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Introduction and Pictures of Geosites in Xiangxi UNESCO Global Geopark


Name of the relics

Brief Introduction



The GSSP at Paibian Stage of Furong Series in the Cambrian System

The section is about 1.7km long. The GSSP is located at 369.06m above the bottom boundary of the Huaqiao Formation. Lithologically, it is made up of dark gray thin layer of mudstone, gray thin layer of fine-grained limestone mixed with fine gravel limestone lentils. The Huaqiao Formation of the Paibi section has a total thickness of 388.5m and is divided into 39 layers. The lower part of 126m is mainly made up of black-gray thin-middle layered dolomitic, calcareous mudstone, stratified mudstone, mixed with gray-dark gray thin-medium thick layered powdered limestone; from 126m above the bottom occurs a clastic limestone interlayer with debris flow. Generally, there is an interlayer within a thickness of about 10m. The thickness of the single layer ranges from 8-30cm. The interlayer of the gravel and limestone increases gradually, so does the thickness of the single layer. From 279.60m above the bottom, there are usually one to two layers of pebbly limestone interlayer within a few meters of the strata, and the thickness of the single layer of some interlayers can reach more than 1m. The underlying Aoxi Formation is 15.26m thick, and the lower part is made up of light gray dolomite with a thickness of 12.96m, while the upper part is made up of the interbedded layer of dolomite and black carbonaceous shale, with a thickness of 2.30m.


The GSSP at Guzhangian Stage of Miaoling Series in the Cambrian System

Located in the northwest-southeast slope zone on the southeastern edge of the Yangtze Platform, Luoyixi Section belongs to the paleontological mixed zone transitioning from shallow sea to deep-sea. The gravity flow sedimentation is very developed. The section is made up of marine carbonate rocks and its biological phase is stable, containing highly differented "slope-phase trilobites" mixed with benthic type at the platform and the plankton in the wide sea. Prof. Peng Shanchi with the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed to use the FAD of trilobites Lejopygelaevigata that is globally distributed to define the bottom boundary of Stage 7 of the Cambrian system (Guzhangian Stage), the GSSP is located at 121.3m above the bottom boundary of the Huaqiao Formation (now the Chefu Formation).


Hualan Red Stone Forest

Hualan Red Stone Forest is located in the valley slope on the south bank of the Youshui River Valley, the Shuiyin- Xiangjiazhai synclinal core part. It is developed in the Guniutan Formation (O2-3g), the mid-and-upper Ordovician system. Lithologically, it is made up of purple-red, medium-thick to thick layer nodular, argillaceous limestone, containing bioclastic argillaceous limestone. It is a landscape-forming rock layer of the Red Stone Forest. Hualan Red Stone Forest covers an area of 8.5km2 with  “three stages”. From altitudes of 350m to 460m, stone forests with three different altitudes are developed. The stone pillars are tall and dense, looking like high walls or ancient castles in the distance. If we have a closer look, we can see they are in different shapes, primitive yet magnificent. Due to the impacts of surface and subsoil dissolution, stone pillars in different shapes are formed, such as mushroom, tower, cone (teeth), sword, and ancient castle shapes. Each stone column is 5-20 m high. Under the stone forest are distributed karst depressions, underground rivers, karst windows, and springs, etc. These landforms not only show the connection between stone forest development and groundwater, but also combine with other karst landforms to form various karst assemblages.




Dehang Grand Canyon

Dehang Canyon Group consists of Xinzhai River Valley, Pailiao Canyon, Jiulongxi Canyon and Yuquanxi Canyon. It is developed in Chefu Formation (Є3-4c), Aoxi Formation (Є3a), and Qingxudong Formation (Є2q). in the Cambrian system. Lithologically, it is made up of gray thin layer – medium and thick layer limestone, argillaceous banded limestone and dolomite mixed with shale. The Xinzhai River Valley is about 4.4km long, with a valley floor width of 50-180m, and a longitudinal slope of 0.007. It has a slope of 35°-55° on both sides of the canyon, and vegetation is developed. The world-famous Azhai Super-large Suspension Bridge is built above the Xinzhai River Valley, and on the southern side is developed the Sisters Rock Pillar group. Pailiao Canyon is about 3.6km long, generally running in a direction of northeast. The valley floor is 100-180m wide. The mountain massifs on both sides of the canyon are steep , with a relative altitude of 200-260m. The Jiulongxi Canyon is about 2.2km long, running in a direction of 306° to the northwest. The valley floor is 80-150m wide. The mountain massifs on both sides of the canyon are steep, with a relative altitude of 160-350m, a drop of about 165m, and a longitudinal slope of 0.075. Mountain rock pillars are developed on both sides of the canyon. Pangu Peak and Yinlian (Silver Chain) Waterfall occur in the area. The Yuquanxi Canyon is about 1.8km long, generally running in the direction of 68° to the northeast. The valley floor is 100-150m wide. The slope of the mountain massifs on both sides of the canyon is 30-50°, with a relative altitude of 100-260m. Tectonically, the Dehang Canyon Group lies on the horst between the regional Malichang Fault and the Guzhang-Jishou Fault. The secondary structures are extremely developed. The rainwater erodes and dissolves along the joints, fissures or fractures. With the uplift of the Earth’s crust, the linear valley becomes deepened. The bedrock on both sides of the cliff collapses towards the free surface due to weathering,, eventually forming the Dehang Canyon Group where rock walls and rock pillars are developed.



Luota Karst Platform

Luota Karst Platform is a wide, gentle synclinal platform covering an area of about 82km2, with an altitude of 1,000~1,400m, and a relative altitude of nearly 700m against Luota River Valley. The platform runs in a direction of northeast. Its southwest section is slightly northward, while the northeast section is tilted, and the shaft is made up of Triassic and Permian carbonate rocks, with a thickness of 800-900 m. The two wings are made up of Devonian and Silurian sandstones and shale, which is a water-resistant layer with a thickness of over 2,000m. From the south to the north of Luota synclinal platform, there are three karst sub-platforms that are half-separated, i.e., Ganjiatai (1023.5)-Xiejiatai (1079.2), Wuzuoting (1009.1), Yabusi(1075.0)-Heshangpu (1072.6). The three platforms are incised by a superimposed valley-canyon, with seasonal or intermittent creek water flowing at the bottom. Smooth planation surfaces are formed in different stages due to uplift of the Earth's crust.



Dahang Rock Wall-Rock Pillar Group

Dehang Rock Wall-Rock Pillar Group is developed in the Qingxudong Formation (Є2q) , Aoxi Formation (Є3a) and Chefu Formation Formation (Є3-4c)of the Cambrian system. Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layer of grain and clastic limestone and dolomite. It comprises Tianwen Platform, Sisters Peak, Sima Peak, Zhuiniuzhu Peak,Zhuiniuhuazhu Peak, Pangu Peak, Huaping Peak, Tianmen Natural Mural, etc. The rock wall -rock pillars are in various shapes, like sisters,  eagle, peacock, etc. , which are lifelike and are distributed on both sides of the canyon. The group is mainly controlled by the northeast and northwest faults , extensional joints and fissures.


Luota Stone Forest

Luota Stone Forest is located in Maokou Formation (P2m) of the Mid- Permian system. Lithologically, it is made up of a very thick layer of weak dolomitic mudstone  containing chert banded limestone. It is structurally situated in the northwest wing of Luota Syncline, with a gentle occurrence. The stone forest mainly occurs on depressions and slopes on both sides of the depressions. The stone forest is sparsely distributed at the slope top, although the individual size is large. The stone forest covers an area of about 2.5km2, with a height of generally 6~15m, and the highest one can be more than 20m. The diameter is 4~13m. Individual stone column has different shapes, such as column, cone, wall, slab, cluster, and castle, etc. Among them, there are six double stone pillars looking like the horns on the sheep head. Hence they are called “Six Sheep” Stone Forest. The stone pillars are lifelike, in the shapes of humans and objects. Among the most characteristic are the Labyrinth, Elephant’s Soul, Immortal Finger, LoversRock, Six Gates, Celestial Soldiers, Bulls Greeting Guests, Roosters Heralding the Daybreak, Mushroom Stone Gate, Rose in Desert, Camel Looking Back, etc. The stone pillars are mainly formed by flowing water eroding along joints, and fissures. The stone pillars are made up of pure limestone and the lower basic parts are composed of chert banded limestone.



Shanwan Stone Forest

The stone forest occurs on a slope body with a slope of 15-20°, extending in the direction of 130-150°, with an area of about 2.2 km2. The stone columns are densely distributed, and the single stone column is generally 6-10m high (with the highest one of 20m), and the diameter is 1~7m. The stone columns are of various shapes, such as column, cone, sword, tower, monument, wall, slab-column, screen and cluster, etc. Some look like human beings, while others look like objects, and are lifelike. Looked in the distance, they are like soldiers in arrays, spectacular and beautiful. Stone teeth less than 5m are distributed in and around the stone forest. The stone forest is located in the west wing of the Luota Syncline, with flat occurrence. It is developed in the Upper Permian Wujiaping Formation (P3w). Lithologically, it is made up of thick to massive pure limestone and dolomitic limestone. Dissolved pores are developed on the surface of the rock, and joints and fissures are also developed. Rich Fusulinid and coral fossils can be found in the rock layers.


Xigou Stone Forest

The stone forest is located in the Middle Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). Lithologically, it is dominated by thick limestone, which contains rich Fusulinid and coral fossils. The stone forest covers an area of about 3km2. They are distributed individually or in groups. The  stone pillars are of various shapes, such as cone, column, cone, sword, wall, and curtain, etc. They look like human beings or objects, such as Crocodile Biting, Overturned Boat, Immortal Finger, Lovers, Killing Demon, Stone Gate. The individual stone column is generally 5~15m high and a small amount of them are more than 15m high. The fissures and joints are developed in the Xigou Stone Forest in the Luota syncline shaft area. The fault structure is also developed, mainly running in the north-east direction and the north-west directions. The stone forest is formed by water flow eroding and dissolving along the joints and fissures.


