Geopark - mode of geoheritage conservation and protection on the Island of Rab

Marjanac, Tihomir and Marjanac, Ljerka (2010) Geopark - mode of geoheritage conservation and protection on the Island of Rab. In: 18th International Karstological school "Classical Karst". Dinaric Karst: general information, programme, field trips, abstracts. Karst Research Institute, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Postojna, pp. 44-45.

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The Island of Rab, a large and most developed north Adriatic island, is distinguished by great geological and biological diversity, rich historical and cultural heritage, and also a hundred years long tradition in tourism. Can it have more than it has? Can it show more than before? Can it attract new visitors with different interests than of those who eagerly await for summer on the beach? Can this island develop in new directions? There is a single answer to all of the quesqons: YES! Let̕s establish a geopark. An idea of a geopark, born in Europe some twenty years ago, led to foundation of the European Geopark Network ten years ago and several years later the Global Geopark Network under auspices of UNESCO. The “geopark” as a form of integral approach to a sustainable development of a local community or a region, based primarily on its geoheritage, brings us to the Island of Rab, an island with nearly 10000 inhabitants, an island whose fine mediterranean climate had always attracted many tourists and even those world famous. Even prehistorical people were there and many artifacts found on Lopar testify on their presence during the Pleistocene when the Adriatic coast had been far south. What then makes the Island of Rab so unique? Its geological diversity on such a small area of about 1000 km2 (including three islets Sv. Grgur, Goli and Dolin) manifests in various rock types, from hard limestone rocks to sandstones and fine sands, which in favorable climate produced different soils good for diverse vegetation specific for this island. In general, the Rab Island is composed predominantly of Cretaceous limestones and of Tertiary and Quaternary clastic deposits. The geological structure is dominated by folded Cretaceous limestones forming anticlinal ridges and Tertiary clastics preserved in sinclines. One major reverse fault is present along with many smaller ones. Rab island and the islets structurally belong to the Dinarides, and especially Grgur shows a complex tectonic structure not yet interpreted. Predominating carbonate rocks are characterized by variety of karst features. The key geological feature are 3-D exposures of Paleogene clastics - an excellent training area for the study of SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF PARALIC CLASTICS. Rab Island tidal flats are excellent for the study of TIDAL SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES and AEOLIAN SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES. Mountainous (carbonate) part of the island has interesting KARST PHENOMENA and KARST HYDROGEOLOGY. Rab island also has many unique geomorphological features, such as erosional features, badlands, weathered rocks with unique shapes and textures, and over 300 fresh water springs. This distinct geodiversity of Rab island inspired us to propose a project “Geopark Rab Island” that should enable sustainable conservation and protection of the geoheritage. Geopark as an integral form of development includes natural heritage with geoheritage as a fundamental source, all-life education, challenge to new resources and expectations, alternative in tourism, local development, and already recognized historical and cultural heritage. A nonscientific approach to local authorities was crucial to explain the values and potentials of the rich geological heritage they see in their everyday life but did not recognize. This was the first successful step towards a projected sustainable conservation of the Rab island geoheritage and the benefits it should bring to the local communities. The long-term goals of the project are formal establishment of the geopark, foundation of an international educational and training center that will facilitate various types of programes for all-age groups, and recognition of the Geopark Rab Island as an international educational polygone for geoscience. Worthwhile to mention is the fact that continuous education of the local population and visitors through life-long learning programes is the best way to preserve and protect geological heritage. About 100 km long network of geological trails is part of an outdoor learning program with help of handy printed guide. Rab with its three islets, which will be included in the geotrail network, make an excellent multidisciplinary training ground both for students and scientists. Its closeness to the mainland gives an excellent opportunity to study geology of the coastal Dinarides within an organized study coarse or workshop. In perspective, such continuous educational visits will encourage the local population to learn and motivate them to protect their own geoheritage as part of sustainable development of Rab communities.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: geopark, geoheritage, protection, Rab, Dinarides
Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 74
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Geology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Geology
Publisher: Karst Research Institute, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Depositing User: Sonja Borak
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2014 11:20
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2014 11:20

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