, exalhida Lam. in shape, as not to 

be distinguishable, except by tbe radiating strice and the finely cre- 

nulaled margin. 

S. Croz, Patagonia ; and Navidad, Chile.* 

GrTHEKEA aULCULOBA. — P], II. fig. 14. 

Cytlierea teild guhovald, antice rotundatiore, poslice longiore, acumt- 

natiuMeuM, ohtuiS ; sulcia coneentrUit, emi/erliuscalit, medio 

obticsis, antieS pottieeque aeutiorilus ornatd ; long, \; alt. Q'T, 

lat. 0-4, poll. 

I have compared the single valve of this with numerous recent and 

fossil Veneres and Ct/therew, without being able to identify it with 

.iny. As I have not been able to see the binge, 1 have only judged 

it to be 3i Cfftherea from analogy, 

Chiloe, eastern coast : islands ofHuafo and Ypuu ? 

APi'ENM3C. S5l 

Cardium Puelcuum. — PI. II. fig. 15. 
Cafil. teilS iiAgliAotS^ tenui, lamuseulA, latere pogtim suhfririnato, 
tuperjicie ttriis radiantibug, numeroiUnmi*, eov/eriUninu iii- 
Tlie radiating atriffi and the interstices are nearly equal. Nearly 
the whole outer surface is gone from both specimens. 
S. Cntz, Patagonia. 

Cardiuh mtjltiradiatc.m. — PI. 11. fig. 16. 
Vardhtm tettd xiihglohoid, co«teUiM radiantihui potticU \S, folmttlath, 
medianU plurimit planidatia, inleratUiis rotttndatii ; margine 
Tliese are all the characters that cnn he given, as there is only ttie 
jiostcrior portion of one valve ; of cpnrae tlio general form is only 
surmised, and the proportions cannot be ascertained. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Cahdita Patagonica.—PI. II, fig. 17- 
C. UtUi taltrapexiformi-rotunda, tiimidd, suhcordiforrni, luholliqud, 
cotlii radia«iibit» 2+, anguitit, angulatit, mjitamom-ierratin, 
interstiliu lalioribtm. 
Nearly related to C. aeutieotlaia, and may be distinguished by 
having fewer and more distant ribs. 
S. Cruz, Patagonia. 

NoCUtA? GLABKA. PI. II. fig. 18. 

Nucula teila ovato-oblotigd, glabrd, nitidd, latere anttco hreviore, 
postieo mayu acuminata ; marginibut dorialibvs deelitU. 
I have referred this to Nueula. because there is no cxteninl ful- 
crum for tlie attachment of the cartilage and ligament ; the nature 
of the stone in whicli it is imbedded liaa rendered it impossible to 
expose any part of the inside. 
S. Cruz, Pat.igonia. 

-PI. 11. fig. ID. 

Tuperficie lincU eletalU 

A beautiful species -which apparently resembles N. Thraeias- 
formia in general shape, but inasmuch as a fragment alone bas been 
found, we cannot give a more complete character. 
Port Desire, Patagonia. 


Trigonocelia letld tiiboeali, eraitiutculdyValJiof/ligud, lasBt; areA 

ligamenti triifimd., lateribuM elevatia; dentibm paucU, magnU. 

Tliis species ie more unlike the typical furm of Peetunculua, than 

any which has come under my oliservation, being even more oblique 

than tlie P. obitQUua of De France, from which it differs moreovei 

in being smootli on the outside, and destitute of radiating lidges. 

S. Cniz, Patagonia. 

CuCPLLffii ALTA.— PI. II. fig. 22, 23. 
Cucultwa teitd ovato-tramziformi, tabobligad, mbrugosd, umbonibui 

di$tanlibm, ared Itgamenti profundi mlcatH, impresmnis tnua- 

cularit poeliuB margine ventrali elevatd. 
There is a considerable jiri»i(i/(U»« resemblance between this spe- 
des and Cucullwa decng»ata^ Min, Con. This from B. Ciuz may 
liowcTei be easily diatingaished from the British, by its greater 
height, its more oblique form, and by the greater number of im- 
pressed lines on the ligamental area. 

S. Cruz and Port Desire, Patagonia. 

Anomia alteknans. — PI. II. fig. 25. 
Anomia tettd tuhorbkulari, coitdlk riulianlibue plurimis, mbiqiia- 
mifirit, altemU Titinoriliru. 
There is only a single valve of this species, 
Coquimbo, Chile. 

TBREBKAinLA Pataoonica. — PL II. fig. 26 and 27. 
T. teiCa OBoii, Itsti, valvh/eri (BqaalUer eunvemt, doraaliproducid, in- ' 

cumd, foramine moffiio, ad marginemvalvarumfeTiparallello! 

deltidiis, medioerihui; are& cardinali eoncatd, ^ longitudinia 

teetw : margine antico integro. 
Slightly different from the T. varialilie of the British Crag, (vido' 
Min. Con. t. 576, f. 2 to 5) to which however it is very nearly re- 
latud, osit is also to the T. bieinuala. Lam,, of the Paris basin. It 
may bo distinguished from both by its having no sinus in the 
anterior margin. 

S. Josef and 8. Julian, Patagonia. 

Pbcten obminatbs. — PI. II. fig. 21. 

Pecten lesid wguivahi, ovatd, auricdis inccgualibm, cotiis radlanii- 

bui gguamiilt/erig 22^ gemiiiatu ; interetitiie altemls lalioribu*, 

notmunijaam co»td minore inslrueld ; aurieuld alterd magni , 

radialim costald. 

In general form tliis specioa lesemblea Pecten te^loriut (ScAlot.) 




Goldf. Tab. XC. f. 9, but it Iim very few more tlian lialf t!ie num- 
ber of ribs, which id the present epccics are disposed in pairs. The 
P. tpxtoriui moreover belongs to the Liaa and inferior OolUe, accord- 
iu^ to Goldfuss. 

San JuUan, Patagonia. 

Pbcten Darwinianus. — D'OtiBio. Voyngc, Part. Pal. (PI. III. 

fig. 28, 23, of this work.) 
Peelen tt*i&ferh or&iculari, tuhwquivalvt, tenui, utrinque (xneexiuM- 
caM ; &itv$ laei, int^ oorlU radiantibue, per paria dupoaitU, 
prop^ centrum miniit cottspicuU ; aurieulit pareii. 
Like Peit. Pleuroneetei, P. Japonietu, and P. olAiteratm in 
general characters, but easily distinguished from all three by tlie 
circumstanoe of its internal radiating ribs being disposed in pairs. 
This species has been named and described by M. d'Orbigny, but aa 
his description is very brief, owing to the condition of his specimens, 
and is unaccompanied by any figure, I have tliougbt it advisable 
to append the above apeciiio cliaracter, 

San Josef, Patagonia; and St, Fe, Entrc Rios. 

Pecten Paramensis. — D'Orrio. Voyage, Part. Pal. (PI. III. fig. 
30 (if this work.) 
Tliis species has been figured and fully described by M. d'Orbigny, 
and has been accidoutally religured here. 

San Josef, S. Julian, Port Desire, Patagonia; and St. Fe, 
Entro Rios. 

Pectek centralis. — PI. III. fig. 31. 
Pecten tesld srtl/circulari, depressd, radik quinque gquamuli/erU cmi- 
Irali eminentiore, hneit radianlibus aiperU tiumerosisqiie 
ornatd ; auricuiu magnU, tubwqvalihuxf 
A single fragment of this remarkable species was found at Port 
S. Julian ; two others were brought from Port Desire. These frag- 
ments are all of the same side, so that we are as yet but very im- 
perfectly acquainted with the species. 

San Julian, Port Desire, S. Cruz, Patagonia. 

Pecten actinodes. — PI. III. fig. 33. 
P. lettd tuborhieulariy eontexiiuculd, tenui, valvU lula^ualibug, 
radiit principaUbut tuhelevatu circa 36, inUrmediit 3 — 7 
minoribut, omvibua gquamuliferit ; auriculiii inceqvalibut, 
Todiatim gquamvli/eru, alterd magnd, forreetd, alterd partd, 
Eemarkahle for its principal ribs bein^ nnmeroua and only sliglitly 
clerated, and for its intermediate ribs bemg very numerous, 
San Josef, Patagonia. 


t rotundatit; iiiler»tUiu t 

loaA, varietbui numerotu, 
ralifgr obsoleti rulcatit. 
Volutiona about eleven or twelve, increasing very gradually in 
size ; with fourteen or fifteen rounded and thickiah varices on each. 
San Julian, Patagonia. 

Trochus coij.aris. — PI, III. fig. 4:*, 45. 
Troehfu te»tA eoniea, laet, anjraetihut Mubcequaiihui, tenuittimS 
Irantvertim glriatii, postiei propi tuturat tuberculU tninucU 
terialini cinctU, infra tuhonneesnt, tpiraliter tenuiter ttrialit ; 
apertura aiufulo externa acuio : loriff, O'+o, lat. 0'!>5,poU. 
A very small portion of the outer surface remaios, the inner coat 
19 Tfliolly covered with a yellowish green and reddish iridescence. 
Umbilicus as far as I can judge the same as in the following species, 
TV, Imeit. This may possibly be only a young shell of that species, 
(and is so considered by M. d'Orbigny) as it is only distinguished by 
a row of very small tubercles placed immediately under the suture, 
which may have existed in titat species when young; and it must 
be observed tliat the first volutions are broken from both the speci- 
mens of Tr, la-ois, 

Navidad, Chile, S, Cruz, Patagonia, 

TaocHua lbvis. — PI. III. fig. 46, 47. 
Troehni teita eoniea, trnvi, anfractihvM gul/cegitalibw', poxtice turgi- 
diuicuiit, antice tenuietime trantoertim tlriaiu, in/ra sulicon-- 
cavit, epiraliter tenuiter tCriatii : aperturd rhomboiiied, angulo 
(Merno acuta ; umbUico tnedioeri, inttu lixvittimo, labio inttmo , 
tu//inera»tato ; long. 1'3, lat. 2', poll. 
The remains of the penrly inner coats are beautifully iridescent in 
this species ; the outer surface is dull. 
Navidad, Chile. 

TuRKiTELLA Patagonioa. — PI, III, fig. 48. 
Turritella te»ld elongalo-eonicA, anfractihua decern, 3 ad i coUatin, 

eo»ti». intermediA antiedque tuhohsoletd minoribus, poiticd sub- 

aeutd, subgranos& ntajori, tertid carinam e^ormante ; sutitrd ; 

This Turrilella is probably only a variety of T. cingulata, and it 
more closely resembles this species, even than the following ones, 
inasmuch as its volutions increase in size more rapidly than in either 
the T. Ckilen%i> or T. amhulaerum. In some respects this re- 
sembles T. carini/era of Deshayes; it is not liowever nearly so long 
in proportion to its width. 1 have adnpted a name suggested by 

Port Denre, Patagonia; and fragments at Navidad, Chil 

Chile. ^1 


Tarrilella Usld elongato turritA, an/ractibia decern, rpiraliler (W- 
costalis, pogteriorum costit csqualibui, anteriorum cottd anttcA 
poitic&que majoribns, inlermedii minori: tuturS in talcum 
profundum potitd. 
A very remarkable species, which somewhat resembles a rcceut 
one in my poaseasion ; the twu may howovur ho e^ily distiDguislied. 
In the rcceut apecies the twu spiral ritlges aie much nearer to each 
other than they are in the fossil; and the spiral groove at the 
suture is niucli deeper and narrower in the fosait tlian in the recent, 
Santa Cruz and S. Julian, Patagonia. 

TtinRiTELLA Chilensis.— -PI. IV. fig. 51. 
Turritella test& elDtiyato-turrila, an/raetibm decern, eenlficosii, 

tpiraliter tricoitalit, eoititffranuloiU, intermedin majori, tuturil 

m fuleum posted. 
Nearly related te Turritella cingulata (Sowb. Taak, Cat.) : it ia 
even questionable whether it might not be regarded as a variety of 
that species, along with T, Palagonica, and T, ambulacrum. In 
deference to the opinion of D'Orbigny, who has suggested the name, 
I have been induced to describe it. The principal ditt'ercnoea ber 
tween tljis and T. cingulata are, the furm of the volutions, which in 
this are ventricoae; the absence of narrow intermediate ridges j and 
the greater depth of the groove in which the suture is placed. 
From T. amhulacrum it differs principally in the circumstance of 
tlie central rib being the most prominent, while in T. ambulacrum 
it is the least prominent. The riba in the latter species are but 
slightly granoBe, and tlie groove at the suture is deeper. 

