Late Quaternary glaciation and environmental change in Southern Ross-shire, Scotland
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Despite considerable active research in the realm of Quaternary studies in Scotland, some parts of the Scottish Highlands remain largely uninvestigated in terms of both glacial and environmental history. For many areas of Scotland the glacial history has been examined: researchers have ascertained aspects of the nature of the Late Devensian (Weichselian) ice sheet that covered most of Scotland and subsequent readvances, chiefly the Loch Lomond Readvance. In a 1979 review of the Loch Lomond Readvance in the British Isles, Sissons published a map of the glacial limits relating to this latest period of glacial activity in Scotland (Figure 1.1). Since then this map has been only slightly modified with certain limits having been established in the western Grampians. For the area further north, little accurate information has been added to this picture. One of the most noticeable omissions in relation to the Loch Lomond Readvance is in the area between Glen Carron and Glen Shiel in southern Ross-shire. Published research regarding the earlier Late Devensian ice sheet is also sparse. Information regarding other aspects of the Quaternary such as those detailed in other parts of the Scottish Highlands are similarly lacking for this area. There are no published accounts of the vegetation history of the area nor of Late Quaternary sea-level changes. This study seeks to fill in some of these gaps with specific reference to the Late Devensian glaciation and aims to relate the patterns of glaciation with other contemporaneous environmental changes through to the establishing of interglacial conditions in the early Flandrian period. Recent studies have demonstrated that aspects of the Late Quaternary environment can usefully be related and this study attempts to follow a similar procedure.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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