An Assessment of Gorges for Purposes of Identifying Geomorphosites of Geotourism Value in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania)

Abstract

Although there are several available methods for the assessment and inventory of geomorphosites, when it comes to the comparative study of genetically similar landforms, one can note the need for further studies and analyses. The main reason for this fact is that most methods use criteria generally suitable for the evaluation of any landforms, thus not addressing the specificity of distinct geosites. Therefore, for the assessment of karst gorges in the Apuseni Mountains, a new specific method was used, a method adapted to the main features of the gorges in the study area. The method is based on the assessment of both the intrinsic values of geomorphosites (geomorphological, ecological, and aesthetic) and the functional ones (scientific, cultural, and tourism development). The criteria used to assess these values have been clearly explained, in order to ensure a more transparent assessment. Thus, a comparative study was possible and a hierarchy in terms of geotourism value of the 53 gorges in the Apuseni Mountains was developed, a hierarchy that can be a useful tool for geotourism promoters in the area.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is a result of a postdoctoral research made possible by the financial support of the Sectoral Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project POSDRU/159/1.5/S/133391: “Doctoral and postdoctoral excellence programs for training highly qualified human resources for research in the fields of Life Sciences, Environment and Earth.”

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Correspondence to Gabriela Cocean.

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Cocean, G., Cocean, P. An Assessment of Gorges for Purposes of Identifying Geomorphosites of Geotourism Value in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania). Geoheritage 9, 71–81 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-016-0180-5

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Keywords

  • Gorge
  • Geomorphosite
  • Karst
  • Apuseni Mountains
  • Geotourism