YANDANGSHAN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK (China)

“More than 5,000 poems have been inspired by Mount Yandangshan”

©Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark, China


Celebrating Earth Heritage

Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark is located in Zhejiang Province, China. Geologically, Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark lies on the southern edge of the Pacific Rim on the Asian continent – the structural domain where China borders the Pacific. The terrain of the Geopark includes the 900-1100m mountains, such as Bai Gangjian, Wu Yanjian and Yan Hugang, which are a northeast-trending mountain chain. This mountain is an offshoot of the Kuocang Mountains. The south part of Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark is the Yueqing Bay in the East China Sea.

Mount Yandangshan is an ancient Cretaceous rhyolitic volcano. The trending subduction from Yizenaiji - Kula - Pacific plate oblique to the Asian continental plate was made at a low angle, and the strong crustal movement recorded complete geological evolution of volcanic eruptions - collapse - resurrection and uplift in Mount Yandangshan. Four volcanic eruptions occurred and four top-down rock geological units were formed. After being faulted, cut and uplifted, the caldera of Mount Yandangshan has become a natural three-dimensional model of a caldera and is also known as a natural museum of rhyolitic volcanics. The geology, petrofacies, rocks and other volcanic landscape, and exotic layers, sharp peaks, rock crosscut caves, waterfalls and other landscapes are well preserved in the park and form the Mount Yandangshan landscape. Thick rhyolite pillars contribute to the beauty of Mt. Yandangshan. It is said that these pillars are the ‘bones of the mountain’. The exploration of Mt. Yandangshan began more than 1,200 years ago and endured through successive dynasties. The early Chinese scientist Shenkuo, in collaboration with Joseph Needham, an English scientist, set forth the theory that the landscape was formed as a result of erosion carried out by running water. Earlier Chinese thinkers, too, drew inspiration from the mountain.

©Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark, China


Sustaining local Communities

Mount Yandangshan has long inspired artists and thinkers with its grandeur. More than 5,000 poems have been inspired by the mountain since the Tang and Song Dynasty and over 30 books have been written about its scenery, ecology and culture. Moreover, the mountain has spawned a culture of stone carving at Changyudongtian where local craftsmen employ expert understanding of the different lavas to create a colorful stone culture. Today, there are more than 400 spots where visitors can appreciate cloud-kissing cliffs and colorful carved stones.

Since the UNESCO Global Geopark was built in 2005, the purposes of "heritage protection, science education, the development of tourism" have always been a priority. A 23-acre Geological Museum has been constructed for science education. The geological science interpretation system has been improved within the park and a user-friendly science gallery in each park has been built. Scientific knowledge going into schools and community activities have been actively carried out. Infrastructure has been continually upgraded and with the improvement of brand awareness, the tourist accommodation has increased year by year, becoming a significant element for promoting the sustainable development of the local economy in Mt. Yandangshan.



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