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Xitle Volcano Geoheritage, Mexico City: Raising Awareness of Natural Hazards and Environmental Sustainability in Active Volcanic Areas

Abstract : The conservation of geosites in a region can foster its sustainability and develop geotourism. These geosites provide geoeducation, raise people's awareness on natural hazards and increase their resilience. Low-income cities located in tectonically active areas combine high geohazards with high vulnerability and low sustainability. Geosites in these cities should be a tool to decrease people's vulnerability and foster sustainable development. Mexico City is an ideal case study for its environmental and social issues and its setting in an active 2 continental volcanic arc. The 1,700 yrs-old Xitle volcano, located in the city's SW corner, is a small scoria cone that erupted once, feeding an extensive lava field on which >600,000 people now live. The lavas are very well exposed due to thin soils and extensive quarrying. The Xitle lavas covered the first urban center in the Mexico basin, except for the main pyramid that has become a major archeological site. The cone and lavas have significant geodiversity, sustaining a unique and biodiverse ecosystem. The country's largest university preserves the lavas in an ecological reserve. We describe four exceptional geosites, assess their values, and discuss their relevance for addressing issues such as nature preservation, environmental sustainability, social inequalities, and natural hazards. The Xitle volcano provides a wide range of benefits for the city that are nonetheless unknown to its inhabitants. We describe ongoing initiatives to disseminate such information, such as the Geopedregal site, and propose ways that this heritage could be further protected and used by the city in a sustainable way.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03118765
Contributor : Benjamin van Wyk de Vries <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 22, 2021 - 3:08:32 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 3:11:01 AM

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Marie-Noëlle Guilbaud, María del Pilar Ortega-Larrocea, Silke Cram, Benjamin van Wyk de Vries. Xitle Volcano Geoheritage, Mexico City: Raising Awareness of Natural Hazards and Environmental Sustainability in Active Volcanic Areas. Geoheritage, Springer, 2021, 13 (6), ⟨10.1007/s12371-020-00525-9⟩. ⟨hal-03118765⟩

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