Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 52243

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences, Campus Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: geodiversity; geoheritage; geomorphology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term “geodiversity” emerged 30 years ago to define the range of geological (rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, physical processes, soil, and hydrological) features, including their assemblages, structures, systems, and contributions to landscapes. Traditionally associated with the theme of geoconservation, it has increasingly come to be perceived as a much broader topic, with influence on approaches that cover all domains of the geosciences.

In several approaches, geodiversity has been characterized in qualitative and/or quantitative procedures, generally supported in three main questions: “What?” is related to the type of geodiversity elements present in a certain area and its spatial distribution, which determines the scale of the analysis; “why?” represents the goals of its characterization and cartographic representation, such as education, outreach, land use planning or nature conservation; and “how?” deals with the selection of the method(s) and criteria for geodiversity characterization and assessment.

In the same way, interest in the cartographic representation of geodiversity has grown in recent years, as evidenced by the high number of scientific publications dedicated to this topic, mainly to quantitative methodologies and geodiversity indices. However, the purpose of mapping spatial geodiversity has not yet been properly demonstrated. Are these cartographic data applicable in the context of land use planning? Are they a tool for environmental management or nature conservation, similar to biodiversity? Is there a close relationship between them and the spatial distribution of biodiversity? These are some relevant questions that arise at a time when more and more researchers are paying attention to geodiversity topics, thus making it necessary to clearly define the object, objectives, and methods.

Therefore, in addition to conceptual discussions around geodiversity features (what?) and assessment methods (how?), one of the main current challenges is demonstrating why geodiversity is important in ecosystem services, in implementing nature conservation and land use policies, in its direct relationship with biodiversity, in ecosystems restoration, and as part of natural capital.

Manuscript submissions focusing on geodiversity assessment are welcome and encouraged. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Methods to assess geodiversity;
  • GIS and mapping of geodiversity;
  • Assessment of ecosystem services from geodiversity;
  • Relations between geodiversity and biodiversity;
  • Relations between geodiversity and geoheritage;
  • Relations between geodiversity and land-use;
  • Geodiversity data for land-use planning;
  • Geodiversity data for nature conservation.

Dr. Paulo Pereira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • geodiversity
  • assessment
  • methods
  • ecosystem services
  • mapping
  • GIS
  • geoheritage

Published Papers (20 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

26 pages, 9659 KiB  
Article
Identifying Optimal Cell Size for Geodiversity Quantitative Assessment with Richness, Diversity and Evenness Indices
by Catarina Lopes, Zara Teixeira, Diamantino I. Pereira and Paulo Pereira
Resources 2023, 12(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12060065 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
The importance of quantitatively assessing the spatial patterns of geodiversity, and their intrinsic relationship with biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided to society, has been signalized by several authors, due to the relevance of this information in territorial management, the planning of environmental [...] Read more.
The importance of quantitatively assessing the spatial patterns of geodiversity, and their intrinsic relationship with biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided to society, has been signalized by several authors, due to the relevance of this information in territorial management, the planning of environmental and conservation strategies. Within geodiversity method assessments, the grid system is the most widely used GIS spatial approach to calculate a geodiversity index. Preferred for its simplicity, it implies the fundamental decision of choosing the scale of the analysis, defined by the selection of cell size, determinant for the accuracy and correctness of the final maps. Although this topic has been occasionally approached by some authors within geodiversity assessments, there is no formal procedure for cell size selection. This is a key issue, and, in the scope of the present work, an empirical procedure to select optimal cell size(s) was tested on the national scale in Portugal, in lithology and geomorphology datasets. The quantitative method based on geodiversity indices was applied, using richness, diversity and evenness indices, in a hexagonal analytical grid, through eight cell dimensions. Several descriptive statistical parameters were analyzed, with particular emphasis on dispersion statistical measures. Optimal cell size corresponded to the minimum cell size, once dispersion values were significatively reduced or stabilized, and distributions from evenness and diversity indices were closer to symmetry, which provided more accurate results and higher spatial differentiation, although the final decision should always consider the main purposes of the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 5073 KiB  
Article
Quantifying Geodiversity at the Continental Scale: Limitations and Prospects
by Paweł Wolniewicz
Resources 2023, 12(5), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12050059 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
Geodiversity, defined as the natural range of geological, geomorphological, hydrological, and soil features, has been explored in a growing number of studies at different spatial scales. However, most research efforts have been directed at analysing geodiversity at a fine-scale. Here, an estimation of [...] Read more.