Huafo and Mocha Islands, coast of Chile. 

Turritella bdtcrai-ib. — PI. III. fig, 50. 

Turritella te»t& turriti, tenuiler tranteersim Mriatd, an/raetilta 

S — 10, luturd validi diviiisy antici potlicique tumidittsGuliit 

pottiei emiTientiore. 

Fragments alone can be separated &oni the hard stone in which 

they are imbedded ; it has therefore been impossible to give the pro- 

Navidad, Chile; and Ypun IsLind, Clionos Archipebgo. 

PleuroIoma auB^QDALis. — PI. IV- fig. 32. 

Pleuroloma te»t& oblongd, turrilA, utraque ea^remitate aeuminatd, 

anlicA breviorij anfraetibut smti*, medio cariniferis, carinA 

tuberculifera ; vltimo an/raetu carinia quinque, poiHcali tuber- 

culi/erd: long. OS ; lat. t)-25. 

IhsBpetu^whicli. moet.iietwty le^iQbletL this ie an imdesciibed 


recent species from S. Amenca : this fosail species differa lioweTei 
from tlie recent one in the position of the notch in the outer lip, 
whicli in tlie fossil corresponds with tlie posterior tuberculiferous 
curina, while in the recent one the notch is placed half way between 
the posterior tuberculiferous carina and the suture. There are other 
marks of difference, but this may he considered sufficieut, as forming 
■t once a distinct criterion. 

Huafo Island, coast of Chile. 

Pleorotoma TCRBiNELLoinEfi.— pi. IV, fig. 53. 

Pleurot. teatd oblongii, subventricofA, Iransversim tenuissimi muri- 
cuto-striata, anfractibas quints, vealricosts, infra mediam 
luberculatis, tuberculia acuminalis, ultimo antice lineis qua- 
tuor vel quinqve obsoleti luberculatis ; canati brevi : long, 
1-35 ; lot. 0-82, poll. 
Very different from any other known Pleurofoma, either recent 

or fossil ; but most nenrly allied, in shape partftularly, to the recent 

epecies named PI. imperialig by Lamarck. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Pleurotoma discobs. — PI. IV, fig. 54. 
Plturot. tests fusifoTmi-turrita, spirA acuminatd, anfractibus ocio, 
postici tenuissimti trnns'iersim striatis, medio luberculatis, 
ultimo antici striis crassis svbtuberculatis instructo ; canali 
elongato, tenuiter tranaversim striata; columellA rect&: long, 
1-8 ; lat.0&1,poll. 
A species whieii appears to he nearly related to PI. catertata, 
Lnni. Desh. II. t. 62. t; 11, 12, 13 (a fossil of the Paris Basin), 
and which may perhaps be merely a variety of that species. In 
etatiire and general cliaractcrs it resembles it very closely ; its stride 
are huwever very diffeient. 
Navidad, Chile. 

FlIBirS REQUIARIS? — PI. IV. fig. 55. 
A single very imperfect specimen which may probably be a variety 
of this species. It ia not sufficiently complete to allow of its being 
decided, or of its characters being given. It is not even certain that 
it belongs to the genus. M. d'Orbigny considers it as a distinct 

Navidad, Chile. 

Fuses PVRULiPOKMis. — PI. IV. fig. 58. 

Ftisus testd, turbinatA, anlici spiraliter sulcata, spira subdepresso- 
conicA, rudi ; anfractibus 3 — 4, medio tuberculalis, tuberculis 
iransversim sulcatis, in castas subdecurrenlibtis ; canali elon- 
gato, Iransversim su/calo. 

' Thiq somewhat resembles the Triton davator, Lam. (a lecent 




Bpeciea), in form ; its Hpire is however more elevated, find its canal 
shorter in proportion. I judge it to be a J^uitia froTO the general 
externa] appearance, but cannot be qnite certain, for the stone about 
tbe month is so much indurated that it cannot be cleared away. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Fuaus suBREFLExea. — PI. IV. fig. 57- 
Fusits testd futiformi-lurritA, transverdm striald, striis irregu- 

iaribus, anfractibus novem, medio tuberculatu, propi shIutos 

subadpTKSsis \ canali mediocri sabrejiexo : long-i-l; lat. 1*, 

The shell to which this bears the greatest resemblance is a fossil 
named Fasciolaria Bardtgahnsis, Defr. by De Busterot in the 
Memoires de la Soc. d'Hist. Nat. de Paris ; in our shell tliere is, bow- 
ever, no appearance of oblique folds on the anteriur part of the 
uolumella, consequently it is gencrically distinct ; while in other 
respects it is sufficiently different, as may be seen by comparison. 
Its spire is longer in proportion to the last volution, and its canal 

Navidad, Chile. 

Fbsus NoACHiNtH, — PI. IV. fig. 58 and S9. 
Fusvs tests, ovato-fusiformi, utrdque subacuminald, eequnli, an- 
Jractibus quinque spiraliler salcalis, sulcis pterumque seriatim 
pertusis ; postieis longitudinaliler obtush costalis ; canali me- 
diocri, subascendente i suturd distinctd. 
A species which bears some resemblance to F^itut Noa, Lam. ; 
still it is not nearly related to that species. In shape it resembles 
F. lamellosus, to which it is really related, but it is qnite destitute 
of the lamellar varices, so that it may easily be distinguished. 
San Julian, Patagonia. 

Foans PATAOomcns. — PI. IV. fig. CO. 
F. testd ovalo-oblongd, tenuiusculd, multifanam varicosa, anfrac- 
tibus postic& angulatii; varicibus lamellifurmibus, anticd 
defieiis, postich acuminatis, interstitUs transvcrsim sulcatis ; 
aperiura subcirculari, canali breviusculo, umbilico valido. 
Nearly related to Fusut lamellotiit and F. Mofftlianieu*, aud ap- 
parently connecting the two. 

PyRULA D18TABB.— PL IV. fig. 61. 

Pyrala testd Jiciformi, tenuiusculd, spird brevissimd oblusd, 

anfractibus quatuor, ultimo maxima, decussalim itriaio, et 

carinato, carinis 1 1 — 12, dislantibus, ttonnullis inter ilitialibvs 

miniis elevatis : long. 1'8 ; lat. VI, poll, 

A very elegant species of true Pyrula, somewhat resembling P. 

nexilU (a tertiary fngail) in geneTnl appearance, but differing f 
that spccias in its pnipnrtioiia, being mucli wider in compariaon v 
itx iengtt), and liaving a niucli sliortcr spire. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Stbutriolahia orn'ata, — PI. IV. fig. 62. 
. Stnithiolar}a testA ovatA, apice acuminata, anfraclibtts senii, 
spii-aliterilriatis, prope suturaia cnrtaticulatis, longitudvialiteT 
i:oslalis, costis o/ilasis, antico eoslis duabus spiralibus, elei)atis, 
ante medium poiil is ; sutiir&pTofundA; long. 07 i lat. 0'45, 
Tills is tlie only foaeil species nf this rare genus t have ever Been. 
Costs of a large variety are fotiod in a loose clayey sandstone at Port 
S. Julian. M. d'Orbigny entertains some doubt about this being a, 

Santa Cruz and S. Julian, Patagonia. 

TniTON vERBUCULosus.— PI. IV. fig. 63. 
Triton leslA ovalo-conicd, transversim lenuiter striaCii, anfraclibut 
seiiis, pos(ii:is serie unicd medianA lubercalorum dnctis, ultimo 
costis tribus subobsolelis tubereuliferis, laberculis cosl<e pos- 
licit mnjoribus. reUijuiaTum obsolelis; varicibus validis, Irittt- 
berculiferis: long. 1'6 ; lal. \-Q5, poll. 
This may bo distinguished from Triton leucostoma (Itaaella leu- 
eottoma. Lam.], to wliich recent species it is most nearly related, by 
liifl paucity of tuiicrclcB forming the posterior row, as well as by the 
stningly tuberculated varices, and by its being destitute of the pits 
whioli are so distinct behind the varices in tliat species. 
Navidad, Chile. 


Triton testa ovofo- oblong a, spira obtusd; anfractibus seats , sub- 
ventricosis spiraliter sulcatis, et longitudinaliler costatis ; 
varicibus sub-irregularibus, ratundatis, transversim sulcatis. 
This species resembles Triton leucattoiaa. (Ranella leucostooia, more nearly than any other species; it differs, however, in 
the following particuUrB, viz., in its general form, which is more 
ublong ; in its longitudinal ribs, whicli are smaller and more nu- 
merous, and extend nearly the whole length of each volution^- 

leucostoma, they are little i 
iddle nf the whorls. 


lluafo Island, coast of Chile. 

Cagsis monilipeb. — PI, IV. fig. ii'i. 

Cassis tesia subglobosa, transversim tenuiter sfriali 

linsculA, anfraclibus senis, ultimo gibboso, seri 

itnicA tuber- ^^H 


CHfortift postici inslTuclo ; labio sxlemo leituiusailo, rtfia 

inlisleevi; labio columellari expanso, lavi: lonij, 1*5 ,- i 

A second row of small tub«rclee may bo obaervcd occasionally, 
ow of no species to which this is nearly related. 

Navidad, Chile. 

-PI. IV. fig. 66, ( 

M. lesld subglobosa, 

costellalA, aperturil magni 
umbilico parvo, angusto. 
A single specimen in very bad condition; considered by M. 
d'Orbigny as closely related to, but not identical witli, the M. crafti- 
labram of Lamarck. 
Coquimbo, Chile. 

Gastbidhtm.* — Noeum Genus. 
1 have thought it necessary to designate this singular shell by a 
new generic name, because its characters are such as will not permit 
its union with any hitherto established genus. The sliells to which 
it appears to be most nearly allied have hitherto been arranged with 
Buecinum, EhurTia, and Fiieu*. Such ia the Baec. plumleum of 
Chemnitz (which Swainson iiaa designated by the generic name of 
Pgeadolivaf), and which, to avoid the necessity of adding to the 
number of generic names, I had united to the Elurn<F. Such also 
are two fossil shells described and figured by Oeshayes^ under the 
names of Buceinum Tiara and B.^fissuratian. One otiier shell re- 
sembles this somewhat in form, but in other respects is very different, 
and this lias been placed with the Bucdna in Wood's Suppt., and 
with the Fuei by Gray. The characters by which this new genua may 
be known and distinguished from its allied genera are as follows : — 
Testa ventricosa, subglobosa, spirri brevi, anfractibus potlici ad 
suluras adpTessis ; aperturd magna, ovati; canal'i postico 
angusto ; antico lato, refiexo ; labio exfemo postice incrassato, 
antici tenuiore, dente lirevi, sulco dorsaltidoneo, prop& anticaoi 
partem posilo ; labio columellari incrassato, expanso, postici. 
apud canalem crassiore. 

Gabtridicm Cepa.— pi. IV, 6g. 68, 69. 
Gastr. lestd ceptEfonni, l<Bvigat&, antici spiratitir sulcata, labii 
externi margine antico crenalo '. long. 2'3 ; lat. i'7, poll. 
Navidad, Chile. 

" From yocrpifiDi', ventricubis. 

t Thia name of P<nt(JofiDa. hy wbicb STrain. 
plumbeum of CLemnitz, and n-hicb bas been 
(enable and absurd, becauBE empiaved lodeacril 
tckicb doet not exist. To Kbuina and Buccini 

f Desbayea CoquilUs fossiles des environs d 

<n has designaned Ihe Uucciniii 
lopted by (Jraj, is e"ii!ently an 
an imaginaiy affinity to Olivj 
1, Lam., (bo genus \a uearlj n 



Tehebra cobtellata. — PI. IV, fig, 70, 71^ 
Terebra tettd iurritA, laviuscald, anfractihus medio tumidiuicuUSf 
poslice linea impressd obsoletd notatis, costellis nwrnerosit 
longitudinalibus, ekvatis ; aperturd columellAque kevibus. . 
Tlie number of volutions and the proportions cannot be given^ 
for tbere ia only a, single fragnient of this species. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Terebra unddlifera. — PI. IV. fig. 72, 73. 
7'trebra tesfa elongato- turritd, Iceviitscula, litieolis undulatis longi- 
tudinalibus confer tis, posticis foTtioribui, teclA : anfraclibus 
pluriniis, poslice tumidiusculis, lined impressd tubobsoleld, 
medio tubconcavis : aperturd subrhomboided, columelld Item. 
There are only two fragments of this specieB, it is obviously im- 
possible to ascertaiD the number of volutions or the proportions. 
Navidad, Chile. 


