The megaliths and after
By Guy Gervis
It is some time since I added an Update to this site but a very interesting possibility has emerged. This is due to work produced at Birmingham University on the Southern North Sea with access to extensive seismic surveys prepared for the petroleum industry. Two reports have been published so far, “Europe’s Lost World, The rediscovery of Doggerland” Research Report No 160 for the Council for British Archeology 2009, and “Mapping Doggerland, the Mesolithic Landscapes of the Southern North Sea”, published by Archeopress, 2007. This work is of considerable importance to the understanding of what lies below the Southern North Sea, and one hopes that it will continue.
My interest was taken by page 43 of ‘Mapping Doggerland” which contains a very clear contoured map including the Outer Silver Pit which is a sunken feature outlined by geological faults just under 100 km long and mainly about 12 km wide, some 50 km to the East of Scarborough. The feature occurs at a depth of about 40 meters and the current fault depth around the feature is a further 40 meters. The first thing that I noted, on the same page, was that there is apparently no agreed explanation for this feature. Proposals have been put forward involving glaciations, drainage during glaciations, and strong tidal currents. For over half its length this feature runs in a straight line West-East and I began to wonder about the possibility of it being a large meteor crater. I began to search on the net for models of meteor craters but they all seemed to be round, and thus associated with a more or less vertical approach, but here the meteor would have made a low angle approach and the crater would have been subject to considerable tidal deformation later on, particularly at the West end where it lurches somewhat northwards. So far the meteor crater idea is not impossible, but more evidence is required.
I then started looking at some smaller similar features distributed to the South of the Outer Silver Pit varying from 10 – 20km long and 1 and 2 km wide. Two of them are called just Silver Pit, one is called Well Hole, and another Markham’s Hole. The fascinating thing is that if one aligns these features towards the Outer Silver Pit the arrival points are very close together. The distance from each pit to this arrival point varies between 40 – 50 km. The arrival point is to the West end of the Outer Silver Pit, just as it starts to turn towards the North.
This suggests the possibility that as the meteor, travelling East, first hit the ground, the impact led to some fracturing and smaller fragments broke off and landed separately. It is difficult to visualize any other explanation for the very particular arrangement of these smaller features. However this makes the low angle meteor crater a very serious possibility, but one requiring core analysis to test it properly.
The effect of a large meteor on a wide area surrounding the crater would be dire. All life would be extinguished by calcination. For the history of the land below the Southern North Sea the story changes completely.
If it could be shown that the meteor did arrive, then the date of that event becomes extremely important. This date will also determine the level of the sea, which in turn will define the amount of land still surviving at that time in the North Sea. The event will also have been of considerable importance to the many people living in lands surrounding the North Sea who we now know quite a lot about. Can we detect any reactions by these people to the event?
Guy Gervis, Les Châtaigniers 03-03-11
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