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Catastrophe at 6150BC

16 January 2015

At www.q-mag.org/moss-betrays-the-season-of-the-storegga-event/ … which is the well known Storegga tsunami that was triggered by a submarine landslide in the upper portion of the North Sea, off the coast of Norway. Sand deposits overlie the remains of coastal settlements in both Norway and Scotland. The event is dated at 8150 years ago – right on the button of an event that had global repercussions in climate change and the drowning of Sunda Land in SE Asia. All that remains of Sunda nowadays are the Malaysian Peninsular, the Philippines, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and various other islands of Indonesia. Much the same occurred in the North Sea – which was still mostly dry land up until that point. Dogger Land was swamped – and the tsunami wave was part of that event. The problem is the sea did not recede after the tsunami wave struck – why is that?

Ann-Marie de Grazia has translated a piece from Der Spiegel (from the German) at her web site but the actual article on the landslide appeared in Geology magazine – go to http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/12/19/G36278.1.abstract … and has already been mentioned on 'In the News' back in December. The Der Speigel piece on the subject appear on January 13th – hence its inclusion at Ann-Marie's web site this week.

Mosses buried beneath sea mud which has been sealed and preserved show the event occurred in late autumn. This means the tsunami very probably caused a great loss of life as communities would have gathered together for the winter months ahead, on what is now the floor of the North Sea (a continental shelf system).

Archaeologists found traces of the tsunami in the east of Scotland, near Inverness in the NE, in Norway, the Shetlands, the Faroes, and the age of the deposits has consistently been dated around 8150 years ago. The dividing line between the Boreal climate system and the Atlantic climate system also occurrs at this point in time. An extended period of cold and wet weather in NW Europe, variously dated between 200 and 400 years, followed the event. However, in spite of the label it was eventually followed by what is known in N America as the Mid Holocene Climatic Optimum (which implies it was not particularly wet or Atlantic in nature). The switch in climate points towards a global event rather that a local tsunami. In other words, such catastrophes as Storegga could probably be added to in other parts of the world. We have already noted what occurred in SE Asia – presumed to involve an even bigger tsunami wave that swept across the Pacific from somewhere in north west N America. However, Bouldnor Cliff in the Isle of Wight preserves a record of something dramatic occurring – at the same point in time (see article by Steve Mitchell on the subject). Obviously, somebody would need to collate evidence from the rest of the world, in the manner of Moe Mandelkehr's collation of data in support of a global event at around 2300BC.


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