Fo/ufa testd elongato-oblongd spird allemiald anfractibits senis, 
spiraliter conferlim sltiafis, ad saturas adpressis, deinde 
Ittberculatis, tuberculis in coslas antic^ decurrentibus ; aper- 
turd oblongd, loTigiludinem spirw w^ttante ; columella Iripli' 
calA,plicis obliqvis, subwquaUhKs: long. 2-25; lat. 0-9 poll. 
This species is placed among the Volutes, because the posterior or 
upper folds on the columelta are rather sntallei than the anterior ; 
it nearly resembles in general appearance the fossil Volalw, mnricina. 
Lam., and angusta Desk., though easily distingutsbable from both, 
by the circumstance of the three folds on the columella being very 
nearly equal in our species, whereas in the two above-mentioned the 
posterior folds are more numerous and all very much smaller thaa 
tlie anterior : moreover, the posterior part of the volutions ia not 
adpressed in either of those species, and the proportions are alra 

Navidad, Chile. 

VOLITTA ALTA.— PI. IV. fig. 75. 

Valuta teslA elongato-oblongd, spird attenuald, anfraclibus senit 
gracilcbas, spiraliter conferlim striatis, proph suiurai ad- 
pressis, deinde sabventricosii ; aperturd oblongA, labia ex- 
terna crasstori, subrejlexo; calumelld leevi, plicis dxabut 
aculiusculis, perobliquis 1 long. 7-5, tat. 2-75, poll, circa. i 
Tbere is only one specimen of this very remarkable shell, of which 
the anterior part is so imperfect, that no part of the inner lip or of 
the canal is to be seen, consequently the proportions given above 
may be liable to a slight enor. The species ia nearer to V. Mogei- 
lanica, than to any other known species; it may, however, easily be 
distinguished from that species by the characters above stated. At 
Santa Cruz, there are two costs, apparently belonging to this 
species, but considered by M. d'Orbigny as different. 
Navidad, Chile ; S. Cruz, Patagonia ? 


AFPKNUIX. fiijre 

Olita dimidiata.— pi. IV. fig. 7C, 77. 
Oliva test& oblongo-ovaCd, tpird acuminald, apice obtHso ; anfrac- 

tibus senis, ultima lined tenaissimd transversim dimidiato; 

coiumelld anfici piicis quinque obli^uis, poiticei majori ; long. 

0-9, lat. 0-Z7, poll. 
This species varies in its prnpoitione ; it differs from all otbei 
recent or fossil species with whicli I am ncqoaintcd, in the remark- 
abld circumstance of its having a broad baud of euamd covering tlie 
anterior half of the last volution above or behind the coliimcllai band, 
vrhich is distinguished from the posterior part of the volution by a 
very fine line, behind which may be seen tlie longitudinal lines of 
growth, these lines being hidden on tlio anterior part by this last 
covering of enamel. This species bears a general resemblance to 0. 
iipidula, a common recent species. 
.^^ Navidad, ChUe. 

Dentaxium gigantecm. — PI. II. fig. 1. 
Deatalium -testa lereti, rectiusculA, siilcis longitudinalibvs Kume- 
Tosis, interstitiis rolundatis; long. 3-2, lat. Q-5, poll. 
This specira appears occasionnlly to grow to a very large size, for 
one fragment that is one inch and a third in length, is half an inch in 
width at its smaller extremity, and six-tenths of an inch at ite larger; 
while in its thickest part the shell itself is O'J 3 of an inch thick. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Dentalium testd lereli, rectitisculd, costellis longitudinalibtis, 
elevafiusculis, subdislantibas 14, interstitiis plamilatis. 
Tlie proportions cannot be given ; for there is only one fragment, 
■which has been broken and the two pieces conforruminated by the 
sandstone in which it occnra. 
Navidad, Chile. 

Dentalittm majfb. — PI. II. fig. 3. 
Dentalium testd fereti, rectiuscuta, costis longitudinallbus 24, 
alteTnis majoribus, interstitiis rotundatis, 

Tlio proportions of this species cannot bo given, because there arc 
only some fragments ; it appears to be one of the larger species 
of the genua, probably reaching the dimensions of D. gexatiffulare 
of Deshayes, tab. 3, fig. 4. It difiera from that species in the circum- 
stance of its never having only six angles ; and it difiers from D. 
ehphanlinum of Deshayes (which I have elsewhere proved not to bo 
the D. elepkantinum of Linntcus) in being less rapidly attenuated, 
and in being atraighter. 

Huafo Island, coast of Chile. 



BALANts vauians. — PI. II. fig. 4, 5, B. 
Salanas lesld polymorphd, valuis plerumque lavibus, nonnatiquaM 
radiatvm obtusA costalis, apicibus subacuminalis ; valvA 
basalt modb concavA, modo cyathiformi, basi acuminalA. 
This is a very remarkable as well as a very variable species. Its 
parietal Talvea are sometimes smooth, only allowing the lines of 
growth, and sometimes covered with obtuse radiating ribs ; and the 
species beloDgs to that section of tiie genus which has acuminated 
and solid parietal valves. But the most variable part, in form, is 
the basal valve. It is to be observed tliat in most, if not in all, the 
species of this genus which have been brought from the southern 
hemisphere, it is the base that becomes tubular whenever any acci- 
dental circumstance causes the shell to be elongated ; whereas in the 
elongated and clavate varieties of our common species, it is the 
parietal valves that are lengthened and not the basal. Thus, with 
respect to the present species, we find that when any number of 
individuals are placed close together when very young, as they in- 
crease they form a group, of which the basal valves grow up side 
by side and become tubular, without the parietal valves changing 
in form; hence in some apeoimens this valve is concave in conse- 
quence of its having been placed upon a convex substance, and at a 
distance from each other; while in others, which have been placed 
very closely together when very young, this bnsal valve has taken a 
more or less deep cup slmpe, being very small at ite lower extremity 
and increasing in dimensions with age. 
San Julian, Patagonia. 

Balanus C0HUIMBENS13. — PI. II. fig. 7- 
Balatms tesCA polymorphd, valvis Itevibtts, nonnunquam radialim 

siriatis, laleralibus poslicis angustioribiis ; apicibus sublrun- 

catis; aperturd parvulA. 
A remarkable fact is observable in the specimens, both from the 
npper and lower parts of the formation ; I have selected one from 
the upper bed as showing it most distinctly. In consequence of 
numerous individuals being closely grouped together, each one has 
been compelled to lengthen the basal valve, so as to form a nearly 
eyilndricsl tube, closed at the lower part, and gradually increasing 
as it ascends until it joins the base of the six parietal valves : this 
increase in the length of the base seems to have taken place more 
rapidly than tlie growth of the animal would permit. A portion 
of the lower part of this basal tube has, therefore, been filled np with 
cells or vesicles separated by calcareous septa, very irregular indeed, 
but which would, nevertheless, answer the purpose of supporting the 
base of the animal in the tube, so as to enable the animal to continue 
^ts vital function?. 

Coquinibo, Chile. 



Nautilus r'Ohbionyancs. — PI. V. fig. 

Siell ventricote (probably tmoolk and tligktli/ umhilicaud ?). Moutk 
•eery broad, rmi/orm. Bad: rounded. Suiuret bend luddenly 
toKards, and near to, the umbilieui; on the back they are wry 

This specimen ia very impoifect. The form of the chambers re- 
Eembles that Been in Nautilus Sowerbyanut, a epecies described from 
the upper greensand by d'Orbigny. The general form more oeoily 
resembles Naatiltia ItBvigatui of the same author, a species also from 
the Craie ehloritie. 

Concepciou ; Chile, 

Teitd magnd, eroMiiiscutd, lavt, nibct/lindricd, annulit elevatu, 
conspicuis, tubamfertis, omatd; extremitatibug iftvicem propi 

This is the largest Hamite I hayo Goen; it is nearly cylindrical, 
and its largest diameter is 2j inches, its smaller being S|. There 
are two specimens, one of nliich is much larger than the other. Tlie 
smaller shows clearly the near approximation of the two exttetnitiea. 
Tlie specimens have been lost since Mr. Darwin's return to England, 
and so cannot be figured. 

Port Famine ; Tierra del Fueffo. 

Perna Americana. — PI. V. fig, 4, 5, 6. 
Shdl lanceolate? tentrico»e, carinated, eompretted in (he eardinal 
r^ion, abruptly truncate, cmicave at the opposite side, to that tks 
teclion of the two caliiet it triangular and lom&ichat cordate. 
The fuicalions of the hinge are large, numeroui, and regular. 
The turface of the gkell appears to kaee been concentrically^ 
though irregularly, striated. 

Copiapo ; Chile. 

AsTARTB Darwhoi. — PI. V. fig. 22, 23. 
Shell broadly ovate, mucA compreeeed, marked Kith rather distant, 
regular concentric ridget ; the iuiersticet broad and eoneen^ 
trically etriate : anal and oral ej:tremities nearly equally 
broad; beaki aery obtuse. 

Breadth, 1 2/l2; length, 11/12; thickness, 5/12 of an inch. 
Copiapo ; Cliile. 

Gryph^la DAR»^NII. — PI. V. 6g. 7- 
LoKcr ealues very tumid, elongated, arcuated, laterally compresteA, 
and much incurved at the rostral extremity ; its turface undu- 
lated by distant distinct ginuous furrows, marked with lesser 
aulcationt or striations. Upper valve concave, ipalulale, and 
concentrically furrowed. 

Length, 3 1/2 ; breadth^ 2 i distance, from summit of beak to 
lotcermost and central part of lower valve, 2 7/'20 inches. 
Copiapo; Cliile. 

Gryph^a Nov. Sp. ?— Pi. V. fig. 8, 9. 
Loteer valve not very convex, rugged, angulated; upper valve con- 
cave, orbicular, furrowed icilh deep concentric sulcatums. Ap- 
parently a young specimen. 

Length, 1 1/2; breadth, 2 8/l0 ; thichiess, 5/10 of an inch. 
Copiapo; Cliile. 

Ldciha Americana. — PI. V, fig. 24. 
Shell orbicular, much d^tressed, the surface rough, with sharp, rer 
guUtr, elevated, distant, concentric ridges {about tweniy-five oif 
specimen examined); the interstices are striated concentrically. 
Length, 1 6/10 ; breadth, the same ; thickness, 4/10. of an inch. 
In sbape tliis species resembles the receut Lucina radula, 
Iquiquo ; Southcia Peiu. 



LUCINA EXCENTRIGA. — " G. B. SoWERBY," PI. V. fig. 21. 

TestA subovali^ leviter incBquivahi, Icevi^ umbone adunco^ poitiei 
sulco pro/undo ah umbone ad marginem inferam posticam de- 
currente in alterd valvd^ minus pro/undo in altera: long. 1*9 ; 
lat. 1* ; alu 2' poll. 

Like Ludna Childreniy the two valves are somewhat unequal , 
and sometimes the right, sometimes the left, valve is the larger. The 
posterior dorsal groove is nearer the edge and deeper than in Ludna 
Pennsylvdnicay and the whole shell is much less orbicular* The 
present species may be regarded as obliquely suboval. 

Port Famine ; Tierra del Fuego. 

Spirifeb chilensis. — PI. V. fig. 15, 16. 
Shell suborbicular^ tumid. Dorsal valve deeper than the ven^ 
tral; cardinal area shorter than the transverse diameter of 
the valve^ triangular^ concave^ bounded by angalated margins. 
Perforation lanceolato-triangular. Centre of the dorsal valve 
with a rather deep and broad sinus^ whichy as well as the sideSy 
is furrowed and ribbed. Bibs simple (about twenty- sia^ of 
which four belong to the sinus\ becoming obsolete towards the 
angles of the cardinal area^ crossed by strongly marked sintums 
lines of growth. Beak very prominent and somewhat incurved, 
Vorsal valve ribbed like the ventral^ four of the ribs being upon 
the rounded but well-defined mesial ridge. Frontal margin of 
both valves slightly linguiform. 

There are two varieties of this shelly the one much more 
tumid than the other. 