Kebi Red Stone Forest

The red stone forest is developed in the Ordovician Dawan Formation (O1-2d) and Guniutan Formation (O2-3g). Lithologically , it is made up of medium-thick layered purple-red mixed with gray-green nodular argillaceous limestone. Covering an area of about 13.9km2, the red stone forest is distributed in a gentle slope area with a slope of 15°~25°. It is formed by subsoil erosion and surface differential weathering. The three main types are dissolution grooves and fissures , which run in a direction of 287°, 65° and 27°. The stone forests are of various shapes, such as flame, tower, sword, and wall, etc. The stone forest occurs around the depressions and slopes. In some areas are developed dissolved pores, and the stone forest is 5-20 m high.


Zuokuba Red Stone Forest

Zuokuba Red Stone Forest is developed in the Ordovician Dawan Formation (O1-2d) and Guniutan Formation (O2-3g). Lithologically, it is made up of purple-red nodular argillaceous limestone, marl and dolomitic limestone. Covering an area of about 10km2, it has an elevation ranging from 250m~800m. In general, it is brownish red, often mixed with blue-gray color. In the sunlight, the red stone forest is bright and colorful. The stone pillar is of various shapes, such as sword, column or mushroom. They are distributed in patches or clusters on top of hills, slopes, troughs, and depressions, showing a rich combination of stone forest landscape.


Liexi Red Stone Forest

Liexi Red Stone Forest is located in Liexi Village, Liexi Township, Yongshun County, in the Liexi-Zeqiu synclinal core part, and near the secondary NE-trending fault zone on the south side of the Zhangjiajie-Huayuan (Zhanghua) Fault. It is developed in the lower-Ordovician Dawan Formation (O1-2d). Lithologically, it is made up of a purple-red medium thick-thick layered nodular argillaceous limestone containing bioclastic argillaceous limestone. The occurrence is 165 °  7 °. The stone forest is developed on a slope area with a slope of about 15°. It covers an area of about 3 km2. Karren is developed in the stone forest, mainly consisting of three groups running in a direction of 55 °, 20 ° and 317 °. The individual stone pillars are clustered or sword-shaped, and are 3.5-4 m high. Due to different calcium content, a strong differential dissolution can be seen. The grooves are generally about 20 cm wide, and the ring-like dissolution phenomenon is common in the stone forests. It is a large red stone forest area.


Lanhua Cave

Lanhua Cave is developed in the lower Ordovician system. Lithologically, it is made up of medium-thick layered limestone and dolomitic limestone. At the entrance to the cave is a karst window, which is elliptical, with a size of 20×15m2 and a depth of 28m. The cave is about 2.5km deep, which is full of twists and turns. The speleothems are of various types and shapes, including stalactites, stone teeth, stone pillars, soda straw, rimstone dams, stone curtains and stone pearls. Two layers of calcareous cemented deposits, as well as the deeply-incised “V”-shaped valleys can be found in the cave, indicating that the cave had experienced at least two uplifting processes. The cave is controlled by fractures, joints and fissures. It is formed by the water erosion and dissolution. Later, due to cave roof and wall collapses , the cave wall collapses, the cave is continuously widened and rises steadily.


Lüdong Mountain

Lüdong Mountain Light through Cave is located at the edge of the Dongmaku Platform. While its lower part is made up of shale mixed with limestone in Cambrian Shipai Formation (Є1-2s), the upper part consists of gray-dark gray, thin-medium thick layer powdered crystalline limestone in the Qingxudong Formation (Є2 q). Lüdong Mountain is a rock-wall typed light thorough cave incised by two canyons. The rock wall is located at the top of Mount Agong at an altitude of 1227m. It is 60-70m high and 130-150m long, running in a direction of 300° , and is 4~30m thick. Two light through caves are developed in the mountain, which run in a direction of 35°. The large light through cave is about 25m high, 8m wide and 4m deep; while the small one is about 10m high, 5m wide and 4m deep. The two caves are erected in parallel across the mountain, resembling the semi-inverted Chinese character  "Lü". The light through caves are formed due to the erosion, dissolution and incision of early formed karst caves by northwest-running water flow during the later crustal uplift process, and some of these caves are left over to form the light through caves.



Wangchuanyan light through cave

The light through cave is developed in the Cambrian Bitiao Formation 4b). Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone. The light through cave occurs on the rock wall running in a direction of north-south, with an elevation of about 600m. It is about 30m high and 3~8m wide. Looking like a vertical eye, both ends are tipped out , with a depth of 8~10m. The light through cave is developed along east-west. Due to uplift of the earth's crust, the original karst cave is uplifted to form a dry hole, while the joints and fissures that are developed afterwards along the north-south-north direction are cut off. With the downward erosion of the flowing water and the gravity collapse, a light through cave is formed on the ridge.


Xiangbi (Elephant Trunk) Mountain

Xiangbi (Elephant Trunk) Mountain Cave is developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation of Furongian Series. Lithologically, it is made up of thin layer of carbon argillaceous limestone and dolomite with near-horizontal occurrence. Along the entrance to the mountain cave is developed a normal fault running in the direction of northeastern (the Tunliangshan Fault), some rock mass of the mountain slides and collapses along the fault fracture zone into the gorge, and the stream water erodes the fracture of the rock mass to form a fault collapse-based light through cave. The light through cave is about 30m high, and 5~20m wide, and 4~6m deep, with the entrance to the cave faces 70° to the north. From a distance, the light through cave is shaped like an elephant trunk. There are three stages of waterfall running in the middle of the cave. Therefore, a breathtaking view is formed.


Lingdong Karst Window Group

Lingdong Karst Window Group is located in the northwest wing of Luota Syncline. Lithologically, it is made up of the Permian limestone. Karst windows are extremely developed. Indeed, five karst windows are developed within 240m along the northeast direction. It is a karst window group arranged in one line group, with a depth of 10-73m and a width of 4-43m. The surrounding areas are steep cliffs. The largest and deepest karst window is the one at the south side of the natural bridge. It is 73m deep and has a maximum diameter of 43m. At the bottom of the karst window, the underground river cave is connected with the sinkhole. As the karst cave continues to widen, the roof of the cave becomes thinner,  loses its support, and eventually  collapses to form a karst window. A waterfall runs down the wall of the Tiankeng pit, while a large karst cave runs through the pit wall, which is a masterpiece of the Mother Nature.


Youshui River Valley

Youshui River belongs to the first-class tributary of Yuanshui, bordering Wushui River in the south, Dalou Mountain and Wujiang River in the west, and the Wuling Mountains and Lishui River in the north. In Youshui River Valley are exposed many secondary minor faults running in the direction of north-east, north-north-east. The displacement distance is small, which is often several centimeters to several meters. Lithologically, the outcropped rocks in the valley are mainly made up of gray-dark gray thick layer of bright-grained bioclastic limestone, limestone, dolomitic limestone mixed with dolomite in the Ordovician Honghuayuan Formation (O1h) and Tongzi Formation (O1t), as well as very thick layer of dolomite in the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l). The valley is about 50km long, 220~620m wide, and 110~520m deep. It is  "V" shaped and is distributed along the east-west direction. The valley is a landform jointly shaped by the erosion, dissolution of rivers and collapse in the karst area. Its formation and development are closely related to various factors, such as rock properties, riverbed hydraulic gradient, and water flow.


Donghe River Valley

The Donghe River Valley is located in the area from Dalong Village, Buchou Township, Huayuan County to Aizhai Town, Jishou City. It is about 30km long, running in the direction of northeast. The valley is 120-430m wide and 100-120m deep. The floor of the valley is the Donghe River, which has a riverbed width of 20-36m, and flows along the northeast. The valley is developed in the Cambrian Bitiao Formation (Є4b) and Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, it is made up of medium-thick layer of dolomitic limestone, limestone and thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone, and argillaceous limestone. The slope of the mountain massifs on both sides of the valley is generally steep in the upper parts and gentle in the lower parts, and most of the slopes are converted into farmland and residential areas. Rock pillars and rock walls are developed on the cliffs on both sides of the valley. The valley is in maturity. Rainwater erodes and dissolves along the joints and fissures or fractures, and the basement rocks on both sides of the cliff wall collapse towards the free surface to form the river valley.


Tianxing Mountain Valley

The valley is developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c) and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, it is mainly made up of thin-thick layered dolomitic limestone, argillaceous limestone, and argillaceous dolomite, with a flat and gentle occurrence. The valley is "U"- shaped, 3.1km long, extending southeast in a direction of 120°, the valley floor is 50-200m wide, while the valley shoulder is 100-500m wide, with a depth of 150-300m. The mountain massifs on both sides of the valley are steep, and the waterfalls pour down the cliffs. Karst hills and depressions are developed on the platform. The valley looks magnificent and beautiful. Tianxing Mountain Valley lies on the horst between Malichang Fault and the Guzhang-Jishou Fault. Flowing water erodes and dissolves along the joints and fissures or fractures, and the basement rocks on both sides of the cliff wall collapse towards the free surface to form the mountain valley.


Sanmendong Valley

The valley is developed in the Cambrian Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, it is made up of medium-thick layer of dolomitic limestone and limestone. The valley is 7.8km long. It winds from near north-south to 120° northwest, before it eventually turns to near east-west direction. It has a valley shoulder width of 200-400m, valley floor width of 60-200m, and a depth of 100-300m. The cliffs in the valley are steep. It is “U”-shaped, dolines and sinkholes are developed on platforms on both sides of the valley. The valley is often shrouded with mist, deep and serene, and the vegetation is developed. Sanmendong Valley area lies on the horst between Malichang Fault and the Guzhang-Jishou Fault. Flowing water erodes and dissolves along the joints and fissures or fractures, and the basement rocks on both sides of the cliff wall collapse towards the free surface to form the valley.


