Geologists have recently discovered the truth about the old connection between the British mainland and France, and while it was previously thought that the British mainland was the result of a collision between two landmasses, it is now known that it was actually the clash of three different land masses that caused its creation.
According to the University of Plymouthgeologists once thought that the formation of England, Scotland and Wales was the direct result of the merger of Laurentia and Avalonia during a process that lasted more than 400 million years. But the geologists of the University of Plymouth have now concluded that a third land mass called Armorica is the missing link in the creation of the British mainland and the third land mass involved in this process.
This has helped tremendously to explain why there is so much tungsten and tin in the South West of England, which are metals found in abundance in regions of France such as Brittany, but not so heavily present in other regions. parts of the UK. .
The principal investigator of the new study, Dr Arjan Dijkstra, explained that although there are no visible lines, Cornwall and South Devon clearly differ geologically from everywhere in the United Kingdom.
"This is a whole new way of thinking about how Great Britain was formed, and it was always assumed that the border between Avalonia and Armorica was below the natural border of the English Channel, but our findings suggest that although there is no physical line to the surface, there is a clear geological boundary that separates Cornwall and South Devon from the rest of the UK. "
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As part of the research for the new study, geologists found 22 different locations in both Cornwall and England that suffered from events such as volcanic eruptions. While these eruptions and other geological events had taken place more than 300 million years ago, they left their imprints with magma.
By using XRF spectrometry on rock samples collected from these 22 sites, geologists were able to analyze the strontium and neodymium of the rocks taken, showing that there was a clear boundary extending from the Exe. estuary to Camelford.
As Dr. Dijkstra remarked, the connections between England and France proved even stronger than previously thought.
"We always knew that you could walk from England to France about 10,000 years ago, but our findings show that millions of years earlier the links between the two countries would have been even stronger, explaining the immense mineral wealth of Southwest England, which rather something of a mystery, and offers a fascinating new insight into the geological history of the United Kingdom. "
The new study showing the connection linking the British mainland to France has been published in Nature Communications.