Dimensions of largest specimen: breadthy 1 4/12; breadth^ 
of cardinal liney 1 2/12; length of dorsal valvCy 1 3/12; of 
ventral valvCy 1 inch; thickness of united valveSy lOl 12 of an 

This shell nearly resembles several carboniferous limestone spiri- 
fers. It is also related to some liassic species, as Spirifer Wolcotii, 
Cordillera of Guasco ; Chile. 

Spirifer linguiferoides. — PL V. fig, 17, 18. 

Shell orbiculary globosCy surface smoothy undulated towards the mar^ 
giny where there are also a few strong transverse furrows of 
growth. Valves nearly egiuzl. Frontal margin not prc^'ectingy 
bisinuated. Mesial furrow of dorsal valve shalloWy lanceolate^ 
but well definedy as is also the mesial ridge of the ventral. 
Area not visible in specimen examined, 

Breadthy 11/2; length nearly the sams ; thicknessy 1 2112 of 
an inch. 

Very near Spirifer linguifera of Phillips (a carboniferous lime- 
stone fossil), but probably distinct. 

Rio Claro, Valley of Coquimbo, Chile. 

268 At>PENDIX. 

Terebratula inca. — PI. V. (ig. 10, 2(r, 

Shell orbicular y depressed^ surface obsoletely striated concentrically > 
thefurrovDs of growth hecoming more strongly marked towards 
the margin. Dorsal valve most convex. Frontal margin ob- 
soletely bisimuited^ and in young specimens slightly truncate. 
Beak of dorsal valve very prominent and incurved^ obttisely 
angled at the sides^ terminating in a {small?) perforation. 
Area very small but distinct, 

Lengifi of dorsal valve, 1 8/10 ; breadth^ 1 7 1 10 of an inch * 
thickness 1 inch, 

Iquique, Southern Peru. 


Abicb on a new variety of feldspar, 174 

Abrolhos Islands, 141 

Absence of recent formations on tbe S. 

American coasts, 135 
Acosta on an eartbquake-wave, 51 
Agiierros on elevation of Imperial, 29 
Albite, constituent mineral in andesite, 

in rocks of T. del Fuego, 153, 154 

in porpbjries, 170, 171 

crystals of, witb orthite, 174 
Alison, Mr. on elevation of Valparaiso^ 

Alaroina, salpbate of, 218 
Ammonites from Coucepcion, 126, 131 
Amolanas, Las, 222 
Amygdaloid, curious varieties of, I7l 
Aroygdaloids of Uspallata range, 200 

of Copiapo, 2*27 
Andesite of T. del Fuego, 153, 154 

of Chile, 174 

in valley of Maypu, 177, 178 

of tbe Cumbre Pass, 188, 194 

of the Uspallata range, 203 

near Illapel, 208 

of Los Hornos, 209 

ofCopiapo, 218, 221,227 
Anhydrite, concretions of, 178, 191 
Araucaria, silicified wood of, 121, 202 
Arica, elevation of, 47 
Arqueros, mines of, 211 
Ascension, gypsum deposited on, 52 

laminated volcanic rocks of, 166, 167 
Augite, in fragments, in gneiss, 141 

with albite in lava, 175 
Austen, Mr. R. A., on bent cleavage- 

lamioaB, 160 
Austin, Capt. on sea-bottom, 25 
Australia, foliated rocks of, 165 
Azara labiata, beds of, at San Pedro, 

Bacalemu, elevated shells near, 31 
Baculites vagina, 126, 131 
Babia Blanca, elevation of, 3 

formations near, 80 

character of living shells of, 135, 137 

Bahia (Brazil), elevation near, 3 

crystalline rocks of, 140 
Ballade, M. on the precipitation of 

sulphate of soda, 74 
Band a Oriental, elevation of, 1 

tertiary formations of, 90 

crystalline rocks of, 144 
Barnacles above sea-level, 31, 35 

adhering to upraised shells, 30, 48 
BasaltofS. Cruz, 1J5 

streams of, in the Portillo ranire. 
184 * 

in the Uspallata range, 201 
Basin-plains of Chile, 58 
Beagle Channel, 154, 156 
Beaumont, £lie de, on viscid quartz- 
rock, 204 

on inclination of lava-streams, 116. 
Beech-tree, leaves of fossil, 118 
Beechey, Captain, on sea-bottom* 22 
Belcher, Lieut, on elevated shells from 

Concepciou, 30 
Bella Vista, plain of, 50 
Benza, Dr. on decomposed granite, 148 
Bettington, Mr. on quadmpeds trans- 
ported by rivers, 99 
Blake, Mr. on the decay of elevated 
shells near Iquique, 47 

on nitrate of soda, 71 
Bole, 171 

BoUaert, Mr. on mines of Iquique, 233 
Bombs, volcanic, submarine, 219 
Bones, silicified, 128 

fossil, fresh condition of, 92 
Bottom of sea off Patagonia, 16, 22 
Bougainville, on elevation of the Falk- 
land Islands, 13 
Boulder formation of S. Cruz, 9, 19 

of Falkland Islands, 14 

ofT. del Fuego, 117 

anterior to certain extinct qnadni- 
peds, 96 
Boulders in the Cordillera, 64, 66 

transported by earthquake-waves, 

in fine-grained tertiary deposits, 127 



Brande, Mr. on a mineral spring, 189 
Bravaia, M. on*ele?ation of ScandinaTia, 

Brazil, eleration of, 3 

crystalline rocks of, 140, 144 
Broderip, Mr., on elevated shells from 

Concepcion, 30 
Brown, Mr. R. on silicified wood of Us- 
pallata range, 202 
on silicified wood, 225 
Bncby Von, on cleav^age, 164 

on cretaceous fossils of the Cordil- 
lera, 181, 193 
on the salphureoos volcanos of 
Java, 239 
Buenos Ayres, 77 

Borchell, Mr. on elevated shells of Bra- 
zil, 3 
Byron on elevated shells, 27 

Cachapual, boulders in ralley of, 64, 66 
Caldcieugh, Mr. on elevation of Co- 
quimbo, 38 

on rocks of the Portillo range, 183 
Callao, elevation near, 47 

old town of, 51 
Cape of Good Hope, metamorphic rocks 

of, 165 
Careharia8 megalodon, 129 
Carpenter, Dr. on microscopic organ- 
isms, 77 
Castro (Chiloe), beds near, 120 
Cauquenes Baths, boulders near, 64, 66 

volcanic formation near, 175 

stratification near, 176 

pebbles in porphyry near, 170 
Caves above sea-level, 28, 31, 46 
Cenmspumilis, fossil horns of, 28 
Chevalier, M. on elevation near Lima, 

Chile, elevation of coast, 29 

structure of country between the 
Cordillera and the Pacific, 58 

tertiary formations of, 120 

crystalline rocks in, 161 

central, geology of, 169 

northern, geology of, 208 
Chiloe, gravel on coast, 18 

elevation of» 27 

tertiary formation of, 120, 131 

crystaUine rocks of, 160 
Chlorite-schist near M. Video, 145 
Chonos Arch, tertiary formations of, 119 

crystalline rocks of, 156 
Chupat Rio, scorise transported by, 4 
Claro Rio, fossiliferous beds of, 214 
Clay-shale of Los Hornos, 209 
Clay slate, formation of, T. del Fuego, 

of Concepcion, 160 

felspathic, of T. del Fuego, 153 

Clayslate, felspathic, of Chile, 169, 
172, 177 J 

felspathic, in Cumbre Pass, 190, 

felspathic, of Uspallata range, 196, 

black siliceous, band of, in porpbyri- 
tic formation of Chile, 173 
Claystone-porphyrv, formation of, in 
Chile, 170 ' 

origin of, 173 

eruptive sources of, 232 
Cleavage, definition of, 141 

at Bahia, 141 

Rio de Janeiro, 142 

Maldonado, 144 

Monte Video, 146 

S. Guitru-gueyu, 147 

Falkland I., 151 

T. del Fuego, 154 

Chonos I., 157 

Chiloe, 160 

Concepcion, 161 

Chile, 162 

discussion on, 162 
Cleavage-lamins superficially bent, 160 
Cliffs, formation of, 25 
Climate, late changes in, 70 

of Chile during tertiary period, 134 
Coal of Chiloe, 121 

Concepcion, 125 

S. Lorenzo, 234 
Cobija, elevation of, 46 
Colombia, cretaceous formation of, 234 
Colonia del Sacramiento, elevation of, 2 

Pampean formation near, 91 
Colorado, Rio, gravel of, 19 

sand-dunes of, 5, 17 

Pampean formation, near, 80 
Combarbala, 208, 210 
Concepcion, elevation of, 29 

deposits of, 125, 131 

crystalline rocks of, 160 
Conchalee, g^vel-terraces of, 36 
Concretions of gypsum at Iquique, 70 

in sandstone at S. Cruz, 113 

in tufaceous tufif of Chiloe, 123 

in gneiss, 140 

in claystone porphyry at Port De- 
sire, 149 

in gneiss at Valparaiso, 162 

in metamorphic rocks, 164 

of anhydrite, 178 

relations of, to veins, 202 
Conglomerate claystone of Chile, 170,173 

of Tenuyan, 182, 186, 206 

of the Cumbre Pass, 190, 193 

ofRio Claro, 214 

ofCopiapo, 225, 227 
Cook, Captain, on form of 8ea*bottom, 24 
Copiapo, elevation of, 46 



Copiapo, tertiary formations of, 130 

secondary formations of, 218 
Copper, sulphate of, 218 

native, at Arqueros, 211 
mines of, at Panuncillo, 210 
veins, distribution of, 235 
Coqaimbo, elevation and terraces of, 36 
tertiary formations of, 128 
secondary formations of, 211 
Corallines living on pebbles, 23 
Cordillera, valleys t>ordered by gravel 
fringes, 62 
basal strata of, 170 
fossils of, 181, 193, 215, 217, 223, 

elevation of, 170, 186, 203, 205, 

230, 232, 240, 242, 247 
gypseous formations of, 178, 180, 
189, 191, 208, 212. 218, 221, 233 
claystone porphyries of, 170, 
andesitic rocks of, 174 
volcanos of, 175, 241, 247 
Coste, M. on elevation of Lemus, 27 
Coy inlet, tertiary formations of, 117 
Crassatella Lyellii, 118 
Cruickshanks, Mr. on elevation near 

Lima, 51 
Crystals of feldspar, gradual formation of 

at Port Desire, 149 
CucuUaea alia, 118 
Cumbre, Pass of, in Cordillera, 187 
Cuming, Mr. on habits of the Meso- 
desma, 34 
on range of living shells on west 
coast, 133, 135 

Dana, Mr. on foliated rocks, 165 

on amygdaloids, 171 
Darwin, Mount, 154 
D'Aubuisson on concretions, 123 

on foliated rocks, 165 
Decay, gradual, of upraised shells, 47, 

Decomposition of granite rocks, 143 
De la Becbe's, Sir H. theoretical re- 
searches on geology, 23 

on the action of salt on calcareous 
rocks, 52 

on bent cleavage -laminie, 160 
Denudation on coast of Patagonia, 16, 
25, 136 

great powers of, 136 

of the Portillo range, 184, 187 
Deposits, saline, 69 
Despoblado, valley of, 225, 227, 229 
Detritus, nature of, in Cordillera, 64 
Devonshire, bent cleavage in, 161 
Dikes in gneiss of Brazil, 140, 144 

near Rio de Janeiro, 142 

pseudo, at Port Desire, 150 

in T. del Fuego, 152 

Dikes in Chonos Arch, containing quartz, 

near Concepcion, with quartz, 161 

granitic-porphyritic, at Valparaiso, 

rarely vesicular in Cordillera, 175 

absent in the central ridges of the 
Portillo pass, 180 

of the Portillo range, with grains of 
quartz, 184 

intersecting each other often, 194 

numerous at Copiapo, 227 
Domeyko, M. on the silver mines of 
Coquimbo, 211 

on the fossils of Coquimbo, 215 
D'Orbigny, M.A., on upraised shells of 
Monte Video, 2 