Geodiversity, defined as the natural range of geological, geomorphological, hydrological, and soil features, has been explored in a growing number of studies at different spatial scales. However, most research efforts have been directed at analysing geodiversity at a fine-scale. Here, an estimation of the geodiversity of the European subcontinent is performed using six available high-resolution global data sets that describe the diversity of selected features of the abiotic environment. Six maps representing geomorphological, geological, hydrological, hydrogeological, soil, and topographical diversity are compiled using the methods of centroid analysis and kernel density estimation. The present contribution identifies areas with high values of most geodiversity variables which were not previously studied, nor are included in the network of international geoparks. The study also shows that, although remote sensing images and digital elevation models allow one to grasp a significant understanding of geodiversity on the continental scale, fine-resolution and process-oriented geological data sets are required to further enhance the quality of large-scale geodiversity assessments. To ensure interoperability between studies, a consensus is necessary regarding the analytical methods, classification rules, standardised indices and dictionaries. Without this, comparisons of geodiversity evaluations across different scales and between distant study areas remain difficult. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

15 pages, 4383 KiB  
Article
Collecting Rocks on the Frontier: Investigating the Geodiversity Significance of Historical Building Stones and Rock Collecting at the Maxey Homestead, Northwest Texas, USA
by Stance Hurst, Doug Cunningham and Eileen Johnson
Resources 2023, 12(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12040044 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
The geoheritage importance of the stones used in the construction of buildings in urban landscapes has been documented by several scholars around the world. Building stones can provide an ex situ cross-section of a region’s geodiversity and illuminate its cultural significance. Research at [...] Read more.
The geoheritage importance of the stones used in the construction of buildings in urban landscapes has been documented by several scholars around the world. Building stones can provide an ex situ cross-section of a region’s geodiversity and illuminate its cultural significance. Research at the historic Maxey Homestead (1902–1907), located along the eastern escarpment of the Southern High Plains near Post, Texas, has uncovered a rock collection gathered from local sources. In addition, rocks from the eastern escarpment were used to construct and decorate a house in 1938 (~9 km to the north) after the Maxeys moved from their original homestead. A combination of GIS and 3D mapping using an unmanned aerial vehicle were used to assess and analyze the geodiversity significance of the rock collection and rock-decorated house. Rock collecting and the use of local stones in building construction provide insights into the geodiversity of the Southern High Plains’ eastern escarpment and the historical geoheritage of northwest Texas in the early 20th century. The results of this study also demonstrate the importance of examining non-urban and historical landscapes for elucidating the significance of geodiversity to past peoples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 35122 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Expert Assessment of Geosites with Tourist Preferences, Case Study: Sub-Tatra Region (Southern Poland, Northern Slovakia)
by Anna Chrobak-Žuffová
Resources 2023, 12(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12020025 - 2 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to compare the geotouristic potential of the Sub-Tatra Region, expressed in the values of expert assessment of geosites, against the preferences of tourists coming to the area. Tourist preferences were evaluated by a survey in which tourists [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to compare the geotouristic potential of the Sub-Tatra Region, expressed in the values of expert assessment of geosites, against the preferences of tourists coming to the area. Tourist preferences were evaluated by a survey in which tourists assessed the attractiveness of the types of geosites that can be admired in the area. The expert valorizations showed high and very high indices for most of the analyzed geosites. The highest of these assessment values show particularly high geotourism values for three geosites: the travertine hill with Spiš castle, the limestone hill with Orava castle and the travertine dome in Gánovce. A comparison of these results against average tourist preferences shows a moderate correlation (r = 0.4). Geosites of low and medium value according to expert assessments are rarely selected as the destination for equipment-intensive tourism. The sites with the highest combined valorization coefficients, i.e., hills with castle ruins, are of moderate interest to the surveyed group of respondents. The largest difference is in the assessment of the cave, waterfall and viewpoint geosites, where there is a great interest among tourist respondents, but the expert assessment index is low or moderate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

30 pages, 18711 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Geoconservation in Mining Landscapes: Opportunities for Geopark and GEOfood Approaches in Minas Gerais, Brazil
by Raphael Ocelli Pinheiro, Sara Gentilini and Marco Giardino
Resources 2023, 12(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12020020 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
The continuous processes of mining development, since the very beginning of Minas Gerais State’s development, have been giving new attention and meaning to valuable pre-existing features (i.e., cultural, social, and physical-environmental), impacting and recharacterizing not only its municipalities but their essential local or [...] Read more.
