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QRA Field Meeting 2016

20 - 23 May 2016
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Event type:
Field trip
Organised by:
Quaternary Research Association
Portree, Isle of Skye
Event status:

Skye contains some of the most spectacular mountain scenery, varied geology and distinctive landforms and deposits in the British Isles. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1991 QRA field meeting on the island, and it is appropriate to mark this by revisiting the island in the light of the research carried out on the island in the intervening years.

This includes, interalia:

  1. the development of a glacial/deglacial chronology based on cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl and mapping of offshore moraines;
  2. research on rates of glacial erosion over different timescales using cosmogenic nuclides and appatite-He methods;
  3. studies of the chronology and processes of postglacial talus accumulation and catastrophic landsliding;
  4. tephostratigraphic research at Lateglacial sites;
  5. chironomid-based Lateglacial climate reconstruction;
  6. identification of the morphological signature of source areas of the Minch Ice Stream;
  7. the processes and chronology of Holocene windblown sediment accumulation on plateaux;
  8. Lateglacial and Holocene sea-level changes;
  9. Mesolithic and Iron Age archaeology of cave sites.

Outline programme (provisional)

Friday 20 May: Registration (1400); Loch Ashik Lateglacial site; LLR moraines of the Red Hills; High Pasture Cave Iron Age site; 10Be-dated moraines and Loch Slapin raised shorelines. Evening talks.

Saturday 21 May: Peinchorran raised beaches and Holocene pollen site; Braes raised beaches and tombola; Storr landslide; Coire Cuithir moraines, pollen site and diatomites; An Corran Mesolithic rock shelter; Brogaig shore platforms and raised beaches; the Quiraing and Fairy Glen landslides.

A 'breakout' trip to the summit of The Storr will be available if weather permits.

Sunday 22 May: Glen Varragill pollen stratigraphy; LLR moraines; rates of glacial erosion; Coire Lagan – moraines, glacial erosional landforms, paraglacial talus; the Coir' a'Ghrunnda moraine complex.

Monday 23 May: Ainort drift limits, landslides and raised beaches; Luib recessional moraines and pollen site; 10Be-dated Strollamus ice-sheet moraine. Finish at 1200.


To register for the field meeting, please download the PDF registration form and return it to:

Prof Colin Ballantyne
School of Geography and Geosciences
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9AL.

c[email protected]


Prof Colin Ballantyne (University of St Andrews) and Prof John Lowe (RHUL)

Field trip leaders

Prof Doug Benn (University of St Andrews /UNIS, Svalbard), Steven Birch (archaeologist, Skye), Dr Tom Bradwell (University of Stirling), Prof Lewis Owen (University of Cincinnati), Dr Katherine Selby (University of York), Dr David Small (University of Glasgow), Prof David Smith (University of Oxford)

Further information

For more information visit the QRA website.

Convenor Contact

Prof Colin Ballantyne

Quaternary Research Association
School of Geography and Geosciences
University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9AL