MOUNT KUNLUN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK – CHINA
Mount Kunlun, known as «the ancestor of mountains», holds a special place in Chinese mythology and culture.
Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the southwest part of Golmud, Qinghai Province. It covers an area of 7033km2.
The area of the Park is situated in northern Qinghai – Tibet Plateau and between the northern Laurisia Landmass and the southern Gandwana Landmass since Phanerozoic Eon. It has recorded the evolutionary history of Paleo-Asian Ocean and Paleotethys.
Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark has experienced multiple times of complicated crustal evolution, ocean development, as well as ocean-land transformation, developing a tectonic mix of Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic-Jurassic strata, with active and intense magmatic activities. It is one of the important mountain systems in inland Asia as well as an important window for geological evolution research of the Eurasia continent. Rare as it is, Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark also retains the geological relics left in the evolution history of the Paleo Asian tectonic system and Tethyan tectonic system. The suture zone and rock pieces inside it faithfully record the complicated geological history such as several times of Tethys Ocean-land conversion, magmatic activity, crustal extension, subduction and collision of the plate, making the UNESCO Global Geopark play a unique and irreplaceable role in earth science in China and even Eastern Asia.
The Geopark joined the Global Geoparks Network in September 2014 and is famous for the geological relics generates from plate collision which includes grandeur surface rupture zones caused by MS 8.1 earthquake, snowcapped glaciers and unique highland ecosystems.
The Geopark is a natural “classroom” for learning plate collision and geologic structure which is rare in the world.
Based on its own characteristics, Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark has achieved significant results in its accelerating tourism brand establishment and efforts to promote the awareness and influences of Mount Kunlun Brand. With the support and help from the central government and Qinghai local government, the infrastructure and supporting facilities of the UNESCO Global Geopark have become increasingly complete. In recent years, Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark has served as a research, teaching and training base for many universities and colleges as well as research and development institutions to carry out local popular science lectures, practice teaching activities, and special scientific popularization activities targeting ordinary tourists. Those activities not only help the public understand the relevant knowledge of the Geopark, but also play an active role in publicizing energy-saving and environmental protection.
The Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark of China and Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark of Greece signed a sistering agreement at 23 July 2015.