Early Pleistocene

Middle Pleistocene

Late Pleistocene



Late-glacial  mean July air temperature reconstruction (a) at Whitrig Bog, southeast Scotland (from Brooks & Birks, 2000a) compared to the GRIP oxygen isotope data (b). 

Abbreviations: H = Holocene, YD = Younger Dryas, IS = Interstadial, S = Stadial, GS = Greenland Stadial, GI = Greenland Interstadial.

Late Glacial

Late glacial: the period between deglaciation and the start of the Holocene, 10, 000 years ago

Loch Lomond Stadial : Cold period that occurred towards the end of the last (Devensian) glacial stage in Scotland. The event took place about 11000-10000 radiocarbon years BP. It is characterized by the development of small ice-caps and glaciers in the Scottish Highlands. The period is named after the advance of ice from the SW Highlands to the southern shore of Loch Lomond.

The Cairngorms probably became ice free from around 15 kyr, with deglaciation starting in the northeastern sector of the mountains. The climatic amelioration around 14.5kyr was remarkably rapid, possibly occurring within 50 years. Lake sediments containing organic materials began to accumulate soon after (Sissons and Walker, 1974; Birks and Matthewes, 1978). Temperatures rose close to present values and a complex mosaic of vegetation communities developed across northeast Scotland.

After 12.75 kyr conditions deteriorated and there was a return to arctic conditions around 12.5 kyr. The Loch Lomond Stadial is a highly significant interval in the development of the scenery of the Cairngorms. Small glaciers returned for the final time to the corries and valley heads, leaving bouldery moraines in the inner recesses of the Northern Corries. Permafrost became established on both high and low ground and rates of debris production from rock walls increased markedly.