Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2]
Phillip Parker King

Part 9 out of 10

observations lately published by his son, M. Achille Richard,* to have
formed an opinion respecting their structure somewhat different from that
of M. Mirbel, whose cupula is, according to him, the perianthium, more or
less cohering with the included pistillum. He was probably led to this
view, on ascertaining, which I had also done, that the common account of
the structure of Ephedra was incorrect,** its supposed style being in
reality the elongated tubular apex of a membranous envelope, and the
included body being evidently analogous to that in other genera of

(*Footnote. Dict. Class. d' Hist. Nat. tome 4 page 395 et tome 5 page

(**Footnote. Dict. Class. d'Hist. Nat. tome 6 page 208.)

To the earliest of the opinions here quoted, that which considers the
female flower of Coniferae and Cycadeae as a naked pistillum, there are
two principal objections. The first of these arises from the perforation
of the pistillum, and the exposure of that point of the ovulum where the
embryo is formed to the direct action of the pollen; the second from the
too great simplicity of structure of the supposed ovulum, which, I have
shown, accords better with that of the nucleus as existing in ordinary

To the opinions of MM. Richard and Mirbel, the first objection does not
apply, but the second acquires such additional weight, as to render those
opinions much less probable, it seems to me, than that which I have
endeavoured to support.

In supposing the correctness of this opinion to be admitted, a question
connected with it, and of some importance, would still remain, namely,
whether in Cycadeae and Coniferae the ovula are produced on an ovarium of
reduced functions and altered appearance, or on a rachis or receptacle.
In other words, in employing the language of an hypothesis, which, with
some alterations, I have elsewhere attempted to explain and defend,
respecting the formation of the sexual organs in Phaenogamous plants,*
whether the ovula in these two families originate in a modified leaf, or
proceed directly from the stem.

(*Footnote. Linnean Society Transactions volume 13 page 211.)

Were I to adopt the former supposition, or that best agreeing with the
hypothesis in question, I should certainly apply it, in the first place,
to Cycas, in which the female spadix bears so striking a resemblance to a
partially altered frond or leaf, producing marginal ovula in one part,
and in another being divided into segments, in some cases nearly
resembling those of the ordinary frond.

But the analogy of the female spadix of Cycas to that of Zamia is
sufficiently obvious; and from the spadix of Zamia to the fruit-bearing
squama of Coniferae, strictly so called, namely, of Agathis or Dammara,
Cunninghamia, Pinus, and even Araucaria, the transition is not difficult.
This view is applicable, though less manifestly, also to Cupressinae; and
might even be extended to Podocarpus and Dacrydium. But the structure of
these two genera admits likewise of another explanation, to which I have
already adverted.

If, however, the ovula in Cycadeae and Coniferae be really produced on
the surface of an ovarium, it might, perhaps, though not necessarily, be
expected that their male flowers should differ from those of all other
phaenogamous plants, and in this difference exhibit some analogy to the
structure of the female flower. But in Cycadeae, at least, and especially
in Zamia, the resemblance between the male and female spadices is so
great, that if the female be analogous to an ovarium, the partial male
spadix must be considered as a single anthera, producing on its surface
either naked grains of pollen, or pollen subdivided into masses, each
furnished with its proper membrane.

Both these views may at present, perhaps, appear equally paradoxical; yet
the former was entertained by Linnaeus, who expresses himself on the
subject in the following terms, Pulvis floridus in Cycade minime pro
Antheris agnoscendus est sed pro nudo polline, quod unusquisque qui
unquam pollen antherarum in plantis examinavit fatebitur.* That this
opinion, so confidently held by Linnaeus, was never adopted by any other
botanist, seems in part to have arisen from his having extended it to
dorsiferous Ferns. Limited to Cycadeae, however, it does not appear to me
so very improbable, as to deserve to be rejected without examination. It
receives, at least, some support from the separation, in several cases,
especially in the American Zamiae, of the grains into two distinct, and
sometimes nearly marginal, masses, representing, as it may be supposed,
the lobes of an anthera; and also from their approximation in definite
numbers, generally in fours, analogous to the quaternary union of the
grains of pollen, not unfrequent in the antherae of several other
families of plants. The great size of the supposed grains of pollen, with
the thickening and regular bursting of their membrane, may be said to be
circumstances obviously connected with their production and persistence
on the surface of an anthera, distant from the female flower; and with
this economy, a corresponding enlargement of the contained particles or
fovilla might also be expected. On examining these particles, however, I
find them not only equal in size to the grains of pollen of many
antherae, but, being elliptical and marked on one side with a
longitudinal furrow, they have that form which is one of the most common
in the simple pollen of phaenogamous plants. To suppose, therefore,
merely on the grounds already stated, that these particles are analogous
to the fovilla, and the containing organs to the grains of pollen in
antherae of the usual structure, would be entirely gratuitous. It is, at
the same time, deserving of remark, that were this view adopted on more
satisfactory grounds, a corresponding development might then be said to
exist in the essential parts of the male and female organs. The increased
development in the ovulum would not consist so much in the unusual form
and thickening of the coat, a part of secondary importance, and whose
nature is disputed, as in the state of the nucleus of the seed,
respecting which there is no difference of opinion; and where the
plurality of embryos, or at least the existence and regular arrangement
of the cells in which they are formed, is the uniform structure in the

(*Footnote. Mem. de l'Acad. des Scien. de Paris 1775 page 518.)

The second view suggested, in which the anthera in Cycadeae is considered
as producing on its surface an indefinite number of pollen masses, each
enclosed in its proper membrane, would derive its only support from a few
remote analogies: as from those antherae, whose loculi are sub-divided
into a definite, or more rarely an indefinite, number of cells, and
especially from the structure of the stamina of Viscum album.

I may remark, that the opinion of M. Richard,* who considers these
grains, or masses, as unilocular antherae, each of which constitutes a
male flower, seems to be attended with nearly equal difficulties.

(*Footnote. Dict. Class. d'Hist. Nat. tome 5 page 216.)

The analogy between the male and female organs in Coniferae, the
existence of an open ovarium being assumed, is at first sight more
apparent than in Cycadeae. In Coniferae, however, the pollen is certainly
not naked, but is enclosed in a membrane similar to the lobe of an
ordinary anthera. And in those genera in which each squama of the amentum
produces two marginal lobes only, as Pinus, Podocarpus, Dacrydium,
Salisburia, and Phyllocladus, it nearly resembles the more general form
of the antherae in other Phaenogamous plants. But the difficulty occurs
in those genera which have an increased number of lobes on each squama,
as Agathis and Araucaria, where their number is considerable and
apparently indefinite, and more particularly still in Cunninghamia, or
Belis,* in which the lobes, though only three in number, agree in this
respect, as well as in insertion and direction, with the ovula. The
supposition, that in such cases all the lobes of each squama are cells of
one and the same anthera, receives but little support either from the
origin and arrangement of the lobes themselves, or from the structure of
other phaenogamous plants: the only cases of apparent, though doubtful,
analogy that I can at present recollect occurring in Aphyteia, and
perhaps in some Cucurbitaceae.

(*Footnote. In communicating specimens of this plant to the late M.
Richard, for his intended monograph of Coniferae, I added some remarks on
its structure, agreeing with those here made. I at the same time
requested that, if he objected to Mr. Salisbury's Belis as liable to be
confounded with Bellis, the genus might be named Cunninghamia, to
commemorate the merits of Mr. James Cunningham, an excellent observer in
his time, by whom this plant was discovered; and in honour of Mr. Allan
Cunningham, the very deserving botanist who accompanied Mr. Oxley in his
first expedition into the interior of New South Wales, and Captain King
in all his voyages of survey of the Coasts of New Holland.)

That part of my subject, therefore, which relates to the analogy between
the male and female flowers in Cycadeae and Coniferae, I consider the
least satisfactory, both in regard to the immediate question of the
existence of an anomalous ovarium in these families, and to the
hypothesis repeatedly referred to, of the origin of the sexual organs of
all phaenogamous plants.

In concluding this digression, I have to express my regret that it should
have so far exceeded the limits proper for its introduction into the
present work. In giving an account, however, of the genus of plants to
which it is annexed, I had to describe a structure, of whose nature and
importance it was necessary I should show myself aware; and circumstances
have occurred while I was engaged in preparing this account, which
determined me to enter much more fully into the subject than I had
originally intended.






The following enumeration of specimens from the coasts of Australia,
commences, with the survey of Captain King, on the eastern shore, about
the latitude of twenty-two degrees, proceeding northward and westward:
and as the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria, previously surveyed by
Captain Flinders, were passed over by Captain King, Mr. Brown, who
accompanied the former, has been so good as to allow the specimens
collected by himself in that part of New Holland, to supply the chasm
which would otherwise have existed in the series. Part of the west and
north-western coast, examined by Captain King, having been previously
visited by the French voyagers, under Captain Baudin, I was desirous of
obtaining such information as could be derived from the specimens
collected during that expedition, and now remaining at Paris; although I
was aware that the premature death of the principal mineralogist, and
other unfavourable circumstances, had probably diminished their value:*
But the collection from New Holland, at the school of Mines, with a list
of which I have been favoured through the kindness of Mr. Brochant de
Villiers, relates principally to Van Diemen's Land; and that of the
Jardin du Roi, which Mr. Constant Prevost has obliged me with an account
of, does not afford the information I had hoped for. I have availed
myself of the notices relating to Physical Geography and Geology, which
are dispersed through the published accounts of Captain Flinders',** and
Baudin's Voyages;*** and these, with the collections above alluded to,
form, I believe, the only sources of information at present existing in
Europe, respecting the geological structure and productions of the north
and western coasts of Australia.

(*Footnote. M. Depuch, the mineralogist, died during the progress of the
voyage, in 1803; and, unfortunately, none of his manuscripts were
preserved. M. Peron, the zoologist, after publishing, in 1807, the first
volume of the account of the expedition, died in 1810, before the
appearance of the second volume. Voyage etc. 1 page 417, 418; and 2 page

(**Footnote. A Voyage to Terra Australis, etc., in the years 1801, 1802,
and 1803, by Matthew Flinders, Commander of the Investigator. Two volumes
quarto with an atlas folio; London 1814.)

(***Footnote. Voyage de Decouverte aux Terres Australes etc. Tome 1
redige par M. F. Peron, naturaliste de l'Expedition, Paris 1807. Tome 2
redige par M. Peron et M. L. Freycinet 1816. A third volume of this work,
under the title of Navigation et Geographie, was published by Capt.
Freycinet in 1815. It contains a brief and clear account of the
proceedings of the expedition; and affords some particulars connected
with the physical geography of the places described, which are not to be
found in the other volumes.)

In order to avoid the interruption which would be occasioned by detail, I
shall prefix to the list of specimens in Captain King's and Mr. Brown's
collections, a general sketch of the coast from whence they come,
deduced, principally, from the large charts,* and from the narratives of
Captains Flinders and King, with a summary of the geological information
derived from the specimens. But I have thought it necessary to subjoin a
more detailed list of the specimens themselves; on account of the great
distance from each other of many of the places where they were found, and
of the general interest attached to the productions of a country so very
remote, of which the greater part is not likely to be often visited by
geologists. The situation of such of the places mentioned, as are not to
be found in the reduced chart annexed to the present publication, will be
sufficiently indicated by the names of the adjacent places.

