The technique that has become known as lichenometry has been adopted by geomorphologists, glacial workers in particular, since its introduction by R.E. Beschel in a series of papers dating from 1950. Some workers have claimed that the method has an ability to provide an absolute as well as a relative chronology for substrata exposed over timescales of up to seyeral thousands of years from the present, although the norm for absolute dating is probably restricted to the last 500 years (Innes 1985a). It is especially useful where the utilisation of other techniques such as dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating and palynology are either impossible or difficult due to inclement environmental factors or the lack of suitably preserved material. The most important potential is in those enviroments where glacier fluctuations during the Holocene have long been subject to debate. Lichenometry does, however, have other geomorphological applications such as shoreline dating, river flood frequency studies, mass movement chronology and volcanic activity patterns.