Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 357–374 | Cite as

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

  • Song HuangEmail author


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.


geological heritages features situation analysis protection steps optimal-selection modes reserve list Xinjiang 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Historical Culture and TourismGuangxi Normal UniversityGuilinGuangxi, China

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