The National Nature Reserve of Liujiang Basin Geological Relics (hereinafter referred to as the Liujiang Basin Reserve) contains extremely rich geological relics, integrating typicality, naturalness, rarity, diversity, and integrity, and is renowned as the “Natural Laboratory” and the “Natural Museum”. It is a rare geological treasure in the world, and hailed as the “Mecca” for geologists.
Located in the northern part of Qinhuangdao City, its core area is about 15 kilometers from the urban center. It is a geological protection zone that integrates relic protection, scientific research, practical education, and popular science publicity, consisting of seven scattered areas, including: Zhangyanzi-Dongbuluo-Chaoshuiyu-Shaguodian; Liangjiashan-Huaxiling-Wajiashan; Heishanyao-Dawashan; Jiguanshan; and Wuzhuang. The national protected area covers 13.95 square kilometers.
Called “a tiny land with five generations under one roof,” the Liujiang Basin is a collection of geological relics formed in the five geological ages of the Archean, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic, recording the geological history and biological evolution of 2.5 billion years.
During 2.5 billion years of change over time, space, land and sea, the Liujiang Basin has undergone many geological tectonic movements, clearly retaining six unconformities formed by the Lvliang, Jixian, Caledonian, Hercynian, Indo-Chinese, and Yanshan movements. There are typical geological structures and geomorphic features in the area, ranging from different types of faults to folds, from structures of microscopy to microscopy. These include geographical landscapes formed by karst, such as elephant trunk hill, caves, patios, stone buds, channels, and those formed by the flow of water such as meander cores, falling waters, and river terraces, which are precious and rare.
The strata layer in Liujiang Basin is well-developed, showing complete eras and extensive distribution. There are 24 group-level stratigraphic units and two group-level sections of stratigraphic units. Formations in Liangjiashan and Heishanyao in this area are typical of the Early Ordovician and Late Triassic period formations, respectively, to be found in northern China. There are geological relics hailed as “Liujiang Treasures,” such as the spectacular Shijianxia ancient crater, the majestic Heishanyao fault wall on the southern edge of the basin, the Wuzhuang Pass fold rock layer known as the “Nine Dragon Wall”, the vivid Elephant Trunk Hill in Shahezhai Village, the symmetrical 285 anticline in the north and south, the Liangjiashan limestone rock wall and rock bed, which are known as the iconic Liujiang image, the meander cores in Dabangshuiya Village eroded by rivers, the flower-like spherical weathering in Baiyintai, and the drum-like rotation structure in Nandiaobuluo.
From the perspective of rock types, it is a large “rock museum” with many types of sedimentary rocks, magmatic rocks, and metamorphic rocks exposed by nature, which are of special significance for studying paleogeography, paleoclimate and paleoenvironment, and are of great value for appreciating bamboo leaf limestone and algae. The sedimentary strata in this area are rich in fossils of ancient creatures, especially renowned for the fossils of trilobites of Cambrian, the cephalopods of Ordovician, the ancient plants of Stone Permian and Jurassic, and the ancient vertebrates of Cenozoic. In addition, the area is rich in mineral resources, and the Liujiang Basin has long been praised by the geologists as “Geological Encyclopedia” and “Natural Geological Museum”.
As early as 1869, the 36-year-old German geologist Richthofen came here to conduct geological and mineral investigations. Since the 1970s, more and more colleges and universities have used the Liujiang Basin as a field practice base for geosciences. The Liujiang Basin is therefore also known as the “Birthplace of Modern Geology” and “The Cradle of Nurturing Geologists”.
For more than a hundred years, the basin has attracted countless geological predecessors and students to conduct scientific research and field geology internships here. More than a dozen academicians and tens of thousands professors, researchers and senior engineers in geology and geography have been fostered here. The Liujiang Basin is the largest geoscience base for research, teaching and science in China. On average, nearly 15,000 people from more than 80 colleges and universities conduct field teaching internships annually in Liujiang Basin.
Liujiang Geoscience Expo Park
In order to better utilize the functions of national nature reserve and national geological park, the Management Office of the National Nature Reserve of Liujiang Basin Geological Relics in Hebei Province has built the comprehensive Qinhuangdao Liujiang Geoscience Expo Park integrating teaching practice, scientific research and popular science display. Located in Shangzhuangtuo Village, Shimenzhai Town, Haigang District, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, it covers an area of more than 350 mu and is 23 kilometers away from the urban center.