Mengdong River Valley

Mengdong River is the first-class tributary of the Youshui River. Lithologically, the exposed rocks are mainly made up of the gray thick layer of crystalline limestone, the dolomitic limestone in Ordovician Tongzi Formation (O1t) and Honghuayuan Formation (O1h), as well as gray-white, very thick-block dolomite in the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation. (Є3-4l). The valley extends in a direction of nearly north-south, and is about 42km long from Yongshun County to the intersection of Youshui River. There are many cliffs in the valley, whose height is generally 150-200m, and the highest is more than 400m. The valley is "U"-shaped, with many caves, waterfalls and stalactites along the river bank. The largest waterfall is more than 80 meters high, with an overflow width of more than 10 meters. Peak clusters and strange rocks are developed on both sides of the valley, mainly including the Goddess Peak, Meeting Peak, Menglang Peak, Lotus Rock, and General Rock.



Jinlong Grand Canyon

The Jinlong Grand Canyon is exposed on the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a) and Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layer of dolomitic limestone, dolomite and argillaceous limestone, and argillaceous dolomite, with a flat occurrence. The canyon extends in a direction of 50° northeast. It is about 5.2km long, 20-150m wide at the floor, 300-700m wide at the shoulder, and 200-400m deep. The canyon is generally developed along a set of vertical joints and fissures in the northeast-southwest direction. Many suspended waterfalls and rock walls-rock pillars are distributed on both sides of the canyon. The canyon is deep and serene, with green and white stiffs, looking like a landscape painting.


Zuolong Valley

Zuolong Valley is developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c) and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, it is made up of gray thin-thick layer of powdered crystalline limestone, dolomitic limestone, and argillaceous banded limestone. The valley is generally developed along the vertical structural fissures running in the northwest direction. It is 6.5km long, with an average depth of 80m. The maximum depth can reach more than 100m. With an average width of 3-5m, the narrowest part can only allow one person to pass through. The valley is linear, and the cliffs are towering. It looks like a huge earth slit. Deep and unmeasurable, it winds through the area like a huge dragon, hence it is named Zuolong Valley, literally meaning Sitting Dragon Valley. The water at the valley floor runs rapid, so it is a typical landform eroded by flowing headwater.


Dalongdong Suspended Waterfall

Lithologically, the entrance to Dalongdong Cave is developed on medium-thick layer of powder crystalline limestone in the Upper Cambrian Bitiao Formation (Є4b), while the bottom of Donglongdong Waterfall is developed on the thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone in the Upper and Middle Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c), with a flat and gentle occurrence. Two groups of dissolution fissures are developed on the cliff walls at the entrance to Dalongdong Cave, running in the direction of 135° and 205° respectively. The waterfall has a drop of about 208m. Its bottom is a water pool, which is about 46.8m long, 23.6m wide, and 6-10m deep. The waterfall has a flow rate of 0.45-105m3/s during the flood peak period. Its water source comes from Huoyan (Flame) Cave of Yayou Town. The water flows into the underground through Xiaoshuituo, Liubo Township of Fenghuang County, and converges with the groundwater of the Miliang Leigong Cave before it pours down from the entrance to the cave, and eventually flows into Donghe River, offering a magnificent view. The layer of argillaceous banded limestone in Chefu Formation at the lower part is a relatively water-resistant layer, with poor water permeability. When the surface water seeps into the ground, it is blocked by water-resistant layer and then moves horizontally, before it is exposed at the cliff wall to form suspended waterfall.



Furong Town Cascaded Waterfall

Furong Town Cascaded Waterfall is located near the intersection of Yanluo Stream and Youshui River, in the core scenic area of Furong Ancient Town, and the southeast wing of the Shuiyin-Xiangjiazhai Syncline. Due to the impact of structural movement, some parts of the waterfall have slight folds. Structural fissures running in the direction of 40° and 295° are developed. Lithologically, the waterfall is exposed on medium-thick layered bright-grained sandy limestone and gray dolomite in the Bitiao Formation (Є4b), while its lower part is exposed on thin layer of powdered crystalline limestone and argillaceous limestone. The waterfall is divided into two stages, with a distance of 23m between the two stages. The first stage has a drop of 20m and an average overflow width of 50m, while the second stage is divided into three sections with a drop of about 33m and an average overflow width of 60m. During the flood season, the waterfall has a large amount of water and the overflow width can reach up to 70m. The lower part of the waterfall was originally a karst cave. Later, due to the collapse of the roof of the cave and the erosion of the northwestward fissures, a steep ridge was formed, and the river water poured down to form the waterfall. Apart from many cave collapsed deposits, some stalactites still remain below the steep ridge.


Paoshui Valley Cascaded Waterfall

Paoshui Valley Cascaded Waterfall is developed on the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, the rocks are made up of thin-middle-layer of argillaceous banded limestone, with a flat and gentle occurrence. The waterfall is divided into four cascades, with an overflow width of 2~10m, and a drop of 30~70m for each cascade, (a total drop of about 160m) and a flow of 0.4~2m3/s. Running in the direction of west-east, the water flows from Xinwan Village through Tunliang Mountain to Xiangbi (Elephants Trunk) Mountain, before it finally flows into Paoshui Valley. Due to the impact of structural movement, vertical joints and fissures are developed on the bedrocks. The headwater erosion of flowing water has resulted in the cliff collapse and retreat to form a cascaded waterfall.


Zhihuan (Finger Ring) Waterfall

The waterfall is exposed on the layer of the Cambrian Qingxudong Formation (Є2 q). Lithologically, the rocks are made up of gray-dark gray thin-thick layer of powdered crystalline limestone. Fault is developed at the outcrop, and is accompanied by folds. The waterfall has a drop of 15m and an overflow width of 1-2m. There is a water pool at the bottom, which is about 20m long, and 8-12m wide, with a flow rate of 62.02-3000L/s. The water source of the waterfall comes from the streams in the southwest. The waterfall is divided into three stages. The first stage is Tuofeng (Camels Hump) Waterfall, which is located in the northwest. The second stage is located above Zhihuan Waterfall, with a drop of 23m. By merging the underground river , it forms the third stage of waterfall (Zhihuan Waterfall). At the bottom is a deep pool. The huge stones in the waterfall are eroded and dissolved by flowing water to form ring-shaped holes, hence the waterfall is named Zhihuan (literally meaning Finger Ring) Waterfall. The view of the waterfall during the rainy season is more spectacular. Zhihuan Waterfall is a groundwater discharge outlet of Shuanglong Platform. When the groundwater moves downwards, it is blocked by the carbonate rocks of the Qingxudong Formation and the shales or marls in Shipai Formation, then it moves horizontally, before it is exposed in the valley to from a suspended waterfall.


Tuofeng (Camel Hump) Waterfall

The waterfall, located at the southwestern end of the northwestern valley, is exposed on the strata of the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, the rocks are made up of middle layer of powered crystalline limestone. The waterfall is divided into two stages, with an average overflow width of 10-20m. The first and second stages have a drop of 5m and 22m respectively. At the bottom of the waterfall is a rectangular water pool, which is 14m long, and 4~6m wide, with a flow rate of 127.513l/s.  During the rainy season, the flow rate can reach up to 1 to 2m3/s, offering a spectacular view. About 80m south of the waterfall is a rock pillar, which is about 70m high with a diameter of 40m. The rock pillar is shaped like a camel hump, hence the waterfall is called Tuofeng (literally meaning Camel Hump) Waterfall. Its source is the outlet of an underground river. The water moves along the valley to form a waterfall with the steep ridge.


Liusha (Flowing Yarn) Waterfall

Liusha Waterfall, located at the source area of Jiulongxi Valley, is exposed on the layer of the Cambrian Chefu Formation 3-4c). Lithologically, the rocks are made up of dark gray thin-medium thick layer of argillaceous banded limestone and sandy dolomitic limestone and carbonaceous argillaceous limestone. The waterfall has a drop of 90m and an overflow width of 10~15m. At the bottom is a round water pool called Jiulong Pool, which  has a diameter of about 50m and a water depth of 2~4m. During the flood season, the waterfalls pour down from the cliffs and look extremely spectacular. During the dry season, the stream floats down like a flowing yarn, looking graceful and striking. Hence, the waterfall is named Liusha (literally meaning flowing yarn) Waterfall.


Jianduoduo Waterfall

Jianduoduo Waterfall is developed on the strata in the Upper and Middle- Cambrian Chefu Formation 3-4c), Lithologically, the rocks are made up of thin-thick layer of gray-black limestone. The waterfall has a drop of as high as 236m, and an overflow width of 1-4m. It is a seasonal waterfall, whose flow ranges from 0.27m3/s in dry season to 50m3/s during the flood season. Below the waterfall is a water pool with a water depth of 1-8m and a pool area of about 120m2. The water is crystal clear, and flows fast, with a large potential energy. It pours down from the overflow hole into the deep pool below, with a roaring sound and great momentum, before it flows into the Niujiao River.


