Hannah Mathers on Erratic behaviour: reading NWHG glacial history from strange mountain-top boulders.
The far northwest of Scotland is a great place for pattern-spotters and geomorphologists. Geological maps display useful contrasting lithological stripes from east to west and low to high elevation – patterns that serve as frames of reference for ice age landscape evolution. This talk will look at the amazing ‘storytelling’ potential of erratic boulders in narrating the climatic and environmental history of the Geopark.
Dr Hannah Mathers is a lecturer in Geography and Earth Science at the University of Glasgow. Her PhD thesis investigated the glacial legacy of the NW of Scotland using cosmogenic nuclide analysis and geomorphic mapping to constrain the erosional signature and deglaciation history of the Devensian ice sheet. The transport and distribution of glacial erratic boulders formed a key strand of evidence in delimiting glacial extent and properties.
Hannah grew up in Northumberland but spent many family holidays on the west coast of Scotland. Studying for a BSc in Geology & Physical Geography at the University of Edinburgh, Hannah first travelled to the geopark for an undergraduate field class in 2001 – one of the defining moments of her career trajectory. Since 2006, after completing an MSc in Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway and embarking on her doctoral research, Hannah has taken pains to return to the stunning and intriguing landscapes of the geopark as often as possible whether for research, outreach or recreation.