10th International Conference on Geomorphology
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Interpreting geodiversity and long-term landform evolution – limited role of ‘classic’ geosites and the advantages of modern technologies (Sudetes range, Central Europe)

Piotr Migoń, Milena Różycka, and Kacper Jancewicz
Piotr Migoń et al.
  • University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland (piotr.migon@uwr.edu.pl)

Forested medium-altitude mountain massifs within the Sudetes range in Central Europe (Poland, Czechia, Germany) have a long and complex geomorphic history that spans at least the last one hundred million years. It involved long-term deep weathering and planation in the Mesozoic, marine transgression and relief burial in the Late Cretaceous, partial exhumation of pre-transgressive relief and continuing rock-controlled denudation in the Cenozoic, non-uniform uplift and related fluvial incision in the Neogene, and imprint of cold-climate environments in the Pleistocene. This sequence of events and resultant landform diversity provide a good framework for landscape interpretation, but the challenge is to link it with specific field localities (geosites), which can be used to build the story and effectively communicate it to the public. This is because ‘classic’ geosites, understood as specific localities showing rocks, structures or minor/medium-size landforms, hardly allow for presentation of the complete story of long-term landform evolution and interpretation of geodiversity in predominantly erosional terrains. Therefore, viewpoint geosites (bare mountain peaks, elevated open tracts of terrain, viewing towers) have a role to play as they show large-scale geomorphic landscapes and spatial relationships between major landforms. However, even these may have limited effectiveness given the widespread vegetation and soil cover, which conceal the lithological diversity, and only moderate altitude contrasts. They also require good interpretation facilities to make the vegetated landscapes meaningful. Consequently, it is worth to explore additional resources, which seem to have considerable potential to address and offset some of these problems. These include Google Earth imagery, which can also be used to highlight relationships between landform patterns and land use, showing the relevance of geomorphology, and 3-D visualizations derived from digital terrain models. For the Sudetes, the latter are also available as high-resolution LiDAR models and allow to show various geomorphic details, which otherwise can easily escape attention in the forested ranges. Examples from selected mountain massifs in the Sudetes will be shown to demonstrate how the combined use of field sites and remote sources can enhance geoheritage and geodiversity interpretation in the geotourism context.  

How to cite: Migoń, P., Różycka, M., and Jancewicz, K.: Interpreting geodiversity and long-term landform evolution – limited role of ‘classic’ geosites and the advantages of modern technologies (Sudetes range, Central Europe), 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-312, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-312, 2022.