(*Footnote. These charts have been published by the Admiralty for general


The North-eastern coast of New South Wales, from the latitude of about 28
degrees, has a direction from south-east to north-west; and ranges of
mountains are visible from the sea, with little interruption, as far
north as Cape Weymouth, between the latitude of 12 and 13 degrees. From
within Cape Palmerston, west of the Northumberland Islands, near the
point where Captain King began his surveys, a high and rocky range, of
very irregular outline, and apparently composed of primitive rocks, is
continued for more than one hundred and fifty miles, without any break;
and after a remarkable opening, about the latitude of 21 degrees, is
again resumed. Several of the summits, visible from the sea, in the front
of this range, are of considerable elevation: Mount Dryander, on the
promontory which terminates in Cape Gloucester, being more than four
thousand five hundred feet high. Mount Eliot, with a peaked summit, a
little to the south of Cape Cleveland, is visible at twenty-five leagues
distance; and Mount Hinchinbrook, immediately upon the shore, south of
Rockingham Bay, is more than two thousand feet high. From the south of
Cape Grafton to Cape Tribulation, precipitous hills, bordered by low
land, form the coast; but the latter Cape itself consists of a lofty
group, with several peaks, the highest of which is visible from the sea
at twenty leagues. The heights from thence towards the north decline
gradually, as the mountainous ranges approach the shore, which they join
at Cape Weymouth, about latitude 12 degrees; and from that point
northward, to Cape York, the land in general is comparatively low, nor do
any detached points of considerable elevation appear there. But about
midway between Cape Grenville and Cape York, on the mainland south-west
of Cairncross Island, a flat summit called Pudding-Pan Hill is
conspicuous; and its shape, which differs from that of the hills on the
east coast in general, remarkably resembles that of the mountains of the
north and west coasts, to which names expressing their form have been

(*Footnote. Jane's Table-Land, south-east of Princess Charlotte's Bay
(about latitude 14 degrees 30 minutes) and Mount Adolphus, in one of the
islands (about latitude 10 degrees 40 minutes) off Cape York, have also
flat summits. King manuscripts.)

The line of the coast above described retires at a point which
corresponds with the decline of its level; and immediately on the north
of Cape Melville is thrown back to the west; so that the high land about
that Cape stands out like a shoulder, more than forty miles beyond the
coastline between Princess Charlotte's Bay and the north-eastern point of

The land near Cape York is not more than four or five hundred feet high,
and the islands off that point are nearly of the same elevation.

The bottom of several of the bays, on the eastern coast, not having been
explored, it is still probable that rivers, or considerable mountain
streams, may exist there.

Along this eastern line of shore, granite has been found throughout a
space of nearly five hundred miles; at Cape Cleveland; Cape Grafton;
Endeavour River; Lizard Island; and at Clack's Island, on the north-west
of the rocky mass which forms Cape Melville. And rocks of the trap
formation have been obtained in three detached points among the islands
off the shore; in the Percy Isles, about latitude 21 degrees 40 minutes;
Sunday Island, north of Cape Grenville, about latitude 12 degrees; and in
Good's Island, on the north-west of Cape York, latitude 10 degrees 34

The Gulf of Carpentaria having been fully examined by Captain Flinders,
was not visited by Captain King; but the following account has been
deduced from the voyage and charts of the former, combined with the
specimens collected by Mr. Brown, who has also favoured me with an
extract from the notes taken by himself on that part of the coast.

The land, on the east and south of the Gulf of Carpentaria, is so low,
that for a space of nearly six hundred miles--from Endeavour Strait to a
range of hills on the mainland, west of Wellesley Islands, at the bottom
of the gulf--no part of the coast is higher than a ship's masthead.* Some
of the land in Wellesley islands is higher than the main; but the largest
island is, probably, not more than one hundred and fifty feet in
height;** and low-wooded hills occur on the mainland, from thence to Sir
Edward Pellew's group. The rock observed on the shore at Coen River, the
only point on the eastern side of the Gulf where Captain Flinders landed,
was calcareous sandstone of recent concretional formation.

(*Footnote. Flinders Charts Plate 14.)

(**Footnote. Flinders Volume 2 page 158.)

In Sweer's Island, one of Wellesley's Isles, a hill of about fifty or
sixty feet in height was covered with a sandy calcareous stone, having
the appearance of concretions rising irregularly about a foot above the
general surface, without any distinct ramifications. The specimens from
this place have evidently the structure of stalactites, which seem to
have been formed in sand; and the reddish carbonate of lime, by which the
sand has been agglutinated, is of the same character with that of the
west coast, where a similar concreted limestone occurs in great

The western shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria is somewhat higher, and from
Limmen's Bight to the latitude of Groote Eylandt, is lined by a range of
low hills. On the north of the latter place, the coast becomes irregular
and broken; the base of the country apparently consisting of primitive
rocks, and the upper part of the hills of a reddish sandstone; some of
the specimens of which are identical with that which occurs at Goulburn
and Sims Islands on the north coast, and is very widely distributed on
the north-west. The shore at the bottom of Melville Bay is stated by
Captain Flinders to consist of low cliffs of pipe-clay, for a space of
about eight miles in extent from east to west; and similar cliffs of
pipe-clay are described as occurring at Goulburn Islands (see the plate,
volume 1) and at Lethbridge Bay, on the north of Melville Island: both of
which places are considerably to the west of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Morgan's Island, a small islet in Blue-Mud Bay, on the north-west of
Groote Eylandt, is composed of clink-stone; and other rocks of the
trap-formation occur in several places on this coast.

The north of Blue-Mud Bay has furnished also specimens of ancient
sandstone; with columnar rocks, probably of clink-stone. Round Hill, near
Point Grindall, a promontory on the north of Morgan's Island, is
composed, at the base, of granite; and Mount Caledon, on the west side of
Caledon Bay, seems likewise to consist of that rock, as does also
Melville Island. This part of the coast has afforded the ferruginous
oxide of manganese: and brown hematite is found hereabouts in
considerable quantity, on the shore at the base of the cliffs; forming
the cement of a breccia, which contains fragments of sandstone, and in
which the ferruginous matter appears to be of very recent production;
resembling, perhaps, the hematite observed at Edinburgh by Professor
Jameson, around cast-iron pipes which had lain for some time in sand.*

(*Footnote. Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, July 1825 page 193.)

The general range of the coast, it will be observed, from Limmen's Bight
to Cape Arnhem, is from south-west to north-east; and three conspicuous
ranges of islands on the north-western entrance of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, the appearance of which is so remarkable as to have
attracted the attention of Captain Flinders,* have the same general
direction: a fact which is probably not unconnected with the general
structure of the country. The prevailing rock in all these islands
appears to be sandstone.

(Flinders Volume 2 page 158. See hereafter.)

The line of the main coast from Point Dale to the bottom of Castlereagh
Bay, where Captain King's survey was resumed, has also a direction from
south-west to north-east, parallel to that of the ranges of islands just
mentioned. The low land near the north coast in Castlereagh Bay, and from
thence to Goulburn Islands, is intersected by one of the few rivers yet
discovered in this part of Australia, a tortuous and shallow stream,
named Liverpool River, which has been traced inland to about forty miles
from the coast, through a country not more than three feet in general
elevation above high-water mark; the banks being low and muddy, and
thickly wooded: And this description is applicable also to the Alligator
Rivers on the south-east of Van Diemen's Gulf, and to the surrounding
country. The outline of the Wellington Hills, however, on the mainland
between the Liverpool and Alligator Rivers, is jagged and irregular; this
range being thus remarkably contrasted with the flat summits which appear
to be very numerous on the north-western coast.

The specimens from Goulburn Islands consist of reddish sandstone, not to
be distinguished from that which occurs beneath the coal formation in
England. On the west of these islands the coast is more broken, and the
outline is irregular: but the elevation is inconsiderable; the general
height in Cobourg Peninsula not being above one hundred and fifty feet
above the sea, and that of the hills not more than from three to four
hundred feet.

On this part of the coast, several hills are remarkable for the flatness
of their tops; and the general outline of many of the islands, as seen on
the horizon, is very striking and peculiar. Thus Mount Bedwell and Mount
Roe, on the south of Cobourg Peninsula; Luxmoore Head, at the west end of
Melville Island; the Barthelemy Hills, south of Cape Ford; Mount Goodwin,
south of Port Keats; Mount Cockburn, and several of the hills adjacent to
Cambridge Gulf, the names given to which during the progress of the
survey sufficiently indicate their form, as House-roofed, Bastion,
Flat-top, and Square-top Hills; Mount Casuarina, about forty miles
north-west of Cambridge Gulf; a hill near Cape Voltaire; Steep-Head, Port
Warrender; and several of the islands off that port, York Sound, and
Prince Regent's River; Cape Cuvier, about latitude 24 degrees; and, still
further south, the whole of Moresby's flat-topped Range, are all
distinguished by their linear and nearly horizontal outlines: and except
in a few instances, as Mount Cockburn, Steep-Head, Mounts Trafalgar and
Waterloo (which look more like hills of floetz-trap) they have very much
the aspect of the summits in the coal formation.*

(*Footnote. Captain King, however, has informed me, that in some of these
cases, the shape of the hill is really that of a roof, or hayrick; the
transverse section being angular, and the horizontal top an edge.)

Sketch 1 of some of the islands off Admiralty Gulf (looking southward
from the north-east end of Cassini Island, about latitude 13 degrees 50
minutes, East longitude 125 degrees 50 minutes) has some resemblance to
one of the views in Peron's Atlas (plate 6 figure 7): and the outline of
the Iles Forbin (plate 8 figure 5, of the same series) also exhibits
remarkably the peculiar form represented in several of Captain King's
drawings (Sketch 2).

The red colour of the cliffs on the north-west and west coasts, is also
an appearance which is frequently noticed on the sketches taken by
Captain King and his officers. This is conspicuous in the neighbourhood
of Cape Croker; at Darch Island and Palm Bay; at Point Annesley and Point
Coombe in Mountnorris Bay; in the land about Cape Van Diemen, and on the
north-west of Bathurst Island. The cliffs on Roe's River (Prince
Frederic's Harbour) as might have been expected from the specimens, are
described as of a reddish colour; Cape Leveque is of the same hue; and
the northern limit of Shark's Bay, Cape Cuvier of the French, latitude 24
degrees 13 minutes, which is like an enormous bastion, may be
distinguished at a considerable distance by its full red colour.*

(*Footnote. Freycinet page 195.)

It is on the bank of the channel which separates Bathurst and Melville
Islands, near the north-western extremity of New Holland, that a new
colony has recently been established: (see Captain King's Narrative
volume 2.) A permanent station under the superintendence of a British
officer, in a country so very little known, and in a situation so remote
from any other English settlement, affords an opportunity of collecting
objects of natural history, and of illustrating various points of great
interest to physical geography and meteorology, which it is to be hoped
will not be neglected. And as a very instructive collection, for the
general purposes of geology, can readily be obtained in such situations,
by attending to a few precautions, I have thought that some brief
directions on this subject would not be out of place in the present
publication; and have subjoined them to the list of specimens at the
close of this paper.*

(*Footnote. See hereafter.)

In the vicinity of Cambridge Gulf, Captain King states, the character of
the country is entirely changed; and irregular ranges of detached rocky
hills composed of sandstone, rising abruptly from extensive plains of low
level land, supersede the low and woody coast, that occupies almost
uninterruptedly the space between this inlet and Cape Wessel, a distance
of more than six hundred miles. Cambridge Gulf, which is nothing more
than a swampy arm of the sea, extends to about eighty miles inland, in a
southern direction: and all the specimens from its vicinity precisely
resemble the older sandstones of the confines of England and Wales.* The
View (volume 1 plate) represents in the distance Mount Cockburn, at the
head of Cambridge Gulf; the flat rocky top of which was supposed to
consist of sandstone, but has also the aspect of the trap-formation. The
strata in Lacrosse Island, at the entrance of the Gulf, rise toward the
north-west, at an angle of about 30 degrees with the horizon: their
direction consequently being from north-east to south-west.

(*Footnote. I use the term Old Red Sand Stone, in the acceptation of
Messrs. Buckland and Conybeare, Observations on the South Western Coal
District of England. Geological Transactions Second Series volume 1.
Captain King's specimens from Lacrosse Island are not to be distinguished
from the slaty strata of that formation, in the banks of the Avon, about
two miles below Clifton.)

From hence to Cape Londonderry, towards the south, is an uniform coast of
moderate elevation; and from that point to Cape Leveque, although the
outline may be in a general view considered as ranging from north-east to
south-west,* the coast is remarkably indented, and the adjoining sea
irregularly studded with very numerous islands. The specimens from this
tract consist almost entirely of sandstone, resembling that of Cambridge
Gulf, Goulburn Island, and the Gulf of Carpentaria; with which the
trap-formation appears to be associated.

(*Footnote. The large chart Sheet 5 best shows the general range of the
shore, from the islands filling up the inlets.)

York Sound, one of the principal inlets on this part of the coast, is
bounded by precipitous rocks, from one to two hundred feet in height; and
some conical rocky peaks, which not improbably consist of quartz-rock,
were noticed on the eastern side of the entrance. An unpublished sketch,
by Captain King, shows that the banks of Hunter's River, one of the
branches of York Sound, at seven or eight miles from its opening, are
composed of sandstone, in beds of great regularity; and this place is
also remarkable for a copious spring of fresh water, one of the rarest
phenomena of these thirsty and inhospitable shores.*

(*Footnote. Narrative 1.)

