“The Tiankeng Doline, a massive karst sinkhole, is a premier place for the study of karst geology”
Situated in Xingwen County, Yibin, Sichuan province, China, with an average altitude of 389-1,795 meters, Xingwen UNESCO Global Geopark is part of the transitional zone of the Sichuan Basin and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and comprises of four scenic areas: the surface karst and ground caves; Mount Bowangshan; Tai'an karst forest; and Mount Lingxiaoshan.
Across Xingwen UNESCO Global Geopark, limestones of different ages are widely distributed. The so called Xingwen-type karst landform is unique to the area’s particular geography, geology, climate and environment. Xingwen is the naming site and earliest studying place of Tiankeng, a massive karst sinkhole, or doline, and is a premier place for the study of karst landforms in southwest China. The karst landscapes represented by Tiankeng cluster, karst caves, stone forest and sea, are typical and with clear characteristics, making Xingwen UNESCO Global Geopark a natural museum for studying karst landform. Boasting a rare and representative Tempestite section and a Permian section, it is the world’s first region to have conducted research on marine carbonate rocks and tempestite, and an important region to have carried out comparative studies on standard Permian section both at home and abroad.
Carbonates and carbonate-bearing strata dated from 250 million to 490 million years ago are well preserved in the Geopark. There are a lot of marine fossils and sedimentary marks in these strata.
In addition to the varied geoheritage, the Geopark preserves beautiful natural scenery and profound cultural history. The many caves crisscross beneath the ground, waterfalls spill elegantly above, and the lakes reflect the dark green forests.
The geological elements are complimented by the ancient Bo Nationality and colorful modern Miao Nationality and create a living Geopark.
In collaboration with universities and institutions, the UNESCO Global Geopark has conducted scientific researches, published 3 collections of the papers and included 49 papers. The UNESCO Global Geopark has established one demonstrative school for geological popularization, created three popular science readings for primary and middle school students, and donated 173,000 volumes. Meanwhile, it has organized 36 activities such as an Earth Day event and a summer camp with the participation of 87,000 students.
The UNESCO Global Geopark has been strengthening the communication and cooperation within the GGN and actively participated in meetings and conferences both at home and abroad to share experience, enhance mutual understandings and promote sustainable development.
The UNESCO Global Geopark has created over 1,600 jobs for local residents, encouraging them to run over 110 family inns and restaurants, agricultural gardens and handicraft workshops.