Situated in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, the Songshan Geopark covers a total area of 450 square kilometers with geologic sections (including structural section) as its major type of geological relics.
Geographically speaking, the Songshan Mountain is located at the southern tip of the North China Paleocontinent. In this geopark, there is an intact stratum group of five geological periods covering a history as early as 3.5 billion years ago, ranging from the Archaeozoic Era, the Proterozoic Era, the Palaeozoic Era, the Mesozoic Era and the Cainozoic Era. Because of its clearly distributed stratum layers and typical structural feature, the area got its name of Wudai Tongtang (meaning “five generations living together” in Chinese) and is undoubtedly a complete textbook of the earths history.
Landforms of Songshan Mountain
All the Yuzhai Peak, Junji Peak, the Ridge of Five Fingers and the Eagle's Nest in the peak area of Songshan are mostly comprised of quartzites. With the combined result of tectonic movement, all the peaks erupted from above a 400-meter altitude and even stand bolt upright to the sky. Beautiful peaks and valleys are widely spread in this area, the landforms here are really unique.
There still remain the relics of hiatus and the Formation Angle unconformity interfaces in this park, both resulted from the three Precambrian Eras, that is, the Song Yang Movement of 2.3 billion years ago and the Middle-Mountain Movement of 1.85 billion years ago and the Shaolin Movement of 0.57 billion years ago. All these movements contributed to the unique current Songshan landforms with different effects. What’s more, the Himalayan movement also had its credit in the shaping process of the Songshan Mountain as it cultivated various forms of landscapes like mountain passes, valleys and precipices made from quartzites. The characteristic surface structures and tectonic framework are not only perfect epitomes of crust tectonic evolution, but also a natural museum in the research of the rules in crustal evolution dating back to as early as the age of the Precambrian system. More than that, the park can also be a good place to inform tourists of the knowledge of earth science.
This park area inhabits eight nationalities ranging from the Han people to the minority nationalities of the Hui, Pumi, Bai, Ni, Miao, Uygur and Mongolia, thus forming a big family of many nationalities living harmoniously together. On each occasion of national festivals, the local people and the Han people are happily gathered to celebrate it together, which offered a great opportunity of demonstrating its unique ethnical culture as well as enjoying the pleasure.
With a reputation of “Zhongyue”(meaning “the center of moutains” in Chinese), the Songshan Mountain is listed among the famous Five Mountains (the other four are Taishan Mountain in Shandong, Hengshan Mountain in Hunan, Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi, Hengshan Mountain in Shanxi). Songshan boasts its famous ten temples, five shrines and five palaces. Three abbeys, four nunneries, four caves, three altars as well as more than 270 pagodas are also found here. Historically, it was also a melting pot of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The world famous Shaolin Temple also found its heaven in this mountain. All these various cultural landscapes and rarely seen geological relic resources combine a beautiful tourist attraction with the dynamic, multi-tiered scenery of the Songshan Geopark.