Geoheritage values in the Cat Ba islands, Vietnam
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Geological wonders have been generally known as natural wonderful products. Resulted from geological processes, geological wonders are diverse in size that have geoheritage values that should be protected from damaging of substance, form and natural development. In a large scale, geological wonders can be geoheritage areas, containing several geodiversity elements that are geologically important or in a smaller scale, they can be geosites of heritage values (or geoheritage sites). In the delimitation of areas, having geoheritage values and the establishment of geoparks, the first thing is to recognise them as geosites and geoheritage areas that indicate great geological values. Besides the Ha Long bay, the world natural heritage with its outstanding aesthetic and geological values, the Cat Ba islands are typical and grandeur karst landscapes formed in tropical condition. Based on the geodiversity elements with their own geoheritage values on aesthetics, uniqueness and grandeur in the Cat Ba islands, the authors have recognised three geoheritage areas: the south cape of the Cat Ba embayment, Tung Gau (shelter), and the Lan Ha bay. Sites where Brachiopods, Crinoids and Tetracorals are exposed on the way through the island are considered as palaeontological geosites. The folds of limestone layers in the northern part of Cat Co 3 beach, with typical turbidite structures in carbonate formations are considered as a lithological geosite. The Devonian-Carboniferous boundary near the Cat Co 3 beach is regarded as a stratigraphical geosite while Que Kem and Turtle islands, etc. are considered as geomorphological geosites.
KeywordsGeoheritage Karst Geosite Geopark Geodiversity
Two of the authors, Tran Duc Thanh and Nguyen Huu Cu are grateful to the Project No. 14 “Basic investigation and evaluation of spatial resources, ecological and geological wonders in Vietnam’s sea and islands”.
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