UNESCO Global Geoparks MEMBERS
Magma Geopark - Norway
Magma UNESCO Global Geopark is situated in southwest Norway covering 5 municipalities and parts of two regions.
Magma UNESCO Global Geopark is an area of unique magmatic geology. The story began as early as 1.5 billion years ago when red-hot magma and sky-high mountains characterized the region. Through millions of years, glaciers helped to form the characteristic landscape that we have today. Although the magma has cooled down and solidified and the mountains have been worn away, the area offers a glimpse into the roots of an ancient mountain chain. Here is a rock type called anorthosite that is more common on the moon than on Earth. In one of the huge ancient magma chambers you find a continuous magmatic evolution from the simplest magmatic rock anorthosite, to one of the most evolved magmatic rock Quartz-Charnockite. The magmatic rocks like Anorthosite, Norite are 930-920 million years old, but look as fresh as they were crystalized yesterday. This unique area provides high-value heritage in local, national and international contexts.
Rokua Geopark Finland
Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark is situated in Northern Finland, about 200 km south of the Arctic Circle between the cities of Oulu and Kajaani.
The UNESCO Global Geopark geosites tell the story of the gradual development of the terrain from below a kilometer-thick ice mass to the deep bottom of the ancient Baltic Sea and further via an island and shore stage to become the present inland area. The UNESCO Global Geopark includes a number of impressive bedrock sites, which are used as examples of the main development stages of the Fennoscandian bedrock area. In addition, the area has in Finnish conditions an exceptionally diverse and high quality range of landscape forms that arose during the time of the ancient continental ice sheet and its melting stage as well as during the uplift process that followed it. The landscape consists of a changing, varied mosaic of thousands of geological formations, including drumlins, hummocky moraines, terminal moraines, esker ridges, kettle holes, ancient shorelines, dunes, ravines and bogs.
Reykjanes Geopark is an amazing area in the wildness of Iceland. You can taste probably the purest water in the World and eat the daily fished GEOfood crabs with amazing view!
Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the centre of Portugal, near the border with Spain. The UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the so called Southern Iberian Meseta, a polygenetic peneplain cut by the Tagus river into a deep valley at the south and bordered on the north by the Central Iberian Belt. The landscape is composed of a wide plain broken by residual relief coming from past climates and a staircase of flat topped tectonic-faulted blocks deeply incised by rivers and streams that are more prominent towards the north.
Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional UNESCO Global Geopark is rich in geological heritage, starting some 600 million years ago, with deepsea turbidites evidencing some simple life forms. It is located at the southern border of the Central-Iberian Zone, one of the terranes that constituted the Iberian Massif during the Variscan Orogeny. The Geopark’ is characterized by very ancient landscapes, such as the 50 million-year-old Meseta Meridional peneplain, the quartzitic crests and gigantic white ramparts that rise from the plateau and represent the ancient Ordovician ocean. 170 geosites were identified to tell locals and visitors the stories from Earth in this region of Iberia, from Neoproterozoic to Quaternary times
Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark
The Terras de Cavaleiros UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the northeast of Portugal. The territory’s dominant altitudes range between 400 and 800 m, with the Nogueira mountain as its highest peak (1320 m) and the Sabor River as the lowest point (200 m). Another river was dammed to create the artificial lake of Azibo’s Lagoon which is classified as protected landscape and important habitat to various rare species.
In the territory of the UNESCO Global Geopark the geological history of over 500 million years is very well documented. Like pages in a book, different stacked portions of rocks that once formed an ancient oceanic crust and an even older continental crust tell the story of the area. The geology is expressed by the Pre-Mesozoic allochthonous geological units, namely the Parautochthonous Complex (equivalent to the Iberian Massif autochthonous stratigraphic sequence), the Allochthonous Basal Complex (continental passive margin of the Iberian Terrane), the Allochthonous Ophiolite Complex (complete ophiolite sequence) and the Allochthonous Upper Complex (complete continental lithospheric sequence)
The Villuercas Ibores Jara UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the south-east of the province of Cáceres (in Extremadura, Spain).
The beauty of this unique landform is characterized by structurally-controlled morphological features responsible for the intensely folded and fractured landscape. The UNESCO Global Geopark shows an inverted topography with elevated narrow Variscan synclines (residual Appalachian Relief) with Lower Palaeozoic siliciclastic rocks, including the Armorican Quarzite which marks the highest topography.
Forty-four geosites have been cataloged as ridges, hills and mountains, faults, river valleys, places with special geomorphological features such as synclines and anticlines, mines, and paleontological deposits. Paleontological deposits are important to explain the great event in evolution known as the “Biotic Explosion of the Cambrian”, 540 million years ago.
The Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark is located in northern Portugal and coincides with the area of the Arouca Municipality. This territory is located on the western border of the north sub-plateau of the Iberian Peninsula, and is characterized by mountains carved by narrow valleys. The average altitudes range from 200 to 600 m but exceeds 1000 m in Freita (1100 m) and Montemuro (1222 m) mountains.
The Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark is renowned for its exceptional geological heritage of international significance, with 41 geosites. Rocks that outcrop in this region tell stories of the ancient seas that bordered the supercontinent Gondwana 520 to 420 million year (Ma) ago and chronicle the formation of the next supercontinent called Pangea that formed 250 Ma ago.