The most considerable inlet, however, which has yet been discovered in
this quarter of Australia, is Prince Regent's River, about thirty miles
to the south-west of York Sound, the course of which is almost
rectilinear for about fifty miles in a south-eastern direction; a fact
which will probably be found to be connected with the geological
structure of the country. The general character of the banks, which are
lofty and abrupt, is precisely the same with that of the rivers falling
into York Sound; and the level of the country does not appear to be
higher in the interior than near the coast. The banks are from two to
four hundred feet in height, and consist of close-grained siliceous
sandstone, of a reddish hue;* and the view (Plate above) shows that the
beds are nearly horizontal, and very regularly disposed; the cascade
there represented being about one hundred and sixty feet in height, and
the beds from six to twelve feet in thickness. Two conspicuous hills,
which Captain King has named Mounts Trafalgar and Waterloo, on the
north-east of Prince-Regent's River, not far from its entrance, are
remarkable for cap-like summits, much resembling those which characterize
the trap formation. (Sketch 3.)

(*Footnote. Narrative 1 and 2.)

The coast on the south of this remarkable river, to Cape Leveque, has not
yet been thoroughly examined; but it appears from Captain King's Chart
(Number 5) to be intersected by several inlets of considerable size, to
trace which to their termination is still a point of great interest in
the physical geography of New Holland. The space thus left to be
explored, from the Champagny Isles to Cape Leveque, corresponds to more
than one hundred miles in a direct line; within which extent nothing but
islands and detached portions of land have yet been observed. One large
inlet especially, on the south-east of Cape Leveque, appears to afford
considerable promise of a river; and the rise of the tide within the
Buccaneer's Archipelago, where there is another unexplored opening, is no
less than thirty-seven feet.

The outline of the coast about Cape Leveque itself is low, waving, and
rounded; and the hue for which the cliffs are remarkable in so many parts
of the coast to the north, is also observable here, the colour of the
rocks at Point Coulomb being of a deep red: but on the south of the high
ground near that Point, the rugged stony cliffs are succeeded by a long
tract, which to the French voyagers (for it was not examined by Captain
King) appeared to consist of low and sandy land, fronted by extensive
shoals. It has hitherto been seen, however, only at a distance; so that a
space of more than three hundred miles, from Point Gantheaume nearly to
Cape Lambert, still remains to be accurately surveyed.

Depuch Island, east of Dampier's Archipelago, about latitude 20 degrees
30 minutes, is described by the French naturalists as consisting in a
great measure of columnar rocks, which they supposed to be VOLCANIC; and
they found reason to believe that the adjoining continent was of the same
materials.* It is not improbable, however, that this term was applied to
columns belonging to the trap formation, since no burning mountain has
been any where observed on the coast of New Holland: nor do the drawings
of Depuch Island, made on board Captain King's vessel, give reason to
suppose that it is at present eruptive. Captain King's specimens from
Malus Island, in Dampier's Archipelago (sixty miles farther west) consist
of greenstone and amygdaloid.

(*Footnote. Peron volume 1 page 130.)

The coast is again broken and rugged about Dampier's Archipelago,
latitude 20 degrees 30 minutes; and on the south of Cape Preston, in
latitude 21 degrees, is an opening of about fifteen miles in width,
between rocky hills, which has not been explored. From thence to the
bottom of Exmouth Gulf, more than one hundred and fifty miles, the coast
is low and sandy, and does not exhibit any prominences. The west coast of
Exmouth Gulf itself is formed by a promontory of level land, terminating
in the North-west Cape; and from thence to the south-west, as far as Cape
Cuvier, the general height of the coast is from four to five hundred
feet; nor are any mountains visible over the coast range.

Several portions of the shore between Shark's Bay and Cape Naturaliste
have been described in the account of Commodore Baudin's Expedition; but
some parts still remain to be surveyed. From the specimens collected by
Captain King and the French descriptions, it appears that the islands on
the west of Shark's Bay abound in a concretional calcareous rock of very
recent formation, similar to what is found on the shore in several other
parts of New Holland, especially in the neighbourhood of King George's
Sound; and which is abundant also on the coast of the West Indian
Islands, and of the Mediterranean. Captain King's specimens of this
production are from Dirk Hartog's and Rottnest Islands; and M. Peron
states that the upper parts of Bernier and Dorre Islands are composed of
a rock of the same nature. This part of the coast is covered in various
places with extensive dunes of sand; but the nature of the base, on which
both these and the calcareous formation repose, has not been ascertained.

The general direction of the rocky shore, from North-west Cape to Dirk
Hartog's Island, is from the east of north to the west of south. On the
south of the latter place the land turns towards the east. High, rocky
and reddish cliffs have been seen indistinctly about latitude 27 degrees;
and a coast of the same aspect has been surveyed, from Red Point, about
latitude 28 degrees, for more than eighty miles to the south-west. The
hills called Moresby's flat-topped Range, of which Mount Fairfax,
latitude 28 degrees 45 minutes, is the highest point, occupy a space of
more than fifty miles from north to south.

Rottnest Island and its vicinity, latitude 32 degrees, contains in
abundance the calcareous concretions already mentioned; which seem there
to consist in a great measure of the remains of recent shells, in
considerable variety. The islands of this part of the shore have been
described by MM. Peron and Freycinet;* and the coast to the south, down
to Cape Leeuwin, the south-western extremity of New Holland, having been
sufficiently examined by the French voyagers, was not surveyed by Captain

(*Footnote. Peron volume 2 page 168 etc.)

Swan River (Riviere des Cygnes) upon this part of the coast, latitude 31
degrees 25 minutes to 32 degrees, was examined by the French expedition,
to the distance of about twenty leagues from its mouth; and found still
to contain salt water. The rock in its neighbourhood consisted altogether
of sandy and calcareous incrustations, in horizontal beds, enclosing, it
is stated, shells, and the roots and even trunks of trees. Between this
river and Cape Peron, a "great bay" was left unexplored.*

(*Footnote. Peron volume 1 page 179. Freycinet page 5. 170.)

The prominent mass of land, which stands out from the main, between Cape
Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, and runs nearly on the meridian for more
than fifty miles, seems to have a base of granite, which, at Cape
Naturaliste, is said to be stratified.* The same rock also occurs, among
Captain King's specimens, from Bald-head in King George's Sound; but
nearly on the summit of that hill, which is about five hundred feet high,
were Found the ramified calcareous concretions, erroneously considered as
corals by Vancouver and others;** but which appear, from Captain King's
specimens, to be nothing more than a variety of the recent limestone so
abundant throughout these shores.

(*Footnote. Peron volume 1 page 69.)

(**Footnote. Vancouver 1 49. D'Entrecasteaux 2 175. Freycinet 105.
Flinders 1 63. See the detailed descriptions hereafter; and Captain
King's Narrative volume 1.)

The south coast, and the southern portion of the east coast of Australia,
which were surveyed by Captain Flinders, are described in the account of
his voyage, and do not come within the object of the present paper.



1. The rocks, of which specimens occur in the collections of Captain King
and Mr. Brown, are the following:

Granite: Cape Cleveland; C. Grafton; Endeavour River; Lizard Island;
Round Hill, near C. Grindall; Mount Caledon; Island near C. Arnhem;
Melville Bay; Bald-head, King George's Sound.

Various Slaty Rocks:
Mica-State: Mallison's I.
Talc-State: Endeavour River.
Slaty Clay: Inglis' I., Clack I., Percy I.
Hornblende Rock ?: Pobassoo's Island; Halfway Bay, Prince Regent's River.

Granular Quartz: Endeavour River; Montagu Sound, North-west Coast.
Epidote: C. Clinton ?; Port Warrender; Careening Bay.

Quartzose Conglomerates, and ancient Sandstones: Rodd's Bay; Islands of
the north and north-west coasts; Cambridge Gulf; York Sound; Prince
Regent's River.

Pipe-clay: Melville Bay; Goulburn I.; Lethbridge Bay.


Serpentine: Port Macquarie; Percy Isles.

Sienite: Rodd's Bay.

Porphyry: C. Cleveland.

Porphyritic Conglomerate: C. Clinton, Percy I., Good's I.

Compact Felspar: Percy I., Repulse Bay, Sunday Island.

Greenstone: Vansittart Bay, Bat I., Careening Bay, Malus I.

Clinkstone: Morgan's I., Pobassoo's I.

Amygdaloid, with Chalcedony: Port Warrender; Half-way Bay; Bat Island;
Malus I.

Wacke ?: Bat Island.


Recent calcareous Breccia: Sweer's Island, N. coast. Dirk Hartog's and
Rottnest Islands, etc., West coast. King George's Sound, South coast.

The only information that has been published respecting the geology of
New Holland, besides what is contained in the Voyages of Captain Flinders
and Commodore Baudin, is a slight notice by Professor Buckland of some
specimens collected during Mr. Oxley's Expedition to the River
Macquarie,* in 1818; and a brief outline of a paper by the Reverend
Archdeacon Scott, entitled A Sketch of the Geology of New South Wales and
Van Diemen's Land, which has been read before the Geological Society.**
On these authorities, the following may be added to the preceding list of

Limestone, resembling in the character of its organic remains the
mountain limestone or England: Interior of New Holland, near the east
coast; Van Diemen's Land (Buckland; Prevost manuscripts; Scott).

The Coal-formation: East coast of New Holland; Van Diemen's Land.

Indications of the new red-Sandstone (Red-Marl) afforded by the
occurrence of Salt: Van Diemen's Land. (Scott.)

Oolite: Van Diemen's Land. (Scott.)

(*Footnote. Geological Transactions volume 5 page 480.)

(**Footnote. Ann. of Phil. June 1824. I am informed that Mr. Von Buch
also has published a paper on the rocks of New Holland; but have not been
so fortunate as to meet with it.

Since this paper has been at the press, a Report presented to the Academy
of Sciences at Paris, on the Voyage of Discovery of M. Duperrey,
performed during the years 1822 to 1825, has been published; from whence
I have subjoined an extract, in order to complete the catalogue of the
rocks of Australia, according to the present state of our information.

Les echantillons recueillis tant dans les contrees voisines du Port
Jackson, que dans les Montagnes-Bleues, augmentent beaucoup nos
connoissances sur ces parties de la Nouvelle Hollande. Les echantillons,
au nombre de soixante-dix, nous offrent, 1. Les granites, les
syenites-quartziferes, et les pegmatites (granites graphiques) qui
cunstituent le second plan des Muntagnes-Bleues. 2. Les gres ferrugineux,
et renfermant d'abondantes paillettes de fer oligiste, qui couvrent non
seulement une vaste etendue de pays pres des cotes, mais encore le
premier plan des Montagnes-Bleues; et 3. Le lignite stratiforme qu'on
exploite au Mont-Yorck, a 1000 pieds au-dessus du niveau de la mer, et
dont la presence ajoute aux motifs qui portent a penser que les gres
ferrugineux de ces contrees appartiennent au systeme des terrains

Vingt-sept echantillons ramasses a la terre de Van Diemen, dans les
environs du port Dalrymple, et pres du Cap Barren, indiquent, 1. Des
terrains de pegmatite, et de serpentine. 2. Des terrains intermediaires
coquilliers, formes du grauwacke-schistoide, et de pierre calcaire. 3.
Des terrains tres-recens, composes d'argile sablonneuse et ferrugineuse,
avec geodes de fer hydrate, et du bois fossile, a differens etats. On
distingue en outre des belles topazes blanches ou bleuatres, parmi les
galets quartzeux, qui ont ete recueillis au Cap Barren: Bulletin des
Sciences Naturelles, Octobre 1825 page 189.)