Zhangjiajie-Huayuan Deep and Large Fracture

The section generally inclines towards the southeast, with a dip angle of up to 70-80°. Compression zone and fault breccia are developed. Mylonite can often be seen along the facture zone. The original rock of dolomite was strongly squeezed and ground into mylonitic rock. The rocks are strongly foliated, and fracture cleavage is developed. The mylonite belt is generally 10 to 25 m wide, and the width can reach up to 50 m. A foliated and fragmented zone has been formed on the rocks on both sides of the mylonite, which is interspersed by calcites in large quantities. The rocks are obviously subject to silicification and fading processes. The fragmented zone is generally 10 to 20 m wide, while some areas can be as wide as 400 m. Folds that run parallel with fracture often remain in the fracture zone. Near the Yuzejia Lake Highway, horizontal scraches can still be seen on the section, indicating the fracture has experienced a right translation apart from compressive reverse thrust.


Mengxi River Fracture

The fault zone is about 16.8km long, running in a direction of north-northeast, which is roughly the same as Luota syncline axis. The northwestern part of the fault is a continuous karst cliff, which is made up of very thick layer of Permian limestone, with a flat and gentle occurrence. Structural traces such as scratches, steps and secondary faults can be found on the cliffs. Affected by the traction of Mengxi River fault, the rock stratum has slight folds. The Permian and Silurian strata are exposed on the southeastern side of the fault, with an occurrence of283°37°. Occurrence of the rock strata at two sides of the fault differs greatly. Due to the impact of faults, the flowing water continuously erodes and dissolves along the weak surface of the structure, and then combines with collapse in the later stage to form the current Mengxi River Valley.


Trilobite Fossil Group in the Ordovician Period in Liexi

The trilobite fossil group in the Ordovician Period in Liexi is located in Longxi Village, Liexi Township, Yongshun County. The fossil is produced in the upper part of the lower-Ordovician Tongzi Formation (O1t). The rocks are made up of a set of gray-black thin layer of argillaceous limestone and marl. The rocks are rich in fossil layers of about 15m thick. The relics are rich in fossil reserves, mainly trilobites, such as unidentified species of Xiangxiia, Xiangxiia Yongshunensis, Paraszechuanella, etc. The fossils are large and the size of the largest one is 32×28cm2, which is still preserved intact. Xiangxiia Yongshunensis is a new species found in this layer. Meanwhile, a large number of hornstones are produced. The individual size is also very large, and the largest one can reach more than 1 meter long. They are mainly unidentified species of Lituites. The trilobite fossils produced in this area are preserved with the remains of trilobites, and are body fossils. Their living bodies lived about 460 million years ago. What we see today is only the hardenite of the trilobite remains (such as bones). Although the original form is preserved, its substance has been replaced or filled with calcium carbonate.


Insect Trace Fossil Relics in the Devonian Period in Purong Town

The fossil relics is located besides No. 015 County Road of Baojing County, and in the wing of Wanping syncline. The fossil is developed in the Devonian Yuntaiguan Formation (D2yt) stratum with an outcrop area of about 30 m2.Lithologically, the stratum is made up of quartz sandstone mixed with mudstone. The fossil monomer is 20-100cm long, with a diameter of 4-8cm. It occurs in the muddy interlayer with a thickness of 30cm, and is a sandy tubular body. It is inferred to be an insect trace fossil., which  is criss-crossed like a root , with a high distribution density.


Trilobite Fossil Group in the Silurian Period in Purong Town

The fossil group is located in the Silurian Wujiayuan Formation (S1w). Lithologically, it is made up of gray-green thin-middle layer of siltstone and fine sandstone mixed with shale. It has a wide variety of fossils, such as trilobites, cephalopods, brachiopods, bivalves and Crinoidea, etc.They are densely distributed, with an individual size of 0.5 ~ 3cm. The fossils are kept intact, the head, chest and tail are clearly visible. The glabellar is curved like a bow, the two bows are twice as large as the body, and the two bows are thin enough to be integrated into one. This layer corresponds to the famous Xiushan fauna.


Hangsha Giant Sleeping Buddha

Located in the southeastern wing of the Paibi syncline, the Giant Sleeping Buddha is exposed on the strata of the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a) and Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, the rocks are made up of thin-medium thick layered dolomitic limestone, dolomite and argillaceous limestone, and argillaceous dolomite, with a flat and gentle occurrence. The long axis of the platform runs in a direction of 50° to the northeast, with a length of 1.25km; while the short axis is 0.5km long, and the cliffs at the edge of the platform are 150-250m high. Karst depressions and sinkholes are developed on the platform surface. The edge of the platform is incised into fragments due to the impact of Malichang fracture. At the edge of the platform are scattered rock walls and rock pillars, which extend northeastward along the Jinlong Valley. In the early stages, the platform was subject to the impact of flowing water dissolution and erosion. In the later stages, the basement rocks collapsed along the joints and fissures at a high angle or the fracture collapsed towards the inner side of the valley, forming the landforms in which platforms alternate with valleys.



Pingnian Rock Wall-Rock Pillar Group

Structurally, Pingnian Rock Wall- Rock Pillar Group is located on the northwest plate of Bake-Xintian Fault, and  is developed in the Cambrian Qingxudong Formation (Є2q). Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layered dolomitic limestone, limestone and calcite dolomite.The rock walls, running in a direction of 55° northeast, are 100-150m long, 40-70m high, and 5-20m thick. They look like a peacock spreading its feathers. Most of the rock pillars are cylinder-shaped, with a diameter of 2 to 5 m and a height of 5 to 20 m. They are sporadically distributed at the end of the rock walls and at the foot of the slopes. Under the influence of structural movement, two sets of vertical joints and fissures are mainly developed in the area, with a strike of 55° and 327° respectively. Due to the impact of dissolution of flowing water, weathering and erosion in the later stages, the fractured bedrocks collapse towards the free surface, eventually forming the rock wall -rock pillar group.


Rulai fozhang(Buddhas Palm)Rock Pillar

The Rock Pillar is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of gray, thin-middle layer of stratified powdered crystalline limestone and dolomite. Different sets of faults meet to form a fractured section, and the large joint surfaces are separated and collapse to eventually form rock pillars and valleys. Shibadong Rock Pillar Group is shaped like "Thrree Incenses" and "Buddhas Palm". Three rock pillars, which are developed in the upper and middle parts of the slope, are arranged in parallel. The longest rock pillar is about 50m long, while the other two are 35-40m long, with a diameter of 5-10m.


Luota Sisters Peak

The rock pillar group of Sisters Peak stands on the southern edge of the Yabusi Platform. It looks like two people who cling to each other, telling an ancient mythology about two lovers. The pillar group is developed in the Triassic Daye Formation (T1d). Lithologically, it is made up of gray-black thin layer of limestone. Structurally, it is located in the Luota syncline core part. The rock pillar is 80-100m high and is roughly tower-shaped. It is a mountain peak that remains after the dissolution and erosion of surface water and rainwater along the two groups of fissures in the northwest and northeast. It is a delight to watch this landscape.


Yayou Red Karst Hill Group

Yayou Red Karst Hill Group occurs in the area of Huanggua Mountain, Laoren Mountain and Longkou Mountain. It is located in the synclinal core part of the Laoren Mountain-Laer Mountain and the northwest side of the Malichang fault zone, with an elevation of over 920m and an area of about 6.5km2. The red karst hill is developed in the Ordovician Dawan Formation (O1-2d), . Lithologically ,it is made up of purple-red medium thick-thick layer of nodular argillaceous limestone containing bioclastic argillaceous limestone. The individual karst hills are large in size and are shaped like steam buns. In the process of weathering and dissolution, the rock layers containing calcium are mostly dissolved, while the water-resistant layer containing more muddy sediments is difficult to be dissolved and retains. This has resulted in obvious stratification, thus forming karst hill landscape with large size and various shapes.



Duishan Red Karst Hill Group

The geo-site is located in the dissolved low-hill zone on the eastern side of the Zhailu River. Its surface is made up of the thick-layer of nodular argillaceous limestone in the Ordovician Dawan Formation (O1-2d). The red karst hill is similar to the Yahou Red Karst Hill. It is scattered in different shapes, such as dish, steamed bun or lamination. The relative height of the karst hills is 0.5-2 m. They are surrounded by high coverage of vegetation. Dolines are densely distributed in the area, totaling 48 dolines. On the surface, the dolines are generally elliptical and extend in the northwest or northeast direction. Their long axis is obviously controlled by the tectonic fissures running in the direction of northeast and northwest. They are generally 60×40m2, and the depth ranges from 30~100m. The largest one can reach 1.25×104m2.




Tian’egong (Swan Palace) Cave

Tianegong (Swan Palace) Cave is controlled by a northeastward fault, and developed in the Ordovician Tongzi Formation (O1t). Lithologically, it is made up of gray-light gray thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone mixed with dolomite. The entrance to the cave is about 20m above the water surface, and is arched. It is about 20m high and 22m wide. The front section of the cave is a water pool, which is about 100m long. Visitors can only enter the cave by boat. The whole cave is estimated to be more than 10km long, with a proved length of 2000m. The underground river in the cave is full of twists and turns, with flowing water. The cave is very rich in stalactites. There are three different stages of landscape in front of the pool. The first stage is an underground river channel with a length of more than 100 meters, on two sides of which are distributed stalactites of various shapes. The second stage is a dry cave, which is called a stone corridor. It is more than 200 meters long and speleothems are developed, such as stalagmite, stone pillar, stone curtain, stone flower, stone pearl stone forest, and stone waterfall, etc. The third stage is the cave chamber, which is 200m long, 20-50m wide, in which an underground river flows in different width. The cave chamber is full of stalactites, stone flowers, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone pearls, stone curtains, stone waterfalls, stone pit ridges, stone fields, etc. In the cave is developed a waterfall, which has a drop of about 25m and a width of 5m. Under the waterfall there is a lake, in which many strange stalagmites are grown. As these stalagmites look like a swan dancing, the cave is named Tianegong (literally meaning Swan Palace) Cave, which is formed under the long-term dissolution of groundwater.



