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The Quaternary of the Monadhliath Mountains and the Great Glen: Field Guide

Geology Guide

Series: QRA Field Guides

By: Claire M Boston (Editor), Sven Lukas (Editor), Jon W Merritt (Editor)

230 pages, 68 colour & b/w photos and colour & b/w illustrations; 2 tables

Quaternary Research Association

Paperback | Jan 2013 | #210672 | ISBN-13: 9780907780854
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £16.99 $21/€19 approx

About this book

From the introduction:

"The Monadhliath Mountains are one of the lesser-known areas in Scotland. Situated between the higher-elevation Nevis Range and Cairngorm Mountains, they have generally been overlooked by both hill walkers and Quaternary scientists. Indeed, there are few ‘munros’, and Quaternary features are perhaps not immediately obvious. The remoteness and extensive development of peat have also hindered further investigation, leaving the majority of the region unexplored until recently. This has been a shame, since, on closer inspection, it is apparent that the Monadhliath Mountains host a wealth of glacial landforms and sediments that provide a missing link to patterns of Younger Dryas glaciation and earlier ice sheet retreat in central Scotland, making perseverance in this remote
landscape most definitely worthwhile.

ln the last five to ten years, several researchers have ventured into this somewhat unknown territory. The surge in activity has been led by a number of PhD and MSc studies and work by the British Geological Survey (BGS). A large proportion of this research has focused on the southern edge of the Monadhliath Mountains, in Glen Banchor, to the west of Newtonmore, in Glen Killin, towards the Great Glen, and in the Findhorn Valley, to the east of the area. These areas form the focus of the field meeting, alongside Fort
Augustus in the Great Glen, and the Upper Spey Valley, which have been at the centre of recent surveys by the BGS.

The QRA has not previously visited the Monadhliath Mountains, although came very close on the Glen Roy field meeting in 2008 (Palmer et al., 2008), since the upland area to the north of Glen Roy forms a near-continuous plateau with the Monadhliath Mountains. Although the extent of Younger Dryas glaciation in this intervening area was keenly debated (e.g. Benn and Evans, 2008; Peacock, 2009; Boston et al., this guide: 5), it will not be re-visited in this meeting, due to the focus being on previously unvisited areas further east.

The aim of the meeting is to examine glacier extents and dynamics during the Last Glacial-lnterglacial Transition, building up a coherent picture of ice sheet deglaciation and subsequent plateau icefield (re)advances in the region. Evidence will be presented for active retreat of regional ice lobes in both the Upper Spey Valley and the Great Glen. Both of these ice masses dammed drainage in the valleys radiating out from the Monadhliath Mountains, producing some spectacularly large glaciolacustrine landforms and complex sediment sequences. These valleys also contain evidence of subsequent advances of local plateau ice, both following retreat of regional Late Devensian ice and during the Younger Dryas. The region is thus important for understanding the dynamic interplay
between local and regional ice masses during deglaciation."

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