Supplement to Part XVI (Documents
descriptive of the physiography,
geology and ethnography of the
EXTRACT FROM “ THE LABRADOR COAST.”
BY A.S. PACKARD, M.D., Ph.D., 1891.
THE GEOLOGY OF THE LABRADOR COAST.
In its general features the peninsula of Labrador is an oblong mass of Laurentian rocks lying between the 50th and 60th parallels of latitude. It rises abruptly from the ocean as an elevated plateau, forming the termination of the Laurentian chain, which here spreads out into a vast waste of hills and low mountains. Thus, there is, except near Cape Chidley, no well-marked, single chain of mountains rising above spurs of smaller elevations, but simply an interior height of land with isolated peaks, irregular in its course, from which streams take their rise and flow by various directions into the ocean.
This plateau of hills and low mountains rises abruptly on the coast from the ocean to a height of from 500 to 1,000 feet, and inland continues to rise in peaks to a height of from 1,500 to about 6,000 feet until it reaches the watershed at a distance of 10 to 20 miles from the coast. On the western slope this plateau falls gra dually away by an easy descent towards the shores of Hudson's Bay. Dr. Bell states that the northern coast increases gradually northward, “ until within seventy statute miles of Cape Chudleigh, where it has attained a height of about six thousand feet above the sea.” Thence the elevations or peaks decrease in height to Cape Chidley or Chudleigh, where they are fifteen hundred feet in elevation. He adds that the highest land of the Labrador Peninsula forms a regular range of mountains parallel to the Atlantic seaboard, this range becoming progressively narrower from Hamilton Inlet to Cape Chidley. (Report for 1884, 10, DD.)