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

Geodiversity and Geomorphosites based Seasonal Economy in Cold Deserts of Indian Trans-Himalaya

  • University of Delhi, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Geography, New Delhi, India (


“Geodiversity", may be defined simply as the natural range (diversity) of geological (rocks, minerals, fossils), geomorphological (land form, physical processes) and soil features. It includes their assemblages, relationships, properties, interpretations and systems (Gray, 2004). Geomorphosites are geomorphological landforms (component of geodiversity)  that have acquired a scientific, cultural/historical, aesthetic and socio-economic value due to human perception or exploitation (Panizza, 2001). The trans-Himalayan region is devoid of most of the technological stimuli that the lesser Himalayan or plains experience and reciprocate in terms of variety of responses. Therefore, in this part of the Himalaya, the abiotic factors play a significant role in generating stimuli and the human response varies accordingly. The trans or the Tethyan Himalayan region of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, has been chosen as the study area where the  interface (interactive zone/crossing point/edge) is being analyzed and mapped in order to study this specific type of stimuli-response in a unique geoecosystem.

The research focuses upon the study of seasonal economy based on geodiversity and geomorphosites in the trans-Himalayan cold desert of Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India. The data has been collected through extensive field work using structured questionnaire survey and field observations at various seasonal dhabas around areas/landforms having unique geomorphic characteristics. The field work has been done in  May-June 2012, October 2013, June 2014, June 2016, June 2017 and June 2018. These dhabas act as the centres for seasonal economy in the region that is regulated by the geotourism activities based on these  geomorphosites and geodiversity. The analysis regarding the human response in terms of seasonal economy, settlement pattern and geotourism have been done through GIS, GPS and SWOT analysis. The resultant theory i.e. "Stimuli-Response Theory of Landscape" has been developed to explain the entire geoecological  process. The study highlights that potential geotourism sites have to be further identified, explored and developed in the region and the existing sites have to be preserved and retained in order to harness the tremendous potential of geotourism and thereby boosting the seasonal economy.

Keywords: Geodiversity, Geomorphosites; Trans-Himalayan Region; Cold Desert; Seasonal economy; Dhabas; Geotourism Sites; Geoecological Process ; Stimuli-Response Theory of Landscape

How to cite: , K.: Geodiversity and Geomorphosites based Seasonal Economy in Cold Deserts of Indian Trans-Himalaya, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-226, 2019


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