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Channels in the Channel
Outflow channel in the English Channel, blue for deep, red for shallow water
Image Credit: Collier

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The end of the last Ice Age left a trail of waterborne destruction in North America – and, it seems in the English channel. The 2016 Harold Jeffreys Lecture by Jenny Collier describes how it was found.

The Channelled Scablands are a notable landscape of North America, shaped by meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age. The water ponded behind natural dams, eventually breaking through in gigantic waterfalls, cutting huge plunge pools and potholes. Recent mapping of the English Channel has revealed similar submerged structures – dams, waterfalls and plunge pools  – south of Dover. They were all part of the river system that cut the UK off from Europe when the ice melted, cutting through and drowning the undulating grasslands of the colder, drier glacial periods. 

Jenny Collier of Imperial College wrote about this discovery in the Harold Jeffreys Lecture, presented at the RAS last year. read about it in the April A&G. 

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