Scope of study: Edge roundness of clasts and boulders on moraines of a Younger Dryas period in Strath Dionard , Sutherland, NW Scotland.
After research on clast shape analysis, I based my study on Lukas et al (2013) Clast shape analysis and clast transport paths in glacial environments: A critical review of methods and the role of lithology. I had three locations/moraine ridges along the valley were selected to collect the samples from. Using a systematic approach to clast shape analysis meant that I could fill a research gap in this field of study.
Monday 29th June:
Today leaving from Luton airport at 1pm to arrive in Inverness at 4 leaving half way to go to the destination being Durness, Sutherland, NW Scotland.
Finally arriving at Ard-na Bruthaich B&B around 7pm , it came to realisation that this area was very remote comparing with other places I’d visited.
Tuesday 30th June:
Waking up around 8 to cooked breakfast was defiantly needed after a long day of travelling yesterday. The owner of the B&B had also given us information about the area and that the geology and environment was a perfect location for my research. The workers at Durness visitors centre had a lot of useful information about walking along the Strath Dionard valley and the mountains Cranstackie and Foinaven which were amongst some local and nearby attractions.
We set off walking down the tracks to the entrance of Strath Dionard walking towards my first set of coordinates I had recorded showing where moraines with boulders were located, samples for this moraine was collected using clast shape analysis in a systematic approach to collection. This was repeated for a fluvial (water transport) sample.
Whilst having a break after sample collection we meet some other visitors who were out fishing in Loch Dionard, and a keeper at the close by estate. The locals along with everyone we meet that day were very friendly and the location of research proved to be a very beautiful place full of natural wonder.
Wednesday 1st July:
The first day of the new month was spent with a long walk amongst rivers and mountains to the second location and moraine which clast shape analysis could be carried out…defiantly different to my usual mornings in the city. We managed to get a lift in a truck from the local keeper on his way to the Loch, which defiantly helped, as we were able to enjoy the scenery even more whilst resting our legs from the 7 hours out in the field on Tuesday.
We collected samples from this this location successfully along with another fluvial sample.
Realising the differences with the moraines and environment I started to get a better idea for setting out my sample collections and everything was falling in place. In good timing as we finished the samples we managed to get a lift back up to the main road. In the evening we went to the local Durness Sango Sands café which was definitely a treat after the hard work.
Thursday 2nd July:
A 9am start to the day out in Strath Dionard began with a lift with fellow visitors to the furthest location near Coire na Lurgainn which is part of the Foinaven mountain to collect samples from a moraine over 130 meters long. This day proved tiring but we managed to get a lot of data collection done and ended the work around 5 as we headed back to eat later that evening at the café Sango Sands. Now with more information collecting I was feeling much more confident with the dissertation research and further correlating with the previous research of the area and the glacial past. Today went very swiftly.
Friday 3rd July:
Today marked an early 9am start, getting a lift down the track of Strath Dionard definitely helped save time for the task planned ahead. Samples were collected from the third moraine, using a strategic process of measurements being 50 m apart and different edges of the moraine ridge.
Sample collection from location 3 took up till 4pm as I was eager to get as much done in the time I had in Scotland, so after a break one set of supraglacial (on slope) samples were collected from Calbhach Coire making part of Cranstackie mountain. The weather permitted a day of hard work that truly paid off in the end including ventures over fences to reach the supraglacial samples located on the downward slope of Cranstackie.
Saturday 4th July –Wednesday 8th July:
Another supraglacial sample was collected this time as we went ahead to collect the samples we passed the beautiful Loch Tarbhaidh and Lochan Sgeireach. Working hard from morning to evening consistently had really in completing the sample collection.
Before leaving Durness , Scotland we enjoyed the view of mountains and outdoors one more time and said our goodbyes to the lovely people we had met to set of back home.
By the end of the trip my mum had gone from saying she couldn’t believe that she was spending summer on a geography ‘holiday’ to the fact that she had really enjoyed herself and would like to have this experience again. She was a big help throughout the whole stay up in Durness and the data collection went very well thanks to her help.