2. The specimens of Captain King's and Mr. Brown's collections, without
any exception, agree with those of the same denominations from other
parts of the world; and the resemblance is, in some instances, very
remarkable: The sandstones of the west and north-west of New Holland are
so like those of the west of England, and of Wales, that the specimens
from the two countries can scarcely be distinguished from each other; the
arenaceous cement in the calcareous breccia of the west coast is
precisely the same with that of Sicily; and the jasper, chalcedony, and
green quartz approaching to heliotrope, from the entrance of Prince
Regent's River, resemble those of the Tyrol, both in their characters and
association. The Epidote of Port Warrender and Careening Bay, affords an
additional proof of the general distribution of that mineral; which,
though perhaps it may not constitute large masses, seems to be of more
frequent occurrence as a component of rocks than has hitherto been
supposed.* The mineral itself, both crystallized and compact, the latter
in the form of veins traversing sienitic rocks, occurs, in Mr.
Greenough's cabinet alone, from Malvern, North Wales, Ireland, France,
and Upper Saxony. Mr. Koenig has found it extensively in the sienitic
tract of Jersey;** where blocks of a pudding-stone, bearing some
resemblance to the green breccia of Egypt, were found to be composed of
compact epidote, including very large pebbles of a porphyritic rock,
which itself contains a considerable proportion of this substance. And
Mr. Greenough has recently received, among specimens sent home by Mr. J.
Burton, junior, a mass of compact epidote, with quartz and felspar, from
Dokhan, in the desert between the Red Sea and the Nile. When New Holland
is added to these localities, it will appear that few minerals are more
widely diffused.

(*Footnote. See Cleaveland's Mineralogy 1816 page 297 to 300.)

(**Footnote. Plee's Account of Jersey quarto Southampton 1817 page 231 to

3. The unpublished sketches, by Captain King and Mr. Roe, of the hills in
sight during the progress of the survey of the Coasts of Australia,
accord in a very striking manner with the geological character of the
shore. Those from the east coast, where the rocks are primitive,
representing strongly marked and irregular outlines of lofty mountains,
and frequently, in the nearer ground, masses of strata highly inclined.
The outlines on the contrary, on the north, north-west, and western
shores, are most commonly uniform, rectilinear, the summits flat, and
diversified only by occasional detached and conical peaks, none of which
are very lofty.

4. No information has yet been obtained, from any of the collections,
respecting the diluvial deposits of Australia: a class of phenomena which
is of the highest interest, in an island of such vast extent, so very
remote in situation, and of which the existing animals are so different
from those of other parts of the globe. It is remarkable, also, that no
limestone is among the specimens from the northern and western shores,
except that of the recent breccia; and although negative conclusions are
hazardous, it would seem probable, from this circumstance, that limestone
cannot be very abundant or conspicuous at the places visited. No eruptive
mountains, nor any traces of recent volcanic eruption, have yet been
observed in any part of Australia.

5. The recent calcareous breccia, of which a detailed description will be
found in the subjoined list of specimens, is one of the most remarkable
productions of New Holland: It was found, during the expedition of
Commodore Baudin, to exist throughout a space of no less than twenty-five
degrees of latitude, and an equal extent of longitude, on the southern,
west, and north-west coasts;* and from Mr. Brown's specimens it appears
to occur also on the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The full account
which M. Peron has given of this formation, sufficiently shows its
resemblance to the very recent limestone, full of marine shells, which
abounds on the shores of the Mediterranean, the West India Islands, and
in several other parts of the world: And it is a point of the greatest
interest in geology, to determine, whether any distinct line can really
be drawn, between those concretions, unquestionably of modern formation,
which occur immediately upon the shore; and other calcareous
accumulations, very nearly resembling them, if not identical, both in the
fossils they contain, and in the characters of the cementing substances,
that are found in several countries, at considerable heights above the

(*Footnote. Voyage 2 page 168, 169 to 216 etc.)

Dr. Buckland has described a breccia of modern formation, which occurs
upon the shore at Madagascar, and consists of a firmly-compacted
cream-coloured stone, composed of granular fragments of shells,
agglutinated by a calcareous cement.* The stone of Guadaloupe, containing
the human skeletons, is likewise of the same nature; and its very recent
production cannot be doubted, since it contains fragments of stone axes,
and of pottery.** The cemented shells of Bermuda, described by Captain
Vetch,*** which pass gradually into a compact limestone, differ only in
colour from the Guadaloupe stone; and agree with it, and with the
calcareous breccia of Dirk Hartog's Island, in the gradual melting down
of the cement into the included portions, which is one of the most
remarkable features of that rock.**** A calcareous compound, apparently
of the same kind, has been recently mentioned, as of daily production in
Anastasia Island, on the coast of East Florida;***** and will probably be
found to be of very general occurrence in that quarter of the globe. And
Captain Beaufort's account of the process by which the gravelly beach is
cemented into stone, at Selinti, and several other places on the coast of
Karamania, on the north-east of the Mediterranean,****** accords with M.
Peron's description of the progress from the loose and moveable sands of
the dunes to solid masses of rock.******* In the island of Rhodes, also,
there are hills of pudding-stone, of the same character, considerably
elevated above the sea. And Captain W.H. Smyth, the author of Travels in
Sicily, and of the Survey of the Mediterranean recently published by the
Admiralty, informs me, that he has seen these concretions in Calabria,
and on the coasts of the Adriatic; but still more remarkably in the
narrow strip of recent land (called the Placca) which connects Leucadia,
one of the Ionian Islands, with the continent, and so much resembles a
work of art, that it has been considered as a Roman fabric. The stone
composing this isthmus is so compact, that the best mill-stones in the
Ionian Islands are made from it; but it is in fact nothing more than
gravel and sand cemented by calcareous matter, the accretion of which is
supposed to be rapidly advancing at the present day.

(*Footnote. Geological Transactions volume 5 page 479.)

(**Footnote. Linnean Transactions 12 page 53 to 57.)

(***Footnote. Geological Transactions 2nd Series volume 1 page 172.)

(****Footnote. Koenig Philosophical Transactions 1814 page 107 etc.)

(*****Footnote. Bulletin des Sciences Nat. Mars 1825.)

(******Footnote. Beaufort's Description of the South Coast of Asia Minor
etc. Second edition. London 1818: pages 180 to 184 etc. In the
neighbourhood of Adalia the deposition of calcareous matter from the
water is so copious that an old watercourse had actually crept upwards to
a height of nearly three feet; and the rapidity of the deposition was
such that some specimens were collected on the grass, where the stony
crust was already formed, although the verdure of the leaf was as yet but
imperfectly withered (page 114): a fact which renders less extraordinary
M. Peron's statement that the excrements of kangaroos had been found
concreted by calcareous matter. Peron volume 2 page 116.)

(*******Footnote. Voyage 2 116.)

The nearest approach to the concreted sand-rock of Australia, that I have
seen, is in the specimens presented by Dr. Daubeny to the Bristol
Institution, to accompany his excellent paper on the geology of Sicily;*
which prove that the arenaceous breccia of New Holland is very like that
which occupies a great part of the coast, almost entirely around that
island. Some of Dr. Daubeny's specimens from Monte Calogero, above
Sciacca, consist of a breccia, containing angular fragments of splintery
limestone, united by a cement, composed of minute grains of
quartzose-sand disseminated in a calcareous paste, resembling precisely
that of the breccia of Dirk Hartog's Island: and a compound of this kind,
replete with shells, not far, if at all, different from existing species,
fills up the hollows in most of the older rocks of Sicily; and is
described as occurring, in several places, at very considerable heights
above the sea. Thus, near Palermo, it constitutes hills some hundred feet
in height; near Girgenti, all the most elevated spots are crowned with a
loose stratum of the same kind; and the heights near Castro Giovanni,
said to be 2880 feet above the sea, are probably composed of it. But
although the concretions of the interior in Sicily much resemble those of
the shore, it is still doubtful whether the former be not of more ancient
formation; and if they contain nummulites, they would probably be
referred to the epoch of the beds within the Paris basin.

(*Footnote. Edinburgh Philosophical Journal 1825 pages 116, 117, 118, and
254 to 255.)

The looser breccia of Monte Pelegrino, in Sicily, is very like the less
compacted fragments of shells from Bermuda, described by Captain Vetch,
and already referred to:* and the rock in both these cases, nearly
approaches to some of the coarser oolites of England.

(*Footnote. These specimens are in the Museum of the Geological Society.)

The resemblance pointed out by M. Prevost,* of the specimens of recent
breccia from New Holland, in the museum at the Jardin du Roi, to those of
St. Hospice near Nice, is confirmed by the detail given by Mr. Allan in
his sketch of the geology of that neighbourhood;** in which the perfect
preservation of the shells, and their near approach to those of the
adjoining sea at the present day, are particularly mentioned; and it is
inferred that the date of the deposit which affords them, is anterior to
that of the conglomerate containing the bones of extinct quadrupeds,
likewise found in that country. M. Brongniart also, who examined the
place himself, mentions the recent accumulation which occurs at St.
Hospice, about sixty feet above the present level of the sea, as
containing marine shells in a scarcely fossil state (a peine fossiles)
and he describes the mass in which they occur, as belonging to a
formation still more recent than the upper marine beds of the environs of

(*Footnote. Prevost manuscripts. See hereafter.)

(**Footnote. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh volume 8 1818
page 427 etc. See also the previous publications of M. Risso Journal des
Mines tome 34 etc.)

(***Footnote. Brongniart in Cuvier Ossemens Fossiles; 2nd Edit. volume 2
page 427.)

The geological period indicated by these facts, being probably more
recent than the tertiary beds containing nummulites, and generally than
the Paris and London strata, accords with the date which has hitherto
been assigned to the crag beds of Suffolk, Essex, and Norfolk:* but later
observations render doubtful the opinion generally received respecting
the age of these remarkable deposits, and a full and satisfactory account
of them is still a desideratum in the geology of England. When, also, our
imperfect acquaintance with the travertino of Italy, and other very
modern limestones containing freshwater shells, is considered,** the
continual deposition of which, at the present time, cannot be questioned
(though probably the greater part of the masses which consist of them may
belong to an era preceding the actual condition of the earth's surface)
it would seem that the whole subject of these newer calcareous formations
requires elucidation: and, if the inferences connected with them do not
throw considerable doubt upon some opinions at present generally
received, they show, at least, that a great deal more is to be learned
respecting the operations and products of the most recent geological
epochs, than is commonly supposed.

(*Footnote. Conybeare and Phillips Outlines etc. page 11, Geological
Transactions 1 page 327 etc. Taylor in Geological Transactions 2nd series
Volume 2 page 371. Mr. Taylor states the important fact that the remains
of unknown animals are buried together with the shells in the crag of
Suffolk; but does not mention the nature of these remains. Since these
pages have been at the press, Mr. Warburton, by whom the coast of Essex
and Norfolk has been examined with great accuracy, has informed me that
the fossil bones of the crag are the same with those of the diluvial
gravel, including the remains of the elephant, rhinoceros, stag, etc.)

(**Footnote. Some valuable observations on the formation of recent
limestone, in beds of shelly marl at the bottom of lakes in Scotland,
have been read before the Geological Society by Mr. Lyell, and will
appear in the volume of the Transactions now in the press. See Annals of
Philosophy 1825 page 310.)

Since it appears that the accretion of calcareous matter is continually
going on at the present time, and has probably taken place at all times,
the stone thus formed, independent of the organized bodies which it
envelopes, will afford no criterion of its date, nor give any very
certain clue to the revolutions which have subsequently acted upon it.
But as MARINE shells are found in the cemented masses, at heights above
the sea, to which no ordinary natural operations could have conveyed
them, the elevation of these shells to their actual place (if not that of
the rock in which they are agglutinated) must be referred to some other
agency: while the perfect preservation of the shells, their great
quantity, and the abundance of the same species in the same places, make
it more probable that they lay originally in the situations where we now
find them, than that they have been transported from any considerable
distances, or elevated by any very turbulent operation. Captain de
Freycinet, indeed, mentions that patellae, worn by attrition, and other
recent shells, have been found on the west coast of New Holland, on the
top of a wall of rocks an hundred feet above the sea, evidently brought
up by the surge during violent storms;* but such shells are found in the
breccia of Sicily, and in several other places, at heights too great, and
their preservation is too perfect, to admit of this mode of conveyance;
and to account for their existence in such situations, recourse must be
had to more powerful means of transport.

(* Freycinet page 187. The presence of shells in such situations may
often be ascribed to the birds, which feed on their inhabitants. At
Madeira, where recent shells are found near the coast at a considerable
height above the sea, the Gulls have been seen carrying up the living
patellae, just taken from the rocks.)

