Late Devensian and Holocene relative sea level changes on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Selby, Katherine A. and Smith, David E. (2006) Late Devensian and Holocene relative sea level changes on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22, (2), 119-139. (doi:10.1002/jqs.1012).


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Detailed litho- and biostratigraphical analyses from three coastal sites in contrasting coastal settings on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK, reveal evidence for several changes in relative sea level during the Late Devensian and Holocene. At the start of the record, relative sea level in the area was high at ca. 12 500 14C (ca. 14 800 cal.) yr BP but then fell, reaching a low point during the Younger Dryas, at ca. 11 000-10 000 14C (ca. 13 000-11 600 cal.) yr BP, when a rock platform, correlated with the Main Rock Platform, was formed. In the early-middle Holocene, relative sea level was rising by ca. 8000 14C (ca. 8800 cal.) yr BP and in northeast Skye a lagoonal surface, correlated with the Main Postglacial Shoreline, was formed at ca. 6600 14C (ca. 7500 cal.) yr BP. By the late Holocene, relative sea level was again falling, but a rise, registered at at least two sites, began probably before ca. 4000 14C (ca. 4500 cal.) yr BP, and a second lagoonal surface in northeast Skye, correlated with the Blairdrummond Shoreline, was formed, although by ca. 3000 14C (ca. 3200 cal.) yr BP relative sea level in the area had resumed its downward trend. The pattern of relative sea-level changes disclosed is compared with evidence elsewhere in Scotland

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/jqs.1012
Additional Information: This paper produces original data indicating that the highest relative sea level was not attained during the Main Postglacial Transgression as previously thought. It will therefore be a benchmark paper and one that will be highly cited. Its significance is wide reaching and international, forcing changes in the isostatic models.
ISSNs: 0267-8179 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: main lateglacial shoreline, main postglacial shoreline, blairdrummond shoreline, isolation basin, diatom analysis, pollen analysis, radiocarbon dating
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 37727
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2006Published
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:06

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