Yelang Shibadong Cave

Yelang Shibadong Cave is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of thin layer of powdered crystalline dolomite and dolomitic limestone mixed with dolomitic shale. At the entrance to the cave are developed geological structures, with small faults and folds. The entrance to the cave is 15~18m high, and 6~8m wide. The karst cave is developed in the east-west direction, extending for about 2300m. The cavity has a maximum height of 40m and a maximum width of 60-80m. The drop between the entrance and the exit of the cave is nearly 35m. In the cave there are speleothems of various types, such as stalactite, stalagmite, rimstone dam, stone pillar, stone flower, stone pearl, stone curtain, etc. The cave is generally developed along a tensile fault that roughly runs in a direction of east.


Tiandong Natural Bridge

Tiandong Natural Bridge is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of layered powdered crystalline dolomite and limestone. The natural bridge has a span of about 30m, and a height of 24m. Its vault is 6~8m thick, and the bridge deck is about 20m wide, facing SE120°. The bottom of the natural bridge is filled with clay deposits. Controlled by the joints and fissures and rock strata in the southeast direction, flowing water dissolves and erodes to form a karst cave extending in the direction of southeast. Later, the roof of the cave collapses due to the earth crustal uplift, and some parts of the cave remain in the original place, forming a natural bridge.


Guidong Natural Bridge

Guidong (Ghost Cave) Natural Bridge lies in the near-source area of Shibadong Valley in Paibi Township (now Shuanglong Town). It is developed in the Cambrian Qingxudong Formation (Є2q). Lithologically, it is mainly made up of thin-medium thick layer of limestone. The arch of the natural bridge is 12~20m high, with a span of 15~40m, a width of 20~40m, and a thickness of 10~20m, facing SE350°. The arch hole changes from large to small. Due to the impact of structure, undulating folds are developed in the cave. The natural bridge is formed under the joint action of groundwater dissolution, erosion and collapse of cave rock mass.


Jipoling Natural Bridge

Jipoling Natural Bridge lies at the south side of Jipoling Valley in Jipoling Village, Shuanglong Town (formerly Dongmaku Township), Huayuan County. It is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of thin, medium-thick layer of dolomitic limestone. The natural bridge’s arch is 45-55m high, and 20~26m wide, with a span of 8~15m, and top thickness of about 16m. The arch hole is shaped like  "∩" , which is located at the edge of the valley. The natural bridge is formed under the action of long-term dissolution and erosion of flowing water and collapse of rock mass gravity.


Luota Long Tiankeng

Long Tiankeng is developed in the Middle Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). Lithologically, it is made up of thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone. The Tiankeng is 111m deep, 42m wide and 241m long. It is formed by karst collapse. The cliffs are erected around the Tiankeng. Its long axis runs in a direction of 90°~270°. Two caves are developed on the north side of the cliffs. The cave on the west side is 31m high, 3.2m wide and 15m deep, while the cave on the east is 46m high and 4.5m wide, and gradually narrows from the outside to the inside. The tiankeng is situated at the intersection of two faults, whin run in a direction of 55° and 90° respectively. Obvious faults and scratches are visible on the cliffs, and waterfall landscape can be seen on the northern side of the cliffs during the rainy season. The floor of Long Tiankeng is connected to the underground caves, which is too deep to be measured. Due to the impact of dissolution of groundwater, the underground part becomes hollow to form a karst cave. When the cave roof loses its support, it will collapse and form a tiankeng.


Gaoyanhe Canyon

Gaoyanhe Canyon extends from Huangyan Village of Shuanglong Town to the intersection of Xiaolongdong River and Donghe River. With a length of about 7.6km , the valley runs in an overall direction of near north-south . The bottom of the valley is 50-230m wide, and the mountain massifs on both sides are steep and 180-260m deep. The canyon is in a "V" shape.The valley is developed in Cambrian Bitiao Formation (Є4b), Chefu Formation (Є3-4c), and Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of medium-thick layer of limestone, thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone, thin-middle thick layer of dolomite. The terrain at the bottom of the valley is relatively flat, where farmlands and villages are distributed. In the valley is developed Xiaolongdong River, which has a riverbed width of 15-40m, and flows northsouthward into the Donghe River. Karst landscapes, such as isolated peaks, peak clusters and rock pillars occur along the valley. Individual rock columns are 15 to 60 m high and vary in shape.


Shibadong Canyon

Shibadong Canyon is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a), Qingxudong Formation (Є2q), and Shipai Formation (Є2s). Lithologically, it is mainly made up of thin-medium thick layer of micrite, dolomitic limestone, crystalline dolomite and shale. The canyon is about 7km long, 300-500m wide and 200~450m deep, generally running in a direction of northeast-east. Mountain massifs on both sides of the canyon have a

slope of 45°-65°. The bottom of the valley is relatively flat. There is a small river at the bottom of the valley, and brecciated dolomite can be seen at the riverbed, which is 3-8m wide. Karst micro-geomorphic landscapes such as karst caves, rock pillars, and natural bridges are developed on the hills on both sides of the canyon. Examples include: “Buddhas Palm” rock pillar, Guidong (Ghost cave) Natural Bridge, Tiandong Natural Bridge, etc. The canyon has beautiful scenery and good landscape value.


Paoshui Valley

Paoshui Valley is exposed on the Bitiao FormationЄ4b and Chefu Formation(Є3-4c) of the Cambrian Furongian Series (Є4b). Lithologically, it is made up of medium-thick layer of limestone and thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone. The valley is about 4.2km long, generally running in a direction of northeast - east. The mountain massifs on both sides of the valley are generally steep in the upper parts and gentle in the lower parts, showing a "V" shape. The valley is 330-540m deep, and 50-200m wide at the bottom. Paoshui River flows at the bottom, which is 10~30m wide. The cliffs developed on both sides of the valley are generally 100-600m long and 30-120m high. Most of them are round chair-shaped, forming a steep and long rock wall landscape. Among them, a light through cave is developed on the cliffs of Xiangbi (Elephant Trunk) Mountain. The light through cave and rock massif combine to form an elephant trunk-shaped landform. A stream flows into the light through cave and pours down the cliffs to form a spectacular waterfall landscape.


Baixi Valley

Baixi Valley is developed in the Ordovician Tongzi Formation, the Honghuayuan Formation (O1t-h), the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l), the Bitiao Formation (Є4b), and the Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, it is mainly made up of gray, dark gray medium-thick layer – very thick layer of crystalline limestone, thick layer of dolomite and limestone and thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone. The valley is about 13.3km long, 50-100m wide (at the bottom), and 180-260m deep. At the bottom of the valley is Baixi River, which flows south-northward into Youshui River. During the intermittent uplift in the Quaternary neotectonics, the flowing water continues to erode and dissolve along the faults, joints and fissures, and combines with the bedrock weathering and collapse to form the valley.


Tuzhahe Valley

Both sides of the valley are exposed on the strata of Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a), Chefu Formation (Є3-4c) and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, the valley is mainly made up of gray, dark gray thin-medium thick limestone, dolomite, dolomitic limestone and argillaceous banded limestone. Running in a direction of 40°-80° northeast, the valley is about 12.5km long, 50-150m wide at the bottom, and 100-260m deep. It is in the shape of “U”. The mountains on both sides of the valley are steep. The valley looks magnificent and beautiful. The elevation of the bottom of the valley is about 300m, while the elevation of the platform on both sides is about 450~600m. At least two layers of dry caves can be seen along the cliffs on both sides of the valley. Rock walls- rock pillars can be occasionally seen. The occurrence of strata on both sides of the valley is flat and gentle, and tectonic breccias are visible along the cliff wall. It is speculated that a large-scale tensile fault is developed along the valley. A series of high-angle fissures or factures which cross obliquely with the valley can be seen at the cliff wall. The surface water continuously erodes and dissolves along the fractures to form the valley.


Lülü River Valley

Lülü (Green) River Valley is mainly exposed on the Cambrian Qingxudong Formation (Є2q) and Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of gray thin-medium thick layer of stratified dolomite, gray dolomite, dolomitic limestone, and argillaceous limestone. Lülü River at the bottom of the valley is a tributary of Tuzha River. Its direction changes from northeast-east to near south-north at Lülü Village, with a width of about 8 to 17 meters. The valley is 11.8km long and 200-400m wide, in the shape of “V”. The cliffs on the north side are steep, where many rock pillars are developed. The rock pillars have a diameter of about 20m, and a height of about 50m, and the south slope is relatively gentle. Lülü River Valley is developed in the Malichang Fault Zone, and secondary high-angle faults are abnormally develop along the cliffs on both sides of the valley. The flowing water erodes and dissolves along the high-angle fault zone to form the valley.


Dafengchong Valley

The bottom of Dafengchong Valley is mainly exposed on the thick-layered argillaceous limestone in the Shipai Formation (Є2s); while the upper and middle parts of the valley are exposed on gray-dark-gray, thin-thick layer of powdered crystalline limestone, dolomitic limestone, argillaceous banded limestone and powdered-fine-grained dolomite in Qingxudong Formation (Є2q), and Aoxi Formation (Є3a). The valley is about 4.5km long, 180-220m wide at the botoom, 300-410m wide at the shoulder, and 295m deep. The valley is generally in "V" shape. The Dafengchong Valley is developed along a northwestward tensile fault. Vertical joints and fissures can be seen on both sides of the bedrock, crossing obliquely with the valley. The valley is formed under the joint actions of water erosion , dissolution and collapse of rock cliffs and bedrocks. 


