Inventory and Quantitative Assessment of Geosites and Geodiversity Sites: a Review

Abstract

The inventory and quantitative assessment of the most valuable occurrences of geodiversity are essential steps in any geoconservation strategy and in the establishment of priorities in site management. Despite the existence of many site inventories applied to different scales (countries, municipalities, parks, etc.), the criteria used for their selection are often unclear and poorly defined. This paper proposes a new approach to the concepts of geosite and geodiversity site and reviews the procedures used in the development of a systematic site inventory applied to different scales and values. Procedures to achieve a numerical evaluation of the value and degradation risk of sites are reviewed and new criteria are proposed. Finally, guidelines are presented, bearing in mind the preparation of effective geodiversity inventories, to support geoparks’ strategies. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding and use of the above-mentioned concepts, which are essential for the implementation of geoconservation actions worldwide.

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Acknowledgments

The author thanks Diamantino Pereira, Flavia Lima, and Paulo Pereira for fruitful discussions and insights; Teresa Mota for the English revision; and the reviewers for significant improvements of the first submitted version. This paper results of the research done at the University of Minho and at the Geology Centre of the University of Porto, partially founded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal), strategic project with reference PEst-OE/CTE/UI0039/2014.

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Correspondence to José Brilha.

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Brilha, J. Inventory and Quantitative Assessment of Geosites and Geodiversity Sites: a Review. Geoheritage 8, 119–134 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-014-0139-3

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Keywords

  • Geosite
  • Geoheritage
  • Geodiversity site
  • Geopark
  • Inventory
  • Geodiversity