Researchers estimated that the so-called Storegga Slide tsunami claimed the lives of about 12,000 prehistoric Britons who lived in what’s now submerged territory, also known as Britain’s North Sea Atlantis.
Archaeologists have released a full-blown story of the consequences from a massive tsunami that swallowed almost 2,700 square miles (6,992 square kilometres) of British land in about 6200 BC.
The results of the research conducted by the universities of Bradford, Warwick, St Andrews, and Wales were published in the journal Geosciences earlier this week.
The findings allowed researchers to suggest that the tsunami’s impact on the submerged southern area was much more extensive than previous models had predicted.
Researchers for the first time managed to find out that the tsunami, known as the Storegga Slide, inundated about two-thirds of the UK’s prehistoric territory, which is sometimes is referred to as Britain’s North Sea Atlantis.
The natural disaster is thought to have claimed the lives of at least 12,000 people living in areas that spanned from eastern Scotland to northern England.
Geophysicist Richard Bates from the University of St Andrews said the scientific team’s multidisciplinary investigation revealed that the tsunami “wasn’t just a single wave – but impacted the now submerged southern North Sea area we examined in three successive inundations, probably spread over just a few hours at most”.
The study suggested that “a significant proportion of the British Mesolithic coastal population almost certainly suffered fatalities” as a result of the tsunami, according to Simon Fitch, an archaeologist and prehistoric population modeller from the University of Bradford.
Leader of the research project Vince Gaffney, for his part, pointed out that the study helped scientists shed “important new light on British prehistory, on climate change and on the continuing potential threat from tsunamis, sea level rise and storm surges”.
Scientists believe that the tsunami was caused by a vast underwater landslide off the west coast of Norway, which was caused by the climate’s warming at the end of the final glacial period of the Ice Age.