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Geologists reveal an old bond between England and France

Geologists reveal an old bond between England and France

This image shows how the old landmasses of Laurentia, Avalonia and Armorica would have been bombed to create the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. Credit: University of Plymouth

The British mainland arose from the collision of not two, but three old continental landmasses, according to new research.


Scientists have been believing for centuries that England, Wales and Scotland originated from the amalgamation of Avalonia and Laurentia more than 400 million years ago.

However, geologists from the University of Plymouth now believe that a third landmass Armorica was also involved in the process.

The findings are published in Nature Communications and follow an extensive study of mineral properties in exposed rocks in Devon and Cornwall.

They reveal a clear boundary across the two provinces, with areas to the north that share their geological roots with the rest of England and Wales, but all that is southern, geologically connected to France and mainland Europe.

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