Environmental change and Tephra Deposition: The Strath of Kildonan, Northern Scotland

Daniel Charman, Steven West, Ann Kelly, John Grattan

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Pollen analysis, tephra counts and geochemical data are presented from the upper 200 cm of a core from a basin mire in the Strath of Kildonan, northern Scotland. Three main tephra concentrations are located and tentatively dated to c. 7650 bp (K1), c. 4250 bp (K2) and 3250 bp (K3) by cross correlation with the regional pollen chronology. The identity of the tephra layers is unknown but the peak at 4250 bp may be from the Hekla 4 eruption. The associated changes in catchment soils and vegetation are highly variable. K1 is associated with a major vegetation disturbance but no significant change occurs at K3. K2 is correlated with a large regional rise in pine pollen. These results conflict with previous studies on distal impacts of volcanic activity during the Holocene and demonstrate the diversity of environmental changes associated with Holocene volcanic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-809
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995


  • geochemistry
  • pollen
  • strath of kildonan
  • tephra


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