Petrified Forest

27 May 2016

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3593219/North-sea-reveals-7-000-... ... we have another tract of ancient forest revealed off the eastern coast of Britain - once joined to the continent (in this instance woodland stretched from NE England to Denmark). It seems it dates back 7000 years ago when it was covered in sand (a major storm event perhaps). It has been revealed as the tides have apparently washed away the sand that had covered it for so long. Again, another storm event perhaps.

   

   Tree stumps and broken branches and trunks have been found along a 650 feet stretch of coastline at Low Hauxley near Amble in Northumberland. Oak, hazel and alder have been recognised. It seems to have been buried when Denmark became separated around 5000BC - according to the report. It was buried under sand for 7000 years.

   According to Chris Waddington of the Archaeology Research Services sea level rose rapidly around 5000BC. I'm always a bit dubious on how they date rising sea level as it seems to vary from scientist to scientist. Elsewhere, the dramatic rise in sea level is usually dated around 6000BC - so why is this one a thousand years later? One can only suppose it is based on gradual exponential sea level rise - rather than rise in leaps and bounds.

Waddington then blames moder sea level rise for cutting back the sand dunes. All we know really is that the drowning of the forest probably took place in the Mesolithic period - prior to the arrival of farmers. Waddington blames the flooding of the North Sea basin on glacial melt (5000 years after the end of the Younger Dryas and 10,000 years after the end of the Ice Age - or Late Glacial Maximum).

The tree stumps are petrified, something I noticed a few years ago when storms revealed a forest on the beach at Happisburgh in Norfolk (following a cliff fall). That one was dated almost 900,000 years ago. Human footprints were also found - and those of wild boar. red deer and brown bears.

According to