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    Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark)



    Stone Forest Geopark is situated in Yunnan Province, which covers an area of 400km2 with karst geological landform as its main geological heritage.

    It is a karst geopark dominated by stone forest geomorphologic landscapes. In Late Paleozoic here witnessed littoral-offshore environment and deposited some thousand meters of limestone and dolomite, laying a foundation for forming the stone forest in the area. This piece of land was originally formed by late uplift of the crust and then were undergone multiphase corrosion by the both groundwater and surface water flowing through fractures in the rock, finally forming various types of composite stone forest geomorphologic landscapes. The first phase of stone forest was formed in the late period of Early Permian 250Ma ago, while the latest phase is being formed. In the history this area was covered by basalt and lacustrine clastic sediment, and undergone several phases of uplift and erosion. Under the special geological, climate and hydrologic conditions, multistage superimposed and well-stratified stone forests were inherited and developed.

    — A wide range of karst stone forest landforms. All the most typical karst stone forest landforms in every part of world can be seen here. There are not only well-developed sward-shaped and knife edge-like karst landforms, but also mushroom and tower-shaped ones. Being an agglomeration of all types of stone forest landscapes, one may call the geopark the "Karst Stone Forest Museum" that has both very high scientific and aesthetic values.

    —The unparalleled stone forest in subtropical plateau. In this protected area, massive low stone teeth and high rock pillars are distributed in clusters in mountain ridges, valleys and depressions, and coexist with karst caves, lakes and waterfalls, forming a full view of karst landscape. Particularly, looking into the distance, the massive 20-50m high stone pillar cluster here seems to be a "forest", so people visually call it "Stone Forest". Here is an ideal place for studying both regional geological evolution and karstification.

    Having lived in the stone forest area for more than 2,000 years, the life style of Sani people of Yi nationality is closely bound up with the karst stone forest. The oft-quoted and widely loved epic Ashima, the warm Yi Torch Festival, the lively Axitaoyue (a traditional dance of Yi Nationality) and a song full of deep feeling named "Guests from Afar, Please Come to Stay" have all been spread far and wide. The rich and varied national culture and the pronounced national lifestiles are combined with pleasant environment of the stone forest landscape, forming a beautiful scenery in perfect harmony of the nature with people and increasing the attraction of the stone forest landscape.


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