, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 1067–1087 | Cite as

Evaluating Geomorphosites and the Geomorphological Hazards that Impact them: Case Study—Cozia Massif (Southern Carpathians, Romania)

  • Adriana-Bianca Ovreiu
  • Laura Comănescu
  • Iulian-Andrei BărsoianuEmail author
  • Alexandru Nedelea
Review Article


This paper intends to evaluate the most important geomorphosites in the Cozia Massif (Southern Carpathians) area and the geomorphological hazards that can affect and damage them. The methodology used for the evaluation stage is based on a method elaborated by Reynard et al. in Geoheritage 8:43–60, 2016, and additionally on other approaches built by researches from Lausanne, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Cantabria, Valladolid, Minho or Bucharest universities. The evaluation methodology measures quantitatively the scientific central value as well as the level of protection and promotion of specific geomorphosites. The most crucial geomorphological hazard in the area is disintegration. In order to evaluate its impact, the authors used geomechanical analysis methods; the evaluation included analysing features such as lithology, geomorphology (altitude, exposure and declivity), fissures (density, width, orientation and continuity), size and density of the base blocks, all according to the 1980 Shelby method. The Cozia Massif was considered to be an appropriate study area given their great variety in geomorphosites. Thirteen geomorphosites were included in this study, and all of them achieved scores between 0.38 (Traian’s Table) and 0.82 (Cozia Gorges). These geomorphosites are in different stages of degradation with values varying from 40 (Stone Gate Archway) to 82 (Gardului Waterfall). The study ended with identifying not only the most important geomorphosites for scientific research (e.g. Cozia Gorges) and for tourism value (e.g. Gardului Waterfall) but also the most vulnerable ones that require immediate action in terms of protection and conservation (e.g. Stone Gate Archway). The values registered are in general lower than the values achieved in other massifs of the Southern Carpathians.


Geomorphosites Evaluation Degradation Cozia massif Southern Carpathians Romania 



The authors wish to thank the Cozia National Park for their support in collecting the data. We wish to thank to Mr. Cruceru Nicolae for providing the Hammer Schmidt tool. All authors have contributed equally to the development of this article.


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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Geography, Department of Geomorphology-Pedology-GeomaticsUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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