NEWFOUNDLAND, the tenth largest island of the Earth, was discovered by John Cabot, June 24, 1497, five years after Columbus had found the New World. England took formal possession of the island in 1583, and it is the oldest British colony. Its population of 263,000 is scattered, in the main, along its 6000 miles of intricate coast line. Lying in front of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which has an average depth of over 600 feet, Newfoundland is separated from the continent and Labrador by the Strait of Belle Isle, twelve miles wide at its narrowest point, and from Cape Breton by Cabot Strait, the width of which is 95 miles. (See map, Fig. 1.) It is usually regarded as the northeasternmost outlier of the Appalachian province.
The first to make an extensive study of the geology was James Richardson, who spent the summers of 1861 to 1863 in western Newfoundland for the Geological Survey of Canada. The first printed announcement of his results, by Elkanah Billings,1 dealt with the Lower Cambrian fossils of southeastern Labrador. Richardson’s field results were prepared for publication by Sir William Logan, and appeared in 1863 in the latter’s well known Geology of Canada. This work will always remain the foundation for the stratigraphy of western Newfoundland.
The Geological Survey of Newfoundland was founded by Sir William Logan, who, on request of the local government, sent Alexander Murray to the island in 1864. Murray labored alone until 1869, when James . . .