on elevated shells at S. Pedro, 2 

near B. Ayres, 3 

on elevation of S. Bias, 5 

on the sudden elevation of La Plata, 

on elevated shells near Cobija, 46 

near Arica, 47 

on the climate of Peru, 48 

on salt-deposits of Cobija, 70 

on crystals of gypsum in salt-lakes, 

on absence of gypsum in the Pam- 
pean formation, 78 

on fossil remains from Bahia Blanca, 

on fossil remains from the banks of 
the Parana, 87 

on the geology of St. F6, 88 

on the age of Pampean formation, 
93, 101 

on the origin of the Pampean for- 
mation, 98 

on the Mastodon Andiunit 104 

on the geology of the Rio Negro, 108 

on the character of Patagonian fos- 
sils, 118^ 

on fossils from Concepcion, 126 
„ „ Coquimbo, 130 
„ „ Payta, 130 

on fossil tertiary shells of Chile,-132 

on cretaceous fossils of T. del Fuego, 

on cretaceous fossils from the Cor- 
dillera of Chile, 181, 193, 215, 
217, 223, 233 
Earth, marine origin of, 28, 32 
Earthenware, fossil, 50. 
Earthquakes in Pampas, 14 
Earthquake, effect of, at S. Maria, 17 

elevation during, at Lemus, 27 

of 1822, at Valparaiso, 34 

effects of, in shattering surface, 49 

fissures made by, 161 

probable effects on cleavage, 161 

^^H S72 IBDKX. ^^^H 

^^V Eulbqalke-vanei, power of. ia tlirawiae 

Epidole in gDeiaa, 162 "^^^1 

^H up ShBllB. 34 

fri'qaei.C la Cbilc, 172 ^^M 

^M effecu or. Dear Lima, SI 

Id the UapallaU range, 204 -^^M 

in porpbyry of Cniuimbo, 212 ^^H 

Ertnan, M. on audesite. 175 ^^M 

^^B Ehrenberg, Prof, on infuoociB in ihe 

^^M FalBgoniaa rormatioo, 110, 111, 


Falkland Islands, elevation of, 13 ^^1 

^^H 00 infueorJH in Ibe Pampean rorma- 

pebbles on ooaat, 21, 22 ^^ 

^H tion, 81,35,88 

geology of, 151 ^ 

^H ElevalioD of Lb Plata, 1 

FalWopr od aaline incruatatiouB, 12 

^H Uniiil, 

Faulla, great, in Cordille™, 179,331 | 

^H Bafaia lilanoB, 3, 83 

Feldspar albitic. 174 

^H S&n Blu. 5 

^H PaUgoni<i,5, 14, 17 

Desire, 148 

^^M TIerCB del Fuego, 13 

ortbilic. in conirlomeiate ofTenuy aii. 

^H Falklnnd lalsodg, 13 


^H Paoipu, 14, 103 

in granite of Portillo range, 183 

^^H Cboaoa Archipelsgo, ST 

crjBlalaof, wilbalhite, 174 

^H Chiloe, 27 

in porpbvriea, in tbe Cumbro 

^H CbilB, 29 

Pass, m 

^H V»lpB»iK>,3l,34, 44 

FeoilI6e on aea-level at Coquimbo, 39 

^H Coiiuimbo, 36, 44 

FiiBures, relations of. to coiu^reiionH, 123 

^H Guiuco, 45 

unfilled, at Port Desire, 150 

^H Iquique. 47 

it) clavslate, 199 

^^H Cobija, 47 

Fitton, Dr. ou 'the geology of T. del 

^H 47 

Fuego, 154 

^H Elttation, Budden. oc S. Mario, 17 

Fiu-Roy, Capt, on ihe elevation of the 

^H suddeo, Bt L«mug, 27 

Falkland lalaodB, 13 

^H Valparaiso. 35 

Foliation, definition of, 141 

^^H Coquimbo, 38 

ofrocksatBabia. 141 , 

^^B axes of, Bl Cbiloe, 124, 131 

Rio de Janeiro, 142 

^H P. RumonB, 125, 131 

Maldonado, 144 1 

^H CoQcepcion, 126, 131 . 

Montevideo, 146 I 

^^H uafBioursble Tor ibe orcamulmioa of 

S. Guitm-gueyti, 147 ■ 

Fal^aod I., 151 ^^^ 

^H lioes of, DBralle! to cleavaga and 

T. del Fuego, 154 -^^H 

^H foliatJDD.142. 144, 146, 147.151. 

Cbonoa Arcb. 157 ' ^^H 

^B 164. 158. 161, 165 

Cbiloe, 160 ^^H 

^H lioea of, oblique to foliation, 158 

ConcepcioQ, 161 ^1 

^B aieaa of, cauaiog linea of elevation 

Chile. 162 

^m and cleavage, 168 

^H lioio of, in Ibe CordiUeia, 170 

ForbeB, Prof. E. on cretaceous foaails of 

^^1 alowjin tbe Porlillo range, 185 

^H two perioila of. in Cordillera of ceii- 

on cretaceous fessilsatid aubsidenee 

^H tral Cbite, 186 

in Cumbre Pass. 193 

^H of Uapallata range. 203 

onfosailafromGuaaco, 217 

^H two periodaof, in Cumbre Pasa. 205 

on fossils from Coquimbo, 212. 215 

on fossils from Copiapo, 223 

^H pia!>o, 230 

on deplbs at which sbellB Uve, 135, 

^^^H BIBB of, coincideat with volcaaic 


Formation, Pampean, 77 

^H of Ibe Cordillera, Bummary oo, 240, 

■^ area of, 97 , 


estuary origin. 9S ^^J 

^H ElUoIt, Capl. on huoiBQ remains, 3 

tertiarc of Emre Rice, 89 _^H 

^H Eoaenada, elevated uhells of, 2 

of Kaoda Oriental. 90 ^^M 

^H Enlre Rioa, geoloR? of, 88 

volcanic, in BiindaUnentBl, 93 ^^H 

ofPaUgonia, 108 ^^H 

^H Epidote in T. ael Fuego, 153 

suuimury on, 113 ^^^^| 



Formation Tert. of T. del Fuego, 117 
of the Cbonos Arch. 119 
ofChiloe, 120 
of Chile, 120 
of CoQcepcion, 125, 131 
of Navidadk 127 
of Coquimbo, 128 
of Peru, 130 
subsidence during^ 138 
volcanic, of Tres Monies, 120 
old, near Maldonado, 145 
witl) laminar ftriM^ure, 167 
ancient, in T. del Fuego, 153 
metamorphic,of clay stone porphyry 

of PaUgonia, 148» 167 
metamorphic, foliation of, 164 
plu tonic, with laminar structure, 167 
recent, absent on S. American coast, 

palsozoic, of the Falkland I., 151 
clayslate, at Concepcion, 160 
Jurassic, of Cordillera, 181, 193 
Neocomian, of the Portillo Pass, 181 

of Cumbre Pass, 193 
gypseous, of Los Hornos, 208^ 217 
of Coquimbo^ 212 
of Guasco* 217 
of Copiapo, 218 
of Iquique, 233 
cretaceo-oolitic, of Coquimbo} 215, 

of Copiapo^ 223 
of Iquique, 233 
Fossils^ neocomiau, of Portillo Pass, 181 

of Cumbre Pass, 193 
secondary, of Coquimbo, 215 
of Guasco, 217 
of Copiapo, 223 
of Iquique, 233 
palaeozoic, from the Falklands, 151 
Fragments of hornblende-rock in gneiss, 
t)f gneiss in gneiss, 143 
Freyer, Lieut, on elevated shells of 

Arica, 47 
Frezier on sea-level at Coquimbo, 39 

Galapagos Arch., pseudo * dikes of, 

Gallegos, Port, tertiary formation of, 117 
Garnets in mica-slate^ 153 
in gneissi 142 
at Panuncillo, 210 
Gaudichaud, M. on granites of Braail, 

Gay, M. on elevated shells, 31 

on boulders in the Cordillera, 59, 

Gay, M. on fossils from Cordillera of Co- 
quimbo, 217 
Gill, Mr; on brickwork transported by an 

earthquake-wavOj 51 
Gillies, Dr. on heights in the Cordillera, 

on extension of the Portillo range^ 
Glen Roy, parallel roads of, 44 

sloping terraces of, 65 
Gneiss near Bahia, 140 

of Rio de Janeiro, 142 

decomposition of, 143 
Gold, distribution of, 235 
Gorodona, formations near, 87 
Granite, axis of, oblique to foliation, 158 

andesitio, 174 


veins of, quartiose, 158^ 204 

pebble of, in porphyritic coDglo<* 

conglomerate of, 227 
Grauwacke of Uspallata range, 196 
Gravel at bottom of sea, 16, 22 

formation of, in Patagonia, 19 

means of transportation of^ 22 

strata of, inclined, 195 
Gravel- terraces in Cordillera, 62 
Greeuough, Mn on quartz veins, 164 
Greenstone, resulting from metamor-^ 

? hosed hornblende-rock, 146 
'ierra del Fuego, 153 
on summit of the C. of Quillota, 170 
porphyry, 172 
relation of, to clayslate, 172 
Gryphaa orienialUf 212 
Guasco, elevation of, 45 

secondary formation of, 217 
Guitru-gueyu, Sierra, 147 
Guyana, gneissic rocks of, 141 
Gypsum, nodules of, in gravel at Rio 
Negro, 19 
deposited from sea- water, 52 
deposits of, at Iquique, 70 
crystals of, in salt lakes, 74 
in Pampean formation, 78 
in tertiary formation of Patagonia, 

great formation of, in the Portillo 
Pass, 178, 180 

in the Cumbre Pass, 
189, 191 
near Los Homos, 208 
at Coquimbo, 212 
at Copiapo, 218,221 
near Iquique, 233 
of San Lorenzo, 234 

Hall, Capt. B. on terraces at Coquimbo, 




IlamiltoT), Mr. on elevation nenr Tacna, 

Harlan, Dr. on human remains, 3 
Hayes, Mr. A. ou nitrate of soda, 71 
Henslow, Prof, on concretions, 164 
Herbert, Capt. on vallejs in the Him- 

malaya, 60 
Herradura Bay, elevated shells of, 37 

tertiary formations of, 128 
Himmalaya, valleys in, 60 
Hippurite$ Chileim$, 212. 216 
Hitchcock, Prof, on dikes, 141 
Honestones, pseudo, of Coquimbo, 213 

of Copiapo, 218 
Hooker, Dr. J. D. on fossil beech leaves, 

Hopkins, Mr. on axes of elevation 
oblique to foliation, 159 
on origin of lines of elevation, 167, 
Hornblende-rock, fragments of, in gneiss, 

Hornblende-schist near M. Video, 146 
Hornos, Los, section near, 208 
Hornstone, dike of, 160. 161 
Horse, fossil tooth of, 84, 90 
Iluafo Island, 120, 131 
subsidence at, 137 
Huantajaya, mines of, 233 
Humboldt on saline incrustations, 72 
on foliation of gneiss, 141 
on concretions in gneiss, 162 

Icebergs action on cleavage, 161, 163 
lllapel, section near, 208 
Imperial, beds of shells near, 29 
Incrustations, saline, 72 
Infusoria in pampean formation, 77, 81, 
85, 88 
in Patagonian formation, 108, 110, 
111. 117,118 
Iodine, salts of, 72, 74 
Iquique, elevation of, 47 

saliferous deposits of, 69 
cretaceo-oolitic formaition of, 233 
Iron, oxide of, in lavas, 191, 228 
in sedimentary beds, 209, 21 1 
tendency in, to produce hollow con- 
cretions, 123 
sulphate of, 218 
Isabelle, M. on volcanic rocks of Banda 
Oiienial, 94 

Jasper at P. Desire, 149 
Joints in clay slate, 155 
Jukes, Mr. on cleavage in Newfound- 
land, 164 

Kamtschaika, andesite of, 175 
Kane, Dr. on the production of carbo- 
nate of soda, 52 

King George's Sound, calcareous beds of, 

Lakes, origin of, 24 

fresh-water, near salt lakes, 75 

Lava, basaltic, of S. Cruz, 1 15 

claystone porphyry, at Chiloe, 121 
claystone, ancient submarine, 173 
basaltic, of the Portillo range, 184 
feldspathic, of the Cumbre Pass, 191 
submarine, of the Uspallata range, 

basaltic, of the Uspallata range, 203 
submarine, of Coquimbo, 213, 215 
of Copiapo, 219, 226, 228, 230, 232 

Lemus Island, 119, 131 

Lemuy Islet, 121 

Lignite of Chiloe, 121 
of Concepcion, 125 

Lima, elevation of, 47 

Lime, muriate of, 53, 70, 72 

Limestone of Cumbre Pass, 190 
Coquimbo. 212, 214 
Copiapo, 223 , 

Lund aud Clausen on remains in caves of 
Brazil, 103, 105 

Lund, M. on granites of Brazil, 143 

Lyell, M. on upraised shells retaining 
their colours, 13 
on terraces at Coquimbo. 39 
on elevation near Lima, 51 
on fossil horse's tooth, 90 
on the boulder-formation being an- 
terior to the extinction of North 
American mammifers, 96 
on quadrupeds washed down by 

floods, 99 
on age of American fossil mammi- 
fers, 105 
on changes of climate, 135 
on denudation, 136 
on foliation, 165 

MaccuUoch, Dr. on beds of marble, 166 

on concretions, 164 
Maclaren, Mr. letter to, on coral forma- 
tions, 139 
Macrauchenia Patachonica^ 84, 95 
Madeira, subsidence of, 26 
Magellan, St., elevation near of, 12 
Magnesia, sulphate of, in veins, 113 
Malcolmson, Dr. on trees carried out to 

sea, 203 
Maldonado, elevation of, 1 

Pampean formation of, 90 

crystalline rocks of, 144 
Mammalia, fossil, of Babial^lanca, 81, 84 

near St, F4, 89 

of Banda Oriental, 92 

at S. Julian, 95 . 

at Port Gallegos, 117. 



