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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Geomorphosites for Geotourism in the Northern Part of the “Ruta Escondida” (Quito, Ecuador)

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Centro de Investigaciones y Proyectos Aplicados a las Ciencias de la Tierra (CIPAT), ESPOL Polytechnic University, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ingeniería en Ciencias de la Tierra, ESPOL Polytechnic University, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Sacharxeos Cía. Ltda. Tulipanes 153 y Arupos Capelo Valle de los Chillos, Cantón Rumiñahui 170501, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, ESPOL Polytechnic University, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Geo-Recursos y Aplicaciones GIGA, ESPOL Polytechnic University, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Bira Bienes Raíces S.A. (BIRA S.A.), Av. Alfonso de Mercadillo, Zaruma 071350, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias de la Ingeniería, Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena (UPSE), La Libertad 240204, Ecuador
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Departamento de Infraestructura Geocientífica y Servicios, Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), 33005 Oviedo, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208468
Received: 17 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 7 October 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Planning for Sustainability)
The relevant geomorphological characteristics of territory represent an essential part of its natural heritage. They are also an asset to be exploited for stimulating socio-economic development. The “Ruta Escondida” in Ecuador constitutes a historical place full of culture and landscapes that have been shaped over time by geological and geomorphological processes. Among the geomorphological features of the study area, volcanic cones, hilltops, terraces, foothills and glacial valleys stand out. The aims of this work were: (1) to characterize 18 places of geomorphological interest, located in the northern part of the Ruta Escondida and (2) to propose alternatives (geotourism) to contribute to the local development of the area. The applied methodology included: (1) the compilation of geomorphological elements; (2) the assessment of geomorphosites using the Inventario Español de Lugares de Interés Geológico (IELIG) method and (3) a strengths–opportunities–weaknesses–threats analysis of the contribution and influence of geomorphosites in the development of the study area. With this work, it was possible to determine that all the analyzed geomorphological sites have a high and very high interest. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis revealed that the geomorphosites could provide significant added value to the development of geotourism on the route, complementing the already known cultural and historical attractions. View Full-Text
Keywords: geomorphological heritage; Ruta Escondida; geomorphosite; geotourism geomorphological heritage; Ruta Escondida; geomorphosite; geotourism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carrión-Mero, P.; Ayala-Granda, A.; Serrano-Ayala, S.; Morante-Carballo, F.; Aguilar-Aguilar, M.; Gurumendi-Noriega, M.; Paz-Salas, N.; Herrera-Franco, G.; Berrezueta, E. Assessment of Geomorphosites for Geotourism in the Northern Part of the “Ruta Escondida” (Quito, Ecuador). Sustainability 2020, 12, 8468. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208468

AMA Style

Carrión-Mero P, Ayala-Granda A, Serrano-Ayala S, Morante-Carballo F, Aguilar-Aguilar M, Gurumendi-Noriega M, Paz-Salas N, Herrera-Franco G, Berrezueta E. Assessment of Geomorphosites for Geotourism in the Northern Part of the “Ruta Escondida” (Quito, Ecuador). Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8468. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208468

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carrión-Mero, Paúl; Ayala-Granda, Alicia; Serrano-Ayala, Sthefano; Morante-Carballo, Fernando; Aguilar-Aguilar, Maribel; Gurumendi-Noriega, Miguel; Paz-Salas, Nataly; Herrera-Franco, Gricelda; Berrezueta, Edgar. 2020. "Assessment of Geomorphosites for Geotourism in the Northern Part of the “Ruta Escondida” (Quito, Ecuador)" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8468. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208468

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