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GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 8878

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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Geological Heritage has very diverse elements, both for its intrinsic nature, and for its social and scientific significance. These elements have a scientific dimension (stratigraphic, geomorphological, lithological, paleontological, etc.) and a landscape dimension, both with implications for territorial management. In territorial management and planning, it is essential to carry out an inventory and cataloguing of places of natural and social interest, to establish a comprehensive policy. The identification and valuation of the geological and biological heritage, and their interaction in the landscape, should favour the conservation and preservation of this natural and historical heritage. Sustainable development implies a rational use that prevents the degradation or loss of these unique environments in the natural environment, as well as a dissemination and awareness of landscape resources, for a better understanding around the integration of environmental education and nature tourism activities.

The diversity of a territory is the result of the complex and continuous interaction of the geological substrate (geotopo) and biological factors that model the existing ecological and evolutionary processes at the level of genes, species, ecosystems, and landscapes, which are expressed in a characteristic representation of organisms adapted to these factors. These vary according to the spatial dimensions and the temporal scales considered, spanning from geological processes in vast territories that occur over millions of years to the casuistic biotic and anthropic events that can occur in an instant in any territorial sector.

The objective of this Special Volume is to highlight the importance of studies on geological heritage and their involvement in geodiversity, describing varied methodologies applied to specific territories (cultural and traditional heritage), as well as singularity and its geoconservation based on active processes (geological risks, anthropic environmental impacts, etc.) and dynamics of its ecosystems (biological invasions, bioindicators, ethnobotanical studies, interactions between species, agrobiodiversity, etc.). This Special Issue will collect high-quality papers that contribute to the methodology and application of both design approaches and evaluation and decision-making frameworks in the context of the definition of strategies for natural heritage.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • geological heritage
  • geodiversity
  • natural heritage
  • natural and cultural heritage

