Inventory and Quantitative Valuation of Geological and Geomorphological Sites from Gilgit-Baltistan, Northern Pakistan

Javed Akhter Qureshi, Muzammil Khan, Shehzad Sikandar, Garee Khan, Naeem Abbas, Asghar Khan, Muhammad Alam, Rehmat Karim, Sarah J. Halvorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Northern Pakistan, has a remarkable natural heritage with numerous outstanding characteristics. Its geological and geomorphological heritage is particularly magnificent given the location at the junction of exceptional mountain ranges and tectonic phenomenon such as the Main Karakorum Thrust (MKT), Main Mantle Thrust (MMT), and Nanga Parbat-Heramosh Massif (NPHM) faults. Despite the vast geographical scale and stunning features, no systematic research has been undertaken on the potential for geotourism opportunities and scientific education. This paper seeks to address this gap by providing scientific input to help inform decision-making and directives around regional geoheritage conservation, sustainable geotourism development, and knowledge sharing. Following detailed surveys and field observations, we identify five distinct geomorphosites with compelling scientific, educational, and touristic values, including Haldeikish, Raikot Flank, Deosai Plateau, Shishper Glacier, and Juglote Junction Point. To evaluate the conservation merit of these geomorphosites, a geoscientific method was used to inventory and quantify their characteristics on the basis of representativeness, accessibility, and scientific and aesthetic values. All of these geomorphosites hold special cultural and conservation interests, as indicated by their similar intrinsic, scientific, tourism, and management values. Our analysis also points to the uniqueness of these sites, as underscored by the differing geomorphological, potential use, and protection values. This evaluation points to the crucial need for a geoconservation strategy, which integrates protection and conservation of geoheritage priorities, as well as to the necessity for interpretive initiatives to promote knowledge and appreciation among locals and visitors alike.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalGeoheritage
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Geoconservation
  • Geoheritage
  • Geomorphosites
  • Geotourism
  • Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Northern Pakistan
  • Quantitative valuation

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