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 567 pages of information about Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia.

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 relations.)

(**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.

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