Inventário e priorização de sítios geológicos dos Açores: revisão com base no seu valor científico e contributo para a valorização do geoturismo nos Açores

  • Estado
  • Nome
    Priscila Lopes de Abreu Santos
  • Entidade de acolhimento
    Universidade dos Açores
The geodiversity in the archipelago of Azores is dominated by its volcanic morphology and its geological history. Among other elements of geodiversity the Azores Islands includes central volcanos with caldera and lakes, volcanic ridges associated with fissural volcanism, lava fields, mineral and thermal waters. Depending on their rarity and scientific value, and their cultural, educative and touristic values, some of these features are part of the regional geological heritage (Lima 2005; 2007).
Conservation and management of the mentioned heritage has been approached in several initiatives and scientific projects with the coordination or collaboration of the University of Azores (e.g., inventory of geological sites and the Azores Geopark Project (Lima, 2007; Lima et al., 2010).
In the meanwhile, recent scientific and methodology developments in the field of Geoconservation render the strategies applied during the inventory and characterization of geological sites of Azores (2009-2011) outdated, namely the revision of concepts (e.g., geosites, sites of geodiversity, geological heritage) and the inventory systematization, which includes the quantitative assessment of the risk of degradation and the potential touristic and educative uses of the geological sites.
In this context, the objective of the present project is to develop a geoconservation strategy in the archipelago of Azores, with the intention of contributing to the valorisation of the geotourism. The geoconservation strategy shall promote the revision and (re)evaluation of the geological inventory based on its scientific value and including prioritization. To achieve the proposed objective, the following goals have been specified:

a) Refinement of the inventory of the geological heritage in Azores, by means of selection and characterization of the geological sites;
b) Quantitative assessment of the risk of degradation and potential use of the geological sites;
c) Propose actions for valorization, divulgation and sustainable management of the Azores geological sites, integrated with other components of the natural (e.g., biological) and cultural heritages, with the intention of promoting the regional geotourism.