Domain IM: ice-scoured montane

Ice-scoured montane domain ice limits

This domain is present in the North and North West Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland and is dominated by a glacially scoured mainly lowland landscape with low rounded hills and numerous small lakes, fjords and coastal platforms, but also includes some mountains.

The domain is largely devoid of superficial deposits (~20%) as it has experienced severe, widespread glacial erosion. Soil is thin or non-existent. Organic deposits form about 3% of the area (16% of the area of superficial deposits).

Generally upland peat development is common as blanket peat in the western and northern parts of the domain where rainfall is greatest.

Upland peat bogs owe their origin in part to human interference with native wood: the bogs developing post forest clearance from a combination of processes including soil erosion, increased run-off, waterlogging and acidification of the soil, which prevented the trees from re-establishing. Peat growth (and thus thickness of the deposit) may well differ from one part of a bog to another partly due to local variations in climatic wetness and/or hydrological variations in the mire complex.

Ice-scoured hollows are ubiquitous on lower ground, and are generally filled with highly compressible deposits of peat, silt and clay.

Mire classification (and guide to dominance within the domain)

Subjective guide to dominance within this domain Topogenous mires Soligenous mires Ombrogenous mires
Dominant     Blanket mire
Locally present   Valley mire

Spring mire

Rare Open water transition mire

Basin mire


Floodplain mire

  Raised mire


For further information please contact Marieta Garcia-Bajo