Fieldwork Skye

Skye Field Visit

ENVS269 – Mapping Training Field Course to Skye

This field class runs at Easter time in Year 2 and is designed specifically for students on the Geology and Physical Geography (GPG) degree programmes. It aims to train students in both geological and geomorphological mapping, skills GPG students will use in independent field-projects in Year 3.

The Field course takes place in NW Scotland on the Isle of Skye, which has fabulous bedrock geology as well as fantastic glacial geomorphology. The glacial landscape is exceptional with the region a type locality for ‘hummocky moraine’ and the maximum limit for Younger Dryas glacier re-advance into Loch Slapin around 11500 years ago. The bedrock mapping investigates the Mesozoic sediments and fossils and Tertiary volcanics exposed on the Strathaird peninsula. This integrated course is delivered by both geology and physical geography staff from the School of Environmental Sciences so students are guided by experts in both fields. The emphasis is on helping students to become independent researchers who can identify, tackle and solve a range of field-based problems through mapping.

A component of the training in geomorphological mapping skills is gaining experience of high-end technologies to harvest further information about part of the area mapped. High resolution LIDAR laser scanning and differential GPS are used to generate a detailed geo-referenced 3D model of an alluvial fan. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is then used to explore the subsurface structure and sediments to clarify the distribution of buried former river channels on the surface of an extensive alluvial fan.

Accommodation is self-catering in exceptionally well-equipped bungalows.