Mapping and valuing karst underground geodiversity in cave Lokvarka, Croatia

Inside Lokvarka cave Source:

The rising interest in geoheritage and geodiversity concepts resulted in conduction of inventories and evaluations of abiotic part of natural heritage in different parts of world. Yet, significant part of geoheritage and geodiversity is being neglected among experts and refers to the caves. Mostly all of the scientific work that has been done in geoheritage and geodiversity refers to surface geological and geomorphological phenomena or processes, while underground features are reduced to sites and are considered as points without taking into account their real spatial extent and secondary geoheritage features placed inside the caves. Caves as sites are considered as geosites, but due to their spatial extent and abundance of abiotic features in themselves they contain more geosites or areas of high geodiversity.

Cave Lokvarka, located in Mountainous region of Croatia in the settlement Lokve near Zagreb-Rijeka highway. Lokvarka is protected as geomorphological monument and it is used as show cave since 1912. Due to relatively recent introduction, development and use of geodiversity and geoheritage concept in geosciences, and from the other side lack of appliance in protection and management of caves, there is a need for its implementation. In last decade a large number of geodiversity and geoheritage valorization methods emerged. In this work geodiversity data analysis and valorization will be done with the use of modified relative relief evaluation method which is common geoecological method used by Croatian geomorphologists and geoecologists. Important to notice is that all the data included in the valorization is primary data directly collected by researches.

This work will determine initial/occurring state of the geodiversity elements and the spatial distribution of geodiversity value as basis for further protection and management. Complete analysis and valorization will serve as basis for abiotic cave monitoring. As well part of the results will be used as basis for production of new educational materials and presentation of the whole cave environment. Valorization will be done by following criteria: intrinsic value, scientific value and educational value. All the results could also be implemented into this site management plan. Need for this kind of research is even greater with the regard to the use as show cave.

Authors: Matea Talaja and Valerija Butorac

Section: Cave Protection

Symposium topic: Ecosystems Impact on Karst Processes and Karst Records

Type: Oral presentation

Caving club and organization: Speleology Department “Željezničar”, The Speleological Committee of the Croatian Mountaineering Association, Zagreb, Croatia

Short bio of the presenter: Valerija Butorac

Valerija Butorac is research assistant at Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb where she is doing a research in Geomorphology, Speleology and Geoecology. After the graduation at University of Zagreb with master degree in Geography she was working as expert associate in Strategical Planning and Environment Protection in private companies in Zagreb, Croatia. She is an active member and secretary at Speleology Department “Željezničar” from Zagreb, and is currently working on her PhD thesis.

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