Flandrian sea-level changes in the Moray Firth area
The Moray Firth area is recognized as an area deficient in data relevant to sea-level change. This thesis attempts to provide a preliminary assessment of the restoration of sea-level following the last glaciation, particularly the last 10,000 years. The methodology used is essentially empirical and analytic, based upon stratigraphic description, micropalaeontological investigation and radiocarbon dating of sites in former tidal flat and lagoonal environments. Three sites at the head of the Beauly and Cromarty Firths, at Barnyards (NH 5247), Moniack (NH 5443) and Arcan Mains (NH 4954) provide stratigraphic and environmental evidence for the interpretation of sea-level change during the Flandrian Age. A preliminary chronological scheme of positive and negative tendencies of sea-level movement and a time-altitude graph is constructed using information from biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic sea- level indicators and nine new radiocarbon dates. An attempt is made to assess the magnitude of error inherent at all stages of the analysis. Correlation is made with other areas of Scotland and Fennoscandia. A comparison is made between the differing methodologies employed in this thesis and other areas of Scotland where sequences of measured and named shorelines have been established. An isostatic curve for the inner Moray Firth is constructed using eustatic calibration of index point altitude. The results are compared to other published isostatic curves for Scotland.