Twelve thousand years ago, according to our written history, the glaciers from the last Ice Age finally melted away, revealing the Britain we know today. For over 100,000 years (at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch) Britain had been underneath two miles of ice, compressing the ground by its sheer weight, so much so, that the land surface was then some 2,000 feet below its original level. Which has consequently risen back slowly, to become the landscape we know and are familiar with nowadays.
Geologists have assumed that these glaciers melted due to warming in climatic conditions creating a series of ‘meltwater pulses’ over a short period of time, but they have failed to date to produce a realistic model that fits the total meltwater discharge which eventually created not only the North and Irish Seas but the hundreds of feet of sea-level rises that we are still experiencing today.
If you study any British Geological Society (BGS) map of Britain, you will notice it shows a series of bedrock, sedimentary and superficial deposits. Below these deposits, is a labyrinth of material that look like canals and gigantic waterways which lay under the surface on top of the bedrock, which is the remains of Palaeochannels from the last ice age. This evidence is a testament to how the landscape would have looked when the rivers were at their highest and when they were discharging at their maximum levels.