“Doggerland” refers to a drowned landscape located where the North Sea stretches today. Fishermen have found numerous archaeological artifacts when fishing between the coasts of UK and Denmark/Germany (more or less), which led to the idea that an ancient culture lived in this area when the sea level was lower some thousands of years ago. Archaeological studies and modelling confirmed this hypothesis (e.g., see Coles, 2000 or see this paper with a really cool title: White, 2006). Slowly rising sea levels and/or land subsidence forced our ancestors to move to higher grounds and to finally give up Doggerland at all around 8 ka ago. Jon Hill and his co-authors now added some more spice to this story. At the EGU they presented modelling data which imply that the Storegga tsunami over-ran the remaining islands, and that the end of Doggerland was sudden.
The BBC covered this story in a long article and they also have this nice video of the tsunami modelling:
The Storegga slide occurred off W Norway and is maybe the largest submarine slide that we know about (Bugge et al., 1987). It is well known that it caused a huge tsunami that affected the coasts of Norway, UK, Germany, Denmark, and so on (cf. Bondevik et al., 1997). So what’s new with the story of Hill et al.? They included the paleobathymetry in their modelling, thus being able to get a) more precise results on the consequences of the tsunami along the coasts and b) evidence for waves high enough to destroy what was left of Doggerland. Poor ancestors.
Check out Jon Hill’s talk on figshare or see the first 9 slides below:
- Bondevik, S., Svendsen, J.I., & Mangerud, J. 1997. Tsunami sedimentary facies deposited by the Storegga tsunami in shallow marine basins and coastal lakes, western Norway. Sedimentology 44, 1115-1131.
- Bugge, T., Belderson, R.H., & Kenyon, N.H. 1987. The Storegga Slide. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 325 (1586), 357-388.
- Coles, B.J. 2000. Doggerland: the cultural dynamics of a shifting coastline. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 175, 393-401.
- White, M. 2006. Things to do in Doggerland When You’re Dead: Surviving OIS3 at the Northwestern-Most Fringe of Middle Palaeolithic Europe. World Archaeology 38 (4), 547-575.