Plateau regolith and tor, Cairn Gorm summit

valley and corrie features 

plateau features

active processes

dating periglacial features         

Frost rubble in the Chalamain Gap

Periglacial Landscapes

Defintion: any area with a tundra climate, such as mountainous areas in mid-latitudes, or where frost processes are active or permafrost occurs in some form.

The high Cairngorms is an alpine-arctic environment in which frost-related processes operate effectively. Two generations of periglacial features may be recognised:

  • features active today or earlier in the Holocene
  • relict features from the Pleistocene

Active features are found both on the plateau and in the valleys. Due to the effects of erosion by the last ice sheet, relict features are confined to the Cairngorm plateau.

Ballantyne (1996) gives a thorough review of the character and origins of many periglacial features in the Cairngorms.