The continuous processes of mining development, since the very beginning of Minas Gerais State’s development, have been giving new attention and meaning to valuable pre-existing features (i.e., cultural, social, and physical-environmental), impacting and recharacterizing not only its municipalities but their essential local or native sociocultural components. At the same time, mining, as one of the central pillars of the Brazilian development model, has put different communities, natural and cultural heritage, and mineral and water resources at risk. The wide concept of geodiversity and the related geoheritage emerge as an alternative for conservation, territorial planning, and sustainable development, to reconcile these spheres. This study developed a comprehensive framework for geoconservation within selected areas of mining landscapes, contributing to insights for the creation of a catalog about geoheritage in the state of Minas Gerais, discussing and analyzing well-established strategies and opportunities based on UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp) and the GEOfood brand. We concluded that the mining landscapes of Minas Gerais must be administered as a viable possibility for economic and environmental dynamic actions and activities, strengthening the maintenance of municipalities from the very beginning to after the end of operational activities. Heritage programs such as UGGp and GEOfood enable knowledge sharing and engagement with geoheritage, improving the comprehension and management of the short- and long-term impacts of mining, while elevating geodiversity as a major source of information in the “greening” of mining policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

32 pages, 30871 KiB  
Article
Geodiversity of Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark: Hydrogeological Significance of Groundwater and Landscape Interaction and Conceptual Model of Functioning
by África de la Hera-Portillo, Julio López-Gutiérrez, Luis Moreno-Merino, Miguel Llorente-Isidro, Rod Fensham, Mario Fernández, Marwan Ghanem, Karmah Salman, Jose Ángel Sánchez-Fabián, Nicolás Gallego-Rojas, Mª Mar Corral, Elena Galindo, Manuela Chamizo-Borreguero and Nour-Eddine Laftouhi
Resources 2023, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12010014 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2566
Abstract
Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) is geologically diverse, particularly in relation to water-derived features: springs, karst springs, travertine buildings, waterfalls, caves. In this work, the interactions between geology, geomorphology, structures and hydrogeology are analyzed. As a result of this study, a first [...] Read more.
Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) is geologically diverse, particularly in relation to water-derived features: springs, karst springs, travertine buildings, waterfalls, caves. In this work, the interactions between geology, geomorphology, structures and hydrogeology are analyzed. As a result of this study, a first conceptual model of the hydrogeological functioning at Las Loras UGGp is presented. The most plausible hypothesis is that the system is formed by two superimposed aquifer systems, separated by an aquitard formed by Lower Cretaceous material. The deep lower aquifer formed by the Jurassic limestones only outcrops on the northern and southern edges of the Geopark and in a small arched band to the south of Aguilar de Campoo. It forms a basement subject to intense deformation. The upper aquifer system, formed by outcropping materials from the Upper Cretaceous, is a free aquifer. It is formed by a multilayered aquifer system that is highly compartmentalized, constituting individual moorland and lora units acting as a separate recharge–discharge system. This model explains the base level of the permanent rivers and the abundant springs, important components of the water cycle and representing a contribution to the rich geological heritage of the location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 7416 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Geomorphological Heritage of the Costa Branca Area, a Potential Geopark in Brazil
by Marco Túlio Mendonça Diniz, Maria Luiza de Oliveira Terto and Fernando Eduardo Borges da Silva
Resources 2023, 12(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12010013 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
The Atlantic margin of South America is considered passive and stable. However, there are some local points of discordance within the Brazilian coastal region with more than 7490 km of extension, where there is only one tectonic relief. These sites are located in [...] Read more.
The Atlantic margin of South America is considered passive and stable. However, there are some local points of discordance within the Brazilian coastal region with more than 7490 km of extension, where there is only one tectonic relief. These sites are located in a marginal sedimentary basin in which there is a small area of Quaternary tectonic relief, which makes it scientifically relevant at an international level. The present work proposes using two methods for quantifying the geomorphological heritage of this area. The main difference between the methods is the use of aesthetic values together with scientific ones as central values in one of the methods, while the other method focuses only on scientific values. The quantitative evaluation performed here allowed for the identification of seven geomorphosites with one method and only four with the other. Considering the results obtained, meetings were held with civil society and with the state and local municipalities which presented the possibility of creating a geopark, given the area’s importance for understanding the history of the Earth and potential as a priority area for geoconservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 6246 KiB  
Article
Assessment and Quantitative Evaluation of Loess Area Geomorphodiversity Using Multiresolution DTMs (Roztocze Region, SE Poland)
by Marcin Siłuch, Waldemar Kociuba, Leszek Gawrysiak and Piotr Bartmiński
Resources 2023, 12(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12010007 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
The geodiversity of loess areas is reflected in the characteristic dataset of loess landforms, with the dominance of several types of valley forms (mainly gullies). The availability of satellite elevation data and high-resolution aerial topography scanning data provides an opportunity for quantitative assessment [...] Read more.
The geodiversity of loess areas is reflected in the characteristic dataset of loess landforms, with the dominance of several types of valley forms (mainly gullies). The availability of satellite elevation data and high-resolution aerial topography scanning data provides an opportunity for quantitative assessment of geomorphodiversity. This is done through the analysis of topographic texture, delimitation and statistical characterization of the topographic parameters of erosional landforms, such as volume and degree of dissection (density of valleys) or the degree of ‘coverage’ of the area by valley forms. An important factor affecting the accuracy of the estimation is the accuracy of the underlying digital terrain model (DTM). This study compares three digital terrain models, with cell sizes of 30, 10 and 1 m, generated from satellite altimetry data and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. The subregion of Szczebrzeszyn Roztocze (Western Roztocze Region, SE Poland), i.e., one of the most typical loess relief regions in Poland, was selected as the study area. Selected topographic texture analyses were carried out using the SLRM (Simple Local Relief Model) algorithm. Delimitation of valleys was performed by delineating the extent of slope change in two key steps: (1) detection of areas below the average topographic surface; (2) delimitation using supervised classification of DTMs. The results of the study show that the accuracy of delimitation of valleys increases inversely proportional to the DTMs resolution. Automated topographic texture analysis allows delimitation and extraction, as well as statistical analysis of parameters of valleys. Finally, two indicators have been proposed, Relative Valley Area (RVA) and Area-normalised Valley Cubature (AVC), which can be used in geomorphodiversity studies of a geologically homogeneous area. The dimensionless RVA index can also be expressed as a percentage (%) of the area of valley forms in a basic field of 1 km2. Furthermore, the AVC index shows the dynamic character of the main relief features of the analysed area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 7123 KiB  
Article
Proposal of a Quantitative Assessment Method for Viewpoint Geosites
by Marco Túlio Mendonça Diniz and Isa Gabriela Delgado de Araújo
Resources 2022, 11(12), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11120115 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1963
Abstract
The evaluation of viewpoint geosites is a recent topic in geosciences, as most works deal with a more general analysis of places and areas, but this one deals with something more specific. Therefore, the general objective of this paper is to propose a [...] Read more.
The evaluation of viewpoint geosites is a recent topic in geosciences, as most works deal with a more general analysis of places and areas, but this one deals with something more specific. Therefore, the general objective of this paper is to propose a method for evaluating viewpoints, based on the assumption that it is necessary to use scientific and aesthetic values as core values in quantitative evaluation. The method used was built based on criteria from other authors, relating the issue of viewpoints to geodiversity, considering scientific and aesthetic values as central, but in addition to other values. With the application of this method at some viewpoints in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, it was possible to verify that from 12 sites, 9 were considered geomorphosites and only 3 geodiversity sites. Consequently, this method shows a significant response in highlighting the potential of a site, its geological composition, geomorphology, and landscape visualisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 5251 KiB  
Article
The Geodiversity of Springs in the Potential Jericho Geopark/Palestine
by Marwan Ghanem, África de la Hera-Portillo, Alsharifa Hind Mohammad, Nour-Eddine Laftouhi, Badiaa Chulli and Fagr Kh. Abdel-Gawad
Resources 2022, 11(12), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11120110 - 30 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1826
Abstract
The objective of this study is to investigate the hydrogeological and hydrochemical characteristics of the spring aquifer system in the potential Jericho Geopark in Jericho, Palestine. The spring’s hydrochemistry influences the physical and hydrochemical characteristics of Jericho Geopark in qualitative potentials. The springs [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to investigate the hydrogeological and hydrochemical characteristics of the spring aquifer system in the potential Jericho Geopark in Jericho, Palestine. The spring’s hydrochemistry influences the physical and hydrochemical characteristics of Jericho Geopark in qualitative potentials. The springs are used for domestic water supplies and irrigation in Jericho area, which is considered as one of the most important agricultural baskets of the West Bank feeding from the “spring system complex”. From the geological and structural point of view, the area is considered to be complex in relation to the major structural features of faults and folds, which formed during the formation of the Jordan Rift Valley. The physical properties (pH, DO, temperature, TDS and EC) were interpreted. The hydro-chemical concentration major ions of Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl, SO42−, NO3 and HCO3 were analyzed for the spring water system samples. The dominant spring water type is the calcium bicarbonate due to the dissociation of calcite mineral during the water rock interaction processes. The microbiological parameters of Total and Fecal coliforms were analyzed for the targeted springs and indicates no detected pollution. The hydrochemical characteristics of the spring waters indicate no ion concentration trends. The calculated quality water Index indicated that all springs are of excellent spring water type. The study contributes to the qualitative spring water as a major component to the potential Jericho Geopark in order to have better understanding of the community-based protection practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 6453 KiB  
Article
Identification of Geodiversity and Geosite Assessment around Geohazard Area of Suoh Aspiring Geopark in West Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia
by Dicky Muslim, Zufialdi Zakaria, Heryadi Rachmat, Prahara Iqbal, Ghazi O. Muslim, Mohamad S. Sadewo and Fauzan N. Muslim
Resources 2022, 11(11), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11110104 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Indonesia has been actively promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. Pursuing economic expansion through extraction of natural resources is an obsolete paradigm that is becoming increasingly outdated. Therefore, the geopark concept has broken [...] Read more.
