Scotland’s Changing Landscape

Colin K. Ballantyne, Andrew R. Black, Rob Ferguson, John E. Gordon, James D. Hansom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Landscape changes in Scotland occur in an environment of relative tectonic and climatic stability but widespread human impact. However, climatic trends and projections suggest that gradual warming and loss of snowcover may in the future be accompanied by increases in winter wetness and extreme rainstorm events, particularly in western Scotland. Periodic flood events show no clear historical trend, but are responsible for channel changes in upland rivers, infrastructural damage and urban flooding; increased wetness and ground saturation may increase the frequency of such events. Active rock-slope instability is rare, but there is evidence of increasing debris-flow activity, which has been responsible for disruption of road and rail links. Coastal changes (mainly beach and dune erosion) reflect relative sea-level rise, diminution of offshore sediment supply and the effects of coastal protection structures causing localised erosion and beach steepening. Anthropogenic activity (urban expansion, infrastructure development, land-use change and mineral extraction) has had a major geomorphological and visual impact on the Scottish landscape, at worst resulting in geodiversity loss and landscape blight. Growing recognition of the benefits of geoconservation, however, may help preserve Scotland’s outstanding and varied landscapes and landforms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandscapes and Landforms of Scotland
EditorsColin K. Ballantyne, John E. Gordon
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer
Chapter5
Pages97-114
Number of pages18
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9783030712464
ISBN (Print)9783030712457 (hbk), 9783030712488 (pbk)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
PublisherSpringer
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Floods
  • River channel changes
  • River regulation
  • Rock-slope stability
  • Debris flows
  • Snow avalanches
  • Coasts
  • Coastal erosion
  • Anthropogenic impacts
  • Geodiversity
  • Geoconservation

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