Once Upon A Rock In Doggerland encourages dialogue about the story of the Earth. Part one goes back 200 million years ago when the last super continent, Pangaea, began to break up. The Atlantic Ocean was created as North America and Europe became separate continents. In part two, the Marsupians are traveling anytime, anyplace, anyspace. Part three takes the reader back to Mesolithic times when human beings moved close to the glaciers of Northern Europe. The people learned to adapt as the earth began to warm with the last ice age. We are still experiencing this ice age today.
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Once Upon a Rock in Doggerland
Doggerland was the Heartland of Europe until Sea Level Rose 10,000 Years Ago.
By Jeanette Kroese Thomson, Jill Thomson Wright
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Jeanette Kroese Thomson
All rights reserved.
ONCE UPON A ROCK IN DOGGERLAND
Doggerland was the real heartland of Europe until sea level rose.
Once upon a rock, 22,000 to 5,500 B.C., the ice cap at the top of the world was much bigger. It was solid ice! This ice from the last Ice Age at the North and South Pole is still melting today.
Before the ice began to melt, there was much more land in Northern Europe. There was land below the ice shield that connected the British Iles to Europe. Part of Doggerland is now a huge sandbank under the North Sea and the English Channel. Today, an area beyond the coast of East Anglia, England, at Hunstanton Cliff, is called the Doggerbanks.
There was an ancient trail that was part of the Icknield Way still present in England. This trail would have continued to the Texel islands that connected to The Netherlands. This meandering trail can be traced all the way to India.
There were hills and valleys, large lakes and swamps below the North Atlantic Ocean. There were rivers taking water from the huge mass of ice above this land. This ice was beginning to melt as the climate began to warm. Geologists call this period of warming the Holocene Epoch. The main rivers became larger as all the water flowed south. We know these rivers today such as the Thames. When this glacial water from the mass of ice came down as a huge tsunami, the water became the North Sea. As the water flowed south, it separated England from Europe. This is now the English Channel. The European large river that at one time was flowing with the Thames is now the European river, the Rhine. This is the story of Doggerland.
But let's go back to the beginning of our Earth's history 4.5 billions of years ago. Once Upon A Rock, the earth began to form land. The land was created from very hot molten lava. The lava erupted with volcanic action from deep in the center of the earth. It was similar to what is occurring in Hawaii, today. A super continent, Rodinia, began to form granite rock, 2.2 billion years ago. Then 1.5 billion years ago, Rodinia began to break apart forming two separate continents, Laurasia and Gondwana.
Deep rifts in the ocean floor caused the big continent to separate and create new basins in the ocean floor. These shifting basins in the ocean floor have caused the continents to separate and even come back together again. It is the oceans that cause the continents to shift and split apart. Geologists believe that the continents of North America and Europe came together and split apart several times. The last Super Continent, Pangaea, began to form 300-250 million years ago.
Pangaea began to break-up 200 million years ago. This break up was caused by a large fault forming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean separating North America and Europe. The rest of the earth was also forming new continents. A continental drift began to occur. Large faults begin to form that cause the continents to separate.
One of these large faults separated North America from Europe. Geologist call this fault in North America the Cabot Fault. In Europe the same fault is called The Great Glen Fault. It is located in Scotland and crosses the Atlantic Ocean down to the eastern coast of North America.
When the continents separated, part of Laurasia became part of Europe and part of Gondwana remained in North America. An example of this is in Newfoundland, Canada. Avalon forms the letter "H" at the eastern coast of Newfoundland. At the most eastern part of this "H" is the city of St. John's. Avalon is part of the ancient continent, Gondwana.
A 1975 article in the Scientific American, journal, "The Supercontinental Cycle," authors Nance, Worsley, and Moody hypothesize that the Atlantic Ocean opened and closed several times. New information about continental shifting describes how the continents are continuing to shift today. A 2012, heading of a newspaper article says, "Get ready for super continent, 'Amasia.'" Ross Mitchell of Yale University states, "We are due for a supercontinent to form in about the next 50 to 200 million years."
This current newspaper article that is taken from a scientific journal article reflects the growing awareness of how our earth is continually evolving. The Earth's history is not the same as human history. The geologist looks at a million years as small increments of time. The lifetime of a human being in world history reflects at most one hundred years or so. Putting in perspective changes of the earth's history requires a different set of eyeglasses and mental agility. The journey can happen by reading books, scientific journals, magazines and newspapers as well as scanning the internet. Teaching Geology is a challenge, not only for the teacher, but also for the student.
Between two and three million years ago the present ice age began. It was the Quaternary Period and the Pleistocene Epoch. In the earth's history there have been at least five extensive ice ages. These ice ages have been separated by periods of 300 to 400 million years when there was no glacial activity. The last warming period to the present is called the Holocene Epoch. Once Upon A Rock In Doggerland discusses the impact in Northern Europe of this warming period still present today.
Ice ages are caused when there is mountain building and the continents are relatively separated from each other. Global warming occurs when the formation of the large super continental plates connect with zonal ocean circulation especially around the latitude of the equator. This results in a higher circulation of warm currents.
