Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia eBook

Philip Parker King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 494 pages of information about Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia.

(***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.

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Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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