The theory of isostasy is illustrated using the town of Stonehaven in Scotland as an example. During an ice age, the build-up of ice presses down on the land and the sea level drops. When the ice melts there is a rapid and significant rise in sea level and the land rises up. The resulting change in sea level is called isostasy. What was once a wave-cut platform and beach is raised out of the sea forming a raised beach. The town of Stonehaven has been built on such a feature.

First broadcast:
17 October 2007

Discuss the role of Quaternary sea level change in the creation of specific coastal features and in the rate of coastal change. Relate this to case studies and discuss how predicted sea level and climate change is likely to affect particular coastal areas. Ensure that students have an understanding of both isostatic and eustatic changes.