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World Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage: Mount Huangshan

Editor: zhenglimin 丨CCTV.com

01-20-2015 15:39 BJT

Natural heritage value:

Geological features

Experiencing orogenesis and crustal uplift in an extremely long period of time, as well as the influence of glaciers and natural weathering, Mount Huangshan formed its unique peak forest structure. Mount Huangshan is known for "having 36 large-scale and 36 small-scale peaks" and its main peak, the Lotus Flower Peak, is 1,864 meters above sea level. The Lotus Flower Peak, the flat Bright Summit Peak and the precipitous Celestial Capital Peak are located in the heart of the Mount Huangshan scenic spot and surrounded by 77 peaks that are over 1,000 meters high. These overlapped peaks organically combined into a three-dimensional picture, looking rhythmic, magnificent and imposing.

The body of Mount Huangshan is mainly composed of granite from the period of the Yanshan Movement and has been developed into a vertical structure. It is strongly eroded and has crisscross cracks, and magnificent and beautiful granite caves and channels have been formed by long-term erosion from water. There are many ranges, canyons and dangerous places on the mountain, with a total of 30 ranges, 22 cliffs and two dangerous places. The rock mass on the front mountain has fewer joints and most are weathered into egg-shaped rocks, and the mountain body is very spectacular, while that of the back mountain has more joints and weathered into vertical rocks and the mountain body is very precipitous, forming unique geological features of "majestic front mountain and beautiful back mountain."

Remains of glaciers

Mount Huangshan has abundant glacial remains from the quaternary glacial epoch, which are mainly divided in the southeastern part of the front mountain. The typical glacial landforms include the U-shaped Kuzhu River and the Xiaoyao River which were formed by the glacial movement, the Eyebrow Peak and Carp's Backbone which have two V-shaped valleys and knife-shaped valleys formed by glacial scouring, the Tiandu Peak which is a horned peak formed by glacial scouring from three directions, the Baizhang Waterfall and Renzi Waterfall which are the hanging valleys merged by glacial valleys and its tributaries, glacial moraines formed by glacial movement and were distributed in the riverbeds between Xiaoyao River and some places including Tangkou, Wuniguan and Huangshidang, and the glacial mortars are the so-called the "Danjing" and "Yaojiu" where the legendary Emperor Xuanyuan made magic pills for immortality.

Water resources

Mount Huangshan is the watershed of the Qiantang River and Yangtze River and has rich water resources. Many mountain valleys show a radial pattern distribution on the mountain, including 36 large valleys, which are 36 sources of water converged by 24 brooks. With Taohua Peak and Yunmen Peak as boundaries, the 36 sources of water flow into the Xin'an River, Qiantang River, Qingyi River and Yangtze River. Mount Huangshan has a large altitude difference, with water from the mountain streams forming waterfalls. The waterfalls look like hanging white silk, with water spraying out, forming the Renzi, Baizhang and Jiulong waterfalls, the most vivid and vigorous landscapes on Mount Huangshan. In addition, there also are 20 deep pools, 15 springs and nine ponds which have been given names.

Animal and plant resources

Mount Huangshan has complex natural environment, stable and balanced ecosystem, apparent vertical distribution of vegetation and an unbroken natural community. There is also one wetland and one meadow on the mountain. Therefore, it is a place full of green vegetation, with 56 percent forest cover and 83 percent vegetation cover. There are 1,452 wild plant species, among which, four are under first-grade and second-grade state protection including the metasequoia and gingko, and eight are under the third-grade state protection. There are also 10 endangered species including the dendrobium, of which six species are unique to China, and two are unique to Mount Huangshan. In addition, 28 species of plant are named after Mount Huangshan or first found in the mountain. The Chinese tea "Huangshan Mao Feng Tea" and medicinal materials such as "Huangshan ganoderma" are world-famous. There are many ancient trees, which are world-famous because they are very old, large, rare and numerous, and the Huangshan Pine is the most famous among them.

Mount Huangshan is also an ideal resting and breeding place for animals. The animals of known number include 24 fish species, 20 amphibians, 38 reptiles, 170 kinds of birds (belonging to 17 orders and 40 families) and 300 vertebrates. The main rare fowls and animals include the Syrmaticus ellioties, macaques, stump-tailed macaques, spotted deer, wild goats, clouded leopards, silver pheasants, and red-billed leiothrix.

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