Western Grampian Highlands

John E. Gordon*, D. Noel Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Western Grampian Highlands, including Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, form a rugged mountain landscape displaying classic features of glacial erosion developed across a range of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Glacial troughs radiate out from Rannoch Moor, which formed a major ice dispersal centre during successive Pleistocene glacial episodes. The area is also notable for glacier depositional landforms associated with the Loch Lomond Readvance, particularly a large valley sandur and associated landforms at the western end of Loch Etive and hummocky recessional moraines on Rannoch Moor—a key locality for establishing the timing of deglaciation of the West Highland ice cap. Excellent examples of Holocene rock-slope failures, debris flows, debris cones and alluvial fans add to the geomorphological diversity, while Glen Coe provides a geologically outstanding illustration of a caldera collapse. A large part of the area lies within Lochaber Geopark.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandscapes and landforms of Scotland
EditorsColin K. Ballantyne, John E. Gordon
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030712464
ISBN (Print)9783030712457, 9783030712488
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameWorld geomorphological landscapes
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104


  • Alluvial fans
  • Caldera collapse
  • Debris flows and cones
  • Geopark
  • Glacial erosion
  • Hummocky recessional moraines
  • Loch Lomond Readvance
  • Rock-slope failures
  • Valley sandar


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