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World / Asia / China / Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

China has such a unique landform that there is a special word for it — Danxia. It refers to various landscapes that consist of red sandstone characterized by steep colourful cliffs. The areas of Danxia landforms are located in several regions of the country, and near the city of Zhangye, there is a national geopark bearing this name. Mass media considers it to be one of the most beautiful landforms in China.

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

This landscape has appeared due to certain geological processes, climate and time. A lake existed here 80 million years ago, but when it had gone dry, the deposits of sandstone and other minerals replaced the water. Then the action of the tectonic plates created the mountain landform, which in its turn suffered the wind, water and erosion.

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

As a result, a unique landscape with numerous caves, grottos, ravines, valleys, columns and towers covering 322 sq km was created. Not a single sculpture resembles the other one: albeit the red colour dominates here, the shades are still different, as well as the texture and sizes. Even during the day, the colour may change depending on the angle of the sunlight and the place where the shadows fall.

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

In ancient times, the Silk Road laid through the territory that now is occupied by the Zhangye Danxia Geopark. The famous explorer Marco Polo visited these lands, as well. In 2010, together with other five Danxia landforms located in the subtropical area of southeast China, Zhangye Danxia was inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

Many tourists visit this place nowadays, so a lot of wooden decks and access roads were created for their comfort. And now, there is another opportunity to admire these exotic colourful mountains — AirPano virtual tour.

Colourful mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

Photos by Sergey Shandin and Stas Sedov

29 August 2018

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i love school

hayden roberts, India

Thanks again Guys it's Beautiful.

james f O'hare, Australia

Beautiful, Thank You

George Williams, USA

Very, very beautifull landskape and technical presentations.This Geopark is veritable amphitheatre for geological lecons. Congratulations and thank you.

IOAN PASCU, Romania

Very beautiful pictures of beautiful mountains, thank you

Karel Hofmann, Czech Republic