What is a National Geopark
(National Geopark refers to) an area with geoscientific significance and magnificent views, certified by the Minister of Environment to be utilized for education and tourism through conservation.
※Legal ground: Natural Park Act, Article 2 (Definition)
What Geoparks are all about is not only geology but also community-oriented activities.
Geoparks promote sustainable local development by the use of their geological heritage for conservation, education and tourism. They have a particular area with a boundary and local community members get engaged in the management of the life forms, archaeology, history and culture of the area.
Members of Korea's National Geopark
There are a total of 12 national geological parks in Korea (as of July 2019).
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|1||Ulleungdo-Dokdo National Geopark||Ulleungdo Island and the surrounding islands in its vicinity including Dokdo were declared a National Geopark in 2012. There are 19 geosites in Ulleungdo Island and 4 in Dokdo.
Nineeteen geosites in Ulleungdo Island include Bongnae Waterfall, Jeodong Coastal Walk, Dodong Coastal Walk, Turtle Rock & Juniper Colony, Noodle Rock, Mushroom Rock, Crane Port Beach, Hwangto Cave, Taeha Trail & Daepunggam, Old Man Peak, Songgot Peak, Elephant Rock Peak, Yongchulso, Albong Peak, Primitive Forest in Seonginbong Peak, Jukam Mongdol Beach, Samseon Rock, Gwaneumdo, and Jukdo.
Four geosites in Dokdo are Sutdol rock, Dongnimmun (the Arch of Independence) Rock, Samhyeongje (Three Brothers) Rocks with Holes, and Chunjang Cave. The management authority is Ulleung-gun (Section of Forest and Environment)
|2||Jeju Island National Geopark||Jeju Island was named as a Global Geopark in 2010 even before the introduction of National Geopark Certification System to Korea in 2011; the island was granted the National Geopark certification in the following year. It is one and only Global Geopark Network member among National Geoparks in Korea and had the designation for the whole area of the island.
12 geosites include Hallasan Montain, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak Tuff Cone, Manjanggul Cave, Seogwipo Stratum (shell fossils), Sanbangsan Mountain Lava Dome, Yongmeori Beach Tuff Ring, Suwolbong Peak Tuff Ring, Jungmun Daepo Columnar Joints, Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls, Seonheul Gotjawal, Udo island and Biyang island.
The management authority of the park is Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (World Natural Heritage Management Division).
|3||Busan National Geopark||Busan National Geopark, designated in 2013, is an urban geopark in which most geosites are located in the urban area embracing the city’s major attractions. Twelve geosites in the park are classified by their formations e.g., estuary region, sedimentary rock region, igneous rock region, and volcanic rock region.
The estuary region is represented by Nakdong Estuary a.k.a. Eulsukdo Island; found in the sedimentary rock region are 7 geosites such as Morundae, Dusong Peninsula, Songdo Peninsula, Dudo Island, Taejongdae, Oryukdo Island, and Igidae; the igneous rock region formed from the cooling of magma is found on the hills including Geumjeongsan, Orbicular Gabbro and Baekyangsan; and the volcanic rock geosite is Jangsan. All these geosites are managed by Busan Metropolitan City (Section of Environment Conservation)
|4||Gangwon Peace Area National Geopark||1,829㎢ extending over 4 counties (gun) such as Goseong-gun, Inje-gun, Yanggu-gun and Hwacheon-gun was certified as a Gangwon Peace National Geopark in 2014.
Here is the complete list of 16 geosites in 4 different counties (gun): Hwajinpo Lagoon, Songjiho Beach, Late Miocene Basalts in Goseong and Tafoni of Neungpadae in Goseong-gun; Yongneup (wetland) of Daeamsan, Fluvial Terrace of Soyanggang, Pothole of Naerincheon and Jinburyeong (mountain pass) in Inhe-gun; Dootayeon (plunge pool), Yanggubaekto (kaolin) and Haean Basin in Yanggu-gun; Gogungugok (Valley), Biraeam (Rock), Riverine wetland of Yangeuidae, Hwacheon Granulite Complex, and Yonghwasan in Hwacheon-gun.
The park adopts a dual management system; Gangwon Province (Section of Environment) conducts the overall control while each local self-governing body manages park sites.
|5||Cheongsong National Geopark||Cheongsong National Geopark was certified in 2014 and has 24 geosites. Found in Juwangsan National Park are 9 geosites such as Giam Cliff, Jubangcheon Peperite, Yeonhwa Cave, Yonchu Gorge, Yongyeon Falls, Geupsudae Columnar Joint, Jeolgol Gorge, Jusan Pond, and Noruyongchu. Other geosites are Cheongsong Ice Valley, Beopsu Pottery Stone, Byeongam Granite Cliff, Nasil Magma Mixing Zone, Sedimentary Formation at Cheongsong Natural Recreation Forest, Myeonbongsan Caldera, Surakri Columnar Joints, Sedimentary Formation at Bangho Pavilion, Sinseong Dinosaur Footprints, Mananjaam Cliff, Baekseoktan Pot Holes, Pacheon Orbicular Granite, Songgangri Folds, Cheongsong Spherulitic Rhyolite, and Dalgi Mineral Spring Site.