Jinluo River Valley

Jinluo River Valley, in the old age, is about 2.7km long, running in a direction of near east-west, and the valley bottom is 80-100m wide. The mountain massifs on both sides of the valley are steep, with a relative altitude of 150-300m. The mountains on both sides of the valley are generally characterized by steep upper parts and gentle lower parts, and crops such as rice and corn are grown on the gentle slope areas. Farmlands and villages are distributed at the valley bottom. The west side of the river valley is Niaobulai (literally meaning Birds Will Not Come) Valley, one of its branch valleys. The slopes of the mountains on both sides of the entrance to Niaobulai Valley are steep, with a slope of about 50°-70°. Rock pillars are developed on the top of the mountain. The rock pillars are about 30-40m high, and are developed in mid-Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, the valley is made up of medium-thick layer of dolomite. Hanggouxi Valley, one of the branch valleys of the Jinluo River Valley, is about 2.8km long, generally running in a direction of northwest. Hanggouxi Valley is 180-350m wide at the shoulder, and is 100-300m deep. On the mountains on both sides of the valley are distributed karst micro-landforms such as flowstone and karst caves. The karst caves mainly include Xianren (Immortal) Cave and Longgong (Dragon Palace) Cave.


Luota Yixiantian Valley

Yixiantian Valley is developed in the Middle-Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). Lithologically, it is made up of thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone, with a flat and gentle occurrence. In terms of structure, it is located near the core part of the Luota syncline. The valley is 1~1.8m wide, 31m high and 42m long. Cliffs on the two sides are steep, running in a direction of NE55°. In the upper part is developed unstable rock mass formed by collapse. It is 2.3m long, 1.2m high and 1.8m wide, which needs to be treated. In the lower part is developed a sinkhole, which is 19m deep, 13m wide and 42m long, and is connected with Long Tiankeng. Rainwater erodes and dissolves along secondary faults or high-angle joints and fissures to form the valley. The process is dominated by downward erosion, while the lateral erosion is weak.



Xiaolong Cave Suspended Waterfall

Xiaolong Cave Waterfall is located near the source cliff of the Xiaolongdong (Xiaolong Cave) Canyon. It is developed in the dark gray, thin-medium thick argillaceous banded limestone of the Cambrian Chefu Formation 3-4c). The waterfall has a drop of 25m, an overflow width of about 13-45m, and a maximum flow of 116-600L/s. Within the area of only 100m, four waterfalls are distributed, i.e., Xiaolong Waterfall, Kusuo Waterfall, Hutan Waterfall and Xieban Waterfall. They are distinct from each other. The waterfalls pour down from more than 100 meters above into the deep pools, and the pool water overflows and flows past nine small pools with a drop of just a few meters. They form small cascade waterfalls, offering a spectacular view.Not far away from them is Gouranda Waterfall, which has a drop of 400m, and is divided into five cascades; the waterfall group including Xixi Waterfall, which have an average drop of 100m and are divided into three cascades with an average height of 25 meters, and an overflow width of 13-45m. They look like jewelries falling from heaven, and are very magnificent. The water has been used to generate electricity. The thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone in the lower Chefu Formation is a water-resistant layer, and the karst is relatively undeveloped. The groundwater changes to horizontal movement and is discharged as suspended waterfall at the cliffs.



Leigong Cave Suspended Waterfall

Leigong Cave Suspended Waterfall is developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, its rock formation is made up of thin-medium thick layer of argillaceous banded limestone and dolomitic limestone. The waterfall is the outlet of the underground river of Shuanglong Platform, and high-angle tensile joints and fissures are developed along the underground river in a direction of northeast 10°. The waterfall has a drop of about 200m, and a flow of 0.5-1.0m3/s, with crystal clear water. No water pool can be seen below the waterfall, and the water of the waterfall flows into Jinlong Valley along the gully. The flowing water continues to erode and dissolve along the fault, causing the valley to continuously be cut and widened. Finally, the underground river is cut off, exposed on land surface to form a suspended waterfall.


Buwa Cliff Suspended Waterfall

The suspended waterfall is located at the edge of the Dongmaku platform. The cliff is 420m high and 500m wide. It is extended in the northeast-southwest direction, and developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c) and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, the rock formation is made up of medium-thick gray and argillaceous banded limestone. In the middle of the cliff is exposed a suspended waterfall, which is developed along the fault in the direction of northeast 35°. The waterfall has a drop of more than 100 meters and an overflow width of about 2-3m. Looking like a white ribbon passing through the cliff, the waterfall offers a very spectacular view. Below the waterfall there is a water pool with a diameter of about 5m. 5m water pool. The rock wall is mainly formed by the erosion of water along the fault, vertical joints and fissures, and collapse of the rocks.


Jiulong Waterfall

Jiulong (Nine Dragons) Waterfall is located in the left gully of the Jiulongxi Valley. It is developed in the Cambrian Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, the stratum is made up of thin layer of argillaceous banded limestone. The waterfall has a drop of about 180m, and an overflow width of 2-5m. It looks like a silver curtain, with crystal clear water. Below the waterfall is a water pool, which covers an area of about 40m2, and has a depth of about 40cm, with crystal clear water. The waterfall has a flow of about 3-50L/s, and flows into Jiulong Stream. Yinlian (Silver Chain) Waterfall is an outlet of an underground river. Jiupuxi Valley is formed due to structure, and under the joint actions of erosion, dissolution and bedrock collapse. The underground river moves from higher to lower areas, and is blocked by valley and then exposed to form the waterfall.


Yudai  Waterfall

Yudai (Jade Spring) Waterfall is located on the cliffs of the right side of Yuquan Gorge. It is developed on the thin-medium thick layer of dolomitic limestone and dolomite in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a) and the  Aoxi  Formation (Є3-4c). The waterfall has a drop of about 200m, an overflow width of about 4 to 10 m, and a flow rate of 5-20 L/s. With crystal clear water, it looks like a jade belt pouring down from cliffs.  Yudai Waterfall is located in the core part of the Puibi syncline. Near the waterfall is developed Bake-Xintian tensile fault running in the direction of northeast. High-angle joints and fissures are very developed in the area. The flowing water is eroded and dissolved along the fissures and fractures, and the collapse of the bedrock combines to forms cliffs, then the stream flows pour down the cliffs to form a waterfall.


Jiupuxi Waterfall

The waterfall consists of nine cascades, which have a total drop of about 100 meters. The underground river flows out from the Tianguotan Cave and pours down the cliff wall. Lithologically, the exposed rocks are made up of limestone, mixed with dolomitic limestone and lump siliceous limestone in the middle-Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). It bottom is made up of Silurian shale, sandy shale, sandstone, siltstone, and quartz sandstone. Topographically, the waterfall is located in the valley running in a direction of north-south. The bottom of the valley has a big drop and many stages, forming many waterfall and water pool landscapes. Within a short-distance in the upper part are formed nine waterfalls, hence it is called Jiupuxi (literally meaning Nine Waterfalls) Waterfall. The waterfall is exposed near the boundary between the Permian carbonate rocks and the Silurian sandy shale. The bottom sandy shale is a water-resistant layer. The groundwater changes to horizontal movement when it moves to this interface and is exposed on the cliff wall to form a suspended waterfall.


Section of Tillite in Snowball Earth Event in the Neoproterozoic Era

The sedimentary types of tillite in Nanhua System in Xiangxi region belong to the platform margin and continental margin transitional type, which are formed in the stage of intracontinental rift clastic rock. Due to the gravity difference resulted from the continental rift, the ancient glaciers carry rock breccia to the rift basin, forming continental rift-type tensile molasse deposit, including Fulu Formation in preglacial period, Gucheng Formation in lower sub-glacial period, Datangpo Formation in inter-glacial period, and Nantuo Formation in upper sub-glacial period.Sedimentary discontinuities generally occur between different formations of tillite in this area, or there are paleo-weathering crusts, or laminated quartz veins. Among them, the deposits of the Nantuo Formation in  the upper sub-glacial period are the most complete, with a thickness of more than 600 meters. Gucheng Formation in the lower sub-glacial period and Datangpo Formation in the interglacial period have a thickness of only dozens of meters. Fulu Formation in the preglacial period and Fulu Formation in Qingbaikou period are mostly in low-angle unconformity contact. At the top of the tillite are generally developed the thick layer-block cap dolomite under warm climatic conditions, which is recognized as a sign on the end of the Snowball Earth Event in Nanhua period.


Section of Capped Dolomite in Ediacaran System

The 30m-long section is developed in the Sinian Doushantuo Formation (Z1d) and the Nanhua Nantuo Formation (Nh2n). The cap carbonate rocks in Neoproterozoic era are mainly made up of silicified dolomites, with its thickness ranging from a few meters to tens of meters. However, the time represented by them is only a few thousand years, which results from rapid deposition, indicating a sudden climate change. The cap carbonate rocks are directly deposited on the Neoproterozoic tillite, which best reflects the dramatic changes in the paleoclimate at the end of the Neoproterozoic glacial period, while the carbonate rocks also record changes in the ocean at the end of the Snowball Event.


Section of Oceanic Red Bed in Silurian System in Xiqi

The section is located near the Liulangxi Village, Xiqi Township, Longshan County, with an elevation of 380m. The section is about 50m long. The thickness of a single layer is 3-10cm, which is called the “lower red layer” , corresponding to the lower part of the Telychian Stage in Llandovery Series, and belonging to the shallow sea phase deposit. The section reflects the palaeogeographic environment of the "red layer" in the upper and lower Silurian system. Due to large amount of fine debris containing high valence Fe carried by the river water, the sediment source is mostly accumulated in the near-shore seabed where oxidation occurs. Moreover, at that time the area was experiencing a sea regression, some parts of the seawater were desalinated, and the lack of rising ocean currents resulted in poor nutrients and low content  of organic matters. Therefore, few fossils can be found in this formation.


