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Geoheritage

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 131–149 | Cite as

A Statistical Approach to the Validation and Optimisation of Geoheritage Assessment Procedures

  • Viola María Bruschi
  • Antonio Cendrero
  • Juan Antonio Cuesta Albertos
Original Article

Abstract

The assessment of geoheritage is a crucial task for the establishment of ranks according to their value, an important step for the elaboration of catalogues and the implementation of protection and use programmes. One important problem that permeates the different stages of geoheritage assessment is subjectivity in the selection and application of criteria. Evaluation methods frequently used are based on the assignment of values through the expert’s judgement (direct methods). In the last few decades, parametric methods, based on the measurement of specific features of geomorphosites have been increasingly applied. This type of procedure allows different operators to obtain similar results if certain criteria are accepted, but it requires more time and effort. A parametric method is proposed here based on three sets of criteria: intrinsic quality, potential for use and protection needs. The method has been tested on a series of coastal geomorphosites. Specific criteria, parameters to express them and value ranks are proposed. A statistical approach has been applied to the criteria to identify the most significant ones and their relative weights. The analysis enabled reduction of the number of criteria, eliminating redundancies. The new set of criteria was applied to assess the value of geomorphosites located in the north of Spain. The classification was compared with the ones obtained by both the parametric method using a larger number of parameters and a direct evaluation applied to the same sites. Results show a quite good coincidence. It is concluded that this approach makes it possible to obtain reliable classifications of geomorphosites based on clearly defined criteria and replicable procedures, but with a much lower effort, using a limited number of criteria.

Keywords

Geoheritage assessment Coastal geomorphosites Improvement of assessment criteria 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We specially thank the experts who have participated in the survey. V.M. Bruschi received grants from FUNDACIÓN MARCELINO BOTÍN, Spain.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viola María Bruschi
    • 1
  • Antonio Cendrero
    • 1
  • Juan Antonio Cuesta Albertos
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y Física de la Materia CondensadaUniversidad de CantabriaSantanderSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Matemáticas, Estadística y ComputaciónUniversidad de CantabriaSantanderSpain

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