Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning for the Recognition and Promotion of High-Alpine Geomorphosites

Abstract

High-alpine geomorphosites are poorly understood and developed, mostly because of the heavy constraints of high mountain areas. Meanwhile, they are geoheritage areas that are often extremely vulnerable to global warming: glaciers and permafrost areas are currently affected by major changes due to increasing air temperature. To deal with the high spatial variability of landforms and processes, research on alpine geomorphosites often needs the use of advanced methods of high-resolution topography, among which terrestrial laser scanning plays an increasingly crucial role. Carried out on some tenth of high-elevation sites across the Alps since the beginning of the 2000s, this method is particularly interesting for the recognition and development of high-alpine geomorphosites. Indeed, it can be implemented for identifying and characterizing the geomorphic objects (survey, monitoring and mapping), helping planning and protection policies and serving geotouristic development (communication about the processes involved, basis for documents)

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