Section of Oceanic Red Bed in Silurian System in Purong

The section is about 60m high. Its lower part is exposed on the stratum of the Silurian Huixingshao Formation (S1h), which is a set of intertidal-subtidal sandy and argillaceous sediments. Lithologically, it is made up of purple red-bluish green-greyish green silty mudstone, and interbed of yellowish green and purple red silty mudstone. It is commonly known as “upper red layer”. The middle part mainly consists of gray and green argillaceous sandstone, with a horizontal bedding. The lower limit of the section is the appearance of purple-red sandy mudstone, while its disappearance is considered the top boundary. The upper part of the section is dominated by the greyish-yellow medium layer of fine sandstone in Xiaoxiyu Formation (S2x), with a clear marking boundary.


Section of Oceanic Red Bed in Devonian System in Dianfang

The 200m-long section lies on the right bank of the Laoche River. It is exposed in the middle-Devonian Yuntaiguan Formation (D2y), which is a typical coastal terrigenous clastic deposit. Lithologically, it is made up of a medium thick layer of quartz sandstone mixed with thin layer of silty mudstone. A single layer is 15 ~ 35cm thick. The rocks are fleshy red, and horizontal bedding, oblique bedding, and cross-bedding are commonly seen in the rocks. The rocks in Yuntaiguan Formation are hard and difficult to be weathered, often forming steep ridges, which is the source for the formation of Zhangjiajie peak forest made up of sandstone.


Section of Oceanic Red Bed in Silurian System in Luota

The section is located in the southeast wing of Luota syncline in Longshan County. With a total length of about 400m, the section is commonly known as the “upper red layer”. It corresponds to the middle and upper parts of the  Telychian Stage in Llandovery Series. It is a set of intertidal-subtidal silty sediments. Lithologically, it is made up of purple red-bluish green-greyish green , thin-medium thick layer of silty mudstone and interbeds of yellowish-green and purple-red silty mudstone, with an occurrence of 283°37°. The strata are exposed in two wings of Luota, Xiangxi. While its northwestern wing is gentle and flat, the southeastern wing is steep. The strata are exposed completely, and the outcrop conditions are good, which can be used for study and comparison.


 Section of Basal Conglomerate of Lake Facies in Cretaceous System in Zejia

The 25m-long section is formed in the Yanshanian period. The Yanshan movement plays a decisive role in the evolution of the Earths crust during the neoid geological period and the setting of the regional tectonic framework. It began to occur at the end of the Middle Jurassic epoch, and was characterized by strong fault activity, uplift of fault block and slight folds. It can be roughly divided into two acts. The first act occurred in the early Middle Jurassic epoch, which was marked by the absence of Late Jurassic sediments. The block conglomerates in the Early Cretaceous Shimen Formation was in unconformity with the Jurassic and older strata. In the area, the northeastward nappe structure has become drifted in large size and become fixed and unchangeable in the end; the second act occurred in the late Early Cretaceous epoch, which was characterized by further movement of fractures at the edge and in the basin. The basin was gradually closed and slightly folded. The basin and ridge structure became fixed in the area.


Unconformity of Haixi Movement at Luota

The 600m-long section is an unconformity between the Permian and Silurian systems. Its upper part is exposed in shale, carbonaceous shale mixed with coal bed in the mid-Permian Liangshan Formation and thick, laminated limestone and dolomitic limestone in Qixia Formation, and Maokou Formation; while its lower part is exposed in Silurian sandy shale, argillaceous mixed with sandstone. Devonian and Carboniferous strata are absent between the two parts, showing disconformity or slight-angle unconformity, which is an important evidence for the uplift of the Caledonian and Hercynian tectonic movements. The upper limestone is hard, where vertical joints and fissures are developed. The lower Silurian sandy shale is a kind of soft rock, which suffers from severe weathering, making the upper limestone lose its support. The rock mass inclines along the joints and fissures towards the free surface to form a collapse relic.


Shuanglong Karst Platform

Shuanglong Karst Platform is exposed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a), Chefu Formation (Є3-4c) and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, it is made up of thin-thick layer of limestone, dolomitic limestone, and argillaceous banded limestone. The elevation of the platform ranges from 800-1000m. Its plane shape is oval, covering an area of about 85km2, with a long axis of about 12.5km long, and a short axis of 7.5km long. While the east side is a steep cliff, the west side is a deeply-incised gulley. On the platform are developed karst hills, depressions, sinkholes, and dolines. The density of the sinkhole development is 2~3/km2, and the karst hills are 50-150m high, with a round top. The platform is mainly formed by the erosion, dissolution and collapse in the process of Earth crusts uplift.


Heku Karst Platform

Heku Karst Platform is developed in the Ordovician Tongzi Formation (O1t), the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l), and Bitiao Formation (Є4b). Lithologically, it is made up of gray thick -very thick layer of crystalline limestone and dolomite. The platform has an elevation of 680-900m. The plane shape is a long strip, covering an area of about 53km2, which is 13.6km long and 1.5-8km wide. On the platform are developed karst hills, depressions, sinkholes, and dolines. The karst hills are 50-150m high, with a round top. The platform is mainly formed by the erosion, dissolution and collapse in the process of Earth crusts uplift.


Jiating Karst Platform

Jiating Karst Platform is exposed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a) and Chefu Formation (Є3-4c). Lithologically, it is made up of gray thin-medium thick layer of limestone, argillaceous banded limestone, and dolomitic limestone. On the platform are developed karst hills, depressions, troughs, sinkholes and dolines. The karst hills are generally 20 to 40 m high, with a slope of 25 to 30 degrees; the depressions are mainly oval and strip-shaped, running in a northeast direction. The platform is oval, covering an area of 3.5km2. Its long axis is 2.7km long and runs northeast, while the short axis is 1.6km long, with an elevation of 400-650m. The platform has an elevation of 400-500m. While cliffs are mainly distributed in the northern and western sides of the platform, steep slopes occur in the southern and eastern sides, with a slope of more than 50° .


Nongche Karst Hill-Peak Cluster

Nongche Peak Cluster-Depression lies at 4km northeast of Dianfang Town, Longshan County. It is developed on the limestone in the Upper-Permian Wujiaping Formation (P3w), and in Daye Formation (T1-2 d) and Jialingjiang Formation (T1- 2 j) of the Triassic system. Lithologically, it is made up of thin—thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone. The peak cluster contains 17 rock peaks, which are linearly distributed in low-lying negative terrains. Each single rock peak is 60m-100m high, with a diameter of 70~300m. The entire peak cluster extends for about 8km, where mountain vegetation is developed. Xindi Peak Cluster-Depression is distributed along the core part of Dianfang syncline in the direction of northeast 30°. Due to the even dissolution of flowing water, a linear peak cluster is formed.


Xishaping Polje

Xishaping Polje lies at the turning part between the southeast wing of Luota syncline and the northwest wing of Hongyanxi-Bi’er anticline.The bottom of the polje is exposed on the medium-very thick, laminated limestone, dolomitic limestone and dolomite in the lower-Ordovician Tongzi Formation and Honghuayuan Formation. The bottom of the polje is about 2km long, and 100~420m wide, covering an area of about 0.47km2.

The polje has a long strip shape, with a long axis running in the direction of 305°. It has a flat bottom, which covers 558 mu of cultivated land, mainly including paddy fields. The west side of the Polje is a peak cluster composed of clastic rocks. A small stream, which is 3~5m long and 1~2m deep, runs through the polje. The water source comes from the reservoir at the northwest side, flowing from northwest to southeast. It flows into the sinkhole in the southeast end and is then drained into Xiche River Valley. Under the action of flowing water dissolution, the karst collapse is produced at the initial stage, forming a sinkhole. As the dissolution deepens, the sinkhole expands further and becomes connected, eventually forming the polje.


Zhijia Polje

Zhijiapo Polje lies near the core part of Hongyanxi-Bi’er anticline. It is exposed in the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l). Lithologically, it is made up of thick layer of dolomite. The polje bottom is about 1.9km long, and 80-150m wide, covering an area of about 0.22km2. The long axis runs in a direction of 280° - 315°, which is approximately the same as the strata strike. The bottom of the polje is covered with a stratum in the Quaternary system, which is 3~5m thick. A small river, which is 2~6m wide and 3~4m deep, is developed in the polje. It is a seasonal river, and the bottom of the riverbed mainly contains gravel and rolling stones. At the southeastern end of the polje is a karst cave, from which the stream flows into the underground river and is drained into Xiche River Valley. Under the action of flowing water dissolution, the karst collapse is produced at the initial stage, forming a sinkhole. As the dissolution deepens, the sinkhole expands further and becomes connected, eventually forming the polje.


Xiwu Polje

Xiwu Polje lies in the core part of Hongyanxi-Bi’er  anticline. It is exposed in the Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l). Lithologically, it is made up of thick layer of dolomite. The bottom of the polje is about 2km long, and 100-400m wide, covering an area of about 0.5km2 . Its long axis runs in a direction of 275°. On the east side is the peak cluster and karst hill containing Ordovician carbonate rocks, which are 40-70m high. A small river is developed in the polje, which flows from west to east. Water channel has been built to divert flood during flood season.Tthree sinkholes are distributed in the polje. During the flood season, as water cannot be discharged in time, waterlogging is often formed in the lower reaches of the polje, and the groundwater finally flows into Xiche River.


Lianhua Cave

Lianhua (Lotus) Cave is developed in the Middle Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). Lithologically, it is made up of chert banded limestone, limestone, dolomitic limestone. The rock joints and fissures are relatively developed. The entrance to the cave is 2.4m high and 2.3m wide. Two sub-caves are developed inside, which are in the shape of herringbone. Inside it the cave is 2.5m wide, 4.0m high, and 26m deep. A small amount of stalactites and stalagmites are developed in the cave. The largest stalactite is 1.1m long and the lower stalagmite is 1.2m high. A small amount of chemical deposits are developed at the bottom. The cave is formed by the erosion and dissolution of water along the fissures.