MammaHa, washed down by floods, 99 
Mammalia, number of remains of, and 

range of, in Pampas, 103, 106 
Man, skeletons of (Brazil), 3 

remains of, near Lima, 49 

Indian, antiquity of, 49 
Marble, beds of, 145 
Maricongo, rarine of, 229 
Marsden on elevation of Sumatra, 29 
Mastodon Andium, remains of, 87 

range of, 103 
Maypu Rio, mouth of, with upraised 
shells, 31 

gravel fringes of, 64 

debouchement from the Cordillera, 
Megalonyx, range of, 105 
Megatherium, range of, 105 
Meigs, Dr. on human remains, 3 
Meudoza, plains near, 62 
Mercury, mines of, 211, 236 
Mesodesma donaciforme, beds of, 31, 

Metals, veins of, 235 
Metamorphosis of dikes, 140, 144, 150 

of claystone-porpbyry of Patagonia, 

of porphyries in Chile, 174 

of rocks in Cumbre range, 192 

in Uspallata range, 205 

singular, at Panuncillo, 210 

at Coquimbo, 213 
Mexico, elevated shells of, 53 
Meyen, Dr. on elevation near Valpa- 
raiso, 34 

at Copiapo, 46 

on heights of plains in Chile, 58, 59 

on boulders in the Cordillera, 64, 

on volcanic rocks in Chile, 175, 177 

on fossils from Cordillera, 181 

on sulphate of iron at Copiapo, 218 
Mica rare near Maldonado, 145 

absent in the porphyries of Chile, 
Mica-slate of T. del Fuego, 153 

capping granite mountain in the 
Chonos Arch., 158 

of the Chonos Arch., 157 

fragments of, in dike, 160 

ofChiloe. 160 

of Northern Chile, 162 

of the Portilio range, 184 

of Guasco, 217 

of Copiapo, 228 

pebble of, in gypseous formation 
of Copiapo, 222 
Miers, M. on elevated shells, 35 

on the height of the Uspallata 
plain, 60 
Minas, Las, 144 

Mocha Island, elevation of, 29 

tertiary form, of, 124 

subsidence at, 138 
Molina on a great flood. 66 
Monte Hermoso, elevation of, 4 

fossils of, 80 
Monte Video, elevation of, 1 

Pampean formation of, 91 

crystalline rocks of, 145 
Morris and Sharpe, Messrs., on the pa- 
laeozoic fossils of the Falklands, 151 
Mud, Pampean, 77 

long deposited on the same area, 
Murchison, Sir R. on cleavage, 163 

on waves transporting gravel, 23 

on origin of salt formations, 235 

on the relations of metalliferous 
veins and intrusive rocks, 237 

on the absence of granite in the 
Ural, 242 

Nautilus d'Orbignyanus, 126, 131 
Navidad, tertiary formations of, 127 

subsidence of, 137 
Negro, Rio, pumice of pebbles of, 4 

gravel of, 19 

salt lakes of, 73 

tertiary strata of, 108 
North America, fossil remains of, 105 
North Wales, sloping terraces absent in, 

bent cleavage of, 161 
Nuevo Gulf, plains of, 6 

tertiary formation of, 110 

Owen, Prof, on fossil mammiferous re- 
mains, 81, 84, 90, 92, 95 

Palmer, Mr. on transportation of gravel, 

Pampas/elevation of, 1, 14 

earthquakes of, 14 

formation of, 19, 76 

localities in which fossil mammifers 
have been found, 106 
Panuncillo, mines of, 210 
Parana, Rio, elevation near, 2 

Pampean formation near, 87 
Parchappe, M. on sand-dunes in the 
Pampas, 3 

on saline incrustations, 72 

on the S. Tandil, 147 
Parish, Sir W. on elevated shells, near 
Buenos Ayres, 2, 3 

on earthquakes in the Pampas, 14 

on fresh water near salt lakes, 75 

on origin of Pampean formation, 98 
Patagonia, elevation and plains of, 5 

denudation of, 16 



Pata^nia, g^vel formation of, 19 

sea-clitfs of, 25 

sabsidence during tertiary period, 1 38 

crystalline rocks of, 148 
Payta, tertiary formations of, 130 
Pebbles of pumice, 4 

decrease in size, on tbe coast of 
Patagonia, 16 

means of transportation, 22 

encrusted with living corallines, 23 

distribution of, at the eastern foot of 
Cordillera, 6^ 

dispersal of, in the Pampas, 79 

zoned with colour, 170 
Pentland, Mr. on heights in the Cor- 
dillera, 188 

on fossils of do. 193 
Pemambuco, 3, 141 
I'eru, tertiary formations of, 130 
Peuquenes, Pass of, in the Cordillera, 175 

ridge of, 178 
Pbolas, elevated shells of, 28 
Pitchstone of Chiloe, 121 

of P. Desire, 148 

near Cauqueues, 175 

of Los Hornos, 209 

layers of, in tbe Uspallata range, 
200, 201 

of Coquimbo, 213 
I'lains of Patagonia, 6, 14 

of Chiloe, 29 

of Chile, 58 

on eastern foot of Cordillera, 61 

ol Uspallata, 60 

of Iquique, 71 
Plata, La, elevation of, 1 

tertiary form, of, 19, 76 

crystalline rocks of, 144 
Playfair, Prof, on the transportation of 

gravel, 23 
Pluclaro, axis of, 212 
Poudicherry, fossils of, 127 
Porcelain-rocks of P. Desire. 149 

of the Uspallata range, 199, 201, 204 
porphyry, pebbles of, strewed over Pata- 
gonia, 20 
Porphyry -claystone of Chiloe, 121 
of Patagonia, 148 
of Chile, 170, 173 

greenstone of Chile, 172 

doubly columnar, 175 

claystone rare, on the eastern side 
ofthePortillo Pass, 182 

brick-red and orthitic, of Cumbre 
Pass, 186, 194 

intrusive, repeatedly injected, 194 

claystone of tbe Uspallata range, 196 
ofCopiapo, 219, 229 
eruptive sources of, 232 
Fort Desire, elevation and plains of, 7 

tertiary formation of, 110 

Port Desire, porphyries of, 148 
Portillo Pass in the Cordillera, 175 
Portillo chain, 182, 186 

compared with that of Uspallata, 206 
Prefil or sea-wall of Valpaiaiso, 35 
Puente del Inca, section of, 189 
Pumice, pebbles of, 4 

conglomerate of, R. Negfro, 108 

hills of in the Cordillera, 175 
Punta Alta, elevation of, 3 

beds of, 82 

Quartz-rock of the S. Ventana, 147 
C. Blanco, 148 
Falkland I. 151 
Portillo range, 183 
viscidity of, 204 
veins of near M. Video, 146 
veins of, in dike of greenstone, 152 
grains of, in dikes, 159, 161 
reins of, in mica-slate, 157 
veins of, relations to cleavage, 164 

Quillota, C. of, 169 

Quintero, elevation of, 35 

Quiriquina, elevation of, 30 
deposits of, 125 

Rancagua, plain of, 59 
Rapel, R. elevation near, 31 
Reeks, Mr. T. analysis of decomposed 
shells, 52 
analysis of salts, 69 
Remains, human, 49 
Rio de Janeiro, elevation near, 3 

crystalline rocks of, 142 
Rivers, small power of transporting 
pebbles, 22 
small power of, in forming valleys, 

drainage of, in the Cordillera, 177, 
Roads, parallel, of Glen Roy, 44 
Rocks, volcanic, of B. Oriental, 93, 145 
Tres Montes, 120 
Chiloe, 121 
T, del Fuego, 153 
with laminar structure, 167 
Rodents, fossil, remains of, 81, 109 
Rogers, Prof, address to Assoc, of 

American Geologists, 139 
Rose, Prof. G. on sulphate of iron at 
Copiapo, 218 

S. Bias, elevation of, 5 

S. Cruz, elevation and plains of, 8 

valley of, 9 

nature of gravel in valley of, 20 

boulder formation of, 97 

tertiary formation of, 112 

subsidence at, 138 
S. Fe Bajada, formations of, 88 



S. George's Bay, plains of, 6 
S. Helena island, sea^cliffs and subsi- 
dence of, 25 
S. Jago, Chile, 59 
S. Josef, elevation of, 5 

tertiary formation of. 109 
S. Juan, elevation near, 2 
S. Julian, elevation and plains of, 7 

salt-lake of, 73 

tertiary formation of, 111 

earthy deposit with mammiferous 
remains, 95 

subsidence at, 138 
S. Lorenzo, elevation of, 47 

old salt formation of, 234 
S. Mary, island of, elevation of, 30 
S. Pedro, elevation of, 2 
Salado, R. elevated shells of, 3 

Pampean formation of, 78 
Salinas, 73 
Salt with upraised shells, 48, 52 

lakes of, 73 

purity of, in salt lakes, 75 

deliquescent, necessary for the pre- 
servation of meat, 75 

ancient formation of, at Iquique, 

at S. Lorenzo, 234 

strata of, origin of, 235 
Salts, superficial deposits of, 69 
Sand-dunes of the Uruguay, 2 

of the Pampas, 3 

near Bahia Blanca, 4, 17 

of the Colorado, 5, 17 

ofS. Cruz, 10 

of Arica, 47 
Sarmieuto, Mount, 154 
Schmidtmeyer on auriferous detritus, 

Schomburgk, Sir R. on sea-bottom, 23 

on the rocks of Guyana, 141 
Scotland, sloping terraces of, 65 
Sea, nature of bottom off Patagonia, 16, 

power of, in forming valleys, 68 
Sea cliffs, formation of, 25 
Seal, Mr. model of S. Helena, 25 
Sebastian Bay, tertiary formation of, 117 
Sedgwick, Prof, on cleavage, 163 
Serpentine of Copiapo, 218 
Shale-rock of the Portillo Pass, 180 

of Copiapo, 222 
Shells upraised, state of, in Patagonia, 13 

elevated, too small for human food, 

transported far inland for food, 33 

upraised, proportional numbers 
varying, 37, 48 

upraised, gradual decay of, 47, 48, 

Shells, upraised, absent on high plains of 
Chile, 61 
upraised, near Bahia Blanca, 83 
preserved in concretions, 121, 123 
living and fossil range of, on west 

coast, 133, 135 
living, different on the east and west 
coast, 134 
Shingle of Patagonia, 19 
Siau, M. on sea-bottom, 23 
Silver mines of Arqueros, 21 1 
mines of Chanuncillo, 223 
mines of Iquique, 233 
distribution of, 236 
Slip, great, at S. Cruz, 114 
Smith, Mr. of Jordan Hill, on upraised 
shells retaining their colours, 13 
on Madeira, 26 
on elevated seaweed, 49 
on inclined gravel beds, 195 
Soda, carbonate of, 73 
nitrate of, 71 

sulphate of, near Bahia Blanca, 72, 
Soundings off Patagonia, 16, 22 

in T. del Fuego, 24 
Spirifers, 215. 217 
Spix and Martins on Brazil, 143 
Sprengel on the production of carbonate 

of soda, 52 
Springs, mineral, in the Cumbre Pass, 

Stratification in metamorpbic lOcks, 141 
of clayslate in T. del Fuego, 154 
of the Cordillera of central Chile, 

little disturbed in Cumbre Pass, 

188, 194 
disturbance of, near Copiapo, 231 
Streams of lava at S. Cmz, inclination 
of, 116 
in the Portillo range, 184 
String of cotton with fossil shells, 49 
StruihMaria omata, 1 18 
Studer, M. on metamorphic rocks, 164 
Subsidence during formation of sea- 
cliffs, 25 
near Lima, 51 

probable, during Pampean forma- 
tion, 102 
necessary for the accumulation of 

permanent deposits, 137 
during the tertiary formations of 

Chile and Patagonia, 137 
probable during the neocomian for- 
mation of the Portillo Pass, 181 
probable, during the formation of 

conglomerate of Tenuyan, 187 
during the neocomian formation of 
the Cumbre Pass, 193 



