Overview of Research in Xiangxi Geopark
Xiangxi Geopark has maintained good long-term cooperative relations with many domestic research institutions and universities, such as Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Karst Geology of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the Hunan Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Central South University, Hunan University, Hunan Normal University, and Jishou University; as well as some international scientific research institutions. These scientific research institutions and universities both at home and abroad have carried out a large number of geological surveys and studies in Xiangxi, and have achieved fruitful research findings in terms of stratigraphic paleontology, geological minerals, hydrogeology, engineering geology, geohazards, ecological environment, national culture, etc. They have compiled more than 10 scientific research monographs, published 51 SCI papers and papers on core journals, and held many international academic seminars, which have helped enhance the people’s understanding of the scientific, educational, tourism, aesthetic and other values of the geological heritage of Xiangxi. The main scientific research findings about the geopark achieved in recent years are as follows:
The geopark has cooperated with the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Hunan Bureau of Geology and Minerals, and the Ohio State University, the University of Kansas and the University of Pisa (Italy), and other research institutions at home and abroad to study the sedimentary profiles of the Paibi and Luoyixi platform–slope facies in the Cambrian system, and finally established three international stratigraphic units: “Furongian Series”, “Paibian Stage” and “Guzhangian Stage”;
The Institute of Karst Geology of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences conducted the “Study on the Evaluation and Utilization of Luota Karst and Its Water Resources” and “Study on Groundwater Survey and Geological Environmental Control in Typical Karst Basins in Southwest China”, having achieving fruitful results on the development pattern of subterranean rivers, conditions for forming reservoirs with both ground and surface water, and groundwater development and utilization in the karst platform-canyon areas in Xiangxi.
The Hunan Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources carried out research on basic geology, hydrogeology, engineering geology, environmental geology and geosites in Xiangxi Geopark, compiled the Comprehensive Geological Survey Report of Xiangxi Geopark, and made outstanding contributions to the use and development of hot spring water, the prevention and control of geohazards, geological explorations in karst areas, and geochemical surveys in the geopark.
Jishou University has long carried out biodiversity research in the geopark, compiled the Report on Biodiversity Inventory in Xiangxi Geopark, and made outstanding achievements in the comprehensive utilization of special biological resources such as Eucommia ulmoides and kiwifruit and the protection and breeding of special animals and plants including giant salamander. The Wulingshan Development Research Institute compiled the Report on the Survey of the History and Culture of Xiangxi Geopark and the History of Culture in Xiangxi on the basis of field survey about the historical and cultural sites of Xiangxi and its intangible cultural heritage.