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Overview

Home >ENG >Mudeungsan Area Geopark >Mudeungsan Area Geopark >Overview

Physical and human geography

  • The Geopark is located in the southern part of the Korean peninsula near the large regional city of Gwangju.
  • About half of the City area is forested. This area is included in the Geopark which is focused on Mt.
  • Mudeung which rises about 1,100 m above the lowlands.
  • The mountains and individual features have deep symbolic values for the local people and for wider Korea.
  • It has many scenic features based on the geology and topography of the largely volcanic mountain.
  • It's scenery and symbolic role have been recognised for many centuries.
  • The climate is much influenced by the mountains and is warm and temperate.
  • There is significant rainfall in each month.
  • The Geopark is also significant for its ecosystems.
  • It protects a number of endangered and vulnerable plant and animal species.
  • Administration is shared between Gwangju City and two counties of Jeollanam Province.
  • The total population of the city and counties is more than 1.6 million.
  • A Geopark management team and visitor centers are present as are geotrails.
  • Local communities and NGOs are deeply involved with the management and interpretation of the park.
  • The core area of 75 km2 is within Mudeungsan National Park.
  • In and around the Geopark there are many villages and cultural features closely connected to Mt. Mudeung.
  • These include both ancient and modern Buddhist and Confucian temples, shrines, ancient pavilions, museums, art galleries and so on.
  • There are also a range of intangible values including various rituals.

Geological features and geology of international significance

  • Twenty geosites have been identified in the 105,136 ha mountainous Geopark.
  • Seven geological periods are represented.
  • The geosites range from five large colonnades of polygonally jointed tuff columns recording at least three phases of Cretaceous volcanic activity, extensive periglacially-produced block streams and cryoplanation surfaces, unusual microclimatic environments within talus accumulations, dinosaur footprints and trackways, and a variety of other geological and geomorphological features such as lengthy scenic cliff-lines and waterfalls.
  • One geosite, a 15th century specialized celadon pottery kiln, integrates geology and culture as does a large temple site with numerous Buddha statues and pagodas created from tuff.
  • Seven geosites have international significance.
  • The most important are an 11 km2 area with five sets of columnar-jointed colonnades (the extent of jointing and joint is amongst the largest in the world and includes the world’s largest columns in terms of cross-section with column faces up to seven meters width); a site with almost 600 Bronze Age quarries and dolmens and the dinosaur site with more than 1,500 footprints and more than 70 trackways.
  • The three geosites are on the World Heritage List and the Korean Tentative Lists, respectively. Ten of the sites have national significance.
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