Online Encyclopedia

SOUTH GEORGIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 513 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOUTH GEORGIA, an uninhabited British island in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 900 M. S. by E. of the Falklands, in 54 -55° S., 36°–38° W.; area 1600 sq. m. It is mountainous, with snowy peaks 6000 to 8000 ft. high, their slopes furrowed with deep gorges filled with glaciers. Its geological constitution—gneiss and argillaceous schists, with no trace of fossils—shows that the island is, like the Falklands, a surviving fragment of some greater land-mass now vanished, most probably indicating a former extension of the Andean system. At Royal Bay, on the south-east side, was stationed the German expedition sent out to observe the transit of Venus in 1882. The island would be well suited for cattle or sheep farming but for its damp, foggy climate. The flora is surprisingly rich, and the German naturalists were able to collect thirteen flowering plants, mostly common also to the Falklands, but one allied to a form found in distant New Zealand. South Georgia is politically attached to the Falklands.
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