Celebrating Earth Heritage
Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark, located in the Midwest of Shandong province, stands in the east of the North China plain. This UNESCO Global Geopark is situated to the north of Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, and to the east of the Yellow River. Mount Taishan stands high among a group of mountains in the Shandong province, and has breath-taking scenery.
The geoheritage in Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark is very abundant and has always attracted attention from domestic and international geologists. The Taishan Group-Complex of basic igneous rocks characterized by Komatiite and Precambrian multiphase intrusive rocks (formed 2.73 Ga-1.8 Ga ago), a typical Cambrian section, neotectonic movement and distinct landforms are of great geological significance both in China and other countries. Mount Taishan is a typical area for studying the Archean-Proterozoic geology, revealing the evolutionary history of granite-greenstone belt formation, and it is also a window for exploring the splitting, converging and jointing mechanisms and Earth dynamic process of Archean-Proterozoic continental crust in East China. The Cambrian rock record, one of the oldest in the park, provides type examples for geologists that study regional and international age correlations for the Cambrian Period (540 to 490 million years ago). A type section of the Cambrian geology located in Zhangxia county is fully integrated in the park, allowing visitors to walk through geologic time, the entire rock stratum revealing abundant well-exposed trilobite fossils and other ancient creatures in outstanding condition. The neotectonic movement also played an import role in the formation of Mount Taishan and gave the landscape its dramatic relief.
Sustaining local Communities
With a cultural history spanning more than 5,000 years with numerous historic/cultural sites preserved nearby, such as Dai Temple and Azure Clouds Temple, Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark has become the epitome of Chinese history and culture for the nation, recognized as a World cultural and Natural Heritage site by UNESCO. The Geopark is integrated with a museum where visitor can learn about these natural and cultural heritage sites, including the importance of protecting the park for esthetic, natural, and scientific values.
To adhere to the guideline of “protection is the first”, the natural, cultural landscapes, geoheritage and ecosystem in Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark should be strictly protected and carefully preserved. Under the limit of environmental capacity, the tourism in Mount Taishan must be developed in a sustainable way. At the same time, local economic development should be achieved. Based on the rare and unique geoheritage, such as komatiite, Taishan Group-Complex, Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark will support Tai’an City to achieve environmental, cultural and economic sustainable development. Through sightseeing, scientific investigation, ecotourism and local customs tourism, the UNESCO Global Geopark will provide more employment opportunities for local people, and raise their living standard, promote the healthy development of local society, and ensure effective geoheritage protection and permanent sustainable utilization of various resources. Through construction of the UNESCO Global Geopark, the aim is to protect the geoheritage and support local economy sustainably.
“Zuixin stone and barrel-shaped structure, Popular Bridge quartz diorite, Fan cliff, Three large faults, Summit stone”