The Dark Geo-Cultural Heritage of Volcanoes: Combining Cultural and Geoheritage Perspectives for Mututal Benefit

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Jazmin Paris Scarlett, Felix Riede


It is now widely accepted that vulnerability is in part culturally and historically contingent. Similarly, geoheritage cannot be readily disentangled from cultural values and cultural heritage given that the assignment of value to a given geosite is conducted in the present and that many if not most geosites are also sites of culture-historical significance. Vice versa, most tangible cultural heritage also contains elements of geoheritage. To bridge these perspectives, we propose the notion of geo-cultural heritage; we argue that the viewpoints of geoheritage and of cultural heritage – here especially of dark heritage – can be brought together for mutual benefit. We begin by demonstrating through a bibliometric analysis that the two fields never were fully connected and that they remain disjointed. We highlight at the same time that cultural heritage generally leverages more public attention while the natural sciences arguably command greater attention with policymakers. We then illustrate how geoheritage and dark cultural heritage can be brought together through four case studies of past volcanism and their complex human impacts. In concluding, we encourage heritage workers to be more fully interdisciplinary, to read more widely outside their own fields, and to disseminate their research more broadly for mutual benefits of preservation, risk reduction and valorisation.



Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Volcanology


cultural heritage, dark heritage, dark tourism, geoheritage, geotourism, social volcanology


Published: 2018-06-30 09:04

Last Updated: 2018-07-03 09:22

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