June 01, 2014

The "Rainbow Mountains" Of The China Danxia Landscape


From You Tube:

China Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). The inscribed site comprises six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China.

They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened.

It must be explained that Danxia is not a place, but the name of a type of landscape found in China, characterized by prominent boulders and steep cliffs. It is similar to karst rocks, but formed by layers of conglomerate instead of compact blocks of rock. (please see my slide show, Guilin).

China Danxia is a serial property comprising six component parts (Chishui, Taining, Langshan, Danxiashan, Longhushan, and Jianglangshan) found in the sub-tropical zone of south-eastern China within approximately 1700 km crescent shaped arc from Guizhou Province in the west to Zhejiang Province in the east.

China Danxia is an impressive and unique landscape of great natural beauty. The reddish conglomerate and sandstone that form this landscape of exceptional natural beauty have been shaped into spectacular peaks, pillars, cliffs and imposing gorges. Together with the contrasting forests, winding rivers and majestic waterfalls, China Danxia presents a significant natural phenomenon.

These incredible landscapes look as if they have been painted in the sweeping pastel brush strokes of an impressionistic artwork.


The landform is a unique type of petrographic geomorphology which is found only in China which consists of red-colored sandstones and conglomerates of largely Cretaceous age.

Formed of layers of reddish sandstone, the terrain has over time been eroded into a series of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and unusual rock formations.

The scenic area is popular among tourists, who come to enjoy scenic walks and boat rides through the area, which is also home to a number of temples.

The World Heritage Committee decided to include China Danxia Landform in the World Heritage List at its 34th meeting held in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on August 1, 2010.

In typically Chinese style, the signage local to the rock formations pictured now boast of it as a 'world famous UNESCO geopark of China'.

The China Danxia world heritage site in fact covers a range of landscapes in Southern China, of which Mount Daxia in Guangdong is only the most famous.

The other five are: Mount Langshan and Mount Wanfoshan, Hunan Province; Taining and Guanzhoushan, Fujian Province; Mount Longhu and Guifeng, Jiangxi Province; Mount Chishui, Guizhou Province; and Fangyan and Mount Jianglang, Zhejiang Province.

These remarkable pictures show the actual scenery of Danxia Landform at Nantaizi village of Nijiaying town, in Linzhe county of Zhangye, Gansu province of China.

While the photos are certainly incredible, there could be some slight photo manipulation going on to make the colors pop a bit more than they would naturally. Still, the mountains are amazing.



Many thanks to Lizzie for sending me this!


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