Landform Characteristics of Zhangjiajie Global Geopark

The extraordinarily beautiful landscape of Zhangjiajie Global Geopark can be well appreciated from the scenic spots of Emperor Mountain, Yuanjia Jie, Huangshi Hill-fort, Shili Painted Corridor, Suoxi Gully, Jinbian (Golden Whip) Creek. It can be noticed that the landscape covers a wide range of geomorphic features, typically including various forms of individual pillars and peaks of sandstone high up to 300 meters, forests of these pillars and/or peaks, stone walls, cliffs, natural bridges, gorges, tablelands and square mounts.

Although these landforms indicate that the landscape results from a long term process of weathering and flow down-cutting against a gentle and periodical uplift of the regional Earth’s crust, it is not clear why it occurred in Zhangjiajie, when the process began, how the denudation rate varied with time, and whether the landscape evolved into a stable stage.

With the recent rapid tourism development and the approaching of global climate change, it becomes an ever urgent task to address these questions as well as to apply the geomorphic knowledge to assessing the extent of the influences on the stability of the landforms, resulting both directly and indirectly from climate change, human activities and the complex interactions between the two.