Volcanic Islands

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Author: Charles Darwin

Mineralogical Description of the Rocks of the Lowest Series.

These rocks possess an extremely varying character; they consist of black, brown, and grey, compact, basaltic bases, with numerous crystals of augite, hornblende, olivine, mica, and sometimes glassy feldspar. A common variety is almost entirely composed of crystals of augite with olivine. Mica, it is known, seldom occurs where augite abounds; nor probably does the present case offer a real exception, for the mica (at least in my best characterised specimen, in which one nodule of this mineral is nearly half an inch in length) is as perfectly rounded as a pebble in a conglomerate, and evidently has not been crystallised in the base, in which it is now enclosed, but has proceeded from the fusion of some pre-existing rock. These compact lavas alternate with tuffs, amygdaloids, and wacke, and in some places with coarse conglomerate. Some of the argillaceous wackes are of a dark green colour, others, pale yellowish-green, and others nearly white; I was surprised to find that some of the latter varieties, even where whitest, fused into a jet black enamel, whilst some of the green varieties afforded only a pale gray bead. Numerous dikes, consisting chiefly of highly compact augitic rocks, and of gray amygdaloidal varieties, intersect the strata, which have in several places been dislocated with considerable violence, and thrown into highly inclined positions. One line of disturbance crosses the northern end of Quail Island (an islet in the Bay of Porto Praya), and can be followed to the mainland. These disturbances took place before the deposition of the recent sedimentary bed; and the surface, also, had previously been denuded to a great extent, as is shown by many truncated dikes.

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Chicago: Charles Darwin, "Mineralogical Description of the Rocks of the Lowest Series.," Volcanic Islands, ed. Bryant Conant, James and trans. Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866 in Volcanic Islands Original Sources, accessed September 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DD5TL1TYB9G2N23.

MLA: Darwin, Charles. "Mineralogical Description of the Rocks of the Lowest Series." Volcanic Islands, edited by Bryant Conant, James, and translated by Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866, in Volcanic Islands, Original Sources. 21 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DD5TL1TYB9G2N23.

Harvard: Darwin, C, 'Mineralogical Description of the Rocks of the Lowest Series.' in Volcanic Islands, ed. and trans. . cited in , Volcanic Islands. Original Sources, retrieved 21 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DD5TL1TYB9G2N23.