New keywords in the geosciences – some conceptual and scientific issues

  • Michael F. Thomas Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling
Palavras-chave: Geodiversity, Geoconservation, Geoheritage, Geotourism, Geosites.


New keywords in the geosciences such as geodiversity, geoconservation, geoheritage and geotourism are now in common use, with a rapid increase in the delineation of geosites and geomorphosites on the ground, usually with an intention to establish geoparks for promotion of geotourism and geoconservation. Geodiversity, as the abiotic equivalent of biodiversity, is argued by many to provide the foundation for delivery of ecosystem services. But others wish to define geosites separately for conservation of the geoheritage, while geodiversity defines geomorphosites as an input to geotourism. It is argued that geomorphosites are one category of geosite and commonly preserve essential features of the geoheritage, while understanding the dynamic status of component land facets and their connectivity are necessary to inform programmes for geoconservation.

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