, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 1005–1025 | Cite as

The Geological Heritage of the Talassemtane National Park and the Ghomara coast Natural Area (NW of Morocco)

  • A. Aoulad-Sidi-Mhend
  • A. Maaté
  • I. Amri
  • R. Hlila
  • S. Chakiri
  • S. Maaté
  • Manuel Martín-MartínEmail author
Original Article


The Talassemtane National Park and the Ghomara Coast (TNP-GC) natural area, registered in the list of the exceptional patrimony of Morocco by the UNESCO, are characterized by their great biodiversity integrated in the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean. Although authorities are very interested in valorization and protection of biodiversity (flora and fauna), the interest in geological heritage is still much lower. So, this paper tries to expose and give value to the very best sites of geologic interest (Geosites and Geodiversity sites) recognizable in the area. Forty-one sites are proposed as suitable to be considered as geological heritage. Twenty-nine of which are organized in three accessible georoutes (Oued Laou Valley and Ghomara Coast, Talambote-Akchour, and Chaouen-Ametrasse, respectively), and 12 others are located on trails and forest tracks inside or near the TNP. The 41 selected sites display a great variety of geological typologies as structural geology, stratigraphy-sedimentology, paleontology, geomaterials, petrology, geomorphology, and hydrogeology-hydraulic. In order to classify and rank (avoiding subjectivity) the sites and georoutes, a numerical methodology based on recent literature is applied. The scientific value (SV), potential educational value (PEV), and potential touristic value (PTV) are quantified (using several criteria in each case), making easy for possible users to select the most suitable route according to their goals. The degradation risk (DR) is also measured giving political and technical managers of the region important keys for an adequate geoconservation action plan. Finally, some actions following the criteria of the Global Geoparks Network by the UNESCO are proposed for the better conservation of the sites but also to contribute to education and promote tourism. These actions would also stimulate economic activity and sustainable development in the area by attracting increasing numbers of visitors.


NW Morocco Talassemtane National Park and Ghomara Coast Geosites and Geodiversity sites Evaluation Geological heritage Geoparks Network by UNESCO 


Funding Information

Research supported by: Research Project CGL2016-75679-P, Spanish Ministry of Education and Science; Research Groups and Projects of the Generalitat Valenciana, Alicante University (CTMA-IGA).


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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géosciences des Ressources Naturelles, Département de Géologie, Faculté des Sciences de KenitraUniversité Ibn TofailKenitraMorocco
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Environnement et Ressources Naturelles, Département de Géologie, Faculté des Sciences de TétouanUniversité Abdelmalek EssaâdiTétouanMorocco
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y Medio AmbienteUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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