The quest to uncover Europe’s great geological formation starts right where plate tectonics are born : the sea bed of the Atlantic Ocean. The film opens on a prominent
mid-oceanic ridge…a place where continents meet and drift apart a few centimeters every year. 400 million years ago crustal movement created a tall mountain chain, the Hercynian, even higher than today’s Himalayas. These massive formations eroded away but still account for 80% of the base of Europe.
Some special places like the Highlands of Scotland beautifully express what geologists refer to as subduction : as continents collide, they force thick layers of old rock over younger rock…a rare occurrence in the geological world.
From the birth of the planet up until the formation of the Pyrenees, traces of ancient life are found in European rock formations as old as 3 billion years. Amazing stories are told through the quest for diamonds, coal, salt and chalk. In these ancient formations, 200 million-year-old marine reptiles have been discovered on what was once a sea floor…and now stands at 2400 meters of altitude !
Partner(s) : Arte & Ideacom International
Broadcaster(s) : Arte
Director(s) : Christopher Hooke & Yanick Rose
Author(s) : Christopher Hooke & Yanick Rose
Year : 2012Duration : 43 minutes