p. 2556. That Hopedale is a fiard was pointed out in my book on Fiords (1913, p. 279), and I there remarked “ the fiard-like nature of the coast between Hamilton Inlet and the Strait of Belle Isle.”
III. THE NATURE OF HAMILTON INLET.
The longest and deepest inlet in Labrador is Hamilton Inlet, including the Narrows and the deep basin within them known as Grosse Water or Groswater Bay, or “ Melville Bay ” (Packard 1891, map opp. p. 90) or Lake Melville. It has been frequently described as a fiord and referred to as the longest fiord in Labrador by A. S. Packard (1891, p. 167), Robert Bell (1895, p. 348), and A. P. Low (1895, p. 123). My identification of this formation as a fiord (1913, p. 279) was based mainly on the Admiralty Chart (No. 375) which shows its parallel sides for most of its course, its great internal depth of almost 1,000 ft. below sea level and the threshold at the Narrows ; that chart also shows that the external basin is deepest close to the Narrows, and that secondary thresholds occur between that deep and the outer sea. The inlet moreover lies between two steep fronted mountain blocks. South rise the Mealy Mountains of which the figure by Kindle, Geol. Surv. Can. Mem. No. 141, 1924, fig. 3, p. 12, shows its long straight front with the spurs truncated along a line a little back from the south-eastern shore of the inlet. Mr. Kindle (ibid. p. 11) speaks of the “ front of this Wall.” To the north the mountain front is also so steep that A. P. Low (1909, p. 142) refers to it as “ the rocky wall of the fiord ” and according to the Admiralty Chart the mountains rise 4,500 ft. in height.
The geological evidence indicates that this inlet was formed along faults, a view confirmed by its re-examination by Kindle (1924, p. 16) who explains the basin as a sunken fault block.
The mouth of the inlet is funnel shaped, and the photograph of Indian Harbour (Daly Jt. App. p. 2558, fig. 40), which is beside the entrance, is fiard-like for the shore is indented and the highest hill beside it is stated to be 300 ft. high. But as inland the hills are higher, as the valley is bounded on both sides by flat mountain walls, and as the basin sinks almost 1,000 ft. below sea-level, the inner part of the Inlet is a fiord. Kindle describes it as fiord-like and accepts its branch the Double Mer, as a fiord (Jt. App. p. 2394). The simple even shores of the Double Mer, as shown in Kindle's photograph (Kindle, 1924, pl. 1), and the steep wall-like front of the Mealy Mountains are both quite different from the features of fiards.
A. THE SEAWARD END DESCRIBED AS A RIA
The seaward section of Hamilton Inlet has been identified by Mr. E. M. Kindle (1924, p. 14, Jt. App., p. 2364) as “ a typical ria” on the ground that it is funnel-shaped. The inner section within the Narrows he classifies as an expansion of the Hamilton River, and not as a fiord. The outer section from the Narrows has certainly the funnel shape and irregular shore found in many
rias. Nevertheless I should regard my former interpretation of this section as a fiard as more in accordance with the available evidence. Mr. Kindle quotes my translation (Fiords, 1913, p. 69) of Penck's definition (1894) in support of his view that the Inlet is a ria. He however only quotes part of that definition, and the rest of it is not in harmony with his conclusion. According to Prof. Penck's definition rias are small, their maximum extension into the land being 31 miles, and their branching inland being unimportant. According to this definition the outer section of Hamilton Inlet is too big to be a ria, though I do not attach much weight to mere size.
The distinctions between the entrance to Hamilton Inlet and a ria appear to me to be three-fold.
a. Rias the Estuaries of Old River Valleys, and the Former outlet through West Bay.
Rias are the outlets of ancient rivers flowing to the sea between two mountain ranges. They are of great antiquity as they are due to slow excavation by a river. According to Mr. Kindle (1924, pp. 18-19, Jt. App., p. 2396), the original outlet from the Hamilton basin and Lake Melville was through “ The Backway ” to the coast near West Bay (Jt. App., pp. 2367, 2396), and the Narrows are of comparatively recent origin, and were formed as an overflow channel in late tertiary or glacial times. If, therefore, the Hamilton River Valley had reached the sea through a ria, that ria should be at West Bay, and not the section of Hamilton Inlet outside the Narrows.
b. Its Variation in Depth with Thresholds as in Fiards.
The second and main difference is the nature of the floor as shown by the variations in its depth. A ria is a land valley formed by a river having cut a large valley between two ranges of hills. A ria therefore, as expressed in Penck's definition as well as in my own, deepens steadily seaward. I know of no case in which a ria leads inland to a deep rock basin. In Hamilton Inlet the inland section is the deep rock basin of Lake Melville, of which the floor at one place sinks almost 1,000 ft. below sea level. In the narrows the Admiralty Chart (No. 375) marks depths of 10 and 12 fm. Outside the Narrows the greatest depth, 50 fm., is near the exit from them ; the depth decreases to 23 fm., increases to 44 fm., and again decreases to the line across the mouth of the outer section from Pompey Isle to west of George Isle on which line the greatest depth is only 30 fm.
The existence of these thresholds with intervening depressions is the typical arrangement of a fiard, and not of a ria. If a ria were being filled by shoaling such irregularities might develop ; but the association of these ridges with rocky islets shows that they are structural rock features, and not banks of silt. The photograph by Daly of Indian Harbour is quite consistent with the fiard nature of this bay as the shore is very indented, and the highest hill in the view is said to be 300 ft. high.
c. The third distinction is the expansion inland to the Melville Basin.
B. THE INNER OR MELVILLE.BASIN.
a. The Objection to its Fiord Nature Based on the Hamilton River.
Mr. Kindle's main argument for his view that Lake Melville is not a fiord is apparently the sentence which he quotes (1924, p. 14, Jt. App., p. 2364) from my “ Fiords ” (1913, p. 66) to the effect that no great river enters a fiord. As he regards the Hamilton River, which enters the head of Lake Melville, as a great river, he concludes that Lake Melville cannot be a fiord. The sentence quoted by Mr. Kindle is in the discussion of fiords throughout the world, and applied to the world's great rivers. None of them enters the sea through a fiord, although they may discharge near fiords ; thus the Mackenzie River of north-western Canada enters the sea through an ordinary gulf and not through the fiords on the Pacific coast. The Columbia River, after a long irregular course through British Columbia, passes south into the United States and thus avoids reaching the sea in the fiord belt. The Yangtze-kiang opens near the fiord of Nimrod Sound, but not through it.
The Hamilton River is comparatively small. Its length to its entry into Lake Melville, according to Mr. Kindle, is about 300 miles. It is a river of the same order of length as the Thames (210 miles), to which I should never have thought of referring as a great river in a chapter dealing with the world as a whole. A. P. Low (Jt. App., p. 2596), though referring to the Hamilton River, the North West, and Kenamai, as “ three large rivers,” also refers to them as these three large streams,” and the Admiralty Pilot (Newfoundland and Labrador, 1907, p. 707) calls the Hamilton River a “ large stream.” These statements do not suggest “ a great river.”
b. The Unity of the three sections and the Term Inlet.
Hamilton Inlet (including Melville Bay) appears fundamentally different from a river with a ria as its outlet. They have generally been regarded as one unit, as by the Admiralty Charts (No. 1422, 1871 corrected 1922, and No. 375, 1876), which adopt the name Hamilton Inlet for both the seaward part and the inland extension, known as Grosse Water Bay and Lake Melville. The Admiralty and A. P. Low apply the term Hamilton Inlet to both parts ; other authorities, as Packard, mark the whole as the Ivoctuke Inlet (Packard, 1891, pp. 285-88), while he calls the inner part Grosewater Bay (Packard, 1891, p. 166).
The name Hamilton Inlet seems more appropriate to the inner section than to the outer. The term inlet appears less appropriate to the funnel-shaped area outside the Narrows than to Lake Melville or Grosswater Bay, which is deeply let into the land. The Admiralty Chart of Labrador (1422) records three localities as inlets, viz., Davis Inlet, St. Lewis Inlet and Hamilton Inlet, and both the Davis and St. Lewis Inlets are narrow arms of the sea, deeply let into the land. Deep Inlet (at 55° 24´) is a fourth, reported in the Newfoundland and Labrador Pilot (1907, p. 729). Formations like that outside the Narrows are called bays or sounds. The extended outer end
of St. Lewis Inlet is marked on the charts as St. Lewis Sound ; and the Canadian geographer Dr. R. Bell, in his map of Labrador, 1895, marks Lake Melville as Hamilton Inlet, and the part outside the Narrows “ Aviktot ” or Eskimo Bay. The traditional use of the name Hamilton Inlet for the part now known as Lake Melville seems historically correct. The entrance to the inlet was known as Eskimo Bay, and was crudely represented on early maps of Labrador. The earliest map of the Labrador Coast that I have seen which applies the term inlet to this formation is that of Aaron Arrowsmith, 1814
(No. 17 of the Newfoundland Case Atlas). He marks it as “Ivucktoke Inlet, 30 leagues.” The map shows only the outer part, which is much less than 30 leagues long, so the note must refer to the existence of an inlet 30 leagues long from the end of the outer bay. During the Governorship of Sir Charles Hamilton, 1821-25, it bore the name (Admiralty Chart 375, edit. 1823) of the Hamilton Inlet and the name was probably given it during its survey in 1823 by the “ Pelter.” The name Hamilton Inlet is also used in John Arrowsmith's map of British North America, 1834 (Atlas No. 21). Various later maps as the Canadian Labrador Boundary Map of 1890 (Atlas No. 39) use the name Hamilton Inlet for the inner part and call the outer part “ Grand Esquimaux or Hamilton Bay ” or as “Aviktot or Eskimo Bay ” (e.g. R. Bell, 1895, map 1; cf. also Atlas Maps 35, 37, 38). The name Hamilton Inlet is however quoted by Packard (1891, p. 498) as used by Aaron Arrowsmith in his Chart “ The Northern Seas between Europe and America, London 1808,” in which says Packard, the name of Hamilton Inlet was applied to Invuctoke Bay. If so the name would have been given after Captain John Hamilton, who was Surrogate for Labrador, 1767 ; but as Arrowsmith does not use the name Hamilton Inlet in his above-quoted map of 1814, Packard's statement requires confirmation.
