Holocene relative sea level change in the lower Nith valley and estuary

D. E. Smith, R. Cullingford, A. Haggart, R. Tipping, J. M. Wells, Timothy Michael Mighall, S. Dawson

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Detailed morphological, lithostratigraphical and biostratigraphical studies in the lower Nith valley and estuary, Scotland, disclose evidence for changing relative sea levels during the Holocene. The Main Postglacial Transgression was in progress in the area around c. 7500 C-14 years bp (8350 cal. years BP) to c. 7800 C-14 years BP (c. 8600 cal. years BP), perhaps by c. 7675 (14) years BP (c. 8490 cal. years BP); relative sea levels fell briefly after c. 7200 C-14 years BP (e. 8020 cal. years Bp); then resumed their rise after c. 7000 C-14 years Bp (c. 7800 cal. years up) and culminated by c. 5900 C-14 years BP (c. 6720 cal. years BP) reaching the Main Postglacial Shoreline, the evidence for which is widespread in the lower Nith valley. Subsequently, relative sea levels may have fluctuated, modifying or exceeding Main Postglacial Shoreline features along the estuary coastline before failing to a lower shoreline and then falling farther to reach present levels at c. 1760 C-14 years BP (C. 1800 cal. years Bp), after which there is no evidence for relative sea-level change in the area. This sequence is considered broadly comparable with sequences recorded at other sites along the northern shore of the Solway Firth, in particular confirming evidence for a fluctuation in the Main Postglacial Transgression and for the age of the Main Postalacial Shoreline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-120
Number of pages23
JournalScottish Journal of Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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