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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2015.38.17


Geomorphological and Neotectonic Map of the Apuan Alps (Tuscany, Italy)

Pages 201-227


Renowned since the Roman Period for the extraction of precious marble, the Apuan Alps (northern Tuscany) are an extraordinary region of natural and cultural heritage in the Mediterranean basin and contain a large number of geosites of international and national interest. The great variety of morphologic and topographic contexts, ranging from the coastal plain of Versilia to the rugged, harsh landscape in the interior, makes this region remarkable for its peculiar geologic and geomorphologic setting. Two map sheets are appended to this paper: (1) a geomorphological map of Apuan Alps Regional Park and its immediate surroundings at a scale of 1:50,000 and (2) two thematic maps at a scale of 1:100,000 (‘Neotectonic Map’ and the ‘Map of Selected Sites of Geomorphological Significance’) and other four thematic maps at a scale of 1:200,000 that present the relief, slope aspects, drainage networks, and climatic elements of the region. The preparation of the Geomorphological Map followed the principles adopted by the National Group of Physical Geography and Geomorphology and by the National Geological Survey, Working Group for Geomorphological Cartography and was updated using the guidelines for the fieldwork and preparation of the Geomorphological Map of Italy at a scale of 1:50,000. The geomorphologic data were stored in a spatial database and managed using a GIS application (ArcGisTM). The high relief, complex geologic structure, and Pleistocene climate condition have deeply shaped the evolution of the Apuan landscape, which is characterized by great structural control of the landforms, an extensive and complex epigean and hypogean karst landscape, and impressive shaping by glaciers during the Late Pleistocene. In addition, gravity, frost shattering, marine action, and running water have played significant roles as active morphogenetic agents. The coastal belt has been the source of abundant valuable data regarding the Holocene coastal evolution. Finally, the present-day landscape has also been extensively shaped by a long history of anthropic activities, including agriculture, timber production, intense marble quarrying in the interior and widespread urban and productive settlements in the coastal plain.

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