The Geoscience Expo Park consists of the Liujiang Geosciences Internship Base, the Qinhuangdao Liujiang Geoscience Museum, the Geological Hazard (Popular Science) Experience Hall and the Popular Science Plaza.
1.Qinhuangdao Liujiang Geosciences Internship Base
Newly built teachers’ apartments, student canteens, a teachers’ canteen, water rooms, bathrooms, supermarkets and other basic supporting facilities can accommodate more than 1,400 teachers and students to carry out teaching and learning activities. Facilities for education and recreation, including physical and online classrooms, basketball courts, and badminton courts are all available. The Liujiang Geosciences Internship Base is an ideal place for conducting teaching internships, scientific research, popular science education, and summer camp activities surrounded by a beautiful environment, supported by ideal facilities, onsite management, convenient transportation, and outstanding location advantages.
2.Qinhuangdao Liujiang Geoscience Museum
With the construction area of 3,000 square meters, the museum consists of five units: the Earth Science Hall, the Liujiang Basin Geological Relics Hall, the Rock and Mineral Fossil Specimen Hall, the Qinhuangdao National Geological Park Landscape Hall, and the Multimedia Lecture Hall.
The two big rhinoceros sculptures standing at the entrance are examples of the frontal nose rhinoceros that lived in the Liujiang Basin more than 300,000 years ago. In 1982, their fossils were unearthed in the limestone cave deposits of Shanyangzhai Village of the Liujiang Basin. They sculptures were produced based on biological characteristics determined from the fossils.
In similar fashion, using maps, videos, models, simulation scenes, and physical specimens, the museum reveals the universe and the solar system, the earth's structure, geological processes, and biological evolution, the changes of the sea and land in the Liujiang Basin, and its valuable geological heritage resources, as well as showcasing the beautiful geological natural landscape of Qinhuangdao. The exhibition covers the earth sciences, Liujiang treasures, promotes rock and mineral fossil specimen appreciation, and Qinhuangdao’s geological scenery. It is a geoscience museum to publicize science education and geoscience knowledge, integrating science, knowledge, appreciation and fun.
The treasure of the museum is the 18-meter “Comprehensive Stratigraphic Profile of the Liujiang Basin” with a ratio of 1:200, which is made of cut and polished raw rocks selected from the typical section of Liujiang Basin in chronological sequence. The words engraved on it, including the World's Ancient Oceans, Zhangyazis Hill, Zhangyazi Sea, the Dongbuluo Hill, the Dongbuluo Sea, the Huanxiling Highland, and the Huanxiling Wetlands, show the history of the change of mountains and seas in the Liujiang Basi, while the various dots and lines symbolize different types of rocks. This large-scale stratigraphic histogram made of raw rocks visually shows the original features of the main rocks in the Liujiang Basin.
3.Geological Hazard (Popular Science) Experience Hall
The hall is a reconstruction of an old building with more than 80 years of history. It is divided into two parts: the Popular Science Exhibition Hall and the 4D Dynamic Theater. The former introduces types of geological disasters, hazards, and how to prevent and avoid these risks. The latter simulates geological disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and mudslides through popular science films, so that the public can experience the destructive process of geological disasters and the resulting serious damage. By experiencing the spectacular power and devastating effect of various geological disasters caused by geological processes, people can enhance their awareness of disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as protection of the natural environment.
4.Outdoor Popular Science Plaza
With the construction area of more than 10,000 square meters, the science plaza consists of three parts: the Lullaby Square, the Geological Heritage Miniature Landscape Wall, and the Specimen Square. In the form of group sculptures, miniature geological remnant landscape walls, and large-scale rock ore specimens, it shows various typical geological phenomena formed by the crustal movement, magmatic activity, and sedimentary environment during the evolution of the Liujiang Basin. It also highlights the working conditions of the scientific researchers devoted to the geological careers, details basic geosciences knowledge, and illustrates the diversity and typicality of various geological heritage resources.
Address: Shangzhuangtuo Village, Shimenzhai Town, Haigang District, Qinhuangdao (former School of Coal Management )
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