Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

Brief description

Located within the Country of the Gunditjmara, an Aboriginal nation in the southwest of Australia, the property includes the Budj Bim Volcano and Tae Rak (Lake Condah), as well as the Kurtonitj component, characterized by wetland swamps, and Tyrendarra in the south, an area of rocky ridges and large marshes. The Budj Bim lava flows, which connect these three components, have enabled the Gunditjmara to develop one of the largest and oldest aquaculture networks in the world. Composed of channels, dams and weirs, they are used to contain floodwaters and create basins to trap, store and harvest the kooyang eel (Anguilla australis), which has provided the population with an economic and social base for six millennia.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1577

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Vatnajökull National Park – dynamic nature of fire and ice

Brief description

The property, totalling over 1,400,000 ha, comprises the whole of Vatnajökull National Park, plus two contiguous protected areas. At its heart lies the c.780,000 ha Vatnajökull ice cap in southeast Iceland.

Iceland includes the only part of the actively spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge exposed above sea level, with the tectonic plates on either side moving apart by some 19 mm each year. This movement is accommodated in rift zones, two of which, the Eastern and Northern Volcanic Zones, pass through the property. Underneath their intersection is a mantle plume providing a generous source of magma. The property contains ten central volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial. Two of the latter are among the four most active in Iceland. Most of the property’s bedrock is basaltic, the oldest being erupted some 10 million years ago and the most recent in 2015. Outside of the ice cap, the terrain varies from extensive, flat lava flows to mountains, including tuyas and tindar (ridges) of brown hyaloclastites, erupted in fissure eruptions beneath ice age glaciers. The latter occur nowhere else in the world in such numbers.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1604

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iceland-svartifoss

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Chaine des Puys – Limagne fault tectonic arena

Brief description

Situated in the centre of France, the site comprises the long Limagne fault, the alignments of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes and the inverted relief of the Montagne de la Serre. It is an emblematic segment of the West European Rift, created in the aftermath of the formation of the Alps, 35 million years ago. The geological features of the property demonstrate how the continental crust cracks, then collapses, allowing deep magma to rise and cause uplifting at the surface. The property is an exceptional illustration of continental break-up – or rifting – which is one of the five major stages of plate tectonics.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1434

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From my collection

france-auvergne-puy-volcanic

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Archipiélago de Revillagigedo

Brief description

This archipelago is made up of four remote islands and their surrounding waters: San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarión. It is part of a submerged mountain range, with the four islands representing the peaks of volcanoes emerging above sea level. The islands provide critical habitat for a range of wildlife and are of particular importance for seabirds. The surrounding waters have a remarkable abundance of large pelagic species, such as manta rays, whales, dolphins and sharks.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1510

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Brief description

This site contains two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mauna Loa (4,170 m high) and Kilauea (1,250 m high), both of which tower over the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic eruptions have created a constantly changing landscape, and the lava flows reveal surprising geological formations. Rare birds and endemic species can be found there, as well as forests of giant ferns.

Unesco WHS list ref: 409

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usa-hawaii-puuoo-volcano

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Kilimanjaro National Park

Brief description

At 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. The mountain is encircled by mountain forest. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in the park.

Unesco WHS list ref:  403

I have never visited this site – although I did see the snow covered top peeking through the clouds once!

From my collection

tanzania-kilimanjaro

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Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Brief description

The site spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains.

Unesco WHS list ref:  39

I have never visited this site.

From my collection

tanzania-ngorongoro

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