Global Network of National Geoparks

Marine fossil found in Yuntai Mountain

Source :Source: China Daily Published :May 9, 2007

A trilobite fossil dating back 400 million years was recently discovered in Yuntai Mountain Global Geopark, in Central China's Henan Province.

Local geologist Yang Shouzhen said the trilobite fossil of the post-Cambrian period is of vital scientific significance, especially for research into the evolution of biota and geological landforms in Xiuwu, the county where the geopark is located.

Local government sources said the trilobite fossil was found by a local villager engaged in road repairs, who then sent it to the geological museum of Yuntai Mountain Geopark.

Inspired by the park's inclusion in the first batch of global geoparks by the UNESCO in 2004, the local government has made great efforts to protect geological relics and places of historic interest, and popularize the concept of protection among local residents as well as visitors.

A geological museum that cost over 4 million yuan has been set up inside the geopark; more than 20 typical geological relics have been illustrated with eye-catching signboards that provide detailed geological descriptions; related information about geological and cultural relics have also been disseminated among residents through videos, pictures and booklets.

As a result, those residing within the geopark have easy access to related geological information, thus raising their awareness of the importance of preservation.

Government statistics reveal that more than 20 samples and fossils of geological relics, including bryozoan fossils and bioturbate limestones, have been found by locals in the past two years.

Its extremely rich geological heritage makes Yuntai Mountain very valuable for scientific research and geo-tourism. To keep the primeval landform and topography intact, the geopark's administrative committee has extensively reforested the cultivated land.

The geopark has introduced the advanced technology of water-force spray seeding to green up the mountain landscape along the park roads. Great care has also been taken to protect and enlarge the population of rare animal species in the area, such as the Taihang macaque and the leopard.

The county of Xiuwu, where the geopark is situated, earned the title of "the ancient county of millenary" by the place terminology expert panel of UNESCO's Chinese branch recently, and has witnessed a boom in its tourism sector.

According to the local government, the significant role of Yuntai Mountain Geopark in energizing the local economy has been incorporated into a compulsory geological textbook for high schools.