Subsidence of the Uspallata range, 203, 
great, at Copiapo, 226 
great, (luring tbe formation of the 
Cordillera, 239 
Sulphur, Tolcanic exhalations of, 239 
Suoiatra, promontories of, 29 
Summary on the recent elevatory move- 
ments, 18, 53, 245 
on the Pampean formation, 97, 245 
on the tertiary formations of Pata- 

gonia and Chile, 118, 130, 243 
on the Chilian Cordillera, 237 
on the creiaceo-oolitic formation, 

on the subsidences of tbe Cordillera, 

on the elevation of the Cordillera, 
240, 247 

Tacna, elevation of, 47 
Tampico, elevated shells near, 53 
Tandit, crystalline rocks of, 147 
Tapalguen, Pampean formation of, 78 

crystalline rocks of, 147 
Taylor, Mr. on copper veins of Cuba, 

Temperature of Chile during the tertiary 

period, 134 
Tension, lines of, origin of axes of ele- 
vation and of cleavage, 168 
Tenuy Point, singular section of, 122 
Tenuyan, valley of, 182, 206 
Terraces of the valley of S. Cruz, 10 

of equable heights throughout Pata- 
gonia, 14 

of Patagonia, formation of, 16 

of Chiloe, 29 

at Conchalee, 36 

of Coquimbo, 39 

not horizontal at Coquimbo, 41 

of Guasco, 45 

of San Lorenzo, 47 

of gravel within the Cordillera, 62 
Theories on the origin of the Pampean 

formation, 98 
Tierra amarilla, 218 

Tierra del Fuego, form of sea-bottom, 

tertiary formations of, 117 

clay slate formation of, 151 

cretaceous formation of, 152 

crystalline rocks of, 152 

cleavage of clay slate, 154, 163 
Tosca rock, 76 
Trachyte of Chiloe, 120 

ofP. Desire, 148 

in the Cordillera, 175 
Traditions of promontories having been 
islands, 29 

On changes of level near Lima, 51 

Trees buried in plain of Iquiqae, 71 

silicified, rertical, of the Uspallata 
range, 202 
Tres montes, elevation of, 27 

volcanic rocks of, 120 
TVigonocelia iruoUta, lis 
Tristan Arroyo, elevated shells of, 2 
Tscbudi, M. on subsidence near Lima, 

Tuff, Calcareous, at Coquimbo, 38 

on basin-plain, near St. Jago. 53 
structure of, in Pampas, 77 
origin of, in Pampas, 100 
Pumiceous, of R. Negro, 108 
Nuevo gulf, 110 
Port Desire, 110 
S Cruz, 113 

Patagonia, summary on, 118 
Chiloe, 121 
formation of, in Portillo Chain, 185 
great deposit of, at Cupiapo, 230 
Tuffd, volcanic, metamorphic of Uspallata, 
of Coquimbo, 213 

Ulloa on rain in Peru, 48 

on elevation near Tima, 51 
Uruguay, Rio, elevation of country near, 

Uspallata, Pass of, 187 

plain of, 60, 195 

range of, 196 

concluding remarks on, 204 

Valdivia, tertiary beds of, 124 

mica-slate of, 160 
Valley of S. Cruz, structure of, 9 

S. Cruz, tertiary formations of, 113 

Coquimbo, 39 

Coquimbo, geology of, 212 

Guasco, structure of, 45 

Guasco, secondary formations of, 

Copiapo, structure of, 46 
Copiapo, secondary formations of, 

Despoblado, 225. 227, 229 
Valleys, formation of, 67 

in the Coidillera bordered by gravel- 
fringes, 62 
in the Cordillera, 177 
Valparaiso, elevation of, 31 

gneiss of, 162 
Vein of quartz near M. Video, 146 
in mica-siate, 157 
relations Of, to cleavage, 164 
in a trap dike^ 152 
of granite, quartzose, 158, 204 
remarkable, in gneiss, near Val- 
paraiso, 162 
Veins, relations of, to concretions, 123 



Veins metalliferous, of Uspallata range, 
tnetalliferous, discussion on, 235 
Venezuela, gneissic rocks of, 141 
Ven tana, Sierra, Pampean formation near, 
quartz-rock of, 147 
Villa Vincencio Pass, 196 
Volcan, Rio, mouth of, 178 

fossils of, 181 

Volcanos of the Cordillera, 119, 175, 


ancient submarine in Cordillera, 232 

long action of, in the Cordillera, 247 

absent except near bodies of water, 

action of in relation to changes of 
level, 244 

Wafer, on elevated shells, 46 
Waves caused by earthquakes, power of, 
in transporting boulders, 51, 69 
power of, in throwing up shells, 34 
Weaver, Mr. on elevated shells, 63 
White, Martin, on sea-bottoms, 22. 23 
Wood buried at Iquique, 71 
silici6ed, of Entre Rios, 89 
S.Cruz. 115 
Chiloe, 121, 123 
Uspallata range, 202 
Los Homos, 209 
Copiapo, 225, 227 

Yeso Rio and plain of, 178 

Ypan Island, tertiary formation of, 119 

Zeagouite, 153 


(kow complete.) 








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but here we become personal spectators of these princi[des in action. . . . Mr. Slein> 
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witness. . . . We repeat it, Mr. Stelnmetz's book is most valuable; earnest and truthful 
in its tone, and extremely interesting in its detalL" — New Quarterly Review. 

" The volume presents a true and valuable picture of Jesuit education in Bngland, 
and on that sroond every Protestant will find the volume worthy of an attentive 
perusal." — British Churchman. 






By Charles Rowcropt, Esq., a late Colonial Magistrate. The Fourth 
Edition. In foolscap 8vo., price 6*. cloth. — ^This work was originally 
published in 3 vols, post 8vo. at 11. lis. 6d,, in which size two large 
editions have been sold. 

« * Tales of the Colonies ' is an able and interesting book. The author has the Grst 
great requisite in Getion— a knowledge of the life be undertakes to describe ; and his 
matter is solid and real." — Spectator. 

" This is a book, as distinguished from one of the bundles of waste paper in three 
divisions, Calling themselves * novels.* " — AthcTutum. 

** The narration has a deep and exciting interest. No mere romance, no mere 
fiction, however skilfully imagined or powerfully executed, can surpass \U The work to 
which it bears the nearest similitude is Robinson Crusoe, and it is scarcely, if at all 
inferior to that extraordinary history." — John Bull. 

" Since the time of Robinson Crusoe, literature has produced nothing like these 
* Talefi of the Colonies.' " — Metropolitan Magazine. 

" .... Romantic literature does not supply instances of wonderful escape more 
marvellous. . . . The book is manifestly a mixture of fact and fiction, yet it gives, we 
have every reason to believe, a true picture of a settler's life in that country ; and is 
thickly interspersed with genuine and useful information." 

Chambers** Edinburgh Journal. 

" The contents of the first volume surpass in interest many of the novels of Sir 
Walter SooU,"-^Wiesiminster Review. 

" An exceedingly lively and interesting narrative, which affords a more striking view 
of the habits of emigrant colonial life than all the regular treatises, statistical returns, and 
even exploratory tours which we have read. ... It combines the fidelity of truth with 
the spirit of a romance, and has altogether so much of De Foe in its character and com- 
position, that whilst we run we learn, and, led along by the variety of the incidents, 
become real ideal settlers in Van Dicmen's Land." — Literary Gazette, 



By C. RowcROPT, Esq., Author of " Tales of the Colonies." In 3 vols, 
post 8vo. price II. lis. beL 

" These Yolames have the same qualities that gained so much popularity for the 
Aalbor's previous work ' Tales of the Colonies.' No one has depicted colonial life, as 
manifested in the settlements of Australia, with so much vigour and truth as Bf r. Rowcroft. 
Ue rather seems to be a narrator of actual occurrences than an inventor of imaginary ones. 
His characters, his manners, and his scenes are aU real, lie has been compared to De 
Foe, and the comparuon is jusU" — Britannia. 

** These volumes form a second series of ' Tales of the Colonies,' and the pages 
are marked by the same vigorous and graphic pen which procured such celebrity for the 
first series. The interest, generally well sustained throughout, is occasionally of the most 
absorbing and thrilling kind. Altogether, there is a freshness about these volumes which 
brings them out in strong contrast to the vapid productions with which the press is 
teeaiiBg." — Globe. 

** The story contains all the merits of the * Tales of the Colonies ' as regards style ; 
being simple and Crusoite, if we might use the term, in its narrative. Mr. Rowcroft 
possesses invention to an extraordinary degree, in the manner in which he manages 
the escapes of the bushranger, — and he produces, by llie simplest incidents, most 
interesting scenes ; — pictures of nature and of a society totally different from anything to 
be found elsewhere." — Weekly Chronicle. 




By Charles Rowcroft^ Esq. In one vol. 8to., handsomely bound in 
cloth gilt, with Plates, price 14«« — ^The twelre parts may be had 
separately, price Is. each, sewed. 



By G. P. R. James, Esq. In 3 vols, post 8vo., price 11. lis, 6d. — Just 

Lately published by the same Author ^ 

ARRAH NEZZa; OR, TIMES OF OZaB. Three vols, post 
8to., price !/• 11 jr. 6^. 

THE SMVGaZiER, a Novel. Three voL., price IZ. 11^. 6<f. 



Now publishing in Quarterly Volumes, medium 8vo. cloth, with engrayed 
Frontispieces, each volume containing a complete novel, price %s. 

This handsome series of Mr. James's Works has been carefully revised 
by the Author; and is *' got up in that superior style, and agreeable size 
of type, which renders it fit for every age and every library." 

Contents : — ^Vol. 1. The Gipsy. Vol. 6. Philip Augustus. 

— 2. Mart op Burgundy. 

— 3. The Huguenots. 
•" — 4. One in a Thousand. 

— 6. Henry op Guise. 


— 8. The Robber. 

Vol. 9, containing Darnley ; or, The Field op Cloth of Gold, 

on the 1st of July. 

Vol. 10, containing Corse de Leon, on the 1st of October. 

" Messrs. Smilh, Elder and Co., of Comhill, have just published the first volume of a 
New Edition of the Works of this gentleman, which has the advantage of the latest re> 
visions and corrections of the author. The writings of James are so well known to the 
readers of fiction, that it is unnecessary to call (heir attention to them, or to say anything 
in^hich previous criticism may have left unsaid. The present edition is well got up, the 
type is clear, sharp, and legible, and the size of the volume convenient for the reader, and 
appropriate for the shelves of a bookcase. The book, as it is, will form a 'pleasing 
addition to the collections of readers of modern literature, of the class to which it 
belongs."— TVwM?*. 

" We are ^d to see our prognostication respecting the New Edition of Mr. James's 
Works, more than fulfilled by the rapid absorption of a very large first edition, and a 
second in the course of speedy disappearance. This is as it should be, with a writer 
whose vraisemblance is always so perfect; and.even what he invents so like truth, that 
we can never fancy we are reading fiction: nor, indeed, are we, in the historical portions of 
his publications, — and these form the far greater division, — ^which are all drawn from dili« 
gent research, deep study, and elaborate comparison." — Literary Gazette. 

<< Mr. James is a pure and pleasing wrileF, and we are glad to see that his Works are now 
to be thrown into a handy, handsome, and accessible shape." — Scotsman. 

" This is a most admirable edition of the Works of this popular author, convenient id 
size, and handsome in appearance. It, moreover, possesses the advantage of being re- 
vised and corrected by the author, — no small recommendations, since, the generality of 
Mr. James's Works being connected with history, a careful perusal of bis productions 
increases their value, and renders them a source of amusement, through the medium of 
instruction." — ^tlas. 

