Coral Reefs

Page 98

The ARRU, TIMOR-LAUT, and TENIMBER groups have lately been examined by Captain Kolff, the MS. translation of which, by Mr. W. Earl, I have been permitted to read, through the kindness of Captain Washington, R.N. These islands are mostly rather low, and are surrounded by distant reefs (the Ki Islands, however, are lofty, and, from Mr. Stanley's survey, appear without reefs); the sea in some parts is shallow, in others profoundly deep (as near Larrat). From the imperfection of the published charts, I have been unable to decide to which class these reefs belong. From the distance to which they extend from the land, where the sea is very deep, I am strongly inclined to believe they ought to come within the barrier class, and be coloured blue; but I have been forced to leave them uncoloured.--The last-mentioned groups are connected with the east end of Ceram by a chain of small islands, of which the small groups of CERAM-LAUT, GORAM and KEFFING are surrounded by very extensive reefs, projecting into deep water, which, as in the last case, I strongly suspect belong to the barrier class; but I have not coloured them. From the south side of Keffing, the reefs project five miles (Windsor Earl's "Sailing Direct. for the Arafura Sea," page 9).


In various charts which I have examined, several parts of the coast are represented as fringed by reefs.--MANIPA Island, between Ceram and Bourou, in an old MS. chart in the Admiralty, is fringed by a very irregular reef, partly dry at low water, which I do not doubt is of coral-formation; both islands coloured red.--BOUROU; parts of this island appear fringed by coral-reefs, namely, the eastern coast, as seen in Freycinet's chart; and CAJELI BAY, which is said by Horsburgh (volume ii., page 630) to be lined by coral-reefs, that stretch out a little way, and have only a few feet water on them. In several charts, portions of the islands forming the AMBOINA GROUP are fringed by reefs; for instance, NOESSA, HARENCA, and UCASTER, in Freycinet's charts. The above-mentioned islands have been coloured red, although the evidence is not very satisfactory.--North of Bourou the parallel line of the XULLA Isles extends: I have not been able to find out anything about them, excepting that Horsburgh (volume ii., page 543) says that the northern shore is surrounded by a reef at the distance of two or three miles; uncoloured.--MYSOL GROUP; the Kanary Islands are said by Forrest ("Voyage," page 130) to be divided from each other by deep straits, and are lined with coral-rocks; coloured red.--GUEBE, lying between Waigiou and Gilolo, is engraved as if fringed; and it is said by Freycinet, that all the soundings under five fathoms were on coral; coloured red.--GILOLO. In a chart published by Dalrymple, the numerous islands on the western, southern (BATCHIAN and the STRAIT OF PATIENTIA), and eastern sides appear fringed by narrow reefs; these reefs, I suppose, are of coral, for it is said in "Malte Brun" (volume xii., page 156), "Sur les cotes (of Batchian) comme DANS LES PLUPART des iles de cet archipel, il y a de rocs de medrepores d'une beaute et d'une variete infimies." Forrest, also (page 50), says Seland, near Batchian, is a little island with reefs of coral; coloured red.--MORTY Island (north of Gilolo). Horsburgh (volume ii., page 506) says the northern coast is lined by reefs, projecting one or two miles, and having no soundings close to them; I have left it uncoloured, although, as in some former cases, it ought probably to be pale blue.--CELEBES. The western and northern coasts appear in the charts to be bold and without reefs. Near the extreme northern point, however, an islet in the STRAITS OF LIMBE, and parts of the adjoining shore, appear to be fringed: the east side of the bay of MANADO, has deep water, and is fringed by sand and coral ("'Astrol.' Voyage," Hydrog. Part, pages 453-4); this extreme point, therefore, I have coloured red.--Of the islands leading from this point to Magindanao, I have not been able to find any account, except of SERANGANI, which appears surrounded by narrow reefs; and Forrest ("Voyage," page 164) speaks of coral on its shores; I have, therefore, coloured this island red.

Charles Darwin

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