A new study found the reasons behind Britain’s first split from Europe. This occurred some 150,000 years ago before humans even roamed these lands or existed on the planet.
Research on the matter was carried out by Imperial College London researchers. Their results were published in the Nature Communications journal. According to it, up until some 450,000 years ago, the British Isles were united to Europe by a huge rock ridge.
Then, some 150,000 years ago, this land portion was affected by what must have been “a catastrophic event”. Research believes that the area must have been heavily affected by flooding. Over the last 300,000 years, the land bridge had already been hit by several such events.
According to research, the north side of the ridge could have held a glacial lake. This is believed to have overflowed and affected the structural resistance of the rock ridge. Then, as the land bridge was hit by the massive flooding, these previous issues must have escalated.
The Effects Of Britain’s First Split From Europe Are Still Notable Today
“The breaching of this land bridge between Dover and Calais was undeniably one of the most important events in British history […]”.
This is according to Sanjeev Gupta, one of the study co-authors. He also pointed out the fact that the consequences of this event are noticeable even today. The ancient separation would have occurred in two stages. A first stage saw the initial breach caused by the overflowing glacial lake. Evidence to support this idea was collected from the seafloor of the English Channel.
The second and final stage of the separation process must have occurred around 150,000 years ago. A series of megafloods must have fully opened what is now known as the Dover Strait. As the land bridge was already weakened, this event must have effectively destroyed the structure.
As it is, researchers will continue studying the area as they still have to determine certain facts. For example, the reason behind the initial lake overflow.
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