Reconstructing past coastal change in southeast Scotland
: evolution of the Fife coastline

  • Sarah Louise Boyd

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


The study of past relative sea level (RSL) change is crucial to improve our understanding of how coastlines could be affected by future climate change. This thesis adopts a multidisciplinary approach to explore past coastal change in southeast Scotland, with a focus on the Fife coastline. Development of a RSL model within a geographical information system (GIS) framework allowed for the prediction of RSL over the last ~12 ka at locations around the coast of Fife. Using the created prediction surfaces, palaeo-landscapes were reconstructed for key time periods with palaeoshorelines at 3, 6, 9 and 12 ka. The RSL surfaces show a complex history of fluctuating sea level within the last 12 ka. The models were tested with sedimentological and geophysical field data at the site of Largo Bay. A chronometric framework was measured using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon (RC) dating at the site with an age range from ~29 ka to
Date of Award15 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorC. Richard Bates (Supervisor), Timothy Charles Kinnaird (Supervisor) & Timothy David Raub (Supervisor)


  • OSL
  • Radiocarbon
  • Relative sea level
  • Geochronology
  • GIS
  • Scotland
  • Fife

Access Status

  • Full text embargoed until
  • 15 April 2023

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