The harbour had two large basins, now almost choked with sand.
When the attempt was made to mark this boundary the commissioners were unable to agree on a line across the Puna de Atacama in the north, where parallel ranges enclosing a high arid plateau without any clearly defined drainage to the Atlantic or Pacific, gave an opportunity for conflicting claims. In the south the broken character of the Cordillera, pierced in places by large rivers flowing into the Pacific and having their upper drainage basins on the eastern side of the line of highest crests, gave rise to unforeseen and very difficult questions.
The basin of the Garonne occupies south-western France with the exception of the tracts covered by the secondary basins of the Adour, the Aude, the Hrault, the Orb and other smaller rivers, and the lowlying plain of the Landes, which is watered by numerous coast rivers, notably by the Leyre.
During the Tertiary period arms of the sea spread into France in the Paris basin from the north, in the basins of the Loire and the Garonne from the west, and in the Rhne area from the south.
The department of Meurthe-et-Moselle (basins of Nancy and Longwy-Briey) furnished 84% of the total output during the quinquennial period 1901-1905, may be reckoned as one of the principal iron-producing regions of the world.