** We are glad to perceive that such volumes are being published at a price which will 
place them within the reach of the middle classes, and we shall find, as the result of this 
movement, that tradesmen and others will furnish their book-shelves with good and select 
works, instead of subscribing to circulating libraries. We learn it is the publishers* 
intention to continue the volumes until all the author's works are republished in this 
style."— P/ymott/A Herald. 


SMZTBt BXdMBft JkJKTO CO.. COttJi UllaXto 



Or, Selections from the English Poets, illustrative of those First 
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Notices of the Writers, and an Essay in Answer to the Question, " What 
IS Poetry ?" By Leigh Hunt. Third Edition. In post 8vo. price 
lOs, 6d. handsomely bound in a new kind of cloth, gilt ; or 98, boards. 

'* This volume is handsomely printed, and beautifully bound in a new style of ex- 
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gift-books that have appeared ; and it will form a more enduring memorial than any 
other volume that might be selected as a gift for the coming season." — Spectator. 

** This is a Christmas gift, worth half a do2en of the Annuals put together, and at 
half the cost of one of them. We have often wished for such a book, and in our aspi- 
ration, the name of Leigh Hunt has ever presented itself as that of the man above all 
others qualified to do justice to so charming a subject." — Morning Chronicle. 

" The volume is, wc trust, the precursor of many more, which will complete and do 
justice to the plan. The series so completed would be the best * elegant extracts' in the 
language." — Examiner, 

** This is a charming volume, both externally and internally it is most attractive." — 

" It is a book that every one who has a taste mttst have, and every one who has not 
should have in order to acquire one." — JerrokTs Magazine. 

** This book is tastefully got up, and wc should think better of the bouse where we 
saw a well read copy of it lying about." — Tait*s Magazine. 

** These illustrations of * Imagination and Fancy' are distinguished by great critical 
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"This elegant volume contains the most exquisite passages of the best English 
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opinion, no author living so well qualified." — Indian News. 

*«* The Second Volume of this series, " IVZT AND ZZUMOUR/' 18 

in the press, uniform with " Imagination and Fancy.'* 



By Mrs. Ellis, Author of the ''Women of England," &c. &c. Sec. 
Each Volume is complete in itself, and may be purchased separately. 
In 3 vols. fcap. 8vo. beautifully illustrated, price Is, 6d, each, in a 
handsome and uniform cloth binding, or 10«. 6d, morocco. Contents: — 

Vol. I. " Observations on Fictitious Narrative," " The Hall 
AND THE Cottage," " Ellen Eskdalb," " The Curate's 
Widow," and " Marriage as it May Be." " Misanthropy," and "The Pains op Pleasing.'* 
Vol. III. " Pretension ; or, the Fallacies op Female Education." 

*' I could give abundant evidence, gratuitously offered to the writer, that these 
simple stories were not sent forth to the world without some degree of adaptation to 
its wants and its condition." — Author^ s Introduction. 



Being a brief account of the Country of the Sikhs, its Extent, History, 
Commerce, productions, Government, Manufactures, Laws, Religion, kc. 
By Lieut -Col. Steinbach, late of the Lahore Service. A new 
edition, revised, with additions, including an account of the recent events 
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** Any lady desirous of filling np her leisure hours by fiDOowiog the occupatioBS 
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Weekly Chronicle. 


Compiled from Her Majesty's and the Hon* East India Com- 
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In military law." — Spectator. 

" A professional vade-mecum, relating to most important duties, and executed in the 
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he one of great value, and deserving the study of every British officer."— /rt/. Gazette. 

" This book is a digest as well as a compilation, and may be emphatically called 

* The Hand-Book of Military Justice.' "—^/i!w. 

" We recommend the work to every British officer." — ^rmy and Navy Register. 



By E. P. Thompson. Post 8vo., price 8a. doth. 

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" In all that relates to original observation the ' Note-Book of a Naturalist ' is 
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In one vol. post 8vo., price 7a. 6d, 


tsk — : — -^:—z — — : ~~" — ~~ 


Being an Essay on Moral Tkaikiko. By Mrs. Loudon, Authoress 
of *< First LoTe," <* Dilemmas of Pride," &c. &c. In one toI. fcap. 8to.> 
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By a Member of the Imperial Quards. In 12mo.y price 6s. 

** This tale has a strange persmuU history. It porports to be the autobiography of 
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here set it down." — TaWs Magazine. 



By T. A. Wise, M.D., Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and 
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Containing Critical Essays, and Biographical Sketches of Literary and 
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Second Edition, Revised by the Editor, with ** Introductory Comments." 
In 2 vols, post 8vo., price 24s, doth. 

** In the biographical sketches, the Editor has carefully excluded all disagreeable 
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** We bave two volumes of clever and subtile dissertation on the merits of almost 
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author will at least gain the praise of versatiUty of talent, and of a quick and generous 
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much to the purpoto) have the satisfaction of having produced a book that people will be 
inclined, as the phrase is, * to run after.' " — Morning Herald^ March 25, 1844. 

" As we have said before, Mr. Home's admirations appear to us to be wen placed 
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By Mrs. C. Bakon Wilson, Authoress of the *' Life of the Duchess of 
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*' Handsome volumes, adorned with several portraits, and the biographies are lull of 
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" So attractive are the stage and its denizens that considerable amusement wiH be 
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"A capital book for the season." — Britannia, 



01I08BV PlaAOE, 

Described in a Lecture on its Antiquities and Reminiscences, 
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St. Olave's, Southwark. Price 2«. 6d. bound in cloth. 



Forming a Complete System of Domestic Economy, and Household 
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A Treatise on the Fining, Preparation of Fining, and Genera.i< 
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From the earliest Records to the present Period, comprising the Woollen 
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consideration of all those interested in the subjects of which they ireaU" —Times. 


8MZTB, a&BSm AV]> CO., COWVBZXiXi. 11 


THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, from the earliest Records to. the 
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A Familiar Explanation of the Nature, Adyantaoes, and Import- 
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" There are no technicalities in Mr. Pocock's work to prevent its being useful to all ; 
and those, therefore, ^bo are likely to have recourse to Life Insurance will do wisely in 
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** Mr. Corbet deserves our best thanks for laying down so clearly and methodically his 
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Being a Concise and Complete Manual in Fitting, Re-fitting, Quartering, 
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according to the best practice. By Lieutenant Alexander D. 
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A.D. 755—794. By the Rev. Henry Mackenzie, M.A. In 8vo., 
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"A very scholarly composition, displaying much research and information respecting 
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Pbizs Bssat, 1840. By CAitoi.niE A. Halstbd. In one yoI. 
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CouNTSSs OP RiCHMOHD AND Ds&BT, End Hothor of King Henry 
the Seventh, Fonndress of Christ's and of St. John's College, Oxford ; 
Being the Historical Memoir for which the Honorary Premium was 
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**This wortc cannot fail of success. The subject is deeply interesting and has been 
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valuable historical details from sources which have not hitherto been consulted, and has 
thus compiled a work which, if not entitled to rank amongst the ^coriosilies of litenliire^' 
is at lea st one of the most interesting and instructive books of the season." — Atlas, 


An Historical Narrative^ illustrating some of the Public Eyents and 

Domestic and EccIcHiastical Manners of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth 

Centuries. Third Edition. In one vol. fcap. 8vo., price 7tf. 6d. cloth 


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quaintness of its language, the touching simplicity of its descriptions and dialogues, and 

the reverential sphit of love which breathes through it, will insure it a welcome reoeptkm 

amongst all readers of reCned taste and discernment." — Atlcui, 



A Selection, in Phose and Verse from Anglo-Saxon Authors 
of various Ages; with a Glossary. By Benjamin Thorpe^ F.S.A. 
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Upon which is founded the Play of " Pericles," attributed to 
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Society of Copenhagen. 8vo., price 12«. 


j&(irnt(& SKurlist 3Uus(trat(d» 



Thb Fossil Zoology op trb Sbwaltk Hills^ in the North of 
India. By HUGR Palconbr, M.D., F.RS., F.L.S., P.6.S., Member 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and of the Royal Asiatic Society of 
the Bengal Medical Service, and late Superintendent of the H. I^. I. C. 
Botanic Garden at Sahamnpoor: and PROBr T. Cautlby, F.G.S., 
Major in the Beng^ Artillery, Member of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal, &c. Edited by Hugh Falconer. 

Plan of Publication, — ^The work will appear in about Twelve Parts, to 
be published at intervals of four montln ; each Part containing from Twelve 
to Fifteen folio Plates. The descriptive Letterpress will be printed in 
royal octavo. Price of each Part, one Guinea. — Part I. contains 
Pboboscidba. — Parts IT. and III., containing the continuation of 
Proboscidba, will be published shortly. Prospeetoses of the Work 
may be obtained of the Publishers. 

*' A work of immense labour and research* • . . • Nothing has ever appeared ia 
lithography in this country at all comparable to these plates ; and as regards the repre< 
sentations of minute osseous texture, by Mr. Ford, tliey are perhaps the most perfect 
that have yet been produced in any country. . . . The woric has commenced with the 
Elephant group, in which the authors say ' is most signaBy displayed the numerical rich- 
ness of forms which characterises the Fossil Fauna of India;* and the first chapter 
relates to the Proboscidea — ^Elefrfiant and Mastodon. The authors have not restricted 
themselves to a description of the Sewalik Fossil forms, but they propose to trace the 
affinities, and iMtltnte an arrangement of all the w^-determined species in the family. 
They give a brief historicsl sketch of the leading opinions which have been entertained 
by palaoalologistt respecting the relataoas of the Mastodon and Elephant to each other, 
and of (be successive steps in the discovery of new forms which have led to the modifica- 
tions of these opinions. They stale that the results to which they themselves have been 
conducted, lead them to differ on certain points from the opinions most commonly enter- 
tained at the present day, respecting the fossil species of Elephant and Mastodon." — 
Address of the PreHdent of the Geol9gieml Society of London^ SOth Feb. 1846. 



By John Davy, M.D., F.R.SS., L. & E., &c. The principal subjects 
treated of are — Animal Electricity^ — Animal Heat — the Temperature of 
different Animals — Pneumotiiorax in connexion with the Absorption of 
Gases by Serous and Mucous Membranes — the properties of the Blood 
in Health and disease^-the Properties of different Animal Textures — 
the Putrefactive Process — the Preservation of Anatomical Preparations 
— the Eflf^cts of the Poison of certain Serpents — the Stmetnre of the 
Heart of Batrachian Animals, &c. &c. In 2 vols. 8vo., price dO«. bound 
in cloth, illustrated by numerous Engravings. , 


> The solgects treated by the author are extremely numerous and interesting ; several 
new facts in the physiokigy of animals are brought forward, and some curious and in- 
structive experiments are explained and illustrated with remarkable felicity." — Monthly 

** This work is written wRh a deamess and simplicity which renders its scientific 
^elails readily comprehensible." — Herald* 


Works rbcbntlt Published and iir pbooress under the authoritt 
OP THE Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 

•«• In order to secure to science the full advantage of Discoveries in Natural 
History f the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty* s Treaxury have been pleased to 
tnaie a liberal grant of money towards defraying part of the expenses of the fbl^ 
lowing important publications. They have, in consequence, been undtrtaken 
on a scale worthy of the high patronage thus received, and are offered to the public 
at a much lower price than would otherwise have been possible* 



Under the Command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, R.N.y C.B., 
F.R.G.8., dec. Edited and Superintended by Richard Brinslbv 
Hinds, Esq., Sargeon R.N., attached to the Expedition. — ^The extensive 
and protracted voyage of Her Majesty's Ship '* Sulphur," having l»een 
productive of many new and valuable additions to Natural History, a 
number of which are of considerable scientific interest, it has been 
determined to publish them in a collected form, Tvith illustrations of 
such as are hitherto new or unfigured. The collection has beou 
assembled from a variety of countries, embraced within the limits of a 
voyaf^e prosecuted along the shores of North and South America, among 
the blands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and in the circumnavig^tiou 
of the globe. In many of these, no doubt, the industry and research, of 
previous navig^ators may have left no very prominent objects unobserved, 
yet in others there will for some time remain abundant scope for the 
Naturalist. Among the countries visited by the " Sulphur," and which 
in the present state of science arc invested with more particular interest, 
may be mentioned the Californias, Columbia River, the North-west coast 
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^ . — . . i 

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. __, — -^— — — — — — ^— — 


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