Juris Soms

##manager.scheduler.building##: Atbrivosanas aleja 115 Assembly Hall (222)
Last modified: 05.06.2017


The environmental management and nature protection policy in Latvia is mainly focused on biodiversity and protected species, while a geodiversity is ‘forgotten side’ of nature conservation work. Such situation is associated with an absence of a unified methodology for assessment of geodiversity, which is a shortened version of the term ‘geological and geomorphological diversity’. The concept of geodiversity, as well the quantitative assessment of abiotic nature values is successfully used in the last decade. However, it has not yet been applied in Latvia for purposes of environmental management. Considering that the aim of this study was to apply the methodology described in the scientific literature for the assessment of geodiversity index in the GIS environment. The estimating of geodiversity was performed in two protected nature areas in south-eastern Latvia, i.e. nature reserve “Pilskalnes Siguldiņa” and geological nature monument “Adamovas krauja”. The calculations of geodiversity index were done based on the components as geological data, landform units, morphogenetic processes, hydrological features and terrain roughness. The input data were processed, and numerical methods that analyze spatial data in regular grid format were applied in ArcGIS. The output data on the spatial variability of geodiversity index were reclassified in three classes in order to identify areas with low, medium and high geodiversity respectively. The assessment of geodiversity by quantifying the spatial distribution of geodiversity index can be used as a tool for environmental management of protected nature areas and spatial planning, allowing to identify places with high potential value and to prevent their transformations.



geodiversity; environmental management; protected nature areas; geodiversity index; GIS


[1]     R.S. De Groot, B. Fisher, M. Christie, J. Aronson, L. Braat, R. Haines-Young, I. Ring Integrating the ecological and economic dimensions in biodiversity and ecosystem service valuation. In: Kumar P.(Ed.), The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB): Ecological and Economic Foundations. London: Taylor & Francis. 2010, pp. 9-40.

[2]     M. Gray Other nature: geodiversity and geosystem services. Environmental Conservation 38. 2011, pp. 271–274.

[3]     M. Gray Valuing geodiversity in an ‘ecosystem services’ context. Scottish Geographical Journal 128. 2012, pp. 177–194.

[4]     J.E. Gordon, H.F. Barron, J.D. Hansom, M.F. Thomas Engaging with geodiversity – why it matters. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 123. 2012, pp.1–6.

[5]     C.C.D.F. van Ree, P.J.H. van Beukering. Geosystem services: A concept in support of sustainable development of the subsurface. Ecosystem Services 20. 2016, pp. 30-36.

[6]     E. Muižniece, J. Soms. A geomorphological approach for enhancing environmental management and conservation of landforms as protected nature objects in the Upper Daugava spillway valley. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Scientific and Practical Conference “Environment. Technology. Resources”. Vol.2. 2015, pp.225-231.

[7]     Soms J., Muižniece E. Landforms and Geological Objects of Geoconservation Significance in the Nature Park „Daugavas loki”, Latvia. In.: Abstracts of the VIII International ProGEO Symposium ‘Geoconservation Strategies in a Changing World’. Reykjavik, Iceland. ProGEO. 2015, pp.98-99.

[8]     C. Sharples. A Methodology for the Identification of Significant Landforms and Geological Sites for Geoconservation Purposes. Report to Forestry Commission, Hobart, Tasmania. 1993, 31 pp.

[9]     M. Gray Geodiversity: Valuing and Conserving Abiotic Nature. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. 2004, 448 pp.

[10]  M. Gray. Geodiversity: developing the paradigm. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 19. 2008, pp. 287–298.

[11]  M. Gray. Geodiversity: Valuing and Conserving Abiotic Nature, 2nd ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 2013, 508 pp.

[12]  ProGEO. Conserving our Shared Geoheritage – A Protocol on Geoconservation Principles, Sustainable Site Use, Management, Fieldwork, Fossil and Mineral Collecting. 2011, 10 pp.

[13]  L. Erikstad. Geoheritage and geodiversity management – the questions for tomorrow. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 124. 2013, pp.713-719.

[14]  E. Reynard, P. Coratza. Geomorphosites and geodiversity: a new domain of research, Geographica Helvetica 62. 2007, pp. 138–139.

[15]  M. H. Henriques, A.O. Tavares, A.L.M. Bala. The geological heritage of Tundavala (Angola): An integrated approach to its characterisation. Journal of African Earth Sciences 88. 2013, pp. 62-71.

[16]  E. Reynard, M. Panizza. Geomorphosites: definition, assessment and mapping. Géomorphologie: relief, processus, environnemen 3. 2005, pp. 177-180.

[17]  P. Pereira, D.I. Pereira, M.I.C. Alves. Geomorphosite assessment in Montesinho Natural Park (Portugal). Geographica Helvetica 62. 2007, pp.159-168.

[18]  R. Pellitero, M.J. González-Amuchastegui, P. Ruiz-Flanõ, E. Serrano. Geodiversity and geomorphosite assessment applied to a natural protected area: the Ebro and Rudron gorges Natural Park (Spain). Geoheritage 3. 2011, pp.163–174.

[19]  E. Serrano, J.J. González-Trueba. Assessment of geomorphosites in natural protected areas: the Picos de Europa National Park (Spain). Géomorphologie: Relief, Processus, Environnement 3. 2005, pp. 197–208.

[20]  L. Melelli Geodiversity: a new quantitative index for Natural protected areas enhancement. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites 13. 2014, pp. 27-37.

[21]  A.M. Martinez-Graña, J.L. Goy, C. Cimarra. 2D to 3D geologic mapping transformation using virtual globes and flight simulators and their applications in the analysis of geodiversity in natural areas. Environmental Earth Sciences 73. 2015, pp. 8023–8034.

[22]  E. Serrano, P. Ruiz-Flaño. Geodiversity: a theoretical and applied concept. Geographica Helvetica 62. 2007, pp.140–147.

[23]  Z. Zwoliński, A. Najwer, M. Giardino. Methods of geodiversity assessment and theirs application. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 18, EGU2016-15434, 2016.

[24]  L. Melelli, M. Floris. A new Geodiversity Index as a quantitative indicator of abiotic parameters to improve landscape conservation: an Italian case study. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 13. EGU2011-13881, 2011.

[25]  J.S. Jenness. Calculating landscape surface area from digital elevation models. Wildlife Society Bullettin 32. 2004, pp.829-839.