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Landslides, glaciation and the evolution of mountain landscapes during the Quaternary (lecture)

Thursday, 14 April 2022
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:
Room 639, James McCune Smith Learning Hub
University Avenue
Glasgow, G12 8QW United Kingdom

Professor Colin Ballantyne, University of St Andrews

A persistent view amongst geologists is that landscape evolution in mid-latitude mountains during the Quaternary (2.6 Ma to the present) was dominated by glacial erosion. Using examples from Scotland, this presentation shows that areas of high ground have experienced very limited glacial erosion, and that classic glacial landforms such as glacial troughs, corries and arêtes continued to evolve during successive interglacial periods through rockfall and rock-slope failure. The present mountain landscapes of Scotland and other tectonically stable mid-latitude mountains therefore represent a synergistic relationship between glacial and interglacial (paraglacial) processes operating over very long timescales.

Further Reading

Ballantyne, C.K., Sandeman, G.F., Stone, J.O. and Wilson, P. 2014. Rock-slope failure following Late Pleistocene deglaciation on tectonically stable mountainous terrain. Quaternary Science Reviews, 86, 144-157.

Colin completed a PhD at Edinburgh University on the periglacial geomorphology of mountains in NW Scotland before taking up a lectureship at the University of St Andrews in 1980. He was appointed Professor of Physical Geography at St Andrews in 1994. His research has been recognised in a number of awards, including the Warwick Award (1986) and Wiley Award (1999) of the British Society for Geomorphology (formerly BGRG), the President’s Medal (1990) and Newbigin Prize (1991) of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the Saltire Society Scottish Science Award (1996) and the Clough Medal (2010) of the Edinburgh Geological Society, the premier Scottish award in Earth Sciences. He was elected FRSE and FRSA in 1996 and received the degree of DSc from the University of St Andrews in 2000. He is a visiting professor at UNIS (Svalbard) and former Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Colin has recently published a very accessible book on ‘Scotland’s Mountain Landscapes’. This would make a great gift for folk interested in Scottish mountains and how they were shaped. He will bring some copies along for purchase at a bargain price of £20 (RRP £28).

This lecture will be held as a live event in the James McCune Smith Learning Hub.