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Scott's Last Expedition

Thursday, August 31st 1911

Went round about the Domain and Ramp with Wilson. We are now pretty well decided as to certain matters that puzzled us at first. The Ramp is undoubtedly a moraine supported on the decaying end of the glacier. A great deal of the underlying ice is exposed, but we had doubts as to whether this ice was not the result of winter drifting and summer thawing. We have a little difference of opinion as to whether this morainic material has been brought down in surface layers or pushed up from the bottom ice layers, as in Alpine glaciers. There is no doubt that the glacier is retreating with comparative rapidity, and this leads us to account for the various ice slabs about the hut as remains of the glacier, but a puzzling fact confronts this proposition in the discovery of penguin feathers in the lower strata of ice in both ice caves. The shifting of levels in the morainic material would account for the drying up of some lakes and the terrace formations in others, whilst curious trenches in the ground are obviously due to cracks in the ice beneath. We are now quite convinced that the queer cones on the Ramp are merely the result of the weathering of big blocks of agglomerate. As weathering results they appear unique. We have not yet a satisfactory explanation of the broad roadway faults that traverse every small eminence in our immediate region. They must originate from the unequal weathering of lava flows, but it is difficult to imagine the process. The dip of the lavas on our Cape corresponds with that of the lavas of Inaccessible Island, and points to an eruptive centre to the south and not towards Erebus. Here is food for reflection for the geologists.

The wind blew quite hard from the N.N.W. on Wednesday night, fell calm in the day, and came from the S.E. with snow as we started to return from our walk; there was a full blizzard by the time we reached the hut.

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