c. The Melville Basin due to Faulting.
That the Lake Melville basin should be classified as a fiord valley and not as a river cut valley follows from the fact that it was formed by the sinking of its floor. Mr. Kindle (1924, p. 13) remarks that the “ very deep fiord-like lakes connected with or near Hamilton Inlet constitute one of the most prominent geographic features,” and earlier in the same memoir (p. 11) he observes that “the most striking topographic feature of the region is the great depth to which the fiord-like valleys extend below the level of the adjacent plateau margin.” These deep valleys occur along belts lowered by faulting. Mr. Kindle has shown (1924, p. 58) that the Lake Melville basin and its branch, Double Mer, were each formed by the subsidence of a long block between faults. Kindle (1924, p. 58) states that Lake Melville “ basin represents a fault block.” In the Joint Appendix (p. 2365) he states, “ The wider parts of both Double Mer and Lake Melville basins are believed to be defined by fault-planes which have dropped down two large blocks (Fig. 5A and C).” It is true that he attributes the formation of the basins to erosion of the sandstones thus dropped down ; but he is emphatic that the lowlands
of these two basins are “ limited in part at least by fault-planes, as indicated in Fig. 5A and C ” (Quoted Jt. App., p. 2365). Even if the basins were made by denudation, that would have excavated the basins because the rocks had been shattered by faulting, and the broken material would have been easily removed by denudation. The two long rectilinear trough valleys being due to faulting and descending deep below sea level, are therefore fiord valleys.
d. Similarity to Double Mer— an accepted Fiord.
Mr. Kindle in his description of Lake Melville says that it is fiord-like and he refers to its branch, the Double Mer, as still nearer to a Fiord (1924, p. 13) ; in fact he says (Jt. App., p. 2394) that “ Double Mer is a deep fiord valley.” Mr. Kindle indeed remarks (ibid., p. 2363), that the great depth of Lake Melville and its steep mountain scarp rising nearly 2,000 ft. above it on the south side ally it to the fiord. His photograph of Double Mer (Kindle, 1924, pl. I) represents a formation indistinguishable from those of the fiord valleys of Norway and the West of Scotland. The photograph, but for the absence of roads and houses, might pass as a view of one of the fiord valleys, tributary to the Clyde estuary. I fail to see any reason why if Double Mer is a fiord the basin of Lake Melville is not also a fiord ; for both the Lake Melville basin and Double Mer are valleys
(1) that were formed by vaults ;
(2) that have sheets of “ Cambrian ” sandstone let down on to their floors by faulting ;
(3) that are bounded by sub-parallel mountain walls ;
(4) that sink below sea level. (As Lake Melville is 160 fm. deep and Double Mer only 46 fm. (Vide, Kindle, Jt. App., p. 2363) in this respect L. Melville is more fiord-like than Double Mer) ;
(5) and that are connected with the sea by a narrow shallow channel, and expand westward.
e. Lake Melville as a River.
The interpretation of the entrance to Hamilton Inlet as a ria would involve the view that Lake Melville is a river and not an arm of the sea. That view does not seem to agree with the facts or with the ordinary geographical use of the term river. It is no doubt often difficult to determine the exact point where a river ceases and its estuary begins. The essence of a river is being a well-defined stream of water flowing from high land to lower land. If a river expands into a body of water so large that the water is stagnant, the river becomes a lake. When a river approaches the sea so long as it continues as a well-defined stream of land water it remains a river ; but when it widens out so that the land water is completely merged in the sea water, or remains as a thin layer over a mass of sea water, then I should regard the river as