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Determining Geoheritage Values

Brocx, M. and Semeniuk, V. (2015) Determining Geoheritage Values. In: Kennish, M.J., (ed.) Encyclopedia of Estuaries. Springer, pp. 187-196.

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Geoheritage. The heritage value assigned to features of a geological nature encompasses globally, nationally, statewide to regionally, and locally significant features of earth science that are intrinsically important or culturally important, offering information or insights into the evolution of the earth or into the history of earth science, or that can be used for research, teaching, or reference (Brocx, 2008). It encompasses the variety of rocks types, stratigraphy, structural geology, geomorphology, and hydrology and covers a large variety of processes and products across a wide range of scales, from global tectonics, mountain building, landscape evolution to local surface processes and products such as weathering, erosion and sedimentation, cliff faces, fossils sites and mineral localities, and, at the microscale, diagenesis and deformation.

Geoconservation. This term refers to an action that works toward the preservation of sites of geoheritage significance for heritage, science, or education purposes. It can encompass all important geological features from the regional scale to the individual crystal, involving specific sites (special sites), or ensembles of geological sites. A “specific site” is where a significant geological feature occurs in isolation or may have historical or cultural significance; these have been formally identified in the British Isles as (geological) site(s) of special scientific interest (SSSI) or regionally important geological/geomorphologic sites (RIGS) (Ellis et al., 1996).

Geodiversity. Geodiversity is the natural variety of geological, geomorphological, pedological, and hydrological features of a given area and geological processes forming them (Brocx and Semeniuk, 2007). Use of the term, which etymologically means “the diversity of geological features,” should be applied only in a region-specific or site-specific sense, i.e., not as a synonym for geology.

Geosite. This is a term used to denote small sites of geoheritage significance used for education, science, geotours, and reference.

Geopark. Geopark is used to denote large sites of geoheritage significance, usually an ensemble of geosites used for education, science, geotours, and reference.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
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