University of St Andrews

Sun, Sea and Sand

Friday 11 October 2013

Students taking the new option module Coastal Processes (GG3271) recently spent an early October weekend visiting Oban and the island of Kerrera on the Scottish west coast as part of a new initiative to enhance field-based skills training opportunities in the Geography honours programme at St Andrews.

After a calm crossing from the mainland to Kerrera on Saturday morning, the group focussed their attention on the dramatic south coast of the island, where the evidence for raised shorelines and wave-cut platforms around Gylen Castle are among the best in Europe. Gylen Castle captured the imagination of the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner; his Staffa Sketchbook (1831) devoted no less than 25 pages of sketches to Gylen.

Sunday morning was spent levelling and mapping sediment distributions (to include laboratory-based analysis at St Andrews) at Ganavan Bay, near our base for the weekend at the SYHA, Oban. On Sunday afternoon, the group visited Loch Etive to consider the glacial landscapes of the Scottish highlands and the interplay between glaciation, global sea-level changes and coastlines.

The group photograph shows the GG3271 class accompanied by D-GSD staff members: William Austin, David McCarthy and Helen Packwood; the photograph was taken on the shores of the freshwater Loch Earn at St Fillans, Perthshire en route from St Andrews to Oban.

Photo of staff & students at Loch Earn