The micromorphology of Paleoseismic soft sediment deformation structures in glacial deposits from three sample sites in Scotland /
Taylor, John Michael.
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The nature of this research is to investigate paleoseismic deformation of glacial soft sediments from three sampling sites throughout the Scottish Highlands; Arrat's Mills, Meikleour and Glen Roy. The paleoseismic evidence investigated in this research will provide a basis for applying criteria to soft sediment deformation structures, and the trigger mechanisms that create these structures. Micromorphology is the tool used in this to investigate paleoseismic deformation structures in thin section. Thin section analysis, (micromorphology) of glacial sediments from the three sampling sites is used to determine microscale evidence of past earthquakes that can be correlated to modem-day events and possibly lead to a better understanding of the impact of earthquakes throughout a range of sediment types. The significance of the three sampling locations is their proximity to two major active fault zones that cross Scotland. The fault zones are the Highland Boundary Fault and the Great Glen Fault, these two major faults that parallel each other and divide the country in half Sims (1975) used a set of seven criteria that identified soft sediment deformation structures created by a magnitude six earthquake in Cahfomia. Using criteria set forth by Sims (1975), the paleoseismic evidence can be correlated to the magnitude of the deformation structures found in the glacial sediments. This research determined that the microstructures at Arrat's Mill, Meikleour and Glen Roy are consistent with a seismically induced origin. It has also been demonstrated that, even without the presence of macrostructures, the use of micromorphology techniques in detecting such activity within sediments is of immense value.