Cheongsong National Geopark succeed to be ertified UNESCO Global Geopark in 2017.
|6||Mudeungsan Area National Geopark||The area of 246㎢ covering 23 geosites in Mudeungsan Mountain and Hwasun-gun was designated as a National Geopark in 2014. Eighteen geosites are centered around Mudeungsan Mountain National Park: Three Rock Peaks (Cheonwangbong, Jiwangbong, and Inwangbong), Seoseokdae, Ipseokdae, Gwangseokdae, Sinseondae & Eoksae Grass, Deoksan Cluster of Rocks, Jigong Cluster of Rocks, Mudeungsan Mountain Air Holes, Baekma Ridge, Jangbuljae Pass, Simujigi Falls, Yunpilbong Natural Cave, Chunghyo-dong Kiln, Euisangbong, Saeinbong, Andesitic Lava at Jeungsim Temple Valley, Mudeungsan Gwangju Granite, and Manyeon Temple Precambrian Granite Gneiss.
Other 5 geosites are found in Hwasun: Red Wall, Seoyu-ri, Dinosaur Fossil Site, Baegasan Limestone Caves, Unjusa Stratified Tuff, and Hwasun Dolmen Site Jangdong Tuff.
Mudeungsan Area National Geopark succeed to be certified UNESCO Global Geopark in 2018.
|7||Hantangang National Geopark||Hantangang Geopark is the first geopark in Korea to be constructed along the river, and it has 24 unique geosites created mainly by lava flow. It was certified as a National Geopark in 2015 and located in Pocheon, Yeoncheon and Cheorwon counties. There are 10 geosites including Mt.Gonam Magnetic Mine, Bidulginang Waterfalls and Pocheon Auraji Pillow Lava are in Pocheon county, 9 geosites including Jaein Waterfalls, Chatancheon Columnar Joints and Jwasangbawi Rock are in Yeoncheon county and 5 geosites including Sambuyeon Waterfalls, Goseok Rock and Cheorwon Lava Plateau are in Cheorwon county. It is only basaltic canyon found inland along the Hantangang River in Korea.|
|8||Gangwon Paleozoic National Geopark||Gangwon Paleozoic Geopark is located in Yeongwol, Jeongseon, Taebaek and Pyeongchang areas along with the outstanding fluvial landforms and the unique karst topography. It has 21 geosites across 4 different counties and it was certified as the representative Paleozoic National Geopark in 2017. There are 8 geosites including Seondol Rock and Korea Peninsula Landform in Yeongwol, 6 geosites including Baekboknyeong Karst and Hwaam Cave in Jeongseon, 5 geosites including Gumryongso and Yongyeon Cave in Taebaek and 2 geosites including Bangryong Cave and Gomaru Karst in Pyeongchang.|
|9||Gyeongbuk East Coast National Geopark||Gyeongbuk East Coast Geopark was certified as a National Geopark in 2017, constructed along the eastern coast of Gyeongbuk province and its geology is related to the formation and development of the East Sea of Korea. There are 19 geosites combined with coastal landscape, modern industry, historical and cultural resources in Pohang, Gyeongju, Youngdeok and Uljin Counties. The geopark have 5 geosites including Homigot Cape Coastal Terrace and Duho-dong Fossil Site in Pohang, 3 geosites including Golgulam and Yangnam Colonnades in Gyeongju, 7 geosites including Goraebul Beach and Sajin-ri Coast in Youngdeok and 4 geosites including Deokgu Valley and Wangpicheon River in Uljin counties.|
|10||Jeonbuk West Coast National Geopark||Jeonbuk West Coast Geopark was mainly formed by the sedimentary environment of lakes and volcanic activities in the Mesozoic era. The Geopark covers Gochang and Buan counties of Jeollabukdo province and it was certified as a National Geopark in 2017. There are 12 geosites shown characteristic landforms of the west coast of Korea including tidal flats and beaches. In Gochang, they have 6 geosites such as Mt.Seonwoonsan, Woongok Wetland and Dolmen site and also have 6 geosites such as Jikso Fall, Jeokbyeokgang and Chaeseokgang in Buan.|