One X fact ... No Island is an island ... there be land beneath ‘dem seas and oceans ... before the seas formed the earth had just land ... strange but true!
2nd X fact: The English Channel narrows to 34 km (21 miles) at the Straits of Dover.
|Great Britain and northern|
Europe with the
Dogger Bank highlighted
About 10,000 years ago Britain was not an island, but an upland region of continental NW Europe ... the sea-level was about 120 metres (390 feet) lower than today.
... Doggerland, an area in the North Sea, was dry and acted as a land bridge across to the continent, until about 6,500 BC years ago.
|As this part of northern Europe|
would have appeared approx
10,000 years ago
... Great Britain lies on the European continental shelf ... an extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain ... the shelf varies in depth from about (on Dogger Bank) 49 feet (15 m) to 390feet (120 m) in the English Channel.
|Chesil Beach from the Isle of Portland|
3rd X fact: Chesil Beach, which I mentioned in my H post as an inhospitable shingle beach for flora or fauna ...
... is now thought to be formed from the remnants of the flood of water and sediment that whizzed through from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, leaving us with the body of water known as the English Channel, a result of the Ice Age melt. (Rather than a formation known as longshore drift – eg Dungeness, and Orford Ness).
4th X fact: I’ve just found out there are fossilised ripples – so similar to myown picture of the sands at Perranporth at R – dating to about 240 million years ago ...
|Fossilised Ripples - wave formation|
ending up as fosslised ripples
c/o Southampton University
5th X fact: The Dutch have about 450 miles of shore to protect ... whereas our shore line is over 7,000 miles – encircling our islands ... an impossibility to put up protective barriers ...
... the Thames Barrier is doing its work for now at the River Thames estuary entrance to London ...
|Thames Barrier - the 'gates' are|
able to be lowered in storms or
... but elsewhere we need to work with nature and use those flood plains as they were intended, or working within the rise and fall of sea levels – as has been done at the Somerset Levels ... see my R post (above).
|Raised beach on Welsh coast|
6th X fact: We know sea level has always risen and fallen – the coastline shows us raised beaches – featured within the beds of exposed coastline ...
... some from rising sea levels, at other times exacerbated due to the weight of ice – resulting in land mass tilt: pushed down in the north, raised beaches on the west, south and east shores ...
7th X fact: Sea-grasses are the only flowering plants in the sea ... these are essential as habitat protection for small marine animals ... the pipe-fish and sea-horses ... the grasses help gather sediment to keep the water healthy ...
8th X fact: Oysters change from one gender to another and back again, depending on which is best for attracting a mate at that point in time.
9th X fact: Puffins are incredible divers and can reach depths of 60 m (197 feet) to catch fish. They use their wings to propel themselves underwater and can carry several fish at a time back to the surface.
10th X fact: Our most dangerous sea creature when the warmer currents bring them north to our shores is the Portuguese Man of War ... it has tentacles that can reach 15m (49 feet) in length ... (J post)
11th X fact: Do fish sleep? Not really as they cannot close their eyes, and some fish never stop moving; however most fish have rest periods, when they just float or nest in a quiet spot, while remaining semi-alert.
12th X fact: humans swim at less than 1 mph (1.6 k/ph), while seals swim at an average speed of 12 mph (19 k/ph) ...
Then one real X – the Xanthoria parietina ... has the name shore lichen depicting when it grows on rocks near the sea shore line ... it is a versatile lichen growing in damp areas and particularly wherever enriched via bird droppings ...
That is X for many X facts, but even the coasts can give us at least one real X genus, the Xanthoria, a versatile lichen, that are part of the series Aspects of British Coasts ...
I'm having a few problems with my machine .. so if I'm not around ... I'll be back tomorrow (Monday) after it's fixed ...
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