Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 357-374.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0357-9

• Resource Evaluation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The geological heritages in Xinjiang, China: Its features and protection

HUANG Song   

  1. College of Historical Culture and Tourism, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541001, Guangxi, China
  • Received:2009-11-27 Revised:2009-12-29 Online:2010-06-15 Published:2010-06-15
  • About author:Huang Song (1967–), Ph.D and Professor, specialized in the geopark tourism and the study of geological heritages protection. E-mail:


The geological heritage protection and its development at home and abroad reflect the progress in the aspect from the single protection to the coordination between protection and exploitation. The geopark established by UNESCO has closely combined the protection of geological heritages with the promotion of sustainable development of local economy, which has become the best way to protect geological heritages. The geological heritages in Xinjiang, China, are characterized by their large quantity, rich variety and high grade. The complicated geologic-geomorphic environment in Xinjiang contributes to the creation of various geological heritage types and their spatial distribution, and at the same time makes them under control. The main types of the geological heritages in Xinjiang are the geologic- geomorphic landscapes and the water landscapes. The spatial distribution can be divided into five geological heritage districts: Altay, Junggar, Tianshan, Tarim and Kunlun-Altun, among which Tianshan and Kunlun-Altun are most important. Based on the first systematic investigation of the geological heritages in Xinjiang, it is confirmed that the insufficient coordination between protection and exploitation is the primary cause for the backward situation in the geological heritage protection. To solve the problem, this paper proposes 6 major protection steps—from determining the protection types, the protection forms, the protection modes, the protection grades, the protection sequences to determining the protection zones, brings forward the idea of optimal-selection which integrates geoparks with geological heritage protection areas and other protection areas as well as 5 corresponding modes, and makes a protection and exploitation reserve list for 209 important geological heritages in Xinjiang.

Key words: geological heritages, features, situation analysis, protection steps, optimal-selection modes, reserve list, Xinjiang