Evaluation of the geological heritage of the Dray Nur and Dray Sap waterfalls in the Central Highlands of Vietnam
The Central Highlands in Vietnam are well known for their large basalt plateau and their natural touristic resources with impressive landforms, such as ancient volcanoes, lakes and waterfalls, which are the result of volcanic activities, and of which the waterfalls are especially spectacular scenically. The Dray Nur and Dray Sap waterfalls located on the Serepok River of Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces, respectively, are remarkable landscapes with a significant aesthetic value. Not only are these waterfalls well known as tourist attractions, they are also noted for a system of impressive geological objects, including basalt columns beneath torrential waterfalls, contemporaneous columnar and pillow basalts, fan-shaped columnar structures, collapsed wells, cliffs formed at the base of basalt columns, and the boundary between columnar basalts and Jurassic sediments. The aim of the study reported here is to demonstrate the relevance of this site as a geomorphological and geological heritage site, according to current inventory and evaluation methods. The results show that the Dray Nur and Dray Sap waterfalls include 10 inventoried geo-points, relevant to four key themes, namely science, culture, education and tourism. The ultimate goal of the study is to use these results as justifications for the conservation of the area.
KeywordsVietnam Geosite Columnar basalt Jurassic Waterfall Natural environment
This work was supported by the project ‘Research, comprehensive evaluation on tourist resources and spatial organization for proposals towards tourism development in the Central Highland of Vietnam’ (Code: TN3/T18), which is under the key state-level program of ‘Science and technology for socio-economic development in the Central Highlands of Vietnam’ (Code: KHCN-TN3/11-15). The chemical composition of columnar basalts was analysed by XRF (XRF—1800 Shimadzu) at the Faculty of Geology, VNU University of Science.
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