The occurrence of corals, and marine shells of recent appearance, at
considerable heights above the sea, on the coasts of New Holland, Timor,
and several other islands of the south, was justly considered by M. Peron
as demonstrating the former abode of the sea above the land; and very
naturally suggested an inquiry, as to the nature of the revolutions to
which this change of situation is to be ascribed.* From similar
appearances at Pulo Nias, one of the islands off the western coast of
Sumatra, Dr. Jack also was led to infer, that the surface of that island
must at one time have been the bed of the ocean; and after stating, that
by whatever means it obtained its present elevation, the transition must
have been effected with little violence or disturbance to the marine
productions at the surface,** he concludes, that the phenomena are in
nature of this force is indicated most distinctly, if not demonstrated,
by the phenomena which attended the memorable earthquake of Chili, in
November, 1820,*** which was felt throughout a space of fifteen hundred
miles from north to south. For it is stated upon the clearest evidence,
that after formidable shocks of earthquake, repeated with little
interruption during the whole night of the 19th of November (and the
shocks were continued afterwards, at intervals, for several months) IT
APPEARED, on the morning of the 20th, THAT THE WHOLE LINE OF COAST FROM
ABOVE ITS FORMER LEVEL. The alteration of level at Valparaiso was about
three feet; and some rocks were thus newly exposed, on which the
fishermen collected the scallop-shell fish, which was not known to exist
there before the earthquake. At Quintero the elevation was about four
feet. "When I went," the narrator adds, "to examine the coast, although
it was high-water, I found the ancient bed of the sea laid bare, and dry,
with beds of oysters, mussels, and other shells adhering to the rocks on
which they grew, the fish being all dead, and exhaling most offensive
effluvia. And I found good reason to believe that the coast had been
raised by earthquakes at former periods in a similar manner; several
ancient lines of beach, consisting OF SHINGLE MIXED WITH SHELLS,
extending, in a parallel direction to the shore, to the height of fifty
feet above the sea." Such an accumulation of geological evidence, from
different quarters and distinct classes of phenomena, concurs to
demonstrate the existence of most powerful expansive forces within the
earth, and to testify their agency in producing the actual condition of
its surface, that the phenomena just now described are nothing more than
what was to be expected from previous induction. These facts, however,
not only place beyond dispute the existence of such forces, but show
that, even in detail, their effects accord most satisfactorily with the
predictions of theory. It is not, therefore, at all unreasonable to
conceive, that, in other situations, phenomena of the same character have
been produced by the same cause, though we may not at present be enabled
to trace its connexion with the existing appearances so distinctly; and
though the facts, when they occurred, may have been unnoticed, or may
have taken place at periods beyond the reach of historical record, or
even beyond the possibility of human testimony.

(*Footnote. Peron Voyage etc. volume 2 pages 165 to 183.)

(**Footnote. Geological Transactions Second Series volume 1 page 403,

(***Footnote. The statements here referred to, are those of Mrs. Graham,
in a letter to Mr. Warburton, which has been published in the Geological
Transactions Second Series volume 1 page 412, etc.; and the account is
supported and illustrated by a valuable paper in the Journal of the Royal
Institution for April 1824 volume 17 page 38 etc.) The writer of this
latter article asserts that the whole country, from the foot of the Andes
to far out at sea, was raised by the earthquake; the greatest rise being
at the distance of about two miles from the shore. The rise upon the
coast was from two to four feet: at the distance of a mile, inland, it
must have been from five to six, or seven feet, pages 40, 45.)

M. Peron has attributed the great abundance of the modern breccia of New
Holland to the large proportion of calcareous matter, principally in the
form of comminuted shells, which is diffused through the siliceous sand
of the shores in that country;* and as the temperature, especially of the
summer, is very high on that part of the coast where this rock has been
principally found, the increased solution of carbonate of lime by the
percolating water, may possibly render its formation more abundant there,
than in more temperate climates. But the true theory of these
concretions, under any modification of temperature, is attended with
considerable difficulty: and it is certain that the process is far from
being confined to the warmer latitudes. Dr. Paris has given an account of
a modern formation of sandstone on the northern coast of Cornwall;**
where a large surface is covered with a calcareous sand, that becomes
agglutinated into a stone, which he considers as analogous to the rocks
of Guadaloupe; and of which the specimens that I have seen, resemble
those presented by Captain Beaufort to the Geological Society, from the
shore at Rhodes. Dr. Paris ascribes this concretion, not to the agency of
the sea, nor to an excess of carbonic acid, but to the solution of
carbonate of lime itself in water, and subsequent percolation through
calcareous sand; the great hardness of the stone arising from the very
sparing solubility of this carbonate, and the consequently very gradual
formation of the deposit--Dr. MacCulloch describes calcareous
concretions, found in banks of sand in Perthshire, which present a great
variety of stalactitic forms, generally more or less complicated, and
often exceedingly intricate and strange,*** and which appear to be
analogous to those of King George's Sound and Sweer's Island: And he
mentions, as not unfrequently occurring in sand, in different parts of
England (the sand above the fossil bones of Norfolk is given as an
example) long cylinders or tubes, composed of sand agglutinated by
carbonate of lime, or calcareous stalactites entangling sand, which, like
the concretions of Madeira, and those taken for corals at Bald-Head, have
been ranked improperly, with organic remains.

(*Footnote. Peron Voyage etc. 2 page 116.)

(**Footnote. Transactions of the Geological Society of Cornwall volume 1
page 1 etc.)

(***Footnote. On an arenaceo-calcareous substance, etc. Quarterly Journal
Royal Institution October 1823 volume 16 page 79 to 83.)

The stone which forms the fragments in the breccia of New Holland, is
very nearly the same with that of the cement by which they are united,
the difference consisting only in the greater proportion of sand which
the fragments contain: and it would seem, that after the consolidation of
the former, and while the deposition of similar calcareous matter was
still in progress, the portions first consolidated must have been
shattered by considerable violence. But, where no such fragments exist,
the unequal diffusion of components at first uniformly mixed, and even
the formation of nodules differing in proportions from the paste which
surrounds them, may perhaps admit of explanation, by some process
analogous to what takes place in the preparation of the compound of which
the ordinary earthenware is manufactured; where, though the ingredients
are divided by mechanical attrition only, a sort of chemical action
produces, under certain circumstances, a new arrangement of the parts.*
And this explanation may, probably, be extended to those nodular
concretions, generally considered as contemporaneous with the paste in
which they are enveloped, the distinction of which, from conglomerates of
mechanical origin, forms, in many cases, a difficulty in geology. What
the degree may be, of subdivision required to dispose the particles to
act thus upon each other, or of fluidity to admit of their action,
remains still to be determined.

(*Footnote. The clay and pulverized flints are combined for the use of
the potter, by being first separately diffused in water to the
consistence of thick cream, and when mixed in due proportion are reduced
to a proper consistence by evaporation. During this process, if the
evaporation be not rapid and immediate, or if the ingredients are left to
act on each other, even for twenty-four hours, the flinty particles unite
into sandy grains, and the mass becomes unfit for the purposes of the
manufacturer. I am indebted for this interesting fact, which, I believe,
is well known in some of the potteries, to my friend Mr. Arthur Aikin.
And Mr. Herschel informs me, that a similar change takes place in
recently precipitated carbonate of copper; which, if left long moist,
concretes into hard gritty grains, of a green colour, much more
difficultly soluble in ammonia than the original precipitate.)

6. As the superficial extent of Australia is more than three-fourths of
that of Europe, and the interior may be regarded as unknown,* any
theoretic inferences, from the slight geological information hitherto
obtained respecting this great island, are very likely to be deceitful;
but among the few facts already ascertained respecting the northern
portion of it, there are some which appear to afford a glimpse of general

Captain Flinders, in describing the position of the chains of islands on
the north-west coast of Carpentaria, Wessel's, the English Company's, and
Bromby's Islands, remarks, that he had "frequently observed a great
similarity both in the ground plans, and the elevations of hills, and of
islands, in the vicinity of each other, but did not recollect another
instance of such a likeness in the arrangement of clusters of islands."*
The appearances which called for this observation, from a voyager of so
much sagacity and experience in physical geography, must probably have
been very remarkable; and, combined with information derivable from the
charts, and from the specimens for which we are indebted to Captain King
and Mr. Brown, they would seem to point out the arrangement of the strata
on the northern coasts of New Holland.

(*Footnote. The following are the proportions assigned by Captain de
Freycinet to the principal divisions of the globe. Voyage aux Terres
Australes page 107.


Asia : 2,200,000 : 17.
America : 2,100,000 : 17.
Africa : 1,560,000 : 12.
Europe : 501,875 : 4.
Australia : 384,375 : 3.

The most remote points from the coast of New South Wales, to which the
late expeditions have penetrated (and the interior has never yet been
examined in any other quarter) are not above 500 miles, in a direct line
from the sea; the average width of the island from east to west being
more than 2000 miles, and from north to south more than 1000 miles.)

(*Footnote. Flinders 5 2 page 246; and Charts, Plates 14 and 15. King's
Charts, Plate 4.)

Of the three ranges which attracted Captain Flinders' notice (see the
Map) the first on the south-east (3, 4, 5, 6, 7) is that which includes
the Red Cliffs, Mallison's Island, a part of the coast of Arnhem's Land,
from Cape Newbold to Cape Wilberforce, and Bromby's Isles; and its
length, from the mainland (3) on the south-west of Mallison's Island, to
Bromby's Isles (7) is more than fifty miles, in a direction nearly from
south-west to north-east. The English Company's Islands (2, 2, 2, 2) at a
distance of about four miles, are of equal extent; and the general
trending of them all, Captain Flinders states (page 233) is nearly
North-East by East, parallel with the line of the main coast, and with
Bromby's Islands. Wessel's Islands (1, 1, 1, 1) the third or most
northern chain, at fourteen miles from the second range, stretch out to
more than eighty miles from the mainland, likewise in the same direction.

It is also stated by Captain Flinders, that three of the English
Company's Islands which were examined, slope down nearly to the water on
their west sides; but on the east, and more especially the south-east,
they present steep cliffs; and the same conformation, he adds, seemed to
prevail in the other islands.* If this structure occurred only in one or
two instances, it might be considered as accidental; but as it obtains in
so many cases, and is in harmony with the direction of the ranges, it is
not improbably of still more extensive occurrence, and would intimate a
general elevation of the strata towards the south-east.

(*Footnote. Flinders Volume 2 page 235.)

Now on examining the general map, it will be seen, that the lines of the
coast on the mainland, west of the Gulf of Carpentaria, between Limmen's
Bight and Cape Arnhem--from the bottom of Castlereagh Bay to Point
Dale--less distinctly from Point Pearce, latitude 14 degrees 23 minutes,
longitude 129 degrees 18 minutes, to the western extremity of Cobourg
Peninsula, and from Point Coulomb, latitude 17 degrees 20 minutes,
longitude 123 degrees 11 minutes, to Cape Londonderry, have nearly the
same direction; the first line being about one hundred and eighty
geographical miles, the second more than three hundred, and the last more
than four hundred miles, in length.* And these lines, though broken by
numerous irregularities, especially on the north-west coast, are yet
sufficiently distinct to indicate a probable connexion with the
geological structure of the country; since the coincidence of similar
ranges of coast with the direction of the strata, is a fact of very
frequent occurrence in other parts of the globe.** And it is observable
that considerable uniformity exists in the specimens, from the different
places in this quarter of New Holland which have been hitherto examined;
sandstone, like that of the older formations of Europe occurring
generally on the north and north-west coasts, and appearing to be
extensively diffused on the north-west of the Gulf of Carpentaria, where
it reposes upon primitive rocks.***

(*Footnote. It is deserving of notice, that the coast of Timor, the
nearest land on the north-west, at the distance of about 300 miles, is
also nearly straight, and parallel to the Coast of New Holland in this
quarter: part of the mountainous range, of which that island consists,
being probably more than 9000 feet high; and its length, from the
north-eastern extremity to the South-West of the adjoining island of
Rottee, about 300 miles. But, unfortunately for the hypothesis, a chain
of islands immediately on the north of Timor, is continued nearly in a
right line for more than 1200 miles (from Sermatta Island to the
south-eastern extremity of Java) in a direction FROM EAST TO WEST. This
chain, however, contains several volcanoes, including those of Sumbawa,
the eruption of which, in 1815, was of extraordinary violence. See Royal
Inst. Journal volume 1 1816 page 248 etc.

