A geomorphological approach for enhancing environmental management and conservation of landforms as protected nature objects in the Upper Daugava spillway valley

Evita Muižniece, Juris Soms


This paper describes the application of geomorphological approach for environmental management and conservation of landforms. Specifically, we discuss the contribution of geomorphological field survey and adapted matrix methodology (in combination with understanding of geology) to identification, study and evaluation of those abiotic nature elements which represent geological and geomorphological heritage. We describe a case study carried out in that part of the protected landscape area “Augšdaugava” which encompasses the Upper Daugava spillway valley. The study programme reported in this paper was realized to perform inventory of landforms and geological features for recognition of objects of particular interest in terms of including them in the list of protected nature monuments. After the field reconnaissance and survey of such objects in situ, the assessment based on several criteria like scientific, aesthetic and paleogeographic value, type, rareness, integrity and representativeness was performed. Obtained data is sufficient to make a well-founded selection of the abiotic nature elements and components of geodiversity, including geological and geomorphological features, e.g. particular landforms as protected nature objects, and to substantiate the need for their conservation. Hence, the output of performed study can be used for enhancing environmental management and conservation of nature diversity and values in this region.


environmental management, landforms, protected nature objects

Full Text:



C. D. Prosser, D. R. Bridgland, E. J. Brown and J. G. Larwood, “Geoconservation for science and society: challenges and opportunities,” Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. 122 (3), pp. 337-342, Jun. 2011.

C. Fassoulas, D. Mouriki, P. Dimitriou-Nikolakis and G. Iliopoulos, “Quantitative assessment of geotopes as an effective tool for geoheritage management,” Geoheritage, vol. 4 (3), pp. 177–193, Sept. 2012.

I.S. Stewart and T. Neild, “Earth stories: context and narrative in the communication of popular geosciences,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, vol. 124, pp. 699–712, June 2013.

M. Gray, J. E. Gordon and E. J. Brown, “Geodiversity and the ecosystem approach: the contribution of geoscience in delivering integrated environmental management,” Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. 124 (4), pp. 659-673, Jun. 2013.

L. Erikstad, “Geoheritage and geodiversity management – the questions for tomorrow,” Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. 124 (4), pp. 713–719, Jun. 2013.

G. Bocco, A.Velázquez, C. Siebe, ”Using geomorphologic mapping to strengthen natural resource management in developing countries. The case of rural indigenous communities in Michoacan, Mexico,” CATENA, vol. 60 (3), pp. 239-253, Mar. 2005.

E. Reynard and M. Panizza, “Geomorphosites: definition, assessment and mapping,” Géomorphologie: relief, processus, environnement, vol. 3, pp. 177-180, Mar. 2005.

A. Carton, P. Coratza and M. Marchetti, “Guidelines for geomorphological sites mapping: examples from Italy,” Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement, vol. 3, pp. 209-218, Mar. 2005.

P. Coratza and G. Regolini-Bissig, “Methods for Mapping Geomorphosites,” in Geomorphosites, E.Reynard, , P.Coratza, G.Regolini-Bissig, Eds., Pfeil, Munchen, pp. 89–103. 2009.

I. Fuertes-Gutiérrez, E. Fernández-Martínez, “Mapping Geosites for Geoheritage Management: A Methodological Proposal for the Regional Park of Picos de Europa (León, Spain),” Environmental Management, vol. 50 (5), pp. 789-806, Nov. 2012.

M. Gray, Geodiversity – Valuing and Conserving Abiotic Nature. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2004, 434 pp.

C.E. Johansson and M. Alpassi, “Geodiversitet i Nordisk Naturvård,” vol. 8., Nordic Council of Ministers, Nord, pp. 1–149, 2000.

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

J.E. Gordon and H.F. Barron, “Scotland’s geodiversity: development of the basis for a national framework,” Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 417, 2011.

J. Bradbury, “A keyed classification of natural geodiversity for land management and nature conservation purposes,” Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. 125 (3), pp. 329-349, Jul. 2014.

T.J. Mathews, “Integrating geoconservation and biodiversity conservation: theoretical foundations and conservation recommendations in a European Union context,” Geoheritage, vol. 6 (1), pp. 57–70, Mar. 2014.