Indonesia has been actively promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. Pursuing economic expansion through extraction of natural resources is an obsolete paradigm that is becoming increasingly outdated. Therefore, the geopark concept has broken the idea of economic progress that damages the environment. Geoparks seek to safeguard geodiversity, educate the public about geological history, and assist the long-term economic growth of geopark areas, particularly through geotourism. Geotourism is a sort of creative tourism that is fast growing across the world. This paper aims to assess the existing status and geotourism potential in order to identify the best geosites for the West Lampung region’s initial geopark development. The methods of this study are a geology and geopark literature review, fieldwork, data analysis, and synthesis. The procedure includes inventorying and identifying geodiversity. The study looked at rock and outcrops to piece together the geological history of the West Lampung region. This study showed that the West Lampung region offers several remarkable geosites with significant geotourism development potential. Asam Lake, Nirwana Crater, and Point View Suoh Valley in the Suoh part have the greatest final values, followed by Batubrak Fault Depression in the Fault Depression section. The Batubrak Fault Depression and Asam Lake have significant scientific and tourist value, particularly in terms of portrayal, uniqueness, perspectives, scenery, and natural surroundings. In the Suoh section, Nirwana Crater, Kopi Susu Crater, Keramikan Crater, and Point View Suoh Valley have significant scientific importance but poor educational and tourism value, while the other sites have low scientific, tourist, and educational value, thus placing the area at the bottom of the assessment even though overall it is of medium value. It can be concluded that several geosites in West Lampung have poor value due to some factors such as location accessibility, tourism infrastructure, and location management. Looking at the total findings, basic tourism infrastructure, visitor center, and tour guide services, as well as promotional efforts, are important factors in attracting more tourists to the West Lampung geosites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3093 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Educational Potential of Geosites: Introducing a Method Using Inquiry-Based Learning
by Emil Drápela
Resources 2022, 11(11), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11110101 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1873
Abstract
Geosites are suitable locations for field teaching of Earth sciences. However, their educational potential does not always correlate with the scientific significance of geosites, as for educational purposes, the visibility and comprehensibility of the phenomenon are much more important. The educational potential also [...] Read more.
Geosites are suitable locations for field teaching of Earth sciences. However, their educational potential does not always correlate with the scientific significance of geosites, as for educational purposes, the visibility and comprehensibility of the phenomenon are much more important. The educational potential also depends on the target group, as a location suitable for the education of adults may not be suitable for the education of younger pupils. The article describes an experiment in which a method of assessing the educational potential of geosites was developed based on the analysis of the outputs of inquiry-based learning tasks during field teaching on geosites. The method is based on the gradual implementation and evaluation of the inquiry-based learning program for different categories of target groups, proceeding from more experienced and older to less experienced and younger participants. Although the method is relatively time-consuming, it provides very accurate results that can be applied to different target groups. The use of this method can help schools, institutions implementing extracurricular education programs, and geoparks to identify correctly suitable geosites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 11239 KiB  
Article
Geosite Assessment as a Tool for the Promotion and Conservation of Irpinia Landscape Geoheritage (Southern Italy)
by Michele Sisto, Antonio Di Lisio and Filippo Russo
Resources 2022, 11(10), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11100097 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2870
Abstract
Irpinia (Province of Avellino, Campania Region) is a historical–geographical region of Southern Italy inhabited in pre-Roman times by the ancient Samnite tribe of the Irpini, from which the name originates. This area is characterized by both low population density and high naturalness; located [...] Read more.
