HUANGSHAN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK – CHINA
Huangshan Geopark covering an area of 160.6km2 is situated in East China’s Anhui Province. It is a geopark characterized by Mesozoic granite landscape.
Huangshan Mountain is famous for its steep peaks of Mesozoic granite rising 1,000m high. Granites of the Yanshanian period are widely distributed along the west coast of the Pacific, but those with beautiful morphologic scenery like Huangshan Mountain are very rare. Globally, the Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark is an ideal place to demonstrate the formation mechanism of granite geomorphology. Remarkable granite pillars take on amazing shapes – domes, cones, crests, columns and boxes – in the many valleys that radiate from the mountain.
The geologic history dates to 140 million years ago, to the late Jurassic, when hot magma intruded upward through the Earth’s crust and created the material that comprises the mountain. Then, around 65 million years ago, the intrusive bodies created by the magma were uplifted. Weathering and erosion of the overlying rocks resulted in the formation of morphologic scenery. Huangshan Mountain as we know it achieved its current state 1.75 million years ago. This long history is responsible for the varied mineral composition and crystallization, uneven weathering resistance, and joint patterns that form the beautiful landscape of Huangshan.
Huangshan is characterized by the “3 wonders of nature”: the peculiar pines, the spectacular rocks and the very thick clouds (ocean of clouds) as well as a dense hydrographic system. Limaqiao, Tiandu peak, Beihai and other areas are famous for the possible appearance of Quaternary Glaciers. A source of controversy amongst geologist, the occurrence of glaciers in Huangshan Mountain has been debated for half a century, but no final conclusion has yet been reached. This adds to the fascination of the Geopark.
Ancient bridges, ancient mountain climbing roads and stone carvings on the cliffs together with the profound culture of the Geopark that is characterized by landscape painting infiltrate the precipitous, fantastic and beautiful natural landscape. In this way, geology shapes art and culture.
The geological heritages and geological landscape resources such as granite landscape, Quaternary glacial heritages, hydrogeological heritages, etc., resources of scenes and sights of cultural interest such as the Huangshan culture and plentiful animal and plant resources constitute a large-scale integrated natural museum with mountains, water bodies, cultural interest, animals and plants in this granite area.
The Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark of China and Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark of Greece signed a partnership agreement at 1 December 2008.