The Recent Geology of England and Northern France

What I want to explain to entrepreneurs and architects is the common history between England and Northern France. Our biggest mining districts(Bath and Portland stone)have been quarried for hundreds of years. Every year quarries are closing down and to find the best alternative to carry on the restoration of our monuments we need to use more stones from the other side of the Channel.

Triassic period 251-201million years ago.

As Pangaea drifted, Great Britain moved away from the Equator until it was at 30degres North. The remnants of the Variscan upland in France were eroded down, resulting in layers of red sandstone being deposited across Central England.

Jurassic Period 200-145milions years ago

Pangaea began to break up, sea levels rose and Great Britain drifted on the Eurasian Plate to 40degres North. Much of Great Britain and France were under water again, sedimentary rocks were deposited and can now be found underlying much of England from Yorkshire to Dorset.

Cretaceous Period 145-65million years ago.

We saw the formation of the Atlantic Ocean. After 20 million years of uplifting of the land of Great Britain, the sea started to flood the land until Great Britain and Northern France were again below the sea. Chalk and flints were deposited.

Palaegene Period 65-23 million years ago.

During this period, the North Sea formed and Great Britain was uplifted. The landscape was colonised by trees such as beech, oak, palm.

Neogene and quaternary period 23 million years ago until now.

These periods brought several ice ages. The most severe was the Anglian Glaciation with an ice sheet 1000m thick reaching Bristol and London, damaging by its weight the beds of limestone.

A catastrophic flooding gouged the centre of the Channel around 125000 years ago which is a blink of an eye in geological time.

You could say it was the beginning of Brexit 1.0.

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