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Original Article

Cretaceous Volcanic Rock Geosites of the Papuk UNESCO Global Geopark (Croatia): Scientific Aspect of Geoheritage in Geoeducation, Geotourism and Geoconservation



Research over decades confirms the geological values of the Papuk UNESCO Global Geopark (Croatia) as a unique place in the regional frame where several orogenic events left their traces through the formation of diverse lithologies. The important part of the geological mosaic, at least in the western part of the Geopark, is the variety of igneous (sub)volcanic rocks. Albite rhyolite at Rupnica and Trešnjevica geosites formed in the Late Cretaceous (~81 Ma), recording the geological event(s) associated with the closure of the Neotethys Ocean. At that time, acidic silicate melt rose fast from the deep crustal levels to the near surface, where cooling caused regular cracking and the development of columnar jointing. Today, these geosites attract the attention of visitors and therefore they are important landmarks that contribute to local (geo)tourism. They are also used as educational sites for both higher education and schoolchildren with Rupko’s Geological School, in which the development of columnar jointing is explained popularly, further enhancing public awareness of the geodiversity and geoheritage of the Mt. Papuk area. The recently opened Geo-info Center in Voćin significantly enhances the geoheritage presentation at the Geopark.

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