At Lacrosse Island, in the mouth of Cambridge Gulf, on the north-west
coast of New Holland, the beds rise to the North-West: their direction
consequently is from South-West to North-East; and the rise towards the
high land of Timor. The intervening sea is very shallow.)

(**Footnote. A remarkable case of this kind, which has not, I believe,
been noticed, occurs in the Mediterranean; and is conspicuous in the new
chart of that sea, by Captain W.H. Smyth. The eastern coast of Corsica
and Sardinia, for a space of more than two hundred geographical miles
being nearly rectilinear, in a direction from north to south; and,
Captain Smyth has informed me, consisting almost entirely of granite, or,
at least, of primitive rocks. The coast of Norway affords another
instance of the same description; and the details of the ranges in the
interior of England furnish several examples of the same kind, on a
smaller scale.)

(***Footnote. The coastlines nearly at rightangles to those
above-mentioned--from the South-East of the Gulf of Carpentaria to
Limmen's Bight, from Cape Arnhem to Cape Croker, and from Cape Domett to
Cape Londonderry--have also a certain degree of linearity; but much less
remarkable, than those which run from South-West to North-East.)

The horn-like projection of the land, on the east of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, is a very prominent feature in the general map of Australia,
and may possibly have some connexion with the structure just pointed out.
The western shore of this horn, from the bottom of the gulf to Endeavour
Straits, being very low; while the land on the east coast rises in
proceeding towards the south, and after passing Cape Weymouth, latitude
12 degrees 30 minutes, is in general mountainous and abrupt; and Captain
King's specimens from the north-east coast show that granite is found in
so many places along this line as to make it probable that primitive
rocks may form the general basis of the country in that quarter; since a
lofty chain of mountains is continued on the south of Cape Tribulation,
not far from the shore, throughout a space of more than five hundred
miles. It would carry this hypothesis too far to infer that these
primitive ranges are connected with the mountains on the west of the
English settlements near Port Jackson, etc., where Mr. Scott has
described the coal-measures as occupying the coast from Port Stevens,
about latitude 33 degrees to Cape Howe, latitude 37 degrees, and as
succeeded, on the eastern ascent of the Blue Mountains, by sandstone, and
this again by primitive strata:* But it may be noticed that Wilson's
Promontory, the most southern point of New South Wales, and the principal
islands in Bass Strait, contain granite; and that primitive rocks occur
extensively in Van Diemen's Land.

(*Footnote. Annals of Philosophy June 1824.)

The uniformity of the coastlines is remarkable also in some other
quarters of Australia; and their direction, as well as that of the
principal openings, has a general tendency to a course from the west of
south to the east of north. This, for example, is the general range of
the south-east coast, from Cape Howe, about latitude 37 degrees, to Cape
Byron, latitude 29 degrees, or even to Sandy Cape, latitude 25 degrees;
and of the western coast, from the south of the islands which enclose
Shark's Bay, latitude 26 degrees, to North-west Cape, about latitude 22
degrees. From Cape Hamelin, latitude 34 degrees 12 minutes, to Cape
Naturaliste, latitude 33 degrees 26 minutes, the coast runs nearly on the
meridian. The two great fissures of the south coast, Spencer's, and St.
Vincent's Gulfs, as well as the great northern chasm of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, have a corresponding direction; and Captain Flinders (Chart
4) represents a high ridge of rocky and barren mountains, on the east of
Spencer's Gulf, as continued, nearly from north to south, through a space
of more than one hundred geographical miles, between latitude 32 degrees
7 minutes and 34 degrees. Mount Brown, one of the summits of this ridge,
about latitude 32 degrees 30 minutes, being visible at the distance of
twenty leagues.

The tendency of all this evidence is somewhat in favour of a general
parallelism in the range of the strata, and perhaps of the existence of
primary ranges of mountains on the east of Australia in general, from the
coast about Cape Weymouth* to the shore between Spencer's Gulf and Cape
Howe. But it must not be forgotten, that the distance between these
shores is more than a thousand miles in a direct line; about as far as
from the west coast of Ireland to the Adriatic, or double the distance
between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. If, however, future researches
should confirm the indications above mentioned, a new case will be
supplied in support of the principle long since advanced by Mr.
Michell,** which appears (whatever theory be formed to explain it) to be
established by geological observation in so many other parts of the
world, that the outcrop of the inclined beds, throughout the stratified
portion of the globe, is everywhere parallel to the longer ridges of
mountains, towards which, also, the elevation of the strata is directed.
But in the present state of our information respecting Australia, all
such general views are so very little more than mere conjecture, that the
desire to furnish ground for new inquiry, is, perhaps, the best excuse
that can be offered for having proposed them.

(*Footnote. The possible correspondence of the great Australian Bight,
the coast of which in general is of no great elevation, with the
deeply-indented Gulf of Carpentaria, tending, as it were, to a division
of this great island into two, accords with this hypothesis of mountain
ranges: but the distance between these recesses, over the land at the
nearest points, is not less than a thousand English miles. The granite,
on the south coast, at Investigator's Islands, and westward, at Middle
Island, Cape Le Grand, King George's Sound, and Cape Naturaliste, is very
wide of the line above-mentioned, and nothing is yet known of its

(**Footnote. On the Cause of Earthquakes. Philosophical Transactions 1760
volume 51 page 566 to 585, 586.)



The specimens mentioned in the following list have been compared with
some of those of England and other countries, principally in the cabinets
of the Geological Society, and of Mr. Greenough; and with a collection
from part of the confines of the primitive tracts of England and North
Wales, formed by Mr. Arthur Aikin, and now in his own possession. Captain
King's collection has been presented to the Geological Society; and
duplicates of Mr. Brown's specimens are deposited in the British Museum.

RODD'S BAY, on the East Coast, discovered by Captain King, about sixty
miles south of Cape Capricorn.* Reddish sandstone, of moderately-fine
grain, resembling that which in England occurs in the coal formation, and
beneath it (mill-stone grit). A sienitic compound, consisting of a large
proportion of reddish felspar, with specks of a green substance, probably
mica; resembling a rock from Shap in Cumberland.

(*Footnote. In Captain King's collection are also specimens found on the
beach at Port Macquarie, and in the bed of the Hastings River, of common
serpentine, and of botryoidal magnesite, from veins in serpentine. The
magnesite agrees nearly with that of Baudissero, in Piedmont. (See
Cleaveland's Mineralogy 1st edition page 345.)

CAPE CLINTON, between Rodd's Bay and the Percy Islands. Porphyritic
conglomerate, with a base of decomposed felspar, enclosing grains of
quartz and common felspar, and some fragments of what appears to be
compact epidote; very nearly resembling specimens from the trap rocks* of
the Wrekin and Breeden Hills in Shropshire. Reddish and yellowish sandy
clay, coloured by oxide of iron, and used as pigments by the natives.

(*Footnote. By the terms Trap, and Trap-formation, which I am aware are
extremely vague, I intend merely to signify a class of rocks, including
several members, which differ from each other considerably in
mineralogical character, but agree in some of their principal geological
relations; and the origin of which very numerous phenomena concur in
referring to some modification of volcanic agency. The term Greenstone
also is of very loose application, and includes rocks that exhibit a wide
range of characters; the predominant colour being some shade of green,
the structure more or less crystalline, and the chief ingredients
supposed to be hornblende and felspar, but the components, if they could
be accurately determined, probably more numerous and varied, than
systematic lists imply.)

PERCY ISLANDS, about one hundred and forty miles north of Cape Capricorn.
Compact felspar of a flesh-red hue, enclosing a few small crystals of
reddish felspar and of quartz. This specimen is marked "general character
of the rocks at Percy Island," and very much resembles the compact
felspar of the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, and of Saxony. Coarse
porphyritic conglomerate, of a reddish hue. Serpentine. A trap-like
compound, with somewhat the aspect of serpentine, but yielding with
difficulty to the knife. This specimen has, at first sight, the
appearance of a conglomerate, made up of portions of different hues,
purplish, brown, and green; but the coloured parts are not otherwise
distinguishable in the fracture: It very strongly resembles a rock which
occurs in the trap-formation, near Lyd-Hole, at Pont-y-Pool, in
Shropshire. Slaty clay, with particles of mica, like that which
frequently occurs immediately beneath beds of coal.

REPULSE ISLAND, in Repulse Bay, about one hundred and twenty miles
north-west of the Percy Islands. Indistinct specimens, apparently
consisting of decomposed compact felspar. A compound of quartz, mica, and
felspar, having the appearance of re-composed granite.

CAPE CLEVELAND, about one hundred and twenty miles north of Repulse
Island. Yellowish-grey granite, with brown mica; "from the summit of the
hill." Reddish granite, of very fine grain; with the aspect of sandstone.
Dark grey porphyritic hornstone, approaching to compact felspar, with
imbedded crystals of felspar.

CAPE GRAFTON, about one hundred and eighty miles west of north from Cape
Cleveland. Close-grained grey and yellowish-grey granite, with brown
mica. A reddish granitic stone, composed of quartz, felspar, and

ENDEAVOUR RIVER, about one hundred miles west of north from Cape Grafton.
Grey granite of several varieties; from a peaked hill under Mount Cook
and its vicinity. Granular quartz-rock of several varieties: and
indistinct specimens of a rock approaching to talc-slate.

LIZARD ISLAND, about fifty miles east of north from Endeavour River. Grey
granite, consisting of brown and white mica, quartz, and a large
proportion of felspar somewhat decomposed.

CLACK ISLAND, near Cape Flinders, on the north-west of Cape Melville,
about ninety miles north-west of Lizard Island. Smoke-grey micaceous
slaty-clay, much like certain beds of the old red sandstone, where it
graduates into grey wacke. This specimen was taken from a horizontal bed
about ten feet in thickness, reposing upon a mass of pudding-stone, which
included large pebbles of quartz and jasper; and above it was a mass of
sandstone, more than sixty feet thick. (Narrative volume 2.)

SUNDAY ISLAND, near Cape Grenville, about one hundred and seventy miles
west of north from Cape Melville. Compact felspar, of a flesh-red colour;
very nearly resembling that of the Percy Islands, above-mentioned.

GOOD'S ISLAND, one of the Prince of Wales group, about latitude 10
degrees, thirty-four miles north-west of Cape York. The specimens, in Mr.
Brown's collection from this place, consist of coarse-slaty porphyritic
conglomerate, with a base of greenish-grey compact felspar, containing
crystals of reddish felspar and quartz. This rock has some resemblance to
that of Clack Island above-mentioned.

SWEER'S ISLAND, south of Wellesley's group, at the bottom of the Gulf of
Carpentaria. A stalactitic concretion of quartzose sand, and fine gravel,
cemented by reddish carbonate of lime; apparently of the same nature with
the stem-like concretions of King George's Sound: (See hereafter.) In
this specimen the tubular cavity of the stalactite is still open.

The shore, in various parts of this island, was found to consist of red
ferruginous matter (Bog-iron-ore ?) sometimes unmixed, but not
unfrequently mingled with a sandy calcareous stone; and in some places
rounded portions of the ferruginous matter were enveloped in a calcareous

BENTINCK ISLAND, near Sweer's Island. A granular compound, like sandstone
recomposed from the debris of granite. Brown hematite, enclosing
quartzose sand.

PISONIA ISLAND, on the east of Mornington's Island, is composed of
calcareous breccia and pudding-stone, which consist of a sandy calcareous
cement, including water-worn portions of reddish ferruginous matter, with
fragments of shells.

NORTH ISLAND, one of Sir Edward Pellew's group. Coarse siliceous sand,
concreted by ferruginous matter; which, in some places, is in the state
of brown hematite. Calcareous incrustations, including fragments of
madrepores, and of shells, cemented by splintery carbonate of lime.

CAPE-MARIA ISLAND, in Limmen's Bight, was found by Mr. Brown to be
composed principally of sandstone. The specimens from this place,
however, consist of grey splintery hornstone, with traces of a slaty
structure; and of yellowish-grey flint, approaching to chalcedony; with a
coarse variety of cacholong, containing small nests of quartz crystals.

