THE FUNAFUTI EXPEDITION.
Professor David to-night delivered an
address, under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, upon the results of his recent coral boring expedition to the atoll of Funafuti, of which he was the leader. He stated that the dredging operations proved that most of the reef building types of coral were confined to depths of from 10 to 20 fathoms, though certain forms were alive to 30 fathoms. To 200 fathoms all the corals drudged up were dead, though there were abundant organisms, all of which tended to consolidate the coral sand. The evidence supplied by the bores showed that the platform of coral forming the atoll was only about 41ft. in thickness, below that to 200ft. there was a mixture of coral and sand. Then there was another layer of coral rock 20ft. thick, and below, to 500ft. there was a body of coral rubble ; then from 500ft. to 643ft. coral reef rock existed, alternating with patches of sand. The bore, therefore, in Professor David's opinion, shows the soundness of Darwin's theory that coral atolls arc bounded seawards by very deep slopes, which mark the areas of subsidence.