There are also many other factors that cause a shift in the temperature of the earth: the shifting axis away and towards the sun especially affect the polar points of the earth; atmospheric changes affect the ozone layer that protect the earth's surface from the sun's rays; collision of comets and very large meteorites impact and may affect the atmospheric temperature; changes in the temperature of the ocean, especially the tropical oceans may also affect the overall temperature of the earth; volcanic activity around the earth causing particles and gases to escape, is another big factor that can affect the change in the atmosphere. As the temperatures rise, places like the tundra next to the masses of ice, also begin to break up. This releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This condition even adds more to the melting of the ice sheets.
The earth's history can be identified between two "ice house" and "green house" climatic shifts. Along with all of the above factors that influence temperature change, today, we are becoming more aware that man-made conditions are also enhancing global warming. Since the industrial revolution, man-made activities have put soot from burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere. The dark colour of soot causes the sun's rays to absorb on to the earth surface. This trapped covering in the atmosphere creates a "green house" effect.
The icehouse climate change occurs when there are less greenhouse gases of carbon dioxide. Other ingredients like industrial aerosols create another set of problems of pollution that reflects on solar incoming radiation back into space and cause cooling.
There are also mini ice ages when the temperature can vary over a shorter period of time. The complexity of global temperatures continues to be a subject that can be studied and reflected upon. The Encyclopedia of Global Change is a source that gives detailed understanding about factors that influence global climate change. A summary of this encyclopedia can be reviewed on the internet.
Using a "Geological Timetable" in 50 to 200 million years let us think again how a next supercontinent is predicted. "Meet 'Amasia,' the Next Supercontinent" the article from a scientific journal says, "The continental plates will once again move together and form over the Arctic Ocean at the North Pole. Driven by the continents drifting together, Asia, Africa and the Americas will meet to form the next Supercontinent."
Once Upon A Rock is a saga that goes on with the evolution of our Earth into the future.CHAPTER 2
A MARSUPIAN JOURNEY
Anytime, Anyspace, Anyplace
It has been said in the Once Upon A Rock saga, that the Marsupian clan moved around. This is because their imaginations took them anyplace, anytime, anyspace.
They knew that the rock of the earth was everywhere. Just by listening to their old storyteller, Grandpa Wally, they could shift and be on any rock found on the earth. After all, part of their origins took them sailing on a continental plate way down-under to Australia where the rocks are very, very old. Australia is almost as old as the earth itself. The rocks in Australia are 4 billion years. Their old storyteller, Grandpa Wally knew the Marsupians were very, very, old as well. Their history included ancient ancestors of their marsupian species that were very big. The kangaroo was very, very, big. The marsupials existed in all shapes and sizes. They adapted to their environment and were not afraid to change.
Now the Marsupians were on a journey to investigate the entire earth. Grandpa knew the earth itself had lots of old stories. Grandpa Wally's Marsupians stories were also very old and he knew them well. He also knew that human beings, he called them H.B's for short, had lots of ancient stories. He was always searching for new tales of Once Upon A Rock.
This particular tale took the Marsupians to rocks found in the North Atlantic. At one time these rocks were part of North America. But a big, huge crack developed that split the rocks apart. This created an Ocean between--The Atlantic Ocean!
This Marsupian Tale began with Grandpa Wally as he gazed out at this Atlantic Ocean. He sat high above on a massive cliff looking 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. He was there with three members of his Marsupian Mob: Mini Mum Mouse, Opie, the Opossum and Billy Wombat.
They were surrounded by an ancient fort walls built by the Belgae Celts. This fort, called Dun Aengus, must have been quite a place to live so very high above the Atlantic Ocean.
Grandpa Wally looked down over the cliff as the waves hit the base of the cliff. This cliff was part of a string of islands off the western coast of Ireland called the Aran Islands.
Perched on Grandpa Wally's shoulder was little Mini Mum Mouse. On the right side sat Opie the Opossum. And on his left side was Billy Wombat.
All four Marsupians, were mesmerized by the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks far below.
"I sure would like to ride those waves!" mumbled Billy suddenly. "Maybe I could find myself down to the shore and take a little spin."
Little Mini Mum Mouse gave a soft thump with her tail sitting on Grandpa Wally's shoulder. "Wheeee," she squeaked, "you are nuts, Billy! Do you know the power of the ocean?" She proclaimed.
Grandpa Wally turned and gives Billy a soft nudge. "It's a long way down there, Billy," sighs Grandpa. "The Atlantic Ocean is very big."
"That's for sure!" piped up Opie.
"We are on the east shore of the Atlantic Ocean, on Aran Island, the western most tip of Ireland," explains Grandpa. "I know lots about the North American coastline, Grandpa," confided Opie softly.
"I have two good friends that live on the east coast of the United States. Arnie Armadillo is a scavenger like me. Some H.B.s even call him 'Opossum on the Half Shell.' That's because he has a big shell all over his whole body."
Opie chuckled, "My other friend Tina Turtle has a big shell too. That's how the two of them survive big danger. They can't climb trees like me. They just stay on the ground.
Excerpted from Once Upon a Rock in Doggerland by Jeanette Kroese Thomson, Jill Thomson Wright. Copyright © 2015 Jeanette Kroese Thomson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
ContentsONCE UPON A ROCK IN DOGGERLAND, 1,
A MARSUPIAN JOURNEY, 8,
THE ANCIENT PEOPLE OF DOGGERLAND, 31,