Arenig epoch

Location of continental plates in the Lower Ordovician (Arenig epoch) 480 million years ago

At the time the Manx Group was formed, the Isle of Man lay at 60° south of the equator and has since moved northwards to its present position.

Through geological time, the earth’s continents have been drifting across the surface of the globe, occasionally breaking up and colliding with each other. Around 480 million years ago the southern hemisphere looked something like this:

Redrafted from Cooks, L.R.M. 2000.
The Early Palaeozoic Geography of Europe.
Journal of The Geological Society, London, 157, 1-10

Near the South pole, Africa, South America, India, Antarctica and parts of Europe were joined together to form a single giant continent called Gondwana. Separated from Gondwana by the Iapetus Ocean, a second great continent, called Laurentia, lay north of the equator. It was made up of North America, Greenland and northern Britain. The Isle of Man and the rest of southern Britain formed part of a small landmass called Avalonia situated along the northern edge of Gondwana at a latitude of approximately 60° south. At this time Avalonia and Laurentia were separated by the Iapetus Ocean.

Also see Manx Group Fossils