Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Rainbow Mountain World Wonder Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park


Seeing the beauty of the rainbow mountains, Zhangye Danxia will make you look like a rainbow in the sky. The charm of the puspa stone reliefs here has a very pleasing color to the eye.

Listening to the mountains in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, we will be presented with a display of bright colors from emerald green, brown, yellow, blue to red that intertwine in the charming rock reliefs.

Colorful mountain folds resembling a rainbow spread over an area of ​​322 square kilometers making the Rainbow Mountains included in the National Geographic version of the “Top 10 Geographical Wonders of the World” list.

The geological structure of the Rainbow Mountains is formed from sandstone and limestone which deposited and accumulated over many millions of years, even geologists believe this process occurred before the Himalayas formed. Folds began to form when the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate which occurred some 55 million years ago. The collision of these two plates raises the stretch of sedimentary rock to form steep and steep mountains.

The rock formation then undergoes a shift in tectonic plates which also form the Himalayas. The rain and winds that have ravaged the area for millions of years have also contributed to shaping the inlets, valleys and color patterns of Zhangye Danxia. It is said that this mountain will display different color patterns, depending on weather conditions.

Apart from its colorful mountains, Zhangye Danxia also has caves hidden behind hills. Due to its unique natural conditions, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee included the mountain in the list of World Heritage Sites in 2010.

When this mountain was first known to the public through known photos in cyberspace, many assumed that the rainbow pattern was the result of computer engineering. Now Zhangye Danxia is one of the most sought after tourist attractions in China, generating quite a high income for Zhangye residents. Local residents also took the initiative to build roads so that visitors could more easily access the hills.

The original color of Rainbow Mountais is brick red which appears due to the sedimentation of hematite between the pores of the rock. The process of the appearance of a brick red color in this rock is the same as the process of the appearance of rust on metal exposed to rainwater. The other colors that appear in the Raibow Mountains are caused by the oxidation of different metals. For example, the brown or yellow color appears due to the oxidation of limonite or goethite, the black color of the sand from magnetite, the yellow metallic color appears from the sulfur in iron sulfide. Meanwhile, the green color often comes from chlorite or iron silicate.

The location of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park can be reached by private vehicle, bus, train or plane. The best way to get to Zhangye is to go to Lanzhou first and then travel to Zhangye from the capital city of Lanzhou, Gansu Province by plane or train.

There are tour cars that visitors can rent to get around Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park because tour buses or private vehicles are not allowed to enter this area. This tour car will take visitors through 4 view points, each of which is 8 kilometers away. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the trip around Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park with this tour car.

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