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Title: The geomorphology of Scotland, with particular reference to the southeast
Author: Sissons, J. B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1972
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The submission comprises 29 publications (27 papers, a book, and a chapter from a book) together with a commentary thereon. The publications may be grouped under five main headings, although considerable overlap occurs. (i) Tertiary landform evolution, it is suggested that slope retreat was much more important in Tertiary landform evolution than is generally believed, that the erosion surface remnants that now survive have been much modified since their initial formation, and that the apparently conflicting views on the origin of erosion surfaces are less divergent than is generally believed. Particular attention is given to the initiation of the Scottish drainage system and a principal initial watershed of simple form is proposed. (ii) Fluviogiacial landforms. Using evidence obtained particularly by detailed mapping of such landforras in Scotland it is shown that interpretations of fluvioglacial landforms that require the former existence in upland Britain of numerous ice-dammed lakes are largely invalid. These interpretations, which prevailed for over half a century, are replaced by interpretations involving extensive subglacial drainage systems. In addition the concept of the englacial water-table is introduced. (iii) Relative sea-level changes. Relative sea-level changes in Scotland during lateglacial and postglacial times were for eighty years almost always considered in terms of the 100-ft, 50-ft, 25-ft and possible 15-ft raised beaches. This approach is entirely rejected and a new pattern of land/sea-level changes Is developed in detail for 3outh-Eaet Scotland and tentatively outlined for the rest of the country. The need for accurate levelling of raised shorelines and related outwash deposits at closelyspaced intervals is stressed and the results of such work presented. The need to study buried morphology (as well as marlne/estuarine stratigraphy) by means of numerous closely-spaced boreholes is emphasised, and the existence of buried raised beaches and a major buried marine erosional feature in the Forth valley demonstrated. It is also shown by very detailed work that the widely-adopted working hypothesis that glacioisostatic uplift results in regular tilting of raised shorelines does not apply to part of the Forth valley. It is further suggested that important glacial reedvances may result in renewed downvarping of the earth's crust. (iv) Readvanceg. Three glacial readvances have been tentatively postulated by the writer as having occurred in Scotland. The first of these (the Aberdeen-lasaserrauir Readvance) is now rejected. The second (the Perth Keadvanee) is currently the subject of discussion and some salient points relating to this discussion are given in the commentary. The third (the loch Lomond Readvance), originally mapped by the writer at a small scale in Scotland as a whole, is now firmly established and its limits have been mapped at a larger scale in certain parts of Scotland. (v) Some practical anrllcations, hhile drift borehole information obtained in the course of commercial site investigations, mineral prospecting, etc. can constitute valuable evidence relating to landform evolution in certain areas, it can also be used for practical purposes by geooorphologists. The latter should use their specialist knowledge to correlate and plot on maps various aspects of surface geology relating to foundation conditions, such as rockhead relief, drift thickness and character of surfaced ©posits. Examples of such maps, which can be of considerable value for planners, civil engineers, etc., are given for the Grangemouth area and for central Edinburgh.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available