Irpinia (Province of Avellino, Campania Region) is a historical–geographical region of Southern Italy inhabited in pre-Roman times by the ancient Samnite tribe of the Irpini, from which the name originates. This area is characterized by both low population density and high naturalness; located on the axial sector of the southern Apennine orogenic chain, the area possesses a complex hilly and mountainous orography, with predominantly agricultural and forest land uses. In this geographical context, there are many relevant geological/geomorphological sites, witnessing a wide geodiversity attributable to complex geological evolution and relief morphogenesis. The extensive bio-geodiversity has thus led to widespread geotourism practices. Irpinia is favored for its beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and typical small towns, often enhanced by quality certifications; moreover, geotourism activities are often associated with other forms of sustainable tourism. Starting from this geographical framework, the article analyzes eight attractive geosites that represent the geotouristic value of the entire Irpinia area well. The analysis was conducted using well-known qualitative and quantitative assessment methods. The results obtained, emphasizing the salient aspects of geodiversity, can be used in planning the usability of the sites and, more generally, planning for the Irpinian landscape in a geo-ecotouristic sense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3244 KiB  
Article
Criteria for Selecting Areas to Identify Ecosystem Services Provided by Geodiversity: A Study on the Coast of São Paulo, Brazil
by Debora Silva Queiroz, Maria da Glória Motta Garcia and Paulo Pereira
Resources 2022, 11(10), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11100092 - 7 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
Ecosystem services are essential for life. Despite traditionally focusing on biodiversity, several studies have presented the ecosystem services provided by geodiversity. However, the choice of the study area is still a step that raises doubts for the researcher. Several elements of geodiversity must [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services are essential for life. Despite traditionally focusing on biodiversity, several studies have presented the ecosystem services provided by geodiversity. However, the choice of the study area is still a step that raises doubts for the researcher. Several elements of geodiversity must occur in the area so that different ecosystem services can be identified. Thus, the selection of the study area is a crucial step of the research. This work aims to determine the criteria for the selection of potential areas for the identification of ecosystem services by geodiversity in Baixada Santista, central coast of São Paulo, Brazil. The criteria established were (i) characterization of the physical environment based on the geodiversity index map and the watershed map and (ii) description of land use based on the characterization of land use and analysis of territorial planning instruments. As a result, the watershed with high levels of geodiversity and diversity of land uses was selected. The criterion was important, as it is an area already used in soil management and different land uses can provide a variety of ecosystem services. Thus, these criteria proved to be effective in the selection of areas for the evaluation of ecosystem services by geodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1535 KiB  
Article
Exploring Ocean Floor Geodiversity in Relation to Mineral Resources in the Southwest Pacific Ocean
by Arie Christoffel Seijmonsbergen, Sanne Valentijn, Lisan Westerhof and Kenneth Frank Rijsdijk
Resources 2022, 11(7), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070060 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
The future extraction of mineral resources may irreversibly damage ocean floor geodiversity in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Therefore, understanding of the spatial distribution of ocean floor geodiversity in relation to mineral resources is important. For that purpose, we first developed a geodiversity index [...] Read more.
The future extraction of mineral resources may irreversibly damage ocean floor geodiversity in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Therefore, understanding of the spatial distribution of ocean floor geodiversity in relation to mineral resources is important. For that purpose, we first developed a geodiversity index map of the western Pacific Ocean including spatial information of openly available digital layers of four components: seafloor geomorphology, sediment thickness, bathymetry and seafloor roughness. Second, we analysed how these components contributed to the geodiversity index. Finally, correlations between three mineral resources (seafloor massive sulphides, polymetallic nodules and cobalt-rich crusts) and the geodiversity index, its components, and the ocean floor age were calculated. The results showed that the ocean floor environment and the time necessary for the formation of the three mineral resources were predominantly related to the bathymetry component and the age of the ocean floor, and to a lesser extent to the seafloor roughness, geomorphology and sediment thickness components. We conclude that the ocean floor geodiversity index and its components contribute to an improved understanding of the spatial distribution of abiotic seafloor diversity and can be optimized by using higher resolution data. We suggest that ocean floor geodiversity could be considered in future resource extraction to support responsible mining and help limit environmental damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 6216 KiB  
Article
Multivariate Analysis of Geological Data for Regional Studies of Geodiversity
by Lars Erikstad, Vegar Bakkestuen, Rolv Dahl, Mari Lie Arntsen, Annina Margreth, Tine Larsen Angvik and Linda Wickström
Resources 2022, 11(6), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060051 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2603
Abstract
In Norway, a landscape map exists which gives the opportunity to collect data in landscape units for further analysis. This study covers parts of Norway and Sweden, so the landscape map was extended into Sweden to form a unified landscape structure. A collection [...] Read more.
