The aesthetic beauty of a landscape is an integral value reflected in artistic inspiration. Science, in contrast, tries to quantify the landscape using various methods. Of these, geodiversity indices have been found to be a useful approach, and this geomorphological diversity is characterized through derivatives made from digital terrain models (DTM). While these methods are useful, they have a drawback that the value of some landscape features may be underestimated if they have regular forms. For example, the aesthetic and scientific attractiveness of our study area, the Chaîne des Puys (Auvergne, France), a UNESCO World Heritage site, is strongly related to the distinctive small volcanoes, but despite being an outstanding element of the landscape, the scoria cones do not stand out well in geodiversity indices. This is because they have almost symmetrical conical forms and regular slopes that score low in the available geodiversity methods. We explore this problem and investigate how to overcome the low geodiversity performance of these distinctive landscape elements. We propose a modified approach for scoria cones using the normal input layers but adapted to the cone geometry. The modified indices are easy to compute and consider the uniformity and symmetry of larger landscape elements that form scientifically integral and aesthetically vital components of the landscape. The method is applicable to the tens of thousands of small monogenetic volcanoes in the hundreds of volcanic fields around the world, and could be extended to other volcanic features, such as domes. It would be possible to use the method to study larger volcanoes, as they often share and replicate the small-scale monogenetic morphology considered here.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited