According to a research published online on July 10 in the journal Natural Geoscience, an ancient 56 million-year-old landscape has been found submerged beneath the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Orkney-Shetland Islands and is being likened to the mysterious lost city of Atlantis.
Scientists have discovered mountain peaks and eight major rivers on the lost terrain, which is today buried beneath 2 kilometers of sedimentary rock, the research report said.
The terrain was found by using seismic data which also helped researchers image the ancient landscape.
“Pulses of hot mantle material upwelling in a mantle plume beneath Iceland caused uplift of the North Atlantic sea bed. The sea floor was temporarily lifted above sea level around 56 million years ago, allowing rivers to erode and create channels, before subsiding back beneath the ocean,” Ross A. Hartley of UK’s Bullard Laboratories in Cambridge said.
Hartley reconstructed landscape to demonstrate the history of the surface uplift.
“The surface was lifted up in a series of discrete steps, probably owing to episodic increases in the temperature of the mantle material rising up in the plume below,” he added.
The landscape was lifted above sea level in a series of three discrete steps of 200–400 m each. After about 1 million years of sub aerial exposure, this landscape was reburied, Hartley, who is also one of the authors of the report, concluded.
The report has once again sparked speculations about the lost city of Atlantis being found finally.
Atlantis was first mentioned in Greek philosopher Plato's dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, about 2600 years ago and is thought to have been swallowed up by a massive tsunami in 9600 BC.
Various hypotheses have been made about the actual existence of the city. Some historians thought it really existed, while others would rather consider it a myth.
In March 2011, a U.S.-led team of researchers, including geologists and archaeologists claimed that Atlantis may be found in the marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, southwest Spain. In 1999, British historian and cartographer, Jim Allen, claimed that Atlantis was located where the village of Quillacas lies, on the Bolivian altiplano region at 3,800 metres above sea level.
Topographic map of buried landscape shows eight river tributaries traced out by Ross A. Hartley.
Reconstructed palaeogeography of the North Atlantic Ocean during Late Palaeocene times. Dashed black line indicates location of continental break-up. PHOTO: Ross A. Hartley