Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/500

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Mr. Steinhauer's Geology of the Coast of Labrador.

the foot. These fragments, mouldering into sand, afford in some places support to a few species of pines, and the annual decomposition of their leaves stains this earth to the depth of a few inches with a blackish hue. In other spots where the thawing snow occasions an accumulation of water, sphagna and other mosses form a species of turf, and conceal the barrenness of the land; but every where the plucking up a tuft of vegetation, or removing the withered leaves, discovers either the bare rock or a bright siliceous sand. In several parts of the country the rocks are intersected by chasms running generally in a right line to a considerable distance, as if intended to be the receptacles of future veins; the floor, as I am informed, is composed of a different species of stone from the sides, and generally of a lighter colour; but I could not, from the description, ascertain whether it was calcareous or not. These clefts when covered with snow in the winter, sometimes prove dangerous pitfalls to the unwary wanderer, who does not know how to avoid them by the line of bushes (vaccinia, ledum, &c.) which fringe their margin. Indeed the narrow passages which divide the coast into numberless islands, almost seem to be similar chasms occupied by the sea, few, if any, of these islands being alluvial, but high barren rocks, appearing from the sea like continuous land.

The highest mountains seem to extend along the eastern coast; the names and situations of the principal, known to the missionaries, are

The Nachwak chain, about lat. 59°.

The insulated mountain, Tupperlik, (the tent) lat. 58° 15′.

The Kaumayok chain terminating in the high island of Cape Mugford or Grimmington, lat. 58°.

The high land of Kiglapyed, in lat 57°.

The Mealy mountains laid down on Lane's survey of the coast of