The Ring-Shaped cliff Danxia in China
In 2010, the southern Chinese Danxia region was inscribed as a UN World Heritage Site. Known as the “China Danxia”, this is a group of six separate red sandstone landforms. Geologically related are the Danxia cliffs, a renegade landform that at the same time seems peculiar and impossible. At the area where Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guizhou intersect, geologist Li Zhongdong found a vast land with Danxia cliffs that covers more than 13,000 square kilometers. These imagination-defying red-rocked cliffs scattered throughout the Danxia formation share the same ethereal red rock and erosional development of the rest of the “China Danxia”, they are an anomaly: the Danxia cliffs are a unique and mysterious geological world unto themselves, and understanding their origin helps us understand the geological makings of China.