10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Inventory and assessment of geosites in Taburno-Camposauro Aspiring Geopark

Alessio Valente, Angelo Cusano, Paolo Magliulo, and Filippo Russo
Alessio Valente et al.
  • Department of Sciences and Technologies, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy (valente@unisannio.it)

In the Taburno-Camposauro Aspiring Geopark (southern Italy), a significant part of the geological history of this stretch of Apennines (a fold and thrust belt formed since the early Neogene) can be read. Inside this area, 44 geosites were identified, described and evaluated. The geosites identification was based on one or more characteristics (geological, geomorphological, hydrogeological, etc.) that were able capturing the observer's interest and telling the geological history of this area. The observations were supported by a scientific characterization based on literature data. Among the most considered parameters, there is the representativeness as geological topic, process, features in the study area. In this sense, it was considered, for example, that the shallow marine limestone outcrops of the middle Cretaceous, with evident polychrome residual fillings, were an element of extreme scientific value. This is confirmed by a vast scientific literature (peer-reviewed papers, geological maps, etc.), which guarantees its uniqueness within the limestone successions of the Apennines. For at least two centuries, these rocks were extracted, and nowadays the worked stones, called improperly "marbles", adorn the monumental buildings not only in Italy (Caserta, Naples, Rome), but also abroad (France, England and even Russia). These features add further educational and touristic value to the geosite. Despite the mining activity, the main topic is almost intact in the quarry, which is easily. Its security, however, should be improved. Another highly representative geosite, due to both its geological significance and scenic value, is the village of Sant'Agata de' Goti. The village is built at the top of a structural terrace shaped on the Campanian Ignimbrite, which is a 39 ky old pyroclastic deposit. After the infilling of the valleys by the Campanian Ignimbrite, the latter was deeply dissected by the hydrographic network, which shaped structural terraces. The Campanian Ignimbrite is considered the result of the largest volcanic explosion in Europe in the last 200,000 years, as highlighted by a large amount of published scientific data. Probably due to its favourable position, this structural terrace was chosen for residential settlements since the 4th century BC. International research about this site is not limited to the geological features, but also to the archaeological and geotechnical ones, and this increases its value for touristic purposes, too. Finally, despite the fact that the new water supply system has drastically changed, the Fizzo Springs still represent the major water source of the aspiring geopark and therefore maintain their intrinsic value. Known for their considerable discharge since Roman times, they were exploited in order to feed the western coastal areas with an impressive aqueducts considered UNESCO World Heritage. In recent decades, the capture of the springs was replaced by a system of wells, so the springs lost a little in their magnificence, even if today they were inserted in a beautiful garden that is easily accessible to everyone. Probably, in a quantitative assessment, these sites would reach the highest value. However, there are others that, due to their geological significance or their visual beauty, constitute an opportunity to become a geopark.

How to cite: Valente, A., Cusano, A., Magliulo, P., and Russo, F.: Inventory and assessment of geosites in Taburno-Camposauro Aspiring Geopark, 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-476, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-476, 2022.