Living with sand: a record of landscape change and storminess during the Bronze and Iron Ages Orkney, Scotland

Tisdall, E.W., McCulloch, R.D., Sanderson, D.C.W. , Simpson, I.A. and Woodward, N.L. (2013) Living with sand: a record of landscape change and storminess during the Bronze and Iron Ages Orkney, Scotland. Quaternary International, 308-09, pp. 205-215. (doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.05.016)

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Palaeoenvironmental analyses of an exposed sequence of interbedded sand and peat overlying glacial till on Stronsay, Orkney, has revealed evidence of dynamic landscape change during the Holocene. AMS radiocarbon and OSL dating are used to identify periods of minerogenic and organic sediment accumulation. A lengthy period of stability during the early Holocene is inferred from the development of a deeply weathered till surface with pollen and soil micromorphological evidence suggesting prolonged woodland cover. During the mid to late Holocene phases of wind-blown sand that inundated the landscape are defined from the sedimentary record and are interpreted as periods of increased storminess between c. 3400-3100cal. BP and c. 2800-2260cal. BP. The palaeoecological evidence points to continuity of human exploitation, despite the phases of increased storminess during the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age. Rising sea levels and a severe storm event at c. 650 years BP inundated the site with massive sands and truncated the record. These storm events recorded on Stronsay are part of a regionally synchronous record for periods of increased storminess across the North Atlantic region during the Holocene.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanderson, Professor David
Authors: Tisdall, E.W., McCulloch, R.D., Sanderson, D.C.W., Simpson, I.A., and Woodward, N.L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Quaternary International
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1873-4553

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