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 3173 KiB  
Article
Making the Case for the Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area: A Scoping Review
by Madelyn Newton, Chandler J. Berry, Bethany Arrington, Nick Wilson, Colin McCormack, Michael Wilcox, Alexis Barmoh and Chris A. B. Zajchowski
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097262 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are nationally distinct landscapes that represent unique cultural, historical, and/or natural attributes significant to the legacy of the United States of America (U.S.). The Great Dismal Swamp, located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, is a prime candidate [...] Read more.
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are nationally distinct landscapes that represent unique cultural, historical, and/or natural attributes significant to the legacy of the United States of America (U.S.). The Great Dismal Swamp, located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, is a prime candidate for NHA designation with diverse qualifications, among which was its antebellum role as a refuge for formerly enslaved people. The goal of our research, conducted in 2022 during the period of the U.S. Congressional debate on designation, was to investigate and expound upon the rationale for NHA designation of the Swamp. To do so, we used a scoping review to explore a sample of existing literature focused on the Great Dismal Swamp. We found significant evidence to support the Great Dismal Swamp NHA designation. Now, in its final hours of federal review and ratification, the Great Dismal Swamp will likely become America’s next NHA and continue its legacy as a place for nature-based and heritage tourism, inspiration, and reflection on the strength of humans to live and resist against even the most arduous of external forces. Further, our work serves to illustrate the range of unique factors that can support similar designations throughout the U.S. and internationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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21 pages, 65621 KiB  
Article
Geomorphological Heritage in Viñales National Park (Aspiring UNESCO Geopark): Geomatic Tools Applied to Geotourism in Pinar del Río, Cuba
by José Luis Goy, Jose Luis Corvea, Irene de Bustamante, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña, Carlos Díaz-Guanche, Caridad Zazo, Cristino J. Dabrio, José Ángel González-Delgado, Alberto Blanco and Carlos E. Nieto
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5704; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075704 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
A detailed analysis of the Viñales National Park (VNP) was carried out to evaluate the main geosites of geomorphological interest inside the park. This allowed the selection of areas (AIG) and localities (LIG) with 20 geosites of geological interest (PIG) suitable to evaluate [...] Read more.
A detailed analysis of the Viñales National Park (VNP) was carried out to evaluate the main geosites of geomorphological interest inside the park. This allowed the selection of areas (AIG) and localities (LIG) with 20 geosites of geological interest (PIG) suitable to evaluate their importance as geoheritage. Moreover, three field trips and one virtual itinerary encompassing the park aimed to improve the geological–geomorphological knowledge to be used in geotouristic and preservation issues. The methodology included preparing five maps: relief, drainage pattern, slopes, lithology and geomorphology (forms and structures) and representing them on a digital terrain model (DTM) for a better visualisation and selecting the geosites (poljes, valleys and mountain fronts). The evaluation of the selected PIG is based on the criteria proposed by Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining, grouping them in places and areas of interest. The virtual itinerary favour real-time usage of web sites and geoportals. As a result, this paper presents map layers and geomorphological descriptions of the AIG and LIG with the most relevant aspects and valuations of the PIG, AIG and LIG. The PIG reached values between 1050 (Viñales Valley) and 365 (La Jutia Valley). The AIG and LIG ranged between 2190 (Santo Tomás Polje) and 675 (La Cuevita Polje). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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15 pages, 7058 KiB  
Article
Water Erosion Risk Analysis in the Arribes del Duero Natural Park (Spain) Using RUSLE and GIS Techniques
by Leticia Merchán, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña, Pilar Alonso Rojo and Marco Criado
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1627; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021627 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Nowadays, soil erosion is a global problem of great environmental and social concern, affecting natural resources, natural spaces and agricultural production. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out an erosion risk analysis to estimate the amount of soil lost, as well as to [...] Read more.
Nowadays, soil erosion is a global problem of great environmental and social concern, affecting natural resources, natural spaces and agricultural production. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out an erosion risk analysis to estimate the amount of soil lost, as well as to establish possible conservation practices to mitigate this loss. One way of doing this is through the integration of empirical equations such as RUSLE and GIS techniques, giving rise to a mapping of potential and actual erosion, considering the factors that make up this equation. The results obtained indicate that the areas with extreme erosion levels in Arribes del Duero, that is, with the greatest losses (greater than 200 Tm/ha/year), correspond to areas with steep slopes, poorly developed soils such as Leptosols and Regosols and vegetation with little or no vegetation cover. On the other hand, areas with stable levels of erosion (up to 10 Tm/ha/year) are found in flat areas, with more developed soils, such as Alisols and Luvisols, and vegetation with a higher density and herbaceous cover. Finally, it is concluded that the integration of GIS techniques with parametric equations constitutes a simple and economic tool for estimating these losses and, together with land use, allows different mitigation measures to be established, which, in our study area, focus on reducing the length and gradient of the slope, such as contour cultivation, construction of terraces and “bancales”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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27 pages, 7405 KiB  
Article
Morphometric Evaluation and Its Incidence in the Mass Movements Present in the Chicamocha Canyon, Colombia
by Joaquín Andrés Valencia Ortiz and Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021140 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
The dynamic behavior of the basins evaluated by their morphometric parameters establishes a relationship with the endogenous and exogenous factors of the earth that control the modeling of the rocky massif by weathering and erosion processes. The characterization of these relationships can define [...] Read more.
The dynamic behavior of the basins evaluated by their morphometric parameters establishes a relationship with the endogenous and exogenous factors of the earth that control the modeling of the rocky massif by weathering and erosion processes. The characterization of these relationships can define the degree of affectation of the surfaces and the agents that control them as a categorical element in the definition of scenarios within the planning of physical and natural territory. This evaluation considers parameters contained within the characterization of the relief, shape and texture of the drainage and the mobility of the flow in the basin. As a result of this evaluation, three factors were obtained that control the processes in the basins: a tectonic structural factor followed by climate control and, finally, seismic activity that plays an important role in the mechanical weathering of surfaces. The correlation of these factors showed that the Umpalá, Guaca, Río Negro, Cantabara and La Cureña basins display a high degree of physical and mechanical weathering of the rocky massif and that the Manco, Talarcuta, Las Pavas, Felisco and El Abra basins are more likely to generate torrential flows. The joint evaluation of these parameters provides a useful tool to understand the dynamic behavior of basins and their impact on anthropogenic setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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15 pages, 12061 KiB  
Article
Increasing Geoheritage Awareness through Non-Formal Learning
by Paola Coratza, Vittoria Vandelli and Alessandro Ghinoi
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010868 - 03 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Non-formal learning can have a crucial role in increasing citizens’ literacy to geoscience providing the opportunity to raise the public profile of geology and geomorphology. Starting from these remarks, the project presented here is one of the first attempts, at national level, aimed [...] Read more.
Non-formal learning can have a crucial role in increasing citizens’ literacy to geoscience providing the opportunity to raise the public profile of geology and geomorphology. Starting from these remarks, the project presented here is one of the first attempts, at national level, aimed at achieving the territorial upgrading based on geoheritage enhancement. The project started thanks to a bottom-up input and involved the collaboration between scholars and local administrations and stakeholders for the valorization of a fluvial area within the Municipality of Castellarano (Emilia Apennines, Northern Italy). To achieve this aim of non-formal learning activities, based on the interpretation of the geoheritage, have been implemented. In fact, the investigated area includes valuable geological and geomorphological features which have been used, in the frame of the project here presented, to promote local geodiversity and geotourism. In particular, three geosites of regional significance were considered for the creation of EarthCaches, interpretative panels and guided excursions. Interpretative contents were designed to be educational, providing accurate but non-technical explanations. Attention was given in including illustrations playing an important role in the learning process. The results revealed that the implemented activities positively contribute to raising public awareness on the value of geoheritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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18 pages, 18477 KiB  
Article
Geomorphoedaphic Itinerary of Arribes Del Duero (Spain)
by Leticia Merchán, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña, Jose Antonio Egido and Marco Criado
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127066 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the Geological Heritage, its evaluation, protection and promotion. The Geomorphological Heritage also interests the scientific community, especially those sectors of great scientific relevance that are characterized by its reliefs. For its part, the [...] Read more.
In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the Geological Heritage, its evaluation, protection and promotion. The Geomorphological Heritage also interests the scientific community, especially those sectors of great scientific relevance that are characterized by its reliefs. For its part, the soil study provides information about the genesis of the soils and places them as a non-renewable natural resource and highlights the importance of its conservation for future generations. The methodology followed consisted in the valuation of the geological heritage, identifying different places and taking into account the geomorphological and pedological interests, presenting the latter, an innovative character. In this way, a “Geomorphoedaphic” itinerary of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park has been made. This is one of the first steps to its inclusion as a Geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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