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25 June 2018 Evidence for a Former Transgressive Dune Field: Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
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Kelley, J.T.; Kelley, A.R.; Sorrell, L.; Bigelow, G., and Bampton, M., 2018. Evidence for a former transgressive dune field: Shetland Islands, United Kingdom.Transgressive sand dunes result from a large disturbance of a significant coastal sand dune field. Sand blows landward, covering whatever it encounters, including agricultural fields, forests, or human habitations. This investigation is of a beach-dune system in the Shetland Islands of northern Scotland that is known from historic documents and archaeological excavations to have experienced a sand invasion during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Ground-penetrating radar observations suggest remnants of pre-LIA dunes and buried soils. Excavation of dunes and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of sand deposits confirm historic accounts but also document that the “event” lasted centuries. Geomorphological observations and OSL dates also indicate that earlier events occurred in this region, sometimes in association with known archaeological sites like Old Scatness and Jarlshof. Although the site studied is stable now, a sand invasion could occur again owing to increased storminess, removal of dune vegetation, or both. Mining of the dunes for aggregate places the contemporary beach in a more vulnerable position than earlier.
©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2018
Joseph T. Kelley, Alice R. Kelley, Lee Sorrell, Gerald Bigelow and Matthew Bampton "Evidence for a Former Transgressive Dune Field: Shetland Islands, United Kingdom," Journal of Coastal Research (JCR) 34(6), (25 June 2018).
Received: 1 August 2017; Accepted: 28 October 2017; Published: 25 June 2018

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