In Norway, a landscape map exists which gives the opportunity to collect data in landscape units for further analysis. This study covers parts of Norway and Sweden, so the landscape map was extended into Sweden to form a unified landscape structure. A collection of geological and terrain data within landscape units can serve as a tool to describe the geodiversity profile of the units, study their geographical distribution and analyse similarities and dissimilarities between them. We collected geological and terrain data for an area covering large parts of southern Norway and Sweden. The data were collected as attributes in landscape polygons. The data were then analysed using multivariate techniques (Principle component analyses) where the first four axes of variation were definable. The first axis is a terrain axis, the second a bedrock unit axis, the third a bedrock diversity axis and the fourth a soil/sediment axis. In total, the four gradients answer for 54.9% of the total variation in the material. Links are found between the terrain data and geological units, but these links are relatively weak. The four gradients represent a step-less model of the geodiversity profile of the landscape areas but are dependent on the quality and scale of the input data. Norwegian and Swedish data had to be harmonised in order to be analysed together; however, because of this they ended up having a coarser resolution than desired, both spatially and scientifically. The stepless model was clustered to form 16 geodiversity profile groups for easy comparison and regional overview. The procedure can serve as a baseline for more detailed and field-based studies of geodiversity profiles, and give the opportunity to make analytical maps through simple overlay techniques and to compare areas with each other with respect to their geodiversity profile. This can be carried out both alone and in a wider landscape setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 73927 KiB  
Article
Geotouristic Route Proposal for Touristic Development in a Mining Area—Case Study
by Paúl Carrión-Mero, Magner Turner-Carrión, Gricelda Herrera-Franco, Gianella Bravo-Murillo, Maribel Aguilar-Aguilar, Nataly Paz-Salas and Edgar Berrezueta
Resources 2022, 11(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11030025 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4407
Abstract
In recent decades, geotourism has been presented as an alternative for the sustainable socioeconomic development of the community. In addition, it shows significant growth. Portovelo canton, located in the south of Ecuador, is characterised by a significant geological importance complemented by the mining [...] Read more.
In recent decades, geotourism has been presented as an alternative for the sustainable socioeconomic development of the community. In addition, it shows significant growth. Portovelo canton, located in the south of Ecuador, is characterised by a significant geological importance complemented by the mining culture and history interest, turning into the first mining centre. Mining is the main economic activity in the area. However, the development of illegal mining without technical considerations affects the canton and its surroundings. Faced with this problem, the need arises for alternatives to improve the inhabitants’ quality of life and protect their geological heritage. This work aims to propose a geotouristic route (GR) in the course of the Amarillo River through the characterisation and quantitative assessment of 10 interest sites (four geosites and six touristic sites), which enhance the geotourism development of the canton, including geoconservation strategies. The methodological process includes (i) characterisation of sites and GR proposal, (ii) sites and GR assessment using the Geotouristic Route Assessment Matrix method (GtRAM, acronym in Spanish) and Brilha method for geosites, and (iii) proposal of geotourism development and geoconservation strategies in a sustainability framework through the analysis of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats (SWOT). The results obtained from the proposed GR reflect that 60% of the proposed sites have a tourist interest classified as high, of which the Museo Mineralógico Magner Turner was the best-rated geoheritage element. Similarly, the high scientific, educational, and tourist values of the proposed geoheritage sites are highlighted. Strategies have been established to enhance the GR value: (i) Promoting geotourism through different activities and (ii) proposals for geoconservation and conditioning of geoheritage sites and tourist interest sites considering the geological and environmental impact. The methodology used in the study made it possible to establish geo-guidelines focused on local development, which are coupled with the knowledge of two main groups: Geo-experts and the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 10785 KiB  
Article
Towards Transferable Use of Terrain Ruggedness Component in the Geodiversity Index
by Borut Stojilković
Resources 2022, 11(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11020022 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4010
Abstract
Geodiversity, as diversity of the abiotic environment, includes terrain ruggedness (or roughness), which is one of the essential parts of geodiversity evaluation. The terrain ruggedness index (R) represents the value of one of the main geodiversity components. The purpose of the study is [...] Read more.
