It was a common belief that modern-day British mainland was formed after the collision of two acnient land masses called Avalonia and Laurentia.
However, a new study has shown that experts have had an incomplete understanding and that a third continen was involved in the process.
Called Armocia, the ancient landmas is located in the northwestern region in France.
Scientists have found large amounts of tin and tungsten in Southwestern England which curiously matches deposits over water in France.
The new study was presented by scientists from the Plymouth University in the UK. Scientists explain that the border between the Avalonia and Armorica land masses formed many centuries ago, is not located under the English Channel between England and France as previously believed.
Instead, they say that it actually cuts across the English counties of Devon and Cornwall, notes Science Alert.
“This is a completely new way of thinking about how Britain was formed,” says petrologist Arjan Dijkstra.
“Our findings suggest that although there is no physical line on the surface, there is a clear geological boundary which separates Cornwall and south Devon from the rest of the UK.”
Scientists have discovered that rocks beneath the boundary match samples from Armorica in France.
Rock composition above this boundary is closer to the rest of the UK.
Scientists studied more than twenty different sites in Devon and Cornwall all of which were exposed after geological events such as underground volcanic eruptions rocked the area millions of years ago.
“We always knew that around 10,000 years ago you would have been able to walk from England to France,” says Dijkstra. “But our findings show that millions of years before that, the bonds between the two countries would have been even stronger.”
“It explains the immense mineral wealth of south-west England, which had previously been something of a mystery, and provides a fascinating new insight into the geological history of the UK.”
The research has been published in Nature Communications.
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