Wuyan Cave

Wuyan (Eave) Cave is developed in the middle-Permian Qixia Formation (P2q ). Lithologically, it is made up of keloid crystalline bioclastic limestone. The entrance to the cave is 46m high, and 26m wide, turning to 70-80° after 50m. The cave is more than 819m deep. The cave has an average width of 10-20m, ranging from 5m to 37m. The cave has an average height of 30-50m, ranging from 10m to 65m. The longitudinal section in the cave is divided into three stages: upper, middle and lower parts.

The two cliffs in the lower cave are stiff, which are used to discharge water. The middle cave has a width of more than 10m at the bottom, and a height of 10-15m. The two walls are uneven, and sub-caves are developed. The upper cave has a width of 10-25m at the bottom, and the two walls are uneven, and small sub-caves are developed. Many karst pools and step-down floors are distributed in the cave. The step-down floor is 5-6m high, while the pool is 1-7m deep. There are seven large karst pools, which are generally 20m long, 15m wide and 4m deep. The longest one can reach 120m and the deepest one can be 6-7m. In some parts of the cave are developed various speleothems, such as stalagmite, stone curtain, stalactite, stone ridge and tufa. At the entrance to the cave the faults running in the direction of north-northeast and northwest intersect. The cave body is mainly developed along the faults running in the direction of north-northeast. The cave is formed by the erosion and dissolution of flowing water along the north-northeast fractures, and collapse of the rocks.



Tianguotan Cave

The karst cave is developed in the Middle Permian Maokou Formation (P2m). Lithologically, it is made up of very thick layer of limestone and dolomitic limestone. The cave is 38m high and 15~20m wide, leading to the Ruishi Village at the mountain back. At the entrance of the cave a large number of falling rocks formed by collapse can be found. The maximum size is 8×6×6m3. The joints and fissures of rock, as well as many small caves are developed. The cave runs in a direction of 320°. The caves turns narrow when visitors enter 60m inside the cave. A fracture can be seen in the cave, which is arc shaped. The fracture zone is 1.5~2m wide, whose direction is essentially consistent with that of the cave.. The stalactites and stalagmites are not well developed in the cave.  The cave is formed by the erosion and dissolution of ground water along the fault, and collapse of the rocks.



Yuechuanyan (light through cave

Yuechuanyan (Moonlight Penetrating through Rock) Light through Cave is developed in the Qingxudong Formation (Є2 q), the Second Series of Cambrian system. Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layer of dolomite and dolomitic limestone. The cave looks like a crescent moon, hence it is named "Yuechuanyan (literally meaning moonlight penetrating through rock)". The light through cave occurs at the end of rock wall running in the direction of northwest, which faces NE63°, and is consistent with the strike of the passive rock wall- rock pillar group. The light through hole is 3-5m wide, 8-10m high and 5m deep. In the early stage, a karst cave was formed by the erosion and dissolution of the flowing water. In the later stage, in the process of Earth crust’s uplift, the roof of the cave collapsed and partially remained in the original place, thus forming the light through cave.


Xichehe Valley

Xichehe (Xiche River) Valley is developed in the Ordovician Honghuayuan Formation (O1h), Tongzi Formation (O1t), and Cambrian Loushanguan Formation (Є3-4l). Lithologically, it is made up of dark gray medium-thick layer of crystalline bioclastic limestone, light gray thick-very thick layer of crystalline limestone, and thick-blocky dolomite. The valley is about 6.2km long, running in a direction of southwest. It is V-shaped. The valley is 50-80m wide at the bottom, and 80-120m deep. At the bottom is Xiche River, whose river bed is 10-38m wide. The mountain massifs on both sides of the valley are steep. Due to the impact of the fault of Xiche River, karst caves and folds are developed on both sides of the valley. The overall strike of the valley is consistent with that of the Hongyanxi-Bi’er anticline axial trace.


Mengxi River Valley

Mengxi River Valley is developed in the Permian (P) and Silurian (S) strata, and the valley runs mainly in a direction of north-northeast. It is about 3km long, and 10-30m wide at the bottom. The cross section is "V" shaped and 200-500m deep. Both sides of the valley are steep, although there are some differences. The east side is steep, with an average slope of 30-50°. In some parts the slope is larger than 50°. The upper part of the west side is a continuous karst cliff wall, which is 150-260m high. The cliff wall is nearly upright, with a slope of 30-50° from the cliff to the valley. Cliff walls are mainly developed about 700m on the west side of the northern part of the valley. The cliffs are mainly fault-based cliffs, where the tectonic traces such as scratches, steps, secondary fractures and joints can be found. At early stage, the river valley was subject to the erosion, and dissolution of flowing water along fractures; while in the later stage, it was mainly affected by erosion and washing of water after it had penetrated through the limestone layer.



Naxilao Valley

Two sides of the valley are exposed in the Permian system. Lithologically, the valley is made up of siliceous banded limestone, limestone, calcite dolomite and dolomitic limestone. The valley is 20-50m wide at the bottom, 300-600m wide at the upper part, 2.4km long and 260m deep. It is V-shaped, running in a direction of 65-245°. The upper part on the right side of the valley is dominated by farmlands, with a slope is gentle, with a gradient of 40-80‰; the slope areas on both sides have a slope of 50-60°, where vegetation is developed, and a large amount of debris flow deposits can be found in the upper part of the valley. The valley is formed by the fault structure and rain erosion and dissolution.


Diaoshuikan Waterfall

Diaoshuikan Waterfall lies in Wutai Village, Luota Township. It is developed on the strata in the middle-Permian Maokou Formation (P2m).  Lithologically, the strata are made up of bioclastic limestone, dolomitic limestone, and argillaceous limestone. Structurally, it is located in the southeast wing of northeast syncline, where fracture structure is developed, mainly running in a direction of north-east and northwest. Diaoshuikan Waterfall is a fault running in a direction of northeast, and the steep slope of the waterfall is a fault cliff. The waterfall has a drop of 75m and a width of 2~3m. It pours down and is about 5m wide. The water source comes from the valley water, which is a perennial waterfall. During the rainy season, the waterfall has a large water volume and offers a spectacular view. The surface water is eroded and dissolved along the fault, and the collapse of the bedrock itself helps form a cliff wall, and then the stream falls down the steep cliff to form a waterfall.


Atalao Waterfall


Atalao Waterfall lies in Lieba Village, Luota Township. It is exposed on the strata in Silurian system. Lithologically, the strata are made up of sandstone, siltstone, and argillaceous siltstone, etc. , with a flat and gentle occurrence. In terms of structure, it is located at southwestern backup end of the northeastward syncline, where fault structure is developed, mainly running in a direction of northeast and northwest. The waterfall has a drop of 58m and an overflow width of 1 to 3m. It is a perennial waterfall with a large water flow, offering a beautiful landscape. The site is a northwestward fracture, along which a high steep ridge is formed. The groundwater is drained into the gulley and merged into a stream, which is blocked by the steep ridge to pour down and form a magnificent waterfall.


Jidu Waterfall

The waterfall is located at the source of the Jipoling Valley, with a drop of about 40m and current overflow width of 2m. During the rainy season, the flow increases. The waterfall looks like a light yarn, with a flow rate of about 10L/S. The lower part is a water pool , which has a square shape, an area of about 600m2 and a depth of 3m. The waterfall flows to the Shuitian River, which is sourced from a spring water in Dashuijing Village. The waterfall is developed in the Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of thin-medium thick layer of dolomitic limestone mixed with marl. Karst is poorly developed in the area, and overland flows are formed, and result in the waterfall at the edge of the valley.


Baxiandong Heavenly Lake













Baxiandong Reservoir lies in the northwest side of Luota Township, Longshan County. It is developed on the strata  in the Middle Permian Maokou Formation (P2 m). Lithologically, the strata are composed of banded dolomitic limestone containing chert nodules. Around the reservoir layer upon layer of mountains can be seen, and the vegetation is flourishing. Footpaths and observation decks are built around the reservoir. Baxiandong Heavenly Lake is a dissolved reservoir at the lower reaches of the Yanzi Cave underground river. The bottom of the depression has an elevation of 1055m, the normal water level is designed to be 1085m. In general, the water storage depth is about 25m, with a maximum water storage depth of 30m. The corresponding water storage capacity is estimated to be 400,000 cubic meters. The inlet of the underground river on the south side of the depression is intercepted, and two blocking bodies are built to store water by using the karst depressions at the upper reaches. Many caves are developed around the reservoir. The diameter of the cave ranges from 2m-15m. One of them is called Baxian Cave (literally meaning Eight Immortals Cave), which runs in a direction of north –south. The cave is 25m long, 14.5m wide and 3.7m high.


Liziping Landslide

The Landslide is developed in the Third Series of Cambrian Aoxi Formation (Є3a). Lithologically, it is made up of thin layer of powdered crystalline dolomite, and dolomitic limestone mixed with dolomitic shale. The plane of the landslide is in a reversed-"U" shape. It has a longitudinal slope length of about 51m, a width of about 42m, and a height difference of 31.5m, and a body depth of 4.4~15.64m. Covering an area of about 1500m2, its volume of the landslide is about 1.2×104m3, running in a direction of about 100°. It is a small, shallow and tractive landslide of residual slope. The sliding body soil is mainly composed of residual slope red clay, containing 10-20% of strong-middle weathered rock fragments, and the sliding bed mainly consists of strongly weathered dolomite. A solution of “anchor lattice beam + intercepting drainage ditch” has been adopted, allowing landslide to be currently in a stable state.

Introduction and Pictures of Geosites in Xiangxi Geopark
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