Geodiversity, as diversity of the abiotic environment, includes terrain ruggedness (or roughness), which is one of the essential parts of geodiversity evaluation. The terrain ruggedness index (R) represents the value of one of the main geodiversity components. The purpose of the study is to discuss the characteristics of R in the scope of geodiversity, and to show how R differs within two specific study areas if we study them using a data scale that covers both areas and only site-specific data. Hence, the main methods include geodiversity element mapping, calculating R based on either the study area or broader-scale data and discussing the differences that arise. The findings show that R should not be calculated only within individual study areas if the results among different study areas are to be compared; rather, it should first be calculated on a larger scale for the whole region in which we are about to compare the specific study areas. The applied value of these results is that such data are then suitable for calculating the geodiversity index (G) according to specific methodological steps and for further analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 8665 KiB  
Article
Geoturist Evaluation of Geosites in the Tuchola Forest Biosphere Reserve (N Poland)
by Arkadiusz Krawiec, Włodzimierz Wysocki, Izabela Jamorska and Szymon Belzyt
Resources 2022, 11(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11020013 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
The geotourist evaluation of 32 geosites, including mineral deposits occurrence (1), petrological (12), sedimentological (2), and geomorphological (9), as well as hydrological and hydrogeological (8) sites, located in the area of Tuchola Forest Biosphere Reserve (TFBR), has been carried out. The study aims [...] Read more.
The geotourist evaluation of 32 geosites, including mineral deposits occurrence (1), petrological (12), sedimentological (2), and geomorphological (9), as well as hydrological and hydrogeological (8) sites, located in the area of Tuchola Forest Biosphere Reserve (TFBR), has been carried out. The study aims to provide a qualitative assessment of geodiversity via the evaluation of abiotic nature objects, as well as propose modifications in geotourist valuation criteria, for the purpose of applying it to the areas located in the Central European Plains. The evaluated geosites represent both perfect examples of typical features for the physiography of the TFBR, as a young glacial landscape, e.g., erratic boulders, glaciofluvial landforms, postglacial landforms, and lakes or peatbogs, as well as values proving the uniqueness of the area on both regional and international scales, e.g., disused underground lignite mine “Montania”. High scores of geotourist attractiveness (between 36 and 44 points) have been received by 14 evaluated geosites (1 mineral deposits occurrence geosite, 4 petrological geosites, 1 sedimentological geosite, and 5 geomorphological geosites, as well as 3 hydrological and hydrogeological geosites). The remaining 18 geosites have received a medium score (between 25 and 34 points). Three areas of high concentration of geosites, which overlap with the boundaries of Tuchola, Wdecki, and Zaborski (area of the greatest diversity of highly-ranked geosites) landscape parks, were distinguished. The authors proposed geosites that require improving their accessibility to enhance the geotourist attractiveness, recognized the necessity of marking out geotourist trails in the most attractive and diversified areas, and noticed the influence of extreme weather phenomena (whirwinds) on changes in the geotourist attractiveness of some geosites. It is believed that the results of the conducted evaluation may favorably affect the importance, position, and publicity of the whole area by supplementing the well-recognized biodiversity with the geodiversity presented in the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 4627 KiB  
Article
Geoparks in SE Poland as Areas of Tourism Development: Current State and Future Prospects
by Jakub Skibiński, Kamil Kultys, Bogusława Baran-Zgłobicka and Wojciech Zgłobicki
Resources 2021, 10(11), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10110113 - 3 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3614
Abstract
Geoparks currently form the basis for the development of geotourism and, therefore, proposals of new geoparks are developed in many countries, including Poland, where over 20 locations for geoparks have been proposed so far. Two national geoparks have been established thus far, while [...] Read more.
Geoparks currently form the basis for the development of geotourism and, therefore, proposals of new geoparks are developed in many countries, including Poland, where over 20 locations for geoparks have been proposed so far. Two national geoparks have been established thus far, while another two have received the status of UNESCO Global Geoparks None of them are located in the Carpathian Mountains. Simultaneously south-eastern Poland—the Podkarpackie Province—boasts valuable geoheritage, biotic and cultural assets. In the past, having regard for the geological heritage, several research teams proposed the creation of three geoparks encompassing the existing landscape parks in that area. However, these were proposals based solely on scientific values. The objective of the study was to comprehensively assess their tourism potential, with a particular focus on geoheritage assets. The assessment has made it possible to determine to what extent these assets meet the conditions necessary for the functioning of this type of areas, i.e., the occurrence of diverse tourist assets, well-developed infrastructure and appropriate development potential. The assessment method used is based on 25 indices forming six groups. The analyses have been carried out for districts lying within the proposed geoparks. It has been found that the analysed area has a sufficiently high geoheritage potential that can be the basis for the functioning of two geoparks. The tourist infrastructure—particularly accommodation and catering facilities and geotourist trails—needs to be expanded and improved. It is particularly important to encourage local communities to become involved and engage in business activity within the geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop