What a disaster has separated Britain from the mainland

History 10/01/20 What a disaster separated the UK from mainland

Today, the land connection between Britain and the continent provides the Eurotunnel. However, there were times when from Europe to the British Isles could pass dry-shod, where is now spread out across the English channel.


Archaeologist from the UK, Brioni Coles has put forward the theory that tens of thousands of years ago the British Isles and the European mainland were connected by low-lying land occupying the southern part of the North sea. The existence of this plot of land, entitled “Doggerland”, recognized by most scholars.

the heyday of Doggerland, according to the assumptions of Coles, began about 20 thousand years ago, which was caused by the warming. The reasons for the end of the ice age is not precisely determined, but most likely it was caused by the promotion of solar energy and the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Melting glaciers gradually released from under the white captivity of the land, the isthmus which connected the British Islands with the current territories of the Netherlands and Denmark. These lands were rich in lakes, vegetation and animals.

About 10 thousand years ago, it’s time deveciusagi glaciation of the British Isles and Doggerland turned into the tundra. Simultaneously, a few meters slipped and global sea level: the territory of the English channel and бὀльшая part of the North sea became dry land that stretched from modern Holland to the Northern tip of Scotland. Of the river Thames, Meuse, Rhine and Scheldt at the time were connected into a single channel in the center of the channel and fell into the Atlantic ocean.

Defensible glaciation, presumably, lasted about 1.5 thousand years, after which the ice slowly began to retreat to the North, and the water is able to control a vast area, linking Britain with the mainland. According to scientists, this process lasted until the year 5000 BC. E. while Doggerland left a small sandbar, now known as the Dogger Bank.


There is an alternative point of view on the disappearance of the isthmus between Britain and continental Europe. Norwegian geologist Stein Bondevik put forward a hypothesis on which a little more than 8,000 years ago, Doggerland was destroyed by a giant underwater landslide caused the Scandinavian drift of the continental shelf. Scientists believe that it was a series of three landslides, called “Storegga”, which took at least 290 km of coastline and drove about 3500 km3 of sediment.

the Landslide generated a giant wave supertsunami, which, by assumption, researchers reached 25 m in height and moved with a speed of 35 m/s. Dr Jon hill from Imperial College London argues that the wave had flooded not only the adjacent territory, but even reached Greenland.

According to the catastrophic theory, Britain 6200 BC completely separated from the mainland, and the cultural component of the Mesolithic period evolved on the Islands, regardless of continental Europe. Due to the influx of cold waters brought by supertsunami in Britain came a 300-year period of cooling.


Some scholars are of the opinion that the process of separating the British Isles from the continent was slow and began long before supertsunami. According to this view, Britain was to withdraw from Europe around 450 thousand years ago in the late Pleistocene. In that distant era in place of the English channel was a river Flow channel: it is poured, then retreated, allowing animals and people to migrate from the mainland to the Islands.

According to scientists, Flew the channel was fed from a huge glacial lake, which arose due to the confluence of the Thames and the Rhine was at the center of the present North sea . When the lake is full of dozens of kilometres of flooded land.

Published in Quaternary Science Reviews is the analysis of bottom sediments Bisiscolo Bay shows that Flew English channel existed, at least during three glacial periods, beginning respectively 450 thousand, 160 thousand and 90 thousand years ago. In other words, because of the spill and the narrowing of the riverbed Britain actually three separated from the mainland three times and again it was connected with.

Professor Philip Gibbard, of Cambridge University explains that during the maximum glaciation, when ice covered бὀльшую part of Northern Europe, humans and animals quietly crossed the isthmus, during periods of warming, when Flew English channel was flowing, the migration continued.

Completely separate Britain from Europe Flew the English channel was only after it had been blurred the last barrier — the wall of the calcareous cliffs up to 180 m in the area of the modern Strait of Pas-de-Calais. An ultrasound scan of the bottom of the Strait showed that the result of the breakthrough of limestone the water has formed a channel about 50 m deep.

According to the theory of Megaptera, the final demarcation of the British Isles and mainland Europe occurred about 225 million years ago, during another spill Flow channel: for several months, the intensity of the water flow reached a million cubic meters per second. For comparison, through Niagara falls every second passes only 5700 m3 of water. Even then, by assumption, geographers, Pas-de-Calais reached its current size of 35 km in length and 30 km in width.

the authors of the article in the scientific journal Nature on this topic, noted that large-scale flooding not only played a significant role in changing the climate of the region, but also affected the process of colonization of the British Isles. Megaphoto, in their expression, gave the UK a very tough “visa policy” in Europe.

the Catastrophe could not be avoided

Megatop had consequences not only for Britain but for North America, there to form a lake the size of Black sea, which until the next global warming was kept by glaciers. About 8000 years, calledhell, the glacier was destroyed and a huge mass of water rushed into the Atlantic, raising global sea level by 5 meters.

whether a repetition of the disastrous scenarios in the North Atlantic like meatotomy or supertsunami these days? Dr. sue Dawson from the Scottish University in Dundee, believes that in the future more likely the formation of giant waves. Tsunami in Europe, in her opinion, a more frequent phenomenon than previously believed. The last big wave, caused by a powerful earthquake was recorded in 1755 off the coast of Portugal. Then 20-meter-high tsunami destroyed Lisbon.

In our days off the coast of Greenland, scientists record the increase in the number of small tsunamis caused by the collapse of icebergs. They predict that in the future due to global temperature increase that number will only grow.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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