Geodiversity and Geosystem Services of Drainage Basins: from Assessment to Enhancement
Co-sponsored by IAG
Convener: Marco Giardino | Co-conveners: Irene Maria Bollati, Alizia MantovaniECSECS, Zbigniew Zwoliński, Cristina VianiECSECS

Geodiversity is a recent relevant topic among Geosciences, and characterizes drainage basins, which record information from a variety of components of the natural environment, relevant for the scientific assessment of both long-term evolutionary processes and interpretation of recent responses to climate change, as well as for the Nature-Human interactions. The establishment of a conceptual/methodological framework for multifactor/multidimensional approaches to Geodiversity of drainage basins is of relevant value for the enhancement of the related geosystem services.
From slope micro-catchments to large drainage systems, river basins are geosystems characterized by a high degree of individuality. Geodiversity assessment at various scales offers advanced knowledge on river catchment functioning by means of many conditioning factors, such as: geology, lithology, tectonics, geomorphology, energy and matter cycle, connectivity between slope and fluvial subsystems, soil, climate, land cover and land use etc. The variety of such environmental features controls the functional connectivity of river basins.
Since each catchment represents a different object, the assessment of geodiversity within river basins (i.e. intrinsic) appears as a complex analytical process of each element; at the same time, it drives the relationships between different basins (i.e. extrinsic geodiversity).
The key issue is the selection of criteria for assessing geodiversity considering the spatial, thematic and temporal resolutions. Another open problem is the assessment of services offered by geodiversity of drainage basins (i.e. geosystem services), particularly those in highly dynamic conditions due to present day climate change.
In this session, we aim to receive contributions on two closely-related concepts in a contemporary challenge for geoscientists. How can geodiversity and the related variable features limit the geosystem services? This question arises in present-day communities as the dilemma of using and exploiting river basin resources while preserving them for future generations. Different morphoclimatic conditions make great landscape, and in the specific drainage basins complexities and different possibilities of providing geosystem services emerges. These issues become particularly powerful in the era of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.