Synopsis

Detailed lithostratigraphical and biostratigraphical studies from an isolation basin at Inver Aulavaig on the Sleat Peninsula, Isle of Skye, Scotland, disclose changing environmental conditions during the Late Devensian and Holocene. In particular, they reveal three marine transgressions at the site since the Late Devensian, when the sea crossed the rock threshold at +5.10 mod. The radiocarbon dates obtained may incorporate hard water errors, but are considered broadly indicative of the ages of these events. The earliest event recorded at Inver Aulavaig, took place prior to c. 12600 14C bp and probably occurred soon after deglaciation as relative sea levels rose while the area was isostatically depressed. The second, which occurred between 8850±170 and 5440+50 14C bp, is correlated with the Main Postglacial Transgression. The third, which briefly took place between the statistically indistinguishable dates of 3160±40 and 3070±60 14C bp is believed to correlate with a widespread transgression recorded at several sites around the periphery of the Scottish glacio-isostatic uplift centre. The results would also appear to indicate that relative sea level in this area during the Younger Dryas did not exceed +5.10 mod.

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