- Geodiversität von Vorarlberg und Liechtenstein = Geodiversity of Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein
- Number of pages
- Bern: Haupt
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Geodiversity - the natural range of geological, geomorphological and soil features - is the topic of this book. More precisely, geomorphological mapping techniques, which have been developed for capturing the geodiversity of mountainous areas, and a related method for assessing the value - the geoconservation potential - of the mapped landforms of these landscapes. The case studies presented cover the variety of mountain landscapes of Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein.
The first part of the book deals with methods of geomorphological mapping of high-relief areas. The classical, field-based, detailed, area-covering mapping method which was developed over the years by researchers at the University of Amsterdam, is nowadays combined with the analysis and interpretation of digital terrain models derived from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data in a geographical information system (GIS).
Geomorphological derivatives - land surface parameters - are calculated from the LiDAR data and are applied in digital geomorphological mapping in GIS. The geomorphological map, thus, has become a digital geodatabase, in which information acquired in the field is linked with data from many other sources. Data is stored in ‘layers’, which can be visualized individually and in a variety of combinations, in GIS.
Essential is that the mapping does not focus on unique or spectacular geomorphological features or groups of these only, but covers the total landscape, i.e. also the ‘common’ sites in which people, animals and plants live. The assessment of the geoconservation potential is done for all landforms, i.e. inventories are made for entire selected areas. In GIS, the sites are assessed individually using a set of quantitative and qualitative weighting and ranking criteria, the most important of which are scientific relevance and frequency of occurrence. The resulting scores may be adjusted - downgraded or upgraded - by applying expert knowledge.
Case studies are presented in the second part of the book. Clusters of landforms highly valuable in terms of geoconservation potential have been selected and are discussed in detail in explanatory notes. The clusters cover a wide range of landscapes which are all typical for mountainous areas. The Gamperdonatal near Nenzinger Himmel, the tributary valleys of the Gamperdonatal, the Malbun region of Liechtenstein and the mountains around Lech show a high-alpine morphology, in which, among other features, moraines, meltwater deposits, fossil rock glaciers, sulphate (gypsum) karst landforms and deep-seated mass movements are classified as highly valuable landscape elements. Ice-marginal landforms and deposits created during the final stages of deglaciation at the end of last ice age abound in the lower topographic settings of the southern Walgau region between Nenzing and Gurtis and on the eastern flank of the Rhine Valley in the municipalities of Götzis, Klaus, Fraxern and Weiler. All these landforms hold highly valuable information on the origin of the landscapes and the role of climate and climate change in landscape development.
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