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

Geosite assessment in Arequipa City – Peru: UNESCO IGCP 692 project 'Geoheritage for Geohazard Resilience' 

Carla Lili Arias Salazar1,2, Nélida Manrique2, Rigoberto Aguilar2, and Benjamin van Wyk de Vries3
Carla Lili Arias Salazar et al.
  • 1Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, Escuela Profesional de Ingeniería Geológica, Puno, Peru (
  • 2Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico-INGEMMET, Observatorio Vulcanológico del Ingemmet. Perú. Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo – Arequipa - Perú
  • 3Université Clermont Auvergne, Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, OPGC, IRD, UMR6524-CNRS, France

Arequipa, the second most populated city located in the South of Peru, is full of history, culture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its natural attractions and geological diversity stand out, like the Colca and Andagua UNESCO Global Geopark, as well as geosites within the city. This provides a basis for improving the population's environmental awareness and resilience, a process that partly starts with geosite inventorying, used in socio-economic exchange with the population. For the geosite work several methods were used from the early Cendrero (1996) to most recent Brilha (2016). As a first stage, potential geosites were field identified, and we established their representativeness, integrity, rarity, scientific knowledge level and geological value. Six major potential geosites were identified: 1) Sillar quarries, 2) Rio Chili valley, 3) Misti and Chachani volcanoes viewpoint, 4) Nicholson volcano, 5) Ccapua monogenetic volcanoes, Yura Viejo, Uyupampa and 6) Domo el Volcancillo. Once identified and judged suitable for potential use and protection, the six sites were qualitatively evaluated for intrinsic value, potential for use and need for protection, thus completing more detailed information on each one. In this second stage, the process of quantifying the value and relevance establishing a ranking. The Brilha (2005) methodology was used to classify geosites as local - regional and national - international interest, The Sillar being of national - international scope, while the other geosites are of local to regional scope. To rank geosites according to their scientific value, educational potential use, tourism potential use and the risk of degradation, the Brilha (2016) methodology was used. Each site was evaluated independently, since the value of the geosite is not directly related to its potential for use or vulnerability. The ranking for scientific value and educational and tourist use is different and the Sillar and Ccapua have high risk of degradation, while the others moderate risk. We also classified each site for its natural risk to inhabitants, users and visitors, making a preliminary safety plan for each site. The process ends with a classification seeking to provide a legal basis for geoheritage management and protection. Conservation plans take into account the degradation risk to propose strategies with include safety. Community involvement was a first step, with the Sillar site users partly initiating and directing our work. We all see the geoheritage as a tool to publicize both geology and associated activities in an innovative way through geotourism and economic sustainability. Risk is managed with geosites and the benefits and dangers related to the Misti and Chachani volcanoes communicated. The process continues with constant monitoring of geosites. This aims to empower local scientists and residents, because it highlights the geological heritage, and generates "tools" for education and promote resilient communities in the face of geological hazards; in addition, diversify the alternatives for geotourism. It is part of the UNESCO IGCP Geoheritage for Resilience, project 692.

How to cite: Arias Salazar, C. L., Manrique, N., Aguilar, R., and van Wyk de Vries, B.: Geosite assessment in Arequipa City – Peru: UNESCO IGCP 692 project 'Geoheritage for Geohazard Resilience' , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8355,, 2021.