Geomorphological mapping for the valorization of the alpine environment. A methodological proposal tested in the Loana Valley (Sesia Val Grande Geopark, Western Italian Alps) Geomorphological mapping for the valorization of the alpine environment. A methodological proposal tested in the Loana Valley (Sesia Val Grande Geopark, Western Italian Alps)

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Vol14 No.6: 1023-1038

Title】Geomorphological mapping for the valorization of the alpine environment. A methodological proposal tested in the Loana Valley (Sesia Val Grande Geopark, Western Italian Alps)

Author】Irene BOLLATI1*; Beatrice CROSA LENZ1; Enrico ZANOLETTI2; Manuela PELFINI1

Addresses】1 Earth Science Department "A. Desio", Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Mangiagalli, 34, 20133 - Milan, Italy; 2 Geoexplora-Geologia & Outdoor, Via Mussi, 5, 28831-Baveno (VB), Italy

Corresponding author】irene.bollati@unimi.it

Citation】Bollati I, Crosa Lenz B, Zanoletti E, et al. (2017) Geomorphological mapping for the valorization of the alpine environment. A methodological proposal tested in the Loana Valley (Sesia Val Grande Geopark, Western Italian Alps). Journal of Mountain Science 14(6). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-017-4427-7

DOI】10.1007/s11629-017-4427-7

Abstract】Geomorphological mapping plays a key role in landscape representation: it is the starting point for many applications and for the realization of thematic maps, such as hazard and risk maps, geoheritage and geotourism maps. Traditional geomorphological maps are useful for scientific purposes but they need to be simplified for different aims as management and education. In tourism valorization, mapping of geomorphological resources (i.e., geosites, and geomorphosites), and of geomorphic evidences of past hazardous geomorphological events, is important for increasing knowledge about landscape evolution and active processes, potentially involving geomorphosites and hiking trails. Active geomorphosites, as those widespread in mountain regions, testify the high dynamicity of geomorphic processes and their link with climatic conditions. In the present paper, we propose a method to produce and to update cartographic supports (Geomorphological Boxes) realized starting from a traditional geomorphological survey and mapping. The Geomorphological Boxes are geomorphological representation of single, composed or complex landforms drawn on satellite images, using the official Italian geomorphological legend (ISPRA symbols). Such cartographic representation is also addressed to the analysis (identification, evaluation and selection) of Potential Geomorphosites and Geotrails. The method has been tested in the upper portion of the Loana Valley (Western Italian Alps), located within the borders of the Sesia Val Grande Geopark, recognized by UNESCO in 2013. The area has a good potential for geotourism and for educational purposes. We identified 15 Potential Geomorphosites located along 2 Geotrails; they were ranked according to specific attributes also in relation with a Reference Geomorphosite located in the Loana hydrographic basin and inserted in official national and regional databases of geosites (ISPRA; Regione Piemonte). Finally, the ranking of Potential Geomorphosites allowed to select the most valuable ones for valorization or geoconservation purposes. In this framework, examples of Geomorphological Boxes are proposed as supports to geo-risk education practices.

Keywords】Geomorphological mapping; Geomorphological Boxes; Mountain geomorphosites; Geotrails; GIS - Geographical Information Systems; Loana Valley ;Western Italian Alps