Geology

The geodiversity corresponds to the natural variety of minerals, fossils, rocks, soils, landforms, geological environments and active processes, such as a volcanic eruption or the erosive action of the sea on the coast. The geodiversity has a close relationship with biodiversity, as it encompasses the entire land base that sustains life and is the result of Earth's evolution since its beginning. Even the eyes of ordinary people can easily see the diversity of natural and cultural landscapes. However, usually most people is not aware that this landscape and cultural diversity derives from geodiversity.

Despite its relatively small geographic area, Portugal is a country with a huge geodiversity. To realize that you simply need to observe the variety of colours and features in a simplified geological map or to contemplate its unique and beautiful landscapes. The Algarve is no exception to this rule and its natural and cultural diversity reflects its geodiversity. Within a rectangle of 5000 km2 with 140 km long and up to 50 km wide, one can explore the 400 million years of history written in the rocks and the landscapes of the Algarve. In the Algarve there are many geosites – locations that have a particular geological or geomorphological significance – which can be visited, presented, explained, interpreted and appreciated. The geological heritage of the Algarve is rich and unique and, as such, should have a plan for value and promote it, without forgetting its conservation.

The Vila do Bispo municipality, integrated in the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park, benefits from a large and unique geodiversity with important geosites at a regional, national and international level. To illustrate the geodiversity of this area, we mention only a few examples and without any further explanation, saving these for other occasions, we highlight the Boca do Rio tsunami deposits, the dinosaur footprints of Salema Beach and Santa Beach, the fossilized coral reefs of Mareta Beach and Pontal da Carrapateira, the karren and sinkholes of Sagres Platform, the fossilized dunes of Mareta Beach and Castelejo Beach and Ponta do Telheiro unconformity. This geological heritage cannot continue to be ignored and should be promoted in a sustainable tourism perspective, including through geotourism – one of the various facets of nature tourism.

 

Contents produced by: GeoWalks & Talks

ROSÁRIO OLIVEIRA

CMVB

Email gabinete.turismo@cm-viladobispo.pt

ALEXANDRA LOPES

SPEA

Email alexandra.lopes@spea.pt

ANABELA SANTOS

ALMARGEM

Email asantos@almargem.org