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Open AccessArticle

The Unique Granite Gorge in Mountainous Adygeya, Russia: Evidence of Big and Complex Geosite Disproportions

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Department of Physical Geography, Ecology, and Nature Protection, Institute of Earth Sciences, Southern Federal University, Zorge Street 40, Rostov-on-Don 344090, Russia
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K.G. Razumovsky Moscow State University of Technologies and Management (the First Cossack University), Zemlyanoy Val 73, Moscow 109004, Russia
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Department of Economics and Management, Business School, Cherepovets State University, Sovetskiy Avenue 10, Cherepovets, Vologda Region 162600, Russia
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South Ural State University, Lenin Avenue 76, Chelyabinsk 454080, Russia
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Ural State Agrarian University, Karl Liebknecht Street 42, Yekaterinburg 620075, Russia
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V.M. Gorbatov Federal Research Center for Food Systems of Russian Academy of Sciences, Talalikhin Street 26, Moscow 109316, Russia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090372
Received: 20 July 2019 / Revised: 24 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 27 August 2019
Geological heritage sites (geosites) are subject to conservation and exploitation for science, education, and tourism. Some geosites are big and comprise diverse phenomena. Concentration of the latter in some parts of these geosites makes them disproportionate. A typical example is the Granite Gorge in SW Russia that is of recognizable tourism importance. It stretches for ~5 km and represents a deep valley of the Belaya River and Late Paleozoic granitoids of the Dakh Crystalline Massif. However, the full spectrum of unique features is much wider. Their inventory permits the establishment of geomorphological, igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary, mineralogical, paleogeographical, tectonic, economic, engineering, and hydrological and hydrogeological types of geological heritage. Spatial distribution of these types and the relevant features indicates their significant concentration near the northern entrance to the gorge and a less important concentration near the southern entrance. This is evidence of geosite disproportion. Apparently, the latter implies the need to focus geoconservation and geotourism activities on the noted loci of concentration. However, this would ’disrupt’ the geosite integrity, and, thus, management of the Granite Gorge geosite requires attention to all its parts, including those with lower heritage value. View Full-Text
Keywords: Environmental management; geoconservation; granitoids; river incision; tourism; Paleozoic; Western Caucasus Environmental management; geoconservation; granitoids; river incision; tourism; Paleozoic; Western Caucasus
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Mikhailenko, A.V.; Ruban, D.A.; Yashalova, N.N.; Rebezov, M.B. The Unique Granite Gorge in Mountainous Adygeya, Russia: Evidence of Big and Complex Geosite Disproportions. Geosciences 2019, 9, 372.

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