GROOTE EYLANDT is composed of sandstone, of which two different varieties
occur among the specimens. A quartzose reddish sandstone, of moderately
fine grain; and a coarse reddish compound, consisting almost exclusively
of worn pebbles of quartz, some of which are more than half an inch in
diameter, with a few rounded pebbles of chalcedony. The latter rock is
nearly identical with that of Simms' Island, near Goulburn's Island on
the north coast.

materials as Groote Eylandt: and sandstone was found also on the western
shore of BLUE-MUD BAY.

On the shore of the mainland, opposite to Groote Eylandt, a little north
of latitude 14 degrees, Mr. Brown observed the common sandy calcareous
stone, projecting here and there in ragged fragments.

MORGAN'S ISLAND, in Blue-Mud Bay, north-west of Groote Eylandt, is
composed principally of clink-stone, sometimes indistinctly columnar. But
among the specimens are also a coarse conglomerate of a dull purplish
colour, including pebbles of granular quartz and a fragment of a slaty
rock like potstone: the hue and aspect of the compound being precisely
those of the oldest sandstones. Reddish quartzose sandstone, of uniform
and fine grain. A concretion of rounded quartz pebbles, cemented by
ferruginous matter, apparently of recent formation.

ROUND HILL, near Cape Grindall, a prominence east of north from Blue-Mud
Bay, was found by Captain Flinders to consist, at the upper part, of
sandstone. The specimens of the rocks in its vicinity are, dark grey
granite, somewhat approaching to gneiss, with a few specks of garnet; and
a calcareous, probably concretional stone, enclosing the remains of
shells, with cavities lined with crystals of calcareous spar.

MOUNT CALEDON, on the mainland, west of Caledon Bay, consists of grey
granite, with dark brown mica in small quantity; and on the sides and top
of the hill large loose blocks of that rock were observed, resting upon
other blocks.

A small island, near Cape Arnhem, is also composed of granite, in which
the felspar has a bluish hue.

Smaller of the MELVILLE ISLANDS, north-east of Melville Bay.* A
botryoidal mass of ferruginous oxide of manganese, approaching to
hematite; the fissures in some places occupied by carbonate of lime.

(*Footnote. The relative position of the islands and bays on this part of
the coast is represented in the enlarged Map.)

MELVILLE BAY. Granite, composed of grey and somewhat bluish felspar, dark
brown mica, and a little quartz; containing minute disseminated specks of
molybdena, and indistinct crystals of pale red garnet.

RED CLIFFS, south-west of Arnhem Bay; on the line of the first chain of
islands mentioned by Captain Flinders. (See the Map, figure 3.) Friable
conglomerate, of a full brick-red colour, consisting of minute grains of
quartz, with a large proportion of ochreous matter.

MALLISON'S ISLAND. (Map, figure 4.) The cliffs of this island are
composed of a fissile primitive rock, on which sandstone reposes in
regular beds. The specimen of the former resembles gneiss, or mica slate,
near the contact with granite: the sandstone is thick-slaty, quartzose,
of a reddish hue, with mica disseminated on the surfaces of the joints;
and one face of the specimen is incrusted with quartz crystals, thinly
coated with botryoidal hematite. Light grey quartzose sandstone of a fine
grain, with a thin coating of brown hematite, was also found in this
island: And a breccia, consisting of angular fragments of sandstone,
cemented by thin, vein-like, coatings of dark brown hematite, was found
there, in loose blocks at the bottom of perpendicular cliffs. The
specimen of this breccia is attached to a plate of granular quartz, and
may possibly have been part of a vein.

The shore of INGLIS' ISLAND, the largest of the ENGLISH COMPANY'S RANGE
(2. 2. 2. in the Map) is formed of flat beds, of a slaty argillaceous
rock, which breaks into rhomboidal fragments; but the specimen is
indistinct. Ferruginous masses, probably consisting of brown hematite,
come also from this island.

ASTELL'S ISLAND, north-east of Inglis' Isle. Very fine-grained
greyish-white quartzose sandstone; identical with that of Mallison's
Island, and very closely resembling some of the specimens from Prince
Regent's and Hunter's Rivers.

Among the remaining islands of this range, BOSANQUET'S, COTTON'S, and
POBASSOO's Isles, were found by Mr. Brown to consist, in a great measure,
of sandstone, of the same character with the specimens above-mentioned.

POBASSOO'S ISLAND, a small islet south-east of Astell's Isle.
Fine-grained, somewhat reddish, sandstone. Another specimen of sandstone
is friable, of a light flesh-red colour, and apparently composed of the
debris of granite. A crystalline rock, consisting of greenish-grey
hornblende, with a very small proportion of felspar (Hornblende rock ?).
Fragment, apparently from a columnar mass, of a stone intermediate
between clink-stone and compact felspar.

Such of the English Company's Islands as were examined by Captain
Flinders, are stated by him to consist, in the upper part, of a grit, or
sandstone, of a close texture; the lower part being argillaceous, and
stratified, and separating into pieces of a reddish colour, resembling
flat tiles. The strata-dip to the west, at an angle of about 15 degrees.

South-west bay of GOULBURN'S SOUTH ISLAND, two hundred and fifty miles
west of the Gulf of Carpentaria (Narrative 1). Coarse-grained reddish
quartzose conglomerate and sandstone; resembling the older sandstones of
England and Wales, and especially the mill-stone grit beneath the coal
formation. Fine greyish-white pipe-clay; of which about thirty feet in
thickness were visible, apparently above the sandstone last mentioned.
Coarse-grained, ferruginous sandstone, containing fragments of quartz,
from above the pipe-clay. The appearance of the cliff from which these
specimens were taken, is represented in the view of the bay on the south
of Goulburn Island (volume 1); and a distant head in the view consists of
the same materials.

SIMMS ISLAND, on the west of Goulburn's south Island (Narrative 1) is
composed of a reddish conglomerate, nearly identical with some of the
specimens above-mentioned.

The western side of LETHBRIDGE BAY, on the north of MELVILLE ISLAND,
consists of a range of cliffs like those at Goulburn's Island; the upper
part being red, the lower white and composed of pipe-clay. The western
is also formed of cliffs of a very dark red colour.

LACROSSE ISLAND, at the mouth of CAMBRIDGE GULF, about one hundred miles
from Port Keats. Reddish, very quartzose sandstone; from a stratum which
dips to the south-east, at an angle of about ten or fifteen degrees.
Micaceous and argillaceous fissile sandstone, of purplish and greenish
hues, in patches, or occasionally intermixed; precisely resembling the
rock of Brecon, in South Wales, and, generally, the old red sandstone of
the vicinity of Bristol and the confines of England and Wales.
Fine-grained thin-slaty sandstone, resembling certain beds of the coal
formation, or of the millstone grit, is found in large masses, under an
argillaceous cliff, on the north side of Lacrosse Island.

The specimens from the interior of Cambridge Gulf are from ADOLPHUS
ISLAND, and consist of reddish and grey sandstone, more or less

VANSITTART BAY, about one hundred and forty miles north-west of Cambridge
Gulf. Reddish quartzose sandstone, or quartz-rock. Indistinct specimens
of greenstone, with adhering quartz; apparently a primitive rock.

PORT WARRENDER, at the bottom of Admiralty Gulf, about forty miles
south-west of Vansittart Bay (Narrative volume 1). Epidote and quartz, in
small crystals confusedly interlaced; apparently from veins, or nests,
but unaccompanied by any portion of the adjacent rock. The structure in
one of these specimens approaches to the amygdaloidal. A compact greenish
stone, with disseminated crystalline spots of epidote, and of quartz, and
apparently consisting of an intimate mixture of those minerals, is also
among the specimens from Port Warrender.

All these specimens are from detached water-worn masses at the foot of
Crystal Head, on the south-west of the port. The summit of the head is
flat and tabular, and the rocks in the vicinity are described by Captain
King as consisting of siliceous sandstone. Chalcedony, apparently from
amygdaloid of the trap formation, was also found at Port Warrender.

The epidote of this place is in general of a pale-greenish colour, but is
mixed with, and sometimes appears to pass into, spots of a rich
purplish-brown. The specimens resemble generally the epidote of Dauphiny
and Siberia; but Mr. Levy, who has been so good as to examine them,
informs me that the crystals exhibit some modifications not described
either by Hauy, or by Mr. Haidinger in his paper on this mineral, and
which are probably peculiar to this locality.

WATER ISLAND, on the west side of CAPE VOLTAIRE, at the south-west
entrance of Port Warrender, is described (volume 1) as consisting of
quartzose sandstone; as is also KATER ISLAND, in Montagu Sound. And the
same rock appears to occur throughout the islands on this part of the
coast. (Narrative 1.)

MONTAGU SOUND, about five-and-twenty miles south-west of ADMIRALTY GULF
(Narrative 1). Greyish granular quartz; like that of the Lickey Hill, in
Worcestershire. Fine-grained quartzose sandstone, of a purplish hue,
resembling a rock on the banks of the Severn, near Bridgenorth. Grey and
reddish sandstone; apparently composed of the debris of granite, and very
nearly resembling that of Simms Island above-mentioned.

HUNTER'S RIVER, falling into YORK SOUND, on the north-east side. Somewhat
coarse reddish-white sandstone; like that of the coal formation, and some
varieties of millstone grit. Fine-grained, reddish-grey quartzose
sandstone, having the appearance of stratification, and resembling the
rocks of Cambridge Gulf.

ROE'S RIVER, at the eastern termination of York Sound (Narrative 1) runs
between precipitous banks of sandstone, in nearly horizontal strata,
which rise to the height of three hundred feet.

CAREENING BAY, between York Sound and Prince Regent's River (Narrative
volume 1. See the plate volume 1). Crystalline epidote, and whitish
quartz, apparently from a vein. Purplish-brown epidote, with small nests
or concretions of green epidote and quartz; forming a sort of amygdaloid.
Conglomerate, containing angular fragments of yellowish-grey quartz-rock,
in a base of compact epidote. A nearly uniform greenish compound of
epidote intimately mixed with quartz, also occurs at this place. Flat
lamellar chalcedony. Very fine-grained reddish-grey quartzose sandstone,
with traces of a slaty structure, resembling that of York Sound, and
Cambridge Gulf, was found in the north-east end of this bay; and
fine-grained greenstone, on the summit of the adjacent hills.

Several of these specimens are almost identical with those of Port
Warrender; from which place Careening Bay is distant about sixty miles.

BAT ISLAND (Narrative volume 1) western entrance of Careening Bay. Quartz
from thin veins, with particles of an adhering rock, probably
chlorite-slate. Quartz, containing disseminated hematitic iron-ore and
copper pyrites. Quartz crystals, with chalcedony, from nodules in
amygdaloid. Quartz with specular iron ore. Greenstone, with chalcedony
and copper pyrites. A decomposed stone, probably consisting of wacke. The
specimens of trap-rocks from this place are from a cavern.

GREVILLE ISLAND, near the entrance of Prince Regent's River. Reddish,
coarsely granular, siliceous sandstone; in horizontal strata, intersected
by veins of crystallized quartz.*

(*Footnote. Narrative volume 2.)

HALF-WAY BAY, within Prince Regent's River on the west of the entrance,
near Greville Island. Hornblende rock ? nearly agreeing with that of
Pobassoo's Island, on the north-west of the Gulf of Carpentaria (see
above). Calcedony, apparently from nodules in amygdaloid. Greenish
quartz, approaching to heliotrope. Red, somewhat slaty jasper, mixed with
quartz and chalcedony, and containing specular iron ore.

The specimens from this place much resemble some of those from Sotto i
Sassi, in the Val di Fassa in the Tyrol, which I have seen in the
collection of Mr. Herschel; and which consist of reddish jasper with
chalcedony, and a greenish flinty stone, like heliotrope, the whole
belonging to the trap-formation.

POINT CUNNINGHAM, east of south from Cape Leveque, and about one hundred
and fifty miles south-west of Prince Regent's River. Very compact and
fine-grained reddish granular quartz, with a glistening lustre, and flat
conchoidal fracture. This stone, though so compact in the recent
fracture, has distinct traces of stratification on the decomposed
surface, which is of a dull reddish hue. Bright red ferruginous granular
quartz (Eisen-kiesel ?) with a glistening lustre, and a somewhat porous
texture. A specimen of the soil of the hills at Cygnet Bay, consists of
very fine reddish-yellow quartzose sand. A large rounded pebble,
consisting of ferruginous granular quartz, of a dark purplish-brown
colour, and considerable density, was found here; near a fireplace of the
natives, by whom it is used for making their hatchets; with a fragment of
a calcareous incrustation, like that of the west coast hereafter

The next specimens in Captain King's collection--a space of more than
three hundred miles on this coast not having been examined by him--are
from MALUS ISLAND, in Dampier's Archipelago (see Narrative volume 1) they
consist of fine-grained greenstone, and what appears to be a basaltic
rock, of amygdaloidal structure.

DIRK HARTOG'S ISLAND, west of Shark's Bay. A compound of rather
fine-grained translucent quartzose sand, cemented by carbonate of lime,
of various shades of reddish and yellowish grey. This stone has in some
places the structure of a breccia; the angles of the imbedded fragments,
which are from half an inch to two inches in diameter, being very
distinct--but in other parts, the fracture exhibits the appearance of
roundish nodules, composed of concentric shells--or bags as it were, of
calcareous matter, which vary in colour, and are filled with a mixture of
the same substance and quartzose sand: and the spaces between these
nodules are likewise occupied by a similar compound.*

(*Footnote. The following description given by the French naturalists of
the rocks at Bernier's Islands, was probably taken from a large suite of
specimens; and M. Peron states (1 page 204) that it is strictly
applicable to all the adjacent parts of the continent, and of the islands
that were examined by the French voyagers:

Le sable du rivage (de l'ile Bernier) est quartzeux, mele d'une grande
proportion de debris calcaires fortement attenues. La substance de l'ile
meme se compose, dans ses couches inferieures, d'un gres calcaire
coquillier, tantot blanchatre, tantot rougeatre, depose par couches
horizontales, dont l'epaisseur varie de 2 a 8 decimetres (7 a 11 pouces)
et qui toutes etant tres uniformes dans leur prolongement, pourroient
offrir a la maconnerie des pierres de construction naturellement

Les coquilles incrustees dans ces massifs des roches sont presque toutes
univalves; elles apartiennent plus particulierement au genre Natice de M.
de Lamarck, et ont les plus grands rapports avec l'espece de Natice qui
se trouve vivante au pied de ces rochers. Elles sont sans doute
petrifiees depuis bien des siecles, car, outre qu'il est tres difficile
de les retirer intactes du milieu de ces gres, tant leur adhesion avec
eux est intime, on les observe encore a plus de 50 metres (150 pieds) au
dessus du niveau actuel de la mer.

Quelque regularite que ces bancs puissent affecter dans leur disposition
generale, ils ne sont cependant pas tous homogenes dans leur substance;
il est sur-tout une variete de ces roches plus remarquable par sa
structure. Ce sont des galets calcaires, agreges dans une terre
sablonneuse ocracee, qui leur est tellement adherente, qu'on ne sauroit
detruire cette espece de gangue sans les briser eux memes. Tous ces
galets affectent la forme globlueuse, et se composent d'un grand nombre
de zones concentriques, qui se developpent autour d'un noyau central d'un
gres scintillant et brunatre. Ces diverses couches ont a peine quelques
millimitres d'epaisseur, et affectent des nuances agreables, qui varient
depuis le rouge-fonce jusqu'au jaune-clair. La disposition generale de
cette breche lui donne donc quelques rapports grossiers avec le granit
globuleux de l'ile de Corse; et, par ses couches rubanees, concentriques,
elle a quelque chose de l'aspect des Agathes-Onyx...Les bancs de gres
divers dont je viens de parler, constituent, a bien dire, la masse
entiere du pays qui nous occupe, etc. (Volume 1 page 110. See also
Freycinet page 187.)

The cementing limestone in the rock of this island, is very like some of
the more compact portions of the stone of Guadaloupe, which contains the
human skeletons, the hardness and fracture being nearly the same in both.
The chief difference of these rocks seems to arise from the nature of the
cemented substances; which, in the Guadaloupe stone, being themselves
calcareous, are incorporated, or melted as it were, into the cement, by
insensible gradation;* while the quartzose sand, in that of Dirk Hartog's
Island, is strongly contrasted with the calcareous matter that surrounds
it.** But, wherever the imbedded fragments in the latter consist of
limestone, their union with the cement is complete.

(*Footnote. See Mr. Koenig's Paper. Philosophical Transactions volume 104
1814 page 107 etc.)

(**Footnote. Captain King informs me that the soundings in this part of
the coast bring up a very fine quartzose-sand like that cemented in the

ROTTNEST ISLAND, about four hundred and fifty miles south of Dirk
Hartog's Island. Indistinct specimens containing numerous fragments of
shells, in a calcareous cement; the substance of these shells has at
first sight the appearance of chalcedony, and is harder than ordinary
carbonate of lime.

The characters of the shells in Captain King's specimens from this place
are indistinct; but the specimens at the Jardin du Roi, which, there is
reason to suppose, have come from this part of the coast, contain shells
of several species, belonging among others to the genera, corbula, chama,
cardium, porcellanea, turbo, cerithium. M. Prevost, to whom I am indebted
for this account, observes that notwithstanding the recent appearance of
the shells, the beds which contain them are stated to occur at a
considerable height above the sea: and he remarks that the aspect of the
rock is very like that of the shelly deposits of St. Hospice, near Nice.

KING GEORGE'S SOUND, on the south coast, east of south from Cape Leeuwin.
Beautifully white and fine quartzose sand, from the sea-beach. Yellowish
grey granite, from Bald-head. Two varieties of a calcareous rock, of the
same nature with that of Dirk Hartog's Island; consisting of particles of
translucent quartzose sand, united by a cement of yellowish or
cream-coloured carbonate of lime, which has a flat conchoidal and
splintery fracture, and is so hard as to yield with difficulty to the
knife. In this compound, there are not any distinct angular fragments, as
in the stone of Dirk Hartog's Islands; but the calcareous matter is very
unequally diffused.

A third form in which this recent calcareous matter appears, is that of
irregular, somewhat tortuous, stem-like bodies, with a rugged sandy
surface, and from half an inch to an inch in diameter; the cross fracture
of which shows that they are composed of sand, cemented by carbonate of
lime, either uniformly mixed throughout, or forming a crust around
calcareous matter of a spongy texture; in which latter case they have
some resemblance to the trunks or roots of trees. A mass, which seems to
have been of this description, is stated to have come from a height of
about two hundred and fifty feet above the sea, at Bald-head, on the
South Coast of Australia. These specimens, however, do not really exhibit
any traces of organic structure; and so nearly resemble the irregular
stalactitical concretions produced by the passage of calcareous or
ferruginous solutions through sand* that they are probably of the same
origin; indeed the central cavity of the stalactite still remains open in
some of the specimens of this kind from Sweer's Island in the Gulf of
Carpentaria. The specimens from Madeira, presented to the Geological
Society by Mr. Bowdich, and described in his notes on that island,**
appear upon examination to be of the same character. But there is no
reason to suppose that the trunks of trees, as well as other foreign
substances, may not be thus incrusted, since various foreign bodies, even
of artificial production, have been so found. Professor Buckland has
mentioned a specimen of concreted limestone from St. Helena, which
contains the recent shell of a bird's egg;*** and M. Peron states that,
in the concretional limestone rock of the South Coast of New Holland, the
trunks of trees occur, with the vegetable structure so distinct as to
leave no doubt as to their nature.****

(*Footnote. Tubular concretions of ferruginous matter, irregularly
ramifying through sand, like the roots of trees, are described by Captain
Lyon as occurring in Africa. Lyon's Travels Appendix page 65.)

(**Footnote. Excursions in Madeira 1825 page 139, 140; and Bull. des
Sciences Naturelles volume 4 page 322.)

(***Footnote. Geological Transactions volume 5 page 479.)

(****Footnote. Peron 2 page 75.)


It so often happens that specimens sent from distant places, by persons
unpractised in geology, fail to give the instruction which is intended,
from the want of attention to a few necessary precautions, that the
following directions may perhaps be useful to some of those, into whose
hands these pages are likely to fall. It will be sufficient to premise,
that two of the principal objects of geological inquiry, are, to
determine, first, the nature of the MATERIALS of which the earth is
composed; and, secondly, the relative ORDER in which these materials are
disposed with respect to each other.

1. Specimens of rocks ought not, in general, to be taken from loose
pieces, but from large masses in their native place, or which have
recently fallen from their natural situation.

2. The specimens should consist of the stone unchanged by exposure to the
elements, which sometimes alter the characters to a considerable distance
from the surface. Petrifactions, however, are often best distinguishable
in masses somewhat decomposed; and are thus even rendered visible, in
many cases, where no trace of any organized body can be discerned in the
recent fracture.

3. The specimens ought not to be too small. A convenient size is about
three inches square, and about three-quarters of an inch, or less, in

4. It seldom happens that large masses, even of the same kind of rock,
are uniform throughout any considerable space; so that the general
character is collected, by geologists who examine rocks in their native
places, from the average of an extensive surface: a collection ought
therefore to furnish specimens of the most characteristic varieties; and
Where several specimens are taken in the same place, a series of numbers
should be added to the note of their locality.

5. One of the most advantageous situations for obtaining specimens, and
examining the relations of rocks, is in the sections afforded by cliffs
on the seashore; especially after recent falls of large masses. It
commonly happens that the beds thus exposed are more or less inclined;
and in this case, if any of them be inaccessible at a particular point,
the decline of the strata will frequently enable the collector to supply
himself with the specimens he wishes for, within a short distance. Thus,
in Sketch 4, which may be supposed to represent a cliff of considerable
height, the observer being situated at a, the beds b, c, d, though
inaccessible at that place, may be examined with ease and security, where
they successively come down to the shore, at b prime, c prime, and d

6. To examine the interior of an unknown country, more skill and practice
are required: the rocks being generally concealed by the soil,
accumulations of sand, gravel, etc., and by the vegetation of the
surface. But the strata are commonly disclosed in the sides of ravines,
in the beds of rivers and mountain-streams; and these, especially where
they cross the direction of the strata, and be made, by careful
examination, to afford instructive sections.

7. Among the distinctive circumstances of the strata, the remains of
organized bodies, shells, corals, and other zoophytes, the bones and
teeth of animals, fossil wood, and the impressions of vegetable stems,
roots, or leaves, etc., are of the greatest importance; affording
generally the most marked characters of the strata in which they occur.
These should, therefore, be particularly sought after, and their relative
abundance or rarity in different situations noticed. The petrified bodies
should, if possible, be kept united with portions of the rock or matrix
in which they are found; and where they are numerous, in sand, clay, or
any moist or friable matrix, it is in general better to retain a large
portion of the whole mass, to be examined afterwards, than to attempt
their separation at the time of collecting.

8. The loose materials which are found above the solid rocks, in the form
of gravel, silt, rolled pebbles, etc., should be carefully distinguished
from the solid strata upon which they repose. And the more ancient of
these loose materials, found on the sides or summits of hills, etc.,
should be distinguished from the recent mud, sand, and gravel, brought
down by land-floods, or rivers. The bones and teeth of animals are not
unfrequently found in gravel of the former description; and the
collection of these remains from distant quarters of the globe, is an
object of the greatest interest to geology.

9. Besides a note of the locality, there ought, if possible, to accompany
every specimen, a short notice of its geological circumstances; as:

Whether it be found in large shapeless masses, or in strata?

If in strata, what are the thickness, inclination to the horizon, and
direction with respect to the compass, of the beds? [If these cannot be
measured, an estimate should always be recorded, while the objects are in
view.] Are they uniform in dip and direction? curved, or contorted?
continuous, or interrupted by fissures or veins?

Is the whole cliff, or mass of strata in sight, of uniform composition?
or does it consist of different kinds of stone?

If the strata be different, what is the order in which they are placed
above each other successively?

10. A label, distinctly written, should accompany every specimen, stating
its native place, its relative situation, etc., etc. And these labels
should be connected with the specimens immediately, on the spot where
they are found. This injunction may appear to be superfluous; but so much
valuable information has been lost to geology from the neglect of it,
that every observer of experience will acknowledge its necessity; and it
is, perhaps, in practice one of the most difficult to adhere to.

11. A sketch of a coast or cliff, however slight, frequently conveys more
information respecting the disposition and relations of rocks, than the
longest memorandum. If numbers, denoting the situation of the specimens
collected, be marked upon such sketches, much time may be saved at the
moment of collecting. But in all such cases, the memorandum should be


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