Brexit 1.0: The making of “Island Britain”

Brexit 1.0: The making of “Island Britain”
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Brexit 1.0: The making of "Island Britain"
Prof Jenny Collier

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It has been previously suggested that the separation of Britain from mainland Europe in the late Quaternary was a consequence of a catastrophic flood caused by a spillover of a proglacial lake during the Anglian ice-age. Such an event would have significant palaeogeographic, biological and archaeological implications, but it remains controversial. Ten years ago we discovered a drainage system carved into the floor of the English Channel that is consistent with the catastrophic flood model.  In this talk I will explain how we collected the data that we have used to analyse key landform features both within the downstream region and at the proposed breach point at the Straits of Dover.  These observations support the hypothesis that the landforms were initially carved by high-water volume flows via a unique catastrophic drainage of a pro-glacial lake in the southern North Sea at the Dover Strait rather than by fluvial erosion throughout the Pleistocene.  Finally I will open a discussion of the implication of this dramatic event for the development of our Island.

Jenny Collier is a marine geophysicist currently based at Imperial College London. She completed her first degree at Bristol University and a PhD at Cambridge.  A central theme throughout her career has been the relationship between tectonics and magmatism. Jenny's early work involved mapping the magmatic plumbing beneath mid-ocean ridges and the response of the oceanic lithosphere to loading by ocean islands. More recently she studied the pattern of magmatism along the continental margins of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in order to determine the thermal conditions during breakup. Currently Jenny is investigating the link between volatiles in the incoming plate to arc magmatism at the Antilles subduction zone. A second theme of her research is shallow-water processes. She conducted the first ever multibeam bathymetry survey of the UK continental shelf which led to the discovery that catastrophic megafloods separated Britain from Europe. Jenny is also interested in the application of high-resolution side-scan sonar for biological habitat mapping.

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Doors open at 5.30 pm. Please be aware that there is no admittance once the lecture begins at 6 pm, as tickets will be reallocated to those queuing for no-shows. Thank you.


Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995