I suppose we should welcome the publication of a big new paper, with multiple authors, describing the compilation of the latest version (No 2) of the BRITICE map of the British Isles. The map is much more detailed than the first one, and that is to be welcomed, and the accompanying paper makes interesting reading. The BRITICE project fieldwork is now wound up, but I dare say that there are many papers still to be published, from what has been a very large project involving large numbers of geomorphologists and other specialists. They have done a vast amount of fieldwork, both on land and at sea..... or have they?
Here is a link to the paper:
Clark, C. D., Ely, J. C., Greenwood, S. L., Hughes, A. L. C., Meehan, R., Barr, I. D., Bateman, M. D., Bradwell, T., Doole, J., Evans, D. J. A., Jordan, C. J., Monteys, X., Pellicer, X. M. & Sheehy, M. 2017 : BRITICE Glacial Map, version 2: a map and GIS database of glacial landforms of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet. Boreas. https://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12273. ISSN 0300-9483.
During the last glaciation, most of the British Isles and the surrounding continental shelf were covered by the British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS). An earlier compilation from the existing literature (BRITICE version 1) assembled the relevant glacial geomorphological evidence into a freely available GIS geodatabase and map (Clark et al. 2004: Boreas 33, 359). New high-resolution digital elevation models, of the land and seabed, have become available casting the glacial landform record of the British Isles in a new light and highlighting the shortcomings of the V.1 BRITICE compilation. Here we present a wholesale revision of the evidence, onshore and offshore, to produce BRITICE version 2, which now also includes Ireland. All published geomorphological evidence pertinent to the behaviour of the ice sheet is included, up to the census date of December 2015. The revised GIS database contains over 170 000 geospatially referenced and attributed elements – an eightfold increase in information from the previous version. The compiled data include: drumlins, ribbed moraine, crag-and-tails, mega-scale glacial lineations, glacially streamlined bedrock (grooves, roches moutonnées, whalebacks), glacial erratics, eskers, meltwater channels (subglacial, lateral, proglacial and tunnel valleys), moraines, trimlines, cirques, trough-mouth fans and evidence defining ice-dammed lakes. The increased volume of features necessitates different map/database products with varying levels of data generalization, namely: (i) an unfiltered GIS database containing all mapping; (ii) a filtered GIS database, resolving data conflicts and with edits to improve geo-locational accuracy (available as GIS data and PDF maps); and (iii) a cartographically generalized map to provide an overview of the distribution and types of features at the ice-sheet scale that can be printed at A0 paper size at a 1:1 250 000 scale. All GIS data, the maps (as PDFs) and a bibliography of all published sources are available for download from: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/geography/staff/clark_chris/britice.
So is the new map reliable, and is it of any use to the rest of the world as a teaching and research aid? Yes, and yes again. But I have major reservations about the fact that the map is available as a "zoom in" version, rather like the BGS geology map available on their viewing facility. Clearly much of the data has been input on a very small scale, so that when we zoom in to look at a part of the countryside at a scale of 1:50,000 or maybe 1:10,000 the result becomes nonsensical, with straight edges to lakes and moraines (for example) that bear no relationship to the details of local topography.
We can only judge things on the basis of what we know, and so I have taken a long hard look at what the map tells us about that area around Preseli and Carningli (my home area). Even given that the map shows "last glaciation features" and nothing older, what we see makes no sense at all.