Potential Assessment of Geomorphological Landforms of the Mountainous Highland Region, Haraz Watershed, Mazandaran, Iran, Using the Pralong Method

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


As the largest service industry in the world, tourism plays a special role in sustainable development. Geomorphic tourism is known to be a segment of this industry with lower environmental impact and underlying causes that explain lower demand; therefore, it is essential to study, identify, assess, plan, and manage natural tourist attractions. As such, the present study assesses the ability of geomorphological landforms of Haraz watershed, one of the major tourism areas of Iran. In this regard, the features of geomorphologic landforms, including Mount Damavand, the Damavand Icefall, Shahandasht Waterfall, Larijan Spa, and Deryouk Rock Waterfall in different parts of the Haraz watershed have been compared from the standpoint of geotourism features. To assess these landforms, geological maps, topographic and aerial photos, satellite imagery, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and data field have been used as research tools. Evaluation results demonstrate that the average of scientific values in these landforms’ catchment (with 0.76 points) has been greater than the average of other values. These high ratings show the landforms’ potentials to be informative to those examining them for the purpose of education as well as tourist attraction. Through proper planning and understanding of its both merits and demerits, this type of tourism can play an important role in national development and diversify regional economies.


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