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The dimensions of geotourism with a spotlight on geodiversity in a subdued landscape

Newsome, D. and Ladd, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-7730-9685 (2022) The dimensions of geotourism with a spotlight on geodiversity in a subdued landscape. International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks, 10 (3). pp. 351-366.

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Landscapes of high relief are often favoured tourist destinations and at the same time display complex geomorphology that may be the result of diverse geology summarised into the concept of geodiversity. In contrast areas of subdued landscape, while topographically unappealing, may also be geodiverse but need careful explanation and promotion to attract the geotourist. The mid-west of Western Australia is an area of low relief with a long history of weathering, ostensibly of little interest to visitors, is underlain by a diverse geology that is displayed in an incised landscape where erosion by rivers and the ocean displays geodiversity in attractive detail. The mid-west of Western Australia is the result of sedimentary basin formation during the separation of the Gondwanan Indian plate from the western edge of the Archean Yilgarn granitic craton. A plutonic Precambrian basement is overlain by Ordovician sediments comprising the Tumblagooda sandstone and then Permian and younger Mesozoic rocks, often capped with a complex weathered regolith. Geology is exposed in the Murchison and Irwin River valleys where interpretive signs explain the origin of the landscape and sequences of rock. Extensive weathering products from the Tertiary period, such as laterite and sandplains, provide opportunities to explain processes such as deep weathering, mobilisation and re-deposition of sediments that are integral to the development of landscapes in general. We thus provide a conceptual understanding of the nexus between tourism and geodiversity via the applied science of geotourism in a predominantly subdued landscape. We make the point that there is a general lack of attention paid to regolith in the geotourism literature, hence we have provided a relatively detailed account of a large expanse of sandplain that occurs in the study area. Furthermore, regolith geodiversity has not been investigated in the context of its wider geotourism potential and while this case study is preliminary in its wider scope, we provide a platform for further research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co. Ltd.
Copyright: © 2022 Beijing Normal University
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