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Geoheritage

pp 1–15 | Cite as

How to Integrate Invisible Geomorphosites in an Inventory: a Case Study in the Rhone River Valley (Switzerland)

  • Mélanie Clivaz
  • Emmanuel Reynard
Original Article

Abstract

During the two last decades, numerous inventories of geosites have been carried out at various scales. They aim at documenting the state of the geological heritage, which is the basis for management strategies. In very humanised regions, where the original geomorphology has been highly modified by human infrastructures, agriculture, urban sprawling and various modifications of landforms, it is important to inventory not only the landforms visible today but also former landforms destroyed or hidden by human activities. To address the issue of inventorying invisible geomorphosites, two approaches were tested in the Rhone River valley (Switzerland). The first was an inventory of geomorphosites of the study area. Not only the visible landforms but also the landforms that had completely disappeared were evaluated with the assessment method of the University of Lausanne. A total of 28 geomorphosites were assessed including five missing sites (two sand dunes areas, a braided sector of the Rhone River and two former marshes). These invisible geomorphosites were assessed and their management was discussed. The second study was a multi-method analysis of former landscapes of the nineteenth century. Several data including historical maps, written archives, digital terrain model and iconographic sources were combined and allowed the reconstruction of palaeolandscapes and landforms. Both materials are allowed proposing a strategy for geotourism development.

Keywords

Geoheritage Geomorphosites Invisibility Inventory Palaeolandscape 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Part of this research was carried out commonly with other researchers. We thank Dominique Baud, Jonathan Bussard, Laetitia Laigre and Benoît Maillard for common work and discussion. We acknowledge Dominique Baud and Jonathan Bussard for GIS processing of Fig. 5. We also acknowledge the collaborators of the State Archives of Valais for their help to the historical researches. We thank the two anonymous referees for useful comments and suggestions, as well as the Guest editors and Kevin Page for the edition of the paper.

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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography and Sustainability, GéopolisUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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