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Prowling China's Jurassic Park

In the art world or in the natural world, green usually serves as a supporting color for red, which blossoms and catches all the attention.

But in a river range in northwestern Guizhou province, red gives birth to green. They compliment each other and form the most vibrant, almost dizzying, dichotomy.

Green here is the primeval forest and lush vegetation, while red is the land and rocks.

At the place just before Chishui River flows from Guizhou to Sichuan stands a vast expanse of rocky mountains and plunging waterfalls. To date, 72,178 hectares of this has been designated as danxia landforms and is currently inspected by UNESCO experts for a potential natural heritage listing. Literally meaning "red rocks", danxia refers to red-colored sandstones and conglomerates of the Cretaceous age, which often look like stacked pancakes.

"Some 230 million years ago, this was the bottom of the ocean," says Tu Yuling, geologist with Guizhou Normal University.

"During the Jurassic age, this was an inland lake. Later it was elevated but managed to retain the red sandstones of that age."

Red is the result of oxidization of iron that permeates rocks and soil. Locals extract color dyes out of the material.

Not only are mountain rocks crimson but also the soil exudes a rich vermilion.

When it rains, the river changes to a muddy reddish color with almost tragic overtones.

But vegetation in this area is so verdant it takes time and effort to locate bare rocks with no shrubbery.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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