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Unique colorful landforms in China (9 pictures)

Zhangye Danxia Landform is concentrated predominantly in Linze and Sunan counties in Gansu Province. It is both the largest and the most typical of China’s arid area danxia landforms. Because of aridity, the Zhangye Danxia Landform differs from that of south China. It is very dry and desolate, without any vegetation, so geologists call this “window lattice and palace-shaped Danxia topography”.


Zhangye Danxia Landform is surrounded by colorful hills, which seem to rise and fall like waves: with rock strata of different colors mixed in graceful disarray, it is an imposing and magnificent sight. The Zhangye’s palace danxia formations and its colorful hills cover about 300 square kilometers.

Formed from red-colored sandstones and conglomerates, Danxia landform is a unique example of petrographic geomorphology. The name actually refers to various different landscapes in southeast and southwest China, that formed due to special nature’s conditions, such as water flow fissures, erosion, oxidization and tectonic plate movements. The formation process of Zhangye geopark took over 24 million years, dating back to the Cretaceous age.

Today the Danxia landform is a huge tourist attraction, with six of its landscapes inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2010.

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