C. Müller, G. Berger, M. Glemnitz, “Quantifying geomorphological heterogeneity to assess species diversity of set-aside arable land,” Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 104 (3), pp. 587-594, Dec. 2004.

E. Reynard, G. Fontana, L. Kozlik, C. Scapozza, “A method for assessing “scientific” and “additional values” of Geomorphosites,” Geographica Helvetica, vol. 62 (3), pp. 148–158, 2007.

J. Soms, “Biodiversity as a result of diversification of the environment: the significance of erosion processes in ecosystems changes – case study in Nature Park „Daugavas loki”,” in Book of abstracts of the 3rd International Conference Research and Conservation of Biological Diversity in Baltic Region, Daugavpils, Latvia, 20 – 22 April, 2005, p.114.

D. Kursīts, “Nature monuments within Nature Park „Daugavas loki” in context of nature tourism and nature protection arrangements (Dabas pieminekļi dabas parkā „Daugavas loki” dabas tūrisma un dabas aizsardzības pasākumu kontekstā),” M.S. thesis, Daugavpils, Daugavpils University, 74 pp., (in Latvian), 2009.

E. Muižniece, “Studies of relief features in the nature park “Daugavas loki” for including them in the list of protected nature monuments (Dabas parka „Daugavas loki” savdabīgo reljefa veidojumu izpēte to iekļaušanai aizsargājamo dabas objektu sarakstā),” M.S. thesis, Daugavpils, Daugavpils University, 814 pp., (in Latvian), 2013.

Nature Conservation Agency, “Nature monuments of Latvia”. Available: http://www.daba.gov.lv/public/eng/protected_areas/ [Accessed: Janv. 12, 2015].

D.J. Easterbrook and D.J. Kovanen, Interpretation of Landforms from Topographic Maps and Air Photographs. New Jersy: Prentice Hall, 194 pp., 1999.

J-P. Pralong, “A method for assessing tourist potential and use of geomorphological sites,” Géomorphologie: relief, processus, environnement, vol. 3, pp. 189-196, Mar. 2005.

L. Boļšija and J.Soms, “Landforms as geological-geomorphological nature monuments in the National park Rāzna (Reljefa formas kā ģeoloģiski-ģeomorfoloģiskie dabas pieminekļi Rāznas nacionālajā parkā”. In proceedings of the 15th International Scientific Practical conference of students “Human. Environemnt. Technology”, Rēzekne, 27 April 2011, Rēzekne Highschool press, pp. 22. – 33, (in Latvian with summary in English) 2011.

A. Young, D. Brunsden, J.B. Thornes, “Slope profile survey,” British Geomorphological Research Group Bulletin No. 11, Norwich: Geo Abstracts, 52 pp., 1974.

C. Bronk Ramsey, S. Lee, “Recent and planned developments of the program OxCal,” Radiocarbon, vol. 55 (2-3), pp. 720-730, Jul. 2013.

P.J. Reimer, E. Bard, A. Bayliss, J. Warren Beck, P.G. Blackwell, C. Bronk Ramsey, C.E. Buck, H. Cheng, R.L. Edwards, M. Friedrich, P.M. Grootes, T.P. Guilderson, H. Haflidason, I. Hajdas, C. Hatte, T.J. Heaton, D.L. Hoffmann, A.G. Hogg, K.A. Hughen, K.F. Kaiser, B. Kromer, S.W. Manning, M. Niu, R.W. Reimer, D.A. Richards, E.M. Scott, J.R. Southon, R.A. Staff, C.S.M.Turney and J. van der Plicht, “Intcal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP,” Radiocarbon, vol. 55 (4), pp. 1869–1887, Oct. 2013.

J. Soms, “Development and Morphology of Gullies in the River Daugava Valley, South-Eastern Latvia,” Landform Analysis, vol. 17, pp. 179–188, Febr. 2011.

M. Bennet and N. Glasser, Glacial Geology: Ice Sheets and Landforms. 2nd edit. John Wiley & Sons, 400 pp., 1997.

T. Kalettka and C. Rudat, “Hydrogeomorphic types of glacially created kettle holes in North-East Germany,” Limnologica - Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, vol. 36 (1), pp. 54-64, 2006.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17770/etr2015vol2.252


  • There are currently no refbacks.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank