The De­vel­op­ment of a Typ­i­cal RingShaped Cliff Danxia

China Scenic - - GEOLOGY - Il­lus­tra­tions/ Yang Jin­shan

Th­ese il­lus­tra­tions re­veal how the dis­tinc­tive land­scape of the ring-shaped cliff Danxia was formed—the up­lift of the Yun­nan-guizhou Plateau and the moun­tains to its north cre­ated a stage­shaped land­form, and river turned into a wa­ter­fall when it met the edge of th­ese stages. The wa­ter­fall eroded the rel­a­tively softer rocks, leav­ing the harder ones to form caves on the cliff. Th­ese caves, to­gether with fur­ther ero­sion by the wa­ter­fall, col­lapsed the cliff walls, thus mak­ing a ring-shaped cliff ap­pear. Af­ter years of pol­ish­ing by the wa­ter, the cliff’s shape and ap­pear­ance be­came sta­ble, namely what we see to­day.

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