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The Volcanic Geoheritage of El Teide National Park (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain)

AuthorsMartí Molist, Joan CSIC ORCID ; Dorado García, Olaya ; López Saavedra, Marta
Volcanic geoheritage
El Teide National Park
Issue DateMay-2022
CitationGeoheritage, 14: 65 (2022).
AbstractEl Teide National Park on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands) is home to one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the world. Although the conservation of its geodiversity is not a major problem given that it is governed by strict Spanish laws on geoconservation and is, in addition, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the diffusion of its geological values among the general public is more of a challenge due to the lack of any specific program for scientific knowledge transfer to visitors. The volcanological history of this national park needs to be transmitted in a clear and comprehensible fashion. However, the lack of adequate outreach material and of any coherent and consistent narrative regarding the significance of the island’s geological heritage makes it difficult to incorporate its geological history into the minds of visitors. This engenders a perception of its geoheritage that underestimates its importance. To remedy this misconception, the following tasks need to be carried out: (1) a compilation of all current scientific knowledge of the geology and volcanology of the area; (2) the identification of key geosites that offer the best means of understanding the history and evolution of this volcanic area; (3) the production of outreach and diffusion programs specifically designed to transmit this scientific knowledge to the general public; and (4) the establishment of permanent training programs for park and tourist guides that will guarantee the efficacy of this knowledge transmission. This contribution summarizes the main aspects of the geological history of El Teide National Park, identifies the elements that best exhibit its geological heritage, discusses the main problems observed in transmitting these geological values to visitors, and provides some clues as to how to face up to these challenges.
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