EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

GIS and geomatics for hydrogeodiversity assessment of glaciated mountains: examples from the Western Alps (Italy) and the Coast Mountains (Canada)

Luigi Perotti1, Manuela Lasagna1, Gilda Carraro1, Cristina Viani1, Federico Tognetto1, De Luca Dominico Antonio1, Gioachino Roberti2, and Marco Giardino
Luigi Perotti et al.
  • 1University of Torino, NatRisk, Earth Sciences, Torino, Italy (
  • 2Minerva Intelligence, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This paper aims at the systematization of knowledge related to geodiversity assessment for water resources and its evaluation within high mountain areas. In this environmental context, geological features, landforms and geomorphological processes, soils and water too are particularly sensitive to climatic and environmental changes, thus giving geodiversity a particularly dynamic character.

A multidimensional (regional, local; present, past) approach was developed for analyzing components of geomorphological and hydrogeological systems, both at superficial and underground level, in order to establish a conceptual model and a specific procedure for the evaluation of geodiversity.

Spatial and temporal dimensions of glaciated mountain landscapes of the Italian Western Alps (Monte Rosa, Maggiore Lake, Sesia Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark) and the Coast Mountains of Canada (Mount Meager, Lillohet Valley, Sea-to-Sky Corridor) were mapped and interpreted by means of: 1) detailed interpretation of DEM-derived data, 2) proper selection of Geomatics survey and monitoring tools and 3) targeted application of GIS analytical methods. The selection and processing operations of the elements considered for this evaluation led to the identification of areas characterized by greater values of hydrogeodiversity. Here, the link between surface and underground hydrodynamics becomes closer and intense, thus conditioning the local landscape setting and the interactions of its natural and human components.

The conceptual model and related workflow proved to be useful for both a) enhanced accuracy of models of a diversity of geomorphological and hydrogeological elements and processes of mountain regions and b) improved “targeted” knowledge on hydrogeodiversity and increased awareness on related geoheritage.

The proposed GIS and Geomatics framework allowed the hydrogeodiversity assessment going well beyond the limit of classical geomorphological and hydrogeological techniques. Difficulty of quantitative analysis over large areas was overcome, and small landscape features and other “hidden” hydrogeological markers could be taken into account. The results of the research strengthened the possibility of strategic management of geological, geomorphological and hydrological heritages within the study areas. In fact, we identified different landscapes and local peculiarities determined by mutual influences between geology and hydrological dynamics and mapped their possible interaction with human activities and infrastructures within areas of enhanced climate change effects.

How to cite: Perotti, L., Lasagna, M., Carraro, G., Viani, C., Tognetto, F., Dominico Antonio, D. L., Roberti, G., and Giardino, M.: GIS and geomatics for hydrogeodiversity assessment of glaciated mountains: examples from the Western Alps (Italy) and the Coast Mountains (Canada), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20455,, 2020


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