Abstract

Volcanic zones are important geoheritage sites. Active volcanic fields are of special interest because they allow to observe the complex and interesting stratigraphic relationships that often characterise their products and processes, as well as landscapes of unusual beauty. These geological sites enable visitors to appreciate the full complexity of volcanic activity and the importance of the geoheritage values that should be preserved. To ensure a correct preservation of these zones while opening them up to visitors, management plans should establish and consolidate a network of outcrops that allow visitors to get to know the area in question and preserve its geological heritage and the social and economic dynamism. In La Garrotxa Volcanic Field, most of which is protected by a natural park, a new methodology has been created to identify the sites of greatest geological interest and, above all, those that exemplify the diversity of eruptive styles and volcanic products and landforms in the area. Taking into account the most relevant management requirements (conservation and dissemination), in 1994 a total of 60 outcrops were classified as points of geological interest of the area. In this study we further present a specific methodology to select the most suitable sites for the preservation of the main volcanological features of La Garrotxa Volcanic Field. A group of 12 sites were selected from the initially identified outcrops and included in an itinerary as the most representative geological and pedagogical sites while also bearing in mind their ease of access and preservation and the possible impact of visitors (e.g. erosion). The following five criteria were considered when restoring these outcrops: integration into the landscape, consolidation of their geology, regulation of visits, the mitigation of risk, and the participation of the people that live in the area.

Reference article

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