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Geological Map of a Treasure Chest of Geodiversity: The Lavagnina Lakes Area (Alessandria, Italy)

1
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e della Vita, Università degli Studi di Genova, Corso Europa, 26, 16132 Genova, Italy
2
Independent Researcher, Chiavari, 16043 Genova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050229
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating for Geoscience)
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Abstract

The aim of this work is to present a new georeferenced geological map of an area in the Ligurian Western Alps (Lavagnina Lakes area) that includes both a unique geodiversity and great biodiversity, a peculiar geological heritage, and cultural features. The study area is located in the northern part of the Capanne di Marcarolo Regional Natural Park, occurring in the southern Piedmont Region (Alessandria, NW Italy) and close to the suburbs of Genoa. This area has been studied by multi-disciplinary scientific researchers who, so far, have focused their attention on the occurrence of alkaline springs and investigation of different endemic floral species. Moreover, in the past, the Lavagnina Lakes area has been exploited due to the presence of gold mineralization, and several mining records are still visible. We performed detailed geological mapping at a 1:10,000 scale, and collected data that were later integrated into a digital GIS map. The database associated with the map contains information that may be interesting from different points of view: (i) scientific research; (ii) outreach and dissemination activities; and (iii) geotourism (i.e., trail networks and panoramic viewpoints). The area represents a section of the Jurassic Piedmont Ligurian oceanic lithosphere, showing several geologic processes on different scales, such as the serpentinization process and intense and widespread carbonation of ultramafic rocks; the area is, moreover, characterized by fault systems showing paleoseismic structures. Beyond scientific research activities (i.e., geology, geoarchaeology, and mining archaeology), the area can also be promoted for geotourism, outreach and dissemination activities, field trips for schools, and gold panning activities. Hence, our new digital map and our 3D model could be a useful tool to illustrate the main characteristics of the area, leading a non-expert public to explore different geological features in a relatively “small” area. In this way, our map could help to improve geotourism, be used as a tool for educational activities, and, finally, could also help the Capanne di Marcarolo Regional Natural Park to be recognized as a geopark. View Full-Text
Keywords: QGIS geological mapping; dissemination and outreach; natural park QGIS geological mapping; dissemination and outreach; natural park
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Scarsi, M.; Crispini, L.; Malatesta, C.; Spagnolo, C.; Capponi, G. Geological Map of a Treasure Chest of Geodiversity: The Lavagnina Lakes Area (Alessandria, Italy). Geosciences 2019, 9, 229.

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